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Dear Yuletide Author

First off I just want to say the most important thing: thank you for writing for me!! I cannot even begin to tell you how excited I am to see what you come up with. :) This is only my second year ever participating in exchanges, and the novelty of getting a present just for me still has not worn off!

Secondly: There is not a single throwaway fandom on this list; if some prompts are less detailed than others it's mostly because I haven't seen/read it in a while, not because I'm less excited about it. (ETA: This is especially true this year! I'm in the middle of finishing Nirvana in Fire, so that's what's fresh on my mind, and I know that entry is much longer than the others. Don't feel like it's my One True Fandom or anything like that!)

And finally, optional details are, of course, optional. Don't worry if none of these prompts do it for you and you decide to write your own thing! Sometimes the best gifts are unexpected.


A little bit about my reading preferences:

-I'm a fan of both gen and shipfic and would be equally thrilled to receive either! So please don't stress if you want to take it one direction or another, I can guarantee I will be on board with it. :)
-I really don't care whether it's in first or third person or past or present tense (I don't generally even notice), so go with what works for you.
-Please feel free to include characters I didn't specifically request! I just ask that the fic focuses primarily on the characters I asked for.

Things I adore:

-Hurt comfort is my oldest and most beloved trope, and you basically can't go wrong with it. Sick!fic, head injuries, drugging, captivity scenarios, Canadian shacks, allergic reactions, asthma attacks, characters slowly bleeding out, carrying each other through the wilderness, snuggling, bravely soldiering on through injury or illness-- feel free to be as indulgent as you like, because I am all on board for it!
-Plot! Whether casefic or action adventure or anything else- I love reading about characters solving problems.
-I adore the interaction of the mundane with the supernatural; characters having to balance their daily lives with all the weird shit that goes on around them. You know that TV show that's coming out about insurance agents in the DC universe? That's exactly what I'm talking about (and I am super excited for it).
-Characters who are hilariously bad at expressing their feelings!
-Characters who are pushed to their limits, whatever those limits may be!
-Characters who have been in bad situations-- imprisoned, trapped, tortured, whatever-- learning how to be people again, and how to adjust to real life; and
-Competence!

Things I'd rather avoid:

-Permanent injuries or descriptions of graphic, grimdark violence;
-Character death (unless it's canon);
-Infidelity, or canon relationships being broken up just to get someone else together;
-A/B/O;
-D/s;
-Humiliation/embarrassment (I have an embarrassment squick a mile wide);
-Fic focusing on trans/ace headcanons;
-And please no claustrophobia-inducing scenarios (i.e. trapped in a coffin or whatever). Although not an actual trigger, they do make me anxious!


琅琊榜 | Nirvana in Fire (Lin Shu | Mei Changsu | Su Zhe; Xiao Jingyan)

(You can watch this here!)

So this was kind of a dark horse fandom for me: I only started it two days before signups closed, and at the time of writing this, I'm barely more than halfway through the series, but I'm already utterly head over heels. This letter will be updated with more details and specific prompts once I finish the show (that said, please don't feel you need to wait to start writing until then-- I didn't realize assignments were coming out this early! I thought I'd have more time to do prompts!) but for the moment I will just talk about some of the things I love about it, and I can guarantee you that as long as you touch on some of these, I will love your fic.

To whit: at the very top of the list is how aggressive everyone is about /taking care of/ MCS. Bringing him blankets/cloaks, walking around with a hand under his elbow to support him, being woken up from nightmares, making sure he has hand warmers and tea: this is everything I have ever wanted in a show. I make squeaky noises of joy every time someone talks worriedly about how he needs to take his medicine; it's total catnip for me. I also love how this does not in any way take away from how incredibly intelligently badass he is; I love the machinations of the court, how everything he does has three different reasons, how ruthless he can be (and how bad he feels about it when it hurts his friends), but how everything in the end is for the good of Prince Jing and the country. The scene where he declares that he's willing to be the bad guy so Jing doesn't have to: I seal clapped, dear author. (The loyalty porn in this show! So good.) And Jing himself, of course, so quietly capable and unfailingly loyal to the idea of his dead friend, for whom the best gift the Emperor could give him was the ability to visit his mother at any time. I love the one-sidedness of the relationship in the beginning, how Jing gradually grows to trust and rely upon him. (Feel free to write about Jing taking care of MCS... because that would be awesome.) I will say I think have been accidentally spoiled about MCS's fate, and if so: fix-it fic sounds like a great idea.

Oh, I will also mention (and this is true of all requests): I absolutely don't mind you including characters I didn't request! Meng wasn't on the list but I am unbearably fond of him as well. I love LS's friendship with Yan and Jingrui. Consort Jing is incredibly kind. Nihuang is just incredible.

ETA 10/13: So I'm very close to the end now (episode 51), and in the midst of being emotionally destroyed by this canon, a few initial prompts are occurring to me, so I thought I'd add. (Spoilers ahoy for anyone who hasn't watched this!)
-First of all, this canon has FAR TOO FEW HUGS. Seriously! I get that it's probably not ~appropriate in 4th c Chinese culture or whatever, but I sincerely do not care. Give me hugs, between everyone. MCS and Jing, MCS and Consort Jing, MCS and Nihuang, MCS and Meng, MCS and Yan, between Yan and Jingrui... just... everyone. Please.
-In keeping with that, some sort of expanded scene after Jing finds out MCS is LS!!!! I mean, seeing him weep into his mother's arms was very satisfying, BUT I still really wanted that to happen between him and MCS, gdi. They are far too subdued when they meet again! WHERE IS MY EMOTIONAL REUNION (Like, seriously though, while I deeply enjoyed most of this show, my major problem with it is: it shies back from the really emotionally satisfying resolutions. Anything you can do to fix that would be appreciated.)
-I would be really interested in the AU (or a snippet of an AU) in which the Chiyan rebellion never happened, but Prince Qi died anyways (from an illness or something?) and Lin Shu has to put Jing on the throne from within. How would that play out?

