Title: The Shadows Feel like Home
Fandom: Chronicles of Narnia/Torchwood
Pairing: Edmund Pevensie/Jack Harkness
Categories: AU, Crossover,Family, Time-Travel,
Length: Epic (52k)
Warnings: Character Death, Dark, Aliens

Author on LJ: burntcopper
Author Website: Burntcopper’s Ao3

Summary: In which the Pevensies trip, fall, and somehow end up in Torchwood. It's not Susan's fault she shot an alien that was trying to kill Jack Harkness.
Review: This story takes place in the same universe as the National Service Series I recced three years ago, but it can easily be read independently.

This is a fun and fast-moving fic that explores the idea of a Pevensie family that survived post Narnia and what they would do if they fell into the Torchwood Continuum. Particularly what the younger three Pevensies would do with Jack Harkness.

Usually in Torchwood fics Jack is seen as this kind of imovable force because he’s lived so long, so it is interesting to see him run into a bunch of young adults that have lived multiple lives in multiple worlds and don’t give him any kind of respect he doesn’t earn first.

The plot is pretty much episodic and it moves quickly to the point that sometimes things get forgotten along the way but it is tons of fun if you are looking for a bunch of capable, irreverent, damaged people saving the day.

The Shadows Feel Like Home

Dana (AU season 3) by audreythree (~NC-17)

Title: Dana (AU season 3)

Fandom: Haven
Pairing: Audrey Parker/Duke Crocker, Audrey Parker/Nathan Wuornos
Categories: AU
Length: Epic, 71,970
Warnings: Violence, touches of dubious consent due to the complexities of Audrey's changing identities.

Author on LJ: n/a
Author Website: audreythree on AO3

Summary: Two years after Audrey Parker disappeared... Dana Bellamy rides into town.

Review:
This is my first rec here and I feel like I'm starting with a bit of a cheat, because this epic rec is actually three stories. But I find it very hard to separate out parts #1 Dana and #3 Audrey from each other: one picks up exactly where the other ends, and really it's two parts of one long fic to me, and #2 Ricochet is a delightful little fill-in for the backstory of this particular canon divergence.

This is one of the 'Audrey comes back to Haven with a new name (and new hair) and no memory of Duke and Nathan' fics that abounded after the finales to seasons 2 and 3 (this one season 2), so it's thoroughly Jossed now, with a different interpretation of the working of Duke's curse, among other things, but still so worth the read. (It has a few things in common with season 4, in fact: I think this is one fic that called the show on a few things.) It's also highly overlooked in this fandom, perhaps because it simply doesn't categorise well: isn't Audrey/Nathan or Audrey/Duke but both, when so many fans are all for one or the other, and isn't the popular Audrey/Duke/Nathan OT3 either but approaches more of a V relationship with a solid friendship between the two men.

The story follows Dana, the newcomer to Haven, rediscovering the Troubles and her abilities to help stop the Troubles, and rediscovering Duke and Nathan at the same time, wrapping up with its own conclusions and revelations about Haven's secrets.

The main reason for reading, the characterisation in this is gorgeous, complex and human, and the interactions between the three leads. I like the touches with Nathan, in particular -- in part 1, from an outsider point of view that doesn't like him -- his portrayal subtle and heartbreaking. This is a darker, different Duke than in canon, changed by circumstances, but not changed so very much. The new face of Audrey, Dana, is a strong and convincing personality in her own right. The relationship between the two men isn't portrayed as sexual (yet, although as a fan of the pairing I'm always thinking, hey, it can go there) but the links between them are so obviously strong, that they can continue to find a connection and not a source of friction in their love for the same woman.

Dana (AU season 3)

Parts of the Process by Asrai (R)

Title: Parts of the Process
Fandom: Doctor Who/Torchwood
Pairing: Jack/Ianto, platonic Doctor/Ianto
Genres: AU, Crossover, Adventure, Romance, Hurt/Comfort
Length: Epic (49,182 words)
Warnings: Torture, one instance of period-specific racism

Author on LJ: N/A
Author Website: Asrai @ FF.net

Author's Summary:
And although Ianto goes hurtling through the universe, crossing time and space seems to teach him one thing in particular – that all roads lead to Rome.

Review:
I love me some Ianto fic, and the rare and beautiful fics where he interacts with the Doctor really make me happy. Set during Jacks absence from Torchwood, the Doctor crash lands and regenerates in Ianto's garden. Keen for a break from a Jack-less Torchwood, Ianto joins the Doctor as a companion. What follows is, of course, adventures through space and time, including Ianto meeting some past versions of Jack and training at the Time Agency academy.

