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- Full Metal Alchemist - Alter Series by hime1999 (& many others) - (Note: This series is entirely dependant on having seen through to the end of the anime, it will contain massive SPOILERS. This rec will also include a fair amount of spoilers, so please move along now if you'd prefer to remain unspoiled.) I imagine pretty much everyone has heard of this series by now, but I didn't get around to reading it until it was rec'd in the FMA recs comm a few weeks back and I bookmarked it to read once I'd finished the end of the anime. And, naturally, I'm utterly charmed by it because of both the fantastic, fantastic art and because of the genuinely good storytelling, but also because the concept is SO COOL. Both the way the story is being told (with pics and ficlets) and the very idea of Ed on the other side of the gate after the anime ended and how there are similar people on both sides.

It's also that there's a wonderful sense of humor to the stories (the Father's Day one is quite possibly my favorite, the ending was just so utterly perfect) and some genuinely touching moments, that make the whole thing really fascinating. There's a lot of crack that's not in the canon universe that you might want to be wary of, but the canon universe itself is really fascinating and telling a wonderful story. Plus, the art is really fantastic. I feel like I should have more to say, though, I can't really think of much. I find the concept of the Alter!Roy to be interesting and the way he's like and yet unlike the Roy of this world nicely done. I like the interaction with Ed, the friendship between them is nicely built up through the ficlets and all the heart-tugging moments they go through. The whole thing is a lot of fun, I think. Plus, pretty art. (Erm, I don't even know how to begin to warn for this one. Just... pay attention to the warnings?)

- Full Metal Alchemist - Sweet Dreams by girl_starfish - [ part 01 - part 02 - part 03 - part 04 - part 05 - part 06 - part 07 - part 08 - part 09 - part 10 - part 11 ] - Apparently, I was in just the right mood for this story tonight, something that was a bit angsty and sad, but also sweet and hopeful, something that wasn't pure fluff, but left me feeling happy by the end of it. A post-episode-51 story (no major spoilers, but I doubt you'd get the most out of it if you aren't aware of how the series ends) that does a tremendous job of telling a wonderfully faceted story through Ed's hazy point of view. What impressed me most (besides the ability to tred that line between dramatic and overly dramatic) was the pure emotion I felt right along with the characters--my little fangirl heart was right there along with Ed, especially in the second to last chapter. It's a story where... not a ton happens that you can specifically point to but is one of the best to read because of the smooth, clean writing style and the smashing characterization. ....blah, horrible rec yet again, but really lovely story. Go read. (Some very vague Roy/Ed in the background, but totally not the point of the story, if you squint, it could probably be gen.)

- Full Metal Alchemist - Watch Me by TwigCollins - He has absolutely no right to be annoyed with his oncoming death. Edward has put himself in harm's way so often he's surprised they don't call him the Lemming Alchemist. Roy will probably carve it on his grave. Okay, maybe the line really isn't that great of an indicator of the rest of the fic, but I had to have it be the one I quoted because it's a great line. XD My one complaint about this story is that it seems faintly disjointed or incoherent as a whole, but that may be a sense of preference, rather than a truly viable complaint. Because the writing is fantastic, it's incredibly polished, smooth, and easy to read, flowing well enough that I just slid along the entire story while I was reading it. Also, given that Ed is injured and he's not exactly coherently thinking, I take back a lot of my nitpicking, because... thinking about it, the sort of disjointed feeling works for Ed's fevered dreams of his potential future. What I liked about the dream he had is that... it was unsettling and vaguely frightening because I could see it being a possibility, that his genius could be set on the wrong path if he were to lose just a little too much. I loved some of the implications in the story, that surely, surely someone was watching over him, that they wouldn't just let a child prodigy run around without thinking about what he might grow up to be, and the vaguely unsettling thought that maybe no one had thought of that and... okay, I'm rambling and possibly giving away too much. Anyway. Good writing, very good unsettling/disturbing feel to it, and one of those hidden gems of a fic that I pine so much for in this fandom. <3 (No warnings/pairings.)

