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- Final Fantasy XII - Woodword by Blazing Fool - You know, I didn't really expect to find anything much worthwhile on FFNET without a lot of major searching. But this one popped up on my first page of browsing and it promised a little Balthier/Fran and I'm so completely gone on that pairing... it was just bonus that it was set during their trip to the Euryt village, which I desperately wanted fic for. It's also a great little fic set from the POV of the Wood, not holding back on its anger and disgust at the humes, feeling very much like how I could believe the Wood would react to Balthier, a man it blames for stealing away one of its Viera. I really liked the way the author contrasted the feeling of nature versus the stink of civilization and machinery on the characters, the way the Balthier/Fran implications were woven into the storyline. ....I may have squee'd a little over that, shut up. (Some implications of Balthier/Fran.)

- Final Fantasy XII - No Boundaries by Arisa K - Granted this one is a bit... mm, much when it comes to Fran's reactions, but I'm deliriously in love with this pairing and the writing of this one is solid and it's something that I've had thoughts on myself. The author got a skip of my fangirl heart out of me while I read this fic, a genuine moment of sadness even amongst the adorableness of the rest of the fic and it's a nice little scene that I could see slipping between the frames of canon. (Balthier/Fran.)

- Final Fantasy XII - Best Be Off by Janiqua - I suspect that, perhaps, I am simply extremely easy for Balthier angst, especially set during the final battle with Cid because that entire scen just tore at my heart, from Balthier's words with his father, the lack of apologies, the inevitability of that moment, to the complete disregarding of the idea to leave Fran, the "You best be off." and "You'd better hold on then." The writing fills in a few details around the scene, mostly the thoughts running through Balthier's head and it was a solid, enjoyable story about one of my favorite scenes from the entire game. (No warnings or pairings technically, but if you like Balthier/Fran you could squint and maybe see something.)

- Final Fantasy XII - Circular Thinking by imadra_blue - Another lovely fic that takes a look at the scenes during the trip to the Euryt village, a beautiful look into the way Fran sees everything, both her past and her present, the Wood and the Humes, why she goes where she does. Her relationship with Balthier is lovely as well, which pleased me greatly, even if the fic is firmly gen rather than wandering close to shipping territory. But mostly what I love about this fic, other than the graceful use of language, is the tone, the way it captures how Fran doesn't think so brashly like the Humes, there's almost an etherial quality to her, even as she walks among Humes, but not so much that she's disconnected. The fic captures that well. (No warnings/pairings, it's very firmly gen, but Balthier/Fran fans may find it interesting.)

- Final Fantasy XII - untitled by mullenkamp - This post is actually two short fics posted together, but I'll rec them together anyway. The first is Balthier and Fran perfection, the sense of... everything they are, the hints of so many things and so much partnership, but without trying to be too much. It's sharp and clever and cute and smart and has the edge of burning hotness between them; all was gorgeous. The second. OMG. The second. Ashe and Al-Cid and it was perfection and I do all sorts of metaphorical fangirl things, like roll around and die of eternal love. That right there is why I came to eventually love Ashe quite a lot. (Balthier/Fran for the first one, some Al-Cid/Ashe on the level of canon in the second.)

- Final Fantasy XII - Warrior's Understanding by tokoyami - This was a really interesting piece--Fran and Basch aren't characters that I would have drawn a lot of connections between (despite that they were my #1 and #2 tanks while playing!) but this fic did a lovely job of it, drew parallels between the people they wish to protect and how fleeting things will be. The angst is understated and the understanding is simple and quiet, the kind I could absolutely see between them. I adored this and the maybe-maybe-not hints of pairings. I'm not sure I'm ready to dive fully into pairings yet (or when there would be time for Basch/Ashe), so the dancing around it is perfect for where I'm at with the characters. (This is largely gen, but Basch/Ashe and Balthier/Fran fans may enjoy it.)

