Collage by Marina
Updated August 12, 2002
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4:34 a.m. (2k) -- Susan
Category: VR | Rating: PG | Spoilers: none
Summary: She is there sleeping beside him, just as he had always hoped she'd be.
Lara's Rec: A moment in the night, as two people take comfort in the mere presence of each other. This brief glimpse is sensual and romantic, beautiful in its simplicity -- in other words, just the kind of thing Susan does best.
(26k) -- JLB
Category: V, MSR | Rating: PG-13 | Spoilers: All Things
Summary: Mulder is frustrated, Scully is worried, and no one's really talking.
Lara's Rec: Remember that line of Mulder's near the beginning of "Biogenesis," where Scully asks him what else he hopes to find? "Closure" was supposed to give him that -- but imagine what the work would be like for him afterwards. We got a hint of that feeling in subtext during the rest of the 7th season, but JLB has taken it a step further, looking at everything through the filter of newly acknowledged emotions and burgeoning intimacy. Incredible visuals enhance this lovely vignette.
An Acceptable Level of Happiness (144k) --
Category: MSR, Holidayfic, Babyfic, Improv, humor, angst, sex | Rating: NC-17 | Spoilers: 8th season
Summary: Christmas is the most stressful time of the year. Fortunately Scully has Mulder, and Mulder has solutions.
Lara's Rec: No simple Holidayfic, this. Jenna has crafted a beautiful, elegant story about love and life and family that goes so far beyond any expectations for a mere Christmas story. Most of what actually happened in the 8th season doesn't happen here (the baby has a different name, too), but this is the "Mulder returns" story I would've liked to have seen -- where both Mulder and Scully struggle to find their balance again, where the scars, emotional and physical, don't just fade away.
Across the Rubicon
(28k) -- Anne Haynes
Category: SR | Rating: PG-13 for language and adult situations | Spoilers: All Things
Summary: Once you cross the line, where do you go from there?
Lara's Rec: Okay, so I'm coming in late to this whole fanfic thing -- I've never read Anne's "12 Rites" series, or her "Sonnets" series, or. . . any of her series. This story, however, made me a confirmed and dedicated fan. Anne explores the aftermath of Mulder & Scully's first time, with a different take on how they might handle their developing relationship on the job.
Across the Void (19k)
Category: MSR, angst | Rating: PG-13 | Spoilers: Requiem
Summary: Scully finds a surprise at Mulder's apartment.
Lara's Rec: After a disturbing encounter with Mulder's landlady, Scully gets introspective, then discovers something wonderful about him. This touching story is quietly delightful -- no excessive angst, no sappy romance -- just in-character vacillating between joy and doubt and uncertainty. Zuffy's original character is fun, and the cameo appearance by the Gunmen is perfect in their intense sort of way.
Adjustment (20k) -- JLB
Category: MSR | Rating: PG-13 (some implied sex, nothing too graphic) | Spoilers: 6th season
Summary: Mulder and Scully need some time. . .
Lara's Rec: Just because two people are best friends, that doesn't mean they can just fall into a romantic relationship. That's JLB's premise in this beautifully told story about adjusting to the changes resulting from our choices in life. The hesitance, the fear of appearing too eager, too possessive, too much of what you're feeling -- all that combines with the love that lurks just below the surface to make me believe that, while it may take a little time, Mulder & Scully are gonna be okay.
After (79k) -- MystPhile
Category: X, MSR, SA, S/O | Rating: NC-17 | Spoilers: Never Again
Summary: The relationship is at its lowest ebb. Can it be saved while working on a case in Philadelphia?
Lara's Rec: Most MSR fics take the view that love conquers all -- for Mulder & Scully, anyway. Not that there's anything wrong with that (heck, I've written stuff like that), but in this story, MystPhile takes a different approach. Set just after they've ended a romantic relationship, Mulder & Scully find themselves in Philadelphia dealing with a case involving one of their hot-buttons -- religion. Throw in a nice, attractive detective and you have the makings of an emotional explosion. Beautiful character exploration here.
Afterimages (19k) -- Ravenscion
Category: V, A, UST | Rating: R (language, disturbing images) | Spoilers: The Pine Bluff Variant
Summary: Aftermath of Mulder's traumatic experience w/ the New Spartans.
Lara's Rec: I stumbled across this story in a recent Gossamer update, and was just blown away. I'd been thinking about writing a post-ep for "The Pine Bluff Variant" (one of my favorite episodes) dealing with just this sort of thing -- what Mulder went through after that last scene at the bank -- but now I don't have to. Ravenscion says everything I would've said, and with a rare and powerful sense of emotion.
Spent in Solitude (10k) -- David Hearne
Category: post-ep | Rating: PG | Spoilers: Paper Clip
Summary: not summarized
Lara's Rec: The "Anasazi"/"Blessing Way"/"Paper Clip" trilogy was, in my mind, a turning point for the series. The characters and their relationships with one another were altered by the events of these episodes, and in David's story, they recognize this. David shows us several points of view, from the Well Manicured Man to Albert Hosteen and everyone in between. And what makes this story shine is the skill with which he moves from one POV to the next -- it's flawless.
After William (1k) -- Kel
Category: Angst | Rating: not rated | Spoilers: William
Summary: Everyone has a breaking point.
Lara's Rec: Short but razor-edged, this brief moment in Scully's life after "William" is powerful in its brevity. The last line is especially sharp.
Dei (external link) -- Livia
Category: VA, AU, DAL | Rating: G | Spoilers: The Sixth Extinction
Summary: "History has a predictably awful way of repeating itself."
Lara's Rec: Livia put a special warning on this one -- "If you're very sensitive to religious 'interpretation,' I suggest you simply hit 'delete.'" Take this to heart. While I loved this very alternative way of looking at Mulder & Scully's relationship, I can see where some might not. As for me, the story gives me chills every time I read it.
