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[personal profile] aurilly
Thanks so much for signing up for one of these ships! These letters always spiral embarrassingly out of control, but please don't feel pressured to stick to the prompts, or think I'm looking for a bunch of things I mentioned to be included. You can twist a single sentence from the prompt sections around, or ignore the prompts entirely and try to include one of the 'Things I Love' into your own idea. These pairings are all rare enough that I'll be thrilled with pretty much anything you're having fun writing. And the length of the sections is no indication of how much I want something. I want them all equally!

Things I Love
Devoted Odd Couples: having one another’s backs; enjoying one another's company; laughing at one another; fond exasperation; quietly self-sacrificial gestures; unexpected reunions; characters with wildly different speech patterns
Earning Your Happy Ending: getting over some of your baggage; finding home where you least expect it
Forced or Repeated Proximity: friends, partners, roommates or neighbors fall in love; forced to share a room/bed; captured or stranded together; undercover as a couple; marriage of convenience; arranged marriage
Adventures & Journeys: exploring unknown territory; daring rescues or escapes; trains; ships; hotels; European jet-setting; vacations gone awry; Groundhog Day (this is my favorite trope, regardless of whether or not the canon has magic... but I do have a caveat, explained here)
Competence & Resourcefulness: high-functioning teams; badassery; laughing in the face of danger or absurdity; the pen is mightier than the sword
Dorks Doing It: first times; awkward but satisfying sex where everyone's having fun (and maybe laughing a bit); exploring and learning one another; lots of kissing
Alternate "I Love You"s: I vastly prefer when characters demonstrate the sentiment through actions or other words, like Jed's "I'll take that hand now" line, or Psmith taking the blame for Mike

No, Thanks
• romantic pairings other than the ones specifically requested (please pretend that any conflicting canon pairings amicably broke up offscreen before the fic started, or never dated at all)
• alternate setting AUs (but wild canon divergences are totally welcome! as long as you keep the setting and character backstories, I don't care how much of the canon plot you ignore or change)
• embarrassment/humiliation; bleak endings
Sex & Relationship-Related: noncon/dubcon; soulmates; Dom/sub dynamics; adultery; love triangles; OT3s; pregnancy & kids; pure fluff; pining that drags on because of low self-esteem or other non-impediments; non-canonical pet names or terms of endearment (but canon ones are lovely!)
Writing Things: 1st & 2nd person POV; phonetically spelled dialogue

General Notes
• I want the requested characters to figure out and deal with stuff for themselves (ex. realizing their feelings are requited, taking a risk with a declaration or romantic gesture, etc.), without yentas, shovel talks, or pseudo-therapist friends giving them the answers.

• I like fics where people talk and do new things, so no missing scenes or introspective character studies, please. I don't need a lot of set-up or explanations for how characters got here or why this weird thing is happening. Starting in media-res is always good.

• A few of these are friends-to-lovers dynamics. I love multiple approaches. For example: 1) Where they realize they have more than platonic feelings, or have been lightly crushing for a while, and resolving that UST. 2) Start the story right after the first kiss/declaration, setting it during the days or weeks that follow. The relationship does change; it isn’t simply friends + sex. Working through that transition and learning new things about one another—both wonderful and irritating—that didn't come up before. 3) Friends with benefits or 'sex before feelings' that becomes more serious during the story.

Lymond Chronicles - Dorothy Dunnett
Pairing: Christian Stewart/Francis Crawford

I'd like a canon divergence AU about Francis and Christian being happy and whole together after the first book. What if they'd gotten the formal introduction they wished for? Adventures together in the time between the first and second books? Or pretend the rest of the books didn't happen; what kinds of hyper-competent hijinks would they have gotten up to? The books skipped over the first year of Francis's reinstatement into Scottish high society; what would that have been like with Christian at his side? How would their friends and family react to them as a couple? Their meetings in the book were always so (necessarily) isolated; what about a social event to explore how they, as a unit, might interact with the ensemble? Are they capable of settling into normal life, or would they quickly give up and run away for more adventures? Undercover as a couple? Arranged marriage or marriage of convenience that turns real? Throwing some magical realism into the canon?

