Recent Entries 
31st-Aug-2012 09:18 pm Kuroshitsuji Arcana - (0) The Fool by elvish impersonator (gen)
As you can probably tell from the spam-like series of entries, this month got away from me in ways I wasn't expecting when I took the August time slot, and I'm making up for it as best I can in the few hours of August remaining to me. Alas, I am likely to run out of time before I run out of recs, and I can only apologize and hope the next driver to take on Kuroshitsuji will make up for the worst of my oversights and deficiencies. And with the apology out of the way, on to the next rec . . .

Fandom: KUROSHITSUJI 

Pairing: none
Length: 3150 words

Author on LJ: [livejournal.com profile] fireflyboys
Author Website: Odessa Castle
Why this must be read:

While this fic is the first of what was apparently intended to become a (sadly never continued) series, it stands on its own as an alternate ending or continuation for the first anime series. I love it for its imagery, and for the ways it plays with the essential elements of the controversial ending of the second anime series, keeping many of them while transmuting them into the pieces of an altogether different story.

I suspect this fic of having been underappreciated when it was first posted because of the lack of any central organization in the fandom, which can lead to a certain lack of visibility. I only found it by accident, and I'm glad I did; it's very much worth the finding.

Kuroshitsuji Arcana - (0) The Fool
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31st-Aug-2012 08:48 pm Devilish Impulses by KittyGetsLoose (Mature)
Fandom: KUROSHITSUJI 

Pairing: Sebastian/Ciel
Length: 208,815 words

Author on LJ: unknown

Author Website: KittyGetsLoose at AO3
Why this must be read:

Okay, so this is a little awkward.

Sooner or later, anyone trying to pimp her shiny new small fandom, or to compile a solid set of recs for it, is likely to encounter the problem of the really excellent fic that happens not to be to her own personal taste. If Kuroshitsuji were a regular fandom on [livejournal.com profile] crack_van, I'd leave the rec for "Devilish Impulses" for another reccer, because it deserves a writeup by a reader who loves it. But it also deserves to be recommended here, and the readers who will also love it deserve to know about it. And since I don't know when Kuroshitsuji will have another turn here, I think it would be a disservice to the community to leave it unmentioned.

"Devilish Impulses" is a novel-length redemption story spinning off from the end of the first anime series, intricately plotted, well written, and chock full of angst, hurt/comfort elements, and overall themes of the redeeming power of love and sacrifice. It has a lush Victorian sensibility that is absolutely appropriate for the era in which Kuroshitsuji is set. It is sensitive about the abuse in Ciel's past and its consequences, and it does thoughtful things about cosmology, good and evil, and Sebastian's role in the universe. Many, many readers have loved it, and if your tastes run to the popular fannish flavors of angst and hurt/comfort and redemption, there's every reason to think that you will love it too.

Devilish Impulses
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31st-Aug-2012 08:01 pm The Mystic North by kitsune (Gen)
Fandom: KUROSHITSUJI

Pairing: none
Length: 653 words
Author on LJ:[livejournal.com profile] dfledermaus
Author Website: kitsune at AO3
Why this must be read:



Ciel and Sebastian find themselves in a Canadian shack, and cope in their own distinctive fashion. That's probably all you need to know, right?

This one's a sentimental favorite of mine, not only because it works beautifully both as a Kuroshitsuji story and as a Canadian Shack story (which it does), but also because by its very existence it joins Kuroshitsuji fandom to a particular multifandom tradition, a tributary to another of fandom's many greater streams.



The Mystic North
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31st-Aug-2012 07:29 pm That Denial Takes From None by Sutlers (Gen)
Fandom: KUROSHITSUJI
Pairing: none (Sebastian/Ciel pre-slash, if you want to read it that way)

Length: 1426 words

Author on LJ: [livejournal.com profile] sutlers
Author Website: sutlers at AO3
Why this must be read:

Given Ciel's age and background, it's only natural for fans and writers alike to wonder how he would handle the public school experience that might have been in his future had his parents lived. And indeed, Toboso herself is giving us a look at one set of possibilities in the current school manga arc.

