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- Saiunkoku Monogatari - Surviving The Mourning Process by Tammaiya - It's probably too soon for me to read Saiunkoku fic, seeing as I'm only eight episodes in. But this one looked like it had relatively few spoilers and it was one of Tammaiya's Christmas fics and I was curious. And I'm quite glad that I read because, eeeeeee, so much fun! The Kouyuu perspective was great, the author captures his whole hissing wet cat attitude so, so well without being over the top about it, she captures Shuuei's gentle, amused, slightly evil teasing so very well. Even Ryuuki's antics are perfect--the beginning scene where he's missing Shuurei and then Seiran is asd;flkjasl;djasl;d HAHAHAHA GREAT. But mostly it's Kouyuu being put-upon and the only sane member (or so he thinks, I imagine) in a group of lunatics with no common sense. And I love, love the way the Shuuei/Kouyuu is written, the way it's quietly there without having to change a thing about their dynamic, the kind that slips right in between the frames of canon. Fabulous, fabulous, fabulous. (Shuuei/Kouyuu, implications of Ryuuki-->Shuurei and possible Ryuuki-->Seiran.)


- Saiunkoku Monogatari - In case of doubt, it is best to err on the side of mercy by Truth - So, naturally, now that I've watched up through episode 19 of Saiunkoku, I've been craving fic. Fic of the Reishin/Kouyuu variety because, arrrrghhh, Tammaiya is an evil, evil soul-destroying demon, making me take notice of Reishin and Kouyuu's issues with him. Honestly, I didn't think there'd be fic for this pairing in fandom, so I was pleasantly surprised to stumble over this one. And it's just. It hits all the kinks I have with these characters so hard, Kouyuu's family and his loyalty to Reishin and Reishin's inability to tell Kouyuu how much he really does care about him and how badly Kouyuu wants something more from Reishin even as he's resigned himself and then a smoking-hot ending that really needs to be developed more, yes. The fic made my fangirl heart just ache for Kouyuu and want to give him lots and lots of hugs. ....I may have a thing for Kouyuu, hm. (Reishin/Kouyuu.)


- Saiunkoku Monogatari - Poor unfortunate soul by Lyan - More Reishin and Kouyuu fic, eeee! And this was really just cute and delightful because Reishin is evil and makes Kouyuu go camping and then spins the poor kid around so badly that he'll never regain his dignity. Which is how it should always be with these two. Also, the ending is great, both in terms of the potential-maybe-kinda-sorta Reishin/Kouyuu and for the Shuuei mention. Because no humiliation of Kouyuu's is complete without Shuuei there to enjoy it. *giggles* (No real pairings, but if I squint I can see Reishin/Kouyuu implications.)


- Saiunkoku Monogatari - Wills and Wishes by Katharos - You know, this isn't something I would have thought of for Kouyuu's past, I just assumed that he didn't have any idea who his family was, so this was an interesting take on his character and potential past. Plus, there was more interaction with Reishin (with hints of Shuuei bugging Kouyuu just for fun as well, which no Kouyuu fic is entirely complete without ^_~) and I love that he's so... well, Reishin here. You're not really sure what's going through his mind as he watches Kouyuu or at least Kouyuu's not sure and it's this huge moment for Kouyuu and you wanna give him a hug so badly and then Reishin is Reishin and he's kind of a cold jerk except not really and *FLAIL* I can't write a proper rec because I'm way too fangirly over the fic. *loves* (No warnings/pairings, but if I ever have a Reishin/Kouyuu section, this'll go there. Despite that it's ENTIRELY GEN.)


- Saiunkoku Monogatari - Introductions by Cairnsy - While I realize that the Kou family plays a large part in the Saiunkoku series, I suspect I've become fixated on them to a bit of an unhealthy degree. Fic like this really isn't helping, either, because it's such a great piece for showing the time just after Reishin adopted Kouyuu, where Kurou first meets the kid, and there's this great sense of... they're all still batshit and sneaky, but they're a family and I love that. I love the characterization of all of them, but it's really great to see the POV from Kurou's perspective, there's a straightforward quality that you wouldn't get with Reishin or Shouka, yet it does such a fabulous job of keeping the sense of humor from the series and in giving little insights into their characters. Plus. Omg omg omg kidlet!Kouyuu and Reishin being almost nice to him for two seconds and the sarcastic lines from Reishin to Kurou and Shouka being the gentle older brother and just everything was fabulous and squee-worthy. (No warnings/pairings.)


