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- Valerie Jones - "The Betrayal Arc" - I spent a lot of time yesterday/today obsessing over X-Men fic, which came at me pretty much out of the blue. It started with an Evolution-based fic that introduced Gambit to the X:Evo world, which I found to be a fascinating concept. And, then, since it's been forever and a day since I read it, I went back to reread my favorite parts of Valerie Jones' "Betrayal". If I had to pick /one/ fanfic out of all of the ones I've read to be my very /favorite/, it would be "Betrayal". It's... truly deserving of the word "awesome".

Without spoiling the fic, it's tough to say why I love it so much. The sheer /scope/ of the fic is amazing. Very few fics really deserve to be called "epics", but this one earns the description and then some. There are scenes that very nearly make me cry no matter how many times I read them. (The end of 'Paradox Law' gets me every time.) The characterization is phenominal, the plotting brilliant, and just.... You can't fully comprehend how amazing this fic series is until you read it.

And, wow, that was totally unhelpful, wasn't it? Someday I'll do a proper rec.

These fan arts are rather pretty, I especially like the Rogue one in the bottom row, second in from the right.

I've been so out of the loop with X-fiction that most of the stories I remember would be hell to track down (except Lori McDonald's and Valerie Jones', but I've rec'd those before.), so I'll just start 'fresh' and rec whatever comes to my attention. Not that I'm really currently in the mood for reading, but.... I do remember I liked some authors. Down Home Charm is a Rogue site, but it's Gambit-friendly, so you'll find a lot of Remy/Rogue fic on the fic pages. Let's see.... I remember I rather liked K-Nice's writing, and Indigo's "Regrets & Revenge Series" was really, really interesting (I wish "A Pound of Flesh" had been finished, though. *sulks*) and I liked it a lot, too.

Poi's fics are utterly, utterly brilliant in their hilarity. More of her stories can be found in the Down Home Charm fic archive as well. Again in the Down Home Charm fic archive, Northlight's fictions are really great, cute little parodies, very worth reading.

- X-Men - The Family Tree's Got Root Rot by Addie Logan - Humor fic. Sinister decides to tell Remy about his parentage. Remy doesn't believe it. Remy has Hank run tests. Turns out what Sinister told him was true. This paragraph ensues:

"I ran the test three times, Gambit," Hank tol' me. "You are Scott and Jean's son."

Never before had I felt so suicidal. I was a Summers. Dere went my last chance at anyt'ing resemblin' somet'ing of a normal life. Not like I really had one before, but as a Summers? Now I was gonna be forced t'be painfully annoyin' an' bossy.

Did dis mean I was gonna have t'come back from de dead at least once ever few years? Was I gonna have t'marry a clone? Did I need an oversized gun? Maybe Bishop had one I could borrow…

And later....

I spent a week avoidin' anybody wit' de last name Summers. Couldn't t'ink of myself as one of dem. Remy Etienne Summers? Non. Dat's a terrible name. Remy Etienne LeBeau. Dat's so much better.

'Sides, if dey had named me, I'd probably wouldn't have a name like Remy. Mebbe I'd be Scott, Jr.

Heehee. I am amused. And then Jean mothering Remy was great, and the ending was a little awkward but still really funny. Also, one of the things I liked about Addie Logan's writing is that she captures the Remy/Rogue relationship so very well... why they keep breaking up and why they keep drifting back together... even in parody fic. ^_^

- X-Men - Betrayal/Paradox Law/Game of Empires by Valerie Jones - I said I would one day do a proper rec for this series, and I'm hoping today is that day. ^_~ People these days tend to sling around words like "epic" or "my favorite story" much too easily, but in the case of the Betrayal Arc, I feel both terms are appropriate. I like fic and I read a lot of it. A lot. I'm a fanfic h0 and I'll read just about anything at least once, and have a lot of fandoms/authors/characters I keep coming back to for another fix.

But, and I say this in complete sincerity, I think Valerie's Betrayal Arc is, hands down, my favorite fanfic ever. She did so much with this story, she encompassed so much, she included so many little details, and she made sense of a mess of a canon universe (at least where it was at the time), and created a fascinating, addicting, incredible storyline. Her characterizations are fabulous, and her writing is the kind that isn't about flash and style (which can be fun, but not in a story of this length), but about drawing you into the story and not letting you back out until you're done again.

