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- Final Fantasy 7 - Hula Hula Baby by Harukami - I don't read much FF7 fic, simply because I'm not very familiar with the characters, but I have a strong soft spot for Cid/Vincent stories and when Haru wrote one, well, naturally I had to read it. And what really kind of impressed me here is that she took an idea that could have been a goofy little oneshot and made a real, solid fic out of it and it was utterly natural and felt so very much like the characters. So many gorgeous little details and so many moments that made me smile or giggle, but it was the way that Cid just sort of... is so himself and how that's such a good thing for Vincent. Things aren't forgotten, people aren't forgotten, nothing is easy or smooth, everything is sharp-edged and difficult, but it's also, you know, a GOOD STORY. ♥ (Cid/Vincent, a lot of swearing, obviously.)

- Final Fantasy 7 - [ Afterwards - To Meet Again - Let Me - Shattered ] - by Lori McDonald - Admittedly, rereading these stories now (versus when I originally read them several years ago), a lot of the shine comes off the apple, that I see a bit more of the cliches in the characterization (especially with Shera), but... I still can't help being terribly fond of these stories because they actually are really quite well-written, because they're fun, and because they gave me a love of this dynamic that has stayed with me. Lori's writing is one of my favorites in any given fandom (and, indeed, as I mention quite frequently, I followed her writing from X-Men comics into Yuu Yuu Hakusho so long ago and thus began my journey into this whole "anime" thing that I had no concept of before) because she takes her time with concepts and doesn't just skimp on details, because her writing is beautifully smooth and easy to read (it's the kind that, once I get started on it, I just cannot put it down again), because her dialogue is so sharp, because all of it was quite satisfying to me. It wasn't just a little vignette or character piece, it was a story and there's not a dull moment anywhere in the stories for me. And I love that... despite being not terribly familiar with the game (at least not as much as I'd like to be), I can follow the story, because everything is... it's that sense where elements of the series are used (like Vincent's gun or Cid's ships or the way their bodies heal or anything to do with the background world) and everything feels so natural to the story, but it doesn't overshadow the plot itself, which is a rare talent and one that sparks my interest in the background world of the series. Plus, Cid's swearing was vastly entertaining and I could reread them again just for that. <3 (Cid/Vincent, R-verging-on-NC-17 content/language.)

- Final Fantasy VII/Final Fantasy VIII - Bandages by Konitsu - It is difficult to explain my affection for this story without resorting to squeaking noises because it was so good. It was one of those all-rounder stories that just... damn, did it hit all the right buttons. Sparkling characterization, lovely writing, genuinely funny humor, plot, gorgeous Sephiroth machinations, gorgeous Cloud angst, brilliant weaving of the two worlds together, and more. Everything about this story makes me burble happily, I don't know if I could pick out any one thing. But I'll try, of course. For starters, the characterization. Oh, god, the characterization. I could actually see and hear these characters, they have all the little touches that make them who they are and yet not devolving into stereotypes--Cloud is angsty and tortured, but he has damned good reason and he's a resilient little bastard. Zack's voice in his head is just absolutely, utterly gorgeous, you can feel his character, his charm and charisma and caring, coming through just in the dialogue. The dynamic between Cloud and Zack is just... awesome. *squees* Sephiroth is actually properly creepy and insane, but still that something to him when dealing with Cloud. And. Oh. God. Vincent. Cid and Vincent and the brilliant subtlty and hints and dialogue and interaction and dynamic and it's just so breathtakingly good.

