August was too hot to live and weirdly stressful, so I've only got a handful of new stories plus a whole lot of my favorite tropes (so much amnesia!) and fic from fandoms I'm technically not in.
I Got My Head Checked by @frostbitebakery (Star Wars, Cody/Obi-Wan)
Below the observation deck, the Marshal Commander of the Third Systems Army is being divested of his armor and weapons, shackles heavy on his wrists. He doesn’t struggle, only a mulish stubborn twist to his jaw showing his displeasure at the situation.
Obi-Wan opens his eyes, steps back from the observation window. “I need a week.”
OR: In which Cody wasn’t trained for a Sith sliding into a moral dilemma because of him.
So apparently I AM weak for a Sith!AU when it's an amazing enemies-to-lovers with a redemption arc? Awesome story with beautiful art by the author. It's written in an unusual vignette format that might not be for everyone, but I thought it let the author cover a wide ensemble and scope of story and tonal shifts very effectively.
To the Letter by glimmerglanger (Star Wars, Cody/Obi-Wan)
“How you feeling, sir?” he asked, eyeing his General. They’d, at least, managed to all evac back to the shuttles without losing anyone, leaving the noxious-smelling laboratory where they’d found a pack of Seppy scientists working on new biological weapons behind.
“I’ll be fine, Commander,” Obi-Wan said, without opening his eyes, his voice thick and hoarse. “But comm ahead, would you, and make sure the medics are ready for me.”
OR, the one were Obi-Wan gets dosed with an especially nasty toxin, and Cody helps him survive the following hours.
The first chapter of this story was originally a standalone that I remember thinking was incredibly hot but emotionally unresolved, but glimmerglanger just posted a second chapter where Cody gets into a mirrored situation and it really balances out the whole piece.
Hear a song this deeply by so_shhy (The Untamed, Wangxian)
Lan Zhan’s new liaison at the Caiyi Municipal Cultivation Department is an enigma – ridiculously talented, yet somehow content with mopping up spiritual pests for barely above minimum wage. Wei Ying is slapdash and irresponsible, and Lan Zhan doesn’t like him at all… but then he meets A-Yuan, who loves music and longs for a piano his father can’t afford.
Forced into cautious friendship by a four-year-old's music lessons, Lan Zhan soon realises Wei Ying is more than he seems. The single father is a man of many secrets – including, perhaps, the key to Lan Zhan's life's work. And in the meantime, the background resentment in Caiyi Town is rising to dangerous levels…
I've already recced this by reblogging the fic notice, but it's so great! Plot and romance and feels all well-balanced and creative, with adorable kid content, plus I loved Lan Zhan's research into reconstructing musical cultivation, the modern cultivation worldbuilding generally, and the Lan brothers dynamic.
More tropey recs under the cut!
Exile by Marchling (Shadowhunters, Magnus/Alec)
Imogen Herondale hated Alec Lightwood.
Everyone from Jia Penhallow all the way through Jace himself knew of her animosity towards the person that she felt held her grandson back from the all that the Herondale name deserved. Despite this, Alec never thought she would actually move against him because to hurt him was to hurt Jace.
He had been wrong.
Now, Alec had no runes. His memories were gone. He had no idea who he was, why there was a ragged wound inside of him that he couldn't see or how he had gotten to this abandoned apartment in San Francisco.
All he knew was that monsters were tracking him and staying alive might take more strength than he had.
Technically all that I know about this fandom I got from a four-hour compilation of Malec clips I watched on YouTube, but this fic combined three of my very favorite tropes (amnesia, homelessness, framed/falsely accused) in one glorious h/c epic that just fucking came for my id. Loved it!
Body of Memory by glorious_spoon (Shadowhunters, Magnus/Alec)
After a patrol gone very wrong, Alec Lightwood comes to in the infirmary with no memory of the past three years, and that turns out to be just the beginning of his problems. There's an ominous plot afoot, a possible traitor at the Institute, and he's pretty sure that he ought to remember the handsome warlock who was waiting beside his bed when he woke up...
This is a great pairing for amnesia, because they had to work SO hard to get together, and their world changed so much in the process - so it's fun to temporarily reset one of them to zero and watch them fall in love all over again, hah. Fun casefile as well!
And you yourself shall keep the key of it by RubyCaspar (Miss Fisher, Jack/Phryne)
Jack is all set to follow Phryne until a bad accident in a raid leaves him with a serious head injury. When he wakes up, he can't remember anything of the last seventeen months, and as far as he's concerned, Miss Fisher is just that rather exasperating, eccentric lady who's interfered with two of his murder investigations.
Gorgeously cozy and soft h/c fic with a hefty dose of pining, just the way I like it.
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot by laiqualaurelote (Miss Fisher, Jack/Phryne)
Across a harrowing three days, Jack talked Agent Foxtrot through an increasingly improbable series of escapades and was disobeyed by her a grand total of 117 times. Eventually they managed to fob off nuclear war without destroying any Unesco heritage sites, and then Jack went home and slept for fifteen hours and returned to his office feeling marginally closer to human, only to see perched on his desk an extraordinarily beautiful woman in a frock the colour of fresh blood, spinning the chamber of a shiny golden pistol.
