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- Final Fantasy XII - The Lady's Name by tokoyami - Another Basch fic by the same author, this time set pre-game, when Dalmasca was still whole and Basch watched over the young princess. I love that it's almost a sweet fic, the way you can get such a strong sense of Ashe's personality and Basch's loyalty, but it's not entirely happy, either. A soldier's life in this world rarely is, but the fic didn't hit the reader over the head with that, either. And I love the little detail about the name and the not!lie Basch tells her and it was just... yes, there should be more Basch&Ashe fic out there. (This is entirely gen, but Basch/Ashe fans may enjoy it.)


- 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 - Seams by Mithrigil - I have been wanting Basch/Ashe for ages and while I would have preferred something slightly less bittersweet, that is a quibble on my own behalf, not a criticism of the story. Because the story is really beautifully written, it fits with the tone and language of the series, the level of detail on things so simple as even Basch's armor lending a richness that I felt in the game itself as well. But more than that, it's the characterization, it's the way these characters are still so... the way Basch is still a man of honor, a knight who protects and does not take for himself, the way Ashe is a princess and thinks of her country, yet she can take something for herself. The way they interact, the way there are moments of flashback interspersed between their actions in the present that so illuminate their character and motivation, the way Basch doesn't lose his personality but is still sort of... where she leads, he'll always follow, even if he has reservations. Add to that, the sex being intense without the focus being too much on it, rather that the point was the connection between them, the emotions and feelings there... this was a really gorgeous piece of writing. I demand more now! ♥_♥ (Basch/Ashe, some NC-17-ish content.)


- Final Fantasy XII - King's Daughter by sister_coyote - What I really liked about this fic (aside from Basch/Ashe fic that's really good) is the way it's not just a simple step from what they were to what we saw in the game to where their feelings would take them, even if we don't see it directly, the implications of how long that quiet struggle took the both of them is beautifully done. Basch's loyalty and Ashe's strength of character are both wonderfully present and this is how I see the two of them, their duties always present in their lives and they would not even think of having it otherwise, but yet they are still themselves. Watching Basch and Ashe go from a tiny princess and her guard to rebels fighting for Dalmasca to the way they grew post-game... yes, this is what I wanted to read about these two. (Basch/Ashe.)


- Final Fantasy XII - Advantage by sister_coyote - Do you know how rare it is to find good Basch/Ashe fic, much less good Basch/Ashe smut? I would have been delighted at that alone (good hetporn is distressingly rare to find, as many have noted), but the way Basch was hesitant and Ashe knew what she wanted, the way he is so much grace and power and she is thin and almost delicate, yet there is no real question of her being taken advantage of. It's so easy to take that dynamic over the top, especially in porn, but this fic keeps it subtle and instead focuses on Ashe's thoughts and feelings, making for a lovely pwp to read for these two. (Basch/Ashe, NC-17.)


- Final Fantasy XII - The City with its Towers by Mithrigil Galtirglin - What I liked about this fic, aside from the usual way the author has of capturing the detail of the FFXII world and the time period it's in, is Ashe's bitterness and rage from early on in the game. It burns in her, her words fierce and scathing, and it's really interesting to watch her as the fic progresses, not that she becomes any less angry (at this point in time) so much as it's tempered into other forms, that she begins to trust and believe Basch again, just a little. This was almost a difficult piece to read, especially as she examines his scars and Basch doesn't complain, never complains, about his unfair time in prison, he doesn't even harp on it, but you can still feel that he feels it's deserved. For all the detail put into the fic, I really liked that it didn't have to spell out the important things with these two. (This is more gen than anything, but Basch/Ashe fans may enjoy it as well.)


- Final Fantasy XII - Helping Hand by greywarrior - This was a very short piece, almost fluffy as Basch and Ashe walk through the streets of Balfonheim, tired and hot and weary. But what I liked about it was that the sense of actually being there with them, Ashe's discomfort (while refusing to say anything about it) and the grimy heat of the place was very well done, I could just imagine it. The interaction between the two of them was nicely done as well, the quiet way they had around each other, the way not much was said or even done, but there was a connection there, you could feel the deep well of emotion Basch had for her even when he wasn't so much as looking her way or just helping her up onto the chocobo. I don't know that I would always favor a fluffier take on them like this, but in this story it worked very nicely for me. <3 (Basch/Ashe, though it could just as easily be gen.)


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: Scar Tissue by Spikey44 - You know what makes this fic really work for me? For all that she was a strong, stubborn character, Ashe was also full of doubt and the self-recriminations here make sense. I can believe she would hate herself for the mistake she made, watch the others patch themselves up and silently, angrily blame herself. And, of course, what attracted me to the fic was the role Basch had to play here, the way she looks at him by this point in the game and how important he's become to her, whether in a platonic way or something more. The fic doesn't really say either way, but I personally am all too happy to read more into it, the way he understands what's going through her head better than anyone and how dedicated he is to her. It was a lovely, warm ending that I liked a lot. <3 (This could be gen, it could be Basch/Ashe.)


Final Fantasy XII: between a rock and a hard place by alorian - I never know what I'm going to get when I try to read Basch/Ashe fic by authors I've yet to come across before, but I keep (occasionally) doing it because... then I get pieces like this. It's a short piece, Basch and Ashe trapped in the Sochen Cave Palace in a rather compromising position and things go from there rather quickly, but it's got a touch of humor, enough of the flavor of the game, and then some scorching chemistry between them that it was kind of perfect. (Basch/Ashe, R-rating.)

















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