I am very fortunate to do what I love – review fanfiction for one of the best sites of all things sapphic media. And it occurred to me that I have been doing this for over a year now and have reviewed quite a number of stories that are near and dear to my heart. In fact, when I looked back, I have reviewed just enough stories to make up the Top 11 of my absolute most favoritest (should be a word) and bestest (also should be a word) fanfics.
Without further ado let us proceed because all these stories are good enough to dedicate pages and pages to, instead of just a couple of paragraph, and I’m sure you all are anxious to see which ones made the list. Fret no more, here they are!
1 Truth And Measure by Telanu
How to even begin to write about Truth and Measure by Telanu – the greatest piece of women loving women (wlw) fanfiction ever written? When it comes to reading I regret two things: that I haven’t read Truth and measure sooner (I read it about six months into my fanfiction journey), and that I can’t read Truth and Measure anew. Every time I recommend it to people, I am always awash with envy that they get to experience it for the first time. And then right after recommending it, I schedule my yearly re-read of this story.
For those who are still to experience the marvel that is Truth and Measure by Telanu, it is a story that legitimately COULD have happened after The Devil Wears Prada movie ends. It slots into the DWP universe perfectly, giving the characters of the movie a wonderful journey and a perfect ending.
Miranda Priestly, the Dragon Lady and Snow Queen of the Runway Magazine, returns from Paris as a temporary winner in her war with the CEO of the company that owns her magazine, Irv Ravitz. But why is she not happy with winning the battle? Why is she drawn and even more unreasonable and demanding and are those dark circles under those brilliant blue eyes? The horror sends her assistants scattering and scrambling for reasons behind their mercurial boss’ mysterious behavior.
Andy Sachs, after almost throwing her phone into the Parisian fountain, decides to stay and prove her cold unreachable boss that there are ways of being both successful and kind. And also because the rare glimpse of vulnerability in those aforementioned blue eyes awoke something in Andy’s heart.
What follows is a ride that spans over 270,000 words (along with the several follow-up additions that Telanu generously provides us) that had me staying up for 48 hours hanging on every word.
2 This Must Be The Place by chilly_flame
This Must Be The Place by chilly_flame is, in my opinion, one of the most realistic interpretations of the Mirandy ship in the whole of The Devil Wears Prada fandom lore. Truth and Measure is the lesfic Bible (I think it was Lee Winter who coined the term years ago on this very website) and that story stands apart not just in DWP fandom, but in the whole wlw fanfiction for oh so many reasons. But This Must Be The Place is how this relationship could have happened if the movie canon was followed to the T and that’s an astonishing achievement and makes for a beautiful storyline.
The story begins nine years after the events of the book/movie with Miranda Priestly still the Editor-In-Chief of Runway, still a total Ice Queen, still kicking ass and taking names. Except, she’s an empty nester approaching sixty and has done some deep introspection on relationships, love and loneliness. She’s an insomniac who drowns her sleepless sorrows in herbal tea in feeble attempts to at least pretend to do something about her sleep disorder. One of such nights, as she idly scrolls through TV channels and DVR, she comes up across a familiar face. A beautiful, matured, painfully sad face.
Andy Sachs has been through hell in the past nine years since she brazenly threw her phone in the fountain in Paris. A world renowned war zone reporter she has seen death and destruction in her line of work. But the closest she came to losing her life was when she had witnessed an assassination attempt on a congressman right in the heart of US. She’s slowly clawing her way out of a deep depression and her PTSD still flares up painfully from time to time.
Fate, with a little reluctant push from Miranda herself, intervenes and the ladies meet at an award ceremony. What follows is a series of non-date dates, where they drink cocktails at an empty Manhattan lounge, walk the empty midnight streets and decorate the Christmas tree together while hashing out their past, laying to rest hurts and misunderstandings and falling in love, as equals.
But Andy is suffering from past trauma, and Miranda is fearful of loneliness and opening up to someone who may pick up the camera and depart to a new war zone any day. Will they allow their budding love story to fully blossom or will they sail past each other, content with a flighty connection and laying their joint demons to rest?
3 Where I’m Going Now I Don’t Know by missparker
Fandom: The Closer/Major Crimes
Where I’m Going Now, I Don’t Know by missparker is a story about finding your true self in your middle 50s, amidst tragedy, depression and grief. It is one of the best pieces of fanfiction that tackles grief and recovery after losing a loved one with whom the protagonist shared a fraught and complicated relationship.
Brenda Leigh Johnson is the former Deputy Chief of LA Police and head of Major Crimes Division. At the beginning of the fic she is dealing with the death of her husband, Fritz, leaving her bereft and alone. After quitting her job and sinking into a deep depression fuelled by grief and guilt, Brenda is unable to claw her way back out of it alone.