I read Paradox Law in one day. I sat down in the morning, intending to read a chapter or two, and I didn't get up from the couch until I was done, because it was that engrossing. I don't want to say too much about the plot, because it'd give away some things you really should be surprised about, but... let's just say it can be summed up in: Don't mess with the time stream. The more you try to fix it, the more it breaks. (No real warnings, what you get in the original material is about what you'll find here. Except done waaaaaay better.)

- X-Men - And I Alone Am Escaped To Tell Thee by Amanda Sichter - I was left wondering how possible this was, because as hypocritical as I find the X-Men to frequently be, they've never been that bad. (Though, really, if they leave a teammate to die in Antarctica, without even a shirt on his back, this really isn't that much of a step away from that.) That aside, what I really liked about this story is the chilling nature of what Gambit goes through, the very way this could fit in with canon and how it changed the characters. It's a clever idea and that doesn't happen nearly enough. (No real warnings.)

- X-Men/Iceman - Just the Two of Us by Kerrie Smith - Okay, GenX made me read this fic--in return for making her read the He-Man fic *G*--and I enjoyed the hell out of it. There are some beautifully classic lines, I laughed so hard throughout the fic, and it was actually quite adorable and a little bit touching in the right places. Bobby accidentally creates a mini-clone of himself (who looks to be about seven years old) and the resulting hijinks from that. I think my favorite line of the story is the Logan line at the end of part one, but the whole damn thing is brilliantly funny. (No warnings.)

- X-Men - Full Disclosure by Andraste - I read this one half on a whim, half because a lot of people seemed to think it was really great, and I'm so glad I did, because this was just brilliant. Scott's tired of having all these surprises jump out of them from Xavier's past and wants something done about it. I love. (No warnings.)

- X-Men - Fruitloops, Nutcases, and Prophets by Diamonde - Oh, my god was this fun! So very, very hysterical and Scott! And Remy! Getting along! And Scott with a sense of humor! Funny, funny lines, creative delusions for poor Scott (I liked the fairy best), and priceless reactions from the others. This indulged both my need for funny, well-written fic and Scott-fic. So good. (Some Scott/Jean.)

- X-Men - Network by Diamonde - Whee! More humor fic from Diamonde! I admit, it took me until Magneto to get it, and I promptly started giggling. The one after Magneto (won't spoil it) was my favorite, though, I think I literally 'sniggered'. Though, the last one was funny, too... oh, hell, the whole thing had me laughing like crazy. (No warnings.)

- X-Men/Cyclops/Cable - Take Me Out To The Ballgame... by Alicia McKenzie - I actually read this story a long, long time ago, way back before I knew what the hell was going on with the whole Summers family mess. Err. Not that I know now, but I have a semi-understanding at least. Alicia's writing is wonderful as always, doing marvelous things with the relationship between Scott and Nathan, touching on issues that need to be addressed, writing genuinely touching scenes, and then weaving bits of humor and lovely details (I especially liked the description of the mutant artist's work) throughout the story. (No warnings.)

- X-Men - The Shi'ar Coffee Story by Alicia McKenzie - *laughing* Oh, I'd read this a long time ago, but it's so much funnier now that I'm more aquainted with the characters. Obviously Alicia writes a fantastic Cable, and this story was no exception--even if he wasn't really acting like himself. To be polite, he was a bit... out of it. "Where'd Logan go?"

"Why?" Scott said carefully.

"Because I'm bored, and I want to hit something. And he's fun to hit--he keeps getting back up and coming back for more." That continues to crack me the hell up. (No real warnings.)

- Marvel/Northstar/Aurora - Epicentre by Redhawke - I admit, I'm still learning about the French-Canadian twins (What is it with me and Marvel twins?), but this was a lovely, lovely and bittersweet piece about Jean-Paul and Jeanne-Marie and I wish more authors would write about them. The plot of the piece is almost non-existant--Jean-Paul and Jeanne-Marie dancing--but it says so much about them and their troubles and their relationship and how they can start to let their masks slip just a bit with just the two of them there. (No warnings.)

