Since summer is just around the corner, we decided to do a series of posts to celebrate “comfort fics.” You know, we all have a few stories that we’ve read more than once or even twice. Stories that are so familiar, that we can just open them up on any chapter and start reading because we know them so well.
Just as summer is easy and laid back, so is reading a comfort fic. There’s no rush to get to the end. Every word can be savored. Every lemon can be Tasted more than once. Even the angst and UST can be cherished because the reader already knows the outcome.
So, let’s start off a glorious summer by showcasing some of our favorite “go to” stories.
*Reviews by Cared*
OME, I have to confess my TBR list is as long as the list of women worldwide who are in love with Edward, yet, there are some fics that I’ve read more than once. Please, don’t judge me when I tell you there are fics I’ve read more than twice, in fact, there are fics I’ve read…err…I’ll leave it at that before I embarrass myself any further.
As I looked though my list of my comfort stories to decide which to share today, something struck me about my choices and consequently about myself. I must surely be a hopeful romantic as all of my chosen fics have a special Edward and Bella connection – you know the one that makes your toes curl and if I’m being completely honest with you – makes me want to be that Bella.
Stay ~ As an actor, Edward Cullen is surrounded by people that he couldn’t really care less about. What happens when he buys a house in the middle of nowhere and meets his new neighbors? AH, AU, ExB, rated M for future chapters and language.
Rated: Fiction M - English – Romance/Drama – Bella & Edward – Chapters: 38 – Words: 276,486 – Reviews: 5,413 - Favs: 7,544 – Follows: 2,756 – Updated: 06-27-09 – Published: 12-30-08 – Status: Complete – id: 4756566
I read Stay in 2009, it was the first of many, many Actorwards for me, and you know what they say about never forgetting your first. *Wink* TBH, even if Stay was the 101st Actorward I read, it would still carry the status of a comfort fic as it ticks all my requisite boxes.
Edward is a famous actor who buys a bolthole in Upstate New York’s Lake George. Bella is the girl next door…all right…to be precise, she is literally the girl across the road, but she is the girl next door in the metaphorical sense. Bella and her boyfriend Jake do the neighbourly thing and befriend the new kid in town.
The shy, timid girl with vivid brown eyes and flowing brown hair had been the first to approach me when I’d bought this place. I’d been slightly apprehensive about strange girls just waltzing up the porch steps – it hadn’t been the first time that an over obsessed fan had found out where I lived and tried to get into my good graces – and had hesitated to open the door when she’d knocked. Instead of flinging the door open like I should’ve, I mashed my face against the peephole and eyed her.
She was attractive. At least, as much as the skewed vision of the peephole allowed her to be. She’d had a twelve pack of Heineken gripped tightly in one hand as she nervously stole glances across the street and bit her bottom lip. She didn’t have a purse with her and when I lurched up on my toes to get a better glimpse at the small woman waiting for me to answer the door I was pressed against, I saw that she was barefoot.
The last two things were very important factors to me. They meant that she probably lived close by and although she might’ve been a fan of some sort, she obviously wasn’t going to attack me with a camera or demand an autograph.
Plus, she had beer. And I had nothing but a loaf of bread and a few bottles of water from the Cumberland Farms convenient store down the road in my refrigerator.
So I’d opened the door and she quickly introduced herself as Bella Swan, fumbling over her words as she jerkily handed the beer to me, her face beginning to redden.
I invited her in and she refused, which made me grin like an ass at her as her cheeks positively flamed red.
This was the first woman I’d met in the past year and a half that hadn’t wanted to come inside my home to see what it was like, or if I’d make a move on her, or to see what she could stuff in her pocket while I wasn’t looking to either keep for herself or sell on eBay.
I thanked her for the beer, promising to pay her back. She shook her head, her face even redder – if possible – as she crossed her hands in front of her and shyly looked down at her feet as she made an excuse about a ‘Welcome to the Neighborhood’ gift.
