[Fanfic Rec List] General

Originally posted to my Tumblr and transposed and edited. Includes fandoms of all varieties, from anime/manga (the majority) to novels and movies.

These fanfics are not ones that I would rec to someone who’s already a fan of the series; these are fics I would rec to those who aren’t. I might or might not make separate rec lists for specific fandoms. Eventually.

Note: I enjoy rarepairs probably more than I should. I will never rec mpreg, A/B/O-verse, and rape/non-con. I will rarely, if ever, rec dubcon, and only for very specific pairings. I will rec genderbends/genderswaps/etc. only if they acknowledge that different socialization of genders is a thing and that sexism exists. I’m also not a fan of forced marriage/bonding/soulmate fics and will rec those only under very specific conditions. I like my fics to be upfront about consent, and to end happily.

My OTP of all OTPs is Seishirou/Subaru from Tokyo Babylon/X. Hence, that pairing is also probably the most unhealthy pairing on this reclist. None of the others hits the SeiSub fanfics’ levels of dubious-ness, I think.

P.S. Contrary to popular slash conventions, the order in a pairing name means nothing to me. I really don’t care who bottoms/tops in any situation, so none of my recs point that out.


Mainsprings by Acey Dearest, Katou/Kira | pre-to-mid-series | complete:
Summary: He meets him, really meets him, in the bathroom of the grimiest club in the greater Tokyo area. Two years of memories versus thousands, and a proposition.
Rec: An excellent introspective look into Katou’s thoughts, coupled with a gorgeous writing style. This is really how I imagine a Katou/Kira relationship playing out, if it had actually happened in canon.

Cast it to Dogs by Acey Dearest, Gen | pre-series | complete:
Summary: It is not meet to take the children’s bread, and cast it to dogs. A look at Sakuya Kira’s childhood and the private hell he made out of his father’s life.
Rec: Great genfic about Kira’s dad that seems to fit perfectly into canon and is all the more heart-wrenching because of it.


Of Urukone day you will go away from this by electrumqueen, gen | canon-ish, crossover with the Epic of Gilgamesh | complete:
Summaries: Five stories of origin for the djinni known as Bartimaeus of Uruk, as told to Ptolemy of Alexandria over the course of his research. Some of them might even be true. / Enkidu becomes a real boy; Bartimaeus is dubious about the process. Uruk changes everyone who comes into her walls.
Rec: Beautifully written. Closer to Gilgamesh fanfics than Bartimaeus ones. The former has a great Bartimaeus voice, while the latter has a great Enkidu voice. Just some fantastic writing all around.


Arrhythmia by Short Hemline, Rolo-centric | R2 canon | complete:
Summary: The things that can happen in a heartbeat. Rolo-centric. Spoilers up to R2, Ep. 19.
Rec: While I detested the monstrosity that was R2, Rolo really made up for it by being a fantastic (though slightly unnecessary) addition. I’ve loved him since the moment he appeared, and this fic really captures what I love about him.

Fairy Tale / Infinity by Jusrecht, Suzaku/Schneizel | post-R1, canon divergence | ongoing:
Summaries: Losing everything is just the beginning. The worse hell is trying to get them back. / There is only one king in Suzaku’s world and it isn’t Japan.
Rec: The fic that converted me to the Suzaku/Schneizel ship. I hadn’t even watched the anime yet when I first read it! Overall, really angsty fic though. Very unlike the others on this rec list. With a few shining moments of fluff in there, but very few.

The Sea Has Willed It by Jusrecht, Suzaku/Schenizel | maritime-empire!AU | complete:
Summary: The boy who was loved by the sea, and the prince who had his heart.
Rec: This one is slightly less angsty than the one above and has a slightly happier ending. Also, love the subtle world-building here. It’s fantastic.


architect of a whole world’s nightmares by suitablyskippy, Mukuro/Junko | pre-game, spoilers | complete:
: Mukuro spends three years as a soldier and a missing person, and she still can’t get away from Junko: but even if she could, she wouldn’t.
Rec: This! This! It captures the complete and absolute dysfunction of the despair sisters’ relationship. I seriously can’t describe how pitch-perfect it is. I can’t. It’s just wonderful.

just looking at you i enjoy myself by suitablyskippy, Komaeda/Hinata | mid-game, no spoilers | complete:
SummarySomeone’s got to die next, and Komaeda would really, really like it to be him!
Rec: Let me just casually recommend everything suitablyskippy has written for the DR fandom because they’re all amazing and crazy and wonderful, and this one is no exception. God, Komaeda’s voice is just absolutely perfect here. I love it.

why stand on formalities when we’re already so close by suitablyskippy, Touko-centric | pre-game, spoilers | complete:
Summary: Before Syo arrived there were just blackouts, and way too many pieces of DIY equipment hidden round Fukawa’s room.
Rec: The Touko and Genocider voice here is just spot-on. I don’t really know how to describe how perfect it is, but just read it. Such a great look into Touko’s life with her split personality. Just a great look into Touko’s life. Period.


songs of sunken starlight starbrights by DarkenedSakura, Hei-centric | post-season 1 | complete:
Summary: Those missing stars, they haunt him sometimes.
Rec: A nice little introspective piece that looks into Hei’s feelings and motivations. Captures the whole atmosphere of the anime very well, I think. Also has some Hei/Amber, but nothing big. Not really.


Apples Equals Cyanide Equals Light by Silver Pard, Gen | post-series | complete:
Summary: Ryuk’s favourite equation. It means the death of boredom, the only death that actually matters.
Rec: A really interesting introspective piece about a post-series Death Note in which Light has turned into a shinigami. It has that undercurrent of meaning that I absolutely adore in genfics like these.