All of These are
Nothing (24k) -- Luperkal
Category: not listed | Rating: It's violent. In a "my, that's odd" sort of way | Spoilers: Without
Summary: "Each thing hostile / To every other thing. . . ."
Lara's Rec: Suspenseful and dark, told in a disjointed style that works beautifully. Luperkal's Scully is completely in character, her actions totally understandable. The world in this story is chaotic, and yes, it's violent -- it's also very angsty and almost unbearably sad. Incredible imagery here.
all the way home
(12k) -- Vickie Moseley
Category: SkA | Rating: PG | Spoilers: DeadAlive
Summary: Skinner doesn't understand how Scully can be so calm.
Lara's Rec: Like Vickie, I didn't quite get Scully's calm during the trauma of the fourth act of "DeadAlive." Vickie's explanation -- that she's somewhat confident that what she's doing will work -- makes sense, especially in light of her prior experience with something like this. Yes, Vickie remembers that Mulder's been exposed to a retrovirus in the past, and Scully successfully treated him! She also addresses the question of decomposition, another thing I'd wondered about in the episode. An added bonus -- Vickie's unerring Skinner voice. My favorite line? "And here I always thought 'sir' was a term of respect for authority, not a death threat. Stupid me."
Alunakanula (25k) -- Dasha
Category: SRA | Rating: NC-17 for adult themes | Spoilers: Requiem
Summary: The moon has vanished.
Lara's Rec: A beautiful, lyrical exploration of Scully's thoughts and feelings immediately after the events of "Requiem" as she seeks refuge in her mother's back yard. Her memories of a weekend with Mulder are described quite vividly, and her moments with him and the baby at the end are exquisitely tender.
Through the Changing (external link) -- Marguerite
Category: post-ep (duh) | Rating: PG-13 (language, adult themes) | Spoilers: DeadAlive
Summary: Post-Traumatic stress from four points of view.
Lara's Rec: Gotta love it when a show leaves us with so many unanswered questions -- great fanfic can result. This story is the perfect bridge between "DeadAlive" and "Three Words," not only giving us the explanation for Mulder's behavior in the latter episode that we were denied, but his reactions to learning about what happened during his absence that led to it. Marguerite also shows us those moments through Scully's, Skinner's and Doggett's eyes, along with some beautiful conversation between them. The shifting POV is seamless, shifting from one person to the next without a single misstep.
Anahata (8k) -- T
Category: MSR/SA | Rating: Barely R | Spoilers: This is Not Happening
Summary: not summarized
Lara's Rec: The scenario Teresa lays out here is perfect -- I won't spoil the story for you, but suffice it to say that the events of many episodes late in the 7th season and early in the 8th are beautifully explored and explained here. The depth of Scully's anguish is palpable and heartbreaking.
And the Other (30k) -- Karen
Category: Reyes. Doggett. | Rating: PG-13 | Spoilers: Empedocles
Summary: This is wrong. It was wrong right from the start. It will always be wrong, no matter what you feel for me, no matter how I feel about you, no matter how tired we are. . .
Lara's Rec: This story resonates for me on a completely personal level, one that I won't go into. But beyond that, Karen demonstrates an amazing grasp of these two characters. She gives us some much needed backstory for their relationship, and especially for Reyes, creating a real person from the glimpses we've been given. Incredible writing here -- powerful, emotional, painful.
Anno Domini (17k) -- frogdoggie
Category: VA | Rating: R, for language only | Spoilers: Millennium
Summary: Skinnerfic. LGM fic. Implied MSR. The Millennium approaches. Happy New Year? Read on and find out.
Lara's Rec: frogdoggie writes the best Skinner around, because his affection for the Big Guy is evident. Here he explores the uneasy alliance between Mulder & Scully's friends -- a look at what Skinner and the Gunmen might've been doing while Mulder & Scully saved the world.
Another Chance (17k)
-- Leslie Sholly
Category: VRA | Rating: R (language) | Spoilers: Trevor
Summary: Pinker Rawls is no longer a threat. Why can't Mulder move on?
Lara's Rec: While "Trevor" contains one of my favorite dialogue exchanges ("Spontaneous human combustion." "Scully. . . !"), I never really felt it was an episode crying out for post-ep fic -- until I read this story. Leslie picked up on something completely unexplored -- Mulder's connection to Pinker -- and explored it in a beautifully sensitive way, leading to a touching final moment. This is a sweet, sad story.
(external link) -- Frohike
Category: not classified | Rating: PG | Spoilers: Existence
Summary: not summarized
Lara's Rec: A sweet, gentle, loving story about moving on. Frohike's use of dialogue and visuals is lovely. That's really all I want to say about this story, because to say more would spoil the experience of reading it.
Another Lunch at
Will's (19k) -- Maggie McCain
Category: V, H (sorta-kinda), M/S UST | Rating: PG | Spoilers: none
Summary: not summarized
Lara's Rec: Maggie has a gift, an ability to create a vivid image with words. My favorite line? "The Ditch King and the Queen of Denial, ruling the kingdom of emotional repression from their palace of the paranormal." A bonus from Maggie is that her Mulder & Scully always reveal a little more of themselves to the reader than I think they intend to.
(external link) -- Flynn
Category: SAR | Rating: PG | Spoilers: Requiem
Summary: Mulder's back, but he's not the same. Will anything ever be again?
Lara's Rec: Many post-"Requiem" fics assume Mulder can come back from wherever he is essentially unchanged, unaffected by his experience. Flynn doesn't assume that, taking him through a lonely, quiet journey back to himself. Told from Scully's POV, this story eloquently expresses her longing and sadness as her friend and partner struggles to cope with what happened to him. Lovely. (This story is followed by three sequels, all of which are archived here: "Ritual," "Ritual II: Another Perspective," and "Eavesdropping.")