So I ended up thanking her again and she darted off the porch after a stuttered response and possibly some excuse about leaving, almost tripping over her own feet as she ran across the road and disappeared into the cabin across the street.
I’d repaid her in kind a few days later by finding a bottle of red wine in the small and cramped local liquor store and marching my ass over to her place to give it to her.
She was slightly more comfortable when it was me standing on her porch, and had invited me in, her smile bright and open as she moved out of the way so that I could step in.
A man fifteen times bigger than she was was sprawled across the long blue couch in the living room I stepped in to, immediately jumping up to introduce himself as her boyfriend, Jacob Black.
They both insisted that I stay over for dinner and the thought of eating one more peanut butter sandwich as one more meal made it easy to accept their offer.
Bella barbequed out in their large backyard and we sat at a round white picnic table, getting acquainted and laughing over beer and perfectly grilled steak.
Neither of them ever mentioned anything about my career or even knowing who the hell I might’ve been. And when the meal was over, I watched almost gleefully as Bella and Jacob stuck my plates and theirs in the dishwasher, turning it on when it was full.
There had been a few fans that had kept the silverware I’d eaten with, so watching as Bella slammed the dishwasher door and turned the knob to start it was one of the most relieving things that had happened to me in a long while.
And by the end of the night, I was strutting across their yard and back to my own with a mile wide smile on my face.
It had been a very long time since I’d been able to have dinner – or any meal, for that matter – with people that either didn’t know or didn’t care that I was a famous actor. It was glorious.
At first, the three of them are friends, providing Edward with a rare taste of normality, but that leads to Edward and Bella falling in love, and eventually accepting they have fallen, and fallen fast. Don’t worry, there is no cheating involved, and tbh, by then Jake was on my shizz list, and I just wanted him out of the picture. There is the familiar Averagella falls for Famousward, she thinks she is not enough for him, while he thinks he is selfish to drag her into his world, but it’s realistic and not unnecessarily prolonged. Add in their protective friends and loving, interfering families, crazy-ass employees, some obsessed fans, a douche of an ex, paparazzi and you have a dramatic and entertaining story. The most important element, the one that speaks to me, is despite Edward and Bella having vastly different lifestyles and living in different states, they both recognise the rarity of true love and are willing to fight for it. They put their love first and foremost, thereby making Stay a sweet tale of old fashioned romance. Sigh!
Every Day We Fall In Love ~ We wake up every morning as strangers and go to bed as lovers. A story of the survival of love. Even if the mind forgets, the heart will always remember AH
Every Day We Fall In Love could quite correctly be given in a dictionary as a meaning beside the word Poignant. This story is unbelievably touching, and what makes it particularly so, is Edward’s irrevocable and unconditional love for his Bella. If you have seen The Notebook, The Vow or even 50 First Dates, you will have an inkling of the premise of this story. I don’t want to give too much of the plot away, suffice to say this is a true love story or maybe that should be a story of true love. Either way, this wonderful one shot showcases Edward’s unwavering love, and a love between two people so powerful that it cannot be forgotten, even when so many other things tragically are…
The sun was shining on my face, warmth spreading along my forehead, nose and cheeks. The color orange was all pervasive, and I decided that sunshine seen through closed lids while I basked in its warmth was my favorite color in the world. A smile flitted along my face for the briefest of seconds before it was replaced with a frown when I realized I couldn’t remember what my favorite color had been before this very moment.
The thought stayed with me as I rolled onto my side, eyes opening slowly against the brilliance in the room. The first thing I saw shocked me to full wakefulness. It was a man. In my bed. Then the next revelation…this wasn’t my bed. It wasn’t even my room. After a quick scan of our surroundings my eyes darted back to the person sharing my personal space, and I was dumbfounded.
The sun was shining on his hair, a shock of bronze. A shade I’d never seen before on any human being. It was thick and lustrous, and tousled. I followed the slope of his brow, down a slim nose, which lead to a mouth that was full yet firm looking. His eyes were closed, lashes the same color as his hair fanned along his upper cheeks, and even as long as his eyelashes were, they weren’t able to mask the slight discoloration underneath. The skin looked fragile, almost dark enough to be mistaken for bruised, but not quite.
