- Weiss Kreuz - "The Color of Joy" by Sionnachdhubh - I continue to worship this fic's brilliance. The writing. The characterization. The little details that weave a whole... /tapestry/, really. The sheer amount of research that must have gone into this. The feeling of /legend/ that permeates the whole thing. The fic has made me interested in Farfello for crying out loud! /Farfie/. I'm not /that/ far into the fic yet, but already I can tell it's going to be one kick-ass, epic ride.
One of the things that impresses me so much is that characterization and plot are balanced so damn well here. The plot is complex, so it has to be done carefully and slowly, but also needs to be kept from dragging. The characterization is what makes you /care/ about the characters, but it can't overshadow the plot, either. And that balance is achieved beautifully. And, dude, I can't believe how much I enjoyed the /Farfie/ scenes. Normally, I don't look forward to scenes with him much.
February 13th, 2002: I finally finished reading through chapter eight of this fic, and I cannot /wait/ for more. This is easily my favorite post-series Schwarz fic (since my other favorite Schwarz-fics are Sidara's, which aren't actually /post/-series, for the vast majority of them.), and definitely one of my favorite Schwarz-fics overall. While I'm normally not as interested in Farfello and Nagi, it's /really/ nice to see them have their own roles in this fic. And not just as supporting characters, their stories--while woven into the larger storyarc in a brilliant way--are their /own/. And the BradxSchuldich sex was /good/. Mmm.
Weiss Kreuz - Sunde / Zeit / Versagen - by Sidara - If you're a WK fan and you haven't heard of Sidara's work by now, shame on you. Really.
Hmm, where to start? There's a lot I like about Sidara's writing, one of the main things being the rich backstories she comes up with for the Schwarz characters. They /fit/ so well with the characters we see on screen, showing how these people could come to be killers who very nearly revel in the deaths of others, but still making them human and sympathetic in their own ways. Even with all the nasty shit they do, you want them to be happy.
I read Zeit first (out of order, I know, but I was jonesing for Aya/Ken fic....), and I hated Schuldich for what he did. Or at least came close. And this is /during/ my Schwarz fascination period. Then I read Sunde.... And now I don't know /how/ to feel. (And keep in mind that I /love/ Ken. I'll break off anyone's arm and beat them over the head with it if they try to hurt him.)
The Transcendence Arc (which all these stories are a part of) is very dark in nature, but it suits the tale being told and the characters here. The writing is excellent, the dialogue wonderful, and overall, it's very enganging. (I've hardly read anything else while going through these stories.)
I don't find the idea that fanon characterizations of Schuldich were based off Sunde to be at all surprising. It's just that believable and that good.
See? Not insightful at all. Still working on the short and mildly amusing.
- "Uncle Yohji's Book of Love" by durendal and the Beef Chick - No matter how many times I read this I still cackle madly. Not a lot of authors can convey a sense of perfect comedic timing through writing, but this fic does--one of the funniest things I've ever read. (AyaxKen, YohjixOmi, OmixNagi, CrawfordxSchuldich, Yohjixeveryone)
- WK & Gravitation - Eidolon Tree's Writings - I don't particularily care for the style Eidolon Tree uses in his/her writing, but I did get enjoyment out of going through the whole archive. S/he writes some of my favorite pairings and has some really good insights into the characters that made it worth reading. (I especially liked the one story where Yuki cut out the bad review from a magazine, since it was his favorite. I could totally see him doing that.) Also, Yuki and Crawford were their usual unfliching bastard selves, but with a slightly softer believable side to them. Well, Yuki anyway. ^_^;; (YukixShuuichi, CrawfordxSchuldich.)
- WK - Schwarz Journals by Ray-chan - I read this story early on in my CrawfordxSchuldich obsession, and it's still one of my favorites because it's just so freaking funny! Hysterical, really. Farfie's entry in the first part had me on the floor, but the whole thing is really, really funny. (Crawford/Schuldich, Nagi/Farfello.)
