Thank you for writing a fic for me! I'm happy that you ship at least one of my requested ships and I'm looking forward to whatever you're going to write for me. I've copied and pasted a lot from previous exchange letters because my general preferences haven't really changed much in the last few months. I have a short list of general likes and dislikes followed by an overly long list of all kinds of tropes I enjoy, and then some more specific stuff for the ships I requested. Obviously I don't expect you to include everything I mention in this letter; I'm pretty sure that wouldn't be possible anyway. But I always prefer to err on the side of caution and write very long letters - that way you can hopefully find a few things in this letter that you also enjoy writing about, and ignore the rest. :)
I use the same name on AO3 and tumblr as here.
Things I like:
- I adore first time fics, but I also like established relationships a lot, I like porn as much as I like more subtle sexual tension, I like fluffy vanilla sex with cuddles and filthy smut (any rating is fine). I also adore plotty fics in which a bunch of other things happen to my ship as well, so if writing fics that are exclusively romance and/or porn isn't your thing, that's fine by me. As long as my ship is, in one way or another, the focus of the fic, I'm happy.
- I also like: characters' thoughts and opinions on each other, their first meetings and first impressions (especially if we don't get to see the beginnings of their relationship in canon), background stories about a character's past, missing scenes from canon, plotty future/post-canon fics that explore where these characters are going, plotty what-if fics that explore what would have happened if a character had made a different choice, fics from a different POV than usual in canon, fics from an outside POV …
- I would love to receive smut in my fic, although I'd rather not get a complete PWP. There is, however, no need to include porn if you don't like to write porn or if it just doesn't fit into your fic.
- I'm fine with dark themes (violence, angst, depression, whatever you need for the plot, I have no particular triggers), but I'd prefer if my fic wasn't completely tragic. A bit of hope would be nice, and I'd rather my favourite characters/ships get a happy or semi-happy ending, even if they have to go through terrible things before they get it.
Things I do not like:
- major character death, especially of my favourite characters, and completely tragic/dark endings
- crossovers, fusions and complete AUs (a bit of canon divergence is fine, but no high school AUs, coffee shop AUs etc.)
- please don't include any ships I didn't explicitly request (including canon ships) in my gift.
- genderbend fics of any kind, mpreg, A/B/O, characters being vampires/werewolves/anything but human (unless they already aren't human in canon, of course)
- I don't mind non-con in general, but please no non-con for my requested ships; I don't think it'd be IC for any of them.
- I have a major pet peeve for epithets like "the blond one said this", "the taller man did that", "the soldier replied". Please use people's names and pronouns.
Other tropes and kinks I like:
Again, there's absolutely no need to include any of these, but if they generally fit into your fic and if they're things that you like to write about, I would love it if you included any of the following themes/tropes/kinks.
- themes like loyalty, codependency, obsession, trust, and commitment issues
- characters dealing with moral dilemmas, having to question their principles, or simply wanting to do things they think they shouldn't be doing. This can be anything from "doing this would shake my entire worldview" to "maybe I shouldn't screw my boss".
- intimacy, familiarity, people learning/knowing about each other's everyday habits/hang-ups
- difficulties to express feelings verbally and non-verbal expressions of affections
- age differences
- protectiveness/going ballistic when the other one is threatened
- hurt/comfort, taking care of each other
- other people assuming the two characters are a couple (especially when they aren't yet)
- sharing food/drinks/cigarettes/clothes
- clothes fetishisation (sex between a dressed and an undressed person; one of them having a thing for the other's clothes (tailored suits, uniforms, leather gloves/boots/jackets, silk shirts etc.); people dressing/undressing each other; someone casual cleans up nicely, someone who's always prim and proper looks dishevelled for once)
- asphyxiation/breathplay, touching/kissing/biting/petting the other's throat/neck, oversensitive necks, hickeys, marking
- characters losing control in bed (speechlessness, whimpering, moaning, shivering, begging)
- messiness (sweat, come play, dishevelled clothes, dishevelled hair, breathlessness etc.)
