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we_protect_each_other ([personal profile] we_protect_each_other) wrote2017-08-11 11:43 pm
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[comm] dear darkestnight author:

Dear DarkestNight Author,

Thank you for writing something for me! This is my second year participating in this exchange, and I have been looking forward to it all year. I love fics where characters go through hell but come out, if not unscathed, at least with a tiny vestige of home. I don't like abject tragedy, but I can handle meaningful tragedy and, in fact, think I love it. I have made this letter as clear as I can, but it's a slightly different format than my usual. Contact the mod if you need any clarification.

As always, prompts are suggestions, not binding. I really hope you have fun writing your story!

Likes: canon-typical violence, missing scenes, UST, emotional ambiguity, found families, developing or established relationships, time travel, pre-canon, post-canon, bedsharing, loyalty, worldbuilding, epistolary/journal/log fiction, monster-of-the-week / slice of ordinary life adventures, earned second chances, dealing with consequences, "what if" / canon divergent AUs, earned happy endings, holidays, casefic, groundhog day trope, mysteries, healing, survival (wilderness, zombie apocalypse, etc.), last stands, trying against impossible odds, succeeding against impossible odds, heartfelt goodbyes, unexpected reunions, foils

Dislikes: character bashing towards anybody, noncon, explicit gore, breathplay, serious or permanent injury related to sexuality, nihilism, hopeless endings (but sad is okay)

Additional for this Exchange: Tropes from the Optional Tags I would prefer NOT to see, unless otherwise mentioned, not quite covered by the above: Permanent Break-Ups, Explicit Underage*, ABO, any sexual acts involving non-sexual body fluids with the exception of very minor injury due to rough sex

* Some characters requested in this exchange (Madoka and ATLA) are under the age of consent. For them, you've got two options: go PG-13 on the sex references or write a story where they have been aged up due to progression of time or something like that. I'd probably slightly prefer the former for Madoka and the latter for ATLA, BUT it is a very slight preference. Obviously, I've asked for things where you don't have to include sex at all, but just if you wanted to.

I've requested a couple of fandoms twice to separate out tag requests, but sometimes it was just only one tag that only applied to one, so I had to be a tiny bit redundant. To make this less confusing, I'll sort of scaffold it downward, so look for subheadings for the fandom as a whole.



Fate/Zero

Tag(s) for All Requested Characters/Relationships: Dependent on Enemy for Survival

Prompt Ideas:

Dependent on Enemy for Survival - Exactly what it says on the tin. Fate/Zero is full of enemies and people who might have been friends had circumstances been different. If they're characters who could have or even sort of, in spite of everything, are friends in spite of being at odds, maybe this is a bittersweet story. If they're just straight-up, unrepentant enemies, it could range from darkly humorous to extremely uncomfortable and frightening. Or, somewhere between. People are complicated, right?

Request A: group: Waver Velvet & Iskandar | Rider & Uryuu Ryunosuke & Gilles de Rais | Caster; group: all or any Fate/Zero Masters & all or any Fate/Zero Servants

Tags for this/these character(s)/relationship(s): On the Run, Hostage Situations, Attempted Murder

Prompt Ideas:

I do not romanticize or even really like Caster and Ryunosuke, but I find them to be fascinating characters. However, in any fic, I don't want them to win, even if they almost do, please. Them winning is too gross.

As for my character-specific nomination here, it's not really that I prioritize them over the other possibly casts of characters from the more general tag. It was mainly to tell you that, for some reason, prior to watching Fate/Zero I had the mistaken belief that Ryunosuke and Waver were friends before the fact but that Waver got in over his head and Ryunosuke got caught up and enamored with the violence. I'm not sure how I came to this belief, but basically thinking about their interaction and being simultaneously creeped out and fascinated has been with me ever since this mistaken belief.

On the Run - Any missing scene for any set of Master and Servant, including Waver and Iskandar or, even, Ryunosuke and Gilles. However, you could also choose any set of the characters from Fate/Zero. For example, are two Servants running together? Two Masters? What is their end to running? This could be anything from a very suspenseful fic to a brief respite and gasp for air bonding moment with a sense of foreboding in the background.

Hostage Situations - Manipulations and uncomfortable negotiations galore. It would be interesting if one of the Masters found an effective way to hold a Servant hostage. You can be creative with the exact application and meaning of this. It could be emotionally being held hostage or the real deal, action-suspense movie style.

