aurilly: (bucky/steve)
[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. I'm not wedded to any of the prompts; feel free to ignore them and go off the tags and general likes instead. Honestly, write whatever you think you'll have the most fun with for these pairings, and I'm sure I'll love it. And thank you!

General Notes
Overall
The basic idea is that Bucky, Loki, Steve and Thor are my favorites, and I adore canon divergences and franchise crossovers. 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. Feel free to mix and match pairings and AU tags. However, only one romantic pairing per fic, please (or none at all!). I've seen all the movies, but I haven’t read any comics or watched the TV shows.

I love Steve/Bucky, but, as a multi-shipper, I'm also hankering for more fic where the duos who don't canonically go together hang out and/or make out. Gen or shippy, I 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. As long as no one is bashed, you can acknowledge canon ships in the background or pretend they never existed. Whatever!

I'm often less interested in the moment of divergence than I am in what happens later in this new verse. Similarly, stories that end right after the meet-cute make me sad. I'm more interested in seeing how characters work together and bond afterwards. I'm totally happy to start in media res, long after the thing described in the tag or after the characters have already become acquainted.

Things I Like
• Journeys & Adventures: badassery, competence and resourcefulness; the pen is mightier than the sword; laughing in the face of danger or absurdity; fish out of water; vacations gone awry
• Angst with a Hopeful 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; captured or stranded together; undercover as a couple; arranged marriage; marriage of convenience; aliens made them do it
• Odd Couples: characters with wildly different speech patterns; fond exasperation; quietly heroic or secretly self-sacrificial gestures; giving each other shit; falling in love
• Makeouts & More: first times; learning about what each other likes; imperfect 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

Do Not Want
• fusions and alternate setting AUs
• romantic pairings other than the ones specifically requested
• Things That Upset Me: the afterlife; depressing endings; noncon; dark dynamics in my ships; destiny/fate; shovel talks
• Schmoopiness: plotless fluff; non-canonical pet names or terms of endearment; people saying "I love you" verbatim
• Sex & Relationship-Related: soulmates; D/s dynamics; yentas and matchmakers; pregnancy; adultery; explicit discussions about consent (everyone eagerly participating is good enough for me!)
• Writing Things: 1st & 2nd person POV; phonetically spelled dialogue
• Darcy and Sharon

Crossovers:
If you happen to know one of my other fandoms, any of the prompts here are fair game. I'm fine ignoring this exchange's requested pairings and tags to focus on any of these four characters bonding with my faves from another fandom.


Character Notes (for all pairings and requests):
Thor and Loki
I love Thor's blend of arrogance, infectious likeability, bemusement, and the yoke of duty. Please don't write Thor as a socially unaware booming idiot or jerk. I generally see Loki as Chaotic Neutral Type 4, not as straight up evil or crazy or blameless victim. I think he's too guarded to flirt or sleep with a lot of people--which makes it all the more special when he does fall for someone. Bonus points if strangers can’t tell if they're brothers, enemies, lovers, friends, or some uncomfortable combination.

Steve and Bucky
They both have lots of baggage and trauma, but I'm most interested in seeing them move forward with their lives and inch towards a healthier place. Bonus points for giving Bucky, especially, some new friends. I love when they're fully functional, brave, resourceful, and when they retain of a sense of humour despite everything. I have a pet peeve about them saying things like “ain’t”; can they please speak as properly as they do in the films? Cursing's fine, though. If you're writing one of the Loki ships, please don't let either one have ever had more than platonic feelings for the other.

Background Characters
Steve and/or Bucky befriending any of the secondary Asgard characters as a side plot would be amazing. In terms of human side characters, bonus points for less common ones. Instead of Natasha, Sam and Tony, what about Hope or Pepper (or Jane as a friend for Steve or Bucky)?

Steve/Bucky Requests
• I love how they've been through so much and have both changed, but remain devoted to one another. I love how they always fall back into sync, even though they still have issues to work through.
• I like their relationship as a positive element, but not the ONLY positive element in their lives. While I don't care whether they develop feelings/get together before the war or later, scenarios where characters have spent their whole lives hopelessly pining for one person are more claustrophobic than I personally enjoy.

