aurilly: (sark/sydney)
[personal profile] aurilly
I have so many feelings about these ships and I love thinking up prompts, so these letters always spiral out of control. But please don’t panic! If none of the prompts work for you, feel free to ignore them. The fact that you’re writing one of these pairings is enough to make me so happy, so go wherever the muse takes you. As long as you’re having fun, I’m sure I’ll love it. Thank you! :D

General Notes:
• I already ship these, but I still want to be sold on them! Show me why they should be together and why the pairing is stronger/healthier/happier than the sum of its parts. I love seeing characters learn new things about each other and grow to care about each other (or learn/care even more, if their romance or friendship is canon). If at all possible, I'd like for at least a little plot or a problem/project they work on together, even if it's somewhat handwaved or mundane or facile. Just anything to show that they work well together outside of purely romantic pursuits.
• I want pairings to get themselves together and work through their own hiccups, without yentas or shovel talks.
• Pining is nice, but I'd rather not have it at all if it's because of OOC insecurity or silly miscommunications, or if it wholly consumes anyone.
• I like fics where new things happen and people talk and do things, so no missing scenes, PWPs, pure fluff, or introspective character studies, please.
• I’ll be equally happy with any rating, though for slash I'm more into kissing, oral, hands or frottage than anal.

Things I Love:
Banter: humorous; snarky; literary; flirty; fondly exasperated; characters with wildly contrasting speech patterns
Friends: having one another’s backs; cheering one another up; hanging out; enjoying one another's company; quietly heroic or self-sacrificial gestures; happy and/or unexpected reunions; laughing at one another; mixtures of self-help, tough love and caring support
Journeys: trains; ships; hotels; realm-jumping; time travel; European jet-setting; visits; vacations gone awry
Forced or Repeated Proximity: slow build; friends, partners, roommates or neighbors fall in love; forced to share a room/bed; captured or stranded together; undercover as a couple; casual sex that slips into more
Adventures: exploring unknown territory; daring rescues or escapes; espionage and missions; bondage in non-sexual situations; reluctant allies; on the run; desperate last stands that turn out okay; canonically plausible supernatural stuff; worldbuilding
Badassery: competence and resourcefulness; laughing in the face of danger or absurdity; wound tending
Other Tropes: in vino veritas; fish out of water; identity porn; Groundhog Day; the pen is mightier than the sword; angst with a happy or hopeful ending; earning your happy ending; finding home where you least expect it
Sex-Related: slightly awkward but lovely and satisfying sex (bonus points for laughter); inexperienced characters who are active and not completely clueless participants

No, Thanks:
• non-canon pairings other than the ones specifically requested
• crack, fusions and alternate setting AUs (major canon divergences are totally fine)
• embarrassment/humiliation
Bleakness: eternally unresolved UST; unhappy endings
Schmoop: pet names; proposals; sappy "I love you"s (I prefer when characters convey the sentiment through actions and gestures rather than words)
Sex & Relationship-Related: noncon/dubcon; underage; soulmates; love at first sight; Dom/sub dynamics; adultery; love triangles or OT3s; pregnancy & kids
Writing Things: 1st & 2nd person POV; phonetically spelled dialogue

Crossovers
• I love both watching characters interact and the crossover logistics that allow them to meet; however, if I have to choose, I'd much prefer the character interactions. If you're stuck or running short on time, I'm more than happy to handwave past the set-up and start almost in media res--or even exposit that they met once in the past--so most of the fic can be about their relationship and UST and stuff.
• I get sad when crossover characters never get even an inkling about one another's secrets, or where the fic takes place entirely pre-canon so that there's nothing interesting to find out. For example, Bucky doesn't need to go to Narnia, but please let him learn about or figure out at least some portion of Susan's story, instead of ending the fic with him thinking she's just some regular girl.


Psmith/Mike (PG Wodehouse)
Every time Psmith throws himself on his sword for Mike makes me cry in a way that I don’t think Wodehouse books are supposed to make you cry. I love how awesome and dapper and clever and eccentric and weirdly heroic he is. I love how Mike, in his own delightfully ordinary way, holds his own, and how he rolls his eyes but quietly loves Psmith just as much. Their epic devotion and odd couple dynamic are the best. There’s so much they feel but don’t say, even Psmith’s incessant talking. Who is the forward one here, or do they bumble equally in their own ways? I like the idea that romance with Mike is the one area where Psmith might be slightly shy or awkward or confusing or… something. Does he try to hide his nerves/inexperience? Or not? Maybe he actually is smooth, but that’s the wrong approach with Mike.

