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27 December 2010 @ 04:14 pm
It's been a long time since I've read anything Batman-related, but I just picked up the Fresh Blood TPB.  The plot was a bit contrived, but I do love the new Robin and the new Batgirl both, and putting them together seems like interesting times.  And now I find myself with a need for Tim Drake/Cassandra Cain fanfiction. 

Writing Cassandra is tough, mostly because depending on what point in canon we are she either has decent language skills or she doesn't.  But these fics all get something right.

Untitled, by derryderrydown
"She watches a couple walking down the street. The man's body says, 'I am in love with you and you are in love with me and, right now, there is nobody in the world happier than me.'"

The Misadventures of KnightBlade and RedThunder
, by bk11
"Couch-ridden with a cold, Tim discovers Cass' favorite TV show."

Worth and Value
, by chevauchee
"He would take it from you."

Spilled Blüd, by Rogue28
"Robin and Batgirl enter the new year and try to make sense of Blüdhaven, Batman, and themselves."

The Interesting Narrative of Cassandra Cain, a Batgirl, as Told by Herself, by bk11
"Tim gets his heart broken by Steph. Cassandra never wanted to be the rebound girl."

Kissing, by seriousfic
"Cass's investigation leads her to a conclusion that makes perfect sense... to her."
21 November 2010 @ 03:16 pm
Just rewatched Labyrinth for the first time in some ten years, and I'm completely in love.  It's everything that modern-day Hollywood stories about young women tend not to be-- an epic quest narrative with a flawed but driven female heroine, who wins the day not against her evil stepmother, but against a near-invincible king (and her love interest, no less!).  In the movie, there's a powerful but restrained romantic undercurrent between heroine and Goblin King, and this eroticism is what gives the story a lot of its tension.  But ultimately, Sarah's happy ending has nothing to do with nabbing the boy of her dreams.   This is rare in Hollywood, and I wish it happened more often. 

Having said that, Labyrinth fanfiction tends to have a tough task ahead of itself.  Fanfiction is often fueled by wish-fulfillment-- we want to tie up loose ends the story deliberately left open, find some way for the girl to win the game and win her king, too.  But this reader in particular also wants her heroine to remain a heroine-- that is, not merely to give in to her one-time nemesis, but find new ways to challenge him.  So it's often difficult to find fic that satisfies in the way the original does.  Still, here are some recs-- stories that get at least one half of the eroticism-heroism equation right, and sometimes more.

Erlkönig, by Subtilior
"Sarah takes Toby to a concert of art song. It is the darkest evening of the year. Words have power. Songs can be magic. And undying love can be more terrible than beautiful."  [This is one of the first Labyrinth fics I ever read, and it's set the bar ever since.  The writing is like poetry, first of all, a real pleasure to read.  But what's excellent about it is that the story doesn't try to paper over the fact that that Sarah's love interest is, at the same time, her most dangerous enemy.  And in such situations, a happy ending may be impossible.  Be warned-- this is more of a horror story than a love story.]

Her Kingdom as Great, by MarbleGlove
"What’s said is said, and Sarah said, 'My will is as strong as yours and my kingdom as great.'  And then, of course, she lied."  [This may be my new favorite piece of Labyrinth fanfiction.  Here Sarah is every inch Jareth's equal, and the way she comes into her power, and becomes a worthy opponent rather than an enemy, is excellently written.]

The Gift that Keeps Giving, by Lixxle
"It's the King's birthday; the goblins are on a present-buying spree using Sarah's credit card, the King is acting a trifle emo, and Sarah is baking. Chaos and adult-type touching ensues."  [Okay, so the other way you get over the fact that Sarah's one true love is her one true nemesis?  Utterly charming screwball humor.  And this is one of the best examples of the genre.]

Dare to Bake a Peach
, by akavertigo
"She'll muddle through recipes untold and burns unnumbered, fight her way out of every castle fantasy supper to guard what he's out to steal, for her will is stronger, strong as iron and oil, and her kingdom—her crucible, her hearth, her cauldron and laboratory—will be greater."  [I love that Sarah finds new ways to fight back, and yet the fight itself is both sensual and delicious.]

Thirteen Hours, by Cerebral Seductress
"Sarah returns Underground four years later, only to find that she must conquer the Labyrinth a second time. But her dreamscape has crumbled into a barren wasteland, and the Goblin King whose heart she shattered is now her only ally."  [Sarah's older, and the story is appropriately grittier.  But it works.]

Balance, by Elizabeth Culmer
"Sara didn't accept Jareth's bargain, but she didn't leave the Labyrinth unmarked. A story of consequences, and two lonely, stubborn people learning to live with each other."  [Admittedly light on the romance, but this is one of the most believable ways I could see Sarah and Jareth learning to get along.  And the use of the junkyard is wonderful.]

What You Wish For, by KnifeEdge
"Some advice: The way forward is sometimes the way back. Take nothing for granted. Look before you leap. Things aren't always what they seem. Remember, Faeries bite. And most of all, be careful what you wish for."  [KnifeEdge writes one of my favorite multi-chapter fics, but if you need something finished to tide you over while waiting for a sequel, try this-- it's sweet and self-contained.]

The Price of Dreams, by KnifeEdge
"Dangerous thing to get what you wish for. More dangerous still to crave it after, to miss that magic, to grab hold of it with both hands and refuse to let go. I never even tried. Foolish, I know."  [Another beautiful, perhaps more adult story from the same author.  I usually shy away from first-person narrators, but this one works.]

Twice Upon a Time, by L 0 K I
"Chance, or destiny dressed by chance.  Either way, Sarah and Jareth face each other again."  [This one's about a game of seduction, pure and simple, and it keeps Sarah within a fairly passive role.  But I'll be damned if it isn't incredibly sexy.]

The Third Wish, by dansemacabre
"When Sarah Williams was twenty one, the Goblin King decided to grant her another wish."  [I'm quite fond of dansemacabre's shorter works-- in addition to this one, be sure to check out Watch For Me By Moonlight, and Under the Mistletoe.]

Galatea, by KL Morgan
"Even Jareth has illusions..."  [There's something really twisted about the fact that the Goblin King is in love with a fourteen year old girl, you know?  This story is one of the few to really dive into that mess and make something out of it that's ultimately perverse and honest and hopeful at the same time.]

Time and Again, by Scattered Logic
"I have reordered time. I have turned the world upside down. And I have done it all for you..." 

Bound, by MissXeli
"The adventure through the Labyrinth left Jareth a changed man... err, owl....  What's a Goblin King without his powers?" 

Oubliette, by Scion of Kushiel
"Five years after the Underground, Sarah Williams encounters someone who couldn't, shouldn't be real. But is he?"

A Midwinter Night's Dream, by Tara1189
"A cold winter's night leads Sarah to the Underground, where she discovers the Labyrinth – and its King – are far more beautiful and perilous than she remembers."

Et in Arcadia, Ego, by Tara1189
"Because not all prisons are metal and bars."

Elftouched, by Liriel-eris
"Everyone has to grow up sometime, and once upon a time Sarah did too.The most logical thing after that was to speak her mind and change the world, if only a little.  Fairytales have a way of enspelling.  Fair lady, faint heart victory and all that."

Winter Owl, by traboule
"On the third day of Christmas, my true love gave to me three cryptic glances, two eyebrow quirks, and a very awkward conversation."

Heart, by icarus_chained
"What can I offer you?"

Whispers, by Anisky
"He drove her to the brink of madness, until she gave herself to make it stop. Now she's in the darkness and she doesn't understand the game, the rules, or how to win."

Novel-length fics.  These tend to skew towards the romantic rather than the heroic (with some valiant exceptions), but they still make for a good read.

The Goblin Market, by Viciously Witty
"Nine years after defeating the Labyrinth, Sarah is in Ireland - the land of ancient magic, where legend suggests her victory comes with a price and her story is far from finished. Let the feast begin at the Goblin Market."  [I usually try not to read stories that aren't yet completed, but I was directed to this one and just couldn't keep away.  This is the best kind of cat-and-mouse game-- Jareth doing everything in his power to possess Sarah, Sarah running, fighting, and even getting a little vengeance as best she can.  Because no matter how much she might (to her horror) actually desire him, she'll never consent to being a thing merely taken and possessed.  This is a delicate balance to maintain, but the author's done well so far, and I hope for more.]

Labyrinth: Immortal Love, by KnifeEdge
"Sarah grows up, but the powers granted to her by the Goblin King have never faded, and neither has his love for her. For when a man is an immortal, the one thing he has in his favor, is time..."  [An excellent multi-chapter fic, with just as much a focus on adventure as on romance.  Be warned, however-- it takes the story to a logical stopping point, then introduces one hell of a cliff-hanger.  And the sequel, Dangers Untold, is tragically incomplete.  Perhaps leave a review to encourage the author to keep going?]

