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- Tales of the Abyss - Deliverance by eldrant - [Note: There are SPOILERS for the game's ending in this fic and in this rec.] I admit, I'm torn about who I would like to see survive the end of the game, Luke or Asch, because I came to like both of them. What I like about this story, besides that it chose Asch despite that I would assume most authors would write about Luke being the one to survive, is that it dealt with Asch feeling that everyone else expected, wanted Luke to be the one to return and Natalia's answer to that. It made this cool little fic even more interesting, especially when added to the adorable Asch/Natalia nature of it. They're so cute and sweet together, he's so obviously weak to her even when he's trying to be gruff and uncaring, and Natalia is everything I liked about her in the game here. <3 (Asch/Natalia.)

- Tales of the Abyss - Dedicated by Mouko - Oh, my god, this was fantastic. Jade and Nephry when they were younger and the images presented in the fic were just adorable and perfect and the take on their relationship was excellent. It was just about exactly how I would picture Jade as a child, the balance between how uncomfortable he makes adults and how he thinks/acts and how he treats his sister. Nephry's just an adorable little girl in the fic and I swear I grinned the entire time she was trying to--and failing spectularly at--pelt Jade with a snowball. The entire time. It's one of those perfect little fics about the siblings' childhood, one that beautifully shows how two such different people could get along the way they do, that I now feel better about the ToA fandom. (No warnings/pairings.)

- Tales of the Abyss - Closed Score by Mouko - I liked this fic. It struck a good balance between Dist being the genius that he is and the ridiculous lunatic that he also is, the way the little robot just adored him while he ranted and raved, the way his words revealed more than he intended to or probably even realized, the way the whole thing put a clear image in my head of Dist tinkering away with his fontech machines and being the crazy idiot he is. I also like that it has this nice blend of darkness to it, while still mixed with moments of humor, which is so much of what I liked about the game itself. (This read as gen to me for the most part, but if you want to see implications of Jade/Dist, you can.)

- Tales of the Abyss - Felony by Nakaki BH - I think what made this fic really work for me is the way that, thinking about it for a moment, of course Dist would be devestated and practically in tears after he was thrown into jail in Keterburg. He's always worked up about something, always letting his emotions run wild, and it would be easy to see him in an emotional low, the same way we see him on an emotional high in the game. Though, I'm not sure where it would take place in the timeline of the game, it was a nice little fic to read about Dist and his complicated feelings for Jade. The author did well with the whole "I hate you I hate you I hate you I love you I hate you" tangle of emotions Dist clearly has for Jade. <3 (Jade/Dist.)

- Tales of the Abyss - Obsolete by MiningforDreams - Another story set from Dist's (well, Saphir's) perspective and showing that complicated tangle of emotions he has for Jade, trying so hard to hide them, even in his own head sometimes, even as they were children, yet Jade can still see right through him, see how much he excites Saphir, how much he's caught Saphir's attention. And I also like the way Jade confuses Saphir here, how he can be so focused on Jade and knowing he sees hardly anything past Jade's perfect exterior, but knowing something is going on in that head of his, ever since they found out their teacher was a Seventh Fonist. A nice little fic. (Some Jade/Dist implied.)

- Tales of the Abyss - Anxiety by Mouko - I'm always wary of trying to find ToA fic (or any fic, really) on FFNET, but sometimes I find little delights, like this fic set when the Keterburg people were kids going to school together for the first time and it's just... so cute! I delightedly grinned or had the urge to clap my hands at the adorableness of this fic at least two or three times while reading and I love what the author did with Saphir, his little robot is darling and utterly perfect. The characterizations are very nice and, hell, I didn't even think of the switching POVs in this fic, which normally bugs the crap out of me. Here, the scene the author sets is delightful enough that it just won me over. And I had fun with the way the adults treated Jade and the way Nephry treated Jade. And the way the kids treated each other. It's cute! I want more of it! (No real warnings/pairings.)

- Tales of the Abyss - Warmth by Saica - This is a really short piece, probably shorter than I could justify recommending, but... it's a really sweet, simple, and lovely Asch/Natalia piece. It's a lovely image, a cold, stormy winter night and a warm fireplace and the author doesn't try to oversell it, instead it's just a light, lovely scene. Plus, it includes the two of them being utterly stupid over each other in that cute way they have. ♥ (Asch/Natalia.)

