Title: I Want You to Feel Familiar
Fandom: Welcome to Night Vale
Pairing: Carlos/Cecil Palmer
Categories/Genres: Memory alteration, Established relationship, Hurt/comfort, Romance, Fluff
Length: Medium (2367 words)
Warnings: N/A

Author on LJ: N/A
Author Website: scioscribe


“I know who you are,” Cecil said, finally looking at him. His pupils were still just pinpricks from the force of the light. “Carlos.” He rubbed his temples. “The power,” he said, “was out for a really long time. Citizens with power outages, especially during times of rolling blackouts, may experience a temporary sense of identity dislocation.”

(Well, Carlos is going to fix that.)


As much as I love Welcome to Night Vale, it frustrates me endlessly how little of it we get to enjoy. One twenty to thirty minute episode every two weeks. Two episodes a month. Twenty-four precious episodes in a year. That's twenty-four days we get to peek into the intricate town of Night Vale out of three hundred sixty-five, (temporal incidents notwithstanding).

More lately, I've also developed a minor facial tic when I think about how Carlos and Cecil are still in separate dimensions and not able to be cute dorky boyfriends with each other.
I have a mighty need, okay?

I Want You to Feel Familiar is the perfect remedy to both of these ailments, expanding a minor segment from an early episode into an event with actual consequence and emotional impact. Cecil is strikingly fragile in it, struggling to reconnect the hard data of his memories with the abstract emotions he knows should be attached to them. Carlos fumbles, sciences, and makes everything better.

I Want You to Feel Familiar

run, run, fast as you-- by branwyn (R)

  • May. 3rd, 2014 at 1:45 AM
Posting a little early this time, due to real life stuff. So nice to be early instead of late! Haha-ehh.

Title: run, run, fast as you--
Fandom: Welcome to Night Vale
Pairing: Carlos/Cecil Palmer, Carlos/OMC
Categories/Genres: Asexual, Romance, Drama, Angst, Hurt/Comfort, Kids,
Length: Super Epic (106978 words)
Warnings: Stalking, Domestic abuse, Sexual assault, Violence, Threats of suicide, Threats of murder

Author on LJ: N/A
Author Website: branwyn


The night that his research partner (and sort-of ex) shows up at his apartment with a gun, Carlos decides to take a mysterious but exceptionally well funded two-year research posting in a town called Night Vale.

A story in which Night Vale is there for the people who need it, Cecil's propensity to wear his innocent heart on his sleeve is perceived as a threat (until it isn't) and no one is allowed to hurt the Scientist. No one.


I love branwyn's villain in run, run, fast as you--. Don't get me wrong though, I hate the character's goddamn guts. He's just one of those villains that you have such a visceral reaction to that you want to reach through your screen and wring his ugly neck with your bare hands. But I love the way branwyn has created him, a monstrous product of our world instead of Night Vale's, and the way he colors every single scene in the fic, present in mind if not in body. He's a malignant specter, a festering poison, and the perfect foil to the sweet purity of Carlos and Cecil's developing relationship.

And what a development it is. The story is told from Carlos' perspective, from the events leading to his decision to take the research position in Night Vale, deviating slightly from canon after the events of One Year Later, and culminating in the dramatic finale roughly one month later. It runs concurrent with the canon, a somewhat more realistic (by non-Night Valean standards) retelling of Cecil's slightly dramatized reporting. Through it all, Carlos struggles to move past the trauma of his previous relationships and their respective nasty fallouts, slowly coming to accept the sincerity of Cecil's feelings for him and learning how to care for Cecil in turn.

Some familiar faces make up the rest of the cast. Tamika Flynn is her usual stellar self. Old Woman Josie and Erika make a few charming appearances. Even Cactus June is fleshed out in the fic, beautiful as ever and bluntly forthright. But more notably, there are a few unique additions of branwyn's own creation, like the Orphanarians, the Librarian-like guardians of Night Vale's orphans. One of whom is a girl named Nijeia, who has been twelve for a long time and is only let out of the Orphanarium to work as one of Carlos' research assistants. She befriends Carlos and eventually Cecil, blunt and a little crass and very, very pre-teen, but still a child under her experience and bravado.

run, run, fast as you-- isn't without its weaknesses, though. The Carlos whump can seem overbearing to those who are sensitive to it, a byproduct of the narrated story actively focusing on all the worst experiences Carlos endures. Cecil is perfect, almost to the point where his perfection strains the suspension of disbelief. Also, the final defeat of the villain is rather anticlimactic, considering that it happens very thoroughly off-screen and was not nearly as violent a reckoning as I personally wished it had been.

