aurilly: (loki)
[personal profile] aurilly
Hi there! This is my favorite exchange, which is why this letter has gotten so out of control over the years. I'm so sorry. But, as I hope is clear, I'm excited about an infinite number of things. Write whatever you think you'll have the most fun with for these pairings, and I'm sure I'll love it.

General Notes
The basic idea is that Bucky, Loki, Steve and Thor are my favorites and I LOVE canon divergences. As long as they're still adopted Asgardian princes and Brooklyn boys who get experimented on in WWII, you can change or ignore or rearrange whatever parts of canon you want... no explanation needed.

I love Steve/Bucky, but I'm also a multi-shipper. I'm always hankering for more fic where the duos who don't canonically go together hang out and/or make out. Gen or shippy, I just want them to make ultimately positive connections that leave them a little happier and healthier than they were before, even if it starts out wary or slightly manipulative.

Things I Like
• Competence & Adventures: realm or dimension hopping; fish out of water; badassery and resourcefulness; the pen is mightier than the sword; laughing in the face of danger or absurdity; world-building; unseen connections
• Angst with a Hopeful/Happy Ending: self-help; being jollied or distracted into a better emotional place; finding home where you least expect it
• Forced or Repeated Proximity: reluctant allies; vacations gone awry; captured or stranded together; undercover as a couple; arranged marriage; marriage of convenience
• Devoted Odd Couples: friends to lovers; characters with wildly different speech patterns; fond exasperation; quietly heroic or self-sacrificial gestures; in vino veritas

Do Not Want
• alternate setting or mundane AUs
• romantic pairings other than the ones specifically requested
• Things That Upset Me: the afterlife; major character death; bleak endings; noncon; dark dynamics in my ships; destiny/fate
• Schmoopiness: plotless fluff; non-canonical pet names or terms of endearment
• Sex & Relationship-Related: soulmates; D/s dynamics; OT3s; shovel talks, yentas, and matchmakers; pregnancy; adultery
• Writing Things: 1st & 2nd person POV; phonetically spelled dialogue
• Darcy and Sharon

Canon Knowledge
I've seen all the movies, but I haven’t read any comics or watched the TV shows. I like everyone fine, but I'm still mainly invested in the characters and dynamics introduced in Phase 1.

Sexual Content Likes:
• first times; sloppy makeouts; learning about what each other likes; slightly awkward sex where everyone's enjoying it (and maybe laughing a bit), even if it's also angsty; inexperienced participants who are neither shy nor passive...
• If you like more direction for this sort of thing, there are lists of things I like in the first three paragraphs here, but this letter's long enough, the preferences aren't a big deal, and I like PG13 makeouts just as much, so there's no pressure to read it.

Requested Pairings Across All AU Types: Thor&Bucky, Bucky/Loki, Bucky&Loki, Steve&Loki, Steve/Loki
** Only one romantic pairing per fic, please (or none at all!). But otherwise, feel free to mix and match. While I want at least half the focus on the requested duos, Steve&Bucky and Thor&Loki are, of course, welcome alongside. You can also write either Steve/Bucky or Thor/Loki as background ships if your focus is on a requested gen pairing.

Character Notes:
Thor and Loki: Bonus points if strangers can’t tell if they're brothers, enemies, lovers, friends, or some uncomfortable combination. Please don't write Thor as a socially unaware booming idiot or jerk. You can include Thor/Jane in the background, but you can also pretend their relationship away. I generally see Loki as Chaotic Neutral Type 4, not as totally evil or crazy. If you want, you can canon diverge away much of his villainy, but I don't want him self-flagellating for whatever villainy you do keep. I think he's too stuck in his head to flirt with or sleep with a lot of people--which makes it all the more special when he does fall for someone.

Steve and Bucky: They both have lots of baggage and trauma, but I don't enjoy fics that wallow in that. I'm most interested in seeing them move forward with their lives, develop positive relationships with more people, and inch towards a better place. I love when they're fully functional, competent, socialized, and in possession of a sense of humour. I'm totally fine with angst or conflict as long as there's a happy ending. I have a pet peeve about Steve and Bucky saying things like “ain’t”; can they please speak as properly as they do in the films? Cursing's fine, though. If you're shipping either of them with anyone else, please don't let either one have ever had more than platonic feelings for the other.