The best feature of this story is the relationship between Ianto and the Doctor. Rather than regenerating into the usual adult white man, the Doctor is instead an Indian teenager. This doesn't come off as gimmicky at all; it's rarely mentioned directly by the author, and the changes it makes to the Doctors interactions with strangers and the usual Doctor/Companion relationship are made obvious through show rather than tell. His youth means strangers talk to Ianto before they do him, and also tones down his usual confidence/arrogance into something a little more vulnerable and human. This different dynamic makes for plenty of touching and funny moments, and elevates the fic into something lovely and unique with a surprisingly sweet tone.

Parts of the Process
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Title: The Dah-Ling Store-It-Yourself
Fandom: Psych
Pairing: Carlton Lassiter/Shawn Spencer
Categories/Genres: Mystery, Case File, Drama, Action/Adventure, Kidnapping, Humor
Length: Epic (43049 words)
Warnings: N/A

Author on LJ: nixa_jane
Author Website: nixajane

Summary:

The bad news is that one of Lassiter's highest profile arrests has just escaped from prison. The worse news is that his best hope of tracking him down is a sleep-deprived Shawn Spencer.

Review:

It's not every day that someone writes a thoroughly plotted out case file fic, and even more rarely does the mystery fit with the tone of the canon so well you're left wondering, 'Why isn't this an actual episode?'

The Dah-Ling Store-It-Yourself is an intricately plotted adventure that unfolds perfectly, with just the right amount of information laid out for the reader to follow along, and enough deeply embedded clues that, when certain conclusions are revealed at the very end, it's obvious to the reader that they weren't drawn from thin air. That isn't to say that there aren't certain improbable things, but nothing that falls beyond the realm of Psych's general outlandishness.

The characters introduced for the mystery are generally quirky and layered with complexity, even the ones the reader never meets face to face. Cyril Riner, Shawn's kidnapper-slash-client, is particularly endearing and quickly earns the reader's trust in spite of most of the cast's determined belief that he's guilty of murder.

Fascinatingly, there's a palpable sense of frustration amongst many of the cast directed squarely at Shawn for his recklessness and obstinate refusal to give lip service to even the idea of working cooperatively with the SBPD. This fic shows Shawn at his finest but also does not flinch from showing him at his most selfish. In fact the only major gripe I have with this fic is that Shawn is so stubbornly focused on getting what he wants that it becomes an almost deliberate blindness to any potential negative consequences. And when the opportunity arises for Shawn to see those very real consequences, the nixajane lets it pass on by. In the end, Shawn gets what he wants and everyone else gets to bow to his whims.

I haven't read the other stories in The Dah-Ling Series yet, but I definitely will. Spoiled boy getting his way aside, I wouldn't miss another of nixajane's Psych case file fics for the world.

The Dah-Ling Store-It-Yourself

Reporting for Duty by mavfan (PG13)

Title: Reporting for Duty Trilogy
Fandom: Star Trek Voyager
Pairing: Naomi Wildman/Icheb
Categories: romance, action
Length: epic (90k)
Warnings: mild violence

Author on LJ: n/a
Author Website: on ff.net

Summary: set post-series, Naomi and Icheb are serving on the USS Lindbergh, trying to navigate the rough world of their first assignments as Ensigns while still maintaining their friendship...and maybe something more.

Review:
When you have a small ship it always sucks because there's so little fic to read, and there's almost never anything long and plotty. I've been shipping Naomi/Icheb since Voyager first aired; I just loved both the characters so much and I felt that they would really compliment each other well. But this ship is a private ship, *cries tears of no ficness*. Until I came across this wonderful series about a year ago.

MavFan captures the voices of Naomi and Icheb perfectly and believably positions them as adults back in the Alpha Quadrant, dealing with being newly minted Starfleet officers. What I particularly love about this series is the sense of history that MavFan injects into the pair. It's set in the future, but they have known each other for *so* long that they are best friends. And watching them transition from friends to lovers feels organic and it's just downright adorable.

Plus, there's lots of wonderful cameos from all the Treks which is delightful. Ezri Dax features predominantly as the Captain.

Part 1: Reporting for Duty
Part 2: Collective Freedom
Part 3: Frozen Fiasco

this world is cracked & crazy by Sa_kun

Title: this world is cracked & crazy
Fandom: Teen Wolf
Pairing: Derek/Stiles
Categories: AU, Action/Adventure, Angst, Hurt/Comfort, Romance, Supernatural,
Length: Epic (40k)
Warnings:Character death; Child abuse; Mentions of past sexual abuse; Slavery

Author on LJ: sa_kun
Website: Sa_kun

Summary:Stiles runs away from his old pack on a Monday. He meets his dad for the first time on a Sunday, and he falls in love on a Thursday.

