Fic Title: Face Value
Rating/Warning(s): R/M, Warnings for sexy tiems
Genre: Slightly AU, Romance
Why This Must Be Read: Crack pairings don't get much crack-ier than this. She's the good guy, he's a villain--and part of the criminal organization that tried to kill her brother to boot (clearly this fic is set before any unpleasantness goes down). But oh man, does the author make this work. This is a hefty one-shot and you can't help but appreciate the time and effort she takes to set the stage for this unusual pairing. The characterization is deft and there's an interesting philosophical debate between the characters over the value of impermanence. Also, the sexy times are seriously sexy. The author draws out the tension to a delicious degree, infusing it with gorgeous sensuality and emotion. Not a hint of vulgarity to be seen.
Fandom Category: Rurouni Kenshin
Pairing: Megumi Takani/Aoshi Shinomori, some Megumi Takani/Sanosuke Sagara
Fic Title: Another Chance
Rating/Warning(s): PG-13/T, Warnings for drugs
Genre: Post-canon, Romance, Drama
Why This Must Be Read: Aoshi and Megumi have an interestingly fraught relationship in canon. He and his men were hired to be her guards back when she was imprisoned by Kanryuu and forced to make opium. Given their history and subsequent events in canon, it's not surprising that they don't necessarily have a warm relationship. Still, their characters are an "opposites-attract" archetype that many people enjoy--she's spirited and fiercely independent, and he's the epitome of silence and stoicism. In this epic story, Megumi returns to her hometown of Aizu to see if any members of her family are left, and Aoshi, with his vast spy network of (former) ninjas, helps her with the search. Mystery and high intrigue ensue, and as events unfold, you see just how well these 2 people understand and complement each other. A truly excellent read.