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- Mirage of Blaze - Cinders by kalinara - To be honest, when I clicked onto this fic, I was expecting it to be kinda crappy, because often times when a series has only one or two fics for it, they're bad, because that's the only type of authors they could attract. However, sometimes you get some true gems (Princess Tutu is an example of this) and when I started to read this fic... I was just entranced by the beautiful imagery the author presented. And reading this... I can just picture that this was what went through Naoe's mind, the characterization is almost painful in how perfect I found it to be. Also, the fic... hurt in a lot of ways, just like watching the series hurts me, because I already adore Naoe and he has so much pain and guilt and... such a burden on his heart. And I don't think I've seen a complex relationship, so much love and so much hate, portrayed quite so wonderfully in a long time. I wibble with the love. (No real warnings, but it's Honoo no Mirage, so....)

- Mirage of Blaze - Nocture [ Japanese Fan Art Site ] - Xandra was the one to point me towards this site and I just had to recommend it because the art here is just amazingly gorgeous. *_* I just... swoon over this artist's Naoe, he's such a gorgeous, noble figure, and the artist draws all these different cool, wonderful poses with him and Takaya and just... eeeee! I adore the softer colors... the artist always seems to pick the right amount of colors for each illustration. If the colors need to be those dusky hues, she uses that, or if they need to be more vibrant reds and blacks, she uses those... just.... I fangirl massively over this site, completely losing my ability to be coherent when I see that "wedding vows" picture. Naoe... in... black... suit... must... not... drool... too much.... *thud* *_* *puddle of fangirl goo on the floor now* Pretty Mirage of Blaze fanart is so very rare (or at least I have a very difficult time finding it....) that I just love this site for the pretty boys. *_* (Some Naoe/Takaya.)

- 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.)

- Mirage of Blaze - A Star Fall, A Phone Call by Cerise Tennyo - I admit, I tend to be a little lost when it comes to Mirage of Blaze, because the names are SO LONG and they each have, like, a billion of them, and there's this insane amount of culture and history wrapped up in the series and all the background that is rarely revealed and just... my head swims. Yet, through all of that, one of the elements that attracts me to the series is that you can just FEEL Naoe's hurt and longing for Kagetora/Takaya and it's beautifully encaptured in this story. It never goes too far with Naoe's angst, it never beat me over the head with it (any more than the series did, mind), yet it's still consuming for him, I could practically feel my chest tighten up right along with the character. The writing is gorgeous as well, just completely bringing to mind the lush, beautiful colors and elegant animation of the anime, and just... gahhh, such a perfect fic for the series. (Slight hints of NaoexKagetora/Takaya/whatever.)

- Mirage of Blaze - The Harsh Greys of Exestentialism by Sorchafyre - Oh, hello, lovely Mirage of Blaze fic, it's so nice to see you~ I admit, I'm often wary of stories that are posted on temps_mort, because they're such an unknown quantity most of the time, but I'm glad I took the time this morning to read this story. The writing is smooth and very readable, the characterization was lovely, because... Naoe is such a delicate balance between angst and cliche angst, especially since he holds it all inside, but this... oh, this managed that balance between the sense of duty he has and how far beyond duty it's gone, that sense of ache yet still as straight-forward/determined as Naoe is. The bits we get to see of Takaya, through Naoe's eyes, are gorgeously done, it's not an easy relationship, it's not even a happy one, but it's not omgsomuchangst, either. And I adore the way the author wove in the aspect of posession/reincarnation in relation to their lives/duties/goals. Beautiful fic. *__* (Some light Naoe/Takaya.)

- Mirage of Blaze - Tonight by Puffy Joe - I liked this story for the sense of tension and the feeling of... something's coming, that something's building to a head and will break soon, that was rather like what I remember of the series. There's also some very nice imagery here that lends well to the tension of the fic and does indeed manage to be something like sensual. Whyyyy is there not more Mirage of Blaze fic out there? ^_~ (A little Naoe/Takaya?)

- Mirage of Blaze/X - Jealousy by insaneidiot - I have a thing about crossovers, I don't normally care for them (as I've said many a time), but because I was having such fun with the author's other X fic, I decided to go ahead and give this one a shot. Like her X fic, it's sort of the crack kind of humor that still lets me picture everything perfectly and still scratches the itches I have for these characters/pairings. Plus, the two series blend together well, I could see Subaru dashing into Naoe's hotel room to hide and things spiralling out of control from there and just... heeheehee, fun! Fun and kissing. <3 (Seishirou/Subaru, Naoe/Takaya.)