- X-Men - Ami, Pas Amoureux by Mara Greengrass - I logged into my account to check OtL, in my usual hunt for fic to read and I actually clicked on it it because I've read a couple of Mara Greengrass' stories recetly and quite liked them, so the name stuck out in my head. Imagine my surprise to find that the summary was: Northstar and Iceman chat post-Uncanny 415. I squeaked happily and dropped everything else to read, and I wasn't disappointed! This was a perfect post-UXM415 oneshot and I'm having trouble even beginning to start in on why I loved it so much--describing what made me love it wouldn't do it justice. It felt right, the characters were perfect (I loved the balance between arrogant, snobby, and genuinely human with Jean-Paul), the writing smooth and so very easy to read, and it wasn't about schmoop and romance, like I somewhat expected. (Don't get me wrong, I would have gladly welcomed such.) It was more like a continuation of the actual issue itself, and given how much I've burbled happily about the issue, I like to think that's a compliment. ^_^ (Mentions of slash.)

- X-Men - Practical Joke by lise - I was catching up on OtL mail and somehow I'd wound my way to lise's site and this was one of her newest fics, and the summary read: remy and scott fuck with bobby's head. How could I not read it? And, dude, this is what I've been missing in comic-fic, some good old-fashioned X-fic humor! With the real X-Men! (I mean, I adore so many of these new 'verses, but I love my real X-Men most of all.) So I felt all floaty and happy just reading it for that, but... I laughed my ass off during this fic. There's one scene in particular with Bobby and Jean... I had a giggle fit reading that. And that's what I loved about this fic, the characterization was just perfect, the writing was wonderful, and the humor sparkled, it just... eee! Loved it! XD (No real warnings.)

- Northstar - Broken Ground by Suzene Campos - Oh, how I adore good Northstar fanfic--I mean, I admit that I came onboard with the character when Austen brought him onto Uncanny, but I love him deeply anyway. The thing I adore the most about this fic is that, once again, canon wildly contradicts itself, but a fic author has turned it around and made sense of it and I am going to choose to believe this version rather than some stupid retcon. I also adored the writing of this story, it was smooth, fluid, and wonderful to read, the author really captured the way Jean-Paul would have been at that age, it was just.. a charming read. I adored it. (No pairings/warnings.)

- X-Men - Laces by Soyo - .....excuse me, I have to wibble with love over this ficlet because, HOLY CHRIST THE CUTE! ....well, it's not really cute, but it's FUNNY and it's ADORABLE and I am GOING TO USE CAPS TO EXPRESS MY LOVE FOR IT. Just, man, this author really nails the sense of hysterically funny (Yet so very, very endearing, as the fic points out--that's the thing I love, Bobby IS endearing, but not all authors could pull that off, give you a real sense of it, but this fic DOES. I should want to smack him, but I can't, because he's just too, too adorable and... fuck, endearing. XD) and FUN snarking with Jean-Paul and Bobby. Plus, Bobby's stunt was totally something he would do and Jean-Paul's reaction was perfect and, aw, jeez, I can't stop grinning like an idiot over the cute. XD (.....I'm going to call this one gen.)

- X-Men - Two of a Kind by Zeelee - You know what I miss a lot in comicfic these days? Stories that aren't about pairings, that are about two characters connection as friends, even if it's a surprise to themselves. I miss the stories where an author would take two characters that you wouldn't think would have ANY reason to talk to each other and then writes a gorgeous story about them that seems like the most natural thing in the world. Which is exactly what we have here--Bobby Drake and Emma Frost, each at points in their lives that aren't exactly great, but somehow finding a little friendly comfort just by talking to each other. And it MAKES SENSE. Makes so much sense that it's hard to let go of the idea that they could be friends, once the fic is done. Not to mention gorgeous writing and fantastic characterization. Much love. ♥ (No warnings/pairings.)

