Title: I've Lived For These Few Seconds
Fandom: Teen Wolf
Pairing: Derek Hale/Stiles Stilinski
Categories: Angst, First Time, Slash, Romance.
Length: Super!Epic [124126 words]
Warnings: Violence, Minor Character Death, Manipulation, moments of Dark!Stiles, Hate Crime, Homophobia, Graphic Sex.

Author Website: kyrene(on AO3)

Summary: Even in Beacon Hills the dangers aren't always supernatural. There's plenty that is supernatural, of course, and sometimes that can include the solution as well as further danger. Even though this can mean playing with fire.

It wasn't Scott he called once he regained consciousness. Or Derek, even though Derek Hale was the first person to spring to mind when he thought of being slammed into walls, when he tasted and smelled and breathed blood.
No, it was his father that he speed-dialed and his father who came to him where he crouched in the alley, clutching her hand as she wheezed out her last bubbling breaths. It was his father's pained blue eyes that he met as the paramedics swarmed over them both, pulling her away even though it was obviously too late, she was already dead, touching him and shining lights in his eyes and asking him over-loud questions.
It was his father who elbowed his way through the paramedics, because it had been his father that he had called.
[original summary]

Review:

This fic is one of those you aren’t that sure where it will take you; that doesn’t mean it isn’t a good fic - it’s actually great - it just means it’s fic that keeps you on your toes. This fic is part of canon divergence, very clearly stated by the author’s initial notes: Boyd and Erica get back to Derek and the Alpha Pack doesn’t exist. The action starts in the first chapter and then takes us into a path that traces a very different Stiles from canon.

It’s not a fic that concentrates on Scott, Allison, Lydia or any of the other secondary characters. The fic cleary moves in between Stiles’ relationship with his father and his relationship with Derek, as well as a growing friendship with Danny. Scott and Stiles are falling out and it’s not a fic that shows Scott in favorable light, which is refreshing.
Another prominent character is Peter and as the author warns who starts reading, there are undertones and explicit Peter/Stiles, with a delivered Derek/Stiles endgame. I like this, I love Peter/Stiles, and I specially like when Peter encroaches in Derek’s territory to make him wake up. I also love the way Peter cannon and otherwise see the brilliance of Stiles, and this is a essential part of this fic.

This is a Derek/Stiles fic, so the most important part of the plot focus on them trying to be together and passing through the awkwardness of knowing each other, having had life and death situations together, and still not being sure if there are or not feeling, if they can or not trust each other. What makes this a great fic is the fact while Derek and Stiles are struggling to make each other see what they are and how they feel, Peter is trying to make Stiles his own and Stiles is discovering his sexuality.

It’s a good fic to read when you want a mixture of angst and sex, of teenage problems and real issues with the supernatural.

I've Lived For These Few Seconds

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

Mommy Dearest by BeyondtheKilljoy

  • Aug. 9th, 2015 at 11:01 PM
Title: Mommy Dearest
Fandom: Teen Wolf
Pairing: Derek Hale/Stiles Stilinski
Categories: AU, Romance, Friendship
Length: Super! Epic [150439 words]
Warnings: Homophobia, Drug Addition (side theme), Minor Violence.

Author Website: BeyondtheKilljoy(on AO3)

Summary: Stiles was supposed to be put in weight training, but due to scheduling problems he was dropped into Health. It was fine, really, it was up until the point where Coach assigned the baby project. And the kicker?
His partner was the reclusive, intimidating Derek Hale - so it really wasn't fine anymore; especially with a baby who wouldn't give him a moment of rest if Hale wasn't there. However, when the project forces him to get closer to Hale than he would even imagine possible, he learns new things about the Hale family and maybe begins to see Hale in a different light.
Even if he'd totally be the mom. [original summary]

Review: Oh, this fic! It’s so cute to see Stiles and Derek in high school and they both learning each other. Seriously, this fic goes over Derek and Stiles learning to take care of a fake baby for their Health project and developing an amazing friendship - this makes you teeth roth with all the sweetness.

At the same time, the sweetness is cut by the homophobia issues and underlying tension between the Argents and the Hales; the Sheriff is quite present too, coming along with another side plot - a drug cartel that keeps on killing people and no one knows who they are.

Derek is probably my favorite in this fic, because he is less jaded, even if he still has the gruffy side of the canonical Derek. His interactions with his family kids and uncles, the sweet way he treats Stiles and how fierce he gets when Stiles gets hurt, just adds up on his cute points. The Hale family is very well put together, thought for Laura’s fans,her behavior it’s quite odd.

This fic is adorable and deals with homophobia in an amazing way. So sit, read it and enjoy a very refreshing High School Au.


Mommy Dearest
Title: Sinking Ships
Fandom: Teen Wolf
Pairing: Derek Hale/Stiles Stilinski
Categories: Angst, AU,Slash, First Time, Drama, Hurt/comfort, Marriage of Convenience.
Length: Super! Epic [106646 words]
Warnings: Racism, Non-Con Elements. Arranged Marriege, Slavery, Werewolves as the dominant class, Abuse, Exposure to Cold and Hunger, Sub-Human Life Conditions.

