prodigy: A parody Choose Your Own Adventure book cover with the title "Gay Viking Holiday." (gay viking holiday)
the late, or rather, later Henrik Egerman ([personal profile] prodigy) wrote2014-10-18 12:57 am
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Yuletide Letter 2014

Hello Yuletide writer! Thank you in advance for writing for me and don’t sweat it! I don’t have much to say about my general taste in fic: I have an AO3 account with some recentish stuff and some outdated and embarrassing stuff. I update my Tumblr the most, which you can find here.

I like: plot and character arcs; angst and darkness cut with humor and/or humor cut with angst and darkness; canon divergence what-if AUs; bittersweetness; fraught multishipping and the occasional love polygon; invented and expanded backstories; invented and expanded worldbuilding; pre- and post-canon fic.

I don’t like: PWP; pure fluff or curtainfic; slice-of-life or sheer introspection generally.

Fate/Zero: Arturia Pendragon | Saber/Lancelot of the Lake | Berserker
King Arthur and Lancelot of the Lake are two people who, in any universe, never seem to be done with one another; I feel the same way about their Fate/Zero selves. Basically I'd love anything expanding on the tragic and evidently close Arturia/Lancelot relationship: I'd totally go for Camelotfic and/or any kind of canon-divergence AU that gives them more time and interaction in the Fourth War and/or a future meeting in a future war. I ship them romantically--I could see them as already involved, or as it being a one-way thing on Lancelot's part, but if you're not into it I'm also down with them as blood-brotherlike friends. I am also really into: the conflict over Guinevere, Arturia/Guinevere, Lancelot knowing (and loving?) Arthur as a man.

Really, I would love gender-complications fic (not issuefic per se) for this pairing and, in general, for Arturia Pendragon. While I can’t really see her as the kind of person who’s self-aware and introspective enough to have a concrete gender or sexual identity by any modern LGBT-type standards, she lived and died a man and that interests me a lot; if you write a fic from Lancelot’s perspective that only refers to Arthur as Arthur and as a he, for instance, and it’s ambiguous whether this is an ‘identification’ his king would agree with or not (or whether it’s even an issue that would matter to Arturia), I would adore that. That’s definitely not the only way to go about it, it’s just the kind of thing I’m interested in with Arthur/Lancelot. Similarly however you handle sex and sexuality in the Arthur-Lancelot-Guinevere triangle: there are a lot of possible ways, but I’d be happy if you incorporated that Arthur’s, in fact, a man as far as they’re all concerned.

I also love the core of their relationship as a knight-liege one: they were both brothers-in-arms and not equals, and that’s very important to both of them, and to how it all went terribly awry. I really like Arturia’s kingship issues and failures as a king, including the idea that she made war on Lancelot out of a dogged loyalty to an honor code that was destructive to them both and to Guinevere; she’s very righteous and a very terrible friend and lord to have, in some ways, and I wonder how Lancelot’s dealt with internalizing that given that he seems to still hold her in such high regard and refuse to feel (consciously) bitter. --and yet he’s a Berserker all the same. She ain’t heavy, she’s my brother. :( What were they like in the past? What would happen if they had to face each other again now, and make new decisions about each other and the Grail?

I have to say I don’t really care THAT much about the greater Fate/ universe continuity when it comes to Arturia, by the way--it is bizarre and self-contradictory, so feel free to treat it all like hazy guidelines especially when it comes to Camelot backstory, though I would be into keeping Mordred somehow.

I’d go in for any rating with this one, if you end up wanting to write Arturia/Lancelot and/or Guinevere with either of them. … This is also a case where I’m game for sad dubcon in the case of Berserker Lancelot with Saber Arturia, but obvs. that’s only if you end up setting it in that timeframe; without the Berserker influence I don’t really see a dub- or noncon dynamic in this pairing at all.

I also like Arturia/Irisviel, Arturia/Diarmuid, and Lancelot/Kariya if they come up and you want to include any hints or subtext, optionally. Also into: thematic Arthur-Kiritsugu parallels, Lancelot-Kariya parallels, Lancelot-Diarmuid parallels, the jarring contrast between modern secular humanism and Arthur and Lancelot’s value system, incorporation of Arthuriana and Arthurian characters in general, and metaplotty plots about the Grail Wars.

