aurilly: (edmund profile)
[personal profile] aurilly
Thanks so much for offering one of these ships! My letters are too long because I get so excited, 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 prompt around, or use just a bit of one, or ignore the prompts entirely and try to include one of the general likes in your own idea. These pairings are all rare enough that I'll be thrilled with pretty much anything you're having fun writing.

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; angst with a hopeful ending
Forced or Repeated Proximity: forced to share a room/bed; captured or stranded together; bondage in non-sexual, plot-related scenarios; Groundhog Day-style time loops
Adventures & Journeys: exploring unknown territory; daring rescues or escapes; trains; ships; hotels; realm-hopping; vacations gone awry
Competence & Resourcefulness: complementary skill sets; badassery; clever ruses; laughing in the face of danger or absurdity; the pen is mightier than the sword
Dorks Doing It: first times; slightly awkward but satisfying sex where everyone's having fun (and maybe laughing a bit); exploring and learning one another; passionate, sloppy makeouts
Alternate "I Love You"s: I almost never like "I love you"s, but I adore 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
Crossover-Related: fish out of water; magic in one canon originates from another; people trying to understand elements of the other canon through the lens of their own; assume that characters have a past together and reunite in the present to solve a problem; coming up with logical but incorrect theories before discovering the truth

No, Thanks
• the afterlife; major character death; bleak endings; embarrassment/humiliation
• alternate setting AUs and fusions (but wild canon divergences are totally welcome! as long as you keep the general setting and character backstories, I don't care how much of the canon plot you ignore or change)
• romantic pairings other than the ones specifically requested (and only one requested pairing per fic, please)
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 idiocy; non-canonical pet names or terms of endearment; fixed top/bottom dynamics; underage
Writing Things: 1st & 2nd person POV; phonetically spelled dialogue; Bucky and Steve saying "ain't" (can they please speak as properly as they do in canon? cursing's fine though)
Crossover-Related: stories where the two main characters never find out about one another's backgrounds or canons (ie. please don't end it with either one thinking the other is just some normal guy!); non-canonical fourth wall breakage; tragic, Steve/Peggy-style age mismatches

General Notes
• I like 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, pure porn, or introspective character studies, please. Starting in media-res is always fine. You can even skip past the meet-cute, if you want, and start it once they're already acquainted. Even for realm-hopping, I'm cool starting with "Woah, where am I?" If you want to explain how they got there, too, that’s great, but what I really care about is seeing characters do stuff together and bond.

• Some 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 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.

• If you want to include a sex scene, I have lists of things I like here in the first three paragraphs (plus some prompts for Psmith/Mike and Jed/Octavius later on), but there's no reason to read it. This letter's long enough, the preferences aren't that strongly held, and I like PG-13 makeouts just as much.

Psmith/Mike (PG Wodehouse)
I'd love a friends-to-lovers story that happens alongside some kind of adventure or slice of life exploration, with Psmith being his clever, eccentric, weirdly heroic self and Mike being his delightfully normal self. 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 the bank 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? One (or both?) in a Groundhog Day loop? In Narnia?

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!

It would necessarily have to be a secret relationship, per the time period. However, if you could background the social issues and angst about that, I’d appreciate it, because while a little longing is nice, I’d like something in the generally upbeat spirit of the books, without un-Wodhousian anguish or angsty coming outs or internalized homophobia. Please set the story before they met their wives, and/or pretend they never did.

'Mike & Psmith' and 'Psmith In the City' are both free on Gutenberg and the Kindle store. 'Psmith, Journalist' and 'Leave It to Psmith' are not necessary for this request, since Mike barely appears (but Chapter 3 and the epilogue of 'Psmith, Journalist' are pretty shippy and can be enjoyed without any context).

Jedediah/Octavius (Night at the Museum)
I’d love a friends-to-lovers story that happens alongside some kind 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. 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 room), 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're made of wax/not 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.

Tirian/Emeth (Narnia)
I love Tirian SO MUCH. He has such human flaws, and he started off as a hot mess of a king, but he’s such a wonderful guy, and quite resourceful and clever when you rouse him out of his decadence. And Emeth should win a prize for the level of admiration and affection he was able to inspire in so few pages. I loved the conflict he faced between his reason, his duty, his devotion, and his desire to prove himself.

I think they’re perfect for one another—brave, noble warriors who could come to respect and love one another despite their differences. The afterlife is my biggest DNW, so I'm only interested in canon divergences that let them be together in real life. They could work together to keep the world from ending, or you could pretend the majority of The Last Battle’s plot never happened and give them completely different adventures.

I’m a sucker for enemies to lovers, culture clashes, secret forbidden love across enemy lines, brothers in arms, agent falls for mark... I adore Narnian world-building—digging into the magical concepts that were introduced, thinking about the politics of both the different countries and how Narnia functions with so many types of citizens, and also playing with the themes of lore and legend. I love Narnia as a real, complex place, with creatures and magic that aren't always neat and cheerful. Go wild! I also have a love of language and contrasting speech patterns; the differences between Tirian and Emeth's versions of courtly perfection are catnip to me. I love all the Narnia characters, so anyone is welcome in the background; minor OCs are fine, too.