Had we been up late last night was my errant thought. And why couldn’t I remember whatever had happened between this stranger and myself?
In fact, why couldn’t I remember anything leading up to this moment? No recollection of getting ready to go out, of meeting with friends for drinks, of dancing. Nothing.
Before a sense of fear could engulf me, his eyes opened. A verdant green, lit up from the rays of the sun shining behind me. A smile touched the corners of his mouth, hesitant, yet there, and those same vibrant eyes roved over my face. He showed no surprise to find me there, looked pleased at my presence. I also noted that he didn’t seem hung over. And then realized, neither did I.
“Good morning, Bella,” he said softly, his voice gravelly from misuse during our hours spent sleeping. “Do you know who I am?”
Lalina, author of Let’s Get Physical among other great fics, is an amazing storyteller. The proof of that statement is in every one of the 10,000 plus words of Every Day We Fall In Love. This is one of those stories that stayed with me long after reading it the first time, and has called me back again and again. I’m not ashamed to tell you I was deeply touched by the emotions this beautiful and bittersweet tale displayed and evoked, and I want you to be also. Go on – share in my wonderful experience – read Every Day We Fall In Love… today!
The Art Teacher ~ He gave me art and words and passion and life, but all I wanted was him.
Rated: Fiction M - English – Romance/Drama – Bella & Edward – Chapters: 16 – Words: 97,635 – Reviews: 6,962 - Favs: 4,679 – Follows: 3,204 – Updated: 08-01-11 – Published: 11-07-10 – Status: Complete – id: 6460434
While love is strongly evident in my other two story choices above, and love is indeed a major component of this fic, passion is what springs to my mind at the mere mention of this story. The Art Teacher is quite short being complete at 15 chapters, but it is strongly written by spanglemaker9, the author of The Wedding Party, Dog Star, Faking It and many more fabulous fics. It is so immediately enticing that I step right inside from the first chapter every time.
Down to earth Bella Swan is reincarnated as lonely Isabella Dwyer when she is forced by circumstance to live with her mother and stepfather, and then to attend an elite private school in NYC. Renee, “…a little nobody from the sticks…” now has a stick up her arse, her nose stuck in the air, with delusions of grandeur to match her lofty expectations for her pawn of a daughter.
Renee enrolls eighteen-year-old Isabella in a ten week Art Appreciation class, purely for the sake of appearance and to further her own selfish ends. From chapter 1 it’s painfully obvious, and honestly, it is actually sad, to see what a failure as a mother, Renee is; it’s quite ironic that Renee’s ploy to fit in with the right people is what ultimately leads Isabella to want to break away from them. Isabella’s seemingly innocuous first look at her art teacher became a life altering moment…
I feel my face flush just looking at him, and something funny happens in my chest. Jane told me he was hot, but that doesn’t even begin to describe him. He is young; not that much older than us. Actually, he can’t be very far out of college—early twenties. He’s tall and a little bit lanky, but well-built. Nice shoulders. Long legs. He has his head down as he comes in. He’s nearly late and he looks preoccupied and a little distracted. Plus he’s carrying a lot of stuff; books and folders full of paper. At first, all I notice is his body and the hair— thick and almost too long; somewhere between auburn and brown and all messy. Not artfully messy, like the boys I go to school with, every angle carefully and expensively razored. Messy, messy. Like he hasn’t had a haircut in too long and he doesn’t own a brush.
He spends a second setting all his stuff down on the desk and I notice all the girls around me have stopped talking and turned to look at him. The boys are still murmuring, but I can hear the dismissive scoffs starting. They’re jealous already, and they should be. The poser rich boys at Spencer can’t hold a candle to this guy, and it’s obvious. Even with all their money, they can’t touch what he has; this natural magnetism that radiates off his skin.
