ASH (galerian_ash) wrote,

Dear Yuletide Writer...

Hi there, and thank you for coming to read this letter! Just the fact that you're out there — liking one (or more) of my rare fandoms, and writing a story for me — makes me happy. So please don't agonize over anything; just try to enjoy yourself and I'm sure I'll love the end result :)

I'm a shipper at heart, and my requests definitely reflect that. I do apologize if that's not your thing, but I assure you that I'll enjoy warm gen as well. If it is your thing, though? I love first-time stories most of all — but I'm also fond of established relationships, so no worries if you don't want to write about how the characters get together. I'm all for sex scenes, if that's where the story leads you (but I won't be disappointed if the characters end up taking things slow, and stick with just kissing or ambiguous fade-to-black scenes — whatever you think works best is a-okay with me)!

Aside from that, the things I like are all over the place — so I'll list a few for you below. Keep in mind that there's no reason for you to worry if the stuff I mention aren't what you had planned! I'm only writing this to give you a general idea of what I'm into, y'know? That said, here we go:

♥ Characters who are unflinchingly loyal, including betrayals that are actually done for the sake of the other.
♥ Protectiveness — especially if the one being protected is quite capable of taking care of themselves, and/or isn't used to someone caring like that.
♥ Unrequited love and longing that ends up not being that unrequited after all. UST is great as well, especially if finally resolved.
♥ Stoic characters opening up and revealing feelings they normally wouldn't; the strong-and-silent type showing unexpected vulnerability.
♥ Moments where one character is completely out of it (due to sleepiness or being wounded or whatever), but is still aware of the other just being there; a comforting and safe presence.
♥ Characters who share a "I understand what you need without having to be told" bond.
♥ Lonely characters finding companionship.
♥ One character passing out, and the other having to carry them (to safety, bed, wherever) while internally panicking.
♥ Differences between lovers — height, age, etc.
♥ Playful sex. That's not to say I don't enjoy tender or passionate sex, but there's just something about two characters being so at ease and comfortable around each other that they're able to joke and laugh while making love.
♥ Rescues! Whether it's a matter of life or death, or simply being woken from a nightmare, it's all good.
♥ Rivalries, both of the friendly sort and the more antagonistic kind.
♥ Desperate kissing in the rain. DON'T JUDGE MEEE~

And on the flip side, things I don't want:

★ Sad stuff involving animals (death, cruelty, and so on).
★ Focus on social issues.
★ Crossovers.
★ Crack.
★ Meta.
★ Alternate Universe fics. I like AUs sometimes, but since these fandoms are rare I'd like to get fic of them as they are.

Now then, here are my actual requests:

First Blood | Rambo John Rambo ~ Samuel Trautman

I feel so greedy asking for this, because I got two utterly amazing gifts last year. But if anything that only served to whet my appetite — I love this fandom so very much, and I honestly don't think I'd be satisfied even if there were a hundred fics out there. So yeah... Here we go again!

First off, if you've read the original book and the two subsequent novelizations, feel free to incorporate however much you want from them. The plots differ a bit, but in terms of characterization I pretty much consider them to be the same canon (if the Yuletide rules had allowed it, I would've nominated this as "books and/or movies"). But uh, there are some things I'd rather not have you include, obviously — i.e. keep Trautman away from shotguns!

I'd love to see a fic set after the third movie. It's not that I don't like the fourth one, but in this particular case I'd prefer if you could just ignore it. I like to think that Rambo and Trautman stayed together after driving off into the sunset leaving Afghanistan. They make such a great team (just look at how they instantly fall into a confident rhythm when they're breaking out of that Russian prison, or the deleted scene where Trautman spots for Rambo when he's struggling with aiming the Dragunov), not to mention that they care very deeply for each other — and I honestly think they both want to stick together. Hell, take the second book for example — at the end when Rambo says he's leaving to live day by day, Trautman replies by asking "You want some company?"

As you might have suspected, I do ship them. Very, very much. So, needless to say, I'd be thrilled if you wanted to take them in that direction!

One of the things that gets to me the most about Rambo, is how hard he is on himself. He pushes himself to the utmost, completely heedless of the damage he inflicts on his own body. Like that scene in the third movie, where he cauterizes his wound in order to be able to keep fighting. Or, in the third book, where he's basically killing himself trying to get everyone to safety. He can't see straight because he hasn't slept in days, and subsequently berates himself for being a "lazy bastard". (One of my favorite parts comes here too, where Rambo wonders just how much longer he can keep going, and then grits his teeth because: "For Trautman? Forever.") I'd love to see a moment where Trautman tells him to take it easy, and just shows that he truly cares. Maybe that seems OOC to you, but I honestly don't think it is. Trautman never hesitates to go out of his way for Rambo's sake, and judging by some of the things he says — "Seems like bailing you outta trouble's getting to be a lifetime job for me." — he's quite at peace with it, as well. And when Rambo is playing that tank-versus-helicopter game of chicken, Trautman pretty much panics. He yells at Rambo to get out of there, and then actually starts running towards the vehicles, thoroughly ignoring his own safety. And the look on his face when the explosion clears and Rambo crawls out of the tank...!