Author Website: standinginanicedress(on AO3)

Summary: Derek Hale has never met a human before.
Throughout his life, he's probably encountered, give or take, a hundred or so. A mere hundred human beings in his twenty-three years walking around on earth, compared to the millions of weres he's seen. And, even then, encountered them he might have, but met? Not even close.
He's had his dry cleaning handed off to him by a mousy looking human girl in a shirt three sizes too big for her with huge eyes and shaking hands while a beta werewolf yelled at her in the background for being too skittish (wonder why that could possibly be), he's walked past teenage humans cleaning windows and sweeping pebbles off of sidewalks, he's had the door opened up for him by older humans in pristine uniforms outside of restaurants – but never, never once, has he stuck his hand out to a human and said hi, my name is…
He could probably count on one hand the number of times he's even been made aware that a human within a hundred feet of him even had a name. [original summary]

Review: Oh, this fic is incredibly throat closing and hope to let that feeling die. It’s a hard fic to read, because is full of feelings and so realistic in portraying a classist society base on slavery, that almost cuts you heart. This AU shows us a world where the werewolves are known and the ruling class, and the humans are bred for their entertainment, becoming pets and slaves.

Stiles is still a human and also his father, Derek, his family, Scott, Allison and the Argents are all weres. In this context, I wish the fic showed more humans, because pretty much all canon characters are weres and we only see Stiles side. On the other hand, there is so much detail and variety in the sorrows he passed, we get an ample vision of what might happen to the other humans.

While the Argents are certainly opposition to the Hales, the true villain in this fic is Talia Hale, and I confess I had a hard time believing her character; the reason being, I always seen Talia as a good alpha, someone that cared for her children and someone that wanted them happy - she is not like this in the fic! The Hales are highly dysfunctional and there aren’t many fuzzy feelings of family.

Derek gets Stiles because of a maneuver in Talia’s career and he and Stiles start a relationship that is fake, but goes on to evolve to a careful friendship and later a romantic one. The highlights of this fic are confined mostly to Derek and Stiles, and one brief scene with the Sheriff, but there is plenty of interaction with the other characters.

This is a fic to be revolted by and at the same time to make you feel sad and make you think. Proceed with caution.


Sinking Ships

After the Storm by matildajones (Nc-17)

  • Jul. 26th, 2015 at 10:27 PM
Title: After The Storm
Fandom: Teen Wolf
Pairing: Derek Hale/Stiles Stilinski
Categories: Kidfic AU,Slash.
Length: Epic [41357 words]
Warnings: Mild Graphic Violence, Investigations and Cop persecution.

Author Website: matildajones(on AO3)

Summary: Derek's mind flits to Stiles’ face. It’s a hard face to forget and for some reason Stiles is one of the only things Derek can think about without feeling like he’s lost something.
Erica grins. “When are you going to see him next?”

“He’s a cop,” Derek says gruffly.

“So?”

Derek remembers being at the station, he remembers all those fucking people who thought he had killed his own sister. Laura. He hates all of them, and says as much aloud.

Erica hums. “Sounded like you didn’t hate him.”

--
Dealing with the death of his sister, Derek spends most of his time helping out his family. He meets Stiles and as soon as Derek's willing to admit his attraction towards him, he discovers that Stiles is dealing with his own problems at work. He needs help - help that Derek's all too willing to give. There's something about Derek with his strange, glowing eyes and quick ability to heal that makes Stiles trust him when maybe he shouldn't. [original summary]

Review: First of all: Stiles is a cop. Second: Kid Fic. And third and most important: impossible not to love this fic. I’m serious, it’s so good it will give you cavities - because sweetness is never too much. And at the same time, there is plenty of drama and action to put you in the tip of your seat, just wanting to know who is the bad guy.
Clearly this is an AU, where werewolves are still real, and selected members of the Hale family are still alive. Stiles slowly finds out about the supernatural, at the same time he lives a not so easy life as cop. Allison is more present than Scott in this fic, and she is Stiles’ super badass partner, which me makes me super happy! It rare for me to like Allison, and this fic totally gave me sneaky feels on her part.

The kid fic part I announced is super cute, and full of surprises. Derek is the sweetest taking care of the kids and Stiles is all marshmallow in seeing the big guy being soft. The only thing that may seem slightly off in this fic is how much Stiles trusts Derek so fast around the kids, but if you go feeling in the blanks, the experience isn’t too jarring.

In the end, this fic is a super good read and has some nice surprises or at least some nice touches, for those that are quicker in finding the end before it arrives.


After The Storm

Wild Horese by thepsychicclam {Nc-17}

  • Jun. 28th, 2015 at 10:37 PM
Title: Wild Horses
Fandom: Teen Wolf
Pairing: Derek Hale/Stiles Stilinski
Categories: Angst, AU, First Time, Slash.
Length: Epic [78917 words]
Warnings: Scars, Permanent Injury.

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

Summary: Derek's a drifter with no home, no destination, and no will to live. Stiles works on his family's failing cattle and horse ranch while all his friends are going off to college. When Derek falls asleep in a random barn, exhausted and half-starved, he doesn't expect to wake up on the other end of the sheriff's shotgun. And Stiles sure as hell doesn't expect his dad to invite the drifter in for breakfast. [original summary]

Review:
This fic is amazing! It’s a tiny bit cliche, the whole farm!au and wounded Derek running away, but at the same time, the story is deeply emotional, and not overall cheesy, though there are some very sweet moments towards the end that get pretty saccharine. Don’t be scared, that is good! The fic finds a good balance between emotional growth and vulnerability, which makes the sweeter moments refreshment to all the anger both Stiles and Derek have by the tons.

