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- Final Fantasy VIII - untitled by konitsu - I believe I was journalhopping again, remembered konitsu from "Bandages", saw that she'd written Squall/Zell and thought, what the hell, I'll definitely give that one a shot. It's not very long, but it really packs a punch, the descriptions the author uses, the way they're not your ordinary ones, but they evoke such lovely images in my head, the little subtle details of the way Squall and Zell look at each other, the way there's this atmosphere like a bubble... the outside world still exists, it's just dim and far away. Without actually having to say that, mind, it's just something I heard in my own head. Very nice. (Squall/Zell.)

- Final Fantasy VIII - The Wedding Fic by Tenshi no Korin - So, Noel and I were trading FFVIII art back and forth tonight (because the Saiyuki fandom was not yielding much of anything) and because I'm actually familiar enough with the series, she made me read this fic. And I'm really glad I did, because it was actually funny in all the ways it was supposed to be, I cracked up laughing more times than I could count. Hell, even the timing of the humorous moments was brilliant, which this fic totally hinged on... if that had been badly handled, this fic would have probably sucked. As it was, Tenshi's writing is just... it's the kind that's parody fic obviously, but you can just picture the characters and it's hilarious. Even the little meta comments made me laugh harder, rather than feeling like they were out of place. I just... I mean. I loved everyone in this fic, there was no one that didn't make me laugh or want to squish them happily. And... yeah. Funny. The kind of funny that makes me laugh consistently enough to release endorphins and leave me in a pleasant glow afterwards. *beams* (References to many pairings, though the main one is Squall/Zell.)

- 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 VIII - Looking Back by dotscribbles - I'm not sure why I don't read more Laguna fic, I really do have enormous affection for the character. And, admittedly, the writing is a little stiff/awkward in this piece (the kind that just needs a little more practice to smooth out and the author will be aces), but it got the heart and spirit of the characters down, it kept the pace just right, so I didn't feel like I was slogging through the story. The scenarios she made up or wrote about, the flashes of memory from Laguna and Raine and Ellone while he's being flung backwards into the past by current day Ellone, they all felt right, the emotion of the piece, the feel of it, the way it came together (even as many of the events were out of order, which was kinda cool <3), it all felt like the game to me. The characterization is lovely, it's a wonderful Laguna piece that gives a sense of... acceptance or lightly bittersweet peace to the character post-game. (Laguna/Raine.)

- Final Fantasy VIII - Hero by andromeda3116 - This is a very short little Laguna piece, but I wound up really liking it. It's difficult to find Laguna fic that's well-written at all, much less the kind that deals with the tougher, harsher, less pleasant aspects of his character. Not that Laguna is a bad person, far from it, but this fic does a lovely job of looking at a character who left his pregant wife and went to find that little girl and it wasn't just that simple, it was a little too easy for him to leave. It's a lovely look at his character that really resonated with me and made me like him just that much more. (Some Laguna/Raine.)

- Final Fantasy VIII - Out of Whack by andromeda3116 - This is the Raine side of the author's fic "Hero" (where Laguna goes off to save Ellone) and it's just as lovely, just as beautifully sharp and in character and good as the other one. There's a real sense of Raine being such a smart, brightly shining person, so many little things to her personality shine through here--how she hates being pregnant because she's alone, because he's gone, because she couldn't go with, because people use it to dismiss her feelings. All written in this lovely, deft style that leaves hearts and sparkles in my eyes. (Laguna/Raine.)

- Final Fantasy VIII - Prince Charming by andromeda3116 - Every time I read Laguna/Raine fic from this author, I have a moment of wistfulness where I wish there were more fic like this to read. So many people seem to like the idea of the pairing well enough, but so few write it well. I can sympathize, there wasn't a whole lot of canon to go on, but I still treasure every story like this that's beautifully written and breathes such life into the characters, even when it's something so short and simple as Raine thinking about her life, stories, Prince Charming, and Laguna. It's perfect, sweet, and beautiful. (Laguna/Raine.)

- Final Fantasy VIII - Once by andromeda3116 - One of the most sadly ignored aspects in the FFVIII fandom (at least as far as I can tell, but my view is admittedly very limited) is Raine as Squall's mother. There's not much chance, obviously, because she died, but I still miss fandom doing a bit more with them. So when this fic came along, the night that Raine gave birth to him, all the lovely little touches in the writing, the gorgeous characterization even in such a short piece, I was so happy to read it. (Some Laguna/Raine.)

- Final Fantasy VIII - it's only home because you're there by fiorieart - I don't read a lot of Laguna/Raine, mostly because not a whole lot of Laguna/Raine is written, but every once in awhile I stumble over something that's beautifully written like this and it lasts me for awhile. I love her take on Laguna, how he's a little bit bumbling and not bright, but that's far from being the defining characteristics about him, there's something really sweet about the picture she paints here, just a simple relationship but one that's all the more lovely (and evetually heartbreaking for what we know of it's future) and perfectly sweet/bittersweet for it. I loved it. <3 (Laguna/Raine.)

Final Fantasy VIII: Heliocentric Girl by Denebola - I am often intrigued by the idea of a Squall - Selphie friendship, but haven't really dared wade too deeply into the fandom to find it. I stumbled over this one tonight and was really kind of delighted with it, it really shows a lot of thought was given to the characters and the kind of friendship they would have, that seems so simple on the surface, but there's so much more going on there. I really liked that the author didn't take the easy route with Squall, he is kind of a jerk at times, and yet their friendship still somehow comes around again anyway. I loved the use of parallels between them, the snippets of flashbacks of moments during their friendship, the contrasts against the other people in their lives. This really just. Worked for me. (Some Squall/Rinoa, some Irvine/Selphie, but neither is anywhere near the real point.)

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