Sutlers' take on an encounter between Ciel and the playing fields of Eton is quite different, and not to be missed. This is an older Ciel, confident, dangerous in his own right, and able to act as a full partner to his demon. It's a version of Ciel we don't often see in fic, but this is the future Ciel that's clearly implied by the 13-year-old we've seen so far in canon. Sutlers is one of those writers whose work always leaves me with that distinctive fannish reaction that goes, Wow, that was amazing, with a greedy side order of and why must she ever write in other fandoms that I might not share? Why can we not have ALL THE FIC? This story is no exception.

That Denial Takes From None
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31st-Aug-2012 04:00 pm All's Flair In Love and War by Amanuensis (G)
Fandom: KUROSHITSUJI 

Pairing: none

Length: 1180 words

Author on LJ: [livejournal.com profile] amanuensis1
Author Website: Despoiling Harry
Why this must be read:

The relationship between the serious and straitlaced William T. Spears and his flamboyant and gifted colleague Grell Sutcliffe is one of the delights of the series, whether you read it as a professional relationship, a friendship, or something more. "All's Flair In Love and War" is a charming take on a friendship that maybe shouldn't work, but that canon strongly suggests does -- if in a screwball-comedy kind of way, now with extra death. And as a bonus, it features one of the niftiest uses ever of an often-overlooked bit of canon about the shinigami and their employee benefits.

All's Flair In Love and War
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31st-Aug-2012 02:08 pm "Rotting on the Vine" by fairbreeze (Mature)
Fandom: KUROSHITSUJI 

Pairing: Sebastian/Ciel

Length: 854 words
Spoilers: for the Circus manga arc

Author on LJ: [livejournal.com profile] fairbreeze
Author Website: fairbreeze on AO3
Why this must be read:

The end of the Circus Arc is one of the key moments of the manga, and the unambiguous horror of its events, combined with the careful ambiguity Toboso preserves around Ciel's and Sebastian's motives, makes it a favorite subject for writers.

Here, fairbreeze gives us a beautiful and dreadful look into the mind of one possible Ciel: a Ciel who is as damned as his demon, who knows that and may even welcome it -- and for whom it is still possible to have pity.

Rotting on the Vine
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31st-Aug-2012 11:26 am "Prettier in Pieces" by GoodbyeMyHeart (T)
Fandom: KUROSHITSUJI
Pairing: Sebastian/Ciel

Length: 943 words

Author on LJ: [livejournal.com profile] goodbyemyheart
Author Website: GoodbyeMyHeart at ff.net
Why this must be read:

It's commonplace in Kuroshitsuji fandom to argue that Sebastian holds all the real power in his relationship with Ciel, despite his formal (temporary) position as Ciel's servant. He is, after all, ancient, immortal, and immensely powerful, while Ciel is a mortal child who has promised Sebastian his soul. But both manga and anime suggest that this is too simple a reading: from the beginning, we see hints that Sebastian is as inextricably caught as Ciel, if only by his own unexpected fascination with his master.

In this story, set in the earliest days of their contract, a Sebastian who is both convincingly other and in the process of becoming the character we know struggles to ride the storm of incomprehensible new desires rising within him. There's not a lot of fic written from Sebastian's point of view that works: this one manages it in bravura form. Like a lot of the best Kuroshitsuji fic, it's short, but its length is deceptive. It bears re-reading, and there's more there than might first appear.

Prettier in Pieces
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30th-Aug-2012 11:05 pm the high charm of life by fated_addiction (teen and up)
Fandom: KUROSHITSUJI
Pairing: Elizabeth/Ciel
Length: 1993 words
Spoilers: for recent manga chapters, and for series 2 of the anime
Author on LJ:[livejournal.com profile] fated_addiction
Author Website: fated_addiction at AO3
Why this must be read:

Elizabeth and Ciel have one of the most complex relationships in all of Kuro's multiple canons: two intelligent, strong-willed people who love each other, are bound to each other by blood as well as by an engagement neither shows any desire to repudiate, and who have secrets from each other that they will go to considerable lengths to keep. It's a difficult relationship to write convincingly, in ways that convey both the tension and the love between the two, the things that will forever remain unsaid despite what they come to know of each other, and the ways in which it does and doesn't matter.

