- Marvel - Endure Him by Rivulet027 - This was... kinda cute, really. I liked it. I have a strong fondness for Jean-Paul and Jean-Paul/Bobby in particular, so I'm always happy to see new fic about them and always afraid that it's going to suck, because I like that what is out there for them is good. But the tradition has been upheld ^_~ and I just... liked this fic. The little details (like the way Bobby was watching TV, the BtVS thing, etc.) were very nice and the conversations between Bobby and Jean-Paul were just adorable, very chemistry-filled. I sparkle muchly. ^____^ (Northstar/Iceman.)
- X-Men - Muller's Rachet by LadyJaida - Ahhh, sweet, sweet JP/Bobby, how I don't get enough of you. That LadyJaida wrote X-Men-fic makes me glee with delight because I adore her writing and I adore this pairing and her style of humor/writing is a really, really good fit with these two, I think. The little details of Bobby's summer outfit to the way Jean-Paul looks at the world (that thinly veiled sort of condescending attitude without making him a two-dimensional prick) to the bits of humor that had me giggling like crazy... this was wonderful. Plus, dammit, she reminds me of why I LIKED Annie at first. She was sparkly at first, I swear she was! Just like in this fic! (Some light Jean-Paul/Bobby.)
- X-Men - The Five Sex Scenes Jean-Paul Beaubier Never Had by LadyJaida - Aaaaaaaand then there's the fic that had me very, very glad that I didn't have any soda around to spit back onto my monitor. Because each one of these examples was just... FUNNY. The kind that had me giggling madly and sparkling over the JP/Bobby cuteness/goodness/sexiness. Even if they are vaguely dorky. It's just... *waves hands, flails* how else can I describe these? Clever concepts for each one along with a strong sense for comedic timing in prose form. I ♥. (Jean-Paul/Bobby.)
- X-Men - Shedding Irony by Soyo - So, I shoved a JP/Bobby fic at Amanda and, in return, she shoved this fic at me and I should hate her for getting me back into Marvel fic tonight, but... holy shit, how can I hate her, when this story is so fucking good? The writing is magnificent, just beautiful on a technical level and so perfectly right with the characters that I'm in love all over again. Her Jean-Paul is snotty and condescending and irritating and isn't afraid to be direct and sharp-tongued and not mince words, but he's not an unbearable prick, he's a three-dimensional interesting character. And Bobby's charm and unwitting charisma come out in full force here, you can't HELP but like him, even if he's not usually a character you like, that sense of fun and amusement with him so clear and present. You can see WHY Jean-Paul has fallen for him.
And, oh, the funny in this fic. Seriously, there must have been ten times in the first chapter alone (OMG I NEED THE NEXT CHAPTER NOW NOW NOW) where I was either laughing my ass off or sparkling like mad crazy or practically beating on Amanda in my excitement and making the little "<3<3<3<3<3<3<3" until the AIM window broke. I was also impressed by the "cast" feeling of the whole thing--characters like Jubilee or Emma or Hank aren't just chewing scenery... or if they are, they do it in such a way that you don't mind 'cause they're so damn CLEVER about it. I liked this author's Emma. So incredibly much. Also, this fic has what I crave in fic and don't find it nearly often enough--it's not just pure emotion-driven reactions, it's not just contemplation and navel-gazing like so much fic is. Bobby's not even THINKING about it AT ALL and while I'm sure he eventually will, the progression of the fic feels so natural already that I can't wait. They're not just being tossed into it willy-nilly, I can believe they're getting there. And I mentioned the fan-fucking-tastic dialogue? Bobby's inner thoughts are a thing of GENIUS, I tell you. (Eventual Jean-Paul/Bobby, but right now it's no more than what's been shown in canon.)
- X-Men - Fool by Khirsah - This wasn't a bad fic at all, the dialogue was sharp, the writing was smooth, the characterizations solid, and, hey, good for Jean-Paul and Bobby to have gotten laid. It was... a nice progression from not-involved to getting involved, the way Bobby reacted to a lot of things, it wasn't too sudden a jump from one thing to the next. I admit, it didn't knock me over the moon like it should have and I've had a hell of a time figuring out why, but I wouldn't say that my time was wasted reading this story. The lines/jokes are well delivered, the writing is very tight and readable, the sex is very well-written, and did a good job at the whole 'first time' thing. (Bobby/Jean-Paul, graphic content.)