Review: Stiles is a hermaphrodite Hyena were whose family has been hunted into extinction because of their differing biology.

It's interesting to see such a well researched story that takes into account the differing culture and instincts inherent in having more than one breed of were-creature in a pack.

The story also explores the differences in what it would mean for someone like Derek, who was born to be a beta, to suddenly be thrust into the role of Alpha. And how things would change if a born-Alpha came into the picture to become the Hale Alpha.

this world is cracked & crazy
Title: Please be here until the morning
Fandom: Inception
Pairing: Eames/Arthur
Categories: Romance
Length: Medium (8,156)
Warnings: N/A

Author on LJ: sorrynotsorry
Author Website: N/A

Author's Summary:
"What if I told you I couldn't help it?"

Review:
This fic follows Arthur as he discovers dream sharing (in high school, from a friend) to college and beyond. Mostly it's about Arthur and Eames and Eames's very many problems that make one want to punch him in the mouth. Oh wait, was that mostly me? Haha.

This fic was wonderful though. Arthur is perfectly lovely and all Arthur for all that he's young for a decent chunk of the fic. Just a little stiff, a lot focused, and all around competent at what he does. Eames is the forger that Cobb and Mal dig up, the one that Arthur bonds with before--well, there was a reason why I wanted to punch Eames in the mouth, though things do get better later.

The character interactions are amazing. Not everything is shoved at your face, but quietly laid out. For all that Eames can be a jerk, there is something earnest in his interactions with Arthur that saves him from being completely irredeemable. The fic doesn't end perfectly, but it does end on an uplifting note that fits.

There's also a companion piece and a short sequel linked, which just gives the story a bit more depth. A very nice read.

Please be here until the morning
I've been sitting on this gem for a few months now because we at epic_recs have a policy of not reccing work by our fellow reccers (for obvious reasons). But since mothlights stepped down from the team awhile ago, I got permission from the mods to go ahead and post it. This collaboration is really too good not to share!

Title: Misfire
Fandom: Teen Wolf
Pairing: Derek/Stiles
Categories: Time travel, angst
Length: Long (28,804 words)
Warnings: None

Author on AO3:  unpossible
Podficcer on LJ:  mothlights
Podficcer on AO3:  mothlights

Summary: “The debt must be repaid,” she says, and it has the weight of a vow. The words resonate through him, ringing through his ribcage and the bones of his jaw, and Stiles loses his breath and maybe his grip on reality because she draws herself upright and where there had once stood a supermodel-level MILF now there is Galadriel’s much hotter older sister, a Presence of unmistakable power in their ordinary, smells-vaguely-of-Thai-takeout hallway.

“Oh shit,” Stiles says.

Review: "Misfire" begins several years after season two. Stiles is an adult now, in a committed relationship with Derek, who is still painfully scarred from the trauma of his past. When a powerful faerie grants Stiles a wish after he inadvertently does her a favor, he asks for the one thing that might make Derek truly happy. Armed with his knowledge of the present, Stiles travels back in time determined to prevent Kate Argent from murdering the Hale family -- even knowing that, if he succeeds, he will be writing a new future, where Derek will have little reason to know Stiles, let alone fall in love with him.

I'm a sucker for angst, pining and noble gestures, and this fic is packed with all three! In the brief glimpse we get of Stiles's pre-time travel future, Unpossible paints a vivid picture of his love for Derek and the impact of Derek's trauma on their relationship. This story makes it easy to accept that Stiles would choose Derek's happiness over his own, even though it tears him apart to rip away the relationship that has become the cornerstone of his life. I also loved seeing the Hale family through future!Stiles's eyes. Peter, especially, is a delight in this story, and I loved Talia as well. Their reactions to Stiles were perfect. However, I think my favorite character in this fic might be the new!Derek, unknowingly freed of his tragic past. The direction unpossible took him in was entirely believable to me, and I was really intrigued by his new relationship with his now-surviving family/pack. And I loved the dynamic between new!Derek and Stiles. This story's happy ending is well worth all of the angst.

