From the studio that brought you “I can’t find good Byler fics in the ao3 tag”, comes:
"The Definitive Byler fic rec list"
Literally no one asked for this but because I spent the majority of last year (...and 2019, and 2018...) reading byler fics and coping with life, I thought I’d make a list of some of my absolute favorites.
The other day I was basically starving for some byler fics and the angel @magicalfairy provided me with some of her faves so I thought I’d do the same, because I love reading, and I love all of these fics and I appreciate their writers💗 And fic writers in general, come on!
- This is a mix of long works and one-shots/short stories.
- Everything is mostly fluff with a tad of angst and a lot of internalized homophobia conflict.
- Every fic is completed, except for the ones I mention that they are not.
- I try my best to lay out the stories in a way that I won’t spoil you the plot but also warning you of some stuff you might don’t like. Either way, all of these fics are correctly tagged by their respective authors/owners, so read at your own risk. For better understanding, in between brackets I denote Rating, Words and quantity of Chapters.
- I feel like I should clarify, none of these are narrated in the singular first person. None of that “And I told him...”, no.
a dream always the same (T, 99k, 35 chapters) What happened in those few weeks between the Battle of Starcourt and the Byers leaving Hawkins. Literally a satisfying and very needed fill in of season three, with a good dose of Mike’s thoughts and conflict. Mike’s characterization is specially amazing in this one. The writing style is amazing and I know the author put everything into making it historically accurate, and it was really sweet. You probably read it, it’s by the amazing sevensided here on Tumblr🧡
Spring Break (T, 120k, 14/15 chapters) The slowburn of my dreams. Lots of internalized conflict and conflict with each other. Conflict within the Party (uhh kind of), conflict with Mike and Will. Byers family has moved and the kids are visiting! Chaos. Characterization is on point. Yeah, I know it’s unfinished, but the fourteenth chapter actually serves as a pretty nice ending.
This is where it starts (M, 148.8k, 24 chapters) Aged up characters. The Party is in college and Will disappears again, but now it’s different. Mike knows he didn’t vanish from thin air, and the discovery he and the Party end up making is pretty insane. Mystery solving/fantasy/third dimension, throw in a bit of D&D and Mike realizing some shit, and you get this marvelous fic. It’s a breath of fresh air. The world building is definitely one of the elements that stands out the most, because it’s very nicely described, it sounds like a dream and it’s completely immersive. Absolute gem of a fic.
there’s a Starman waiting in the sky (M, 30.6k, 8 chapters) Do I need to say anything? Will is out there living his best life and Mike realizes that wow, umm, maybe his best friend looks a bit too nice with that costume... and wait, is he getting horny? It’s actually really fun and sexy.
The Evening Speaks (T, 23k, 7 chapters) In where Mike is a late-night college radio host and Will is the art student that stays up till late to catch up with Wheeler on the Mic. They flirt through songs y’all, this one is really sweet.
heads or tails? (E, 24k, 3 chapters) Aged up characters. I know most people don’t enjoy sex in fics and with specific characters but this one is insanely well written. It’s a slowburn that commits to the tension and with every word you are grasping and anticipating their next move. I think you can find the author here on Tumblr as you-said-yes🧡
The Man of Average (M, 56.7k, 5/? chapters) Aged up characters. No but you don’t understand, the writing here is absolute gourmet. The story is exciting as well, it’s super interesting. Weirdly enough, for being very aged up characters, they are well characterized but they don’t feel like teenagers. They are naturally Mike and Will. The author really captured Mike and Will’s essence. I know, it’s unfinished and it’s updated very rarely, but this is the typical fic you can’t believe someone just posted on the internet for free. I will say though, I think it’s definitely not for everyone. Read at your own risk.
Heartstrings (E, 82.8k, 24/? chapters) Aged up characters. By the same author of The Man of Average. A collection of memories, the road to Mike and Will’s happy ever after. And fucking hell!!!!! You’ll cry and get angry, you’ll cheer for them, then you’ll want to crash their faces together because god dammit you love each other!!! But yeah, same thing here. The writing and the way the story is laid out as a nonlinear narrative is brilliant. And I also think this is one of the best Will versions I’ve read. The author might as well be the og creator of this two characters tbh. You can find the author here as mylesimeblr🧡
Sinners behind the walls (T, 1.5k, 1/1) And because I can’t stop recommending this author, a little thing of Mike tormenting himself but also being too deeply committed to Will.