- first time sex (i.e. first time between the two characters; exploring each other's bodies, finding out slowly what the other one likes)
- small gestures of affection/casual touching/discreet PDA; accidental touching/stimulation
- seduction (sweet talking, dirty talk, teasing, eyefucking)
- sexual fantasies, daydreaming, masturbation, especially before the characters get together
- massages, backrubs, stroking the other's hair
- friction, frottage, intercrural (anal is fine, too, obviously)
- banter/teasing (during sex and otherwise)
- competence kink/admiration
- body worship, people being madly attracted to each other, getting distracted because they're staring at each other
- scars and their history
- hand fetish (strong/soft/rough/calloused/gentle hands, long fingers, handling guns/knives/cigarettes etc., kissing the other's wrists/fingers)
- beards and stubble (especially on people who are usually clean-shaven), beard burn on the other person's cheek/neck/thighs …
- voice/accent kink
- oral fixation (licking/biting one's lips, drinking from beer bottles, smoking)
- oral sex, rimming
- light bondage/restraints (pinning someone down, holding their wrists, holding their mouth shut with one hand, blindfolds), D/s overtones (ordering the other to undress, to kneel, to hold still etc.)
- sex on tables/sofas/against walls etc. (sex in beds is great too)
- sleep-related themes (sharing a bed, falling asleep on the other's shoulder, waking the other, having dreams about each other, comforting the other after nightmares etc.)
About my fandoms:
Rivers of London
Thomas Nightingale/Peter Grant
(Mostly c&p from my Yuletide letter. I did receive absolutely wonderful Rivers of London fics for Yuletide last year, but I'm still very much in love with this ship and always happy to read more fic about them. :))
I really love the setting of these books, I'm incredibly fond of many of the characters, I'm crazy about Peter and Nightingale's relationship, and I really love Peter's narration style (the self-deprecation, the irony, the pop culture references, his love for London and for architecture). I love worldbuilding for this fandom, especially anything related to the history of the Folly (because I love the Folly a lot), and Peter's admiration (fanboycrush) for Nightingale, I like it when Peter and Nightingale are both being emotionally constipated and not very good at talking about their feelings and probably misunderstanding each other quite a bit (although I would like if they figured things out eventually and got a happy ending), and I'd love anything dealing with Nightingale's very probable PTSD and depression and loneliness (and how having Peter with him helps at least somewhat).
I also like many other characters in the books and wouldn't mind at all if they appeared in the fic. This goes especially for Seawoll (love the guy more than is probably healthy and am massively intrigued by his visceral, extremely personal dislike for Nightingale), Stephanopoulos, Dr Walid, Guleed, Kumar, Postmartin, Frank Caffrey, and really anyone who has anything to do with the Met or the Folly. I don't particularly like Beverley and the other Rivers (but I do like Oberon), and while I like Lesley just fine, I'd prefer if the fic wasn't half about her (although I'm perfectly fine with her appearing/getting mentioned).
A few prompt ideas, feel free to use and combine these in any way that works for you:
- any sort of first time/get together fic. I think it's obvious that they care about each other a lot, but they're both not the most emotionally available people and they're both very aware of the hierarchical differences between them, so I'd be extremely interested to see how they would ever move from their friendly, but professional relationship to a romantic one. I could see it happening after one of them was hurt/abducted/almost killed/otherwise in danger and the other had to acknowledge his feelings, but I'd also be happy to see other scenarios. (One little caveat: I'm not a huge fan of the "they got drunk (or there was sex pollen or a sex spell) and fucked and now they have to deal with the consequences" trope.)
- anything domestic. I want to see all the details about their life together. Their breakfast conversations. Their Latin lessons. Exasperated Nightingale trying to teach Peter something while Peter gets distracted. Peter showing Nightingale weird shit on the internet and Nightingale being all "you are not serious, this is not a thing people do". Nightingale telling Peter about stuff people used to do when Nightingale was young and Peter thinks Nightingale is pulling his leg. Playful banter over a beer at the pub. Comfortable silences while Nightingale watches rugby in the coach house and Peter sits next to him reading stuff on the internet. I have a thing for how easily they settle into each other's lives and routines, how they get used to each other's habits and how they become such a central part of each other's lives.