Then there's the FFVIII side of things and, holy shit, did this story give me an insane love of Zell Dincht. He's bright and funny and adorable and just a bit of a dork, but still such a good fighter, a good friend, and smart and chapter seven (I think it was seven?) had me laughing so hard, I couldn't read for awhile, I just had to turn my face away and cackle. I love him so, so much. And, oh, god, somehow the fic manages to make Squall interesting, even being all broody and shit as he is, he's actually a person, a rather likable one at that, the author does a brilliant job of writing his character, of how he feels about Rinoa, about his Garden, about his life and making the character work. How she plays him off Cloud, how they clash and the interaction is so natural, it's breath-taking. She also makes Rinoa work, giving me even more fondness for the character, not making the Squall/Rinoa relationship perfect, but still very genuine. She even makes Seifer interesting and, god, did I love the interaction with Tifa, who is another brilliantly herself, kind and caring and feeling guilty or angry or happy. I admit, I was a little wary of Tifa-bashing towards the beginning, but the later chapters with her are lovely, so I'm not quibbling. <3

Then you add in that there's actually a plot going on, that the romantic tangles actually tend to work together with the plot or take a back seat to it and the crossover just... it works so well, I can see it so easily, the characters fit together so seamlessly. Now, I admit, the writing started off with just a hint of stiffness, but the only reason I even notice is because the later chapters are so sharp and every chapter just keeps getting better and better. I was literally kicking my feet in excitement by the end of chapter eight and then the end of chapter nine and, god, if I have one complaint about this story, it's that I don't have the next chapter yet! *chews on the furniture in anticipation* Okay, I can forgive a lot from the FF7 fandom now that I have shiny crossover fic. *___* Loved this one. (Sephiroth/Cloud, Squall/Rinoa, some Cid/Vincent, hints of other pairings here and there, none of them are entirely the point of the fic.)

- Final Fantasy VII/Final Fantasy VIII - Bandages by Konitsu - [ chapter 10 - chapter 11 ] - I slacked on this fic for a little bit, so I'm only just now catching up on reading the two latest chapters. Which I really shouldn't do, because, damn, is this fic ever in my top five FF fics, but it's sort of like how I am with One Piece. It frustrates me to constantly gnaw the furniture because I want more so damn badly. It helps when I can read two chapters at once instead of just the one. Anyway, yes. Goddamn do I love a fic that actually has a plot and balances its ensemble cast, to the point that I think all the major players are covered in two chapters without feeling like any of them have been shortchanged. In these two chapters, Squall and Rinoa's breakup still hurts like hell (and if they have to be broken up, this story does an absolutely beautiful job with it, that it's no one's fault, they still genuinely care, it honestly hurts to break up, and both of them are wonderful characters, there's no bashing or character warping ♥), Irvine and Selphie are utterly adorable together and make me fall just a little harder for them, Rinoa is a lovely young woman and so beautifully in character, Cloud and Sephiroth's relationship gets even more complicated, Squall and Zell move towards something but not too fast because it's not time, Cid and Vincent are amazing together, everyone reacts so amazingly humanly to Chaos, Irvine's inner thoughts and comparisons are fantastic, Quistis' reaction is so human, and this is all while there's plot, too.

I know, I ramble. But this fic really does delight me sort of endlessly with all the little moments and interactions that you wouldn't necessarily think of or those that just make the story sparkle. Quistis talking with Irvine about her reactions or Cid's feelings on all the kids running around Garden or Squall being treated like a teenager at Zell's mother's place or Tifa's struggle to let go of her feelings for Cloud or Zack's voice in the back of Cloud's head or-- ....well, yes. You get the picture. The characterization is just so damn sparkly and the crossover fits together so damn well and the humor is actually funny--I think there was at least one time in each chapter where I was giggling aloud. The writing is smooth and clean and crisp, yet still having this particular warm charm to it that makes me fall in love again and again. ....shut up, I can ramble if I want to! >:O (Sephiroth/Cloud, Squall/Rinoa, Irvine/Selphie, eventual Squall/Zell?, Cid/Vincent, possibly more.)

