The more I've read in a fandom, the more difficult it was to narrow down, so I had an especially hard time with Harry Potter and Teen Wolf in particular. I tried to narrow it down by only letting myself chose one from a category (one creature!fic, one post-hogwarts era, etc). It was hard. Also, keep in mind that these are 100% personal opinion and totally subjective. I like what I like.
So, here they are, Grace's 25 most-favorite fics! AKA What I would bring to read on a desert island. :D
1. A Song of Ice and Fire: Quid Pro Quo by sharkygal (Arya/Jon | 4,314 | NC-17)
[Why I Love It]This is the first fic a read in a fandom that wasn't Teen Wolf or HP. And for several months, actually, it remained the only one. I'll admit that I went looking for this specific pairing, and was a bit surprised at the lack of fic. But this one, this one was perfect. It's underage, but it's got that whole dirty/innocent first time exploration thing down so well. I adore it.
2. The Dark Knight Rises: Blakes on a Bane by Bambichi (Bane/John Blake | 41,365 | NC-17)
[Why I Love It]So this was recced to me by a friend, and since I do love me some Arthur/Eames, I thought I'd give this mildly related pairing a go. This is an AU, but it's still a bit darker than most of what I tend to read, which makes sense, given that TDKR wasn't exactly a fluffy movie. But I love the darker themes, the fucked-up-ness of the relationship and the situation. How Blake and Bane manage to come together and have all this delicious chemistry despite everything. Plus, the sex here is just unff.
3. Harry Potter: Draco Malfoy, It's Your Lucky Day by faithwood (Draco/Harry | 60,500 | NC-17)
[Why I Love It]I'm a huge fan of this author but this is probably my favorite of hers. I love the way she writes Draco's voice and I really enjoyed seeing his evolution over the course of the fic. This fic is funny and sweet and Harry was really freaking adorable. Definitely a favorite 8th year fic, and one that I never get tired of reading.
4. Harry Potter: The Arc of the Pendulum by brummell (Draco/Harry | 30,262 | NC-17)
[Why I Love It]It was struggle to pick just one H/D creature!fic, but this is continously a favorite. Harry gets cursed with a kind of reverse werewolf curse, so even though he looks human, he has to struggle to suppress the "beast" within. Cue Draco finding him isolated at the manor and the two of them being stuck there trying to find a cure. The curse is fascinating and I love how the author managed to take the Beauty and the Beast fable and really give it an original spin. The connection between the boys here is amazing, and the ending! Seriously so many amazing feels.
5. Harry Potter: Foundations!Verse by saras_girl (Draco/Harry | 364,381 | NC-17)
[Why I Love It]What can I even say, really? Honestly these might by my favorite fics ever. The OC are three-dimensional without being overpowering, the dynamics between Harry and his friends are perfect, and Draco and Harry both are just so believable and wonderful together. I especially love this author's little details that just make this fic so real; the string, "yes", the weekly polyjuice pub crawl, and the talking cupboards. And the sex scenes are just delicious and emotional. It just feels so real and it's so easy to get lost in this world. There's conflict, but never too much angst, and rereading this series is like sitting down with a warm mug of delicious tea and cuddling up under cozy blankets.
6. Harry Potter: On the Other Side of the Mirror by leashy_bebes (James/Teddy | 4,500 | NC-17)
[Why I Love It]I think this may have been the fic that started the James/Teddy obsession for me, TBH. I just adore he way their relationship shines through here, even though we are seeing it through and outsider's POV. The whole set-up is smoking hot, and pervy Al is always a favorite.
7. Harry Potter: Lady of the Evening by gryffindorj (James/Teddy | 28,472 | NC-17)
[Why I Love It]Pretty much all of this author's James/Teddy fics are amazing, but I think this is my favorite. Love the concept, and I really adore James in this fic. Well, i adore all the characters. The sibling banter is amazing, dad!Harry is basically the greatest thing ever, and the sex is really freaking hot. This fic is just awesome and shows why I love this pairing so very much.
8. The Hobbit/LotR: Sansûkh by determamfidd (Bilbo/Thorin & Gimli/Legolas | 405,113 WIP | PG-13)
[Why I Love It]I feel like I've waxed poetic about this fic over and over. But the fact that it's the only WIP and non-explicit fic on this list, should tell you how much I adore it. Even if it was abandoned tomorrow, it'd still be on this list, which, again, is really saying something. Gorgeous writing, fabulous characterizations, and just the depth of research and creativity and love that this author has for canon is so wonderfully evident.
