Title: For the Love of the Game
Fandom: Katekyou Hitman Reborn
Pairing: Yamamoto Takeshi/ Hayato Gokudera
Categories: Character Exploration
Length: Medium (8000 words)
Warnings: Violence

Author on LJ: [livejournal.com profile] metisket
Author Website: Dreamwidth AO3 Tumblr

Author’s Summary:
In which Yamamoto wanders through life smiling, joking, and terrifying bystanders.

Review:

How could exploring the character who joined a criminal organisation by asking seriously if he could play the mafia game be anything less than gripping?

Yamamoto is introduced as a popular schoolboy with a devotion to baseball. He is virtually a beacon of normality compared to the flashily murderous people Reborn introduces to Tsuna’s life. Yet, he greets these people with a cheerful smile, while Tsuna quivers in far. His father may be an sword-wielding assassin, but Yamamoto’s blithe unconcern is still pretty odd.

For the Love of the Game looks at how a post-canon Yamamoto might be affected by his experiences. How does he relate to the people in his life? What makes him afraid? Why is he still smiling?

As always, Metisket’s writing is very engrossing, giving a fascinating look into the POV character’s reaction to what is going on and an equally fascinating portrayal of the people they are interacting with.

This is set post-series, so if you’re not familiar with Katekyou Hitman Reborn, you are unlikely to follow what is happening at all. (Katekyou Hitman Reborn is not particularly deep, but it takes great pleasure in coming up with unlikely concepts and failing to justify them in any way, which stacks into being quite complicated.) For the Love of the Game isn’t more violent than canon, but it treats the violence a lot more seriously.


For the Love of the Game

Hazy by Minuiko

  • Oct. 8th, 2015 at 10:56 AM
Title: Hazy
Fandom: Marvel MCU
Pairing: Bucky Barnes/Steve Rogers
Categories: Angst, Friendship, Post-Canon,
Length: 1.5 minutes
Warnings:

Author on LJ:
Website: Minuiko on Tumblr

Summary: If I forget who I am would you please remind me?

Review: This is a beautiful lyrics comic. The colors and art are amazing. And Minuiko picked the perfect song to use for Bucky and Steve's relationship

It is fairly short but definitely worth a watch.

Comic
Video
Title: feet been draggin’ cross the ground
Fandom: Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Pairing: Gen with Dawn and Buffy, background Buffy/Faith
Categories: drama, family, hurt/comfort, romance
Length: Long [17784words]
Warnings: canon typical violence

Author/Artist/Creator on LJ: [livejournal.com profile] celaenos
Author/Artist/Creator Website: celaenos' AO3

Summary: Dawn goes along with Buffy on a seemingly endless road trip after Sunnydale blows up. Stubbornly avoiding their friends, and any semblance of normalcy, they try to figure out just what the hell they are supposed to do with their lives now.


Review:

I do remember that the first time I tried to read the fic I stopped after the first few scenes, because I felt there were some clunky sentences. Then later I sat down again, because I'm a sucker for a good fic about the Summers sisters and even more for Buffy/Faith and that time I read it in one setting and what I found was an amazing fic.

It's set post-canon and Buffy feels lost without her mission, instead of joining the scoobies she and Dawn set out on a road trip across the country. It's a fic about the sisters and their relationship and how life changes for them, how they deal with being or not being the Slayer and a girl that technically isn't real, but the Key. It has wonderful bonding moment and wonderful humor. It's also about Buffy running away from facing the feeling she might have for Faith.

It also does a good job of showing how both Buffy and Dawn slowly figure themselves out and find their way.

It's wonderful. The characterisation and slow progression is perfect and highlights the confusion and the feeling of being aimlessly adrift. There are just so many unique and wonderful women around in this fic and it makes for a wonderful highly recommended read.

feet been draggin’ cross the ground
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

There's Just People Like Us by Miss_M (PG13)

  • Sep. 17th, 2015 at 12:17 AM
Title: There's Just People Like Us
Fandom: Firefly
Pairing: Saffron/Jayne Cobb
Categories: het, post-canon, developing relationship
Length: Medium, 2,344 words
Warnings: none

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

Summary: Third time’s the charm: Jayne’s path crosses that of the woman of many names and talents. Turns out, they go well together, even if she (almost) never gives him a straight answer to any of his questions.

