ASH (galerian_ash) wrote,

Dear Chocolate Box Writer/Artist...

Hi there, and thank you for coming to read this letter! I had lots of fun with this exchange last year, so I'm really excited to take part and I hope you feel the same way. Can't wait to see what you create — please just try to enjoy yourself, and I'm sure to love the end result :)

In terms of fic, I love first-time/getting-together stories most of all. But I also enjoy established relationships, so honestly, it's all good. 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 alright with me!

For art, I love seeing the characters being happy together. Perhaps doing something silly and laughing about it, 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 embracing while sleeping, are great too. I also really love hurt/comfort, both emotional and physical. Like one character holding the other while they cry, or protectively clutching their wounded lover. And I love comics, if you feel like telling a short story!

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, so please don't feel like you must include any of these.

♥ Characters who are unflinchingly loyal, including betrayals that are actually secretly 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.
♥ Stoic characters opening up and revealing feelings they normally wouldn't; the strong-and-silent type showing unexpected vulnerability.
♥ Unrequited love and longing that ends up not being that unrequited after all. UST is great as well, especially if finally resolved.
♥ 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.
♥ Casual or unconscious displays of power, skill, or strength.
♥ Names! The use of last names in general, but also when characters start off calling the other by their last name, then slowly slip into more familiar terms. Aside from it developing naturally like that, another thing I like is if it happens in the heat of the moment, like in the presence of some danger — or just a case of letting their guard down, maybe while drunk or exhausted. I love the use of nicknames and pet names as well, i.e. both unique ones and more generic stuff (everything from "buddy" to "darling").
♥ Differences between lovers — height, age, etc.
♥ Indirect kissing, especially if coupled with pining. Like one character lighting a cigarette for the other, or drinking from the same glass.
♥ Playful sex. That's not to say I don't enjoy tender or passionate sex (I do!), 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 and death or simply being woken from a nightmare.
♥ 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, etc.
♦ Killing off the characters I've requested, or giving them a serious illness they didn't have in canon (by serious I mean things like cancer and dementia).
♦ Focus on social or political 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 what-if/fix-it/canon-divergence stories are 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 might spook 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!

Magnum PI

Thomas Sullivan Magnum IV/Jonathan Quayle Higgins III:
One of the best TV series ever made, quite possibly my absolute favorite. It's just such an amazing series, on so many levels. It has a perfect blend of seriousness and humor, action/adventure and quiet moments, romance and friendship, etc. And the characters, especially the four main ones... They're all fantastic and I love seeing the strength in their relationship. But none more so than Magnum and Higgins, needless to say.

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!

I love how comfortable they are around each other, in terms of personal space and body contact. Even at the start of the series, when their relationship was decidedly more antagonistic, they displayed this. Like the episode where Higgins is in the hospital, and Magnum is sitting on a chair next to the bed — with his legs propped up on it, feet against Higgins' side (both protective and possessive, and most interesting of all is the fact that Higgins didn't protest it at all). Or the episode where Higgins is ranting at Magnum, and has zero qualms about just bursting into his bathroom while he's in the shower.

I adore just about every character in the series — TC, Rick, Zeus and Apollo, Agatha, Luther, etc. — so feel free to include whoever else you want. Especially for art, I'd love the see the lads included! I've always been a bit on the fence about the whole Robin Masters thing; on one hand I like the twist, and on the other there are a lot of previous canon details that just don't work if Higgins really is him. The series itself ended things on an ambiguous note, so feel free to do the same or handle it however you want. Ditto on Magnum re-upping; as much as I though the ending was lovely and handled really well, I never quite liked that bit.

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."


Yang Chun-dong/Kim Jun:
I love this movie to bits, and the relationship between these two really made it special. I just want more of them — angsty or happy, solving another crime together or just hanging out, whatever, I want it all! The ending left things open for the to reunite, and I'd love for that to happen. Even without Chun-dong discovering the graffiti I like to think he would've tried to track Jun down. I believe he took his promise to not leave Jun hanging ever again very, very seriously. And hey, Chun-dong never did get to take Jun out for dinner ;)

Both of these characters are very much alone. Jun has isolated himself on purpose, and with Chun-dong it probably happened automatically (we're not told whether or not his parents are still alive, but even if they are I got the distinct impression that they'd be blaming him for Gi-dong's death). So I think they both become really important to each other; bringing a sense of companionship into their lonely lives. And it's a friendship that could easily develop into something more. This pairing is basically made for hurt/comfort and touch starvation, both of which I'd be hugely into. But I'd also love something happy and fun, like maybe with Jun trying to teach Chun-dong how to train pigeons?

