Title: The Sea and Stars Are Yours, My Dear, But the Moon Would Not Cooperate
Fandom: Dishonored
Pairing: Corvo Attano/The Outsider
Categories/Genres: Romance, Fluff, Humor, Courtship
Length: Long (25367 words)
Warnings: N/A

Author on LJ: N/A
Author Website: NeverwinterThistle

Summary:

The Outsider explores the murky seas of human courtship while Corvo watches in bemusement, and in the background Emily draws, Callista takes charge, Piero sulks, and Cecelia accidentally becomes indispensable. There's also a plague, a vase of asparagus, and about a hundred singing whales who randomly showed up in the harbour one evening.

The squid is still wriggling.

Review:

It's funny, that is to say, odd, how love is such an indelible constant of the human condition, and yet the ways and means of achieving it evolve and change with the times. It's also funny, that is to say, amusing, to watch The Outsider try his hand at human-style courtship as defined by a wealthy, entitled male. It's also utterly hilarious to watch Corvo misunderstand at every turn.

Speaking of, Corvo is a delight in this fic. NeverwinterThistle takes a mute player character and, with a wave of the magic author wand, turns him into a real boy with real person thoughts and real person feelings and real person uncertainty in the face of some pretty heavy-handed intentions on The Outsider's part. But NeverwinterThistle never once lets Corvo backslide into the cardboard cut-out most silent protagonists are by their very nature. Instead, Corvo's mood lifts from gritty, grinding paranoia to genuine contentment in a progression that never feels rushed or overdone.

But to be honest, the star of this fic is The Outsider and the vast range of moods NeverwinterThistle is able to portray through Corvo's perspective.

The Sea and Stars Are Yours, My Dear, But the Moon Would Not Cooperate

Timeline series by Unforgotten (R)

  • Sep. 25th, 2015 at 9:07 PM
Title: Timeline series
Fandom: X-Men: First Class, X-Men Movies
Pairing: Erik Lehnsherr/Charles Xavier
Categories: Time Travel, First Time, Humor with a bit of angst
Length: Long [31 625words]
Warnings: none

Author/Artist/Creator on LJ: [livejournal.com profile] unforgotten
Author/Artist/Creator Website: Unforgotten’s AO3

Review: This is a series of two fics, “Replay” and “Numbers” and an added collection of snippets and drabbles set in the same verse that highlight some of the moments we didn’t get to see or that were only hinted at.

The premise is that old man Charles Xavier as we know him from the X-Men movies and with all the knowledge, experience and power of his old self travels back in time, by casting his mind into his younger body. It’s his plan to change all the horrible events that made Magneto the person he is and he does it in the best way he can think of: As he knows Erik has been in love for him for decades now, what’s easier than to give him what he wants?

“Replay” is a delightful and sometimes hilarious fic about old Charles having to come to grips with being young again and with the moral dilemma of using his future knowledge to “take advantage” of Erik. He’s so engrossed in his own dilemma and so very Charles in some of the decisions he makes - like not reading Erik’s mind for the entire fic - that makes the little twist here work. Although the author - or Erik - gives the twist away pretty early on to make even more obvious that Charles can be the king of denial if he wants to, Charles never allows himself to pick up on it. It makes all his interactions with Erik very interesting and all the back and forth and paralleling of the things that happened in the future they left behind and what’s happening in their new past is well thought out and nicely used to describe the sort of people they are.

I think I like the second part, “Numbers” a little better even than “Replay” although it’s really imperative to read them in order and preferably together. “Numbers” is Eriks version of that happened in “Replay” and his voice is appropriately dry and a joy to read. Also his reflections on Charles and his obliviousness are just too funny.

Timeline series
Title: We must unlearn the constellations to see the stars
Fandom: Justice League & Justice League Unlimited (Cartoons)
Pairing: Shayera Hol/John Stewart
Categories: Fluffy, Romance, Friendship.
Medium: Art - Digital
Warnings: No warning apply.

Author Website: Themisto
(on AO3)


Summary: Post-battle rest. [original summary] Part of the Rare Pair Fest 2015 Exchange.