- Tales of the Abyss - Voice by Saica - I'm not sure if this kind of story would have worked for me with another pairing, something so simple as two people sitting together in the grass while one of them sings, but for a game and a couple like Luke/Tear, it was sweet, adorable, and lovely. It's a quiet moment of connection, the kind that could have easily taken place in the game itself, the kind that is just right for these two. Again, it's short, but it didn't need to be any longer, it was just the right length for the idea. (Luke/Tear.)

- Tales of the Abyss - Troubles on Mushroom Road by ladynadiad - [Some spoilers for the Mushroom Road sidequest in the game.] Oh, man, I hated the Mushroom Road sidequest, never have I so badly wanted a map and/or wanted to get the hell out of there, despite that Asch showed up in my party. I hated the monsters, I hated running all over the place, I hated the designed, I hated the music. And yet this fic is so cute and charming, it's just a quiet moment after battling monsters where Asch protects Natalia and he sees that, annoying as their group might be, they do nice things for him. What I really liked is that it felt very much like the game to me, I could easily picture it and the dialogue was easy to imagine in their voices. Plus, Asch and Natalia continue to be hilariously stupid for each other. XD (Asch/Natalia.)

- Tales of the Abyss - untitled by unlock - I probably could have recommended each of these ficlets seperately, but since they were together in one post (especially since they're not related to each other at all, really), it just made it easier for me. (And some of them would have been a little hard to justify.) The writing of each of these is lovely, the prose itself is smooth and clean and very easy to read, but the characterization is the true lovely thing here. The first one, with Guy and little Luke is so perfectly in the spirit of the game that I just fell in love. The second one with little!Tear and Van, pre-game, was just... that is why I find their relationship so fascinating, because there's genuine love there, in Van's own way. The third is a delightful little Jade/Peony piece when they were kids in Keterburg and it was more lovely writing and Jade is wonderfully Jade, but Saphir showing up at the end just totally made it. And the fourth one is Jade/Saphir that's... it's a little more callous than I would have usually gone for, but the writing is beautiful and I think maybe it's spot-on in terms of the game. Saphir's perspective is brilliant and beautiful and everything the author was going for. I loved this series of ficlets. ♥ (Gen, gen, some Jade/Peony and maybe one-sided Jade/Saphir implied, and Jade/Saphir NSFW, in that order.)

- Tales of the Abyss - Somewhere by Luna - [Note: This fic will have spoilers for the ending of the game] What I liked about this fic is that it fit together with the game very well, both in the style of writing/tone of the fic and the characterization of both Tear and Guy. It was easy to hear their voices or picture their expressions/movements or the way the selenia flowers bloomed as Tear sang her song, despite that not much really happened, it was one of those little stories that said a lot about the characters and showed how Tear clearly felt about Luke. It was nice, because you could see how far the characters had come since the beginning of the game, yet still recognize them as themselves. A pretty little fic about Guy and Tear waiting for Luke to return. (Luke/Tear implied.)

- Tales of the Abyss - Pale Shelter by Luna - I was a little unsure about this fic for awhile, because it's the first time I've actually felt sorry for Saphir (whom I like, but also think it's hilarious when he's teased by the others) and thought maybe the others were a little too cruel to him and the one-sided Saphir/Nephry felt odd to me, I didn't see any evidence for it in the game (as well as ignoring the obvious reactions Saphir had with Jade) and I was under the impression that Peony was the one with the continued feelings for Nephry rather than the other way around (and that may just be my own personal impressions, since I'm still in the middle of the Peony Gaiden), but I mention these things because I want to point out that I kept reading the fic anyway and actually really rather enjoyed it. And, if one finds my recs useful, I imagine their tastes run similar to mine, so I wanted to mention that and then point out that I found the cuteness of the Keterburg children to be darling and I could just picture the whole thing and it fit so very well with the game's style. A-also, Saphir's spaghetti totally did sound kinda gross. XD (Some Peony/Nephry, some one-sided Saphir/Nephry.)

