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- X - Late one night in Vegas Tokyo... by Elihice - At the time I read this fic, I had a raging headache and somehow... somehow this made it better, it really did. I was feeling a bit cranky, but just something small and silly and FUNNY helped so much. It helps that the author can write really well, so that the cute, silly, fluffy idea actually reads really well, flows nicely, and is... well, you know how awkward writing can grate? This didn't grate at all. Plus, with all of the angst floating around in X, it's nice to have a story that isn't off-the-wall humor, but still makes me laugh hysterically and gives me my "Awwwwww. *floats happily around the room on a WAFFy cloud~*" feeling. Plus, the added touch of the embedded graphic is PRICELESS. Just totally makes the fic. As well as the end, which could have been stupid and not that funny, but had me rolling around and giggling madly. I loved this. ♥ (Seishirou/Subaru.)

- X - S/S drabble by Xyn - (In lieu of anything else to call it....) Something like this shouldn't work, the idea of Seishirou breaking in to Subaru's apartment, cooking him dinner (well, okay, that part I could buy), and accidentally getting caught in a spell and waking up in Subaru's lap, surprisingly sleepy. And yet... it tugged at my fangirl instincts, pulling me along for the ride because... I could buy that, under the spell's power, Seishirou was still lethargic and his thoughts dulled a bit. But it's also the writing that captures the sense of an elegant, beautifully drawn manga, that sense that I associate so strongly with CLAMP manga, that helped me more easily picture the story, because it was... it wasn't super fluff, but it wasn't painful, heavy angst, either. Just... the SxS version of 'light' fic? ^_~ At any rate, it made me happy, so there. (Seishirou/Subaru.)

- X/Tokyo Babylon - Posession by Kelsey - I think what sticks out most in my mind is that... with a lot of stories/characters/pairings/whatever, heavy usage of imagery can seem pretentious or unbalanced, but with these characters and the talent of the author, I found myself being drawn into it and having it set the right tone for the characters instead. It was also a very nice, slow sort of foreplay (yet still in that SxS sort of way) that helped make this a really satisfying read, I think. I mean, a lot of times, I get impatient with foreplay and would like the whole thing to just hurry up, please, but with this one, it felt more like it actually was building up to something, that the story was actually drawn into Subaru's experiences, rather than the narrative just watching from a remote perspective. ....oh, holy crap, that is probably the most pretentious, obnoxious rec I've ever written. But I suppose SxS does that to me, especially when Kelsey hits that line between genuine emotion/love and the harshness of what Seishirou and Subaru's relationship actually is, when she keeps that sense of elegance and beauty that these characters are so strongly associated with in my mind. It felt like them and I tend to get rather dippy over that. And I'll shut up about it before I embarass myself further. ^_~ (Seishirou/Subaru, R-verging-on-NC-17 content.)

- X - Happy Families by insaneidiot - Kelsey's fault. All Kelsey's fault. She was kind enough to mention it and thus I had to steal the link off her, because this story was just... I got about a third of the way into it and then promptly could not stop laughing. It's one of those stories that's just beautifully on crack and an utterly brilliantly enjoyable pardoy fic--it's one of those that could have been really bad (Seishirou as Kamui's father is one of those older fandom theories floating around and could have been so terribly cliche or awkwardly done), but the writing is smooth and clean enough to pull it off and... hell, even more than that, it's the comedic timing that sent me into fits of laughter, every time Seishirou smugly laid down a new rule for Kamui or Subaru went to bang his head against the wall at the ridiculousness of everything or every time Fuuma had a fit because Seishirou was putting his "family" first. Just... heeheeheeheeheehee. Makes me laugh just thinking about it again. (Seishirou/Subaru, Fuuma/Kamui.)

- X - The Stalker You Know by insaneidiot - I... have this strong, strong love of X crack/fluff, especially when it's about Seishirou and Subaru and is actually amusing. This author does exactly that--Subaru is getting strange phone calls and he's all alone in the Imonoyama mansion and... well... better the stalker you know, as the title says. It's one of those stories that I'd feel badly for Subaru and how embarassing his life is, but can't really bring myself to actually feel badly because... well, hey. Whatever drop-kicks him into Seishirou's arms, I'm game for. ^_~ Plus, the final scene with Karen is one of those that made me giggle like mad and clap in delight at the author's sense of comedic timing. >D (Seishirou/Subaru.)

