Winter has officially arrived — at least where I live it has. And there’s nothing I like more on a cold November day than sitting down with a hot cup of tea and a long story — especially when it’s fanfiction. I’ve read a lot of fics in my many years of fandom, but there are a few I go back to time and again when I want to dive into a great story. No matter what the weather is like where you are, here are 10 long, binge-worthy November Fic Recs for you to try. It’s an eclectic mix — different fandoms, pairings, genres, you name it. Hopefully, that means there’s something here for everyone!
Fandom: Marvel – Captain America Pairing: Steve Rogers/James “Bucky” Barnes Author:silentwalrus Year(s) Published: 2016-2018 Rating: Mature Word Count: 237,623 Author’s Summary: Steve gets out of the hospital in two days, but just barely. “I’m fine,” he tells Sam, Nurse Eunjung and the phalanx of doctors assigned to make sure Captain America didn’t bleed out and die and get bad PR all over their nice clean hospital.
“I have an advanced healing factor. It’s fine. See? I’m standing.” “That is not standing,” Sam tells him. “You’re bending the IV stand,” Nurse Eunjung adds pointedly. “Let go and sit down, they don’t grow on trees.” AKA Steve and Bucky’s Global Honeymoon Revenge World Tour.
Why This November Fic Is Binge-Worthy: Do you like stories where Bucky Barnes slowly finds his way back to himself after Captain America: The Winter Soldier? Do you like rich character development? Intricate plotting? Borderline absurdist humor? A love story that will make you cry, laugh, and clutch at your heart? Friendships that are just as important as romance? Weird, quasi-sentient spaceships? Llamas?
If you said yes to any of the above, then this is the story for you. The author is a master at blending humor, plot, and powerful emotion and this story, in my opinion, is her magnum opus. It’s one of the most intricately-drawn portraits of Bucky recovering and finding his way back to Steve that I’ve read in this fandom. So do yourself a favor and read this story. Just make sure you’ve set aside the time — you’re not going to want to stop once you start.
Fandom: Queer as Folk Pairing: Brian Kinney/Justin Taylor Author: Xie Year(s) Published: 2007-2012 Rating: Explicit Word Count: 257,501 Author’s Summary: When Justin went to New York, it turns out it was just the beginning of the story.
Why This November Fic Is Binge-Worthy: Although Queer As Folk feels a bit dated these days, to me Brian and Justin still have one of the greatest love stories of all time. If you’re a fan and anything like me, you were probably more than a little disappointed in how their story ended.
This fic fixes all that in the most perfect way possible. I cannot say enough about the characterization in this story — the author not only absolutely nails Brian and Justin, but also the voice of every other character on the show. Xie writes a fic that takes canon and makes it better and more satisfying. And if you like your plot to come with a side-order of scorching-hot sex, this fic delivers in spades.
Fandom: Buffy the Vampire Slayer Pairing: Buffy Summers/Faith Lehane Author: impertinence Year(s) Published: 2014 Rating: Explicit Word Count: 57,350 Author’s Summary: Buffy and Faith are living it up in Cleveland, over thirty and regularly trying to convince their neighbors they’re really just roommates, not “roommates,” no matter what Faith wants. Of course, then things get all fucked up, complete with an apocalypse.
Why This November Fic Is Binge-Worthy: For a show that has such amazing relationships between its female characters, Buffy Fandom has a relatively little femme-slash fic. That’s why this story is such a gem. Set ten years after the end of the show, it has everything I love in a Buffy fic — women kicking ass, an intriguing plot, and a whole lot of snark.
It’s not always easy to capture the tone of the show and a lot of fic misses the mark. Not this one, so if you’re a Buffy fan, check it out!
Fandom: Stargate SG-1 Pairing: Gen Author: ELG Year(s) Published: 2013 Rating: Mature Word Count: 43,981 Author’s Summary: After the events of ‘Shades of Gray’ Daniel is kidnapped by a rogue NID offshoot and the rest of SG-1 are caught up in a desperate race against time to save him.