9. Inception: The DomesticVerse by gyzym (Arthur/Eames | 74,828 | NC-17)
[Why I Love It]Such a wonderful canon!fic that so perfectly shows how Arthur and Eames could have gotten together and how their relationship might have evolved. It's not a very angsty fic, but I love that even with most of the series having them in an established relationship, there still manages to be conflict and tension in other areas that makes this a compelling read.
10. Inception: Pet by ladyvader (Arthur/Eames | 100,250 | NC-17)
[Why I Love It]This fic! Oh man, I have such a thing for age-different, teacher/student things and this fic is like, the epitome of that trope for me. And for those of you who aren't into that kind of thing, Arthur is 18 in the fic, and it's really very tastefully handled. Just, the connection between Arthur and Eames, their characterizations, the delicious, delicious pining, oh it's all so good! And then when that beautiful UST finally play out....god it's the freaking hottest thing ever.
11. Kingsman: Recuperandae by DistractionReaction (Eggsy/Harry | 67,098 | NC-17)
[Why I Love It]Super lovely fic with Harry coming back from the dead and Eggsy dealing with the fallout from that. I really adored Roxy as an awesome BFF here, and the characterizations and chemistry between Harry and Eggsy were both amazing. Loved all the coitus interruptus and the sexy build up of tension. When they finally manage to have sex, it's just about the hottest thing ever.
12. MCU: Hug Therapy by astolat (Loki/Thor | 4,053 | NC-17)
[Why I Love It]This is a shorter one, but it's so much fun. I have a huge thing for bottom!Thor, which is actually kind of hard to find with this pairing, and I love what the author did with that here. Thor's voice is great, and the whole thing is funny and sexy.
13. MCU: Entanglements by astolat (Loki/Thor | 17,980 | NC-17)
[Why I Love It]This is probably a bit crackier than the other fics on this list, but I reread it so often, that it would have felt disingenuous not to include it. It's tropey as hell with sex pollen and knotting and tentacles and hints of possible MPREG and I love it. It's told from Tony's POV and it's got a lot of other side pairings, but I mostly love it for the Loki/Thor. This author just gets the dynamic that I adore between these two, and this fic is just a sexy fun good time.
14. MCU: many names in history, none of them are ours by aubkae (Steve/Tony | 42,948 | NC-17)
[Why I Love It]Oh this fic is just brilliant! One of my favorite Tony's in this one - I've found that he's a harder character for author's to really nail down, so I'm always really happy when he's written in a way that gels with how I see him. Steve is also lovely, and their relationship development is so lovely and feels so natural. Plus, it's got all the other Avengers in it, and I really adore the whole team dynamic. Really wonderful read.
15. MCU: Don't Look too Closely (all the angles are oblique) Series by shaenie (Steve/Tony | 161,197 | NC-17)
[Why I Love It]WIP Series that really reads as complete but I desperately hope is continued at some point because it's amazing! I adore D/s dynamics and this series has one of the best and sexiest D/s relationships I've read. Mildly AU, and I love the way the plot and seriously smoking hot sex are intertwined. The characterizations are so believable and I just adore every single word.
16. Merlin: At Our Best When It's From the Hips by derryere (Arthur/Merlin | 12,781 | NC-17)
[Why I Love It]God, this fic is so hot! Love how the theme of homosexuality in that era is handled (without getting too upsetting at all) and the way things just keep progressing and progressing between Arthur and Merlin is just unbelievably sexy.
17. Merlin: The Student Prince by FayJay (Arthur/Merlin | 146,674 | NC-17)
[Why I Love It]Such a great fic! It's a reincarnation AU set in modern day with magic and royalty, so you sort of get the best of all the worlds. I love the way the canon storylines are sort of woven into this narrative, how they enhance the story, but never feel overpowering, or take away from the awesomeness of the University AU. Arthur and Merlin are brilliantly written and have some seriously fantastic back and forth. Their connection just jumps off the page, and I enjoyed every word.
18. Sherlock: Performance in a Leading Role Series by MadLori (John/Sherlock | 223,707 | NC-17)
[Why I Love It]This series is just amazing. I love the how the author really sold the Actor AU and how it's really clear that this is John and Sherlock, not Benedict and Martin. The world is so fleshed out and believable and the connectivity between Sherlock and John is fantastic. This is definitely one of my go-tos when I need some comfort fanfic!
19. Sherlock: Midnight Blue Serenity by BeautifulFiction (John/Sherlock | 151,907 | NC-17)
[Why I Love It]Well I had to include at least one of BeautifulFiction's fics, because her writing is amazing. She just gets John and Sherlock, and while it was hard to pick a favorite, this one managed to take the lead. Their interactions and the way she transitions their relationship from friends to lovers was perfect, and it's all mixed in with an interesting case, and Sherlock in sexy club gear! Really great read.
