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- 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 - 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: Between Time by kageotogi - It feels like it's been forever since I stumbled over a FFXII fic that caught my attention (not that I've really been looking that hard) but I liked this author's Gravitation fic a lot, so I gave it a shot and I'm so glad I did because it's got a great Vaan in it. And, really, how often does that happen? Not only that, but a great drunken Vaan, who is completely and utterly perfect. Right down to the way Penelo reacts to him and Balthier/Fran listen to the story Vaan is trying to tell. It's clever, the writing is clean and smooth, it has loads of fun little details from the game, and the ending made me laugh just right. (No real warnings/pairings, but you could read implications if you wanted.)

Final Fantasy XII: Dreams Come True by swan_songs - Penelo turned out to be one of my favorite FFXII characters and this fic touches on so much of why that is, because she was so surprisingly sensible and responsible without being a nag or a bore about it. I love that it's not easy for her, her life is hard, especially with Vaan and his dreams that bring so much trouble to them, but she's still so full of determination and life and intelligence that I just. I love her dearly. I love how her own dreams were set aside for the practical needs of today, why that was, and all the little insights that came from this narration of her life from pre-game to post-game. It's just as lovely as the character herself. <3 (No warnings/pairings.)

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: 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: Of Spitball and No Magick - You know, one of the things that I realize makes me a tremendous geek is... when I read the summary: -The arty in the Paramina Rift- But something horrid happened. Something really, really vile, and ghastly, and appalling, and despicable, and dreadful, and dire, and…and…bad, something very bad, happened., my immediate thought was, "Hey! I know exactly what place that is and whereabout in the plot it was! Man, even as cold as it was and as much of a pain as some of the hunts there were, it was pretty and now I'm kind of nostalgic for it." I-- I don't normally do that kind of thing, remember the names of the places you have to travel to in a game. orz orz orz ANYWAY. The fic, right. It's a light-hearted little thing with Vaan being a dumb boy and the rest of the cast being... well, normal people. That is one thing I missed about FFXII (after playing a game like Tales of the Abyss), the normal, everyday reactions of people to their surroundings and situations. XD (No warnings/pairings.)

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/Kingdom Hearts: Those Who Seek One Moment of Peace by joudama - a;sldkfjasl;kjslkj Fran in Traverse Town. I mean, most of the KH crossovers I've read have been fantastic, but this idea really pulls at me because the idea behind it is so intriguing, but also because, yes, this is exactly how Fran in the KHverse would go. And it would be so great. And, as much as I pine for a KH!Zack in KHIII, I think now I really want KH!FFXII characters even more. The writing and plotting for this are also really intriguing, it works well as a one-shot, a sort of, "What if...?" and it's satisfying for that, but part of me would also love to see this expanded, even if I know it could only cause tears trying to unravel the timelines of the various games. Just. as;ldfkja;lsjk what a great little fic. (No warnings/pairings.)

Final Fantasy XII: A Hive Of Scum And Villainy by xahra99 - disordered_mess linked this fic to me and asl;dkjf;lakjs it's been too long since I read any FFXII fic, especially one that had such an interesting take on Fran's first few days around humes. As vaguely uncomfortable as it was to read sometimes, the difficult times she faced because she was so new to their culture and their underhandedness, it was an intriguing piece about how Fran became the kind of person we later saw her to be. I also liked this one a lot because it felt like it actually took place in the FFXII world, between the selling of pelts and the descriptions of Rabanastre, along with Fran's direct POV in the fic and her take on the settings around her. Very nice. (No warnings/pairings.)

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