- Saiunkoku Monogatari - Fluff Pile by Katharos - If I'd read the summary of this fic before diving in, I'm not sure how I would have reacted to it. However, cracked out Saiunkoku Monogatari where the characters are half-animals? So totally should not be this cute or work this well, but Katharos is awesome at keeping the spirit of the series (this would have worked about as well without the added crack, yet I totally don't mind because it was so freaking cute omg) while still making this particular half-animal world enjoyable. Little Ryuuki and his ears and tail and then Kouyuu with the wings and the hints of Shuurei and asdf;lkjasdflkjasfdlk PILE OF FLUFF INDEED. Because that's totally what I am now. (No real warnings/pairings.)


- Saiunkoku Monogatari - Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it by Rilina - *giggles* Okay, this was great, the sense of timing and humor were brilliantly done and it's just... one of those short pieces that doesn't need to be any longer than it was because it encompassed the entire point nicely. It's fabulous characterization even in such a short piece as well and just... asdl;fkjadslfjasldf, oh, god, the Ran family. So. Great. (No warnings/pairings.)


- Saiunkoku Monogatari - Five things Kouyuu is secretly embarrassed about by Cairnsy - You can tell that Cairnsy has a very strong grip on the Saiunkoku world and the characters because of the way she weaves in what seems like dozens of little details about the characters, the way there are all these insights (especially with Kouyuu, who is pretty much solidified in his position as my favorite character now ♥) and fabulous little observations that just... it's almost like they seem so obvious, but I suspect that's the author's skill with weaving them into the narrative. I love, love her Kouyuu here, the way there are five things he's secretly embarassed about, each one of them hitting the right notes and showing pieces of his character. I suspect the fourth one with Reishin is probably my favorite because I'm a sucker for their complicated relationship and that's just... oh, man, everything that's not said there is brilliant, but I also adore the fifth one because I suspect Kouyuu's potential feelings for Shuuei would go just like that. ♥ (Some Shuuei/Kouyuu, but it's not entirely the point.)


- Saiunkoku Monogatari - Minotaur's String by vuirneen - This fic took an interesting take on the scene where Reishin adopted Kouyuu, showing what was running around Kouyuu's head just before and during that scene. What I liked about it was that it was just... so adorably cute, bringing to mind the little kidlet version of Kouyuu so well. I could just picture his little scowling, too-serious face during the entire scene and, holy crap, I want a little Kouyuu of my own to snuggle with for, like, an hour before I give him back. XD (No warnings/pairings.)


- Saiunkoku Monogatari - Through Others Eyes by Cairnsy - [ part 01 - part 02 - part 03 - part 04 ] - This is a terribly interesting concept that Cairnsy has here, to show a character through the way others see him, which works really well with a surprisingly complicated character like Kouyuu. It's not that there are a lot of twists and turns with him, he's very straightforward, it's more that... there are so many things that make up his personality and attitude that it takes a fic like this to really start to explore them. So far, it's only half finished, but it each chapter stands well on its own, each can probably even be read on its own if you really wanted to. And the same things I've said about Cairnsy's Saiunkoku fic is true here as well--you can tell how much she's fallen for the series by seeing how many little details and little mini ideas are worked into the writing, how she deals with so many different aspects of the series, not just one or two particular relationships.

For example, my favorite chapter is probably the third one, where Reishin drops Kouyuu off at the archives to be babysat by Shouka and it's just... oh, little kidlet Kouyuu is so damn cute, but it's more than that. In an instant, Shouka can see how the little kid could capture hearts without even realizing it, sees how much Reishin already cares about the kid, but I can believe that Kouyuu would fail to pick up on it, because Reishin keeps that ability to hide his true feelings from everyone--except Shouka. And, as if that weren't enough to pack into the chapter, it's got Kouyuu and Ryuuki being adorable little kids together and reading books and, god, I'm going to start keyboard mashing any second now. Ahem. Lovely fic. A great focus on Kouyuu's character and those around him, which is just... pretty much what I constantly want out of fandom. ♥ (No real warnings/pairings.)


