Some acefic recs

You can blame @aceadmiral for every part of this.

A couple of notes on these because it’s physically impossible for me to not give commentary:

In the past few years I’ve stopped actively seeking out acefic quite as much–there are a bunch of reasons for that, but the easiest one to explain is that a lot of what I look for in fanfic is often not easily found in acefic.  (I’ve read next to no ace f/f, for example, or even acefic with female characters.)  The fics below mainly skew toward older fandoms for me.

I’ve joked that I have two major narratives I seek out in fiction: “everybody has an okay time” and “ALL ABOARD THE TRAUMA TRAIN.”  Which narrative I’m looking for in fanfic depends mainly on the fandom (I’m uninterested in anything angsty for Yuri on Ice, for example), but the recommendations below mostly fall into the second category.  Proceed with caution and do check the warning tags.

Finally, you’re gonna notice that almost all the fic below are about male aces, most of them are m/m, and in many of them the ace winds up having sex.  I’ve already talked about these trends in acefic as a whole, so I’m not going to bother rehashing them here.

Anyway, without further ado, here’s the list:

Title: Untitled (1980-2014) by platinumfinale/saint-vagrant/Ciaran (you can read a shorter version without illustrations on AO3)
Fandom: JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure (covers parts 3-6 but references some stuff in parts 1-2 as well)
Other notes: This fic is so danged good, folks.  I read it on AO3 then bought the full version (it’s more than worth the $5) and binged it in a single evening.  It’s a pitch perfect character study of Jotaro, and deals with asexuality, aromanticism, trans issues, and trauma really, really well.  I cannot recommend it highly enough.  It made me cry.  Multiple times.  Dang.  Please read it.

Title: “‘Til Break of Day” by bendingsignpost
Fandom: The Hobbit
Other notes: Hands down the best depiction of a mismatched ace/ace relationship I’ve ever read, and one of my favorite acefics of all time.  Lovely characterization, beautiful writing, and on a topic that I don’t see many people tackling. (Here’s the author weighing in on it.)  That bittersweet ending is just *kisses fingertips*

Title: World Ain’t Ready by idiopathicsmile
Fandom: Les Miserables
Other notes: This is 186k of fake dating high school AU and holy cow.  Holy cow is this thing good.  I’ve read it all the way through four or five times now.  It’s delightful and funny but also just a really good depiction of being a mentally ill queer teenager.  One of the main characters is demisexual and discusses it in some depth.  Even if you have no interest in Les Mis or high school AUs (which, to be honest, I usually don’t like), this fic is still worth checking out.

Title: Cooperative Principle by bendingsignpost
Fandom: Sherlock (BBC)
Other notes: This is a hard one to pitch.  It starts like a PWP fic but, surprise, turns out to secretly be about PTSD and grey-asexuality.  Do be aware of the warning tags, and proceed with caution, but, dang, it’s a good depiction of PTSD, and I love that unreliable narration.

Title: “I Fall Deep” by emeraldsandrubies
Fandom: Les Miserables
Other notes:  Modern College AU.  I like this one a lot for the concerns Enjolras carries into the relationship even though he’s not having an explicit conflict with his partner.  A lot of people forget the power of assumed insufficiency, but this fic doesn’t.  A+ depiction of ace anxieties.  Also it’s cute!

Title:love is for children and other lies” by Fahye

Fandom: The Avengers (MCU)
Other notes: I feel like everybody and their brother has read this one because it was being rec’d all over the place when it came out, but then I realized it came out 5 years ago so probably some of you don’t know about it.  One of the few fics on this list with a female ace character.  Extended character study of Natasha, which means it digs deep into her relationships and sexuality.  I love character studies and this one is danged good.

Title: Behavioural Modification by bendingsignpost
Fandom: Sherlock (BBC)
Other notes: Yes, this is like the third fic I’m recommending by this author; he’s really good.  Do heed the warnings on this–it deals with emotional fallout from a previous abusive relationship, has an unreliable narrator, and delves into complicated sexual ethics.  It also deals with the skewed and unhealthy assumptions aces can have in/about relationships…to the point that I thought about quoting this one while writing my last post, because it’s very thematically appropriate.

“But he doesn’t love you,” she finished.

“He might. In a way. He’d die for me, so at least there’s that.” He frowned. “Does it matter?”

“Does it matter if the man you’re in love with doesn’t love you back,” Molly said. Statement of disbelief.

“I mean, is it any different?” he asked.

Title: The Glitterbombs of Angry Queers by 148km
Fandom: Les Miserables
Other notes: Queer activism modern AU.  Need I say more?  Probably not, but I will anyway.  This is really good not only for the depiction of asexuality and the negotiation of mixed relationships (that moment of blind panic over the possibility of sex in the third part is very relatable) but also generally for the group dynamics (especially in a queer activism-centered spaces).  It’s a really fun read!

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