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Southland: Ache is Hiding, Hoping by breakthecitysky - So, having mainlined Southland over the last couple of days, I am doing my best to dive into the fandom. I pretty much started clicking at random on southland_fic, stumbling over this one by chance, but it's a really good fic that got me started in the way that it's a quick piece about the start of a relationship with John and Ben and yet still manages to keep that sense of intensity and roughness that the show has. ....shit, I'm explaining this badly. But it's a good fic that got me started and made me want more pretty much immediately. (John/Ben.)

Southland: Protective Custody by sam-storyteller - This is a short little story, but it doesn't need to be longer than it is to accomplish its goal--a look into John Cooper and how he likes saving people. And I can see this, especially because it's something good while not being entirely pure, it's rather gray. Which is entirely fitting for a series like Southland, which isn't afraid to turn those gray shades onto their main characters--especially in a fic about Ben getting injured on the job and his father trying to see him in the hospital, which John doesn't take well to. (No real warnings/pairings.)

Southland: Son is on a Midnight Run like DeNiro by hackthis - [ part 01 - part 02 - part 03 - part 04 ] - I honestly don't even know where to start with this fic. It's not quite 40,000 words of John Cooper and Ben Sherman and whatever it is between them that's partnership and relationship and sex and issues and... I don't even know how to describe it. It's amazingly well-written, the kind of fic that left me satisfied after I sat down and read the whole thing in pretty much one sitting, despite that I'm also left with the feeling of wanting to go out and do it all over again, even knowing that the fandom isn't big enough to find another one like this. It's everything it needed to be, including funny in all the right places, super hot sex scenes in all the right places, and fucked up in all the right places.

The writing of this is fantastic and it gets into everything that reminds me of why I became so fascinated with John Cooper in the first place, the narrative here just sucked me right in and wouldn't let me go the entire time. The balance between him being a good guy, but also someone who has a lot of gray shades, is maintained beautifully here--he has rough edges and he's intense when he's angry and it's not always nice, but he's also fundamentally a good guy. The author breathes life into every scene she writes, the little details of both John and Ben's lives, the little touches in their developing relationship, how it's not just about sex, yet that's very much a part of it as well.

....shit, I'm saying all of this really badly and I wanted to write a good rec for this one because I'm pretty sure it's going to be the highlight of the fandom. But it kind of destroyed my ability to be coherent with how much it hit that itch I needed scratching in this fandom. In a sense, it's probably ruined the rest of fandom for me. But, mostly... I can live with the fandom now, for having given me this one truly satisfying fic. ....christ, this was a terrible rec. Just go read the fic. (John/Ben, NC-17.)

Southland: Name by maurheti - Any fic that starts out with John giving Ben crap about his motorcycle and then has, when Ben offers him a ride: "A ride? What am I, a fucking preschooler at the merry-go-round? Get off the damned bike, Sherman." and just... comandeers Ben's own bike! THAT IS JOHN COOPER FOR YOU. And I love it for the dialogue, but also for the sex, where Ben really, really wants it and John tries to hold back just a little, but it's only a matter of time when Ben Sherman is begging a person like that. Which kind of makes it even hotter, I gotta say. Porn at its finest! (John/Ben, NC-17.)

Southland: 911 Call by romanticalgirl - Speaking of porn! And fics where John tries to hold back while Ben begs him to fuck him, but you can only resist someone like Ben Sherman for so long! Which is a lot of what made this fic really hot, the dynamic between them and Ben's total determination and John trying to not get swept away by it all, but in the end? Of course it's going to be intense and just... it's complete porn and the kind that I wanted at least once or twice in this fandom (though, this fandom seems to be rather generous with the porn, which is excellent), the kind that shorts out your higher brain functions and makes you write a truly terrible rec. (John/Ben, NC-17.)

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