- Saiunkoku Monogatari - A Quiet Lunch by trixie - You know, for once, I was actually more interested in the dialogue than the porn, which is totally not how I usually roll. ^_~ But trixie did a fabulous job of showing just how Ryuuki wears the act of idiot Emperor but if you look carefully, you can still see how smart he is underneat that. His bantering back and forth with Reishin here is fabulous, each line sent me into stitches and made me want to hug Ryuuki because he was just so clever and getting the upper hand in a way that I could totally believe. And I love love love his continued interest in what Houju looks like under the mask and, hell, even the smut was very nicely done! I didn't think it'd be my pairing, but it worked well in this story, I think. Which is sort of impressive, especially considering my biases. <3 (Reishin/Houju/Ryuuki, NC-17.)


- Saiunkoku Monogatari - untitled by penguin_sensei - I think what I like about this fic is that it hits points very close to where I am with the Saiunkoku series. What I mean is that it's from Shuuei's point of view during episode fifteen, just after Kouyuu gets drunk, and it's about how he's trying to be Kouyuu's friend, but there's the quiet underthread about how it's not enough because Kouyuu has all these issues with Reishin. I adore both dynamics, but they often clash against each other, because there's this place in Kouyuu that only Reishin can reach, yet I don't want to forget about Shuuei... so this fic is great for putting that dilemma into an insightful light. It's a great little coda to that episode, a little scene that slips in between the frames of canon, shows motivation for Shuuei going to Shouka at the end. I loved it for that. <3 (No real warnings/pairings.)


- Saiunkoku Monogatari - Difficult by Cairnsy - There is precious little actually doing anything in relationships with Saiunkoku fic it seems. So to find the somewhat rare fic that actually has Kouyuu and Shuuei in a relationship and having sex? Very nice. (Not that I'd want it all the time, but it's nice to have one now. <3) And what I really like about this fic is that it's as much about showing who these characters are in their relationship as it is about the physical actions of pulling clothes off and touching each other. And Kouyuu is so adorable when he's cranky/slightly-less-cranky and Shuuei is just... I mean, I can totally see why he'd be gone on Kouyuu, who can blame him for that? XD A very nice fic. (Shuuei/Kouyuu, I'd rate it more of an R, but the author says NC-17.)


- Saiunkoku Monogatari - Pollen for Dreams by Branch - I was always sort of wary of the idea of Seiran/Ryuuki fic because I liked the potential of the pairing, I liked all the unsaid and lingering feelings that they couldn't deal with, but I didn't know if it would translate into being able to read fic for it. So, that Branch's fic was the first I read for them was probably a good thing because she walks that line so very well, the things that hang in the air between them, that they both know, that neither could ignore, but can't do anything about, either. You could almost read this as entirely gen, which is another thing that I love about it and the way it fits with the characters. The use of flowers and the way they lightly touch each other, Seiran's hands on Ryuuki's shoulders, Ryuuki's head against Seiran's knee, little things like that just made me goo over this fic. (This could be gen or it could be implied Seiran/Ryuuki.)


- Saiunkoku Monogatari - The Age of Silver: The Road Not Taken by Branch - Omg! Divergent Timeline fic where Seien doesn't stay as Seiran, instead decides to go back to the palace! While I realize that the show is about showing why Ryuuki is such a good emperor, why he should be emperor, part of me still pined for the idea of Seien returning and taking what should have been his role. BUT NOW THERE'S FIC FOR IT. And I like the way Seien watches over the Kou family, sees their happiness and thinks of Ryuuki and why he can't just let things stay as they are. I buy this reason for his return, I really like the way it shows how much steel is underneath his anger and sorrow. And I also adore little!Shuurei here so very, very much. (No warnings/pairings.)


