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la belle dame sans merci = bitch = i need a naruto tag [Oct. 23rd, 2008|12:18 am]
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La Belle Dame Sans Merci by elveljung is a long LONG LONG NaruSasuNaru (and many other pairings) fic that I'm still not sure what to think of. I think I really like it, but I need to reread it to make sure. I was a fool and started reading it today, a workday. I thought it was 30 chapters or so...I should've scrolled down because it was 55 chapters. Not short chapters, either. It took a big chunk of my day to read it, which was a total mistake because I actually had a lot of work to do that I hadn't gotten done.

I'm thinking the title comes from the Keates poem of the same name, which means "The Beautiful Lady Without Mercy." It's angsty, melodramatic, violent, dark, and twisted. But not overwhelmingly so, at least for me, for now. I'll have to see if it stands up to a second, less frantic reading. XD; I won't bother talking about the fic in general terms because I don't feel like coming up with something that's not spoilery (that'll do it justice)...

What I liked:

1. Bitchy, cold, fucked up Sasuke. The author really fleshed him out quite well. Love that he's practical in that he will use his body to get the things he wants, but that he's also so emotionally stunted that he also uses sex as a way to confirm intimacy. Also, a bastard.
2. Kind of happy go lucky but ultimately fucked up Naruto. He is both more decent than Sasuke and as monstrous as Sasuke. And rather a bastard.
3. Kakashi and Sasuke. I dunno what to say about them except that they make such a fabulous counterpoint to Sasuke and Naruto, even though they started with a big bang in the fucked up department. XDXD;
4. The fact that Sasuke turned himself into a girl to seduce his brother so that he could have his baby AND kill him. Totally hits my angst/twisted/incest buttons right there.
5. Sakura!! She was a great foil for the more messed up characters, though she has her own issues. I even liked that she had Sasuke or Naruto's kid, and that we never know which was the real father.
6. That Sasuke's pregnancy sucked beyond all belief and that he looked awful through it. I guess I just dislike glowing mpreg? And there's a 30-hour labor culminating in cutting the kid out! During a big battle!
7. That both Kakashi and Naruto are more turned on by Sasuke as girl than as boy (though they do like him as a boy as well). I guess I feel that if these guys are supposed to have been attracted to girls primarily it'd make sense that their bodies would be naturally more aroused by a female?
8. Sasuke naming his son for his brother! So that "he knows what he must surpass!" So, so messed up. And that's the moment Naruto realizes who the father of Sasuke's child is. Also, so messed up.
9. Itachi Jr. He's messed up but not massively so. I liked his POV a lot because he has similar personality to Sasuke but is slightly more balanced. I also loved that his one big Issue is that he's sexually attracted to Sasuke.
10. The many other characters and relationships portrayed. I had to skim them in the interest of time but I definitely want to go back and read about them.
11. That Sasuke has no emotional attachment to his baby until he sees it and then he's smitten. He doesn't know what to do with the love he feels, and in fact is so emotionally stunted he can't really show it to his son very much.
12. Sasuke and Naruto switch roles during sex! It's nice to see that they're willing to try, ya know? Plus, they are very violent. It's interesting how towards the end Naruto can't help himself, he's becoming so merged with the kyubi. Sasuke seems to just take it, and it's up to Itachi to be mad at Naruto. Mostly, though, the sex is hot. Possessive, obsessive love, oh yeah.
13. The next to the last chapter. I like that in the end Naruto spirals out of control and gobs of people have to die to get rid of the kyubi. It's very grim and sacrificial but not nearly as melodramatic as it could've been (thank god). The author keeps the pace crisp, and she choses Naruto's befuddled POV to keep it from getting massively heavy. It got a bit sappy but not too much. And Sasuke gouges out his own eyes as part of the sacrifice! That's so eew but rather cool...

Last touch, Naruto thinks fuzzily, but it doesn’t seem real, none of it save the familiar hot pressure of Sasuke’s presence really registers.

Then everything slips, he’s falling away into redness and shadow, clings to awareness as best he can – will be enough sleep in the grave, right? Chakra surges high, but he’s so far gone, retreating into his mind, Kyuubi forcing Its way to the forefront, so far gone he hardly feels it.

He simply watches, from this great distance, sees the beautiful day and the beautiful person pushing fingers into his own god-legacy eyes, pressing the dripping digits to Naruto, and there’s brightness and red darkness, blurring, and there’s – there’s Sasuke.

Ha, ending, I cheated you. There wasn’t an end at all. Just darkness, light, cascading pain and loss and love, and Sasuke.

Just this, just us.

The not so good:

1. The last chapter! I rolled my eyes at the reincarnation or whatever it was supposed to be. Ugh. I know And what kind of sissy name is Adrian?
2. Too many characters! While they were quite interesting, I prefer stories that focus on less people...Especially since I don't know who the hell most of them are. I suppose it's easier for someone who's actually familiar with Naruto. ^^;

Some covers I happened to be listening to while typing this up made me laugh at their appropriateness (sometimes the lyrics, sometimes the mood of the song, sometimes both), so I uploaded them.

Closer by Maroon 5
Smells Like Teen Spirit by Tori Amos
Ray of Light by Natasha Beddington
Wonderwall by Ryan Adams

Grab here.

Closer in particular is SO appropriate. I love the original version, of course, but I love the contrast between the dirty lyrics and the smooth delivery of this live cover as well. All of these covers are fabulous, in any case.