|Date(s):||June 2008-September 2009|
|Length:||186,764 words; 3 works|
|Genre:||slash, AU, priest!fic, case fic|
|External Links:||series on AO3|
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Unholyverse is a very popular fanfiction series by Bexless. One of the most well-known and beloved verses in Bandom, its name is derived from the title of the first installment, "I Have Been All Things Unholy."
Bexless described the Unholyverse as: "Religion! Horror! Exorcisms! Piercings! And Gerard is a priest." (See the priest!fic trope.) It is a AU based on the film Stigmata featuring the members of MCR, their then manager Brian Schechter, and the members of Fall Out Boy.
Themes and tropes
The series is a priest AU with supernatural elements including demonic possession and contains angst, UST and pining. The second part of the series could also be described as a Van Days AU, as the characters road trip around the country in a gross van, not for the purpose of performing in rock concerts but just because they are underpaid.
- Part 1: I Have Been All Things Unholy, written for the bandombigbang challenge, art by zoundsbooth, mix by damson. Pairing: Frank/Gerard. Rated: Mature. Frank pov. The title comes from the St. Francis of Assisi quote: "I have been all things unholy; if God can work through me, He can work through anyone," which prefaces the chapter. St. Francis of Assisi is referenced throughout the story.
"He thinks I have stigmata," Frank said, because what the fucking hell, it couldn’t get any worse. He might as well just lay it out.
"Oh, well," said Brian into his hands. "Of course."
- Part 2: Staring Through the Demons, art by _audrey. Pairings: Frank/Gerard, Ray/Mikey. Rated: Mature. Mikey pov.
Pete and Patrick were still looking expectant, so Mikey said, "So we're a group of...traveling...personal grooming experts. I guess."
Patrick looked at Gerard. "And their priest."
"We're very spiritual," Ray mumbled.
- Part 3: Heaven Help Us, art by theopteryx. Pairings: Frank/Gerard, Ray/Mikey. Rated: Explicit. Frank pov. Title from MCR's B-side song of the same name.
"It would seem," the Cardinal finished, "that Father Way's body has disappeared."
There was a silence. Eventually Bob said, "What the fuck?"
"Yes," said the Cardinal. "Quite."
Two small, happy codas followed in August and September 2009:
- During Working Hours, Ray/Mikey, rated G, Mikey pov.
- Turning Point, Frank/Gerard, rated Explicit, Gerard pov.
Years after its creation, Unholyverse continues to be featured on rec lists and to inspire fans to post quotes and create art and edits inspired by the story. See for example the fuckyeahunholyverse Tumblr.
- Additional art for the story: see for example theopteryx's unholyverse tag and two pieces by clytie.
- Podfics: Several podficcers have tried their hand at the verse. Sadly, the earliest one has since gafiated from Bandom and took their podfic down.
- Fanmix: Angels Lead You In by ciel_vert. (Jan. 6th, 2012)
- MCR - I am All Things Unholy fic cover by bunnyluz, posted to deviantart December 8, 2008
- Unholy by vachuu, posted to deviantart July 29, 2012
- illustrations by reflectedeve, posted Feb. 4th, 2009
Examples of comments on the work:
I'm leaving my comment here because I have finally finished the entire Unholyverse. And let me just say....fhkdlahshdks I don't even know if I can coherently, appropriately, and accurately explain in the correct detail that I want just how much I loved this entire series. (Especially this very last part!) I am a sucker for longing and tension and holy fuck Catholicism, so this was obviously the most perfect combination for me. This was the most brilliantly written piece of work that I've ever read. Especially since you combined the boys with workplace and then morphed it into a gang of evil fighters that fucking parallels shit and then ALL OF THE RESEARCH that must have been done, just like. Shit. I am in AWE. I feel like I could go on and on and on about this, but I'm going to try to keep my flailing to a minimum. [...] So basically, you hit all of my weaknesses in the most lovely way. I feel like I owe you something for this experience. Like seriously. But all I have are words. So. Thank you for writing this.
I've just got to say that this is and will probably always remain one of my favorite fanfictions ever. In fact, I barely even consider it a fanfic - it's just so amazing. Your characterization of everyone was fantastic, and you were somehow able to make me laugh in one paragraph and cry in the next. And the religious stuff was so great. My grandpa is actually a pastor and this story allowed me to have a lot of really interesting discussions with him.
I enjoyed every second of this, and the fact that it was so long and there was so much TENSION and PINING made it all the more sweet when they finally got together.
So very, very, very well done.
Alright, so I couldnt leave without leaving a comment. I just couldn't. I stumbled upon this on accident and in the start I wasnt so sure if i wanted to read it. Let me fucking tell you though, these series changed my life. I couldnt wait to read more and I stayed up until like 6 am. All three fics were captivating and your way of writing is incredible seriously. I felt so connected with the characters and the story (you dont understand how much i cried lmao). I havent read some quality shit for a while and this.. this is great. The best thing ive read in ages. Looking forward to reading it again very soon. I also learned more about christianity than i did from 9 years of school tbh
Examples of recs for the verse:
The unholyverse is an epic of three long stories that is legendary in MCR bandom. Now, bear with me, it's an AU in which Gerard is a priest. But it's absolutely amazing, brilliantly written and LAUGH OUT LOUD hilarious.
What I love about this ‘verse, truly, is the way the author obviously loves the characters. She writes each of the characters so perfectly, seriously, her voices couldn’t be better. The extent to which she makes them love each other is just breathtaking. And, for anyone who’s half as much a Buffy-geek as I am, there’s a running dialogue on Buffy throughout all three epic stories. [...]
Again in my top ten stories, this fic is actually currently at the number one position. The way bexless deals with the religious aspects in this is simply perfect. It's so simple to find a couple facts about religion, but bexless went above and beyond, really getting the dilemmas a priest would have to deal with. It's so rare to find well-researched religion in fic, finding not only that but so much more makes this fic a step above the rest.
This is one of the best fics I've ever read. There is no excuse not to read it. It's a pretty wild AU, so you can easily pretend that it's an awesome original fic. I don't always trust past!me when it comes to fic quality (my tastes change wildly) but I remember when I first read this and I was breathless the whole way and it kinda made my heart explode in a couple of places. Amazing. Seriously. Read it.
- Unholyverse by Bexless
- Tumblr search results for 'Unholyverse'
- AO3 comment by onceuponamoon, posted on Part 5 Aug 7, 2011. Accessed May 11, 2016.
- AO3 comment by magisterpavus, posted on Part 3 Feb 6, 2013. Accessed May 11, 2016.
- AO3 comment by oops_hi_af, posted on Part 5 Oct 18, 2015. Accessed May 11, 2016.
- Fanfic Recs / Real Person Fic on TvTropes.com, accessed May 11, 2016.
- Unholyverse by bexless (NC-17) by cheetahannabel, posted to the epic-recs LJ community on Oct 20, 2010. Accessed May 11, 2016.
- Bandom: Unholyverse by bexless by jerakeen, posted to the fancake DW community 2012-11-13, accessed May 11, 2016.