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- Yami no Matsuei - Love Stinks by RubyD - I *heartmark* RubyD. She's so cool; not only is she a envy-inspiringly good artist, she writes fantastic fics. 'Love Stinks' is right up there with her YST Matrix-fusion (And normally I hate Matrix-fusion fics, but hers was cool.) for how much I'm loving it. Actually, I think I love this one more, it's so hysterical. Watari accidentally develops a love potion and now the other three Shinigami are all after him. Her Watari reactions are spot-on (chapter three was especially brilliant), such as: Maybe he should be taking advantage of this. He had been meaning to ask Tatsumi for more supplies -

No, that would be abusing power. These were his friends, for goodness's sake. And he had a suspicious feeling of what Tatsumi would ask in return.

Also, the 003 side story had me nearly doubled over I laughed so hard. "DIVE BOMB!!!" *LOL* (EVERYONExWatari.)

- Yami no Matsuei - In the Dark by RubyD - As long as I'm going on about her (I'll stop drooling on you soon, promise. At least until the next time I talk to you. ^_~), I have to mention 'In the Dark'. Waaahhh! Such a lovely addition to the Devil's Trill arc! The scene with Kazusa was beautiful, and the scene with Hisoka and Tsuzuki was touching. Even though he knew it wasn't Tsuzuki's fault, Hisoka also knew that Tsuzuki wouldn't believe that, the only way to make him feel better was to forgive him; and all of this was gotten through loud and clear without it having to be specifically stated. So lovely. (No real pairings.)

- Yami no Matsuei - Paper Tears by Sholio - I haven't really come across a lot of YnM fic that I really like (and I'm not as obsessed as I'm with Gravitation, so I don't scour for them), but this one was really nice. Hisoka was Hisoka, who's not an easy character to write for, and his relationship with Tsuzuki (post-Kyoto arc) was... well... not sweet, but... touching. The writing has that quality I can never put my finger on, that's something akin to the elegance of YnM itself, which I love dearly. (No real pairings.)

- Yami no Matsuei - A Lake by the Sea by rubie - Given the concept of this story, I wasn't sure I was going to like it, because it's not usually my thing. But I read the prologue and the writing captured the elegent feel of the series itself and the characters were just so themselves that I got caught up in it. 'S good. Plus there's a good amount of Hisoka-focus, and I wuuuuuv Hisoka, so.... *grin* But you shouldn't read it because my overwhelming Hisoka-love, you should read it because it's good. And bug the author for more of it. *nodnod* (Click on Creativity, then on Fanfiction.)(No pairings so far.)

- Yami no Matsuei - The Sugar Project by Icka! M. Chif - *LOL* Oh, my lord, this was so funny! Watari was perfect in all his mad-scientist-y-nutjob glory, which shone through even just in the 'experiment-notes' style. Which actually worked for the story, making it that much funnier. The little character bits were inspiring, especially Tatsumi. Oh, Watari's observations of Tatsumi were brilliant, really. And this rec really and honestly and truly bites compared to how cool this fic was. Just go read it, dammit. (Mild hints of shounen ai, about on the level of the series.)

- Yami no Matsuei - Legacy by silvershadeus - Oh, wow, this is a wonderful Watari fic. Watari's inner voice is wonderful, eloquent, intelligent, reflective, and philosphical, but still fitting perfectly with the Watari we see on the screen. The writing is superb, the issues about "immortality" woven into the fic wonderfully, Watari's observations of the other Shinigami, his interest in mechanics and science, and just... just... everything was so good. (The usual canon hints of shounen ai.)

- Yami no Matsuei - Cancelled by Icka M. Chif - Normally, I'm not one for RHPS parodies, but this one only used the references so sparingly and was just so freaking funny that I absolutely loved it. I about died laughing at the end, it was so funny. (Mildly yaoi-ish hints, no more than is in the series.)