He finally looks up at us with a polite smile already on his face. I can’t breathe for a second. He’s sort of pale, but it looks good on him. And he’s got these crazy cheekbones. His face would almost be pretty, if not for the strong jawline and his thick eyebrows. His eyes are a tiny bit angled; a little exotic. He is, without a doubt, the most amazing man I’ve ever laid eyes on in real life.
“Are you Mr. Cullen?” Jane is, predictably, the first one to speak. She’s leaning forward on her elbows, and if I could see the front of her, I’m sure I’d see that she’s popped open an additional button on her shirt to show off her cleavage.
His polite smile grows wider and genuine. I catch my breath at how it transforms his face. His eyes crinkle up in the corners and his angular face becomes warm and glowing, almost boyish. He lays a hand across his chest in mock-pain.”Please…” he says. “Not Mr. Cullen. I can’t take it. It’s Edward.”
And I’m undone. By all of it. His voice…low and vibrating at a frequency that I can feel in my fingertips; his artless demeanor; his name…Edward. I don’t want to swoon. I can feel every girl in the room already doing it. But I can’t help it. He’s remarkable and every nerve in my body is reaching out towards him.
There is a low, nervous laugh from the girls in the room in response to his words. I’m silent. I can’t laugh. I can’t move. I curl my fingers around the edge of my desk and press my knees together, unable to do more than stare at him and record every tiny detail.
As Bella analyses her reaction to Art and Life, a book distributed by Edward, she considers, “None of it would have meant much to me at all just an hour ago, but Edward holds the keys to this undiscovered world.” She has no idea of how true that statement will turn out to be. Her life, her career, her love, her passion…all unlocked in that moment.
When Edward’s work is displayed in an exhibition a couple of weeks later, he asks Bella of what does his painting make her think…“Um,” I take a second to consider my words. “It doesn’t actually make me think anything. It makes me feel.” …and there you have it ladies. The nub of this story – the beauty of it, if you will – is how this story makes me feel. Passion and love for art, each other, and life; angst and heartache over the impossibility of the situation, bad decisions and egotistical, self-serving characters; emptiness and happiness – I feel it all every single time I read The Art Teacher.
Read this passionate story and allow spanglemaker9 to reveal what a master artist she is. Feel her perfect brushstrokes uncover Edward and Bella’s souls while simultaneously covering the canvass to make up the big picture, and remember, don’t just stand back and admire the painting – lose yourself in it!
Fabulous video of “The Art Teacher” by Rufus Wainwright here
*Reviews by AllyVera*
Living in the Southern Hemisphere gives me a different view on our re-read stories. As the weather here is getting colder, it is the perfect time to snuggle up with one of my most loved stories.
If We Ever Meet Again ~ High School for geeky Edward was a nightmare of mistakes, missed opportunities & insecurity issues. Six years later when fate hands him a second chance, will he know how to take it? Or will the insecure boy inside rear his head again? AH, E&B, Canon pairs
Rated: Fiction M – English – Romance/Angst – Edward & Bella – Chapters: 29 – Words: 164,048 – Reviews: 3,297 – Favs: 3,078 – Follows: 1,790 – Updated: 07-10-12 – Published: 04-20-11 – Status: Complete – id: 6922461
I am not ashamed to admit I don’t actually know how many times I have read “If We Ever Meet Again” but it’s a lot… but if I was going to take a stab at the number I reckon it’s around six. Let me explain why this one is so special to me…
First of all, it’s written by pattyrose, and I adore all of her stories, but this one is my personal favourite (although “The Cullen Legacy” is giving it a run for it’s money!). Secondly, I love how Edward is not perfect (looks-wise) when we meet him and that Bella sees past that and into his soul. Thirdly… unrequited love.. who doesn’t love a bit of that?
