Title: Confusion and Consequences
Fandom: Haven
Pairing: Audrey Parker/Duke Crocker/Nathan Wuornos
Categories: casefile, threesome, genderswap (sort of), polyamory, established relationship (het), first time (threesome)
Length: Long, 20,765 words
Warnings: I'm... not sure how to warn. Duke and Nathan end up with some girl parts, but not completely genderswapped, and the fic revolves around the issues of masculinity and sexuality that come out of that. If that's likely to be a problem or potentially triggery in some way, don't go there? There's also a warning for mild mind control, but it doesn't go too far with anything happening consent issues-wise in terms of the main trio. There are maybe a few potentially triggery things happening in the background with the other people affected by the gendermixing Trouble.

Author on Livejournal: n/a?
Author Website: guiltyreasons on AO3

Summary: Nathan thought he had seen everything until a half naked woman walks up to him claiming to be Duke Crocker....

Review: “It’s Haven. Trans hate is the least of our worries...”

Oh, I enjoyed the hell out of this one. Last week I was emailing the link to friends after I read it, so it's still pretty hot off the presses. Yes, there is the odd typo and grammar hiccup, but really, with all the other goodies on offer here, I find myself disinclined to care about those.

I love the stuff that really digs into the questions of sexuality and masculinity and sexual dysfunction and this goes there and then some, as this particular Trouble turns Haven upside-down and Duke and Nathan end up kind of not their usual manly selves. The fic is told from Nathan's point of view, and I love the POV -- getting to watch him angst in his low-key way about all these things, weird sexual situations and hangups and shame, is entirely wonderful. I also love how his senses are used in interesting ways in the smut. :)

The fic is established Audrey/Nathan leading into an Audrey/Duke/Nathan threesome, and while usually I'm more partial to the latter and the Duke/Nathan dynamic, I've seldom loved Audrey and Nathan's relationship more than the way it's presented here. They are so understanding of each other, and such good friends as well as lovers, who talk about all the knotty things and work through the changes that have happened to Nathan's body and how those effect their sexual relationship. And how they make the decision together when it comes to taking Duke on... they are so sweet and down to earth in this.

Anyway, this is just so hot and odd and interesting, with such a good POV, and the issues of gender and questioning sexuality I felt were nicely dealt with.

Confusion and Consequences

Black Water Rising by Sholio (Teen)

  • Aug. 19th, 2015 at 11:26 PM
Title: Black Water Rising
Fandom: Agent Carter
Pairing: gen
Categories: casefic, action/adventure, hurt/comfort, huddling for warmth, team, friendship
Length: long, 29,221 words
Warnings: none

Author on Livejournal: [livejournal.com profile] sholio
Author Website: Sholio on AO3

Summary: An apparently abandoned Hydra facility turns into a deathtrap for Peggy and the SSR team. Set after 1x08.

Review: It really could not be more of a stereotypical villain lair if they'd taken the design straight from one of those execrable Captain America comics, Peggy thought, shining her torch above and around the empty, echoing halls. And it was entirely cleaned out. Not a stick of furniture, not even so much as a bolt. When Hydra cleared out, they really cleared out.

This is a solid gen adventure that delivers something I'd very much had the desire to see after watching the series -- our three favourite SSR agents working together and respecting each other for their strengths and understanding each other's weaknesses, all of which get showcased during the course of the story. It's a great teamfic full of banter and tropeyness (but never too much to take over the story) which makes me wish there was more of its like out there.

Thompson's *cough* still a prat, but he's their prat and still wants to do the right thing, even if he always(?) falls down with the execution, even if we're still not sure he'd come through in the crunch, but he gets the chance to be brave and tenacious here and show some real strength. Sousa gets to be quietly smart and self-sacrificing. Peggy is competent and in-charge despite the nominal ranks, but also permitted to be human, isn't invulnerable or without fear. Above all it's teamwork that enables them to survive their situation in this fic, and every member of the trio playing their part.

Black Water Rising
Title: Trouble shared is Trouble halved

Fandom: Haven
Pairing: gen
Categories: casefic, adventure, crack
Length: short...ah, dammit, it's just into medium, wasted opportunity for a size gag. 2247 words
Warnings: none

Author on Livejournal: [livejournal.com profile] tanaquific
Author Website: Tanaqui on AO3

Summary: When Nathan finds himself in trouble as the result of a Trouble, Audrey and Duke ride to the rescue. But, of course, this is Haven and things are never that straightforward..

