Under Wicked Sky by suge (NC-17)

Title: Under Wicked Sky
Fandom: Avatar: The Last Airbender
Pairing: Sokka/Zuko
Genres: AU, Angst, Adventure, Romance
Length: Epic (60,310 words)
Warnings: Rape

Author on LJ: N/A (There is an LJ with the same username but I can't tell if they're the same person.)
Author Website: suge @ FF.net

Author's Summary:
During a raid Zhao captures Zuko and Sokka. They escape with dificulty, but surviving the uncharted earthebender territory and each other is the real challenge.

Review:
In this AU of season one a Zuko captured and raped by Zhao after their battle escapes with Sokka, who is cuffed to him. Forced to co-operate with each other, their relationship is just as rocky as you would expect, with romance blooming very gradually between the hurt and distrustful boys. Zhao is believable as the villain; you can image that the man who thought nothing of killing the moon could be as cruel as this. It's kind of like seeing a more realistic Avatar, the behind the scenes of the more kid-friendly main story. The darker places this fic goes, as well as the politics it explores, feel like different facets of the same canon.

This story isn't without its flaws. Spelling and grammar mistakes are rife, and the comma usage makes some of the sentence structure a bit jarring. Overall though, the great characterisation and plot are more than enough to make up for these little irritations.

Under Wicked Sky

Baby Steps by Moons and Glassware (Pg-13)

Title: Baby Steps
Fandom: The Heroes of Olympus -
Percy Jackson and the Olympians & Related Fandoms - All Media Types
Pairing: Nico di Angelo/Will Solace
Categories: Romance, Fluffy, First Time
Length: Medium [2649 words]
Warnings: No warning apply. Please check the rating at the title.

Author Website: Moons and Glassware(on AO3)

Summary: While Nico spends his time in the infirmary as per doctor's orders, he discovers that there may be a little...something between him and said Doctor Solace. Or a coda fic that takes place right after the events of The Blood of Olympus. [original summary]

Review: I’m onto sweet things now, mixed with my enormous fics, so I decided to change up and review this little one. This fic takes place after Blood of Olympus, and it’s practically spoiler free - you only know what is happening if you read the book. Nico di Angelo, Will Solace and Lou Ellen are featured, which means triple attack of adorableness.

Nico is in the infirmary and Will is taking care of him; the lovely part is that we see Nico trying to figure Will out, while feeling rooted and warmed by Will’s attention. This is significant because Nico is always cold, always disappearing in the shadows, and Will presents, in the smallest gestures, the exact opposite.

Lou Ellen is marvelous in the cannon and this fic translates her well; love her darkish humor and how she is always there to sooth the boys at the same time she smacks their head and makes them see how much they like each other. Her habit of trying to kill people is always nice.

I love how much Nico wavers between his usual black humor and a teen in his first crush - all squeaky and adorable. Be aware this is a sweet and gen rated fic, so we only get a minimum of romance at the end, but it’s quite worth the sweetness of the fic and the overall shortness of it.


Baby Steps

Objective Data by walkandtalk (PG)

Title: Objective Data
Fandom: Star Trek XI
Pairing: Jim Kirk/Spock
Categories/Genres: Pre-Canon, Alternate Universe, Outside POV, Kid Fic, First Time, Matchmaking, Romance, Fluff, Humor
Length: Long (22368 words)
Warnings: N/A

Author on LJ: N/A
Author Website: walkandtalk

Summary:

A young Vulcan decides to find a mate for his guardian, Spock. After careful calculations, Cadet Kirk is obviously the superior choice.

Review:

Senik, a nine year old Vulcan Yenta, decides to hook up his cousin Spock and Cadet Jim Kirk for fun profit science. It's hilarious.

Writing children convincingly is a tall order for writers. It's one thing to slip into the mindset of an adult character, someone fully formed with their own unique patterns of reasoning and behavior. But to strike the perfect balance of naivete, innocence, and perceptiveness that belongs solely to children seems to escape most writers, per my observations as a reader. Most seem to either fall short of or overshoot their character's intended age, turning a maturing child into a babyish caricature of a child or giving a child maturity and wisdom much too far beyond their years. Some authors even manage to do both simultaneously.

walkandtalk has a slightly easier job of it, since Senik is Vulcan and can already communicate on the level of adults. But there remains a childishness to his perception. There is lightness and innocence in him that separates him from the many adults he interacts with. Senik is slyly obstinate in a very specific way, weaseling without malice around the rules laid upon him by the adults in the way that children do. It is perhaps that, more than anything else, that cemented walkandtalk's characterization of Senik in my mind as one of the most convincing portrayals of a child I've ever read.

