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- Bleach - Gravity by lit_chick - I'm not sure I'm onboard with the ending of this fic, it feels rather sudden, but I really adored the first three-fourths of it, the way the beautiful, elegant imagery really fit with the characters and the Bleach manga style. The quiet, but meaningful dynamic between Rukia and Byakuya is laden with all those things that are unspoken between them in the manga, the way you could practically feel them. The writing is lovely and the characterization otherwise solid, that way both characters have to them very present. It was a pretty read. (A little Byakuya/Rukia.)


- Bleach - untitled by Zau - When I read a bunch of shortfics together like this, it's easy to see why multiple pairing fics are often so popular, why so many people write so many different things. But it's only the rare fics that actually pull off the style of writing so many different facets of a cast like Bleach's and Zau does it brilliantly. Every single one of these contributed to a larger whole--not in the sense that they're connected in the same storyline, but there's a certain feel, a certain style of imagery that knocks the wind from my lungs. Reading about all these relationships that the characters have with each other, some things I never would have thought possible (the Ukitake/Rukia piece is the one that put a lot of this together for me, because I found it brilliant in her hands, where I doubt I would have in another's) or just new aspects of relationships that are complete OTPs/friendships for me. I adored these, I adored the beautiful language and all the lovely turns of phrase. And, oh, that final one? Beautiful, I felt it. (Multiple pairings, both het and yaoi, as well as several gen pieces.)


- Bleach - Eligible by infinitefirefly - I didn't mean to get caught up in this fic, I just meant to skim the beginning because it looked decently written but not the kind that would drag me back into the fandom, and then... I just never quite put it down, because there was something about the pacing of it that was just damned good. In the sense that I couldn't stop reading because each scene flowed into the next, because the humor was actually really engaging (I had gigglefits at least twice during the fic), because Rukia's characterization was really solid (the way she respects her brother, the insanity of Soul Society without making it a parody, the way Matsumoto was just genius in her Matsumoto-ness), the Renji characterization was lovely, and it played on so many of my favorite relationships in the series. It had Renji and Rukia working together, the fic was really all about Rukia and Byakuya, but there was Soul Society antics all over the place (Renji's mad dash through Soul Society about three-fourths of the way through the fic was golden XD), and... I dunno. The whole thing unfolded neatly in my mind's eye and it was just fun. (No real pairings, it's entirely gen. You could read a little Renji/Rukia or Byakuya/Rukia into it, but it's still gen.)


- Bleach - to battle the constant by Hana J. - Because Byakuya/Rukia is such a rare pairing, I tend to give more new authors a shot for the pairing... and the fic did start out a little weak (in that I wasn't feeling Byakuya's character), but by the end of it, the author had gotten the feel of Byakuya's character and his relationship with Rukia down beautifully. There is an aching sort of quality here (that's added to because I have such a strong attachment to these two characters) that's just right, a sort of melancholy as Byakuya looks at Rukia, but without breaking the spell of his characterization. There's a very... still waters run deep quality here that I associate so strongly with Byakuya's character and there were so many beautiful lines (Every time the author said She was not his wife. She would not be his wife. Rukia was to be his sister. it really worked for the fic) that I would really, really love to see more from this author. (Byakuya/Rukia... sort of.)


- Bleach - Leaving by The Dream Whisperer - This was... there are certain fics that I read and it's not so much the characterization or the imagery used (though, they were also both lovely), but a certain intensity that leaves me feeling with that faint, dull ache in my fangirl heart because the story gripped me so hard. It helps, of course, that I adore Byakuya's character, but it's so much more than that, it's the anger and loss he feels throughout his life. Byakuya is such a strong character, but there's so much rawness to him here and it works. All of the people he knows and has connections with and they're not just people who ghosted through his life, they have effects on him and just.... He's outwardly polished and it's not like he's screamingly different on the inside, instead this fits together with the character I saw, explains what he went through (because he was very clearly not just the block of ice that he seemed to be on the surface), such willpower here and... god, the intensity of it, the beauty of the writing just makes me fall for the character all over again. This is really a terrible sort of rec, just go read the fic instead, especially if you're a fan of Byakuya and his relationship with Rukia. (Mentions of Byakuya/Hisana, perhaps Byakuya/Rukia in a completely gen way.)