The first book is far and away my favorite. Francis is so much more FUN in The Game of Kings—more random poetry and foreign quotes and clever pranks and self-satisfied snark and lucid drunkenness. And they have so much fun together, despite all the angst. I love their secret visits and correspondence and music. I love the way they conspire so dangerously, but at the same time, she's the only person he seems to truly relax around. I love how her blindness never stops her from being ridiculously capable. I love the way he understands exactly how she wants to be treated, and quietly helps her get what she wants out of life. I love their equal amounts of self-sacrificing love for one another, and the way she always has his number, even when he doesn't know it.

I love all the characters from the first book, so anyone else you want can appear. I think Sybilla shipped it (Agnes and little Mary probably did, too); while I don't like matchmaking, I do enjoy subversions where people try to set them up, not realizing the people are already secretly dating.

Gossip Girl
Pairing: Serena van der Woodsen/Carter Baizen

I'd really like a canon divergence or post-series story where they are happily endgame (so, not solely a flashback to Santorini or their summer in Europe). They were languorously glamorous and world-weary together in a way that felt oddly right to me. I loved the connection to one another that they just can't kick, and how there's a little hurt woven in with the lightness and fun they have together. They're hot messes and both striving to overcome it. I adore Serena and I loved how she was one of the only things Carter seemed actually serious and real about. I enjoy all the other characters, too, so anyone else is welcome to appear.

I love the way they keep running away together. The way he'll do anything for her, but also calls her out on her shit. The way they so easily fall back into a rhythm, even if they haven't seen one another in awhile. The way they are equally happy partying around Europe and being domestic with poptarts. The way he's always grinning during their make-outs. The way she laughed at the mischief he managed at the debutante ball. The way he never wears a belt despite being otherwise immaculately dressed (no, really, what is with that?). The way she makes him want to be better, and the way he sees and loves her for who she is.

Do they play the paparazzi? Do they inherit all the money (or maybe become successful on their own steam?) and become king and queen of New York? More European jet-setting adventures? Do they run away to live barefoot but happy? Something in-between? Does she rescue him from the oil rig? Do they get into marriages of convenience with other people who don't mind that they're having a permanent secret affair (like, maybe her husband is a closeted prince and his wife... IDK, whatever)? Does she find him again when things almost immediately fall apart with Dan (or just ignore the finale completely)? Something where Serena gets involved with Carter's family/inheritance/whatever drama that kept getting mentioned but never fleshed out? Does he end up back in good graces, or does he need her help to get there? Some kind of adventure or mystery they have to face that demonstrates how great they are together and what a good team they make? The plot thing could be canon-relevant, or totally random, or even magical realism; it doesn't matter.

Penny Dreadful
Pairing: Victor Frankenstein/Vanessa Ives

I shipped it even in season one, and then season two happened! All their heart to hearts, hilarious shopping trips, that beautiful scene on the settee... I’m in love with their playfully arch banter and devoted, not-actually siblings dynamic. I’d love something set after season 2 (or a canon divergence that branches off or twists away at any time before) where their friendship turns into more. Does Vanessa invite him to live in Granage Place? Does she prefer his garret? Can she—with her ghoulish love of taxidermy and giving life to dead things—assist him with science? Do they go on a vampire-hunting mission, just the two of them? Or do they leave London entirely? What’s her reaction to finding out about what he gets up to when he's not dealing with her Satan drama? How do they help each other with their various issues?

