Every Valentine’s Day, we at Lady Geek Girl and Friends vote on and compile a huge list of our favorite pairings to share with our readers. (This is not that post. Check back around noon.) However, we also always do a post that takes some of the emphasis off romantic love, because we are strong proponents of the idea that while having a significant other is cool, it isn’t the be-all end-all of life or this day in particular. We’ve listed our favorite platonic duos and our favorite unattached anime characters over the past two years, but since V-Day conveniently falls on a Friday this year, we’re taking the opportunity to share five awesome fanfics where the focus is not on romance. Enjoy!
Warning: some fics involve spoilers for their respective series, specifically Shingeki no Kyojin (and, like, Harry Potter and The Avengers if you somehow haven’t read/seen those).
impossible blossom, to sweet impossible blossom by 100demons is a Shingeki no Kyojin/Attack on Titan fanfic that focuses on side character Jean Kirchstein. In the first season of SnK, Jean’s closest friend Marco dies a tragic and wasted death in a skirmish with the Titans. This fanfic is set many years after that death, and posits that Marco had a younger brother who decides to join the Survey Corps as his brother did. Jean, now a ranking officer, is forced to face the teen who looks just like his lost friend, and to try and deal fairly with him despite his protective instincts.
Jean’s caught between the sensation of falling forward and sitting rigidly in his stool, between the air rushing in his ears and the solid weight of wood under his thighs, between the tags hanging around his neck and Marco’s sent home in a thin yellow envelope.
“Are you alright?”
“I didn’t know he had a brother,” Jean says, distantly.
Armin gives him a long look, large blue eyes unreadable.
“Neither did I.”
“How– what–” Jean grips the edge of the stool, knuckles whitening, splinters digging into the tips of his fingers.
Applied to join the Scouting Legion.
“Oh, hell no,” Jean says furiously, rocketing off his seat and stomping over to Armin’s desk.
You can read it here.
Majesty by kelly_chambliss is an excellent story set in the Harry Potter universe. When a cousin of the Queen receives a Hogwarts letter—the first with royal blood in generations—Queen Elizabeth II is finally informed that another world exists alongside her own. She promptly requests a visit to Hogwarts, and her meeting with Minerva McGonagall is nothing short of legendary. This is a stunning story that smashes the Bechdel test, casually provides us with a queer Minerva, and does a magnificent job of showing us what it would look like if two of the most powerful women from two different words met as friends.
“You have family here. . .children?” asked the Queen, and Minerva had given her stock answer without even thinking. It wasn’t the first time that strangers — usually the bolder parents, or casual acquaintances formed on her annual holiday abroad — had asked about her personal life, and she never felt the slightest need to explain anything that was so obviously not their business. In a boarding school, privacy was worth all the gold in Gringotts, and she guarded hers as jealously as any dragon guarded a vault.
But she felt a sudden pang for this woman at her side, a woman whose entire life had been lived in a much more relentless public gaze than Minerva could ever imagine, a woman whose story was known to anyone with even the most random prurient interest, known even to someone like Minerva, who wanted details of Muggle scandals and politics about as much as she wanted a case of spattergroit.
Many in the wizarding world knew of the Queen’s troubles with her misbehaving children, the rumours of her husband’s dalliances. Minerva thought about how off-balance she herself felt when she met people who knew more about her than she did about them; she could only imagine how difficult it must be for this Muggle Queen, when everyone knew more about her than she knew of them.
The least she could do, Minerva decided, was to share a bit of herself.
You can read Majesty here at the AO3.
Doing it ANBU is a wonderful fic set in the Naruto universe post-canon. In all my years as a Naruto fan, I’ve always been an eternal optimist about Sasuke—I felt that his redemption and return to Konoha was an inevitability, and Doing it ANBU does a great job of capturing one iteration of that scenario. Author karangumi writes from the POV of Team 7’s awkward fifth wheel, Sai, which gives us an interesting semi-outsider perspective on the events that take place, without being so far removed from the action that there’s no emotion attached to it.