A Forfeit of Dreams, by KL Morgan
"If you had a second chance, would you take it? If you had a choice, would you do the right thing? And if you had a dream... what would you give to make it come true?"  [A classic of the fandom.  Be sure to check out its epilogue, here, though the very last part leads into an unfinished sequel.]

Bodice Ripper, by Ergott
"What if the Labyrinth really had been just a dream? Too bad Sarah never figured that out, it would have saved writer Jareth Corbett a whole lot of trouble. Or is Sarah really on to something bigger than either of them could have guessed?"  [This one isn't what it seems at first.  Give it a chance-- the twists are quite delightful.]

Into the Rose Garden, by Dryad13
"Sarah has good grades, a circle of friends, and a cute boyfriend. Life's great...right? So why does she have the strange feeling that something's missing? Fairy tales show that magic will make you or break you. Which category does she belong in?"

A Necessary Deception, by Scattered Logic
"Sarah believed her defeat of the Goblin King nine years ago was a dream. It was real. But it was also a lie."

The Enticement, by Scattered Logic
"In exchange for returning to the Labyrinth, Sarah is offered what she desires most... She's about to learn there is a huge difference between fantasy and reality."

Most Prized Possession, by Jester3
"What comes around goes around, and the Goblin King is bent on revenge. Will Sarah prove to be the willful heroine once again...or will she become the King's most prized possession?"
18 June 2010 @ 10:35 pm
I have finally acquired all of Daria on DVD!  Be still, my heart.

In honor of one of the smartest, wittiest, most perfectly imperfect teen girls ever portrayed on television (even if only in animated form), I bring you fanfiction recs:

Card Games, by Kristen Bealer
"Ten year old Daria has a brush with popularity because of...books?"

Sex, Please?! by lupinsmoon12391
"Quinn starts her own club, Helen tries to save the day, Trent gets a job, and Upchuck attempts to join the human race. Character development, much?"

Is Summer Over Already?
by Mike Yamiolkoski
"After a summer of Art Colonies and OK to Cry Corrals, there's still the whole Tom thing to figure out."

The Next Step, by Mike Yamiolkoski
"Like so many of us, Tom has a hard time letting go of Daria..."

Bed and Breakfast Man, by Ruthless Bunny
[As the Daria Wiki puts it, "Trent is forced to move into Daria's dorm room under a flimsy excuse. Wackiness and romance ensues."]

Quiet Girl, by Sleepy Lotus
"Daria and Jane have returned from college for the summer, and Trent is intrigued by the changes found in both his little sister and her best friend."
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16 May 2010 @ 01:16 am
My running list of shoujo titles that manage to be smart and readable.

Warau Kanoko Sama (Tsujita Ririko)
"Kanoko considers herself a perfect 'observer.' Her hobby is observing the students in her third year junior high class and keeping a journal of the classroom drama. But what will happen when Kanoko becomes involved with some of her classmates?"  [The first chapter's a little rough, and the translation is a bit spotty.  But any Shoujo manga heroine who quotes Thus Spoke Zarathustra is ultimately okay in my book.]

Cyboy (Nishitaka Mai)
"When he was younger, Kujou Kiyosumi was incredibly awkward and nerdy. One day in elementary school, he courageously confessed his love to a girl, but she told him in front of the whole classroom that he was 'disgusting' to be around. Shocked, Kiyosumi asked the coolest guy in the class, Sagiya Maki, to help him become more likable, too. Thus, began the days of training and now in high school, he had finally achieved most popular status alongside Maki. Everything seemed to be going along smoothly until..."  [Take every shoujo high school romance cliche you can think of, and now imagine it enacted from a male perspective.  Highly entertaining.]
16 May 2009 @ 08:39 pm
Just saw the new Star Trek movie last week, and got a kick out of Uhura and Spock as a couple.  Lo and behold, I turn to the internet and am pleasantly surprised by the rapid amount of good fic that's being written about these two.  Here's my growing list of recs, separated out into some semblance of categories.
(Last updated on 28 August 09.)

(For more of this pairing, the Spock/Uhura LJ community is a good place to visit.)

Academy fic:

A series of educational experiences, by mekosuchinae.   (See also Creative Applications.) 
"His studies are insufficient to prepare him for the reality."

Breath, by Doctor Aicha
"He can almost feel his control slipping, and is suddenly and unaccountably sure it’s ponn farr, rather than human desire.  No human emotion could feel like this, could it?"

Lunch and other obscenities, by rheanna27
"Nyota liked her roommate just fine until she met her."

Silence the world's heartache (for me)
, by wintercreek
"What Spock had discovered upon entering Starfleet Academy was that something, perhaps his Human heritage from his mother, made him particularly sensitive to the Human minds around him."

Prosody, by littlegeekpenguin
"Uhura thinks on the many different components involved in learning a new language. Especially those that are never taught in the classroom."

Putting on Civvies, by tree and leaf
"Vulcan has three second person singulars, of varying degrees of intimacy."

Caesura, by tehlanes
"He gives pause for once. Not to think. To feel."

Figurative Language: Metaphors, part 1
part 2, and part 3, by lira_el.   (See also Figurative Language: Similes).
"Nyota struggles with her attraction to her new friend, Spock."  [Better than the summary.  I love that the last chapter actually uses Vulcan touch-telepathy in a smart, plot-decisive way.  The sequel is also shaping up to be excellent.] 

Things Unspoken, by fifmeister
"On the first day of Advanced Phonology class, Nyota Uhura is one of the only students willing to look Spock in the eye."

A series of first times, by luxuria oceanus
[Just as the the title describes.]

Customary, by hula kula
"How it began."

Decode, by shylace
"Underneath all this ice then, she ponders, there is a furnace."

Speaking in Tongues
, by monimala.  (See also The Seven Year Itch, and Reason and Rhyme.)
"The first time she earns one of Commander Spock's rare smiles, she knows she's chosen the right path."

Three Times Uhura Said No, Two Times Uhura Said Yes, And Once When She Didn’t Get the Chance, by stoplookingup
"Uhura's had her share of interesting encounters; they don't always go according to plan."

What Vulcans Do
, by huffleit  (See also What Humans Do.)
"Commander Spock and Cadet Uhura must decide what path their relationship will take in the future." 

A Mutual Feeling, by jncar
part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4
"The evolution of a harmless crush into one of the most important relationships of Uhura's life."

Break, part 1, part 2, and part 3, by yahtzee63
"During their final semester at Starfleet Academy, two people who have no intention of ever changing transform each other."

Human relationships: Friendship, part 1, part 2, and part 3, by jncar
"After leaving Vulcan, Spock encounters many kinds of Human friendship. However, what he has yet to learn is that not all friendships are as innocent as they at first seem."

What's in a Name? by Your Worshipfulness (ongoing)
"Everyone wants to know how they met. Here are nine ways Spock didn't meet Nyota--and the one way he did."  [Number three has to be my favorite so far.  Hooray for Gaila's gift of trashy romance novels!]

This State of Almost-Romance
, by featheredraven
"Days will stretch out into the future, and nothing will change because neither one will make the next step in this almost-romance."  [Lyrical and beautiful.]

Miscommunication, by salr323
[Spock and Uhura, with hints of Jane Austen.]

Like the Stars, Like Your Destiny
, by anodyna
"Nyota Uhura has always been drawn to things that resist her understanding. Finding out she's lived her entire life in an alternate reality is a mystery she's not sure she can solve. Sleeplessness and self-examination ensue."  [Lyrical and perfect.]

Academy, in-a-relationship fics.  Rated M, as many romantic relationships are.

Letting go, by inell
"She wishes that he'd occasionally take the initiative."

The Language of his Body, by calicokat
"Uhura and Spock in a private moment."  [Actually the prologue to what looks to be an amazing, epic fic about the entire Enterprise crew, but it's good on its own as well.]

Movie and post-movie, life on the Enterprise.

Ad Astra, by taraljc
[Fills in some important gaps in the movie's depiction of the Spock/Uhura relationship.]

We drift deeper (as the rush comes), by jadediva
" Being in a relationship in space does lead to a fair share of fascinating circumstances.  Spock reflects on his relationship with Uhura on the Enterprise."

Contingency, by
"Nyota appreciates subtleties, and Spock's run deep."

Oh Two Hundred, by mekosuchinae
"'I'm working on it,' she said, already thinking of how to explain transporter technology to someone who might not know what it was in a language she had thought dead not two hours ago."

Discipline, by taraljc
"Never let it be said that Nyota Uhura doesn't know how to have fun."

