Particular loves of mine include: formidable yet complex women being formidable and complex together; sex writing that is emotionally nuanced and/or ratchets up the narrative tension more than it resolves it; unreliable narrators; atmospheric settings; lovely turns of phrase; strong narrative voices, and weird narrative tricks.
Squicks: My huge, body-horror-level squick is pregnancy and babies; please avoid them if at all possible. Also I'd love it if you'd avoid animal cruelty or death. Other than that, I'm up for pretty much whatever, including dub-con or even non-con as long as they're acknowledged as such within the context of the story. I write a ton of porn and I love to read it, but it's in no way required or expected, so just follow your muse!
Feel free to disregard fandom-specific ramblings; but if you're interested, I've gone into a bit more detail below (some of this also copy/pasted from previous letters; some new). Thanks again for writing me a thing! You rock. :-D
Killers Kill; Dead Men Die
Atmosphere, atmosphere, atmosphere. This is such a cool "fandom" because it only requires about five minutes to become familiar with it, yet each image is so evocative that you could spin worlds out of it. There are a ton of things I love about noir, as a genre: the classic hard-boiled first-person narrator (especially thrilling to see a female version of this voice, since it's generally so firmly male); the rootedness in place; the obsession with shiny surfaces and the grime lurking beneath them. From an interpersonal perspective, I would say my #1 bulletproof narrative kink, in noir, is the conflicted double-cross: sure, nothing is what it seems and everyone has several layers of ulterior motives for doing what they do, but they also have all these messy ~emotions~ that make their loyalties genuinely conflicted.
Another noir-ish trope I love are the secret conspirators—the seeming strangers, or even seeming antagonists, who are revealed toward the end of the story to have been in league all along, and usually engaged in something criminal. Another version of this is when one type of relationship is revealed to actually be another type, aka we thought they were siblings but actually they're lovers. I fucking LOVE this take on the Helen Mirren/Judi Dench pairing, LOVE LOVE LOVE, So if it appeals to you at all you can basically do no wrong. I adore the idea of it told either from a POV in on the secret & working to perpetuate it (is it tough on the POV character to be, in essentials, closeted? and/or does she get a kick out of the challenge of keeping up the façade & manipulating her way through LA?), or one that only comes to suspect it in the course of events (maybe a third party overhears or witnesses something between these characters that seems... off?).
This movie is an utter delight, and every time I watch it I wish it were a TV show with multiple seasons rather than the admittedly very well-balanced but shortish feature film it is. The dynamic between Susan and Nancy is the total high point for me; I love that they are complete goofballs together but also very effective at their jobs, in the long run; I love that they're supportive of each other and cover for each other and also take the piss. I really just want MORE them, in whatever form. I dig them as friends, friends with occasional benefits, a romantic ship: go wild, I will love it. Conveniently, the movie provides a bunch of fic prompts in the form of Susan's later missions that play during the end credits; if you wanted to expand on one of those & have Nancy as her right-hand woman, that would be tremendous fun. Or whatever your heart desires! I'm really not picky as long as there's more Susan and Nancy in the world.
I would certainly be open to a story involving Vivian, too, but the character dynamic in this movie that really triggered my fannish instincts was the one between Cay and Silver. Friends who openly bathe together while one of their fiancé's is in the next room: how did they get to this unorthodox point? Were they lovers once and no longer? Are they still occasional lovers, and Silver's fiancé is just not threatened by it because Cay is a woman? Or maybe he's just that enlightened? Whatever the case, I'm very intrigued by their relationship, and would love a peek into their back-story, or an off-screen scene between them during the film. The other thing I adore about this movie is the vivid atmosphere, both of place and time, so attention to setting will always win me over!
A la recherche du temps perdu
I am not the person who nominated the triad of Marcel, Robert de Saint-Loup, and Gilberte Swann, but whoever it is, I'd like to shake their hand. Their dynamic over time is such a fascinating web of waxing and waning obsession and neglect, between Marcel's unrequited infatuation with Gilberte as adolescents and close (but safe! because Saint-Loup is definitely straight!) friendship with Robert, to the Gilberte/Saint-Loup marriage that turns out to be unhappy because St.-Loup is gay after all, to the later-in-life visit between Marcel and Gilberte, in which the remembered magic is gone and Gilberte seems more invested in seeing Marcel than Marcel feels in seeing her: a seeming impossibility to Marcel's younger self. Layered on top of that are so many Proust-typical sleights of hand with regard to sexuality: Marcel is a straight avatar for a decidedly gay yet closeted author, with whom he shares a name and much of a biography; while St.-Loup is a gay character whose straight act was so convincing that even Marcel—whose obsession with ferreting out the sexual deviants around him is frankly eyebrow-raising in a straight guy—doesn't suspect until the War. Meanwhile, Gilberte has been replaced in the narrator Marcel's affections with a woman whose real-life model was a man, and he has become unhealthily obsessed with the spectre of her lesbianism. All of this creates a kind of Chinese-garden-style effect, where depending on where (and when) you stand you get a much different impression of any given scene and any given relationship. I'd love a story that played with that effect, either via getting us out of Marcel's head to explore alternate points of view, or a moment of retrospection when the past self seems almost to rejoin or be layered on top of the current self. Or even some crossover RPF involving the composition of Á la recherche du temps perdu! Experimentation is very much welcome.
I just really love all the horrible assholes on this show okay, but Pam Poovey and her relationship with Cheryl Tunt hold a special place in my heart. Moments of Pam & Cheryl being semi-reluctant friends (with benefits?), conspirators, travel companions, drinking buddies, etc., are always the highlights of episodes for me, so... more o' that, I guess, is what I'm looking for here. (As a side note, I can't believe that the teaser montage in "White Elephant" gave us Pam in livery driving a towncar yelling "We started a damn coup!", with Cheryl in a flowing white evening gown and a rocket launcher behind her, AND THEN DIDN'T FOLLOW IT UP in the rest of the season. Possibly because nothing they could come up with lived up to the amazing promise of those two seconds. If you feel called to prove them wrong, I'm all ears.)