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[Note: As I feel I cannot rec my own fics without it being weirdly skeevy and, yet, I feel that I do a decent job with the pairing of Akiha and Umeda, I'm going to put a little note at the top here for those interested: I write Akiha/Umeda fanfic in this journal and I rationalize my note here by saying that I've probably written a good half of the fic available for the pairing and if I really want to have a comprehensive HanaKimi section.... *wry grin*]

- Hanazakari no Kimitachi e - untitled by Mina Lightstar - Again, more birthday fic and maybe it's not quite long enough to rec properly, but I don't care because it's exactly the right length it needed to be. One of the reasons I'm often hesitant to comment on fic is because whatever I would say to the author is what I would say here and I always feel like a dink repeating myself. But. There's this line. Well, two lines. And I'm not sure why it got to me so hard other than that it's somehow exactly how I see their relationship. Every morning after, Umeda wonders why he tolerates this. He wonders how Akiha gets from his front door, to his kitchen, to his sofa, to his bed. The whole fic is lovely, though. Beautiful imagery (that's also hot) in all the right places, a fun sense of playing the dodge-the-idiot game in all the right places, and the ending is just perfect because it says everything about them, about the complicated thing between them that's not really all that complicated... without having to use the words for it. And, yes, I am still sucking her off under the desk, but she deserves it when she gives me stuff like this. ♥ (Akiha/Umeda.)

- Hanazakari no Kimitachi e - untitled by aki_omoi - I cannot tell you how much I loved this. It came along at exactly the right time to make me laugh out loud on a night when I really needed it. It's also incredibly clever and a great way to tell a different sort of style of fic with Akiha and Umeda. The letter Akiha writes, and, god, the poem. Even the font choices are beauitulf and the content of the letter is awesome and there are little heartmarks and the x's and it's so Akiha. But nothing, nothing tops the sheer perfection of the return postcard from Umeda. Sixteen words of pure brilliance. (Akiha/Umeda.)

- Hanazakari no Kimitachi e - Not Quite Star-Crossed by Tammaiya - Do you know how anxious I was for this fic? Or how many times I've reread it since? Or how much I love it? Seriously, AkiUme yaoi high school manga remix, it's the greatest idea I've ever had and Tammaiya did a brilliant job with it. There is a SCHOOL PLAY. Not just any school play, but ROMEO AND JULIET. It could have been cliche, it could have been too silly or over the top, but instead she brilliantly writes it in the madcap antics style of Hanakimi, writes both Akiha and Umeda absolutely, utterly brilliantly, and made me fall in love all over again. There are a hundred little details, from the pricelessness of the OC to Io's involvement in the whole thing (god, I love her Io almost as much as I love her AkiUme) to the kissing, omg. There's beautiful imagery, there's wonderful chemistry between Akiha and Umeda, there is absolutely fabulous timing of those little comedic moments (like when Umeda wings anything at anyone's head because the timing/description of it is somehow absolutely brilliant, too), there's attention paid to why both characters are fabulous (even when Hokuto's life is hell, he still scares the crap out of most people and, oh, god, yes, this is Umeda in high school) there's wibble-worthy moments, and moments that made me just crack the hell up especially when they're rehearsing for the play and Umeda Does Not Want To Be There and Akiha is... well, Akiha. Every scene adds another layer or moment of brilliance and... and, really, it's hard for me to write a coherent rec for this fic because it's one of those that makes my brain sort of reboot into Squeeful Fangirl Mode where all I do is flail my arms a lot and make high-pitched screeching noises. The kind that hits me so dead-center in the middle of my fangirl heart that I can't recover my coherency, you know? (Akiha/Umeda.)

- Hanazakari no Kimitachi e - Iím just a fool (in love with you) by aki_omoi - Goodness, I'm going to wear this poor girl out. But. It's just. It's hard to complain when she's so good at writing AkiUme with just the right balance between acceptance and denial, even after three years of being together. The way her Umeda voice is so fantastic in this piece, cranky and bitchy on the surface, but even without having to be told, we sense the fondness underneath it. And the details are also fantastic, the way Umeda hasn't thrown away all those little notes (the stick figures holding hands own me every time), yet it's not a huge deal, it's just sort of part of the background noise of Umeda's life now and then topped off with a lovely ending because, yes, that's Umeda. So much love and sparkly hearts and flowers here. ♥ (Akiha/Umeda.)

