- P.L. Nunn's Bastard!! Fiction - Not too long ago I finally got to watched all of the Bastard!! anime, which of course immediately sent me off on a hunt for fic. P.L. Nunn's got the longest and most complex fic series out there, so I naturally jumped on it. The storyline is quite well thought-out and characterization believable--especially Darshu. Even during his more caring moments he's still an egotistical bastard. He's selfish, mean, and obnoxious, even when he very clearly cares about someone. That's the Dark Schneider I know and love. ^_^ Plus, the stories totally made me a fan of Kall-Su. (Since he wasn't in the anime much, it was hard to develop a fondness for him, and now I /really/ wish they'd done more with him. *sulks*) Anyway, if you like Bastard!!, definitely read her stories.
- Bastard!! - Aftermath by PL Nunn - Now, I've rec'd this author's Bastard!! fics before, but it was a short rec and more of a general, sweeping one, rather than specified to the author's works. Okay, PL Nunn and I don't see eye to eye on a lot of characterization takes in other series, but her Bastard!! work puts stars in my eyes. To be honest, it was reading her fic that drew me from, "Hmm, interesting series. Amusing and just fun. Shame there wasn't more of it." to "Holy crap, these characters are a hell of a lot more dynamic than I first realized, there's still stuff to be done with them. I am now fascinated with them and OH MY GOD KALL-SU, BABY, I LOVE YOU!!"
Her writing is perfectly suited to the Bastard!! world--in this story she has an incredible eye for detail and world-setting/building that was necessary for a fic that is truly epic in scope. Her attention to everything that's going on in this story is amazing, her characterization is gorgeous and richly textured, and just... as I read this story, I'm left with the sense that this could have been a genuine path that the story took, I believe this story. It's also a satisfying read, because the author takes her time with the story, develops each plot point beautifully and doesn't skip out on anything; there are even magic battles here, yo.
The Bastard!! fandom is incredibly small, only a handful of fics to the series' name, but I'm honestly largely satisfied with the state of the fandom because of this fic (which is truly long past novel length), because it was done right. In a lot of fandoms, there are long fics, but it's because the author drags the story out or just babbles on endlessly... but that's not the case here. This plot genuinely deserved to be this long, the pacing was done right. Sure, it's a daunting story to tackle, but it's worth it, because... gahhhh, shit, I'm totally fangirling now, I'm going to be moving along, honest. >_> (It's Bastard!!... any warnings that apply to the series in question apply to this fic, especially language.)
- Bastard!! - Black March by PL Nunn - To be honest, I actually read this fic before I read "Aftermath" (which, as of the day I wrote these recs, I'm only halfway through), because... well, when I first got into the Bastard!! fandom, I was just looking for a pretty yaoi pairing. >_> (Yes, yes, I realize the wrongness of this, shut up and leave me alone. >_>) So, I started skimming and... well, I just utterly fell in love with Dark Schneider as a character... and then Kall-Su wormed his way into my heart as well and I was lost. I fell so hard for the complicated, complex, layered, and difficult relationship between the two characters--all that history and all the things that were unspoken and the clash of wills and the love underneath all that.
If anything, this is the story that made me realize that there was more to the characters than I originally thought, that there was a wonderfully complex and angsty pretty boy just waiting for me in Kall-Su, this is the fic that made me realize I was in love with the Bastard!! series as a whole. Of course, this one is my favorite between the two (even if the other one is probably technically better written) because it's pure interaction between Dark Schneider and Kall-Su. The characterization of both characters is just... holy crap, I'm in love, because I can believe that these are the characters I saw on the screen.
Schneider's narcissism and gray-ness to his moral code are just incredibly portrayed here--he's not really a nice guy, but you understand why everyone is so loyal to him and why they love him so much. Kall-Su's tragic background and quiet, reserved nature covering up the need he feels, especially towards his adoptive father is gorgeously written. And this was the story that convinced me that yaoi in this series was possible, because... well, if Schneider can sleep with his adoptive daughter in canon, why not his adoptive son, who's pretty enough to be a girl anyway? ^_~
Plus, you don't just have generic yaoi here, you've got a plot that builds up to it--and the plot is wonderful, I can genuinely believe the bad guys were a real threat and the details of the background created for them were fantastic. And the plot was used to further along the relationship between Dark Schneider and Kall-Su in such a way that... well, it made sense and seemed like the most natural course of events. That's no small feat. Though, I think the highest compliment I can give the fic is to admit that I've read the last six chapters of the fic many, many times. And I am not a re-reader. >_> (Bastard!!-level warnings, especially for language, some content, hints of non-con in the background, Dark Schneider/Kall-Su, DS/Yoko, KS/OC.)
- Bastard!! - An End Not Unlike the Beginning by Team Bonet - This was an interesting story, just a sort of character piece on various characters (mostly Kall-Su and Yoko) during the time between when the anime ended and later events between Dark Schneider at the two remaining Shitennou. The writing is lovely with this piece, the descriptions very vivid and the kind that pop an image right into the reader's mind. The characterizations are also solid and the bits with Yoko and Dark Schneider were fun to read, but the real highlight of the story is Kall-Su, the soft, gentle angst of his childhood and what he's going through currently. The short scenes from random times in the timeline were an interesting way to tell the story and worked nicely. Plus, I really liked the way the fic ended, just the tone of it made me go *piku*. (No warnings/pairings.)
- Bastard!! - Requiem for the Innocent by Silver Spider - This is one of those stories that's just... exactly what I'd hoped for when I started reading--a fic about the interaction between Kall-Su and Arshes Nei when they were still children. The writing is very smooth, the characterizations fantastic (even as much as I wanted to wring Schneider's neck for favoring Arshes, but I tend to agree with the author that that's the way it would have been), right down to Kall-Su's night terrors (which I can just see him having, I love that the author wove the idea into the story so perfectly that it just... makes so much sense to me) and Arshes' kind nature towards him here. It's just... the fic touched the part of me that genuinely cares about these characters by now, because it was so wonderfully done. T_______T (No warnings/pairings.)
- Bastard!! - Sweet Child by Ginzai - This was... *lets out a long breath* wow. The author's writing is gorgeous, building this beautiful, heartbreaking story that flowed... almost like a soft, intense song, keeping me enraptured the entire time I was reading. One story point flowed into the next, showing the events that brought Kall-Su into being, showing his formative years with his birthmother in such a way that it was just... beautiful. The building insanity of Kall's mother was gorgeously done, she felt rightly done--she wasn't evil, but neither was she someone I could like or feel much more than pity for, which was exactly what was intended. What really got to me with this story was the slowly rising level of tension, each time something happened, even if it was small, the level ratcheted up another notch, making me tense up for what I knew was coming. The details were worked beautifully into the story, giving it a rich feel, and the writing itself was gorgeous. The story broke my heart in all the ways it was supposed to. ;___; (No pairings, slight death warning.)