Fandom: Fruits Basket
Pairings: Yuki/Tohru/Kyou, Ayame/Hatori/Shigure, Hatsuharu/Rin/Akito, Kagura --> Kyou, Hiro --> Kisa, and Shigure/Tohru (!)
Categories: AU, mystery, romance, supernatural
Length: Epic [74,000 words]
Warnings: character death (at least half the cast is a ghost or killed at some point)
Author on LJ: girl_starfish
Website: Where Seas Collide
Author's Summary: Tohru is delighted to live in the Souma mansion but quickly discovers the house is home to a tragic legacy. Can she rescue Yuki and Kyou from the family's dark past or will the curse claim another victim?
Review: Confession time: I am an incredible lightweight when it comes to horror and supernatural fic. If you're not into really scary fic but still want to get into the holiday mood, this is a good choice for your Halloween reading. I never would've thought that a supernatural AU could work for Fruits Basket, a series that seems to depend on the supernatural element that already exists in canon (the shapeshifting Zodiac members). Here, no one is cursed to change forms; the "curse" that the Souma mansion is under is of quite another type. In the modern day, Tohru, her friends, and the currently living Soumas struggle to solve the mystery of the mansion before the spirits bound to it manage to add to their numbers... they're not always successful, but the ending is triumphant.
The characterization Girlstarfish uses is perfect; even though the family relationships are not what they were in canon (the most notable deviation being the generational gaps between the Akito-era Soumas, the Shigure-era Soumas, and the modern remnants of the family), each character remains true to their personality, and fits well in the period of time in which they lived. Tohru herself is one of the highlights of the story; she's an excellent choice of narrator, as her optimism and simple view on life keeps the story from becoming too overwhelmingly tragic. (I won't spoil for you which characters are ghosts, but Tohru does have a knack for making friends with them, kind girl that she is.)
Finally, I appreciated that Girlstarfish didn't wrap up the love triangles neatly, but instead let the characters decide to figure out their romances slowly. Too many authors feel like every last plot point has to be tied up before they can finish the story, so this was a refreshing change of pace... and, in a way, very true to the spirit of the anime and early manga.