- Final Fantasy XII - Four and Twenty Blackbirds by coloredink - The use of language in this story is gorgeous, the Balthier point of view, the use of flashes of imagery and a jarring sense of time lurching forward at a crawl, all of it setting a tone and pace that's brilliant for what the fic is trying to achieve. Set immediately post-game, Balthier and Fran trying to find their way out of the Bahamut ruins and the background around them is creepy (I love the title suggestion in the comments) and the breath-taking characterization that's so... so sharp and full of wit, yet so subtle and understated at the same time. One of the best things about it, aside from the overall beauty of the writing, is that I read the entire thing without having my attention wander off, which rarely happens in stories that are almost 6,000 words long. I would greatly enjoy seeing this author stick around the FFXII fandom awhile longer. (This is entirely gen, but Balthier/Fran fans may enjoy it anyway.)

- Final Fantasy XII - Strangers in Paradise by Mighty Crouton - I was enjoying this story well enough. It was nice and solid. And then Balthier and Fran became partners. And there was this conversation where Balthier has a few questions he reeeeeally wants to ask. And then he was just... and I just... I died. It's little things like when they're playing cards and Balthier hides aces up his sleeves and Fran notices and continues playing anyway. Or the way things are so matter of fact between them, even while they're flirting and Balthier's trying to rouse her curiosity. The way the story was written, snapshots and little moments over a lifetime, it was the fic I've been looking for for quite some time. The way they don't change when they get together, the way they'll always be partners, whether they're first meeting each other (and I really like the author's take on that) or they're piloting a ship together or even if they're having children together. It was satisfying to me as a Balthier/Fran fan, but more than that, it was satisfying to me as a fan of Balthier and Fran as seperate characters. Also, the ending totally made me wibbly and that's about all I can ask out of fic sometimes. *_* (Balthier/Fran.)

- Final Fantasy XII - Desperate by rockababy - Normally, this wouldn't be my kind of fic, I'm not much for the whole tying people up thing, but... well, for starters, there was that one line in the game that really made a person think, the way Balthier said it. Second, this fic words for me because it's so... them, it plays into the kinks with these two characters without taking it too far and making it weird. It's just the right amount and topped off with lovely, quietly perfect touches of characterization. Plus, it's very hot and we all know Fran tops anyway. ^_~ (....Fran/Balthier would be the way to label it, I suppose.)

- Final Fantasy XII - The Hunt of a Huntress by DigitalTart - I wound up really liking this story, there's something very direct, frank, and to the point without being too overly obvious, which suits Fran's character (and her relationship with Balthier) really very nicely. The sense of time passing, the way she accepts Balthier bit by bit over the years of friendship, the way they finally come together... it's a very good, solid piece. Especially so because they are all too rare in this fandom, these two. (Balthier/Fran.)

- Final Fantasy XII - Waltz With Me by Dagas Isa - I wouldn't have thought I'd like a fic about Balthier and Fran dancing, it would be too easy to stray from the dynamic that I liked about them so much. But this fic somehow makes it work, managing to weave in so much about their partnership and what made them the people they are, all while not having to overstate it. Just... really lovely, a quietly effective piece. (Balthier/Fran implied.)

- Final Fantasy XII - Magick by edenbound - I was browsing ff_press after awhile away from FF fandom (which I'm slowly wandering back towards) and I was curious about the Balthier/Fran NC-17 fic, so I decided to click on it. This was a nice piece, short but satisfying enough to make me want to claw at fandom a little less for those two to get laid. It could have been awkward between these two, since they're so... well, Balthier and Fran, but I liked the way this author wrote them, it's smooth, clean writing and very nice hetsmut. How often does that happen? Much less for these two. <3 (Balthier/Fran, NC-17.)

