Title: Twenty Times Uzumaki Naruto Didn't Die
Fandom: Naruto
Pairing: gen
Categories: five twenty things, future fic, darkfic, gore
Length: Medium, 14,849 words
Warnings: Blood, torture, gore, body horror and then some. Character deaths. Attempted suicide.

Author on Livejournal: n/a?
Author Website: Kraken's Ghost on fanfiction.net

Summary: Over time, Naruto learns what it means to be a Jinchuuriki.

Review: Had anyone bothered to search, they could've found shrapnel from the log almost a mile away. The boom is loud enough to scare birds into flight three miles away. An orange piece of fabric that used to be part of Naruto's distinctive suit drifts on the winds all the way to Lightning Country.

I love the device of writing a complete story composed of interconnected themed ficlets, whether it's five things or twenty things. This gruesome and thought-provoking what-if? fails to kill off Naruto multiple times in a variety of different ways as it addresses the consequences of being the host of a Jinchuuriki.

It's one of those stories that's told on a much larger scale than its word count should contain, rolling out enough emotion and imagination for a novel. The timeframe it's told over covers years, with the lives and deaths of other characters embedded in the tale along the way, leading to the most chilling of conclusions.

This is an old fic and was a future-fic at the time it was written. I've not read/seen Naruto-the-manga/anime since a while after the timeskip, so I can't attest to how it stands with where canon is now, but I doubt it could ever not still be worth reading.

The fic is linked by its format and a few references to two others by the author, but is not part of a series in a linear sense.

Twenty Times Uzumaki Naruto Didn't Die

Redeem the Blood by Alara J Rogers (Teen)

  • Oct. 1st, 2015 at 7:33 AM
Title: Redeem the Blood
Fandom: Farscape
Pairing: gen
Categories: dark, family, character study
Length: 2,456 words/medium
Warnings: Rape/Non-con in backstory, and prior to events in the fic.

Author on Livejournal: [livejournal.com profile] alara_r
Author Website: Alara J Rogers on AO3 | Alara Rogers on ffn

Summary: Scorpius, a Peacekeeper, and a baby. No, not romance, not humor and not fluff.

Review: "You may not thank me for saving your life, later on, you know. In fact, there's a good chance you may curse me for it. You might be better off if I disposed of you now."

As the summary says, nothing about Scorpius is ever truly going to be fluff, but this is an intriguing little fic about motivation and where the character comes from that does convincingly sell the idea of him deciding, after his own fashion, to make himself a family.

Most of what is here is still extraordinarily bleak. But all the same, Scorpius and baby, and it's kind of heartwarming too, in a weird way.

Redeem the Blood

Deep by Rhoboat (Teen)

  • Sep. 23rd, 2015 at 8:38 PM
Title: Deep
Fandom: Farscape
Pairing: John Crichton/Scorpius
Categories: fanvid, dark, slash,
Length: VID, 4mins 8s
Warnings: Many, many warnings. Violence, torture, body horror, bloodplay, and definitely a non-con vibe. All of it direct from the source material. (Vidder rates Teen, I'd rate Mature.)

Author on Livejournal: [livejournal.com profile] rhoboat
Author Website: Rhoboat on AO3

Summary: You make me feel there's a part of me that I want to get back again.

Review: I'll start by quoting the prompt that sparked this vid, as the vidder does: "I have long wanted a vid that explores the creepy, sexualized, intertwined nature of their relationship, right down to the blood-licking in the last season. It would also focus somewhat on the Scorpius that lives in John's head, and how he can never get away from his tormenter, and their twisted relationship." - Prompt from Destina

Considering how overtly sexual the relationship was on-screen, there's not a whole lot of Crichton/Scorpius around. I guess that's because Scorpius is very much not a pretty boy in the conventional sense, but he was a unique and oddly tragic/sympathetic figure, and his enemy/ally(/enemy) relationship with Crichton was fascinating from any angle. This vid plays up the sexual, slash angle and makes as much a meal of the stuff that was on the screen as Scorpius lunching on Crichton's brain matter. (sorry.)

Great vid that captures the performances of the two actors and what they did with this relationship, which started out as interrogator/victim, and ended with the characters living so much in each other's minds and goals. The vid is also very violent and definitely has a non-consensual vibe to it.