Review: Duke tried to look like he hadn't been thinking it would be fun to gently push Nathan around with his finger once Audrey's back was turned. Maybe even pick Nathan up by the scruff of his jacket and dangle him from a great height. He didn't intend to do him any serious harm, just have a bit of fun....

So today's recs come as a result of a conversation yesterday about how I love shrinking fics (or shrunk!fic, depending on your preferred grammar). As a trope it is adorable crack and there should be more of it out there. Feel free to point me toward more in comments.

This cute lil' fic is an abbreviated casefile wherein Duke and Nathan find themselves on the short end of a Trouble, while Audrey basks in her customary immunity. It's freakin' adorable.

It's listed gen but the trio relationship reads as pretty fond and there manage to be a few Nathan and Duke moments packed into this mini adventure.

Trouble shared is Trouble halved
Title: Regression

Fandom: Haven
Pairing: gen-ish, early seasons canon-level Audrey Parker/Nathan Wuornos
Categories: casefile!, adventure, angst, friendship, amnesia (sort of), hurt/comfort (sort of)
Length: medium, 14,717 words
Warnings: Implied past childhood abuse (heavily hinted in canon), and it's rated mature for a catalogue of dark themes but nothing heavily described.

Author on Livejournal: n/a
Author Website: author unrevealed (author link will be added when the challenge is revealed).

Summary: In the beginning it was almost funny. Audrey figured the photo of Duke clutching the teddy bear should be worth free coffee-the good stuff-at least once a week. If only it hadn't brought up the past quite so viscerally.

Review: The crying stopped and Duke stiffened. "Uh, Nathan? Care to fill me in on why I am half naked and crying into your chest?"

It's a Haven casefic! Here's a Trouble that regresses people, psychologically, back to the worst times of their lives. From Duke's initial somewhat amusing/simultaneously embarrassing/even horrifying re-experience of childhood, to the awfulness of poor, poor Dwight under the influence, to Nathan's struggle at the climax, that's a Trouble which paves the way for some truly interesting things to be explored.

The Troubled Person is an interesting original character in his own right, with history and motives that feel human and true. The story isn't afraid to look into a few dark corners. But it's got a vein of humour and acknowledgement of the ridiculous of the Troubles and Haven in general running through it, that never lets it get *too* dark. (Plus, bonus appearance by Dr. Lucassi, who has to be one of my favourite understated minor characters of the show.)

It's labelled Audrey/Nathan plus Duke & Nathan and reads in line with a gen-ish season 2 type canon piece, and ends with a sleepover on the Cape Rouge, so really how you want to interpret the relationships in it is up for grabs.

This fic is a product of the recent Troubled Tales fic exchange, so it is currently author anonymous.

Regression

How Far Down by Eli (PG13)

  • Jun. 17th, 2015 at 9:31 PM
Title: How Far Down

Fandom: Dredd
Pairing: gen
Categories: casefile, crime, backstory
Length: medium, 6,452 words
Warnings: author warns for 'threat of rape/non-con' but it's pretty minor

Author on Livejournal: n/a?
Author Website: Eli on AO3

Summary: 17,000 serious crimes are reported every day. How many more aren't?

Review: No matter how much confidence she has gained as a judge, where Anderson is truly comfortable is in other people's heads. She's not sure what that says about her.

This is both a small casefile following the events of the movie and a backstory fill-in for Psi Judge Cassandra Anderson. I like the extrapolation here for where Anderson goes next, with the struggle to find Judges willing to work with her, and her ending up by circumstance working alongside Dredd again anyway.

I like this fic for the opportunity to see Anderson in action again and these two partnered up once more, in a platonic sense, and it makes some good use of the psychic powers -- those scenes of Anderson busting into other people's heads were always the thing I loved best in the Anderson Psi Division comic strips.

There are also a few neat little character observations of Dredd along the way.