- Full Metal Alchemist - Fuel by Harukami - So FMA doesn't get nearly enough casefic, y'know? Much less by authors who can truly write. And it's not that I'm complaining about the pairingfic per se, more that it's a pleasant surprise to find lovely gen casefic by one of my favorite authors and Haru's really good at getting down all these little details that make me believe this truly was a case. There's none of that super-glossed over feeling that I get with authors who don't have the time/discipline to full bake the case part of the fic, instead this was a story that I thought could have stepped out of the series itself, that's how well she gets the style down. Plus, it was interesting and did exactly what it needed to do (framed nicely by moments of Ed being handed the case, visiting Havoc in the hospital--which was a nice way to give Ed a slight personal connection to this case AND a way to get some really fantastic Havoc - Ed interaction THAT I LOVE SO MUCH into the fic--and reporting back to Roy) without dragging on forever. The original characters were just that, not characters that took over in ANY way, instead barely even feeling like original characters at all, instead feeling more like part of the background (in a GOOD way, much like Ed's other cases felt like part of the background--nothing sticks out like a sore thumb here) and... oh, jeez, I'm babbling. Just go read this, it's really good and it's casefic that accomplishes its job wonderfully. <3 (No warnings/pairings.)

- Full Metal Alchemist - The Desert Island by Harukami - [Note: SPOILERS for the entire anime series in this story and probably the rec as well.] If you had to pick one person to be trapped with on a desert island, who would you pick? This is a story that really sort of hit me out of nowhere, something that I wasn't expecting to be more than a light read, but somewhere along the line turned into something rather powerful. Haru does an amazing job with Hoenheim's character here as he can't help thinking about Ed and being honest about how his son views him. I love the tone she takes with him--not martyrd, but still resigned and accepting of the way things are, yet not entirely bitter, either. It's the exact right tone needed and the one that made me like the character so much in the anime. But even more than that, it's those two pieces of paper that hit me with the proverbial sledgehammer, the quiet power of them tremendously done. Oh, and the end. I get all wibbling just thinking about. Gorgeous, gorgeous father/son stuff here, which I have such the weakness for when it's done right like this. *babbles* (No warnings/pairings, spoilers.)

- Full Metal Alchemist - Six Impossible Things by Baka Neko - "Alice laughed"There's no use trying" she said; "one can't believe impossible things."

"I daresay you haven't had much practice" said the Queen. "When I was younger, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast." - Alice in Wonderland. This is one of those stories that, if you'd told me the premise ahead of time, I would have looked at you a little strangely and probably passed the fic by. Hence, I'm going to attempt not to say anything specific about it, other than to say that it's the kind of story that could have been flat and unfunny with a lot of authors, but here I wound up giggling the entire way through. Actually, the third one got me to completely crack up, it hit me just right. Oh, and six? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! *continues to sporfle madly* (No warnings/pairings.)

- Fullmetal Alchemist - Worst Day of the Year by Harukami - Eeeeee! Oh, this one started out as wonderful Valentine's Day crack and ended up as something that was just... *waves hands* oh, you have to go read it. Ed's adorable when he's being stalked by people who want to give him chocolate (Breda was my favorite, I think XD) or when he's turning to Hawkeye to be the only sane one in the place (Her Valentine's Day plans? SO NEAT. I was shocked at how much I liked that bit, but it really makes sense in a way.) or the way Roy's near-fanclub was practically legend and THE END! YOU MUST READ IT FOR THE END! Just... I am filled with the happy. <3 (Random pairings hinted at, but nothing explicit.)

- Fullmetal Alchemist - Der Neid by White Cat - Oh, this was a very interesting piece, a little thing that I could just see having happened in the series, as it makes a lot of sense and Terra really gets the feel of the characters down. She writes really well, has that sense of... something terrible or awful or painful lurking under the surface, even when nothing is really happening, much like I got off the original series. Plus, her writing is so smooth and clean that the story just sails cleanly right along from start to finish. Her Ed characterization is lovely, she really gets the basic Ed-ness of him down, but still makes him believable at such a young age and I'm quite enamored with his confrontation with the stranger in the woods. Really excellent fic here that fits with the series. <3<3<3 (No warnings/pairings.)