Deep

The Folly of 'Youth' by NormallyScott (PG)

  • Sep. 10th, 2015 at 4:20 PM
Title: The Folly of 'Youth' (Feat. Daughter)
Fandom: Gravity Falls
Pairing: Gen
Categories: Au, Dark, Comic
Length: 4 minutes
Warnings: Spoilers for series,

Author on LJ:
Website: NormallyScott Youtube Channel

Summary: Either a dark prediction or an alternate timeline, all depending on when you watch this! Please support the amazing artist that let me/help me make this video!

Review: Lyric Comics are big in the Gravity Falls fandom. And I admit to a softspot for the medium.

They are basically comics/pictures, set to music with lyrics as the narrative to pull you through the story.

The art here is a nice call back to the original art in the series. And the narrative takes you through the events of the first half of the second season.

Definitely worth a watch if you are a fan of the series, I'm not sure how easy it would be to follow if you weren't familiar to begin with.

The Folly of 'Youth'

Burn it Back by anonymous (PG13ish)

  • Jul. 29th, 2015 at 11:47 PM
Title: Burn it Back

Fandom: Haven
Pairing: Jordan McKee/Mara
Categories: femslash, villain POV, AU/canon divergence, dark (ish)
Length: medium, ~11,000 words
Warnings: for general Evil! with a glad cry

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

Summary: There's nothing quite like fury to bring people together. Jordan and Mara have been burned by the world - together, they just might burn it back.

Review: “So, you’ve ruined lives, you’ve ruined people, you-” Jordan stopped, lifted her chin, and steadied her aim. “So I’m going to kill you, I’m going to do what someone should’ve done as soon as they found out what you are.”

“You don’t actually want to do that,” Mara said, unconcerned.

“I really do,” Jordan replied, teeth bared.


Haven is pretty infamous for having a lot of different, interesting female characters who get to actually do key things and who invariably come to a bad end. In this fic, Jordan McKee gets resurrected as a Fury courtesy of one of Mara's Greatest Hits from back in the old days, and the two of them form an unholy alliance to make Audrey and Nathan and co. pay and get the hell out of Haven. And it kinda feels weird to tag this as darkfic when it's based around resurrecting a character that I really, really like, but I guess that's the tag it's closest to fitting...

Then again, Mara's voice is saturated with manipulation and confidence and evil!plots! Really, considering Jordan's Trouble, there should be more fic out there shipping her with x incarnation of Audrey, and here the relationship evolves with perfect logic for a Mara who uses sex as part of her arsenal, who knows Jordan's weakness for touch through Audrey's memories, and knows how best to woo her to turn her into a weapon that Mara can best use.

It also holds that strange and perverse fascination of letting you see the heroes get kicked around while the villains take centre stage for a while. Mara and Jordan's thoughts on Nathan, Duke and Audrey aren't complimentary, but they do get some interesting moments between the lines. I think I spy some OT3 hints in there.

This fic is a product of the recent Troubled Tales fic exchange, so it is currently author anonymous. You might get a second rec this week courtesy of this exchange.

Burn it Back

Amour by Viola (PG13)

  • Jun. 10th, 2015 at 10:43 PM
Title: Amour

Fandom: Angel: the series
Pairing: ~gen, ~Holtz/Justine
Categories: dark, angst, drama, flashback, sad stories
Length: long, ~20,000 words
Warnings: abusive relationship, canon character death, written prior to season 4

Author on Livejournal: [livejournal.com profile] viola_dreamwalk
Author Website: Viola_dreamwalk on AO3 (not all her stories are archived here) | Viola on fanfiction.net

Summary: An un-love story, happily never after.

Review: She looks at him the way Sarah did. The way Caroline had, at least at first. As though he's a poet and a prophet and a pilgrim soul. As though he's the hero of the piece, as though he could do no wrong. She looks at him and sees exactly what she needs, exactly what he wants her to see. He sees this and knows just how to make her love him. He finds he likes it.

