ASH (galerian_ash) wrote,

Dear Chocolate Box Writer/Artist...

Hi there, and thank you for coming to read this letter! I'm a huge shipper, so I'm really excited about this exchange! Can't wait to see what you write/draw — please just try to enjoy yourself, and I'm sure to love the end result :)

I love first-time/getting-together stories most of all — but I also love established relationships, so it's all good. I'm not all that into pure PWPs, but I certainly won't mind a sex scene if that's where the story leads you.

For art, I love seeing the characters being happy together. Perhaps doing something silly and laughing, or just playing around with each other — this can be as domestic and mundane as doing the dishes together and splashing water on each other, to dancing and stepping on the other's toes. Sweet moments, like holding each other while sleeping, are great too. I also love hurt/comfort, both emotional and physical. Like one character holding the other while they cry, or protectively clutching their wounded lover.

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. I like AUs sometimes, but these fandoms are all rare so I'd like to get fic/art of them as they are (but Canon Divergence is perfectly fine).

Now then, here are my actual requests:

First Blood | Rambo

Samuel Trautman/John Rambo:
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. 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 something 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?"

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 something set pre-canon? 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/draw, so if you have an idea of your own? Please go for it!

I'll Take Manhattan (TV)

Cutter Amberville/Candice Alexander:
I would love something sweet and tender here, perhaps with Cutter finding himself actually falling for Candice. Maybe watching her fight to regain her ability to walk — he does mention never having left her side during this time — sparks unexpected emotions in him? I'd just like to see him treat her nicely and actually mean it. If you include her little pack of Golden Retrievers as well, I'd be over the moon!

Cutter Amberville/Lily Adamsfield: On some level, I think Cutter did love Lily. I mean, during all the years they're apart he continues to wear the necklace she gave him — her family crest, effectively marking him as hers. I really enjoyed Lily's character development, how meeting Cutter made her come alive for the first time. They were both broken and messed up, but together they were perfect.

Cutter Amberville/Original Male Character: There were times when I felt that all Cutter needed was a man with a firm hand. I don't mean someone dominant and controlling... Just someone who understood him and cared for him, but who was also able to reel him in when he got too wild. I'd love to read something where Cutter genuinely falls in love, and is perhaps redeemed by the relationship — or, if you'd prefer something darker, I'd also be up for him meeting someone who's just as twisted and fucked-up as he is.

Cutter Amberville/Justin Amberville: And speaking of dark, this pairing would definitely lend itself to that. Maybe something set after the end of the series, with Cutter divorced and out in the cold. I could see him setting his sights on Justin — slowly manipulating and seducing him, under the guise of getting to know his son and make amends. Or, hell, write/draw something sweet if you want! I just really like the juxtaposition here, with Justin being naïve and inexperienced while Cutter appears to have tried everything at least twice.

Magnum PI

Thomas Sullivan Magnum IV/Jonathan Quayle Higgins III:
I see so, so much subtext in their relationship. Hell, I'm almost tempted to use the word soulmates, however silly that may sound. They're often at each other's throat, saying some really hard-hitting things — but deep down there's genuine respect and caring. And when push comes to shove they understand each other's feelings and know just what to say/do. A good example of the latter is in "Distant Relatives", when Higgins — instead of countering Magnum's angry outburst — realizes that something is seriously wrong. Even though Magnum is crying and asks to be left alone, Higgins launches into an anecdote which ultimately ends up easing the pain.

I also love how teasingly playful they can be with each other, and their banter is just wonderful. The suitcase scene in "Who Is Don Luis Higgins... And Why Is He Doing These Terrible Things To Me?" is one of my absolute favorites.

There are so many amazing and important moments between these two throughout the series. Everything from Higgins writing a testament and leaving Magnum his model bridge (and the way he says Magnum's name while writing is just...! *flails incomprehensibly*), to Magnum faking an illness to get locked into quarantine with Higgins in order to protect him. And of course, "Limbo", where Magnum is dying and it's Higgins whose voice he hears, calling him back. Then there's all of "Paper War" and "Pleasure Principle" and — I could go on and on, as you can see!

To round things off, have a choice quote from Magnum himself: "Sure, I know, it's crazy to refer to whatever Higgins and I share as friendship, but it is. We fight and bicker like an old married couple, but somewhere, mixed in with the jibes, is a funny kind of mutual trust."


Graham Hess/Merrill Hess:
This is such a great movie, partly because of the wonderful relationship between Graham and Merrill. I love that Graham treats Merrill as part of the family; there's never a sense of him feeling that Merrill is merely around to help out during the grieving. Graham always includes him in everything, and shows just as much care and consideration towards him as he does the kids. Doesn't matter if it's warning/ordering his family to stay away from the pharmacy girl, the last supper wishes, the family hug (and how beautiful isn't that scene? Merrill sits alone, clearly thinking there's no place for him in it, and then Graham glances over before reaching out and hauling him in). Hell, even those stories Graham told when he thought they were mere hours away from dying — he took the time to focus on Merrill, making a special moment for just the two of them (I still can't believe they cut that scene, gah).

And I love how obvious it is that Merrill adores and admires his big brother. He says it straight out, when telling Graham that he's "everything I wanna be". Or take the couch scene, where Merrill turns to him for comfort and to make everything okay again. Despite all that, it's Merrill that holds things together — holds Graham together — during the worst times. I don't think he quite realizes just how necessary he is, with the way he obviously thinks he hasn't accomplished much with his life (it's in the way he talks about his job, for example). I'd love something where Graham shows him just how important he is.

The Incredible Hulk

David Banner/Jack McGee:
It still drives me crazy that this series was canceled, and left without a resolution (those final three movies don't count; in fact, I'd really prefer it if you could just ignore them altogether). I desperately want Jack to find out the truth about his John Doe! If David took a chance on him, how would he have reacted? Would he still have gone through with it all, or was there more to his obsession than just a story? Time and time again Jack saves David — sometimes at the risk of his own life, while also forgoing the chance of capture. David does the same, risking exposure and losing what little normalcy he has left in his life. It's heartbreaking that they made for such great friends in "Mystery Man", and I'd love to see them regain that someday. And, y'know, perhaps take their relationship a step further ;)

Carl Rivers/David Banner: These two hit it off so well! I really loved how quickly they became friends, sharing cute jokes and being protective of each other. I really, really would like to see them meeting up again. Perhaps the farm isn't right for Carl after all, and he hits the road — crossing path with a certain hitchhiker once more. Or maybe David seeks him out, tired and worn, unable to keep wandering? I think Carl did figure out that the Hulk was David — just look at the way Carl stares after him when the police arrive; it's not "wow, what a strange creature", but rather a look of genuine worry. But David never did open up, despite Carl's gentle prodding, and opted for heading east instead of taking Carl up on his invitation. Fix that, and I'll adore you forever!

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 something 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.

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/art takes them, I'll be eager to see it!


Aaand that's it! If anything is unclear or you have something you'd like to ask, I'd be more than happy to answer any questions you might have. Anonymous commenting is on, so please don't hesitate.

I know I wrote more about some pairings than others, so I just want to assure you that that isn't a sign of which ones I prefer. I promise, I'm equally into all of these! I just happened to copy&paste some from my Yuletide letter while others were written now (a mere hour before the sign-up deadline, eek).

Finally, thank you again for writing/drawing for me ♥
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