A Most Dismissive Manner, by jedibuttercup
" 'You are fond of him,' Spock accuses her one day out of nowhere, as they sit in the officer's mess taking a meal together."

The Logic of Pajamas, by jncar
"Nyota thinks pajamas are illogical. Spock disagrees."

Nyumbani, by siriaeve
"She brings him to see her home."

Linguistics 101, or, Thirteen ways to say I love you, by loneraven
"Vulcan and human cultural differences."

Comedy of Errors, by Eclectic Muse (ongoing)
"Spock's decision to leave the Enterprise for the new Vulcan colony has far-reaching consequences for the crew."  [Only one chapter up so far, but this looks promising.]

Knowing is Half the Battle, by calexical
[Written in answer to this prompt.  NOT work safe!]

Body-swap, by bluemoon02
"Two years after their break up, Uhura is painfully reminded of how much Spock meant to her when a transporter malfunction places her in Spock's body."

Of Two Worlds, by yahtzee63
"Spock has the opportunity to choose between the Prime universe and his own."

Into the future

Malaika, by tehlanes
"They are both fully aware of his shortcomings. But in moments like these, Nyota is amazed by how little it truly matters."

The Opposite of Logic, by Kristen Elizabeth
"I do not believe I have ever hurt anyone as much as I have hurt her, Jim."

The Second Child, by mekosuchinae
"Like most children, Amanda entertained a certain fondness for stories about herself."

And finally, some Gen fic:

Vulcan Science Academy, by yahtzee63
[Sarek, Amanda, wee Spock!]

Divergent, by tosca1390
"Jim had seen too much of the life he’d never lead. He hadn’t had a chance to think about it until now."

New, and stumbling forward, by karanguni
"After Vulcan, Spock recovers his footing."

How to win friends and influence Vulcans, by Green
"Having a best friend who didn't know he was your best friend was frustrating. That did not, however, deter Kirk."  [Spock + Kirk friendship.]

How to avoid kicking puppies and other valuable lessons in leadership, by sparky77
[Kirk tries to be an authority figure.]

Ten thousand half-opened doors
, by _seven_crows
"I didn't know ribs even could bruise."

A formal dance in the bowling alley, by loneraven
"Here are some things that James Tiberius Kirk, Captain, does not understand about the Enterprise and her crew."

To the Enterprise: of warp barriers, captains, and other scary things, by karanguni
"Mr. Spock's eyes flick towards the blatantly huge and complicated (and exciting) and blatantly huge mathematical and engineering schematics on the console screen. Chekov can practically see the cogs in Mr. Spock's mind whirr - he is very, very fast at telemetry, which means there is probably no getting around the fact that what they have here is a plan to break the current warp speed record into many small pieces. Pavel wonders if that is the only thing that will be broken."

Off the Old Block, by rawles
"I don't want that to be my story."  [Joanna McCoy visits the Enterprise.]

Seven Moments, by barrowjane
"Seven times the crew of the Enterprise meet the Endless. Thus, Star Trek XI/Sandman crossover."
07 May 2009 @ 01:18 am
I'm late in coming to this series, but I'm very glad it was recommended to me.  Some fic:


Book Four: Air: The Legend Continues
, by aka Arashi
"Water, Earth, Fire, Air. We believed we'd saved the world by defeating Ozai and ending the war. But as the dust settled, new conflicts arose. And that was just the beginning..."  [A decent continuation fic!  I wasn't sure such a thing existed.]

Pawns, by Rhiannon B
"In the months following the end of the war, Mai is forced to deal with a missing princess, a string of grisly murders, Firelord Zuko, and soiled diapers. At least it's not boring."  [An AU story, set in a world where Mai betrays Azula for Zuko's sake only at the very last minute.  Their relationship is thus a bit more... tense (though no less charged) than usual.  I was told that the author hasn't yet abandoned this fic, though updates are few and far between.  Perhaps some reviews would help her along?]

In His Shoes, by AvocadoLove
"In order to fully understand a man, you must first walk a mile in his shoes. Sokka and Zuko are going to find that out the hard way."  [Hasn't been updated in a long while, though I can hope.]


Hide and Seek, by Swiss Army Knife
"The gaang hones theirs skills through a game of Hide and Seek. Sokka and Zuko are accidentally well-suited to working together."

After the War - Love, by icybright
"They've made an interesting family for themselves."

An Auspicious Beginning, by DJNS
"Zuko and Mai's wedding does not go smoothly."  [Yes, Mai/Zuko, but with a focus on the rest of the gang, too.]

Male Bonding, by rawles and ali_wildgoose
"As much as she intensely dislikes it, Katara understands why Zuko had to join them. What she doesn't understand is why he and Sokka have to spend every waking moment in each other's company."


Just Like Old Times, by ali_wildgoose
"Finding ways to stay busy in a world with no more wars to fight."

The Tall Ships, by alligatorade
"Sometimes the tides turn, and former lovers have to move on with their lives. But then again, sometimes we can learn to use the turning tides to our own advantage."

Mai/Zuko (my clear favorite):

Sleight of Hand, by ali_wildgoose
"Azula always wins, even when she doesn't."  [Tiny Mai!  Tiny Zuko!]

Preoccupation, by bad_remedy
"Zuko had spent seventeen years of his life not thinking all that much about kissing girls."

Little Thickness of the Coin, by zoesque
"Five unrealized scenarios in which Zuko plans to inquire after Mai’s possible betrothal, and one that is."

Life on Either Side, by rawles
"Progression through division."

Spilled in Beside Her, by rawles
"Mai and Zuko get drunk and Mai has no one to blame but herself."

Outre Couture, by May Flyer
"Mai loathed her Kyoshi Warrior uniform."

Hot Gingerbread and Dynamite, by JoJoDancer
"Love and marriage walk hand in hand, but not necessarily side by side, and certainly not in that order: not for these two."

Imperfect, part 1, part 2, part 3;
Necessary Research;
Lights in the Distance; and
Nearly With You, all by ali_wildgoose
"It's been years since they last met, and many things have changed...some more so than others, and none in the way she expected."  [A fantastic set of stories, set in a universe where things go slightly differently after Ba Sing Se.]


Without a Fight and Never Give Up, by suzukiblu
"An AU take on Zuko’s banishment.  Thirteen years old and alone in the Earth Kingdom, thrown out of his life and family and destiny with the burn on his face still raw and new, Zuko does not want to go on."
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18 March 2009 @ 08:26 pm
Tall boy, short girl.  He's alive, she's dead; they're partners, they bicker.  And they send lost souls to the Afterlife.

My slow-growing list of bleach fic recommendations.
(Last updated on 27 August 2016.  Man, that ending hurt.  Have some fic to soothe away the dissatisfaction.)


Five deaths Kuchiki Rukia has never seen, and one she might, by Commie
"Rukia is not afraid of death."

Homework, Houseguests, and Happiness, by tokyofish
"It was the last day of summer vacation, sunny and warm, and she was inside, glaring irritably at the last of her summer homework."

Parting is All We Know, by rilina
"A new arrival’s first twenty-four hours in Soul Society."

The Idiot's Guide to Rescue Situations, by afrai
"Renji still wasn't completely sure how the hell he'd wound up here, but he knew it was Ichigo's fault in some way."  [Imagine if it had been Renji, and not Rukia, who'd saved Ichigo in the first chapter of Bleach.]

Pirate House, by scathachdu
"The 11th throws Yachiru a birthday party. Ikkaku barely survives."



Scar, by Truant Pony
"Some things cut through muscle and skin, and other things cut through memory, but either way, if it keeps, it's a memento." [#7 in a collection of one-shots.  Set near the beginning, when Ichigo is still getting used to his shinigami duties.  #10, Resemblance, is also a favorite of mine.]

Eyes Turned Inside Out
Eyes Closed
Close Your Eyes, Maybe He Won't See It
I Can See With My Eyes Shut
Eyes Turned Inside Out (Punchdown Mix)
Eyes Open, part 1
Eyes Open, part 2
by tenebris
[This is an amazing series.  Go read it.]

What a Kiss Means, What a Kiss Means (Strawberry Mix), and A Secret Between Them, by tenebris
A Secret Between Them (and All Who Would Behold It), by jaina (a remix)
"Rukia does not understand why her female classmates get so worked up over the "first kiss." Her imaginary classmates, the ones from the manga she reads for language and culture, are equally concerned with it. It is only when Ichigo has a fit about the mod soul kissing his classmates that she begins to understand how important this idea is, to girls and to boys."