- Final Fantasy XII - White Wine, Black Nectar by Icor - I haven't been reading much FFXII fic lately because I've been more interested in replaying the game for the mechanics of the game, rather than the story, but I've been poking at fic again, saw a couple of Balthier/Fran recs (which I still pine for more of) and figured, what the hell, I'll at least try one out. This fic reminds me of why I liked the characters in the game so much, this really beautiful combination of the language of the game (which isn't so overdone that the author is trying too hard, yet feels at home with the style I remember from the game) and the use of game elements like Haste and Berserk and Bacchus' Wine (which is something I love when fics do) and their effects on a character like Fran, the gorgeous characterization all around, all of it makes me want to run back to my game and play it again. It reminds me just how much I love these two characters, especially when they're partners even though they're a Hume and a Viera. Plus, you add in the lovely sensuality that doesn't take away from the trust and otherness of both of them... well, this is one of my new favorite fics, shush. ♥ (Balthier/Fran.)

- Final Fantasy XII - Aftermath by Icor - [Note: This fic will contain spoilers for the end of the game.] Another Balthier/Fran fic that does exactly what I want from fic about them--keeps their sense of partnership while still letting them be together, winding it all around a sense of high skies adventure and flirting and sky pirates and their lives are never going to be about ordinary things like settling down, at least certainly not right at this moment, and that language that fits the original game. It's a quiet moment after they've escaped the Bahamut and are wondering What next?, which makes it all the more lovely a piece after the climax of the game's story. (Balthier/Fran.)

- Final Fantasy XII - Venus by Icor - ....I do appear to be going through the author's entire stash of fics, but you have to understand that it's good Balthier/Fran and I weep for the lack of it in fandom most of the time. So I'm pouncing on everything I can here. And this fic is no exception, it's got the same lovely way with words and images, it has the same tone as the game, it has the same lovely characterization for both of them, this time with porn! Good het porn, too! That's even rarer than good Balthier/Fran, I suspect. The way Balthier's nervousness and desire come through in this piece (because this is Fran and this is new), while he's still so Balthier is lovely, the way Fran is so... all the things that make Fran Fran. The smut is lovely, the characterization is lovely, I am happy with fandom once again. (Balthier/Fran, somewhere around NC-17 rating for this fic.)

- Final Fantasy XII - Lantern by icor - I loved the Salikawood, it was such a pretty place to look at and I spent a lot of time there, so reading a fic set there, one with lovely descriptions that gets the image across, was a treat. But what really made me love this fic was the way Balthier and Fran were so beautifully described as well, everything blended together in this really lovely piece--the setting, the imagery, the pretty sex, the perspective of Basch accidentally watching them. It was a gorgeous piece and reminds me of why I love this fandom and these characters. (Balthier/Fran, a light NC-17.)

- Final Fantasy XII - Decompose by Cadence - This was a very nice read, a piece that could be stuck between the frames of canon just about anywhere, a simple scene focused on half of the party being taken out by Imperials and Balthier and Fran dealing with it accordingly when they woke again. There's something almost matter-of-fact about this piece, yet still with the flirtatious way they have, the language of the piece adding just that extra touch of FFXII-style tone to it. It's a light read, but the kind that reminds me how much I really like this pairing and how I like it to work. (Balthier/Fran.)

- Final Fantasy XII - Dynamics by Cadence - [Note: There are spoilers for the end of the game here.] I love stories about Balthier and Fran trying to make their way out of the wreckage of Bahamut at the end of the game and this one hit me especially right, the tone of Balthier taking in his surroundings as he comes to, the way Fran appears through his eyes, the way the author writes the dialogue, all of it was solid and right for me. Her voice for Balthier is fantastic (at least one line was just perfect for him) and her description made me definitely feel the dirt and grime they were covered in. Add to all that, the sex was very nice and fit with the characters, Fran quiet but not without presence, Balthier enthralled with her, but not losing himself at the same time, just... yes, it was lovely all the way around. (Balthier/Fran, somewhere between R and a light NC-17, I would say.)

- Final Fantasy XII - Sweat and Steel and Engine Grease by sister_coyote - I guess today is my day for seeking out Balthier/Fran fic, even though that wasn't precisely my intention. This was very, very nice, though. Balthier and Fran on a hover, Fran driving while Balthier is a distraction. The writing is lovely, especially when it proves that sometimes R-rated fic can be just as hot as a higher-rated fic, the way he touches her, the descriptions, both Fran's body and the feel of the hover underneath them, are fantastically done. I enjoyed this a lot. (Balthier/Fran, R-rated.)