Ardent Hope (11k) -- ArtemisX5
Category: SR, MSR, H, some A | Rating: R for language and sexual content | Spoilers: Trust No 1
Summary: Scully: not as innocent as advertised.
Lara's Rec: Snippets of season 7 events help put a timeline to the "Per Manum" flashbacks in this funny, sweet tale. Artemis' Scully is as driven as we've come to expect, but she has a devious side we haven't seen before, which gives her a nice depth. She isn't just wishing for a baby -- she's determined to have one, no matter what. And her hope for the future isn't perfect, which is a nice touch too.
Ashes and Oatmeal
(9k) -- Maggie McCain
Category: VA | Rating: G | Spoilers: Closure
Summary: Stolen memories, pretty lies. How do you hold on to your identity when everything you know is gone?
Lara's Rec: "Closure" seems to have sparked a new genre of fanfic -- Samantha Speculation. What was Samantha's life like between the ages of eight and fourteen? Maggie's story is quite plausible, and her Samantha voice is delicate but strong. Evocative language.
Asylum (22k) -- Marta
Category: Humor, X-over | Rating: PG-13 | Spoilers: 7th season
Summary: Mulder's dream (well, one of them) comes true.
Lara's Rec: This delightful little story made me giggle myself silly. Bob, Marta's original character, is hysterically funny, and her Mulder & Scully are just enough over-the-top to make the whole thing fun. The last few lines had me howling.
Your Feet, His Emblems Fall (external link) -- M.
Category: Post-ep, Frohike POV, Angst. Scully, Doggett and Skinner are here, too. | Rating: R | Spoilers: This is Not Happening
Summary: not summarized
Lara's Rec: There's a lot to do when someone dies. Arrangements to be made -- caskets, clothes. Emotions to be dealt with -- loss, guilt. Second-guessing to be done -- wondering if anything could've been done differently. M.'s amazing story delves into all of those things, and shows them to us through Frohike's eyes as he handles everything at Scully's request. The emotional intensity and depth of character M. has crafted are superb, making this probably my favorite post-"TINH" story.
Bad Habits (2k) -- Avalon
Category: MSR, 155-word challenge | Rating: G (What?!?) | Spoilers: none
Summary: We all have them, don't we? The title says it all.
Lara's Rec: It's the little things we notice about the other people in our lives that have the ability to drive us crazy at the same time they make us smile. Avalon's caught a lot of little things here, and she describes them with affection and grace. Not quite enough for a slice of life, this is. . . a wonderful moment.
Becoming Dana (14k) --
Brandon D. Ray
Category: VA | Rating: PG | Spoilers: En Ami
Summary: "Things are changing, inside of her and between the two of them. Those changes have been slow and gradual, almost as imperceptible as the movement of a glacier. They are also, like that glacier, overwhelming and inexorable, and impossible to ignore."
Lara's Rec: There's some beautiful dialogue and narration in this story. Brandon has an unerring Scully voice, and his Scully soars -- the combination of emotions expressed here is astounding. Her fear and longing combine with a sense of loss to create a very satisfying characterization -- and a more plausible explanation for her actions in the episode than the one we were given.
She Was Mine (external link) -- Livia
Category: V | Rating: G | Spoilers: 7th season
Summary: I am coming, she was telling me. Follow me, pay attention, and I will come.
Lara's Rec: One of the loveliest, quietest post-7th season fics I've read. Vivid imagery and gentle memories highlight this relatively angst-free story. Simply beautiful.
Bend Down and
Whisper (19k) -- Foxie Meg
Category: MSR, V | Rating: NC-17 or maybe R. I d'know. | Spoilers: The Pine Bluff Variant
Summary: A story about meeting halfway.
Lara's Rec: I love reading good challenge-element fic. When a writer can take a haphazard list of elements and create something wonderful, it really excites me as a reader. Meg's accomplished that here. Her characterizations are dead-on -- even Frank, a character who's discussed but never seen. This story is gentle and sexy and beautifully romantic.
Best Intentions (37k) --
J. S. Michel
Category: Doggettfic, Scully/Doggett friendship, implied MSR | Rating: R for language | Spoilers: Existence
Summary: Ten years after "Existence."
Lara's Rec: Lots of us would like nothing better than to see Mulder and Scully and William live Happily Ever After. But this is The X-Files, and nothing in that world is quite so simple. J. S. Michel gives us a glimpse of a possible future in which HEA isn't an option right now. Doggett's voice as narrator is strong here, totally in character, and the author has projected a nicely realized pre-teen personality for Will, too.
Beyond the Blue
-- JHJ Armstrong
Category: Angst. MSM. Angst!!! Did I mention ANGST? Someone pushed the Big Serious Button | Rating: PG-13 | Spoiler: Requiem
Summary: "I do love nothing in the world so well as you." - Benedick to Beatrice, Much Ado About Nothing. A simple tale of life, loss and love.
Lara's Rec: I love looking at Mulder & Scully through other characters' eyes -- especially when those other characters are as well drawn as Dave and Lainey. JHJ has created a world in which Mulder & Scully and their son Jacob exist on a tangent, with Dave and his love taking center stage -- at first blush, anyway. Looking closer, you can see that Dave and Lainey are essentially a reflection of our characters, a "what if" image in a life where senseless things happen all the time. A lovely tale.
Black and White Make Red (57k) --
Category: story, Scully/Doggett relationship, AU, angst | Rating: NC-17 | Spoilers: This is Not Happening
Summary: Familiar elements make an unexpected equation.