- X-Men/Northstar - Shedding Irony (chapter 02) by Soyo - Oh, how do I love X-Men when written well? So very, very much. Especially when the writing is lovely, just utterly fabulous and sparkling, when it's CLEVER and FUNNY and yet it's not parody, it's just... you know the X-Men when they're really, really on? ....okay, yeah, me neither, but this is what I imagine they'd be like if that ever happened. So far, there's not really even any romance, just an actual plot happening, just actual fabulous interaction between the characters and, holy fuck, I want to, like, marry Soyo's Jean-Paul. He can cheat on me with Bobby all he likes, I don't mind, I just want to marry him, that's how arrogantly perfect he is. This is why I fell for the character. Also? Bobby? So much love for him. And YAY for the other characters not being forgotten! The opening scene with Shan were just utterly fabulous. (Eventual Jean-Paul/Bobby, I assume.)
- 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 - Caffeine and Saccharine by Minerva Solo - [Note: Chapter 24 is here, but I'm sure it will be up on FFNET soon as well.] There are times when I read a story that's 1,000 words and it feels like I'm slogging through it. Then there are times when I'm reading a story that's 65,000+ words and it feels like time just flew by. You can guess which type this story was; and, god, was it ever satisfying to read a long, involved Jean-Paul/Bobby fic. I cannot describe the sense of not still being hungry for fic afterwards, that I actually read something that wasn't just good or long or about my OTP, but was actually truly satisfying. The author writes gorgeous characterization for both characters, they're so sharply Jean-Paul and Bobby, both of them full of those little details and turns of phrase that make them themselves. She has their mannerisms, their motives, their attitudes, even their speech patterns down so well; I could hear both of them at all times during this fic. And, god, it was funny, there was real chemistry there, and I laughed in all the right places, got misty in all the right places, got a dopey, lovesick smile on my face in all the right places.
In addition to that, the author was truly talented at making me believe this Bobby could be gay/bisexual, which is something I frequently have to squint and tilt my head to take seriously. But I loved the way the author handled it, something that had always been there, but Bobby had dealt with it (and the crappy circumstances around it) in such a Bobby way that it wasn't resolving itself until now. I love that I bought his feelings for Jean-Paul here, I love that I could believe it would happen int his way because the author dealt with him coming to terms, dealt with the whole secondary mutation thing, dealt with their relationship starting off as friendship first, then wound all of those elements together. I loved this fic because Jean-Paul is an arrogant, unforgiving bastard. Because he's surprisingly kind-hearted and will tell himself no lies. I loved this fic because Bobby's an idiot at times, but he's also got depth to him. Because he's funny and very aware of how other people see him and he might screw things up, but he looks long and hard at himself to recognize why. I loved this fic because they're such different people yet I can believe they'd fall in love, it almost seems perfectly natural that they would. I loved this fic because Bobby's friends aren't forgotten, Jean-Paul's sister isn't forgotten, even Jean-Paul's students aren't forgotten. (I totally squeed over the background mentions of Julian.) The author really seems to know her stuff with these characters, all their history comes up, but woven into the story rather than feeling like an info dump.
But mostly I loved it for that sense of satisfaction, of reading a long fic (that's cruelly not finished and ends in a sort-of bad place and I want the next chapter like burning) that deals with getting Jean-Paul and Bobby together in a believable way, for not pulling punches when it came to the harsher side of either of their personalities and the lives they live. I love it for reminding me that Annie had the potential to be a GREAT character in the right author's hands, that she really did start out kinda cool, and her friendship with Jean-Paul was AWESOME BEYOND BELIEF. She's fabulous here. Ahem. Right. Okay. It might start off a little slow as a fic, but the author quickly finds her groove and writes one of the best X-fics I've read in awhile. I cannot express my delight without the usual keyboard mashing, seriously. ♥ (Jean-Paul/Bobby, occasionally hard R+ content.)