- X - Red and Unexpected Discoveries by insaneidiot - Now, I probably read these two in the wrong order (I read Red first), but, despite the two fics being completely different tones, they go together--though, I do think I suggest reading Unpleasant Discoveried first. Which is the silly, fun, crack fic that made me laugh, while Red was the more serious, rather plausible one. Which... to be honest, is something I've been wanting to see done, because the idea of Seishirou/Karen has niggled at me for a long time. Yet, it doesn't completely ignore Seishirou/Subaru (which would have made it much more difficult for me to read), yet doesn't make it all about that pairing, either. It strides the line between the two beautifully--it's a fantastic little moment in time, but it's not OMG Tru Luv, either, it just... it is what it was. Plus, the aesthetics and tone were just the right pitch for this and I was just... eeee, this scratched the itch I had perfectly. (Seishirou/Subaru implied, some Seishirou/Karen.)

- Mirage of Blaze/X - Jealousy by insaneidiot - I have a thing about crossovers, I don't normally care for them (as I've said many a time), but because I was having such fun with the author's other X fic, I decided to go ahead and give this one a shot. Like her X fic, it's sort of the crack kind of humor that still lets me picture everything perfectly and still scratches the itches I have for these characters/pairings. Plus, the two series blend together well, I could see Subaru dashing into Naoe's hotel room to hide and things spiralling out of control from there and just... heeheehee, fun! Fun and kissing. <3 (Seishirou/Subaru, Naoe/Takaya.)

- Mirage of Blaze/X - Out To Lunch by Corialis - Another X/Mirage of Blaze crossover that's just... hee, way too much fun for the beautiful crack. These two series really do go quite well together in the right author's hands and the idea of Naoe and Seishirou having lunch together (only to be interrupted by their respective--and quite unhappy--boyfriends) was great batshit fun. The humor was well-timed, it genuinely amused me and made me laugh, and was fun for the pairing stuff as well. Watching Takaya get pissy and/or jealous, watching Naoe want to put his head down on the table and ignore the world because everyone around him was insane, watching Seishirou get all scary whenever someone got too close to Subaru... it's one of those stories that maybe shouldn't have worked, but wound up being great fun and totally did. Hee. :D (Naoe/Takaya, Seishirou/Subaru.)

- X - Russian Roulette by insaneidiot - Another story that makes poor Subaru's life hellishly embarassing amuses me and delights me to the point that I can hardly fit all the sparklies into the same room with me. This time, Kamui notices that Subaru's depression is getting out of hand and determines that Subaru really needs to do something about it. Given that this is more lovely X crack (though, with a fair amount of angst stuffed in, too), you can about guess what that means. The author capitalizes on the opportunities this presents extremely well and writes a very smooth, easy-to-read narrative, making this an enjoyable story. And funny. And sparkle-worthy for the pairing stuff. I shimmer with Teh Rabu. (Seishirou/Subaru.)

- X - Countdown by insaneidiot - Ahhh, Christmas crack. Beautiful, beautiful Christmas crack. Sort of like a Tokyo Babylon-style in an X setting, complete with Hokuto's brilliance and poor, poor Subaru's embarassment. And, of course, Seishirou's amusement over the whole thing. But what I love are all the little touches, from the Christmas pudding to Yuzuriha's candy canes to Hokuto's measures from beyond the grave to make sure Subaru didn't open his present before Christmas Eve to the pink sparkly pen she used to write her notes. It was one of those stories that could have only had one or two jokes, but instead was funny enough to have them placed all throughout the fic to make poor Subaru's life hell amuse the reader. Plus, SxS! Christmas SxS! How can you not want to read that? (Seishirou/Subaru.)

- X - Room To Breathe (Remix) by insaneidiot - ....oh. As much as I have tremendous fun with the author's brilliantly batshit crack fluff, there are times when there is nothing more in the world than I want something like this. That captures what I so badly want--it isn't perfect or always smooth, it doesn't ignore the things that can't be ignored, but it finds a way to carve out a space for Seishirou and Subaru. And does it in that lovely CLAMP sort of way. All in a much easier way than I would have thought possible, but ends up working fantastically for it. This is why I don't metaphorically slit my wrists over this pairing, because gems like this come along often enough. (Seishirou/Subaru.)

