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- Kingdom Hearts - sense and sensibility by 9tails - I wasn't sure if I should put this in the KH section or the FFVII section, since it's set in KH, but it's all about Sephiroth and Cloud. Enh. I'll link it from both. Anyway, yes! Good SxC fic set in the KHverse is ridiculously difficult to find, so when an author comes along that weaves these lovely flashes of memory and sense and emotion? And then writes beautiful smut in with them? It's hard not to abuse the caps lock key and go HOORAY a lot. The duality of the piece, the innocence of childhood, the sex in adulthood, the way poor Cloud always has the crappiest life just about ever, the electric attraction between the two characters that isn't just about physical looks or anything typical, it's also about something far more complicated. Fighting and aching for the past and loss and distance between them, this entirely too complicated mess to describe with just a few words and, yes, this is why I like them. Sephiroth with all that magnetic force to him, the power coiled in his frame, the sleek, elegant way he simply just moves, the same sense of power to Cloud's frame, even when it's set from his POV, the way everything is so heavy and difficult, but he keeps getting up again. And I realize this rec is rather incoherent, but it's an attempt to get across the way the fic made me feel, the things I feel like I can't quite grasp with my fingers, but I know are there. ....which is horribly pretentious and nonsensical of me to say, shut up! >P (Sephiroth/Cloud, R-rating at least.)

- Kingdom Hearts - Unlock My Heart by Berrygold - measuringlife pointed this fic out because she knows I have a thing for this pairing and, well, I like good fic just in general. This KH fic was... the writing is beautiful, the emotion of it makes my heart hurt right along with Leon, and then that it deals with something that I've been itching to see touched on for ages makes it just that much better. It's... it gets the point of the game in a really beautiful way, but it also deals with the Squall/Rinoa pairing that I've missed in the game. Also! I'm not the only one who noticed the particular detail (and squeed over it because I'm a giant dork) in the game and took it as a reference to the pairing. Just... wow, this was a breathtaking fic. (Leon/Rinoa implied.)

- Kingdom Hearts - untitled by gunneryunagirl - alkjsdflajksd, goddammit. I didn't want to like Leon/Aerith, despite being curious about the pairing, because I'm sorta pining for KH!Rinoa to show up. And then. They were kinda cute, but I remained strong. And then. 016.___ Flying Sometimes Leon wonders if he only loves her because she reminds him of a girl who flew on white wings - but he dismisses the thought easily when Aerith smiles and loops her arms around his waist from behind; she’ll be his wings. and I was done for. Because it didn't ignore what I pine for, instead let me have a moment of that, a mention of that so that it wasn't brushed aside and I could come back to the fun, sweet Leon/Aerith in the fic. And, yeah, okay, I rather liked some of the uses of the themes and the pretty language used. And I just... I love that it doesn't ignore the sexual side of things, without making it all about porn. It's a really good balance, I thought. (Leon/Aerith, implications of occasional Cloud/Aerith and Leon/Rinoa.)

- Kingdom Hearts - If At First You Don't Succeed... by Pengie - [Note: There are spoilers for KHII in this fic.] You know. It's not so much that I'm surprised that I love Pengie's humorfic with Ansem and Xehanort and Mickey and Sora and Riku and the rest. Because that's sort of par for the course. It's that she made me perk up in interest at a batshit pairing THAT I DO NOT WANT TO LIKE. I DON'T. Especially because no one else would write it. But, yes. Humorfic again and it, too, made me laugh like a maniac and roll around in helpless merriment at the poor, poor suffering of the characters. I just. I don't blame Xehanort in this fic, EITHER. And! The ending scenes! asdl;fjasdlfkjasdflj, I want more fic with the Gullwings attacking people and dragging them off for amusement! Especially if it's Cloud. Or Leon! Or--!! (Implied Ansem/Xehanort.)

- Kingdom Hearts - I Against I by Meg - [Note: There may be spoilers for Chain of Memories.] I love Riku. Have I ever mentioned that? And there are parts of this story that make me want to cry for him, for all that he puts on his own shoulders and won't forgive himself for and even hates himself a little for, when I love him so much and Sora (and Kairi) love him, too. But it's just Riku in this fic and you feel that, Riku and Riku, one real and one fake until it doesn't matter, it's just Riku and Riku. Meg's writing for this is lovely, the emotions of it really come through, the fighting mixed with anger and loss and everything that hurts, it's all really well-done. (Riku/Riku...? Maybe some implied Riku/Sora and blink-and-you'll-miss-it Sora/Kairi implied.)