This was a pod-together collaboration, and as such, I highly recommend listening to the podfic by mothlights, which is how I first took in this story. As a collaborative effort, "Misfire" was written to be read aloud, and it sounds fantastic. I'm always a fan of mothlights' readings. Her performance really highlighted the emotion in this story, without ever going overboard. The production in this podfic was also fantastic with subtle (and well-done) sound effects. And as an added bonus, it hits my sweet spot for podfic length at about 4.5 hours long -- meaty enough to really get into, but short enough to easily finish it in a day. It made an afternoon running errands much more tolerable, that's for sure!

Misfire

Hell House by narukyu (NC-17)

Title: Hell House
Fandom: Supernatural
Pairing: Sam/Gabriel
Genres: AU, High School, Mystery, Horror, Romance
Length: Epic (60,000 words)
Warnings: Minor character death, Gore

Author on LJ: narukyu_fic
Author Website: N/A

Author's Summary:
A devotedly unreligious man sends his youngest son to a private religious school. If that wasn't suspicious enough, Sam can't get a hold of John or Dean, people are disappearing right and left, and, in the night, something whispers in the silence of the old chapel. Soon enough, Sam discovers that something terrible lingers behind the doors to the sacristy--something that sheds a light on the secret holy mission of the Soldiers of Christ as well what happened to his family so many years ago.

Review:
Here's my late rec for Horror/Mystery week. Oops.

This is a classic haunted house sort of story, wherein a lone Sam is stuck in an eerie and restrictive school. The author really nails the horror story atmosphere, and what would be a pretty tame plot in the actual show becomes much more engaging and creepy thanks to Sam's isolation and helplessness. He's not the gung ho hunter we see on the show, but a confused teenager, cut off from his family and facing the supernatural alone for the first time.

Gabriel appears as the janitor for the school, and his very IC presence provides some relief for both Sam and the reader. He's someone for Sam to turn to in a place full of sinister secrets and strict, watchful teachers. Their romance is more in the background, with the normalcy Gabriel provides contrasting sharply with the rest of the school. This is a creepy mystery with a gut punch of an ending that you need to read, even if you're not a fan of the pairing.

Hell House

War Will Make Soldiers by daftalchemist (G)

Title: War Will Make Soldiers
Fandom: Welcome to Night Vale
Pairing: Gen
Categories/Genres: Family, Drama, Angst
Length: Short (1307 words)
Warnings: N/A

Author on LJ: N/A
Author Website: daftalchemist

Summary:

The Carlsberg house is full of mysteries and unknowable truths, exactly the kinds of things Tamika needs for her army.

Review:

This fic contains spoilers for Welcome to Night Vale up through episode 53.

Steve Carlsberg. Oh, Steve Carlsberg, how we have learned to love to hate you, can practically hear Cecil's snarl in our ears as we read your name. Steve Carlsberg. Did you hear it, then? I did.

Unfortunately, there's not much I can say about this fic without spoiling a vast swath of Welcome to Night Vale, but if you're caught up, you need to read this Steve Carlsberg-centric fic. It's a fascinating look into the Night Vale that exists outside of Cecil's admittedly broad but broadly biased scope. In it, we see Steve Carlsberg, not through Cecil's eyes, but telling his own story. It, and the September Monologue that it was based on, expose the way Cecil's bias has affected us, the listeners, inculcating us into despising someone we knew nothing about long before we had ever met him.

So if you haven't yet listened to episode 53, do that. Then read this fic. If you're not humbled and shamed and moved by the end of it, well.

War Will Make Soldiers

Fake Empires by Sam-Storyteller (Pg-13)

Title: Fake Empires
Fandom: DCU
Pairing: Superman/Batman; Clark Kent/Bruce Wayne
Categories: Action/Adventure,Humor, Romance, Secret Identities
Length: Medium (12k)
Warnings: Unreliable Narrators

Author on LJ: sam-storyteller
Author Website: Copperbadge’s Ao3

Summary Bruce Wayne can't possibly be as dumb as he acts, and Clark Kent isn't as ordinary as he appears.

Review: Basically this is the story of what happens when you try to keep four identities straight between two people who are terrible at communication.

Or the one where Batman is convinced that Clark Kent and Superman are dating and Clark doesn’t know how to handle it.

These two spend most of the story going from one amusing situation to the next though bad flirting, terrible misunderstandings, and just basic comic book logic. Which I loved because the fandom questions is usually wouldn’t those two figure their secret identities out immediately? And that is usually how their relationship is handled.

So it is nice to see a change of pace where the boys are actually just as ridiculous as they are in canon.