The high charm of life does a gorgeous job of keeping that balance, as it gives us a picture of one possible future for the two of them. It's a love story, or maybe a horror story, or maybe (probably) both at once; and it's a beautiful piece of work no matter which way you read it.

the high charm of life
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20th-Aug-2012 11:33 pm For the Table by Khilari (General Audiences)
Fandom: KUROSHITSUJI
Pairing: none

Length: double drabble
Author on LJ: [livejournal.com profile] khilari
Author Website: khilari on AO3
Why this must be read:
Finny wins a turkey chick to raise for the Christmas table -- and really, truly intends to do exactly that.

One of the coolest things about fanfic's ultra-short forms is the way that in the right hands, they can be amazingly bigger on the inside than on the outside. This is a story that manages the trick in high form.

Read it, and then go have a look at Toboso's cover for Chapter 63. (Readers following the manga will already be familiar with it, but it's always fun to see it again.)




For the Table
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15th-Aug-2012 10:12 pm His Butler, Dreamwalks by vitalsigns1719 (K+)
Fandoms: KUROSHITSUJI/GOOD OMENS
Pairing: n/a

Length: 1545 words
Author on LJ:
 unknown
Author Website: vitalsigns1719 at ff.net
Why this must be read:

So, two demons walk into a bar . . .


Kuroshitsuji and Good Omens make for one of those natural combinations, the kind that enhance each other like raspberries and chocolate. Two representatives of Hell walking the earth, each with his own perhaps less than officially-sactioned motivations and agendas: surely they must have interesting matters to discuss.

Like angels, and corsets, and the nature of humanity. The Crowley voice here is pitch-perfect, and Sebastian as seen through Crowley's eyes is not to be missed.

His Butler, Dreamwalks
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9th-Aug-2012 12:32 am Her Butler, Solicitous by eevilalice (explicit)
Fandom: KUROSHITSUJI
Pairing: Sebastian/Elizabeth
Length: 1305 words
Author on LJ: [livejournal.com profile] eevilalice
Author Website: eevilalice on AO3
Why this must be read:

Sometimes a short, explicit story is pure PWP, where its hotness is its own reward and justification. But sometimes, when we're very lucky, we get one that's not only scorchingly hot, but goes well beyond that, using all the hotness to tell us something new about the characters and their lives.

This is one of the stories where we got lucky. Sebastian and Elizabeth may not make the most obvious of couples at first glance, but eevilalice gives us a relationship makes all the sense in the world, while keeping both delightfully in character.

Her Butler, Solicitous
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31st-Dec-2011 07:33 pm VID REC: Shinigami Dispatch Society by Toboso Yana and the Original Musical Cast (Gen)
Fandom: KUROSHITSUJI
Music: Shinigami Haken Kyoukai no Theme (music by Taku Iwasaki, lyrics by Yukinojou Mori)
Musical Artist: “Most Beautiful Death In The World” original cast
Pairing: Alan Humphries/Eric Slingby
Length: 8:25
Vidder's Website: YouTube
Why This Vid Kicks Ass:

It has dancing bureaucrats. Who are gods of death. Who sing about office policies. If that's not enough to explain why you need to watch this, I fear that a demon may have eaten your soul while you weren't looking.

This clip is something of a special case: the subtitles are a fanwork and a labor of love, but it's not a fanvid in other respects. Still, it's a thing of glory and not to be missed: in its mix of crack, humor, and underlying darkness, it sums up everything I love about the fandom. And as a nontrivial bonus, the perfection of the casting is an amazing thing to behold.

Shinigami Dispatch Society
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31st-Dec-2011 05:08 pm Spacing by Sanpizel (Mature)
This is likely to be my last rec of the month, so I'm seizing the opportunity to thank you all for riding along, and to thank our lovely mods for giving me a turn behind the wheel. My hope is that this won't be the last time Kuroshitsuji takes the van out, and that future drivers will fill in the significant gaps I've left. My set of recs has been heavily slanted toward Sebastian/Ciel, because that's the part of the fandom I know; if I've overlooked Lizzie, and Will, and Grell, and others, it has been for lack of knowledge, not lack of enthusiasm. And I'll be happy and grateful to others who can tell me where to find all the good stuff I haven't found myself.