Motivation by blackash, Matt & Light (??) | AU | ongoing:
Summary: Matt was perfectly fine living in Mello’s shadow, comfortably ensconced in third place, but L just had to shove his ugly letter where it wasn’t wanted and undertake the impossible task of getting Matt to give a damn.
Rec: Places two completely improbable characters together and has them interact, with spectacular results. I also really like this portrayal of Matt, as purposely second-best. It’s interesting, that’s for sure.

Perfectly Hollow by Silver Pard, Gen | AU | complete:
Summary: What happens when two fated people never meet?
Rec: A brilliant AU that deals with the possibility of Light never getting the Death Note and never meeting L. It really hits at the idea that, while ultimately Light was the one that killed L, without the Death Note and without Kira, both would have led perfectly ordinary lives, overcome by boredom and ennui.

Scattering Ashes by Gloria B, Matt/Near | post-series | incomplete:
Summary: Three years after the fall of Kira, Near continues his role as the successor of L with dutiful indifference. Even so, he is haunted by ghosts of the past — indeed, one comes back from the dead hell-bent on teaching Near how to live.
Rec: This fic will probably never be finished now (last update was in ‘09), but it is honestly one of my favorite Death Note fics, not least of which because it features my OTP. While I haven’t reread this in a long time, I do remember that the progression of their relationship was fantastic, and I really liked it.

Time Bomb by snappleducated, Misa-centric | whole series | complete:
Summary: You are too fast in accepting the idea of suicide. This wasn’t. — Misa
Rec: A brilliant look into the mind of Misa (who deserves way better than what she got in canon). It also has some beautiful prose, and I really like the way the whole thing is structured.


a study in the quantum fluctuations of extreme karmic prejudice by aliferlia, Kentarou/Takeshi | uh idk, canon-ish but with some space-time bending powers | complete:
Summary: DUKLYON defends the CLAMP Campus New Year Bash, Erii despairs of teenage boys, and the Director follows the wrong Twitter account. Such meta. Very romance. Fic.
Rec: This fic is all that it promised to be, and MORE. And when I mean more, I mean more of Takeshi being deliberately obtuse/stubborn, and Kentarou being hopelessly endearing and the best wife ever. Have I convinced you yet? If I haven’t, you probably haven’t read Dukylon yet. You should rectify that immediately.

Some Sort of Sky Metaphor by anonymous, Kentarou/Takeshi | TRC!piffle-verse | complete:
Summary: Response to the kink!meme prompt — Piffle!Kentarou/Takeshi. Anything. (Really, that says it all.)
Rec: So here is the Dukylon crew in Piffle Country in TRC! Kentarou and Takeshi are both wonderfully portrayed here, and Eri is her usual hammer-happy self. I really love the progression of their relationship, and it basically echoes canon in every way. Quite possibly my favorite Dukylon fic.


A Different City, Kida/Izaya | mid-canon | incomplete:
Summary: Response to the kink!meme prompt —  IZAYA/KIDA Really. I want Kida to have the hugest crush on Izaya. I want Izaya to realize this and manipulate him, pretend to love him, to care, and not realize that he’s falling so hard Shizuo’s trashcans/vending machines have nothing on it. I want him to break Kida’s human heart into hundreds of thousands of pieces. I want Izaya to realize afterwards “oh, shit, I love that kid.” and try to get him back. I want Mikado to be so furious he goes BOSS mode whenever Izaya comes near him. I want Mikado to yell and scold and rage at Izaya so well that even IZAYA is nearly brought to tears. I want a happy ending, but I want angst. I want him to try and fail and know that if at first you don’t succeed, try try again. happy ending is a must, yeah, but this has got to happen!
Rec: A probably unfinished fic that hasn’t been updated since ‘10. The portrayals of Kida and Izaya are both excellent. And the author manages to pull off Izaya wonderfully, despite how hard he is to write!

fragile by Miaou Jones, Shizuo/Kida | AU | complete:
Summary: Shizuo’s bar is not a hook-up or pick-up joint, and that’s the way he likes it. Then one night a kid called Kida Masaomi walks in.
Rec: So see this fic here? This fic is probably the best you’ll ever read of Shizuo/Kida. Bar nothing. It’s fantastic and incredible and I love it to tiny bits. Shizuo is so… much here, and I think this really is one of my favorite portrayals of Shizuo to date (and Kida is fantastic too, of course). And the ending of this fic has really stuck with me, even after all this time.


A House of Dust and Darkness by Mithrigil, Gilgamesh/Kirei | post-Zero | complete:
Summary: After his brush with the Grail, Gilgamesh adjusts to life in the basement of the Fuyuki Church. The priest is not as accommodating as the King of Heroes deserves.
Rec: While I’m not entirely satisfied with the dynamic here, I just really love what Mithrigil did with it. The completely dysfunctional relationship, and Gilgamesh’s inability to deal with it because he’s always had everything handed to him on a golden platter… I love it.

If Thy Hand Offend Thee by Mithrigil, Kirei-centric | pre-Zero | complete:
Summary: “Father,” the boy asks, “am I bad?”
“No,” Risei answers without missing a beat, and holds Kirei in his arms, pillow and all. “Never. You did something bad, but bad isn’t something you are. You’re beautiful and good and God loves you, and so do I.”
Rec: A really incredible look into Kirei’s childhood through the eyes of his father. There’s so much nuance here that tells you so much about Kirei and his eventual descent into, well, complete assholery that I just can’t help but love it. It’s such a beautifully well-written piece in general.

Mayflies on the Water by prodigyGilgamesh & Waver, implied Gilgamesh/Kirei, implied Waver/Iskandar  | post-Zero | complete:
Summary: The Pacific Ocean gave up its dead on 21 March, the day after the equinox; the day after Waver Velvet came back from his holiday, the apparition turned up at his office doorstep. He didn’t even recognize it.
Rec: Gilgamesh and Waver!! Interacting at length!! Also love how both Kirei and Rider/Iskandar are both incredibly pervasive in the mood of the story yet not physically present. Not a huge fan of Waver/Rider (mainly because of the age difference issue), but Waver’s note of yearning is executed perfectly here.