Review: First I need to say how much I love Justice League and how I rooted for Shayera and John to get together. With that disclaimer, I can add that the artist’s style is amazing and totally captures the essence of their relationship. For anyone that watched Justice League, what makes John and Shayera good is that their romantic relationship develops as they fight to protect humans and defeat the villain of the week - it’s usually in the aftermath of a battle that they share companionship moments.

The picture illustrates just that, the two levels show their emotions and frame those little scenes we see in the show, adding a lovely pairing - first we see them in rest after the battle, then we see the sweet kiss. I really like the view from behind of them and the context of where they are, and I love even more their expressions in the first part.

Props for the gentle coloring and the style, so close to the canonical one.


We must unlearn the constellations to see the stars
Title: Let's Get Married!
Fandom: Jojo's Bizarre Adventure
Pairing: Kakyoin Noriaki/Kujo Jotaro
Categories/Genres: Kidfic, Alternate Universe, De-Aged, Fluff
Length: Short (16 pages)
Warnings: N/A

Artist on LJ: N/A
Artist Website: しょうちき
Translator Website: nenatranslates

Summary:

(The summary is in Japanese. Assuming most of epic-recs' patrons don't read/speak Japanese, I won't paste it here.)

Review:

Basically, this comic is an AU version of a canonical fight in Stardust Crusaders, where Jotaro and Kakyoin are transformed into children by Alessi's Stand and left in Josef's care while Polnareff and Abdul battle Alessi. Their characterizations as children are extrapolated from the brief hints that Holly Kujo and Kakyoin himself provide in the canon.

I'm no less a sucker for authors filling in the blanks when it comes to backstory than I've always been, so reccing this, (once I'd discovered the translation!) was a no-brainer. It's difficult to take Holly Kujo's description of a young Jotaro at her word, considering the kind of personality he has as a teen, but the artist writes it straight, depicting Jotaro as an outgoing, empathetic child. In sharp contrast is Kakyoin, whose early emergence of his Stand, and the complications that Kakyoin canonically, if vaguely, implies to have followed, have made him a cynical and angry young boy determined to be alone by choice rather than be hated and left behind.

Interestingly, it's this portrayal of Kakyoin that I can see being enslaved, possibly even willingly, by Dio, who may have been the first person to not only acknowledge, but understand and appreciate Kakyoin's Stand.

Though how Jotaro went from being a sweet child to a stone-faced delinquent is still anyone's guess.

Let's Get Married!

Fic: misdirection by bleep0bleep

  • Aug. 16th, 2015 at 10:25 PM
Title: misdirection
Fandom: Teen Wolf
Pairing: Derek Hale/Stiles Stilinski
Categories: Au, Kids, Fluffy, Slash, Romance.
Length: Medium [4576 words]
Warnings: No warning apply.

Author Website: bleep0bleep(on tumblr) | bleep0bleep(on AO3)

Summary: Derek's just moved back to Beacon Hills with his young daughter, whose newest favorite thing is Mr. Stiles and his magic shop. Derek likes Stiles a lot too, except he's a bit worried about how Stiles' magic is... actually real, and the local pack and their Emissary might find that a problem.[original summary]

Review: After all the super epic fics, I present a tiny fic that has an amazing idea. I love Canon Au or Canon Divergence and this fic deals with Derek coming back to Beacon Hills with his kid and Scott’s pack is already settled in place.

Derek’s daughter and Stiles hit it off and Derek, well the poor guy just flounders around the fic, trying to pick up what is happening and having no idea what he is doing. The fic is full of little details that relate to the canon, from colors to Derek undying need to protect people, even the ones he doesn’t really know.

It’s super sweet and amazing, with a pinch of humor and in the rom-com style; definitely a fic to read after all the angst and plotty fics.



misdirection

Bucky and Baymx by XXXXXX6X (G)

  • Aug. 6th, 2015 at 9:35 AM
Title: Bucky and Baymax
Fandom: Big Hero 6/Marvel MCU
Pairing: Gen
Categories: AU, Crossover, Fluff, Domestic
Length: Fan-Comic
Warnings: None

Author on LJ:
Website: Tumblr

Summary: Tony finds Baymax and sends him to help Steve and Bucky

Review: Such a cute little comic. I loved Baymax and the way he helped Hiro with grief in the original movie. Seeing him help Bucky with PTSD is equally as cute.