Lymond Chronicles: Oonagh O'Dwyer
Oonagh is one of my favorite characters in the Lymond series and I've always been sad that her story with the Irish cause, and with Cormac O'Connor and Phelim O'LiamRoe, was never followed further. I'd like to know more about her life and decisions--if you make this backstory fic up to the point that we meet her, that would be great. This is also a fandom where I shamefully would not mind a fix-it at all where her fate is either averted or fake or whatnot and she gets to go on having a the-rest-of-her-life, whatever that happens to be. I ship her with O'LiamRoe and if you want to incorporate that, great, and if not I am totes fine with gen.

The Game of Kings and Pawn in Frankincense are probably my favorite Lymond books, but as far as secondary characters go I’m really partial to the cast in Queens’ Play: Oonagh especially, but also O’LiamRoe secondarily and Robin Stewart as well though he’s basically unconnected. Oonagh gets kind of a raw deal in service of the overarching Gabriel plot in Knights and Pawn, and it’s up to you whether you want to change that raw deal or just elaborate on her life up to that point; I’m cool with whatever. I honestly enjoy canon-divergence AUs (what if this happened instead of this) (what if this never happened) etc., but I’m really in this for more Oonagh character development so whatever you think serves your story would be nifty.

I really enjoy her particular blend of cynicism and idealism: she’s very hard-edged and willing to sacrifice, but one of the things she’s willing to sacrifice honestly is herself, in some really brutal and sad ways, considering her entire relationship with Cormac. Which, by the way, you needn’t shy away from--obvs. it’s abusive and I don’t ship it, but it’s a big part of her life and characterization. Another thing I really like about her is that she’s a mother (briefly) who’s not virtuously sentimental about her baby, so if you want to do some kind of Oonagh-and-Khaireddin-both-live thing and explore THAT potential alley I’d be interested. (Does she go back to Ireland? Does she brazenly pass Khaireddin off as Cormac’s? “Goes back to Ireland, brazenly passes off as Cormac’s, and somehow finds Phelim again” is a list of things you could combine and I would clap my hands in glee, but again, I’m so not picky about WHAT plot you want to write for this.)

As an aside, I love Francis Crawford but I’m not into his pairing with Oonagh. I’m totally cool with having him IN the fic somehow if you want, and also acknowledging their canonical relationship, it’s just really not my thing as a romantic focus.

Regeneration: W.H.R. Rivers/Billy Prior
Rivers and Prior's fraught, strange, and also rather sweet doctor-patient relationship is maybe the highlight of the Regeneration books for me, and I love a lot of things about them, so that's saying a bit--I gotta be straight-up here, however, and admit that what I really desire is dark breach-of-doctor-patient-ethics Rivers/Prior daddy issues fic. So if you're into writing the pairing: I would love to watch Rivers and his morals disintegrate, but not his genuine love and feelings of responsibility for Billy Prior. If not: fic that explores the creepy/sad side of Rivers and Prior's relationship as it is would also be nifty.

I think my favorite thing about Prior’s interactions with Rivers is that he’s always sort of daring Rivers to transgress his doctor-patient boundaries and reveal his ‘true colors’--I don’t just mean sexually, though there’s certainly that, but in that Prior has so little faith or trust in people and he’s always trying to provoke Rivers into confirming he doesn’t actually care enough about Prior to put up with his shit--and Rivers never rises to it; of all the people in Prior’s pretty sad life, Rivers and Sarah don’t disappoint him, even though he disappoints them a lot. But there’s also kind of a dark flipside to this: Rivers’ entire place in his life is to betray him, as Rivers often reflects on with his patients--he’s not just a doctor, he’s a military doctor, and he’s there to help Prior only so much as it makes Prior ready again to fight. This painful duality in their relationship is a major thing in the text, and I would very much like to read more about that. Rivers is the best father figure Prior has--without much competition, between his cruel alcoholic father and the Father that abused him--and yet he’s still, frankly, kind of a horrible one.

