Chance by SallyExactly
"Clint Barton's snap decision to re-interpret his mission orders means a new life for Natalia Romanova. She's only got the one shot at it, though, and "how to live and remake yourself in three easy steps" was never included in her assassin training." Breathtakingly perfect Natasha and Clint backstory epic, detailed and extraordinary; thank god the sequel is in progress. A must-read. KikiRec
Reconstruction Site by disco_vendetta (brinn)
My favorite post-movie fic; perfect Raleigh and how totally and deeply he loves Mako. Bonus everyone, with both sad and hilarious moments.
Second Mouse by AlphaFlyer
"When HYDRA is suspected to be carrying out illicit activities in Scotland, SHIELD and MI-6 are asked to cooperate. Two covert agencies on the same turf -- Barton & Bond, Fury & M, Coulson & Moneypenny -- what could possibly go wrong? (Oh, and who exactly does the gorgeous redhead work for?)" Crazy good crossover, set pre-Avengers.
Five Times North Star Assistance Helped The English Guy by Fyre
What it says on the tin. Completely hilarious. KikiRec
Coulson's Eleven by copperbadge
After Vanko destroyed the Stark Expo, SHIELD instituted a Superhuman Detention program, designed to capture and hold dangerous people -- dangerous people like Tony Stark, Steve Rogers, and others who made themselves noticeable. The superhumans SHIELD has imprisoned -- and some SHIELD agents themselves -- have other ideas about what constitutes 'dangerous'..." Well up to copperbadge's usual standards -- a tight, awesome au, with special guest stars, even. KikiRec
excerpted from The Adventure of the Plum-Colored Glow, the Potato, and the Really Good Chocolates (Book 3 in the Madcap Adventures of Amelia Pond, age 7, Time Traveler) by belmanoir
Funny and perfectly young!Amelia, an au I think we would all like to have seen.KikiRec
We'll Run Like We're Awesome by themonkeycabal
Tony-is-Darcy's-father, but done integrating Tony into Darcy's life from childhood. Well-written, and everyone is absolutely believable (I expect nothing less from this writer).
Welcome to Haven 2037 by December21st
"He's betting that Audrey ... no, what was it, Emma's editor bears a striking resemblance to someone who was calling himself Agent Howard the first time Duke met him. Duke would respect the guy if Audrey hadn't shown up to dinner alone. But the bastard had promised." Excellent future-fic.
Polyglot in Collective by BlackEyedGirl
[Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.]
"The thing she realises? It's not that Fitz and Simmons don't speak English, it's that Ward doesn't speak person." The Skye and Ward interaction is worth it.
The Harold Finch Project for the Rehabilitation of Damaged Ex-Government Assassins by Dien
[Person of Interest]
Excellent episode tag with strong characterization of Shaw and Finch (and Bear!). I would ignore the tags.
The Christmas Variation by surrexi
"Jack wakes up just a tiny bit quicker at the Game Station, in time to witness the Doctor save Rose's life and to board the TARDIS with them when they leave. How will Jack's presence change the events that follow the Doctor's regeneration and the trio's subsequent arrival in London just before the Sycorax invasion?" Love this.
Spark by Siria
[Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.]
"There's someone sitting on the porch." Tag to first episode of SHIELD, that really should happen
Homecoming by busaikko and knight_tracer
"Stacker had dissuaded her, gently but firmly, from superstitions. She no longer believed in ghosts, but her actions now were out of respect for the dead. And for the sake of her own memories." Mako takes Raleigh home with her to pay her respects to the dead. Very pretty.
Inevitability by galaxysoup
[Star Trek: AOS]
"More than one friendship was derailed by the Narada's arrival." After Narada, Bones treats an old Vulcan...
When Worlds Collide by
"When a kidnapped Tony DiNozzo is rescued by legendary - and supposedly dead - serial killers Dean and Sam Winchester, the NCIS team takes over the Winchester investigation. What they find is a file filled with contradictions and impossibilities." Tony and Dean are particularly perfect, but the whole thing is a brilliant crossover epic. You only need basic familiarity with each show. KikiRec
Friends With Benefits by Yahtzee
A "what if" springing off from the fourth-season episode "The Bahamas Triangle." When Matt chooses Amanda, both Betty and Daniel find themselves single, lonely and a wee bit drunk. Daniel proposes a simple solution to their problems, which turns out not to be that simple after all ..." Wow, with the NC17, but also very sweet and hopeful.
AU -- alternate universe. Stories which diverge from the show's canon in one way or another (a character doesn't die, a character does die, the setting is different, etc).
Babyfic -- A main character is either pregnant, had a baby, or found one on their doorstep. I have a sneaking fondness for many of these, but I'll warn you first.
BDM -- Firefly fandom shorthand for the Big Damn Movie (ie, Serenity). Not the other thing you were thinking; get your mind out of the gutter!