Other thoughts/prompts... These misfits have both drifted a long way from their similarly posh country childhoods. If their personalities and paths had been a bit different, they might have been introduced at a ball and considered a good match. Something exploring the dichotomy between the high society Victorian lifestyle they were born into and the Gothic demi-monde they now inhabit would be fascinating. What about a trip to Bath or some other place that their fancy names get them into but where their personalities don't quite fit? Undercover as a couple or marriage of convenience would be amazing. Do Victor’s brothers unexpectedly die and he inherits everything? Does society shun Vanessa as a tainted woman, or was the scandal and her subsequent ‘madness’ kept secret?

I’m less interested in Victor’s relationships with his creations than I am in his struggles to connect with the living. I love how the entire universe strives to vanquish or claim Vanessa, but she doesn't let it completely get her down. Victor is so lonely, and all of Vanessa’s previous sexual/romantic encounters have been so fraught; it would be lovely if they found something good in their shared darkness. Please don't have Vanessa angsting over Ethan; I really want her and Victor to feel like endgame. No possession sex of any kind, please, though the demon trying to appear only to be vanquished is fine. It's cool if they talk about him, but I'm not a fan of Caliban|John Clare.

Oz - L. Frank Baum
Pairing: Polychrome/Button Bright

These children! They're both always getting lost! I love Button Bright's unshakable equanimity, how people sometimes think he's a genius, and how he ends up solving problems that clever people can't. And Polly is so ethereally delightful. What is it about her that leads her to stray in a way her sisters never do? Anything that digs into their characterizations and deepens their dynamic would be wonderful. A bit of worldbuilding about literally any place or concept in the books, or culture clashes between life in the sky/life in the US/life in Oz would be amazing alongside the romantic stuff.

Does Button Bright not even realize that what he feels is a crush? Or is it Polly who has been crushing on completely oblivious Button Bright? Is love between a sky fairy princess and a dopey American kid frowned upon? I'm looking for something really innocent here--hand-holding, first crushes, hugs, confused longing, eskimo kisses, imperfect first kisses, sweet gestures, awkward declarations, huddling for warmth, accidental touches... Basically, nothing hot and heavy unless you're aging them up to 17+, please! D:

What about a new adventure that the two of them have to face on their own? Polly lost in non-fairyland? Button Bright getting so lost that he ends up back in Philadelphia? Did his family even miss him? Does he have to make up an explanation about who this girl is? Do they stay there a few years, long enough to no longer be kids? How do they get back to fairyland? Or perhaps something set in Oz or any of the other countries covered in the books. Does Button Bright visit Polly on the rainbow? Or, I know people don't age in Oz, but what if some magic adventure leaves them temporarily aged up? Dealing with hormones? Angst about the aging thing? Some shamelessly tropey scenario? Anything!

I love all the books, but Sky Island is what tipped me over into shipping them. He's a little older and smarter in it. Polly always watching over him! But Oz canon should be enough if you haven't read it. I'm fond of everyone (except maybe the Patchwork Girl), so anyone else is welcome to appear in the background; bonus points for Trot, Cap'n Bill, Shaggy Man, Tik-Tok or the Ork. I'll be equally happy with something that keeps it whimsical, or that goes angstier than the books, or that deals more seriously with ramifications of canon concepts, or that plays with the darkness that was sometimes there.

PG Wodehouse
Pairing: Rupert Psmith/Mike Jackson

Psmith being his clever, eccentric, weirdly heroic self, with delightfully normal Mike in tow. I'd love a friends-to-lovers story that happens alongside some kind of plot. What about drawing room espionage, a Scooby Doo-style mystery, or stranded on a desert island? A Psmithian take on some aspect of college life? Study abroad while at Cambridge? A wild night out during their coworker/roommate days and its ramifications? Psmith in the soup and Mike has to save him, instead of the other way around? A briefly angsty rift that helps you dig into their friendship/lives before it gets happily resolved? For some more out-there prompts... What about Marquez-style magical realism, where magic or folkloric elements are presented as ordinary in the otherwise canonical setting? Is the Wodehouse world like the Great Britain of Susanna Clarke, 100 years later?