Attempted Murder - Obviously, you can go any way with this but Ryunosuke is the obvious attempting-to-murder-someone option outside the normal combat of the war games the magi play. Basically, determined, badass, terrifying escape from a very skilled, charming serial killer was what I had in mind with this prompt/character set, but if you have another idea go for it.

Request B: group: Gilgamesh/Artoria Pendragon | Saber

Tags for this/these character(s)/relationship(s): Sexual Relationship as Unhealthy Coping Mechanism, Doomed Timelines

Prompt Ideas:

I realize that Gilgamesh's attraction to and lust for Artoria is unhealthy and weird. However, I think Fate/Zero kind of adds some nuance to the existing canon in that it seems that Gilgamesh truly has a sense of perverse admiration for Artoria. He also seems to sort of see Enkidu in her, too. It would seem that he admits that he is lonely, when Iskandar accuses both Gilgamesh and Artoria of forcing themselves to be so. He also essentially apologizes to Iskandar when he kills him because he has only ever had or needed or allowed himself one friend, Enkidu. However, he still has this desire to "reason" with Artoria, and I think that these mentions aren't throwaway or unrelated.

For Artoria's part, I just like Gilgamesh's position as her foil. I like how her skin crawls because of how lascivious he is toward her, but I also think she hates even entertaining the idea that he might be right about some things that eat at her. If she came around sort of reluctantly but also found some personal vindication and internal validation in it, that would be ideal for me.

Sexual Relationship as Unhealthy Coping Mechanism - Exactly what it says on the tin. Gilgamesh kind of expresses the general idea that he would basically like to ravish Artoria once to prove a point. However, if it's a "coping mechanism," it's probably more than once, right? So basically she has done something to continue to enthrall his attention, but she also can't bring herself to stay away from him. The coping mechanism aspect of it could be for any reason, up to and including canon divergent AU where the War does something to both of them that prompts it, or something you can write into the canon itself.

Doomed Timelines - Whether or not you even mention sex, as described above, I think it would be interesting to have a story where Gilgamesh and Artoria found a balance, harmony, peace, attraction, alliance, or any combination thereof but that it was in a doomed timeline. Fate canon itself lends itself to alternate tellings of the same stories that impact various cast members differently. I think that it would be sort of beautifully tragic if we had a story where Artoria does get Gilgamesh to appeal to his better angels and she feels good about the situation, only for it to be a lost cause in terms of staying power for them, even if they manage to leave something behind. Reminder that I don't like utterly hopeless endings, but very sad for this one would be appropriate.

Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magika | Puella Magi Madoka Magica

Tag(s) for All Requested Characters/Relationships: Doomed Timelines, Sexual Relationship as Unhealthy Coping Mechanism, Unhealthy Coping Mechanisms

Request: Sakura Kyouko, group: Sakura Kyouko/Miki Sayaka, group: Akemi Homura/Sakura Kyouko

Prompt Ideas:

I like all the characters. No, really, I don't have one of the main magical girls who is a pet peeve or whom I don't like at least a little. That said, Kyouko is my favorite character. I love Kyouko so much because I identify with her, because she has my favorite color scheme, and because she is a wild card in the game that poor Homura has needed to play over and over and over. I like the fact that she seems to have not become completely disillusioned with her religion, even while being disillusioned with the idea that anything can go well for her, in her original death scene. I just think that hse's this tangled mess of good and bad, sane and a bundle of terrible coping mechanisms, and I love her.

Sayaka is the character it took me the longest to like. I felt defensive of her against Kyouko in my first watching, before things began to shift, but while I love her now it took me a while to come around to how stubborn she was in persisting that she wanted to be a hero of justice. I would like stories involving her to focus on that dilemma and contradiction. If you want to do a Rebellion story, I also think that one of the most satisfying things about Rebellion was how she had made peace with herself, with what had happened to her in her life, and had "tamed her witch." See above for Kyouko gush and love. I love their relationship because I almost see it as this sort of beautiful foil to the primary relationship the series teaches us to sympathize with and critique, Madoka/Homura. I also love that it seems like their relationship and bond is sort of inevitable but was also sort of a consistently worsened and strained one through the repeated timelines.

