- X/Tokyo Babylon - Sakura and Snow by Natalie Baan - What to say about this fic.... Sakura and Snow was one of the first X/TB fics I'd ever come across and I knew right away that it was good. But, for some reason, I just couldn't get into it. The prose was beautiful (which is always especially befitting a CLAMP-based fanfic) and the characterization perfect. I think it was tough for me at first because I didn't have a very strong grasp of who the characters were. It was difficult for me to make my way through the imagery of the writing and grasp the subtlties and references. So, I don't recommend this fic as one to jump into as a newbie, save it for when you're more well-versed with the characters.
And when you are... this is a stunning read. It accomplishes the nigh-impossible: Seishirou and Subaru carving out a space where they can be together and at peace. The night I started this, I honestly had trouble putting it down. I just kept meaning to read one more chapter, even though I had to get up early the next day. I eventually managed to put it down, but I was right back in front of the computer the next night to finish reading. And despite my love of great fic, I almost never become that entranced. Natalie is a gifted writer and the story is beautiful, epic, and entirely worthy of these two characters I love so much. I say with perfect confidence that this is my favorite X/TB fic ever. (SeishirouxSubaru.)
- X/TB - Leareth's fanfiction - I've rec'd a few of Leareth's fics before, I think, or at the very least Angelic Intervention on Fleeting Fancies. I couldn't possibly rec all her stories individually--at least not and get anything else done for the day--because I'd be staring at the screen for hours, thinking, "Uh... what's another word for 'fantastic' or 'superb'? I think I used ohgoodgodsomepeoplearewaytootalented and they'remakingtherestofuslookbaddammit already." Just... her stories are very, very good. Really good, infintely readable, and give me that warm happy glow that comes after reading a well-written fic.
Angelic Intervention is a favorite of mine, because it forced Seishirou and Subaru to just deal with their damn problems already and it had lots of Hokuto-chan! White Hands was gorgeous as well, and during most of the fic it left me feeling like someone had punched me in the stomach, it showed Subaru's raw hurt so well. (Even though Subaru wasn't actually in it all that much, not really.) "Nukume Dori" is a fascinating idea, it's captured my attention thoroughly; I cannot wait for more of it--it's a great concept, and as far as I know, no one else has ever done that. "Silent Night, Lonely Night" was a cool little insight into both Seishirou and Subaru, "X Therapy" was fucking hysterical and "Crucify My Love" was beautiful and disturbing as all hell at the same time.
And did I mention I want more of "Nukume Dori" right now? (Almost exclusively SeishirouxSubaru, though occasionally other 'canon' pairings are found floating around.)
- Flamebyrd [ Love of Angels ] - Flamebyrd first caught my attention through her CCS writing, which I utterly adored. She touches a lot on one of my favorite aspects of CCS--the Touya/Yue relationship, how much of Yukito is Yue and vice versa, how does Yue feel, how does Yuki feel, how does Touya feel, etc. And while there's some angst, it's not suffocating, which makes the fics just FUN to read. Plus, the characters say their usual smart, clever things, and the writing is lovely. After I devoured her CCS writing, I moved on to her Tokyo Babylon fics, which are also wonderful to read. My only complaint is something that has nothing to do with her writing, but my own lack of knowledge about X. WAAAAAAHHHHH!!!! I think I understand TB fairly well, but X confuses the HELL out of me, and all my attempts to understand WTF is going on have left me almost as confused as when I started. *ahem* Flamebyrd's writing is lovely and she's another one of those brilliant CLAMP fic-writers that leave me slowly turning green in my seat. Hmph. (SeishirouxSubaru.)
- X/TB/CCS/General CLAMP Fiction by Flamebyrd - (Yes, I'm aware that I'm rec'ing her writing twice. ^_^;;;) Liz writes really sweet stories that are fun to read. Her style is especially suited to Tokyo Babylon and Cardcaptor Sakura; very... soft and sweet, is the best way I can think of to describe it. Her CCS fic "Reflections of the Moon", where Yue and Fujitaka have a little 'talk', is one of my favorites! "For Those Left Behind" was really nice, too. Her X/TB fic "Yume" was really cool, taking a look at various ways the S/S relationship could have played out. The "outtakes" in the humor section are so much fun, too; I loved those things! (Primarely SeishirouxSubaru and TouyaxYukito, but other pairings may show up from time to time.) (SeishirouxSubaru.)