I love that Trautman calls Rambo by his first name. He's the only one that does, and I think it might actually mean a lot to Rambo. I also love that they both have such a good sense of humor! They manage to crack some dry, kinda self-deprecating, ironic jokes throughout the series — even when facing insurmountable odds, showing that they understand each other well enough to be able to do that.

Another thing I love about their relationship is the complete trust they have in each other. Rambo says it straight out; telling Trautman that he's the only one he trusts. Trautman, on his part, shows it. He does so more than once, but take the first movie for example — Rambo is clearly unraveling, yet Trautman fearlessly confronts him and even goes so far as to wrench the rifle from his hands.

If you'd like to tackle something a bit different, how about a pre-canon story? I could totally see them having an arrangement during their time in Vietnam, a no-strings-attached sort of thing; using sex as a way to find release and get away from the war for a moment, however brief. I could also see it turning into something more — perhaps with Rambo wanting to keep it going even after they've returned home, which spooks Trautman. Rambo even says he tried to get in touch with Trautman, without success, something that quite possibly contributed to him going off the rails. Of course, I realize that's a very detailed prompt; in no way am I trying to shove a specific plot at you! I'll be thrilled no matter what you choose to write, so if you have an idea of your own? Please go for it!

Riptide Cody Allen ~ Nick Ryder

Riptide never aired in my country, so I discovered it very late. But man, once I did, I fell hard. It quickly became one of my absolute favorite series, and a big reason for that is the relationship between Nick and Cody. It has such amazing scope, what with spanning so many years — from the Vietnam War, working as MPs, getting a boat and living together, to finally starting a detective agency. They know each other inside out, and I'd be hard-pressed to think of two characters who are more in sync. They communicate just as much by touch and looks as they do with actual words. They're deeply caring and protective of each other, both physically and emotionally. The notion of personal space simply does not exist between them (like, seriously, this is them eating out with friends — no one else was sitting on that bench), and they're often in a world of their own. They sleep in the same tiny room, and next to the stairs leading down to said room and the adjacent bathroom is a sign, stating "Save water — shower with a friend". I... probably don't need to tell you that they're a huge OTP of mine, now do I? So yes, I'd be over the moon if you feel like writing something with the two of them together together!

I'd love to read a fic where Cody makes an effort to get Nick a real gift for his birthday. Because he looks genuinely hurt when Cody lets slip that the compass was junk, and then he apparently can't even remember that he'd given the telescope to Nick. And just look at Nick's reaction when Cody hands him that present in The Bargain Department...! He gets so very happy and excited (well, at least until he sees what's inside — good thing he shares Cody's sense of humor!).

And speaking of The Bargain Department, what if it had taken the guys a bit longer to see Tricor's true colors? I think that could be a fascinating what-if scenario! Cody is already on the verge of an early midlife crisis, and after being treated like shit at Tricor for a while, with Nick having moved out? He'd be a total wreck. I can't imagine Nick would be faring any better — judging by the way he wipes at his eyes, he's crying when he's reading Cody's note begging him to not move out (with the little adorable addition of "pizza in the fridge"). It's ripe for some serious emotional hurt/comfort, if that's your thing! If you like physical hurt/comfort more, how about a missing scene for Oil Bets Are Off? Cody's been shot, roughed up, and is probably completely exhausted after having to take down all those bad guys by his lonesome. And Nick's been worried out of his mind ever since Cody got kidnapped; he'd probably be even more protective and caring than usual, and that's saying a lot! Or hey, maybe some good ol' hypothermia? Sharing body warmth, with one character barely lucid... Yeees, that'd be nice too ;)

I love how domestic they are! Going grocery shopping together, Cody making soup specially for Nick when he has a cold, Nick asking for Cody's opinion on his clothes (or outright letting Cody choose what he wears — one such instance has him lounging, sitting with his feet on the table and drinking beer as Cody picks out a tie for him, stepping in close to drape it around Nick's neck), Nick making Cody's favorite barbecue sauce, etc.

Cody can be surprisingly insecure and awkward around women he's attracted to, which leads me to wonder: If he fell for Nick (whether it was realizing how he's felt all along, or something new that develops), would he act the same way? Would he perhaps even pull out the Italian phrasebook again, and try to actually woo Nick?

I love that they're always there for each other, caring and loyal no matter what. Like that one scene in Requiem For Icarus, where Cody manages to make Nick laugh despite the fact that he's hurting and blaming himself and feeling generally shitty. It's such a sweet moment between them, with Cody being completely dependable and solid. (And, of course, that scene also presents us with an intriguing plot bunny — how would Cody handle it if Nick went off the rails? Would he truly kidnap and lock Nick in the Riptide, like he claims?)