- X-Men - Silence Isn't Always Golden, Silent Movies, Silence of the Dog, Silent Thanks, Silent Adoration, Silently Blessed and Silent Retreat by Didi - Admittedly, when I sat down to read these stories, I half expected them to be rather badly written and while the first one does get off to a bit of a rocky start, the author does a fabulous job of showing the growing friendship between Jean-Paul and Jubilee that I can BELIEVE. The dialogue she writes for both of them is exactly the kind of thing I want to find in Northstar fic, because he's got a sharp tongue and attitude and Jubilee can give as good as she gets, but it's also never mean or hurtful. In some ways, I feel like I shouldn't like the way Jean-Paul becomes fond of her, but the way she's written in these stories (as she should be) is so crystal clear and perfect that I BOUGHT the growing friendship. It seemed like the most natural thing in the world, actually. There were so many moments in these fics that I wanted to point out because they made me go, "Awww." or because they made me sparkle like mad crazy or because they made me giggle terribly, but there were far too many to count. ^_~ I just... excellent work here and I like to think I have snobby tastes when it comes to both these characters. XD Plus, these stories remind me of the more Old School type of fic--it's not about romance, it's about friendship and the moments that make the characters human, but without being emotionally sappy about it. They have their problems--both big and small--but they're not forever trapped in them, they keep moving forward. ....Jubilee rocks so much in this fic (even if the final story did go a little overboard, but it's nothing canon hasn't done itself). (No warnings/pairings.)

- X-Men - Betrayal by Valerie Jones - In the past, I've written two seperate recommendations for this story; this time will be my third. With every successive rewrite of the rec, it gets longer and longer in my attempt to capture just what it is about this story that makes it my favorite fanfic with absolutely no exceptions. In the past, I wrote the recs with only my somewhat fuzzy memory of the story to go on, because I hadn't sat down and properly reread it in awhile. This time, I reread all of Betrayal (this is actually about my third time through the story the whole way), intending to just plow through a few chapters before bed. By the time it was 2am and I was getting down to the last few chapters, I was back in that thrall this story puts me into every single time. It's not the only reason this fic is my favorite, but it certainly is one of the easiest ways to talk about how it affects me.

Previously, I've talked about how I can't put the fic down (and mentioned it again here), but this time I'm going to focus on the story and plot themselves. One thing that I will grant is that the story starts out rather choppy, the sentences are all very short, very stacatto in their beat, which distracts me a little from sinking into the fic properly for about six chapters or so. (They're short chapters, so they go by fast, mind.) But, at the same time, the dialogue and characterization are tight, so I forget about that pretty fast and by the time the fic is getting to chapter 47, I've completely forgotten about it. (Pulling myself back to look at the later chapters, the author has clearly found her style and is writing professional level quality.)

Everything about the story is tightly paced, always focused on where it wants to go, the scenes never wander, everything that's put in has its time and place. It was striking upon rereading how many details I'd missed the first two times through; knowing what I knew now, I could see all the clues that the author had placed in the scenes previous to the big reveal, how everything was planned, how everything came together and made sense when you finally had all the pieces. The scene where Remy has a hallucination about the intruder in the kitchen struck me all over again, knowing what I knew about what it meant, so much that my heart turned over a little for the character. Or when Charles and Jean dove into Remy's mind to see the large, black tree at the root of his subconscience, it hurt to see that because I knew what it was hiding. Every time I reread the story, the impact of the events the author puts the characters through affects me all over again.

The first time I read the story, when I got to the reveal, it was an incredible build-up, something that was so engrossing I couldn't put it down until the mystery had been unwound by the X-Men. Afterwards, it caught my imagination, both for how much sense it had made of the canon (at the time; the whole Witness thing, the X-Traitor, etc.) and how well everything came together. Yet, it's more than that. Perhaps it's because Remy is one of my favorite characters--and I do think that you have to be open to reading a story that focuses on his character pretty heavily, no matter what other elements the story is brilliant at, at it's heart, it's a story about Gambit--but it's more than that. The idea appeals to the creative part of me, makes me wonder what other situations could arise from this new situation, how this would affect the futures of everyone.