We meet a very insecure, but oh-so smart and talented Edward in high school. High school for Edward is torture, being a social pariah – but along comes the lovely Bella who sees him. Unfortunately, even though it is quite clear to us (the readers) that Bella is as keen on Edward as he is on her, he doesn’t see it and he runs away leaving Forks and Bella behind.
Six and a half years later, neither has forgotten the other – but their lives have changed dramatically. Gone is the awkward teenage boy, Edward has transformed into a stunningly gorgeous businessman who has a bit of a reputation for being an asshole – but never fear readers the asshole has never forgotten the “pretty girl with the long brown hair”.
Here is Edward when he first comes across Bella, all those years later…
“”…sorry to waste…won’t take up…see myself out…”
My heart stopped. All the air left my lungs in one breath.
I’d recognize that voice anywhere.
Through the thickest doors.
Through the loudest cacophony of blaring music and drunk voices.
I froze. Just like the last time I’d seen her, or heard her melodic voice, over six years ago. I couldn’t move one muscle, even as I heard the door to my office open, and the sound of Victoria sharply directing her how to get out of the building, and – oh Jesus – there went her voice again, once more thanking Victoria for her time.
If We Ever Meet again is told entirely in EPOV (apart from a couple of BPOV outtakes at the end). However, even though this story is really Edward’s you fall in love with Bella too. (Mind you, I think this is commonplace for a pattyrose story, she really does “do” Bella so well!)
These two have a few obstacles to navigate, sadness to overcome, and their true selves to discover – but when it all finally comes together … *sigh* it is so beautiful. A little piece of pattyrose magic!
Realize ~ Edward is a hot up and coming actor and Bella is his ever faithful best friend and personal assistant. Bella’s feeling for Edward have changed, but he is oblivious to her feelings. With the help of her friends, will she get the courage to tell him…
Rated: Fiction M – English – Romance/Friendship – Bella & Edward – Chapters: 21 – Words: 101,506 – Reviews: 5,306 – Favs: 7,323 – Follows: 2,020 – Updated: 02-19-09 – Published: 07-05-08 – Status: Complete – id: 4372344
It isn’t a coincidence that both Cared and I have Actorwards on our re-read list, seeing as they are one of our favourite ‘Wards. When done well, they are SO good!
Realize is probably an unusual choice for a re-read, not because it is an Actorward, but because Goo82 rips your heart out and stomps on it – yes, my lovelies – this story is tagged as romance/friendship, but it should be categorized angst.
Bella is in love with her best friend, up-and-coming actor Edward. They have known each other forever, but Edward is oblivious to Bella’s romantic feelings for him, and therein lies the problem.
As you can surmise, things come to a head after a very big clusterfuck of epic proportions takes place – and coincidentally is also around the time your heart is in serious danger of those stomping boots!
One of the things I admire most about this story is how Bella deals with the fallout. She doesn’t hide under a rock, or drink herself into a stupor (which is what I would probably do if I lost Edward, let’s be honest.. LOL) but she becomes a better person – her own person.
A little glimpse of B x E’s relationship from Chapter One…
““We had been through everything in our lives up until now together. Through the death of our grandparents, to school and dances. We shared every detail of our lives with each other and we were the only ones who truly knew the other one inside and out.
He watched me go on many dates that left me without anyone that interested me. He would tell me, “Don’t worry Bella, your prince charming is out there. Just you wait and see.”
Too bad I had already found that man. Unfortunately, Edward was wrong because this man didn’t notice I was alive.
Well, not true. He knew I was alive, alright. I just happened to be alive in his eyes as his dorky, best friend/personal assistant.””
You know that old saying “Only the one that hurts you can take away the pain?” Well, no truer words were spoken, particularly when it relates to this story, and I can guarantee you will be smiling by the end!
Hit by Destiny ~ Bella wants to die, and almost gets her wish fulfilled when she gets hit by a shiny Volvo. She is left with serious injuries, and the only thing keeping her from dying is the person who hit her. All Human, Rated M for language, dark themes & violence.