- Final Fantasy XII - Nothing of Her Kind by Laylah - It pleases me to be able to find more Balthier/Fran fic, especially porn that still contains characterization and little insights into the characters. Balthier's Archadian upbringing--yet still showing why he doesn't fit in with them either--is showcased very nicely here while not being too heavy-handed about it. The way Fran is cool without being cold, the way she isn't aggressive but still has this presence of character, the way the sex works well and is lovely to read, it's all very nice to stumble over pieces like this. (Balthier/Fran, NC-17.)

- Final Fantasy XII - Earth Pressed Flat by Icor - Every so often, there are certain fics that make it less painful to be a fan of a particular pairing and this is one of those that fills the craving I have for Balthier/Fran. It's a beautiful, beautiful story that takes place over the course of the game and accomplishes so much through a series of entries in Balthier's journal, everything is brilliantly done. The turns of phrase and tone in Balthier's voice are gorgeous and fit the game so well, the characterization is subtle and brilliant, the use of details on the background world (the magics, the settings, the politics) are brilliant, and the political landscape is just as beautifully done. The way the author combines all of this, along with the breathtaking way she writes the Balthier/Fran relationship, is amazing. It's such a simple concept--Balthier writes a series of journal entries as they progress through the game's plot. Should be kind of tame, right? But I kept forgetting that that was the format because I could hear Balthier's voice so clearly in my head, the descriptions of the scenes brought the images perfectly into my mind's eye. Even Balthier's frustration or his observations of the other members of their party are spot-on, reading about his recounting something Vaan said or the way Ashe reacted to something is brilliant, it feels just as lushly and richly done as the game itself. Brilliant. ♥ (Balthier/Fran.)

- Final Fantasy XII - Airborn by icor - Sometimes I skim the descriptions of movement and actions in a fic to get to the dialogue, especially if I want something snappy. Other times, with the right author, the descriptions of the way the characters are touching each other, the way they move against each other, it's the entire point of the fic, and the language is so lovely that I feel like I'm sinking into it, even when it's less than 400 words long. This fic is perfect, both for what it was trying to accomplish and for the beautiful turns of phrase the author uses as Fran touches Balthier and you see what their relationship is like from her perspective. (Balthier/Fran, somewhere around an R rating.)

- Final Fantasy XII - High-Low by Icor - The idea for this fic is simple, Balthier helping a rather drunken Fran not stumble too badly through the streets of Bhujerba, but what makes it work (aside from the lovely quality of the writing) is that the characterization is so delightful. The characters' voices are spot-on for both of them and Fran is terrifically awesome in the fic and I love how... what sky pirates they are, even when they're just stumbling through an alleyway and Fran tries not to be sick afterwards. This is a rather terrible rec, but the fic is fantastic, so go read. ♥ (Balthier/Fran.)

- Final Fantasy XII - Match by shanaqui - I appear to be in a bit of a mood for some FFXII fic again, out of all things. Which is why I'm delighted to have stumbled over this fic, as it's a reversal of the above, this time with Balthier being the one that needs support as he tries not to stumble too badly through the alleys of Bhujerba while Fran quietly supports him. Again, the writing is lovely and clean here, the characterization of both of them is utterly delightful--Balthier still talking and still somehow rather smooth despite the intoxication, the utterly lovely Fran who says little but certainly gives off the impression of something even if you can't quite tell what. Amusement, perhaps. The author does beautifully with her character and this was a fantastic little piece. (This could be Balthier/Fran or it could be entirely gen.)

- Final Fantasy XII - Fleeting by shanaqui - This is another really lovely Balthier/Fran piece and... normally, I definitely skew towards the romantic side of their dynamic, but I've found these last couple of fics that could be gen or could be something more have been really satisfying for me. This piece is set from Fran's perspective, half about the details of the world (how she can smell the not-quite-distant towns or monsters around them, how they travel through the various places) and half about how she sees Balthier, how this world of humes she finds herself in is so much different from the one she came from, how the Viera are so different. I love the use of how much slower the Viera go contrasted against how much faster the humes go and how that leaves Fran occasionally feeling out of sorts and how the author does a really lovely job of showing that without ruining her composure. She makes Fran very empathizable without losing those qualities that made her awesome. Just. A delightful little fic. ♥ (This could be Balthier/Fran or it could be entirely gen.)

