|Trope · Genre|
|Synonyms:||yearning, longing, (maybe) unrequited love|
|See Also:||Eye Sex, UST|
|Tropes · Slash Tropes · Tropes by Fandom|
|Click here for related articles on Fanlore.|
In fanfic, "pining" is when one character spends a significant portion of the story loving another character in their secret heart, but not saying anything, usually because they assume the other party isn't interested. Meanwhile, the other party is sometimes written as oblivious (sometimes to a ridiculous extent) to the pining character's feelings. (Often until they get hit by the clue bus.) Variations include both characters pining for each other while being oblivious and one character knowing all along.
In some pairings, one character is more likely to be cast as the one pining for the other.
Many, though not all, fanworks that use the pining trope end up with the pined-for party getting clued in, returning the piner's affection, and finding their way to a happy ending.A fan in 2016 wrote:
listen, there is absolutely nothing that gets me going like mutual seemingly unrequited pining like? i live for both people losing their minds over the other person in bitter silence. savoring every single accidental brush of their fingers, elbows, thighs, every stray glance, memorizing every gesture or expression they catch while the other isn’t looking, all while being absolutely convinced that it’s one-sided only to finally!! finally find out it wasn’t in a triumphant moment of bliss after years and years of delicious, soul-rending, torturous, heart-wrenching pining. i literally don’t care about the fact that this trope is predictable af and always plays out the same way i will still go wild over it every single time like they’ll be doing the same reveal scene i have seen a million times and i’m still on the edge of my seat gasping “are they gonna kiss???” 
- When Steve Ran by vassalady (Bucky/Steve, Steve/Tony) - In which Steve does not make the same mistake twice (on staying silent while in love).
- Five People Who Know by hestia_lacey (John/Rodney unrequited)
- It's Okay by hestia_lacey. (John/Rodney unrequited))
- pour myself like wine by busaikko. (John/Rodney unrequited)
- Every Day in Every Way by velocitygrass. (McShep)
- Loves Me Not by astolat. (McShep)
- The Mute Shepherd by Auburn. (McShep)
- Sheppard's Law of Martyrdom by pir8fancier. (McShep)
- Flinch by maisierita. (John/Rodney, unrequited)
- A Bargain at Any Price and Balance Due: mutual pining and misunderstandings
- Fanworks tagged Unrequited Love at AO3.
- Fanworks tagged Pining at AO3.
- Pining bookmarks at delicious
- Pining bookmarks at Pinboard.