Review: Jayne jerked half upright when the woman snapped her fingers right next to his nose. After that, he saw no point in pretendin’ to be dead.

“Gorram it, woman,” he said as he heaved himself up and squared his shoulders, pretendin’ he had another gun concealed somewheres on his person. “No one ever teach you not to disturb a man when he’s fully armed and restin’?”

She had to tip her head way back to look him in the eye. Her red hair caught the desert sun somethin’ awful nice.

“You’re about three guns short of being fully armed, and you’ve been playing possum so long you’re starting to burn,” she said.


It's been forever since I'd read Firefly and I can't say this is a pairing I'd ever thought of before, but Saffron is my favourite underhanded femme fatale in the 'Verse, so I jumped to read this when I saw it posted in Rare Pair Fest. And it works! It's like these two fit together in a tiny-underhanded-smart-and-sneaky x big-dumb-and-sneaky-with-a-tiny-core-of-decency sort of way.

Jayne's voice recounting it is just perfect, I can hear them so well in this, and the development of the relationship between them... It almost ends up a weird sort of sweet.

There's Just People Like Us
Title: Be Bold, But Not Too Bold
Fandom: Final Fantasy VII
Pairing: Vincent Valentine/Tifa Lockhart
Categories: post-canon, romance, first time
Length: Long (~17k)
Warnings: canon appropriate violence

Author on LJ: [livejournal.com profile] memoriamvictus
Author Website: Memoriam's AO3

Review: This is a post-Advent Children, post-Dirge of Cerberus fic focused on Tifa and Vincent. Tifa is still running her bar in Edge and generally juggles life and it’s a very, very chaotic night for her when Vincent drops in for a visit and there is some general bonding over past and present and also a long term crush is revealed and leads to… other things. There is some action and implied misogyny and a bit of a revenge subplot that has more attempted violence, but for the most part this is focused on these two characters sharing a few relatively quiet moments, talking about the past and coming together. (And that part is hot.)

The fic sets Tifa’s current life situation and general badassery up by having her deal with a sleezy client in the first scene. She’s mostly just her own private person running a bar now, even if people know who she is and that she used to be part of Avalanche, but she still can hold herself in a fight. So basically this all starts with a fist brawl. The action is well set up and realistic.

The amazing parts of this story are actually the slow-build, and the characterisation. Through the bonding moments it becomes clear how the shared past affected both their lives and their present, even if they are moving into new territory now. There are wonderful characterisation moments when their affection and their character traits shine through in the way they treat each other and talk to each other, Tifa being frank and sometimes putting her foot in her mouth with her assumptions - and Vincent being his quiet self and trying to hide his feeling and not intrude.

The writing is very beautiful, but it’s really the characterisation in this one that makes it one of my favorites.

Be Bold, But Not Too Bold

Howl by Raleighpuppy (Pg-13)

  • Aug. 27th, 2015 at 11:09 AM
Title: Howl
Fandom: Mad Max: Fury Road
Pairing: Furiousa/Max
Categories: AU, Domestic, Hurt/Comfort, Post-Canon, Supernatural,
Length: Long (20k)
Warnings: Canon typical violence

Author on LJ: [livejournal.com profile] raleighpuppy
Website: Raleighpuppy's Ao3

Summary: There's a dingo hanging around The Citadel at night and, when Furiosa befriends the dingo, she notices a few odd coincidences involving the dingo, which she names Max, and another Max quite dear to her.

And then a new threat appears.

Review: Max makes such a cute were-creature! The story is nice and straightforward which is in-keeping with the feel of the movie.

It allows us to get to know Max better and it's nice to see him getting a happier ending.

The fic also has an interesting take on lycanthropy. I can't say much more without giving anything away. But this is definitely worth a read if you like modernized Supernatural worlds.

