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we_protect_each_other ([personal profile] we_protect_each_other) wrote2016-08-09 12:02 am
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[comm] dear darkestnightex author:

Dear darkestnightex author,

I'm [archiveofourown.org profile] failsafe!

Another first for me, this is my first inherently-dark fic exchange, so please bear with my delicate heart. In the Optional Details section on AO3, I put the following information as hard do-not-wants as instructed by the form:

Hard DNWs: Please do not write any unrequested forms of sexual violence or coercion for me. Even if dark sexual themes are permissible per prompt, please no snuff or serious or permanent injury associated with sex. Please do not write excessive gore beyond what one might see in a PG-13 setting, though canon-typical violence is okay certainly. Please do not write a heavily nihilistic narrative for me. Even in the midst of misery I would prefer not all-hope-ever-is-lost.

I have a pretty standard format for these letters, so please forgive any redundancy in my usual dislikes list. Please also note that as long as you abide by the above, the dislikes list can be considered flexible to a degree if it would help with your narrative since these are not necessarily supposed to have happy endings or the like.

Dislikes: character-bashing towards anybody, noncon, explicit gore, breathplay, bloodplay*, nihilism, utterly hopeless forever and ever ending, no powers AUs

*Basically what I mean here for this exchange is the above-mentioned no serious or permanent injury related to sex.

Likes: canon-typical violence, missing scenes, UST, emotional ambiguity, found families, developing or established relationships, time travel, earned second chances, dealing with consequences, canon-divergent AUs, earned happy endings, groundhog day trope, monster-of-the-week adventures, casefic

Because of the extremely extensive additional tagging for this exchange, in my fandom-specific prompts I will list the tags requested but write general prompts that bear them in mind rather than addressing each tag. If you don't see something in any of the prompts that jumps out at you, feel free to bypass them and go with something from the requested tag list as your source of inspiration. I want to see the story you want to write. Prompts are there to help, not hinder. I hope you have fun writing for me!

Fate/stay night & Related Fandoms
Matou Sakura

Tags: Abandonment, affection as a means of control, Alternate Universe - Puella Magi Madoka Magica, Alternate Universe - Soulmates, Folie a Deux, Unavoidable fate, Brother/Sister Incest, Anxiety, Mental Health Issues, Unhealthy Coping Mechanisms, Alternate Universe - Canon Divergence

Sakura is, in some respects, one of the most convincing abuse-victims I've come across in fiction that wasn't really about abuse survival. That said, I also think the way it plays out for her in "her" route sort of sucks as a satisfying narrative because it's just absurdly dark for everyone else. Which makes Sakura the perfect person, for better or for worse, to request for this exchange. As listed, I would enjoy a Canon Divergence AU fic which either changed something about Heaven's Feel or wrote an entirely different route (excerpt -- I'm not trying to kill you) for her. I would prefer something that actually turns out well for her that kind of addresses a lot of the dark stuff that seems to go unaddressed in canon in her route for the sake of sympathizing with her, or I would like some little minor Canon Divergence AU fic that takes place in Fate or UBW routes that really focuses on "meanwhile, with Sakura" in a similar fashion. Character study or action/adventure or whatever suits your fancy would be good for this one.

As far as "shipping" or "pairing" goes for sexuality or anything else like that, I can basically tell you that I think that until Sakura received extensive therapy that any of it would fall under that 'dark' or 'unhealthy' category. That said, I'm comfortable asking for this stuff for this dark-fest of an exchange, so, here goes. If you would like to ship Sakura with anyone or write a gen fic with a specific other character added in the mix, here are some options I would like: Sakura/Gilgamesh*, Sakura/Illya**, Sakura/Shinji***, Sakura/Shirou****

* I feel like the unethical age-gap is dubious for this one because it's a bit December/Mayfly to its ultimate but also kind of not? So if you want to deal with that in your fic if you go this route, you can, but if you also want to be just like "this is no worse than a messed up teenager dating a young adult" then that's also okay? Neither are great ideas IRL but up to you how you want to deal with. If you go this route, illicit and treacherous Master/Servant contract or Sakura exacting revenge against Shinji and/or Zouken for abuse with Gilgamesh would be great.

