Pairing: Aisha al-Fadhil/Franklin Clay, Jolene Porteous/Linwood "Pooch" Porteous
Fic Title: Blood Comes Off Easily
Rating/Warning(s): Heavy R; violence, main character death.
Genre: Introspection, backstory, angst, friendship, romance.
Why This Must Be Read: Holy buckets this story blew my head off. So, have you ever read a story for a fandom that, afterwards, you went "...I don't ever need to read fic for this fandom ever again, because that was the story that was absolutely pitch perfect, and nothing can ever be AS perfect or AS awesome as this ever again! And it answered all my questions and did exactly what I needed it to do!" ? Because this story 1000% did that for me.
This is not an easy or a fun story to read. It's brutal and terrible, just like Aisha. To me, Aisha's greatest strength and weakness is her implacability; her loyalty and willingness to see something through, even at great personal cost. Or not. I love that the point of this is that, in the end, everyone is made up of their own choices and that, good or ill, Aisha knows this and makes them anyway.