- Mirage of Blaze/X - Out To Lunch by Corialis - Another X/Mirage of Blaze crossover that's just... hee, way too much fun for the beautiful crack. These two series really do go quite well together in the right author's hands and the idea of Naoe and Seishirou having lunch together (only to be interrupted by their respective--and quite unhappy--boyfriends) was great batshit fun. The humor was well-timed, it genuinely amused me and made me laugh, and was fun for the pairing stuff as well. Watching Takaya get pissy and/or jealous, watching Naoe want to put his head down on the table and ignore the world because everyone around him was insane, watching Seishirou get all scary whenever someone got too close to Subaru... it's one of those stories that maybe shouldn't have worked, but wound up being great fun and totally did. Hee. :D (Naoe/Takaya, Seishirou/Subaru.)

- Mirage of Blaze - Push by insaneidiot - I'd been happily and quietly enjoying the author's X fic, I was even back in a suitably CLAMP-ish mood after all the lovely, fun SxS writing and then I saw, oh, hey, look, Mirage of Blaze fic. I don't get to read nearly enough of that, so I'll just read a little bit of this and then go back to the shiny X-fic. Twenty minutes later, when I was finishing this story, I was promptly starry-eyed and determined to find every Mirage of Blaze fic I had not yet read and tear through them all because this story just... part of it is that the author is good, her writing is polished and smooth, so that when I start reading, nothing jars me or pulls me out of the story she's weaving. The writing is that clear, clean sort of writing that I pine to find more of. But even beyond that, she captured the characters so incredibly well--the painful sort of beauty they have, the harshness they put themselves through, the pain they cause each other and themselves, yet the gorgeousness of the series that attracted me in the first place. The intensity of Naoe and Takaya's relationship was almost a physical thing here, the way they're so screwed up in so many ways, and yet I loved that the author managed to drag them forwards, even if kicking and screaming the whole way. But it wasn't easy, it was anything but sweet, kind, gentle or easy, which is why I think I believed it so well. Loved this one, can't say enough good about it. ♥ (Naoe/Takaya, maybe a little content, mostly Takaya's language.)

- Mirage of Blaze - Density by insane idiot - I think the thing that most impressed me, that most sticks out in my mind after having read this was the way it dealt with Naoe and Kagetora's relationship over the centuries, the way they treated each other, the way they hurt each other, despite their inability to let go, the way you got that sense of history there, while it still being Takaya, the way the story was so insightful without losing sight of any of the tangled messy pieces of their relationship. It was just... one of those little stories that eased the knot a little for me, that touched on these issues just enough to make an impression on me, to make me hurt for the characters all over again, and yet give me a little hope that things might not be so awful for them, despite it never being easy. (Kousaka/Takaya, Naoe/Takaya.)

- Mirage of Blaze - Intoxication by insaneidiot - Normally, I don't do kink!fics, even when they're as light as this one (I wouldn't really call it a kink!fic, but Takaya does... err, well. It makes sense in the context of the fic, sort of.), but I've adored the author's take on the characters so much in her previous stories that I had to give this one a chance, too, and I wound up being pleasantly surprised. Once again, Naoe and Takaya are painfully in character, all the usual harsh words and hard edges there between them, yet the author feels like she managed to drag them forward again, at least get them somewhere, even if that place isn't particularily easy, either. The story really surprised me, for all that Takaya was in makeup and a skirt, it didn't feel like the usual type of kinkfic, it didn't feel completely lacking in terrific writing or insight into the characters. It wasn't badly done and I'm usually hyper-sensitive to these things, it... worked here. (It helped that half of the time I could practically forget about it, too, so.) Plus, the sex? So very hot. Some of the best intense!sex I've read in awhile, plus so painfully in tune with the characters. I strongly recommend this one, despite the warning. (Naoe/Takaya, R-rated content, maybe a little higher.)

- Mirage of Blaze - More Alive Than Silence by Corialis - Another nice Mirage of Blaze fic that continued to fill the lack of Naoe/Takaya fic out there and to do so with lovely writing and straddling that line between wanting to beat the characters with their own angst and still moving them forward and getting them to fucking deal with what they both know is between them. I'm pleased because it also has that sense of style the anime had for me, the beautiful characters, the attractive and dark colors (and that sense of being so very male, much like CLAMP does with the tall, dark, broad-shouldered characters it has, like Sakurazuka Seishirou or Aoki Seiichirou or Kinomoto Fujitaka), but without being pretentious about it. And, of course, the dynamic between Naoe and Takaya is that same hard-edged, furious, angry, yet still caring dynamic that fascinated me so much. *__* (Naoe/Takaya.)