- I have a soft spot for Nightingale saving Peter when Peter is in danger. I'd especially like to see the fall-out from this: Nightingale being shaken after almost losing the last person he has left in the world, maybe getting a little emotional (for his standards) but trying not to show it; Peter realising just how much Nightingale cares about him and so on. If you'd rather have Peter save Nightingale for once, that'd be interesting, too.
- I'm very fascinated by Nightingale's past. Either flashbacks or Nightingale telling Peter about his past, about previous cases he worked, about his family or friends or colleagues, about his time at Casterbrook, about what the Folly used to be like before the war, about his life after the war etc.
- if you like to write plotty longfic, I'd love to see them work a case in the style of the books. If you combine this with any of the stuff above, all the better. Ghosts? Werewolves? Demons? Horrible murders? Someone is mindcontroling powerful people? A weird magical disease breaks out? Secret books or other dangerous items get stolen? Someone tried to break into the Folly? Something from Nightingales's past comes back to haunt him? The Faceless Man made his next move? I'd also be intrigued by any combination of supernatural and modern elements (the internet/TV equivalent of the Rivers, any supernatural being using the internet for supernatural crimes, industrialised magic, ghost hackers, cyberpunk demons, whatever you can come up with – anything that will require Nightingale's knowledge of the supernatural and Peter's knowledge of the modern world).
- this is slightly cracky and I have no idea what you'd have to do to make this work (visions? dreams? weird time travel accident?), but I'd love for Peter to see the pre-war Folly somehow, and maybe see (meet?) pre-war Nightingale and his friends; do what you want with this. I'd even go for a total AU in which Peter was born in the early 20th century and becomes Nightingale's apprentice in the 20s/30s and everyone at the Folly is scandalised because Peter isn't white and the Folly was kind of a wealthy white guy club, and Nightingale doesn't really care because he's fond of Peter.
A few fandom-specific Do-Not-Wants:
- I firmly headcanon Nightingale as gay (and not repressed about it), so please nothing about Nightingale being attracted to women. I'm not really into Mellenby/Nightingale, though, so if you mention any past relationships Nightingale had, I'd prefer if they weren't with Mellenby.
- I'm fine with Peter briefly mentioning his attraction to other people the way he does in canon, if it's necessary for the plot/narration, but I'd rather not get a fic in which Peter constantly goes on about being into Lesley/Beverley/etc.
- I like the plot twist at the end of Broken Homes for what it is.
- I've read Foxglove Summer, so no worries about spoilers. However I really didn't like the whole Peter/Beverley part of it, so if we could just ignore that ever happened, I'll be much happier.
The Raven Cycle
I mostly love these books for the characters. My absolute favourite is Ronan (how original of me) - I'd especially love to find out more about his family history, the whole greywaren thing, and the beginnings of his friendship with Gansey. There's so much in canon that's only hinted at about Ronan and I'd love any fic that fleshes this out. The same really goes for all of the characters I requested: I find Gansey intriguing with his incredibly obsessive personality, his need to take care of his friends and especially of Ronan, his desperate need to belong somewhere, the clash between everything he appears to be and everything he really is. I've also grown incredibly fond of Declan over the last few months, because for all his superficial charm and control freak tendencies, he truly cares about his family and tries in his own messed up way to keep them together, and at the same time he doesn't really have anyone who takes care of him, anyone who wonders if he maybe needs help to deal with his grief. And Niall is just a gigantic mystery looming over both Declan and Ronan - I have no idea what to think of him, and I'd love to know more (although I really don't like any interpretations of Niall as outright abusive - he was by all accounts pretty strange and he had some weird ideas about raising his children, but I don't think he beat or mistreated them). I love Adam with all his pride and his ambition, I'm intrigued by how he sees himself and the people around him, and I just want him to get the life he wants some day; and I kind of love that he has more in common with Declan than with any of his friends.