When the Sun Comes Up You'd Better Be Moving, by hecatehatesthat
"Instead of Byakuya and Renji, some noname shinigami are the ones sent to the human world to retrieve Rukia. Ichigo is able to defeat them, and he and Rukia go on the run."  [Incomplete]

Someone Who Outdrew You & Not a Victory March, by hecatehatesthat
"She's a strong girl. Strong enough to know inevitability when she sees it."

One Two Buckle My Shoe, by Fushigi Kismet
"Ichigo tries to figure out how to respond to a confession of love. Rukia tries to figure out how to react to Ichigo trying to figure out how to respond to a confession of love. Karakura High eats popcorn."

Feelings, by missthornbirds
"Ichigo and Rukia have never been good at these."

Maybe We Forgot, by kubotits
"Nearing the end of their time together in Karakura, Rukia is somehow still oblivious to the raunchy rumors circulated around the school about her and Ichigo, so he opts to tell her. "

So Caught Up, by tosca1390
He is just a human boy, and she won’t be with him forever.  Set in the Substitute Arc, post-battle with Grand Fisher."

Waiting for Shambhala, by Descrime
"Rukia has been dead for over a century. It’s about time she grew."

Beneath the Surface, by Galaxia Alpha.
"Ichigo always wears a shirt at the beach.  A look into the way Ichigo and Rukia relate to each other."

Rituals, by lovediamond
"There are little things Rukia is familiar with."

Runaway, by lovediamond
"He meets her at the university gate and carries her the rest of the way on his back."

Fascinated with the Way You Move, by lanvaldear
"Kurosaki Ichigo, Soul Society' hero, comes undone under her fingertips and mouth."  [Rated M]

It's You That I Hold Onto and We Slow Hands, by tosca1390
[Two takes on what might have happened at the end of the Soul Society arc.]

Girl in the Box, by paperiuni
"Ichigo and Rukia have a heart-to-heart, and egos get knocked about. Both ways. With love."

All the Empty Spaces, by dystopic (tasteofshapes)
"It's not like Ichigo will miss Rukia, and he'll definitely be glad to have his room back, but there'll still be an empty space there anyway. Secretly all about the things that they don't say."

If I Had Never, by milkmoth
"Can there be love without memories?"

Take Care, by empath apathique
"'If you let me, here's what I'll do—' Ichigo and Rukia, post Grimmjow's fist."

A Summer Job, by MultipleCyrosis
"Ichigo gets a summer job as a temporary captain of the 5th division. But it isn't what it seems. However, spending more time with the ravenhaired shinigami may give the two a chance to reveal their feelings..."  [Incomplete, but still a fun read.]

Friendly Fire (A Little Wasted On Desire), by sequence_fairy
"She knows he doesn't count the scars, or the costs, but Rukia sees what the Soul Society (what she) has cost him."  [Rated M.  See also Kissing Death and Losing My Breath, by the same author.]

The Heart of the Storm, by rii no ame
"After Ichigo leaves the Living World for Soul Society, he realizes that the rain never stops for long."

Feels Like Dying Over Here, by arrankaara
"Ichigo didn't know that dying could be so painful. Especially when one was already dead in the first place. A wedding proposal, and his life was turned upside down."


Every Heart Will Find Home, by rii no ame
"Everything and nothing has changed."  [Set after the Winter War, but before the Fullbring arc, featuring a powerless Ichigo.  For a kind of prequel, see In Absentia, by the same author.]

A Winter's Tale, by paperiuni
"In the end, Ichigo breaks. Rukia tries to pick up the pieces."

And All These Differences, by the general girl
"Seventeen months is a long time, and they have both changed." [Post-Fullbring arc, as are the rest of these stories below.]

Seven Times You, by sallythedestroyerofworlds23
"Seven oneshots featuring Rukia's favorite things."

Anabiosis, by LoquaciousQuark
"Because not all reunions are easy. Ichigo and Rukia have a conversation, and broken edges are smoothed down again."

What the Living Do, by kubotits
"Sure, absence may make the heart grow fonder but...are those sideburns Rukia sees?" [For a smuttier prequel and sequel, see Where Your Hands Were Missing and Confrontation With A Kiss.]

Farewell to Goodbyes, by TruantPony
"These quiet in-between moments never last long enough for them. But it's enough for now that they don't have to say goodbye."  [Rated M]

The Cracks We Live In, by hariboo
"She's laying on his back, her cheek between his shoulder blades, her fingers trailing the lines of his new tattoos. They're---they're new. They're odd."  [Rated M]

No Love Potions of Interest, by fated-addiction
"Nobody actually calls it a date, you know. Ichigo, Rukia, and the fact that everyone else knows but them.  Oh, and handcuffs."  [This one's light-hearted and cracktastic.  See also Snake Charmers and The Great Chappy Murder Mystery, by the same author.]

It's These Little Things, by tosca1390
"She wants it to stop, to breathe, just for a moment; she doesn’t know how to ask."

Roadmaps, by TruantPony
"Sometimes the only way to get to your destination is to stumble around blindly in the dark with your hands held out in front of you. One-shot." [Gets the relationship between these two just right-- the easy banter and the deep trust and friendship that's always on the verge of turning into more.]

Post-series or AU:

Storm Clouds May Gather and Stars May Collide, by colorilluminates
"Sometimes, it was fun living with someone small enough to use a coffee mug as a bath tub."  [You may need to read the original pilot chapter of Bleach first-- it's where we meet tiny!Rukia.]

Secrets That We Knew, by tosca1390
"There are secrets hidden in Isshin's faraway gaze, and Ichigo is tired of them already."  [A medieval-ish AU, but it works.]

At the End of All Lines, by tosca1390
"They say every time things will be different. Rukia has stopped believing them at last.  High School AU.]

Variations On, by the general girl
"Orihime wishes that she could be the one to make him smile so, so badly, but she is not Kuchiki Rukia."  [University AU.]

The Death and the Strawberry (Star-Crossed Remix), by kubotits
"When Rukia goes on her first mission in the Land of the Living, she thinks it will be an easy one-- until she comes across two young, headstrong Quincies to complicate things."

Cabin Fever, by Nobody's Princess
"Ichigo and Rukia live alone in a small mountain town, banished from everything they once knew. But learning how to live with the scars left behind and the consequences of their choice is not easy. Slowly they will uncover their unique brand of happiness and in the process, learn how to live without wars."

Deathsong, by LoquaciousQuark
"An accident has unexpected ramifications, and Ichigo suddenly faces a new life and a new threat in Soul Society. Living is never as simple as it seems."

Setting Sun, Rising Moon, by jaina
"At the end of his life, it's time for Ichigo to become a real shinigami, but with death comes unexpected challenges—not the least of which is that presented by seeing Rukia again for the first time in years."

A Foregone Conclusion, by SportsAnimeRuinedMyLife
"There's never really been another option for him. It's always been Rukia. Or...Ichigo and Rukia might not have a white picket fence and a perfect kid, but they're still pretty happy."


What You Wish For, by starvinbohemian
"Drown not thyself to save a drowning man.  An AU wherein Aaroniero really was Kaien. Rukia comes to terms with what it would have meant for Kaien to be alive."  [I haven't read Bleach fic in a long while, but I stumbled across this on the internets and fell in love.  A bit angsty, hot, and Rukia's written just as she should be.]

Undertow 1/2 and Undertow 2/2 by jaina
"There are many ways a person can love."  [Kaien/Rukia.  Rated M.]

Moving Forward, by Melitza
"Shirayuki had seethed for decades over Rukia’s intractable guilt, and yet now, gutted and dying in Huecho Mundo for her hesitance to strike against one who wore Kaien’s face.. wielded his sword, flaunted his stance, quirked his lips.. the sword was silent."  [Rukia-centric, dark and angsty.  Sweetly hopeful at the end, though.  Kaien/Rukia, Ichigo/Rukia]


Fever, by Katsu
[Young Rukia and Renji in Inuzuri; Rukia is sick and Renji takes care of her.  The last line hits you like a punch to the gut.  For happier things, see Yuki Matsuri, Tanabata, and Sakura Matsuri, by the same author.]

Loose Ends, by Katsu
[After the Soul Society arc, Renji confronts his captain about Rukia.]

Forever Young, by White Aster
"Renji, Ichigo, and Rukia getting every prize she wants from the shooting gallery."

Unwise, by Empatheia
"It was all and always the river's fault."

Signs of Spring, by fine-lights
"Renji and his captain have non-verbal communication down to an art form."

What I Came Here For and What I Didn't, by eosdawnaurora
"Renji invites Rukia to a division event and is flustered when she sees him there in the company of other women."

Asymmetry, by eosdawnaurora
"After entering the Shino Academy Rukia feels her bond with Renji slipping, and decides to employ an intimate solution."  [Rated M.  See also Stay, by the same author.]