- Yami no Matsuei - Fledglings by Ysabet - I'm just going to go into total fangirl mode here for a bit... I adore this story for so many reasons. One, cute 003 and an excellent reason for Watari to give her that name... plus snapping at Tatsumi's fingers! XD Two, Scientist!Watari being his wonderfully complex and cheerful self... or, well, his evolution to that, since this is many years ago. Ysabet can nail his character perfectly. Three, the details about the background story, especially Watari's past and how he died and the evolution of his powers. Four, excellent writing, it's got that element again where you sit down to read and you just don't realize time is passing until you've put it down. I heart. Okay, done being a fangirl now, honest. For this story, anyway. ^_~ (No warnings/pairings.)

- Yami no Matsuei - Owlflight by Ysabet - Sequel to Fledglings and not only another great Watari fic, but an excellent story about the Meifu and the world they live in. The little details in this fic about the land they live in and the Shinigami's interaction was blended beautifully into the story as shown through Watari's eyes. And as genki and cheerful and occasionally... not quite dense, but not quite absent-minded, either... as Watari can be, he's still an intelligent scientist and that shows wonderfully here. And I'm just going to wrap up this rec with a fangirly, "Watari! Watari! *HEARTS!* Watari!" Also. The bit with the lake was priceless. (No warnings/pairings.)

- Yami no Matsuei - Eden by Ysabet - Damn. This is one of those Yamimatsu fics that I crave more of. Not only is the writing damned good, the humor is funny (I still laugh at the Tatsumi image this fic presents), the drama touching, the characters wonderful, the situations amusing and interesting, but... it has a plot developing, too. Not just character-based stuff, but stuff about the Meifu and the nature of the dead, and... augh! I must have mooooo~re! (No pairings so far.)

- Yami no Matsuei - 2/3 by Koyuki Aode - Di-chan pointed this one out to me, and it's another lovely introspective fic about Hisoka. I love this type of fic, the ones that really get into the character, and bring out some wonderful fic-insights through a character's mental ramblings, but without it feeling forced, like the author hog-tied them to a chair and said, "Here. Now think about your life and have some revelations, dammit." It felt very natural, and I absolutely loved the idea presented in the fic about how Muraki changed Hisoka's life. (Warning: If you know Hisoka's past, then you should know what to expect.)

- Yami no Matsuei - The Things We See by RubyD - I admit that even while in my self-imposed Yamimatsu exile, I still read The Things We See because Di-chan asked me to, and I cannot fawn over them enough. A wonderfully original and fresh concept and gorgeous, bittersweet, heartbreaking writing, lovely characters, and truly creative and insightful thought put into these makes the stories one of those rare gems that only a handful of authors can pull off. Di-chan, while you have some tough competition, I think you are my favorite Yamimatsu writer. And you should know me well enough to know I don't just say things like that. ^_^v (No warnings.)

- Yami no Matsuei - A Sway and a Roll by Brigdh - I have to admit, I was skeptical of this story at first; I like Tsubaki-hime well enough, but I wouldn't have thought there'd be much need for fic about her. However, this story is lovely, it's elegant, subtle and captures the feeling of Yamimatsu so wonderfully well, and accomplishes what so very many, many authors fail at--setting a mood that's something akin to surreal and dream-like and making it work. Even if she's not your favorite character, this story is one you really ought to read. (No warnings.)

- Yami no Matsuei - While You Were Sleeping by panatlantic - Oh, my god, this was hilarious! Terazuma's problem can be summed up as such: He can touch girls or he'll transform into his Shikigami. Or boys who really, really look like girls. So he can either live a heterosexual life of loneliness until he dies again... or he can get himself a boyfriend. His elimination process amused the hell out of me, and then when Hisoka gets involved in Terazuma's dillemma... I could not stop giggling. XD XD XD (Some shounen ai, but more for humor than anything else.)

- Yami no Matsuei - Lilac on Lotus by Lady Jaida - I don't normally read about Muraki and Oriya--not because I dislike them, but because they just haven't captured my attention in quite the same way the other characters have. However, I gave this one a shot because I'm a fan of Jaida's and I'm really glad I did--Oriya is a very interesting character and the author captures his... elegance and refined nature here, creating a beautifully woven tale. (Li'l bit Oriya+Muraki.)