( FREE! )

Even as you ask for more, don’t forget what we already haveOnce Upon A DreamA Very Fishy Christmas and A Fishy New Year by anonymonypony, Rin/Makoto/Haruka | post-series | ongoing:
Summaries: The 2016 Olympics. One for all the broken people, two for the times we had, three for us, the number of us, and a hundred thousand words to say fuck you. / Tokyo 2020, Makoto swims for Japan, Rin swims for Australia. Somehow, along the way, their romance gets made public and a lot of things happen. A bit of crack, a bit of fluff, and a lot of bizarre opinions from the general population. / Christmas 2017 to New Year 2018. Rin lives in Australia and Haruka decides to visit with his parents. They go to places such as the Sydney Fish Market and Bondi Beach, and Rin learns some hard lessons about letting Haruka go near fish.
Rec: The best Marinka – wait, no, the best OT3 – fic I’ve ever read, bar none. So often with OT3 fics, it feels like a grudgingly compromised love triangle in which only two sides really love each other instead of three. Not so with this fic!! (Or, at least, not the post-fic oneshots, because the main fic itself still isn’t there yet.) It’s really one of the very few Marinka fics I’ve seen that’s managed to give equal screentime to each of the sides (RinMako/HaruMako/HaruRin) and even when it’s focused on one of the sides, the third person is still very present, and he never feels abandoned. I love this pairing, but it’s so difficult to find good, long fic in it, which is why I’m constantly amazed that this author managed to do it.

Last Stop by ishka, Sousuke/Haruka, background Makoto/Rin | post-series | complete:
Summary: Sousuke never figured he’d dramatically detonate his progress on his given career path with a few choice words and commit a small crime within the same evening. Haruka’s nearly finished picking up the pieces of his life when a jobless grump parks himself on his living room floor and shakes up what he has left to figure out.
Rec: Slow burn Sou/Haru at its finest. And the delicate and so, so real depiction of both Haruka and Sousuke’s depression (each different but no less real for it) – honestly, beyond wonderful. This has ruined me for all other Sou/Haru getting-together!fic.

our earthly days by isoladea, Rin/Makoto (pre-slash) | mid-S1 | complete:
Summary: On days when Rin felt like allowing himself to be earth-bound, he picked up Makoto’s call.
Rec: I just really love how this piece was written. While I would’ve liked a more solid depiction of their relationship, I enjoyed the nuance here, and the clear indications of mutual friendship (and maybe something more).

This Gentle Heart Will Mess You Up by Ad_Astra, Rin/Makoto | post-S1 | complete:
Summary: In which Rin keeps saying he won’t do the thing and then does the thing.
Or alternatively, that fic where Rin and Makoto start off wanting to bang Haru but end up banging each other instead.
Rec: This fic is hilarious, and I really just love how the author writes Rin here because he makes the funniest metaphors and analogies ever. Also, the way that the relationship seems to progress so naturally yet so strangely that it blindsides both of these cuties is just so perfect. God, I love this.

slow emergencies by capo, Haruka/Sousuke | AU | complete:
Summary: Perhaps you don’t need to know someone their entire life to change them.
Rec: Tons of really neat ideas in this one! I especially love the whole atmosphere of SouHaru here, especially because there’s a lot of play going on with their AU relationships in comparison to their canon one. It’s certainly made me want more from these universes!

Sousuke’s Guide to Wooing Haruka Nanase by abillionstars, Haruka/Sousuke | post-series | complete:
Summary: “Sousuke is leaving me gifts,” says Haru indignantly after bursting into Makoto’s apartment and scaring the cats into hiding. Makoto, being used to this sort of intrusion, sighs and bookmarks the page in his textbook before looking up at Haru with a patient smile. “He is—he is leaving me food and notes about how he watered my plants the other day just ‘because they looked a little thirsty’ and books about swimming and he is being too nice, Makoto.”
“Wow,” says Makoto. “Your life is truly difficult, Haru-chan.”
Rec: OH MY GOSH THE FLUFF. It feels like the author read my deepest, most embarrassingly cheesy thoughts and then made them into a reality. These two are absolutely adorable in here, and it makes me crave more fics like this one – sugary enough to rot your teeth!

two quarters and a heart down, Haruka/Sousuke | post-series | complete:
Summary: “I was sexiled,” Sousuke says, staring distantly past Haru’s shoulder, something tragic and soulless in his voice as Haru’s eyebrows curve downward to mirror his puzzled frown. Sousuke sincerely hopes Haru is as disturbed as he had been. “I came back to my room, and there was a sock on the doorknob.”
Rec: Exemplifies the appeal of these two’s strange push-and-pull relationship beautifully. I love it. The background MakoRin helps too.


Better Than a Win by Aria, Aziraphale/Crowley (sort of) | post-novel | complete:
Summary: Aziraphale would have missed (or perhaps deliberately ignored) the nuance of together, but Crowley was a man-shaped being of the world, and knew what was being asked. “We’ve been around since — for a while,” he said. “But it’s not like that.”
Rec: Captures the essence of their relationship in a way that I feel is really canon. Aziraphale and Crowley are together, in the sense that they’re basically life partners, but not together in the sense that they actually have sex with each other. (And, yeah, I really just like it because there is this really prevalent sense of asexuality for both of them throughout.)


See the separate Harry Potter rec list.


Let’s Try Left by Rasputin Zero, Gen | ??:
Summary: A series of travels. Maybe oneshots, maybe not. Neither continuing, nor concluding. Only travelling…left. There’s definitely turning left involved. Why not right? Because the title says left. Titles always entrap us. Even ‘traveller’ is a title.
Rec: This is the Kino no Tabi fic that inspired my first Kino no Tabi fic, and also, consequently, my first foray into writing fanfiction. I think it really manages to capture the essence of a journey and traveling that the anime tried to convey. Good stuff.


