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- Full Metal Alchemist - Relax by Vikki - This was a very short fic by Vikki, but I wanted to rec it anyway because I'm a Roy fangirl and I like it when people write good stories about him. I liked the hints of Roy's background (especially his family and what they taught him) and the way it affected the person he's become today and I liked the chess parallels that weren't overdone. I also liked the point of the fic--the bit of character insight into Roy that says the moment of any situation that he likes best... is when he knows he's won and he can relax. (No warnings/pairings.)


- Full Metal Alchemist - Family by Vikki - This was... just... wow. It's one of those stories that... it really leaves me with a lack of words over how incredibly well this fic nailed the feeling of the series itself. From Vikki's usage of details and scenarios (it's not just two characters standing around talking, they're doing stuff) to her characterization of the Scary Genius Boys to the blending of a child too smart for his age but still a child to the way you see Hoenheim in bits and pieces (filtered wonderfully through Ed's eyes) to the way the fic built up to the ending, it was all just... I hate to say this is her best work to date, because I adore all her writing, but... damn, this fic really makes me want to say that. The characters were just terrifically done, you could see their genius, but it wasn't hammered into your head, you could see how much Ed and Al loved each other and their mom, what good boys they were, but it wasn't hammered into your head, it didn't villify anyone unnecessarily or put them through unnecessary angst (any more than the series itself does), and that ending... brilliant. All of it. Luffles. (No warnings/pairings, except Hoenheim+Trisha referenced.)


- Full Metal Alchemist - Winning by Jaelle - The thing that gets me here? The range of emotions Ed goes through--he's up, he's down, he's up, he's down, very fitting with his mercurial moods in the series itself. But it's when he goes back down again and I can just FEEL my heart sinking with him, just SEE the look on his face as he's sorry about one thing or another... I want to cry for Ed. Every time I read/reread this story it's about a third of the way in to halfways that I get sucked back into Ed's rollercoaster and the writing just nails that experience, which always astounds me. I also adore that it's all from Ed's POV here, we don't know many of the actual details that happens in the scene, but you still understand what's going on. And the little bit of dialogue there is? Excellent, lines that I can really believe/hear them saying. (No real warnings/pairings.)


- Full Metal Alchemist - Breakfast at Eleven by Meg - *bounces* Meg needs to write more, y0. Because this was just... a fun little thing that I really loved a lot. Something about Meg's writing itself, the little comedic timing touches that pop the images right into my head and are funny, but also a little bit squee-worthy and the ending lines STILL makes me giggle a little, even half an hour after I've read it. It's ending lines like that that make Meg NEED TO WRITE MORE. *fangs* ^_~ Plus, I ♥ her Roy and her Ed so very much. (....gen, I think? Maybe a little Roy/Ed?)


- Full Metal Alchemist - Believing in Another by Harukami - So, okay. I sit down to read some FMA fic tonight and this is the first one of Harukami's I pick out and I don't expect TOO much because, hey, it's not Roy/Ed and we all know I'm an obsessed fangirl, right? ^_~ But I read this anyway because it's well-written and I'm curious to see what's going on with Fury and Roze here and it's a good fic, it is. Well-characterized and good writing... but then I get to the end and it's just... it's one of those moments where I was a little stunned for a bit, like I often am in the series itself. It's... one of those moments where it's a brilliant connection and really does kind of seem like something akin to divine intervention. The last part of this fic was just amazingly done, one of those that I just... I can't crow about enough, nor do I want to give it away because it absolutely and utterly hit me the right way. *loves* (It's labeled hetfic, but I'd almost call it gen more than anything.)


- Full Metal Alchemist - Not Just Mechanical by Harukami - The Winry/Panina dynamic was one of the few things I really liked about episode 27 and this story does a fantastic job of capitalizing on the friendship and understanding that blossomed between them. The parallels drawn between the relationships and automail and just everything were beautifully done here and it's a lovely Winry insight piece. Plus... I really kinda like the idea of Winry/Panina pre-slash, kind of makes me wish there were a bit more of it. >____> (No real warnings/pairings. Maybe a few hinted at, but could be gen, too.)


- Full Metal Alchemist - Desert Moon by Harukami - Given that it's 3am as I'm writing this, I admit I had a little trouble following Ed's mood swings/shifts in this piece, but... well, I wanted to put it on the list anyway, because there were a few moments in this fic that just jumped into my head with crystal clarity. The relationship between Ed and Al was very nicely done, just... everpresent without the author having to harp over it, the trust and love there a wonderful thing. The little details with Al and getting his body back were nicely woven in, the moment of awkwardness as Ed says something he doesn't quite mean, the way it doesn't stay between them... those are the Elric brothers I know. Plus, the concept is kind of neat and I liked it for that, too. (No warnings/pairings.)