Bucky and Baymax

Clutter by forthright (PG-13)

  • Jul. 26th, 2015 at 1:02 AM
Title: Clutter
Fandom: Inuyasha
Pairing: Kagome Higurashi/Sesshoumaru
Categories/Genres: Alternate Universe, Fluff, Romance, Humor
Length: Long (~20000 words)
Warnings: N/A

Author on LJ: [livejournal.com profile] forthrightly
Author Website: Forthright

Summary:

AU. Mrs. Higurashi decides to help her daughter put her life together; enter Sesshoumaru, professional organizer extraordinaire. Kagome resents having a perfect stranger rummaging through her messes, but he's bound and determined to show her the folly of her easy-going ways. A romantic comedy told in 100-word snippets.

Review:

If I had never watched a minute, nor read a page of Inuyasha in my life, my life would be poorer not for never having known it, but for having missed this fic. Clutter exists in my mind as the quintessential fanfiction version of a nineties romcom. There's a quirky premise, a lead pair who push and pull with fantastic chemistry, and a supporting cast of (sometimes inanimate) characters that add humor and depth and the occasional wrench thrown into the lead pairing's respective lives.

For the uninitiated, forthright's use of the drabble can be jarring, and the number of chapters dauntinng, but it's easy enough to adapt, namely because forthright is a master of the format. Each 100 word segment works to move the story forward. Forthright is also generous with the punchlines, the humor light and quick and charming.

Clutter
Title: of the nature of the wound
Fandom: Check, Please!/Hockey RPF
Pairing: Eric Bittle/Jack Zimmermann, Larissa “Lardo” Duan/Shitty Knight, Patrick Kane/Jonathan Toews, Jamie Benn/Tyler Seguin, Past Kent Parson/Jack Zimmermann
Categories/Genres: Angst, AU, Drama, Epistolary, Established Relationship, First Time, Fluff, Friendship, Humor, Romance
Length: Long (33936 words)
Warnings: Homophobic language by hockey players

Author on LJ: N/A
Author Website: buchanan

Summary:

His first year in the NHL isn't easy, but Jack has spent his entire life playing through the hurt.

Review:

Note: While Check, Please! doesn't require knowing anything about hockey beyond the fact that it's a team sport played on ice, of the nature of the wound does require a functional knowledge of professional hockey and how its seasons are scheduled. Being a hockey RPF crossover, this fic does incorporate real hockey players, and knowledge of those players provides useful context for their roles in the fic.

A lot of the Check, Please! fic I read tends to be of the lighter variety. Humorous and/or cute, and generally threaded through with the pervasive sense of, 'oh, you adorable boys'. Considering how light-hearted the canon is, it's probably not surprising that the fanfiction I choose to read follows in that direction.

of the nature of the wound is not one of those fics. It's also not an easy fic to get through, namely because it focuses on Jack's anxieties about being a closeted professional hockey player. You could, uncharitably if honestly, call it Jack's downward spiral of anxiety and loneliness.

buchanan's fic exemplifies the proverb “it is always darkest just before the dawn” in that it feels very much like the very beginning of a story that we are not (yet) privy to, not just in terms of Jack and Bitty's burgeoning relationship, but also the NHL as a whole upon the coming out of one of its most recognized hockey duos. Hopefully more of that will unfold in buchanan's expected sequel.