Be No Stranger (All Your Saints and Soldiers Remix) by Jibrailis, Steve/Tony | post-movie | complete:
Summary: That’s the twenty-first century love song, baby. Glitz and glamour and every one of us is a liar.
Rec: The use of time-travel for this one is great in its simplicity. Perfect writing style (it’s Jibrailis!) and an incredible way of weaving Tony’s childhood memories with memories of Steve.

Chaos War by astolat, Loki/Thor | post-1st Thor movie | complete:
Summary: It was never easy to find Loki when he wanted to hide, but he wasn’t doing a particularly good job of it at the moment. Probably he didn’t think anyone from Asgard would be wasting their time hunting for him while the shining ones churned their way steadily through all the realm.
Rec: A very, very plotty fic that has some incredible twists and turns, and every time I reread it, I see a little more foreshadowing here, a little more hints there… It really is one of the most well-rounded fics I’ve ever had the pleasure to read. Also, it has my favorite interpretation of Loki’s personality ever. Really, he’s everything I would want from a trickster god here.

If Through a Door by Jibrailis, Steve/Tony | post-movie? | complete:
Summary: Tony is accused of murder on an alien planet; Steve marries him to bring him home.
Rec: There’s aliens, a fake marriage, and political intrigue. A fic that somehow manages to create a completely believable alien civilization, all the while developing the relationship of the two main characters.

Learning to Fly by astolat, Loki-centric gen | post-1st Avengers movie | complete:
Summary: I don’t see why I should follow the crowd, the magpie said.
Rec: A very, very nice Loki introspection fic in which he gets imprisoned upon his return to Asgard.

Underground by Margo_Kim, Steve/Tony | AU, canon divergence | complete:
Summary: Five years ago, Thor’s Chitauri army decimated the Earth. Now what’s left of humanity lives in bases under the Earth’s surface, safe from the toxic atmosphere. Tony likes to think that humanity’s adapted pretty well. After all, they have movie nights and dances; they’re doing better than could be expected. But when he learns that the little world of safety and stability they’ve carved out is about to be slowly but surely destroyed, the New York Underground is left with only two options–fight or flight. Tony knows which one he wants. If only Steve weren’t on the exact opposite side. Meanwhile, Natasha wants whatever option will save Clint, Pepper wants whatever option will save the base, Maria Hill wants whatever option will save everybody, and nobody’s exactly sure who Loki’s trying to save, but everyone’s hoping it’s more than just himself.
Rec: This fic has some fantastic UST (and eventually Resolved ST) between Steve and Tony, really nice worldbuilding for a completely different canon so that even the side characters are fun to read about, and grudgingly part-of-the-good-guys Loki!

The Unwinding of Loki by dvs, Loki/Thor | AU, canon divergence | complete:
Summary: Unsure of his place on Asgard, Loki runs away to Midgard.
Rec: An amazing Loki-centric fic with Loki-as-a-grudging-good-guy (like above). Also, fantastic moments between Steve and Loki. (I now simultaneously ship Steve/Loki and want them to be BFFs always.) All Loki fics should include Steve from now on. There is also an ongoing sequel, Through the Mirror.

User Since / Track This Thread by rageprufrock, Clint/Coulson | post-series, spoilers for Agents of Shield | complete:
Summary: Even when Phil Coulson was doing something ridiculously, embarrassingly, crushingly human, he was still a flawless, seamless black box of a spook.
Rec: The former is a stellar epistolary fic — one of the best I’ve read! Got me on the edge of my seat during the sequel because I just HAD to know what happened next. Just super polished fics overall.


A Live Shadow by Geiera, N/Touya | post-game | ongoing:
Summary: It was summer and N had started looking at him differently, like Touya just evolved into something new and interesting.
Rec: A really nice, slice-of-life-esque look into Touya and N’s reunion post-game. The vibe the fic gives off really reminds me of a Japanese summer, when you feel as if you have all the time in the world yet no time at all…

The Seduction of the Heavy-Footed Mouth-Breather, or How I Learned to Love the Color Green by The DayDreamingN/Touya | high-school!AU | complete:
Summary: In which we learn the value of house fire prevention, blue really brings out Touya’s eyes, doors are solid masses, and that N is kind of a stalker.
Rec: Beautifully written in second person, with fantastic development of Touya as the awkward high school boy. Really captures the essence of growing up and trying to gain some identity beyond what others label you as.

separation by kuruk, N/Touya | AU, canon divergence | complete:
Summary: Black is plagued by half-remembered images he hadn’t even known that he’d forgotten. — AU: N wins the final battle.
Rec: In which the bad guys win and Touya has been brainwashed. An elegantly written fic about the consequences. Simply beautiful and haunting in its simplicity.

Stalk in the Name of Love by DainoChild, N/Touya | post-game | complete:
Summary: After the Team Plasma thing, Black’s disillusioned. Leaving the Sages to White, Cheren and Bianca, he tracks down N whilst simultaneously struggling with his new-found feelings for N and the sneaking suspicion that Ghetsis’ up to something AGAIN.
Rec: is a hilarious rendering of post-game happenings in which Touya chases after N and hilarity ensues. Characters from the manga Pokemon Special also show up (as does Looker and, well, Ghetsis).

words that we couldn’t say by The DayDreaming, N/Touya | post-game | complete:
Summary: “I’ll come back, so don’t cry. This isn’t goodbye forever.” He dreams of Touya. But unlike before, Touya does not stare quietly and accept his fate. He runs, and N follows.
Rec: Again, a gorgeous rendition of N/Touya’s relationship in which N leaves on a journey to find Touya (rather than the other way around). It’s a really touching story about finding oneself, and I think it’s my favorite N/Touya fic to date.