This is the story of the antagonists of Angel: the series' season 3; Holtz, the archaic vampire hunter adrift in time, and Justine, who fought vampires like a cut-price slayer and will be remembered by most for slitting Wesley's throat. It's also the story of Holtz' wife Caroline and Justine's twin sister Julia, and the losses that forge Holtz and Justine's single-minded quests.

Viola is the author of my previous rec Percy Weasley, Rogue Demon Hunter, but the two works couldn't be more different. There is no light-hearted humour and quirkiness here, only velvet darkness and damaged, deeply flawed people, hampered judgement and loss. The prose is very beautiful.

This is a fascinating, lyrical exploration, filling in the gaps of who Justine and Holtz were and the skewed relationship between them.

Amour

Sold Under Sin by Kangeiko (Mature)

  • Jun. 3rd, 2015 at 9:40 PM
Title: Sold Under Sin

Fandom: Transmetropolitan
Pairing: gen
Categories: crack, satire, gorn, journalism, bowel disruptors
Length: medium, ~3000 words
Warnings: All The Warnings. If you're familiar with the comics... Hey, if you can think of somewhere appalling, it goes there, ok?

Author on Livejournal: [livejournal.com profile] kangeiko
Author Website: Kangeiko on AO3

Summary: How to get screwed with your pants on.

Review: I think there is almost no meaningful sentence of this I can excerpt that will allow the review to keep a PG rating. Quite possibly there are moments with the potential to offend even people who've lapped up the grotesque gleeful technicolor offensiveness of the comics. It's glorious. (You may have to turn away from its gloriousness occasionally to gag or shudder.)

People who should know better want Spider Jerusalem to write an column on the economy. This fic takes the form of Spider's responding article, namely ~3000 words of vitriol spewed from the pen of the most obnoxious journalist on the face of the Earth.

The author does an awesome job of the Spider Jerusalem voice and in capturing the bizarre, vile world of the comics, with just enough thread of relevance amid the hyperactive excess to translate back to satire on the real world.

Sold Under Sin
Title: Sacrifices Arc
Fandom: Harry Potter
Pairing: Harry Potter/Draco Malfoy
Categories/Genres: Spy, War
Length: 3,069,375 + extras
Warnings: Dark, Child Abuse, Character Death, Maiming, Slavery

Author/Artist on LJ: [livejournal.com profile] lightningwave

Summary: Saving Connor begins an AU of Harry Potter's school years, the Sacrifices Arc, where Harry's twin Connor (bearing a heart-shaped scar) is acknowledged as the Boy-Who-Lived. Harry and Connor have a loving relationship, and Harry plays the role of personal bodyguard/silent support for his brother to the hilt.

Review:
I admit I didn't get all the way through this. It's just so monumentally long. For comparison the Harry Potter books themselves are only 1,084,170 and I'd have a hard time reading them one after the other as well. Yet it will truly be a huge regret on my bucket list though if I do not finish this and I do not know if I would ever forgive myself. I think I got to book 5 and it is shocking.

The summary explains nothing of the book so I'll go into a little more detail. If you hate spoilers do not read on. The book starts with a huge change to the plot. In this version Harry had a twin brother named Connor and when Voldemort came to kill them when they were a year old they both received a unique scar when the killing curse backfired. The boys weren't with their parents when Voldemort came into Godric's Hollow meaning both Lily and James were alive to raise them.

This means the prophecy was also different. In this one it mentions the the younger would care for the whole world and the older would only care for the younger. Dumbledore decided that to keep the prophecy in their favour the two boys must be the younger and older. If they were not it meant that there was another boy out their the dark lord could kill to ruin the prophecy forever and they couldn't let that be so they started planning.

They pretty much condition Harry as the older twin by minutes to only care for Connor. They pretty much systematically abuse him until he cares about Connor's happiness more than his own life. They train him to be his brothers protector, train him to not care for any pleasure and tolerate any pain. If you cannot stand Lily, James and Dumbledore treating a child as less than human then don't read this.

It gets so bad at points but at the same time it's worth it for how you grow to love this version of Harry. I love him dearly to the point his losses make me cry, his hurts make me feel pain and his victories make my heart soar and I would never ask more from a book than that. This is probably a fic I would recommend to J.K Rowling herself as this fic is a castle build only on her bare template and to call it just another AU is to degrade all the clever ideas and plot that makes so much sense to the the point of nothing.