Why This November Fic is Binge-Worthy: In its heydayStargate SG-1 fandom was one of the great sources of long, plotty, gen-fic full of team dynamics and found family. Ripples is one of the best examples out there.
Picking up right after the season 3 episode Shades of Grey, this fic gets right into a plot filled with danger, intrigue, shadowy government organizations, and, of course, a team that will do anything for each other. If you like your fic filled with hurt/comfort, friendship, and a whole lot of action, this one is for you. The chess scene at the end never fails to make me tear up.
Fandom: Glee Pairing: Santana Lopez/Rachel Berry Author:thememoriesfire Year(s) Published: 2011 Rating: Teen-Mature Word Count: 248,615 Author’s Summary:Eyes Closed to Fingers Crossed picks up on Santana shortly after “Sexy”, and departs from Glee canon from that point onward. Note: This series is not Brittana. Mind the pairings listed in the series.
The series follows Santana for the next 3 years and covers, loosely, her coming-out process in junior year of high school (Five Stages), her last year of high school and her hang-up on Brittany (The Lights That Stop Me), her freshman year of college in New York, in which she tries to move on with her life (Blind With Casualties), and her sophomore year in college, during which time she actually moves on (We Started Secret Plans).
Why This November Fic is Binge-Worthy: While Santana/Brittany is the huge femme-slash pairing in Glee fandom (and canon!), there are many other ones out there. Santana/Rachel might seem like a weird pairing at first, but this story does such an amazing job at developing both characters as they move beyond high school that it feels completely natural by the time they do get together. Character development is the name of the game here — something that was often spotty at best in canon.
And Santana’s characterization got it worse than most — swinging wildly between sympathetic friend and irrational mean girl. This fic fills in the missing pieces and builds her such a rich, layered characterization that it actually changes how I see her in the show.
Fandom: Community Pairing: Troy Barnes/Abed Nadir Author: gyzym Year(s) Published: 2012 Rating: Teen Word Count: 48,844 Author’s Summary: Course provides advanced instruction in avoidance of the phenomenon commonly known as “jumping the shark.” Prerequisites for this course include Introduction to Friendship, Contemporary Best Friendship, The Politics of Emotional Baggage and Cohabitation 207. Students may wish to simultaneously enroll in our sister course, Introduction to Non-Traditional Romance, but said enrollment is optional.
Why This November Fic is Binge-Worthy: Troy and Abed have one of those amazing friendships — it’s often difficult to capture the tone of it in fic. But this story manages to both get the irreverent tone of Community down perfectly while still giving us brand-new insight into Troy and his relationship with Abed.
The dialogue between the characters captures that particular mix of ridiculous, hilarious, and ultimately heartfelt that the show does so well. This Troy is both wise and naive, and he gets Abed in a way no one else does. Their journey from friendship to something more is a beautiful thing to read.
Fandom: Teen Wolf Pairing: Scott McCall & Stiles Stilinski Gen Author: CranApplePye Year(s) Published: 2015 Rating: Mature Word Count: 156,017 Author’s Summary: Stiles and Scott wake up in a dark, unfamiliar tunnel after a rescue mission gone wrong, and that’s only the beginning of their problems. Trapped in a labyrinth filled with deadly mysteries, their only hope of making it back home is to cooperate with the very people who landed them in this mess.
Unfortunately, their unscrupulous captors have their own agenda, including plans that make maliciously good use of the young werewolf’s rapid healing and the human boy’s uncanny skill at solving puzzles. While the rest of the pack struggles to figure out what has become of them, Scott and Stiles struggle to survive in a harsh reality where all they have is their determination, and each other.
Why This November Fic is Binge-Worthy: This is another one of my favorite canon friendships that never gets enough attention in fic. Scott and Stiles’ relationship is one of the best parts of Teen Wolf and CranApplePye shows us why. Put into a new, unsettling, and incredibly dangerous situation, Scott and Stiles have no one but each other to rely on in this story.