I like most other characters in this canon, but I'm really not a fan of both Blue/Gansey and Ronan/Adam. Both ships just don't work for me, and while I can deal with them in canon, I have no interest in reading about them in fanfic, not even briefly mentioned. Oh, and I find Kavinsky really interesting with his one-sided thing for Ronan (and, okay, Ronan totally having the hots for him despite the fact that he doesn't really like him), so you can include him (and some mentions of one-sided/UST Ronan/Kavinsky), too, if you like.
Richard Gansey III/Ronan Lynch
Pretty much my main ship and endgame OTP for this fandom. It's just so obvious how important they are to each other, and all that loyalty and codependence and barely being able to be apart stuff really appeals to me. I don't mind a bit of an unhealthy obsession angle with these two because that's how they are in canon, completely incapable of NOT being together. But I also think they're happy with each other, no matter how codependent and obsessed they are.
Oh, and while I talk a lot about their friendship in my prompts, I still want explicitly shippy fic about them. I do like their friendship, but I'd like to get shipfic for a ship exchange, not gen or pre-slash. Obviously it doesn't have to be porn, but I'd like there to be no ambiguity that it's a romantic/sexual relationship.
A few prompts, feel free to use these in any way that works for you:
- any fic about the beginnings of their friendship: how Gansey befriended Ronan, what Ronan was like before his father died etc. If you include Gansey meeting Ronan's family for the first time, that'd be amazing. I'd also love to see how and when exactly that friendship developed into something more, well, shippy.
- anything set around the time of Niall's death: Ronan's immediate reaction, how he changed afterwards, how Gansey felt about the whole thing, when exactly Ronan moved into Monmouth etc. Again, if you want to include Declan in this as well, I'd love that.
- getting together fic! I always love those. I'd especially be interested to see if/how their relationship changes once sex becomes a part of it, and how exactly that happened. I'm good with any scenario for this - Ronan being in denial about being in love with his best friend and Gansey going for it, Gansey being a bit repressed and Ronan going for it, slow UST build-up until they just can't stay away from each other ... Whatever works for you.
- outside POVs or reactions to their relationship. From the rest of the gang, from Kavinsky, from Declan and Matthew, from Gansey's family ... Bonus if people already assumed they were together even before they were.
- I'm always here for plotty fics that continue the canon storyline, just with less of the true love and Blue/Gansey stuff that I don't like about canon. ;) Especially if you write something about Gansey dying and then somehow being brought back to life - I'd love to see how Ronan deals with losing him (probably really, really badly), how dying would change Gansey etc.
- generally, this ship is made for D/s, so if you want to write something kinky in that direction, go for it.
Declan Lynch/Adam Parrish
I ship this about as hard as I ship Ronan/Gansey. A while back I realised that Adam and Declan actually have a lot in common. They're both very ambitious (and, unlike Gansey and Ronan, interested in 'normal' stuff like going to college and having a career and a great job and being successful), they both take life very seriously, they're both used to not being particularly loved and to feeling lonely and like they have to take care of everything on their own. And I think under the right circumstances they might well realise that and actually get along great. It'd also help that Declan is one of the few characters in these books who can handle money like a sensible person and we all know that's something Adam appreciates enormously. That and Adam is clearly pretty fascinated by Declan, the way he stares at him every time they meet (like watching Declan make out with his girlfriend, and Declan pointedly meets Adam's eyes while kissing his girlfriend's neck? Really, Declan?). I also think that they're both emotionally constipated enough not to make each other uncomfortable with any budding feelings, so they could gradually grow closer in a relatively 'safe' way until they'd realise some day that they actually really like (or even love) each other a lot. I just really love the idea of them finding some sort of friendship/love/understanding in an unexpected place.
A few ideas:
- There's that moment in The Dream Thieves, when the Pig breaks down and Declan comes by with a new battery, and this is shortly after the Grey Man beat the crap out of him and his face is all bruised up and broken. And Adam sees him and realises that Declan is terrified (because Adam knows what fear looks like). I'd love to see a fic based on that. Maybe Adam goes to see Declan at his dorm to find out what happened, what Declan is afraid of?