The Sacrifices Arc

Draco Malfoy makes a wonderful Ravenclaw

  • May. 2nd, 2015 at 12:27 PM
I am reccing two fics today because the first is impossible to find a link for. The author took down all her work when she became an established author and those of us lucky to have copies kind of feel like a beautiful piece of art has been destroyed by the very person who made it. So I also give you a fic of a similar theme which is also heartwrenchingly beautiful.

Title: If you've a ready mind
Fandom: Harry Potter
Pairing: Draco Malfoy/Harry Potter
Categories/Genres: Hogwarts AU, Alternative timeline, Ravenclaw!Draco
Length: 89144
Warnings: Canon Deaths

Author/Artist on LJ: [livejournal.com profile] sarahtales formerly Maya
Author/Artist Website: Sarah Rees Brennan

Summary:
Draco is sorted into Ravenclaw. A lot stays the same but somehow this little thing makes a world of difference.

Review:
I love how over dramatic Draco is in this fic. You get the feeling he always was but he never stood out because so were all the slytherins. In Ravenclaw he really stands out. He throws a tantrum and the ravenclaws find it cute and calmly leave him to it. I love how the rivalry is different between Draco and Harry because no one believes Harry that Draco is a bad person, even when Draco easily admits to only using everyone for his own gain. It makes Harry question his black and white reality.
Not to mention it feels really in character that Draco becomes smart only to try and make his father proud of him. Knowledge is power is how he justifies not being in slytherin to his cold hearted father.
Favourite moment - While Draco gets smarter every year, he still maintains the belief that his muggleborn friends' inhaler is in fact a demon amulet.

Hermione, false friend that she was, abandoned Draco and left him lumbered with Potter,
who was looking around with an air of vague alarm, as if he totally failed to recognise the
people he'd been going to class with for four years. He was also giving Draco strange
sidelong glances.
"You're asthmatic?" he said after a moment, gesturing to the amulet.
"Don't call me names when you're in my common room, Potter."


No Link for this fic.

Title: Chaos Theory
Fandom: Harry Potter
Pairing: Draco Malfoy/Harry Potter
Categories/Genres: Hogwarts AU, Alternative timeline, Ravenclaw!Draco
Length: 102711
Warnings: Graphic Depictions Of Violence, Major Character Death, Kidnapping, Torture, Psychological Torture, Mind Control

Author/Artist on A03: Tessa Crowley

Summary:
Chaos: when the present determines the future, but the approximate present does not approximately determine the future. One gene varies, one neuron fires, one butterfly flaps its wings, and Draco Malfoy's life is completely different. Draco has always found a certain comfort in chaos. Perhaps he shouldn't.

Review:
Draco is a little out of character in this fic. Still over dramatic and terrified of everything but possessing the brain of Sherlock Holmes and the empathy of John Watson. Anyone can see from the quotes in this fic that the writer is a Sherlock fan. It gets very dark after Book 4, darker in some ways than the actual series. You can read up to then and be satisfied with the point in the story that you decide to leave it.
I love the fact the story feels like a childhood frienship slipping into romance in an entirely unforced way. Harry and his butterflies really take the cake.

“I know it might be a bit…” Harry’s mouth twists. “But I was thinking of your thing about chaos.”
“The butterfly effect,” Draco supplies.
“Yeah. I thought it might be a nice symbol.”
Draco laughs, though it’s quite breathy. “The butterfly isn’t a symbol of chaos,” he says.
“No?”
“No, Harry, it’s a symbol of—”
Draco looks up at him, and he has to physically bite his tongue to keep himself from finishing the sentence.
You, Draco wants to say but doesn’t. It’s a symbol of you, of the way you feel about me, of the way I feel about you.


Chaos Theory

You Have Infinite Choice by R_Gunns (R)

  • Apr. 23rd, 2015 at 11:13 PM
Title: You Have Infinite Choice
Fandom: Marvel MCU
Pairing: Bucky Barnes/Steve Rogers
Categories: AU, Body Swap, Dark, Established Relationship, Romance
Length: Long (23k)
Warnings: Lots of death - Some Gore

Author on LJ: [livejournal.com profile] gru_da
Website: R_Gunns

Summary: They don't have control, aren't Gods or spirits or beings with any power. But they are something.