Rated: Fiction M – English – Angst/Hurt/Comfort – Bella & Edward – Chapters: 59 – Words: 463,685 – Reviews: 19,537 – Favs: 10,641 – Follows: 6,681 – Updated: 11-29-12 – Published: 10-24-09 – Status: Complete – id: 5463682
I mentioned earlier that Actorward is one of my favourite genres – but my favourite genre of all? Redemptionward!
Quite possibly the best Redemptionward story is Hit by Destiny. This story had me very concerned as for quite a while I believed it just wasn’t possible for HbD’s Edward to be redeemed. He is without a doubt the King of the Jerks.
You are probably wondering now – “WTH Ally? Why would you re-read this story?” – well the answer is simple, dear readers, because the complete one-eighty this Edward makes is nothing short of miraculous. He changes his life, but he also saves Bella’s life too – all by hitting her with his car!
One of the other reasons I hold HbD in such high regard is it’s unique premise – the plot is honestly like nothing I would have ever imagined in even my strangest dreams. When we meet Bella we have no idea of the horrors she has had to endure, and when her whole story comes to light, you can’t help but sympathise with her – she really has been given the crappy end of the stick. A pyscho mother, an emotionally absent father and quite frankly disturbing Jacob and Billy.
On top of all that Bella is an outcast at her school, cruelly taunted and treated badly, but her treatment at the hands of Edward will make you cringe…
From chapter 10 (BPOV)
“”I’m… I’m sorry,” I stuttered, “I was lost in thought.”
He stood up, groaning as he looked down at the mud caking on his clothes. He tried to dust it off with his hands, but instead he ended up smearing it even more. He clenched his fists, and his breathing was deep and labored, like he was fighting some inner demon. Then ever so slowly, he turned his glare down at me. He was even more terrifying while standing up, since he was now towering over me like a giant – even if he was only a head taller than me. His emerald eyes were shooting fire and I felt my breath hitch. His eyes are beautiful.
“Yeah, obviously,” he spat. “Were you musing over how pathetic you are? And how tragic it is that you have no fucking friends and that a guy would never even touch you with a fucking stick? And that you will most likely die a painful death… alone?”
“Ed, c’mon… it’s not like she meant to push you,” Emmett said, trying to calm his brother down.
“Are you fucking kidding me? These jeans were brand fucking new!” Edward yelled, infuriated.
“I’m sorry! I’ll pay for the dry cleaning, I swear!” I said quickly, feeling my throat close up.
Please, no tears in front of Edward. Please. Please. Please.
“Dry cleaning?” he snorted. “No dry cleaning in the world could get this shit out from these pants. And like you could ever afford it anyway,” he shook his head. “These pants are worth ten times more than what your car was worth when it was new!”
“C’mon, Ed,” Emmett sighed and gave Edward a tired look.
But Edward didn’t listen; instead he took a step towards me, now standing so close that I could feel his hot breath in my face. It smelled like a mixture of smoke, mint and… something simply mouthwatering. Not the time, Bella, so not the time for this…
“You’re fucking dead, Goose,” he hissed at me. “I will kill you. Trust me when I fucking say that I will destroy every little part of your pathetic little existence.””
Oh dear – he spoke too soon. Little does he know, but in a few short hours he very nearly keeps his promise. Then so begins the story of Edward and his Sparrow.
Hit by Destiny is one of the most difficult stories to read, but one of the most worthwhile.
I will confess to being a prolific re-reader of stories. Sometimes after one of *those* days (you know the ones.. we all have them) all I want is something much loved and familiar like slipping into that favourite much loved piece of clothing (Stolli shirt anyone?). I just wanted to share a couple more of my faves with you that I (or one of the other FicSix ladies) have previously reviewed on FFF ~ AV (here goes – in no particular order…)
Proud: Fictionista Witfit Prompts Winter 2011:2012 by jennde ~ previous rec here
Come on now ladies, we cannot be the only ones who read their favourite fics more than once. It’s confession time, we are in no position to judge, so please spill your secrets in the comments.