We have an au, where the Sheriff is still the Sheriff and Boyd, Parish and Isaac help around the farm, mostly for board and food. Lydia, Jackson, Scott and Danny are Stiles's friends from school, and there are a bit apart from the life in the farm. No werewolves included, but there is still plenty of angst and part of the Hale’s are dead.

You can count on a whole lot of angry fighting and headbutting with Stiles and Derek, and them dancing around each other for the longest of times before they finally get together. Which doesn’t erase their problems or how much they still fight. There is a great quality baking and wood carving, horse riding and tending to farm, which includes some castrating here and there, but I won’t comment on it. The sex is explosive, sweet and hot, which makes the fic even better.

The Sheriff of course is amazing and brings out so many touching moments with both Derek and Stiles that it makes me very happy. The flow of the story isn’t interrupted by any major plot twist, but we have some tension that doesn’t dissolve as easily. Erika, Cora and Laura also appear in the story, with minor scenes.

This fic also counts with amazing art by maichan and geeky-sova, embedded in it.


Wild Horses
I've been sitting on this gem for a few months now because we at [livejournal.com profile] epic_recs have a policy of not reccing work by our fellow reccers (for obvious reasons). But since [livejournal.com profile] mothlights stepped down from the team awhile ago, I got permission from the mods to go ahead and post it. This collaboration is really too good not to share!

Title: Misfire
Fandom: Teen Wolf
Pairing: Derek/Stiles
Categories: Time travel, angst
Length: Long (28,804 words)
Warnings: None

Author on AO3:  unpossible
Podficcer on LJ:  [livejournal.com profile] mothlights
Podficcer on AO3:  mothlights

Summary: “The debt must be repaid,” she says, and it has the weight of a vow. The words resonate through him, ringing through his ribcage and the bones of his jaw, and Stiles loses his breath and maybe his grip on reality because she draws herself upright and where there had once stood a supermodel-level MILF now there is Galadriel’s much hotter older sister, a Presence of unmistakable power in their ordinary, smells-vaguely-of-Thai-takeout hallway.

“Oh shit,” Stiles says.

Review: "Misfire" begins several years after season two. Stiles is an adult now, in a committed relationship with Derek, who is still painfully scarred from the trauma of his past. When a powerful faerie grants Stiles a wish after he inadvertently does her a favor, he asks for the one thing that might make Derek truly happy. Armed with his knowledge of the present, Stiles travels back in time determined to prevent Kate Argent from murdering the Hale family -- even knowing that, if he succeeds, he will be writing a new future, where Derek will have little reason to know Stiles, let alone fall in love with him.

I'm a sucker for angst, pining and noble gestures, and this fic is packed with all three! In the brief glimpse we get of Stiles's pre-time travel future, Unpossible paints a vivid picture of his love for Derek and the impact of Derek's trauma on their relationship. This story makes it easy to accept that Stiles would choose Derek's happiness over his own, even though it tears him apart to rip away the relationship that has become the cornerstone of his life. I also loved seeing the Hale family through future!Stiles's eyes. Peter, especially, is a delight in this story, and I loved Talia as well. Their reactions to Stiles were perfect. However, I think my favorite character in this fic might be the new!Derek, unknowingly freed of his tragic past. The direction unpossible took him in was entirely believable to me, and I was really intrigued by his new relationship with his now-surviving family/pack. And I loved the dynamic between new!Derek and Stiles. This story's happy ending is well worth all of the angst.

This was a pod-together collaboration, and as such, I highly recommend listening to the podfic by [livejournal.com profile] mothlights, which is how I first took in this story. As a collaborative effort, "Misfire" was written to be read aloud, and it sounds fantastic. I'm always a fan of [livejournal.com profile] mothlights' readings. Her performance really highlighted the emotion in this story, without ever going overboard. The production in this podfic was also fantastic with subtle (and well-done) sound effects. And as an added bonus, it hits my sweet spot for podfic length at about 4.5 hours long -- meaty enough to really get into, but short enough to easily finish it in a day. It made an afternoon running errands much more tolerable, that's for sure!

Misfire

"Muérdago" by Starbolin (NC-17)

  • Oct. 1st, 2014 at 8:47 PM
This is your usual Tuesday reccer checking in a little late (24 hours, who's counting?). This fic is one of my favorites in the fandom. I hope you enjoy it!

Title: Muérdago
Fandom: Teen Wolf
Pairing: Derek/Stiles
Categories: First time, casual sex, accidental feelings
Length: Long (17,674 words)
Warnings: Graphic depictions of violence, underage (Stiles is a teenager)

Author on AO3:  starbolin

Summary: "Mistletoe was often considered a pest that kills trees and devalues natural habitats, but was recently recognized as an ecological keystone species, an organism that has a disproportionately pervasive influence over its community. In Norse myth, an arrow made of mistletoe was the only thing that was able to kill the god Balder. The goddess Frigg had asked all other things to vow not to hurt Balder, but she had ignored the mistletoe because it seemed too small to be dangerous."

