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- Ai no Kusabi - Cup of Desire by Roo - After watching Ai no Kusabi for the first time, despite how I wasn't wild about the anime itself, I did like the characters and after that ending, I desperately needed fic--which Roo thankfully provided. Of course... you know how there are always those cliches in yaoi fic, no matter what fandom you go to, the kind that the majority of those teeny-bopper yaoi writers seem to just can't wait to get their sticky little hands on the characters to gleefully shove them into leather pants and send them out clubbing? You know that type of cliche fic? Well, this fic's concept is a little like that, Riki and Raoul's drinks are spiked and you can imagine what ensues when Iason and Katze take them home. I could pick this story apart, comment on a few of the cliche phrasings, the improbability of the scenarios, etc., but I find I don't have the heart to, because Roo's writing is the kind that pull you in despite the cliche. In another author's hands, I probably would have hated this fic, but in hers, I adore it. And... every time I read this fic I'm reminded of the "old school" yaoi writing, back before anime and yaoi were huge in the US. I couldn't even tell you why it gives me that vibe, but it does. So, wrapping this up, this fic has appeal for just about anyone--if you're looking for good, solid AnK fic with very smooth, polished writing and nice, insightful characterizations, check. If you're looking for really, really well-written sex, check. If you're like me and get a little nostalgia thrill from the 'old school' vibe, check on that as well. ^_^v (Iason/Riki and Raoul/Katze, graphic content.)

- Ai no Kusabi - In Medias Res by Kim Gasper - And on the other side of the coin, we have the harsher, more dominating, darker side of the Iason/Rikki relationship. This is one of those stories where nothing much happens--Rikki is merely in chains again, being ordered to touch himself for Iason to watch--it's all about the characterization side of things, and it's a wonderful look at Rikki. How much he hates being humiliated like this, while at the same time he doesn't understand (he doesn't want to understand), why it arouses him and why he doesn't run away when he has the chance. This is combined with a gorgeous writing style that really evokes the feel of AnK, and you've got a wonderful story here. (Implied Iason/Riki, masturbation, graphic content.)

- Ai no Kusabi - Dark Side of the Moon by Roo - Of Roo's AnK fics, I think this one is my favorite, because it's not as much about the sap, it's more about Iason's ownership of Riki and the duality of Riki's attraction for and hatred of Iason. Roo weaves this story around canon (at least in the second half of the story), during the time Riki was away from Eos and Iason. I really do love the way she write Katze and the scene between him and Riki is one of my favorites. Still a little on the cliche side, but there's this... charm (the good kind of charm) to them that so many other authors wish they had, the quips clever, the characterizations interesting, the pacing moving along at just the right speed, and the sex good. Really, really good. ^_^v (Iason/Riki, graphic content.)

- Ai no Kusabi - My Soul to Take by Kim Gasper - I'm not sure how to describe why I like this fic of Kim Gasper's without repeating my rec of "In Medias Res". It's not that they're the same basic fic, I don't think it's fair to say they're interchangeable, yet, in some ways they are. This is another story about Iason dominating Riki, trying to get Riki to hand all of himself over to Iason, and it's a very, very interesting look at the characters combined with lovely writing and a wonderful sex scene. I really do love the way she portrays Iason in this story--he's got that incredibly strong will and composure, he knows what he wants and goes after it, willing to do or say harsh things for a greater reward, and he controls everything around him, almost untouchable and unfathomable to everyone around him, yet at the same time he's not a sadistic bastard, you can tell he genuinely cares deeply about Riki and craves him. .....I'm so crushing on Iason right now. >_>;; (Iason/Riki, graphic content.)

- Ai no Kusabi - Mousetrap by Mimea - *gasp!* PG AnK fic rec?? What am I coming to?? ^_~ I'll admit that this story got off to a bit of a rough start; there were some awkward phrasings here and there, but about a page in, they smoothed out into a very readable and engaging story. The idea of the story is about Iason having heard of Riki before he met him in that scuffle with the Elite Guard, becoming obsessed with him already, and manipulating the circumstances to engineer that previously mentioned scuffle. I wouldn't have thought this story would work at first, but I really did buy it--there were some really insightful descriptions of Riki, comparing and contrasting him to Blondies, and it worked to show how Iason's obsession with him began. The small bits and pieces of details of Katze's work as the unofficial black market leader were also woven into the story nicely, giving the fic much more believability. I also really, really liked Katze's thoughts towards the end, looking back on the "mousetrap" that Iason has set up here and who it's ensnared. (Iason/Riki referenced.)

- Mirage of Blaze/Ai no Kusabi - Cyclone [ Japanese Fanart Site ] - I stumbled over this site completely randomly, while I was looking for Eyeshield 21 art of all things--and, yeah, there's a really GOOD illustration in the JUMP gallery, the real treasure of this site is in the Mirage of Blaze section. And that there's AI NO KUSABI FANART. I'm still shocked. Anyway. Her Mirage of Blaze art alternates between cutesy and these OMG STUNNING illustrations--there's one early on of Kagetora that just... GUH. SO HOT. I mean, the simpler art is really adorable and fun to look at, but when she moves towards the more delicate lines... she draws beautifully. Plus, I'd love any artist who had Naoe presenting a birthday cake to a Takaya with a chain around his neck, no pants under his white shirt, and looking REALLY CRANKY. XD XD XD The Ai no Kusabi art is sort of a mixture between the two, but... there's this gorgeous one of Katze that even I had to go *__* over. And, last, but entirely not least... there are icons on the site. ADORABLE ICONS. Plusing one of shirtless!Naoe slinging yukata!Takaya over his shoulder. I want that one so bad. ....though, I also want the one of them in coats. And the Iason/Riki icon! *twirls* So, so much love for this site. ♥ (Some Naoe/Takaya, a little Iason/Riki, but that's given.)

- Ai no Kusabi - Small Freedoms by Fuyu - I try to never have high hopes for any Ai no Kusabi fic when I read them, because it's not a series I click with very well, even with the fic. However, this fic... it wasn't just about the Iason/Riki groping, there was a beautiful parallel with really good insights (about small freedoms they both cling to) to go with the marvellous writing. It's one of those stories that had an idea and came up with a perfect little way to illustrate it and fit so damn well with the series--Riki's and Iason's thoughts/reactions/feelings just slid together with the movie so well, I thought. (Iason/Riki.)

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