How Far Down

Life Sentence by Astolat (R)

  • May. 27th, 2015 at 11:21 PM
Title: Life Sentence
Fandom: Fast & Furious
Pairing: Brian O'Conner/Dominic Toretto
Categories: AU, Action/Adventure, Case Fic, Romance
Length: Long (29k)
Warnings: Threatened Dub-con

Author on LJ: [livejournal.com profile] astolat
Website: Ao3 Website

Summary: “Sit down,” the doctor said. He took blood, three vials filling up dark red. “Any medical conditions?”

“No,” Dom said, and then his mouth kept going and said, “What if I want to volunteer for bonding?”

The doctor peered at him over the glasses. “Do you want to volunteer for bonding?”

It hung in the air. Dom felt it like a noose around his throat, squeezing. Twenty-five to life. “Yeah,” he said.

Review: An interesting take on bonding fics. In a world where bonding is one of the only way to get out of prison, Dom is desperate to get out of Lomac and Brian isn't given much of a choice but to agree, or risk the lives of a lot of innocent civilians.

Despite the complete change in worlds, and meetings, this fic manages to keep the high-octain action of the films, while keeping the characters from becoming too Out of Character. There is a large threat of 'Morality made them do it' sex throughout the first half of the story, but it is resolved before anything is forced on the characters. And their relationship is allowed to grow organically into a happy ending.

Even if you aren't very familiar with the fandom, this fic is self-contained it might be worth giving a try if the premise appeals to you.

Life Sentence
Title: Where There Are No More Tomorrows

Fandom: Star Trek: Deep Space 9
Pairing: gen-ish, background Bashir/Ezri
Categories: drama, mystery, adventure, crime, post-canon
Length: long, 27,906 words if you trust ff.net's word counts
Warnings: Medical details and warfare.

Author on LJ: n/a
Author Website: CDS on fanfiction.net

Summary: Post-WYLB Bashir and LaForge try to solve a murder in the Post-War Alpha Quadrant.

Review: This is a solid mystery/adventure story set against the backdrop of the post-Dominion War Federation after DS9 tv canon leaves off.

Most delightfully in this fic, Bashir is... Bashir, and even years down the line from Emissary, there's still some part of him that would rather be a detective/spy/adventurer, and that enthusiasm carries through in the more matured portrayal of his character. I'm less familiar with LaForge and TNG, but he seems likeably written as the frustrated straight man to Bashir's impulsivity, and the banter between them is enjoyable.

I'm not expert enough to vouch for the accuracy of the science, Trek tech and medical information, but it all sounds incredibly convincing to me and there's so much of it, and so many *details* in the background this mystery takes place upon. Observations and anecdotes of the war and post-war, and the supply chain issues confounding Starfleet's military and medical efforts, and most relevantly for Bashir, costing lives.

As the header says, there's some Bashir/Ezri, but it's no more than a footnote and touchstone for Julian on his grim posting apart from her, there isn't a lot of time spent on it: the fic clearly supports the relationship but is for the most part gen. Geordi LaForge is along for some of the ride, but it really is Dr Julian Bashir's show. There are a few typos throughout, but they're not too much distraction from reading.

Where There Are No More Tomorrows

Men of Legend by hells_half_acre (PG)

  • Mar. 2nd, 2015 at 1:28 PM
Title: Men of Legend
Fandom: Merlin/Supernatural
Pairing: Gen
Genres: Crossover, Action, Friendship, Casefic
Length: Long (33,957 words)
Warnings: None

Author on LJ: [livejournal.com profile] hells_half_acre
Author Website: hells_half_acre @ AO3

Author's Summary:
When a sorcerer summons monsters from another world, Merlin must summon heroes from another world to help save Camelot. Meanwhile, Dean and Sam Winchester didn't even know they were summon-able.

Review:
A gen fic full of great characterisation and realistic interaction between the two groups. The rapport between the main four and the knights of Camelot is all great, with no greater emphasis on either fandom - though obviously the setting does lean towards Merlin. All characters strengths and weaknesses are portrayed equally, with neither fandom being 'stronger' than the other, all wrapped up in a case fic and supernatural drama. Pretty much everything you'd want in a gen crossover.

