: Recs : Top Angst Picks

And Then A Heero Comes Along
A Gundam Wing fan fiction site. Mostly 2x1. This is an Anti-Relena site! Also has a picture gallery and other few surprises...
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Nitid's Top Angst Picks (1x2x1)

aka Fics That Made Me Sniffle. You may a notice a preference for 1x2 over 2x1, and judging from the majority of fics out there, I don't think I'm alone. The hurt/comfort genre is one that I followed in het fanfic, heh, and I guess even with slash or yaoi, GW is no exception. Read. Enjoy. Send feedback to the authors.

Warning: Deathfic alert! Slight story spoilers! If you are one of those rare people on the web that actually reads everything, well I suggest you read my comments after you've read the fic. Just in case. This list is subject to change as I find new fics or old fics get finished.

Angst: Up Close & Personal.

Cross My Heart by Becca Abott [Becca Abbott's Page]

Summary taken from Becca's page: After the war, Preventor Heero Yuy goes undercover in a Martian prison to hunt for an illegal weapons factory. However, his mission takes an unexpected turn when he discovers that his inside contact is none other than Duo Maxwell, convicted felon -- and former lover.

Nitid's comments: If you haven't read this already during the Moments of Rapture contest, you missed out. Currently the number one angst fic on my list. Excellent writing, a good long fic in which I could immerse myself in the writer's vision of GW. The buildup of emotional tension is nice as any I've seen in the best of XF or TPM fanfic. However, there is an unfortunate reliance on plot devices and unexplained irrational behavior that mar an otherwise very enjoyable fic. But those concerns aside, the Duo focus is sure to be a crowd pleaser, and there is some very rich and evocative writing here. You'd have to be dead not to be sympathetic to his struggles and emotional turmoil. If you like her style, check out her other GW fic, the "Wildflower" series on her page.

A Slow Dreadful Realization.

Break + Torn by Mikkeneko
[, Aenai Ai]

Summary: OZ captures a Gundam pilot.

Nitid's comments: I think in many ways, the effect of "Break" is much more powerful if you read it by itself. Certainly it struck me as heart-wrenching when I read it and the sequel hadn't been written yet. At first I dismissed it as just another Duo-torture fic, but when I found the sequel, this set made it to my favorites list. Torn adds a sad luminance to the story with Quatre, and the portrayal of the other pilots adds a richness and texture to the 1x2 plot. All the gundam pilots are competently handled here, something which is quite rare. Mikkeneko's writing is steadily improving, and I can see passages that border on the nigh-lyrical in her current WIP, "Spoils of War". A writer to watch.

Quiet Despair.

The Crossing Trilogy: Crazy, Meant For, Simple Truths
by LoneWolf [LoneWolf's GW Fan Page]

Summary: Heero gets some 'first-person angst-time'.

Nitid's comments: Even more than deathfics, I think unrequited love is a tragic, lonely thing. LoneWolf writes the voice of Heero in an eminently believable fashion. With only the occasional military metaphor, the narrative is simple, straightforward, and elegant in its own understated way. Some of the images are deceptively simple but very moving, such as when Heero gets into his Gundam to think. A refreshing angsty change from the usual Duo-longing-for-Heero fics.

Bitter Laugh.

Step We Gaily by torch [Flambeau Factory]

Summary taken from Torch's page: Heero is married. Duo is chatty. Quatre is confused.

Nitid's comments: Ahhh...actions speak louder than words. Torch is one of those fannish butterfly writers who flit from show to show. Usually, that's a weakness because such writers rarely take the time to delve into the background of the characters or the show, and concentrate on the angst to the exclusion of everything else. But this ficlet shows off a skill that has been honed to near perfection. No Gundams, no complicated political overtones, just some friends talking in the aftermath of a wedding, and yet with a few deft words, the emotional landscape comes into focus with a heart-piercing clarity.

"Short" by Erin Cayce [GWA]

Summary: Duo examines his life and relationship with Heero.

Nitid's comments: Duo's thoughts aren't particularly original, but the universalness of his experience is articulately captured in this stunner of a vignette. I could see the empty years stretch ahead like an interminable desert. The situation painted became all too real, and for one bleak moment I doubted the validity of 1x2. I had to go read a bunch of 1x2 lemons at Shinigami & Wing to cheer myself up after this fic.