- Declan giving Adam a ride at some point (potentially to have a talk with that new kid Ronan and Gansey befriended)
- bonding over how much of a pain in the ass Ronan can be
- They do talk a lot on the phone, since Ronan makes Adam take his calls, so maybe they somehow end up bonding a little that way? Talking about other stuff than only Ronan at times? Realising they actually really like each other? Maybe Adam once accidentally took Ronan's phone home and Declan calls? Maybe Declan actually starts calling Ronan's phone on purpose because he wants to talk to Adam?
- anything set post-canon: they could meet again when they're both undergrads or at law school or even later if they're both working as lawyers or something similar, and they end up hooking up a few times and then hooking up more and more often until they accidentally stumble into a relationship. I can definitely see both of them as the kind of guys who'd gradually go from a casual hook-up with no strings attached to something that gets increasingly serious.
- if you include Ronan and Gansey eventually finding out about their relatinoship and being utterly horrified by it, I would love you forever. (Again, I ship Ronan/Gansey as well, so feel free to include that, too. Adam and Gansey talking about the perks and annoyances of dating a Lynch could be hilarious.)
Declan Lynch/Ronan Lynch
Yuletide made me ship these two, and I received a great Declan/Ronan + Ronan/Gansey fic for ShipSwap that made me want more. Tragic complicated brother relationships are my thing. Any fic that explores how much these two still care about each other, but are completely incapable of expressing it in sensible ways or dealing with their bottled up issues would be great. I generally find Declan very interesting and would love to see something about this relationship that's also sympathetic to his point of view, not only Ronan's. Can be more on the level of complicated, uncomfortable UST (as long as they're both aware of it being UST), but I'd also be interested in a fic in which they actually act on it, either before or after Niall's death. If you want to combine this in any way with Ronan/Gansey or Ronan/Niall, I'm all for that. (I didn't request Ronan/Niall this time, but as long as you keep it fully consensual, I'm perfectly okay with including that ship. Hell, I'll take background (consensual) Niall/Declan, too, if that's something you'd want to write.)
A few ideas:
- anything about how their relationship changed with Niall's death. How close were they before? Was Declan ever bitter about Ronan being Niall's favourite? Or were they especially close since Niall was often gone for a long time? Canon does, after all, include a line about how they "stopped being friends" after Niall's death. Also, in which regards do they maybe remind each other of their father after his death? I can imagine that especially Ronan would hate those moments when Declan looks or sounds or behaves like Niall.
- something dealing with Declan's own grief for his father and how he kind of bottled it up because he felt like he had to take care of his family instead of feeling sorry for himself; maybe combined with some bitterness about Ronan behaving like he's the only one who lost someone
- if you can get them to make up in any way, even a little bit, that would be beautiful.
- once they can return to the Barns, I'd love to see Declan actually going there. To reminisce, to get old family pictures, to see his mother if she's still there ... and if Ronan happens to be there, well. Go from there.
- I'd love to see either of them getting protective about the other (because only a Lynch can beat up a Lynch, right?)
- quick, guilty, shameful, we'll-never-talk-about-this sex of any kind with desperate clinging to each other before they go back to not being able to have a civilised conversation
Alfred Pennyworth/Bruce Wayne
I really love almost everything about this show so far, but those two are my favourite thing. For one it's obvious how much they care about each other, how incredibly close they are and how lost they would be without the other. I also find it interesting how the power dynamics play out between them, on the one hand Alfred being Bruce's legal guardian and occasionally putting his foot down (about Bruce going to school, for example), and on the other hand Bruce being technically Alfred's boss and ordering him around and (mostly) getting to do what he wants. I also love how ruthlessly protective Alfred is of Bruce, and how Bruce is just as worried about anything happening to Alfred.
