?

Log in

20 August 2008 @ 06:29 pm
Title: Mulling
Author/ess: Pyrasaur
Series: Phoenix Wright
Length: 905 words, one shot
Character/pairing: Phoenix/Mia
Rating/warnings: T/PG-13, presumably pre-game
Summary: She didn't know what this was but it was beautiful.

Ah, Phoenix Wright. The series that gave me a pairing as soon as it started…and kinda took it away just as quickly, due to certain events. Me and those doomed/impossible pairings. And what with all of the slash or Phoenix/Maya out there, I didn’t really expect to find anything like this…so when I did, it was pretty awesome. Mia, Phoenix, and something softly comfortable and all right.

This fic has that fluttering, synesthetic quality to it that the writer uses, and it gives rise to a lot of imagery and word combinations that really suit the soft flow of it. That’s the fic’s real quality, how it just paints these pictures of not-quite-standard words and not-quite-standard images into a very nice whole. There’s really nothing more to say about it – it’s a great, different sort of way to tell a possible story of this pairing, and really, you might as well just go and read it right now instead.

Preview:
It happened by degrees, a thousand tiny motions and she took what remained of the stiff-forming couch. All the better to watch Phoenix shift, half-aware, and all the better to lay a hand on his arm and watch his eyelashes stir.

Chief, he called her, in a voice thick and far away. And confused at its edges, small the way he hadn't been for years.

She asked if this was all right. And smiled because it was Phoenix -- she knew his answer, saw it in his lake-dark eyes. That was all she needed.
 
 
19 August 2008 @ 04:45 pm
Title: Six Dances
Author/ess: cadence_zero
Series: Ender’s Game
Length: 2,600 words, one shot
Character/pairing: Valentine, Peter, appearances and mentions of Ender, Graff, and various OCs
Rating/warnings: PG, spoilers for the end of Ender’s Game but goes AU with who’s on the first colony ship
Summary: Valentine had always hated formal functions, in the same way that she had always hated Peter. Not to the same degree, of course, but the universe seemed to have a way of working to change that. Valentine, Peter, dancing, and world domination.

I still like Ender’s Game (not its series), but the Ender’s Shadow series has definitely rubbed off more on me now. Which means I’ve ended up liking Peter a lot, what with all of his faults and strengths, and Valentine and Ender have been shoved to the back of my mind. So it’s nice to revisit with a fic like this. Following the first book’s chronology (though diverging later), six dances Valentine had to dance or attend, and Peter always in the wake.

I have to admit, with my favorite characters, I’m very picky about characterization. The first readthroughs I didn’t really think this, but only now do I think, eh, this isn’t Peter, he’s not a horrible guy. But then again, through the eyes of Ender and Valentine in Ender’s Game, he really was, so in that sense the fic gets it down. The calculating, sometimes mockingly jocular side of him does feel true to his young self, along with all of Valentine’s vacillating and how she ultimately stands by him anyway. The AU is subtle, but fits the theme of this much more than if it followed the book’s events. Overall, it’s a very piercing, honest look at the characters, a great Valentine POV, and oh so worth the read.

Preview:
She confronted Peter about it later.

"Why did you do that? You don't even know her."

"The color of her dress brought out my eyes," Peter said. She tried to summon anger at his offhandedness.

"And besides," he added with a grin, "It'll give her a story to tell when I'm ruling the world."

Valentine choked back a laugh at that. Then she stopped trying to be angry. It was hardly Peter's fault that ten-year-old girls were shallow, after all.
 
 
Title: By Any Other Name
Author/ess: chitsuki
Series: Detective Conan
Length: 513 words, one shot
Character/pairing: Conan/Ai
Rating/warnings: PG
Summary: (None given.) Written for 30_kisses, theme: gardenia.