Fake Empires
Title: I'm the Same Boy I Used to Be
Fandom: Inception
Pairing: Eames/Arthur
Categories: Gen
Length: Medium (5,569)
Warnings: None

Author on LJ: hackthis
Author Website: N/A

Author's Summary:
N/A

Review:
The author doesn't provide a summary, but here's a quick one: Arthur and Eames meet twice fleetingly before they both start in dream sharing. Then they meet again. A series of moments in their lives.

The fic is cute and quick and a bit sparse on details, but all the better for it. The both of them first meet when Arthur is twelve and Eames is fourteen. Eames is kind of pretentious, but so is Arthur, haha. They meet again by chance when they're older, just for a moment. The next time they meet is when they're both in the dream sharing business. Arthur is all competent and really awesome and Eames is just sort of disbelieving and still really awesome.

There's quite a few time skips within the fic. It's basically a showcase of moments in both Eames's and Arthur's life that manage to intersect, but it's wonderful. The fic is really understated, but I'm of the opinion that the author put in just the right amount of details that catch your attention without blatantly leaving everything out on the table. The romance is more inferred than anything else.

This was adorable and lovely and truly a pleasant read.

I'm the Same Boy I Used to Be
Title: It's the Fault of the Kid in the Dress
Fandom: Kuroshitsuji | Black Butler
Pairing: Sebastian/Ciel
Categories: Fantasies, Telepathy/Soul Bond, Virginity
Length: Medium (3,648 words)
Warnings: Underage (13-year-old boy/ancient demon)

Author on ff.net: Sanpizil

Summary: In which Ciel and Sebastian share, or don't, an intimate moment- or a non-intimate one. Complete whimsy.

Review: Ciel can't stop thinking about the way Alois (the "kid in the dress" to whom the title refers) licked his ear at the Trancy ball. Although "he's never really thought about that kind of thing before," too focused on his work and his revenge, Ciel finds himself reflecting that ear licking might actually be pleasant, if someone other than Alois were doing it. Naturally, his thoughts stray to Sebastian. But fantasizing about a demon has unexpected consequences.

It's hard to review this story without spoiling the central conceit that makes it so wonderful. Let me just say that, literally and figuratively, it works on many levels. On the one hand, it's a story of Ciel's sexual awakening. On the other hand, it's a story of the relationship between Ciel and Sebastian, mostly proper on the surface, but with hints of much deeper possibilities. The characterization is golden in this fic. I especially liked that Ciel, though young and virginal, isn't the wilting violet some Kuro writers like to cast in his place. Instead, their dynamics echo the mentor/mentee relationship Ciel and Sebastian have in canon, where Ciel's forceful personality and power over the demon help to balance their differences in age and experience. Although short, this story packs a powerful amount of characterization, and it's worth reading multiple times to catch all of the nuances folded into it.

It's the Fault of the Kid in the Dress

Second Chances by Kishijoten (NC-17)

A day late and probably a dollar short too. Fortunately I work in sterling :-)

Title: Second Chances
Fandom: Harry Potter
Pairing: Draco/Harry
Categories: Slash, romance, kidfic, non-canon compliant.
Length: Epic (96,000 words)
Warnings: Sex, depression, suicide attempt

Author on FictionAlley: Kishijoten

Summary:
For the first time in over a decade, Harry Potter crosses paths with Draco Malfoy. Both have changed a great deal, but what do those changes mean to them - and to each other?

Review:
This is another one of those stories that is over a decade old — well before Half-Blood Prince came out, so don't expect canon compliance — that has stood up to the test of time.

At heart it's a love story initiated and complicated by children. Harry is single, and a teacher at Hogwarts; Draco is divorced, and his youngest twin children have just started their first year. They meet when Harry notices that Adrian Malfoy, who has been sorted into Hufflepuff, is suffering from severe depression. What follows is a slow-burn romance, with parent and teacher bonding over the child's problems and desperately trying and failing to maintain their professional distances.

The strength of this story is in the characterisation. Harry and Draco are still recognisably themselves, but equally have changed in the way that you might hope a decade of maturity would give them. They don't instantly fall into agreement with each other, but then neither do they instantly dismiss each other either. The children are clear and distinct individuals, the right sort of mix of angel and demon for their ages, and really they are the ones that drive the story through. Harry and Draco are driven together by the children, and when their romance hits a bump, as it frequently does, it is almost always because of the children too.

Don't be too scared by the warnings. Bear in mind that I'm reccing this, and I'm a depressive with a real hot button about suicide. Without wishing to minimize either, the writing doesn't over-dramatize the issues and as a reader you do still feel in control.

This is a very good example of fanfiction romance, and I have no qualms recommending it to you even after all these years. Go on, enjoy yourselves.

Second Chances

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