- X - Watching by insaneidiot - You know, I can actually really see this--so often, it's all too easy to become cliche with Seishirou watching over Subaru, sometime in those nine years between TB and X, especially when he doesn't let Subaru know of his presence, but still watches and interferes (without Subaru knowing) occasionally. So easily could I have rolled my eyes or just not quite believed, but the deft way the author words her story, the way she carefully walks like the line between distant!Seishirou and hunter!Seishirou really wove a story that I could just see. *luffs* (Seishirou/Subaru.)

- X - Immaturity by Tanuki-dono - ....I can't stop giggling. The idea. It's just too amusing! Heeheehee. My only caveat with this story is that only the first chapter (prologue?) has been written, so the real meat of the story hasn't even started happening and it may never happen, but I had to rec it anyway because... heeheeheeheeheehee. Maybe I'm overreacting, but the idea is hitting me just right and I can't stop being amused. I mean... I can't give it away, I just can't, but... *waves hands* just go read. It's cute and funny, worth a giggle or two already. (No warnings/pairings.)

- X/Tsubasa RESERVoir Chronicles - Travel Companions by Elihice - Oh, wow, this was just... it was a gorgeous blend of X and TRC, really playing on the pain and hurt of the two versions of Seishirou and Subaru, just a wonderful crossing between the two that really capitalized on the potential, just like what CLAMP would do. Or, hell, maybe even better. It wasn't over the top, though, it was quiet and subtle and had all the more impact for that--and when the two travellers wandered through the world they weren't looking for? Ouch. A perfect tribute to these two series, I can't get over how seamlessly they went together. And that omake? Holy crap, the CREEPY. I'm not even entirely sure why, but it was just.... *shiver* (A little Seishirou/Subaru.)

- X/Tokyo Babylon - Deterioration by insaneidiot - ..... T____T Jeez, just when you think you can't really hurt much more for a character, along comes an author who gleefully disproves that by looking at the larger course of Subaru's life, from when he was a teenager to the current time, highlighting all the painful moments in his life, highlighting just everything he's lost in the last ten years. The writing is gorgeous, the pacing smooth, and the author does a tremendous job of showing just why Subaru hurts, somehow managing to make all these wounds fresh again. Normally, I don't like to read the sadder X stories, but this one is so beautiful that I have to recommend the hell out of it, anyway. (Some Seishirou/Subaru.)

- X - Touch by insaneidiot - So I'll be over here in the corner being a giganto SxS dork for a few minutes, okay? Okay. I'm so glad that I read this one after I read the previous story, because this is the kind of story I want to end on, rather than something that ripped my heart out. The kind of story that manages to find a corner for Seishirou and Subaru to exist in and be something approaching at peace, the kind that takes my breath away with the impact of them finding that place, the kind that captures all the aching and beautiful elegance of the characters, the kind that makes me feel the swelteringly hot August month right along with the characters as a very nearly physical thing. The kind that finally gets Seishirou and Subaru into fucking bed together and gets me to believe it, without being fluff. I know, I know, most of the focus is on the build up to the sex or on Subaru's confusion/frustration, but the author still manages to get me to buy that they could find that place to exist. And then there's the slow, sensual seduction between the characters, the slow build up to the climax of the story, all written in this beautiful way that makes me able to see CLAMP's elegant, graceful lines so crystally clear. ....also, it's about time those two got laid. ^_~ Gorgeous fic, beautiful imagery, definitely among my favorites for this author. ♥ (Seishirou/Subaru, not quite work safe.)

- X - In My Line of Work by Leareth - Can you believe I've never rec'd the majority of Leareth's work? I did a sort of quickie umbrella rec back when I was first starting out, but beyond that I can only find one or two recs for her work and I feel shame at this. Shame, shame, shame. Time to rectify this ghastly error. In My Line of Work is one of the works I consider to be the epitome of Leareth's writing and why I fangirl so extremely over her writing--the first time I read this story, I could not put it down. It's a really fantastic idea told with an incredibly deft hand--largely from the perspective of an outsider (a detective that's put in charge of a case that revolves more and more around Subaru), the narrative is amazingly engaging and sucks me right in. Even having read the story before, I wanted to refresh my memory on the story for writing this rec, I still find myself rereading the entire thing because it's such a seamless storyline.