Review: Muérdago is an old favorite from the Teen Wolf fandom that still holds up to the test of time. In fact, certain elements of this fic ring surprisingly true for seasons three and four, such as the mistletoe legend the author quoted in the summary. Muérdago begins after season two, when everyone is still trying to figure out what the Alpha Pack wants and whether Erica and Boyd are still alive. In the midst of trying to answer these questions, Stiles and Derek begin a sexual relationship, though the antagonism between them remains as thick as ever. The sex is definitely a high point in this fic. We're talking a smoking hot scenario for Stiles unexpectedly losing his virginity, which is a trope I can 100% get behind! I also enjoyed the way starbolin dealt with the lack of communication in this fic -- it felt more in character to me than it does in a lot of fanfiction. I also enjoyed this take on Derek. He's still the damaged, cocky alpha from season two, but starbolin rounds out his personality through a number of satisfying details that feel absolutely right to me. This is a great read if you're feeling nostalgic for the days when Teen Wolf plots made some kind of sense and the characters actually had motivation.

Muérdago
Title: Lock All The Doors Behind You
Fandom: Teen Wolf
Pairing: Derek/Stiles
Categories: Hurt/comfort, feral behavior
Length: Long (25,959 words)
Warnings: Aftermath of torture

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

Summary: He has no idea what you're supposed to say when you find one of your...werewolf acquaintances, completely out of their mind, growling like they're about to see what your insides taste like. There's no handbook for this. Stiles is thinking that if he survives he might write one.

Review: This is a story that I would have recced sooner, except it's so well-loved that I'd assumed one of my fellow Teen Wolf reccers had already beaten me to it! Naturally, I was both thrilled and dismayed to find out I was wrong. "Lock All The Doors Behind You" is probably in my top 10 Teen Wolf fics, a delightful classic from that golden age of Teen Wolf fanfic between season 2 and 3. It begins with Scott and Stiles learning that Derek has disappeared, which Stiles dismisses with a kind of good-riddance attitude. A few days later, though, Derek turns up, but he's not himself. After having been kidnapped and tortured, he's reverted to a feral version of himself -- and to Stiles's dismay, he's the only person this new Derek will tolerate.

This story does what a lot of Teen Wolf fic doesn't, and starts with a Stiles who doesn't have some sort of secret crush on Derek. In fact, his initial attitude can be summed up as grudgingly indifferent to him. But in taking care of this new, feral version of Derek, he clearly comes to care for the real thing as well. I also get a kick out of feral Derek himself -- he and Stiles have a very boy and his terrifying puppy relationship, and [livejournal.com profile] entanglednow has clearly spent some time around dogs. Readers familiar with the story will know why I love it so much, and those who have managed to miss it are in for a treat.

I also highly recommend the podfic by [livejournal.com profile] rhea314. Rhea's performances are always delightfully easy to listen to, and this is no exception, with clear articulation, easy pacing, and clean production. It's one of my favorite podfics, and I've honestly lost track of the number of times I've listened to it.


Lock All The Doors Behind You
[Podfic] Lock All The Doors Behind You
Title: The Second Coming (of Werewolf Jesus)
Fandom: Teen Wolf
Pairing: Derek/Stiles
Categories: Mpreg, Humor, First Time
Length: Epic (40,104 words)
Warnings: Mpreg, nonconsensual pregnancy/sperm donation

Author on LJ: NA
Author Website:  lupinus and uraneia

Summary: Stiles was enjoying his senior year until his crazy English teacher decided he made the best candidate to gestate Derek's kid. Now Stiles is a seventeen-year-old pregnant dude and he and Derek have to figure their shit out, because in nine months they are going to be tied together for the rest of their lives.

Review: I've been meaning to rec this story for a good while, but wanted to put some distance between it and my rec for Tiny Houses, lest I earn a reputation as that reccer who's really into mpreg. "The Second Coming (of Werewolf Jesus) is another dark-magic-gets-Stiles-pregnant story, but it's about as different from "Tiny Houses" as Teen Wolf season one is from Ginger Snaps. Though the story starts with Stiles getting forcibly impregnated (and unable to abort the fetus because of magic), that's where the similarities end.

As you might expect from the title, "The Second Coming (of Werewolf Jesus)" has a lot more humor than angst. After his initial panic attack upon learning that he's a pregnant 17-year-old virgin, Stiles tries to take the situation in stride, while Derek (through a combination of misplaced guilt, werewolf instincts, and a genuine desire to have a family again) tries his best to step into a supportive co-parent role. This is very much a story about two people trying to make the best of a shitty situation. Knowing that their child is going to bind them together forever, the two of them go through a lot of trial and error as they try to figure out where they fit in each other's lives. Their relationship feels more real to me because of their occasional stumbling blocks. Sheriff Stilinski was excellent in this story as well. I loved the dynamics between the characters as the sheriff and Stiles expanded their family to include Derek (and the baby). And maybe it's just my biological clock ticking, but the actual arrival of Baby Jesus made me melt. So adorable! Equal parts heartwarming and hilarious, "The Second Coming (of Werewolf Jesus)" is one of my go-to stories whenever I want something lighthearted and fun to read.

The Second Coming (of Werewolf Jesus)
Sorry for the late rec, guys! This was supposed to go out yesterday, but life had other ideas.

