Pairing: Sarah Linden/Stephen Holder
Fic Title: It's Alright
Rating/Warning(s): Rish? Spoilers for aired episodes.
Genre: Post-series, romance, friendship, introspection.
Why This Must Be Read: I am unapologetic in wanting my characters and pairings to have happy endings. This is a possibility and probably the closest these two would get to a happy ending and I am on it like my cat on carne asada. This is a lovely bit of a thing that just makes me smile. And considering the source? *applause*
Fandom Category: Once Upon a Time
Pairing: Belle/Rumpelstiltskin, Emma Swan/Jefferson Madden | Mad Hatter, Snow White | Mary Margaret Blanchard/Prince Charming | David Nolen
Fic Title: Why Did You Stay
Author: Charlotte Ashmore
Rating/Warning(s): M. Imprisonment (it's Belle), canon-typical violence, spoilers.
Genre: AU, romance, friendship, canon divergence, angst.
WIP?: Yes, but updated fairly regularly!
Why This Must Be Read: This takes a left from canon immediately after Belle falls off the ladder during Skin Deep. Again, I tend to love this pairing when we've got a proactive, engaged Belle who makes her own decisions and is fully aware of who and what Rumpelstiltskin is... and loves him for/because/in spite of it. I also quite enjoy the addition of the Jefferson and Rumpelstiltskin friendship. Everyone needs a bestie, and these two are kind of hilarious at each other. Basically, this is a fun, plotty read that I'm quite enjoying!
Fandom Category: Once Upon a Time
Pairing: Belle/Rumpelstiltskin with other background pairings, or past-pairings.
Fic Title: The Ghost and Mrs. Mills
Rating/Warning(s): K+/PG-13. References to domestic abuse/neglect, Cora Mills. (She and Merle Dixon kind of are their own trigger warning.)
Genre: AU, suspense, supernatural, romance, friendship.
WIP?: Yes, but regularly updated.
Why This Must Be Read: *does flappy hands of go read this* Some of my most favorite stories that I've ever, EVER read are ones that I poke at with a giant side-eye due to premise (this is a "The Ghost and Mrs. Muir" retelling and a pretty complex one at that) but that end up blowing me away with their quality, attention to detail, and general awesome. (See: The Batman/Lord of the Rings crossover. Because, whut?) This absolutely has the potential to be one of those!!! It's such a thoughtful, slow-build kind of story, and one that I am savoring and hoarding chapters of to read and reread. cynicsquest is beyond clever in the execution of this, and everyone should go read it right now!
Fandom Category: The Walking Dead
Pairing: Carol Peletier/Daryl Dixon, Andrea/Merle Dixon, Michonne/Tyrese
Fic Title: Sweet Junction and Grass Roots
Author: the ramblin rose
Rating/Warning(s): M/NC-17 for both, though definitely not all chapters. Domestic violence, referenced child abuse, alcoholism, prostitution, unplanned pregnancy, gun violence. Though, less violence than canon?
Genre: AU, epic, friendship, romance, found families.
WIP?: The first story is complete and the second is updated!
Why This Must Be Read: Okay, when I saw the blurb for this particular story I was a little hesitant. Add on that it was updated with surprising speed and regularity, and red flag number 2 went up in the air. Luckily, I got over myself and actually started reading the story and was... blown a way. the ramblin rose is a wonderful author who does an absolutely fantastic job of writing these characters. Class and socioeconomic position is a huge thing in these stories; something that I didn't know I was missing until it showed up. There's a lot floating around the internet about how representation is important (it absolutely is), but I didn't know how much I needed/wanted to see some of my and my family's experiences in print. And yes, this story is massively AU (no walkers, fyi) and plays a bit fast and loose with certain characters backstories, but the whole is blindingly impressive and absolutely worth a read. (I'll also highly rec all of trr's other stories. Go click the author link and get back to me in a few weeks time.)
Fandom Category: Harry Potter
Pairing: Hermione Granger/Harry Potter, various other pairings.
Fic Title: What We're Fighting For
Author: James Spookie
Rating/Warning(s): M/Hard R. Sexual violence, war themes, bullying, violence, sex.
Genre: AU, canon divergence, friendship, introspection, romance, angst.
WIP?: Yes, but updated regularly.
Why This Must Be Read: This is a really interesting look at a world where Sirius raised Harry to be what amounts to a child soldier. And that's an incredibly simplistic way to sum up the general plot of the story. This is a really interesting, complex look at a Harry that was raised for a very specific goal and how he and the people around him deal with the realization and aftermath of finding out exactly what that means. All of the characters in the story come off as fully rounded people; once who are living in a world and making choices that aren't always the best or worst. There's pettiness and inertia and fear and joy and character development for even the smallest of characters. I'm stunned at how complicated the whole thing is while giddy because it's so damn entertaining at the same time! I'm also rather pleased with how little bashing or character hate is in the story.