And one final note: I haven't exactly made a secret of my hopes that there are enough of us who love this fandom scattered across LJ and DW to make Kuroshitsuji into an active LJ fandom once more, if only we stay in contact with one another. So this is a quasi-advertisement and invitation: if a new comm for flashfic and/or Kuro meta is something you might be interested in, please do stalk keep half an eye on my personal journal. I'll have a brainstorming post up shortly after the new year.


Fandom: KUROSHITSUJI
Pairing: Claude/Sebastian, and vice versa
Length: 9385 words
Author on LJ: [livejournal.com profile] wo_xi_huan
Author Website: Sanpizel on ff.net
Why this must be read:

One day, for no particular reason Ciel will ever know, Claude “present[s] himself on the doorstep rather like a surprisingly well-groomed stray.” It turns out that he's looking for a new position. Wackiness ensues, in beautifully precise, deadpan sentences.

Back when I wrote up the fandom overview, [livejournal.com profile] shayheyred reminded me that while Claude/Sebastian isn't a dominant pairing in the fandom, it does have a following. She was right, of course: putting these two together is a recipe for the kind of enemies slash fandom loves. So I went looking for the delicious hate!sex fic to recommend.

I found “Spacing” instead. And having found it, well, I misquote Jane Austen: Let other reccers dwell on guilt and misery. I quit such odious subjects as soon as I can, and present you with this bit of confectionery instead. Here, have a taste:
Raising an eyebrow, he stared down at the cakes. These were no tiny treats, meant to be eaten with laughably small dessert forks. No, they were in fact full cakes- and one was exquisitely decorated with fresh flowers and a marzipan statue in the form of Artemis. Ciel surreptitiously inspected his teacup, running his fingers up and under the lip of the bottom- yes, there was the silky, faintly sticky brush of a web in miniature.

Sebastian, unaware of this discovery or perhaps feigning innocence, served Ciel a piece of cake that was, quite frankly, inexcusably large.

'Fattening me up?' Ciel asked casually, before bringing his fingers up to display the web as well. The faces of both men changed: Sebastian's "I have done nothing and am completely innocent" face was cheery and airy, while Claude's "you may have discovered something but I will never admit it while the world still turns" face was as placid as the face of a tomb.

'What is it this time,' Ciel mused, taking a bite of the cake and shooting Claude a death glare when he moved forward as if to feed him, 'the linens again?'

Seriously, how could you possibly resist? Funny, strange, and every other sentence is a jewel.

Spacing
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31st-Dec-2011 02:42 pm Bittersweet by Kantayra (Mature)
Fandom: KUROSHITSUJI
Pairing: Ciel/Sebastian
Length: 3888 words
Author on LJ: [livejournal.com profile] kantayra
Author Website: Kantayra at AO3
Warnings: Spoilers for the end of the second anime series
Why this must be read:

In "Bittersweet" Ciel solves the riddle of how to find some kind of happiness in their unchosen new mode of existence, for Sebastian as well as for himself. Characteristically, his solution does not involve acceptance of that which cannot be changed.

This story was written for me, in this past August's Parallels fic exchange, but that's not why I've chosen it to rec from among Kantayra's many wonderful Kuroshitsuji stories.* “Bittersweet” is a standout for the way it captures the flavor of Ciel and Sebastian's relationship as we know it from canon, for its delicious scenes of Sebastian in action, hunting and fighting, and most of all for the way it shows us Ciel's mind at work, recognizing a problem, analyzing it, and taking care of it in his own distinctive style. It's typical of him, and perfect for the series, that the solution he chooses is both effective and one with which he has a certain amount of experience. Revenge, it turns out, works for everything. It can even convert an eternal curse into a happily ever after.

*And really, read them all, you won't be disappointed.

