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ninety6tears

Dear Yuletide Writer 2016



[archiveofourown.org profile] ninety6tears | [tumblr.com profile] ninety6tears

Thanks for checking out my letter! Please only try to meet me halfway if you have your own enthusiastic ideas for any of these fandoms; I have preferences but I mostly prompt to be helpful :)

Basics: The whole spectrum from G-rated gen to explicit PWP is fine (if pressed, I'd say I prefer semi-explicit to super-graphic, but really I'll read anything). I've got no preference over POV/tense/narrative style, just use whatever comes to you! I love pastiche for lit fandoms but something that feels more off the beaten path of the original style can also be fun.
I love: Angst, pining, subtle UST, first times, or established relationships with some level of conflict to be resolved. Intense friendship stories. Protectiveness in close relationships as well as in those that wouldn't obviously appear to be protective at first. A character or characters experiencing a type of attraction that isn't the status quo for them. Relationships that broke up/had a falling-out, maybe a long time ago, and neither of them ever really got over it. Any kind of amusing/surprising interactions between characters that don't usually get one-on-one time in canon. Characterization that focuses on the nature & nurture of who people have grown to be and the unique ways they take care of or need other characters. AUs, whether they interact with our expectations from the original story or tell it in a thoughtfully different way, as a fork-in-the-road or a completely different genre/setting that strikes you as something that would bring some good stuff out of the characters/relationship(s). You are welcome to poke around my AO3 bookmarks or my tumblr or even my goodreads to see what fandoms I'm familiar with if the idea of doing a crossover or fusion appeals to you (crossovers can get controversial but I say as long as big fandom characters don't take center stage, anything is fair game).
I can handle: underage, dubcon, noncon, torture and incest, provided those are treated realistically/matter-of-factly and not heavily kinked on. Character death. Love triangles. Infidelity.
I don't want: super-fluffy slice-of-life curtain fic that has more emphasis on being in love than on falling in love (PWP makes me more flexible on this), but please don't stress about it if your story has a bit of that. Soulbonding/magical soulmate tropes taking over as the main catalyst for characters getting/staying together or realizing their feelings. Fix-it fic for its own sake (I'd rather read an altered ending to something because it's an interesting place to go with it, not simply because it's happier). A/B/O, mpreg, or any body fluid kinks. Highly described sex toys. Difficult caregiving for the sick/elderly - it's fine if that's an aspect of a character's life, but I really don't want the hard realism of the rough days, the moments that challenge their selfish vs. giving impulses, that kind of thing.

You might look at this meme for a more thorough list of kinks/tropes I'm into, but only bother if you're curious!


The Departed (2006)
Billy, Madolyn

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I ship these two so very hard. I love how the story weaves a lot of complicated connections and parallels that keep you interested but doesn't very often resort to those coincidences and revelations to make things easier for the characters, almost to the point of structuring it like a tragedy, and a lot of that sad irony is reflected in this relationship’s inability to fully connect. I love that Madolyn gets to be flawed in her roles with both men she’s involved with, that no one is quite the appropriate source of support to anyone here, but the little moments between her and Billy just matter. I love that there's a bitterness to her believing Colin is some kind of Mr. Right, who she maybe thinks will make her the better person, which of course all culminates into her moment of rage when she realizes he was the bigger liar and probably only worsens her grief and regrets over Billy's death because she just wasn't in a place to follow her instincts.

There are some vagaries to fill in with this relationship even though the movie gives us the essentials, like of how much convincing it took to get Madolyn to have a drink with him, what other things they would have talked about, or of how that love scene got from talking to kissing (or, eheh, everything that was post-fade-to-black). One of the hardest scenes for me to get my head around is when Sullivan talks about moving to another city and she starts crying: Is it her bitter resolve to never see Billy again? Is it just guilt? Does she know by then that she is or could be pregnant? I'd like anything from Madolyn's POV that shows how he's on her mind more often than he should be, or maybe a moment of Billy turning to just the thought of her for comfort because he knows he can't really have the real thing.

For the record, if you wanted to add anything to the implications that Colin might be gay, I am 100% behind that interpretation, but the more, um, metatextually homophobic moments - Costigan calling him a f*ggot being a significant example - are not something I need more of.


Dublin Murder Squad Series - Tana French
Frank, Olivia, Rosie

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So, it would only be possible to canon-compliantly write all three of these characters by doing some flashback thing (which could work) but consider this a request for either Frank/Liv or Frank/Rosie. There's just something about this guy being in love that I want to read more about. I was torn to bits over what happened to Rosie the more we got to know her in FP, but then his sincere regret and pining for Olivia and her cautious affection with him made me ship them so hard as divorcees with obviously unresolved tension, and I was so happy that he'd moved back in by the TSP timeframe.