Lara's Rec: Trust me when I say that there's not a speck of beta-bias in this recommendation -- this story is that good. What Jenna's done here is something few DSR writers can do or even bother to try -- she's created a Doggett/Scully romance that doesn't forget about Mulder. He's a very real presence here, from the first line to the last, and there's every indication that he will continue to be a vital part of their lives. The dialogue is geniune and heartfelt, the characterizations solid and strong. This is a marvelous piece of work.
Blankets (3k) -- Ms
Category: not listed | Rating: G | Spoilers: 8th season
Summary: not summarized
Lara's Rec: Brief but powerful, and so completely in character. There's poetry here, eloquent use of language and emotion. This story made me gasp. . . shiver. . . cry. . . I don't want to say more for fear of ruining the story's impact -- just read it.
Blessed Night (37k) --
Category: S, MSR | Rating: NC-17 | Spoilers: How the Ghosts Stole Christmas
Summary: I said it was NC-17 didn't I? Do I really need to say more?
Lara's Rec: Tess may not think she needs to say more, but I will -- this is so much more than just smutfic. Yes, there's hot, desperate sex -- followed by romantic cuddling, then a shower scene to die for, then more romantic cuddling. . . And Tess writes lots of conversation that's perfectly in character.
Collins' Exclusives series (external link) -- EPurSeMouve
Rating: PG-13 | Spoilers: Requiem
Lara's Rec: Funny and insightful, Bobbie Collins is the most refreshingly original character I've read in fanfic. Read all of these stories and you'll see why.
1. Inquiring Minds
Category: V, H | Summary: Freedom of the press belongs to everyone.
Lara's Rec: Since I was born and raised in Nashville, I have a special place in my heart for fellow Tennessee gal Bobbie Collins. She's tough but fair, dedicated, sympathetic and strong -- a lot like a certain redhead she meets in this story.
2. Damn Temptin'
Category: S | Summary: I'm on the scent, and I always get my story.
Lara's Rec: The long-awaited sequel to "Inquiring Minds" is a rare delight. Bobbie's trials with her job, mother and daughter are touching and real. Her interactions with Scully and the other XF characters are genuine and heartfelt. And be sure to read the headers -- Bobbie wrote them.
3. Believe It Or Not
Category: SXRHA | Summary: The long week of Bobbie Collins.
Lara's Rec: I must admit to a little beta-bias, but don't let that keep you from reading this one. Bobbie is every bit as engaging here as in her previous outings, and we get a bit of information about Mulder's return and its effect on his relationship with Scully. The investigative beats are solid and the characterizations are dead on. Great moments between Bobbie and her daughter Patsy.
(external link) -- Magdeleine
Category: not listed | Rating: R for graphic violence and disturbing subject matter | Spoilers: abduction/cancer arc
Summary: Here there be Pigs.
Lara's Rec: Damn, this is a good story. Another of those two-hour improvs, this is startling in its intensity and impressive in its use of language. Magdeleine has skillfully woven a tale that could easily fit into the show's mytharc, paying close attention to detail -- the hamster, the mulberries, the magnetic alphabet on the fridge. . . and the ending gives me chills every single time I read it.
Bored Games (11k) -- Vickie
Category: MSR, could be considered fluff, 3rd POV | Rating: PG, but you can make it R with a decent imagination | Spoilers: Hollywood A.D.
Summary: Sometimes it gets pretty boring on the road. A little harmless entertainment can help pass the long nights.
Lara's Rec: Vickie should really put a "snort warning" in her headers -- this made me spew coffee all over! Combine a playful Moose & Squirrel with an occasionally serious undertone and you have Vickie at her finest. The characterizations are right on target, and the original character who tells the story is well developed in her own right. Fun stuff here.
Brave New World (41k)
Category: A, MSR | Rating: R | Spoilers: Requiem
Summary: not summarized
Lara's Rec: There's so much here that makes complete sense -- Scully moving to Oregon, and her desire to do whatever it takes to get Mulder back, among other elements. The time Meredith takes to develop the story allows us to experience the passage of time along with Scully. I loved her bewilderment in the beginning, developing into confidence as the story continues. The ending is especially resonant.
Breach of Trust (24k)
Category: V, MSR, Post-Ep, Smut | Rating: NC-17 (language, violence, graphic sexual content) | Spoilers: En Ami
Summary: Post-Ep for "En Ami." Dark, dark, dark. Smutty, smutty, smutty. Need I say more?
Lara's Rec: I like angry sex. I mean, I like reading about angry sex. And "En Ami" just cried out for an angry sex post-ep. Cindy has given us a dark, angsty tale of fear and love to accompany all that angry sex. Mulder's rage and desperation, Scully's regret and resentment -- all of it comes through, completely in character and in keeping with the tone of the episode. Cindy also has an amazing sense of language, skillfully moving from short, staccato phrases to longer, more verbose paragraphs -- all without missing a beat of emotional impact.
Ourselves (external link) -- Marguerite
Category: Post-episode, Angst | Rating: PG-13 (language, disturbing imagery) | Spoilers: Tithonus
Summary: not summarized
Lara's Rec: An incredible missing-scene fic, covering the time in "Tithonus" before the final scene at the hospital, showing us what I for one wanted to see -- Mulder's reaction. Marguerite has a gift for getting inside his head, and she shows us every aspect of what he's feeling. Her Skinner is pretty damn amazing as well, and even the minor characters -- doctors, nurses -- are memorable.
By Hand (7k) -- SueBee
Category: MSR, V, telephone smut | Rating: NC-17. . . I made myself blush on this one | Spoilers: Per Manum
Summary: Sweeter stimulation.
Lara's Rec: "Per Manum" has inspired a new genre of smut -- CupFic. (Well, that's what I call it. Others call it DonorFic, which isn't nearly as much fun. . .) SueBee's is by far one of the best I've read. It's fun, playful, sexy, gets the job done and leaves the door open for more. Just delightful.