(A reincarnation AU that follows a dozen lives amongst thousands.)

Review: A series of loosely connected stories that follow various lives of Steve Rogers and Bucky Barnes as they reincarnate, die, and repeat the cycle.

Some are dark, some are strange, and some are surprisingly sweet. Each one shows a different facet of both the characters and their relationship. All held together with a single story line rushing towards its end.

Even if you aren't super familiar with the fandom, you should be comfortable reading this fic, since each of the different worlds, and character experiences is included in the various parts of the story.

You Have Infinite Choice

Orleans by Hth (PG13)

  • Apr. 22nd, 2015 at 9:04 PM
Title: Orleans

Fandom: Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Pairing: Buffy/Faith
Categories: femslash, AU (canon AU), dark
Length: medium, 6369 words
Warnings: unhappy endings, character death (file under "Wishverse")

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

Summary: There's a big daddy vampire out of Missouri who used to keep alligators as pets. There's a Slayer. And there's Faith.

Review: You have a crossbow strapped to your back under your jacket, you have three twenty-dollar bills and a bus ticket in your pocket, and this could be your last day on earth.

Or not. Either way, it's nobody's damn business but yours and your victims'.


Last week, I wanted to rec something with badass women and couldn't bring anything to mind that hit the note I was looking for. A few days later someone on my friends list was good enough to re-rec this story from years back with a new AO3 link... and talk about stories that stick in your mind for years...

It's the Wishverse in the dying days before Buffy's trip to Sunnydale, and Buffy and Faith in St Louis, a tale of cults and vampires, alligators and mass sacrifices, bathed in religious imagery and blood and heat, and you know it's not going to end well but the journey down is so captivating you can't look away.

This fic. The structure, the language, the weight of the metaphor and imagery, this fic is a thing of beauty. I can't think of much else I've seen told with the same intensity, and I've never seen a second person narrative work much better than in this.

Orleans
Sorry this is late. I had a family emergency that took me away from the internet for a few days.

Title: Like a Good Neighbor State Farm is there 'In a summoning pentagram'
Fandom: Insurance Company Ads
Pairing: Gen
Categories: AU, Dark, Crack, Humor
Length: Short
Warnings: Dark Verse, Human Sacfrificce

Author on LJ: http://kyraneko.tumblr.com/
Website: N/A

Summary: "Like a good neighbor State Farm is there," we chant, and another agent appears in the pentagram. He screams. The Dark Lord feasts tonight.

Review: This is an awesome short fic that brings all the different insurance commercials together. Tons of world building and characterization even if the fic is very short.

Like a Good Neighbor State Farm is there 'In a summoning pentagram'
Title: Five Districts, Five Drugs
Fandom: Supernatural
Pairing: Sam/Dean, Sam/OMCs, Sam/OFCs, Sam/Jess
Genres: AU, Pre-Canon, Angst, Drama, Family, Hurt/Comfort, Romance, Hooker, Dark
Length: Super!Epic
Warnings: Incest, drug addiction, prostitution, underage, dub-con

Author on LJ: [livejournal.com profile] rei_c
Author Website: N/A

Author's Summary:
Dean goes to pick Sam up from Stanford and ends up finding more than he bargained for.

Review:
The clue is in the title - this is a series of five fics, set in five different parts of San Francisco, wherein Sam is addicted to five different drugs. Instead of finding his brother at Stanford as we see in canon, Dean finds him in all sorts of places facing different challenges, both mundane and supernatural. Every fic has the same beginning paragraph and the same summary - and it's awesome to see how different the direction of each is despite this. The common theme of the fics is that Sam is taking drugs to deal with his psychic powers and their effect on his psyche.

rei-c's worldbuilding is amazing. The fics feature a wealth of different mythologies, and the author does justice to every one, despite how different they are. Hindu, Chinese, Vodou, Irish, Norse, and Wicca mythologies are all written with confidence, and if rei-c isn't an expert on all of them I certainly can't tell.