If you're going for a Rosie story, I'd love to read anything from her POV, over the years or just at one moment in time. What's notably missing from the scenes with her and Francis, if I remember correctly, is any sense of how she felt about the abuse going on at the Mackey house; if she was just hardened to it to the point it was something they never discussed, or if there's something missing from the subjective recollection of their meetings. I've begun to second guess the 1985 story as Frank frames it for us - with a little more emphasis on the young lovers wanting to run happily away for a new life together than his individual need to get out of there - and wonder if this is subtly a misdirection from the simultaneous, more vulnerable narrative of Rosie being the one to convince him he can leave his abusers (Shay was clearly capable of violently lashing out at Frank to try to control him, and Frank doesn't get into it enough for us to be sure how often something like that happened). This would have been after they'd started planning to leave, but what did Frank tell Rosie after he backed out of his and Shay’s plan and got so badly beaten up? Did she know it was Shay who did that when he confronted her? Okay, but for all that heavy stuff, I'd also just love a look at the romantic moments between them, the way she would have seen him at his young and fumbling moments but also as the witty confident young man he grew into with her, or what their first times were like for her (Rosie’s POV is not required!). Honestly, there's so much darkness built in around the love story that you can't really go too fluffy for me on this pairing, as long as that agitated undercurrent to their lives is still there.

As for Olivia, her perspective or just more of her would be wonderful, and I'd go for pretty much any time frame for her and Frank, from the first flirtation to the divorce to dealing with the fallout of Holly's experiences as a family again. Liv doesn't look like a doormat at any point but she fell in love with Frank the first time around even when she knew there was someone he wasn't over, and I just love how she could never have expected him to come back with the tables turned and him desperately wanting another chance with her. One little thing I like in FP is how Frank is constantly aware he can't overstay his welcome in the house (sometimes pushing her buttons on this but often respecting it) and that morning after he stays in the guest room he implies that Liv is avoiding any position of being lured into "a quickie" with him...which seems jocular but kinda gives me the idea they've maybe slept together once before when it was after the split?...But any exploration of them starting over again, the way his attention to her was probably noticeably different when they had their first times all over again, would be lovely.

I’ve requested this series every year in numerous ways, and wouldn't say no to an appearance of Cassie, or Scorcher (Liv knows Kennedy well enough to seemingly dislike him, so I wonder how often she meets Frank's colleagues), or Jackie; if in doubt about whether I might enjoy anything a bit (or a lot) off the grid of my requests, I'd probably love it. I won't spam you with potentially irrelevant prompts but any character or pairing I talked about in previous years is something I'd still be happy to see.


Far From the Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
Bathsheba, Gabriel

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I'd like to think I don't have to be more than semi-educated about the representation of romance from this period to consider this pairing to be a unique treatment of male-female connection for its time, even if Hardy might not have set that up with the agenda of things I enjoyed about it...which is to say, I really love these two as a kind of friends-to-lovers trope in a setting where men and women rarely had opportunities to be 100% friends. Some interpretations reduce Gabriel to the guy that's just pining on the sidelines waiting for her to return his feelings, but I like how the professional relationship forms into a true companionship between confidants aside from his resignation on the possibility. I like that it's never a sweeping passion for Bathsheba but she comes to hold his opinions and his regard for her as singularly important while taking forever to directly reconsider her feelings (even while absently imagining what it would be like to be married to him and considering him her first sweetheart), and that in turn Gabriel doesn't put her on a simplistic pedestal or sugarcoat things for her even as his affection doesn't waver. I like that she's treated as arrogant as a matter of forgivable fact, and that her being loved by him in vain is something she wants selfishly until it's not actually in vain. I love that she's authoritative in order to keep him at a distance but then pines for him to remain significant in her life (all things which I don't think came across in her character enough in the recent adaptation, unfortunately, even if the film had some nice moments).

I would enjoy something from Gabriel’s perspective that does something to defeat the seemingly static nature of his love for her, as in, the sense that he falls for her right away and remains in love with her and that there's no need for the story to develop what pleases or displeases or surprises him about her, if that makes sense? Any moment from their working relationship that shows how he starts to fall even more in love with her despite all reasons against it would be great; or some moment from Bathsheba’s viewpoint that shows her neighborliness actually becoming a deeper trust...I don't really approach this as a super-steamy ship but feel free to try to convince me there was some UST on a level that Hardy didn't indulge in as much when it came to the virtuous, or give me something in bed from the honeymoon period if that's your thing (would she have been pleasantly surprised by him, if Troy was not the most considerate partner?).

