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Just keeping tabs on the great stories I've read in 2011. Various fandoms & pairings, slash and het, whatever takes my fancy.

Adding to this in 2012, because it's just easier to keep all my favorites together in one post.

Sherlock Holmes het
"Dubious and Questionable" by Spockside.
Sherlock/Adler. Wonderfully-written Sherlock Holmes story, in which Irene Adler comes to him with a proposition. Yes, it's that kind of proposition. The tone is perfectly in keeping with the original stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, except for the addition of super-hot porn.

"Genevieve" by CSI Clue.

Sherlock/OFC. Sherlock frequents a bookstore run by a shy, charming female. Again, adherence to the tone of the original stories makes this a beautiful and sexy story.

"Sustain (Or Concerto for the Famished in D Minor)" by MaybeAmanda and OneMillionandNine. BBC Sherlock. It's not easy to get Molly Hooper and Sherlock Holmes together - their characters are created to be a mismatch of UST. So when someone does it flawlessly, keeping both utterly in character through a long story involving not only sexual involvment but even pregnancy and domesticity, it's a real treat. Utterly engaging and satisfying.

Sherlock Holmes slash
"The Progress of Sherlock Holmes" by ivyblossom. BBC Sherlock, S/J NC-17. Sherlock's pov. John marries serial cheater Mary, who knows all about his attraction to Sherlock. Beautifully written in the cadence of the BBC's TV show.

"Performance in a Leading Role" by Mad_Lori. Log: AU BBC Sherlock. Sherlock Holmes is an Oscar winning actor in a career slump, John Watson is an Everyman actor trapped in date movies. When they are cast as a gay couple in a new film, will they surprise each other? Will their on-screen romance become reality?  I hate AU's. I just feel like if you want to write an original story in an original scenario, just write it. But this story breaks the mold. It was brilliantly written, the characters were true to their canon voices, and the story was irresistibly compelling. I kept thinking someone should option this story and make it into a real movie (changing the names of Watson & Holmes, obviously.) Really fantastic.

"The Fundamental Things Apply" by raina_at.  BBC Sherlock S/J PG. Log: Sherlock counts the kisses he's stolen from John while high or injured. John doesn't.  Sherlock's pov, with wonderful characterizations for both of them. BAMF!John is a treat. 

Star Trek Het
"Nocturne" by CSI Clue.  McCoy/OFC. McCoy treats a patient with an unusual condition that affects her sleep - and that of the crewmembers bunking near her. A unique premise and delightful original character, plus the voices of McCoy and Spock are perfection.

Deep Space Nine - Garak/Bashir
February: I've gotten into the Garak/Bashir pairing all of a sudden, brought on by wickedly beautiful dreams of Dr. Bashir. Though there are some writers still involved in that fandom, most of the stories are from times past.

"The Garak/Bashir Mysteries" by Jen Ingram with Charlene Vickers. I'd heard of this epic series but not dared to dive into it until I read this post by prelocandkanar. I'm not usually interested in the Mystery genre, so it took a hearty recommendation like that to lure me in. This may very well be the great masterwork of Garak/Bashir fanfiction. The mysteries are quite interesting, but it's the characterizations and the plot twists that make this a gripping read.
“Kal Toh: Seeds of Order” 
"The Cheap Date"
“Sinless” 
“Never-Ending Sacrifice” 
“Meditations on a Crimson Shadow”
"The Red Uniform" (a brief post-series snippet)

Dark_Sinestra episodic series. I don't know if Dark_Sinestra has a name for this series, but it's a retelling of canon DS9 episodes, in order, but with a developing relationship between Garak and Bashir. It goes through mid-fifth season, and is one of the most mature depictions of what a relationship between these characters might be like, warts and all. Truly wonderful. I read this while I was doing my DS9 rewatch and found myself racing through the episodes just so I could get caught up with her story. A rewarding read. Link is to the first chapter, "Slow Burn."

"Scorched Earth" by altariel. This is Una McCormack's fanfiction name, and she writes a gripping AU in which Tain's attack on the Founders' homeworld meets with success, and Garak returns home to Cardassia to resume his aborted rise to power. Intense plotting, insightful characterizations, and compelling original characters make this an unforgettable story. (2002)

"Black Bottle" by hermit9. Extremely angsty, and focuses on Garak's domination issues, though not to the exclusion of Bashir's pleasure. Deep and beautifully written. Though the author seemed to have abandoned it for real life, it does end on a note of completion and reads as a finished story. (Written from 2006-8, but new this year to me.)  Here's a better link for it!

"Heart's-Truth-Fruit" by crowdog66. Light Garak/Bashir, gen. A gorgeous story that reveals the relationships of all the major characters in DS9 through poetry. Delicate and heart-warming.