The other common theme of the series is Wincest, and healing brought to Sam by the arrival of Dean. Their relationship is definitely always a welcome comfort after the hurt, and there is a bit of the old being saved by true love trope - though the fics are too well-written to be called anything near saccharine.

Though drugs are a big part of the series, they are never glorified or portrayed as glamorous, and we clearly see that they aren't doing Sam any good. I wouldn't describe this series as depressing despite the heavy theme of drug addiction - because thankfully, there's always a Dean-shaped light at the end of the tunnel.

The warnings apply to the whole series rather then all of the fics, so make sure to look at their individual warnings.

Five Districts, Five Drugs Masterpost
Title: An Old-Fashioned Vampire Story
Fandom: Gotham TV/American Vampire
Pairing: Jim Gordon/Alfred Pennyworth
Categories: AU, Crossover, Dark, Supernatural,
Length: Long (29k)
Warnings: Beastialityish - Alfred Shape-shifts into a wolf and there is sex

Author on LJ: [livejournal.com profile] manic_intent
Website: Manic-Intents Ao3

Summary: The well-dressed, hard-faced man who had collected Bruce Wayne from the crime scene answered the door with a narrow-eyed look of surprise that threw all of Jim’s instincts. Instead of a polite greeting, there was a curt, “You’re one of the GCPD detectives.”

“Yes.” Jim forced himself to meet the man’s eyes. They were the most unsettling part of him: the pupils were a strange, deep amber that reminded Jim uncomfortably of a feral animal. “You’re… Alfred Pennyworth, aren’t you? I’m Detective Jim Gordon.”

“And?”

“And what?”

“And what do you want?” There was a strange note to Alfred’s voice that Jim couldn’t place, that didn’t seem to sound quite… right: it seemed to pull at something under his skin, somewhere subconscious. It made his skin crawl.

Review: As always Manic-Intent excels at worldbuilding. Even with a relatively short story length and a tight timeline, you will get dragged into the details surrounding the different breeds of vampire, Gotham's politics, and the problems with past lives.

The plot is very straightforward, but given the amount of world building it is nice to not have to keep track of too many details.

Please mind the warnings. There are some sex scenes, and fantasies involving Alfred in Wolf-form so if you aren't comfortable with that, I would suggest skipping this story.

An Old-fashioned Vampire Story

"Until" by objectlesson (R)

  • Feb. 10th, 2015 at 10:54 PM
Title: Until
Fandom: Kuroshitsuji | Black Butler
Pairing: Sebastian/Ciel
Categories: Character study, supernatural, dark
Length: Medium (4,435 words)
Warnings: Underage relationship (13-year-old boy/ancient demon), though the sex is only implied. Suicidal ideation. Possible TW for eating disorders.

Author on AO3:  objectlesson

Summary: Long before he contracts the Earl of Phantomhive and becomes Sebastian Michaelis for better or for worse, he was known as a poet and a fool among demons.

Review: Reading Object Lesson's stories always feels a bit like standing in the eye of a thunder storm. There is something potent, almost electric in their prose. "Until" is a perfect example of this, a short but beautiful character study that takes an entirely different look at Sebastian than I've seen from other authors in this fandom. One of the central premises of Kuroshitsuji is that demons are guided primarily by their sense of aesthetics. Object Lesson takes this conceit, along with various quips that canon characters have made about Sebastian being "half mad with hunger," and runs with them.

As the summary implies, this Sebastian is an aesthete who "sought beauty while his peers sought sustenance." This Sebastian is melancholy, prone to introspection and self-destruction in equal measure. In Ciel, of course, he finds the beauty he was searching for, to the ruin or possible salvation of them both. Object Lesson has a great grip on these characters, and on the painful but beautiful relationship between them. The end result is a character study that is insightful, poetic, and hopelessly, tragically romantic.

Until
Sorry, this is late guys. Headaches seem to wait for no one.

Title: There's Monsters at Home
Fandom: Teen Wolf
Pairing: Derek Hale/Stiles Stilinski
Categories: AU, Bonding, Dark, Romance, Supernatural
Length: Epic (84k)
Warnings: Past Sexual Assault

Author on LJ:
Website: Calrissian18 Ao3

Summary: “How did you get past the wards?” Derek had put them up, with Peter’s grudging assistance, after the Alpha pack had made themselves at home a few times too many.