Hey look, another one of those hopeless pairings that I’m prone to liking. But don’t worry, the fic’s a lot more lighthearted than that. Funny as I always equated Conan/Ai to more darker, convoluted things, but it does have the humorous side to it caused by the cynicism and sarcasm and general “hey, Kudo’s an idiot” sort of thing. That’s the centerpiece of this one. For some reason Haibara drags Conan to a flower shop, and yet again she manages to make him look like an idiot. Again.

I love the characterization and humor in this one. They’re spot on, which means great jabs from Haibara’s end and fitting embarrassed reactions from Conan’s. And for a short one-shot at 30_kisses, well, this fic took the idea in a direction that was more fitting for the two than the usual drippy romance-y sorts of things that some of the fics there have. But again, spot-on banter, and a nice, hilarious, light sort of piece that can be a bit hard to find; it makes it all the more enjoyable, really, and it doesn’t even need that boost.

Preview:
"Rose?"

It was just a guess. If there was one thing he knew less than music about, it was flowers.

She gave him a look as though when God gave out brains, he had obviously missed the line-up.

"It's a gardenia."

He shrugged. "Close enough."

"For a self-proclaimed meitantei, you sure can be clueless."
 
 
Need FE7 icons, urk.

Title: Shades
Author/ess: LittleGreenBudgie
Series: Fire Emblem 7: Blazing Sword / Rekka no Ken
Length: 2,376 words, one shot
Character/pairing: Priscilla, Raven (Raymond), Lucius
Rating/warnings: K+/PG, AU, spoilers for who Raven is from his various support convos? And lots of references to any of the Priscilla or Raven support convos, really.
Summary: Spring green, summer golden, fall red, winter white: life is change. Yet it's summer again, but her brother is not the same. A look into the relationship between Raymond, Priscilla, and Lucius.

Contrary to some people, I love how Fire Emblem games have large casts, even if the game obviously can’t give a lot of information or even screentime for each of them. Let your imagination take care of the rest, really, I say. I have to admit, though, I’d never have come up with an AU setting, but this one’s so incredibly close to the FE universe anyway that it’s almost inconsequential. Priscilla’s the happy one and Raymond’s withdrawn, but Lucius comes, and oh, how childhoods change.

Raven’s awesome because he’s the game’s only and best Mercenary/Hero class, and he could probably decimate a map on his own. But I always liked Priscilla more, and not just for her Troubadour/Valkyrie awesomeness. She has this sorrowful semi-fragility about her, and it’s illustrated quite well here. The fic’s an interesting setup – large chunks of paragraphs separated by large dividers, each chronicling another little moment over the years. It really captures what’s in the game well, with Priscilla and Raven’s eventual estrangement despite how they were close siblings, and Priscilla’s unhappiness with how close Lucius is to Raven instead. Only the place where this fic ends up seems so much bleaker than the game ever did, and it really hits home. It’s an excellent (AU!) character study, and I love it for its good, fair focus on Priscilla. A very interesting piece.

Preview:
Raymond has started talking to Lucius about the other’s unwillingness to leave the house for anything beyond school or church. Lucius deflects the questions as subtly as he can, protesting that he does have friends and switching Raymond’s words around so that the redhead never even notices that the subject was changed until the conversation is already over. He’s still so, so shy around other people, but Raymond’s never noticed, has only ever really seen how Lucius acts around him. Besides, Lucius sees his friends at school or at church, and even though they’re a mismatched bunch of misfits, Lucius is too.

Priscilla still doesn’t really have any friends, but Raymond doesn’t know that, doesn’t know because he doesn’t write and because she’s not sure she’s comfortable with telling him. She tries to pretend that she hasn’t even considered telling Lucius instead, but the knowledge sits heavily on her mind.
 
 
16 August 2008 @ 01:07 pm
Title: Belief
Author/ess: audrarose
Series: Numb3rs
Length: approx. 1,464 words, one shot
Character/pairing: Charlie, Don
Rating/warnings: PG
Summary: Charlie. Don. Basketball. Faith.