In addition to the actual plot of the story, the relationships are some pretty damn delicious frosting on this cake; the Remy/Rogue relationship isn't just dealt with, it's woven into the core of the story. The characterization continues to be gorgeous between the two of them, all those insecurities and issues and things they've been through, things they've seen in each other, none of it was left behind, but neither did the author let it drag them down. They worked through their problems in that way that I always desperately wish they would, it's never easy, but they both know they don't want to let go again. The chemistry between them is out in full force in the story as well, they're each a part of the X-Men family in their own ways, their whole worlds aren't made up of each other, but you can still quite simply feel how much they love each other, how strongly they're drawn towards each other. Not that it's limited to just them--the insights into Charles Xavier's character is quite possibly my favorite for his character. Bishop's role with the team is quite brilliant, the things he learns and goes through because of the Witness' actions are brilliant. Jean is absolutely everything I love about the character here, she's quite simply wonderful. There is a real sense of family here.

For all the plot antics that happen in the story, I doubt they would have had anywhere near as much an impact if it hadn't been for the emotional parts of the story resonating so strongly with my views of the characters. Remy's issues with self-worth without being a doormat. Rogue struggling to deal with her own issues and knowing what she knows about Remy. Charles' dream and his struggle to do the right thing for everyone. The X-Men's fight to forgive, to not judge out of place, to offer second chances to those who truly need it. For a story that's not quite 80,000 words, this fic contains the best mix of themes and 'bulletproof' kinks that I could possibly want. True, part of it is knowing there are two sequels, each a bit longer than the last, that continue the rammifications of the events set in motion by the first story, but the first will always be my favorite. I am not a person who rereads fics, much less lengthy ones all the way through. This is my third time reading every last bit of "Betrayal" and I know it won't be my last. (Remy/Rogue, half a gen story about Remy's character and the X-Men.)

- Marvel Universe/Harry Potter - Physical Education by Adrian Tullberg - Okay. Deadpool at Hogwards. By Adrian Tullberg. I was pretty sure I was going to like this. Then I got to, "Hi ho subjects of torture! I'm Wade Wilson, your gym coach, or as you freaks from England call it; your ...” he held up his fingers in a quote gesture "... Pee-Eee Teacher. You can call me Mr. Wilson, Deadpool, or 'Not the Face! Not the Face!'" before I started that wheezing laughter thing that all Deadpool fic should inspire. The first part is just all sorts of mayhem and genius. The second is... just... wheezing laughter. That's all I got. Deadpool actually comes across in text form, this fic absolutely does the character justice. So much brilliance here. (No real warnings, aside from what Deadpool brings to the table just on his own.)

- X-Men - Looming by mizzmarvel - As is frequent with me, I don't even remember how I got onto looking for Northstar fic, just that I have this occasional urge to fall back in love all over again with him. So, I started poking around just a teeny bit and happened to stumble over this fic. It's actually a Bobby fic, you have to squint to read the (rather one-sided) Jean-Paul/Bobby into it and that's not really even why I liked it so much. It was just... it was a really good, solid Bobby piece, especially after he's been put through the wringer so many times lately. The fic does a lovely job of not overstating his angst, his loss, his frustration, his sadness, same as it doesn't overstate the connection with Lorna or Jean-Paul. It's just... the author played it with a lovely, deft hand and makes me like Bobby again. (Some implications of Bobby/Lorna, Jean-Paul/Bobby.)

- X-Men - Norway by mizzmarvel - Oh, Jean-Paul/Bobby. I don't even need them to be doing anything, all they have to do is go on a trip to Norway so Bobby can be in the cold for a little while, and I'm a pile of fangirl mush because I love them so damn much. It helps that the author does a lovely job with them, keeps Bobby's sense of... well, Bobby, while still never forgetting how much crap they're all going through. The end of this fic, as well, just makes me ache in that fangirly way. (Implications of Jean-Paul/Bobby if you squint.)

- X-Men - Paradox Law by Valerie Jones - [Note: This is the follow-up story to Betrayal, so you'll be very confused if you haven't read that one. This rec will also contain spoilers for "Betrayal", so do not read it until you've read the previous fic. Seriously.] As I mentioned in the rec for that fic, this is the set of stories (Betrayal, Paradox Law, and Game of Empires) that helped start me writing recs, that is still absolutely, positively my favorite fanfic ever. No matter how much I read, no fic manages to capture both my imagination and my heart like this author has. This is quite possibly my third read-through--and as I've mentioned numerous times, I'm not one who rereads much fic, there's too much stuff out there that I haven't read to waste time on the stories I already know. But by the time I reach the final chapter of this story, by the time I've gotten so engrossed in it yet again, there are tears in my eyes because it's such a moving story.