What about an adventure outside their comfort zone (desert island, murder mystery, espionage, Narnia, etc) that forces out feelings? A Psmithian take on some aspect of college life? A wild night out and its ramifications during the bank days? A brief and very lightly angsty rift that helps you dig into their relationship before it gets happily resolved? Do they know the Drones gang? Does Psmith even have other friends? If so, what's he like with them vs Mike? Something that addresses how others view their dynamic could be a fun element to include.

While a little angst and longing is great, I’d like something in the upbeat spirit of the books. Having to keep it secret is fine, but if you could avoid un-Wodehousian anguish and depressing real life issues, without actually pretending them away, I’d really appreciate it. Or if Psmith cleverly and cheerfully uses the issues to his advantage in a way that's fun instead of a downer, that would be okay. Please set it before they met their wives, or pretend they never did.

Pythagoras/Icarus (Atlantis TV UK)
My heart hasn’t felt this full in years. They are both darling, their friendship was lovely (they make a great team!), and the storyline was wonderfully done. I love their earnestness and how their first instinct is to bottle up their pain, even as they wear their bleeding hearts on their sleeves. I love Pythagoras’s quiet strength, wry humor, detached braininess, and grumpy irritability. Daedalus was loving and awesome--I loved their weird banter, where Icarus was the responsible one--but he seemed not to think much of his son's intelligence or courage, even though Icarus was very clever and resourceful in his own way. What's it like to be the son and boyfriend of geniuses? Pythagoras is my favorite, but I love the entire final Team Jason ensemble (plus Medea). I love what a dork everyone could be and how devoted and jolly all the friendships were. I love how all the protagonists are genuinely good people, but not boring.

Tell me what happens next! It could be slice of life on the ship, a stop in a port to get supplies, a storm hits, a run-in with a myth the show never touched on… Anything! God, I love a sea quest—cramped cabins, hammocks, swimming, watching stars from the crow’s nest, deserted beaches... What about a stop on an island with a magical premise that results in emotional development? I’d love some tender, fumbling first times—not only sexual ones. Does Icarus (perhaps unnecessarily) continue to try to make up for his betrayal? Does Pythagoras need to integrate him into the group? Is combining friends weird for him? If you don't want to write quest fic, I'd be just as thrilled with a canon divergence that has them doing something else, or that imagines a different way they might have gotten together.

Shannon/Sayid (Lost)
I need a happily ever after in real life for these two. Instead of missing scenes from the beach camp seasons or flashbacks, I would love a canon divergence that pretends they were both Oceanic Sixers, or part of Sawyer & Co. in the 1970s, and/or escaped in the end. Or assume she was part of the 70s group (or in the woods with Claire) while he was an Oceanic Sixer; the fic could be about their life together in the 70s or their life together post-series. Or some other premise in that vein. How do they build new lives in these new situations? Different challenges to face, skills each brings to the table, learning even more about one another. I love odd couples who work despite cultural differences and temperamental contrasts. Shannon brought out Sayid's dorky, relaxed gentlemanly side. He helped her gain more confidence/utility and be less knee-jerk defensive. But he didn't stop getting shit done and she didn't stop dropping hilariously bitchy truth bombs.

This is my all-time favorite show. I love the found family aspect. I love the feel-good message of everyone learning to get over the baggage that was holding them back from being their best selves. I love the cracked out mythology. I love all the hanging out scenes and how they made the best of their insane lives. I'm not keen on Jack or Ben, but they're fine as part of the ensemble. Feel free to ignore any other canon deaths you want. Sayid's zombie state was so weird and sad; skipping over it or pretending it away is more than fine. I don't want anyone bashed, but it's fine to pretend Sayid/Nadia never met up again or that he’s over her death by the time he and Shannon reunite. No sideways universe, please!

Once Upon a Time
Pairing: Whale|Frankenstein/Jefferson|Mad Hatter

I squealed when my two favorite characters turned out to be dimension-hopping bros! What was their first meeting like? What if they originally met and became friends through Jefferson’s realm-jumping, rather than Rumple being involved? Or not? Untold pre-curse adventures? Partnerships between science and magic? Angst about Gerhardt? Or maybe something that starts during or after the curse. Picking up the pieces of their relationship post-curse? Or do they only get together then? Do they leave Storybrooke together, via a hat, or on a roadtrip exploring our world? Something playing with how both of them seemed annoyed by their reputations in the stories of this world? Jefferson was so tortured during the curse, and Whale was so suicidal after; helping each other heal could be lovely.