But on the whole, branwyn's fic is one of the stellar works of the Welcome to Night Vale fandom. Don't let the tags scare you off, because this is definitely a must-read.

run, run, fast as you--

The Knowable Universe by novembersmith (G)

  • Apr. 20th, 2014 at 1:06 AM
Title: The Knowable Universe
Fandom: Welcome to Night Vale
Pairing: Gen
Genres: Romance
Length: Medium (3444 words)
Warnings: None
Author on LJ: N/A
Author Website: novembersmith
Author's Summary:
“Let us approach a much more modest question: not whether we can know the universe or the Milky Way Galaxy or a star or a world. Can we know, ultimately and in detail, a grain of salt?” – Carl Sagan
Immediately following the events of Episode 25, Carlos realizes he’s been asking the wrong questions.

The Knowable Universe is an expansion on the Arby's scene between Carlos and Cecil, delving deeper into Cecil's headspace as he and Carlos fumble through the tentative beginnings of a romantic relation. It's stellarly written, with clever little literary flourishes and the most accurate Carlos and Cecil voices I've ever read in a fic written before we even got to hear Carlos'  actual voice.

There's also a subtle sensuality, a hastily repressed sexuality that oozes from the narration without being overtly sexy while typifying that very first is-it-a-date-or-not-a-date. To me this fic is the quintessential Arby's  fic.
Title: My Love Should Be Heard And Not Seen
Fandom: Welcome to Night Vale
Pairing: Carlos/Cecil Palmer
Categories/Genres: Alternate Universe, Sex line, Phone sex, Pining, Romance, Misunderstanding, BDSM, Infidelity (of a sort)
Length: Long (24057 words)
Warnings: Mentions of sex trafficking

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


Cecil Palmer is the best phone sex operator in the small company called Night Vale. One night, a slightly tipsy and very lonely scientist dials his number, and gets far more than he bargained for - a late night conversation about advanced biochemistry, a brand new fetish for surreal horror, a surprisingly reasonable internship program, some newts, and slowly, strangely, the love of his life.


I'm officially calling it. My Love Should Be Heard And Not Seen is the quintessential WtNV phone sex operator fic. I don't care what anyone says because this fic – sweet Jesus – this fic is it okay?

Awkward boys falling awkwardly in love with each other? Check. Frequent and delicious references to canon? Check. Intern Dana? Check. Typically Night Valean imagery that manages to be strange but strangely sensual? Check and double-check. Someone fetch me my smelling salts, I feel a swoon coming on.

I don't know what to say about this fic to make you understand what I love about it. Or actually, I suppose that I have the opposite problem, that I'd begin and not be able to stop. In the interests of not spoiling it utterly, I'll just tell you my favorite aspect: the ways in which their steadily evolving relationship makes them both more than they were. It's reflected most strongly in Carlos, whose perspective the reader follows, in the way he goes from a cripplingly shy, lonely introvert to a calmer, more confident version of himself. It's truly joyous to watch his steady growth and even his brief setbacks, and all the ways Cecil and his steady baritone guide him through his roughest times.

And the ending! Ugh, it's so perfect I want to cry.

My Love Should Be Heard And Not Seen
Title: Welcome to Cyber Vale
Fandom: Welcome to Night Vale
Pairing: Carlos/Cecil Palmer, Dana/Leann, Kevin/Original Male Character
Categories/Genres: Alternate Universe, Sci Fi, Action/Adventure, Romance, Fluff, Humor, Amnesia, Mystery
Length: Epic (49906 words)
Warnings: Very temporary character death

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


Based on an AU SciFi concept by freedomconvicted on tumblr. Carlos is a scientist who has been called in to assist with C.E.C.I.L, an A.I. that runs the artificial planet known as the Vale Colony. However, none of his superiors bothered to inform him that the A.I. appears to be completely insane. And prone to falling in love.


When is a Night Vale not a Night Vale? When it's a Night Vale in space!

I've always been a fan of science fiction, a love instilled in me in the early days of reading when at least a dozen of my father's science fiction books were lying around at any given time. So for there to be a full-length sci fi AU of Night Vale? Well, sign me up!

The fictional future of Welcome to Cyber Vale is a subtly realized world, left mostly blank for the reader's imagination to fill in, assisted by the little tidbits of information that are fed to us, mostly by casual mention of the characters. It's minimalist worldbuilding, which seemed a little odd to me as a veteran sci fi reader, until I realized that that very minimalism is precisely characteristic of the canonical Welcome to Night Vale itself.