Sure, it helps that it focuses on my favorite things/characters and contains a lot of the kinks that I have weaknesses for. (Playing with the scope of Gambit's powers, the father/son issues with Xavier, the effects of Gambit's relationship with Rogue, etc.) But it's not just that, it's that the story is genuinely a good one. It's epic in scope, it's brilliantly plotted, and it's incredibly detailed at every point it needs to be. Knowing the ending, having read it twice before, each chapter is loaded with details that will come up again later, little clues along the way that are woven seamlessly into the narration so that you don't even notice them until you're rereading and going, "Oh...!" I love that the story goes through at least four seperate time-lines, each time so different and yet make sense in their own way, and the structuring of the story leaves me breathless every time. I love that by the time I finish "Paradox Law", I feel like I've been through the wringer, that each timeline was a lifetime ago.

It's still more than that, of course. The author also focuses this story on a set of four original characters that I tend to forget aren't from the books themselves. They make sense, they're so fully three-dimensional characters that I get caught up in them just as much as I do the actual X-Men. True, it helps that Remi is basically Gambit in another life, but he never lived the same life, he never went through anything of what Gambit did, Rem'aillon Neramani is not Gambit. So, to have the majority of the fic centered on him and to make it one of the most riveting reads ever? Such tremendous talent. Because he's not just a flat insert that jars against the world he's in, he's got his own motivations, his own personality, his own reasons for everything, his own flaws even. You can see Remy in him, but he's not Remy at the same time and even after all these years that, too, still takes my breath away.

The use of canon events also still takes my breath away. These stories were written several years ago, of course, but the sense she made of the mess of canon? The way the author wove together events, spiralled off others, made it all fit with the canon we actually saw in the books? Brilliant to the point that it sometimes affects my view of canon itself. It sometimes feels like canon just... lined up for the story like it was meant to happen. Or maybe it just feels that way to me because I have stars in my eyes. I freely admit that I'm biased as all hell on this story. But the sense of... the author being so familiar with the stories as they happened in canon, then what could very well happen if you changed just one thing and watched how it snowballed... it's fantastic.

It's fantastic to read Remi's interaction with the massively different timeline where the Shadow King ruled, where Rogue was a woman without hope, where Jean was devestated by loss, where Xavier was a man who had no ability left to dream, it's amazing how different yet how similiar these people are. Like they truly could have been those people in that lifetime. That one thing changed could lead to these circumstances. And by the time Remi's getting to that fourth timeline, when he's jumped back in time for the fourth time, you can feel his desperation and how close he is to his breaking point. When he has some small measure of peace to hold onto, you can feel the relief in him and it's so absolutely earned by the author. It's not cheap drama, everything the character goes through is earned by the story.

I'm not sure what else I can say about this story. Everything I say feels like it's not enough, it's not descriptive enough, it's not insightful enough, it's not a lot of things. I want this to be my final rec for this story, despite that I can go on at length about it and I'm sure I'll be settling in for my fourth read through in a few years from now. It's That Story for me. Gambit has always fascinated me. The lack of knowledge about his power, the hints we've gotten, the incredible psi-shields that were never explained, the lack of exploration on his ability to charge objects, not knowing who his family is, it all engaged me. I've always liked the idea that Remy was the third Summers brother and I probably always will, even after canon has closed that door. (His connection to Sinister is so intriguing though--!) But this story hits me even harder. It's brilliant from start to finish, truly doing the idea of Remy being the son of Charles Xavier and Lilandra justice. Hell, not simply "justice", it blows everything else I've read out of the water. Not just for the strength of it on a technical level, but because the story has a spirit that I've never bonded with so strongly.

And, shut up, I can be fangirly if I want to. This story was That Story for me. D:< (Implications of pairings, but nothing worth warning for.)