I haven't yet finished reading Objective Data's sequel, Subjective Assessment , but from what I've read so far, the collection of timestamps seems to be a perfectly adorable continuation of Spock, Senik, and Jim's (mis)adventures.

Objective Data
Title: Student Teacher Relations
Fandom: Supernatural
Pairing: Sam/Dean
Categories/Genres: Highschool AU, Student/Teacher
Length: 99619
Warnings: Barely underage, like a week

Author/Artist on LJ: katie_the_sith
Author/Artist Website: On Sinful Desire.org

Summary: Sam is young popular basketball captain in High School, and Dean is his new Assistant Coach, will Sam be able to resist that golden skin and freckles?

Review:
This is one of the first fics I have ever read and still in my memories as one of the best. Sam and Dean completely in their flavour. You find Sam determined to do everything the hard way and bitching at Dean to do the same and Dean with his fond indulgence for life and simple things making him a push over, making it hard for him to decipher the angst Sam is bringing his way.

Spoilers:

What makes this unusual as far as a student teacher fic goes is that it is done in defense of the teacher. It's clear throughout all this fic that Sam knows himself. Yet when they get caught, Sam is already 18 and still his parents prosecute despite his wishes.

I love the fact its pointed out that Sam is smarter, stronger and bigger than Dean. That he is more emotionally intelligent and even that while he read medical textbooks Dean was reading Harry Potter despite being the older teacher. You are left in no doubt that Dean had no power over Sam's decisions yet what it comes down to is when they first started having sex, less than a month before he turns 18 and that's all it takes to risk Dean being put away forever.

This fic has many sweet moments. Most is Sam and Dean getting to know each other.

Student Teacher Relations
Title: Blue Agents of Destruction

Fandom: Megamind/Lilo and Stitch
Pairing: gen, early hints of Megamind/Roxanne
Categories: crack, humour, fluff, crossover
Length: medium, ~6000 words
Warnings: none

Author on Livejournal: n/a?
Author Website: Dal Niente on fanfiction.net

Summary: Roxanne wakes up to find a strange creature systematically destroying her apartment.

Review: ...it had seemed harmless enough at first. And it had been cute -- it's still cute, never mind that it's shredding her sofa. It's gleefully enthusiastic about everything, and the cheerful burring noises it's making provide a rather strange counterpoint to the sound of rending cloth. Big ears, big black eyes, big nose, big grin? And fuzzy to boot. It's adorable.

State of my brain today demands I rec something with a high crack/fluff/cuteness factor, therefore have a meeting between the mutually blue and not-really-evil protagonists of two of my favourite animated movies.

Set pre-canon regards Megamind, when Roxanne Ritchie finds a blue, evil alien making itself a nuisance, and not even the usual one, she calls up Metro Man to help deal with the problem, as you do... only he's busy mid-crisis, but someone else overhears and surprises her by showing up to help instead.

I love the parallels touched upon here between two little blue dudes conditioned by society or creator to think of themselves as bad by default. File under 'crossovers that you didn't know needed to exist'.

Blue Agents of Destruction

Life Sentence by Astolat (R)

Title: Life Sentence
Fandom: Fast & Furious
Pairing: Brian O'Conner/Dominic Toretto
Categories: AU, Action/Adventure, Case Fic, Romance
Length: Long (29k)
Warnings: Threatened Dub-con

Author on LJ: astolat
Website: Ao3 Website

Summary: “Sit down,” the doctor said. He took blood, three vials filling up dark red. “Any medical conditions?”

“No,” Dom said, and then his mouth kept going and said, “What if I want to volunteer for bonding?”

The doctor peered at him over the glasses. “Do you want to volunteer for bonding?”

It hung in the air. Dom felt it like a noose around his throat, squeezing. Twenty-five to life. “Yeah,” he said.

Review: An interesting take on bonding fics. In a world where bonding is one of the only way to get out of prison, Dom is desperate to get out of Lomac and Brian isn't given much of a choice but to agree, or risk the lives of a lot of innocent civilians.

Despite the complete change in worlds, and meetings, this fic manages to keep the high-octain action of the films, while keeping the characters from becoming too Out of Character. There is a large threat of 'Morality made them do it' sex throughout the first half of the story, but it is resolved before anything is forced on the characters. And their relationship is allowed to grow organically into a happy ending.

Even if you aren't very familiar with the fandom, this fic is self-contained it might be worth giving a try if the premise appeals to you.

