Title: A Clear View of the Sea by hesychasm
Fandom: The Eagle of the Ninth (books and movie)
Pairing: Mostly Esca/Marcus, with some slight progress towards future OT3
Categories: angst, post-canon, miscommunication
Length: ~17,000 words
Warnings: n/a

In preparation for Marcus's marriage to Cottia, he and Esca go to Marcus's new land and start to build a farm.

I have to admit, I've never read The Eagle of a Ninth, so I have no experience with canon!Cottia. Based on how she's portrayed in fanfic, however, she must've been one fantastic character, because she's utterly awesome in everything I've read that featured her. Frankly, the main reason for all the angst and drama in this story is the lack of Cottia, because if she'd been around, she would've gotten everyone straightened out right off the bat.

Fortunately for my angst-loving soul, there is no Cottia to knock some sense into the boys and thus they spend lots of time building the barn and not communicating in any useful fashion. I really enjoyed the details of the building of the farm from scratch (though building the villa seemed to be an awfully easy task) and I loved the increasingly fraught relationship between Esca and Marcus.

If people behaving rationally and talking openly about their feelings is your kink -- well, this is not the story for you. But if you're in the mood for angst and miscommunication, give this fic a shot.

A Clear View of the Sea
Title: A Time to Forget by GatewayGirl
Fandom: Harry Potter
Pairing: Harry/Snape
Categories: post-canon, angst, amnesia
Length: ~25,000 words
Warnings: n/a

While teaching at Hogwarts, Harry discovers a secret room. Inside that room is Snape, still alive but missing some very important memories.

I love how difficult it is to classify this story: on the one hand, Severus is younger than Harry and his mind is that of a teenager. On the other hand, there is no deaging involved -- Snape's just been in suspended animation for a couple of decades, while Harry caught up (and surpassed) him in age. And the mental deaging is a side effect of the amnesia, rather than him actually having the mind of a teeager.

All of this results in a story with some very unique moral and ethical implications as Harry and Severus interact with each other, especially as Severus's memory slowly starts to come back. You've also got some great interaction between Severus and the other students, as Snape's memories are no longer politically correct and he is, to some extent, still an adult.

I will admit that this story feels a little unbalanced -- the beginning (before Snape's awake) feels long, and the ending feels rushed. Compared to the sheer awesomeness that is a sorta-but-not-really teenage!Severus, however, that's a minor quibble. Mix in some great characterizations and fantastic writing, and you've got a wonderful Harry Potter fic for Snarry fans.

A Time to Forget
Title: Getting to Know You by miss_pryss
Fandom: Die Hard 4
Pairing: Matt/John
Categories: friendship, fluff, post-canon
Length: ~10,000 words
Warnings: n/a

While recovering in the hospital, John and Matt make a mutual pact to start having some fun together.

This is such a sweet, fun, and fluffy way of getting John and Matt together. I loved their Sunday play dates and the various adventures that they embarked on and the fact that they took turns picking what they were going to do. Even more, I loved all of the secondary characters: Lucy and Chen and even Warlock's two-line cameo. Most of all, however, I loved the way that Matt and John take the time to become friends before they become anything more. A lovely story about friendship and fun.

Getting to Know You
Title: We could be a whole parade by belmanoir
Fandom: Due South
Pairing: Kowalski/Vecchio
Categories: pre-slash, friendship, post-canon
Length: ~8,000 words
Warnings: Fraser isn't portrayed in the best light (then again, it's pretty much the way he is in canon, so YMMV)

Ray comes back from Canada, licking his wounds, and runs into Frannie at a ballroom dancing class.

Despite the pairing, this fic is mostly about Ray K. and Frannie's growing friendship. I love these two so much together -- they're both a little broken and both often underestimated and they make a fantastic platonic couple. Mix in some closure on the whole Stella issues, as well as a lovely understated romance between the two Rays, and you have one of the best Due South fics I've read in years. Just lovely.

We could be a whole parade
Title: Precession by Spatz
Fandom: Life
Pairing: Charlie Crews/Dani Reese (pre-het)
Categories: post-canon
Length: ~3,000 words
Warnings: I have no idea if this story is AU or not (Tidwell ruined the show for me and I never did make it to the end)

Charlie's on suspension and keeps calling Dani at work to bug her.

The dialogue in this story is amazing! Crews and Reese are such distinct and unique characters that it sometimes can be a challenge to write their dialogue in such a way that it rings true, but Spatz handles it brilliantly. It's been years since I've watched the show and I can still hear the characters' voices in my head when reading this story; that's a rare feat for me. A small but delicious treat for fans of Life.