Help arrives from the most unlikely source, in the person of her former nemesis and current head of Major Crimes, Sharon Raydor. Sharon keeps track of Brenda in the aftermath of Fritz’ death and extends the most unlikely olive branch and helping hand.
As they navigate the depths of grief and recovery, Brenda finds herself in an impossible situation of relying wholeheartedly on someone she once despised and discovering that she is desperately attracted to her former nemesis and current best friend.
4 Spark Trilogy by chilly_flame
Fandom: Law and Order SVU
The beauty of Spark is that it explores a place in a romantic relationship of two truly beloved characters that a reader very rarely is privileged enough to experience. The author gives us a true gift in this series – that nebulous Happily Ever After that we only get promised in most stories but that we never see. Well, we see it here. In spades, in all its glorious Technicolor and Dolby Surround. What happened after Princess Charming awakens Snow White or how did Cinderella manage not to drive everyone insane in the castle with her habits of cleaning and organizing? We see it through the eyes of this couple.
We get to experience a Happily Ever After of two of TVs most beloved characters in one of the longest running show – the resolute, loyal and fearless SVU detective Olivia Benson and the returning from her two years in witness protection program Assistant District Attorney Alex Cabot.
Their chemistry on screen was undeniable and it’s testimony to that chemistry that so many viewers, even casual ones, shipped those two gorgeous strong characters. Their reconnection after years of pining and longing for each other is where the first story in the triptych begins. Alex returns from her enforced exile to find Olivia in a loveless relationship and Olivia finds Alex even more lovely and irresistible than she had ever thought her to be.
Will they ignore their obvious to absolutely everyone feelings for each other, or will they finally throw caution to the wind and take that elusive chance? Will Alex’s past come to haunt them? Will Olivia’s present?
5 How The Mouth Changes Its Shape by breathed-it
How The Mouth Changes Its Shape by breathedout is the perfect crime-fighting partners to lovers story, enhanced by the trope of trying to find yourself and your tribe among restrictions of time and conventions.
Sherlock Holmes, a down-on-her-luck private investigator and master of disguise, is in urgent need of a roommate. After a rather confusing and traumatic romantic encounter in an all-girls school, young Sherlock is determined to stay away from emotional entanglements. Plus, she feels that her sexual desires don’t belong in the proper world as she knows it, and thus shies away from romance.
Johnnie Watson, a former military ambulance driver turned mechanic and butch about town, is in dire need of a place to live after her girlfriend breaks up with her. Having been through heartbreak of the worst sort, Johnnie knows she doesn’t quite fit in the restrictive confines of the conventional lesbian society of the London underground, yet she keeps trying.
Corralling the mechanic to live with her turns out to be the easy part for young and impressionable Sherlock, since Johnnie’s numerous female companions leave the sleuth reeling with jealousy and confusion. In an attempt to somehow divert Johnnie’s attention away from the women and towards herself, Sherlock introduces the butch to crime solving which brings the pair closer. They get closer still when Johnnie, in turn, introduces Sherlock to the fascinating world of underground culture of London lesbian clubs.
When Sherlock and Johnnie become unwittingly embroiled in a murder at the clandestine club, the only way for them to solve it is to uncover long-dormant secrets of both love and war.
6 Down The Rabbit Hole by amycarey
Fandom: Once Upon A Time
Down The Rabbit Hole by amycarey is deservedly one of the most bookmarked and liked SwanQueen fanfics in the Once Upon A Time (OUAT) fandom.
In this alternate universe (AU), Emma is a college dropout who moves to the big city with her friend and roommate Mary Margaret and finds employment at a children’s bookstore, The Rabbit Hole. During her busy days of dodging kids and shelving YA bestsellers, she meets a single mother and her young son. Emma and little Henry quickly strike an unlikely friendship, despite his mother being wary of strangers. But there seems to be more to the alluring brunette than meets the eye.
An enigmatic author of diverse and incredibly captivating children books, R.C. Mills, is about to do her first book launch and signing at The Rabbit Hole and the whole publishing world is in upheaval at the big reveal. Who is R. C. Mills? Why is she publishing under such an anonymous moniker? And will her characters – two single women parenting a young girl – ever get to be a family?
But for Emma, there’s only one question to be answered, why has the beautiful mother of the adorable little boy showed up at the R. C. Mills book signing and why does she act like she owns the event?
7 The Last Resort by sniperct
Fandom: World of Warcraft
Last Resort by sniperct is an epic saga of love, war, loyalty and treachery set in the World Of Warcraft (WoW). The Alliance and the Horde have been engaged in a draining war that has slowly sapped both parties of resources and soldiers, leaving them vulnerable and on the edge of extinction. Continuing the bloodshed would only lead to total annihilation of both factions. But there has been too much blood spilled and the wounds inflicted on each other are way too deep for a simple peace treaty to be signed. A mutually assured destruction pact is necessary… And what is better than the most beloved by fanfic fans trope that guarantees such an outcome but the famed fake marriage between mortal enemies?