Homura, everyone else's favorite whom I still adore, is a character I think it's impossible not to sympathize with. However, I am not a big fan of the actual conclusion of Rebellion. Unless you can do a fix fic somehow, even with dark themes, I'd prefer a story set during a repeated timeline during the original series, or during Rebellion before the last 20 minutes or so. I think that it's pretty incredible that Homura was "born" as a magical girl with no offensive weapons because her wish was to defend, to protect, rather than to fight for anything at all, and how that results in her having this arsenal of military grade mundane weapons. For Homura/Kyouko, I am kind of interested in the fact that Homura seems to respect and anticipate Kyouko as a wild-card. In the same way that Sayaka always dooms herself, whether or not Kyouko will even show up is an X-factor. She also seems to take Kyouko's flank when no one else will because she has pushed everyone and everything away. I almost wonder if it's because she relates. If you ship them, it could be an alternate sip, or it could be a coping mechanism friends/frenemies with benefits thing.

Doomed Timelines - This is a given for this fandom. I assume that most fics are always inherently going to be set in one. However, if you want to use this as a way to tear it all down, make it terrible, then provide a silver lining tiny glimmer of hope at the end with a reset, that would be great since I love dark but not nihilistic.

Sexual Relationship as Unhealthy Coping Mechanism - For either ship requested. See the note at the very top of this letter about Underage, but basically PG-13, fade-to-black is probably what I want in terms of detail here. What I'd really like is sort of the aftermath, the way it happened in the first place, undesired or unexpected feelings of protectiveness that get in the way, that sort of thing. The fallout and the how and why.

Unhealthy Coping Mechanisms - Any. All? The one that comes to mind is how Kyouko's compulsive eating is treated like a character trait but is actually a compulsion derived from the fact that she was starving once. After all, a magical girl doesn't actually need to eat. Does Homura eat? Does that count as an eating disorder? Is she even aware? Why does Sayaka have the compulsion to keep on pushing herself? How is it that Sayaka kicks the habit and masters her witch, exactly?

Kara no Kyoukai | The Garden of Sinners

Tag(s) for All Requested Characters/Relationships: Sexual Relationship as Unhealthy Coping Mechanism, Rough Sex to Stave Off Other Violent Urges, Attempted Murder

Request: group: Shiki Ryougi/Kokutou Mikiya, Kokutou Mikiya, group: Aozaki Touko/Kokutou Mikiya

Prompt Ideas:

I sort of feel like Mikiya wouldn't be doing any of the attempted murder for one of these prompts, but if you can think of anything that would possibly make him tempted, go for it. Maybe someone hurt his baby sister, I don't know. Anyway, Mikiya is one of my favorite anime dudes, honestly. I love that he is this anchor of normalcy to the point that he almost cannot accept that being in love with a wannabe-murderer is not even a little bit weird. That almost being killed by your love interest before they walk out in front of a car isn't a bit weird. That being hired by a random, mysterious dollmaker because you happened to find her house isn't a bit weird. And so on.

I love how Shiki is this examination of purpose, isolation, self, determination, and all of that. She's also grumpy cat. I like seeing how she lives so simplistically in her little apartment, away from her rich family who would probably welcome her back into her childhood home. I wonder if that's a side effect of trauma and depression, just being a fundamentally easily overstimulated person, just being strange, or some combination thereof.

Touko is great because she is the villain of another story but is still interested in doing good, in some ways. Also, she seems interested in keeping the others' hands from getting as dirty as hers have been and keeping them clear until the right reason comes around to get them dirty. I like how you' never expect her to be a villainous type but that she's totally capable. I also love her speech to Araya at the end of his life about what she'd realized was important.

Sexual Relationship as Unhealthy Coping Mechanism

- For Mikiya/Shiki, this is probably overlapping with the other sex prompt, but basically I think this might be them having sex but also repressing trauma. The repressed trauma part is sort of how I think the prompt would play in. To be honest, I'd like sweet sex as much as rough sex for them, if it had that as a story element to provide intrigue and credence to this exchange's theme.

- If Mikiya somehow got involved with Touko and/or Touko chose to seduce Mikiya while Shiki was unconscious, I can imagine that this would definitely spring from a well of unhealthy coping. Either for one or both of them. Certainly for Mikiya, I feel like he would be of two minds about it. Plus, having Touko decide she wanted to do this would probably require a need for denial and comfort at once, I think?

Rough Sex to Stave Off Other Violent Urges

- Obviously, Shiki having the violent urges is the obvious candidate. Take that as you will.

- If Mikiya is having the violent urges, maybe it's sort of violence pollen rather than sex pollen (but, you know, something that this this story) and Shiki or Touko take one for the team? I have a hard time imagining Mikiya initiating rougher sex, so... if you want to make me believe it I'm interested.

- If Touko is having violent urges, I'd imagine it's more of a superficially technical or professional nature. Still, same stuff applies.

