Article: Mary – @FitzAndLarry
Summer is in full force, and who says reading needs to end just because the weather’s nice? Relaxing on the beach with an e-reader. Taking a walk with your phone in hand. Traveling to a new destination with hours to kill. It’s the perfect time to get some fanfiction in.
If we’re going to enjoy the heat and relax, we should do it with some fics that will make us smile. Fluffy, comforting, funny, smutty, you name it. There’s a plethora of feel-good fanfiction, but sometimes it can be hard to track down.
I’ve compiled a list of some of my absolute favorites of varying lengths to get you through the season laughing and grinning. As a reminder, some of these works require an Archive of Our Own account to access, and you need to sit on a waitlist – typically for a week or two – to gain access. I recommend hopping on that list as soon as possible and diving into the open fics now!
- Our Lives, Non-Fiction by indiaalphawhiskey
Summary: Heralded as the next Neil Gaiman, Louis Tomlinson does not appreciate being told that his very serious novel is in dire need of a PR boost. Even worse, that it comes in the form of a joint book tour with the UK’s #1 online romance-writing sensation Marcel Styles. Already turbulent at best, their partnership takes a drastic turn when, overly stressed about his looming deadline, Marcel accidentally blurts out a secret: though he’s famed for his scorching hot literary love scenes, he is, actually, a virgin.
Don’t be swayed by Harry being called Marcel – it’s still Harry! OLNF is a hilarious, smutty read that will keep you engaged. The fanfiction references and author perspective makes for a unique and easy-to-connect to read. Their interactions during the book tour are EVERYTHING!
2. This Wicked Game by cherrystreet
Summary: An AU in which The Bachelor is gay, Louis is a contestant, Harry is the bachelor, everyone drinks a lot of champagne, the entire world gets to watch them fall in love, and no one plays by the rules.
As a former The Bachelor fan (now not so much), I was extremely apprehensive about a fic based around it. Wow, I was MASSIVELY impressed with the actual result. The story was executed slightly differently than I anticipated without cutting the core show influence. Lovely, fluffy read. Give it a try, even if you’re not a fan of the show.
3. That Sounds Fake But Okay by dancingontheceiling
Summary: Harry Styles is a rookie journalist forced to work the gossip desk at a major New York magazine. Louis Tomlinson is the A-list actor who doesn’t appreciate Harry or his articles.
If you don’t mind something a little over the top at times, you’ll have a blast with TSFBO. It hit so many notes – hilarious scenes, enemies to FWB to lovers, and a hilarious cast of characters. This is probably one of my favorite fake dating trope fics. The climax scene had me in stitches!
4. If You Asked Me If I Love Him (I’d Lie) by allyasavedtheday
Summary: The one where Harry and Louis eloped but neglected to mention it to anyone. Meanwhile Lottie is getting married and the only way for them to not steal her thunder is by pretending they’re just friends for the weekend. Featuring Harry and Louis as terrible liars who don’t know the meaning of the word platonic and some Tomlinsons and Styles’s who definitely don’t believe them.
One of the most hilarious fics I’ve read. It’s just fluffy and funny with cute, awkward situations as their families try to figure out why Louis and Harry are acting so odd. There is a prequel I recommend reading after (as it was written later), Long Before We Both Thought The Same Thing.
5. Santa Baby Honey by SadaVeniren
Summary: Louis is the CEO of a toy company and Christmas is a stressful time of year so his assistant decides the best way to make him chill out is by getting him laid through a Secret Santa.
Hear me out. This is a smut fic, but it’s a smut fic where I was so in love with the plot that it didn’t even need to be one. The humor in it cracked me up, and Harry is soft and lovely. I have yet to share this with someone and have them go away disliking it!
Content Warning: BDSM/Kink heavy – read tags!
6. In Dreams by dolce_piccante
Summary: When Harry moves to a new city, his new flat come with a number of sweet, anonymous gifts and surprises that brighten his days. Could it be a friendly ghost? Another friendly presence in his new building is his tattooed neighbor, Louis, who seems determined to put a smile back on his face.
The fact that In Dreams is by dolce_piccante should tell you all you need to know (author of Escapade and Relief Next To Me, among others). While it’s a shorter read, it’s so sweet. Watching Harry slowly fall for someone without knowing who it is, all while getting to know his neighbor across the hall, is a beautiful story.
7. satellite by suspenders
Summary: Louis needs a house. Harry offers him a home.
Hear me out. This fic deals with a heavy topic and makes some people uncomfortable. In satellite, Louis is homeless, and Harry finds him squatting in the house he inherited from his uncle. What unravels is a beautiful hurt/comfort novel where we get to watch Louis find himself and start his own life, all while Harry falls for someone who was set up for failure out of his control. The epilogue made me sob happy tears.
Content Warning: Homelessness, referenced domestic neglect
8. The Green Room by JasTheLarrie
Summary: Louis has just been through a bad break-up and accidentally verbally assaults unsuspecting flower delivery man Harry.
“Louis and the Incredibly Compassionate and Also Really Handsome Florist.”
The Green Room is a lovely story but another dealing with complex themes. Their meet-cute is adorable, and I loved all of the OT5 interactions. Harry is a fantastic rock for Louis through tough times; no matter what, he’s all in.
Content Warning: Potential severe illness, panic attacks
9. you think fashion is your friend, my friend (fashion is danger) by MediaWhore
Summary: the one where Louis is a famous British designer and Harry is the clumsy, most likely straight model that makes his heart race.
It’s been a while since I read this one, but what I remember the most is Louis and Harry escaping a party together to drink a stolen bottle of champagne in the grass. That should tell you what you need to know about this story; Louis is a bit oblivious (as fic-Louis often is), but it doesn’t negate the overarching sweetness of their love story.
10. a yuzu grows in brooklyn by stylinsoncity
Summary: harry is a recent implant in new york and a young chef opening a restaurant called yuzu. louis, a music teacher and broadway lover, has been around the block for a while. in a city that’s so fast-paced, they’re slow to catch on to each other.
I think my favorite thing about a yuzu grows in brooklyn is how no matter how difficult the challenges may be that come their way, Harry and Louis always work through them and come out stronger. One of the only fics I’ve read featuring a period of lovely, realistic long distance. Light Relief Next To Me vibes. Let the story take you!
If you have questions or are seeking additional recommendations, you can find me on Twitter at @FitzandLarry – happy reading, and have a lovely July!