Background Stuff: I'd be excited to see Steve and/or Bucky befriend any of the Asgard characters in the background of the featured duo. In terms of Earth characters, I'd be over the moon to see some less common ones. Instead of Natasha, Sam and Tony as side characters, what about Hope, Pepper, or Colonel Philips (or Jane as a friend for Steve or Bucky)?

Canon AU: Met As Children
I'd love anything where Steve and/or Bucky, for some reason, spent time in Asgard in their youth OR young Loki and/or Thor spent time in early 20th century Brooklyn. Maybe the royal family traditionally takes kids from different realms and time periods to be companions for princes for a little while. Maybe teenage princes are traditionally sent on a kind of study abroad, and this trip sent him/them to 1930s NYC. Perhaps wee Bucky and/or Steve fell into a portal and spent time in Asgard. Or it's wee Thor and/or Loki who wandered into a time-space portal and was taken in by the Rogers or Barnes family for awhile. Were they together for just a few days, or longer?

All that said, what I'm most interested in are the ramifications of the childhood bond once they become adults. You can include the flashbacks, but you can also exposit (or totally handwave!) the backstory and write something that's 100% about them as adults. How do they reunite? Did they stay in touch, or has it been so long that they don't even recognize each other at first? Does some duo/trio quest to save their friend(s) from canon events? Getting back in touch to ask for help with a problem or mission? Have they changed over the years, but still get along?

Canon AU - Time Loops/Groundhog Day
I'm a complete sucker for individual journeys of self-discovery. Also, self-help adventures in which people learn life lessons, get themselves over their baggage, figure out their priorities, etc. This trope is amazing for these! I don't care how/why it starts or stops. I'm totally cool with handwaving, or starting in media res, or leaving things unexplained.

My only caveat is that I get a little creeped out if the loop person spends the entire time solely obsessed with making someone fall in love with them, or where character B is treated simply as character A's oblivious reward. As long as the loop person is dealing with something else in addition to the romance stuff, I'll be ecstatic. Or maybe there isn't even romance at all. Or maybe the non-loop person finds a way to play an active role. Or maybe two people are in the loop together, which perhaps they don't initially realize? I love all kinds of twists on the trope, so go wild.

Canon AU - Aether Infected Different Character/Worked Differently
Canon AU - Bucky Didn't Fall from the Train
Canon AU - Bucky Rescued/Escaped Differently
Canon AU - Bucky's Memory Restored Differently
Canon AU - Cap Unfrozen Differently
Canon AU - Characters Met Differently
Canon AU - Identity Porn
Canon AU - Loki Banished Instead of/with Thor
Canon AU - Loki Fell to Earth
Canon AU - Steve Didn't Crash the Plane
Canon AU - Steve Unfrozen Differently
Canon AU - Thor Banished Differently
Canon AU - Thor Fell with Loki

General: My main ask is to please let them find out about each other's alien and supersoldier-ness. Please don't end the story with them thinking the other is just some regular guy! I'm way more interested in seeing how characters work together and bond AFTER they meet than I am in the meet-cute itself. Stories that are all about getting them to the same place and then end make me sad. You can even start in media res, when they're already acquainted.

As you'll see from the completely random prompts below, you don't need to treat the tags literally or focus on the point of divergence. You can set it months or years after the thing(s) in the tag(s), and handwave the background. Whatever! I've put names in the prompts below as placeholders, but you can replace them with the characters you matched on and twist the prompt to make it fit.

All that said, don't feel pressured to write one of the prompts. I'll be just as happy with something inspired by my general likes list instead. Or you could even write one of my crossover prompts here; if you do so, feel free to ignore the requested pairings and write about any of these four MCU characters bonding with my faves from another fandom.

Divergence Prompts: These are random thought-starters in case you're stuck on how to get them together.
— Assume Bucky escaped from Hydra in some other way/at some other time; he went on to live in hiding as a regular person... The story starts a couple of years later when he meets a banished Asgardian prince. Or both of them. What happens?
— Bucky is cured with an Infinity Stone instead of CA:TWS happening. Since it's an Asgardian artifact, is Thor and/or Loki involved? If so, how? What does Bucky do afterwards?
— A few months ago, defrosted Steve went off to quietly live his life instead of immediately being roped back into service. The story starts with him meeting or having already met Loki. What is their relationship like and what do they do together? Does he end up becoming a hero again in some different way?
— Instead of going to New Mexico, Thor (and/or Loki) landed where Bucky is, whether at a Hydra base, or while the WS is doing a mission, or after Bucky's escaped and is living in hiding. How do they help one another?
— Thor and Loki came to Earth to fight the Chitauri together, instead of Loki being the villain, and work with Steve and/or Bucky.
— The Convergence left wounded Loki stranded on Earth, to be found and taken in by Steve and/or Bucky.