I think that’s something with potential for exploration in gen or pairing--obviously consummating the pairing at all would be a major betrayal of one of the things that makes Rivers safe for Prior, but then again I don’t think it would invalidate that Rivers genuinely does love him (perhaps more than he should) and vice versa, so I’m not requesting preachy one-note abuse fic here, just acknowledging that there’s no way a Rivers/Prior ship dynamic WOULDN’T be intrinsically abusive, it’s doctor/patient. Just, uhh, it’s a dark pairing, it’s a very dark pairing. Even leaving aside Prior’s relationship with sadomasochism, though I’m not convinced that would necessarily even come into play with Rivers. If you go the gen route I admit I still like the degree of uncomfortable textualized UST between the two of them that already exists in the story (Prior’s “fake” flirting, Rivers’ pretending it doesn’t get to him), but it’s mostly their sad doctor/patient surrogate-parent/child relationship that I’m into.

Other things--I’m cool with something that takes place during the timeline of the story, or extends it a little, or whatever; I feel like fix-it for this fandom might be a little disingenuous and contrary to Pat Barker’s point, and also what the ultimate betrayal of their relationship IS, but I’m into AUs of various kinds that maintain the, uh, basic spirit and tone of their interaction. Rating’s up to you, the canon’s pretty high on violent and sexual content after all.

Johannes Cabal: Horst Cabal/Leonie Barrow
I want Horst and Leonie to go on a bonding adventure of your choosing. Seriously, my dearest wish is for a self-contained gen buddy comedy where Horst Cabal and Leonie Barrow, for whatever reason, are stuck together for the time being and have to figure out a way out/save the day/save themselves/save Horst's good-for-nothing brother/whatever. Maybe they're trapped in a pocket dimension or have gotten their bodies swapped on Freaky Friday or are stuck playing the most dangerous game, who knows. Details up to you! Johannes is welcome but optional.

This request is hard to elaborate on--not because I’m not excited about it!!--but because I don’t want to sit here generating more pointless ideas for Horst-Leonie roadtrips, like American Girl books. Horst and Leonie Learn a Lesson. Horst and Leonie Save the Day. Happy Birthday, Horst and Leonie. …. …. okay, those actually sort of get at what I want. Just: like my prompt says, I want them to go on a bonding adventure! And have to be unlikely unwilling teammates. And get on. And work together. Like Leonie already did with Horst’s brother, only presumably easier, because this is Horst after all not Johannes, and yet is it actually easier, Leonie. I am totally okay with and in fact often charmed by all the most contrived plot devices to put them in this situation: give me your tired, your poor, your huddled Chained Together or Bodyswap yearning to breathe free.

--Okay I should probably get this out of the way: I am a total Johannes/Leonie shipper. And this: I’m also a Johannes/Horst shipper. You are in no way obligated to take either or both of these into consideration, and in fact if I wanted either of those pairings I would’ve requested them! Buuut if you want to shade this delightful little adventure with any faint layers of sunny passive aggression, by which I mean, on Horst’s end, I would only be pleased as punch. I mean I want them to be friends by the end, it is the goal of this request, buuut if this is a complication, even just subtextually, I would totally not object. Anyway, this is a gen prompt and I don’t expect any making-out to happen with anything. I just want one of them to be transformed into a llama or something. I wrote some upbeat Cabal-universe gen about teenaged Johannes and Horst here; for full disclosure, I also wrote some trashy incest, but that is less relevant to this prompt.

But anyway, putting that aside. What I like about Leonie Barrow is her high moral standards, general crankiness, and likelihood of actually reading a manual on how to operate a vehicle before attempting to pull off any schemes involving sabotaging it, not that she knows anyone who wouldn’t. Also what I like about her is that she’s kind of a jerk, in a mean self-righteous way, and what makes her not look like one is she’s typically in the company of a much bigger jerk. What I like about Horst Cabal is that he’s charming and extroverted in a canon of introverted weirdos and is also sort of just a normal(ish) dude trying to cope with events that generally go way over his head. And that he’s also kind of a douche, and normally has his brother to make him look better too.

Things I like: Leonie’s everpresent struggle between righteousness and common sense, some hybrid of complaining about Johannes and trying not to wish aloud he was here to help, the fact that Horst is kind of stupid (I feel like Brothers Cabal removed all doubt) (he is so stupid) (god bless), Horst being secretly really put out that not every woman in the universe likes him and not wanting to admit that this bugs him, the two of them ‘klaatu barada nikto’ halfassing their way around magic.

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