20. Smallville: Revenge by astolat (Clark/Lex | 6,377 | NC-17)
[Why I Love It]I know I have this author here a lot, but she so frequently gets the exact dynamic I want in a given pairing. Fabulous take on the sex pollen (aka Red K) trope and I adore how this manages to be sexy as hell without ever being all that explicit. Relatively short, but constantly on my reread list.
21. Smallville: Reconcilable Differences by astolat (Clark/Lex | 43,334 | NC-17)
[Why I Love It]I don't think there are even any words to describe how much I am in love with this fic. It's sort of a kid!fic, in that Kon features heavily and a lot is from his POV, but it works so, so well! It's a wonderful fusion of Superman comics and Smallville, and the characterizations here are just breathtaking. I am in love with her complicated, messed-up Lex, and her Clark that just can't escape his orbit. It's gorgeous.
22. Star Trek AOS: There is a Reason by TheSeabear (Kirk/Spock | 57,425 | NC-17)
[Why I Love It]Really beautiful fic that does an amazing job of showing how Spock and Kirk's relationship could have evolved in the AOS canon up through and after ST:ID. The characterizations here are gorgeous, and the sexual tension, how gradual it builds until you just want it to ignite, is amazing.
23. Teen Wolf: Trust Fall by stoney321 (Derek/Stiles | 144,224 | NC-17)
[Why I Love It]So this fic employs the bodyswap trope, which is actually one of my least favorite, but it's just done so damn right in this fic. I think the reason I have a problem with bodyswap, is that it can get pretty iffy with consent stuff, but those issue are so wonderfully explained and handled here, and it never feels squicky or gross. Watching Stiles and Derek grow and evolve, seeing their understanding of one another change as they experience life in each others' shoes is just lovely. Their relationship just feels so organic and amazing, and I adore this fic to pieces.
24. Teen Wolf: Versus by secondstar (Derek/Stiles | 94,521 | NC-17)
[Why I Love It]Such a great Human AU that takes place in the sports world. I thought the world felt fleshed out and interesting, but more than that, I was really drawn to the connection between these two here. I liked that the issue of homophobia in the sports industry was touched upon and definitely played a role, but it never felt too upsetting or heavy. Plus the sex was seriously freaking hot.
25. X-Men: Anarchy in the UK by yahtzee (Charles/Erik | 162,328 | NC-17)
[Why I Love It]Man, this fic is just fucking gold. It's a Modern Royalty AU and it's just brilliantly written. The connection between Erik and Charles here is electric, and I really adore the way the issue of having Charles being a gay future king of England is handled here. Crazy hot switching sex, and just a really captivating, consuming read.
Most of these were pretty hard to narrow down, and a lot only won out over another fic by the skin of their teeth. Here are a few of the others I almost included.
Harry Potter: All Our Secrets Laid Bare by firethesound (Draco/Harry | 149,481 | NC-17)
[Why I Love It]This fic is really fantastic. The development of Harry and Draco's relationship is perfectly paced, the tension and build-up is believable, and the dialogue is super witty and funny. I loved the characterizations of Harry and Draco here, and the side characters and original characters were truly fantastic (one of my favorite Ron's ever!). Plus there is mystery, and plot, and hot switching sex! Barely lost out, because I only let myself choose one Post-Hogwarts and because, as much as I adored this one, it's not *quite* my Harry and Draco.
Harry Potter: Salt on the Western Wind by saras_girl (Draco/Harry | 60,500 | NC-17)
[Why I Love It]This story is really quite fantastic. It starts immediately after the Battle of Hogwarts with Ron, Hermione, Harry, & Draco being sent to a safe-house and Harry & Draco getting accidentally physically bonded together. Ron & Hermione (especially Ron) are great in this, and everybody is so in character. What I really love here is how it perfectly it shows how a relationship between harry and Draco might come about, even building off of the events that happened right at the end of book 7, when tensions are still high. The development felt wonderfully believable, and it's definitely one of my absolute favorites.
Harry Potter: Savage by marguerite_26 (Draco/Harry | 26,881 | NC-17)
[Why I Love It]Because I will never get enough werewolf!Draco fics. Never. Draco's characterization here both as a person and a werewolf is perfect and the sexual tension between Harry and Draco is scorching. Lost out to Brummel's fic by a hair, because that one is a bit longer, and has one of my most favorite chest-feel endings.
Harry Potter: Unexpected Turn by oakstone730 (Draco/Harry | 26,881 | NC-17)
[Why I Love It]This fic is fucking awesome, and the main reason it didn't make the cut was because I started this list months ago, and this is still a pretty recent fic. It's a non-magical AU, and one of my favorites ever. The author manages to include so many characters and so many little canon events and details in such fun and creative ways that it's just such a joy coming across them all. I adore the juxtaposition of rich, high-class Draco and low-brow, American mechanic Harry. The chemistry between these two is just electric, and JFC sexy mechanic Harry is everything I ever wanted in life. The sex is incredibly hot, and the ending has just the right amount of sweet hopefulness.
