tried to eat the safe banana
Most fan fiction is smut. And it's smut written primarily by women and for women about gay men. So I'm not expecting super-realistic sex, despite Minotaur's helpful websites. But when I see a slash writer incorporating something unexpectedly true-to-life into a story, I'm always happy. And these authors did just that.

Best FF That Proves You Can Find a Quote for Suitable for Any Occasion in the Bible: Lukewarm, by Juxian Tang. Harry Potter, Snape/Lupin. See, here's the thing. Sex between people who hate each other doesn't usually follow the "I hate you"-rip-gasp-thrust-"Oh God yes yes YES!"-"I love you" sequence we see so often in slash. Here, Juxian Tang reminds us that if you're going to screw someone you hate, it won't be as easy as ripping your clothes off and falling into bed. And you might just hate yourself in the morning. (Now don't you wish this story had been around when you were in high school?)

Best FF with the World's Most Painfully Realistic Embarrassing Beginning: The Charm, by Miriam Heddy. The Sentinel, Jim/Blair. One of the many things I love about Sentinel slash writers is their uncommon dedication to realism; we see quickies, clumsiness, and safewords almost as often as magical first-time anal sex. In "The Charm," Miriam Heddy remembers that it doesn't always work perfectly the first time. And when it doesn't, wow, it's embarrassing. But it makes getting it right even better.

Best FF That Explains Why It's Better to Sleep in a Tent Than a French Hotel: Tides of Men, by Jane St. Clair. Lawrence of Arabia Real Person Slash, Lawrence/Feisal. Jane St. Clair takes a cliche slash meme, the healing sex after trauma, and turns it on its head, making it real in the process. Jane also has these men behaving in accordance with their eras and cultures - Lawrence is the perfect turn-of-the-century Brit - and yet she still manages to get them into bed with each other. Be impressed.

Best FF Featuring a Parental Conversational Gambit That Strikes Fear into the Hearts of Adult Children Everywhere: Parental Guidance, by Alanna, Starfish, and Kass. Due South, Kowalski/Fraser. There're some characters I'm willing to believe can try new kinds of sex without hesitation - Jack Sparrow being perhaps the living definition of this category - but for most of us, it's a little awkward and weird no matter how much we want to do it or how right it is. This story accurately portrays the mild discomfort and freaking common in these situations, and for that, I love it.