- Kingdom Hearts - The Lion in the Meadow by spiderflower - Maybe she should stop consorting with men desperately in love with dead chicks, she decides. Meg recommended this author and I'd been curious about this fic ever since it promised Leon/KH!Rinoa, so I finally settled down to read it this morning. Fic set from Yuffie's POV needs a deft hand to pull it off, I think, and the author certainly achieves that with spades. Admittedly, I do get distracted by how the author seems to have set KH as a world with the actual FFVII/FFVIII characters, but it's a point generally lost amongst the greater style here because I really sort of adore the author's take on her mile a minute chatter that's actually funny and clever. This is the kind of Yuffie I like, the kind of Yuffie that can be hyper and obnoxious but it's more defense mechanisms than anything and she's smart and real and I adore her. But it's also the way Leon/Squall is still, to this day, devestated by Rinoa's loss, he can barely even say her name and Yuffie knows him so well and they know exactly where all the sore spots are and sometimes they can't help pressing on them.

I actually almost sort of like the Vincent/Yuffie here, certainly I like the way Yuffie talks about him and I was in stitches over the beginning when she talks about how he and Leon should have met and then there's Leon/Yuffie and they're so themselves without forgetting the people they love and still miss while still having this important connection between them. Also? Leon/Yuffie is kinda hot here. This fic totally fed my interest in their dynamic/them as a pairing, while keeping my torch for Leon/Rinoa and alsdkfjasl;dfa awesome fic. Go read. (Leon/Yuffie, Leon/Rinoa implied, Vincent/Yuffie implied.)

- Kingdom Hearts - Silver Lining by Jaelle - [Note: There are some spoilers for KHII in this fic, but of an incredibly vague nature.] I... I... I have this weakness for Leon/Aerith in the KHverse. It's not something I seek out very often because too much of the fic is badly written (much like my weakness for Leon/Yuffie--whyyy is there not more non-cringe-worthy fic for them??), but when an author I like writes them, I'm always happy to bounce over. And this was... this was just fun, the way Tifa was terrorizing the lot of them while she was looking for Cloud, the way of course Leon had to be the one to deal with it, and the absolutely sweet and adorable scene with Aerith afterwards. I loved that the previous scene ended on such an abrupt note because you know exactly what happened and hee hee hee! Such a fun fic! ♥ (Some light Leon/Aerith.)

- Kingdom Hearts - Kiss by Carolyn F. - [Note: There are faint spoilers for KHII, avoid if you really don't want to know anything and have been able to remain unspoiled so far.] I've kind of been wanting Riku/Kairi fic for awhile, ever since I went back to play KHI properly and Riku was a little weirdly obsessive over her. I never really did much about it (me = lazy) but I was poking around for some fic recs tonight and happened to stumble over this piece. It's almost a simple fic, the focus is (as the title would suggest) on kissing as set through Kairi's eyes, how it doesn't seem like such a big deal when some other boy kisses her, but then when Riku kisses her, she gets it. It could have been too over the top, but somehow the author makes it work, makes the kiss feel truly full of emotion, makes the chemistry between the two of them work. The setting she puts them in, one that mirrors the emotions tumbling around inside them without having to point this out, I just got it, was fabulous. I think I loved the fic just as much for the way it was a good kiss as much as I loved it for being good Riku/Kairi fic. (Riku/Kairi.)

- Kingdom Hearts - On Disloyalty And Forgiveness by reversedhymnal - [Note: There will be spoilers for KHII in this fic.] After having read the previous Riku/Kairi fic, clearly I needed more. And this is pretty much exactly what I was looking for out of the fandom with this pairing--set post-KHII where Riku and Kairi need to use Belle and Beast's library, it's this fantastic blend of Riku dealing with the Princesses and what happened in the game and his own guilt and their forgiveness/not forgiveness and everything that's just beautifully in character. Kairi is exactly why I adored her so much, her upbeat nature, her refusal to be left behind, her gentleness and forgiveness when it comes to Riku, the way she knows him so well, but also doesn't intrude too much or drag him down, it was perfect. Both in a gen sense and in a budding shipper sense. Even the tone of the fic was so much like the game itself--I keep expecting to be bored by this, to find it too cutesy or too childish or trying too hard, but something magical happens when I sit down to read it. The background details are wonderfully done, the whole fic has a very... weighted sense, I suppose I would call it, something that isn't just pure fluff while still maintaining the positive nature of the game. It's painful at times, but things find a way to work out. I loved this. I suspect this fic deserves a more coherent rec, but, shut up, I'm a little too fangirly right now. (Riku/Kairi implications, Riku/Sora/Kairi implications if you want to see them.)