The guy pulled a face. “You mean the wards a five-year-old girl with the mental ability of a goldfish could deconstruct?” He blinked wide eyes at Derek. “Gee, I don’t know. It’s bound to go down as one of life’s great mysteries.”

Derek despised him.

Review: In a world where Stiles got his magical abilities a lot earlier, it changes the whole course of the Teen Wolf Universe.

This is a fast-moving case-fic that will keep you scrolling. The romance is sometimes dark, but it fits well with this darker version of the Teen Wolf Universe.

There's Monsters at Home

Symbolic Constant by LithiumDoll (PG-15)

  • Jan. 10th, 2015 at 10:53 PM
Title: Symbolic Constant
Fandom: Person of Interest
Pairing: Root/Sameen Shaw, very faint Harold Finch/John Reese if you're inclined
Categories/Genres: Post-Canon, Apocalyptic, Dystopia, Alternate Universe, Future, Sci-Fi, Action/Adventure, Angst, Romance, Established Relationship, Dark, Drama, Time Travel (from the characters' perspectives)
Length: Long (18078 words)
Warnings: Previous (Temporary?) Repeated Major Character Deaths (because clones)

Author on LJ: N/A
Author Website: LithiumDoll

Summary:

Here's the thing about constants: their value never changes.

Review:

In celebration of Person of Interest taking that ultimate step of making their subtexty lesbians officially and irrefutably canon, I'm gonna do my damned best to rec Root/Shaw every Saturday through the end of January.

To be honest, I've never been very fond of the apocalypse and dystopia genres. But my distaste stems from childhood trauma, and probably nobody wants to hear about that, so let me just say, Symbolic Constant is the apocalypse/dystopia fic for people who can push through the painful parts of a fic to reach the happy ending. And by painful, I mean repeated major character death. But it's okay, because they come back, thanks to clones and science and all the best cheat codes that are part and parcel of any decent sci-fi fic. And by happy ending, I mean the next generation of clones wakes up in the post-post-apocalyptic future without having to deal with any of the crap that came before.

So, y'know, don't let the warning scare you off. Please.

If nothing else, read for the lesbians. Shaw and Root's relationship is, as ever, complex at the best of times, a spicy simmer that gives the narrative delicious flavor. An older iteration of Root adds another layer of complexity that the author takes advantage of to portray a version of their relationship where their sizzling sexual tension for once isn't the backbone of their interactions.

LithiumDoll's portrayal of Finch and Reese are such perfect recreations of canon that it brings a tear to my fannish eye. The understated devotion that pervades their every interaction is just as prevalent here, allowing the reader the same freedom to interpret their relationship as the show's writers have taken such pains to cultivate. My favorite scene of the fic, even though it's really, really damn sad, involves a heartbreaking display of their bond to each other, particularly Reese's to Finch.

Basically, I freaking love this fic. I'm gonna go lay down and cry tears of joy now.

Symbolic Constant
Title: bring you to my hell
Fandom: Kuroshitsuji | Black Butler
Pairing: Sebastian/Ciel
Categories: Supernatural/horror/creature fic, established relationship, PWP, dark
Length: medium (4,725 words)
Warnings: Underage (13-year-old boy/ancient demon), danger kink, master/servant dynamics

Author on LJ:  [livejournal.com profile] dustofwarfare
Author Website:  dustofwarfare

Summary: Other devils might enjoy offering fruit to tempt the innocent into damnation, but Sebastian -- he much prefers sharing it with one already damned.

Review: As Ciel eats his orange after the Book of Circus arc, Sebastian reflects on his own hunger, on temptation, damnation, and forbidden fruit. But as the summary implies, Sebastian's role is not to tempt in this story. Ciel is already damned, and once again, he has an order that surprises Sebastian.

