[personal profile] runespoor
Dear Yuletide Writer,

Thank you for writing a story for me! Whichever fandom you’’ve been assigned, please know that I’m delighted to get fic for it. These are all canons I discovered this year and I’m very excited about all of them. Sometimes at inordinate, I-keep-cutting-stuff-out-why-does-it-grow-back length.

For each fandom I have included some rambling about canon (these things tend to get away from me), several examples of stuff I’d be interested in, a list of stuff I ship in that fandom if you're someone who likes to have mentions of pairings , and a “things that might be relevant” paragraph, which covers a lot of ground but tends toward excitement for every single character in the canon and headcanons.
If my ships aren't your ships, please don't contradict them? I love gen about character relationships (I just… read it as pre-ship) and it would not be a let-down.

If you like to do research on your recipient, my AO3 name is Runespoor.

Both these lists are long on the off-chance you'll get inspired by something in the former, and the fact that I'd really rather not have anything from the latter, but the "likes" list especially in no way means a fic needs to have all these elements for me to enjoy it! They're just things I like, feel free to pick and choose and discard at leisure.

• Aftermaths! Repercussions, dealing-with-what-happened, reactions, atonement, rebuilding, trying out for a routine.
• Happy/hopeful endings. I like dark themes and conflict and angst, but it’s important to me that there’s a least a thread of hope running through: earning/stealing/building your happy ending.
• Characterization with a side-dish of plot, where plot can be read as “buying a birthday gift” or “surviving in a post-apoc world”.
• Get-together! Pre-get together/implied feelings (that thing that’d have been tagged “pre-slash” in 2004 about same-sex ships.) UST, slow burn, pining. Socially-unacceptable choices of lovers that are open secrets. Rivalshipping, hateshipping, sparring as foreplay, attempted murders. Contradictory and complicated feelings and interactions.
• Familial themes: families, found families, dysfunctional families.
• Characters with issues: Co-dependence. Trust issues. Conflicts of ethics – duty, honor, loyalty, love, honesty. Determined girls and thoughtful boys, disasters of all genders. Big ideals and characters with a vision. Devotion. Telling lies to yourself to do what you think you have to do; self-sacrifice; seeing yourself as a tool/weapon/symbol (and deconstructing that – what do the other people in canon think of it, how do they react to it?); self-sabotage. Identity issues and plays on identities and masks, switching between identities, being unable to shed an identity completely, pretending there’s no bleed/continuity between two identities or failing (relevant for costumed heroes, gods walking the earth, spies and traitors and impersonators, kings or queens…)
• Interactions: lies, betrayals, dramatic reveals, communication and miscommunication (dialogue, banter, awkwardness, confrontations, body language, confessions, being caught in one’s lies, double- or triple-meanings, things left unsaid, things pointedly left unsaid, dancing around issues).
• Continuity references, cameos by other characters. My nominated fandoms have great ensemble casts, and I love the dynamics there, so if you wanted to include cameos with other characters, it would be more than okay.
• Playing with the format and the narrative – meta, stories-within-stories, gameplay mechanics being alluded to, framing devices (I generally prefer stories to go in chronological order, though). Travels-inside-someone’s-mind. Dreams and nightmares that run on fairytale logic. Time-loops. Canon-divergence AUs and AUs that change the setting but keep the themes, relationships, and personalities similar. Interactive fiction. Long fic; short fic; drabbles.
• Outsider PoV! Especially outsider PoV on relationships. Stories that use the contrast between external perspective and what’s really going on.
• Imagery, local color, a sense of place and atmosphere – even if it’s a couple of sentences telling me how a city smells, the color and shape of buildings and streets, what kind of people live there, how the city changes between day and night. Wordlbuilding details/references. The contrast between the overarching stakes and the mundane (we’re saving the world but we still need to buy food) and the mention of one when you’re dealing with the other.
• Kink-wise, I am into orgasm denial, begging, restraints, needing to keep quiet, aphasia, powerplay and challenges, including in non-sexual contexts, breathplay, focus on the senses and the sensations, pegging.