(I’m about to go on for a bit, but I swear I’ll be just as happy with solely pre-curse stuff)… I was always curious about the concept of identity and the mental/emotional impact of the curse. How do you reconcile memories that actually happened with the ones that were implanted? How do you reconcile traits the curse gave you with the person you used to be? For example, if every day was the same for 28 years, and he didn't have sex on that 'day', then Snow might be the only person Victor has actually slept with, despite the reputation. Jefferson had two sets of memories the whole time; how much of what we saw was his curse self manifesting despite himself? Some of these concepts might have been addressed in canon (I have no idea) but not for these guys; you could explore applications of canon explanations to them, or write your own thing that contradicts canon.

I love all the possible contrasts between and combinations of: earnest, reclusive, second son, scientist Victor; snarky, mercenary, adventurer-thief Jefferson; snarky, arrogant horndog (but still a caring doctor and decent guy) Whale; and desperate, crazed Jefferson. I'm not that into Papa!Jefferson, so minimal Grace|Paige, please. Or ignore her existence entirely. I stopped watching in late season 2, right after August ‘died’, because it became clear that the characters I liked best (Whale, Jefferson, August, Ruby, Graham) probably wouldn't be back. But I'm still obsessed with this pairing. Neither was plugged into the main plot, so hopefully my canon limitations won't be too hard to work with? (fingers crossed)

Loki/Jefferson (MCU/OUAT)
Pairing: Loki/Jefferson|Mad Hatter

Is Loki tied to how Jefferson started jumping? Is Jefferson tied to how Loki learned how to travel between realms? Did one of them get stranded somewhere? Both stranded together? Reluctant allies trying to get home? Any ties between this ship and canon stuff that happened to either of them? Jefferson’s quite the con artist; did he ever pull one over on Loki? Jefferson was stealing stuff from many realms for Rumple; did he ever try to steal from Asgard? Loki trying to steal magic from the Enchanted Forest? UST-y rivals after the same magical artifact? Maybe Jefferson was lost to the curse and Loki angstily searched for him, and the story's about how they reunite afterwards.

A lot of what I wrote in the Jefferson/Whale section above applies here, too. I like Loki as snarky, emotionally guarded, damaged, self-serving, trickster asshole or Chaotic Neutral Type 4 (which is why I think he’d be great with Jefferson), not evil or insane. And I don't buy him as someone who flirts with/sleeps with a lot of people (which makes it that much more special when he does fall for someone). It’s fine if they start out as rivals or manipulating one another, as long as they genuinely like each other by the end. Or they can like each other from the start. Whatever feels right to you!

I don’t want a same actor crossover, so please ignore Jefferson’s resemblance to Bucky. Since I stopped watching in late season 2, I’d prefer something that doesn’t feature the larger OUAT plot too much. Crossovers where characters never find out about one another make me sad; please don’t let the story end with either one thinking the other is just some regular guy. You can even skip past the meet-cute, if you want, and focus on when they're about to get together, or about to reunite after having already been together.

Susan Pevensie/Bucky Barnes (MCU/Narnia)
**general MCU notes at end of letter**
Something about memory and loss and lives ripped from you and trains and perfect aim and funky time passage/aging and skills you can only sometimes access… So many good themes! I like that they both have dualities. There's the courtly queen who rebuilt a kingdom and who'll ride out to the wars when requested (but prefers not to), but also Susan the English girl trying to create a life here. There's the easy-going, sarcastic Brooklyn charmer, but even before he became the Winter Soldier, the montage in TFA suggested Bucky had the capacity for cold, single-minded, deadly focus. And after all that, they both have such tragedies to live with. However you can think of to get them together when they're about the same age, without changing when they were born, will be amazing (luckily, Susan was ~25 twice!). Below are some ideas, but you can also handwave the magic if you're stuck, so you can get right to their interactions.

I love Susan using her Narnian skills in our world. Maybe she met Steve and/or Bucky in NYC during VotDT, and runs into Bucky again years later? I enjoy the fanon of her and Edmund as diplomats/spies; maybe they are related to Jarvis or Peggy... but I’m also love something new. Does she get frozen, too, maybe of her own volition, or not? Something set in Narnia would be fun, too. Maybe Schmidt (sort of like Uncle Andrew) used Bucky as a guinea pig, accidentally sent him to the Golden Age with the Tesseract, but didn’t know it worked because no time passed? Or Hydra/SHIELD uses the rings to send Bucky to Narnia, where he is at least temporarily cured. Or adult Susan and Bucky use the rings to hang with Tirian or Rilian (who has similar issues as Bucky). Asgard works, too. Another option is a premise I've always wanted to read (but no pressure!). Assume Susan used the rings to go on solo adventures as an adult. The time wonkiness works differently this time, so that it's the modern day here when she returns. Skip over the adventure in the other world and start the story when she returns. This premise would allow her to meet or reunite with Bucky in the present, when they're about the same age, and both time displaced. Bonus points if, for some reason, Susan unexpectedly busts out that ridiculously courtly speech, with Bucky being like, "...??"