Rage, rage against the dying of the light

Set Me Free by Ricci [GWA, Yaoi Germany, FFN: Ricci]

Summary: Duo takes care of a comatose Heero.

Nitid's comments: Combining lucid interior monologues with exquisitely paced scenes, this is an emotionally draining and realistic account of caring for someone who is insensate. Nothing is easy, and everything has to be experienced the hard way; triumphs are immediately followed by setbacks. Still unfinished, it hasn't been updated for over a year. Update Mar 10: Woohoo, Ricci's on FFN! Updates soon, hopefully!

Shinigami: The God of Death by Snow Tigra [FFN: Snow Tigra]

Summary from Snow Tigra's page: After the wars Duo accidently wraps his car around a tree... and then Shinigami appears and makes him an offer he can't refuse. The chance to live again.

Nitid's comments: Snow Tigra's Duo is always downright adorable, which is why I enjoy her stories, even though they may not be as complex as other authors' fics. I read this one as it was being posted chapter by chapter on FFN and the suspense was unbearable! It kept me guessing, almost until the end.

Because I could not stop for Death - He kindly stopped for me

More Than Words Can Say by CleverYoungThief [FFN: CleverYoungThief]

Summary: Deathfic for Duo. Heero says goodbye to Duo in the only way he can.

Nitid's comments: Heero is the 'outsider' archetype in Gundam Wing. Like Spock in Trek:TOS, Data in TNG, Odo in DS9, the HoloDoc in VOY, he represents the outwardly unfeeling alien whose intensity of purpose and perfect control fascinate us. I believe that Heero is no stranger to feelings. He only seems cold because he has such a tight rein on his emotions; they are private and intense, like the character himself. This fic fits perfectly with that hypothesis. I was right there with Heero in feeling the shock, the denial, the numbness and the pain. This is one of the few instances where I could truly believe he might cry.

If I could turn back time...

Breaking Predestination by Erin Cayce [TB Home Page, GWA]

Summary: Heero checks out a distress call in space, and is abruptly faced with an estranged friend who has suddenly aged 20 years.

"Cadence of Time" by Spooks [Twisted Perspective]

Summary taken from Spooks' page: What if Heero had died when he had self-destructed Wing? How would the future have turned out, and how would it be saved from the evils of Romefeller?

Nitid's Comments: These two stories deal with the same basic idea - using time travel to fix a world gone horribly wrong. Both deal with Heero and Duo at some length and have subplots concerning the other pilots. Personally, I found "Breaking Predestination" to be more emotionally hardhitting, but your mileage may vary. "Cadence of Time" is also notable for some interesting circular symbolism. Much of the angst in both fics comes from our knowledge of the characters as what they could have been, dying embers of something beautiful. Cayce and Spooks do a good job of breathing fresh life into a tired cliche.

Need More Angst?
If you're looking for more, check out the GWAddiction fanfic contests for some fine and subtle pieces. I have deliberately not recommended any of those stories here since they have already achieved recognition. Go to "FAQs", scroll 3/4 of the way down, and you should be able to find the results of the Gundam Wing Angst Fanfiction Contest (held Apr 2001). As a counterbalance to all those moody fics, check out the results of the Fluff contest too.

Got some of the best fics of GW, Yami no Matsuei, Saiyuki, Gravitation, Fake, Ai no Kusabi and Slamdunk for recommendation. Come and have a look. Am not saying that my choices are INDEED the best but, I guarantee, that they are among the good/best ones..
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    Fanfic Quote/Excerpt of the Moment:

    The whistles blared, the wheels clattered, and steam shot out from the braking mechanisms of both trains as they tried to slow down, but Heero had picked a spot far enough inside the tunnel that the effect would be minimized, and the wind force enjoyed to its full extent. It was perfectly calculated, a perfect mix of security and excitement, of serenity peppered with shots of adrenaline. Heero leaned forward, and at the exact point in time where each of the two trains shot past them on a different side, creating a miniature cyclone to which both boys were purposely oblivious, he pulled Duo even closer, and kissed him.
    --Bridlewood Manor by Mitsugi [Mitsu Gallery]
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    This Page Last Updated: Sunday, 28-Sep-2003 14:46:15 CDT
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