Life Sentence
Title: Some Kind of Temporary Sanity
Fandom: Supernatural
Pairing: Sam/Dean
Genres: AU, Drama, Smut, Prison
Length: Medium
Warnings: Dub-con, incest, voyeurism

Author on LJ: pinkwithoutplot
Author Website: N/A

Author's Summary:
N/A

Review:
An AU of Folsom Prison Blues, in this fic Sam doesn't deal as well with being incarcerated as he did in canon. Singled out by the other inmates, he and Dean have to pretend to be together in an effort to protect him - and then surprise surprise, they have to actually get together. It's smutty and wrong and ultimately satisfying.

Some Kind of Temporary Sanity

Lips in My Hair by fierybeams (Nc-17)

Title: Lips in My Hair
Fandom: Glee
Pairing: Kurt Hummel/Elliott "Starchild" Gilbert
Categories: Romance, Fluffy
Length: Long [16978 words]
Warnings: No warning apply. Please check the rating at the title.

Author Website: fierybeams(on AO3)

Summary:
Kurt and Elliott's relationship as told through hair dye. Or: Five times Elliott changed his hair, and one time Kurt did. [original summary]

Review:
When it comes to Glee I usually read Kurt/Blaine, Kurt/Puck, Puck/Finn or Sebastian/Kurt, I do, sometimes mix those characters up, but I’m quite limited to Kurt, Finn, Blaine, Puck and Sebastian in various couples, triads or moresomes. Then I saw this fic and decided to try Kurt/Elliot, mostly because of the Donut!Verse - that I reviewed here - in which Kurt/Adam Lambert aka Elliot are a thing. Well, color me surprised, the fic is really good! And brings out a ton of what I picture Adam to be, while still making Elliot a believable and amazing character.

While it follows the 5+1 fanfic formula, all chapters are quite cohesive and the plot flows splendidly. We go over the many moments a new relationship has, including a break up. It’s fun, it’s hot and very well written. I specially like Kurt characterization, showing his virtues and hung ups: fandom tends to portray him as overly perfect or demonize his flaws.

The fic also doesn’t bash Blaine, which, thank god! And it’s marvelous that we see Kurt experimenting in college, not only with body modification - his brief canon tattoo/piercing, but also his hair - but with how differently a relationship can transform with another person. In that manner, Elliot is put together and guided by his cannon characterization, while playing with a whole great personality and shimmy the author gave him.

Fluffy, but mature, this fic wins points for the general happy feeling it gives, while still managing smut and great conversations. The dramatic points aren't boring or over the top and I'm just fascinated by all the hair talk - it gave me delirious dreams of painting my hair mermaid green again.

On a final note, before you read, because you should! I love the writing style, the author’s adjectives are to die for and Kurt’s though process is so fun, I wish the shows had subtitles made by her. This fic is truly a perfect marriage of form and content.

Lips in my Hair

Curtains by Anonymous (PG-15)

Title: Curtains
Fandom: James Bond
Pairing: James Bond/Q
Categories/Genres: Domestic, Slow Burn, Romance, Action/Adventure, Fluff, Humor
Length: Long (20352 words)
Warnings: N/A

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

Summary:

Indulgent domesticity. No real plot to speak of, just Bond and Q moving in together as friends after Q is targeted and his place burnt down, and slowly progressing to being a couple.

Review:

Curtains is an easy read, which is a more complex proposition than one might think, when you consider the two characters it's written about. Perhaps it's more accurate to say that it's a gentle read, as opposed to easy, swaddling the reader in layers of cozy domesticity and slowly warming romance without glossing over the violence and danger inherent in these two men's lives. There's no conflict in this fic beyond what the world throws at Bond and Q, no arduous strife nor struggle. Just gentle, easy domesticity and two men slowly deepening their relationship from co-workers to friends to lovers.

Curtains
Title: Sacrifices Arc
Fandom: Harry Potter
Pairing: Harry Potter/Draco Malfoy
Categories/Genres: Spy, War
Length: 3,069,375 + extras
Warnings: Dark, Child Abuse, Character Death, Maiming, Slavery

Author/Artist on LJ: lightningwave

Summary: Saving Connor begins an AU of Harry Potter's school years, the Sacrifices Arc, where Harry's twin Connor (bearing a heart-shaped scar) is acknowledged as the Boy-Who-Lived. Harry and Connor have a loving relationship, and Harry plays the role of personal bodyguard/silent support for his brother to the hilt.