It's the start of the holiday season! To celebrate, I'm going to be posting a rec a day for as many days as I have recs for -- hopefully at least through the month of December. If I have any left on December 31, I'll spam you with the remainder. Enjoy!

Title: Bound by Jain
Fandom: The Eagle
Pairing: Marcus/Esca
Categories: angst, miscommunication, post-canon
Length: ~11,000 words
Warnings: n/a

With one well-intentioned but disastrous lie, Esca might lose everything that matters to him.

I have to admit, it took ages for me to produce the above summary, because this story has almost nothing to do with plot and everything to do with miscommunication. If miscommunication is a kink for you, then this is a must-read story full of angst and emotional turmoil. If you aren't a fan of miscommunication, this may not be your best bet.

Personally, I *love* well-done miscommunication, especially when the author is talented enough that the reader can recognize both characters motivations, even when the story is just from one POV and the POV's character is being an emotional idiot. Jain does an excellent job conveying Marcus's motivations through Esca's POV and I was really impressed with how deftly she handled the growing rift between the characters despite their obvious and intense desire to be together. The only downside is an ending that is a bit too quick and neat and which doesn't quite pay off all of the prior angst. It's a minor quibble, however, compared to the awesomeness of the rest of the story.

Title: A Disney Prince Consort by Mithrigil
Fandom: Tangled
Pairing: Flynn Rider/Rapunzel (but basically gen)
Categories: fluff, humor, family, post-canon, tiny bit of kid!fic
Length: ~1,300 words
Warnings: n/a

From the author: "In which Eugene Fitzherbert deftly and graciously contends with such highfaluting concepts as cognatic primogeniture, morganatic marriage, inter-state relations, and a spunky brunette wife who somehow knows how to manage everything including him."

I once enjoyed a very long e-mail exchange with lothy about all of those bits of royalty trivia that people who live in countries without royalty just don't understand. This story reminds me about this e-mail in all the best ways. Eugene's voice is spot-on and hysterical when he's panicking, Rapunzel kicks ass even when she is panicking, and Max never panics, but Rapunzel might have a point about the head of the navy being a horse.

Fun, fluffy, and wonderfully lighthearted, this is the perfect tidbit to brighten those winter blues.

A Disney Prince Consort
Title: Turn a New Page, Tear the Old One Out by shrift
Fandom: Breakfast Club
Pairing: Brian/Bender
Categories: post-canon, drama, virgin
Length: ~8,000 words
Warnings: underage (technically)

John Bender's life, post-movie.

I'll be honest, all of the Breakfast Club fics I've read and liked to this point have had basically the same plot: John drops out of high school, life occurs, and then he meets up with Brian again. Thing is, John Bender is such an interesting character and his relationship with Brian has so much potential, that there seem to be an endless number of ways this story can be told. This one is a great version, with John joining the Army (despite the expectations of everyone in his family, who are hysterical and awful at the same time) and living his life and running into Brian a few times along the way. Sweet, hot, and satisfying, this is a must-read for Breakfast Club slash fans.

Turn a New Page, Tear the Old One Out
Title: Higher Education by Resonant
Fandom: Breakfast Club
Pairing: John Bender/Brian Johnson
Categories: post-canon, drama, favorite
Length: 15,200 words (story and coda)
Warnings: n/a

After dropping out of high school, John Bender has a whole lot of growing up to do. Just when he's finally gotten his feet firmly under him, Brian Johnson makes a surprise reappearance in his life.

This is one of my absolute favorite fanfics of all time and has inspired pretty much all of the Bender/Brian fic out there (of which there can never be enough). I'd never even considered the pairing (hell, I'd never even considered the fandom) till I stumbled on this fic and ever since I've been totally hooked. Resonant does a brilliant job of mapping the change from asshole!teenage!Bender to adult!John, using a sparse writing style that never gets bogged down in the incidentals, but which still spends just the right amount of time on all of the really good bits (read: any scene with Brian and John together). Mix in some interesting OCs, the wrapping up of just enough loose ends, and some really smoking hot sex, and you have an absolute must-read fic for anyone who likes good writing and brilliant characterization. Highly recommended.