Howl

Refugees by china_shop (mature)

  • Jul. 23rd, 2015 at 12:01 AM
Title: Refugees

Fandom: Due South
Pairing: Ray Kowalski/Ray Vecchio
Categories: slash, breakup, post-canon, first time
Length: medium, ~12,000 words
Warnings: none

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

Summary: "What? No, Frannie. No! I am not with Kowalski! I am not gay! Jesus, could you concentrate on your own problems? Stella and me called it quits. I needed a place to stay."

Review: Ray looked around at stacks of newspapers and magazines, dirty cups and plates, scattered laundry. There was a half-played game of chess on the coffee table, with a beer bottle sitting in the middle surrounded by pawns. There was a bicycle half-in, half-out the open window, and Christ, there were novelty lights hanging in the kitchen. What was this, Santa's Little Grotto? But more importantly: "Where's Fraser?"

Kowalski threw him a fake careless glance and picked up the beer bottle from the chess board. "He's in Canada. Where do you think he is? What are you doing here, Vecchio?"

Ray stepped over a pair of hiking boots and took the bottle from his hand. "You owe me fifteen hundred dollars. I've been paying your utilities, and I'm here to collect."


So I tend to read these on my e-reader, offline, removed from the fandom response like kudos and comments, and looking this one up now for the links and info, I'm startled to discover how little response this fic seems to have. All I can think is that maybe fics don't so easily win people over if their starting point is the disintegration of canon happy endings. Both Rays' post-Call of the Wild relationships have crashed and burned. Vecchio's split up from Stella, Kowalski's split up from Fraser, and they're back in Chicago and both a mess.

If you can get beyond that concept, I thought this was a delightfully lively, amusing fic that fairly jumped out at me from the many, many Due South fics I'd stuck on aforementioned e-reader to binge read. Ray (Vecchio) discovers that due to the identity confusion hangover from his undercover days, he's been paying for the utility bills of Ray (Kowakski)'s apartment, and figures that as Kowalski owes him the money he'll just move on in and crash there, since he can't face anyone he actually knows and likes or resuming his life in general after the disaster of his marriage.

Inevitably, slowly the enforced company does them each some good and they start to -- somewhat reluctantly -- bond. It's fun.

Refugees
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
Title: The penny jar theory

Fandom: due South
Pairing: Fraser/Kowalski
Categories: slash, established relationship, post-canon
Length: medium, ~13,000 words
Warnings: none really

Author on Livejournal: [livejournal.com profile] deputychairman
Author Website: Deputychairman on AO3

Summary: “How - ” Fraser cleared his throat. “How long is the contract?”
“Six months,” Ray told the stew.
“And will you,” he stopped. Ray heard the deep breath he took. Taking it on the chin, attaboy, Ben. “Are you planning to come back here, afterwards?”

Review: The last two weeks I've read nothing but due South, so with due permission--it's someone else's reccing fandom--I'm sneaking in a rec of my favourite so far of the fics that seem to have appeared since last I read dS.

The question that seems to have the strongest pull on me post-series is What does Kowalski do in Canada? and this fic is centred around the practicalities of him trying to find an answer to exactly that, and the ways Fraser and Ray's relationship has to shift around it. The fic exists in a world where the answers aren't perfect and the characters have to make compromises. It's not an unhappy fic, not really, but oddly bittersweet.

I love to bits the central images of the dubious gift of the Penny Jar -- and the time limit/death-knell of a relationship that it starts off by proclaiming -- and Ray Kowalski heading off to work on the isolation of an oil rig without Fraser's approval.

The penny jar theory
Title: The Book of Vices and Virtues series
Fandom: D. Gray-man
Pairing: Allen/Kanda, Kanda/Alma, Allen/OMC, Allen/OFC
Genres: AU, Romance, First-time, Adventure, Drama, Historical, Prostitution, Hurt/Comfort, Post-Canon, Pre-Canon
Length: Super-epic (214,460 words)
Warnings: Attempted rape, past and present child abuse, child prostitution, dub-con

Author on LJ: N/A
Author Website: MSylvatica @ AO3

Author's Summary:
Story 1: In which Allen travels from India to England in search of Black Order Headquarters.