Review:
I admit I didn't get all the way through this. It's just so monumentally long. For comparison the Harry Potter books themselves are only 1,084,170 and I'd have a hard time reading them one after the other as well. Yet it will truly be a huge regret on my bucket list though if I do not finish this and I do not know if I would ever forgive myself. I think I got to book 5 and it is shocking.

The summary explains nothing of the book so I'll go into a little more detail. If you hate spoilers do not read on. The book starts with a huge change to the plot. In this version Harry had a twin brother named Connor and when Voldemort came to kill them when they were a year old they both received a unique scar when the killing curse backfired. The boys weren't with their parents when Voldemort came into Godric's Hollow meaning both Lily and James were alive to raise them.

This means the prophecy was also different. In this one it mentions the the younger would care for the whole world and the older would only care for the younger. Dumbledore decided that to keep the prophecy in their favour the two boys must be the younger and older. If they were not it meant that there was another boy out their the dark lord could kill to ruin the prophecy forever and they couldn't let that be so they started planning.

They pretty much condition Harry as the older twin by minutes to only care for Connor. They pretty much systematically abuse him until he cares about Connor's happiness more than his own life. They train him to be his brothers protector, train him to not care for any pleasure and tolerate any pain. If you cannot stand Lily, James and Dumbledore treating a child as less than human then don't read this.

It gets so bad at points but at the same time it's worth it for how you grow to love this version of Harry. I love him dearly to the point his losses make me cry, his hurts make me feel pain and his victories make my heart soar and I would never ask more from a book than that. This is probably a fic I would recommend to J.K Rowling herself as this fic is a castle build only on her bare template and to call it just another AU is to degrade all the clever ideas and plot that makes so much sense to the the point of nothing.

The Sacrifices Arc

The Things you Carry by Inksplotch (Pg)

Title:the things you carry
Fandom: Tamora Pierce - Protector of the Small
Pairing: Gen
Categories: AU, Friendship, Post-Canon,
Length: Medium (6k)
Warnings: Canon typical violence

Author on LJ:
Website: Ao3TumblrOriginal Fiction

Summary: After Kel breaks orders and invades Scanra to rescue her Haven civilians in Lady Knight, she is found guilty of treason in wartime.

She escapes with the help of friends and does the only thing Kel could ever conceive of doing in that instance-- she keeps fighting Tortall's war.

This is Kel, however; she is always willing to fight her battles alone, but people will always rise up to fight alongside her.

Review: Protector of the Small, is one of my favorite series. I reread it every few years. Which is why I was so pleased to find this fic. Ink-splotch really nails Kel's voice.

The story is amazing in all its little details that build up on each other, until the ending is both fitting and inevitable. A new Tortall after the war, but perhaps a better one as well.
the things you carry

A Mile Away With Their Shoes by Aralias (G)

Title: A Mile Away With Their Shoes

Fandom: Blake's 7
Pairing: gen
Categories: friendship, sad stories
Length: medium, 5956 words
Warnings: downbeat ending

Author on Livejournal: aralias
Author Website: Aralias on AO3

Summary: Gan and Orac are stuck together for a while.

Review: This is a sweet -- bittersweet -- fic and the oddest of odd friendship stories, focusing on two characters most often overlooked in fanfiction or on the show: Gan a strong man who couldn't fight in a world of spaceships and technology, and Orac the computer more normally used for punchlines and plot device than as a character. In this story, they form an unlikely rapport when they're forced to spend time in each other's company. And there's canon basis!

The idea of these two trying to converse and find any common ground is such a charming one, and the voices ring so true I can hear the actor's speaking the dialogue. The characterisation of Gan is particularly painfully resonant in context of where this is set in canon.

I also love the story behind the title, which is both hilarious and so fitting with B7ish philosophies on life.

A Mile Away With Their Shoes

Crush by sonofabiscuit77 (NC-17)

Title: Crush
Fandom: Supernatural
Pairing: Sam/Dean
Genres: AU, Angst, Hurt/Comfort, Romance, Outsider POV
Length: Epic (61k words)
Warnings: Incest

Author on LJ: sonofabiscuit77
Author Website: N/A

Author's Summary:
Five years after the apocalypse didn’t happen and Sam and Dean have settled down, or as much as the Winchesters can ever settle down. Sam is a college professor and Dean a well-respected small business owner and they’re learning how to balance work, hunting and dog-ownership while coping with the metaphorical and literal scars of war. Life’s not perfect, not for a (sort of) out and proud couple in small town USA with a lot to hide, but they’re dealing, that is, until Dean employs one sexually-confused teenager who develops an unhealthy obsession with both of them... Switching between five years earlier and now, we learn how the boys came together, how they made it through the big fight and whether they’ll ever manage to find that flighty temptress, happily ever after.