- Full Metal Alchemist - Name & Title & Fiction by WhiteCat - [note: genderswitch!AU] .....I blame Terra for this, you know. The whole liking this genderswitch!AU thing, because... bwuh? Genderswitch? WTF? WHY can't I be patently uninterested like I usually am? *fist shake* Stupid fic author and her stupid clever writing and stupid sparkling characterization. *hmph* Anyway, yes. These three stories are each lovely for their own reasons--Name is sweet and heart-warming, a lovely story set early, early on in the timeline, back when Trisha was still alive. I have a soft spot for when WhiteCat does these stories, for some reason. Moreso than even when other authors do it, I mean (with one or two exceptions ^_~). Just... something about her writing really is very sweet and warm when she writes them, so full of love and gentleness.

Title is wonderful because it continues to show that Eliza is tough and can keep up with her male counterparts just fine, but she's also still got those hints of softness to her, yet the two sides don't clash. I always remember this one, oddly enough, for Tucker, because the subtle hinting at things to come (with the way he said they had lots of studying to do because evaluations were coming up and they were hard) kind of creeped me out. And Fiction was just... glorious, glorious interaction with Roy and Hughes. God, the writing was just clever and funny and so very much THEM and their poker buddies style of friendship that I just go over the moon for it. Honestly, I think that one is worth reading on its own, even outside of the AU, the dialogue/dyanmic is just that strong. ♥ (No warnings/pairings.)


- Full Metal Alchemist - Beans by Gryvon - This was a very, very short little ficlet, but I had to rec it anyway, just because it was... well, it was cute and amusing and one of those bite-sized fics that I can stuff down before I'm zooming off again, you know? It was perfectly satisfying for the joke it was trying to tell and I just... yeah, I liked it 'cause it was cute and all. XD (No warnings/pairings.)


- Full Metal Alchemist - Rapunzel by baka_neko - I love it when a fic can make me giggle or put a smile on my face and is just the right size for me to be able to read without having to drop everything to read it all. The fic was just the right length for premise and the author did a really good job with a 'crowd' scene--lots of people talking (okay, yelling) at once can be a difficult thing to pull off, but baka_neko did it wonderfully here. Plus? FUNNY. And a little bit traumatizing. But mostly funny. And I ♥ Ed as Rapunzel. Deeply. XD (No real warnings/pairings.)


- Full Metal Alchemist - Taboo by Luc Court - This fic... I really hesitated on finishing, much less rec'ing because... well, it's very well-written, but... it hurt a lot to read this. I don't want to give away the ending, just... Roy thinking about death, what kind of death he wants, questions about the hard things in the military, the danger they're in, the danger that can grab them at any moment in the middle of the night, bad things happening... I recommend this fic because I can see these things happening, but I also hesitate because of that. The all-too-possible factor, the gruesomeness of the story... it hurt and I generally don't like the hurt. But, ultimately, I wanted to include it because the writing of the story really is terrific and it's an excellent story with an excellently done atmosphere. (No pairings, some mildly graphic violence/gore.)


- Full Metal Alchemist - Reverberations by Murinae - All of them tread a dangerous line between believing too much and not believing enough. You know, in some ways, a small part of me hates fics like this, because they encourage more authors to write these little philosophical pieces because they see it can be done and it looks so flawlessly easy here. And then I have to go and read those other fics.... ^_~ In all seriousness, though, this story had a wonderful tone or atmosphere to it, along with lovely writing and solid characterization, that got me through the entire thing, not letting me get distracted away from the writing. I tend to get distracted in more introspective pieces, especially when they have philosophical leanings, but this one kept moving and was tightly written enough that I didn't stray once. ^_^v Plus, it was interesting and an aspect of alchemy vs religion that I'd never quite thought of before. (No warnings/pairings.)


- Full Metal Alchemist - Bouquet, Bratja, Under, and Cicatrice by WhiteCat - Bundling these together 'cause they're drabbles on the same page/posted together, of course. Boquet: ......OMG, SQUEE. From Roy and Hughes' friendship/bantering to Hughes' adoration for Gracia to Gracia's sweet and gentle nature... this was FANTASTIC. It really just... sparkled, with Roy and Hughes being such... GUY FRIENDS, which is something that I really, really don't get enough of in the fandom. (Of course, I'll NEVER get enough, so.) And Gracia and Hughes' relationship... oh, man, it's enough to put hearts in my eyes, especially the way it's done here. Bratja: And then this was heart-breaking, a moment in time after the Elric brothers have lost their mother--sad, heartwrenching angst, but because it's done so well, not because it's a manipulative sort of angst from the author. Also because there's a lifeline between the two brothers, because they'll pull through... you just know it's going to hurt a lot. Which is the reaction I get from this fic, I can't explain it any better than that, really.