Psmith is my favorite character of all time, and they are my epically devoted odd couple par excellence. 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 Mike holds his own with Psmith, and how he rolls his eyes but quietly loves him just as much. There’s so much they feel but don’t say, even with Psmith’s incessant talking; in what other ways can those feelings come out? Do they know any of the Drones chappies? Does Psmith even have other friends? If so, what's he like with them vs Mike? If not...? Something that addresses how others view their dynamic could be a fun element to include.

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 clueless 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? Any take would be fascinating! While a little angst and longing are nice, I’d like something in the generally upbeat spirit of the books. If you could avoid un-Wodehousian anguish, angsty coming-outs, and discussion of social issues (without actually pretending those issues away), I'd really appreciate it.

Please set the story before they met their wives, and/or pretend they never did. FYI, 'Mike & Psmith' and 'Psmith In the City' are both free on Gutenberg and the Kindle store; if you've never read them, give it a whirl! They're pretty short and will make you smile. :D

Night at the Museum (Movies)
Pairing: Jedediah/Octavius

I’d love a friends-to-lovers story that happens alongside some sort of adventure or slice of life exploration. Something where they’re both fish out of water and that brings out feelings? An adventure demonstrating how being small is actually awesome? A date in the Halls of Gems and Minerals? Raiding the gift shop for Christmas or Saturnalia presents? Dynamics with non-guard characters (I love Larry, but would rather see more of Jed and Octavius interacting with the NYC museum inhabitant(s) of your choice... or Rebecca!)? Getting out of the museum for fun on the Upper West Side? Adventures in Fairway? A night at the opera?

I’m a sucker for forced proximity, cross-cultural odd couples, enemies-to-friends, and historical/genre mashups. Clearly, this is the ship (and franchise, really) of my most whimsically cracked-out dreams. I clap like a deranged seal at all the earnest dialogue and silly yet dramatically tense shenanigans. I love how resourceful all the museum inhabitants are, and how well they work together, even while perfectly retaining their cultural contrasts. But best of all are Jed and Octavius. I love the glimpses of a philosophical nature behind Jed's bluster, and the cracks in Octavius's stately formality. I love how they're simultaneously brave, intelligent, competent leaders, and also completely ridiculous little shits. I love their can-do spirits, and how their size is no impediment to their ability to save the day.

(I got a little carried away looking at pictures, but please don't feel pressured to do this prompt.) I'm obsessed with the thing where people jump into paintings. A story about Jed and Octavius's relationship during an adventure inside a painting would be amazing. Some paintings across the park that could be fun for these two include: Modern Rome, Ancient Rome (they're in the same gallery), Venus's Toilette, Death of Socrates, Descent Into Hell (please don't let them really be dead), or Versailles panorama (you need to look at the additional images to get this one). And anything could be on loan, anywhere! Seriously, any 'traditional' painting containing people and places would be wonderful. I like modern art, but am more interested in the idea of the paintings being real places/stories for Jed and Octavius to interact with, and where the people they meet think of themselves and their worlds as real.

Please set it before the last movie, or in a canon divergence that pretends its larger plot and themes away so the NYC people can continue to be awake every night (with Ahkmenrah there, too!). And please try not to focus too much on how they aren't real. I know it's part of the point, but meta themes like this depress me, in any canon (as do "the magic is going away, but that's okay" endings; it's not okay!). I'm not looking for a Pinocchio-style fix-it; I just don't want to talk about it. However, exploring tangential themes and worldbuilding elements is totally welcome, such as non-aging, or what it feels like during the day, or whether they ever need to shave, or a sense of ennui, or what it's like to know the outcomes of their own histories. I have a horror of the reptile and giant whale rooms, I'm not a fan of monkeys, and the Larry clone and Teddy bust are part of the theme I want to avoid. I love everything else, though! This was more about my childhood, existential/mortality fears, and 18th century obsession than you probably wanted to know, sorry.

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aurilly

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