Hey, Jealousy, by ehvul_butterfly
Renji is bringing all the girls to the yard and Rukia doesn't like it."

Ginseng, by PolarisAmane
"Because tea is always the answer to drunken revelry and insomnia."


How to drive your Taichou up the wall in five easy steps, by aviss
"What to do when you have the most strict and sour faced Taichou of the Gotei 13? Try to make him loosen up a bit... which might work if the Taichou in question wasn't a midget with a complex and no sense of humour."

Two minutes without you, an eternity by your side, by aviss
" 'I see they're giving you hell, Rangiku.  We'll give them hell instead, you'll see.' "

Eyes the Colour of the Sea, by Scarlet66
"The first time Rangiku meets the boy with the ocean in his eyes, he is hurt. A series of snapshots about the relationship — one built on a strong foundation of trust and mutual respect — between Matsumoto Rangiku and Hitsugaya Toushirou, starting from when they first meet to a year after the Winter War. Told from Rangiku's perspective."


Written on the Wind, by incandescens
"A story about Nanao and Shunsui, and Katen Kyokotsu, and a game. Set just after the Pendulum Arc."

Breathing Lessons, by DarthAmmonite
"Nanao couldn’t imagine what she’d do without the Eighth, or its captain. She supposed that she loved both, although it wasn’t the kind of whitehot passion that her friend Matsumoto was always waxing eloquent about. Maybe that was the problem."

This Wish, by Ms Western Ink
"Captain Kyoraku is a romantic, Ise Nanao is not. So the idea of granting wishes at New Year's doesn't mean too much to her."

Kissing a Fool, by Technoelfie
"Nanao only longs for a little peace and quiet. Doesn't she?"

Numbers, by Charis M
"She is comfortable where she is, for all that she grumbles to Masumoto regularly she and her captain suit each other. There is no sense to disrupting that equilibrium."


Asymmetry, by Rabbitprint
"Similarities and differences can change over the years. So can familiarity."

Homecoming, by Technoelfie
"Yoruichi comes home, and is forgiven. Eventually."

Hourglass, by Technoelfie
"Kisuke was never good at metaphors."

Him, by debbiechan
"Yoruichi, Urahara, Soi Fong. Someone’s jealous."

Out of Sight, by artemisrae
"One time she kicks him out of her bed and one time she comes to his."


Nocturne, by overtoned
"To Hisana, life consists of a tired father and a dying mother and a tiny sister that never stops crying. Life is the pain of breathing, the tedious chore of remembering to open her eyes in the morning. Hisana tries to forget life, because life is heavy; life is day after day after day of sore eyes and aching limbs."

The Dark, by seppuku_doll
"Dainty fingers combed through his hair, unraveling each strand from the kenseikan."

Breath of Silence, by AzarDarkstar
"Byakuya leans in to kiss her then, but she deftly tilts her head away."

Rules Drawn in Red, by jc_eastling
"Yoruichi and Soi Fong, Byakuya and Hisana, and Rukia thrown like a wrench into the proceedings. This is how some people, or at least Kuchiki Byakuya, learn to live and love."

Iris, by Empatheia
"The wheel of life goes round and round, round and round, round and round again. May god have mercy on his havoc-wrecked soul."

Interpretations, by Narilsa
"When everyone in a certain noble house tells you that you were taken in because you looked like the late wife of its master, there are several ways you can interpret it."

Immolation, by Quagga
"Byakuya and Rukia make a mistake on the night Kaien dies, and it's both the reason why he never looks at her and why she's glad he doesn't."  [ByaRuki, in an angsty and wrong but also believable way.]

Eligible, by firefly
"Where Kuchiki Byakuya suddenly becomes the object of everyone's affections and Rukia and Renji try to avoid his overly inquisitive admirers."

Palisade, by firefly
"Rukia was nothing like Hisana...but she entranced him all the same, without even trying and without even intending to. Slight ByaRuki."

Emptying the Nest, by cccpirate
"In which Byakuya learns a lesson.  Or something."  [Byakuya deals with Rukia's wedding.]

Uncoiling the Snow, by lurk_stiltzkin
"Shiba Kaien and Ukitake Jyuushirou, attending a not so joyous wedding at the Kuchiki house."

[She's become only a minor character in this manga, but I've always had a soft spot for Tatsuki-- all the more so after re-reading 239 and 25.2.   Ichigo's oldest friend, she's been there first for Ichigo and then for Orihime ever since childhood; she's tough, loyal, and nobody's idiot.]

Sealed, by Puaena
"IchigoTatsuki: Written for 30 Kisses LJ Community."

Throughout the Years, by YamiPaladinofChaos
"[Ichigo x Tatsuki] The story of a smile that went away, and the girl who missed it the most."

Two Fighters, or 20 Truths about Ichigo and Tatsuki, by debbiechan
"A look at the canon relationship of Ichigo and Tatsuki from their first meeting to the beginning of the Arrancar arc in the manga."

Push Comes to Shove, by Aoife-hime
"Tatsuki is sick and tired of being weak, so she takes matters into her own hands. Picks up from middle of Chapter 239 of the manga."

Ichigo's Funeral, by debbiechan
"A Shinigami captain doesn't need a human body, does he? The gang goes to Ichigo's funeral. Cremation ceremony, anyone? Ichigo, Tatsuki, Chad, Karin, Isshin, even Chizuro and a little IchiRuki."  [Ensemble cast, but something about the way the author depicts Tatsuki's and Ichigo's long friendship really hits home.]


A Grudge Not Held, by Simply Christian
"AU. Three men never find Rangiku. Because they never find Rangiku, she is never harmed. Because Rangiku is not hurt, Gin does not swear vengeance. Because Gin does not swear vengeance, he never joins Aizen. This is a tale how Gin's allegiances remain with the Gotei 13, and the consequences it produces, both good and bad."

The Chaos Theory series, by AnotherSpoonyBard
"Chaos Theory is a Bleach AU that begins with a deceptively simple premise: the Grand Fisher killed not only Masaki Kurosaki, but also her firstborn child. The world still moves apace, however: Aizen schemes, Urahara counter-schemes, the first seeds of a thousand-year war are planted all over again. But a single altered fact can have repercussions of staggering magnitude, and without Ichigo Kurosaki, the world looks at once familiar and utterly different."  [Featuring Ishida as our new protagonist!]

Another Day Another Pain, by Redhoodlyn
"Due to an unfortunate start, Ichigo’s habit to think in a homicidal and bipolar fashion, and your terrible ability to read minds—well, neither of you have been able to get along. You don’t have any qualms with being civilized when the situation calls for it, but you’d really prefer to not be on the receiving end of his apparently named death-sword or something…"  [An actually well written, intriguing Ichigo/Reader fic.]

Metaesthesia, by lucymonster
"You can only spend so long living another man's life before it starts to change you.  Renji can see the inside of Byakuya's mind now, and it isn't the place he thought it would be."  [Not actually a slash fic, though very much about how these two men relate to each other.]

Last to Know, by triste
"The one in which the pot calls the kettle black." [IchiHime]

The Roots of Heaven, by paperiuni
"After the year of the war, Renji and Ichigo find themselves on a rescue mission (cum road trip) featuring: parallel worlds, lost friends, wine, women, dead souls, demons, male bonding, mind games, sex, angst, campfires, metaphysics, thrilling heroics, kindly lies, and Rukia."  [Long, multi-chaptered fic.  Eventual Ichigo x Renji x Rukia, but it takes its time.]

Phases of the Moon, by Elle917
"It seemed almost inevitable, and looking back, maybe it was. When a sudden wave of Hollows attacks Karakura Town, Yuzu and Karin's lives change forever. The two of them must now get through the Shinigami Academy, and all it entails. HitsuKarin. IchiRuki."

Patch, by Branch
"Renji gets an offer and (wibbles) hesitates over it; Byakuya (pounds) talks some sense into him."

This Wild Abandoned Star, by paperiuni
"After heartbreak, the only way is forward. Renji is cast adrift, and Orihime needs to anchor someone."

The Closet, by Asuka Kureru
"Rukia snorts. 'We can't have a housewarming party in my closet. Who would fit in here with us? ' Orihime's voice goes quiet. 'Kurosaki kun could, if we tried.' Post HuecoMundo. RukiIchiHime Romance, friendship, humor. [See also the angsty prequel and cracktastic sequels here.]

*  *  *
Tags: ,
15 March 2009 @ 01:31 am
Adolescent ninjas.  I don't know why I love this ridiculous manga series, but I do.