Cantabile by hikachu, (one-sided) Fakir/Mytho | pre-to-mid-series | complete:
Summary: Mytho is beautiful in a way that doesn’t make Fakir blush yet, but his radiance is like a silent voice ordering gently: stay here, stay here.
Rec: While I love the endgame pairings in Princess Tutu, this fanfic simply pulled at all my right heartstrings. It’s written in exactly the type of prose I like: simple and lyrical, with each word carrying a significance and a weight.

Four Weddings and an Apocalypse by Elektra3, Gen | post-series | complete:
Summary: In which Lilie gets married, and causes World War III. More or less in that order.
Rec: Strangely, as a fanfic, this reads completely standalone, and seems very much detached from the Princess Tutu universe. Nevertheless, it’s a brilliant look into the later lives of the two best friends Lilie and Pique, and it sure startled a few laughs out of me.

Frame Story by Jibrailis, Ahiru/Fakir | post-series | complete:
Summary: Becoming a girl was easy. Staying a girl, ah! Now that was the hard part.
RecJibrailis is a great author, and if you haven’t read something by her yet, you’re missing out. One of the best “Fakir writes Ahiru back into being a human” fics I’ve ever read.

In A Glass Darkly by RobinRocks, Drosselmeyer-centric gen | whole series | complete:
Summary: Drosselmeyer confessed that he liked the story in which his perfect prince ruined the lives of his imperfect support characters better.
Rec: A really interesting look into Drosselmeyer’s thoughts about his story, in particular the thoughts about Mytho.

ink by dragondark, Fakir-centric gen | post-series | complete:
Summary: At times, he thinks: I am mad and dying and no words I make will ever come true.
Rec: Yeah, so have I convinced you that the Princess Tutu fandom is full of really, truly talented individuals yet? This piece is lovely in its simplicity, and beautiful at its conclusion. I love the poetic feel of this. Very fitting.

The Ending by olesia.love, Gen | post-series | complete:
Summary: The problem with stories, Mytho decided, was not precisely that they ended.
Rec: A sad, haunting fic about the ending of a fairy tale… There’s really not much I can find to say about this fic, other than how clearly it resonates with, well, life.

( ROPE [1948] )

Étude by DrWorm, Phillip/Brandon | pre-canon | complete:
Summary: Like the old joke says: to get to Carnegie Hall you have to practice, practice, practice.
Rec: Both Phillip and Brandon are kind of ciphers in this fic, and while it flirts with their interiority, it never really commits. But there’s just something about their dynamic here that I really appreciate. Also, Phillip’s story is strange and haunting and seems to lend the fic extra meaning through its mere presence.
Favorite line(s): Brandon was considered by most of their class to be Mr. Cadell’s pet, but to Phillip it seemed more as if Mr. Cadell were watching Brandon to see what he’d do next, like an experiment in the chemistry lab that was supposed to generate interesting results if only you let it alone long enough.

The Artificial Wilderness by skazka, gen | pre-canon | complete:
Summary: In which Rupert Cadell fails to make himself understood.
Rec: I wasn’t particularly fond of Rupert Cadell in the movie (in part because I’m not particularly fond of Jimmy Stewart), though I understand the necessity of his role. This fic is an incredibly superb character study, though, and while it doesn’t necessarily make Cadell sympathetic, it does make him seem far more human than in the original film.
Favorite line(s): There exists a photograph of the Shaw coterie, all crowding around the low slate steps of their house with faces full of dire seriousness. The lowest and broadest step constitutes their sacrificial altar, to hear Brandon tell it, and more than one ankle has been sprained on that step by way of reverence. He’d written a meandering term paper on the symbolism of the sacrificial altar in the Old Testament, and then had dragged the theme over to Greek tragedy using half the same citations. He’d liked the image.

Thus With All Guilt by psiten, Phillip/Brandon | pre-canon | complete:
Summary: Most people don’t start out with killing a man. Brandon and Phillip were no exception.
Rec: What excellent, excellent dialogue writing. So much so that I can actually hear the characters themselves when I read the lines. One of the things I love about Rope is its sharp dialogue, and this fic has it in spades — and makes it seem effortless in the process.
Favorite line(s):  Rupert narrowed his eyes, shaking off the question as if it were a joke. “I don’t know what it is, Brandon, but whenever I talk to you, I feel like you’re waiting for me to say, ‘I give up, you win’. But I can’t for the life of me tell what we’re fighting over.”

Variations on a Theme by scioscribe, Phillip/Brandon | pre-canon | complete:
Summary: Sometimes when two people love each other, it’s really unfortunate.
Rec: My favorite Rope fic. Also the only Rope fic I’ve read to date that so perfectly captures Phillip’s character. So often, Phillip is written only as an object that Brandon acts upon, but here he’s a fully formed (and complicit) subject in his own right — one that uses Brandon as much as he’s being used. I absolutely love it.
Favorite line(s): He liked Brandon best when he liked Brandon least, when Brandon was at his least likable, his most manipulative, his most superficial, his most patronizing. Brandon wore all that well, like a suit of clothes. When Phillip fucked other people, it was generally because he caught the barest hint of that self-contained condescension on them, as familiar as the scent of Brandon’s cologne.


Iris by psychedelic aya, Ayumu/Hiyono | post-series | complete:
Summary: “Narumi-san, are you a believer now?” – ayumu/hiyono, and letting the truths finally begin.
Rec: This fic just captures the essence of why I love AyuHiyo so clearly and beautifully that nothing can compare. Someday, I want to write a fic like this for them too, but until then…

Repairing Faith by psychedelic aya, Ayumu/Hiyono | post-series | complete:
Summary: You need to overcome the lies to see how pure you can be as a child of faith. Ayumu and Hiyono, and the little steps they take along the way. – ayumu/hiyono, and a one-shot about their kind-of happily ever after.
Rec: Another AyuHiyo fic by the same author, and it’s really just as gorgeous as the first.


