February 18th, 2012

blithers

"Sick of Shadows" by lettered (NC-17)

Fandom Category: North and South
Pairing: Margaret Hale/John Thornton
Fic Title: Sick of Shadows
Author: lettered
Link: http://lettered.livejournal.com/tag/fic%3A%20sick%20of%20shadows
Rating/Warning(s): NC-17
Genre: Angst, Romance, AU
WIP?: yes
Special Rec: 16 of 34

Why This Must Be Read: This long, chapter-length story takes a basic AU premise (with Margaret forced to wed Mr. Thornton after she defends him during the strike) and develops into a wonderful slow burn. There's oodles of character development and intelligent dialogue where John and Margaret discuss and debate their opinions and get to know each other better. It's so satisfying to read a story where the characters are capable of having an interesting discussion about the world around them, and many threads of debate and themes from the novel are picked up and woven into this fanfic. The supporting cast of characters (particularly Fanny, who is not my favorite in the source material but is charming yet still recognizably herself here) are well-developed and sympathetically written as well.

But, really, let's talk the romance, shall we? The author does an amazing job of capturing the dark sort of captivated want that we see in Thornton in the mini-series and book. The sexual tension here is just crackling, and yet there's a nervousness and uncertainty in their relationship that rings so true. The fact that we get to watch the two characters slowly come to respect and care for each other alongside their growing sexual awareness just makes it that much more satisfying. This story is still unfinished at this time, but should only have a few chapters left (and already has a bonus porn outtake!). Highly recommended.
blithers

"The Life Fantastic" by honorh (PG-13)

Fandom Category: Doctor Who
Pairing: Rose Tyler/Nine
Fic Title: The Life Fantastic
Author: honorh
Link: http://honorh.livejournal.com/278049.html
Rating/Warning(s): PG-13
Genre: Angst, Romance, Character Study
WIP?: no
Special Rec: 17 of 34

Why This Must Be Read: There's so much incredible fanfiction out there for Doctor Who, I was a little intimidated to settle on just one rec for the show for this challenge. But when I saw this story while browsing my delicious account, one of the first pieces of fanfiction I ever bookmarked, I knew this was the one to pick. "The Life Fantastic" re-tells the first season of new Doctor Who and is a character study of a Doctor who is reeling from the Time War, prickly and lost, and slowly re-learning to be more like himself again. The ending is redemptive and Rose and Captain Jack are just right here. This is a lovely encapsulation of everything that makes the Ninth Doctor my Doctor.