- Tales of the Abyss - An Excuse to Get Hurt by fate repeated - The scene in Keterburg when they go to get the fonstone back is one of the most memorable scenes in it, as well as being really kind of terribly easy to imagine ~*~something else~*~ happening between Jade and Dist. (Th-the looks on the other characters' faces didn't help at all.) So it's interesting to read different takes on what might have happened in that room that we never saw and what I like about this fic is that Dist's emotional state is all over the map. One moment he's depressed, the next he's angry, the next he's starting to pine for Jade again, the next he's horribly confused, and then the cycle starts all over again, it felt very true to his character in the game. Jade is confusing and unreadable, which works in a Dist perspective, especially because it's Dist. This isn't exactly a happy fic, but it's not a mean one, either. I'd definitely like to see more of what the author had in store for them, but it stands well on its own, too. (Jade/Dist.)

- Tales of the Abyss - Dare by fate repeated - I always enjoy Keterburg children stories, even when they're short little things that are about Jade and Peony teasing poor Saphir. But it's the kind of teasing (where Peony dares Jade to do something with Saphir) that I can see kids doing and Saphir taking it worse than they truly intended and this was just an interesting little piece that I liked. (Some Jade/Saphir.)

- Tales of the Abyss - Memories by Luna - There's a certain tone to this fic that I thought fit with the game's tone very nicely. From the words Nephry says aloud to the details of the home she's visiting in Keterburg to the way she moves through the rooms and remembers things and moments from her life with Peony. I can see it together with the canon of the game (as well as the Peony Gaiden), it has that certain winter world of Keterburg feel to it that I like so much. The writing is smooth and clean enough to sail along easily and I liked the use of various details woven into the writing. Plus, Peony/Nephry is an adorable pairing. <3 (Peony/Nephry.)

- Tales of the Abyss - Guardian by Griffinkhan - [Note: This fic does not contain outright spoilers, but it would help if you were familiar with events later on in the game.] Oh, oh, this was lovely. I've always wanted more Ion/Anise (though, really, this is pretty gen, just implying potential possibilities at most) from fandom, despite being rather wary of it, but this was perfect. Anise takes care of Ion and, especially if you know what happens later in the game, it's bittersweet because she's a good person underneath everything. The dialogue and tone of the writing fit perfectly with the game, it was so easy to see all of these events, to picture the scene in Yulia City as they all look for a missing Ion, as Anise and Jade converse as they walk along. The characterization of all three of them is delightfully spot-on, the ending is really kinda perfect, and the fic renews my faith in this fandom a little. (Maybe some implications of Ion/Anise, but it's pretty purely gen.)

- Tales of the Abyss - Impression by Griffinkhan - As I've mentioned several times, I have a great weakness for the Keterburg bunch when they were younger and this is a rather delightful take on how Jade could have met Peony for the first time, it was just so... I could so easily see it happening just like this. Right down to Saphir tagging along and getting caught and Jade not particularly caring. All of the characterizations felt spot-on and the tone of the fic felt like it matched the game very well. ♥ (No warnings/pairings.)

- Tales of the Abyss - A List of Hazardous Things by Mikomi's Pen - You know, I'm always sort of wary of reading Jade and Anise fics, mostly because it seems like few people share my views on them or get me to think about them in new ways (not that this is a failing of fandom's, just a different set of takes on them <3), but every once in awhile I'll still find something like this little darling piece. Anise comes to the Colonel for help and they're both people who hide behind pleasant acts and keep their real selves a bit more hidden, yet see through each other very well. There's a certain... not precisely familial bond here, but something that maybe could have been like that in other circumstances, yet is a very good thing that it's not. The author does a lovely job of capturing both characters here and writing a delightful fic. I especially love her Anise, the insights into her character are fabulous. <3 (No warnings/pairings.)

- Tales of the Abyss - Beginnings by VilyaSage - [Note: This fic does not contain outright spoilers per se, it would help if you were familiar with events later on in the game.] Another fic with Anise and Jade and Ion, set pre-game that gets the feeling of the game down rather well. Anise is especially interesting to read about, given what we know of her true agenda in the game and how she feels about that, and the author did a delightful job with her. It's also interesting to see her meet Jade for the first time, how she comes to not particularly mind his persona, and it's one of those fics that I can see totally having happened not long before the game starts. (No warnings/pairings.)

- Tales of the Abyss - The Only Way by VilyaSage - [Note: This fic does contain some spoilers for events that happen later in the game.] This was a really good look at the main cast of characters (plus Ion), just after the second trip to Mt. Zaleho, when everything seems to be falling apart around them and they're all afraid in their own ways. There's a section for each of them, the author gets into these neat insights for all of the characters, tying them together with a single theme of being afraid and wanting to save the world and trying not to let personal concerns tear them apart or trying to learn how to trust other people, all at a moment in time when things seem so bleak. It really gets into that moment during the game and shows these characters in such an interesting light. I found the final section on Ion to be well-done, the impact of what he knows (or will soon know) and what's going to happen to him is bittersweet and perfect. (No warnings/pairings.)