Sylvanas Windrunner – the Warchief of the Horde – comes up with the only solution viable to ensure any kind of lasting peace. She is but a husk of herself, a “raised” elf, an immortal being seemingly incapable of any feelings but pain and despair. She has nothing to lose, but her loyalty to her people push her to find a solution to give them a chance to survive. And that solution is to marry the one and only daughter of Kul Tiras, a powerful mage and one of the most beloved leaders of the Alliance – Jaina Proudmoore.
Jaina Proudmoore on paper makes for the perfect hostage. If the Alliance moves wrong, Jaina dies. The Horde attacks, and Jaina – with her immense magical power – reduces Orgrimmar to a wisp of a memory.
Will the Jaina and Sylvanas—both deeply wounded and scarred but life and war—find solace in each other or will their hatred, contempt and complicated history destroy them both and the people they are so determined to protect.
8 Reset by scotchplaid
Fandom: Warehouse 13
Reset by scotchplaid is the perfect fix-it fan fiction story to finally atone for the injustices that Warehouse 13 inflicted on the shippers and characters.
Myka Bering was not just a Warehouse Agent. As former Secret Service operative, she had the nous, the skills, the intelligence for anything the job at the Warehouse throws her way. But she was also a deeply introverted, by the book, nerdy character that captivated the hearts of the viewers. Gentle, sweet, but unquestionably badass. She needed someone interesting, outside the box, someone who would pierce her nerdy shell and make her throw caution to the wind.
Enter Helena Wells. Over 100 years old, sex on heels, with swagger, brains, beauty, a dark past, and an awful slew of misdeeds to her name – Helena was perfect for the straight laced Myka… Yet Helena was also a bruised, battered, wounded to the core woman who has lost it all and who is ready to make everyone and anyone pay for taking away what was most precious to her.
They are clearly made for each other, they have finally shed the shackles of their past and nobody is standing in their way… Except for the Warehouse itself and a plot that is so devious, so underhanded and dangerous that will either claim their lives or save the world. So, basically par for the course for these two.
9 She by fooliam
Fandom: The 100
“She” by thefooliam is a college AU where Clarke Griffin is the classic misunderstood “woe is me, my life isn’t worth it” self-absorbed college student going through her school years in a haze of booze and bad relationship decisions. She isn’t even sure she wants to be back for her sophomore year. And she completely forgets to submit her dorm room application, thus ensuring that she is placed with a random student and not one of her actual choice.
Enter Lexa Woods, Clarke’s freshman year nemesis extraordinaire. The haughty, aloof, “I’m much too good for you, peasants” goody-two-shoes Lexa does not have friends and does not need friends. She’s not here to make friends anyway. Lexa is here to study, be the best and graduate so she can finally be what she always wanted to be – free. Rooming with Clarke clearly isn’t her first or second or even third choice.
The young women hate each other, or do they? When friends and circumstances keep either bringing them together or tearing them apart, will their tenuous peace hold?
10 Better Than Fiction by SimplySally
Fandom: Carol/The Price Of Salt
The AU is set in the rural Alabama, in the imaginary small town of Dixon. The fledgeling relationship between the star-crossed lovers has poverty, religion, alcoholism and prejudice as its backdrop.
Therese Belivet, the narrator, is the Dixon librarian struggling with the rigid limits of the Southern small town life. She feels out of place and longs for something to grant her freedom from the shackles of her stilted day to day existence.
Enter one Carol Aird, a bored, beautiful, red lipstick wearing, very unhappy and very lesbian wife of the new Dixon mill director.
Therese’s sheltered life is blown to smithereens by the arrival into town of the alluring and mysterious Mrs. Aird. Carol seems to be just as interested in seeking out the young librarian as she is in avoiding socializing with the locals, or the church or her own husband.
What starts as an innocent friendship between the two women quickly progresses beyond the confines of the strict social norms of the time and location. The pair find themselves in dangerous waters and with the whole world against them and Carol fighting for more than just her own happiness, how will they find their happiness?
11 The Misunderstanding by indoorbutch
Fandom: Carol/The Price Of Salt
A fraught retelling of Carol set I the same timeframe as the book/movie with the markable difference of circumstances in how the protagonists meet. Instead of a naive and innocent shop girl, Therese Belivet is a self-assured and moderately experienced in both life and her own sexuality twenty something photographer at New York Times.
At a side gig, taking pictures of furniture for a prominent store, she meets Carol Ross, a beautiful divorced enigma of a woman to whom Therese keeps being drawn.
Circumstances make it so their secrets are disclosed to each other and once pretenses are dropped they embark on a torrid affair with only one condition – nothing serious, no promises and no tomorrow.
But will everything change when passion takes over and one night turns into many?
If you enjoyed Milena’s 10 Favorite Fanfiction Stories the check out all the fanfics that she has tagged as favourites