And Nick does the same for Cody; I mean, how supportive and amazing isn't he in Smiles We Left Behind?! One of the best moments in that episode is when Janet, perceptive and sharp as a razor, says "You afraid I'll take Cody away from you again?" The look on Nick's face when hearing this is just... wow. It prompts him to finally drops the icy façade, and the two of them go at it. I find their whole argument extremely interesting, because the things they say — it all comes across as two people fighting because they're in love with the same man. Nick is willing to step aside and let Cody go, if Janet treats him right this time. You can tell he's utterly miserable, but he's still going through with it because he thinks that a life with Janet is what Cody wants. Something which Cody ends up disproving by the end of the episode, when he offers to move in order to be with her and then frantically takes it back two minutes later. Amusingly enough, one of the reasons he lists for them not working out is because they're out of sync (and, you know, him and Nick couldn't possibly be more in sync).

I love how teasing and playful Nick can be towards Cody. He's not like that with anyone else, ever, and you can tell that there's such a deep fondness at its core. Like when he makes fun of Cody's songs, he does so by reciting the lyrics from memory — and those are lyrics that he probably would've heard more than a decade ago. That speaks of some serious dedication; remembering something like that, by heart, for such a long time. Or when Giovanna speaks in Italian to compliment Cody's looks! Nick hums in agreement and gives him this slow, appreciative once-over — complete with licking his lips, for God's sake. And then of course Nick lies when translating what she'd said, struggling to keep the amused smirk off his face. There are so many moments like this throughout the series, and I adore them all.

I realize I've gone a bit overboard (haha, overboard, get it? *channeling Cody and his love for using boat-related terminology*) with the prompts here, so I just want to assure you that you don't have to adhere to any of them. Whatever you want to write about these two will be wonderful, so go wild!

The Silent Flute | Circle Of Iron Cord ~ The Blind Man

This is one of my favorite movies; I never get sick of watching it. It's not only visually stunning, but also has some real depth to it. It's funny, thoughtful, exciting, and — I honestly cannot praise it enough! I'd love to see a fic set after the movie, about the further adventures of Cord and the Blind Man. And, uh, right off the bat I want to encourage you to name the Blind Man — provided you want to, that is! He has a name in the original script, but since the finished movie is quite different I don't mind if you'd like to call him something else.

I love how Cord latches on to the Blind Man almost immediately, all smiles and easy promises. The Blind Man, on his part, has a sharp tongue — but I think there's no mistaking the obvious fondness and affection he develops for Cord. The banter between them is wonderful; definitely one of my favorite aspects of the whole movie. You've probably guessed as much, but if you'd like to write something pairing them up I'd be thrilled!

Their roles as teacher and student are obvious, but I'd be excited to see a moment where Cord is able to teach the Blind Man something. Doesn't matter if it's something small and silly, or hugely important (related to their deepening relationship, perhaps?) — I just think it'd be very interesting to see a reversal of roles. Or maybe the reversal can come from something a bit more dramatic? Like, for example, a moment where the Blind Man is in danger somehow, and Cord comes to his rescue. The latter could go many ways — serious and angsty, with hurt/comfort and desperate love confessions prompted by a near-death situation; or lighthearted and humorous, with them bickering every step of the way (since I can't imagine that the Blind Man would be gracious at having had Cord swoop in to save him).

I love how pivotal the Blind Man's music becomes to Cord. In the confrontation with Changsha, Cord is losing — then he, alone, hears the flute. He's grounded by it, and manages to prevail. And Cord knows damn well who it is that's playing it, which I think signifies just how important the Blind Man has become to him. Even much earlier, in the waterfall scene, you can see how utterly delighted Cord becomes when the Blind Man shows up again. That brilliant smile of his says it all, I think.

In the beginning, Cord stands alone. He is his own man, by his own choice — he needs no one, and no one needs him. But he grows as the movie progresses, in more ways than one. I think his character development is really great, and I'd like to see him continue to evolve under the tutelage of the Blind Man. To be honest, I'm not certain if they'd stick around and offer guidance to future Seekers... I almost think they'd be more likely to go off and wander the land. Maybe they experience adventure and fight intimidating foes, or perhaps they simply settle down and enjoy life? Wherever your story takes them, I'll be eager to read it!


Aaand that's it! I really hope you're not feeling disheartened or disappointed by my requests. If anything is unclear or you have something you'd like to ask, I'd be more than happy to answer any questions via the moderators. Or, if you'd rather not contact them, you can also reply anonymously here.

In closing, thank you so much for writing a story for me! I really can't wait to read it ♥
Tags: riptide, yuletide
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