The AU in which Phryne is a secret agent and Jack is her long-suffering handler.
I'm quite wary of modern AUs in this fandom, since Phryne is so much a product of her time and history, but this fic nailed it AND had spy shenanigans and that dynamic I love about this pairing where they've got trust and intimacy and friendship, and yet keep shying away from a relationship because of their issues (but they get there eventually).
Nor Any Drop by @philomytha (Biggles series, gen)
Blowing up the reservoir has more consequences than Biggles expected.
So I still have not read any of these books (yet), but this is a GREAT horror-thriller story set in WWI. Just sit back and enjoy these two being exceedingly honorable slashy undercover enemies (juggling five identities between them!) while trying to survive a terrifying supernatural threat.
What's In A Name? by flawedamythyst (Our Flag Means Death, Ed/Stede)
Captains Grey and Edwards, retired merchant sailors, moved to town a couple of years ago. Tom, the local pub landlord, has spent most of the time since trying to ignore the many, many things they do that directly contradict who they're claiming to be. Still, it's all worth it to have the protection of two legendary pirates for the town.
Sorry, not legendary pirates. Merchant captains. Who are just best friends and definitely nothing else.
Exceptionally cute look at a hypothetical retirement for them, from a charming outsider POV.
Finding Your Bliss by AirgiodSLV (Shadowhunters, Magnus/Alec)
On the pathway to Alexander Lightwood's advanced sexual enlightenment, Magnus starts simple. Or rather, he backpedals to simple, because Alec takes one look at the bedroom Magnus has transformed into a BDSM dream dungeon, turns around and walks right back out again.
My favorite kind of misunderstanding fic - i.e. they're communicating healthily but just coming from such different points that it takes them a while to work things out. Sexy, funny, great characterization.
Cody and Obi Wan feel absolutely perfect for each other imo.
I wholeheartedly understand the hesitancy some people have about the difference in ranks (I have so many thoughts about this tbh) but the main thing I associate with Codywan is how healthy they feel. They might exist in tumultuous circumstances however they themselves work incredibly well together. ￼￼They have such a good understanding of each other to the point they don’t even have to speak sometimes because they just intuitively understand what the other person is trying to say. It’s definitely a side effect of the war but it’s also reflective of them as people in general. They are very similar in a lot of ways and very different too but I think their similarities fall in the places that really count.
There’s their communication. Yes, Obi Wan is far more melodramatic in the way he presents it sometimes, but when it comes down to it, they’ll both say what needs to be said because it’s a necessity in their line of work.
I think they have similar worries and doubts too. Obi Wan’s have been explored incessantly (and I eat it up every time) but Cody having similar problems with self doubt makes sense to me as well. To preface, he is not a child and I hate when people act like he is to try and make Obi Wan look bad. The clones just age differently and Cody’s a grown adult. With that in mind though, his lack of life experience definitely leaves room for him to doubt himself. He was basically thrown into a war and expected to lead. I’d feel pretty overwhelmed if I were him. That’s one area Obi Wan can help with because if he’s one thing, it’s experienced. Just as Cody provides a sort of stability for Obi Wan, giving him less reason to fall back into old habits where he would feel insecure about his place in the Jedi Order. There’s a very even exchange of care and support between them.
There’s also the fact that their fates seem intertwined. The clones were essentially doomed to die at the same time as the Jedi. They were always viewed as expendable but Order 66 signalled the countdown to the end of their intended purpose and their eventual eradication, something canon doesn’t focus on nearly as much as I’d like. Cody pretty much lost his family at the same time Obi Wan lost his and it was neither of their faults. It doesn’t matter that the clones were sentient beings equal to any other person in terms of intelligence. It doesn’t matter that they as individuals evolved way past what they were created to do. It doesn’t matter that they were more similar to a completely new species of people with a budding culture and way of life which could have evolved into something more structured if they only had more time, than to an army of mindless droids which they were constantly compared to. None of that mattered to the empire because nothing that delicate and precious ever matters to any kind of empire. The ancient, beautiful lifestyle of the Jedi and the newborn customs of the clones which they were never given the freedom to fully explore were woven together from the second Jango Fett allowed the Kaminoans to use his DNA. Cody and Obi Wan are left on either side, both having lost something different but joined forever by feeling like ghosts of a different time who were left behind to haunt the corners of the galaxy they no longer have a place in.
I could go on and on about them (and I frequently do) but at their core, they are such an interesting ship because they have wildly different personalities and have different problems the other won’t experience but they seem so compatible regardless. They may experience issues with each other (as anyone in any kind of relationship does) but both possess the tools to deal with them and are united in their grief for their old lives which they can never get back post-order 66. They work romantically, but these traits don’t go away if you only view them as friends or even just people who work together. They work on every level but romantically is the most fun lmao.