- Weiss Kreuz - Poison by White Kiss - Oooh, this is the kind of CrawfordxSchuldich that I love so much. They're dark, they're nasty, they're psychotic killers, but they're almost nice to each other. Almost. Sort of.
Few things are more erotic than having the man you want more than anything in the world kiss you, devour you in a small, enclosed room, while the air around you is thick and heavy with the scent of blood, sweat, and death.
Poison captures both Schuldich's and Crawford's voices wonderfully in these little scenes, their reactions to each other and the situation they're in. Just... yum. Mmm. (CrawfordxSchuldich.)
- Weiss Kreuz - Hemlock by White Kiss - I'm often of two minds when it comes to Schuldich practically getting off on annoying the rest of his teammates. Sometimes I think that's exactly what he'd do, he'd revel in annoying the shit out of him, unto the point where they want to bash his head in just to get some peace and quiet. And sometimes I think he'd know better than to annoy a bunch of other psychotics, telepathy or no telepathy. Occasionally, I think Schwarz is a little family of their own and he wouldn't push it to the point where they genuinely were ready to bash his head in, just supremely annoyed. But... I didn't mind it in this fic. It had some great lines, like:
It was amazing, how Crawford could seem both heartless and cold at the same time as he was blazing and passionate. The man was a paradox that Schuldig would probably never fully understand.
Which was probably the reason he wanted him so badly.
Everyone else was so fully open to him all the time, so unprotected, so blatantly obvious. But Crawford was an enigma, Crawford was beautiful without being soft, he was their deadly protector, both cruel and tender. Father, brother, lover... Protector, defender, killer... A gorgeous, terrible, wonderful man, full of so many contradictions. Controlled and composed... but when the passion did slip out... ah...
I did love this Crawford, though. He's a cold bastard, doing his best to appear heartless, but he's not, things get to him, he just doesn't show that they do. He takes on the responsibility for protecting the other Schwarz members and doesn't feel the need to let them in on what's going on. And he gets pissed when Schuldich tries to demand answers. *heart-shaped eyes* That's my Crawford!
Overall, the story was a little confused, the reactions a little bit off, but the underlying characterizations and plot were very solid, making it a good read. The atmosphere was suitably Schwarz-ish and the writing good. I liked it. ^_^ (CrawfordxSchuldich.)
- Weiss Kreuz - Something Me in You, Deep Inside of You, and The Space Between by Aoe - If ever there were a fic (series) that could make me believe/like Yohji/Schuldich this would be it. (Or the New World Order series by Aoe as well.) The characterizations are excellent (Except for Crawford, I disagree that he's that much of a heartless bastard. A cold, calculating bastard, yes, but not as much as this story makes him out to be. Still, I don't find fault with the writing itself, that's excellent.), the writing wonderful, so infinitely readable, the humor genuinely funny, and the plots nicely woven. The series doesn't rush anything, it takes the time it needs to properly tell the story, but at the same time never feels drawn out. That's not always an easy balance to strike.
I admit, I tended to skim some of the Yohji/Schuldich stuff because as fantastically done as it is, it's just not my cup of tea, but the Aya/Ken stuff (and the Yohji/Ken friendship!) was wonderful. My heart hurt for Aya and Ken and how much of an idiot Aya is being and how sweet and adorable and Ken-like Ken was being. Loved the Yohji/Ken friendship, that alone would have made the story totally worth reading.
Uh... yeah. Good fic, all-around excellent writing, some really cool character moments, and I'm going to shut up now before I say anything else inane. (SchuldichxYohji, CrawfordxSchuldich, AyaxKen.)
- Weiss Kreuz - Try and Stronger Than You by Kerianne - I know I've rambled and bitched about Kerianne's writing already, but what the hell. I love her writing, it fits the characters so well, and it's just so easy to read. (None of that struggling to get into the story, you just start and you're already hooked right off the bat.) Her Schuldich and Crawford are perfect here, each with their dark personalities but still capable of wanting and possibly loving the other. Each story works because it's a vignette, it's not drawn out past the premise, it's... just right. (CrawfordxSchuldich.)