Sai asked, ‘What if Sasuke dies?’
Silence blanketed the table.
Naruto exploded a second later, conveniently cutting Sakura off before she could throw a chakra-infused punch into Sai’s face. ‘I AM GOING TO FIND SASUKE AND NOTHING YOU CAN SAY WILL STOP ME,’ Naruto chanted. ‘HE’s NOT GOING TO DIE BECAUSE HE’S A STUBBORN ASSHOLE. So when I find him, I’ll beat the shit out of him.’ Naruto’s fists clenched, but his mouth was curled up into a fierce, happy grin. ‘Then I’ll drag his ass home to Konoha.’
Yamato, from his spectator’s seat to the side, clapped politely while Kakashi coughed down something suspiciously close to laughter. Sai, furrowing his brow at the complete refusal to acknowledge reality, asked, ‘Is this a coping mechanism for trauma?’
Sakura laughed, the cleanest sound that Sai had heard since the fighting started. ‘No, Sai,’ she told him. ‘It’s the beginning of healing.’
Doing it ANBU is around 8k, and can be read at—you guessed it—the AO3.
Give A Girl A Moment And She’ll Take You For All You’ve Got is an Avengers movie-verse fic where author tielan imagines what a night out with Pepper, Jane, Darcy, Natasha, and Maria would look like. Spoiler alert: even on their nights off, it’s hard out there for a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent and her (sort-of) friends.
“That’s a lot for a pretty lady like you to be drinking.” The guy to her right leaned into her space, a businessman with a heavy-handed smile and the reek of alcohol. “Had a bad week?”
…firing at Agent Barton as his jeep pushed hers back, Loki’s gleaming gaze drilling into her head, harsh grit in her nose and mouth as the New Mexico facility crumbled, scrambling for balance as the helicarrier tilted and her stomach tilted with it, cold weight in her chest as Fury relayed that Phil was dead, the sick punch in her gut as she realised the first plane had only been masking the second and even Fury would be too late, then waiting, hoping, praying that Stark had the courage and the strength to get rid of the nuke – that her family wouldn’t be living on the edge of a nuclear wasteland if they weren’t burned into so much radioactive dust by the blast radius…
And then Fury’s news this morning.
A bad week? He had no idea.
Maria gave him a thin, unencouraging smile. “Something like that.”
My only complaint about this fic is that I wish it were longer. Check it out for yourself and let me know what you think!
Our final fic is an Elementary story written by queenklu. When Joan comes home early and finds Sherlock wearing a dress, she isn’t particularly fazed. However, it quickly becomes clear that the clothing means more to Sherlock than Joan realized, and the accidental encounter leads to a bonding moment between the two of them.
Sherlock is quiet long enough that she looks up, and finds him watching her. The makeup makes his eyes look alien and strange, distant and still piercing. “Could you—wash here next,” he says, gesturing to his eyes as he slams them shut, tight. “The mascara is clumping, I’ll go blind any second.”
“You will not,” she counters, reluctantly fond. “Relax. I can’t get all the makeup if your face is scrunched up like that.”
“Oh.” He relaxes in increments, with each gentle swipe of Joan’s fingers pushing the cloth. She doesn’t realize she’s holding Sherlock’s chin still with her free hand until he moves it to talk. “I should—This was the first time in years—“
“Sherlock.” Joan shifts the wash cloth over both eyes accidentally, but it seems to settle him. “I’m really not judging you. I promise it’s okay.” He swallows, hard, and she shifts the hand on his chin down to his shoulder to give it a calming squeeze. “If you want to talk about it, I’m here to listen. But don’t feel like you have to.”
He takes a quiet, shuddering breath, and nods against her hand.
Without Beauty is a relatively quick read, and can be found here.
If you’ve got any good gen fic recs, hit me up in the comments! (And let me know if you liked the ones I found!) And, of course, I hope everyone, single or attached, has an awesome Valentine’s Day!