Red Dawn

Jed Eckert/Matt Eckert: The movie is a bit ambiguous as to the final fate of these two, but needless to say I'd love for them both to survive! I could see them holing up somewhere, far away from anyone else, and just slowly healing together. They'd be left with both physicanl and mental scars, and nobody else would be able to truly understand what they went through. The truth of the matter is that they only have each other. That was the feel I got from the movie itself, too. In becoming the leader of the group, Jed takes on a hard and stoic façade, which he only lets slip around Matt. And Matt, for his part, sticks with his brother no matter what — even when he's convinced it means certain death.

The way they frequently hug is a thing of beauty; those are some tight embraces! And I love how natural they feel... Like, one second Matt is reaching out to grab the sleeve of Jed's jacket, struggling not to break down and cry, and the next he's in Jed's arms — and they're both holding on to each other so hard that it's like they're trying to fuse into one being.

I love the scene where Jed sits alone, staring out at the vast fields (and knowing him, he probably went there to cry without anyone seeing him). Then Matt finds him, and they talk. When Matt says Jed is "getting pretty lean on feelings", he just sounds sorrowful — I mean, he doesn't sound judgmental or angry, which I think speaks volumes. As does the way Jed answers him when questioned how he'd feel if Matt died.

I love slow-burn romances with pining and no-way-he-feels-the-same-way angst, and that goes double when it's incest. But at the same time I could also see a deeping of their relationship happening very naturally, almost inevitably, you know? It'd almost make sense, on some levels. So however you want to play it, I'll be thrilled!

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, take their relationship a step further ;)

I once read that if the series had been allowed to continue, Jack would've been forced to go on the run — together with David. I don't know why or how, or even if it's true, but it sure sounds amazing. So if you're strapped for ideas, there you go!

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 Storyteller

The Prince/Straggletag | Sapsorrow:
I would love to see something where Sapsorrow stays in her Straggletag persona for a while longer, forcing the Prince to realize a few things. I think he just needed a bit more time, as he was already well on the way to seeing beyond her looks — just take the way he instantly becomes protective when Badsister refers to her as "it", or the way he unflinchingly agrees to marry her.

What was there between him and Sapsorrow, anyway? She was mysterious, an enigma for him to solve; and she was beautiful, with the kind of dresses that spoke of great wealth. That was it. He didn't know her on any deeper level, it was all superficial and love-at-first-sight nonsense. Now, Straggletag, however... She is the first person to ever talk to him bluntly — she's honest, fearlessly rude even, and she treats him like any normal person. Nobody ever acted that way around him before, as he even points out. The friendship that develops between them is lovely, and I think she became very important to him — even if he wouldn't admit it, or perhaps even fully realize it himself at first. I'd just really like to see that develop, however slowly, and with time turn into love. How would he handle that? Would he try to woo her; to turn their marriage into something more than basically just an arrangement? And Straggletag, how would she react? I think her feelings are a bit more ambiguous — she denies being in love, at one point — so it'd be great to see it evolve on her part, as well.

Oh, and also, feel free to name the Prince! And don't feel like you need to stick with the framing story, with the Storyteller and the Dog. Or if you want to have them there, and/or have the Prince be nameless, that's cool too! Whatever you think works best is fine with me :)

Three Fugitives

Daniel Lucas/Ned Perry:
As far as I'm concerned, Lucas, Ned, and Meg made for the cutest family ever. I just want to see them stick together — not because of more bank-robbery shenanigans, but simply because they want to. I'd love it if Lucas and Ned came to realize that it isn't all about Meg; that they actually care about each other as well. I think this pairing is basically made for slow burn, UST, and he-could-never-feel-the-same-way-about-me pining — but don't feel like you have to stick to that. I'll honestly love anything, however you see their relationship! I love their bickering and the overall humor of the movie, so if you'd like to go with a more light-hearted route — perhaps with clumsy seduction attempts? — that'd be just as awesome.

It's pretty obvious that Lucas has lived a lonely life — he mentions growing up in an orphanage, and his "there's no such thing as friends" comment kinda says it all. I'd love to see him getting used to having a family for the first time in his life; to be able to let his guard down, because someone actually cares about him and has his back. He was very sweet and supportive when Ned broke down, and I'd love to see a reversal of roles, with Ned getting a chance to return the favor (with the life Lucas has led, I can't imagine him ever willingly crying in front of anyone — I'd love to see that explored). It'd also be fun to see Ned getting to rescue Lucas, for once! Well, okay, he does bring Lucas to Dr. Horvath, but that doesn't really count since Ned was the one who shot him in the first place ^_^;


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 moderator. Or, if you'd rather not contact them, you can also reply anonymously here.

No matter what we matched on, I want to assure you that I'm equally excited about all of these pairings. I know some fandom sections are longer than others, but that is not a sign of preference! My enthusiasm is the same, I promise — it's just a matter of canon length, varying amounts of prompt ideas, and having copied some sections from previous exchange letters while writing others from scratch.

In closing, thank you so much for creating a gift for me! ♥

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