- X - Diva Mea by Megan and Kira - Oohh, another one of those three's (Kira, Shell, and Megan) that I'm just dying for more of. All three of them are ungodly talented and I find that to be highly unfair. But I keep the bitching to a minimum because they write stories I fall in love with so damn quickly. Diva Mea is another one that has original characters that intrigue me, and are used to enhance the story rather than because the author just likes playing with their own characters. I'm impressed with the use of onmiyouji in this story--that tends to fall to the side in a lot of fics, so it's nice to read a story that uses it for the plot every once in awhile. My only problem is that I want more of it and I want it NOW. (Pairings... I assume SeishirouxSubaru, but nothing's happened yet.)
- X - Dark Angel by CalicoKaze - *whimper* Dark Angel was beautiful and horribly perfect and made me want to cry because I could see it happening so easily. Seishirou isn't an easy character to understand, much less crawl inside his head to understand the complex relationship he has with Subaru; I thought this fic did a great job of showing his elegance and hunter's nature and obsession with Subaru (and hints of more than that obsession) all wound together beautifully. Still... wanted to bawl my eyes out by the time it was done. ;_; (SeishirouxSubaru, of course.)
- X - Fugue by Arielle - I have reread this story so many times, that I've completely lost track. It's beautiful in its portrayal of Subaru and Seishirou, and while on the surface it might appear to be nothing more than a PWP, it has some of the best character descriptions/insights of all the fics I've read. Just... breathtaking. (SeishirouxSubaru.)
- Tokyo Babylon - Beginnings and Endings by Jonna Coombs - This was a clever idea, sprung forth from one of Seishirou's lines in the manga; the execution was lovely, the writing style very Tokyo Babylon-esque, and just as heart-wrenching as one would expect from a story about Subaru and Seishirou. (SeishirouxSubaru.)
- X - Halloween by kc-chan - This was just amusing as hell and fun. I laughed the whole way through it--I don't know who amused me more Seishirou and Subaru or Fuuma and Kamui. Just picturing the fic makes me giggle. Anyway, a bit of a warning, you need a slightly warped sense of humor to enjoy the fic (which I think is a compliment). (SeishirouxSubaru.)
- X - Home and Heart by Beth Winter - Ooh. This is the kind of SeishirouxSubaru that I love so, so much. Seishirou is his usual twisted, sadistic, and evil bastard self while still being obsessed with Subaru, who actually has somewhat of a spine, yet still can't help but love Seishirou. And Bratty!Kamui. My favorite kind of Kamui. Not only is Beth's writing just really damn good and the characterizations fantastic, the story is damn clever. Plus, the interaction between Seishirou and Kamui never ceases to amuse me--I loved the scene when they were shopping for Subaru's gift. Definitely one of my favorite X-fics. (SeishirouxSubaru.)
- X - Flower by Amarythia - Holy shit, was this just... an excellent fic. I'm not sure how to describe it, except to say it was like Amarythia found a way to bottle the atmosphere of Tokyo Babylon and imbue the whole fic with it. The writing was like a chapter of the TB manga in novel form--the clean but elegant lines with tragedy lurking just below the innocent surface, but without being pretenious or melodramatic about it. Subaru was just perfect, slightly fish-out-of-water as he goes to New Jersey to learn about Seeing Eye dogs, his mindset so very Japanese and just Subaru-ish coming through clearly. The use of the dogwood blossoms was beautiful, and the original character and her story was woven into the story amazingly well. I'm babbling, I know, but I was blown away by how very Tokyo Babylon-ish the story felt. Not just good writing (which it was), but like it could have honestly been taken right out of the manga. (Mild Subaru/Seshirou references.)
(Note: Amarythia also writes amazingly cool columns on her website. Try to view the page in IE or later versions of Netscape--it crashes Netscape4 every single time I try to load it there.)
- X - The Ballad of Subaru and Seishirou by Shoiryu - Bwhahaha! Lord, the "lesson" at the end alone is worth the price of entry here, but the whole fic is hilarious. Seishirou: "Hee. I bet I could find something erotic and perverted about this if I weren't bleeding to death." *snort!* (Standard X pairings with a heavy focus on Subaru and Seishirou.)