- Hanazakari no Kimitachi e - A Taste of Laughter by Tammaiya - Yeah, yeah, only 170 words, it should probably be in with the other shortfics, I don't care. It's IO and EBI and I have been pining for a fic on them for AGES. Because it would totally mess with Umeda's head. It's also a pairing that could have been pointless or too over the top, but I really love the light, almost airy way the author writes them here, the way it's half about (from the author's standpoint) messing with Umeda and half about two hot women that I could totally believe would go out on a date with each other. The use of the theme is also lovely, it could have been mean-spirited, but instead wound up feeling... fun and happy. It just all fits with what I wanted from Io/Ebi. ♥ (Io/Ebi, implications of Akiha/Umeda.)

- Hanazakari no Kimitachi e - untitled by Honooko - There are two drabbles in this post (just keep scrolling down to get to the second one) and you have no idea how delighted I was that honooko knew of the characters and that I was able to get fic out of her. ♥ And, okay, the first one was adorably cute and the kitten was adorable and, asdlfjaldfjkas, the last two lines just utterly MADE the fic for me, but... the second one was quite possibly even more lovely. Mizuki asked him once what his favorite picture was. He smiled, and told her that he hadn't taken it yet. Every time I get to that line, something in me melts into mush because that's so... Akiha. I gushed endlessly in my comment, but it all still applies, the way all the little details of creativity are just so very much like the character and his feelings for Umeda. *luffs* (Akiha/Umeda.)

- Hanazakari no Kimitachi e - untitled by Serilda - Right from the beginning, Serilda does a knock-out job with this fic, the way I could feel the bite of the winter cold as she described it with lovely language and imagery that I love coming from Akiha's mind. The way he watches people, the way there's this tranquil sort of quality to the writing as he drifts from unfolding story to unfolding story all around them and it works for the fic. Then the way Umeda is so... Umeda and you (and Akiha) understand what he means without him having to directly say it and it's wonderfully in character as well as making me melt into a pile of goo because THIS is what I love about them. This is probably one of my favorites from my birthday just because I had no idea Serilda knew the characters or that she would write such beautiful, beautiful fic. Okay, that last part wasn't so much a surprise as a gleeful confirmation. ♥ (Akiha/Umeda.)

- Hanazakari no Kimitachi e - untitled by Silver Wind - Umeda and Akiha and Kiichi, omg. And physical exams and Akiha being all cheerful and Umeda "...."'ing all over the place and Kiichi is amusing the hell out of himself and Umeda is "....shut up." at him, too, and then there's my favorite line: "Oh, you're completely wrapped around his long, elegant finger, aren't you, Hokuto?" The crossover works very nicely here, the two series just slide right together and this NEEDS to happen more often. Both Silver Wind writing AkiUme and Hanakimi/Love Mode crossovers. Because they both just... put this smile on my face that wouldn't quit. ♥ (Akiha/Umeda.)

- Hanazakari no Kimitachi e - Memoires Douces by Mei - One of the things I like best about this fic is the way Mei handles the effect of Kijima on the Akiha/Umeda relationship, because it's not something that's made a huge deal out of, yet it sort of is, because Umeda's loved him for so long and Akiha loves him so much now. The way they don't talk about it, the way Akiha just (emotionally) drags Umeda off into a different mood instead, distracts him away from it... that's lovely and what Akiha would do. Then you add in all these little touches with Umeda's bitchy attitude and Akiha's beaming happiness that's quite deliberate and the way Umeda gets so pissed and Akiha knows what he's really reacting to and cheerfully goes along with it and so many little moments that make me keyboard mash with love. LOOOOOOOVE. (Akiha/Umeda.)

- Hanazakari no Kimitachi e - the Akiha/Umeda post-it saga of DOOM by anonygift/elihice - I don't know what to say about this. I mean. It feels like I'll never be able to find the right words to describe how creative and neat this was, the concept of the Post-It notes that tell the story, the way all the little details are in the "story", as it were, the way it unfolded just wonderfully and left me in a pile of goo at the end. There are two things that I really found just absolutely fabulous about this, aside from the whole AkiUme Fic For Meeeeeeee thing. XD One, the pacing of it really is a grand thing, so that I watched each little Post-It note between the characters unfold the storyline and by the end, I think I actually let out one of those, "*squeak* Oh... awww!" noises that are kind of embarassing. Every single time I read Akiha's notes, I am on the FLOOR trying to not dribble into a puddle. Two, the way the author doesn't even need a lot of words to get this crystal clear image of what's going on, the way the little details of where the notes are found or Umeda's reaction as someone else leaves a note for him or what they say... it's not a lot of words, but it's brilliant ones so that it actually tells a story. This is one of the coolest and most fantastic gifts I've ever seen. ♥ (Akiha/Umeda.)