And now that I've given you a lot of reasons not to read the fic, I suppose I should mention why I am actually reccing it: buchanan does a fantastic job of weaving the fluffy and fictional Check, Please! microcosm into the much colder real world, where people change and move past who they were and sometimes grow apart, and where they succeed, fail, break, and struggle to mend what is broken. Jack Zimmermann does not feel like a fictional character as buchanan writes him. Nor does Eric Bittle, nor even Chowder, who is something of a caricature even in the comic's canon. It truly is a testament to buchanan's grasp of emotional complexity that I clung, riveted until the end, in spite of the fic's darker tone and truly annoying ten-line section breaks. (No, seriously, keep a finger on the space bar or page down key.)

of the nature of the wound

sense8 by Shani-Artist (Art)

  • Jul. 13th, 2015 at 9:08 PM
Title: sense8
Fandom: Sense8
Pairing: Nomi Marks/Amanita
Categories: Romance, Fluffy, Established Relationship.
Medium: Art
Warnings: No warnings apply.

Author Website: Shani-artist (Deviantart) | theartofdoctorwho (Art Tumblr)

Summary: amanita and nomi from the tv show Sense8 [original summary}.

Review: Sense8 became a new fandom passion for me in the last month, when I saw this sketch it just made my day. It is a colored raw sketch: neither the raw nor the sketch part bother, they just make the art lovely.

It’s a waist up digital piece of Nomi and Amanita, pg and colorful. It portrays them in a very iconic moment in the series, when Amanita defends Nomi from a friend that made rude comments on her transexuality. It’s such a vulnerable moment and sweet moment for them, and the art is so light, that it fits perfectly with the canon.

I love the texture in Amanita’s hair and in Nomi’s dress, love the highlights in Nomi’s hair and how soft Amanita's expression looks. The background isn’t distracting and the whole piece is just simple in the right measure, without losing the details.

sense8
Title: on the sidelines wishing for right now
Fandom: Check Please!
Pairing: Eric Bittle/Jack Zimmermann
Categories/Genres: Established Relationship, Family, Fluff, Humor, Post-canon
Length: Medium (2652 words)
Warnings: N/A

Author on LJ: [livejournal.com profile] exampleusername
Author Website: defcontwo

Summary:

Bitty resists the urge to let out a hysterical laugh because apparently this is just his life now. He tries to call his boyfriend and winds up getting hockey advice from a living legend.

5 times Bitty bonded with Bad Bob + 1 time Jack tries to bond with Coach Bittle.

Review:

Ah, in-laws. There's really nothing quite like watching people get along, or fail to get along, with their SO's parents. There's also something particularly poignant about watching Eric Bittle get along so well with his boyfriend's parents, when his relationship with his own father is, shall we say, strained.

I've always been weak for fanfiction that fleshes out characters that seldom appear in canon. Particularly characters like Bad Bob Zimmermann, whose hockey career manages to be something of a lingering specter in a comic that honestly has nothing to do with the man himself. on the sidelines wishing for right now brings out the person and the father behind the specter while simultaneously giving Bitty a father figure who is welcoming and kind while his own father slowly learns to adapt.

on the sidelines wishing for right now

Two Plants and a Girl by Thunk (PG-15)

  • Jul. 5th, 2015 at 4:07 AM
Title: Two Plants and a Girl
Fandom: Trigun
Pairing: Meryl Stryfe/Millions Knives, Vash the Stampede/Milly Thompson
Categories/Genres: Action/Adventure, Amnesia, Angst, AU, Drama, Family, Fluff, Friendship, Humor, Hurt/Comfort, Kids, Post-Canon, Pregnancy, Romance
Length: Epic (74,073 words)
Warnings: Minor (OC) character death, Non-descriptive mention of child molestation, Descriptions of gore

Author on LJ: N/A
Author Website: Thunk

Summary:

Meryl becomes more important to Vash than he wants to admit. But Knives sees it. Knives capitalizes on it. But he finds it increasingly difficult to exploit the Insurance girl, for reasons far too old, and not buried deep enough.

Review:

I'm not entirely sure how I've gone this long without reccing this fic. Probably because it's posted on FF.net. No, don't run away! It's good, I swear!

Two Plants and a Girl is an AU fusion of the Trigun anime and the backstory that's revealed in the manga. It picks up from where the anime leaves off, with Knives slowly recovering from his fight against Vash in the anime's finale under the watchful eyes and tender mercies of Vash, Meryl, and Milly.