Foundation by daphnerunning, Yuri/Kotetsu | post-series | complete:
Summary: The last thing Yuri wanted was to let anyone else get sucked into his madness, in his home or in his mind.
Too bad Kotetsu doesn’t play by the rules.
Rec: This fic is pretty much everything I want in a Yuri/Kotetsu fic: it shows their friendship, Yuri’s inner struggles, and slow (but steady) emotional healing, for both Yuri and his mother. Really, this is great.

In My Sky At Twilight by sinemoras09, Keith-centric gen | mid-series? | complete:
Summary: The things that make a hero. (Sky High, others. Gen. Spoilers for episode 15.)
Rec: A great Keith introspective peace that truly looks beyond the “Keith as a nice guy” designation and really explores his thoughts and motivations. It reveals such amazing facets of his personality, all the while remaining true to canon.

The Queen’s Peace by celsius, Karina-centric gen | post-series | complete:
Summary: Brands change. Heroes remain the same.
Rec: Aw, man, I’m a sucker for T&B genfic (mainly because the series as a whole is such a missed opportunity for interesting character explorations in a world of blatantly commercialized justice but I digress), and this fic delivers, and delivers with the great ladies of the show! Seriously, the introspection is great here.

Totem / A Hundred Years by sinemoras09, Yuri-centric gen | mid-series? | complete:
Summaries: The sins of one man and his only shield. Lunatic-centric. Gen. No spoilers. / Because it is inelegant. Yuri’s mother in the hospital. Lunatic-centric. Gen. Angst. Spoilers for episode 15.
Rec: The two fics I listed are not really that related, but they’re both Yuri-centric genfic and written by the same person, so I figured I might as well include them together. Really, one of my favorite portrayals of Yuri, and I feel that the author really managed to capture Yuri’s character.


Diagnosis by scratchmarred, Seishirou/Subaru | ?? | complete:
Summary: His vanity is a hall of mirrors cracked silent and still by bloodied fingerprints and the blink of a pentagram scryed price tag.
Rec: I think it’s a law for SeiSub fics to be written in the abstract. There’s really no other way to convey the full nuances of their relationship otherwise. This fic is a fantastic example, and it also has Plato. What more could you want?

Never Have I Ever (Dragons of Heaven, Dragons of Earth) by puella_nerdii and Mithrigil, Gen (sort-of) | mid-X | complete:
Summaries: Sorata decides to play a drinking game with the other Seals. Alcohol and Subaru don’t mix. TMI ensues, and also pain. / Fuma decides to play a drinking game with the Dragons of Earth. Is too much information ever enough?
Rec: These two fics made me laugh with painful, painful laughter. While there is comedy, it remains true to the overall feeling of X: angst, angst, and more angst. Seriously, some of the things said are so innocuous when you first see them but when you actually think about it, it’s brutal. There’s so much nuance here that every time I read it, I pick up something new. Just incredible.

Projection / Habit by byzantienne, Subaru/Seishirou | post-TB/pre-X | complete:
Summaries: If Seishirou were dead, Subaru would be haunted. But he’s not, and he’s not. / Displacement makes the heart grow fonder.
Rec: Wow, ouch, these fics are painful, in the sweet, delicious way that only SeiSub fics can be. Captures both voices perfectly. Beautiful and haunting.

Ritual Sacrifice by Mithrigil, Seishirou-centric | pre-to-post-TB | complete:
Summary: How Seishirou took up smoking. Seishirou with Subaru, others. Spoilers for the full manga and tendencies toward X.
Rec: Mithrigil’s SeiSub fics are absolutely gorgeous, and I’m always in awe whenever I read something of hers because of her ability to suffuse meaning in every single word or turn of phrase she uses. The way she’s also able to capture all the subtle, confusing, and terrible nuances in Seishirou and Subaru’s relationship is incredible too. All I can say is: read this.

Suspension by Mithrigil, Gen | mid-X I assume | complete:
Summary: If a car goes down off the edge of a bridge onto land, you’ve got a little more chance, a little more control. Over water, though, it’s like you’re in a falling deathtrap. Subaru, with Seishirou, Lady Sumeragi, Hokuto, the Seven Seals.
Rec: Nothing yet everything seems to happen in this fic, and I can probably spend pages analyzing it. Particularly, I really love how Seishirou is still very much present in Subaru’s thoughts even though there was no true mention of him.


Famous Last Words by Miz Turwaithiel, Jacob/Edward | post-Eclipse? canon divergence | complete:
Summary: “I heard you were going to Portland,” the werewolf says bluntly, leaning against the cycle. “I’m coming with you.” Bella’s transformation goes wrong, and Edward and Jacob must work together to find her before the Volturi do.
Rec: The first and last Twilight fanfic I will probably ever recommend. This is a beautifully written, heart-wrenching story that is, undoubtedly, better written than the series it is writing about. Honestly, it has one of the best characterizations of Jacob and Edward I’ve ever seen, all the while making their eventual “romance” so plausible. Bella also isn’t shafted here and given an actual important role in the story, as per canon.


Breakdown Noise by surskitty, Joshua/Neku | post-game | complete:
Summary: Joshua raises an eyebrow, watching Neku’s expression with growing disdain. “Honestly, Neku, it’s not as though I need to breathe anyway.”
Rec: A consensual breathplay fic! And, seriously, the consent in this one is wonderful – I love, love, love when characters actually talk about consent in-universe; it just hits all my buttons. Also: “Non-fetishistic crossdressing” – I didn’t even know I wanted it until I got it. Now I will accept no substitutes. Non-fetishistic crossdressing always and forever, please! This fic is part of a series, Step Aside and See the World.