One AU scenario I wondered about: When Bathsheba has that talk with Gabriel (in chapter 51) about whether she should commit herself to Boldwood, and admits to herself after that she’d wanted him to give some indication he'd still be willing to marry her, I wonder how things would have gone around then if their mutual wanting had just slipped out somehow...because wouldn't it be more of a forbidden or at least ill-timed desire, considering Gabriel’s logic of a more dutiful commitment not being a disrespect to her missing husband, and the risk of the two of them driving Boldwood off the deep end? Or what might have happened if Gabriel had overheard the way Boldwood pretty much scared her into promising herself to him at the party? (Hardy handles his “madness” with some degree of sympathy, but my god, feel free to treat Boldwood as just a jealous creep if that's your angle, especially since I can't imagine Gabriel being very sympathetic to him at that point.)

My one annoyingly lectury fandom-specific do-not-want: Please, please do not imply that Gabriel only reconsiders leaving at the end because of the marriage possibility. In the novel he clearly thinks twice about it just because of how much it upsets Bathsheba, but since multiple adaptations screw this up it seems to be a viral misconception.


Fucked My Way Up To The Top - Lana Del Rey (Song)
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First of all, I'm aware of the (not impossible) interpretation that this song is directed at Lorde, but this is not an RPF request; I enjoy that there's enough of a persona to Lana’s songs to treat her as a character within them but I'm just not interested in Lorde that way. However between that concept and the contradictory taunting/lusting nature of the lyrics I somehow arrived at really wanting femslash for this, with any premise you can come up with involving rival performers - if you went with some otherworldly or historical setting that's anachronistic to the style of the music, for example, that would be totally fine with me! Maybe they're singers in the city night club scene and one of them is getting favors from a crime lord? I'd love for the song to feel like something that could have been performed at one point with the other understanding the meaning, but it doesn't have to exist or even be mentioned in the context of the story.

I hesitate to dictate the tone I'm looking for because I'd be happy with a lot of things, but my first thoughts were of this song feeling very “you know you want me” in some places, like there's a flaunting of sexual/romantic power underneath the veneer of impersonal dragging of this person she's maybe been secretly having a lot of hate-sex with or used to sleep with in the past (is the “need you baby like I breathe you baby” a break into genuine emotion?). Maybe the titular line has some layer to it, like it's a refrain of an argument they once had, or maybe the speaker is just coldly provoking jealousy there.


The Long Walk - Richard Bachman
Garraty, McVries

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Oh, this disastrous OTP of mine...I always felt that Ray's cold reaction to Pete popping the handjob question came from being hurt that Pete was basically making light of how close they were by offering what was either a total joke or something that would feel desperate and impersonal - he doesn't want him to do it in that way. It's a very paradoxical ship in my mind, because it takes the intensity of the situation for this ruthless love to form between them, but because of their inability to express any of it in this vacuum the only sincere thing is the acknowledgment that any future involving both of them is impossible.

Now, if you're only interested in focusing on them as a friendship I would still be very happy, and I'm hardly demanding anything physical; even though strange things do happen on the walk I would prefer nothing to get sexual between them unless it somehow happens outside of that situation. But in my mind Ray absolutely has some self-destructive anxiety about his masculinity/sexuality that pervades an otherwise healthy upbringing (healthy up until his dad was taken away, maybe?) and I always feel like that's saying something about the toxicity of the world, or our own similar enough world, and I'd like to see that at least not contradicted if it's not a theme you're going for.

Since we're never in Pete's head, it would be great to get anything detailing how his initial distance from Ray quickly erodes into the protectiveness he obviously can't help over him, if there's a spark of empathy there even before the first time Ray saves him, or what he's really thinking or trying to say at some of his more cynical and cryptic moments. I wonder what it was that Parker said to him to imply he thought he and Ray were "queer for each other" and how this apparently was covered without McVries feeling the need to deny it?

I'd love an AU in which some revolt or rescue does manage to at least stave off danger for a time - some situation where there's no real hope they won't be found and killed but gives them time to interact outside of the rules, even if much of that amounts to passing out while huddled together, would be a nice bittersweet twist - but if you wanted to write a successful coup actually saving their lives and ending the walk, I would love to see how their relationship remains in the aftermath; maybe Ray ends up staying with his girlfriend and they only meet up every once in a while because they share this traumatizing thing, and they have an essential but troubled friendship (and maybe they end up fucking a couple times but don't really talk about it).

In the realm of more absolute alternate universes, I'm eager if it's keeping intact the angst and the general miasma of masculine insecurity and the utterly teenage conversations and McVries being such a defeated self-punishing sourpuss that his sweetness towards Ray feels like a small miracle. A bigoted boarding school atmosphere, an aggressive correctional camp, anything where a compulsive make-out might happen in the bunks or the showers and then be stiffly denied later on sounds like a backdrop I'd love for these boys if you want to do something bleak-but-not-as-mortally-bleak.

I should add that while any acknowledgement of Pete's scar could actually be a plus, I don't want to get into my issues about how I'm not sure how I interpret the story of how he got it or how it's handled, so let's just say I'd prefer you mention that event as little as possible even if you do refer to his relationship with Priscilla as a very damaging thing.


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