What I really appreciate about this fic is that Thunk knows their stuff. The bits and pieces of background and worldbuilding incorporated into the fic are sourced from the manga and thoroughly contemplated, providing a much more nuanced and believable Knives than the anime's straight-up-psycho interpretation. He's still an unrepentant asshole, but his canonical actions have weight and meaning and consequence that don't sit easy with him even a century later.

Thunk also presents a reasonable and quite logical plan to give Knives and Vash what they both want, pushing compromise rather than conflict in an anime/manga that basically centers around the conflict between the two. That's not to say that Thunk sucks all the friction out of their relationship, however.

Thunk also deals with Knives' massive damage with deft storytelling. The pacing of the story, which jumps over various stretches of time, can make it seem contrived on occasion, but the emotional depth of the events and the consequent growth of Knives' shriveled little soul signal to the reader a rocky but definitely substantial progress that is satisfying to watch.

There are some moments that are oddly OOC, mostly related to the forced early attraction between Knives and Meryl, and the very end, when Knives is so overcome with guilt and grief that he becomes a weepy parody of himself, but barring those, the interaction between the two is pretty damn great.

If you ever watched the Trigun anime and clicked away from the finale wondering, well, now what?, you absolutely read this fic. Yeah, I know it's on FF.net, but would I ever lead you astray?

Don't answer that.

Two Plants and a Girl

Drip Compatible by Dytabytes (PG)

  • Jul. 2nd, 2015 at 2:48 PM
Title: Drip Compatible
Fandom: Pacific Rim
Pairing: Gen
Categories: AU, Domestic, Fluff
Length: Medium (6k)
Warnings:

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

Summary: Raleigh Becket is stuck with an apartment that's too expensive for him to pay for by himself, a severe lack of stable employees, and a complete lack of control over his life. Luckily, he meets Mako Mori, an engineering student who is starting school in a week and has found herself homeless and broke as a result of apartment fraud.

This is the story of their adventures. It includes Mako being 100% badass, Yancy taking stupid selfies of himself, Russians flying helicopters, and Raleigh *continuing* to have a complete and utter lack of control over his life.

tl;dr: Coffeeshop!AU where Mako Mori is a flawless human being, and nothing hurts.

Review: This is a sweet story where Raleigh and Mako end up helping each other out of a series of bad days.

There isn't a lot of tension to the story, but that is kind of the point. It is a short, light fic that will leave you with a smile.

Drip Compatible
Title: All You Have To Do Is Open Your Eyes
Fandom: The Losers
Pairing: Carlos “Cougar” Alvarez/Jake Jensen
Categories/Genres: Pre-Canon, Friendship, Romance, Humor, Fluff
Length: Medium (5054 words)
Warnings: N/A

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

Summary:

“Okay, no,” Pooch says, holding up his hands, “there is no way I’m gambling for money against you and Cougar.”

Jensen frowns, leaning across the table to make wide, concerned eyes at Pooch. “Is it because we’re just that fucking good?” he asks.

“No.” Pooch knocks the edge of the pack once, twice against the table. “It’s because I’m pretty sure you can read each other’s damn minds.”

Review:

There's a lot of things I like about this fic. The characterizations, the instinctive way Jensen just gets Cougar, the amusing (if brief) additions from the rest of the cast. I love how concise the fic is and how colorfully the characters are written; they pop out of the text in full 24-bit color, bright and enchanting. The overall tone of the fic is light and cheerful, but shaded with just enough of The Losers' canonically characteristic darkness to give it a bit of heft.

But mostly I just want to rec this because of the third to last sentence, in which Cougar tells Jensen that he loves him in such a natural and Cougar-ish way that I literally read this fic repeatedly just to get to that one sentence.

All You Have To Do Is Open Your Eyes

Baby Steps by Moons and Glassware (Pg-13)

  • May. 31st, 2015 at 10:00 PM
Title: Baby Steps
Fandom: The Heroes of Olympus -
Percy Jackson and the Olympians & Related Fandoms - All Media Types
Pairing: Nico di Angelo/Will Solace
Categories: Romance, Fluffy, First Time
Length: Medium [2649 words]
Warnings: No warning apply. Please check the rating at the title.