** Please no loli stuff. I absolutely do kind of ship them but if you're going to write anything that involves shippy-stuff please have Illya have aged normally or it to be a little later when she's had time to go through proper puberty and stuff even though she's already older than Sakura, geez. Otherwise, I would just really like any fic about the two of them having a strange chemistry and relationship that actually matters. I love the idea of them as contrasting Grails and the idea that they could both compete and commiserate over being girls with "unavoidable fates" that were chosen so unfairly for them. Perhaps they could try to escape those fates (and succeed or not). I chose the Folie a Deux tag with them in mind, though you can apply it wherever. I also thought the Soulmate AU might fit them given the dual Grail thing.

*** Obviously the Brother/Sister Incest tag is for this. I really would prefer not receiving fic about Sakura essentially enjoying abuse or absolving Shinji of rape. If you go this route, I would either like to see something that involves Sakura essentially taking control of the situation and exacting revenge or something or I would like to see a somewhat Canon Divergent interpretation of their dynamic in a way that kind of has them involved in unhealthy and hard-to-understand mutually supportive codependence in their hell of a home life. Flowers in the Attic or whatever in a way that redeems Shinji in a darkish way somehow. Basically make it better or make it worse but let Sakura win, please.

**** I'm not going to lie to you. I really don't like Sakura/Shirou as a ship that I would ship without the subtext of this type of exchange. I like both of them as characters. I like the idea that they are best friends. I like the idea of them working that out in happier fics. I do not think they are healthy potential romantic partners. However, that makes this exchange the perfect place for me to ask for what does intrigue me about the prospect of this ship. Like I said, I kind of view them as a more best friends kind of dynamic that, even if there are some complicated hormones and stuff involved, should stay that way if it weren't for complications. The HGW is quite the complication, as is the abuse Sakura has dealt with all her life. I feel like that the Good End of Heaven's Feel glosses over the issues with this completely and I would like to see a fic, if it ships them, kind of about how they're best friends who should have never started fucking even though they love each other in another way.

As for Madoka AU -- go nuts? You can read just below here to see some things I like about that narrative if it'll help you. Otherwise, what did Sakura wish for? What are her powers? What are the draw-backs? Are any of the other lead girls magical girls too? I have not seen Prillya so fuse or ignore or whatever else. I know they're magical girls but that's about it. Just please no loli stuff.

***Puella Magi Madoka Magica listed twice because tag selections vary a little between two requests.***

Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica | Puella Magi Madoka Magica
Akemi Homura, Sakura Kyouko

Tags: affection as a means of control, Bad Ending, Be Careful What You Wish For, Ethical Dilemmas, Outliving Friends and Family, Time Travel Fix-It Gone Wrong, Unhealthy Coping Mechanisms, Unhealthy Relationships, Time Loop, Moral Dilemmas, Alternate Universe - Canon Divergence

This fic can involve both Homura and Kyouko or either of them. Happy either way! If you include both of them, you can ship them or not-ship them. Happy either way!

You can look to the tag list I've selected to see some options for what I would like to see in either or both of these girls' stories. I find it interesting that Kyouko is kind of the only major variable Homura has to deal with. Just as she has learned in her repetitions that Sayaka's fall is inevitable, no matter how hard she tried, I believe that it's also canon (I heard somewhere) that Kyouko usually shows up at a specific time but in some of the doomed timelines she's never there at all. Her changeability and sort of liminal nature is fascinating to me, and I would love to see that explored either between the two of them or for Kyouko independently.

I feel like it's pretty canon that Homura/Madoka and Kyouko/Sayaka are pretty primary-canon and sort of foil relationships. You don't have to agree with me! Or like those relationships. I kind of do, but I'm bringing it up to talk about if you choose to ship Homura and Kyouko. I would be interested in a narrative where Homura uses Kyouko's variability or her presence as a coping mechanism. I would love to read a fic where Homura is just so tired and gives up and tries to find solace in someone else. Likewise, I think that Kyouko's rediscovered optimism that we see in the arc in the anime kind of is indicative of an ability to see the best in people that could kind of go right or wrong with regard to how she sees Homura. Even if you just want to write them being platonically (sort of) supportive or involved in the midst of this mess, that would be good. I feel like if you just stick to canon's general format that you've already hit some of my requested tags so just writing whatever within that would be good.