Under: This is an important moment in the genderswitchAU fic, because it's where things start to change between Roy and Eliza and it had to be carefully done, because these are carefully done characters and not prone to... *waves hand* some characters are prone to easy/cheap drama and I think these two deserve better, which is why I liked this so much. Because you can feel Roy's teetering and exhaustion from the highwire act he's been doing lately, you can feel the MOMENT where things change between him and Eliza, even if nothing really HAPPENS (which is also part of what sells me on this), and it's just... GOOD WRITING. *fangs at the lack of coherency.

Cicatrice: The first line that stands out to me with this is when Roy says that he is, you know, trying to make a point here, which just struck me as one of those things that makes me love the character. Because he's subtle and yet he's not subtle. He gets his point across in a sharp and clever way, you don't always realize what he's doing at first, but you get it somewhere along the way. Roy's smart and knowing that being direct and honest with Ed is a good way to get him to listen, or at least get his attention. But, I'm babbling. This is good smut, the kind that makes me hum happily for both the lovely writing and lovely characterization and just SPARKLE over the banter at the end. Because it's amusing and because it says more than just the words mean on the surface. I love it when authors can do that. ♥ (Gen, gen, genderswitchAU, and Roy/Ed graphic content. In that order.)


- Full Metal Alchemist - A Conflict of Interests by Harukami - ....okay, see, I have this thing about Roy. I mean, I know *shock!* and all that, but, well, I do. And when drabble request memes come along, I sometimes gleefully pounce on people so that they'll write these odd little interaction pieces that I'd probably never get otherwise, but are the type of thing that are just sort of... lurking in my head and refuse to go away. This time? Roy/Psiren flirting, which I thought would just be SO MUCH FUN. And, dude. It is! Psiren's not my favorite character, but put her in the general vicinity of Roy and it's not so much that I want smut and groping, but they're exactly what pulls out the fan of clever dialogue in me. And, SQUEE, I loved the sparkly, clever dialogue here, how much FUN the whole thing was! This is why I grew to like Psiren in her episode and this is why I love Roy (okay, ONE of the reasons I love Roy) and, ahahaha, poor Ed, but I LOVE HIM SO MUCH, TOO. .....I'll shut up now. (Roy/Psiren flirting, but. No actual pairing.)


- Full Metal Alchemist - Cool and Composed and Big Happenings by Harukami - Cool and Composed: I admit, I was a little wary at the idea of this one. Grease!inspired!Roy? (Basically, anyway.) ....um. Not sure what to think. Went ahead and read anyway. Sparkled at the Roy - Ed banter. Laughed my ass off at the end. Still twittering as I write this, actually. Big Happenings: ....ahm? BOTH Roy and Ed as women? .....er. Went ahead and read it anyway. Was amused at Roy - Ed banter. Then other stuff happened with other people. I giggled so hard I think I went ultra-sonic. I shouldn't laugh, it's mean. But. OMG SO FUNNY. Still twittering even now. (.....I don't know HOW to label these, yo.)


- Full Metal Alchemist - FMA/HP... thing.... and Three Stops by Meia - Oh, god, my love for Meia once again knows no bounds. With the "Let me introduce this year's Defence Against The Dark Arts teacher. Class, this is Col. Mustang." fic, I was laughing pretty much the ENTIRE TIME and, Jesus, even for a parody fic, this was a remarkably smooth crossover that just WORKED for me. Plus? Did I mention the hysterical? And the dialogue! ....jeez, I really ought to get a room, I think. *coughs* Anyway. Three Stops was this lovely little piece that was... somewhere between bittersweet and heartbreaking, but not really leaning more towards either one and really worked for that. The feel of it, the writing of it, the quiet characterization and power of it were all lovely and something that... was so very, very welcome (even if it still kinda hurt ;__; ) after episode 25/chapter 15. (No real warnings/pairings, I don't think.)


- Full Metal Alchemist - shades behind and In Cups and Growing Up by WhiteCat - So, naturally, since I made progress with one, it's time to catch up on all of Terra's fics. >:D shades behind damn near made me cry. There was this awful ache in the middle of my chest because it wasn't overblown angst or emotionally manipulative, it was just quiet and soft and sad. It was simple, but not, because there are so many things she doesn't have to say that are just there and the simplicity of the hurt and loss wrapped up in beautifully written words just drives it home that much harder. One of her best, I think. With In Cups, it's also quiet, but this time not so hurtful and just... sweet and gentle and nice. Lovely written and makes a whole lot of sense, interesting in that these two characters don't interact much, but this felt so right. It also makes a fabulous transition piece for Growing Up which is utterly hysterical and brilliant. Ed's reactions to Hughes' reaction to Alicia having a crush on Ed are beautifully written here and I had one of those obnoxiously big grins on my face the entire time I was reading. Just... thinking about my own reaction, it was one of those that was just... "*LOVEBURSTSPARKLESHINYHAPPY* EEEE! YAY!" because it's a blessed, blessed relief from the angst and because it was FUNNEH. (No warnings/pairings in all three drabbles.)