- Final Fantasy VII - drabble requests by thewriter - I'm going to rec these properly because there are four of them and that makes up a decent-sized fic. Also, Cid/Vincent that's beautiful and sharp and intelligent and all things that that pairing usually isn't with the majority of the fandom. (Or so it seems for one who doesn't venture out that much.) There's a lovely quality to all of the author's writing, sharp lines and dialogue with a natural sort of flow, the kind of writing that's just good. But then it's backed up with charming little moments (Vincent's deadpan style with Cid or Reno being... well, Reno were some of my favorites) or absolutely, utterly hot Rufus/Reno. The kind where the author barely has to describe much of anything, where not that much actually happens, but it feels like it's such an incredibly complete, detailed ficlet somehow. Also, the description of Rufus' expression/eyes as he's furious with Reno and Reno's reaction... a thing of beauty. That and the Cid/Vincent ones are my favorites. *__* (Cid/Vincent, Rude/Reno, gen, and Rufus/Reno, respectively.)

- Final Fantasy VII - untitled by Cephy - Ahhhh, yes, this is what I came for, the Cid/Vincent fic that's actually clever, intelligent, and not just in character, but is actually really damned sharp. Right from the beginning, when Cid slowly starts to notice Vincent--and I love that it makes sense that Vincent would have caught his attention here--the characterization is utterly fabulous. The way Cid reacts to/thinks about Vincent is perfect, the way he's interested in some things, the way he doesn't care about others, the way he's just so damned Cid. All the little details are gorgeous as well, the use of Vincent's mechanical arms, the way Cid reacts to seeing Chaos, the way he slowly drags Vincent into an actual... well, something like friendship, the way I absolutely believed it here. I loved the pacing of this, the way they don't just fall right into friendship (or something more), I loved Vincent's characterization, the way he's distant and weird, but without being a chariacture of himself. I loved how... I don't know how, but in some way, the author managed to get that sense about Vincent, the eerie way he carries himself, silent and fluid without being too over the top about that either. But more than anything, I think I loved the outstanding narrative voice for Cid in the fic. There are a million little lines that I could have quoted, a million little jokes that were funny while the fic's tone was still serious, a million things that made me sparkle. I feel badly that this rec is so bland when the fic really sent me into orbit. This is what I want out of CId/Vincent fic, plz. (Cid/Vincent, but it could be entirely gen.)

- Final Fantasy VII - untitled by Cephy - And more sharp, clever Cid/Vincent that makes me shimmer and sparkle like you wouldn't believe. (As well as fall for the pairing all over again. Uh.) I, of course, continue to love the author's narrative voice for Cid, who doesn't put up with shit, but in that way he has, that's not quite irritated or annoyed, but might seem like it to someone who doesn't know him well. The deft touch for that is fantastic in her fics. But even more than that, I love, love, loved this fic for the way it shows how good their friendship/whatever can be for the characters, the way Cid is so direct and doesn't put up with Vincent's moping, the way he can somehow jar Vincent out of it just by being himself and dragging him off to drink and it works here. So, so much love for every little piece of this. (Cid/Vincent, except that it could be entirely gen.)

- Final Fantasy VII - Dogtags by konitsu - You know, there are times when I sort of start to wonder if maybe I shouldn't be shipping Cid/Vincent, that maybe it doesn't make sense when you put the two of them together... and then all I need to do is read a short fic like this, where the two of them do something so simple as discuss dogtags and it's sharp and funny and Cid is Cid and Vincent has something of a sense of humor without breaking his character and the ending is kinda hot and there are dogtags and I'm reminded, oh, right, this pairing does work in the right hands. ♥ (Cid/Vincent.)

- Final Fantasy VII - Limits by voodoobob - Heeheehee. Okay, I do like Cid/Vincent and I don't mind K. Haruka's doujinshi because, ehhhh, pretty enough art, but I also totally get amusement out of poking fun at them. Especially when it's by a talented author and I ♥ this author's Vincent and I totally snorted/giggled my way through the fic. As the author's notes warn, it might not be for everyone, but... well, I thought it was entirely worth it for the way Vincent deals with raping!Cid in this fic. Heeheehee. (Cid/Vincent, pay attention to the warnings?)