"When The Farsei Blooms" by crowdog66. Garak/Bashir NC-17. Author's summary: "Stranded on a remote Cardassian colony, Bashir and Garak must seek out a transmitter which is their only hope of rescue." Words almost fail me when trying to describe the elegance of the writing in this gorgeous WIP. Epic in sweep, with a beautifully realized world and delightful voices for Garak and Bashir, as well as genuinely engaging original characters. I held off reading this for a while, but by the time she'd reached 24 chapters, I caved. I spent three breathless days riveted by this story, and am eagerly awaiting the coming chapters.

"Lost in Translation" by crowdog66. G/B NC-17, First Time. First time, and how! Julian goes to Garak's shop to thank him for his help with Tahna Los after the events of "Past Prologue," and a cultural misunderstanding leads to the hottest sex of his life. Julian's happy newbie's perspective on the station is so fresh, and the sex is utterly mind-blowing.

"Infallible Ways" by crowdog66.  A wonderful moment between Garak, grumpy with hormones, and Bashir, who maintains his professionalism all the way through. The way they watch each other is mesmerizing.

"Trusting" by crowdog66. PG. Yet another breathtaking story by crowdog66. Garak scrutinizes Julian as they walk around the habitat ring, and reels him in to a confession. Scintillating.

"A Friend In Need" by crowdog66 (writing as prairiecrow on AO3 in this link). Should I just link to her archive on AO3 at this point? In this story, Garak is evincing an embarrassing side-effect of lack of sexual activity: his forehead spoon has started to color blue. Bashir notices and offers a solution. Garak is vulnerable, Julian is generous, and the result is spectacular. The sexual negotiation between them here is absolutely delightful, and the actual sex left me breathless.

"Supply and Demand" by crowdog66/prairiecrow. An encounter in the supply closet of the Defiant, set during the season 6 episode "A Time To Stand." Juicy PWP. Well, the plot is supplied by the episode! You'll never watch that episode the same way again.

"Blind Date" by prelocandkanar. Garak/Bashir PG. Bashir temporarily loses his eyesight in an accident, and Garak shows up to help out while he's on leave. The build of this was awesome, and her depiction of a very flawed and very smart Julian is so insightful. Add in a helplessly infatuated Garak, and it's magic. (Written in 2008.)

"The Politics of Sex" by Gryvon. G/B, NC-17. Author's summary: For Cardassians, sex is a game of politics, one Bashir has no chances of winning. (2009)

"Nothing We Can't Cure" by Karmen Ghia. G/B. NC-17. Garak gets the alien clap from a trader. The restraint in the voices of both characters is excellent here, but it's the sly humor that really made this special. (2000)

"Measurements" by Isagel
. G/B NC-17. Shenanigans in the changing room! Downloadable on AO3. :D  And while you're there don't miss her lyrical "The Greek Upon The Stars."

"These Little Things" by Night-Mare-Chan.  Funny and touching look at one lunch with Garak and Bashir. Garak is complex and saucy here, and Julian is clueless about Garak's desire for him without being a dolt. The scene when Garak facilitates Julian's ability to hit on a Bajoran waitress is unforgettable. (2009)

"Faces of Porn" Drabbles, Parts One and Two written by corpus_invictus, illustrated by idkmybffspock. NC-17. Delightful series of sexy vignettes, with amazing illustrations.

"To The Island" by airandangels. G/B NC-17. Garak and Julian go on holiday on an idyllic island. Everything about this story is enchanting, from the gorgeous locale to their hilarious in-character dialogue, to Julian's nerves about his first time with a man.

"After The Island" by airandangels. G/B NC-17. Sequel to "To The Island" and a little bit darker in tone, but still full of clever dialogue and pitch-perfect characterizations. Years after the Island (and the series finale), Garak is a respected political leader on Cardassia, and sick as a dog.  His old friend Julian surprises him by coming to take care of him. After years apart, Julian works his way back into Garak's heart.

"Besotted" by airandangels. G/B NC-17. A continuation of the "Island" stories, but can be read as a standalone. G&B wake up on a quiet morning and discuss going to a bath-house, have hot sex. Then Julian contemplates his role as husband. As always, excellent dialogue and fascinating insights into Julian's self-perception.

"Comparative Anatomy" by airandangels. G/B NC-17. Julian persuades Garak to show him his genitals, for science! As usual with airandangels, the dialogue is as delectable as the pron. Run, do not walk, to read this hilarious and sexy story.

"Apt" by airandangels. G/B AU NC-17. Inspired by a meme on tumblr, airandangels writes a delicious story about our favorite characters, all living in a contemporary apartment building. O'Brien is the super, and Julian's attempt to befriend him is ridiculously cute. As usual, the sex scenes are hot and character-defining.