It's that very sense of in-character atmosphere that makes this fic stand out among the many Alternate Universe fics I've read. So much of the time, writers will take characters out of their original canon to put them in settings and circumstances that bear little to no resemblance to the source setting. There's nothing wrong with that, of course. I can think of few things more thrilling than seeing how a character exists in and reacts to a world they weren't originally created in. But Hubris_And_Crafts's ability to write so many parallels with canon while creating a world new and different took my breath away. I found myself grinning at all the characters and their familiar quirks and laughing with excitement at all the phrases and stories lifted from the canon to be given new homes in this new universe. Reading Cyber Vale, everything was the same even while nothing was the same.

And that's the very charm of Welcome to Night Vale itself, I think. That sometimes things that are so strange can be so comfortingly familiar in spite of their alienness.

Welcome to Cyber Vale

No Place Like by Xparrot (PG-13)

  • Mar. 8th, 2014 at 9:35 PM
Title: No Place Like
Fandom: Welcome to Night Vale
Pairing: Carlos/Cecil Palmer
Categories/Genres: Established Relationship, Slice of Life, Domestic, Fluff, Romance
Length: Medium (3724 words)
Warnings: N/A

Author on LJ: [livejournal.com profile] xparrot
Author Website: Xparrot


When Cecil said, "I've heard many couples find it romantic--it's a fun bonding experience!" Carlos considered the Night Vale definitions of 'romantic', 'fun' and 'bonding', then took out another life insurance policy.
Housewarming, Night Vale-style.


Usually, when I review a fic, I have a theme I know I want to work with, a proverbial dead horse to beat and a few favorite fic elements to beat it with. This time though, no such luck. There's just something about Xparrot's No Place Like that grabbed me and sucked me in, and then spat me out saying, “Welp, that's this week's rec.” Maybe it's the characterization, how Carlos and Cecil are simultaneously completely normal and utterly bizarre in turns. Maybe it's Cecil's boundless love and hope or Carlos' fear of the normal and mundane and unfascinating. Maybe it's the bravery that they both show in putting so much faith in their relationship. Maybe it's the house and its charming quirks. Who knows?

No Place Like

What We've Got Here by Margo_Kim (PG-13)

  • Feb. 8th, 2014 at 11:53 PM
Title: What We've Got Here
Fandom: Welcome to Night Vale
Pairing: Carlos/Cecil Palmer
Categories: Romance
Length: Medium (2399 words)
Warnings: N/A

Author on LJ: [livejournal.com profile] margo_kim
Author Website: Margo_Kim


Carlos's reaction to the first date involves a lot more anguished cries than Cecil's, though to be fair, they're only anguished cries of "Why did I do that, why did I say that, why am I allowed to interact with other people" so they're still better than at least eighty percent of Night Vale's late night wails.


If there is anyone in the world who says they don't anguish over a first date, they are lying. Or they are dead. In Night Vale, I suppose, it is possible to simultaneously do both, but neither of these apply to Carlos the Scientist, freshly returned from his painfully awkward (from his perspective, at least) first date with Cecil Gershwin Palmer.

On the surface, this fic is not much more than character exploration and an embarrassed recounting of a painfully awkward date, but where its magic lies is in its pointed contrast with the canonical recounting of the aforementioned date. It illustrates the stark differences between Cecil and Carlos while simultaneously and charmingly illustrating their peculiar congruence.

What I liked best about What We've Got Here was that very stark contrast, the way Carlos's inability to communicate effectively is so very different from Cecil's natural gift for communication. After all, Cecil's defining trait is his ability to communicate, and that the true affection they have for each other still shines through makes it all the more magical, even in a town like Night Vale where everything is vaguely magical.

What We've Got Here
Title: She said, watch with all your eyes
Fandom: Welcome to Night Vale
Pairing: Carlos/Cecil Palmer
Categories/Genres: Voyeurism, Pining, Romance, Fluff
Length: Long (17556 words)
Warnings: Stalking, of a sort. (As a fringe benefit of Cecil's 'omniscience')

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


Cecil has eyes everywhere in Night Vale. Literally. (Or: an exploration of Cecil's occasional omniscience.)

The decision to keep a close eye on the new addition to Night Vale's scientific community had everything to do with Cecil's professional integrity as a journalist and nothing to do with Carlos's perfect hair or his beautiful lab coat or the strong, capable hand that Cecil was currently shaking.


For those of you not familiar with the Welcome to Night Vale fandom, there's a popular trend of portraying Cecil with a third eye to represent the peculiar omniscience he seems to use from time to time when describing this event or that. She said, watch with all your eyes is a textual portrayal of roughly the same thing, extra eyes drifting about and informing Cecil's news reports. (And also enabling his stalking of a certain perfect scientist.)