Men of Legend

American Way by Resonant [NC-17]

  • Feb. 16th, 2015 at 9:30 PM
Title: American Way
Fandom: Due South
Pairing: Benton Fraser/Ray Kowalski
Categories/Genres: First Time, Canon, Romance, Case Fic, Humor
Length: Long [17,989 words]
Warnings: N/A

Author on LJ: [livejournal.com profile] resonant
Author Website: Resonant @ ao3

Summary: When crime victims are afraid of Canadians, Ray and Fraser have to do a little cultural exchange.

Review: When Fraser begins spotting people wearing jewelry from a highly valued missing collection, they're unable to get answers because of Fraser's innate Candian-ness. Rather than give Ray a crash course in the jewely pieces, Ray decides it's easier to just teach Fraser to act more American. The results are...pretty hot. Fraser takes his American lessons to heart and goes after what he wants, too! This fic does have humor - it's hard to think of Due South without thinking about humor. It's just a delightful, quick read.

American Way
Title: Acquainted With the Night

Fandom: Daredevil / The Sentinel / Gargoyles
Pairing: gen
Categories: Crossover, action/adventure
Length: Long, 27,728 words (if you trust ff.net's word counts)
Warnings: None

Author on LJ: n/a?
Author Website: Vathara on fanfiction.net

Summary: A murder witness goes on the run... to Cascade.

Review: The crossovers I've been reccing lately started me thinking about this old favourite. I should own up to having only ever seen one of the source fandoms because I read this first out of my interest in the Daredevil movie, but I only know The Sentinel from fic and I only know Gargoyles from this fic. Vathara writes crossovers, and this story exists in a sort of wonderful mish-mash world where fictional universes collide and assortments of other fandoms not even credited could get referenced any moment (for eg., the Ghostbusters exist in the same universe, here, too).

This story sees Matt Murdock, still kind-of-sort-of-pretending-not-to-be-Daredevil, agree to travel with reporter Ben Urich on a case to help out a girl on the run, and it picks up and carries the developing buddy relationship between the two of them that was hinted at in the movie, providing the movie's isolated version of the vigilante some friendly support. The case is complicated by the missing girl being a gargoyle, and by folks in The Sentinel's side of things finding alarm and interest in Matt Murdock's arrival on their turf.

The main draw for me is the relationship between Ben and Matt, and the fact I can see and hear these scenes with the same vibrancy of the better moments of the movie, but all its varied cast seem interesting and distinct even if I don't have enough idea of the other fandoms to put a face to them. The author handles Matt's blind but sensory enhanced perspective on the world and the crossover's tangle of other enhanced senses with fascinating details, and the dialogue exchanges just zip along. And it's just neat. I love Matt's connection to Urich, the perfect characterisation, the understated moments, everyone's alternate canon explanations of enhanced senses confuzzling the issues, the style and pacing and wackiness.

Acquainted With the Night

Maṭṭaltu by Lithiumdoll (PG13)

  • Jan. 28th, 2015 at 10:40 PM
Title: Maṭṭaltu

Fandom: Angel / Leverage
Pairing: gen
Categories: Crossover, adventure, case file
Length: Long, 41,883 words
Warnings: None

Author on LJ: n/a?
Author Website: Lithiumdoll on AO3

Summary: Things are going pretty well for the Leverage crew until Lindsey McDonald shows up on their doorstep. Then, not so much.

Review: "Excellent." Nate rubbed his hands together briskly. "Let’s go steal some souls."

So my usual reaction to any crossover somehow equating one character to another played by the same actor across both shows is a lot of eyerolling. But I was looking for Angel fics to rec which were more current than my old favourites because I haven't read in this fandom since the end of the show, and somehow was sucked into this story despite my misgivings of the crossover treatment. And there you go, because here I am reccing it.

This jaunt manages to give even space to all of its assorted cast, integrating the worlds of both fandoms, providing the Angel Investigations crew just as much to blink about as they discover how the Leverage bunch do business as the Leverage crew discovering that demons and vampires are real. I think nearly all of the cast get little moments between each other one-on-one, though I admit to being especially fond of Parker and Illyria's little bonding. And Nate and Lorne's... not-really-bonding.

"So, you’re criminals."

"You could say that, sure. If you wanted to be…" Nate waved the glass as he searched for the word.

"Accurate?"