And I ship them really hard, once Bruce is a bit older, of course. I'm okay with Bruce still being under 18 for anything shippy, just please not quite as young as he is on the show. Something like Bruce realising over the years that he doesn't just love Alfred like family? Lots of pining because he thinks that Alfred could never feel the same way about him? Lots of angst and guilt on Alfred's side about falling for his ward? Angsty, slow-burn getting together fic, maybe only at some point in the future after Bruce already became Batman? Or before, that's cool, too. Or after one of them got hurt and they had another "I can't lose you" moment? Bruce being reasonable and mature and explaining to Alfred very seriously why there's no reason they shouldn't be together?
And some things I would generally love to see for these two: anything with Alfred protecting/saving Bruce, anything with either of them getting hurt and the other taking care of them (did I mention that I like hurt/comfort? because I like hurt/comfort), anything more about Alfred's past coming back to haunt him or how being around Bruce helps him deal with his past, or some plotty continuation of Bruce's attempts to find out what happened to his parents ... I'd also love to see how the Bruce we see on the show goes on to become Batman, so if you want to fastforward a few years and explore how that happens, I would absolutely LOVE to read it. Where does he get the idea? How does he go about it? Does he stay in Gotham the entire time or does he travel around for a bit? Does Alfred help him train and is generally a total enabler? (Okay, we know the answer to that last question is yes because Alfred likes enabling Bruce.) Also, their hugs on the show are utterly adorable, so if you have them hugging in your fic, I will appreciate that very much. All the hugs and clinging to each other and Alfred stroking Bruce's hair.
I like most other characters on this show, so if you want to include Gordon or whoever as well, that's cool. I'm just not a huge fan of the Penguin, but I don't think that should be a problem. And I like Bruce and Selina as friends a lot better than as some sort of budding teenage romance.
Lee Christmas/Barney Ross
I love these movies more than I can possibly say (and tbh sometimes I can hardly believe that something this perfect exists in the world ;)). Anyway, my favourite thing (other than all the explosions, cool stunts, general banter, and tons of action stars I love together in one movie series) is Barney and Lee basically behaving like an old married couple for three movies. I love their banter, I love Lee constantly insulting Barney like it's his job, Lee getting a massive jealousy fit every time Barney as much as looks at another guy, Barney aggressively disapproving of Lee's girlfriend. I love how well they know each other and how they are equally batshit crazy when it comes to fights (I mean, they're so obviously not just in this business for the money but for the fun of it).
I would be most interested in seeing a getting together fic for them. I'm getting the impression that they reached their "old married couple" behaviour long before they actually slept with each other, especially since Lee is still doing his best to date women in the first and even second movie. So I'd love a fic that explores how they got past their potential hang-ups or worrying about losing their partner/BFF. My headcanon is that Barney is pretty okay with being gay and not even particularly secretive about it, while Lee is somewhat more repressed - but if you see them differently, that's cool by me, too. Either way, though, I'm pretty sure there's at least some repression and internalised homophobia going on that they might have to deal with. If you also include Lee's weird jealousy whenever he feels like Barney might like someone else better than him, that'd be great. Maybe that's what pushes him to finally act on his gigantic thing for Barney?
Other things I like would be any sort of hurt/comfort, or just one of them getting injured on a mission/almost dying. I would also love to see some background stuff for either or both of them - something about Lee's time in the SAS (and why he left to become a mercenary with an obviously fake name in the US), something about Barney's past (what did he do before The Expendables? something about the beginnings of the Expendables with Stonebanks? if you want to include past Barney/Stonebanks, that could be really interesting - especially if Barney decided not to sleep with anyone on his team again after that), something about how they first met, how they started working together, how they became such good friends. And if you like to write porn, this ship is just made for knifeplay and gunplay (in addition to all the other kinks that I already listed in the general section). And for rough sweaty adrenalin-fuelled post-mission sex. And for some D/s overtones (I have a slight preference for top!Barney, but I'm not really picky there). And loyalty kink. :D
As always, this letter ended up being embarrassingly long, but like I said, all of this is just supposed to give you ideas. I hope you find a few things you like in all this rambling, a prompt you'd like to write or tropes that appeal to you. I love all of these ships and I'm always here for more fic about them, so I'm sure I will enjoy whatever you write for me.