By the Window
Hearing Light (external link) -- Jesemie's
Category: Oddness. Angst. | Rating: R | Spoilers: DeadAlive
Summary: Is it so small a thing to have enjoy'd the sun, to have lived light in the spring, to have loved. . . -- Matthew Arnold
Lara's Rec: This story just takes my breath away. The details are exquisite, from the cold and ice to the nest of blankets and alien-head rattle. The characters, especially Mulder, are beautifully drawn. The story's structure works perfectly, shifting at just the right moments for the most emotional impact. JET's Scully walks a fine line between reality and fantasy here, so fine a line that I've read the story five or six times and I'm still not certain what's real -- that's a good thing.
Cabbages and Kings
(32k) -- LC Fenster
Category: Talking heads warning. Post-episode fic. M/K UST | Rating: PG-13 (language, mostly) | Spoilers: DeadAlive
Summary: After "DeadAlive," Mulder and Krycek converse in Mulder's apartment about events past and present.
Lara's Rec: There are some slashy overtones here (and I'm a big fan of realistic Mulder/Krycek slash), but what drew me to this story were the answers it proposes. Why was Krycek waiting for Skinner in Mulder's hospital room? What really led to Mulder's recovery? What's with this whole new alien virus thing? LC's answers are entirely plausible, and are presented through outstanding dialogue and a nice emotional resonance.
Cacophony (18k) -- Scullysfan
Category: VRA | Rating: PG-13 | Spoilers: none
Summary: Sometimes silence is the loudest sound one will ever hear.
Lara's Rec: I've always loved Mulder's voice. As evidenced in this story, Scully does too -- and she doesn't realize how much until it's silenced. Scullysfan tells a beautifully nuanced tale of words said in anger and the longing to hear the voice of the one you love just once more. My favorite part, though, is the story of Theodore -- sad and sensitive, sweet and touching.
(external link) -- Diana Battis
Category: MSR, S, A | Rating: NC-17 | Spoilers: Je Souhaite
Summary: Intimacy does not come without a price.
Lara's Rec: An unerring Scully voice combines with the power of the unspoken to create an incredibly fun post-ep fic. Add a cameo by Jenn and some lovely smut, and you have one my favorites from Diana.
(26k) -- T Bishop & Char
Category: MSR | Rating: R | Spoilers: Millennium
Summary: A well-spent $200 bucks, in Scully's opinion. . .
Lara's Rec: I love cashmere. I once had a silver-grey cashmere sweater that was just sexy as hell, so soft and fuzzy and warm. . . So I can relate to Scully's urge to splurge. And I've seen Mulder's reaction first-hand, so I understand that as well. Char and Teresa shine in their narrative, and what's fun here is the planned spontaneity and back-and-forth between Mulder & Scully.
Caught in My Shadow
(9k) -- Lilydale
Category: VA | Rating: PG | Spoilers: 8th season
Summary: A journey through a tired mind reveals more than you would think about a life.
Lara's Rec: This is one of those deceptively simple little fics that is in reality so very much more than first meets the eye. Lilydale weaves a fascinating stream-of-consciousness monologue that jumps around in time, in space, in emotion -- and packs quite a wallop at the end. To say much more would spoil the story, so just read it. It's truly outstanding.
Chainlink (5k) -- Gnatalie
Category: VRA | Rating: NC-17 | Spoilers: none
Summary: Things change.
Lara's Rec: Hot, hot, hot. Did I mention this is hot? And they don't just have sex and fall asleep -- there's conversation afterward. I love that. And when I get both hot sex and genuine conversation in the same well-written, not-a-wasted-word package. . . sigh. . .
Are (external link) -- aRcaDIaNFall$
Category: not provided | Rating: PG | Spoilers: Irresistable
Summary: Musings in a morgue. A short scene.
Lara's Rec: There's a lot of death on The X-Files, a lot of time spent in morgues. Yes, when one of your main characters is a pathologist, that happens -- but they don't talk about it much. This story gives us a death conversation in a morgue, one that exposes some of Mulder & Scully's fears and emotions. A short, sweet little vignette with some vivid dialogue.
Checking the Milk (8k) --
Category: Relentless angstorama. Character death, and those who are still there aren't all there. Dysfunctional DSR, mostly implied | Rating: PG I guess | Spoilers: Jump the Shark
Summary: Everybody Hurts
Lara's Rec: A difficult story to read. It's that painful, like watching someone you love fall apart, knowing there's nothing you can do to help her. But ga's Scully is perfectly in character -- someone so controlled would shatter when pushed past the point of no return. ga's physical description of her is most haunting.
Cherished (84k) -- Alcott
Category: SA, UST | Rating: PG-ish. There's a bad word here and there. | Spoilers: 7th season prior to Sein Und Zeit
Summary: An unseen friend keeps vigilance over Scully's sick bed.
Lara's Rec: Alternately told from a third-person omniscient POV and in first-person through the eyes of an intriguing original character, this story of love and devotion touches my heart every time I read it. Mulder's despair is palpable here, but the most refreshingly different element in this story is Alcott's depiction of Maggie Scully.
The Children We Were
(13k) -- Tara Avery
Category: V, A | Rating: PG | Spoilers: Millennium
Summary: Why do bad things happen to good children, Mulder?
Lara's Rec: A heartbreaking vignette, narrated by an introspective Scully. She muses on her childhood, and Mulder's, and how they became the "bruised children wearing tailored suits, Armani suits, carrying badges and guns" they are. Exquisite use of language.