- Final Fantasy XII - The Leading Man by shanaqui - This is another interesting piece, a Balthier introspection on what exactly his father had mapped out, what his ultimate goal was, and how that affects the choices Balthier has made in his life. It's a short piece, but I think that actually helps it, because Balthier is not one to linger on such things, even if they do cross his mind. The characterization, especially of Fran who is only really there for a moment at the end, is lovely and fits so very well with their relationship. (This could be Balthier/Fran or it could be entirely gen.)

- Final Fantasy XII - Edge by shanaqui - For all that I am very much enjoying the maybe-maybe-not Balthier/Fran fics, I do still like them as a couple, because they are just so tremendously hot. So, this fic that has Balthier tied to a chair and Fran doing what she will came along at perhaps the exact right moment for me, especially so because the author's imagery is very, very nice and it strides that line between something beyond just vanilla and yet not too far out there that it's more about the kink than the characters. This felt much more about the characters--Balthier's view of her and the words he tries to string together especially--and is that much more fantastic for it. (Balthier/Fran, somewhere between R and NC-17. A light NC-17 perhaps?)

- Final Fantasy XII - Hole by shanaqui - Generally, I shy away from deathfics (despite that they are, of course, inevitable for this couple--well, the death part, rather than the deathfics, I mean) but I'd been enjoying the author's work up until this point, so I figured, why not? And it's a rather wonderful little fic, despite the bittersweetness of it. The interaction between Basch and Fran is spot-on, there's a quietness there but with the still waters running very deep in each of them, Fran's persona after Balthier's loss is... it's a little painful to read, but it's also beautifully done. She's so Fran here. Right down to the way she's still so much a Viera in a Hume world, yet she's not entirely apart, either. Very lovely. (Balthier/Fran, deathfic.)

- Final Fantasy XII - Resplendent by moontide1224 - You know what makes this fic work for me? Aside from the very lovely images of Fran in battle, who somehow manages to be both wild and serene at the same time, that is. It's that, whenever I had Balthier in my party, he would just stand around and do nothing half of the time and I would yell at the screen for him to just do something already. So, the idea of Balthier standing around and staring at Fran as she mowed through her enemies? AHAHAHAHA. Yeah. Been there. Even if Balthier did tend to get my party almost killed for that. XD (Balthier/Fran.)

- Final Fantasy XII - Encore by shanaqui - This is another short piece for these two, but it's lovely and perfect the way it is. Just a simple story about Fran trying to revive Balthier and taking him to the edges of the Wood, not sure where else to go, and the way the author writes Fran as still being a lost child of the Wood, even after all that she's been through, the way her desperation and fear are written even while she never loses her cool, is really fantastic. (This could be Balthier/Fran or it could be entirely gen.)

- Final Fantasy XII - Elemental by shanaqui - You know. I promised myself that I would go read some fic by other authors instead of going down the comm's memories for just the one author, one after the other. But it's difficult to find FFXII fic that will catch my attention properly, so when I find an author I like... at any rate, this is another lovely piece on the relationship between Balthier and Fran, how different they are, a Hume and a Viera, how there's still that slice of not understanding each other, even when they still do understand each other (and all the important things) and how Fran is not naturally inclined to this quicksilver shifting of moods that the Humes have, especially Balthier. And, by the end, they somehow balance each other out and are just so-- Balthier and Fran. It was short, but a lovely insightful look into both of them. (This could be Balthier/Fran or it could be entirely gen.)