Story 2: "Whenever there is hatred between two people, there is a bond of brotherhood of some kind" - Oscar Wilde, /De Profundis/

Review:
This lovely and long series contains two stories. The first is an AU version of Allen's journey from India to the Black Order headquarters in England. The second is a post-canon story about Kanda, Allen and Johnny being on the run.

The series has a pleasing circular nature. All the people that Allen meets or reunites with on his way to the Order are met again by Kanda on their way from the Order. While the first story is firmly a study of Allen, his character and his bisexuality, the second story is definitely Kanda's. As he asks around about Allen's character in an attempt to understand him better, he also gains much more knowledge of himself, both as he is now and as he was before he was reborn.

I did feel it got a little too philosophical in the middle, dragging the pace down, but I'm always impatient for the happy ending to happen. And it does, in a sweet, hot, and in character way. A great read.

The Book of Vices and Virtues series

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
Title: Balance of Power

Fandom: Fullmetal Alchemist
Pairing: gen
Categories: action/adventure, crack, caper, time travel, post-canon
Length: super epic, ~328,000 words
Warnings: Only that it's left fairly open-ended, and the sequel looks to be in a permanent state of unfinished.

Author on Livejournal: n/a?
Author Website: Crackbunny Syndrome on fanfiction.net

Summary: Time travel. Conspiracy theories. Leylines. Pop culture crack and bad movie references. Hackers, ghost hunters and detectives, oh my! When crossing the gate, be sure to look both ways. Post series.

Review: "Maul?!" Ed asked. His eyes had gone wide as he stared around at all the different stores. The place was two floors high, bigger than any market he'd ever seen, and a cacophony of lights, sounds, and enticing aromas.

This is going back a few years now, to before the manga had an ending, before Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood had been made, and when the 'ending' for the series was that of the original anime and sequel movie Conqueror of Shamballa. This ridiculously epic gen fic, with its entourage of well-written original characters plus a surprise addition back-from-the-dead, is set after the movie, as a time travel incident propels Edward and Alphonse Elric into the modern world. They are helped to survive and navigate it by the dropouts, hippies and dissidents they meet along the way.

The story is a giant collaborative effort and exceedingly well written. The original characters and their voices are distinct. It's kind of the neverending fic, but it's also a lot of fun. According to the author profile, the plot was an accidental discovery, but I couldn't really tell, though it's in no hurry to rush enjoying all the gags about Edward in the modern world and the character moments along the way. It also has the capacity to turn surprisingly dark in its serious moments -- bear in mind that Ed and Al have time travelled from 1920s Germany, unknowing of the future that was to come.

Balance of Power

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
Title: You'll Get There in the End (It Just Takes a While)
Fandom: Star Trek XI
Pairing: Jim Kirk/Spock, past Nyota Uhura/Spock
Categories/Genres: Post-Canon, Drama, Romance, Angst, Pon Farr, Bonding, Friendship
Length: Long (33465 words)
Warnings: N/A

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

Summary:

"Spock. Just say 'I don't trust Starfleet not to mess up the only captain in the fleet who I can train up to my expectations and enjoys running into danger wearing a blindfold as much as I do'."

Review:

The format of this fic is a little confusing at first, jumping back and forth between two progressing timelines until they meet in the middle. Not to mention, seperis refuses to hold the reader's hand and explain everything in small sentences with smaller words. You'll Get There in the End (It Just Takes a While) demands that the reader think as they read and slot the pieces together. It's not always easy, and there are some recurring threads that are not particularly obvious as such, but in the end, when the story pulls in its loose threads and weaves them all together, there's a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment that few authors manage to create in their fic.

The thing is, I can easily imagine this fic being written chronologically, rather than alternating between the immediate post-movie and the onset of Jim's 'pon farr'. It would still be good reading, but it's unlikely that I'd find it fascinating enough to rec it. Its format creates a tension that vibrates like a plucked instrument string through the entire length of the fic, a quiet hum that grows in intensity right up until the climax, when the separate timelines resolve into a single chronological narrative.

seperis also makes the conscious decision not to include any sort of internal contemplation of emotion through the bulk of the fic. As odd as it was to read a romance fic where there was no mention of romantic emotion between Jim and Spock, it gave the climax that much more energy by contrast, their emotions distilled and crisp rather than worn smooth by repetition.