- Yami no Matsuei - The Kingdom of Ends by Dorian Gray - ..... ;_; Where to start with this fic? It just... it hurt so very much in the way it was supposed to. One of the most amazing things about this story is that... well, what I said to Di-chan when she recommended this story to me was: //It's just... what kills me is that there weren't any details. The details weren't important. The fic had that... feeling of being numb. Not even numb, really, just... empty. The kind where you feel like any second you'll start bawling because this huge, giant piece of your life is gone. ;_;// Incredible fic with incredible characterization. Just... have something fluffy and cheery onhand for afterwards. ;_; (No pairings.)

- Yami no Matsuei - Retaliation by MadamHydra - I have an enormous fondness for Tatsumi. Suprisingly. I mean, I started out with Hisoka for a favorite character, and while I still absolutely love him with my entire heart, somehow... Tatsumi managed to just barely, barely, barely eek by him, I think. I've always been attracted to his sort. The point is that to see a fic like this, where Tatsumi is so... dangerous and terrifying in that razor sharp way he can be... it's frightening, but it's also fantastic, because he's so amazing. And MadamHydra captured that side of him gorgeously--her writing is amazing, able to truly do these darker stories justice, able to truly draw you into the intensity of the scene, keeping you on the edge of your seat. Plus, the way she wove the details of what happened into the story, creating such a cool background case, revealing the information perfectly as the story progressed... the way she made me ache for Tsuzuki all over again... it was really a masterpiece of writing. (No warnings, some darker content.)

- Yami no Matsuei - While You Were Sleeping by panatlantic - I couldn't help but be won over by this fic. It's so... silly, yet still genuinely funny. It's totally on crack, but in the good way. The author has a real sense for timing in the writing of this fic, so things that might be random and weird in another author's hands actually worked for me in this fic. It was just one of those stories that was a nice depature from more serious fic, something to just giggle over, and something that provided me with a lot of amusing lines in this wonderful little parody that made me cackle. (Gay stuff. But funny gay, not serious gay. XD)

- Yami no Matsuei - Team Building by silvershadeus - Eeeeee! Oh, I adore this author and her writing so, so much. She is one of my favorite Yamimatsu fanfic authors and she was the one who turned me onto Tatsumi/Watari and just made me fall so hard for them. And this was... I giggled the whole way through the fic, just amused as all hell, and loved the interaction between the characters. And Tatsumi. Tatsumi. Oh, how I love Tatsumi-san, I really do. Plus! Very, very light Tatsumi - Watari interaction that I just... gehhh, I am filled with so much love that I cannot articulate it. ._. (No warnings/pairings.)

- Yami no Matsuei - Understanding and I Know You by Megan - Okay, Megan needs to either stop writing or start sucking because I don't appreciate this whole writing short little fics that are just short enough for my attention span, good enough to make me coo, but still leaving me going, "....argh? WTF? That's where it ends? NO! I WANT MORE!" *coughs* Uh. What I meant to say was that I *heart* her Tatsumi and the way he handled himself in this situation and I adored the way she wrote Oriya--a character who seems so odd to me sometimes. Someone with honor yet someone who protects someone like Muraki. Also, her Oriya - Muraki interaction was lovely and just felt right, especially the last few lines of the second fic. *___* And, um? Did I mention the whole Tatsumi fawning thing that I have going on? >__> *loves the scary shadow-user* (No warnings/pairings.)

- Yami no Matsuei - Fade to Black [ part 01 - part 02 ] and Lies and Secrets [ part 01 - part 02 - part 03 ] by Helene - Di-chan has been poking at me to read this story for awhile and I finally settled down to do so because she has the best taste when it comes to Yami no Matsuei fics, I think. And... what's so fantastic about this series is that it's solid. It's not just emotional/romantice angst or fangirl fluff, it really feels like a whole, solid storyline with cases and events, with details that are spread out across a storyline, rather than just a tiny little fic. There's a plot here. Not just any plot, either, not just a romantic machinations one, but one that deals with demons and spirits and old cases and old mysteries and the romance is on the side, if at all. The writer is also flat-out awesome in her ability to build a tense atmosphere--when Tatsumi and Watari are angrily at each other's throats and when they argue, there's a rather painful realism to it, I feel like I'm tensing up right along with the bystanders, it's that explosive a situation.