Choke Hold (17k) -- CindyET
Category: Post Ep | Rating: strong R (adult themes, implied violence, language) | Spoilers: Oubliette
Summary: "Not everything I do, say, think, and feel goes back to my sister. You, of all people, should realize that sometimes motivations for behavior can be more complex and mysterious than tracing them back to one single childhood experience." -- Fox Mulder to Dana Scully in "Oubliette"
Lara's Rec: Ever since the first time I saw it, I've wondered about that line in "Clyde Bruckman's Final Repose." Cindy gives us a plausible explanation while exploring the sometimes troubled psyche of Fox Mulder. Her portrait of him and his partnership with Scully feels very genuine. I can see this sort of thing happening to him, especially as he's presented here.
California (24k) -- Michelle Kiefer
Category: Story | Rating: PG-13 | Spoilers: extremely vague 9th season
Summary: "Get her to come to San Diego, Mom. Christmas in California is just what Dana needs to cheer her up."
Lara's Rec: I'm a total sap for a well-told holiday tale, and this one definitely qualifies. Michelle's picture of a sad Dana, missing Mulder especially now, is just lovely. Maggie Scully's POV is perfect for this, and it's nice to see Bill Scully portrayed as something other than a demon from hell. This is a wonderful holiday fic.
Closed Colony, Special Stock (81k) --
Category: X, A, M/S friendship, casefile with mytharc connection | Rating: PG-13 for mild language, innuendo, disturbing images and ideas | Spoilers: none
Summary: A body is found in a top secret area on an Air Force Base. No one knows the cause of death, or why the dead woman was in a secured area. The Air Force officer in charge makes a last ditch effort to prevent the project from being closed down. He uses his clout to get the FBI to send Mulder and Scully to investigate. Scully finds she knows the right questions to ask -- but how?
Lara's Rec: Written for Virtual Season 8, Branwell's story is one that could never be seen on the show. Why? Its unique and exciting point of view. The first-person narrator is a fascinating character, well developed and fully realized. Mulder and Scully are perfect together, especially Scully and her struggle to accept what's happening. And this is my favorite kind of casefile -- one with a bit of mytharc blended in. The mythology elements work beautifully with Branwell's wholly original plot, making this an incredibly fun ride.
Closet Musings (4k)
-- Mary Parker
Category: not listed | Rating: not rated | Spoilers: Alpha
Summary: not summarized
Lara's Rec: I never thought of Scully as a 'feminine wiles' kind of woman. But Mary shows me the error of my ways and takes us on a journey through nearly seven years of a slow, careful seduction -- via Scully's wardrobe. This is a bright, delightful story, full of history and promise.
Comfort (17k) -- Vickie
Category: V, MT, UST | Rating: PG | Spoilers: How the Ghosts Stole Christmas
Summary: Mulder's thoughts when he's been shot.
Lara's Rec: A classic of Vickie's that gives me what I've been craving -- Mulder. Vickie seems to inhabit Mulder's mind, his voice and his thoughts unerringly in character. I was right there with him, in pain, struggling toward consciousness, worrying about his partner. . . Terrific stuff.
Convergence (35k) -- Snark
Category: A little Scully angst, a hint of MSR | Rating: PG | Spoilers: All Things
Summary: When decisions are made, options and opportunities die. . . don't they?
Lara's Rec: Ever contemplate the notion of parallel universes branched off from this one? The idea that one decision, sometimes made in haste, shapes the rest of your life? Scully experiences the many roads not taken in this story, and Snark tells the tales with vivid imagery.
(17k) -- Lisa
Category: SRA | Rating: R | Spoilers: Per Manum
Summary: Scully undergoes fertility treatments.
Lara's Rec: Lisa's deceptively simple summary doesn't scratch the surface of this story. Here she explores the emotional cost of the fertility treatments and IVF, and how it might bring Mulder and Scully closer together. Her doubts and fears about the wisdom of the whole thing, his uncertainty over his place in their child's life, their grief when it didn't work. . . and their comforting one another. Geniune, heartfelt emotion is Lisa's strength here.
& Restrictions (external link) -- Suzanne
Category: MSR, RST | Rating: NC-17 | Spoilers: Arcadia
Summary: Missing scene from "Arcadia." Night 1: they spoon like baby kittens (shyeah!). Night 2: Scully tosses Mulder out of the bedroom. Night 3: anyone's guess. All I know is Mulder was looking pretty chipper the next morning. And Scully was acting downright wifely when she asked him to give up playing in the mud on Night 4.
Lara's Rec: I can't help it -- I loved "Arcadia." The flirtation, the air-kiss, the constant touches. . . everything just warmed my little shipper's heart. Suzanne has written the missing-scene fic I would've written -- sexual tension escalating until they just can't stand it anymore, infused with some truly outstanding dialogue. Suzanne addresses recent events too (Fowley, El Rico Air Base, Scully getting shot) with style and acknowledgment of their resonance for Mulder & Scully. And heck -- there's smut. And Shirtless!Mulder. In his glasses, no less. What's not to love?
the Street (external link) -- Forte
Category: VA | Rating: PG-13 (for language, including that pesky "f" word) | Spoilers: One Breath
Summary: Mulder shares a conversation with a stranger.
Lara's Rec: A deceptively simple little story of love and devotion, of watching out for the people you care about. Written as a tribute to someone she loves, Forte's writing is eloquent and heartfelt. Simply lovely.
The Crouching Thing
(32k) -- Sarah Ellen Parsons
Category: story, horror | Rating: PG-13 | Spoilers: Requiem
Summary: Sometimes we see things we don't want to see.
Lara's Rec: In case you hadn't noticed, I have an affinity for stories that are out of the ordinary and authors who take chances. Sarah's story is a perfect example of that. Frightening and creepy, this is a brilliant post-"Requiem" fic.
(external link) -- Audrey Roget
Category: SR, with a few A flavor-flakes | Rating: NC-17 | Spoilers: Triangle
Summary: I like smut.
