Why yes, I am making a blog series all about fic that shaped me as a person. I am speed-running my way through this however, so I haven’t attached any warnings or content notes to any of the stories since for some of them, it’s been a while. So I maybe don’t recall what notes or warnings a story requires before recommending! Read carefully if you decide to dive in!
TItle: Glass Houses
Fandom: Weiss Kreuz
Why It Hooked Me: Glass Houses is set near the end of the main Weiss Kreuz series and main character Ran Fujimiya (who takes up his sister Aya’s name while she’s in a coma) loses her at the start of the story, he tries to take his own life. While he’s miserable and restrained, series antagonist Schwarz, rolls up to “rescue” him and one of the quartet, the berserker Farfarello, becomes enamored with the wounded “kitten” and seeks to remake him to his honest and best form. I remember a lot of the early parts of this massive fic, but what hooked me was this part where Ran realizes that he’s getting pleasure from killing and it’s not about killing the just or whatever, he just likes this shit. Him starting to accept his real monstrosity – more than killing, but liking it and realizing that this wasn’t Stockholm Syndrome but genuinely his real self breaking through– was where I settled in for the story. I genuinely didn’t expect to straight up change my life.
How It Shaped Me: I’ve been reading Glass Houses since I was a high schooler. Even when I’m not reading it – a thing I used to do multiple times a year before it crossed the million word mark – I’m thinking about it. This story is a masterclass in how to write fix it fic and pull the characters in a story far from their origins while remaining in-character. Everyone in Glass Houses feels the way they would in the anime series. It’s an implausible but logical progression and the sprawling cast of characters – incorporating existing characters from side media like the radio drama or sequel manga but also new characters – helps keep you on your toes. At no point do I think “wow this couldn’t happen”. In fact, I’m like “why didn’t this happen?”. This was also an early primer for me figuring out how to write intimacy and banter so as a baby I would try to write my own fic in ways that echoed the flow of Glass Houses. I also became deeply attached to people and characters named Sasha because of this. #IfYouKnowYouKnow
TItle: Daycare ‘Verse
Fandom: X-Men First Class
Why It Hooked Me: Babies. After X-Men: First Class, I was basically starving for content and nomming everything that existed. This was also at the height of my initial Omegaverse wave so I was craving anything that put these men in charge of children even if it wasn’t in the exact omegaverse way. I think, for me, what got me on lock was the first few times when Erik handled kids? Like helping Charles out at the daycare or coming across the Summers kids (and Jean Gray) out and about and just being grouchy but helplessly fond? I wanted to see more of this softer, gentler Erik and how he navigated being a shark-y dude and someone kids (and Charles) trusted. So, I kept reading.
How It Shaped Me: So, wildly, this actually helped solidify my desire to be a teacher? I taught from 2012/2013 to 2015 and I actually owe a lot of that desire to reading this story and thinking to myself “hey, I can do this”. And I wasn’t’ wrong. I just couldn’t do it for… actual babies. I am not good at monitoring or controlling the little ones because if you hand me a baby I will not teach it anything because I’ll be too busy cuddling them. I’m a great babysitter, atrocious preschool and kindergarten teacher. I also kind of (re) gained confidence in my own ability to write kidfic because I was like reading this and while my old kidfic was not as good, I was like “oh I am… not far off from being good!!!”. And I took note of how pocky_slash would write the kid characters and make them realistic and weirdly relatable as I worked on stuff for my own comics fandom at the time.
TItle: Sympathy for the Damned
Author: Lady Xenobia
Fandom: Final Fantasy 7 & 9
Why It Hooked Me: The implausibility factor of these two drastically different villains coming together across time, space, and undeath. I love Sephiroth an unreasonable amount and think that he basically didn’t do anything wrong on purpose. If you need me to be a villain apologist despite the facts, I can do it for him. But then Kuja is like clearly queer coded and incredibly femme… and really cruel and beautiful. I literally picked this story up because I wanted to know how it would work… and then it did.
How It Shaped Me: I think this might have been one of the earliest of Lady Xenobia’s stories I ever read? I know I went on to reading her Gundam Wing stories, for sure, but this was my first in her archive. So I guess it helped build me as a reader as a teen even though I don’t read her stuff anymore? I also loved that writing wild crossovers was clearly valid and that she showed, if you put enough thought and effort into something, it would pay off!
TItle: Mission X
Author: Kurome Shiretsu (now Vaeru)
Fandom: Yu Yu Hakusho x X-Men Evolution
Why It Hooked Me: I’m sorry it was a story blending my favorite US cartoon (X-Men Evolution) with my favorite (at the time) anime Yu Yu Hakusho. It had me hooked from the second I saw it. Back then I actually had a huge fixation on crossovers so I would read pretty much any crossover if it involved characters I liked. (One day, we’ll talk about my whole thing for Criminal Minds and Supernatural crossovers, I promise.) But yes, with Mission X, the big draw was trying to figure out how the author would connect such vastly different worlds.
How It Shaped Me: Right after this, I started reading other crossovers like Long Denied (more on that next month) and a bunch of Harry Potter crossovers I haven’t read in over a decade. I really loved the work that went into trying to connect those pieces. I also absolutely started writing incredibly ridiculous self-insert crossover stories where EYE (or an appropriately Gender original character like my baby [REDACTED]) would be at the combination X-Men allegory for race/racism and Taco Bell. It really showed me that I could just kinda… do what I wanted??
Okay so those are four fics that helped make me into the fantastic fandom gremlin that I am today. See you next month for a few more stories!! Beyond that, feel free to let me know if you want in on this! You can hype up your classic faves on my site if you want!!