- Tales of the Abyss - Requiem by Griffinkhan - You know, Jade is really an unreadable, creepy sort of person and this fic does a good job of showing why he can be rather unsettling at times. You never know how much is an act, how much is genuine, and how much is deliberately blurring between the two and this fic captures that really well. I also like the use of a battlefield for the fic--it's one of the things the game is really good at, showing that these are rather normal people who hold rather normal (and often absurd) conversations at the oddest times, certainly I felt that way when going through a seemingly endless stream of them. XD (No warnings/pairings.)

- Tales of the Abyss - Two Faces by Cephied Variable - This is a really fascinating look at Jade, both pre- and post-game, five instances of things that he should probably regret but doesn't really. Jade kind of annoyed me at first in the game, but the more I played, the more he became more than just a walking stereotype and instead a complicated person who is not a terrible person, but he's not a nice person, either. This fic does so much to reflect that, especially the things he keeps to himself for whatever reason. The voices are fantastic and the tone matches that of the game very nicely. Really a good take on the character. A-also, Saphir may have broken my heart, that first scene is a killer. ;__;<3 (Some potential Jade/Peony and Jade/Dist.)

- Tales of the Abyss - The Revenge Journal of Dist the Rose by Cephied Variable - [Note: This fic is comprised of several large images, so it is not dial-up-friendly.] You know what's really awesome about this fic? Aside from the fantastic Dist voice. Is that it made me laugh and made me genuinely hurt for Dist in all the right moments. Perhaps, if I were less inclined to be extremely fond of Dist, I would have just been laughing the whole time, but since I'm actually fond of him (even while I delight in laughing at him), certain scenes of this diary-style fic just socked me in the gut. But then I'd turn around and laugh again, but I loved that I could never really quite let go of seeing underneath the spazzy hyper idiot persona he wears on the surface, that I couldn't unsee that there was something genuine there, too. Plus, the fonts used and the little touches in the graphics make this a really awesome fic. (Some potential Jade/Dist.)

- Tales of the Abyss - untitled by Meia - This might be just a short little ficlet, but it captures so much of what I love about the game and these characters in particular. Jade... really hasn't changed all that much from when he was a kid and he's such a little monster here and yet it's in the way that just makes me love him more. I love that they're still such kids, the Keterburg lot of them, telling scary stories in an igloo, and yet... you can tell they're kinda creepily realistic. Plus. as;dlfjasld JADE. Ahahahaha. ♥ (No warnings/pairings.)

- Tales of the Abyss - Embrace by Kitty-Katz-Katz - I really probably shouldn't keep going back to FFNET to try to find Abyss fic, but sometimes I get charming little stories like this one, so I keep trying. And it was a cleanly written, adorable little fic about a flashback to Natalia's and Asch's childhood (back when he was still Luke), such a sweet and adorable moment where you can see why they had such a connection even years later and how they'd always loved each other. It's just a simple little thing, Luke distracts her from her etiquette lessons that she was bored with, getting her to come play outside for a bit, and it's just... I feel all warm and fluffy on the inside, because it was delightful. ♥ (Asch/Natalia.)

- Tales of the Abyss - Music Or The Misery by elicitchaos - [Note: Both the fic and this rec will contain spoilers for the end of the game.] I have a fascination with the idea that it was Asch who came back at the end, most likely because it was Luke who came back, despite being deliberately left open to interpretation, so I tend to read a lot of these. This fic does feel rather like a prologue to a longer story, but it also holds up well enough on its own, written in such a way that it brought to mind the game's visuals nicely. It also helps that there's a potential implication of Asch/Natalia if you want to see it that way and Tear's reactions are sad and emotional, I felt for her. I'd definitely like to see more of this fic. (....nothing I'm going to warn for.)

- Tales of the Abyss - The Exploits of Malkuth's Necromancer by FallenMoonGoddess - I think what makes me like this fic is imagining that Jade is the one who started the tale originally, the gruesome and horrible things that the Necromancer has supposedly done, the evil that surrounds him, and then probably laughing quietly to himself the entire time. It is totally something he would do and just imagining Jade watching as people cower in terror over the rumors about Jade the Necromancer makes me love this fic. (No warnings/pairings.)