- Hanazakari no Kimitachi e - Fool's Paradise by Serilda - *hums* So, Serilda wrote AkiUme fic for my birthday and then, later, she had a fic meme and so of COURSE I had to prance over and request more fic from her. It's GETAWAY fic and it has Akiha being a retard and Umeda being dragged along against his will until he just gives up and resigns himself to his fate and I love that the fic starts out with Umeda all tied up and not knowing where the hell he is or why the idiot is beaming at him. Because I can believe that Akiha would. Especially when you-know-who is involved. And then there's a happy ending and a gorgeous view and my brain happily trips off to imagine what they can do on their romantic weekend getaway and I'm all floaty-happy in my little world here, be quiet. ♥ (Akiha/Umeda.)

- Hanazakari no Kimitachi e - Summer Sunshine by Mei - See? SEE? This is why I make exchanges! I promised Mei I would totally read Slam Dunk! in exchange for AkiUme fic and look what she does! This is why I make these bargains, because it gets me SHINY FIC LIKE THIS. I mean. Right from Umeda enjoying a nice, hot summery day and everything is going right to just knowing something is going to go wrong any minute now and annoyed while waiting for it to Akiha popping up the way he does, it's all filled with these little details that make me grin like an idiot (especially at Akiha, omg XD). Mei does a lovely job here and it's got that whole... sense of fun with these characters, right down to the way Mizuki interrupts in a classic way and Akiha doesn't even pause in his attempts to drag Sempai off and Umeda is so... well, Umeda about the whole thing. I ♥ this like crazy. (Akiha/Umeda.)

- Hanazakari no Kimitachi e - Climate Change by Serilda - Whenever someone writes Hanakimi fic off of one of my prompts for them, I have a terrible time writing the rec for them--part of me is flattered that they'd write something I requested, the rest of me is busy squeeing at having fic for my beloved pairing. I know I get all wound up over them, but it's fic like this--fic that I had to read on my laptop in the privacy of an empty room because I wasn't about to let anyone be witness to my terrible squeeing or interrupt my snuggling down into my bed and basking in the warm glow of OTP love--fic like this that make me love them even more. Serilda does a fabulous job of using details to flesh out her fic, little things like showing different ways Umeda doesn't like the cold rather than just flatly telling the reader that he hates cold weather or the lovely background scenery of the different seasons. I'm a huge sucker for weather in fics, there's something so pretty about fall leaves or winter snow or summer sunshine.

And, of course, this all goes hand in hand with the lovely characterization, the way Akiha is a retard, but a smart retard and Umeda is grumpy and bitchy, but you can tell he cares underneath it, more by what he doesn't do than anything he says or does. The way there's so much love here, so much more underneath the retarded surface, the way she hits their dynamic so very, very well. And, goodness, the ending still reduces me to a puddle of fangirl mush every time I read it. Just. It's the kind of thing that makes my heart positively ache for how happy and gooey it is. Shut up. All of you. I give myself free reign to be as dippy as I want over AkiUme. (Akiha/Umeda.)

- Hanazakari no Kimitachi e - Adventures in Babysitting by Serilda - As you can see by the rather disgustingly long comment I left on Serilda's journal, I enjoyed this piece a lot. She always writes well, but it still feels like every time I'm all aflutter with that horribly dorky fangirl glee that can only come from getting fic for your OTP of OTPs. And it's just. So CUTE. Little details packed into it, Akiha being kind of dumb in that way that makes you love him more and Umeda being all eyeroll-y and annoyed, but he still goes and helps out anyway and that's exactly why I love the writing here so much. Serilda doesn't have to say that, she doesn't make a big-to-do about it, he just... goes and helps because that's what Umeda does and it says so much about his feelings for Akiha right there. Also, you're just not human if you don't crack a smile during this fic. Also, kids are CUTE OMG. And so is Akiha. .....and Umeda, too. ♥ (Akiha/Umeda.)

- Hanazakari no Kimitachi e - personal hell by measuringlife - You know, it's lovely when I have AkiUme fic to read that's not something I deliberately dragged out of someone, even if I do get the blame for "inspiring" it. ♥ One of the things I love most about measuringlife's take on the pairing is that Umeda is grumpy and bitchy throughout the entire piece, there's no softening of his character by the end. But, at the same time, you pick up the little hints that show he does genuinely care about Akiha underneath the crabbiness, her way of being subtle even amongst the wackiness and AKIHA IN SWIM TRUNKS IMAGE THAT MADE ME HAPPY and Umeda being all put-upon, is lovely. And. Just. Oh, my god. She winz for her implied interaction between Akiha and the rest of the Umeda family. I died at a couple of specific points. And it's just. Akiha. Umeda. Being dragged off for a vacation! At the beach! It's beautiful and I love it so. ♥ (Akiha/Umeda.)