Harry Potter: The Vanishing Department by dicta_contrion (Draco/Harry | 56,791 | NC-17)
[Why I Love It]I really do just adore this fic to fucking pieces. I'm in love with the concept of the Vanishing Department. I think it's so freaking cool, and clever, and it makes so much sense in this HP world. Then we have the brilliant characterizations between Harry and Draco, their amazing voices and the fantastic chemistry between them and the mind-melting sex. It's really amazing. I only let myself choose one Post-Hogwarts fic, and since Foundations!Verse is like, seven times longer, I went with that. :)
Inception: Origins 'verse (Military Backstory) Series by laceymcbain (Arthur/Eames | 67,113 | NC-17)
[Why I Love It]This almost won out over the domestic!verse for my canon Inception fic. I really adore the pre-canon take on how Arthur and Eames may have met and come together. The main reason I went with the Domestic!Verse is because it's post-canon, so we get a bit more canony feels, and because domestic!verse series is finished, whereas this verse is not. The fics all feel more or less complete, but at the end there is a definitely a desire to sort of know the next part.
Merlin: Winterbloom by shinybug (Arthur/Merlin | 6,200 | NC-17)
[Why I Love It]This almost won out over At It's Best When It's From the Hips, because it's also dead fucking hot. It plays off of the master/servant dynamic that I adore and that this ship was made for. Really, the only reason it lost out, was because the other one was longer.
Sherlock: The Progress of Sherlock Holmes by ivyblossom (John/Sherlock | 62,006 | NC-17)
[Why I Love It]This one almost beat out Midnight Blue Serenity for my fav Sherlock canon fic, because it has probably the best Sherlock voice I've ever read. It's first person POV, which can be hit or miss for me, but it's perfection here. The main reason it lost out, is because it feels a bit more AU, with the different Mary, so I went with a fic that felt a bit closer to the show canon. Plus, I so consistently adore BF's work, that it made sense to include one of her fics on my fav list.
Star Trek: The Lotus Eaters by aldora89 (Kirk/Spock | 93,594 | NC-17)
[Why I Love It]This is a super cool fic, with Spock and Kirk stranded on a creepy planet. I just thought the whole thing was super clever, and the atmosphere and tone of the fic was wonderfully ominous. The relationship development between these two was slow and perfect, and I just really enjoyed the plotting here. The only reason it didn't quite make the cut, is because while the ending was satisfying on a relationship level, there were a few unanswered questions about the mysterious planet that will drive me crazy into eternity.
Teen Wolf: Come with Me and Walk the Longest Mile by devildoll (Derek/Stiles | 39,275 | NC-17)
[Why I Love It]I love apocalypse AUs and I adore omega!verse so this was a super awesome read. Loved how there were human AND werewolf zombies and the incorporation of the omega!verse aspects was really great. I just adored their characterizations here and the chemistry between them was fabulous. Not to mention the smoking hot sex!
Teen Wolf: DILF by twentysomething (Derek/Stiles | 30,871 | NC-17)
[Why I Love It]This is so freaking adorable and sweet. Derek is raising his nephews, Scott and Jackson, and Stiles is Scott's kindergarten teacher. I love the relationships here and Stiles and Derek are so wonderfully characterized with an amazing connection. Such a heart-warming fic! Lost out to Versus, because I only wanted one Human AU, and Versus is longer (with more sex! which is v important to me!)
Teen Wolf: Don't Carry it All by grimm (Derek/Stiles | 7,280 | NC-17)
[Why I Love It]This is one of the few pairings I really like reading temporary gender swap in, and this is probably my favorite. I loved Stiles and Derek's relationship here, and seeing the differences Stiles felt in being a girl vs. a boy were very interesting (and hot!).
Teen Wolf: The Well of Living Waters by kalpurna (Derek/Stiles | 30,322 | NC-17)
[Why I Love It]I think this was the first ever MPREG that I read and loved. I just adore this verse. There's King!Derek and Consort!Stiles, there's arranged marriages, and pining, and competence, and werewolf reveal, and first times, and hot sex, and it's just...SUCH a great read. I love it.
Thor: Chaos War by astolat (Loki/Thor | 34,203 | NC-17)
[Why I Love It]This one almost beat out Entanglements, because, of the two, this one is a bit meatier in terms of plot and Thor/Loki development and characterization. I adore them both, but between the two of them, I probably reread Entanglements more frequently, which is why it won out by a very narrow margin.