Bittersweet
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31st-Dec-2011 12:37 pm Abaddon's Child by flipperland (Mature)
Fandom: KUROSHITSUJI
Pairing: Ciel/Sebastian; Ciel/Elizabeth
Length: 4981 words
Author on LJ: [livejournal.com profile] flipperland
Author Website: flipperland at AO3
Warnings: Spoilers for the end of the second anime series
Why this must be read:

By no means all of the possible futures for Sebastian and Ciel in the wake of series two leave hope for anything that could be called happy resolution, in even the most generous sense. In “Abaddon's Child,” flipperland looks at a relationship turned to mutual hatred, but still indissoluble, still filled with mutual fascination, and so grown in power and significance that the fact of its existence is destined to shake the universe to its core.

Ciel has become a demon in more than flesh here: the spirit that remains is malevolent and far from his human self. Bleak and riveting, the story gives us an ending that's a tragedy for everyone – the more so, perhaps, because neither this Ciel nor this Sebastian might see it as such.

Abaddon's Child
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30th-Dec-2011 06:13 pm All Cats are Grey in the Dark by SharpestRose (Gen)
Fandom: KUROSHITSUJI
Pairing: Ciel/Sebastian
Length: 2254 words
Author on LJ: unknown
Author Website: SharpestRose at AO3
Warnings: Spoilers for the end of the second anime series
Why this must be read:

Ciel takes his first soul and his first contract, and in so doing finally confronts truths he has been hiding from himself, and perhaps from Sebastian as well.

“All Cats are Grey in the Dark” gives us a luminous and exquisitely-drawn vision of Ciel and Sebastian as they adjust to a new and unanticipated mode of life: one that they did not choose, but can choose to make their peace with. It's not the future either of them intended, but it's a future that might, in the end, allow them each some measure of happiness.

All Cats are Grey in the Dark
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30th-Dec-2011 05:28 pm A Distinct Lack of a Spoken Apology by Amanuesis (Gen)
Fandom: KUROSHITSUJI
Pairing: none
Length: ~ 1000 words
Author on LJ: [livejournal.com profile] amanuesis1
Author Website: Despoiling Harry
Warnings: Spoilers, for the end of the second anime series; also, major character death
Why this must be read:

To say that the second anime series, and its ending, are controversial within Kuroshitsuji fandom is perhaps something of an understatement. In contrast to the ending to the first series, the ending to the second series (if you take the series as a whole as anything more than a dream) tells us Ciel and Sebastian will have further adventures; it also leaves us with no more than hints about what has actually happened to our characters, what any of it means, or what sort of future lies before them.

This is not, obviously, a situation any self-respecting fandom can leave alone. To finish the final episode of the second series, if you've become invested at all, is to make strangled noises at the screen – noises that translate, roughly, as What was that I can't even – and go to work at once on some way to fix it (whether by "fix it" you mean "Ack, no, you can't stop there, this is going someplace we need to see!" or "Ack, no, you are totally not going to that place! Here's where you're really going!"). As that range of possible meanings for "fix it" suggests, he end of the series is so strange, and the information we're left with so ambiguous, that it doesn't impose any single dominant narrative of what's likely to come next for our protagonists -- indeed, it tells us almost nothing, even by implication. Which is wonderful for the fandom: instead of resulting in people writing the same story over and over, the irresistible urge to Do Something with the second series ending has given us a rich and varied subgenre.

My next few recs are all post-series-two fics; but that's all they have in common -- that, and my admiration for every one.

* * * * *


Sebastian, as we know, is extremely good at fixing broken situations. In “A Distinct Lack of a Spoken Apology,” he does just that, with a little help from an old friend. Visceral and bloody and at the same time strangely sweet, this isn't a story that gives us a happily-ever-after by any ordinary definition. But from Ciel's own point of view, as well as from Sebastian's, it's hard not to see it as a kind of victory.

A Distinct Lack of a Spoken Apology
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29th-Dec-2011 09:22 pm Worthy Of His Hire by Khilari (Gen)
Fandom: KUROSHITSUJI
Pairing: none
Length: 887 words
Author on LJ: [livejournal.com profile] khilari
Author Website: khilari at AO3
Warning: For major character death
Why this must be read:

Sebastian and Ciel's story begins with Sebastian saving Ciel's life; here it ends with Ciel saving Sebastian's.