Canon AU - Character Was Acquired for Collector's Collection
Did the Collector have just one, or did he eventually get the matching set? Maybe he hired Yondu to steal the Winter Soldier from the Russians and/or cut Cap out of the ice years ago? I honestly don't care how they got there, or even about their time asleep in the cases. I want to know what happens when they wake up years later! Like, feel free to handwave the backstory and start in whatever scenario they find themselves in now. What do they do next?

Maybe the story starts when the exhibits wake up at the end of GotG. Hanging out with Howard and Cosmo and trying to get home? What/who else is there? Or maybe Sif and Volstagg noticed him/them at the end of TDW, felt pity, took him/them, and the story starts when they're all back in Asgard? Maybe the Collector doesn't even appear; maybe he's sold him/them and the story starts with them waking up in whatever is going on in the Thor 3 trailer. OR! If only one of them was in the collection, how does the other find out about it and work to rescue him?

Canon AU - Steve Never Joined SHIELD
Canon AU - Bucky Rescued/Escaped Differently

I mean, people who threaten to shoot you when you try to escape their fake sets don't make a great first impression. I'd love a story exploring what might have happened if Steve had successfully escaped from Times Square, without SHIELD tracking him. AND/OR! Same deal for Bucky, exploring what might have happened had he escaped earlier and in some totally other way. I don't care how he got out; you can even start it when he's doing much better (like, as he was in Bucharest).

What kind of life have he or they built, and where? Have he/they ended up befriending characters they haven't met in canon? Are they happy, or not? Most importantly, how do they reconnect and get together? How do they find out about each other still being alive? Does the first one to get out rescue the other (from Hydra, from the ice, from SHIELD's fake hospital room at the end of TFA)? Or do they meet up during the Chitauri attack, as they both defend their city? Something else? Do they have to face a challenge together (Hydra, quotidian problems, a comic-style threat you make up...)? Do they end up falling into a hero lifestyle again, but in some totally other way? Or not? Are the lives they've built up and/or want different? How do they compromise or resolve that tension to move forward together?

Canon AU - Character(s) Studied At Kamar-Taj
Maybe Bucky goes post-TWS (or in an AU where he escaped Hydra before TWS) to help his triggers? Maybe the story starts after Bucky has "graduated". Does he take a job at a sanctum, or, like Pangborn, does he decide to simply live his life? What happens next? Most importantly, how does he reconnect with Steve again and how does Bucky having magic affect the usual themes of this ship? Or maybe Steve and Bucky go to Kamar-Taj together? Does only one of them have aptitude, or do they excel at different things? Are they there at the same time as Pangborn and/or Kaecilius, possibly changing DS canon before it starts?

While expected, the death of the Ancient One and the fall of Mordo were real bummers for me. And while I like him fine, I'm not that invested in Strange himself. However, I adored the idea of magic school as a place of safety and healing for broken adults. I loved the Ancient One, Wong, good!Mordo, Pangborn, the dynamics between them, and their day-to-day lives before it all went to shit. I loved the Astral and Mirror Dimensions, the teleportation, the artifacts, and all the other world-building. I'd love to see how other characters might interact with these concepts. Like, what if, because of his angst, Bucky only lets himself visit Steve in astral form? Or he spends an unhealthy amount of time in the Mirror Dimension?

Canon AU - Human Character(s) In Asgard
The prompts further down for this tag can easily be tweaked to focus on Steve/Bucky instead. How does their time or an adventure in this new setting force/allow them work through some issues and get together?


Requests for: Thor&Bucky, Bucky/Loki, Bucky&Loki, Steve&Loki, Steve/Loki
• 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!
• Bucky and Loki: I think they would make such an entertainingly snarky, angsty and badass odd couple, with complementary skill sets and personalities. I think they'd be able to tough love each other to a better place.
• Steve and Loki: Instead of saint!Steve as woobie!Loki's emotional or physical caretaker, I love when it's more like what I said for Bucky and Loki, kind of a give and take. Bonus points for Loki bringing out Steve's wily side.
• Bucky & Thor: I'd love to see the ways in which Bucky could have Thor's back, how Thor might jolly Bucky out of his brooding, what others think of their BFFness, how their kills complement... everything.