- Tales of the Abyss - Possess by inarticulate - Since Tammaiya started playing the game (finally! ♥) I've picked ToA back up again as well, which means that I stumbled over this fic at just the right time because Jade/Dist is one of my hardcore pairings of the game, but it's so difficult to get right. This story is brilliant for how quietly fucked up both of them are, in such different ways, and shows so much of why/how Saphir always kept following Jade and what a complete and total sociopath that Jade is, and the characterization is fantastic, it's just pitch perfect for me. The writing is lovely and Nephry is fantastic in the fic as well, the way she cares about Saphir (and yet finds him annoying, too) and it's just so-- I can see this fitting together with canon so, so easily. It's one of the best fics for the pairing, it really does justice to these two and how they're not precisely a fluffy pairing, and is actually kind of fucked-up, but without being over the top about it. Just. Yes. Possibly the best Jade/Dist fic ever. *__* (Jade/Dist.)

- Tales of the Abyss - Discovery by inarticulate - This one is even creepier than the last and I think it really works for the pairing here, because they're not a happy or fluffy set of characters and especially because fandom rarely does much with how creepy those kids must have been or what Saphir must have been like as a kid. I especially love that Nephry is the only sane one of the bunch (clearly) and she actually cares about all them (even if she's scared sometimes, too, because god knows I would be too with someone that was that much of a genius and that much of a sociopath) and it's just... a really good, beautifully written Jade/Saphir fic that illuminates a lot. (Jade/Dist.)

- Tales of the Abyss - untitled by chibimazoku - ...I laughed so hard at the end of this fic. It's a tiny little thing (like 136 words or so?) but it's totally worth reading because those two are so stupid around each other that you totally know it would go just like that. Seriously, laughing so hard. (Asch/Natalia.)

- Tales of the Abyss - untitled by chibimazoku - ....s-speaking of things that I laughed way too hard at (and I love that people make fun of the ToA characters, I haven't seen nearly enough of that--that's actually funny, mind you, aside from some of the awesome icons floating around--in fandom at all) and this is... this is... well, this is just beautiful. It's... r-rappigs/Guy and th... there are tentacles involved and Guy's reaction and asd;lfaslkj Peony's reaction and just. I laughed so hard. ;__;<3 (Rappigs/Guy... yes.)

Tales of the Abyss: Unwanted by Mouko - I think I disagree with the author on a few things (the level of hatred towards Jade as a child was a bit much and I don't think Saphir was ever on Jade's level of genius), but they're just minor distractions and possibly entirely just a difference of opinion. Despite that, I never wandered away from the fic and read the whole thing in one sitting, because I liked what the author did with this take on Jade--the lack of emotion and instead focusing on logic, even while he's still so inexperienced in dealing with other people's reactions. (At least compared to how he is in the game itself.) He's very calculating, yet there's no malice there, it's a bit of a difficult balance to strike and I thought the author did it well. Plus, I love stories set in Keterburg when they were kids and little Saphir is really kind of obnoxious in the perfect way. XDD (Maybe some Jade/Dist, maybe one-sided, maybe totally gen?)

Tales of the Abyss: Mechanics by belserius - Birthday fic! \o/ And it's Dist, who has this weird, crazy relationship with Jade that's sort of one-sided (and maybe sort of not, but still maybe sort of) and what I love about this piece is how... off Dist is. You still see what a genius he is (and what a froofy one at that--the name of his latest creation kind of kills me) and yet how much he just does not get, despite all those brains he has. I loved this a lot, it's such an interesting look at Saphir and how pretty much all of his motivations from the entire game are tied up in Jade Jade Jade. I loved it. *___* (Sort of Jade/Dist.)

Tales of the Abyss: A Metaphor by Laylah - I don't poke around the Abyss fandom that much because it never really seemed to develop much of a good crop of writers or else there wasn't much gen or the particular pairings I was most interested in. But! Genfic! Set pre-game and focusing on Guy's feelings towards the fon Fabre family and beautiful writing and a really, really wonderful scene with Pere that's so easy to see as part of what put Guy in the right emotional place he needed to be during the game. There's still so much anger there, but it's slowly fading bit by bit, especially with Luke genuinely depending on him. It's a really well-written and genuinely moving scene and I'm glad fandom has it now. >3 (No warnings/pairings.)