Title: The Boy and the Beast
Fandom: Teen Wolf
Pairing: Derek/Stiles
Categories: Creature (wolf!Derek), hurt/comfort, AU
Length: Super!Epic (116,686 words)
Warnings: Graphic depictions of violence, underage (Stiles is a teenager)

Author on LJ:  [livejournal.com profile] dsudis
Author Website:  Dira Sudis

Summary: In which events in Beacon Hills go rather differently from the start, and a Beauty and the Beast (ish) story ensues. (Scott is not a teacup and no one sings about their feelings.)

Review: After writing up my rec for "What I Did On My Summer Vacation" last week, I was shocked to discover that another of my favorite actual wolf!Derek Hale stories had not been recced here yet. Naturally, I had to fix that.

"The Boy and the Beast" starts off much the same way as the show itself, with a body turning up in the woods. But this time, the body belongs to Peter. The sheriff is trying to track down Derek and Laura, who went missing around the same time their uncle died. So naturally, Stiles decides to "help" by searching for the two of them in the woods. In the dark. By himself. It's not really a surprise when Stiles falls through the rotten floorboards of the old Hale house, managing to injure and trap himself at the same time . . . it is a surprise when a wolf turns up to help him.

If you're a fan of hurt/comfort, as I am, this story will leave you more-than-satisfied. [livejournal.com profile] dsudis describes Stiles's injury in a way that's almost visceral. We feel his pain and desperation, and his overwhelming relief at Derek's appearance. We also feel the joy he finds in his friendship with Derek. In this universe, Scott has managed both to make it onto the lacrosse team and get a date with Allison without werewolf powers, leaving Stiles a little more alone than he is in canon. With Derek similarly alone and grieving, the two of them naturally gravitate towards each other. Even though Derek spends most of this story as a wolf (for reasons that gradually become clear), that doesn't impede his ability to form a deep friendship with Stiles. [livejournal.com profile] dsudis does a masterful job of conveying Derek's emotions and thoughts without dialogue -- in this case, actions really do speak louder than words. The way the story deals with relationships is another of its strengths. While Stiles is thrilled to have found "a secret magical friend in the woods," Derek complicates his life. Trying to keep Derek a secret means lying to his dad and Scott. The friendship between Scott and Stiles is another strength in this story, as is the relationship between Stiles and his dad. This is a more parental sheriff than I've seen in a lot of Teen Wolf stories, but it felt like a realistic interpretation of the character to me.

One part hurt/comfort, one part werewolf mystery, and one part slow-burn romance, "The Boy and the Beast" has a little bit of something for nearly any mood. Even if you're not in the Teen Wolf fandom, I encourage you to give it a try -- this AU doesn't require a lot of canon knowledge. Don't get intimidated by the high word count, either. This story is engaging straight through till the end. And if you're like me, once you reach it, you'll probably turn right back to the beginning and start again!

The Boy and the Beast
Title: What I Did On My Summer Vacation
Fandom: Teen Wolf
Pairing: Derek/Stiles
Categories: AU, First Time, Actual Wolf Derek Hale
Length: Super!Epic (118,749 words)
Warnings: None

Author on LJ: N/A
Author Website: Grimm

Review: The theme this week is your favorite cliché. In the Teen Wolf fandom, that would probably have to be Actual Wolf Derek Hale. A number of stories have the Beacon Hills werewolves turning into actual wolves, rather than the beta form they assume on the show. Not only is "What I Did On My Summer Vacation" a fantastic example of Actual Wolf Derek Hale, but it also reinterprets a number of other Teen Wolf clichés in a fresh and unexpected way.

In "What I Did On My Summer Vacation," Stiles's dad takes a new job while Stiles is off at college, as the sheriff of a tiny town called Beacon Hills. When summer vacation rolls around, Stiles visits his dad in his new home. It doesn't take him long to realize that there's a lot more to Beacon Hills than meets the eye -- and that his dad knows something he isn't telling him.

Where to even start with this story? Like I said, much of its charm is how it reinterprets fandom clichés. Grimm takes that "Beacon Hills is a magnet for the supernatural" cliché and runs with it. This is a Beacon Hills where everybody is in the know except for Stiles, and I loved seeing how the open secret of the supernatural subtly changed the town and its characters. It was also hilarious to see the sheriff lying to Stiles about werewolves, rather than the other way around! This story also portrays Laura Hale differently than a lot of fanfiction does. She's not the alpha here, just a beta struggling with the loss of her family. That vulnerability gives her a touch of realism I don't always see in Teen Wolf stories, where Laura is often painted as a 100% confident bad-ass leader. I also love the mythology and the magic system in this story. And of course, I loved the romance between Derek and Stiles! It's slower than most slow-burn stories, with Derek spending much of it as a wolf. But I loved their gradually-built friendship and trust, as well as their occasional stumbling blocks.

What I Did On My Summer Vacation
Title: Worlds That Turn On Their Own
Fandom: Teen Wolf
Pairing: Derek/Stiles
Categories: Future fic
Length: Epic (54,954 words)
Warnings: Angst

Author on LJ:  N/A
Author Website:  RemainNameless

Summary: When Stiles had left Beacon Hills, he'd done it with every intention of never coming back. Ten years later, he finds himself forced back to his hometown. Of course, it's not long before things are just as they had been before -- that is, falling headlong towards disaster, and this time, stopping it isn't really an option.