Close enough. "Accurate, right. We like to say we pick up where the law leaves off. And you’re a demon from another dimension with a thing for Judy Garland, and Angel’s a vampire with a soul who helps the hopeless. Catchy."


On the Angel side of things, as someone who hadn't previously felt compelled to seek out any post-finale fic, I was surprised how moved I was to see the gang back together again even without Wesley. It filled a hole I hadn't realised was there, particularly in the way of rectifying how canon left us on Lorne and Lindsey.

And that explanation for Christian Kane's presence in both shows as different characters? Is actually integral to the plot and the continued existence of Lindsey MacDonald post-Not Fade Away in a very satisfying fashion.

Maṭṭaltu

Wish You Were Here by Tassos (PG13)

  • Jan. 14th, 2015 at 10:13 PM
Title: Wish You Were Here

Fandom: Haven/Criminal Minds
Pairing: gen with background Audrey/Nathan
Categories: drama, casefile, crime, crossover, outsider POV
Length: Long, 36,894 words
Warnings: canon level violence

Author on LJ: [personal profile] tassosss
Author Website: Tassos on AO3, Vast Universes

Summary: When the FBI's BAU follow a serial killer to Haven, Maine, they find that murder and mystery are a lot more complicated in the unassuming sea-side town. The local cops don't want them there, the crime scenes don't make sense, and it doesn't take long for them to get in over their heads.

Review: This is a gen/casefile crossover set in season 4 of Haven and season 7 of Criminal Minds. It's basically channelling both shows, and juggling their sizeable casts so everyone gets their moments in the bargain. This collision could happen on screen and I would believe it.

It's told from the perspective of the members of the BAU team as they follow a case to the strange town of Haven and have to deal with prickly, secretive law enforcement and hostile, secretive townsfolk and alarming and occasionally violent town factions as well as their UnSub of the week. The outsider POV on Haven and its troubled detectives is a treat if you're familiar with the show and I should imagine it works if you're only familiar with Criminal Minds as well. Much (enjoyable) build-up is given to the revelation of Haven's town secrets and enabling Prentiss, Morgan, Hotch, and co. to accept and adjust to the somewhat unusual conditions under which murders might occur in this particular little seaside town. The casefile itself and the manner the mystery ties in with the troubles is also interesting.

I have no capacity to be intelligent about this one, only to glee fannishly, because the BAU comes to Haven and everyone is so exactly themselves. It's a perfect in-character intersection of the two shows.

Wish You Were Here
Alternative link to Wish You Were Here on Dreamwidth as AO3 appears to be down tonight

Wish You Were Here by Tassos (PG13)

  • Jan. 14th, 2015 at 10:08 PM
Title: Wish You Were Here

Fandom: Haven/Criminal Minds
Pairing: gen with background Audrey/Nathan
Categories: drama, casefile, crime, crossover, outsider POV
Length: Long, 36,894 words
Warnings: canon level violence

Author on LJ: [livejournal.com profile] tassosss
Author Website: Tassos on AO3, Vast Universes

Summary: When the FBI's BAU follow a serial killer to Haven, Maine, they find that murder and mystery are a lot more complicated in the unassuming sea-side town. The local cops don't want them there, the crime scenes don't make sense, and it doesn't take long for them to get in over their heads.

Review: This is a gen/casefile crossover set in season 4 of Haven and season 7 of Criminal Minds. It's basically channelling both shows, and juggling their sizeable casts so everyone gets their moments in the bargain. This collision could happen on screen and I would believe it.

It's told from the perspective of the members of the BAU team as they follow a case to the strange town of Haven and have to deal with prickly, secretive law enforcement and hostile, secretive townsfolk and alarming and occasionally violent town factions as well as their UnSub of the week. The outsider POV on Haven and its troubled detectives is a treat if you're familiar with the show and I should imagine it works if you're only familiar with Criminal Minds as well. Much (enjoyable) build-up is given to the revelation of Haven's town secrets and enabling Prentiss, Morgan, Hotch, and co. to accept and adjust to the somewhat unusual conditions under which murders might occur in this particular little seaside town. The casefile itself and the manner the mystery ties in with the troubles is also interesting.

I have no capacity to be intelligent about this one, only to glee fannishly, because the BAU comes to Haven and everyone is so exactly themselves. It's a perfect in-character intersection of the two shows.