If you would like to write a Homura-only focus fic, some prompting thoughts about her might be some character-building stuff about who she was before or how she doesn't really know who she was before. I feel like it's a pretty heavy narrative punch that Homura goes from quite Hollywood-homely/dorky-cute with virtually no character information or assertive personality to hardened badass. I feel like this is very intentional, but I am also frustrated and curious, so a fic that either filled in the negative space or directly addressed the negative space in another way, that would be great. Oh, and if you want to, you can totally include Homura/Madoka in a Homura-focused fic. I'm also interested in just the toll the years of repeating have on her or would have and what she thinks about when she just can't for a few days and everything is ruined again because of it.

Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica | Puella Magi Madoka Magica
group: Miki Sayaka & Sakura Kyouko

Tags: Aftermath of Violence, Recovery Process after Brain Wash, Internalized Homophobia, premonition of death, Time Loop, Time Travel Fix-It Gone Wrong, Forced To Harm Loved One, Enduring Pain to Protect Another, Alternate Universe - Canon Divergence

I love their relationship and you can interpret it as romantic or just some other kind of love. I don't mind either way.

I am sort of fascinated by how Kyouko and Sayaka viewed each other at the very beginning of all this looping when they first met. In the resolution of the anime, Kyouko is very upset because she mentions that she was only just getting to be friends with Sayaka before she was gone. This has kind of made me speculate that maybe that underlying caring about each other versus how much they clash that we see at first hangs in a balance. I wonder about whether or not the girls who aren't Homura sense echoes of what they're going through, if there are built-up frustrations, if there are subconscious sources of grief, and if maybe they fight and clash so hard because of that, or something along those lines.

I would also love to read about them in another doomed timeline where they were getting along better earlier but things still went as they go. You can break my heart since I know it'll loop again anyway.

I noted the internalized homophobia thing because of Kyouko's religious background. However, this does not mean I want religion-bashing. Please don't do that generally. I also think that this could be applied the other way around where Sayaka is the one dealing with it because it seems like she is very insistently trying to be "normal" and straight and whatever else even while playfully flirting with Madoka and stuff. Her parents exist in her life but they both seem to be absent and working a lot and whatever might be normal for working middle class in their culture, so it could be that she doesn't want to break from that image or whatever. Kyouko's father was apparently unorthodox and a good man, so it's possible maybe Kyouko might be cool with it, but either which way if you want to write about them working through that, you can.

If you want to do a more hopeful but dark, creepy fic, I would like to read something about Kyouko and Sayaka dealing with what life is like in the aftermath of Rebellion. Maybe they are sort of sleuthing it out at some point, getting closer to the truth, and trying to decide if they really want to fix this since it seems for all intents any purposes that they get to stay together and be happy as long as they stay in the labyrinth as it were.

Chronicles of Narnia
Edmund Pevensie, Lucy Pevensie

Tags: Accidental Incest, Brother/Sister Incest, Dark Fairy Tale Elements, Time passes differently in fairyland, War, Something Made Them Do It, Unhealthy Coping Mechanisms, Ritual Sex, Alternate Universe - Canon Divergence

During the Golden Age or a Canon Divergence AU version of it, I would love to read about the politics or the wars and battles fought by the Pevensies as rulers. I would like to read any political intrigue narrative you'd like to tell and see how this beautiful and strange world isn't all sunshine and roses even without the Big Bad around. Whether or not you choose to include both Edmund and Lucy or one of them as the focal character, that is entirely up to you. Whether you want to include an incest element to this narrative is also entirely up to you and I won't be heartbroken if you don't. Just dealing with Dark Fairy Tale Themes or stuff about war and politics is more than sufficient to please me.