This is a hard story to rec without spoiling its central premise, which is one of the main reasons I've hesitated to post about it here. But [livejournal.com profile] dustofwarfare is one of my favorite Kuroshitsuji writers, and this is a great read to start off 2015's year of recs. Her Sebastian is always a delight to read, and always a refreshing change from the many mundane AUs floating around. As in furnace room lullaby, which I previously recced here, Sebastian is more demon than butler in this fic, and Ciel wouldn't have it any other way. As the warnings imply, this story is not for everyone. This is a Sebastian who, as in canon, literally hungers for his master, and a Ciel who gets off on testing the limits on that hunger and of his demon's patience. Ciel is canon-aged in this story, so there is shota/underage. However, it does not particularly focus on his youth as a kink. Instead, [livejournal.com profile] dustofwarfare highlights the qualities that make Ciel so formidable in canon. He may be damned, but he knows it, and he's quite prepared to step into that good night with Sebastian when the time comes. In the meantime, Ciel, as always, knows exactly what he wants -- and he expects Sebastian to deliver it.

bring you to my hell

"Chasing Butterflies" by haldolhs (R)

  • Nov. 18th, 2014 at 10:20 AM
Title: Chasing Butterflies
Fandom: Kuroshitsuji | Black Butler
Pairing: Sebastian/Ciel
Categories: Dark, angst
Length: Medium (12,063 words)
Warnings: Angst, bondage, spanking,

Author Website:  haldolhs

Summary: Ciel is held hostage by personal demons. Sebastian vows to do whatever it takes to recover his lost master.

Review: Ciel, now twenty, is determined to take out a serial killer on his own, having ordered Sebastian off to France on a wild goose chase. This works out about as well as you'd expect.

Where to even start with this story? I found it during an idle sweep of AO3 one lazy morning while only grudgingly awake and not quite ready to get out of bed yet. I clicked on "Chasing Butterflies," read the first two paragraphs, and immediately got out of bed to make coffee because I could tell I'd stumbled across something good and I wanted to be awake for it. And, yes, it was worth getting out of bed for!

As the tight third-person limited narrative dances around the story's central question of why Ciel sent Sebastian away, it reveals new questions, and new facets of their relationship. Haldolhs lays out a tantalizing path of crumbs that hint at Ciel's life from thirteen to twenty without ever losing the present conflict in drawn-out backstory. The end result is that Ciel is recognizably himself, but more so, his forceful personality and reckless streak rooted in an adult's sense of self. If Ciel manages to survive to twenty in the manga, he will probably end up something like this. Sebastian, too, is beautifully characterized in this, though I feel I can't say too much about his role without giving away the plot. His dialogue is spot-on, though, as are the power dynamics between them. I also appreciated that this is one of the few Kuroshitsuji stories I've read that lets Ciel top. "Chasing Butterflies" is one of those stories that reads like a jigsaw puzzle, every new bit of information sliding another piece into place until we're finally able to see the whole of Ciel's relationship with Sebastian. The final picture it forms is breathtaking -- dark-edged, surprisingly romantic, and layered with symbolism. This is absolutely a must-read.

Chasing Butterflies

Seasons by nocleversig (M)

  • Nov. 1st, 2014 at 1:47 AM
Title: Seasons
Fandom: Sanctuary
Pairing: Helen/John
Categories: angst, romance, pwp, historical
Length: Long (18k in five parts)
Warnings: canon typical violence (including themes of abuse and domestic violence), mild blood/knife play.

Author on LJ: [livejournal.com profile] nocleversig
Author Website: on sanctuaryfiction.net

Summary: The beginnings of Helen and John's romance, Winter through Fall, from Innocence to Darkness.

Review: nocleversig is one of the best authors in the Sanctuary fandom, I recommend reading everything they've written. I've never been disappointed. I'm reccing 'Seasons' in particular though because of how it honours the canon by showcasing the journey of Helen and John's relationship. nocleversig uses the structure of seasons to create the structure for the passing of the narrative, starting off with firsts - kisses, glances, love, etc, the wonderful feels it gives you of just how perfect they were for each other and how happy they could be. The rest of the stories (its a series btw) follows the slow progression to winter, symbolizing the painful death of their relationship. Following the degeneration of their lives, their love, but never their passion, is heart-wrenching and compelling as all heck. If you ship these two, you love their angst. The extremes they go to from light and happy to all-encompasing darkness.

Seasons

Profile

epic_recs: (Default)
[community profile] epic_recs
Epic Recs

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

Tags

Powered by Dreamwidth Studios
Designed by [personal profile] chasethestars