- X-Men - Staff Meeting by sionnain - I really have been strangely enjoying the bitchy snarking between Emma and Kitty over in Astonishing, so I was curious about how that would play out in a fic, especially one that's in the style of several exchanged e-mails. And, holy crap, this was fabulous, it was funny and brilliantly in character, I could hear their voices just as clearly as I could (if not better) than in the book itself. The little details, the little digs Emma and Kitty get in at each other, the sheer force of personality that shines through, the absolutely pitch-perfect ending, all of it was a great read. Totally the perfect little coda to the Gifted arc from Astonishing. (References to canon pairings.)

- X-Men - Means to an End by sionnain - I was extremely hesitant to read this fic because I'm a die-hard Gambit/Rogue fan and this fic kinda fucks with that, but also because I'm still pissed about the whole Death thing and not taking it seriously. Also, I'm way behind. But. I'd just finished reading the author's Astonishing-based fic and thought it was fabulous, so I wanted to see her take on Rogue. And this was fantastic, the writing is so sharp and clear, both in characterization and in showing what Rogue's going through at the moment. She's tough as nails when she needs to be, even after being dealt a devestating blow like she's just been through. And I actually wound up liking the take on both Rogue/Remy and Rogue/Sabretooth, they both felt right for this moment in time. I really can't express how well this was written, how clearly I could see the characters (in Bachalo's beautiful pencils no less) and how chemistry-laden, how charged the conversation with Sabretooth was. Every line of this was gorgeous. (Implied Remy/Rogue, references to Sabretooth/Rogue.)

- X-Men - untitled by atdrake - These are a series of historical settings for the various Marvel families (the Magneto family and Braddock family most notably) and, each time I read a new piece, I come away utterly delighted at the author's creativity and brillance at reweaving them into different eras (omg the Norse one! so much awesome!) and yet still maintaining the spirit and themes of the characters. The writing mirrors the periods while still being a light, easy read--not fluffy, but something that just sails smoothly along, where I find myself having finished the story before I quite realize it. Again, I'm only saddened that there were not more from this author. (No real warnings/pairings, but you could read Pietro/Wanda if you squinted.)

- X-Men - A Certain Kind of Light by likeadeuce - I think one of the reasons I was so willing to pick up this fic despite that it's Astonishing-era fic is because I very much like the author's take on the Scott/Jean/Emma thing, Jean isn't just conveniently forgotten but she's not lingered on, either. I can deal with that. I can even love that in a fic that's so absolutely pitch-perfect that I refuse to believe that this didn't happen somewhere between the pages of Astonishing. On the surface it's about something simple--the X-gang being dragged out for some fun because they needed it and that just happens to include karaoke. But underneath that, underneath the brilliant characterization and witty lines that had me in stitches (seriously, the mocking of Scott in good humor had me practically crying with laughter), there's an actual story here, there's actual emotions and issues being dealt with. Scott Summers is not an easy person to love, no one's more aware of that than this group of people, and the author deals with it wonderfully. I especially adore her Hank, whom I just want to hug and never let go for being such an amazing person. His conversation with Emma was a highlight of this fic, it was... everything it needed to be. (Canon pairings, mostly Scott/Emma, Piotr/Kitty, and references to Scott/Jean.)

- X-Men - 20 Things You Might Not Know about Scott Summers by likeadeuce - Oh, god, Scott. The author is incredible making me love the character even more than when I started, using the "twenty things" format to gorgeous effect here. Some of them are funny, some of them are interesting/insightful, some of them brilliantly show off what a family the X-Men are, and the final few hit me straight in the fangirl heart and leave me aching. I adore the author's geeking out of Scott's character, but done in a way that fits with him just so incredibly perfectly, the way he's so much more than you'd think just to look at him, the way it fits with all of what we know of the character, but gives him even more depth. #18 is just all kinds of brilliant and any fic that contains these lines has to be fabulous: He just thinks having a nemesis named "Magneto" is embarrassing because it makes his already ludicrous job sound that much more absurd. (Scott/Jean, but it's not really the point.)

X-Men: A Gnarled Tree Keeps Growing by xenokattz - You know what I love? When people pick on Scott because his family tree is so fucked up and there's this sense of them being one, big family together again. I miss that with the X-Men. So, a fic where they're teasing Scott about Remy being the product of a Summers/Sinister cloning and everyone jumps in on it while Scott makes vague mental plans to kill them all? Hilarious. <3 (No real warnings/pairings, aside from canon implications.)

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