Higher Education
Bare (coda)
Title: Reversal of Fortune by shayheyred
Fandom: Gorgeous Carat
Pairing: Ray/Florian or gen, depending on how much weight you place on innuendo)
Categories: post-canon (I think), angst, drama
Length: ~2,900 words
Warnings: n/a

After Ray gets exposed as Noir, he is publicly lashed and left to live or die with nothing to his name. That's how Florian finds him.

I have to confess something: if this fic were in a large fandom, it probably wouldn't have gotten recced. Not because it isn't great (it is), but because it feels more like the first chapter of a wonderfully epic character study that I really wish had been written and which I really want to read.

That said, what better compliment can I pay to a story but that I wish it were a lot longer? Ray and Florian are beautifully in character, which is impressive considering how different their places in the world are from canon, and the writing and dialogue are both tone perfect and enjoyable to read. Good Gorgeous Carat fic is hard to find, and fic where Ray and Florian exchange the master/slave dynamic is nearly non-existent, which makes this a must-read for any fan of the fandom or of really well-written reversal of fortune fics. A fun, very enjoyable story.

Reversal of Fortune
Title: Time to Grow by zarah5
Fandom: X-Men: First Class
Pairing: Charles/Erik
Categories: fix-it, angst, post-canon, friendship
Length: 21,000 words
Warnings: An overabundance of commas, many with dubious grammatical correctness.

With two small changes during Charles and Erik's fight on the beach, the course of history can be changed.

From what I've seen, the X-Men: First Class fandom is going to be dominated by fix-it fics, which totally makes my day as I wasn't happy with the ending either (no matter how pre-ordained it might have been). This fic is the best of the ones I've read so far, with solid characterizations and a firm grasp of real life history and genetics that give the story an impressive amount of depth and weight. Full of shades of grey and tough decisions, but with a happy (or at least hopeful ending), Time to Grow should appeal to any fan of X-Men: First Class.

Time to Grow
Title: The Day Is Saved by miss_pryss
Fandom: Die Hard 4 (Live Free or Die Hard)
Pairing: gen
Categories: humor, post-canon
Length: 2,760 words
Warnings: n/a

John, Lucy, and Matt keep trying to have a day off, but bad shit *just keeps happening*. And it is hysterical.

The vast majority of the DH4 fic I've read is John/Matt and kind of angsty, which is why this story is such a breath of fresh air. The various misadventures of the McClanes and Farrell are kind of ridiculous (but no more ridiculous than actual canon) and at the same time awesome, as all three of the people in question are more than equipped to kick ass. Even if that ass happens to belong to a rogue Santa. Funny and very fun.

The Day Is Saved
Title: Magnetic by Aria
Fandom: Due South
Pairing: Fraser/Kowalski/Vecchio
Categories: post-canon, angst, casefile
Length: ~20,700 words
Warnings: police procedure as accurate as in canon (which is to say, not accurate at all)

After the adventure, Kowalski comes back to Chicago with the understanding that Fraser will be following as soon as he can arrange a transfer back to the Consulate. Only when Kowalski arrives, he finds that Vecchio is back as well.

I understand that there are a lot of Due South threesome fics where both Vecchio and Kowalski are focused on Fraser (though I have to admit I haven't found many of those stories myself). This fic is rather unique in that it *seems* like the Rays are focused on Fraser, but the real issue is that the Rays are focused on each other and *want* to be focused on Fraser. It's an interesting dynamic that causes lots of issues until everyone finally gets their ass in gear and *talks* to each other. Add to that some good writing with a few absolutely great lines as well as two very distinct Rays and you have a solid, satisfying FKV fic.

Title: Marriage a Trois by Sorrel
Fandom: Sherlock Holmes
Pairing: Holmes/Watson/Mary
Categories: angst, post-canon, hurt/comfort
Length: ~33,000 words
Warnings: n/a

Mary always knew that to be married to John she'd have to learn to accept Sherlock. She just didn't realize what accepting Sherlock truly meant.

While I deeply appreciate the fact that the Sherlock Holmes fandom has mostly refrained from female-character bashing, most gen and slash (and even threesome!) authors tend to push Mary aside or even ignore her outright. Which makes this fic such a unique and precious gem: not only does Sorrel embrace Mary and show her as a fully articulated, intelligent, and interesting woman, she does so using Mary's POV.

The story itself is less a Mary/John or Holmes/Watson story and more a Mary/Sherlock story, because for the threesome to truly work, Mary and Sherlock have to do more than just get along. The end result is a magnificent slow-building romance featuring a wonderful female protagonist. A very satisfying and enjoyable read.

Marriage a Trois


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