Lara's Rec: Most "first time" fics are pretty similar -- they kiss, they fall into bed, he asks if she's sure, they declare their undying love, they have hot sex, they fall asleep. Audrey takes a somewhat different approach. The kiss is quick, falling into bed takes a very long time, the obligatory "are you sure" moment is incredibly literate and adult, there's no verbal declaration of undying love, the hot sex is very hot and goes on forever, the nap is brief -- and there's an aftermath. I love a smutfic with aftermath.
The Curse of Urticaria
(11k) -- CindyET
Category: V, Post Ep | Rating: PG-13 (language) | Spoilers: Teso dos Bichos
Summary: "Teso dos Bichos" seems to make it onto every Phile's 10 Most Hated list. Could a post ep salvage this universally unpopular episode? ~nervous laugh~ Good thing I enjoy a challenge.
Lara's Rec: To answer Cindy's question in the summary -- yes, a post-ep (especially a really good one, like this) can salvage even the reviled "Teso dos Bichos." Cindy borrows Gillian Anderson's cat allergy and gives it to Scully -- she also gives Scully a reluctant hero in Mulder, hesitantly covering her back in calamine lotion. Mulder's running inner monologue is delightful.
Daddy (78k) -- Xanthe
Category: T, A | Rating: NC-17 - for male rape | Spoilers: Closure
Summary: Mulder profiles a vicious rapist in a bid to stop him before he kills.
Lara's Rec: Xanthe has a special warning on this story -- it contains scenes of male rape and implied child abuse. Now here's my warning -- this is an extremely dark story. I'm incredibly impressed by the skill of the storytelling -- Xanthe has written completely believable characterizations of Mulder and especially Skinner, taking them on a dark journey into a deeply troubled mind. Outstanding writing here.
A Day at the Office
(30k) -- XScout
Category: SA | Rating: R | Spoilers: Chinga
Summary: An Emergency Medical Technician is called to the scene of a car accident where the life of an FBI agent is in her hands.
Lara's Rec: I love stories like this, where the party making Our Heroes' lives miserable isn't some shadowy conspirator or shape-shifting alien. On the side of the angels here is Jo, a dedicated EMT doing her best to provide some comfort to them both. Jo is a terrific original character, telling this story in a compelling voice. XScout's characterizations of Mulder & Scully are right on target, too.
Debrouiller (100k) -- Tess
Category: MSR | Rating: PG-13 | Spoilers: Existence
Lara's Rec: Despite what people tell you, motherhood is not an instinct. I know that I, personally, don't have it. And there's no guarantee that Scully will take to it naturally, either. Tess explores Scully's inner turmoil as she endeavors to be everything to everyone in her life, and the remarkable thing about this story is that it's completely true to the characters. Tess' Mulder & Scully aren't instantly happy, struggle with the new demands of parenthood, vainly attempt to reestablish their own relationship. This is a beautifully realized story.
(external link) -- Sophia Jirafe
Category: not provided | Rating: R | Spoilers: 8th season
Summary: Stupid -- yes, stupid to think he wouldn't guess.
Lara's Rec: Loneliness, pain, guilt, need. . . Warring emotions in Dana Scully's life early in the 8th season. Any woman in her situation would feel this way -- but for Scully, because she's spent so long behind walls of her own making, her feelings are tearing her apart. This is the premise for Sophia's excellent story of need and denial, love and loss, pain and support. Her Scully is exquisitely drawn, an inner monologue deliberating her conflicting emotions. Doggett's nobility and evident affection for Scully are strongly portrayed here.
Delivery at the Corner of
Dupont and Connecticut (11k) -- Rachel
Category: VHA | Rating: PG-13 | Spoilers: 8th season
Summary: Scully's life has turned into a soap opera and it's not getting better now that the baby is on the way.
Lara's Rec: I've never had a baby. Both my sisters have, but they were in other cities when my nephews were born, so I didn't even get to experience it peripherally. Everything I know about having babies comes from TV -- which is why I giggled myself silly when I read Rachel's story. Poor Scully, miserable and huge and missing Mulder. Poor Doggett, just trying to help. Poor Skinner, sacrificing his wardrobe for the cause. Of course, by the end, all is right with the world -- but it's a fun trip getting there.
Dermatology (2k) -- ML
Category: Vignette, 3rd person POV | Rating: PG | Spoilers: Nothing Important Happened Today
Summary: This will only hurt for a moment.
Lara's Rec: We are, in essence, the sum of all our parts. ML takes one of Mulder's most distinctive parts (no, not his nose) and asks us an unexpected but logical question: if he were going into hiding, what would he do? This is a delightful answer.
Descension (11k) -- Meredith
Category: V, M/S | Rating: not rated | Spoilers: Closure
Summary: What goes up must come down.
Lara's Rec: Building a bridge between "Ascension" and "Closure," this story gives me chills every time I read it. There's so much to love here, not least of which is the incredibly vivid imagery and Meredith's compelling use of metaphor. Quiet and subtle, Meredith paints a picture of a man in transition, in metamorphosis. Exquisite.
Desire (110k) -- Alelou
Category: MSR | Rating: NC-17 | Spoilers: All Things
Summary: A loving elaboration of the canon as represented by "All Things."
Lara's Rec: This richly layered story explores sexuality and sexual compulsion, the difference between erotica and pornography, and hormones and the nature of desire -- through some very intelligent and well-written dialogue. Alelou provides a plausible explanation for Scully's attitude at the beginning of "All Things," and gives us a terrific original character to make Mulder's life miserable.
Measures (12k) -- Kelly Keil
Category: V, A | Rating: R | Spoilers: Requiem
Summary: Desperate times call for desperate measures.
Lara's Rec: Kelly's special warning reads, "Do not read this story if you are faint of heart. This is angst with a capital A." Indeed it is. Her Scully is a woman faced with an impossible choice, and once that choice is made, she must turn to an unlikely ally for help. This is a sad, tragic story, beautifully told.