Wish You Were Here
Title: Hesitation Waltz

Fandom: From Eroica With Love
Pairing: Dorian/Klaus
Categories: romance, drama, casefile, action/adventure
Length: Long, ~20,000 words
Warnings: "canon-level violence, and some homophobic language"

Author on LJ: n/a
Author Website: Cranialaccessory on AO3

Summary: "I hope you don’t take this the wrong way," Dorian said, "but I’ve been preparing for this role my entire life. You, on the other hand, seem far less capable of convincing anyone that you’re in love with anyone, much less me."

Klaus and Dorian have to pretend to be married for a case. It goes about as well as can be expected.

Review: Not an unusual trope to see in this fandom, but I can't remember another example of it I enjoyed quite this much.

The fic takes its main premise seriously -- and so, despite Dorian's doubts, do all of the people Dorian and Klaus meet at the grand retreat on a private island that they have to infiltrate for the purposes of their case, including some of Dorian's old friends and acquaintances. Klaus and Dorian have worked together in their own abrasive way for so many years now that their rapport and partnership actually carry the ruse, and as the story develops people around them proceed to make meaningful relationship observations about how they do things wrong, hurt each other, and just generally rub each other up the wrong way. Much is learned in really interesting ways, and the duo get their chances to display how much they care about one other as they start to unpick the established patterns of their relationship.

Altogether very satisfying story. The case file and the interactions of Klaus and Dorian with the other guests, individually and as a couple, are fascinating, the perceptions of Dorian and his homosexuality highlighted by those interactions are great insights for the character and a look beneath the carefree flamboyance. Klaus gets to do the odd bit of violence to keep himself happy. What more could you ask for?

Hesitation Waltz
Title: Hesitation Waltz

Fandom: From Eroica With Love
Pairing: Dorian/Klaus
Categories: romance, drama, casefile, action/adventure
Length: Long, ~20,000 words
Warnings: "canon-level violence, and some homophobic language"

Author on LJ: n/a
Author Website: Cranialaccessory on AO3

Summary: "I hope you don’t take this the wrong way," Dorian said, "but I’ve been preparing for this role my entire life. You, on the other hand, seem far less capable of convincing anyone that you’re in love with anyone, much less me."

Klaus and Dorian have to pretend to be married for a case. It goes about as well as can be expected.

Review: Not an unusual trope to see in this fandom, but I can't remember another example of it I enjoyed quite this much.

The fic takes its main premise seriously -- and so, despite Dorian's doubts, do all of the people Dorian and Klaus meet at the grand retreat on a private island that they have to infiltrate for the purposes of their case, including some of Dorian's old friends and acquaintances. Klaus and Dorian have worked together in their own abrasive way for so many years now that their rapport and partnership actually carry the ruse, and as the story develops people around them proceed to make meaningful relationship observations about how they do things wrong, hurt each other, and just generally rub each other up the wrong way. Much is learned in really interesting ways, and the duo get their chances to display how much they care about one other as they start to unpick the established patterns of their relationship.

Altogether very satisfying story. The case file and the interactions of Klaus and Dorian with the other guests, individually and as a couple, are fascinating, the perceptions of Dorian and his homosexuality highlighted by those interactions are great insights for the character and a look beneath the carefree flamboyance. Klaus gets to do the odd bit of violence to keep himself happy. What more could you ask for?

Hesitation Waltz

"Untouched" by GarGoyl (NC-17)

  • Nov. 25th, 2014 at 11:30 PM
Title: Untouched
Fandom: Kuroshitsuji | Black Butler
Pairing: Sebastian/Ciel
Categories: Canon AU, future fic, horror, angst, casefic, master/servant
Length: Epic (52,547)
Warnings: underage (13-year-old boy/ancient demon), dub-con, drug use

Author on AO3:  GarGoyl

Summary: After failing to collect Ciel's soul in strange circumstances, Sebastian returns home in Underworld to brood over his misfortune. But little does he know how their fate will change now that he is no longer the butler...