Review:
Full of tension, both dramatic and sexual, this fic really kept my attention. The relationship between Sam and Dean is at its incestuous best here - fucked up and weird and yet intense and compelling. The fact that for half of the fic we're viewing Sam and Dean's relationship through the eyes of a formerly-straight, hair-triggered teenager really adds to that intensity. His inner monologue and his huge crush on Dean are very well written, perfectly portraying the all-encompassing nature of teen infatuation and sucking the reader into his at times awkward and funny longing.

The fic switches between his and Sam's POV as it shows us what happened between Sam and Dean before their current domesticity. Their story is both an interesting character study and a scorching hot sexual journey, as we read about their relationship developing both sexually and romantically, and how it has changed them and those close to them.

This author has also written plenty of other long and well written Supernatural fics - I highly recommend checking them all out if you haven't already.

Crush

Let's Get Physical by fallingidols (Nc-17)

Title: Let's Get Physical
Fandom: One Direction [Bandom/RPF]
Pairing: Liam Payne/Niall Horan
Categories: Romance, AU
Length: Medium [7534 words]
Warnings: Public Sex


Author Website: fallingidols(on AO3)

Summary:
Niall and Liam play a little game: how much sexual tension can they handle before one of them cracks?
Hint: not very much.
A gym AU where Harry signs Niall up with a personal trainer for his knee, but somewhere along the way Niall ends up with Liam and a whole lot of sexual tension instead. [original summary]

Review: The is fic is short and sweet, and I choose it for this week because it’s rare to find good Niall/Liam fics. I really like the dynamics of the pairing, and the author, while in a short work, manages to fill in their personalities quite well.

Besides Liam and Niall, we have a very friendly butterfly Harry that is 100% adorable and trying to help Niall in everything and Zayn, that is quite written in the cranky spectrum instead of the usual mysterious one, which is always refreshing. Oh, there is also Josh, though he leaves the fic quickly, but we have some great comic moments because of him.

The fic shows a medium to fast work of Liam’s and Niall’s relationship, which leads to some great sex and cuteness, the pining happens in a good proportion, which gives interest but isn’t boring! This fic is light, sweet and spicy and just a lovely read.

Let's Get Physical

Walk a While With Me by LadyJanelly (NC-17)

Title: Walk a While With Me
Fandom: The Losers
Pairing: Carlos “Cougar” Alvarez/Jake Jensen
Categories/Genres: Alternate Universe, Canon Divergence, Hurt/Comfort, Angst, Drama, Friendship, Fluff, Romance, Healing, Slow Burn
Length: Long (33841 words)
Warnings: Descriptions of assault and sexual assault

Author on LJ: ladyjanelly
Author Website: LadyJanelly

Summary:

Jake Jensen left the Army before he ever had a chance to be a Loser. Cougar meets him anyway.

Sometimes what a man needs to have a chance at happiness is losing the battle he’s been fighting his whole life.

Review:

Note: This fic contains descriptions of homophobic violence of both sexual and non-sexual nature committed against a gay character. The violence occurs off screen, but is frankly discussed by the characters.

I'm not quite sure where to begin, when it comes to Walk a While With Me. It's an incredible work that strikes an impeccable balance between a slowly developing romance and the realism of Cougar and Jake's respective mindsets and traumas. Between Cougar's deeply internalized homophobia and Jake's previous sexual assault, it's not by any means what I would consider an easy read, but the friendship that forms between the two men and the quiet weeks they spend together working on Jake's fixer-upper houses cushions the sharp edges. The result is a poignant fic that digs deep into the reader's emotions, but never quite cuts. It's about hurt and pain, but more importantly it's about healing.

Need is a prominent theme in Walk a While With Me. What Cougar needs. What Jake needs. What they need from each other. What they needed from others that they did, or didn't get. LadyJanelly explores the evolution of Cougar's needs as he comes to terms with his homosexuality and how they are affected by his deepening relationship with Jake. It's a stark contrast, looking at Cougar as he is introduced in the fic and then at his decisions at the end of the fic, but LadyJanelly writes his journey with such deftness that the change is fluid and inevitable.

The supporting characters range from the Losers to several original characters. Each is excellently written, particularly the OCs, who are quirky and interesting and stand out without removing the focus from Cougar's narration. They provide texture and richness to the story, interacting with and affecting Cougar and Jake's relationship even in absentia and helping the story move forward in a very organic way.

Walk a While With Me

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