Best FF That Has Forever Changed the Way I Think of Unicorns: Like a Good Book, by Kyra Cullinan. Harry Potter, Hermione/Ginny. Yes, folks, it's femslash. And not only that, it's bad sex femslash - gritty and grim and painfully realistic. But even though the sex ain't pretty, the story itself is excellent, so please don't rule this one out if you don't normally do f/f. The book connection, of course, comes from the title, which in turns comes from a Tori Amos song, so we're talking about tenuous links, here. But this nominations set is all about being tenuous. Total tenuousity, that is my motto today.
Best FF That Shows How the Dewey Decimal System Leads to Good Lovin': Reference, by Resonant. Due South, Fraser/Kowalski. If the last nominee left you a bit raw, here's a sweet little story to take the hurt away. This one just makes my library-loving heart melt. And it's lovely to see Fraser being given a bit of non-canon history that doesn't involve death, loss, guilt, or repression. Seriously, Fraser's collected backstory reads like a Shakespearean tragedy (five acts of misunderstandings and long sad speeches, and by the end everyone's dead), so I love Resonant all the more for giving Ray the traumatic memory in this one.
Best FF That Demonstrates That the Library of Congress* Is Even More Arousing Than the Dewey Decimal System: Library Porn: Say Bibliotheque Again, Baby, by Nestra and shrift (sorry I left you out, shrift). Angel, Wesley/Gunn. You say the sour story didn't do it for you and the sweet story made you gag? Perhaps mademoiselle would prefer something light from our PWP menu. Because it doesn't get any better than sex in a library. And no, I do not want any angry comments from librarians on this one; I get all I need at home. (But, for the record, you really shouldn't have sex in a library. Coitus Interruptus Librarianus can kill your libido for your natural life, not to mention playing hell with your book-borrowing privileges.) And you don't need the slightest familiarity with Angel to understand this one, either, because the language of this kind of book-loving is universal.
Best FF That Will Make You Really Thirsty: Liquid, by Jane St. Clair. X-Force comics, Rictor/Shatterstar. (Links go to character bios, because even the bios don't make much sense, never mind the comic books.) This one makes this nominations set solely because it features the best sex disclaimer ever: "Never ever have I ever done it with a friend as part of elaborate trade negotiations for a rare book I desired." (Neither have I, Jane, and now that it's been mentioned, I must say I feel the lack.) In this story, we learn about the importance of water to the human body and to love. You will probably want to have a nice frosty beverage on hand before you start reading.
* Yes, actually, I suspect the authors of this story did intend that to be a pun.