This fic has pretty much everything I want--the Seishirou/Subaru relationship is brilliantly told in this story, you both see how it looks to outsiders and yet you still get them, you still get that brilliantly subtle, powerful relationship. You see why they're attracted to each other and Seishirou is at his best here, you understand what lengths he goes to for Subaru, yet never wavering from his unflappable calm, charm, and charisma, even when dealing with the police. There's also actual police work done in the story, the case actually gets worked on, and Leareth doesn't skimp on the details. The fic feels... whole, like she knew damned well what she was writing about, in all aspects of the story.

The narration by the original character, a rather hard-boiled detective, is also fantastic. She manages to capture the wording that works for the character, manages to weave in all the little details and insights of everything around him that a detective would take in, and manages to do it all in a gorgeously smooth prose style and beautifully sharp dialogue. And, Jesus, the tension of this thing is nerve-wracking and intense a points, she really knows how to build up to a climax of a scene. Just... this is one of those stories that is a classic in the fandom, one of the ones that defines it for me. A brilliant read. (Seishirou/Subaru.)

- X - White Hands by Leareth - Despite it having been years since I last read this fic, I still remember it vividly, the way the final chapter played out, the way it delved into Seishirou's point of view and his reactions to Subaru's being posessed and the danger he was in, the way it was never said exactly what he was feeling, but you still felt his reactions. There was something there, something to do with Subaru, but it was so subtle and so... Seishirou, that I was knocked on my ass by the impact of it. This is a lovely case fic, the fight scenes, the gorgeous Seishirou point of view that is sharp, clever, and vivid without ever making him out of character, the magic, the details, the incredibly smooth writing... all of it takes my breath away, even now. And I still remember the incredibly intense climax of chapter four, burnt into my memory from the intense clarity of it. This is X fic like it should be done, another one of the classics that I can't believe I've taken this long to specifically rec. *facepalm* Also, wow, does this rec not do this story justice. (Seishirou/Subaru.)

- X - In My Line of Work II by Leareth - I'm rec'ing this seperately from the first story because a) it's long enough for that and b) I want to. Mostly, it's that second bit, really. All of what I said about the first fic also applies to this story--incredible writing, fantastic and genuinely engaging original characters, brilliantly done casefic in the X universe, and a Seishirou/Subaru relationship that's amazingly detailed and so incredibly perfect. I continue to love the balance struck--you totally understand why the detectives are creeped out by Seishirou, why he raises their hackles (Leareth does a gorgeous job of making Seishirou that quiet sort of threatening that you can't put your finger on, but is everywhere when he's around), why they think his relationship with Subaru is so unhealthy, but at the same time still manages to carry across what attracts me so fiercely to it. The connection between them, the elegance of both characters, the powerful meaning to everything, the gorgeous way they interact... every time Seishirou touches Subaru, it's a fight for my inner fangirl not to swoon dramatically.

But it's also that nothing is skimped on when it comes to the details, nor are you overloaded with info dumps or bored stupid by it. Everything is slowly unveiled to the detectives, pieces of the puzzle slowly fall into place, the case is being built in front of the readers' eyes and it all makes sense. You can see how the detectives put the pieces together, that it makes sense from their perspective, you get how they're tipped off to who's behind these murders, yet they still don't know everything. And that's one of the things I love about these stories--when you know the story of X, all of the magic and powers they have, it's easier to understand exactly what happened. Yet, the story still makes sense from the perspective of characters who don't believe in the magic (even if they might have hints) and that impresses me every time I reread this story. Plus. You know. Some of the absolute best SxS characterization out there. Seishirou's dangerous grace, Subaru's quiet balance between heartache and determination, the gorgeous writing... ...okay, okay, I'll shut up now. Hmph. (Some Seishirou/Subaru.)

