gladdecease: (*meta type stuff)
I don't know why I'm having such a hard time coming up with a fic for this trope. Time travel is, like, my favorite thing. (See: Doctor Who, Booster Gold, my favorite episodes of any Star Trek or Stargate series.)

But, on the bright side, that means it's pretty easy for me to throw together a time travel rec list at the last minute! (If I had more time to scour my bookmarks, I'd make this specifically a Peggy Sue rec list, buuuut there's less than two hours before the bingo period closes, so generically time travel-flavored it is!)

Speranza is a huge name in SGA fandom for a reason - she wrote a lot, she wrote it long, and she wrote it hot. But I think Sheppard's Law is my favorite of her fics, because it takes this situation - John is stuck in a box that's manipulating his past to kill him, so Rodney goes back into his past and saves him over and over again - and really delves into what makes John John, and how his relationship with Rodney changes and remains fundamentally the same because of this course of events. (I really like how the alterations come into effect, new but so seamlessly inserted it's hard to remember that for long.)

Timeline, by Unforgotten, is a great pair of X-Men movieverse fics. She writes Charles and Erik with a touch of absurd humor to them, and in a way so that you can clearly feel both the MacAvoy/Fassbender and Stewart/McKellen personalities shine through. This is an excellent Peggy Sue fic (aka Character Time Travels to Fix It, named after the movie Peggy Sue Got Married), where Charles of an X2 AU sends his mind back in time to fix the past, using a very stupid plan. He doesn't get everything perfectly right - something that bugs me about some Peggy Sue fics - in fact, this Charles is so delightfully flawed that it's amazing he gets anything right. It ends on a wonderful, happy note, and the second fic does nothing to reduce that, but instead fleshes out background events in a very nicely written way.

Another favorite along this line - an X-Men movieverse Peggy Sue fic, that is - is Sponge Away the Writing, by Tam_Cranver. The difference between this fic and many others, is that the younger version of Charles is still aware - is, in fact, the dominant version in his head - and thus concerns which are more immediate and relevant to him than to his forty-years-older self are given space in the story, and are allowed to matter. The result is an unexpected amount of compromise between these two Charleses, and ultimately a far happier ending.

A twist on the Peggy Sue trope combines it with the Groundhog's Day time loop trope, so your character of choice keeps traveling back in time involuntarily, and will do so until some arbitrary requirements are met - usually Fixing whatever needed to be Fixed, but sometimes authors get cruel on you. My favorite Groundhog Peggy Sue fic, by far, is the stunning, epic-length Les Mis fic Toil Until the Old Colours Fade, by drcalvin. Toil takes Javert, a character who, when faced with the first moral dilemma of his life, chose to commit suicide rather than struggle with the concept any further, and forces him to adjust to his new worldview by refusing to let him die. He learns and grows and dies, and learns more, and dies, again and again, and this allows his immense character growth over the course of the fic to feel incredibly earned.
gladdecease: (☆ grief has many causes; one is loss)
Rivals to lovers is one of my favorite tropes - granted, I like it a little better as "rivals to allies to friends to lovers," but that's such a mouthful. But positive/constructive relationship growth in general is my favorite thing, and while the trope could lead to destructive relationship growth (rivals become lovers and it blows up in their faces/their relationship really is as dysfunctional as their rivalry would suggest), I don't come across a lot of fics that treat it that way.

To get the full "rivals to allies to friends to lovers" effect usually requires a hefty word count to show the transitioning/developing relationship, but I love me some longfic. And even when it's a more direct rivals to lovers fic, there's potential for longfic. And I can't deny that direct-to-lovers fic makes for more belligerent sexual tension, which I like a lot.

Early on in Psych, for example, Shawn and Lassiter have a relationship that runs the gambit from simply competitive to irritated to outright hostile, but with an edge which lends itself well to rivals to lovers. My favorite of these is probably What Happens In Freedom Stays In Freedom by Lenore, a really excellent get together/caper fic written for Yuletide 2007. It's got this slightly absurd nature that really suits the show, and has a great Lassiter voice.

Teen Wolf is good for rivals to lovers fic too - though the life-and-death situations makes the term "rival" feel a little inaccurate, the bickering and tension between characters definitely fits the trope. Unmovable & Unstoppable by maderr is a good Derek/Stiles fic in this respect, though it takes a long time to move from one state to the other. It's also got an interesting casefic element to it, which I can always appreciate.

I also like fic that fits the anger-to-attraction mood shift of rivals to lovers, even though the characters involved aren't always rivals. Just What is a Karmic-chi Love Thing, Anyway?, an NCIS fic by catwalksalone, takes an episode where Tony and McGee being stuck on a stakeout has made them petty and quick to anger, and turns their cut-to-commercial scuffle into cut-to-commercial frottage. Cat always has an excellent Tony voice in her fics, and this one is no exception. You do probably want to be familiar with the episode in question, though, since the events serve as a strong framework for the fic.

The Mindy Project is great for het rivals to lovers, small fandom though it is - the titular Mindy has off-and-on antagonistic relationships with so many people. Her coworkers, the midwives downstairs, total strangers... even some of her canon relationships get antagonistic. when you wish upon a star (or bury some mustard seeds outside your place of work) you look like an insane person (but i'm into that, i guess), a Yuletide 2012 fic by Kindness, does a really good job of infusing Mindy's narration with those antagonistic thoughts. It works really well from the first line to the last.

And then there's fic where, even when they become lovers, there's still an antagonistic element to their relationship. (aka: hatesex) The Curves of Your Lips Rewrite History, a Les Mis fic by zamwessell, does a pretty amazing job of taking characters who canonically don't really do either hate or sex and presenting a convincing hatesex relationship between them. (There's also really nice, gradual growth and realization of feelings going on in this fic, though the characters take their time in acknowledging that the hatesex has become something else.)
gladdecease: (reading is gr9)
Imagine a world where pairs of people are literally perfect for each other.

I don't mean they have no conflict, or that they're identical in every way; nor do I mean that they argue constantly, or that they're different in complementary ways. The most important relationship in a person's life can't be generalized that easily. I just mean that for whatever reason, they are vital and necessary to each other's life. It need not be sexual, or romantic - it is simply an essential connection, without which their lives are somehow, indescribably, less.

If you're a romantic person, you might be thinking, "Okay, but how is that any different from our world?"

The difference, you'll find, is that they have physical proof: a marking, a band around the base of the fourth finger of your dominant hand. It's called different things in different cultures, but the most common name for it is a True Ring, and it develops spontaneously the first time your soulmate looks you in the eye.

More details - including speculation/near-fic about how living a world with True Rings might have influenced events in stories you already know - below the cut. )