Ah, Numb3rs. I love my boys. Is it a popular fandom thing to slash together once-semi-estranged brothers, or even minus the estranged part? And, er, there’s nothing I like more than gen for this fandom, hahaha. The basic premise is that Charlie’s playing basketball while Don’s concerned that he hasn’t been out of the house in probably months; the underlying one, how Charlie never believed in the magic of their childhood that Don did.

I mean, geh, this is great. ‘Just like it’s out of an episode’ is probably some of the greatest praise that can be given, and this one really does feel like it. It has just that right amount of attention to detail, gets the Charlie logical mind processes and the wistful hey-remember-when, and the way the fic references their past is exactly something that the series would do in one of its less life-endangering, adrenaline-rush moments. And haha, it’s just like Charlie to calculate how to throw a basketball perfectly while Don just goes for it. Just, yay sibling fic, nice subtle evaluations of the characters and who they are, and a great look into the present and the past.

Preview:
7.6 meters per second. An angle of 60 degrees. Nothing but net.

It didn’t work, of course. It turned out that the equation was correct but the application presented difficulties. Between nine and twenty-nine he’d realized that there were real-world variables that marred the simple elegance of mathematics on paper; things like wind, which could be measured, and the human element, which was far more difficult to describe. The exact angle couldn’t be measured by eye, and the application of force came through muscles that couldn’t be controlled perfectly every time. Even so, over the years he tried to account for the changing length of arm, the increased density of muscle. Fatigue. Backspin.

“It shouldn’t take this long to set up a free throw, Charlie.”

Distraction.
 
 
 
Title: Feels Like Dying Over Here
Author/ess: arrankaara
Series: Bleach
Length: 2,930 words, one shot
Character/pairing: Ichigo/Rukia, Renji, Byakuya, Kira
Rating/warnings: PG-15
Summary: 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.

Hm, Bleach. I suppose it has been a while…maybe I’ll even get back into the series one day. Yeah, er. Well, I can still read pre-high school craziness fic, at least. And I still love my Ichigo/Rukia. The fic’s exactly what the summary says – Ichigo’s now a captain, life goes on, marriage proposal by someone else to Rukia makes him stop dead in his tracks and life grinds to a halt.

I liked a lot of things about this one. Seeing Renji as more sympathetic to Ichigo and not competing with him for Rukia was a nice change of pace. Seeing the two get horribly drunk and the aftermath was amusing, along with the descriptions of Byakuya and many more things – the humor’s spread out, subtly in some places, but always so good. And it’s like the author said; Ichigo’s a pretty dramatic guy, so the whole dying thing’s done dramatically too, but I like it. The way tension and various moods are written, and the way it’s all so painfully, wonderfully Ichigo…oh yeah, definitely a read. Give it a go.

Preview:
“I…” there was a feeling, close to dying but not really, when he saw how tense and rigid her posture was. He didn’t want to see her back; he wanted to see her face, just to make sure that he wasn’t imagining last night. Ichigo swallowed the lump (proverbial frog?) in his throat and let his hands to fall at his sides. “Nothing. See you later.”

With a nod, she was gone. Just like that.

“You’re an idiot.” Renji, limping inside right after Rukia’s departure, was wiping his mouth with the back of his hand and looked positively green, though definitely not with envy.

Ichigo’s shoulder slumped. “I know.”
 
 
14 August 2008 @ 03:28 pm
Title: Try
Author/ess: akanekari-katamari
Series: Darker than BLACK
Length: 190 words, one shot
Character/pairing: Hei/Yin
Rating/warnings: K+/PG, set post-series, references to eps 13-14
Summary: Hei and Yin talk a little about their future together.

Oh, Darker than BLACK. Yeah, I fell hard for this series, what can I say. I love Hei, and I grew to love Yin…and, yeah, I kinda like them together. Even if the majority of fanfics seem to prefer other pairings, alas. Thus, I was pretty happy to find this little drabble among the rest of the fic at ff.net. Hei, Yin, after everything and without knowing where to go next.