- Hanazakari no Kimitachi e - tea & sympathy by measuringlife - After reading the last few days of measuringlife's Akiha fics, this was a perfect way to cap them off, one of those ideas I will never get tired of, no matter how much I contemplate it. But it's not just the idea of Akiha and Seira having tea together, it's the way the author pulls off the little details, the way there's an elegant edge to the writing, the way the ending snuck up on me even though I knew it was there and squeezed my fangirl heart until it ached a little for Akiha. Her Akiha is wonderful, the hint of nervousness about whether or not she'll like him, the retarded way you can tell he bugged the crap out of Umeda (the fic does a fantastic job of letting you picture those scenes without doing more than just touching on them for a moment), and that line. You'll know the one I mean. Her Seira is brilliant here as well, so young in form but there's wisdom of a mother, a grandmother underneath that you can pick up on if you listen carefully. Also. Akiha needs a good mommy figure and Seira would totally adopt him and they'd get along beautifully. I love. ♥ (Implied Akiha/Umeda, but that's not really the point.)

- Hanazakari no Kimitachi e - for love is blind by measuringlife - I have come to be very fond of measuringlife's Akiha fics, both serious and light-hearted. The way she tackles different aspects of the character (I'm convinced that's the only way you can show what a surprisingly complex character Akiha turned out to be) is wonderful; this time it's a younger Akiha in high school and the way his early fascination with Sempai and photography got started. I love the beginning lines of this piece, it so eloquantly describes that moment when he noticed Umeda, then shows the beginnings of his understanding about what makes a good photo through that. I also quietly love the detail that he never showed his best work back then, it makes sense for the character, I think. Also, omg, this was lovely. (Implications of one-sided Akiha/Umeda.)

- Hanazakari no Kimitachi e - last smoke of the day by measuringlife - God, how much do I love measuringlife for writing fics like this? After awhile, I fear I'm going to start writing feedback (and character essays in respose) as long as the fics themselves, but... they're just such lovely little things that highlight an insight here and there, show a facet of the character or a relationship in such a pretty way. This time, it's Umeda and his last smoke of the day, the little touches of the people in his life ganging up on him to quit smoking and he doesn't fight it because it's annoying and tiring and it's so damn right for the characters. Funny, but not too over the top, even in just a few casual comments in the narration. As well as Akiha being so cheerful, even over the phone, and the way Umeda wavers between old feelings and new feelings is just... perfect. It's not going to be all of a sudden that he forgets about Ryouichi, but there will be steps forward now and again, small baby steps that are incredibly important. This was a gorgeous illustration of one that left me feeling all happy and wibbly. ♥ (Akiha/Umeda, implications of Umeda/Kijima.)

- Hanazakari no Kimitachi e - Picture Perfect by Elihice - Admittedly, I'm prone to fangirling over this series a lot (shut up, I know) and my comment on this fic was, well, kind of ridiculous, but... I guess I give myself free reign when it comes to this couple, especially with authors who hit that spot of characterization that I just vibe with and I feel they won't think too terribly badly of me for leaving about four paragraphs of feedback. This is one of those fics that just... shows both the overgrown child side of Akiha and the surprisingly complex adult side of the character, the sheer emotion he feels for Umeda practically shining through every word of the text despite that Elihice barely says anything directly about it. You just feel it as you read and, god, I love that. The use of photography is genuinely clever, the details are gorgeous and make for vivid scenes in my head (the conversation over a late lunch was my particular favorite, because that would so go exactly like that), and everything about this fic is wonderful. (Akiha/Umeda.)

- Hanazakari no Kimitachi e - untitled by Meg - Okay, so it's only 103 words. Shut up, it's my journal/site, I can do what I want! D:< Meg did a request meme thing and since it'd been MONTHS since I'd pestered her for these two (well, months since she'd given in) and the prompt was some sort of shoujo cliche and, asdlf;jadlaljisd, god, I love the doctor vs retard. And the ending was perfect because, yes, that's Umeda right there, both in how violence totally = affection for him and the question he asks and, adlkjalsdf, shoujo retardation makes me happy. I flail with love. ♥ (Akiha/Umeda.)

