Pairing: Natasha Romanoff/Clint Barton, others
Fic Title: A Widow's Tale
Genre: Novel-length, family drama
Why This Must Be Read: I've never watched any of the Stargate series, and in fact would not have known who John Sheppard is had the story not been tagged as a crossover. So if you're coming to this just as an Avengers fan, never fear! "A Widow's Tale" is a series (which can really be taken as one long story) that assumes movieverse!Natasha was, like her comicsverse self, modified and conditioned in certain physical ways by the Red Room. The series is a fascinating balance between history and present, and between chosen and actually-genetically-related families. Above all, it's a fascinating look at the woman behind the Black Widow, and the things and people she carries with her.
Fandom Category: Terminator: the Sarah Connor Chronicles / Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Pairing: Buffy Summers/John Connor
Fic Title: Hang In There, Slayer
Genre: Character study
Why This Must Be Read: John Connor has a fair amount in common with Buffy Summers when you think about it--an unasked-for destiny, a responsibility to save the world, a mentor who blurs the role between parent and everything else, and a tendency to fall for the 'enemy.' In this fic, we get a glance into what Buffy's life might be like, if she'd survived Judgement Day and fell in with the Reese brothers and Connor's inner circle. It's het but not particularly shippy--this pair is kindred spirits more than lovers, and the focus here is more on the good fight and the toll it takes on people who have been fighting for too long and still have miles to go.