The fic is an AU, which initially made me a little reluctant to read it, but the writing is so smooth and polished, the opening scenes such good hooks to get me interested, that I wound up falling into the story practically immediately. Things are a little different in this universe, but they're done in such a way that you feel like you're collecting pieces of the puzzle all over again. Learning what's different, what's the same, what happened to Tsuzuki, oh, there's Muraki, where does he fit in, what happened with Tatsumi and Watari, oh, my god, Kazusa, what happened with Hisoka, etc. The second part of the second fic was just... tense as all hell and it was practically painful to force myself to sit and read it properly, rather than skipping ahead to find out what was going to happen. There're also awesome fights with their powers and... just... I was one big ball of tension by the time this was over. I need that fourth part. Now. (Potential hints of pairings, but nothing more than the series itself gives, PG-15-type content.)

- Yami no Matsuei - Tuesdays by Baka Neko - "I believe I've emphasized that he's rare, nearly extinct, doesn't have the sense God gave a lemming." Another story from this author that has a sense of weirdness to it (Yamimatsu AU with Hisoka as a vampire hunter? Should have been SO weird and awkward, instead ended in a really cool little AU that fit surprisingly well with the tone of the original series.), but with an internal consistency that makes it work. The writing is again lovely, which pulled me right into the story, but it was also Hisoka's characterization, the way the relationship with his family was thought about, the adorableness of Tsuzuki that was just so Tsuzuki, the fantastic conversation with Tatsumi, the delightful batshit insanity of Hakushaku-sama, and so on. Very worth the read. <3 (A liiiiittle Tsuzuki/Hisoka, but blink and you'll miss it.)

- Yami no Matsuei - The Cost of Living by athousandwinds - Oh. Oh. This was so beautifully painful. The writing is lovely, the picture it paints just so damned pretty and painful, especially in its plausibility. It's a heart-rendingly possible way to explain Tatsumi's obsession with money. And did I mention it broke my heart? Because it did. (No warnings/pairings.)

- Yami no Matsuei - Scar[let] by aki_omoi - It takes a rare author to make me go *___* over a Muraki background piece, but aki_omoi does such lovely, subtle writing that her Muraki works for me, she creates the kind of creepy atmosphere needed to make this kind of story achieve its goal. And then you toss in several entirely quotable lines that just jumped out at me as being the kind of thing I dearly wish I could write and you've got a fic that's really quite special. <3 (No warnings/pairings.)

- Yami no Matsuei - lullaby by aki_omoi - Oh, this was a lovely Ruka piece, the language of it is just perfect, the way it weaves almost a musical sort of tone that fits so well with my mental picture when I'm imagining a manga series. Just... all elegant turns of phrase and clean descriptions. But it's also more than that, it's... the characterization of Ruka here is faintly aching, very bittersweet, much in the same way as the overall tone of the original Yamimatsu series is. You can feel Ruka's loneliness, you can feel the hardships the family must have had to endure and, oh, the background details are used beautifully to both imply things and flesh out the story. And the ending is just... so, so lovely and somehow perfect. I adored this piece. (No real warnings/pairings.)

- Yami no Matsuei - Late Fees by Serilda - Okay. Keep in mind that Tatsumi/Watari is my pairing of choice and I'm prone to the squee. Because I'm not usually this fan-geeky. But it's been a little while since I read fic for them and it's Serilda's writing, which means I was rather rolling around and squeeing by the end of this. It's kind of sad how close to literally I meant that. But it's just... it's not even romantic so much as it is Watari being weird and insane and cute and Tatsumi being long-suffering and somehow very patient even while you kind of suspect he's either ready to boot Watari into the hands of the beasts or maybe kinda laughing at him. Plus, the use of the prompt was really lovely and I enjoyed this story so much. ♥ (Tatsumi/Watari, though, it's closer to gen.)

- Yami no Matsuei/Sandman - Housing shortage by Sophia P - I don't think you actually need to be that familiar with the Sandman verse to read this, it stands well enough as a Yamimatsu fic by itself--but I could be saying that because I have a passing familiarity with Sandman, so. But I still think it's an utterly delightful crossover between two versions of Death and Death Gods, completely charming in the characterization all around, and an excellent ending line that's just fabulous. So much fun. (No warnings/pairings.)

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