- Fullmetal Alchemist - Outlet by Vikki - Bwah. I <3 Vikki's FMA fic, like, tons and tons. I loved her when she started out and she's gotten to be just awesome these days, right down to the way Roy uses the Fullmetal name because (at this point) he can't remember Ed's name, yet none of that shows. Plus, eeeee! Ed's characterization! Such a smart kid, yet still so... provokable in so, so many ways. Oh, and the end, especially Roy's second to last line. Lovely. This fic deserves better than this rec, but (No warnings/pairings.)

- Fullmetal Alchemist - Battling by idiosyn - *rolls around giggling madly* Okay, the action scene of Ed fighting against Roy was really neat, there are far too few action scenes around these days, but it was also so hysterically Ed and his usual approach to a fight that I was already squee'ing. Then it got to the optional endings and promptly started rolling around the floor in fits of laughter because they were just SO PERFECT. I ♥ the Roy and Ed fighting. XD XD XD (No real warnings/pairings.)

- Fullmetal Alchemist - First Thing in the Morning by idiosyn - I love funny little fics like this--good writing and it makes me smile/laugh while still somehow popping just crystal clear to mind. Plus, it's one of the better jokes on Roy drinking coffee in the morning that I've read. <3 (No warnings/pairings.)

- Fullmetal Alchemist - Eight of Nine by idiosyn - Lieutenant Jean Havoc was not a passionate man. You could call him easy-going. You could call him laid back. Hell, you may even call him apathetic, he just didn't get worked up over much (except for women, he liked those). Another fic that really does a great job with Havoc, making him a little more fleshed out, yet still keeping with the character that I recognize from the screen, but also in the way that it has him interacting with Hawkeye, the way he reacts to her, the way the others in the office react to her, not quite a pairing fic (though, I'm putting it in that catagory anyway), but a beautiful little gem of a moment of insight and interaction between them, with just a hint of guns and marksmanship. I love these two gunbunnies, I really do, and it's fic like this that's why. (Not Havoc/Hawkeye, it's gen, but I'm putting it in that section anyway.)

- Fullmetal Alchemist - From the Desk of Roy Mustang by Granate - Hee. Not quite in the whole Very Secret Diaries style (I'm not sure I would have even brought it up if not for it being mentioned in the comments), it's still it's own thing, but keeping with that vague sort of feel, what with Roy's reactions to the various bits that happen in the anime... this was much fun. Plus, it contains this line: This afternoon, Fullmetal challenged me to a battle assessment. So bourgeois. How could you not want to read a fic with that line in it? XD (No warnings/pairings.)

- Fullmetal Alchemist - The Unwanted Houseguest by Harukami - [Errr, no real spoilers, but if you haven't seen episode 37, this may not make as much sense?] So, I suppose someday I'll stop being surprised that the FMA fandom can often times come up with some rather off-the-wall ideas and then authors like Haru turn around and make them work brilliantly... but today's not that day. The way she writes Hakuro visiting the Armstrong family is just so... absolutely perfect, that balance between the bizarre nature of the family and her insightful, often vaguely aching style that echoes the series so well. I could just see this and damn if the ending didn't leave me in a pile. Katherine is a fabulous character and she should get more fic. XD (No warnings/pairings.)

- Fullmetal Alchemist - Not the Same by Elihice - Every once in awhile, there's a fic that comes along that makes my chest tighten up just a little bit because the writing is so quietly powerful that I just want to cry, that it touches on all the bittersweet things from the series that it works exactly as it was supposed to. A post-episode 51 (so beware of spoilers) short fic from Havoc's POV on how things aren't the same anymore, how sometimes it feels like it could almost be like it was, but it's not. Also, a brilliant ending, the second-to-last line just floored me. ....and now I'm going to go cry for all the things that aren't the same. ;___; (Hint of a pairing or two, but nothing enough to count.)