Review: One of the primary strengths of "Untouched" is GarGoyl's version of the Underworld where Sebastian makes his home between contracts, not to be confused with the Victorian underworld where Ciel and Sebastian solve cases for the queen! A lesser demonic noble, Sebastian (or the Black Crow as he is known in his own world) is charged with occasionally advising and carrying out tasks for the mysterious Council that rules the Underworld, much like Ciel in his role as the queen's watchdog. This role reversal between Sebastian and Ciel is one of the primary motifs in this story, playing out in some interesting and entertaining ways, though I can't elaborate much on that without spoiling the plot.

In the interest of full disclosure, I should say "Untouched" is not without its flaws. I wasn't a fan of the author's use of epithets, and Ciel's characterization didn't always work for me, although those things are, of course, subjective. However, the plot kept me engaged enough to keep reading despite those quibbles. I really enjoyed this take on Sebastian's demonic life, which is very different than anything else I've read in this fandom. The minor characters were also entertaining. The Undertaker is especially great in this, and I also found myself surprisingly fond of the OC who serves as Sebastian's housekeeper. This kind of imaginative, plotty story was exactly what I was hoping to find when I first started reading Kuroshitsuji fic.

Untouched

Moira(i) by Franzeska (NC-17)

  • Nov. 12th, 2014 at 6:24 PM
Title: Moira(i)

Fandom: Haven
Pairing: Audrey/Duke/Nathan
Categories: angst, action/adventure, case file
Length: medium: 14,944 words (so only just medium)
Warnings: violence, 'temporary' character death

Author on LJ: [personal profile] franzeska
Author Website: Franzeska on A03

Summary: No one cheats fate in Haven.

Review:
My summary: Nathan and Duke kill each other.

That's not as much a spoiler as you might think. There are 'temporary character death' sorts of notes in the tags, and the presence of sisters Moira (played on the show by Claudia Black, incidentally) and Noelle, also noted in the tags, is a big giveaway to anyone who remembers the season 3 two parter 'Magic Hour' that the rules on consequences might be... slightly different in the course of this fic. And Nathan's death is predicted in chapter 1. 'Moirai' is another name for the fates, and the other key Trouble featured in this fic is a future-prediction one. It's how events play out between these two rule-breakers and the twisting decisions and motivations and reactions of the characters that makes this fic.

This is a complex high-stakes adventure with Troubled people going missing and a return of the old anti-Troubled factions from season 2, and so tightly written it feels longer than it is. It's also a resolution to the end of season 3 cliffhanger (so canon divergent now), and an OT3 fic with romantic angst and some smut sprinkled on top at the end. There's a ton of goodness absolutely packed in here. Go read.

Moira(i)

Moira(i) by Franzeska (NC-17)

  • Nov. 12th, 2014 at 6:21 PM
Title: Moira(i)

Fandom: Haven
Pairing: Audrey/Duke/Nathan
Categories: angst, action/adventure, case file
Length: medium: 14,944 words (so only just medium)
Warnings: violence, 'temporary' character death

Author on LJ: [livejournal.com profile] franzeska
Author Website: Franzeska on A03

Summary: No one cheats fate in Haven.

Review:
My summary: Nathan and Duke kill each other.

That's not as much a spoiler as you might think. There are 'temporary character death' sorts of notes in the tags, and the presence of sisters Moira (played on the show by Claudia Black, incidentally) and Noelle, also noted in the tags, is a big giveaway to anyone who remembers the season 3 two parter 'Magic Hour' that the rules on consequences might be... slightly different in the course of this fic. And Nathan's death is predicted in chapter 1. 'Moirai' is another name for the fates, and the other key Trouble featured in this fic is a future-prediction one. It's how events play out between these two rule-breakers and the twisting decisions and motivations and reactions of the characters that makes this fic.

This is a complex high-stakes adventure with Troubled people going missing and a return of the old anti-Troubled factions from season 2, and so tightly written it feels longer than it is. It's also a resolution to the end of season 3 cliffhanger (so canon divergent now), and an OT3 fic with romantic angst and some smut sprinkled on top at the end. There's a ton of goodness absolutely packed in here. Go read.

Moira(i)
Title: The Dah-Ling Store-It-Yourself
Fandom: Psych
Pairing: Carlton Lassiter/Shawn Spencer
Categories/Genres: Mystery, Case File, Drama, Action/Adventure, Kidnapping, Humor
Length: Epic (43049 words)
Warnings: N/A

Author on LJ: [livejournal.com profile] nixa_jane
Author Website: nixajane

Summary:

The bad news is that one of Lassiter's highest profile arrests has just escaped from prison. The worse news is that his best hope of tracking him down is a sleep-deprived Shawn Spencer.