Tales of the Abyss: Vision Burns by Laylah - This was a gorgeous Asch/Natalia piece, wow. There have been a handful of really cute pieces for the two of them, but none that have been as... well, it does sort of almost burn you with how intensely Asch looks at Natalia and how she can't quite let go of him, either. I love the dynamic between the two of them, I love her gentle strength, I love Asch's stubborn determination and all of his idiotic issues that he's got himself all wrapped up in and how hot these two can be together. It's a gorgeously written fic about one of my favorite Abyss pairings and it's honestly one of the best in the fandom I think. It's one of those that I love with everything I have so of course I have trouble talking about it. *__* (Asch/Natalia.)

Tales of the Abyss: Colour Wheel by Aegen - This was an interesting piece from Dist's point of view, while he's sitting in jail for awhile, his thoughts almost like a fever dream. I'm not sure I got the same impression as the author, that he was that much of an outsider with the group when he was younger, but I like that it's clearly from Saphir's memories, so it's not like they could be trusted. XD And I liked the use of color in this fic, the way it's a touch surreal and dramatic, like Dist so clearly is, I can see him thinking along these lines when he's being reflective or just. Well. Dramatic. It was an interesting read. <3 (Implied Jade/Dist.)

Tales of the Abyss: Just This by Cephy - Oh, why, hello there. *__* With the anime airing, I've been itching all over again for ToA-related stuff, especially for this particular favored pairing of mine. I'll be honest, I didn't expect to find much. But this short fic was really kind of breathtaking for being just what I wanted--Asch's issues, his crazy plans, the way he can't stay away from Natalia, the way she doesn't just let him slip through her fingers if she can help it, all in addition to smut. It's light, I wouldn't rate it much more than an R or so, but it's wrapped up in Asch's reactions to her, you can feel how much he wants this, how much he wants her, how much he cares and needs her and it's just. as;dlfkjas;lkj yes plz. (Asch/Natalia, R-rating.)

Tales of the Abyss: eating keterburg ice cream by surestsmile - Oh. There are not a lot of fics I would be willing to read from Guy's POV pre-series, because it would be such a tremendously tricky thing. But this short little fic, such a simple concept, eating ice cream with young Natalia and young Luke, is kind of breathtaking for it. So much anger and bitterness, yet with the charming smile over it that doesn't let any of that to the surface, yet still... Guy, who is still a good person. It's both an adorable fic and a heart-breaking fic, the mood of the piece just what the author was going for. (No warnings/pairings.)

Tales of the Abyss: Baby Steps by surestsmile - [ part 01 + part 02 ] - [Note: Both the fic and this rec will contain major spoilers for the ending of the game, please skip if you're still playing and don't want to be spoiled.] Okay, technically, I haven't finished the game, I think I'm still at about 4/5ths of the way through or so. But I know the ending and the anime has been seriously making me crave more from this fandom and I've been meaning to sit down with this fic for ages and tonight was the perfect time. Because I adore the ToA fandom, but it doesn't have a lot of epic fic that's appealed to me personally. This fic, however? This fic is about Asch and how he was the one who came back at the end of the game instead of Luke. And I really rather desperately loved the idea, but I was sort of wary of how it would play out, despite that I liked all of the author's other fic that I'd read.

I shouldn't have worried because this fic was fabulous. The characterization is spot on, the issues raised here, the way the characters react to each other, Asch's interactions with each of them, the memory of Luke, all of that was woven together beautifully. As each person realized who had actually come back, it was wonderfully done, from Tear's quiet sadness to Anise's determination to Natalia's surprise and yet happiness in some ways to Guy, which was a rather breathtaking scene. The fic also dealt beautifully with Asch coming to terms with living his life again, his life, the one that had been taken away from him, because he is Luke fon Fabre, which is something that I've been craving as well.

Which is a lot of what this fic did for me--yes, the characterization and the plotting were all dealt with really well and I appreciated the fic on that level. But. But but but. Asch. Asch being the one to come back. Re-integrating into the life that was taken from him. It's what I wanted so, so much and it was done well and I feel like-- like I'm satsified with the ToA fandom again. Plus, you know. Natalia being the one to keep Asch from just leaving again, how it's obvious that he still loves her, yet that not needing to be the focus of the fic, all of that was delicious as well. (Some Asch/Natalia, but it's about on the level of canon.)