- Kingdom Hearts - eventually (it'll be all right) by reversedhymnal - [Note: There are spoilers for KHII in this fic.] This is the other Riku/Kairi (that's part of a Riku/Sora/Kairi ot3 more than just Riku/Kairi) from the author, this one set towards the end of KHII where Kairi sees Riku again for the first time. I continue to be utterly taken by this author's Kairi, she's such a strong and fierce character without making her too perfect or too sweet; instead, she is simply insightful and understanding and loves her friends dearly. The Riku/Kairi side of the triangle is done beautifully here, the right balance between not forgetting Sora and not focusing on him too much, it's about these two, yet not to the exclusion of the rest of the world. The way Kairi just immediately knows it's Riku, the way she understands what he's thinking and refuses to let him go or do anything stupid again, it's perfect and exactly why I wanted to read about this pairing. ♥ (Riku/Kairi implications, Riku/Sora/Kairi implications if you want to see them.)

- Kingdom Hearts - Omission by ladylisse - Normally, I don't read a lot of KH fic because I never know what to make of people's takes on the characters (not to mention a lot of the fic is not the best). I'm still not sure what to think of the implied histories for the characters, but... I'm certainly not one to turn my nose up at a fantastic Squalleon character piece. The way he thinks about the people he's lost, the way he sees these new people in his life, the way he's a chatterbox on the inside, but so taciturn on the outside, the intensity of the emotion in him, the way even through his eyes Aerith is such a lovely presence... it's why I can't quite bring myself to not like the Leon/Aerith pairing. And, for all my crabbing, I really did like the way he thought of Her from his home world, the way it shaped so much of who he is. (Leon/Aerith maybe, maybe not.)

- Kingdom Hearts - Completion by Tammaiya - [Note: There are SPOILERS for the ending of KHII in this fic.] There is something that's completely, utterly adorable about Riku, Sora, and Kairi playing Trivial Pursuit with Roxas still loitering around in the back of Sora's head. It's just. It so clearly should happen! There's a tone somewhere between angsty/sad and happy/bittersweet to the game, but mostly upbeat and full of love, just the way post-KHII fic should be. And Tammaiya is one of the few authors who can get me to like the trio in practice, in actual fic, not just in an intellectual way and the ending of this was just... awww, sweet and perfect. ♥ (Implications of Roxas/Axel and Riku/Sora and/or Riku/Sora/Kairi if you want to see them that way.)

- Kingdom Hearts - Ties That Bind by libekory - I'd almost forgotten what it was like to read good KHfic. And this is another lovely Kairi piece from the author, the way her memories of Sora are slowly being pulled away from her, she's slowly forgetting piece by piece. The way it happens is lovely and so sad, she tries so hard to hold onto the memories and that last, final piece won't leave her, she still knows she's waiting for something, but each piece still slips through her fingers one by one. It's really a pretty read. (Sora/Riku/Kairi implied.)

- Kingdom Hearts - Storm Clouds by libekory - I didn't mean to go through all of the author's fics, except she has a lot that I'm intrigued by and this is Leon/Aerith, one of those pairings I quietly ship because I'm kind of scared of the fandom for them. And this is lovely, rich with beautiful imagery and metaphor, comparing Aerith to nature, bringing to mind the image of a lovely hillside that's perfect for her. And Leon is so... Leon, as are the rest of the people around them as they encourage him on in their own ways. A really pretty look at the two of them and it reminds me of just why I like this pairing so much, even if I would like their respective SOs to finally make it into KH. (Leon/Aerith.)