Dislikes in fic (any exception will be developed in the appropriate fandom): I would prefer no PWP for Yuletide. Fluff. Kitten-fic, curtain-fic, kid-fic, coming-out fic. Established relationships, unless it’s outsider PoV. Character death. Non-con, whether onscreen or offscreen. Cheating, pregnancy, wedding or holiday-fic. The following type of AUs: A/B/O, slave, coffee-house, college, fandom, mundane AUs. The-magic-is-gone futurefic where the characters have forgotten the passion of their younger years and are now existing in the humdrum of routine. That trope where female characters are exasperated by how stupid the boys are (I like my female characters to be as faily as the male ones). That trope where other people play matchmaker for the pairing (I’m fine with “knew something was going on before it happened”). That trope where the only person who understands and accepts a character is the other part of the pairing and canonically reasonably supportive and well-intentioned supporting cast is… not.
Applying American norms and customs in non-American canons.
Violence-wise, I am fine with mentions or lists or descriptions of graphic stuff and the repercussions thereof, but not with the narration of on-screen nail-tearing (saying “character A’s nails had been torn” would be fine; describing it happen onscreen wouldn’t) and no torture involving animals.
Kink-wise, no pet-play, toys, voyeurism, fetishization of virginity or underage, spanking. No extremely unrealistic sex either: hyperbole is one thing, but blood-as-lube breaks my suspension of disbelief...
-Isms: I don’t want homophobia/sexism/racism/etc as a set-up for drama or hurt/comfort. Slut-shaming. Canon characters displaying homophobia/sexism/racism/etc when they didn’t in canon. Casual misogyny/homophobia/transphobia/etc (“don’t be such a girl”, “that’s so gay”, “haha, can’t believe you didn’t see she was a man!”), unless it’s subverted (“I ‘fight like a girl’? Am I supposed to be insulted?”). Please don’t use actual, real-life slurs in your fic (*if a character self-identifies as queer, it’s fine to use it though); paraphrases are great.

Ayase Chihaya, Mashima Taichi, Wataya Arata

One thing I love about canon is the genre mix-up. Mostly, Chihaya thinks she’s in a shonen. Taichi thinks he’s in a shoujo. Sumire thinks she’s the heroine in a shoujo. Shinobu – well, Shinobu might think she’s in a low-magic setting. It’s very refreshing to see all these characters whose different views on life coexist, who follow (try to follow) different tropes.
Another thing I love is the competition! I’m big on relationships with rivalry elements (Chihaya and Shinobu, Chihaya and Arata, Taichi and Arata…), and sublimation of the self through competition: wanting to achieve one’s goal to prove oneself one is good at something, effort, determination. I love that rivalries are not just expressions of enmities: Chihaya extending concern for Shinobu is one of my favorite things. On the subject of competition, I love how each character has a style, a specialty they’re good at.

But the thing I like best about Chihayafuru is the relationships and the character depth. Stories about childhood friends growing into rivalry slay me every time. OT3. Rivalries between girls! A prince-type languishing!!! (seriously, I love that last. I spend so much time cackling at Taichi’s pain. I love him and his angst is hilarious to me. because I convince myself it’s going to end happily for everyone shhhh. Also he can be passive-aggressive as fuck.)

I’m more into getting-together than established relationships. So yeah, OT3 get-together, if you’re up for that. Get-together and competitive karuta. (I’m the most boring Chihayafuru fan ever.)

If you’d rather write established-relationship, I’d love to read outsider-PoV (interviews of Chihaya-as-Queen or Arata-as-Meijin way down the line; Chihaya’s future students getting to know their teacher and going through the stages of being introduced to Chihaya, or maybe Chihaya’s teachers at uni, of the principal getting the news that Ayase Chihaya is a teacher). One particular type of Outsider-PoV I’d be very interested in would be outsider-PoV from each family: how do they feel about their children’s passion for karuta that keeps on in adult age? Is the trio being together an open secret? Did Chitose terrify Taichi but take to Arata in a Tokyo second (“you should be more like Arata, Taichi”)? What’s the status of friendship between families? Are there awkward chance meetings between Chihaya’s family and Taichi’s? How do celebrations go, when there’s a birthday or someone wins a title? Does the relationship between Taichi and his mother ever relax? (If Shinobu is in the picture, does Taichi’s mom Approve of a young lady of Kyoto far more than she does of Chihaya? I’ve always imagined Taichi’s mom somewhat approved of Chihaya’s drive and confidence, though she knew perfectly well her son was gone on that girl.) (even present-day, what does Chihaya’s family think of her friendships? Mother-daughter bonding would be a great theme.) The families helping their children move into a shared flat because-it’s-closer-to-uni and taking semi-awkward coffee (or not) together afterward.