- Saiunkoku Monogatari - Histories (part 01) by Cairnsy - I've said this a bunch of times already, but it's still just as intensely true while reading this fic: I love the canon of Ryuuki becoming the Emperor that Saiunkoku needs. I do. But I still have this incredibly strong craving for Emperor Seien and the what if's that might have been able to come about. The way Cairnsy writes this is such a fascinating look at the way Seien's exile (and Seiran's being taken in by the Kou family) changed things and how those changes don't happen when he stays. It's already starting in the first chapter, the way the palace politics are different, the way the Kou family is different, the way the world seems much harsher and yet still just as fascinating. The little details woven into this, the way the idea is so solid here, the way the author has clearly thought about how things would be different, it makes this a really fascinating, great read. Also, I may have flailed over the Seien and Ryuuki interaction, just a little. I want mooooooore now. ♥ (No real warnings/pairings.)


- Saiunkoku Monogatari - Practical by Cairnsy - The more I think about SaiMono, the more I think about the characters, the more I think about the potential storylines that could come along, the more I find myself kind of desperately wanting Kouyuu/Shuurei in fandom. So when Cairnsy wrote smutfic for it, I was really happy to see it and it was almost everything I could have asked for from these two. The only thing I'm fussy about is the ending, despite that it's one I could absolutely see the characters going for. And, really, that's totally personal preference. This fic was really lovely because Cairnsy gets the characters, she finds the things that they have in common, the things that they don't, the ways they would connect with each other, the way each of them would react to the other. Even the sex was lovely, from the physical descriptions to the way they connected during it. Very nice. <3 (Kouyuu/Shuurei, a light NC-17.)


- Saiunkoku Monogatari - Departure by nizlaili - So. Cairnsy linked this fic and mentioned that it was about Reishin, Kouyuu, and an assassination attempt. I tend to talk a lot about that type of fic that I never knew how much I wanted until I'd finished reading it, which this fic is yet another example of. It's that sort of heart-wrenching angst and hurt that comes from the misunderstanding between Kouyuu and Reishin, that relationship that quickly charmed me and became my favorite of the series, but not done so harshly that I didn't feel the resolution of it, that I didn't feel cheated out of the story. It was immensely satisfying, it was emotionally engaging (making my fangirl heart ache because, as I've mentioned, I adore this dynamic so much), it was nicely paced/plotted so that it felt like SaiMono, I had little trouble picturing the scenario in my mind. It was just... really solid and enjoyable and everything I hoped for out of such a storyline. (No real warnings/pairings.)


- Saiunkoku Monogatari/Viewfinder - untitled? by Tammaiya - I swear, if she weren't one of my favorite people already... mobster!SaiMono would certainly have put her on that list. Just. OMG. I wouldn't trust a lot of authors with this concept, but here it's just... just... just... I flail a lot, okay? I love what she's done with each of the characters, the way they've been adapted to this universe, the way Ryuuki is head of their gang but still so Ryuuki, the way Seiran is beautifully himself no matter where he is, the way I want to give Shuurei a whole lot of hugs. Even the way it crosses over with Viewfinder and alds;fjalsd;j holy crap Feilong with the SaiMono characters and the scene he has with Seiran is just awesome. And! The Seiran/Ryuuki! Just. Eeeeeeee. I definitely want more of this one. ♥_♥ ....after she's finished with the Reishin/Kouyuu thing that is. +_+ (Some Seiran/Ryuuki.)


- Saiunkoku Monogatari - Bloom by Cairnsy - I would have been happy to read Reishin/Kouyuu fic at all. That this piece has some of the most beautiful imagery from a fic that I've read in ages? That the characterization of their relationship took my breath away and made my fangirl heart ache? Just that much more amazing. It was. It was a story filled with these lovely images of patterned silk clothing and small blossoms stubbornly clinging to life in winter, beautifully set against Reishin being Reishin when he tells Kouyuu to wear a certain outfit. The sense of quiet intimacy between the two of them at the right moment, the way Kouyuu is just so Kouyuu in his reactions, even the ending (the utterly, utterly perfect ending), the way so much is said underneath the lack of words between them... it really did sort of take my breath away to read this. Gorgeous, gorgeous fic with gorgeous, gorgeous flowers omg. (Reishin/Kouyuu.)

















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