Review: "Worlds That Turn on Their Own" is a future fic where Stiles, now a cop in Minneapolis, returns home to take care of his father after a heart attack. Once in Beacon Hills, he needs to face the pack he abandoned so many years before, including Derek, who's the reason he left in the first place. Even after ten years away, Stiles hasn't managed to get over Derek. But life in Beacon Hills had continued moving forward in Stiles's absence, and Derek is now dating the daughter of a neighboring Alpha. When it becomes apparent that Stiles's feelings aren't as unrequited as he'd previously thought, he and Derek need to step carefully to avoid sparking a pack war.

I love pining, and this story delivers it in spades, with Stiles and Derek carrying torches for each other for over a decade of absence. This story starts on a melancholy note, and the angst builds from there, with jealousy and guilt, and beneath it all, a connection so magnetic that Derek and Stiles can't resist it, even when being together is downright dangerous. If you love UST followed by sex, followed by guilt and misunderstandings (peppered with more sex), followed by action and an eventual happy ending, this is the story for you! There is also some fantastic werewolf mythology here! I can't say too much without major spoilers, but I love the direction this fic takes some of the common TW werewolf tropes.

The backstory between Derek and Stiles is really at the heart of this story, and RemainNameless does a good job of gradually releasing it to us while keeping the plot moving forward. In addition to the strong pacing and the emotional connection between Derek and Stiles, I loved this glimpse at the pack as adults. The futures RemainNameless chose for everybody seem entirely likely, and I especially liked the characterization of Allison and Lydia. I'm also glad that she chose not to make a villain of Derek's almost-girlfriend. The OFC is genuinely likable, which makes Stiles feel even guiltier about the whole situation. For those of you who worry about infidelity, she and Derek are in the very early courtship stages and their relationship isn't at all set in stone. The real impediment to the Derek/Stiles relationship isn't the OFC herself, but rather her father, and the possibility of Derek offending a stronger pack by turning her down.

I loved this story to death the first time I read it, but then I ended up losing the link when my computer crashed and all of my tabs closed on me. Then, last week, I downloaded a podfic on a whim and realized it was the same story I'd been haphazardly trying to track down for a few months! Chemm80's podfic is strong in its own right. I did a full rec on Podfic_Love here, but let me just say that listening to it really is a treat. She makes fantastic use of filters and special effects, and I love the emotion she brought to the dialogue.

Worlds That Turn On Their Own
[Podfic] Worlds That Turn On Their Own
Title: Phases of the Weaker Heart
Fandom: Teen Wolf
Pairing: Gen, pre-Derek/Stiles
Categories: Friendship, Character Study
Length: Long (16,197 words)
Warnings: None

Author on LJ:  [livejournal.com profile] calrissian18
Author Website:  calrissian18

Summary: She’s still standing, and it’s a weak thing to count her successes by, but she’s building up to being strong. Maybe for the first time.

Review: After season two, Allison is a mess of conflicted feelings, still reeling from her mother's death, angry with Derek, and conflicted about Scott. The last thing she needs is to get paired for a school project with Stiles, who is still sporting bruises from his encounter with her grandfather. Allison hasn't spoken to Stiles since the finale, and didn't particularly like him even when she was dating Scott. After some initial awkwardness, Allison realizes that she and Stiles make a good team -- she just didn't realize that being friends with Stiles meant she would need to spend time with Derek.

Those looking for the Derek/Stiles pre-slash will find enough solid interaction to satisfy them. But the meat of the story is Allison's developing friendship with Stiles. I loved the way both of their hard edges clashed against each other before they finally found their fit. The characterization in this story is brilliant all around. But my favorite thing about "Phases of the Weaker Heart" is watching Allison work through the pain and anger of her mother's death and finally begin to heal. [livejournal.com profile] calrissian18 really digs into Allison's emotions, and she isn't afraid to face up to the more difficult ones. The result is a complicated and engaging character study. Readers can relate to this Allison, even when they don't agree with her actions. It's the kind of nuanced treatment Allison deserved in season 3, but never got. I'm glad this story finally does her justice.

Phases of the Weaker Heart

"It Goes Without Saying" by ZehWulf (R)

  • Jun. 24th, 2014 at 10:00 AM
Title: It Goes Without Saying
Fandom: Teen Wolf
Pairing: Derek/Stiles
Categories: Misunderstandings, friends with benefits
Length: Long (19,207)
Warnings: Implied underage (since Stiles is still a teenager)

Author on LJ: N/A
Author Website:  ZehWulf

Summary: “Well,” Danny says after a few minutes of heavy silence. “I guess you have to ask yourself how badly do you want him to be pack? If you really want to connect with someone—anyone—you can. You just have to figure out the right connector.”

“You guys, I figured it out,” Scott enthuses. “A true alpha’s powers come from love and acceptance. We just need to love and accept Derek. Body, mind, and soul.”

“Scotty,” Stiles says slowly, “are you suggesting…? What are you suggesting.”

“You heard the alpha,” Danny drawls. “We need to love and accept Derek’s body. And mind and soul.”

