Feels Central: Fanfic Edition
In 25,000 words, this fic manages to do what many published works don't. It makes you believe in the redemptive power of a loving relationship. I usually don't read OC fic, but Alec Thwaite (loosely inspired by Alec Scudder from E. M. Forster's Maurice) makes such a perfect counterpart to Thomas and Downton that sometimes I forget he's not from the show. Thomas, meanwhile, is every bit his nasty self. He's certainly a woobie, but a cold, proud and unpleasant Jerkass Woobie who's still making bad decisions and very nearly getting into big trouble over them. His feelings of confused love and hate toward Alec are powerful and painful to read, which just makes the happy ending even more satisfying. In short, lots of angst throughout, but with a great ending. And Thomas finally gets some.