Drawing on a long familiarity born of years of friendship and a deep love for one another, they work to keep each other alive and to get home. This fic combines a fascinating mythology, genuinely frightening villains, and deep bonds of friendship to tell a truly engaging story. I had real trouble putting it down once I’d started. But the true strength of the story lies in what it has to say about the unbreakable bonds of friendship and brotherhood.
Fandom: Harry Potter Pairing: Lavender Brown/Parvati Patil Author: Kicon Year(s) Published: 2014 Rating: General Word Count: 28,207 Author’s Summary: Various moments of Parvati and Lavender through their years at Hogwarts as they deal with self-identity, internalized homophobia, and a Hogwarts crueler than anybody could’ve imagined
Why This November Fic is Binge-Worthy: I really think one of the reasons Harry Potter has such an enduring appeal is the expansive universe J.K. Rowling created. That includes the plethora of background and side characters throughout the seven books. It always really felt like every character could step off the page and be the hero of their own book. And that’s what this fic does so well — it takes two underused characters, Parvati and Lavender, and gives them so much more depth than canon ever did. Tracking them throughout their years at Hogwarts, this fic explores real world issues like homophobia that were never touched on in canon. Not only that, but the story adds a whole new possible layer to the books that’s impossible to ignore the next time you go back and reread.
Fandom: Dark Angel Pairing: Max Guevara/Alec McDowell Author: alethialia Year(s) Published: Rating: Explicit Word Count: 185,000 Author’s Summary: Hope, at the end of the world.
Why This November Fic Is Binge-Worthy: This story picks up shortly after the series finale, with all the transgenics under siege in Terminal City, it explores the political complications that would entail. Putting Alec in charge of Terminal City forces him to step up and take the responsibility he’s always shied away from. It also gives Max the chance to finally take a step back and figure out what it is she wants when she doesn’t have the weight of the world on her shoulders.
All of this character development makes the slow-burn romance between Max and Alec feel natural and earned. And when they finally do get together, it is deeply satisfying. If you like the slow-burn romance, political maneuvering and/or sexual attraction that sizzles off the page, check out this story. It’s technically incomplete, but I’ve read it multiple times and always feel satisfied with where it leaves off.
Fandom: Marvel – Captain America Pairing: Steve Rogers/James “Bucky” Barnes Author: galwednesday, silentwalrus, skellerbvvt Year(s) Published: 2018 Rating: Explicit Word Count: 93,217 Author’s Summary: Captain America wakes up from the ice in 2013. The Winter Soldier wakes up in 2009, or rather defects from HYDRA, for the value of defect that’s closer to decimate. He ends up working for SHIELD. In April 2014, he’s assigned to Captain America’s mission as a sniper. Steve’s just trying to get some kind of life together. Bucky is too, or at least he was until tall, blond and Captain shows up and starts just – being there, all the time. It’s terrible. It’s the worst. He has to do something about it.
Why This November Fic is Binge-Worthy: The blankets! If nothing else, this fic is the definition of a comfort-read — quite literally. A weird, but brilliant subset of alpha/beta/omega fic, the authors create a universe where everyone is either an A or an O and can switch at will. Rather than couples, everyone lives in a ‘pod’ with the A’s responsible for creating homes that are the epitome of comfort.
When Steve meets Bucky and realizes he doesn’t have a pod to take care of him, he immediately becomes obsessed. Cue ALL the blankets and pillows and soft fabrics and good scents. Steve is obsessed with braiding Bucky’s hair. Bucky is obsessed with Steve’s cowlick. It’s all lovely and soft, and you just want to roll around in this universe forever. Do yourself a favor — get a mug of tea and your favorite blanket and read this story.
10 November Fic Recs For You This Winter…
I hope you enjoy these! And if you have any favorite long fics of your own, please drop them in the comments below! I love getting new recs!