Canon AU - Aether Infected Different Character/Worked Differently
What if Bucky or Steve had been the one to stumble upon the Aether? How does he deal with being drawn into Asgard drama? What if he had been able to harness it and use it, and completely change the story, instead of being damseled? How does this facilitate a relationship with one/both of the princes, and what happens?

Canon AU - 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... Yum.
— Captain America is Loki's nemesis, but he likes this guy named Steve who shows up in his quotidian life. How does he find out they are one and the same? What happens next?
— 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? What happens when he finds out?
— Thor (or Loki) is the one to realize that the mysterious Winter Soldier is Steve's long-dead friend. How does he find out and what is their relationship like?

Canon AU - Human Character(s) In Asgard
I don't care how/why they're there. Handwave away! I'm interested their impressions of the place and people. I'd extra love if their Earth experiences or street smarts could help the Asgardians with something.
— Does Heimdall beam Bucky and/or Steve up to Asgard? Possibly while they are crashing or falling, thus saving them? Or at some later point? For what reason? What happens next?
— Steve and/or Bucky is named intergalactic ambassador, or something, and makes a state visit to Asgard
— Steve asks Thor if his friend can lie low in Asgard (maybe also meeting Loki?) since he's wanted on Earth
— Instead of falling off the train/crashing the plane, Steve and/or Bucky follow Red Skull and end up in Asgard
— Thor invites Steve and/or Bucky to Asgard for a vacation... that maybe goes awry? What does Loki think of him/them?
— Jane builds her bridge, which allows Steve and/or Bucky to go to Asgard on a mission

Canon AU - Time Loops/Groundhog Day
Some of my favorite things are individual journeys of self-discovery, as well as self-help adventures in which people learn life lessons, overcome some baggage, figure out priorities, etc. This trope is amazing for these! I don't care how/why it starts or stops. I'm totally cool with handwaving, 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 has other goals/projects, too, I'll be ecstatic. Or maybe you find a way for the non-loop person to play an active role. Or maybe two people are in the loop together, which perhaps they don't initially realize?

Canon AU - Met As Children
I'd love anything where young Steve and/or Bucky spent time in Asgard 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 assume/skip over 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? Have they changed over the years, but still get along?

Canon AU - Loki Fell to Earth
Canon AU - Loki Banished Instead of/with Thor
Canon AU - Thor Fell with Loki
Canon AU - Thor Banished Differently
I long for more fics where either brother (or both together!) spent more time stranded on Earth, with or without their powers. Especially before Loki went quite so far down his villainous path. Experiencing different adventures, meeting different people, learning life priorities, getting over themselves, etc.
— Assume Bucky escaped from Hydra (or Steve escaped from SHIELD) and 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?
— Instead of New Mexico, Loki (and/or Thor) landed where Bucky is, whether at a Hydra base, or while the WS is doing a mission, or after Bucky's escaped. How do they help one another?
— Same prompt as above, but with Loki meeting Steve, who is either an Avenger, or never joined SHIELD
— Thor and Loki come to Earth to fight the Chitauri together, instead of Loki being the villain, and work with Steve and/or Bucky
— 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)?
— Maybe the fact that they met a year ago via a Craigslist ad is what informs their dynamic, but the story is about Thor and/or Loki taking his roommate (Bucky and/or Steve) home at the end of his banishment (which they find out is Asgard, wtf)?

Canon AU - Stranded/Survival
Are they stranded in space? At sea? On a mission? In a foreign country? As usual, I don't care about how they got into this mess; I'm here for unlikely people being forced to work together/become friends, having unexpected heart-to-hearts in weird settings, and finding that their skills are complementary. I'm totally happy starting with, "Crap. Well, what do we do now?" Getting captured, too, would be the totally optional cherry on top.

On the offchance that you know/like Lost, a crossover would be lovely, focused on any one or combination of my four MCU characters. I have general Lost crossover prompts, as well as ones specifically about Bucky (also Frank from another fandom). With only slight tweaking, the Bucky and Frank prompts could work for Steve, Loki and/or Thor instead. Thor banished to the island, at any time in the Island's timeline? Loki banished or fell there? Steve crashed the plane there (since the island moves and could have been in the Atlantic then)? I ship any of these guys with Juliet, Richard or Jacob. I also ship Bucky/Miles. Otherwise, please keep it gen or to the pairings requested in this exchange (or Lost-centric pairings that I like).
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