- X/Tokyo Babylon - Through Dangers Untold by Twylise - Oh, cooooool. I wouldn't have thought a Tokyo Babylon/The Labyrinth fusion would have been all that interesting, but this one was so well-done. I love Hokuto-chan and her views on her brother (I love Subaru, too, I do, but, damn, Perfect!Subaru would get on my nerves, too.) and the 'myth' of the Sakurazukamori. The ending line of part two was perfect and I want more RIGHT NOW. (No pairings as of the first two parts, but you can probably guess where it's going. ^_^)
- X/Tokyo Babylon - Angelic Intervention by Leareth - I became a fan of Leareth's immediately after reading Shadows of the Moon (CCS); her writing is beautiful and elegant, which befits the CLAMP subject matter she's writing about. Angelic Intervention is the first TB/X fic of hers I've read, and after the sheer ANGST I went through for S&S, this story was exactly what I need. It wasn't that it was a light-hearted fun romp (though, there was plenty of that dashed into the fic as well), but more that it present hope rather than the hoplessness that most S&S fics do. Don't get me wrong. S&S are 95% hopeless, but because, in a lot of ways, so close that it makes the tragedy all that much more painful. They could almost be happy, if not for a few fundamental issues. And I agree with that. That's just the way S&S are and writing them that way is only being true to the characters. But it hurts, and sometimes I need a little hope as a fan. And that's what AI gave me--a realistic hope. (For the most part. The ending was pretty silly and rather OOC, but I didn't care 'cause it was FUN!) Plus, y'know, Leareth's writing kicks ass. (SeishirouxSubaru.)
- X/Tokyo Babylon/Yami no Matsuei - Yami no Kopi-raito by Beth Winter - Oh, oh, oh, this was so clever and funny. The comparisons were perfect, beautifully illustrated without being too sledgehammer about it. I could not possibly love Seishirou more after this fic, I don't think. As always, Beth's writing is lovely and elegant and she needs to write more often, dammit. Plus, the ending was freaking brilliant. (SeishirouxSubaru, plus, y'know, Muraki.)
- X/Tokyo Babylon - Kiss or Kill by Yumemisama - I thought the name 'Yumemisama' sounded familiar when I read her Megami Kouhosei fic! She wrote one of the more creative S/S fics out there, 'Kiss or Kill'. I really liked her take on the characters and what happened to them after they'd both died in the X timeline. It was... just wonderful. Really. It soothed so many of the wounds between the characters but without warping them to fit the author's wants. I believed that this could happen. And Hokuto-chan! I love Hokuto! The feel of the piece was very X/TB-esque as well, lending it further credibility--this is very much what I would like to believe happened/will happen. (SeishirouxSubaru.)
- X/Tokyo Babylon - Instant Sakurazuka by Alexiel - Aww~! This was so cute! A perfect little fluffy fic that really helps when you've had just a little too much angst and want something nice to happen to the characters. And it goes without saying that I waaaaaa~nt one! (Seishirou+Subaru hints.)
- X/Tokyo Babylon - Eclipse by Seishuku Skuld - Okay, let me get one thing out of the way before I get on to the gushing. My only real problem with this story was the ending. It felt very anti-climactic, and like it really wasn't an ending at all. All that build-up... and it didn't go anywhere. I was hoping for some sort of character realization, at least from Subaru, but it never came.
All right, that said, I effing love this story. The style of the writing was beautiful, so very Tokyo Babylon-esque, and the characters were perfect. Subaru was Subaru (without being uber-angst Subaru!) and Seishirou was Seishirou. In the last year or so my attention span wanders dangerously, I keep putting stories down because there's always the voice in the back of my head telling me that once I finish it, there won't be any more to read. But I read all five parts of this story and didn't put it down once. It hooked me right away and kept me fascinated the whole way through.
I cannot gush enough that while it wasn't angst-angst-angst it also wasn't uber-fluffy, either. It was... just right. Without going all OOC and 'these might as well be two other charactes with S&S' names' about it. And, of course, fantastic sex. Mmmm. (SeishirouxSubaru.)