I love stories that pretend people met before, and that show how this change affects the later plot. We know Tirian has been to Calormen. Was it an official diplomatic trip, or did he use the tanning oil to go incognito, either for fun on the town or for espionage? How did he and Emeth meet and what did they get up to together? Did Emeth know who Tirian was, or was it identity porn? If the latter, how and when does he find out, and what’s his reaction? You could include the flashbacks, or you could assume the backstory and start the story when they meet again later on—either way!

Or maybe they first meet in Narnia while Emeth is undercover as a merchant, and their love changes the course of the story. Or maybe the fic starts after the war (no apocalypse! just a regular war!) and they meet and fall in love in the hostile détente? Or maybe it's a story about how they join forces to fight a common enemy and fall in love while doing that?

Or yet another angle… the scene where Tirian half goes to our world is one of my favorites in the entire series. What if he and Emeth went for real? What if the stable was a portal to another realm (either ours or a different one), not the afterlife? Or screw the stable... is the lamppost still around? Whatever! Or what if, instead of a dimension-portal, it was a time travel portal, and they meet characters from previous books while completing some kind of quest together? Or Tirian in a Groundhog Day loop in which he slowly learns how to be a better king, with Emeth's help?

Do the two countries have different views about same-sex romance? It doesn't have to be "Calormen=repressed, Narnia=free love" (though it could); maybe Calormen has a complicated Ancient Greek-style undercurrent, or Narnia's never shaken its Victorian influences. Or some other approach? Or don't even tackle that at all; it's not a big deal.

Rilian/Bucky (Narnia/MCU)
I saw this in the tagset and flipped out! I've actually thought about this ship before! The idea of my faves going to Narnia fills me with glee. The idea of any of the Narnian humans in our world fills me with glee. There are many obvious parallels, what with the brainwashing and trauma chairs and being programmed to kill your friends, and the bad people telling you you're crazy during the rare moments when you're actually lucid, and being lost for years... They're both so likable but had such awful things happen to them. What adventures do they have together? How do they get to making out?

Getting the kingdom in order now that Rilian's back? There would be a lot for him to deal with, both politically and personally, and maybe Bucky's common sense outsider perspective could help. Bucky being all "what the hell?" about talking owls and fauns and whatnot. Maybe Hydra/SHIELD during an experiment accidentally sent Bucky to Narnia, where he is at least temporarily cured. Or Jane finally made her bridge and he was the test subject. Maybe the Convergence sends Bucky to Narnia. Or maybe the Lady of the Green Kirtle gets to him, too, and they're both brainwashed together. You could even ignore the parallels, and have Bucky fall off the train and into Rilian's reign, without Winter Soldier stuff ever happening to him.

Or what about Rilian in our world? Does the Lady send him here to get something magic? Would Hydra get to him? Rilian using his world's knowledge to come up with the solution to a canon MCU problem? Does his star blood make him special in some way? Can Rilian save Bucky from his brainwashing? Maybe he takes Bucky back to Narnia to keep him safe, and when he/they returns, it's the present day here? IDK. Or maybe they met before one of them got brainwashed, and years later when they meet again the other doesn't remember him (lots of angst that gets hopefully resolved by the end).

There are so many canon timeline shenanigans that I'll roll with anything you do to make it work, no explanation needed. My big thing about Bucky is that I want him to have the personality he had in CA:TFA and/or CA:CW, meaning, that he's fully functional, socialized, has a sense of humour, and isn't crippled by his trauma. While I'm all for some angsty brainwashing bros for part of it, I'm more interested in seeing what they do once they're mostly recovered. I'm most invested in MCU characters introduced in Phase 1. But the only ones I'd really prefer not to appear are Darcy, Sharon and Sousa. (Season 1 of Agent Carter is the only MCU TV show I've seen.) I like all the Narnia characters, so anyone you like is welcome to appear; minor OCs are also fine.

Tirian/Bucky (Narnia/MCU)
Once I saw the Rilian/Bucky nomination I added this because yes! YES!! This will be short (lol! not really), not because I want it less, but because most of what I wrote above about Tirian and Bucky can be applied to this ship. I'm fine excising Jill and Eustace to pretend Tirian's reign lines up with the present-day on Earth, or, seriously, any handwavey canon divergence or timeline collision you want to do.

The damaged Brooklyn boy and courtly Narnian king as an odd couple of fearsome warriors who come to understand and love each other. Fish out of water. Tirian starting out as a disaster of a king but his time with Bucky gives him perspective. Bucky's Narnian adventure/boyfriend distracting him past his baggage. Tirian visiting our world and helping and/or amusing and/or confusing Bucky, at any point in his life. Bucky helping Tirian avert the awfulness. Competence porn. Anything!

What about worldbuilding concept crossovers, like maybe the Aether or Tesseract function like the rings, or the Convergence hits Narnia, too. Did Tirian astrally project to Bucky the way he did to the Friends of Narnia to become Bucky's seemingly imaginary friend growing up, and then they meet for real? Or, the same prompt as above about the stable as a portal.


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September 2017


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