Steve and/or Bucky IN SPACE!: I am so obsessed with sending them to Asgard, you don't even know. I will love anything, but here are some ideas...
— Instead of falling off the train/crashing the plane, Steve and/or Bucky follow Red Skull wherever he went and meet Asgardians
— Does Heimdall beam Bucky or Steve up to Asgard (possibly while they are crashing or falling, thus saving them)? Why? When? Does Frigga take a shine to him?
— Steve asks Thor to take Bucky to Asgard because he's a wanted man on Earth
— Loki and/or Thor return to Asgard with the person who took care of him during his banishment
— Assume Yondu kidnapped the Winter Soldier from Earth and sold him to a slave market/gladiator pit/whatever in Knowhere. The story starts with Sif and Volstagg liberating him for some reason and taking him back to Asgard, where he meets Thor and/or Loki. Or you could even background that and start with him in Asgard having already met them... Anything!
— What if Bucky had been the one to coincidentally find the Aether, and thus get drawn into Asgard drama? What if they had been able to harness it and use it, and completely change the story, instead of being damseled?

Identity Porn: I love "Lois & Clark" style secret identity drama as well as quotidian versions like "You've Got Mail" (but not a copy of that movie, please). Masks, amnesia, magic, lame lies, angst about the love interest preferring another version of you, which one is real vs a role, erroneous but logical theories, the reveal... I love it all.

Coffee Shops & Bars: I know it's usually customer/employee, but I'll be just as thrilled with customer/customer (or customer & customer) or some other variation, with OCs as the staff. Unless it's an undercover mission, the only characters I buy having these jobs are Bucky and banished!Thor.
— Does escaped and living in hiding Bucky have two jobs, not realizing that his regular customer from the café and his regular customer from the bar are alien brothers?
— Loki and any of the humans as regulars who meet while teaming up to save their favorite café. How might their different skills and personalities work together?
— Captain America is Loki's nemesis, but he likes this guy named Steve who frequents his favorite coffee shop. How does he find out they are one and the same?
— Do banished!Thor and escaped!Bucky become friends while working together, leading to them helping one another in other areas of their lives (ex. Bucky's long-standing crush on Steve or Thor's problems with his brother)?

Roommates & Neighbors: You can show the first few days or weeks of cohabitation, or you can skip ahead to start at a time when they're already settled. How do they work together and in what quotidian ways do they annoy and/or delight one another?
— Thor and Loki would seem pretty bizarre to people who don't know who they really are; do Steve and/or Bucky become fascinated with their neighbors?
— Thor asks Steve if his brother can stay with him (and Bucky?) for awhile, or Steve asks if his friend can lie low with Thor (and Loki? in Asgard?)
— Maybe the fact that they met via a Craigslist ad is what informs their dynamic, but the story is about Loki taking his roommate Bucky home for the holidays (which Bucky finds out is Asgard, wtf)?

Home Exchanges: I love the idea of playing house in someone else's space, making unlikely new friends, rubbing up against the absent person's life, and finding healing by escaping your day-to-day routine. A&B's-neighbor or A/B's-brother or friend are lovely options, but I don't want a retelling of "The Holiday". You don't even have to cover both locations; it could be more of an AirBnB situation.
— Does Steve sublet his room while he's on a long mission so Bucky won't be alone?
— What ideas does the visitor form of the absent homeowner based on his stuff? Does the visitor inadvertently end up fixing problems in the absent homeowner's life, or get dragged into his drama?
— Maybe A comes home earlier than expected to overlap with B's stay, turning it into a "forced to share a room/flat" trope?
— Maybe Captain America's identity is secret or no one knows they're aliens stranded on Earth; how does the visitor learn that something is off about whoever lives here?
— Does Loki arrange for an unsuspecting vacationing human stranger to stay in his room in the palace as a prank on his family?
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September 2017


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