If you wanted to include Shinobu because like me you so happened to ship Chihaya/Shinobu and Chihaya/Arata/Taichi, one scenario I’m pondering is Taichi and Shinobu having poisonous demonstrations of self-depreciative passive-aggressiveness against one another and I would eleventyone all over you.

AU-wise, I'd be interested in canon divergences, or maybe re-imagining canon as a low-magic setting like the one Shinobu thinks she's in.

ships: poly all the way. Chihaya/Arata/Taichi, Chihaya/Arata/Taichi+Chihaya/Shinobu, Kana/Sumire.
things that might be relevant: I read Kana as lesbian. I love Kana, I like the principal and Sudou a lot, but then again I can’t think of a character in this canon I would be unhappy to find on the page.

Rui Ninomiya, Hajime Ichinose

I fell for this series this year, and I fell hard. Not only is it gorgeous, the treatment of its themes – heroism, communication, solidarity – took my breath away. I love the canon because it’s optimistic and good-natured and earnest without being too sweet or cute for my tastes; because there are hardships happening, and violence, and sadness. As for the characters, it’s safe to say I love them, especially the two teenaged idealists I requested. They’re definitely my break-out characters of 2014.

I adore Rui: it’s painfully easy to contemplate a continuity in which the first half-or-so of the series culminated in Rui being seduced by the dark side. Rui certainly is enough of an absolutist to fit the well-intentioned extremist profile, and secretive, controlling, and secluded enough. Rui’s first contact was with Berg Katze, and that would seem enough as well. Even the OP, by comparing/contrasting Rui and Hajime, seems to foreshadow a descent into darkness on Rui’s part. But Rui doesn’t. Even when Rui is narratively on the brink, they’re never tempted. And the people who reach for them are the Gatcha crowd. Rui is more than a little messed up, and their thirst for absolute, pure idealism is an expression of that.
And Hajime, well, Hajime is amazing. Cheerful girls determined to make the world better are always going to be on my short list of favorites. Hajime never stops, not even once, and she’s always full of ideas and she’s quick to adapt. And she cares about people as persons, not as an idea or an ideal.
(Not like Rui does, who removed themselves from the physical world and address people as number, not like Sugane does, who wants to save people but hasn’t thought about helping people help themselves. That’s one thing I love about the series, these different positions on the ways of helping people.)

Here’s a handful of things I’d be interested in: post-canon, Rui’s integration to the team, dealing with being a Gatchaman, dealing with school, dealing with real people. A down moment of Hajime’s, maybe with Berg Katze not helping. Rui and Hajime spending time together, discussing visions of the world, discussing cute stationery/clothes/decorations you can put on your GALAX. Does the fact that Berg Katze is within Hajime bother Rui during friendly/private moments? I suspect Berg could tell Hajime a lot of nasty things about Rui. Outsider PoV on them (schoolfriends; the Internet; politicians; the Nobel prize committee; a gossip rag and a serious magazine). Rui is used to being downright secretive, and Hajime is very open about secrets: does the fact that Hajime is likely to mention she’s dating Rui in an interview come up? Would it be an issue to them?

The canon’s pretty, pretty shiny art style is what first drew me in,and I love the sense of places you see (Rui’s big, empty screen cave, Hajime’s DIY nest…) if you wanted to evoke/describe stuff like that I’d love it.

I would be pretty into a magical girl AU (they could be rivals) or a magical realism AU (à la Uchouten Kazoku or Spirited Away – maybe they stumbled upon traditional folklore being real instead of sentais? maybe they stumble into it post-canon, when they’re on holidays whileRui is looking for inspiration for their next nature-based app?), or an AU where Berg Katze won (maybe due to not finding Rui) and there is a resistance/apocalyptic setting where Hajime and Rui and whoever you want are trying to fix things and there’s angst and heroics and a happy ending (subset of that might be a Danganronpa AU).

ships: Hajime/Rui might be my OTP. I also ship Sugane/Jou (or at least Sugane->Jou) and Utsutsu-crushing-on-Hajime. I would totally be amenable to Hajime/Rui/Sugane. If you don’t ship any of these, please don’t contradict these? I also wonder whether OD might have had a History with Berg Katze.
things that might be relevant: I realize that this is a polarizing topic, but I don’t see Rui as cis. “They” (or “she”) pronouns would be fantastic. If you do deal with outsider-PoV, your outsiders are free to use whichever pronoun feels more natural to their relationship with Rui. I’d rather it wasn’t the focus of the fic anyhow. I'm not really into fluff either, though fluff elements are welcome.