- X/Tokyo Babylon - A Necessary Evil by MadamHydra - Let me re-enact a moment for you....
*surfing through FFNET, looking for new fic, stopping by the X/TB sections* Tra-la-la-la, need new fic to read, let's see what's good, hmm, tra-la-eh!? MadamHydra wrote a Tokyo Babylon story? And it's gonna have S/S?? *totallyretardedhappygasp!* Eeeeee!
.... *coughs* Uh, right. So I read and it was goooooooood. MadamHydra has a gift for writing a scene that just pops crystal clear into your mind, you get this perfect picture of the scene without her having to go on endlessly describing it. I love her Seishirou. Completely. She also has a gift for writing about the darker characters, making them fully realized and not cliches. And for writing original characters that I somehow don't want to strangle and actually really like their roles in the stories.
This story has captured my attention with the set-up she's weaving, the inner workings of the Sumeragi clan, the Sakurazuka clan's role in their destiny, and whatever may come next. I can't wait for more. (Eventual SeishirouxSubaru?)
- X/Tokyo Babylon - Amen by Takira - Somehow, despite this fic not really covering much of anything, just a single moment of "What do I do now?" in Subaru's life after Seishirou is gone, despite it not really bringing him to much of a conclusion or realization, this fic is still one of the best ones I've ready lately. The writing is beautiful without being pretentious or overly flowery, really fitting of the character. I'm not sure why, but I just really liked this one. (Seishirou+Subaru hints.)
- X/Tokyo Babylon - Pieces by Leareth - If you had tried to explain the concept of this story's style to me ahead of time, I would have been extremely skeptical, so hence, I'm not going to try to explain it, either. It's one of those that you have to read to understand what I mean and to see why it works so very well and just utterly broke my heart for Subaru. Pieces was a terribly clever idea, too, and not just for the style, but for what happens in the story. Just... damn. Every story of Leareth's I read, I fall more in love with both her writing and the characters themselves. (I know how dorky that sounds, but I'm a dorky S&S fangirl, cut me some slack. ^_~) (SeishirouxSubaru.)
- X/Tokyo Babylon - The Pub on the Edge of Forever by Tiamat's Child - *ponders* You know, I'm not sure what to say about this one just yet, as only the first part has been posted so far. What I do know is that I'm very curious for more, especially after the way the first part ended, and that Tiamat's Child is a very good writer who had solid characterizations and some wonderfully cute lines. Want more. (Seishirou+Subaru.)
- Tokyo Babylon - Little Red Car by Tiamat's Child - Oh, this was too damned cute! XD I loved the characterizations and the pun was one of the best I've come across. Not much to say beyond that, just... I really enjoyed reading this one. ^_^v (SeishirouxSubaru.)
- Tokyo Babylon/X - Where All Roads Lead by Jessica A. Edstrom - This is, so far, my favorite of Jessica Edstrom's fics; she has a very nice style that fits with X/TB very well. That touch of elegence TB/X has and very readable (and when I say that I mean that nothing jars you out of the story and you don't really notice time passing while you read) and just... an honestly good read. I love that. (A little Seishirou+Subaru.)
- Tokyo Babylon/X - Love is Blind by Ariss Tenoh - Another one of those lovely little stories that illustrate the parallels and contrasts of Seishirou and Subaru, done in a style that fits with the source material's style. (.....man, I harp on that a lot. >_>) I'm not really sure how to put into words why I liked this story so much... other than to just say it's really good. (S+S, but you knew that already.)
- Tokyo Babylon - Tangled Souls by Midorino Mizu - This was just a fun little wacky (well, not quite wacky, but a distant cousin of it) TB story that was... well... fun. This line sums up exactly what I liked about the story: "Subaru-chan!" yelled Hokuto from the kitchen. "Guess what! One of the spells you did yesterday must have worked, 'cause everything's back to normal!" She paused. "And get out of bed! You don't want Sei-chan to think you'll be a lazy wife, do you?" I love Hokuto-chan. ^_^ (A little bit Seishirou+Subaru, but not too much.)