Attempted Murder - What it says on the tin, especially if it's Shiki. If it's Mikiya, I need some explanation. He's probably guilt-riddled. If it's Touko, why is it murder and not just magi business as usual, and why does she care?

The 100

Tag(s) for All Requested Characters/Relationships: Wilderness Survival, Ritual Public Sex, Something Made Them Do It

Request: group: Clarke Griffin/Bellamy Blake

Prompt Ideas:

I love Clarke and Bellamy individually but I think they're better together. Not just in terms of me shipping them but in terms of their leadership ability. I think when they respect each other as necessary parts of co-leadership, things go better, and when that breaks down, things are worse. These are mostly self-indulgent prompts, I'll admit, but I just really like this kind of setting and these concepts of this particular type of darker, skeevier fic.

For Clarke, I love that she is artistic and almost seems like a bit of a prim nerd prior to coming to the Ground. However, she immediately begins this sad, beautiful transformation into someone who is in agony over being a utilitarian as best she can.

For Bellamy, I love that he is someone you'd never expect to be sensitive but that he loves history and mythology of a dead world. He also is someone who, initially, has no problem being violent and rough to achieve his ends but learns to temper himself through Clarke, even while she is learning how to take matters into bloody hands.

Wilderness Survival - The show. Well, at least at first. Basically, go for all your one blanket, stuck alone together against a harsh and unforgiving landscape tropes into this. Hurt/Comfort welcome. Why are they stuck together alone, though?

Ritual Public Sex - Grounders are all about rituals that make us uncomfortable, at times. I'm not sure why they'd need to do this, but it could be anything from proving loyalty to a religious holiday. (If you include Grounders or their culture extensively, I wouldn't mind sort of open relationship Clarke/Lexa, Clarke/Bellamy, though I can't imagine Lexa/Bellamy ever happening, hence my lack of OT3 tag. If that is the case, or feel free to draw from this anyway, maybe it's a pressure to procreate thing??? Though it's fine if pregnancy does NOT result.)

Something Made Them Do It - See above, but also: weird plants (sex pollen!), a need to prove something, external pressure, whatever. I'd prefer if they did bond or, like, not hate it but that it be somewhat unexpected and uncomfortable at the onset.

Avatar: The Last Airbender

Breathless blurb because I requested too many characters: Aang is precious, not a judgmental asshole about being a vegetarian, and so capable of growth. He's a real pacifist who had to learn his own way to fight. Katara is such a gentle, maternal, righteous spirit. I love all those things about her. I also love that it occurs to her to literally kill someone with tiny needles made of ice. Zuko has the best redemption and character development arc in western fictional history, fight me. I love that he really just wants desperately to be accepted and have dignity, and ultimately finds it, but kept looking for it all the wrong way. Sokka is an idiot, but he is also a brilliant tactician when given the chance and a comic observer of life. Dogged sane, genuinely kind young man. Toph is such an odd person in that she didn't like luxury, even when it literally kept her safe. However, I admire her so much for being so insistently and consistently her own person. Ty Lee is the shiny one of the Fire Plastics, and I love her for it. I like that she seems to have a sense of loyalty to her friends, rather than to nationalistic fervor, but that she is also motivated by coercion and psychological abuse from one of those friends, making her road so complicated. Finally, Azula is the other end of the spectrum from Zuko, someone whose mental illness was encouraged and exacerbated rather than treated, someone who then fell into the same cycle of abuse from whence she came. The fact that she doesn't seem to actually understand the contradiction between love and violence is creepy and interesting.

Request A: group: Aang/Katara/Zuko; group: Toph Beifong/Sokka; group: Ty Lee/Azula

Tags for this/these character(s)/relationship(s): Need to Produce an Heir, Sexual Relationship as Unhealthy Coping Mechanism, Wilderness Survival

Prompt Ideas:

Aang/Katara/Zuko - I like this better than canon or the pure Zutara option. I think it's because there is a certain balance between them, it gives me the best of all worlds, and it creates a great vacuum for political intrigue as they grow into this and come of age for it to matter.

Toph/Sokka - I do like Sokka/Suki, so it could coexist with this. I do NOT want them to be the age they are in the show, but maybe when Toph is actually caught up maturity and age wise, she and Sokka get drunk... Consequences, good and bad. I just love their mutually supportive relationship, but I also think that IF she were older the tension and dynamic might be even more charged.