- Weiss Kreuz - The Matter of Life and Death and And in the End by P.S. Speare - *cries* The worst part about these two stories is that I could both see and believe them happening to Crawford and Schuldich at some point. P.S. Speare's writing is wonderful, so readable, fantasticly characterized, and just so perfectly suited to the Schwarz characters. As much as I wanted a happy ending, I do have to admit the second Schuldich-POV story wouldn't have been nearly as gut-wrenching. Still.... *cries* (CrawfordxSchuldich.)
- Weiss Kreuz - The Promised Land [ Fan Art Site ] - So I was talking to GenX the other night, not-really-seriously trying to bring her over to the CrawfordxSchuldich side of the WK playground, and one of the links I pelted her with was this one. I love the art here, it's so pretty. There are a couple of absolutely stunning CrawfordxSchuldich images in the color gallery--the one with little chibi Schuldichs crawling all over Crawford and the utterly gorgeous illustration of Schuldich kissing Crawford. There are also some beautiful images in the b&w gallery, which I would link to individually, but I'd end up linking half the gallery and you can just as easily go through them yourself. ^_^ I love the style, it just feels WK-ish to me; it also doesn't hurt that the characters look gorgeous. (CrawfordxSchuldich-centric.)
- Weiss Kreuz - 20/20 by Generic Miko - There seem to be three catagories of Crawford/Schuldich fics: 1) Bastard Crawford, who's just cruel at times and honestly don't give a fuck about any of the others unless it pertains to their goals as Schwarz. Really doesn't give a fuck, not just projecting that image or telling himself that. 2) Weepy Crawford who professes his love for Schuldich like a weepy little uke, but since Schuldich does the same thing, Crawford usually still gets to be seme. 3) The Crawford I fell in love with. The one who views Schwarz as an odd little family, but would never say that. He cares in his own way, but he's simply someone you don't cross. He doesn't delight in hurting other people, he just does what he has to do and don't feel particularily bad about it. My perfect Crawford also likes/loves Schuldich, but he doesn't let those feelings turn him into anything even remotely resembling a sap over them.
Generic Miko writes a Crawford that is somewhere in between 1 and 3, and I'm not entirely sure what to make of him, especially in 20/20. He had to bring Schuldich back into line, and nothing else seemed to work, so submissive/mildly humiliating (though, as Crawford himself said, not nearly as humiliating as he could have been) sex seems the only option. And I admit, I like aggressive and dominant Crawford. He'd have to be aggressive and dominant to be the leader of Schwarz and to control that power of his the way he does.
So, I liked that part a lot. And there were glimpses of a slightly nicer side, Crawford initiating nice sex with Schuldich, letting him stay in his office rather than going out in public where it would be obvious what they'd been up to, and even the "little death" joke at the end. I was also unsure as to what to make of Schulich's characterization. It's not that I found him to be out of character, just....
There's a certain type of yaoi fic in almost every fandom, but tends to really show up in yaoi-heavy fandoms with lots of bishounen and biseinen running around. They're usually filled with graphic-bordering-on-crude (and, hell, half the time passing into crude territory) imagery, more than half the sex is rape and getting off on it, and featuring humiliation and degredation.
I agree with most of the choices Generic Miko made for the situation she'd set up, and this fic wasn't all that 'creepy' (as in the type of creepy that makes me wonder how people could like reading about people hurting other people), but... I'm still not fully comfortable with the situation in the first place. So, uh, yeah. Didn't mean to get on the soapbox, but I didn't want to just blindly say, "Oh, Crawford and Schuldich had sex! I loved it!" (CrawfordxSchuldich.)