Review: [livejournal.com profile] green_grrl linked me to this story after I recced some kind of karmic-chi love thing a few weeks ago, mentioning that it had the same premise of Derek returning to Beacon Hills having found some inner peace, while Stiles is still struggling with nightmares. In "It Goes Without Saying," Scott and company need to integrate Derek into the pack by loving him body, mind, and soul, like the summary says. Stiles is initially hesitant about the mandate, but quickly learns that sex with Derek is addictive. The only problem is having to share him with the rest of the pack.

Like all misunderstanding stories, this one depends on the reader suspending disbelief through the lack of communication. This one tested the limits of that disbelief, but I enjoyed it anyway. This softer-edged Derek pulled me in immediately. I loved Stiles's jealousy over Derek's newfound peace, and the burning chemistry between them. The sex was mostly hinted at, rather than explicit, but the bits the author showed us were hot. And I loved how that intimacy tinged their interactions outside of bed. I also enjoyed reading the ramifications of Lydia pulling Stiles out of the ice bath -- I haven't seen that explored in post-3A fic as much as I would like, and the dynamic between Stiles and Lydia really intrigued me here. The story also ends with a twist that I really wasn't expecting. All in all, it was a solid read, one I've returned to multiple times.

It Goes Without Saying

Mountain Sound by hayesgeneration (R)

  • Jun. 23rd, 2014 at 12:44 PM
Title: Mountain Sound
Fandom: Teen Wolf
Pairing: Derek/Stiles
Categories: AU, child emissaries, actual-wolf werewolves, drama, angst, romance
Length: Medium (2,454 words)
Warnings: Brief mention of past character deaths

Author on LJ: NA
Author Website: faviconhayesgeneration

Author's Summary:The child emissaries usually never live past their fifth year with the wolves. The boy sitting on the tree stump can't be more than eight summers old, maybe less, and he has big, dull eyes that land on Derek first when they break the clearing. He doesn't even flinch; Derek does.

Review:
I usually go for fics with a lot of dialogue, and there's not much in the way of that here, but there's an old world Grimm's tales tone to this, and some thoughtful, spare writing that goes along with that. Stiles is an orphan from a village with a Druid medicine woman and townspeople who're wary of wolves. The werewolves rarely take human form, and emissary children routinely die young, "quietly burned out with earth-bound magic as old as their species."

I'm not sure of all the details of the truce between the wolves and the village, and I can't say why Stiles doesn't speak for years on end. But that's because the focus is more on the feel of this world then the facts of it. There's tradition and inevitability, and of course Stiles manages to be the exception to everyone's expectations (probably even his own). This is told from Derek's point of view, so we know more about how Derek feels and how the years bring him to the point of loving Stiles.

Mountain Sound

Title: can't be hateful, gotta be grateful
Fandom: Teen Wolf
Pairing: Derek/Stiles
Categories: humor, holiday, fake/pretend relationship, fluff
Length: Medium (6,260 words)
Warnings: None

Author on LJ: N/A
Author Website:  HalfFizzbin

Summary: "Be cool, Dad, we've decided to con Grandma."

(Or, the one where the Stilinski men drag Derek to Thanksgiving dinner at Grandma's and she gets the right wrong idea.)

Review: I once read this aloud to my husband, my sister, and her boyfriend (all Sterek fans) as we drove across the state from my parents' house, and we just about wrecked my sister's minivan from laughing so hard. So when humor week rolled around, there was no question of which story I was going to pick. "Can't be hateful, gotta be grateful" takes place in a future where Stiles is a college freshman, waiting for his dad to come pick him up for their traditional drive to his grandma's house for Thanksgiving. But when his dad rolls up to Stiles's dorm room, he's not alone -- the sheriff has invited along Derek, who obviously misses Stiles like crazy. Naturally, Grandma takes one look at Derek and assumes he's Stiles's boyfriend. And naturally, Stiles and Derek decide not to correct her because of Reasons. That sets the stage for an absolutely hilarious Thanksgiving, full of delightful interactions between all of the characters. Stiles's grandma is a hoot! She meshes so naturally with Stiles and the sheriff that it's hard to believe she's an OC. I loved watching Derek fit into the Stilinski-family dynamic. It was also adorable to watch Stiles and Derek pine over each other. As an added bonus, HalfFizzbin gave Stiles a first name so awesome that it has become my personal head canon. This is a Thanksgiving story, but like a perfect piece of pecan pie, there's no reason you can't dig into it any day of the year.

can't be hateful, gotta be grateful

"The Art of Dying Well" by kinneas (NC-17)

  • Jun. 11th, 2014 at 11:32 PM
(This was supposed to go up last night, but I just didn't get a chance to post it. Oh well, better late than never, right?)

Title: The Art of Dying Well
Fandom: Teen Wolf
Pairing: Derek/Stiles
Categories: First Time, Hurt/Comfort
Length: Epic (41,960 words)
Warnings: Graphic Descriptions of Violence, Underage (Stiles is a teenager)

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

Summary: "You said we're friends."

"Whoa, way to hold what a guy says in the heat of the moment against him," Stiles replies automatically, but... that's not what he wants to say, not at all, not to the quiet contemplation that is Derek Hale on his living room sofa. So he adds, "I guess, yeah."

Derek doesn't speak for a long moment. "Then it's inevitable."

"Wow," Stiles whistles, "you are the biggest downer."