Nanami Chiaki, Nagito Komaeda, Hinata Hajime

OT3! (including the platonic version, if you can’t abide the thought of them kissing.) I’d want them to be in the process of earning their happiness: they all have a lot of things to make up for and come to terms with. Here is a list of ideas I’m interested in: post-canon, the navigating of the repercussions of the game (i.e. the successful murder/suicide/revelations about their past selves). Growing as persons while retaining their edges. Uploading a saved version of Nanami. Komaeda’s waking up and rehabilitation (or failure). Getting some memories back, or not. Nightmares. Building new bonds between them. Nanami and Komaeda having an Understanding about the murder/suicide and it driving Hinata mad. Hints that they’ve been hanging out together (referencing video games ftw).

I like that they’re messed-up. I love Nagito’s immeasurable devotion to Hope, to this thing he wants to serve. I love how far he went. I love Nanami’s cautious helpfulness and her keeping her true nature a secret. I love Hajime’s temper. (If your story features them stumbling into making-out or sex, I wouldn’t be opposed to some roughness or restrained violence or pent-up resentment.) I love their secrets and lies, and generally speaking I love the tone of canon, with its raw emotions and its post-apoc outside landscape.

Format-wise, feel free to play! Framing devices would work great here, mix of RL and VR is good, dating sim is good, memory shenanigans are good, travels-deep-inside-someone’s-mind are good. All I ask is that you please refrain from killing anyone for real – the game already covered that. I… can’t think of an alternate reality I’d be interested in, unless it’s a VR thing that’s used to further characterization/healing/whatevs, in which case do everything you want.

AU-wise: WHAT IF Komaeda had imprinted on Nanami, way back at the beginning of the game? How would things have gone? How would it have impacted Nanami’s relationships with the rest of the group? Would she have told Komaeda about her role, would he have guessed, would Hinata have been on their case like a really persistent headache (the one, in fact, they’re causing him)? (you have my formal blessing for killing people for real for this one. yes, including people who made it alive in the game.)

ships: I ship them so much. I would be perfectly happy if they didn’t kiss, when I say “ship”, I mean their relationship is intense and fraught and I love it. I also like Kuzuryuu/Peko/Koizumi in all variations, Naegi/Kirigiri, Ibuki-maybe-winning-Twogami-over. I do not ship Souda/Sonia or Souda/Sonia/Gundam, but I do like Sonia/Gundam.
issues with canon: mostly the fanservice and the poop jokes (I have nothing against Tsumiki except the way she’s turned into moe-fanservice because that was unnecessary). I’m not the biggest fan of Owari, Nidai, and Teruteru. I also think that the franchise has a tendency to cast female characters as victims even when they end up executed.

TALES OF XILLIA – SPOILERS for Jude’s & Milla’s stories
Milla Maxwell, Alvin

I ship them with Jude. I didn’t request Jude because I don’t want the focus to be on him, but just throwing it out there: my Xillia OT3 is Milla/Jude/Alvin. I am deeply into the gender-inversion of the game (Milla: “I will fulfill my mission, not matter what it takes.” Jude: “I’m right there with you.”)

I love the relationship between Milla and Alvin because they are so terrible to each other. And so good. Their relationship is fascinating: built on betrayal, distrust, power exchanges and attempted murder (their relationship is kink to me). Some of my favourite scenes with them are the scenes you only get on Milla’s side: the “getting frisky” scene in Xian Du where Milla shoves Alvin against a wall, Alvin sneaking up on Milla with his gun when she’s in bed, Alvin showing up to help Milla dispose of her childhood friends when it turns out they’re Exodus and they want to kill her (and nOT BREATHING A WORD OF IT TO ANYONE ELSE. Killers having killers’ back; liars keeping secrets). I also adore that Milla knew Alvin was working for Exodus and chose not to share, and the scene where Milla orders Alvin to save Elize (it’s a sign of trust, after all). They get each other on that level, and it does feel to me as though they’d decided to protect Jude from it. Alvin is from Elympios and as such takes rather lightly the whole “Lord of Spirits” aspect, except when he’s bitter about Milla’s moral myopia, but he falls apart when Milla dies. His dialogue to Jude on Jude’s story reveals he looked up to Milla just as much as anyone else in the group. But he never tells her that. (Maybe post-canon Muzet tells Milla Alvin fell so hard apart he made a deal with her? That’d be an interesting route to explore.)