Author Website: Moons and Glassware(on AO3)

Summary: While Nico spends his time in the infirmary as per doctor's orders, he discovers that there may be a little...something between him and said Doctor Solace. Or a coda fic that takes place right after the events of The Blood of Olympus. [original summary]

Review: I’m onto sweet things now, mixed with my enormous fics, so I decided to change up and review this little one. This fic takes place after Blood of Olympus, and it’s practically spoiler free - you only know what is happening if you read the book. Nico di Angelo, Will Solace and Lou Ellen are featured, which means triple attack of adorableness.

Nico is in the infirmary and Will is taking care of him; the lovely part is that we see Nico trying to figure Will out, while feeling rooted and warmed by Will’s attention. This is significant because Nico is always cold, always disappearing in the shadows, and Will presents, in the smallest gestures, the exact opposite.

Lou Ellen is marvelous in the cannon and this fic translates her well; love her darkish humor and how she is always there to sooth the boys at the same time she smacks their head and makes them see how much they like each other. Her habit of trying to kill people is always nice.

I love how much Nico wavers between his usual black humor and a teen in his first crush - all squeaky and adorable. Be aware this is a sweet and gen rated fic, so we only get a minimum of romance at the end, but it’s quite worth the sweetness of the fic and the overall shortness of it.


Baby Steps

Objective Data by walkandtalk (PG)

  • May. 31st, 2015 at 2:56 AM
Title: Objective Data
Fandom: Star Trek XI
Pairing: Jim Kirk/Spock
Categories/Genres: Pre-Canon, Alternate Universe, Outside POV, Kid Fic, First Time, Matchmaking, Romance, Fluff, Humor
Length: Long (22368 words)
Warnings: N/A

Author on LJ: N/A
Author Website: walkandtalk

Summary:

A young Vulcan decides to find a mate for his guardian, Spock. After careful calculations, Cadet Kirk is obviously the superior choice.

Review:

Senik, a nine year old Vulcan Yenta, decides to hook up his cousin Spock and Cadet Jim Kirk for fun profit science. It's hilarious.

Writing children convincingly is a tall order for writers. It's one thing to slip into the mindset of an adult character, someone fully formed with their own unique patterns of reasoning and behavior. But to strike the perfect balance of naivete, innocence, and perceptiveness that belongs solely to children seems to escape most writers, per my observations as a reader. Most seem to either fall short of or overshoot their character's intended age, turning a maturing child into a babyish caricature of a child or giving a child maturity and wisdom much too far beyond their years. Some authors even manage to do both simultaneously.

walkandtalk has a slightly easier job of it, since Senik is Vulcan and can already communicate on the level of adults. But there remains a childishness to his perception. There is lightness and innocence in him that separates him from the many adults he interacts with. Senik is slyly obstinate in a very specific way, weaseling without malice around the rules laid upon him by the adults in the way that children do. It is perhaps that, more than anything else, that cemented walkandtalk's characterization of Senik in my mind as one of the most convincing portrayals of a child I've ever read.

I haven't yet finished reading Objective Data's sequel, Subjective Assessment , but from what I've read so far, the collection of timestamps seems to be a perfectly adorable continuation of Spock, Senik, and Jim's (mis)adventures.

Objective Data
Title: Blue Agents of Destruction

Fandom: Megamind/Lilo and Stitch
Pairing: gen, early hints of Megamind/Roxanne
Categories: crack, humour, fluff, crossover
Length: medium, ~6000 words
Warnings: none

Author on Livejournal: n/a?
Author Website: Dal Niente on fanfiction.net

Summary: Roxanne wakes up to find a strange creature systematically destroying her apartment.

Review: ...it had seemed harmless enough at first. And it had been cute -- it's still cute, never mind that it's shredding her sofa. It's gleefully enthusiastic about everything, and the cheerful burring noises it's making provide a rather strange counterpoint to the sound of rending cloth. Big ears, big black eyes, big nose, big grin? And fuzzy to boot. It's adorable.

