Best FF That Features Incidental Proof That Sometimes True Love Means Shooting Your Loved One: Someone Who's Turning, by Jane St. Clair, aka 3jane. X-Force, Rictor/Shatterstar, and I can't offer you bios because the site I usually use is down, dammit. There's just something so boylike about this first time, which starts with a hand job and ends with the first kiss. (All together now: awww. Or am I the only one who finds this sweet? Yeah, probably.) But what I really love about this story is that it's all about patterning - how we learn to love. And considering Shatterstar learned everything he knows about love from TV, and Rictor learned from sources that manage to be even less reliable, it's sort of impressive that they manage so well here. Hormones never lead you astray. Well, in slash, anyway. At least in certain fandoms.
Best FF That Uses Handguns (and Fear of Handguns) to Help Ease the Tension Inherent in Switching Teams: The Awakening, by Beth, aka beth666ann. Homicide, Tim Bayliss/Chris Rawls. Yes, I have succumbed to the Homicide lure. But it's OK! It's a really small fandom! I'll be done with it before you know it! Just like, um, all the other tiny fandoms I've abandoned. (There aren't any, actually, but there could always be a first one.) This is the second story I read in this fandom, and it's the best I've read so far. You totally don't need to know the canon to read this - it's basically just the most protracted first time I've ever read in slash, and I don't in any way mean to impugn the quality of this story with that summary. This is good slashing, here. Plus, it's an excellent introduction, to the extent that I am any judge, to the strange creature that is Tim Bayliss. Read it! (I need company in my multi-fandom purgatory.)
Best FF in Which We Learn the Importance of Bat-style Utility Belts to the Course of True Lust: Night Watch, by weirdnessmagnet. Teen Titans, Tim/Kon. Only Tim Drake would, upon awakening his lust object with exceedingly lustful behavior, immediately think of the knockout gas he has handy in a belt pouch. (Of course Tim keeps his utility belt fully stocked and armed while he's seducing someone! Suppose it turns out to be the Evil Kon-X from the Dimension of Deranged Sleepers? Tim would need his belt then!) Even in the DCverse, most people aren't twisted in such an anal retentive way. This first time is vintage Tim, from the creepy obsessive stalkery behavior to the careful analysis of Kon's genealogy and genetics even as he's seducing him. And that's what I love about the DCU: unabashed use of the DSM IV for character inspiration.
Best FF That Teaches Us That True Love Is All About Lies, Lies, Lies2: Believe You Me, by cesperanza. Due South, Benton Fraser/Ray Kowalski. I've succumbed, people. Rather than resist the lure of Speranza's stories, I'm just going to try to work one into every damned set until I run out. That'll solve the Speranza Problem, all right, and maybe then I'll be able to move on to recommend authors that everyone on the planet hasn't read. Seriously, my mother has probably read this one already. (Um, actually, I really, really hope and believe she has not. Because ew ew ew.) So, here we have lies and sex, and I've always loved this story because it perfectly captures the pathos of being Benton Fraser. I don't know why I didn't mention this one in the Due South Fandoms I Have Loved, because this is really the story you need to read to know why dS fans tend to be happy ending junkies. (These guys deserve the happy endings, that's why.)
1 It is not my fault I do not love Elizabeth Barrett Browning as I should. I blame my ninth-grade English teacher, who I swear was in love with the woman. (God help me - it's a plot bunny for RPS time-travel femslash. I think that's ample proof we should all be incredibly grateful I don't actually write FF.)
2 No, I do not have to mention weapons in every category title in this set. Though if I did, I would certainly point out that this story features a whole passel of law enforcement officers, all American and therefore all armed, and yet it's the only one that doesn't mention any weapons at all. We call this the due South mystique.