- Weiss Kreuz - Shades of Grey by P.S. Speare - I *heart* Portia's writing. It flows so smoothly and is infinitely readable. But it's more than just that, it's good writing. Anyway, this story was a very cool little concept that I won't give away that I thought was carried out rather well for a "short" story. (I thought some parts were glossed over a little too much and the ending was a bit OOC for the sake of getting the fic over with--which was my major problem with it. I didn't buy the reactions of the characters, that they'd just leave him there, but I'm not really quibbling because this wasn't meant to be an epic. And looking at it from a story level, rather than a character level, I can agree with the judgement call the author made. Which probably makes sense to no one but myself. *sweatdrop*) I really can't say much more without giving it away, but I really liked it; the little details were great, the characters' reactions were cool, and the writing lovely. Definitely worth a read. (Aya+Ken, CrawfordxKen, and hints of CrawfordxSchuldich.)
- Weiss Kreuz - Pushing Me Away by P.S. Speare - Now this is the kind of fic that made me fall in love with the idea of CrawfordxSchuldich--Schuldich being his usual fucked up, but not psychotic self and Crawford being his usual unflappable, cool bastard self as well. This is the kind of fucked up/angsty Schuldich I can believe, and I utterly love the way he wanted Crawford to see him and the way he went about getting that. Crawford's reaction was perfect and you can tell by the way I'm babbling that this was a really good fic. *grin* (Schuldich+Crawford, one SchuldichxAya kiss that wasn't really about them.)
- Weiss Kreuz/Yuu Yuu Hakusho - Bishounen Corner [ Fan Site/Fan Art ] - I wasn't originally going to rec this site because while I enjoyed a few of the WK fan arts, most of it wasn't to my particular tastes. (I didn't think it was bad or anything, just not the pairings/content I look for when surfing for WK fan art.) Buuuuuut then I stopped by the Yuu Yuu Hakusho fan art gallery and, holy fuck, Red Fox's art is stunning. Just... wow. *drools* Heed the warnings, some of them are very graphic HieixKurama illustrations, but if you're a hentai like me that's just all the more incentive. ^_~
Okay, in the Weiss Kreuz section there are a couple of images by Tulip that I wanted to specifically mention--this one of Brad with a lollipop is niiiiice and in this one he is hot. Wow. Oh, and this one of Ken is coooooool.
So. Anyway. Poke around the whole site, lots of cool stuff. Yaoi, obviously. ^_^ (Mostly Yohji/Aya and Hiei/Kurama with a sprinkling of Aya/Omi, Crawford/Schuldich, Schuldich/Yohji, and a few other pairings.)
- Weiss Kreuz - Of Courage and Cowardice and When Angels Fall by P.S. Speare - Yet again, I'm rec'ing one of Portia's WK fics because I adore her writing so much. It's just... good writing, the characters are solid and interesting, and the plot was a truly clever idea played out nicely. Plus, Omi angst. Lots and lots of Omi angst. ^_~ (Blargh. Crappy rec for two really interesting and cool stories.) (A little CrawfordxSchuldich.)
- Weiss Kreuz - Sinners & Saints Arc (Posession and Dissension specifically.) by Miko no da - As Miko no da says in the author's notes, she knows that she's getting Schwarz' history wrong, and I found the stories that much more enjoyable because she acknowledges that and goes ahead and writes this "What if...?" fic anyway. She's a very gifted writer, so that I found myself enjoying one of those darker fics (in this instance, "darker" means non-con all over the place, putting guys in revealing clothes that usually involve some sort of leather straps, slave/master/ownership dynamics and so forth) even if I didn't fully agree with it. I found her history of Rosenkreuz to be interesting and well-thought-out and Schuldich's relationship with Nagi to be bordering on sweet, really. I admit that I stopped reading once the series got up to the point where the anime started, because I really don't have much interest in Weiss being tossed into the mix, but it was an enjoyable ride and Miko no da really is a very gifted writer. She can do that readable, flowing type of writing that I love so much. (A lot of CrawfordxSchuldich, and OCsxSchuldich and lots and lots of non-con.)