The story follows the canonical timeline, from that first day when a new stranger with perfect hair and a perfect lab coat comes to a very scientifically interesting town, up through the slow but steady development of their relationship. Told from Cecil's point of view, (all of his points of view), the reader gets to see the side of Cecil that isn't just the ephemeral twenty-minute radio segment, but the awkward, pining man that frets and worries and watches from not quite as afar as you'd think.

It's a very charming story, in that way that all things Night Vale are. That is to say, charming on the surface, and disconcerting everywhere else. Through clever use of poignant detail and casual omission, whitedatura has managed to capture that Night Valean je ne sais quoi that thrills and comforts and makes all the fine hairs on one's nape stand on end while contributing to the already vibrant richness of the canon. The use (and misuse) of Cecil's Eyes is played out with such excellence it almost seems insulting that it's not actually a feature of canon.

Also enthralling are those small glimpses of Carlos' character that the reader can occasionally make out through the heavily tinted lens of Cecil's perception. In fact, my only qualm with the story is that there aren't more of these little peeks as Cecil slowly comes into the knowledge that his 'perfect' scientist is not so perfect at all. But for all that those brief glimpses are rare, the reader still gets a sense of Carlos as the hesitant, socially awkward scientist who comes to care just as strongly for Cecil as Cecil does for him.

And the smutty coda Recurrence is pretty fun, too.

She said, watch with all your eyes
Title: hadn't built up my defenses
Fandom: Welcome to Night Vale
Pairing: Carlos/Cecil Gershwin Palmer
Categories: Alternate Universe, Pre-Canon, High School, Romance, Drama, Mystery
Length: Medium (12177 words)
Warnings: N/A

Author on LJ: N/A
Author Website: AugustaByron

Author's Summary:

Carlos hates the desert, and he hates sand, and he hates Night Vale, and he hates his dad's stupid job with its stupid transfers. He hates the idea of spending an entire school year in this boring town.


hadn't built up my defenses is the 'beginning of the beginning', (to butcher a common phrase), another way things might've begun in the grand saga of Cecil and Carlos. In it, Carlos is transplanted into Night Vale after his father is transferred to the town for mysterious reasons. Even more mysterious still is Carlos' first day at the high school where he, (to butcher a rather less common phrase), 'falls in crush, instantly' with Cecil, the boy assigned to show him around his first day. The story progresses as most boy-meets-boy high school romances do, with the usual gory horror of Night Vale life plodding along in the background. Still, it manages to hint at deeper, more terrifying mysteries that foreshadow the events and persons introduced in the canonical episodes.

But what makes this fic more than just any old high school AU is the way AugustaByron creates a Carlos-centric story that parallels the later canonical Cecil perspective. Carlos is attracted to Cecil's most prominent feature from their first meeting, an attraction that goes unrequited for some time, through a partner project and a not-date. And just like in canon, it's Carlos who initiates their relationship. Unfortunately, the very mystery that brought Carlos to Night Vale in the first place is what throws a wrench in their fledgling romance, a wrench that tightens down the bolts of their respective destinies, setting them both down the paths that will later lead them to the Night Vale we've come to know and love, warts and viscera and all.

hadn't built up my defenses
Title: The reconciliation of science and religion (or lack thereof).
Fandom: Welcome to Night Vale
Pairing: Carlos/Cecil Gershwin Palmer
Categories: Established Relationship, Fluff, Hurt/Comfort
Length: Medium (2688 words)
Warnings: N/A

Author on AO3: dee
Author Website: badfic

Author's Summary:

Carlos doesn't know what Cecil is, but maybe it doesn't matter. Also, Cecil's show gets a Special Guest!


One of the most enjoyable aspects of Welcome to Night Vale, (aside from Cecil's dulcet, suede tones), is how the town's weirdness seems normal after a while, how its complete lack of logic and sense flow in logical, sensible ways once you get used to them. Even the unpredictable can be anticipated, when you're in Night Vale. So when Carlos is unexpectedly confronted with the reality Cecil's multidimensional, eldritch form after a guest interview gone terribly wrong, he just shrugs his shoulders and accepts it as part of the man he loves. He's an outsider, not a bigot.

The reconciliation of science and religion (or lack thereof). is a charming little slice of Night Vale: the familiar grind of day-to-day life layered thickly with a Lovecraftian lacquer, all seen from the perspective of the not-quite-outsider-anymore scientist Carlos. For the romantics, there's a pinch of love overcoming all obstacles, and for the action fans, a daring rescue. And for anyone listening out there, the weather.

The reconciliation of science and religion (or lack thereof).


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Length Guidelines

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


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