Review:

It's not every day that someone writes a thoroughly plotted out case file fic, and even more rarely does the mystery fit with the tone of the canon so well you're left wondering, 'Why isn't this an actual episode?'

The Dah-Ling Store-It-Yourself is an intricately plotted adventure that unfolds perfectly, with just the right amount of information laid out for the reader to follow along, and enough deeply embedded clues that, when certain conclusions are revealed at the very end, it's obvious to the reader that they weren't drawn from thin air. That isn't to say that there aren't certain improbable things, but nothing that falls beyond the realm of Psych's general outlandishness.

The characters introduced for the mystery are generally quirky and layered with complexity, even the ones the reader never meets face to face. Cyril Riner, Shawn's kidnapper-slash-client, is particularly endearing and quickly earns the reader's trust in spite of most of the cast's determined belief that he's guilty of murder.

Fascinatingly, there's a palpable sense of frustration amongst many of the cast directed squarely at Shawn for his recklessness and obstinate refusal to give lip service to even the idea of working cooperatively with the SBPD. This fic shows Shawn at his finest but also does not flinch from showing him at his most selfish. In fact the only major gripe I have with this fic is that Shawn is so stubbornly focused on getting what he wants that it becomes an almost deliberate blindness to any potential negative consequences. And when the opportunity arises for Shawn to see those very real consequences, the nixajane lets it pass on by. In the end, Shawn gets what he wants and everyone else gets to bow to his whims.

I haven't read the other stories in The Dah-Ling Series yet, but I definitely will. Spoiled boy getting his way aside, I wouldn't miss another of nixajane's Psych case file fics for the world.

The Dah-Ling Store-It-Yourself

Sam's Girls by Grundy (PG-13)

  • Aug. 4th, 2014 at 11:32 PM
Title: Sam's Girls
Fandom: Buffy the Vampire Slayer/CSI
Pairing: Gen
Categories: Case fic, supernatural, crossover, family, drama
Length: Epic (45,600 words)
Warnings: None

Author Website: Grundy on Twisting the Hellmouth

Summary:
When a Slayer comes to Vegas to deal with a vampire problem, Catherine discovers she isn't Sam Braun's only daughter.

Review:
Set shortly after the end of Buffy and during season 4 of CSI, this is a properly meaty story. Briefly, Buffy goes to Vegas ostensibly to deal with a vampire problem, but also to get away from all the chaos of Slayer Central. Blending the background sketched out in Angel with that of CSI, it shouldn't be a surprise that the major casino owners are well aware of the supernatural side of life, and that the "night life" is generally well-behaved (or else).

The police are much less well aware of what's going on. Some people, like Warrick Brown, have had encounters with vampires and generally keep their mouths shut about it. Most haven't, and the CSIs in particular dismiss the supernatural as nonsense or camouflage.

So pity Catherine Willows when Sam Braun turns out to have a very personal reason for wanting to talk to Buffy.

This is one of those rare things, a crossover between the super-powered/supernatural and the normal (if very smart) that doesn't feel horribly one-sided. The resolution of the plot does depend as much on Catherine's investigative abilities as Buffy's slaying technique. There's no clumsy full disclosure to the CSIs after decades of keeping magic a secret, nothing really to break the worldview of either show. It's a skilful bit of plotting, and the writing is well up to carrying it through.

I often find that when I come back to stories I read and loved a while ago that they don't stand up to a second reading. I start to notice things like characters' voices going awry, or plot-holes that memory had papered over, things like that. Sam's Girls is still as good as when I first read it, and that's very much to Grundy's credit.

There are a bunch of sequels, all rather short. I'm going to stick with the main story as my rec, but they are all linked together conveniently if you want to spend a few pleasant minutes reading them.

Sam's Girls

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Length Guidelines

Short: under 2,000 words
Medium: 2,000-15,000 words
Long: 15,000-40,000 words
Epic: 40,000-100,000 words
Super Epic: 100,000+ words

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