First and foremost, this fic was in character. Which, you know, tricky. Most of the fics I’ve seen with Yin in them…oh, that was messy and a bit scary. And I sympathize, since Yin’s probably the hardest character to write in DtB – you never know if your characterization of her pushes the bar too much, or if you’re making her stoically boring, plus the series’ (season, I hope) finale gave her character room to grow…vaguely. Typically most writers go way over the bar, but this one stays well in the ‘that makes sense’ zone. And of course Hei’s very IC too, but characterization spiel aside. With very short pieces, every word counts, and I admit that I winced when the author talked about eyes with color adjectives and “orbs”. Orbs? Bad. Very bad. (I know, but…ask Dex and she’ll explain this one Naruto fic that we couldn’t stop laughing over, alas.) Otherwise, the rest of it was poignant, feeling as though each word was heavy with subtlety or meaning. A great drabble that gives the pairing just enough to be a pairing, and not too much so they’re still the Hei and Yin we know and love.

Preview:
“Love…?” She repeated.

Of course, she knew what it was. Scientifically, of course. She couldn’t remember any of her former feelings as Kirisi.

Hei turned to her, coughing and turning slightly pink.

“It’s when someone-”

“I know.” Yin cut him off. “…It won’t work.”
 
 
Title: Coffee at 12 AM
Author/ess: stillkneedeep
Series: Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney / Gyakuten Saiban 4
Length: 1,101 words, one shot
Character/pairing: Klavier/Ema
Rating/warnings: T/PG-13
Summary: If coffee is god, then Klavier Gavin is the devil.

I probably should’ve just tagged all of the PW/AJ fics under “Gyakuten Saiban”…oops. So they’ll all be under Phoenix Wright in the mems and tags, even if the header has Apollo Justice. After all, a few of the characters overlap and it’s still the same universe. I’m not sure if I prefer the old cast more – I found myself missing Edgeworth and Franziska often – but older!Ema and people like Klavier still made the game more than worthwhile. Pair them together and you have utter hilarity and probably a wave of destruction in Ema’s wake. Ema’s stuck working late, and then Klavier comes with coffee…not that Ema will take charity from him or anything.

The whole thing is hilarious. I loved the reference to the third PW/GS game what with the big top case, and everything that Klavier does to raise Ema’s ire could be exactly like him. And ah, the end. Perfect setup. I’m not a fan of authors using bold, but there’s not a lot, and now I’m just being nitpicky. It’s a funny, short scene that does what it sets out to do very nicely. And besides, any fic where Klavier antagonizes Ema like this is worth the read alone.

Preview:
She sighs irritably as her thoughts drift back to the reason why she’s poring over case files at 11:43 pm on a Monday night, when she could be sleeping in her comfy bed in her snug little apartment.

“Well, if it isn’t my little working girl!”

Speak of the devil.

Ema rolls her chair backward in a swift motion (hee, rolly chairs: one of the few perks of being a detective) and glares at the intruder, who comes bearing two steaming cups bearing the logo of a local coffee shop. Granted, coffee sounds like nirvana right now, but Ema isn’t going to cave.

“Oh. Klavier. It’s you.”
 
 
12 August 2008 @ 12:37 pm
Title: Chances.
Author/ess: fan_elune
Series: Alias
Length: approx. 2,915 words, one shot
Character/pairing: Jack-centric, Sydney, Sark, Isabelle and Jack (the son), mentions of pretty much everyone
Rating/warnings: PG-13, spoilers for the season finale
Summary: (Spoilers in the rec.) Written for the Dearly Departed Alias Ficathon, with a request of Jack, to write him interacting with Isabelle and Little Jack, to have Sydney be surprised at something, and Weiss with a mohawk.