I'm compiling this list little by little.  I've read a lot of good fic; this will take a long time. 
(Last updated on 08 October 2010)

In the Future:

New Blood, Saeki (gaiden), and Old Souls, by JFalcon (ongoing)
"For three years the ninja of Konoha and their allies have fought a losing battle. When Konoha becomes so short handed that Shikamaru must train a Genin squad no one could have predicted the effect he and his team would have on the war. ShikaTema."  [I tend to hate next-generation fics, but I'm absolutely in love with this story.  One of the best-plotted, best-written ongoing fics out there.  Amazingly believable, compelling new characters that you actually give a damn about, and Kishimoto's original Konoha Twelve are still vital to the story.  See also Red Eyes, a related side-story.]

Time and Again, and Here and Now (sequel), both by KyLewin (ongoing)
"In a war torn future, in the burning ruins of Konohagakure, Naruto fights Orochimaru and loses as the world collapses around him. From that ending comes a new beginning and a new chance to set things right, if only he can figure out how..."  [Time travel fic done right for once.  No official pairings, but some SasuSaku, NaruHina tension.]

Sleep with Demons (short prequel), and White Rain, by Zapenstap (ongoing)
"A mysterious woman arrives in Konoha seeking asylum for herself...and Itachi's children, but not all is as it seems. As Hokage, Naruto wants to trust her. Sasuke struggles with suspicion. Desperate to protect his family, Itachi's son becomes a Leaf-Nin."  [The first chapter of White Rain puzzled me, but it all starts to make sense by chapter two.  The OC's are well-written and interesting, and the way the author shows Sasuke desperately trying to piece together a life back in Konoha rings true.]

Examination, by DrerrRedclaw (complete)
"Rite of passage. Mark of progress. Things change; adapt or die."  [The summary doesn't tell you much, but the plot is suspenseful and dark, excellently crafted.  The familiar cast of characters, aged fifteen years in the future or so, are well-developed and wholly believable.  It's a crime that this fic doesn't have more reviews.  Pairings: NejiSaku; NaruHina; ShikaTema; KibaIno.]

After the Fall, by Insane Romantic (ongoing)
"When Sakura dies, the last thing she expects to do is to wake up again... eight years in the past."  [There are precious few time-travel fics where Sakura is the one who gets sent back in time, and of the few that there are, this one is far and away the most promising.  Please read and leave a review so that the author will keep it going!]

Oasis, by Nugar
"They couldn't break her spirit, so they killed her mind."   [This is a dark scenario indeed, and yet not one of those soul-crushing angst fics that leaves no room for hope.  Worth a read.]

In the Present, or nearly so:

Konoha (gen): These run the gamut from short to epic to hilarious to poignant.

Mailbox, by Morien Alexander
"A peek into the mailboxes of some of your favorite ninjas... No pairings."  

It Takes a Village, by aishuu
"A Naruto snapshot series."

The Kissing Disease, by chori chupke
[Takes place during the Academy days.  Shikamaru, Hinata, the rookie 9.]

First Frost, by Moonsheen
"In which it snows in Konoha and Naruto incites a revolt. Pay no attention to the brooding ninja in the background."

Ripple Effect, by rayemars
"Sasuke's return to Konoha, and everything that comes after it. Some people have changed more than they wanted or deserved to."  [A classic.]

On death, chance, and being invisible, by zauberer_sirin
[The aftermath of the Sasuke-retrieval arc.  Kurenai-centric, an unusual but effective point of view.]

Fire Shadow's Son, by Quill of Molliemon
"AU, post-Valley of the End. What if Kakashi made it to the valley in time? What if the events of the Kyuubi's defeat played out differently? How would things turn out then?"  [There are several stories out there that explore a universe in which the Yondaime didn't die, but this one is one of the most satisfying-- perhaps because life for Naruto still remains so far from perfect.]

Smile when you're confused, by sinemoras09
" 'I notice you don't have any eyebrows. I also notice you have love carved on your forehead. Why is that?' Sai's kind of an idiot, but he means well. Sai-centric. Gen. Gaara and Lee for extra flair."

Evidence of What You Cannot See (Repeated Ten Times), by hungrytiger11
"Ten visitors to the same hospital room."  [Poignant and sad and hopeful and spot-on, all at the same time.  This is how you do a Sasuke's-back-in-Konoha fic, folks.]

Team 7

Things That Cannot Be Fought, by Dr. Breifs Cat
"And then they found what they needed to make them happy."

Tides, by Elizabeth Culmer
"Three years have changed them and their world, and they don't have much time to put things back together."

Prerequisite, by Sadie DragonFire
"In which Team 7 receives some special education to prepare for their next mission." 

Late Night Awkward and Late Night Misadventures, both by Bittersweet Mika
"Sakura can’t sleep, and Kakashi just can’t escape his students. Awkward situations and revealing conversations abound. Not to mention some realizations about themselves and each other."

Comrades, Coming Out, and Cows, by Asuka Kureru
"Sasuke, Naruto, Sakura, Kakashi. Friendship. A gen, but not quite, story about comrades, coming out, and cows."

Neighbors, by rhoddlet
"Naruto is a better next door neighbor than you think he'd be: he's friendly. He's helpful. He might be a little rude sometimes, but if you ask nicely, he's more than willing to look in on your cat when you go away for a weeklong mission."  [Starts sweet, but the last line hits you like a punch to the gut.]

Lessons Learnt Along the Way, by jamjar
"This is what Jiraiya learns in Hachida: That although Naruto is too young to be a client at the places they visit, he is old enough to be mistaken as a worker."  [Naruto-centric.]

The Reinvention of Memory, by Luc Court
"Trying to fix a three man team has its own quirks for Sakura, especially when there are four people involved."

Anniversaries, by Phoenix of Eternity
"One night every year, Uchiha Sasuke lets himself mourn the family he lost years ago."

Blood Equals Thicker
, by Klayter McCabe
"Deep in the bowels of the Sound, Sasuke wishes the words had been there when he’d had the chance. He wants to tell Sakura and Naruto that, if he’d been any other boy, they would have been enough."

Running Backwards, by Sadie DragonFire
[Sasuke's kept from leaving Konoha after all.  Author gets his angsty, angry, teenage boy perspective just right.]

Naruto's Day, by imawalrus
"This is Naruto’s birthday. He spends it with friends for the first time. He has his first birthday party ever. And he’s turning 19. These are Naruto’s previous birthdays… they aren’t as cheerful. Vague SasuNaru."  [A sweet fic.  Should be read by more people.]

Summer, by pellaz
"Naruto's mornings, he had come to find out, were not exactly normal."

Grown Up Orphans, by Spectrum
"Just Naruto, Sasuke, and the quiet hum of the refrigerator."

Joy Ride, by firefly
"The reason why Konoha has no cars? Blame Kakashi."

Some odd convictions, by shoutgraffiti
"The stroke of a sage's brush relies on more than just a good story. The Tale of Uzumaki Naruto begins, simply, with fear."  [Admittedly, not very much happens in this story.  It's Naruto and Jiraiya and travels and reflections, and it's lyrical and serious and beautiful.]

Five Things that Did Not Happen The Same Way in Canon, and One Thing that Still Could, by book_people
"The benefits of eaves-dropping: everything would have played out much more neatly if Sakura had overheard one conversation."  [Sasuke stays!  For a believable reason!  Only 2 parts of 5 up so far, but this looks to be promising.]

Triage, by mercurial_wit
"Sakura has grown adept at recognising the point at which a fever teeters between recovery and fatality."  [I don't usually go for fic about about Sasuke/Naruto/Sakura as a threesome, but I'll make an exception this time.  Mostly because the relationship between Sakura and the recently-returned Sasuke seems real to me-- the back-and-forth, the suspicion and distrust, the stirrings of the old flame.]

No Legends Left, by runespoor7
"Over twenty years after the current chapters, Madara has won. There are no longer Hidden Villages. But there are still ninjas; they just need to be hidden. There's no place left for the legends."

Five Things Sakura Will Never Tell Naruto
, by sowell
"Kunoichi know how to keep their secrets."  [I don't know why it took me so long to discover this author's stories, but now I'm awfully glad I did.]

Of Fate and the Unexpected, by Paige O.o
"Sasuke returned—a shadow of his former self. Some nights, alone with nothing but her memories, Sakura swore she could still feel his fingers wrapped around her throat. Squeezing. A cold reminder of just how far he'd fallen."  [This sounds like the setup for another Sasuke-Sakura story, and it is-- but it's so much more.  The focus is really on Team 7-- *all* of Team 7, even Sai!-- learning, testing, trying, seeing if they can still fit together as a team.  Sasuke's development is convincing, and his interactions with everyone are pitch-perfect.  Ongoing, so give it a read and a review!]

Team Yondaime

Rules of the Game, by sna
"Jiraiya knows life isn't a game but when he's got Kakashi, Rin & Obito for the afternoon he'll be damned if he doesn't try teach them how to play. And since this is Jiraiya... guess the game..."  [Team Yondaime goodness.]