Down the Sewer Hole by Gunpowder and Tea, Rhyme-centric gen | post-game | complete:
Summary: One uneventful day, Rhyme’s beloved bell pendant takes a tumble down the local sewage system. Worried brothers, bad coffee, math frauds, and tale-telling shoes aside, she wants it back. Rhyme-centric.
Rec: This is a really fantastic and unique look into Rhyme’s personality post-game. So often, because of her lack of development compared to, say, Beat or Shiki, Rhyme gets kind of shafted in that she is simply given a nice personality and left at that, with no real look into what makes Rhyme, well, Rhyme. This fic is really great at rectifying that, and the look into Rhyme’s head is as enlightening as it is funny.

drown with these perfect lines / a revelation in the light of day by xtwilightzx, Joshua/Neku | post-game | complete:
Summaries: For Joshua, it’s the days after that are the most difficult. / The lessons Neku learnt during his time in the UG are much harder to confront when he’s back in the world of the living.
Rec: Ah, I love reading relationship negotiation, and there’s plenty of that here (albeit subtly), not just in the romantic sense but in the legitimate “should I still be friends with you after you emotionally (and physically) manipulated me” sense. I’m glad that Joshua’s actions aren’t handwaved here, even as he still remains a sympathetic character.

Falling by RikaCain, Konishi-centric gen | pre-to-mid-game | complete:
Summary: Konishi’s presence in the UG, told through the construction and manipulation of puzzle pieces.
Rec: A very interesting and vibrant look into Konishi’s mind. I’ve always had a soft spot for introspective pieces, especially ones that use creative metaphors, as this one did through its use of puzzle pieces.

Pay No Attention to the Garish Sun by isellys, Joshua/Neku | zombie apocalypse!AU | complete:
Summary: The moral of the story is: the end of the world is the best time to pick up hitchhikers.
It is also the worst time.
Rec: Oh fuck, this fic is so full of feelings, I don’t even. It’s rare to see AUs in the Subaseka fandom, and this one is gorgeous! Joshua and Neku’s relationship is captured perfectly here.

signal to noise by twigcollins, Joshua/Neku | post-game | ongoing:
Summary: Continuation from end of game. Spoilers through end of game plus secret reports. Action, romance, danger, good, evil, ninjas, bunnies.
Rec: Seriously one of the best, well-thought out Subaseka fic I’ve ever read. (Yes, its fame is well-deserved!) It’s got some amazing world-building and some great explanations for the unexplained bits of the original game. Also, feelings, and lots of them.

The Sound of the Earth Turning by isellys, Gen | post-game | complete:
Summary: The children of Shibuya grow up by learning to move forward. All’s well that ends well.
Rec: Oh, wow, stunning genfic. Fantastic characterizations of all the characters involved here. I especially love how Joshua’s relationship with both Beat and Rhyme are portrayed – it’s rare to see folks writing Joshua interacting so often/naturally with anyone except Neku.


The Attempt by Yahtzee, Erik/Charles | mid-movie | complete:
Summary: Written for the following prompt: Charles knows everything about Erik, knows how obsessive and self-destructive he is, how Erik would do anything, give anything, in his quest for vengeance against Shaw. But he also knows that Erik loves him in ways that aren’t exactly platonic.
I’d like to see a completely straight!Charles, out of pure love and care of Erik, initiate a romantic relationship with him. It can be because he wishes to give Erik something positive in his life or because he thinks it might help change Erik’s mind about Shaw, the reason is up to author. Also, while Charles finds intimacy with Erik strange and awkward, he does enjoy the new, non-romantic layers that have developed in their relationship.
Rec: This fic is really, really incredible in the way it portrays sexuality, especially the way it portrays sexual attraction as a completely different thing from romantic attraction. Really, as an asexual, I am super pleased. Charles is heterosexual, but he is undoubtedly in love with Erik in the story. And, unlike the “straight turns gay” stories, Charles doesn’t enjoy sex with Erik, but he does enjoy the new emotional intimacy. Perfect, albeit bittersweet.

Bifurcation by spicedpiano, Erik/Charles | doctor!AU | complete:
Summary: Bifurcation – (n.) the splitting of a main body into two parts.
In medicine, a single mistake can mean the difference between life and death.
For cardiothoracic surgeon Charles Xavier, a fatal error leaves him standing at a crossroads … and at the mercy of the man he has not faced since their relationship fell apart thirteen months ago.
Dr. Erik Lehnsherr has a fearsome reputation. Due to his incisive autopsy reports, he has gotten more surgeons fired in two years than any other pathologist has managed over an entire career. But when an old enemy returns to Erik’s life, he must find a way to temper his pride — or lose the man he loves, all over again.
Rec: I just really, really like the portrayal of Charles as a jaded but still kind doctor who does everything within his power to be good to his patients but feels so tired and weighed down by life that he just can’t help feel some sort of resentment. In other words, I think this is one of the most down-to-earth and human portrayals of Charles I’ve read. I really like it.

Boden’s Mate / Queen’s Gambit by kaydeefalls, Erik/Charles, Raven/Angel, Hank/Alex | inception!AU | complete:
Summaries: XMFC/Inception fusion AU. Erik is an extractor, Alex is his point man. They’re assembling a team to go after the most dangerous mind in dreamsharing: Sebastian Shaw. But unless Alex and the team can keep him in check, Erik’s desire for vengeance might just rip the whole job apart around them — and then there’s the shade that haunts his dreams… / XMFC/Inception fusion, sequel to Boden’s Mate. Raven’s running her own extractions these days, but the job S.H.I.E.L.D.’s dumped in her lap is a real shitshow. Two marks, two simultaneous dreams, eleven dreamers, and a hell of a lot of baggage. Time to call in a few favors — and did she mention the job involves inception?
Rec: I’ve always thought the ideas of Inception were interesting but that the movie didn’t really do them justice. This series, however, does, and it’s really what I think Inception could have been if it had used its full potential. Great characterizations and fantastic plot.