- Fullmetal Alchemist - Ides of March by Vikki - I read this fic because I still do like what Vikki does with the characters, because I was lured in by the way she was writing Hoenheim, who is one of those characters that I wish the fandom did more with, but also sort of wish they would stay away from, because I don't want them overdone. But Vikki... man, I love the way she writes this series, the way she writes the Elric family, the way she writes Hoenheim, the way his feelings for his family were true, the way time slows or speeds up the way she intends it to, the way he grows this distance between himself and his own life. She just nails the characters so beautifully and, oh, the ending just packs such the lovely, aching punch. I adored this. (Gen, with references to Hoenheim/Trisha.)

- Fullmetal Alchemist/xxxHOLiC - Quid Pro Quo by Tammaiya - Two things come to mind for me when I heard the concept of this story. One, HOLiC can be crossed with anything. Two, ....wait, FMA? It's not a crossover that I would have thought of immediately, but xxxHOLiC is crossable with just about anything, so I was more than willing to give it a shot. (Especially considering the author.) And the two series came together beautifully, both in the sense of tone/concept and the use of equivalent trade as well as on a character level. Because Yuuko driving Ed nuts in that way she has? Brilliant. Ed's characterization is amazing, it's so spot-on in the way he's such a brilliant little hot-headed character, the way he's so smart, even while he's being so annoyed by everything around him. Yuuko is brilliantly in character as well, that slinky way she has at times, the way that can shift to evil amusement in the blink of an eye, the way she knows things, the way she forms her sentences, the way Ed plays off her so brilliantly well. And, oh, my god. The ending. The ending with the Mokona and Maru and Moro. It's... it's... I can see it so perfectly in my head and I just sit there and laugh and laugh and laugh every time. So, so much love for this. ♥ (This is gen. If you really squint, you might see a vague hint of RoyEd, but it's intended as gen.)

- Fullmetal Alchemist - Rust by scratchmist - measuringlife recommended this story to me (repeatedly, because I am terribly lazy about getting around to reading fic) and I finally read it tonight and it was... wow, gorgeous. Really gorgeous. The writing is lovely, but it's the characterization of Al that just took hold of my heart, squeezing it until it ached for all that he goes through every day. There's a subtle quality to the writing, it doesn't try to hit the notes too hard so that the mood is broken, instead it lightly touches on them and makes the emotion all the more poignant for it. It's also not a story that isn't without hope, there are bright spots even when things are difficult for the brothers and the relationship between them... for all that they go through so much and hurt each other because their shared sins weigh them down... this is why the Elric brothers need each other and the fic shows the power of that relationship. Beautiful. (No warnings/pairings.)

- Fullmetal Alchemist - Erase and Rewind by Tammaiya - I think, sometimes, that I would spirit Tammaiya away and make her write FMA and Hanakimi fic forever because she's so good at getting down what it is I want, even in genfic. An alternate ending to the Shambala movie, one that doesn't suck like a giant sucking thing, is instead a brilliant, insightful, moving piece, sometimes humorous, sometimes bittersweet, sometimes aching. The conversation with Winry is pitch-perfect. The ending is exactly the right note to end the fic on. The whole thing makes my FMA experience better. (Not really any warnings/pairings.)

- xxxHOLiC/Fullmetal Alchemist - What You Wish For by rallamajoop - In a way, it still surprises me that FMA and HOLiC can be crossed over together, despite that I've seen it done. Yet, it still works, and the details here are lovely, the connection through the concept of equivalent trade, what people are/aren't willing to give up in exchange for the things they seek. It seems rather natural to me that Ed would eventually seek out Yuuko's shop in this manner and that it would somehow be there for him. I like the nod to what the price would be for raising the dead as well, it's something Ed would ask and that's the answer he would have to be given. Very nice. (No warnings/pairings.)

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