I like book Susan who sometimes makes mistakes or gets scared or snippy, etc., but who is still capable, noble and brave when it counts. I'm less into completely flawless, eternally unruffled Susan. It's okay if they have mismatched ages a second (or first?) time they meet where it's gen, but please keep all attraction age-appropriate, and please don't do a thing where she's super old while he's still young, like Steve/Peggy (so sad!). You can let Susan rise above the tragedy of the train crash or you can ignore The Last Battle to have Narnia continue and keep everyone alive with her (or just Edmund), but please don’t include the afterlife. You could even ignore that she and her family had a rift at all.

Sydney Bristow/Bucky Barnes or Sydney Bristow/Steve Rogers (Alias/MCU)
**general MCU notes at end of letter**
All three are sarcastic badasses; something that showcases their competence and senses of humor, in addition to the romance, would make my life. Maybe SHIELD/Hydra/Avengers team up with SD6/CIA/Covenant/Irina/etc and assigns crossover partners? Rival organizations after the same prize? People going rogue to do the right thing? Does Irina’s KGB/Hydra past lead to character interactions? Or maybe Sark and Nat were in the same kiddie training program or he has a history with the Winter Soldier. A Rambaldi/Asgardian artifact sends Sydney back in time to WWII or the Cold War, and she meets Steve and/or Bucky again when she gets back? Does Rambaldi mythology intersect with MCU in some other way? Maybe an MCU baddie hires Sark the way every villain hires Sark, which brings Syd and Steve or Bucky together to take them down. Do Steve and Sydney team up to track Bucky down?

There's such a rich seam for Syd/Bucky, with themes of amnesia, brainwashing, forced to work for the enemy, being presumed dead. How about some angsty thing where 'Julia Thorne' was partnered with/sleeping with the Winter Soldier and then they meet again after he's been cured/she's been mind-wiped? Did he have a period of lucidity while with her? Is she the only person besides Steve who believes in him? Does he turn to her for help post-TWS/during season 3, either coincidentally or because of a previous history together?

Depressed Steve working for SHIELD although his heart wasn't in it/finding out he was working for the bad guys reminded me of depressed Syd who came back to life and worked for the CIA although her heart wasn't in it/discovering she was working for the bad guys. I'd love to see them find comfort in one another. She said she wanted to leave spy work, and he's been looking for something else; can they make new lives together? Maybe Natasha's efforts at setting Steve up have come to nothing, but Pepper knows a nice girl in LA with 'shared life experiences'...?

While both guys and their friendship are welcome, please pick only one pairing. It's up to you exactly how the seasons/movies line up, but please pretend Alias happens during MCU's timeline instead of aging Syd up. I adore Jack and Sark, so if they find their way into the story, yay, but no pressure. Without bashing him, I'd love a canon divergence where Sydney/Vaughn never got together or where she gets over him. I moved to a place without a TV after season 3, and by the time I moved back, everyone told me Sark and Irina had largely stopped being in it, and babies, etc, so I decided not to finish. But those three seasons are my second favorite show ever! Espionage + Indiana Jones = perfection, I loved Sydney's duality as hardcore badass and super sweet literature student, all the friendships and father/daughter stuff was the greatest, and I loved the mild scifi element. Something that diverges from canon in seasons 1-3, or set just after season 3 and/or during the missing years would be amazing.

MCU Crossover Notes:
— The only characters I'm not keen on are Sharon, Darcy, Sousa and Thompson. I haven't seen Agents of SHIELD or Daredevil, and I'm not familiar with the comics.
— I ship 'Bucky' with people. Some Winter Soldier or low-key recovery time is fine, and recovering his memory can be a project for the fic, but please let him quickly snap back to something approaching his original personality, with a sense of humor. Or just handwave him to complete recovery (albeit with residual angst). Or make up some Rambaldi, Asgardian or Narnian magic that could cure him quickly.
— Please let Steve and Bucky speak correctly (as correctly as the other Avengers and Sydney do), not saying "ain’t" all the time, even in the 40s.

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aurilly

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