State of my brain today demands I rec something with a high crack/fluff/cuteness factor, therefore have a meeting between the mutually blue and not-really-evil protagonists of two of my favourite animated movies.

Set pre-canon regards Megamind, when Roxanne Ritchie finds a blue, evil alien making itself a nuisance, and not even the usual one, she calls up Metro Man to help deal with the problem, as you do... only he's busy mid-crisis, but someone else overhears and surprises her by showing up to help instead.

I love the parallels touched upon here between two little blue dudes conditioned by society or creator to think of themselves as bad by default. File under 'crossovers that you didn't know needed to exist'.

Blue Agents of Destruction

Lips in My Hair by fierybeams (Nc-17)

  • May. 24th, 2015 at 10:37 PM
Title: Lips in My Hair
Fandom: Glee
Pairing: Kurt Hummel/Elliott "Starchild" Gilbert
Categories: Romance, Fluffy
Length: Long [16978 words]
Warnings: No warning apply. Please check the rating at the title.

Author Website: fierybeams(on AO3)

Summary:
Kurt and Elliott's relationship as told through hair dye. Or: Five times Elliott changed his hair, and one time Kurt did. [original summary]

Review:
When it comes to Glee I usually read Kurt/Blaine, Kurt/Puck, Puck/Finn or Sebastian/Kurt, I do, sometimes mix those characters up, but I’m quite limited to Kurt, Finn, Blaine, Puck and Sebastian in various couples, triads or moresomes. Then I saw this fic and decided to try Kurt/Elliot, mostly because of the Donut!Verse - that I reviewed here - in which Kurt/Adam Lambert aka Elliot are a thing. Well, color me surprised, the fic is really good! And brings out a ton of what I picture Adam to be, while still making Elliot a believable and amazing character.

While it follows the 5+1 fanfic formula, all chapters are quite cohesive and the plot flows splendidly. We go over the many moments a new relationship has, including a break up. It’s fun, it’s hot and very well written. I specially like Kurt characterization, showing his virtues and hung ups: fandom tends to portray him as overly perfect or demonize his flaws.

The fic also doesn’t bash Blaine, which, thank god! And it’s marvelous that we see Kurt experimenting in college, not only with body modification - his brief canon tattoo/piercing, but also his hair - but with how differently a relationship can transform with another person. In that manner, Elliot is put together and guided by his cannon characterization, while playing with a whole great personality and shimmy the author gave him.

Fluffy, but mature, this fic wins points for the general happy feeling it gives, while still managing smut and great conversations. The dramatic points aren't boring or over the top and I'm just fascinated by all the hair talk - it gave me delirious dreams of painting my hair mermaid green again.

On a final note, before you read, because you should! I love the writing style, the author’s adjectives are to die for and Kurt’s though process is so fun, I wish the shows had subtitles made by her. This fic is truly a perfect marriage of form and content.

Lips in my Hair

Curtains by Anonymous (PG-15)

  • May. 24th, 2015 at 3:06 AM
Title: Curtains
Fandom: James Bond
Pairing: James Bond/Q
Categories/Genres: Domestic, Slow Burn, Romance, Action/Adventure, Fluff, Humor
Length: Long (20352 words)
Warnings: N/A

Author on LJ: N/A
Author Website: N/A

Summary:

Indulgent domesticity. No real plot to speak of, just Bond and Q moving in together as friends after Q is targeted and his place burnt down, and slowly progressing to being a couple.

Review:

Curtains is an easy read, which is a more complex proposition than one might think, when you consider the two characters it's written about. Perhaps it's more accurate to say that it's a gentle read, as opposed to easy, swaddling the reader in layers of cozy domesticity and slowly warming romance without glossing over the violence and danger inherent in these two men's lives. There's no conflict in this fic beyond what the world throws at Bond and Q, no arduous strife nor struggle. Just gentle, easy domesticity and two men slowly deepening their relationship from co-workers to friends to lovers.