- Kingdom Hearts - The Only Reason by libekory - Speaking of KH pairings that I can't help shipping, a part of me will always be intrigued by the idea of Riku/Kairi and I really like the way it was done here, the way Sora wasn't forgotten about, how their shared experience of forgetting him (and how painful that was), how his presence is still there between them even when they've remembered him again and he has to be somewhere else, but that's not why they kiss. There's a connection between these two now and it's really, really pretty. (Riku/Kairi, some Sora/Riku/Kairi if you want to see it.)

- Kingdom Hearts - The Understanding by jojobeans_kh01 - Riku/Kairi is one of the few KH pairings that I will seek out and read somewhat regularly (as much as I regularly read any KH fic), so I'll read shorter stories for them. But this fic was nice, it was just a quiet moment in time, the two of them watching the sunset fading into night and simply, quietly being with each other and near each other, and the fic uses the imagery of the scene well, the writing is lovely. The writing is nice and, while I would have liked a little more mention of Sora, there's a sense of connection here and a completeness that's very nice. (Riku/Kairi.)

- Kingdom Hearts - Afterwards by tabitha_dornoc - You are so very used to throwing a bladed key or a slice of magic at the obstacles before you. But Algebra does not respond well to Firaga. After reading the author's previous fic, I had to go seek out some of her other stuff, and this is the first one I stumbled over. It's post-game (though, not really spoilery) and set in their future, during their high school days and one of the things that jumped out at me first was that... so often, I just don't jive with giving the characters normal school lives, something feels off about it, because it was so glossed over in the games. But this fic really worked for me. And aside from that it's a great look at Sora (and Riku and Kairi) returning to normal lives, the way their adventures affected them and the people around them, the way that their friendship (and possibly something more?) is stronger than anything else thrown at them, even the end of high school. A really lovely little fic. (This could be Riku/Sora/Kairi or it could be gen.)

Kingdom Hearts: untitled by thornsmoke - This is an intriguing piece of a larger fic (that I don't think has been written much on yet?), more of a teaser than anything, but it stands alone as a prologue really well and I liked what the author did with it. There's a lovely quality to the writing, something smooth and clean and pretty that fits with KH and FFVIII. I definitely want to know what the author is going to do with this storyline, with this Rinoa (not!Rinoa?) and Leon here. It's one of the mysteries of the KH world that I find most fascinating, what happened to that set of FFVIII characters here. (Implications of Squall/Rinoa, but you could read it as gen, too, I think.)

Kingdom Hearts: Waiting Game by anime_angel_ash - I haven't read Kingdom Hearts fic in ages, I just haven't gone looking for it and not much has popped up on my radar. But I was browsing through the springkink responses and the promise of Riku/Kairi caught my eye. While it's actually more gen than anything, I still enjoyed reading it a lot, I love that side of the trio, especially because it doesn't get much focus and I can easily see how there would be a lot of awkwardness after the games. But I love Kairi's perspective here, how much she cares and tries to be patient, but there's only so long she can wait while Riku's being stupid, I love that the author doesn't try too hard with her, just makes her an empathizable character and makes her so Kairi when she decides she's had enough of Riku avoiding her. It's very cute and the style of the fic fits the KH world really well and I'm glad to have read it. (This fic is gen, but if you enjoy Riku/Kairi interaction, you may enjoy it as well.)

Final Fantasy XII/Kingdom Hearts: Mating Season by joudaman - as;dlfkjasl;kjs so much awesome packed into this fic. The best use of the "like bunnies" comment ever, a continuation of a really great idea for dealing with the tangled mess of Squeenix's crossover series, great writing, a really fantastic take on Fran as a female Viera, a really great Balthier/Fran dynamic, and a;lsdkfjals;kj great voices for everyone. I just. All I can do over this one is keyboard mash, sorry. But it was totally great to read this morning. (Balthier/Fran.)

Kingdom Hearts: here in the night, I see the sun. by allira_dream - I have this fondness for Riku/Kairi and I imagine a lot of it is because Riku's my favorite (he is often my type, after all XD) but part of it is a certain something that I can never quite put into words. This fic captures a lot of that same sense, that connection that could be there, the certain something they understand, partly about Sora and the three of their connections to each other, but partly just them. Whatever it is, this fic is lovely and I adore Riku for being so... Riku without the author taking it too far or making him too emo or Kairi too cheerful. Instead, they're both almost sort of just... quiet and it works really well. Lovely. <3 (Riku/Kairi.)

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