Persistence of Vision
, by sna
"Quite literally, Kakashi's always got someone keeping an eye out for him."

Lunchtime, by kilerkki
"Life is full of danger. It is not, however, full of good food, and so Konoha’s Team Yellow Flash enjoy it while they can."

Shame and Fame, by ckret2
"The day before Obito died, he babysat his cousin. The day after Obito died, Itachi cried for the last time. Obito had no idea how much he'd changed Itachi, and the Uchiha clan would pay the price for his good intentions."

Team Gai (with some NejiTen)

The Height of Walls, by Pierrot twixt Columbine
"SakuLee. While recovering from his injuries, Neji learns more about Lee than he ever wanted to know."  [Gets the Lee-Neji friendship just right.  Also explains how Neji ended up on the whole Sasuke-retrieval mission.]

How to Bake a Cake, by Kaeru Soyokaze
"Lee wants to bake a cake for Sakura on White Day! Too bad Neji and Tenten are forced to help him...and why is everyone ELSE there? Nejiten, NaruHina, and more..."

Ultimate Taijutsu Technique, by Cyberwolf
"Lee tries out a new Ultimate Taijutsu Technique on Neji. Much to his team's dismay. Except Tenten, she thought it was funny."

Kaleidoscope, by Goldberry
"Every time he looked at her, she changed. [NejiTen]"

A Conversation about Sakura, by teamgaifan
"Is there a pair more dysfunctional than Sasuke and Sakura? Neji and Tenten share a conversation about Konoha’s favorite couple and learn a little more about themselves in the process. Light one-shot."

Midnight Rendezvous, by Peliqua
"NejiTen Oneshot. NejiTen fluff - Post-timeskip. Follows the account of one night's training between Tenten and Neji."

Nicknames, by Cyberwolf
"Naruto may come to regret introducing Sai to Team Gai. Or he might not."

Let Nothing Come Between, by Goldberry
"A mistake by Sakura creates tension between Sasuke and Neji. Tenten comes to an understanding."

Symmetry, by Goldberry
"Balance. Equilibrium. Or the lack thereof. (Team Gai, NejiTen)"

What Remains Unmentioned, by Dayadhvam
"Kakashi keeps accepting Gai’s challenges because he likes to pretend that they still make a difference in the tally of their Eternal Rivalry."

Firsts, by Sahara Storm
"First kisses are important to all young girls, even kunoichi. Tenten is no exception."


Things that could have happened had Hizashi been the older son, by runespoor7
[A series of short AU fics centered on a world where Hinata is no longer the Hyuuga heiress.  This one is my favorite, though all of them are worth reading.]

Firecracker Tales, by TeaLeavesGreen
"A collection of oneshots revolving around the world that revolves around Hyuuga Hanabi. Um, what? Mostly Gen, some light NejiTen."  [This fic deserves some love.  A hidden gem of ff.net]

Cages and Kindness, by Ceresi
"Someone has been freeing the caged birds in the Hyuuga compound."

A Whiter Shade of Pale
, by Cephied Variable
"To read this poem, one must have myraid eyes. One must put aside antipathies and jealousies and not interrupt. One must have patience and infinite care and let the light sound- a spider's footsteps, a leaf on the water's surface- unfold as well. Nothing is to be rejected in fear and horror."

Rosemary for Remembrance, by Sintari
"Hyuga is a house with many rooms. A Neji & Hinata centered fic. Expect madness, love, sex, and murder. This is the story of two lives and as such the parings will change. NaruHina, NejiHina. COMPLETE."

Healing Touch, by Bittersweet Mika
"Hinata’s thoughts and reaction when Neji is brought back half dead. To see him she's willing to do something a little out of character. It will lead to change, maybe enough to change a family."

The Space Between Us, by hungrytiger11
"Hanabi is ten when she decides she will never marry."

The Sand

A Simple Gift, by vampirepenguin
"Kankurou, Gaara, and a birthday present. [gen, oneshot, Kankuroucentric]"

Heal, by gelfling
"After Gaara loses the demon, courtesy of Ataksuki, he has to learn to be human."

Mortality, by diamondmuse
"Legs crushed and ethos shattered, Gaara stagnates in the hospital at Konoha, hovering over the abyss."

Journey Through the Night, by Oreithyia (ongoing)
"An epidemic forces the Kazekage to summon aid from Konoha. But from the horrors of disease to the ties of family and clan, from the fine line between executive and dictator to the complexities of international policy, nothing is ever so simple."  [A suspenseful story with a well-crafted mystery at its heart.  Though it takes place in the Sand, Sakura, Neji, Shino, and Kiba all play big roles, and Hinata has a significant task to perform as well.  All are excellent characterizations.  Some Gaara-Sakura romantic tension as well.]


Ripples, by Yellow Mask
"Following a botched mission, Sakura is made a slave by Sound, a position that could very well alter the future…especially concerning a certain familiar missing-nin. SasuSaku."  [(Multichapter, complete.  Quite possibly the best (and most believable) long SasuSaku fic ever written.  Period.]

Something I Can Do, by kurzon
"Follows manga chap 384, focusing on Sakura's story in the aftermath of the Uchiha brothers' fight. Primarily Sakura action and character development, revolves around Team 7, with SasuSaku and minor NaruHina."  [Multichapter, complete.  The action scenes with Akatsuki move a little too quickly in the first couple chapters, but the interaction between Sasuke and his team once he comes back to Konoha is spot-on and convincing.]

In Nine Days, by cutecrazyice
"'Then prove it! Prove it to me in nine days!'  It was that, or run around naked in Konoha. Of course making the Uchiha fall in love with her was easier...right? SasuSaku."  [The premise-- a bet with Ino-- requires the suspension of some disbelief, as do the mobs of fangirls constantly stalking Sasuke.  But their growing denial as the two try to handle their increasingly insistent attraction to each other rings true.]

Like a heart that stumbles onto knowledge, by Arabesque05
"Facts of Life: Girls crushed on boys, girls were rejected by boys, girls developed fantastic vengeance issues and sometimes became sufficiently embittered to join a nunnery. Of course, Facts never really apply to Life. Or Haruno Sakura."

The Flame that Burns Brightest, by Dr. Breifs Cat
"The flame that burns brightest was never lit at all, but its warmth is enough. Sasusaku." 

If At First You Don't Succeed, by AngelOfDeath10
"SasuSaku, At Naruto's wedding Sakura seeks out Sasuke only to find less than she wanted but more than she'd hoped."

Twenty-five, by zauberer_sirin
"Most elite ninjas don´t live to celebrate their twenty-fifth birthdays."

First Kiss, by incandescence
"Trees were her favorite place."

Echoes, by Calendar
"It will be Sakura's first real solo mission without her teammates. She regrets that she ever looked forward to it."

I think, by Lady Starburst
"She thinks it's impossible to get over something that never was. He thinks there's nothing left. A few years later, Sasuke and Sakura pick up where they left off. Sort of."

Serpentine, by pen-x-pistol
"In the aftermath of a mission gone awry, Sasuke's hormones choose the worst time to finally surface -- and his emerging snake fetish doesn't exactly help matters."  [PG-13]

Kakashi is a Sadist
, by Gutemine
"Kakashi is a sadist.  From the deepest throes of his very soul."  [SasuSaku crack.]

Rain, by Kuro Shi
"A little version of Sakura and Sasuke's married life: The day they were married, it rained. It’s what Sakura thinks about as she stares out the window, waiting for him to come home. He is never late."

Like a Lamb, by Linay
"She is a willing prisoner and he hates her for it."

The Problem with Pink, by jc_eastling
[Fluff and humor of the best kind.]

Aficionado, by Annie Sparklecakes
" 'I bet I can drink more than you without puking!'  Tsunade was really a horrible influence on Sakura, Sasuke mused. SasuSaku. Oneshot.

A Highly Contested Topic (ongoing), by Annie Sparklecakes
"In which Sakura desperately tries to form a bond, and Sasuke grows more and more attached by the day. He won't admit it, but the truth doesn't lie."  [Only one chapter of three up so far, but the characterization rings true.  If Sasuke ever did come back, this would be his one-step-forward, two-steps-back dance with Sakura.]

Weeks before he left, by Propertyoftheuchiha
"Why did he leave, really?"  [As the summary implies, this is an alternate take on the events leading up to Sasuke's leaving Konoha.  I have mixed feelings about this one-- I love it until about 4 chapters away from the end, where the plot takes a turn that, frankly, disturbs me.  But the many chapters before that (ignoring the odd formatting and line breaks) have a pretty amazing, realistic grasp on Sasuke and Sakura as teenagers with hormones-- they're awkward, they're terribly inexperienced, but there's also an intensity and an earnestness about them that comes only with one's first physical relationship.  Your mileage may vary, I guess.]