“Worthy Of His Hire” carries a humor tag, and perhaps Ciel would consider that appropriate. And his view should count, because this is really Ciel's story, for all that we see it from Sebastian's point of view: the last moments of Ciel's life give us a moving and razor-sharp vision of what makes Ciel Ciel, someone who against all the odds could fascinate and command (and perhaps even be loved by) an ancient demon of incalculable power. If these are Ciel's final moments in the world, they're last moments that are worthy of him.

This is a story that leaves me with very much the same sort of feeling that the end of the first anime series leaves me with: a blend of aesthetic pleasure and desolation. It's not a happily-ever-after kind of ending, but it's one I suspect Ciel himself would be content with: he has the grandeur here of Ulysses in Dante's hell. It's a stunning story, and the most moving and satisfying not-happy ending I've seen in anywhere in the fandom.

Worthy Of His Hire
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28th-Dec-2011 03:55 pm Sensorium by Othercat (Teen and Up)
Fandom: KUROSHITSUJI
Pairing: none
Length: 1172 words
Author on LJ: [livejournal.com profile] othercat
Author Website: OtherCat at AO3
Why this must be read:

In the early days of their contract, Sebastian finds that he needs to teach Ciel to live inside his body as well as his mind; in the process, he may learn something about his own motives.

This story is about a relationship, but it's also about Sebastian as an artist, something canon tells us is a central element of Sebastian's nature, but that's rarely explored (or explored so directly) in fic. Here we see his mind at work, selecting flavor or color, texture or scent to set before Ciel with the analytic intelligence of an artist selecting pigment and medium. Sebastian thinks he's teaching Ciel to live in his body; in fact, he's teaching him that his senses as a precision instrument, that the riot of sensory detail they provide him are a tool with which to understand the world.

Aspects of this story have been mildly Jossed by the most recent installments of the manga, but the contradictions are trivial and easily explained away. And they're dwarfed by the ways in which this backstory feels utterly right, for both the Ciel we meet in canon and for his teacher.

Since it can be hard to access AO3 just at the moment, I'm giving you two links for "Sensorium," one to AO3 and one to ff.net. That way you won't have to miss it just because the archive's giving you a 502 error -- and really, you don't want to miss this one.

Sensorium (at ff.net)
Sensorium (at AO3)
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23rd-Dec-2011 02:21 pm Visit by Chicary (Teen and Up)
Fandom: KUROSHITSUJI
Pairing: Claude/Ciel
Length: 870 words
Author on LJ: [livejournal.com profile] chicary
Author Website: Chicary at AO3
Why this must be read:

Of all Kuroshitsuji's supernatural characters, Claude Faustus is the furthest removed from anything recognizably human. He's a challenge for writers: it's hard to render his sheer strangeness in a way that's recognizable and convincing even from the outside, and I haven't seen much that succeeds. "Visit" does something even rarer: it's written from Claude's point of view, and it works.

Here Claude contemplates and tries to understand Ciel, and the meaning of his own obsession with him. It's never quite clear whether the visit of the title is real or an artifact of Claude's obsession and imagination, and perhaps that's part of the point: Claude does not see the world as we do. Beautiful, eerie, and disorienting, "Visit" is a remarkable piece of work; I know of nothing else remotely like it in the fandom.

Visit
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22nd-Dec-2011 01:57 am Lucid Dreaming by White Aster (Explicit)
Fandom: KUROSHITSUJI
Pairing: Sebastian/Ciel
Length: 2900 words
Author on LJ: white_aster (DW feed)
Author Website: White Aster at AO3
Why this must be read:

In Ciel's dreams, Ciel and Sebastian remember the beginning of their contract, and contemplate its ending.

"Lucid Dreaming" is extraordinary for its rendering of the experience of dreaming, in all its sensuality and immediacy, its irrationality and simultaneous, paradoxical sense of inescapable reality. Ciel and Sebastian are both terrifying here, each in his own way; and their story carries the intensity of dream and the terror of nightmare, blending sweetness, pleasure, and horror.