- Hanazakari no Kimitachi e - under rug swept by measuringlife - I've had a very long week at the time this was posted and measuringlife has been posting several shortfics for the Hanakimi series (and especially this pairing), which have done me a world of good. Especially when they focus on a particular aspect or highlight into the characters' relationship, this time around, how Umeda will pretty much never be rid of of Akiha, the way he's still so perfectly grumpy about it even as he's slowly becoming resigned to his fate. Also? The second paragraph? So. True. ♥ (Akiha/Umeda.)

- Hanazakari no Kimitachi e - when I'm old and grey by measuringlife - I honestly don't know whether to giggle my way through this fic or melt into a pile of absolute, utter goo. The author just... it's hard to explain how she got it all in there. The way there's so much depth under the surface of these characters, the way the littlest thing can have such huge feelings behind them, the way they change over the years and the way they don't change over the years. The way, if you stop and think for a moment about Akiha, you realize just how complicated and layered he really is, something you don't notice until you realize how little you really know about him. The way Umeda both knows him so well and has all these gaps in his knowledge, the way Akiha knows Umeda so well through every little detail, the way Umeda's family is insane, but you can tell how much they love each other... this fic was crammed full of those gorgeous details and layers while still telling an interesting story without being overwhelmed. ....I still can't decide between giggling and melting into goo. Probably the latter, though. (Akiha/Umeda.)

- Hanazakari no Kimitachi e - your karma ran over my dogma by measuringlife - ....there is something about Umeda just knowing that Akiha is daydreaming about being a hippie or other flights of idiotic philosophic fancy that makes me smile every time I reread this one. Because I can just see such terrifying thoughts flitting through Umeda's head even while Akiha's not really doing anything because Umeda knows him and just... hee, fun. ♥ (Akiha/Umeda.)

- Hanazakari no Kimitachi e - surrealistic by measuringlife - I have such affection for stories that capture the artistic side of Akiha, because... for all that Akiha isn't solely defined by his artistic side, it's still very, very much a part of who he is and how he looks at the world and the people he loves. The sense of an artist in this piece, the way Umeda captures that kind of attention from him, is lovely here, the use of words just perfect for what the artist wanted to convey. (Akiha/Umeda.)

- Hanazakari no Kimitachi e - postcards from home by measuringlife - You know how I love Umeda and how he's such a marshmellow under the bitchy exterior? I love the way measuringlife writes that, the way it's not a chariacture of his character, but still makes me want to twirl around in glee at how much I love what a... cat he is. I just ♥ the way he reacts to Akiha sending him about a bajillion letters when Umeda is out of town for a little while, the way he's so cranky and then reads them anyway and lies about ever having read them. I love the way Umeda's crankiness comes through in the turns of phrase and shut up, I know the rec is almost as long as the fic, but it's such a golden little shortfic! <3 (Akiha/Umeda.)

- Hanazakari no Kimitachi e - boys of summer by measuringlife - Eeeeee! AkiUme 'teenage variance au'! Squee. Umeda and Akiha as teenagers and a remix of how they could have met and (started to) fall in love and, asld;jalsdf, the details of this are fabulous. The way Akiha is such a retard and Umeda's so damn cranky and totally not interested except he totally is. The way this fic moves across the span of a few years, the way there's this sort of grace to the way things go, the way he keeps running into that boy with the light blond hair, the way Kijima still haunts him for so long, the way he's so... Umeda about it all. The way I can practically feel the summer on my skin, hear the noises of summer buzzing in the background as I read this fic. There's a lovely glow of warmth and sunshine and summer over this piece, the way the author used the theme and elements is really quite lovely. I also really like that the fic didn't end perfectly, but there's this really wonderful sense of things not even being close to being over, even if summer itself is ending. I just. Oh, I love the author's writing like the gigantic fangirl that I am. Even beyond that it's my favorite pairing, I love the writing of this one. (Akiha/Umeda, mentions of Kijima/Umeda.)

- Hanazakari no Kimitachi e - everlasting by measuringlife - I love this author's artist au because... again, as much as I love AkiUme as a pairing, I love them as seperate characters, too. I love that Akiha is an artist, that that often comes with a lovely bittersweet quality to the story, but not an unhappy one. The use of the theme is just... god, I adore her writing so much because they're these perfect little pieces of writing that are... either lyrical or musical or poetic or something that's so graceful and elegant that my fangirl heart nearly aches with happiness to see her writing. Her style is exactly what I want for them, it hits me dead on. So, I write recs that are nearly as long as the fics themselves and make endless exceptions for short pieces that probably should be on the shortfics&drabbles section. (Akiha/Umeda.)

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