If you do want to go the incest route, you can do several things with it. The slightly less-creepy but still, you know, incestuous option is if you kind of deal with how they slowly fell into it and forgot that by their 1940s Earth moral paradigm that it was "wrong." A genuine, not-terribly-dark romance tinged with that lingering shadow hits this angst button for me I really like. On the other hand, you could deal with what happened after they returned to their childhood back through the Wardrobe. I do not want loli/shota/kid sexuality stuff. However, as they aged and up into something like the (film) Voyage of the Dawn Treader ages, if something happened during the Golden Age, how do they cope with that? Does it come up again? I like the Edmund/Lucy option for the Pevencest stuff greatly because of the full contrast of light/dark between them that I feel is present in the narrative. I like all the characters and you can include them as you see fit. I also like the idea of dealing with the moral and ethical ambiguity of the fact that they are in this sort of analogous "Eden" state where they're pretty much the only humans in Narnia specifically, so even by more traditional and Judeo-Christian values, it wouldn't really be "wrong" but it's gray and complicated? But then they get slapped back into a life where it is a whole lot more clearly "wrong." That has always fascinated me as an idea.

Avatar: The Last Airbender
Azula, Katara, Zuko, group: Azula, Ty Lee, & Mai

Tags: Anxiety, Unhealthy Coping Mechanisms, Unhealthy Relationships, Coercion, Sexual Coercion, Enduring Pain to Protect Another, government control, Alternate Universe - Soulmates, Internalized Homophobia, Mental Health Issues, Sex in the Blood of their Enemies, War, War Trophy, Wilderness Survival, Alternate Universe - Canon Divergence

Any combination of requested characters in a single fic is good! Go with whatever option you tease out and want to do. Some of these tags were chosen with one character (or group) in mind, but if you want to apply them to the other I don't think it will bother me. The one thing I do not want is Zuko in a position of sexually coercing anyone even if he is in a weird power position because I don't think I could ever buy it as a legitimate character development.

Primarily, out of these, I ship Katara/Zuko and Azula/Ty Lee, but if you awnt to go a different direction or write gen that is totally good!

I would love to read about political machinations, either as an extension of canon or divergent from it. I am interested in the various power differentials in the characters I selected. I think that how different the experience of political "power" and "royalty" were for Azula and Zuko. I also think it's interesting that by others' reckoning, Katara might also be a "princess" as the daughter of her tribe's leader, but that never really seems to come up. However, it could in some sense by someone be viewed as something of note and strategic value.

I am interested in Azula's unhealthy level of control over her friends. I am also interested in the way her mental illness seems to have been coddled and encouraged rather than treated, which both makes her really terrifying and despicable from a certain point of view but also really tragic and sympathetic from another. I think that it's interesting that it seems like that she does harbor some kind of affection for Zuko as her brother but that she somehow sees no contradiction between this and how many times she's gone out of her way to hurt or even kill him. This duality and just lack of a normal moral compass is interesting. I would be interested in how she deals with her friends in private. Particularly with regard to Ty Lee, given my sort of dark-shipping feelings and the fact that she didn't just leave because she was bored (like Mai did), I feel like Azula is attached to Ty Lee but that she would also tend to sort of coerce her into her thrall. Whether this is romantic/sexual or not could be up to you.

The reason I picked the "War Trophy" tag was because of an idea that came to mind when I read it, related to the above-mentioning of Katara's dubious position as a princess of the Water Tribe. In some alternative circumstances, I thought that maybe one could write a Katara/Zuko-like fic that involved this kind of dynamic if it was during the time or a version of the time when he went back home to the Fire Nation with Azula, looking for acceptance. I don't really want them to have an abusive relationship in this fic, because I really love their character development and how they help each other as people, but creepy power dynamic issues and/or ritual sex or something made them do it could be acceptable to me in this context.