Dinky Dau (22k) -- CindyET
Category: V | Rating: R (violence and language) | Spoilers: Unrequited
Summary: "I'm afraid to look any further beyond that experience." -- Walter Skinner in "One Breath"
Lara's Rec: The more I read Skinner-centric fanfic, the more I really, really like this guy. Cindy's story takes us back to a Skinner-centric episode in the 4th season, "Unrequited," and gives us a look inside his troubled mind. Taking us back through his own experiences in Vietnam, this harrowing tale explores his character in a way that episode should have. Outstanding work.
Distance to Touch
Upon (45k) -- Trixie
Category: S, A, MSR | Rating: PG-13 (cause Scully has a dirty mouth. . .) | Spoilers: Requiem
Summary: Have you ever listened to "Elsewhere" by Sarah McLachlan? This is NOT songfic, and that song appears nowhere in this fic, but I think listening to it provides a nice sort of summary. Plus, it's a cool song. Go on, you know you want to. I'll wait. It's on one of her older CDs. No, the other one -- Fumbling Toward Ecstasy. Right. There you go.
Lara's Rec: Okay, I must confess -- I adore that summary. I don't know the song (I have that CD, I just haven't listened to that song yet), but the way Trixie wrote her summary told me I'd really enjoy this fic. Beyond the very cool summary, there's just so much else to love here -- the family dinner, the Mulder scenes, the reunion. . . and especially the magical final sequence. And we get to meet Charlie!
Divergence (13k) -- Jennifer
Category: VA (*maybe* VRA, but that's a looooooooong stretch) | Rating: NC-17 | Spoilers: All Things
Summary: When little surprises you, and you anticipate much, it's what you don't expect that hurts the most.
Lara's Rec: If life were all about happy endings, it would be dull as dishwater. (Don't ask -- it's a Southern thing.) Unfortunately, fanfic is too often all about happy endings -- I love it when a writer takes a chance on something else. As I read this the first time, I remembered a line from an old Star Trek episode, something about the having not being as good as the wanting. This fic isn't what the optimist in me would like to see happen, but it's exceptionally well written, and I applaud Jennifer for taking chances.
Inclinations (24k) -- Gwinne
Category: MSR | Rating: PG-13 | Spoilers: DeadAlive
Summary: not summarized
Lara's Rec: Ever wonder when those flashback scenes in "Per Manum" were set? I have. Gwinne takes us all the way back to "Arcadia" for a bit of explanation as to how Scully's baby-lust might've developed. The little touches Gwinne shows us -- Working Mother magazine, thread counts, tiny pink socks -- are perfectly layered. The emotional landscape of the story is rich and varied, from the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. Exquisite.
Down a Lazy River (16k) -- Dasha
Category: SRA; Skinner/Doggett, slash | Rating: NC-17 -- avert your eyes, kiddies | Spoilers: DeadAlive
Summary: An Irish wake.
Lara's Rec: Skinner/Doggett slash is my favorite slash pairing these days. IMO, the chemistry between these two just leaps off the screen. Apparently Dasha sees it too, because they lured her out of retirement for this story (yay!). Her Skinner is haunted and grief-stricken, her Doggett compassionate and caring. The sex is both hot and tender, and the level of emotion (particularly from Skinner) is incredibly deep.
Dream Life (14k) -- Gwinne
Category: MSR | Rating: PG-13 | Spoilers: Requiem
Summary: not summarized
Lara's Rec: This is another of those stories I have a hard time with -- it's difficult to put into words what I love about it. I guess my favorite thing is that Gwinne's Mulder & Scully are exactly the same as Chris Carter's Mulder & Scully, even though they're in very different situations. Everything about Gwinne's characterizations is perfect, from Scully's dreams and Mulder's comfort to their affectionate banter and silly jokes. Outstanding dialogue, heartfelt emotion.
Dream Through My
Heart (7k) -- Louise Andrews
Category: Vignette, MSR | Rating: PG | Spoilers: Without
Summary: The trials and horrors were over, his hospital stay complete and his recuperation underway. He came home last night, home to her apartment, home to love.
Lara's Rec: Louise's poetic prose takes us deep into the hearts and souls of these two damaged people. The pain of separation, the joy of reunion, the spark of love that ignites when their eyes meet. . . This is a beautiful, heartfelt vignette.
Thru (external link) -- Beduini
Category: V, Mulder POV, M/S UST, MA, SA, DAL with a touch of MSR | Rating: R for adult language and themes | Spoilers: Triangle
Summary: Shades of Monday, shades of Drive, but not one spoiler. Oh, well, Triangle, sort of.
Lara's Rec: An unusual story, not only written from Mulder's POV but with the reader knowing only what he says or thinks. If you pay attention as you read this, you'll be privy to a wonderful exploration of who Mulder is, how he's grown a little with Scully's help, and how he feels about her. A fabulous story.
Drowning In You (13k)--
Category: MSR, Vignette, Musings | Rating: R | Spoilers: none
Summary: "He may know how to swim, but right now he wants to drown. . ."
Lara's Rec: Exploring the mind, heart and soul of Fox Mulder, and his devotion to Dana Scully. Lyrical and evocative, exquisitely written, this story is one of Char's best -- and that says a lot.
(7k) -- ML
Category: missing scene, angst | Rating: PG-13 for a couple of bad words | Spoilers: DeadAlive
Summary: Two manly men share their feelings.
Lara's Rec: Skinner and Doggett have a lot in common besides their Marine Corps past -- their separate promises to Scully to find Mulder, their obvious (to me, anyway) affection for her, their self-sacrifice in putting things right. . . and their mutual feeling of complete and utter uselessness once they've succeeded. ML gives them a moment of male bonding, which results in some wonderful character development for us readers.
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