Oh, Jack. Who doesn’t love Jack. Uhm, so yeah, stupid season finale even though it did finally give some characters a happy ending or a ‘life goes on’, but…dot dot dot. Therefore, I’ll just let the fic do it – besides, Rambaldi makes everything more than possible. Jack lives through dreams and dreams and dreams, despite what he believes is the impossibility; but eventually, one has to wake up to reality.

The dream sequences really make this fic. They’re just the right mix of lyrical and evocative, a state of matter that might be somewhere between liquid and not-solid; they have all the right not-quite-right transitions to resemble real dreams and nightmares, yet are still grounded just enough in some sort of reality. Some of them will really just get you. And ah, Sark’s involvement, and finally Sydney and her children – Isabelle in particular – everything’s just incredibly true to character, amusing or baffling in all the right ways. I only wish I knew enough to understand the mystery of who that man is in the middle part, but otherwise. The author just knows how to write those trippy dreams so, so well, and a Jack story like this can be my personal canon any day.

Preview:
Her eyes are everything. Soft and warm and he knows, with the certainty of one who has lived this dream before, of the cold, hard edges hidden under the velvet love.

There might be a toaster, or it might be another time. He sinks in her arms all the same, because he did, and will again, sinks in her arms and expects to drown, expects the love and the lies to stifle him, expects a pillow pressed on his face, expects a hand over his mouth and fingers pressing his nostrils closed, expects a slash across his windpipe.

Instead, he gets a lie. He gets the warmth, the softness, he gets words spun like silk and it's a web he'll always get caught in. He gets fate.
 
 
11 August 2008 @ 02:50 am
Title: Waiting for My Rocket
Author/ess: miiko_ashida (also here at ff.net)
Series: Loveless
Length: 618 words, one shot
Character/pairing: Kio, Yuiko, hints of Ritsuka/Yuiko, Soubi/Kio, and Soubi/Ritsuka
Rating/warnings: K+/PG; Kio makes some references about Seimei that won’t quite make sense if you don’t know those volume 4/5 spoilers, so.
Summary: Yuiko and Kio commiserate, and Aoyagi is not quite the tragedy it once seemed to be.

It’s no surprise that when I started Loveless, I absolutely could not stand Yuiko or Kio, respectively. Yuiko was just…clingy, pointless, so immature, and Kio was like a puppy dog trailing after a lost cause. Then both of them started to subtly or not so subtly change. Throw in their whole hopeless infatuations and all, and they’d suddenly become more layered and complex. Or maybe it just took me that long to notice. A tearful Yuiko comes to Soubi’s apartment, looking for Aoyagi – Ritsuka – and Kio’s there to pick up the pieces.

The first thing that grabs you when reading this is that, well, the fic’s centered around these two, and it definitely does justice to their characters. The second thing is the format. It’s a conversation done entirely without quotation marks, using italics instead, but it’s choosy about when italics are used. Sometimes the format and some pronouns/sentences are a bit too vague, but at the same time it allows for the two halves of the conversation to bleed together more in a way that reinforces how what one of them says could easily have come from the other’s mouth instead. It’s a great look at two often underappreciated characters whose depth aren’t always seen by many, and is definitely worth a go.

Preview:
He gives it another shot, putting his arm around her shaking shoulders. Wide, like a boy’s. Ritsuka doesn’t like
boys. Ritsuka likes Soubi. I know how you feel, ya know.

You do?

Yup. But I can tell you, even though you won’t forget how you feel right now, love doesn’t just happen once. Everybody gets a second chance. Don’t be stupid like me. When those other boys come along, take another shot at it. I bet yours is right there and you don’t even know it!

Is Yuiko in love, Kio-san? I don’t know what to call it. Yuiko hurts, but love is happy, right?

Love is tough luck on the rocks. How comforting would the truth be? It’s a lot more than that. You have to love somebody an awful lot to hurt like this over them, don’t you think?