- Bleach - untitled by Chevira Lowe - This is actually a post with two fics, both of which are very short, but since they're combined together, I can rationalize a proper rec for them. The first one is a Byakuya/Rukia fic that... I can see where the author professes to have trouble with it, but I think I like what she's doing here. Byakuya/Rukia is one of those pairings that are complete on their own, yet not complete on their own. They're platonic, yet so very not platonic. Hisana's ghost is always there, even as Rukia is very definitely not Hisana, and the author's writing reflects this, the graceful quality of Byakuya and the Kuchiki household and, man, Rukia. The second is an absolutely gorgeous Renji/Rukia piece in their early days, when Rukia is obviously thinking about something and Renji is thinking about Rukia and they're so young and it's not quite bittersweet, except it is, because you know what happens with them. The imagery for both pieces is just gorgeous and I'm so looking forward to more from this author. (Byakuya/Rukia in the first one, Renji/Rukia implied in the second one.)


- Bleach - Je chante pour passer le temps by vitiates - I might have found the imagery or the Byakuya introspective wanderings to be a bit cumbersome in another fic, but... the author was deliberately going for a slow, wandering sort of piece, one with soft imagery and an almost underwater (without feeling too heavy) feeling that I think worked here. Byakuya and the passage of time, the way everything felt so slow, there wasn't any sense of time anymore because nothing changed and that fits rather well with his character and Soul Society, even after all the changes that happened. But it's also Rukia's presence at the end, the way I could picture the lovely scenery around the two of them that ultimately won me over, I think. (Implied Byakuya/Rukia.)


- Bleach - Broken Smile by allira_dream - One of my favorite things about Bleach is the Byakuya/Hisana - Byakuya/Rukia relationships, the way it's such a finely webbed, easily tangled thing and this fic captures that beautifully. The first half is one of the prettiest Byakuya/Hisana fics that I've read recently, one that fits so well with how I saw them in canon. The way they were such a quiet pairing, sad but with real love there, not soul-crushingly depressing, but almost gracefully tragic. That is Byakuya/Hisana to me, whatever this fic is, despite my inability to put into words. The Byakuya/Rukia is lovely as well, skating that line between seeing her sister and seeing herself, between something more and something familial. Very pretty. (Byakuya/Hisana, implications of Byakuya/Rukia if you lean that way.)


- Bleach - Satellite by vicious_lullaby - This was a beautiful little piece on Rukia pre-series and her confusing relationship with Byakuya. I like it because it fits so well with the character I saw, she was so quiet around Byakuya, so deferential and sad, but she was smart and very sharp. I love the glimpses of Byakuya we get, the things Rukia sees about him and what she notices when he looks at her, I love that he doesn't have a flicker of emotion in his eyes, instead he goes unreadable and still, that's a lovely Byakuya right there. The writing is very pretty and fics like this remind me of why I love Byakuya and Rukia interaction so much. (This is gen, but Byakuya/Rukia fans might enjoy it as well.)


Bleach: in the eye by incandescens - I know this is short (and I've been recommending a lot of short fics lately) but--! I like this author! And Byakuya/Rukia! I couldn't resist. :< And it's a lovely little fic that says all it needs to, getting into Byakuya's head and his thoughts on and feelings towards Rukia. There's a really lovely calm quality to the writing, yet a depth of emotion underneath that calm surface, which suits Byakuya very well. *__* (Sort of Byakuya/Rukia.)


Bleach: tea party by mitsuhachi - As time goes by, with the Bleach fandom, I find myself more and more drawn to the Byakuya/Rukia pairing, which is a great direction to head in, I know. But the heart wants what it wants. And when I get fic like this... there's such an emotional intensity to it, even as everything is peaceful and subtle on the surface. Byakuya has Rukia over for tea and of course she's nervous and has this entire well of deep feelings around him that don't even need to be mentioned, you can just feel them. And that Byakuya mirrors many of those deep feelings about her, reflected in the beautiful writing of this piece. This didn't need to be long to be perfectly lovely. (Byakuya/Rukia.)


Bleach: I have a surprise for you, oni-sama by mitsuhachi - [Note: This follows the previous fic and it would help to have read that one first.] This piece didn't need to be long. And I don't think the previous fic absolutely needed more resolution, but getting it anyway? Really satisfying. I love how nervous and hesitant and quiet Rukia is around Byakuya, because there's so much that she feels around him, but that... Rukia is still someone who takes the initiative in her own way and seeks him out when she can't stand it anymore, even if you can just feel the nervous tension that has her wound up so tight. This was short, but absolutely lovely. (Byakuya/Rukia.)














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