1. From "Unheard By Men", from the Sandman fandom.
Let me begin by saying that this just as a concept sent me into joygasms, because I felt the same way about that prelude to A Doll's House. I was all, "So what do the ladies have to say, huh?"
And I was lucky enough to get to find out. *grins*
The author of this piece really embraced the folk-lorish feel of Gaiman's original story, and *ran* with it. And in doing so, wrote some truly *gorgeous* moments. Like this:
Only one did not sleep. He who had listened wept and stared into the rough glass of his wife's mirror. Within the glass a face he could not see lingered beside his own, full gray-skinned face set in a smile that did not belong on the somber features. When the sun began to creep over the horizon, he went once again to the Glass Desert. With a heart shaped shard that may well have been the same one he'd clutched in his youth he slit open the veins of his arms and waited for sunrise.
The rhythm of that passage is flawless -- perfectly like that of the oral tradition. Also, she just makes really amazing use of the pre-existing symbolic Glass Desert. Just, whoa. It's one of those things that I read, stop, read again, then stop and think, "God. DAMN."
2. "Dog Stars", Firefly
Okay, so how cute is the idea of a dog on Serenity? But, wait, hang on. It gets cuter: WASH WITH A PUPPY!
*squeals in happy fangirl bliss*
And on top of just being an adorable concept, the voices were all *SPOT ON*. This section in particular I could literally *hear*
"Sit." The puppy looked back, grinning and panting and squirming and looking nowhere near sitting. "Sit . . . please? Sit now? Here – like this." Wash sank into a squat to demonstrate, making panting doggie noises for good measure. The puppy cocked his head and mimicked the pant happily, wandering over to lick at his new master's face. But he didn't sit.
Zoe chuckled from her spot cross-legged on their bed. "Dogs don't learn from 'please', honey."
"It's a radical new technique I'm trying. Because so far, he doesn't seem to learn from anything."
This Wash is just...well. He's basically perfect Wash. I love it.
3. "A Break In the Tears", Angel
So I'm basically a sucker for babies. And men with babies. And men with Cordelia. And babies, too. Plus, you know, Angel. *grins* But, really, Angel and Cordy together during the period of time when Connor was a baby? Precious. And post-the Angel finale? This ficlet was just a really great pick-me-up. Very, very sweet. I think this line made me smile the widest:
Angel watched her silently, then returned his gaze to his sleeping son. A faint smile touched his lips and he leaned back against the closed door. Cordelia stood a moment, her eyes moving between the vampire and his child, her own lips curving into a smile as well. She went to stand with, leaning against the wall beside him and laying her head on his shoulder. They stood in companionable quiet for a long moment, both their eyes fixed on the sleeping infant. Cordelia finally spoke, her voice a low whisper in Angel's ear. "Conner suits him. You picked the right name, I think."
He nodded proudly in agreement. "It's in the bones. He has good, sturdy Irish bone structure."
I just...gah. His pride in Connor is just SO CUTE. *sniffles* And Cordy! Love it. Love. It.