- Final Fantasy VII - untitled by Cephy - Every time I think that maybe I should give up on Cid/Vincent, it's a story like this that comes along to make me fall in love all over again. It isn't even really about the relationship so much as the relationship's affect on Vincent, the way he notices slow changes taking over him. The author does a wonderful job with his character, keeps him just mopey and emo enough to be Vincent while not making a charicature out of him, either. The way he slowly realizes that maybe the demons aren't as powerful as he thought they were, the way he sits down and thinks about it while giving the impression (to any outsiders who would have wandered by) that he's moping... I really liked that kind of sharp take on his character. (Cid/Vincent implied.)

- Final Fantasy VII - untitled by cephy - Every time I read anything by this author, I fall for both Cid and Vincent all over again. Sure, I love them as a pairing, I love the potential for something more here, but it doesn't even have to be romantic in this fic for me to love them both individually. Cid's internal voice, the way he thinks about things, so straight-forward and direct, intelligent without being pretentious at all, the way he's gruff but surprisingly subtle... it all works. The fic is set post-game, almost immediately after, and the sense of "What now?" lingers over them all and I love, love the way the author deals with that for these two. It's rare to find intelligent fic for these two, so I always try to treasure it. (Cid/Vincent.)

- Final Fantasy VII - untitled by konitsu - [ part one - part two - part three ] - It is a rare fic indeed where I'm keyboard mashing in love at the thought of a high school AU. Most of the time, I don't care for the idea because it's just... not interesting. But I got sucked into this one by the promise of Sephiroth/Zack/Cloud OT3 and I didn't realize it was a high school AU at first, but Cid in chapter two was just so damn hilarious that I instantly fell in love. Cid & Zack interaction is quite possibly the best thing that has ever happened to the FFVII fandom. *_* Or maybe it's because they're teachers here or maybe it's just that konitsu is so goddamned brilliant with her Cid characterization and then her Zack characterization that I can't imagine anyone not loving the series. Or maybe it's the other FF or KH kids as students in the background. Or maybe it's Aerith being wonderfully sweet. Or maybe it's that I love Zack so damn much because of the new Crisis Core trailer that just came out. I wanted a happy AU and this one came along at the right time and then it was SO GODDAMNED FUNNY that I wrote this terrible rec for it! *beams* (Sephiroth/Zack/Cloud, and I hope I hope I hope Cid/Vincent.)

- Final Fantasy VII - Past Midnight by sister_coyote - This was a very nice Cid/Vincent piece, which is a pairing I go back and forth on. I've always liked it, but sometimes I wonder how much I should like it and then I realize that's stupid and like it anyway. It just. Doesn't get a lot of good fic for it, but this was... this was really solid, the characters were themselves, kept the parts of them that made them who they are (Vincent keeping the enormous weight of his "sins" on his shoulders, Cid's gruff and coarse attitude) without making them charicatures of themselves. It's the same with the use of Chaos in the fic, sharp but not over the top about it. A very, very nice addition to this corner of the fandom. (Cid/Vincent.)

- Final Fantasy VII - The Birds and the Beasts by Cephy - Okay, this was a delightful Cid voice and the kind of fic that reminds me why I do still enjoy fics about this pairing, even when I tend to drift a little away from them. It's just. It's fun and sharply written and the author totally nails Cid's style of dialogue and the way the Cid/Vincent relationship goes is just hilarious and spot on. Any fic that comes from the prompt courting rituals - He was really @#$%ing confused has a head start on the awesome, but this author just knocks it out of the park. A really light, easy, delightfully fun read. (Cid/Vincent.)

- Final Fantasy VII - Once a Turk by Cephy - Another Cid/Vincent fic and I'm kind of delighting in reading fic for these two again, especially when the author really does have such a strong grip on Cid's internal monologue and doesn't pour on the angst with Vincent, but doesn't write pure fluff anyway. This is a bit domestic, but it's... it's sharp and funny and really does a great job with both of them, keeping them the same people they were in the original material. This was a very nice read. (Cid/Vincent.)

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