Tales of the Abyss: Arietta's Sorrow by Nietono-no-Shana - Since I'm in a ToA mood, I decided to wander over to FFNET to see if anything would catch my eye and I've always had a soft spot for this pairing. I'm not sure I completely agree on Sync's characterization (but I'm not sure I disagree, either), but I thought Arietta's reactions were solid and if they were to ever happen, it'd probably go a lot like this. It's a pairing full of complicated issues and difficult timing, but the author did a good job of weaving it together with the game and it was cute, so I was happy with it. <3 (Sync/Arietta.)

Tales of the Abyss: Inscincere by Griffinkhan - I'm really interested in the Jade - Anise friendship, but I don't seek it out in fandom much, because it seems like a difficult dynamic to capture. But I wanted to give this fic a shot and I'm glad I did, because it strides all these lines very carefully, it's all about what Jade can immediately see in Anise and yet so many things are unsaid and it's a really interesting look into Anise's character. Plus, it makes mention of who built Tokunaga for Anise and Jade's (brief, unreadable) reaction to that! XD (No warnings/pairings.)

Tales of the Abyss: Just Today by VilyaSage - You know who I still love a whole lot? Peony. Peony and his rappings and his god-awful (read: awesome) sense of humor. One of the best things about this fic was Guy trying to deal with being the one to walk the rappigs or Jade's every single second of the fic (especially when in the same room with Peony, because that friendship is hilarious, too) were so easy to picture in my head and I spent the whole time grinning in amusement. A really wonderful fic to have for today. <3 (No warnings/pairings.)

Tales of the Abyss: So much for my Happy Ending by laryna6 - I do feel like the author's characterization of Asch differs a little from my own, there was a little more tell versus show here than I would have liked, but... at the same time, I also looked at it like Asch and Luke being two sides of the same coin, the game made a point to show how similar they were, despite how they both would have denied that. And Asch did feel a lot like he was trying to replace Luke here, the way he would have been, even if it wasn't entirely a conscious thing. And what I really loved about this fic--aside from the idea of Asch being the one to live instead of Luke, which I am developing a growing attachment to--is the idea that life is fair and that's what makes it so unfair. I really loved the way the author played around with the balance between these two, what each stole from the other, and how Asch sees that versus how the others around him see it. I especially loved his conversations with both Natalia and Tear, because they acted just like you'd expect. Natalia wasn't having any of this bullshit (a;sdlkfjaslkj I love her so much) and Tear was a little more thoughtful and gentle, but still getting through to him, too. The way they obviously both cared and both scenes were lovely, they totally made this fic worth reading for me. The fic reminded me a lot of why I love all of these characters so much and why the game was so good at making everything hurt. (Some Asch/Natalia and Luke/Tear, but neither are entirely the point.)

Tales of the Abyss: cute by ghostbee - The style of this fic is a little bit over the top, there's a lot of thesaurus-using here it feels like, but... I think what made this fic work for me is that it feels deliberate to me. Because it's a story about Tear finding things cute, how she just can't help how adorable she finds certain things, how it sort of takes over her sometimes (because she is still a teenage girl, no matter how hard she tries to be a soldier, too), that the style worked for me. Plus, Tear/Natalia fic! That focuses on how cute they both are! I really sort of adored the way Tear looked at Natalia, all daintiness and ruffles and pretty little princess with golden hair and vivid green eyes. I-- I may be weak to Natalia fangirling, so any fic where a character is over the moon for her, I'm going to be right there along with them. And, I think, if Tear/Natalia were ever going to happen, it would go just like this. This was an adorable little fic that I'm delighted to have read. ♥ (Tear/Natalia.)

Tales of the Abyss: Inconsistency by Egg - I think what I said about a previous fic's characterization of Asch holds true for me here as well--I'm not sure it meshes completely with my own personal take, that it's more about the tell instead of the show, but I can buy it because it's set post-game (ignoring pesky things like the ending, which I am all for) and the game made a point of Luke and Asch being similar, even when they didn't want to be. So, Asch's bursts of temper worked for me here, especially in combination with Natalia's bossy take-no-bullshit attitude (asd;lfkjaslkj god I love her) and how they obviously were completely stupid over each other. The light-hearted teasing banter, the playful mood during sex--which, I admit, was what got me to click on this fic, because they seriously needed to get laid, I am all in agreement that Asch might be a whole lot less pissed off if he got laid more often--was delightful and just exactly what I wanted from them. I... I admit, I'm a total nerd for my OTP, shut up. (Asch/Natalia, somewhere between R and NC-17.)