Canon -- facts, settings and relationships verified by what has actually aired on the series in question. Jack O'Neill was a POW, Chris Larabee's wife and son were murdered, Max, Michael and Isabel are aliens, Josh Lyman and Sam Seaborn met long before the campaign -- that's all canon. Anything that fans have inferred without direct evidence or have completely made up is non-canon (and often AU).
Crackfic -- a story with a premise so out there, that it's obvious the author must have been smoking some serious monkeycrack. Crackfics tend to be crossovers or AUs; they will be either brilliant or appallingly bad.
Crossover -- a story based on the characters or universes of two separate fandoms; i.e., The X-Files/Due South, The West Wing/Stargate SG-1, Angel/The Dead Zone, Hercules/Buffy (I'm not making any of these up; in fact, I wrote one of them).
Episode Continuation -- just what it sounds like. A story that fills in a missing scene or continues on from the end of an aired episode. Also known as a tag.
Fanon -- any 'facts' about a character or series that are not supported by the series canon, but have been floating around for so long, or have been used in so much fic, that the majority of the fandom accepts them as truth. Examples: Daniel Jackson's coffee addiction; Duncan MacLeod living in Seacouver.
Gen -- used here to designate a story in which romantic relationships play a minimal to nonexistant role in the plot. Everything I rec may usually be assumed to meet this definition of gen unless otherwise stated.
H/C -- hurt/comfort. Beat your characters up emotionally or physically, then let them make each other all better. See Whumping.
Het -- used here to indicate a story's focus on a romantic relationship between two people of opposite genders (ie, non-slash). Anything with a ship that I rec may be presumed to be het unless otherwise stated.
Id-fic -- possibly not the greatest fic ever written, but systematically pushes every single one of the emotional buttons of the reader. I try to be self-aware enough to warn for these.
Jossed -- a story (or writer) has been jossed when it has been made AU by events in canon after it was written. Named for Joss Whedon, who made a habit of declaring earthquake in Buffy canon so often that writing fanfic within that canon was an exercise in willpower and frustration.
Kidfic -- 1) One or more main characters are reduced to physical childhood (mental/emotional is frequent, but optional). 2) One or more main characters find themselves with custody of one or more small children, ala "Three Men and a Baby". 3) The story centers around the children of one or more main characters (parentage often depends on whom the author ships). Any of these can be fun/WAFFy/cool if done correctly (your odds drop sharply with 3, but I've seen it pulled off). They can also be appallingly bad; approach with extreme caution.
KikiRec -- don't just take my word for it; my sometime partner-in-crime recommended these fics, too.
Mary Sue -- the most hated woman in fanfic. Essentially an original character who is the personification of the author -- only more perfect, beautiful and lovable than the author could ever hope to be. (The male version is thankfully more rare, and known as Gary/Marty Stu.) It can be done well, but 98% of the time, it's not. Also known as a self-insertion character. Note: Original character does not necessarily equal Mary Sue; it depends on the author and the story.
Original Character -- a non-canon character created by, and belonging to, the author.
Pre-slash -- In many slash-heavy fandoms, this categorization is often sooper sekrit code for 'gen'. Anything with this heading may be worth a shot if you're a non-slasher.
POV -- point of view; the character(s) through whose eyes we see the story.
Schmoopy -- containing emotions bordering on the treacly; perhaps a tad overly sweet for the educated palate. But WAFFy as all hell, nonetheless.
'Shipper -- a person or fic dedicated to a particular romantic relationship; i.e., Sam/Jack, Josh/Donna, John/Aeryn.
Slash -- used here to indicate a story's emphasis on a non-canon romantic relationship between two characters of the same gender. Usually labeled m/m or f/f.
Smarm/Swarm -- emphasis on friendship between two or more guys (hugging, h/c, moral support, etc.) without implications of slash.
Smut -- used very affectionately to refer to stories containing NC-17/explicit sex.
UC -- unconventional couple; a romantic pairing not explicitly supported by show canon, or not usually accepted by the majority of the fandom; i.e., Tara/Spike, Carson/Teyla, Chloe/Lex.
WAFF -- warm and fuzzy feeling. That glow of happiness/idiotic grin carried around after reading a particularly sweet/touching scene.
Whumping -- gratuitous physical or mental abuse of a character for the sole (or nearly sole) purpose of setting up H/C (i.e., so everyone else can angst interminably about it). Go read Sarah B's hilarious poem Gunga Dunne to get the real meaning of Whumping.
Willow Sue -- a particularly virulent form of the Mary Sue, in which a canon character is warped beyond all recognition to fulfill the needs/desires of the author, who is severely overidentifying. Named for the most prevalent iteration, but present in most fandoms. (Male form usually known as the Xander or Harry Stu, or a similar variation.)
WIP -- work in progress.
YMMV -- your mileage may vary, which is pretty much the motto of this page. Opinions presented by the reccer don't necessarily reflect yours, and I'm okay with that.