Review: Just after season two, there's an Alpha Pack in town, Erica and Boyd are still missing, and Derek and Stiles seem to only tolerate each other at best. That sets the scene for many a Sterek fic in this fandom, but [livejournal.com profile] kinneas's well-paced plot and excellent characterization sets "The Art of Dying Well" apart. Although Stiles initially tries to back away from the supernatural, a near call convinces him that even an ordinary life has its dangers. Derek, meanwhile, is trying to deal with the Alpha Pack, and to convince Scott to work with him, through Stiles. The story alternates between Stiles and Derek's points of view as they work together to figure out how to handle the Alpha Pack. I enjoy the way their relationship gradually develops in this story from grudging allies, to friends, to more. Readers who enjoy hurt/comfort will get a kick out of one scene in particular, and the sex is well-written and smoking hot. I also enjoyed Stiles's friendships with Scott and Lydia. Scott's characterization seemed spot on to me -- flawed, but heroic and genuinely likeable, firmly on Stiles's side, even when he doesn't agree with his decisions. And I enjoyed the way the author explored the aftermath of Lydia's encounter with Peter in season two. All in all, the story is an engaging read with a strong plot and solid characterization. And, contrary to the title, there is no character death involved -- really, it's a story about living well. I also highly recommend the podfic by [livejournal.com profile] chemm80, which is beautifully produced with music and well-placed special effects.

The Art of Dying Well
(Podfic of) The Art of Dying Well
Title: here at the end of all things
Fandom: Teen Wolf
Pairing: Derek/Stiles
Categories: AU, post Were-war refugee camp, hurt/comfort
Length: Medium (4,145 words)
Warnings: Mention of past character deaths

Author on LJ: NA
Author Website: favicon coffeeinallcaps

Author's Summary: Chris carries the kid in on a rainy afternoon.

“Found him just outside the perimeter,” he says as he lowers the limp body onto one of the mattresses. “I’m not sure he’ll make it.”

Derek takes a look at the kid’s deathly pale skin, the black edges of his blunt fingernails, the long ragged gash running down his side, caked with dried blood and dirt, and for some reason he thinks, he’ll make it, all right.

Review:
I loved several thing about this: the world building (especially the with how much coffeeinallcaps packs into 4k words), the way Derek is able to make a difference in a place where losing almost everyone is a common tragedy, and Stiles' mistrustful and less talkative personality following his father's death (and almost dying himself). In a turnaround, Derek seems more grounded and emotionally open than Stiles, though Stiles does become more outgoing and snarky as he heals and joins the camp.

That said, if you like your stories to take every possibility to its final conclusion and go all out with emotional declarations, this isn't that sort of fic. It's very much a story for me, though. I like stoic characters and angst to really make sense for the plot, and given everything that's happened, they certainly do here, because you're dropped into the wake of a Were-war that's left a huge portion of the population dead. Stiles is unconscious and near death, and Derek decides to take care of him. That leads to the beautifully understated progression of their relationship, told from Derek's point of view.

here at the end of all things

Title: some kind of karmic-chi love thing
Fandom: Teen wolf
Pairing: Derek/Stiles
Categories: Future fic, first time
Length: Long (27,233)
Warnings: Recreational drug use, disturbing imagery (nightmares)

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

Summary: Derek Hale comes back to Beacon Hills stoned and happy. Stiles tries not to resent him for it, and mostly fails.

Review: The first paragraph of this story reads like the set-up to a joke, with a post-3A Derek Hale rolling back into Beacon Hills in a VW van and sandals. But, as I'm learning to anticipate with llasah's writing, the joke turns serious pretty quickly. A year after sacrificing himself to the Nemeton, Stiles still can't sleep through the night and suspects that he's slowly losing his mind. He's angry, exhausted, and stretched about as tight as he can get without breaking. Needless to say, Stiles doesn't react well when Derek shows up, full of inner peace and ready to talk about his tragic past. The strength of this story is its many contrasts: the calm, relaxed Derek vs. terrified, angry Stiles, new!Derek vs. old!Derek, the humor of the prose through most of the story vs. the disturbingly real imagery in Stiles's nightmares.

While some readers might have trouble buying Derek as a cheerful stoner, llasah let just enough hints of his old personality bleed through for me to buy it. This is a Derek without his knife-edge of anger and desperation, who can throw out insights about people with a resigned air of self-awareness rather than projection. When an encounter with some wolfsbane-laced weed leaves Derek feral halfway through the story, we get to see another side of him, without human awareness filtering out his wolf instincts. The three Dereks (stoner!Derek, feral!Derek, and old, angry!Derek) form a fractured, but beautiful whole, and as Stiles pieces them together in his mental picture of Derek, he begins to get a better grasp of who he is, as well. The other thing I love about this story are Scott and the sheriff. Both of them have been focused on taking care of Stiles post-Nemeton. There are some adorable scenes between Scott and Stiles and the sheriff and Stiles that left me grinning like an idiot. I also loved how llasah portrayed Scott stepping into the role of true alpha. The dynamics between Scott and Derek were great, and Scott's focus on taking care of his pack felt absolutely true to character to me. If you follow my recs, you know that I'm a sucker for stories about healing, and this one definitely fits the bill.

some kind of karmic-chi love thing

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