Tales of the Abyss: When in Daath by seta_suzume - This was a cute little post-game fic and it took one of my favorite bits of background canon (Dist and Anise's sort-of-friendship) and played with it a little. I adore Anise still being a little she-devil underneath the cute little girl surface and of course she just runs right over Dist (who doesn't? XD) and a;ljksdflkjas I love the idea this taking place post game! (No warnings/pairings.)

Tales of the Abyss: untitled by Tammaiya - There's more than one ToA ficlet here, but I'm bundling them together because it's part of the same meme/universe that's being built here. Siobhan has a weakness to high school AUs and Tales of the Abyss is one of those series that fits really well with it, it's really just sort of begging for someone to plot it out and write snippets of it like this. I love that dropping Jade and Saphir right into a high school setting changes nothing about them, I love the dynamics of their relationship and that Jade is still a dick. o/ I love the Asch - Guy - Luke tension in the second one, it's kind of endlessly amusing. XD (Sort of implied Jade/Dist and Guy/Luke, I'd say? On the level of the game, though.)

Tales of the Abyss: Refusal to Cooperate by cypher - As long as I was browsing through various IJ/DW fic and wanting gamefic this morning, I had to stop and read this Asch/Natalia one. And, for a fic that's about captivity/interrogation play with the two of them, it's actually one of the sweeter things I've read and I love how adorable the both of them are in this fic. I love that, even while they're playing at something darker, their natural care for each other and the adorable play/banter between them still shines through. Just. Awww, I love them so much. (Asch/Natalia, probably a little NSFW.)

Tales of the Abyss: Journey's End 1 - [Note: This post is locked, but the comm is freely joinable.] Oh, man, how much do I love ELEPHAN's work? SO MUCH. Usually, she's more about Asch/Natalia (who are briefly in this, both characters and them being stupid about each other), but this time it's a Jade book and it's just as gorgeous as ever. Jade is one of those really interesting characters and this doujinshi feels like it captures the feel of the game and the character really well--not just in the beautiful visuals, but in the tone of the story and Jade's reactions to everything. The conversation he has with an angry Asch was pitch-perfect, he doesn't deny that he created fomicry but calmly points out that killing him will achieve nothing good. And then there's this sort of melancholy air to everything else and it's just... MAN, do I want the second half of this one! (No warnings/pairings.)

Tales of the Abyss: delusions of grandeur by ajora - I'm always wary when I try to read Jade/Dist fic because so rarely does it go right, but this... the first half, made up of Dist's revenge journal is just... I was pretty much crying the whole time because it was so completely like him to write such purple-prosed monstrosities, to be so arrogant and so transparent about his feelings for Jade. The second half was delightful as well, with Nephry trying to temper the situation while Jade's just an evil dick about it, even while being outwardly nice. More fic should be like that. (Jade/Dist.)

Tales of the Abyss: The first day by Tammaiya - For my birthday, Siobhan did a series of quick fics, and naturally I took the chance for some Peony/Nephry because we're both big Abyss fans and I crave more of them. And this was perfect! Set post-game, after there's no more Score, and the first half is this lovely, almost breathless thing as they finally can reach out to each other--and then, well. Because the world loves me, they are suddenly not the only one in the room. Which satisfied my desire for lolz (at Peony's expense, naturally) but also how much I love how stupid Peony and Nephry were for each other. It was just. Everything I could ask for. ♥ (Peony/Nephry.)

Tales of the Abyss: Who needs enemies? by Tammaiya - Well, I could hardly let a birthday request go by without asking for Jade/Saphir and Peony/Saphir. Because one of our running jokes is that a) Peony/Saphir would be really hot and b) Jade would be so annoyed. And this fic was perfect, I love the Keterburg boys so very much and Peony is such a cheerful dick and Saphir is... oh, I love him so much. Especially when Jade and Peony are making his life difficult. Also, the ending of the first scene. Lolling forever. (Peony/Saphir, Jade/Saphir.)

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