The Red Envelope series (T/E, 167K, two completed works) Something happens that Will thought was impossible and from there, pure drama and romance. Anything by this author has the potential to become your absolute favorite fic, but this series in particular is amazing. I doubt that any of you haven’t read this, but it doesn’t hurt to put it in this list. I’m pretty sure the author is serendipitous-magic on Tumblr🧡
A New Fight series (T, 91k, two completed works, one WIP) And finally the Star Wars AU that we all needed. But this isn’t your typical “Mike is Han”, “Will is Leia” and “El is Luke”, it’s way more interesting than that, and the author has appropriated the Star Wars world like no other. I’ll admit I’m not a 100% fluent in SW lore but this is amazing to me either way. This author is also on Tumblr, tea-for-one-please🧡
- Yes, most of these are (if not all), in a way, canon compliant/canonverse/canon continuation into fanon. (In a way)
One-shots and short stories
Sundae for Two, Please (G, 4.8k) Steve being the supportive friend and older brother these kids collectively need. (not Jonathan erasure, we love him). Steve is very sweet himself, and this little cute thing through his POV is gorgeous. Yes, it’s byler.
Backstage (T, 10k, 2/2) Jonathan, you forgot to mention to Will how hot your new band’s guitarist is, dude. Now he’s hyperventilating and weirdly flirting with him in the corner. Background Stonathan because why not.
102 Peach Street (G, 3.8k) Established relationship, but not only that, they are married :’’))) PURE fluff. Extreme fluffiness. Diabetes.
sweatshirts and bottled up feelings (T, 3.2k) Or, Mike thinks that the sweatshirt Will wears looks insanely good on him. And kitchens are for lovers.
kiss it better (T, 16.3k) Basically one of the best character studies of a few precise moments of Mike and Will’s relationship and feelings.
will wonders ever cease (T, 11.3k) #i ship will and happiness. Omfg what a beautiful piece of fanfic. Will centric, this kid really deserves all the good in the world.
The Calm After the Storm (T, 1.6k) Tooth rotting fluff, boyfriends in love. Boyfriends being lazy, cuddling, love words, kisses. Boys loving each other’s company... Basically, Mike and Will in their element. What more can you ask for?
neither of us ready to let go (T, 4.8k) That scene from season three, but a bit of a fix it.
Still in love (G, 1k) Domestic, married life au fluff. Y’all, I’m a sucker for established Byler, even if I can’t find many fics with it. But this is very sweet. It takes place in 2020, but I don’t think there are any mentions of the COVID-19 crisis that I remember.
I Nver Find Out ‘Til I’m Head Over Heels (G, 12.5K) Classic 5+1 fic. If you haven’t read it, where have you been? This is your moment. In where Mike keeps inviting Will to the school dances and Will thinks it’s just a joke until he realizes it’s not.
Before You’re Gone (T, 5.9k) Will is leaving Hawkins and Mike thinks this is a great moment for a confession. This one I discovered last friday, thank you friend @magicalfairy 💗
You’re weird Wheeler (M, 4.5k) Mike unintentionally starts a tradition of going to each other to talk about their sexual encounters just after they finish. Will keeps getting more explicit with the details he shares, and he makes his best friend interested. This one is really fun y’all.
Out-Of-Town Friends (N/R, 4.6K) It’s not rated. I haven’t re- read it but I’d say it would probably fall in a T rating. So cute!! Will has new friends and sneaks off every friday and the Party doesn’t know where he is going, so Mike decides to follow him and is surprised.
Snowed Under (G, 1.3k) By the same author of The New Fight series. Mike is spending christmas by himself in college because a snowstorm hits Chicago and Nancy can’t drive to see him, but then he has a surprise visitor. Ahhh just a lil sweet holiday fic. Super cute.
you love me anyway series (T, 7.1k, three completed works) Literally just the cutest thing ever. Established Byler. Will loves to take pictures and he loves taking pictures of Mike. It’s adorable.
you wanna be friends forever (i can think of something better) (T, 9k) This one is so amazing. So. Amazing. From Will’s POV, my kid deserves the world and he gets it.
okay not to be okay (T, 4.9k) Mike is a bit sad but then everything is okay.
can’t hold out forever (G, 18.4k) Y’all!!!!! 5+1 sweetness. Mike has been falling in love since kindergarten. And it’s long af, you’ll enjoy it.
even if it takes forever (G, 1.3k) College short AU, they miss each other, they love each other, they promise all to each other. It is sappy y’all.
clear as day (N/R, 18.4K, 4 chapters) It’s not rated, but I’d say it falls in the T category. Strangers to friends to lovers. And also, everyone is pretty gay; we have our dynamic trio Mike, Max and El as disaster lesbians (and gay). Will works at the library and he is also gay. Lucas and Dustin and Will are the best friends we needed. It’s very sweet and the Party is kind of formed here!
I went overboard with the one-shots, so you must have realized how much I love long one-shots and I favor them over long works lmao but they are all amazing!!! If it’s on this list, I probably read it at 2 am, sobbing in my bed. So. Hope you enjoy it☺️🧡
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