- X/Tokyo Babylon - Wish in a Box by Seishuku Skuld - You know what? I think I'm going to go ahead and consider myself an official fan of Skuld-san's work. This one wasn't my favorite (I admit I couldn't get over the concept of 'sex magic' or the Nice!Seishirou >_>), but there were some priceless Subaru moments, and the sex was goooooo~d. Really, really good. There's just something about the author's work that makes the stores... infinitely readable. I don't really see the words, I don't stop and think about the way they're arranged, don't think the grammar could be better here, don't think about how it could be edited to be better (and for the record, I'm not saying those things apply, because I think the writing is damn good, just that that kind of thing doesn't even occur to me), or even stop to gawk at a particularily well-worded paragraph. I just start reading, get sucked into the story, and usually don't surface again until I'm done. I love that in an author's work. ^_^v (SeishirouxSubaru.)
- X/Tokyo Babylon - Stop the Tears from Falling by Murasaki - Something about this fic just felt... off to me. I thought about it for awhile, and I think the closest I can come up with is that there was a... lack of love for the characters--or at least that's the way it felt to me. I'm not sure how to explain it any better than that. (What it reminded me of was those X-Men novels I've read... the author is very talented, knows their stuff, wrote a technically solid story, good plot, and so on, but... the love the author had for the series and the characters didn't come shining through for me. And I realize I just spent way too much time talking about that, but I wanted to explain... eheh. ^_^;; )
Anyway, the reason I recommend this fic anyway, because it is a very solid story, there were a lot of things that I thought were spot-on, the details of the story were great (I especially loved the descriptions in the scene where Subaru was standing at Seishirou's door, and the skill with which the sex scene was written--and by that I mean Subaru's realization), it did capture the TB feel quite well, and, me being the fangirl that I am, I loved the sex scene. Very nice. ^_^ I didn't agree with a few of the characterization choices, but, overall, it's definitely one of the better written TB/X stories out there and my reservations were easily outweighed by the quality of the story. (SeishirouxSubaru.)
- X/Tokyo Babylon - Severed by Kira, Mitsu, and Maduin - Oh, I am such a sappy fangirl, but... *hyuu!* I had so much fun reading this story. I should have hated the original character, but from the minute she woke up, I couldn't help but giggle with her. Beyond that... yeah, okay, it's OOC and I often bitch about Mushy!Seishirou, but I'm okay with being a hypocrite. Sometimes I need sap, and this was very, very fun sap. Humorous, the good kind of squooshy fun, and yummy SxS. *hearts* (SeishirouxSubaru.)
- Tokyo Babylon/X - Do You Remember Love? by T-chan - Okay, first things first... my biggest problem with this story is that it doesn't capture the duality of Subaru's love and hate for Seishirou. His anger comes through nicely, but the attraction that's always been right alongside it seems to be missing for much of the story. There are a few things that I found to be off-base as far as their characters go, and the whole 'freeing Seishirou's heart' feels a bit cliche, there are some POV issues, (I feel like I'm being overly harsh here... but... I guess I just figure that if I were reading this rec on someone else's site, I'd want to know those things, too), and there were several little typos--the kind I attribute to English not being the author's first language. (Which really didn't detract much from the story, they didn't jar me out of the story, and I only half-noticed them.)
All that said... this is one of the more clever ideas I've seen recently--the idea that Subaru wakes up one morning with amenesia and can't remember all the life-changing events that happened in the past few months. Kamui is dead, the war is over, Humanity has survived, most of the other Seals and Angels have gone, and Seishirou isn't exactly the person he remembered. Now what does he do? I love that the story starts right at the moment of Subaru waking up, not showing any of these things, it does a marvelous job of letting us experience it through Subaru's perspective. And the writing is very solid, very readable, the kind you don't have to slog through, but once you get started, it just pulls you right in. Another thing I liked was that the writing didn't feel glossed over as if the writer couldn't be bothered to write the less important, "plot point" scenes. It's not a grandiose epic, and things do move a little fast for my taste, but there are enough details that I'm not left feeling unsatisfied that the idea wasn't fleshed out enough. (Which happens a lot for me. I'd rather have too many scenes than not enough, because those little character-building moments are important to me.) As I said, definitely one of the more clever and innovative TB/X ideas recently, a very satisfying read for me. (Seishirou+Subaru.)