- Weiss Kreuz - All I Really Want by Lady Jaida - Mmmmn. The portrayals of Crawford and Schuldich were a little on the mushy side, but then, I tend to favor harsher characterizations for them... at least when it comes to declaring affection. But, hey. No cutesy nicknames and no swooning declarations of love and no romantic candlelit dinners. What there is is more of Lady Jaida's wonderful writing, and that just the right touch of humor that makes a story so much fun to read. It's a tough balance--too much and you fall into comedy, too little and you've got yourself a pure angstfest. While this story had some angst, it was meant to be a lighter set of moments and it achieved its goal for that. I love it when that happens. ^_^v (CrawfordxSchuldich.)
- Weiss Kreuz - Faded Obsidian by saturn de wicked - It's a shame that there are only two chapters to this story, because I'm terribly curious about where it's going. I had my doubts going in, Schuldich losing his memory and thinking he was a teenager again? Ennnnngh. But so far it has been very nicely done and I want to know what happens next, dammit! I also loved the scene at the beginning of Schwarz being their wicked selves, showing how damn well they work together. *purrrs* Evil assassins gooooo~d. (CrawfordxSchuldich.)
- Weiss Kreuz - Incarnations of Insanity by P.S. Speare - When I sat down to read this story, it was after a long week of studying for a Calculus exam, and now that it was finally over, I wanted to treat myself to some good fic. I'd been saving this one for a 'rainy day' as it were, and I'm glad I did, because it was an incredibly satisfying read. I *heart* her take on the Crawford/Schuldich relationship, not making them nice people, but showing they can have affection for each other. The two things that impressed me the most about this story were the details of the time it was set in (New York, 1984), it really felt like the story was taking place over a century ago, rather than the author trying to badly bluff her way through it and the differences and similarities between the two Crawfords.
I don't want to spoil the story, but I do want to say that I really, really liked the way the story ended, what was resolved/revealed/changed and what wasn't, what we were left wondering about. I loved the bickering/banter/chemistry between Crawford and Schuldich, and Schuldich's snarky mental asides. I loved the little details woven (and I overuse that word, but it really applies here) throughout the fic, my favorite probably being the description of Crawford's study or the Christmas decorations. And the plot. I can't say much without spoiling it, but, damn, was it good. Not something I would have expected to really love, but the more I think about it, the more I'm impressed by it. ^_^ (Crawford/Schuldich.)
- Weiss Kreuz - Schicksal (Fate) by Lady Jaida - Lady Jaida has this style to her writing that I have a tough time describing... it's not something a lot of authors can do, but she does it very well and it always impresses the heck out of me. Her stories are... almost surreal, but in a good way. Very atmospheric and... yeah, surreal is the best word I can think of. But she does this without being pretentious in her writing, without making me want to roll my eyes and hit the back button, instead I get pulled into the way she writes a story. Normally, I'm not crazy about Schuldich as an addict (I dunno, he just seemed to self-sufficient to need that kind of crutch.), but I really enjoyed this take on the character. (CrawfordxSchuldich.)
- Weiss Kreuz - Cave Canem and Under and Over and Inside Out by Lady Jaida - I needed WK fic after what Gluhen did to my beloved characters and since Jaida's been posting a lot of WK fic lately, it was perfect timing! *hums happily* Normally, excessive swearing in a story turns me off because I just can't quite... believe it (the thinking being that if they really swore that much, they would have sworn that much in the source material), but in these two stories, I found the effect to be intriguing. It was an intersting style and I found it really working for the stories. What I loved about these two stories was the subtlty of the characters (they're very obvious in some ways, very subtle in others and I thought that was portrayed wonderfully here), especially Schuldich with his contradictory impulses/actions, yet make a strange sort of sense, and Crawford being... Crawford. There was also this growing sense of... something... coming that the characters felt and I couldn't put words to. Oh, and? That hint of lime in the second story was good. Mmm. :9 (Crawford/Schuldich, graphic language, little bit of lime.)