I am a romantic at heart, and I suppose that's a big part of the reason I turned to fanfiction in the first place: I wanted to see more of the couples I love, especially when I didn't get enough of them in the original. However, just so you know what to expect from these recs, it might be good to point out that I prefer my ships het (M/F) and canon, save for a few exceptions.

I enjoy the stories for different reasons—some are hilarious, while others are dramatic; some make me think, while others tug at my heartstrings; some draw me in with incredibly beautiful language, while others lure me chapter after chapter with an irresistible plot—but they are all fics I go back to, time and time again, and ones I can never get tired of. All my recs conform to three basic traits, however, and may be worth noting when perusing my selection:

  1. Literariness of language is the first and foremost criterion. I cannot stand fics that contain glaring grammatical errors or typos, and which are not lyrically written. I can make exceptions if the story is really compelling, but for the most part I listen to the sound of the text. Horrible syntax, inappropriate vocabulary, and atonal prose are big no-nos for me.

  2. Timelessness—and retrospect—are also factors in picking out these fics. This means they are not "picks of the moment;" they are time-tested stories I still go back to and enjoy rereading whenever I feel like getting back into a ship. Some works may be recently published—written, say, in the last two years—there are more that are old, sometimes by a decade or two.

  3. As I said on the front page, all stories here are SFW—which means fics may contain suggestive, but not explicit, scenes; they are, at the most, M-rated. Part of my goal is to prove that good fanfiction exists without having to resort to NC-17 scenes. However, this does cut my list down by a large portion, because I am aware that some of the best-written fics are of the Explicit rating. I've read them, too, but I made the conscious choice not to list them here. I'm basically keeping this list as wholesome as possible.

You'll see these in my curated selection, and I think all these explain why my list is relatively compact. And if you happen to agree with me that they are really good (or at least, enjoyable) stories, please take the time to drop the author/s a line saying so.