While some people, like myself, spend summer dying from the heat and humidity, other people go off and have those oft-fabled summer romances. In the case of this week’s Fanfiction Fridays, the emphasis is on the “fabled”. Todays’ fanfiction is a collection of things I enjoy immensely: well-done AUs, Tales of Vesperia, and a dash of fairy tales. If any of those things catch your interest, I implore you to read on beyond the cut.
Here at LGG&F we like our romance with a side of geek, and this year we are bringing you a ship list to make any fangirl swoon! Yep, it’s Valentine’s Day, that sickeningly sweet holiday when our authors nominate and then vote on ships for our Top 20 Romantic Couples in Geekdom (10 Canon/10 Fanon) list. Many were nominated, but only a select few made the cut.
It is now my duty to present to you this year’s super cute and sexy ships!
Magic is a very personal tool. It can be used to empower or enslave, create and destroy, and set certain special people on their journeys of self-discovery. In this way, while magic can have a direct impact on the world, that impact is typically made through the people who wield it. In video games, it’s basically a given that magic is going to be part of it if we have a fantasy setting, and while it’s interesting to see new takes on people wielding magic and how it affects societal divides and the growth or stagnation of cultures, I was faced with a new way of interpreting magic when playing Tales of Vesperia. This magic could be harnessed by living creatures, but humans were only just learning how to tame the beast, so to speak. This magic was, at times, violent, mysterious, and a more visceral threat than the main antagonist of the game: an interpretation that more pieces of fiction should utilize.
It is not generosity, because he is not a soft enough man for something such at that, but there is not a touch of reservation when he presses the hefty bag of gald into her hand. It feels right, in a world where nothing he does ever is. He smiles at her with a shark’s tooth grin and says that it is nothing, and that he will be back next month with more. He leaves quickly so that he will not have to watch how her face buckles under with grateful tears and her knees hit the floor under the weight of her joy.
He remains true to his word, which is something of a rarity in his current line of work. He returns at the first of each month on the minute with his palms heaping with gald, and the matron never grows any less thunderstruck to see him.
—from And Thundering Hearts
Given my current obsession with the Tales of games, I thought it would be fitting to look for a fic to coincide with said obsession. And while I tried to keep my search for femslash in mind, when running across this fic I knew I had to make an exception.
It’s strange, but I find that I discover my most favorite fics while looking for horrendous ones. More-over than any anime or manga series, I take my video game characters seriously. Maybe it’s because I spend time actively watching them grow, getting annoyed at them, alchemizing their stupid weapons that take forever because that one item that it takes is incredibly rare so I have to grind for hours on end. Whatever the reason, if there’s one aspect of the character I find wrong, I will blast the shit out of that fic (this is why I’ve been trying to stay away from video game fics in ‘Fanfiction Follies’).
In my time, I’ve come to the conclusion that there is no series—other than the Bioware RPGs—that I love more than the Tales series and the atrocities I’ve seen against some of them make me cry. Most recently, I’ve finished a run through of Tales of Vesperia. There are several things I really like about this game, such as there being no explicit love interest and the enemies (though I’ll be the first to admit that the big bad is pretty lame), but what I love most are the characters. Each and every one of these characters ended up becoming my babies. Even the enemies. Even the thirty-five year old man.
Especially the thirty-five year old man.
The character of Raven is exceedingly complex as you never know what he’s thinking, and even once you think you have it he changes it on you. He’s a lackadaisical “old man”, then he’s a clever spy. Never once is his allegiance crystal clear. He’s a hard character to get down and most people just set him in the comic relief department and confine him to jokingly hitting on every girl he runs across with no real purpose.
This fic doesn’t do that. This fic is, dare I say it, perfect.
Even as a one shot, Cherry chain manages to delve into Raven so perfectly that I actually shed a tear for the tragic soldier. Okay, I shed more than one. The entire story is Raven struggling with his impending death after him and his guild—the guild is actually owned by a 10 year old boy and Raven’s not actually a member, but semantics—save the world from impending doom. In ridding the world of the objects imprisoning the spirits of their world, they also have destroyed the one thing keeping him alive. Of course, his friends aren’t exactly happy that he kept this from them and expend the length of the fic trying to find a way to keep him alive. However, the fic focuses on Raven reflecting on his past and coming to terms with what is, in the end, inevitable.
It’s sad, heartbreaking, but just so wonderful. I loved this fic so much that I actually left the author a comment. That’s saying something. What’s obvious from the moment you open the page is that not only does Cherry have just an amazing amount of respect for the characters, but that they also spent a lot of time researching every facet to make this story have that much more of an impact.
The story occurs post-game and assumes that you’ve played the game, so it may (aka: it will) be confusing if you know nothing of the verse. But the writing is amazing and if you ever feel the need to cry, just skim through this. Find it here at Fanfiction.net.