Also, I can't say I have specific ships in this fandom, or perhaps it is more appropriate to say I see the potential to ship MCS with basically everyone and am willing to be convinced by your fic whichever way you want to go with it. So, feel free to include whatever.

ETA 10/14: Okay so I am finished, and WHAT THE FUCK WAS THAT ENDING. Seriously! I was fully expecting MCS to die, but not? like?? that??? ARGH. So, your mission, should you choose to accept it, is: fix that motherfucker, I don't care how. Jing convinces MCS not to go? Lin Chen refuses to hand over the pills for his suicide mission? MCS collapses and dies properly after the trial is finished? This alternate ending really happens? At bare minimum, Jing is at his side in battle!
ETA 10/22: Or if you do want to take the ending at face value-- something about Jing healing & learning to go on without MCS? Bittersweet but hopeful is just fine here.



Vorkosigan Saga - Lois McMaster Bujold (Ivan Vorpatril; Gregor Vorbarra)

So the Ivan & Gregor relationship is really close to my heart; we get so little of it in canon, but you can tell they really do care about each other (that hug!), even if most of the time it's covered up by sibling-like disdain. I love how Ivan is always doing his best to be as uninteresting as possible... and Gregor sees right through it. I love how Ivan never presumes upon the Imperial relationship (that bit where Gregor is shocked that it's Ivan calling, because Ivan never bothers him at that number, was I thought really telling). I love how Gregor insists on driving all the way out to the middle of what could still be a dangerous situation just to see with his own eyes that Ivan is okay.

For actual prompts: I would love to see Ivan and Gregor solving something together, whether it's a mystery, a domestic problem, some situation that Miles has gotten himself into, or anything else. Or: Ivan-being-reluctantly-competent is one of my favorite things from canon. How about the story where Gregor first figures out Ivan is more intelligent than he pretends? Or: have them just hanging out! Gregor really needs to get out more, so maybe he forces Ivan to help him sneak out and see the planet a bit? Or: someone attacks Vorhartung Castle, and Ivan has to help defend Gregor! Or: something from one of the dozens of dinners/balls/etc they must both have attended? Or: commiserating about having to deal with Miles? Really, as long as they're both in it, I'm going to be thrilled. :)


Valor Series - Tanya Huff (Alamber (Valor Confederation); Torin Kerr)

So probably my favorite thing about this series is the sheer amounts of competency porn. Torin Gets Shit Done and I love it. While I love Torin and Craig, and for that matter her relationships with everyone else on her team, probably the relationship I am most interested in reading about is her and Alamber. And not necessarily in a sexy way! I just love how protective she is of him while still setting firm boundaries. Tell me the story of how she finally finds him another di'Taykan? Or tell me more about the previous relationship that screwed him up so badly! Or give me action adventure with the whole crew! Or worldbuilding/interaction with a new species! (Er, please don't kill anyone off, though; I got enough of that in the books.)

If you do want to go the sexy route, I am definitely on board with that. I'd prefer no intentional infidelity- Torin's been pretty clear on that one- but accidental pheremone!dub-con is welcome and even encouraged, as long as everyone ends up mostly alright with it in the morning. (Bonus points for Alamber resisting because Torin has said no in the past, and Torin having to reassure him the morning after! Can a di'Taykan even be dubconned? Or please feel free to go the threesome route and include Craig!)


Yoroiden Samurai Troopers | Ronin Warriors (Sanada Ryou | Ryo Sanada; Shuu Rei Fuan | Kento Rei Fang; Hashiba Touma | Rowen Hashiba

Oh man, where do I even start with this one?? RW is one of my very earliest loves, from way back in the day when it was playing on Cartoon Network. I love all of the Ronins. I am super flexible with this fandom-- I'd be happy to get anything. That said, I really love the interactions between Kento & Ryo & Rowen. Kento and Ryo are the team hotheads; I would love to read about them getting into trouble. Rowen and Ryo spent all that time together fighting in the Netherworld; how do they get over that? (Actually, in general I would love recovery fic- reading about how they settle back into being normal again.) I'd also love anything about how they all deal with their families- do they know about the armors? If not, how did they explain away being gone for so long? I also love reading about the interaction between the mystical and the real world. Feel free to bring in the other Ronins or Mia as well. (P.S. I am very fond of Mia as well, so please, whether or not you include her, no character bashing.)

Tags:

We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.
Through the unknown, unremembered gate
When the last of earth left to discover
Is that which was the beginning;
At the source of the longest river
The voice of the hidden waterfall
And the children in the apple-tree
Not known, because not looked for
But heard, half-heard, in the stillness
Between two waves of the sea.
Quick now, here, now, always—
A condition of complete simplicity
(Costing not less than everything)
And all shall be well and
All manner of things shall be well
When the tongues of flame are in-folded
Into the crowned knot of fire
And the fire and the rose are one.

--Little Gidding, T.S. Elliot

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