Perfect in Weakness, by Ravyn
"Team 7. Team Hebi. Sai. Because when Sasuke comes home he brings some people with him and some interactions are more hostile than others. Team 7 never said they'd share."


Parallels, by questfordreams and lazzchan
[Multichapter, complete.  A jutsu gone wrong sends Naruto into a parallel universe.  Later chapters are rated M, but an engaging story regardless.]

Aftermathematics, by ronsard
"How many miles to Babylon?  Of destinations, blind fish, and converging vectors."

When the Cat's Away, by Vee-Sempai
"Naruto and Sasuke are left alone while Kakashi trails an enemy, and Sasuke is badgered into admitting something he would rather not."  [Rating: M]

Anchored in Dust, by mercurial_wit
"Sasuke's first thought was: there is an excess of space in the desert."  [I'm not usually interested in Naruto/Sasuke stories unless they're in-character and really effing good, and this one takes the cake.  Every sentence is beautiful and sharp, and feels true.]

Wrong Turn, by sowell
"Naruto and Sasuke have an interlude in the desert. Nothing changes."
[This fic and the next by sowell have really brought me around on Naruto/Sasuke stories.  I used to avoid them, but when they're this well-written--gritty and dark and yet not hopeless-- they feel right to me.]

Asymmetry, by sowell
"Naruto and Sasuke find their way through Konoha's post-war politics."


A Series of Firsts, by leafy_girl
"The first time Kakashi had seen Sakura in three years, she was fighting."

Duty Before Honor, by SilverShine
"Sakura knew why Tsunade didn’t want a virgin on this mission. Things might get out of hand. Acts might be carried out too far. She was glad Kakashi was accompanying her, but right then she wouldn’t have minded the entire population of Konoha."

Seven Days, by SilverShine
"A mission gone awry lands two squeakyclean ninja in the Konoha Prison for a week. One cell. Seven Days. What could possibly happen?  (Aside from the obvious throttling, of course. This is Kakashi and Sakura we’re talking about.)"

Hokage Sama
, by SilverShine
"Every Hokage needs his assistant. KakaSaku. One-shot."

Sabotage, by the real esther
"When her fifth date got food poisoning, and her sixth date cancelled in over the phone in a tone bordering on hysteria, Sakura decided things were getting out of hand."

A Poor Imitation, by leafy_girl
"Sakura is injured on a mission, forgetting everything she knew of life in Konoha."

Nymph, by SilverShine
"To her it is as natural as breathing. She wouldn't know how to keep men from adoring her, even if she tried."  [Definitely not work safe.  Also definitely hot, slow and seductive.]

The Apartment, by incandescence
"He talks of the peeling paint and cracks in the floor; she waxes eloquent of large windows and spacious balconies."

Five Times Kakashi Touched Sakura's Ass, by sowell
"Pretty much exactly what the title says."

SasuHina (a difficult pairing to work with, but these fics get something right.)

These are the Facts
, by Sunfreak
"Promises are what shape a ninja- or perhaps a clan. HinaSasu, one-sided HinaNaru."

Cause for Conversation, by firefly
"Hinata has always been intimidated by Sasuke, but when she serves as a substitute for Sakura on a mission, she comes to learn that the stoic Uchiha is not so bad after all."  [Gets Sasuke's odd combination of rudeness and his hidden sense of decency just right.]

Of Nights and Fireworks, by shilhouette68
"Hinata spends a wonderful event with someone unsuspected. SasuHina."  [If Sasuke ever did feel like human company, reading this makes it easy to believe he'd find Hinata less annoying than the majority of the population.]


Do Not Feed the Animals, by Lazuli
"Hinata makes Naruto food, but as usual, he doesn't notice."  [Some good Sasuke-Hinata interaction as well.]

Quiet Proposal, by otherworld violet
"She wants to tell him she’s scared, and she doesn’t want to marry Nejiniisan or Sasukekun – she wants to marry him and only him and if she can’t she’ll never be happy. NaruHina."  [If the two of them ever ended up together, this is how it would happen.]


Loophole and Genshi (sequel), both by leafygirl
"Sakura formulates her own plan to get Sasuke back. Unfortunately, using Itachi as part of the plan is a huge gamble."


Project Human, by randomsomeone
"Growing up gets a little more treacherous, as friendship, caring, and the rehabilitation of those in need eventually all boils down to . . . What? LeeSakuGaa triangle, just to confuse things."

In Stone, by randomsomeone
"When it looks like everything might be taken away, Gaara can at least be grateful that he doesn't have to meet his challenges alone. Now if he can just hold things together for long enough to figure out where Naruto went..."

Beginnings, by paws-bells
"Naruto needs a favor, Gaara needs an escort and Sakura wants nothing to do with it!  As usual, nothing goes her way and she even got more than she bargained for! How did she always end up in this kind of situations, anyway?"

10 Genres for Sakura x Gaara, by redbrunja
[Just as the title says.]

Scattered Thoughts, by randomsomeone
"A collection of unrelated, mostly lighthearted GaaSaku ficlets. The pair seems to enjoy abusing each other . . ."

See also Journey Through the Night, listed above under The Sand.


Bitch, asshole, and other pretty words, by zauberer_sirin
"He wakes up with sand up his nostrils, just like in his dreams of this place (oh, yes, he has dreamed about this journey, he often dreams of all the things he doesn´t know about her), just like in Konoha, where he wakes up wondering why his mouth is dry and his head full of dunes and realizes there are still some grains of sand in her hair."

Semantics, by Cephied Variable
"Shikamaru, Temari, and her brothers."

Conductivity, by two if by sea
"A week after they all came back from fighting the Sound ninjas, Shikamaru takes Temari to a beach at the edge of the Fire Country borders. The Sand ninjas aren't going to stay in Konoha for too long. This is the last chance Shikamaru will have. This is the only thing Shikamaru can come up with. He's not a Chuunin for creativity, necessarily; no one's ever said he was an artist in these kinds of things."

Sun and Shadow, by lynnxlady
"After a decade’s worth of absence from it, she came barreling back into his life, with kunai flying and the sibilant, deadly whisper of her fan opening."

Three Days, by Lotos-Eater
"The Nara doth protest too much, methinks."  [rated M towards the end.]


Not Heaven, by Anria
"Naruto is sent on a mission to the Hidden Sand. There, he meets Gaara once more."

Water displacement, by two if by sea
"Sand Country smells of sand and chlorine all the time. The smell hits you like something physical the first time you arrive and then slowly fades into the background until you leave, when you start wondering what it is exactly that you've lost, some important part of your breathing. Then you realize that it's the smell. You'll miss the smell for weeks. It's a warm and hot and humid smell, dry and wet at the same time, unable to be pinpointed, and it's in this smell that Gaara grows up."

Other pairings

Necromancer, by V-chan2k6
"Uchiha Sasuke was holding on to something. In one chance encounter, she brought it back to life."  [Sasuke and TenTen, the way it could have been.  Takes a completely unlikely twosome and makes it (miraculously!) viable, all the while writing a different-- and quite satisfying-- ending to part 1 of the manga.   Some NejiTen here as well.]

Breathless, by incandescence
[Warning: rated M.  But it manages to come up with a believable Neji/Sakura/Shikamaru situation, and thus worth reading.]

Acting Out, by Sunfreak
"Ino is growing up, and chooses to rebel in a very unexpected way. Inonaru."

Music from Another Room, by Sunfreak
"Ino hangs out in the back room with a cigarette and Neji drops by. InoNeji."

For You, by SkItZoFrEaK
" 'It’s alright,' Rock Lee soothed, though he did not let go of her wrists and his leg stayed firmly locked around her knees. 'I’m here for you now,' he murmured. Lee. Sakura."  [A slightly angsty, ineffably sweet, believable LeeSaku fic.]

The Anatomy of Need, by mercurial_wit
"To Sakura's credit, his hands are covered in blood. But it seems irritating and appropriate in equal measures that she doesn't give him a chance to explain what he's doing – making a last-ditch effort at saving someone's life, actually – before she slams her fist into his chest."  [Kabuto and... Sakura?  It works, somehow.]
Tags: ,
31 May 2007 @ 12:22 am
I created this account solely to keep track of fanfiction that I like.  I don't suspect I'll actually be posting much of a personal nature here-- mostly I'll be using this journal to write up lists of recs every now and again.  If I've friended you, it's either because I like your work, or because something you wrote was recommended to me and it happens to be friend-locked.  That's it, I guess.