Another route Katara/Zuko could take is one of the reasons I picked that Sex in the Blood of their Enemies tag. While that would definitely fit with something involving Azula, too, I also couldn't help but think of that time that Zuko and Katara went on their life-changing journey together. I love that episode and I would love to see some kind of expansion of that that maybe spiraled a little darker. I even like the prospect of Aang/Katara/Zuko quite a bit, but one of the things that gets me about that is how Aang (as a friend or lover) is just this total technical pacifist who cannot understand the war-like nature that both Katara and Zuko are naturally possessed of, almost to the point of outright rewriting that part of who he perceives them to be. I would love to see Zuko and Katara going off and basically kicking ass, taking names, and well...

The soulmates AU thing was also kind of picked on the off chance you wanted to do Katara/Zuko and the fire/ice and prince/princess thing in that kind of light and make it sad and star-crossed.

For any and all Katara/Zuko stuff, please note that I do not hate Aang and my preference for no character bashing, thanks!

I would also like to read anything about Zuko's time back in the Fire Nation that we didn't see on the show. I feel that he had a lot of mixed feelings and observed a lot of things that upset him. I also felt like that his relationship with Mai during that time, while he cared about her, was a little on the phoning it in and unbalanced and creepy side. If you want to explore that, that would also interest me.

I like Wilderness Survival and you could balance the dark with sharing blanket fluff if you want to. No one said we couldn't have a taste of fluff in our avoiding maiming or starvation of whatever. I don't like wound kink but I like wound care.

I feel like I didn't talk about Mai enough. While I don't ship her with Azula or Ty Lee really, I would love to read about her in a gen fic about the three of them. I would also like to read about her position politically and how she views that. I would also like to read about her dealing with the fallout of what her relationship with Zuko kind of did to her life as it were. I mentioned their relationship a bit above, and you could tackle a similar idea with a tight focus on her perspective as well if you wanted to incorporate her view on everyone in her little group and life. Given that she is part of a group here, it's hard for me to parse out what exactly to ask for for her but I like her too and those are some thoughts I have about her.

This is really long. I hope I covered everything.

Fallout: New Vegas
Courier Six

Tags: premonition of death, Presumed Death, Prostitution, Resurrection, Loss of Identity, Revenge, Revenge Seduction

I have played hours and hours of Fallout: New Vegas but I am the most casual gamer ever and I never seem to finish the main story. I pretty much know how all of it could play out, though. It's just that I am lazy and have not yet experienced everything. Please feel free to include any nominated characters in this fic and any un-nominated to support your plot. I am not picky about ships! However, I would like for the Courier to have at least or or two real, genuine, healthy relationships in the midst of whatever dark you choose to write based on this prompt. I also don't mind if you choose male or female Courier. I've always played as female and am female, but if you've got a headcanon male Courier, please let me meet him, particularly if Arcade/Courier is a thing you like.

I would like to read about how the Courier picks up the pieces after his/her assumed death and "resurrection." Further, I also really like the idea in videogames where you resurrect at your last save point to think about what it would be like if that were a meta experience -- if this chosen main character just literally can't die and has to go back and retrace their steps until they finish their race as it were. I just always thought that idea was cool and could be fun-creepy to deal with, especially if you get into the ramifications such meta-awareness might have on their experience of relationships and the world.

If you have headcanon about what the Courier remembers before he/she was shot, go for including that. If you want to write an amnesia narrative, go for that. I would like to read, though, about how the Courier deals with these various possible forms of identity issues. Did he/she leave a life behind that he/she misses? Or is the lack of that troubling to him/her? Why is the Courier a Courier? Does he/she remember or know?

And if you want to include the prostitution/revenge/revenge seduction thing, this came a bit from my learning that if you have the Femme Fatale perk and you find Benny you can get him to sleep with you by being a super creeper. I ultimately decided not to go with that in my save file but I was so morbidly curious I had to go through the motions and steps to read it. It doesn't have to be Benny, though -- it could be pretty much any narrative you feel like telling about something like that. If you picked Benny, maybe actually having more than the option of him running away in the morning or killing him in his sleep and prolonging that creepy tango would be an option. I don't really know how you'd manage it, but if you want to sell it, even go for dark creepy Benny redemption arc through a twisted kind of Love/Creepy Sex Redeems scheme. Go for whatever you want.