This one comes with warnings: for an underage character and lack of meaningful consent. But if those elements aren't a barrier for you, this is a story you won't want to miss. And if you read it now, you might get to it before AO3 is hammered into temporary inaccessibility by Yuletide uploads. Which might not happen this year, but why take the risk?

Lucid Dreaming
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21st-Dec-2011 10:30 pm Mirror, Mirror by Cat In My Fridge (Explicit)
Fandom: KUROSHITSUJI
Pairing: Sebastian/Ciel
Length: 7800 words
Author on LJ: [livejournal.com profile] yinake
Author Website: Cat In My Fridge at ff.net
Why this must be read:

Continuing the day's theme of hot porn for a cold night, "Mirror, Mirror" is a portrait of a relationship, as we see it revealed over the course of a single late-night encounter between Sebastian and an older Ciel. This is a darker and more pessimistic take on that relationship than anything in my previous recs, and arguably more pessimistic than canon: here we have a Sebastian and Ciel who are inextricably bound together, and as fascinated by one another as ever, but who never quite like each other. The ambivalence and complexity of their relationship, and its neverending shifts of power and control, only fuel the heat between them here: it's clear in every word of the story why these two can't keep their hands off each other, whether they think they should or not. And the exchange about kisses at the very end is exquisite and chilling.

Mirror, Mirror
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21st-Dec-2011 05:20 pm A Better Trap by Branch (Explicit)
Fandom: KUROSHITSUJI
Pairing: Ciel/Sebastian
Length: 604 words
Author on LJ: no
Author Website: Branch's fic archive
Why this must be read:

It's the winter solstice in the northern hemisphere: for many of us, the most stressful point in a highly stressful season. What better time for some nice hot smut, demon style?

The author gives "A Better Trap" an explicit rating, and she's right, but perhaps not in the ways that might spring to mind. There's no physical action in this story at all, not even in the characters' thoughts. Nevertheless, this is unmistakably porn (and smoking hot porn, as befits a demon). Which makes it not only a warming read, just right for a cold dark winter day, but a really remarkable trick of storytelling as well.

A Better Trap
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20th-Dec-2011 12:19 am Bound By Mitra and Varuna by sutlers (M)
Fandom: KUROSHITSUJI
Pairing: Ciel/Sebastian, references to Ciel/Elizabeth
Length: 3718 words
Author on LJ: [livejournal.com profile] sutlers
Author Website: sutlers at AO3
Why this must be read:

Some years in the future, and not too long after his marriage, Ciel is tasked with stopping a serial killer at work in India.

This is one of the real jewels of the fandom. "Bound By Mitra and Varuna" packs extraordinary depth and complexity into its relatively short length: it's at once a case fic that could have come straight from canon, a richly nuanced look at the inside of Ciel's mind, and a striking portrait of a relationship in the moments when it shifts forever. It's also beautifully, beautifully written: the sort of story where you think about quoting a line or two, go to pick out an excerpt, and then give up because, how can you possibly choose?

It's is a story to linger over, and to read more than once. Go, read; you won't be sorry.

Bound By Mitra and Varuna
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17th-Dec-2011 04:04 pm Love and Marriage by Saucery (Teen and Up)
Fandom: KUROSHITSUJI
Pairing: William T. Spears/Grell Sutcliffe
Length: 284 words
Author on LJ: [livejournal.com profile] saucery
Author Website: Saucery at AO3
Why this must be read:

William and Grell make a wonderful couple. They're strong, distinctive personalities with, let's just say, striking differences in their approaches to and philosophies about life and work. But their differences fit together like gears meshing to form a relationship that feels as eternal and indestructible as shinigami themselves, and you can't miss the sparks between them. This tiny story is a beautifully precise illustration of how it all works, clear and vivid as a candid photo from a wedding, the kind taken in haste while the couple aren't looking.

Love and Marriage
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15th-Dec-2011 09:10 pm official correspondence by incandescens (PG)
A second story for Crossover Day.