Here are some ideas I’m interested in: the exception to my no-holiday-fic rule, make up a fictional holiday in these worlds – either during canon in Elympios with everyone being surprised, or on Rieze Maxia, or after canon (maybe it’s a new holiday). Maybe there’s one day/week when the boundary between the spirit world and the human world is weaker… It doesn’t need to be filled with action: for instance I’d love to read about Alvin and Milla shopping (maybe for a gift for Jude, or maybe because Alvin saw an outfit he’d really like to see on Milla, or for weapons) and having fraught discussions and Milla offering Alvin to take him to the spirit’s world to see his mother. Travel-deep-inside-the-mind (and/or the spirit world), preferably Jude’s or Alvin’s, maybe to see Alvin’s mom. Or outsider-PoV from Jude’s neighbours/coworkers about the weird people he’s bringing home and the strange relationship he’s got going on with these two in particular. During canon, I would like to see more interactions, to have more focus on the specific bond between these two than they were given in the game. Or maybe something about Milla’s love for books – maybe Alvin telling a story by the fireside during the game. Or bonding about families, especially during the late game. Or something goes different in canon! Either something with Gaius or something with Nachtigal or maybe Jude is kidnapped – they can be on the same side or not! Maybe Milla heard about Gaius trying to get the Lance of Kresnik destroyed through Agria and decided to join Gaius (for a while at least)! Maybe Alvin did kill Milla and that makes a difference when she comes back! Or, if you’d like to go the OT3 route, any of these post-canon + get-together. Or if you’d like to write scorching hot rough Milla/Alvin pr0n (especially if in the middle of admitting they both wouldn’t say no to spending the rest of their existences with Jude), I wouldn’t exactly turn it down.

Or the AU version of Milla dying where Jude is the one who dies and the Milla-and-Alvin version of falling apart promptly starts with violence and escalates to violent sex (and then Milla gets the idea of getting Jude back from the spirit world and they set out on a rescue journey).

(Another type of AU I’d be pretty into here would be something in the tone/setting of Baccano! or Durarara!!!: something that allows for magic and violence and deep, messed-up relationships between characters. …preferably without doing away with the female characters’ arcs and/or agencies, though. Both series have the noir atmosphere of Alvin-related stuff (Trigleph, Xian Du), the epic powerscale of Milla (Lord of Spirits), and the focus on character relationships of Tales games.)

ships: Milla/Jude/Alvin OT3 post-canon, Leia can come if she wants. I don’t see Milla and Alvin as very domestic – Milla has responsibilities and Alvin has issues. I think I might ship Milla/Gaius as a no-commitment thing too (at least I see Tension there) even though that feels horribly narcissistic on both their parts (I guess they wouldn’t turn Jude down either)(though Wingul would be :| about it, Wingul seeming to see Jude as a threat to his smart-guy status in a way Milla is clearly not)(or at least Alvin could joke about it)(I cackled at the “queen coat” only Milla can wear, what can I tell you). I love the Alvin/Presa we see in canon – generally speaking I love Presa. Generally speaking I love everyone except Ivar and Derrick Mathis.
things that might be relevant: if your characters somehow end up doing it, I favour Milla being an educated virgin due to books and bossy, Jude being an educated virgin due to medicine, and Alvin being rapidly in over his head (as Alvin does) rather than being in control (at least emotionally). On the not quite kink side but almost, one aspect I’m very fond of is that Jude and Alvin are into Milla giving orders – Jude explicitly acknowledges that she cuts right through doubts and lets him not worry, and as for Alvin, this is just my interpretation of the characters but I think it makes sense. Milla is certain in a way Alvin wishes he could be. Milla’s take-charge attitude is one of the reasons I love her very much, and if you wanted to include a bedroom scene I would prefer if that side of her still applied. It doesn’t have to be explicitly D/s, but D/s being referenced would make me pretty happy. Because of Teepo’s characterization, I read Elize as being pretty dang queer (though not admitting it yet), I would appreciate if you didn’t write anything that contradicts that. Elize is also my favourite character in ToX, or just about, if you care about that. I would also prefer Leia to find stuff to do on top of her current “have a family, be happy” plan and to grow beyond wanting to be Jude’s assistant. My vision of Milla is that she’s more knowledgeable at human customs than she lets on (she is well-read), whether it’s to give herself more time to think through a situation and come up with a plan or because sometimes it’s just fun.
a note about ToX 2: I haven’t played it, please don’t spoil me. Feel free to disregard everything about it. The one thing I do know about ToX2 and wouldn’t mind if you referenced is Leia’s chosen profession.



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