Curtains

Walk a While With Me by LadyJanelly (NC-17)

  • May. 17th, 2015 at 2:21 AM
Title: Walk a While With Me
Fandom: The Losers
Pairing: Carlos “Cougar” Alvarez/Jake Jensen
Categories/Genres: Alternate Universe, Canon Divergence, Hurt/Comfort, Angst, Drama, Friendship, Fluff, Romance, Healing, Slow Burn
Length: Long (33841 words)
Warnings: Descriptions of assault and sexual assault

Author on LJ: [livejournal.com profile] ladyjanelly
Author Website: LadyJanelly

Summary:

Jake Jensen left the Army before he ever had a chance to be a Loser. Cougar meets him anyway.

Sometimes what a man needs to have a chance at happiness is losing the battle he’s been fighting his whole life.

Review:

Note: This fic contains descriptions of homophobic violence of both sexual and non-sexual nature committed against a gay character. The violence occurs off screen, but is frankly discussed by the characters.

I'm not quite sure where to begin, when it comes to Walk a While With Me. It's an incredible work that strikes an impeccable balance between a slowly developing romance and the realism of Cougar and Jake's respective mindsets and traumas. Between Cougar's deeply internalized homophobia and Jake's previous sexual assault, it's not by any means what I would consider an easy read, but the friendship that forms between the two men and the quiet weeks they spend together working on Jake's fixer-upper houses cushions the sharp edges. The result is a poignant fic that digs deep into the reader's emotions, but never quite cuts. It's about hurt and pain, but more importantly it's about healing.

Need is a prominent theme in Walk a While With Me. What Cougar needs. What Jake needs. What they need from each other. What they needed from others that they did, or didn't get. LadyJanelly explores the evolution of Cougar's needs as he comes to terms with his homosexuality and how they are affected by his deepening relationship with Jake. It's a stark contrast, looking at Cougar as he is introduced in the fic and then at his decisions at the end of the fic, but LadyJanelly writes his journey with such deftness that the change is fluid and inevitable.

The supporting characters range from the Losers to several original characters. Each is excellently written, particularly the OCs, who are quirky and interesting and stand out without removing the focus from Cougar's narration. They provide texture and richness to the story, interacting with and affecting Cougar and Jake's relationship even in absentia and helping the story move forward in a very organic way.

Walk a While With Me
Title: In All the Tongues of Men and Angels
Fandom: The Losers
Pairing: Carlos “Cougar” Alvarez/Jake Jensen
Categories/Genres: Post-Canon, Angst, Romance, Family, Hurt/Comfort, Fluff, Friendship, Domestic, Cooking, Misunderstanding
Length: Long (19304 words)
Warnings: Original character death, mercy killing

Author on LJ: coinin
Author Website: coinin

Summary:

In which Cougar goes home, goes on a road trip, and learns to cook.

Review:

Fair warning, the first chapter of this fic follows the declining health and eventual passing of an original character, Cougar's grandmother. It's not an easy thing to read, but the obvious love between Cougar and his grandmother, the easy, familiar relationship between them, and Cougar's devoted care during his grandmother's final few weeks makes it worth the pain of her passing.

The Losers holds tightly to the theme of families, both found and of blood. In All the Tongues of Men and Angels explores the latter when Cougar takes his slowly dying grandmother back to her father's home in Mexico to live the rest of her days in peace. Well, relative peace, considering that she insists that Cougar learn to cook, starting from the very basics of chopping vegetables and moving up through tortillas made from scratch, until he is cooking of his own volition, emotionally conning his ailing grandmother into eating just a little bit more in spite of her flagging appetite.

When Cougar makes his way back to Jensen, cooking becomes an act of expressing himself in lieu of words. What started out as obeisance to his grandmother becomes a labor of love that Jensen is largely bewildered by, never quite understanding what Cougar is saying without actually saying until Cougar's grief for his grandmother finally cracks him open enough for the words to spill out and for Jensen to finally understand.

Two short and delightfully fluffy epilogues, Unexpected Sweetness and No Home Complete Without a Cat round out the series, and are not to be missed.

In All the Tongues of Men and Angels

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