Final Fantasy XII: Too Drunk to Fuck by threewalls - This was a nice little piece that captured an interesting dynamic between Balthier and Fran. Generally, I'm not that fond of drunkfic, but this one works nicely well, showing how they're partners in even this, even when Balthier is too far out of it to get anywhere. It's short, but a nice little read this morning. (Balthier/Fran.)

Final Fantasy XII: Quicksilver by Logistika Nyx - Another fic that disordered_mess pointed out and it takes a certain kind of author to be able to pull of this style, the kind that's all imagery and poetic turns of phrase, without seeming pretentious or getting lost in their own thesaurus grinding. But I liked the way this author wrote the fic, I liked seeing it from Fran's point of view, all that she sees going on around her and the way it doesn't phase her, except there's something about Balthier that catches her attention. It's an interesting look at how they could have first met, I especially liked how Fran didn't bat an eye in that alley. Of course she wouldn't. XD (This is gen, but if you like Balthier/Fran, you may enjoy this.)

Final Fantasy XII: Others by manyissues101 - Another one from disordered_mess and it's a really interesting take on Fran's age and how long-lived the Viera are, one that really fit with how I saw her in the game. It can be difficult to make this concept work, to stride the line between making Balthier not the only person in her long life with meaning, yet not shortchanging what he means to her, but this fic did it beautifully. The sense of bittersweet and yet the sense of being free and being at peace with life, it was really wonderfully done here, it was very Fran to me. (Balthier/Fran.)

Final Fantasy XII: 3 by Erse - I originally read this piece for the Balthier/Fran, because I've been in a mood for them all day, but I came away with loving the entire piece and possibly even loving the Ashe section the most. This is split into three parts, each from the point of view of one of the female characters (which seems more like a coincidence, rather than it being about them being women, if that makes sense?) and is a really lovely look at each partnership and insights into each of their characters and what they see in their partner. The fic does a wonderful job of comparing and contrasting, without actually having to state that that's what it's doing--it simply presents insights into the characters and relationships, written with lovely language and pretty imagery, and was a really wonderful read for that. (This could be gen, but it could also be a little Vaan/Penelo, Balthier/Fran, and/or Basch/Ashe.)

Final Fantasy XII: Beauty by manyissues101 - I'm not sure I jive with the author's interpretation of Fran's feelings towards Eryut Village or The Wood, I think she was more connected to them than this portrayal is, but that is an entirely personal sentiment and what I enjoyed about this fic is that it got me to consider Fran's character anew, to think about her from this point of view. The writing is solid and I find this piece on her character to be intriguing, making me very glad I read it. (I'd say this was gen more than anything, but if you like Balthier/Fran, you may like this.)

Final Fantasy XII: Questionable Status by Spikey44 - Fics that focus on what it might be like to have certain status ailments or what it's like working with different sorts of weapons or whatever other game mechanics details, often make me want to pick the game back up despite that I've completed nearly everything already. This fic is no exception, it's about Balthier going through a Berserker Rage and how it reacts badly to him, how his mind spins out of control has he's hit with all these status ailments (I would think Confusion was in there as well, which just makes this greater XD) and how Fran slowly brings him back out of it. I love the use of descriptions, because they work for a fic like this, where Balthier is under Berserk, because they create a really lovely picture. But mostly I love the way the relationship between him and Fran plays out, the way she's so steadfast and direct, so beautiful and deceptively strong, the way she takes control when needed, without being domineering or anything. The light sex scene was really fantastic for that as well, the sense of partnership and so much attraction between them, even when that's not what this was about at the moment. Just. a sl;dfkjalskj yes. (Balthier/Fran, I'd say around PG13 or so.)

Final Fantasy XII/Kingdom Hearts: Mating Season by joudaman - as;dlfkjasl;kjs so much awesome packed into this fic. The best use of the "like bunnies" comment ever, a continuation of a really great idea for dealing with the tangled mess of Squeenix's crossover series, great writing, a really fantastic take on Fran as a female Viera, a really great Balthier/Fran dynamic, and a;lsdkfjals;kj great voices for everyone. I just. All I can do over this one is keyboard mash, sorry. But it was totally great to read this morning. (Balthier/Fran.)

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