Fandom Category: Alias
Pairing: Sydney Bristow/Julian Sark
Fic Title: The Cities arc
Byzantium: Iterations of Burn
Boston: Running to Stand Still
Rating/Warning(s): M/R. Warnings for violence, death, and attempted suicide.
Genre: Drama, very AU
Why This Must Be Read: This series leaves me absolutely breathless and is one of my all-time favorite Syd/Sark stories. The characterization is fantastic--the author is unflinching in her portrayal of these ruthless, complex, and morally gray super spies. Highly recommended.
Day 15 - A fic that convinced you of a pairing you previously hated.
Fandom Category: Naruto
Pairing: Sakura Haruno/Sasuke Uchiha
Fic Title: 31 Days Hath December
Why This Must Be Read: I have no especial love for Sasuke which is why I'm not at all fond of this pairing, but I enjoy and trust this author and her work. I love AUs, and was especially tickled by how well the Naruto characters managed to slot into the office world. That aside, I adore this Sakura and that she's whip smart and has enough of a back bone to more than handle Sasuke.
Day 16 - An epic fic.
Fandom Category: Final Fantasy VIII
Pairing: Quistis Trepe/Seifer Almasy
Fic Title: Fire and Ice
Rating/Warning(s): M/R. Warnings for sensuality and violence
Genre: Post-canon, action/adventure
Why This Must Be Read: In my mind, this is one of the most iconic Seifer/Quistis stories out there. It's a fantastic character journey--Seifer and Quistis canonically have an adversarial relationship, but despite how much they might get on each other's nerves, they also share a sense of loneliness and a need to prove themselves. Watching them grow and learn to connect with each other, as well as finding their purpose in this world is hugely satisfying. In addition to the character work, there's also a thrilling action plot which is utterly engrossing. There's also an unfinished sequel, which is a crossover with Final Fantasy VII, called Gods and Gardens.
Day 17 - A short fic.
Fandom Category: The Princess and the Frog
Fic Title: Prince Under Foot
Genre: Fluff, slice of life
Why This Must Be Read: In my highly biased opinion, I don't think anyone writes Tiana and Naveen better than this author. They are so perfectly themselves here with the banter and the cuteness and aksd;asf I just can't. The both of them are in their element here--Tiana with her cooking, and Naveen with his very enthusiastic, if somewhat unpolished, attempts to assist her. Just lovely.
Day 18 - An Alternate Universe fic.
Fandom Category: The Hunger Games
Pairing: Katniss Everdeen/Peeta Mellark
Fic Title: Dark Toast
Link: http://higherarrowsfic.livejournal.com/24262.html (Note: This is a locked post so you'll need to join the community to see it. Membership is open and takes 30 seconds. You'll want to read the rest of this author's fic, promise.)
Rating/Warning(s): M/R. Warnings for Dub-con/coercion. References to off-screen non-con, physical assault, domestic assault, sexuality-motivated murder, race-motivated crime. Arranged marriage, alluded/offscreen domestic abuse, inferences to offscreen dub-con, canon character death, minor character suicide
Why This Must Be Read: In this AU, instead of the Hunger Games, all the citizens in Panem, once they reach the age of 16, are Contracted to an occupation and to a spouse. It is a fascinating premise and no less disturbing than making children kill each other on public television. Naturally, Katniss and Peeta are matched together and it's a lovely journey to see them learn to trust and rely on each other. Equally fascinating is seeing how the events and characters in canon are finessed to work within this AU (such as who becomes the Girl on Fire). An excellent read.
Day 19 - An angsty fic.
Fandom Category: Glee
Pairing: Tina Cohen-Chang/Mike Chang
Fic Title: The Well-Behaved
Rating/Warning(s): T/PG-13. Warnings for bullying, violence, sexual harassment, homophobic and ableist language
Why This Must Be Read: Kurt isn't the only one being terrorized at McKinley High and the bullying doesn't end with Karofsky. The captain of the hockey team is targeting Tina, until one day she's decided she's had enough--which doesn't end so well for her. Mike, in turn, reacts in a manner quite unlike himself. Just as the title suggests, this story is an exploration, not just of bullying, but of what pushes kids who normally never complain, to the breaking point.
Day 20- A fluffy fic.
Fandom Category: The Avengers/Thor
Pairing: Darcy Lewis/Clint Barton
Fic Title: i may have a bit of a bias
Genre: Fluff, Romance, Comedy
Why This Must Be Read: So much fluffy goodness! Darcy makes a plush Iron Man and Captain America for her desk. Pepper notices and makes a commission for a plushy Iron Man of her own, and before Darcy knows it, she's not only making plush Avengers for the actual Avengers, she's also...becoming friends with them? I cannot get over the sheer amount of adorable in this fic--from the plush toys to her interactions with the Avengers, especially Clint.
Day 21- A rare pairing fic.
Fandom Category: Iron Man/The Avengers
Pairing: Pepper Potts/Phil Coulson, background slash
Fic Title: The Art of Order
Why This Must Be Read: I was so charmed with Pepper and Coulson's apparent friendship in The Avengers. I've always thought that if the two of them ever paired up, they would end up RULING THE WORLD. This story? Rather proves that point. *g* Features Pepper and Phil enjoying Beethoven, art, and haute couture, and saving the world with their combined competence and badassery. I love Pepper's fabulous PA, Ian, and her friendships with Natasha and Tony. The romance is lovely and understated and just...*sigh*. So good
Fandom Category: Thor/The Incredible Hulk/The Avengers
Pairing: Jane Foster/Bruce Banner
Fic Title: Flew Away or Started Sinking
Rating/Warning(s): E/NC-17. Warnings for explicit sex
Genre: Romance, post-movie
Why This Must Be Read: This is a pairing I never expected, but it works! Bruce, back in New York after traveling the world, is cold, wet, and ill. Tony is out of the country and after attempting to reach Selvig, a former colleague, he gets Jane instead. Jane, who apparently has a penchant for taking in strays, gives him a place to stay and invites him to help her with rebuilding the Einstein-Rosen bridge. I very much enjoyed their dynamic together--the professional respect and the growing personal affection. I like the way they accept each other and the way they allow themselves to be vulnerable to each other. It's a long, lovely read.
Hi mods! I need fandom tags for Final Fantasy VIII and pairing tags for Quistis Trepe/Seifer Almasy, Pepper Potts/Phil Coulson, and Jane Foster/Bruce Banner. Thanks!