- X - Room to Breathe by Kelsey - I was supposed to be focusing on finishing up a few other stories. But I'd read the remix of this story (the one from Subaru's point of view, while this original one was from Seishirou's point of view) and then I had the stray thought, "Oh, hey, that's right, Seishirou and Subaru living together in surprising ease... I need to read more of that." and couldn't focus until I'd read it. And, damn, what I wouldn't give for more stories like this one, because Kelsey writes a gem of a fic, makes me believe the quiet space Seishirou and Subaru carved out for themselves here is possible. It's gorgeous because it doesn't stretch the characters too far, Seishirou isn't out of character when he lets Subaru stay, Subaru isn't too far out of character when he accepts/understands who/what Seishirou is and stays anyway. There're no great, dramatic, overwrought moments, instead there are gorgeous little moments that are in tune with the characters so that everything pops clearly into my head, vividly clear. ....I'm explaining this badly and I wish I could put this into better words because I'm absolutely taken with the story Kelsey puts forth here, it... it's one of those stories that reminds me why this pairing doesn't have to be one extreme or the other--it's not always crack or depressingly painful, sometimes there are spaces of something wonderful in between. And when the author still manages to capture the elegance and beauty of the characters and makes me buy the characterization? That's when I fall in love all over again. ....shut up, you all knew how much I loved these two, how can you expect anything less fangirly from me? *hmphs again* (Seishirou/Subaru.)

- X - Sweet Dreams Are Made of These by Kelsey - ....heeheehee. Okay, don't get me wrong. I do love those spaces in between, where things aren't one extreme or the other. But that also doesn't mean I don't enjoy the hell out of the crack that this fandom puts forth, because you need something to balance out all the pain. Plus, Kelsey writes fantastic crack--right from Subaru sleep-walking (in his pjs! XD) to Seishirou's apartment to the interruption of their fun when Subaru wakes up (heeheehee XD) to the perfect ending that still makes me cackle, the comedic timing of the fic is great. Plus, there's a brief mention of a rubber duckie and Subaru's rationalizing of the entire incident. Both those things are utterly worth reading the fic for. Oh, and the smoochies. One can never, ever forget the SxS smoochies being worth reading. ♥ (Seishirou/Subaru, a little bit of others.)

- X - Family Traditions by Kelsey - Aaaaaand yet again I'm all, "Heeheehee!" over a crack story that makes me all shiny and sparkly over the fandom again. Because... the idea of Setsuka waiting with Seishirou, counting down the minutes until Subaru dies, so she can meet the young man who her darling son was so obsessed over... just... amuses the hell out of me. The ending is totally brain-breaky, but in the way that makes me giggle still more and cackle because poor Subaru's life (and, apparently, death) are just so very traumatic. It's so cute when he's trying to run away but is helplessly trapped. <3 (Setsuka x Seishirou x Subaru. ....yes. >D)

- X - Slow Burn by Meia - Lovely writing about Subaru looking back on how he fell in love, when he realized it, what he does with it, and what he still doesn't know. Lovely writing, it hits on all the right points, making a wistful, sad story with some very nice imagery to it. I think the real strength of the story is the examples Meia uses, the kind that pop images straight into my head and illustrate the moments in time they needed to--what I mean is that each little example did a very clear job of eliciting the feeling it needed to. :D (Seishirou/Subaru.)

- X - Smile In Echoes by Xyn - This was an interesting story, one I liked because it's not exactly the same as the usual stuff I read, instead it was more about atsmophere and imagery and feeling than it was about clear-cut narration. That's not a bad thing, it did take me a moment to get into the style of it, to get used to the heavy imagery and make sense of it, but it's worth continuing with because... well, for one thing, the imagery was so like CLAMP's style that it fit these characters. It's very lovely and heart-breaking (though, not necessarily the kind that makes me want to slit my fangirl wrists, which is also a good thing), very elegant and graceful, like the characters it's writing about. I also loved the metaphor of their ritual, of the same dance they dance every time... that really struck a chord in me, resonating with the way Seishirou and Subaru's story played out in X. Worth reading for that alone, I would say. Plus, pretty SxS fic. There is NEVER enough of that. ♥ (Seishirou/Subaru.)

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