Ty Lee/Azula - An abusive relationship with a genuine bond at the bottom of it. Discuss. I think Ty lee seems to express a genuine affection for and desire to be approved of by Azula in spite of the fact that she didn't want to come with her and was coerced into doing so. As mentioned above, I don't think Azula can tell that there is a contradiction between caring about someone and forcing their hand or threatening them.

Need to Produce an Heir -

Aang/Katara/Zuko - Political intrigue and external pressure. Maybe it's sudden and they have to work through this idea as young adults. Maybe Katara is initially having trouble getting pregnant. Maybe it matters whose child the firstborn is, even if they're settled into a polyamorous relationship, and that's a little difficult to deal with emotionally and socially.

Toph/Sokka - Not an heir, necessarily, but a child? Does Toph ever actually get baby fever and insist upon it? If Sokka is the father of one of her kids (daughters as per LoK, but I haven't finished LoK FYI), how does he plan to be part of the child's life? Are they friends who have a continued with-benefits relationship? Was it a one time thing they enjoyed but don't want to repeat but now they're going to have a kid?

Ty Lee/Azula - Applies less to them for biological reasons, but in an alternate future what happens when Fire Lord Azula needs an heir if she's in a monogamous, if messy, relationship with another woman? Please bear in mind I don't want noncon in the fic, but otherwise whatever you want to do.

Sexual Relationship as Unhealthy Coping Mechanism - Exactly what it says on the tin. I think in most, if not all, of these cases it wouldn't necessarily be that the sexual relationship was inherently unhealthy or would have to remain so. However, I would like to know what they're coping with and why it helps. I want to know why there's an asterisk to how, why, or when they're having sex, or when it started, etc.

Wilderness Survival - The only prompt I've copy-pasted, so far, but I love this stuff: Basically, go for all your one blanket, stuck alone together against a harsh and unforgiving landscape tropes into this. Hurt/Comfort welcome. Why are they stuck together alone, though? Also, for this fandom, eldritch horror weird animal hybrids as antagonists would work.

Request B: group: Azula & Zuko

Tags for this/these character(s)/relationship(s): Dependent on Enemy for Survival, Emotional Abuse, Emotional Manipulation, Circle of Abuse

Prompt Ideas:

Dependent on Enemy for Survival - What if Zuko and Iroh had not escaped Azula's first capture attempt, for example? If going with that example, maybe they get ship-wrecked and this becomes a mutual situation. Please don't kill Iroh. If you don't want him in the story, maybe he wasn't able to get to Zuko to reason with him in time but was fine elsewhere. My exact scenario isn't necessary, but I hope that general concept gives some insight.

Emotional Abuse - Exactly what it says on the tin. My two scenarios would be in the immediate aftermath of the Fall of Ba Sing Se or when they were children. Basically, Zuko just really wants Azula's true acceptance, and she plays that like an instrument. Commentary is welcome, or Zuko figuring out how to get out from under it gradually, but the general idea is there.

Emotional Manipulation - See immediately above, but a specific instance of this, perhaps. What does Azula try to manipulate Zuko to do? Alternatively, has Zuko ever found any emotional leverage over Azula and is he willing to use it?

Circle of Abuse - In canon, Zuko escapes it, gradually, while Azula seems to actively resist doing so. I'd love a canon divergent AU or a canon compliant exploration of this. Could be a fic from when they were kids, or something within or post-canon.

Request C: group: Aang/Katara/Zuko

Tags for this/these character(s)/relationship(s): Soulmates in Doomed Reincarnation Cycle, Wilderness Survival, almost died, Need to Produce an Heir, Ethical Dilemmas

Prompt Ideas:

Soulmates in Doomed Reincarnation Cycle - It has always really bothered me that it seems like the Avatar is the only one who gets reincarnated. Maybe the three of them (and various twosome combinations sometimes) are frequently reincarnated together, though not in every cycle, and it hasn't, so far, balanced out right. Or, when it does, something terrible happens.

Wilderness Survival - See prompt in Request A.

Almost Died - Hurt/Comfort fodder, but if you want a darker fic you can focus on the nearly-deadly circumstance, too. Any or all the characters could be the almost dead person/persons.

Need to Produce an Heir - See prompt in request A.

Ethical Dilemmas - I mentioned in my character feelings blurb above that I love that while Katara is who she is that she is also capable of thinking very bloody thoughts. This is at odds with Aang's pacifism, but it is not at odds with Zuko's background or upbringing. I would love something where all three of them confront the gradient that exists between them here.


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