Fandom: KUROSHITSUJI/HELLSING
Pairing: n/a
Length: 879 words
Author on LJ: [livejournal.com profile] incandescens
Author Website: Maya's fanfic page
Why this must be read:

How often do we get a chance to rifle through the confidential files of either the Hellsing Organization or the Queen's Watchdog? An exchange of letters between Ciel Phantomhive and Integra Wingate Hellsing, regarding Ciel's employment of an individual who might be of interest to Hellsing, it's at once gloriously funny and capable of making a reader feel sorry, if briefly, for Sir Integra and Ciel both.

official correspondence
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15th-Dec-2011 05:56 pm At the Devil's Knee by Delphi (Teen and Up)
Fandom: KUROSHITSUJI, JEEVES & WOOSTER
Pairing: Sebastian/Ciel implied
Length: 1482 words
Author on LJ: [livejournal.com profile] atdelphi
Author Website: Delphi at AO3
Why this must be read:

Because in this story Jeeves meets one hell of a butler, with subtle but life-altering consequences. You can't tell me that you don't want to be there for that. Not when the story has, as this one does, every bit of the elegance that you'd expect from these two gentlemen. It's an inspired take on two canons that are naturals for each other.

At the Devil's Knee
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14th-Dec-2011 08:47 pm Salvation by GoodbyeMyHeart (R)
Fandom: KUROSHITSUJI
Pairing: Sebastian/Ciel
Length: 2213 words
Author on LJ: [livejournal.com profile] goodbyemyheart
Author Website: GoodbyeMyHeart at ff.net
Why this must be read:

Today is Ciel's birthday, and as Sebastian points out at one point in the first anime, nothing good ever happens to him on his birthday. So the day seems to call for fics in which bad things do not happen to him, and in which we can see him being not merely entertained, but happy.

For certain values of happiness, that is, because this is still Kuroshitsuji.

Late at night, Ciel and Sebastian talk about the nature of prayer, of Ciel's childhood and of his time in captivity, and of the moment of their first meeting. GoodbyeMyHeart is a remarkable writer, and her work here is gorgeous, from the images to the rhythms of her sentences. "Salvation" is about as schmoopy as Kuro properly gets, but in a way consistent with the darker elements of the canon -- which is to say, the sweetness is in perfect balance with the acid, so that we, like Ciel in this story, wouldn't want it any other way.


Salvation
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14th-Dec-2011 12:44 am His Butler, Mirthful by Nimori (Gen)
Fandom: KUROSHITSUJI
Pairing: none
Length: 1509 words
Author on LJ: [livejournal.com profile] nimori (no longer updated, see journal note)
Author Website: Nimori on AO3
Why this must be read:

Finny, Maylene and Bard are great characters in their own right, and this is a story to convince you that there's too little fic written from their point of view. They know less about the household than we in the audience do, but there are ways in which their perceptions may, paradoxically, be all the clearer for that.

The three, and Tanaka, decide that Sebastian owes them something more than his usual aloof patience, and challenge each other to make him laugh. The results are at once, and paradoxically, funny, warm, and chilling to the bone. This is one of those rare stories that's a pleasure to read the first time, and then gets stronger with re-reading: the better you know the characters the more of a punch it delivers.

His Butler, Mirthful
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13th-Dec-2011 01:59 am It's the Fault of the Kid in the Dress by Sanpizil (R)
Fandom: KUROSHITSUJI
Pairing: Sebastian/Ciel
Length: 3656 words
Author on LJ: [livejournal.com profile] wo_xi_huan
Author Website: Sanpizil
Why this must be read:

Sebastian and Ciel think about each other, with surprising and gratifying results.

This is almost a palate-cleanser sort of a fic, in the best possible way: if it were a dessert it would be a champagne sorbet. For all the popularity of the Ciel/Sebastian pairing in the fandom, it's rare to find stories where the relationship between them develops an erotic component while remaining, recognizably, the relationship we know from canon. This story manages the trick in high style: Ciel and Sebastian are utterly themselves, and the result is an episode that could be canon, if only canon went to the sorts of places fic can go.

Bubbly, cold, funny, and convincing, it's a perfectly delicious piece.

It's the Fault of the Kid in the Dress
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