Five Things Alex Hates About Hank (and all the things he doesn’t) by meeksoo, Hank/Alex | post-movie | complete:
Summary: “The blue one was mine,” Hank concludes. He sets both tubes back in the rack with the others. “Not everything needs to explode for it to be ruined, Alex,” he says.
Rec: This fic manages to capture the push-pull of the Hank/Alex relationship that I love best! The dialogue is wonderful, the actual interactions are great, and it’s just an overall well-written fic.

If You Liked The Book, You’ll Hate The Movie by paperclipbitch, Erik/Charles, Hank/Alex, Raven/Sean | high school!AU | complete:
Summary: Modern-Day High School AU. It’s not until Hank realises half the class are glancing towards the back of the classroom with something like nerves and something like schadenfreude that he finds out Alex Summers is back.
Rec: I was definitely sick of high school AUs when I got to this fanfic, but it honestly blew all other high school AUs out of the water. Gorgeous writing, wonderful characterizations, and Hank and Emma as BFFs? Yes.

Limited Release by rageprufrock, Erik/Charles, Alex/Hank | modern!AU | complete:
Summary: When Alex Summers broke out of supermax to rescue his stupid kid brother, he had no idea it was going to be so fucking complicated.
Rec: Everyone is still a mutant, except in modern times, Erik is a detective, Charles is a mutant rights advocate, and Alex and Hank are runaways. Probably the best portrayal of a pre-established Erik/Charles relationship I’ve seen yet. Also some great (mostly pre-slash) Alex/Hank. I just love how solidly written everyone’s voices are here.

Modern Vampire: A Guide, by Raven Xavier, Vampire Slayer / The Boy with the Sigil Tattoo by keire_ke, Erik/Charles | buffy!AU | complete:
Summaries: An obligatory Buffy AU. Features Raven the Vampire Slayer, Charles, the frumpy Watcher to whom nothing interesting should ever happen, and Erik, the penitent ensouled vampire. The preceding statement is 100% true. / Buffy AU. The story of a boy and his vampire.
Rec: I’ve never watched Buffy before, but this is a fantastic mix of comedy and action and vampires, and even without knowing much about Buffy, I still enjoyed it immensely.

Other Crabs Cannot be Trusted by groovyphilia, Erik/Charles | crack!fic | complete:
Summary: Erik is a hermit crab and proud. He is also stalking a shore crab named Charles.
In which everybody in XMFC is a crab.
Rec: Everyone is a crab. That is about it. It deserves to be read because crabs. Just. Crabs.

Their Mouths Always Lie by keire_ke, Erik/Charles | detective!AU | complete:
Summary: Charles adheres to most police protocols like they are a personal code of conduct. Erik gets things done and over with, for better or worse. Raven knows what she’s doing, most of the time. The serial killer kills, regardless. Police AU.
Rec: Probably my favorite portrayal of an AU human!Charles yet. Also any fic that starts out with Charles concluding that Erik is a serial killer has to be good. Right? Right.

‘till you fall from grace by paperclipbitch, Alex/Hank | vampire!AU | complete:
Summary: AU. Alex is not judging, Alex cannot judge anyone because he’s so fucking lame he can’t even freak out medical students.
Rec: Or, more accurately, Alex is a vampire and Hank is an intern at a hospital, and Alex tries to get Hank to ask him out in a totally not-creepy way. Yup. I love Hank in this because he’s so much more, well, confident (though still with his own brand of Hank awkwardness) than I’ve seen any other fic make him, and this time it’s Alex who’s the socially awkward one, haha.

Sitz! by Unforgotten, Erik/Charles | post-movie, fix-it!fic | complete:
Summary: Erik gets turned into a doberman.
Rec: If that summary doesn’t get you reading this fic right now, then I don’t know what will.


Antithesis by Xparrot, Carlos/Cecil | around eps 31-32 | complete:
Summary: When Carlos woke up, everything was backwards. (Even Cecil.)
Rec: A very Night Vale-esque fic, from Carlos’s perspective. Love the creativity in this one, and it’s clear a lot of time was spent thinking/plotting this, since I notice more and more background nuance every time I reread. Really, this fic just captures so much of what I love about the original podcast.

radio is a living art (try to get the words right) by byzantienne, Carlos/Cecil | canon | complete:
Summary: “Whisper a dangerous secret to someone you care about. Now they have the power to destroy you, but they won’t. This is what love is.” — Welcome To Night Vale
Rec: I’m pretty sure this takes place in an indefinable time after their first date. A gorgeous Night Vale fic that’s incredibly Night Vale-esque. (Can’t think of any other way to describe how incredibly spot-on the writing is.) Fantastic Cecil voice, which always wins extra brownie points with me.

The Untimely Disappearance of the Voice of Night Vale by Margo_Kim, gen | canon-ishcomplete:
Summary: City Council announces a new secret law. The Night Vale Astronomy Club has officially denounced the existence of stars. The Night Vale Historical Society is throwing a barbecue for a tragedy that no one is allowed to talk about. It’s the usual week’s news in Night Vale except for one tiny detail-Cecil isn’t the one reporting it. And as Head Intern Jessica ignores her normal inclination to not do any work ever (you don’t become head intern by being a go-getter) to fill in for him while Carlos conducts his desperate search, she’s beginning to think that maybe Cecil isn’t the only one who’ll disappear.
Rec: An incredibly well-written fic that reads just like an episode of the actual podcast. The voice is fantastic, and even with the minimal information we get about the speaker, it still really feels like we got to know her and became (unfortunately) attached. (Spoiler: she’s an intern. Ha.)


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