Pairing: Lan Fan/Ling Yao, plus background pairings
Title: Swallows on the Beam
Word Count/WIP?: 195k so far; WIP
Recced on LiveJournal By: blithers
Why This Must Be Read: This story is the definition of epic: taking place years after the end of the anime storyline and entirely in the country of Xing, Lan Fan is drawn into court intrigue when she goes undercover as a noblewoman to uncover a plot to overthrow Ling, who was crowned emperor after returning from Amestris. And it is SO GOOD.
This story is a masterpiece in worldbuilding, creating the world of the Xing from the bottom up, with a well-drawn cast of original characters, some familiar faces (Alphonse! Mei!) and thoughtfully explored themes of identity and responsibility and choice woven in. And the relationship between Lan Fan and Ling is pretty much the epitome of slow burn - any time they touch at all in this story I just about die, god, it’s so restrained and full of meaning and aching longing and so carefully built up.
This is a work in progress right now but being actively written (a new chapter just came out this week!). Beautifully written, lush and gorgeously detailed, and understatedly romantic - I can’t recommend this fic enough.