Unfortunately I can't give any sort of recommendation on the rest of The Reboot Series, as I haven't had the opportunity to read it. But going by the quality and complexity of You'll Get There, I'm guessing it's definitely worth checking out.

You'll Get There in the End (It Just Takes a While)
Title: How to Train your Angel Wolf Boyfriend
Fandom: Jupiter Ascending
Pairing: Jupiter Jones/Caine Wise
Categories: Domestic, Post-Canon, PWP
Length: Epic (75k)
Warnings: Sex, lots of sex

Author on LJ: [livejournal.com profile] username
Website: OctoSally

Summary: The fact that she was still a little annoyed with him for the “I’m closer to a dog than you” quip might have informed what she did next.

She patted the warm cement next to her, and said, in the firm tone she’d heard animal trainers use:

“Caine, sit.”

[Pretty much what it says on the tin. Jupiter Jones and Caine Wise figure each other out, post-canon. Basically my exploration of their relationship and where it might lead. EDIT: Now COMPLETE! Enjoy the sex and plot and wacky OCs!]

Review: A lot of kinky sex, with lots of interesting world building, and relationship building along the way.

Octosally has a deft hand with weaving together long, intricate sex scenes with character building experiences. Jupiter experiences the complications of universe sized business inheritance while trying discover what it means to be queen of the earth and Caine's mistress.

How to Train you Angel-Wolf-Boyfriend

The Things you Carry by Inksplotch (Pg)

  • May. 21st, 2015 at 8:33 AM
Title:the things you carry
Fandom: Tamora Pierce - Protector of the Small
Pairing: Gen
Categories: AU, Friendship, Post-Canon,
Length: Medium (6k)
Warnings: Canon typical violence

Author on LJ:
Website: Ao3TumblrOriginal Fiction

Summary: After Kel breaks orders and invades Scanra to rescue her Haven civilians in Lady Knight, she is found guilty of treason in wartime.

She escapes with the help of friends and does the only thing Kel could ever conceive of doing in that instance-- she keeps fighting Tortall's war.

This is Kel, however; she is always willing to fight her battles alone, but people will always rise up to fight alongside her.

Review: Protector of the Small, is one of my favorite series. I reread it every few years. Which is why I was so pleased to find this fic. Ink-splotch really nails Kel's voice.

The story is amazing in all its little details that build up on each other, until the ending is both fitting and inevitable. A new Tortall after the war, but perhaps a better one as well.
the things you carry
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

Handle Me by flipmeforward (Nc-17)

  • May. 3rd, 2015 at 7:46 PM
Title: Handle Me
Fandom: Glee
Pairing: Kurt Hummel/Sebastian Smith
Categories: Romance, AU, Post-Cannon
Length: Long [39448 words]
Warnings: Boypussy, Cutting and Suicide Talk, Gender Issues, Vaginal Sex, Anti-Blaine.


Author Website: flipmeforward(on AO3)

Summary:
Written for this prompt on the GKM. Blaine breaks up with Kurt because Kurt has a pussy. Kurt is ashamed over his anatomy, and finally settles for never finding someone who’ll love him completely. Cue Sebastian. [original summary]

Review:
This story is amazing! I really like how Kurt and Sebastian slowly work their differences and become friends before turning into more. Alex is a great secondary character and I’m really glad Rachel isn’t Kurt’s support system - I still have issues with her on canon, so anytime she isn’t the focus on fics, it’s great.

Basically Kurt tumbles into Sebastian and makes him his model for a college project. Blaine and Kurt separated in a very dramatic way and that made Kurt less willing to be with someone. Sebastian has grown up and the author creates a good background on him, which makes way more sense than just making him to be the jerk, not providing any backstory on canon to support it.

The Anti-Blaine warning is for two or three paragraphs that have a really negative opinion on him, almost leaning towards bashing, but it’s mostly a ex-repulsion sort of thing and not really about his character. He is a bit out of character, but it generally serves the plot and I don’t mind it.

All in all, you get porn and feelings, plus friendship. The smut is specially delicious and it doesn’t ventures into the healing cock clichê, which is great.

Handle Me
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

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