Best FF That Uses Sex to Comment on Society, Psychology, and Character, Thus Proving the Author to Be a Superhero Named Multi-Tasking Girl: Only Queers Kiss, by miriam_heddy. The Professionals, Bodie/Doyle. This story is why people who don't read PWP are missing out. Because, OK, technically there's nothing here but sex, but, um, are you noticing how good this is? How much it says about the characters and their thoughts and their times and what is happening with them? (And if you've never heard of The Professionals - a cop TV show, is my understanding, from the dark ages of the world - read it anyway. If you've read two pieces of fan fiction in any fandom, you know enough to read this.)
Best FF That Suggests Perhaps the Canon Authors Are Also Reading FF: Unclear, by C. Elisa. X-Men movies, Magneto/Xavier. Note that this story was finished before she saw X2. C. Elisa has recently joined my list of I'll-Read-Anything Authors. A new fandom? Fine. A weird pairing? Absolutely. Original fiction? Believe me, I'll be delighted. I'd read these folks' shopping lists with interest. This story is exactly why. C. Elisa's got Xavier's voice, in my opinion, she's deep into what it means to be a mutant, and almost as an afterthought she's totally revealed the whole relationship between these two characters. So, really, her shopping list? I'm sure it contains the formula for a cure for the common cold and the location of the mates to all my odd socks, somewhere between "gal. milk" and "4 tomatoes if nice" and "harvest bread unsliced." Of course I'm ready to read it. And you should read this.
Best FF That Proves That the Bang and the Whimper at the End of the World Will Probably Be Immediately Preceded by a Misunderstanding: Quiproquo, by V, aka deepsix. Harry Potter, Marcus/Oliver. I never even suspected this pairing when I was a naive young innocent FF-free lass reading the early HP books. I had to go back and re-read them so I could remember who Marcus was. But there's this whole rich vein of Marcus/Oliver slash out there, and I've got to put these guys on the Pairings That Elucidate the Horror of Adolescence list, right under "Bobby/St. John." And this story also elucidates the horror of the coming war and betrayal and, well, look. Just read it.
Best FF That Forces Me to Make Not One but Two Real Fiction Recommendations in the Course of a Discussion of It That Is Longer Than the FF Itself Is: Shapes, by brancher. Eight Days of Luke, Luke/David, and I am going to say it until you succumb: read Diana Wynne Jones' Eight Days of Luke. It'll take you three hours. And they will be hours well spent, if for no other reason than that you'll now understand some of the best FF out there. (FF, I might add, apparently condoned by the canon author, which is saying something.) Now, this story. Have you ever read "Climax to a Ghost Story?" (Feel free to do so now; it's a .pdf document, so it'll take longer to load than to read.) When you do, you think, wow, I wish he'd written the whole story, because those few lines kick ass - and then you realize those lines are the story. Anything else would be totally superfluous. Same thing with "Shapes." Trust me on this.