- Full Metal Alchemist - What Remains by WhiteCat - You know, it's one thing for a fic to be sad, it's another thing for it to be subtly so, to the point where it's difficult to point to one specific line or turn of phrase and go, "There. That is what makes it sad." Yet, the feeling of aching in this story is nearly a physical thing, without it being overdone (that's always such an impressive thing for me). The passage of time is very natural, the references to things here and there (like the statue of Bradley or the auto-mail or other little things) all come together in a tapestry rather than taking attention away from the feel of the entire piece. The whole thing creates this mood that I love it for, even if I need happy fic to cheer me up now. *sulks* And. You know. Good writing, good characterization, blah, blah, blah, all that. ^_~ (No real warnings/pairings.)


- Full Metal Alchemist - Paradise by Elihice - Oh, this hurt, in such a lovely and aching way. Ed's version of a perfect world, so very rip-my-heart-out-why-don't-you, yet I never really felt it was over the top angst, you know? Right from the start, it's so... it's all the things Ed would have in his ideal world, all these little things that never went wrong and never hurt so badly. And the last line indeed strikes a blow that just... aches. ;__; (No warnings/pairings.)


- Full Metal Alchemist - The Art of Getting Lost by LCM - I'm not sure what made me head to the _crossfire comm, just that I saw an amusing-sounding summary somewhere, liked the one short fic, then started browsing through the rest of the comm and this was the second fic I happened to click onto. And it's hard to explain why I liked this so much, it's just... it was a really interesting take on Ed post-series, I really liked the balance between feeling lost and still being recognizably Ed, the writing was smooth, readable, and lovely, and I totally sparkled at the end. It was just one of those small little things that hit me exactly right after a nice story that was just the right tone. ....holy crap, that's a terrible rec, but the fic is good and made me sparkle. Go read. (As the author says: A light touch of RoyEd if you're looking, a sprinkle of fairy dust if you're not. I would have read it as gen if I hadn't know.)


- Full Metal Alchemist - Happy Families by girl_starfish - [ chapter 06 - chatper 07 - chapter 08 - chapter 09 ] - So. I won't say that I've wandered back over to the FMA fandom, because that always seems to jinx me, but I just finished reading a story that's nearly 300k so far (and I'll note that it's unfinished, but it's so well-done that I encourage reading it anyway) over a span of two days, which doesn't happen as often as I'd like. When I first read the concept of the story, an AU set in the 20s, a murder mystery in the Elric family, I was a little "...." on the concept, because I've never been big on AUs. But seeing hime1999's art for the story, I caved a little and started reading. And promptly could not put the story down, except for when I needed to sleep, because it's just so fabulously done. The FMA style and the AU setting are beautifully woven together, it feels so amazingly natural to read a story about the Elric family, about Hoenheim as a scientific researcher in England, Trisha having passed away in an accident a few years earlier, Ed and Al on the brink of being teenagers, and the rest of the FMA characters fantastically woven into various roles in relation to the family. It's something that really impressed me as extremely well thought-out, the way the relationships between the characters were preserved in this story while still making them fresh and new, it's not just copying the series, but it's staying in the spirit of it.

Then you add in that the characters are fantastically written--all of them are three-dimensional and with their own motives, which you can see even just through Roy's perspective (as he's the 'narrator' of the piece), you actually learn about them in a way that utterly makes sense for the story. And! It furthers the plot, really. Hughes invites Roy along for a trip to the countryside to investigate the possibility that Trisha Elric was murdered (despite it being ruled an accident) and as they learn more and more about the family, about their relationships and histories, about all of the secrets that are in that house, the complexities of the plot begin to layer upon each other until you realize you're in the middle of something that's astoundingly fascinating and I'm terribly curious to know just who did what.

The writing is also lovely, it does the story justice--it's not overdone, instead it's so smooth, polished, and readable that it sucked me right in. It's not just the plot that's fantastic (though, really, it would be worth reading for that alone), it's that the characters are beautifully written, the emotion in the writing very genuine, that I cared about the characters all over again, hurting for the hard times they went through. And I love, love, love that no one is really pure evil or pure good, that each of them are so very human. Even if I don't normally like AUs much, this one is just somehow done so very right that I couldn't help falling in love with it. (Character spoiler for episode 50, perhaps knowledge of them would be best, but no real plot spoilers. No pairings, either.)


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