But wait, there's more...By My Side, In Your Hands
Series: Rurouni Kenshin
Kenshin has a bit of a PTSD meltdown and Kaoru gets him through it.
I really like the way the author shows us what is going on in Kenshin's mind as he loses it. I think that someone who doesn't follow the manga would be able to appreciate that as well.
What non-fans need to know:
Kenshin is one of the two best swordsmen in Meiji era Japan. When he was 14 he was recruited by the rebellion against the Shogunate and became their top assassin within the year. As a result of his activities, his enemies set him up by sending a young woman to get close to him. She volunteered because Kenshin had killed her fiance but she ended up falling in love with Kenshin and they were married. She died during the fight with the men who had used her.
Kenshin is a gentle person by nature who was raised to protect the weak and who thought he was serving that purpose by agreeing to be an assassin for the side he believed in. What he did nearly drove him mad and it was both his wife's love, and her death, that paradoxically helped him hold things together until the end of the civil war.
After that he wandered for 10 years like Bill Bixby in the Hulk, moving on whenever he thought old enemies might find him. He stopped when he met Kaoru.
They go through a lot of adventures together and each nearly dies before they fend off all the ghosts of the past and are able to make a life together.
Note: The manga and the anime are often very different in characterization and some key events from each don't crossover. This seems to be based on the manga.
-------Game of the Gods
Series: Tolkien's Middle Earth stories
Morgoth and Varda are playing a little game. Morgoth's weapon: Mary Sues. Varda's weapon: Reality.
No matter what the fandom Mary Sues are seldom original to their creators, as Limyaael proved in her articles posted to her Live Journal they can be classed into types. In this story many of those Sues are sent to Middle Earth by Morgoth as part of a game that he is playing against Varda (AKA Elbereth). Each chapter features a different Sue, and her horrible death, while advancing a framing story that is absolutely hilarious.
You need to know a bit about Mary Sues to get this and you will need to know more about Tolkien's characters than you can get from watching the movies to follow some of the framing story. Google might be your friend if you decide to give it a shot.
Every moment is more beautiful when you know it is your last. OneShot on Miroku
Non-fans should be able to enjoy this one. It's about human feelings and that's pretty universal. I was a bit afraid at one point that this would turn into a Miroku/Kagome thing and ruin everything but it doesn't. Well writen stories that focus on Miroku are rarer than I'd like. He gets a bit more emotional in this than he normally does but concidering what's been happening him recently in the series he's allowed.
Inuyasha and Sango die in the last battle against Naraku. With the well closed Kagome and Miroku have to find a way to go on with life
Need to know who the main characters are and what their relationships are to one another and if you are reading this you've dealt with my obsession long enough to know that even if you've not read the series. This made me misty, whether that was hormones or not is your call. Or it could be the bit about how we have to live on after those we care for die hits a bit close