"A Light In the Mirror" by seraphtrevs. G/B Mirror Universe. WIP. I usually don't like to post WIPs but this one is worth watching. Mirror Garak finds our Prime Universe Bashir a tempting specimen and plots to make him his own. True depictions of the regulars, and a really smart Garak make this a compelling read.

Deep Space Nine - Bashir/O'Brien
"Breathe" by Blue Champagne.  B/O'B R.  Dark, painful hurt/comfort fic, in which Miles rescues Julian from a suicide mission to save Mila on a Cardassian outpost, and Julian comes back a broken man.  Beautifully written from Miles' point-of-view, with perfect characterizations for him and Keiko.

"No, Really" by trascendenza
. B/O'B NC-17. A believable version of how they might come together. (2007)

"Functional" by dress_fic. B/O'B, G. Julian asks Miles to push the computer system past its original design to suit his needs. A metaphor for their relationship. (2004)

"A Rusty Spoon" by Diamond-Raven. B/O'B friendship. Bashir is recaptured by the Dominion and put to work in a ketracel white mine. As the months drag on, he and O'Brien write letters to each other, though each knows the other will never see them. Sad and powerful. The little details of the work camp are convincing and chilling. (2003)

"Debriefing" by Cameron Burnell. NC-17. In "Rocks and Shoals," a brisk rub down leads to something else between two buddies. Miles is the blushing ingenue here while Julian is the nonchalant initiator, a fun twist on their usual interaction. (1998)

Deep Space Nine - other
"Ma'am" by glacis. Kira/Bashir. R. I don't usually 'ship these characters, despite their RL association, but this story gets them together in a believable way (sex pollen is believable, right?) and then adds a hilarious aftermath. Funny, sexy, and great characterizations.

"Moments of Weakness" by babel.  Kira/Bashir. Gen. Post-series, how they've changed. Observant and wistful, but ends on a note of hope.

"Plural" by Kathryn Ramage.  G/B/O'B. A Rashomon-style telling of what happened on an away mission. From the author's summary: "When Bashir, O'Brien, and Garak return from investigating a mystery on an outpost in the DMZ, some discrepancies in their reports lead Sisko into another mystery, and a tale involving a telepathic alien device which reveals suppressed emotions." A tough little story. There are no sexy-times in this story, it's more of an adventure with a moral dilemma for Julian. There is a second part, "Plural II: All The Sides Of A Triangle," in which Julian seeks to address their problems by getting them all together. She also rewrote the second part as a stand-alone story, which is very close to the original.

"i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)" by icepixie. Jadzia/Julian. G. Log: "The thing is, she thinks when Julian hits on her yet again at their weekly breakfast together, part of her would like to say yes."  A short piece from Jadzia's point-of-view, from the early seasons.

"Mercy Fuck" by Sue Mason. Jadzia Dax/Bashir. NC-17. Jadzia visits Julian just before her marriage. Hot het action, but it's Julian's vulnerability that breaks my heart a little bit. (2003)


"The You in Hurt" by Northern Star
. Jadzia/Julian. Gen. The J's talk about the changes in their relationship over the years, over a bottle of rare wine. A painful conversation, handled deftly and with feeling.

"To The O'Briens, With Love" by Fire Frog. I read this when I saw it recommended at  [livejournal.com profile] crack_vanlj's crack_van comm, and I'm so glad I did. It has a little bit of Garak/Bashir, but it's really a gen story involving everyone on the station, centering on Julian carrying Keiko's second baby. So, yes, it's an mpreg, and if you knew how much I despise mpreg, you'd understand that this must be very, very good for me to recommend it. All the characterizations are lovely, and Julian's increasing fragility touched me deeply. (2008?)

"Couples Therapy" by mylittleredgirl. Ezri/Bashir, Unrequited Jadzia/Bashir. A rich, textured, tense depiction of Ezri's relationship with Julian, and Dax, after the end of the series. I've never been much of a fan of Ezri, but after reading this, I have some empathy for her.

"Skinny Dipping on Risa" by chesari. Quark/Bashir. Don't worry - there's no actual sex! But there's much discussion of sexual preferences and the voices are spot on. Hilarious and touching. R for dialogue. (2011)

"The Minor Art of Politesse" by Arevhat. Bashir/Garak/Chiana (the last is from Farscape). PG. A crossover, and though I'd never heard or seen the character from Farscape, you don't need to know her to appreciate the humorous dialogue between Garak and Bashir about her.

"Culturally Specific Treatment" and "Specific Understanding" by Ainzfern. Bashir/Martok, NC-17. Yes, you read that right! I love a rare pair, and Ainzfern sells this one. Sexy and believable.

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