- Mirage of Blaze - Tantalus Redeemed by Cerise Tennyo - Another story that, I believe, picks up right where the anime left off, that instead of letting the characters slide back into their holding pattern, drags them forward a bit, even if they do so kicking and screaming. I really got a sense of the self-hate Naoe feels here, even through Takaya's POV, of the way both characters have so much hostility and attraction between them, and yet... Takaya is Takaya, hot-headed and overwhelmed and yet forging ahead, even through the turbulent relationship he has with Naoe. I just... I liked the intensity of the relationship between them here, I thought it quite well-done. Plus, hey, more kissing! <3 (Naoe/Takaya.)

- Mirage of Blaze - Honesty by Helene - This was another absolutely lovely fic that was about a quiet moment in Takaya's increasingly hectic life that did a terrific and subtle job with his relationships with both his sister and Naoe, both very insightful and meaningful takes. The author is really good at not having to hit the reader over the head with a sledgehammer, yet I still feel vaguely like I've been hit with a two-by-four somehow or like it's coming. Something about the atmosphere struck me. But it's also the fantastic way Takaya and Naoe's dynamic is portrayed, the way Naoe treats him and how difficult that can be for Takaya and how he still retains a sense of being Takaya (which is tied nicely with his relationship with his sister here) even if it's an unimportant detail to others. ....argh, bad rec, just go read it now. (Faint, faint Naoe/Takaya.)

- Mirage of Blaze - The Harsh Greys of Existentialism by Sorchafyre - This was a poignant little story about how each reincarnation of these characters' lives drives out another soul, the soul original to the body they're in. How it's a necessary evil, how it has to be done, but that doesn't make it easier for Naoe, how it does still hurt him, despite how he carries on. It's a lovely look inside Naoe's head, not shying away from something that hurts, but not wallowing too deeply, either. Not to mention, how much his relationship with Takaya/Kagetora always seems to hurt him all over again, always haunting him. Lovely writing, lovely characterization, aching fic without making me want to slit my fangirl wrists too badly. ^_~ (Some Naoe/Takaya.)

- Mirage of Blaze - Turn Around by Sorchafyre - Some part of me wants to run, to flee from Mirage of Blaze, because Naoe and Takaya (especially Naoe) hurts so damn much. There's so much history there, so much pain and heartache, their lives hurt so damn much and yet... this story sort of captures that spirit of why I keep coming back. Because it's such a lovely series, because I've already been drawn into the characters, because Naoe is so... Naoe about his pain. Watching Takaya interacting with Yuzuru, watching the rain storm, all of those hundreds of years haunting him constantly... it's a little painful, but a lovely story again. (Naoe/Takaya, mentions of Takaya/Yuzuru.)

- Mirage of Blaze - A Stone's Throw by Cerise Tennyo - Oh, this was a lovely piece set during the first episode, the first time Naoe sees Takaya/Kagetora again, before he understands that he doesn't have all his old memories and the atmosphere of it is just... so intense and painfully Naoe here. The duality between his hate and attraction to Kagetora, that it's nothing so simple, the power over him that Kagetora has, the way he can affect Naoe like no other. The writing is lovely and just... gah, I really could fall completely for this series with more fic like this, I think. (A little bit Naoe/Kagetora.)

- Mirage of Blaze - Hobbies by Tammaiya - Admittedly, I don't know that much about Mirage of Blaze, I barely watched the TV anime, but I figure this shouldn't stop me from reading the fic! Especially not when it's by one of my favorite authors. And it's still readable even if you're extremely shakey on canon, it's still this fun, sharp read with an interesting narrative from an interesting character. The sense of... whimsy mixed with frustration at how stupid some of the characters (Naoe and Takaya, we're all looking in your direction) can be is great. I absolutely enjoyed this. (Implications of Naoe/Takaya.)

- Mirage of Blaze - Wail [ Japanese Fanart Site ] - I actually originally came here on a GundamW fanart spree, but got caught up in the MoB art here as well. There's not a lot here and a lot of it is very sketchy, but the artist is talented and still manges to make the images really pretty. Her Takaya is especially well drawn, but I'm a sucker for her Naoe/Takaya art the most and that one where Naoe's kissing him hard is v. v. nice. Just a nice little stop on my fanart marathon today. (Some Naoe/Takaya.)

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