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[personal profile] breathedout
Hello marvelous story-writer or fan artist! 

Thank you so much for wanting to make me a thing! Our shared interest in lady-lovin' ladies is bringing us closer already; I know I will love whatever you feel called to make. If you'd like to poke around to get a broad sense of what I like, my Tumblr (or, obviously, my AO3 page) is probably your best bet. In short, I am a more-or-less lesbian bibliophile recently relocated from the Pacific Northwest to sunny southern California. Copy/pasting the following from previous letters:

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. I don't know as well how to talk about what I particularly like art-wise, but attention to clothes and capturing a tangible moment between two people are two things that I tend to adore.

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. Thanks again for writing me a thing! You rock. :-D

Marvel 616 (Natasha Romanova/Yelena Belova)
This pairing has a line straight to my id. Favorite Marvel pairing bar none. I love Yelena's unrelenting "do I want to become her, fuck her, or become her by fucking her" obsessive identification with Natasha; I also love Natasha's world-weary blend of antagonism and protectiveness toward Yelena, and how that plays into Natasha's mixed feelings about her own history as the Black Widow—how she sees in Yelena a younger version of herself, who still has the chance she no longer has, to back out. I am a total, total sucker for the "Murder Girlfriends Spar as Foreplay" trope. I am also a total sucker for sexually-charged rivalry relationships where the rivalry aspect doesn't resolve out as soon as they're having sex—where that tension is maintained. This seems like a no-brainer for Natasha/Yelena, since the nature of their work means that (a) sex generally means manipulation at least as much as it means genuine connection, so they can't comfortably assume this time is different, and (b) neither of them can really afford to trust anybody... especially another spy who is openly trying to kill her. 

As this is a comics-based pairing, visual art is particularly welcome! I feel like Natasha and Yelena's dynamic, which already walks such a fine line between aggression, mutual recognition, and violence-based arousal, really lends itself to illustration. Natasha & Yelena in a rough post-chase makeout session? Natasha giving Yelena hands-on pointers about how to improve her fighting skills (pointers which Yelena no doubt pretends to spurn but actually memorizes and goes on to practice obsessively)? Natasha catching Yelena trying on Natasha's clothes (omg swoon)? Natasha & Yelena hiding together in a tiny atmospheric space while bad guys run by outside? I love all that. I also love, about the Black Widow comics, what a jet-setter Natasha is; so if you want to go the route of illustrating Natasha & Yelena in the midst of some specific place, that'd be another cool option. 


Killers Kill; Dead Men Die (Aristocrat/Maiden Aunt; Queenpin/Songbird; Society Dame/Society Broad; Society Dame/Society Broad/Restless Wife)
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. The catty Society Triad (Anjelica Huston/Sharon Stone/Diane Lane) seem particularly ripe for this treatment. You can tell by Huston's face she would be just horrified to find she'd developed genuine feelings about anything; and you can tell by Diane Lane's body language that she'd be—or seem to be—easy pickings.

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?).  

As this is a photography-based canon and noir is an inherently visual genre, visual art is 100% welcome! A lot of what I love about this shoot is the thickness of the atmosphere and the opulence of the costuming—but also that in several of the spaces where we see these women—backstage with the Songbird, in the dressing room with the catty society triad, in the barn (?) with the Noemi Watts character in her dressing gown—they are in the process of robing or disrobing. I like that behind-the-scenes quality; it's very noir and very L.A., the contrast of the shiny façade with the gritty underbelly which is less pretty but often more compelling. And that's a particularly evocative idea for women, I think, since the "feminine" is traditionally associated with the fabricated and the artificial. So: scenes where these characters are interacting in their slips/bras & underwear? Putting on or taking off wigs or disguises? Or where two or more of them are scheming while getting dressed for an event? Or furtive backstage makeout sessions, with most but not all of their clothes still on? Any or all would be divine. 


Chéri - Colette (Léa de Lonval/Charlotte Peloux)
I keep offering and requesting this fandom in the hope that one day I will meet someone else who has (a) read the novel, and (b) feels as I do about Léa and Charlotte! Their dynamic is the thing I most adore about this book: I love that their frenemy-ship predates Charlotte's son (Chéri); I love that it outlasts Léa's affair with him. I love that even though they are catty and critical of one another; even though they wound each other and hide from each other, and are products of an extremely male-centric culture; still, at the end of the day, the bond between them is the strongest thing in both their lives.

So I'd love some kind of story about Léa and Charlotte. A sexual/romantic liaison between them could go any number of different ways, and however you want to roll is cool by me. An affair de coeur slowly blossoming late in life? An ongoing frenemy-ship which occasionally extends to hate- or comfort-fucking; an early-life fling where they are learning together how to live in the world, before Charlotte became a mother—any or all of the above would be things I'd eat up with a spoon. I'd adore a post-Chéri story in which Charlotte comforts Léa in her typically backhanded yet unexpectedly sincere way. I'd REALLY adore a post-Fin de Chéri story where Léa comforts Charlotte (in a similarly complex way); or some combination of the last two ideas.

Or really, any Charlotte/Léa idea that occurs to you. I am all ears.

Empire (Cookie Lyon/Anika Calhoun)
I mean. Cookie/anyone, really; Taraji P. Henson could muster up sexual chemistry with the furniture, and Cookie Lyon is such a phenomenal role. Part of my attraction to this pairing is super-predictable given other choices like Natasha/Yelena and Léa/Charlotte above: these are two not-to-be-fucked-with women who are set up in opposition, due in this case to their investment in their relationships with a man very prone to fucking with women. I mean, they're sexual rivals, so their rivalry is inherently sexually charged; and the Empire directors (and Henson! damn!) really play that sexuality up, in terms of the sexual one-ups-manship Cookie and Anika get into with each other. I'd love to see a scenario where that mutual goading dynamic tips over into actual I'll-show-you-a-thing-or-two-about-Lucious, letting-off-aggression hate-sex.

On the other hand (or in addition), I'd also be interested in a scenario that explores some of their mutual bitterness toward Lucious about betraying them both with the other one. Both of these women are sharp as tacks, and although they work hard to make the other woman the enemy so as to safeguard their emotional connection with Lucious, there comes a point where their ability to do that starts to crack, on both sides. In that scene at the party where Cookie tells Anika about Lucious fucking her in the sound booth after he'd told Anika that he'd break it off with her, it seems like they both get to this place where they can't look away from the plain fact that the man they both love has been a total bastard to them both. That's obviously a hugely painful thing to look straight at, and I'm not sure whether it makes it more painful or less so if there's another person in exactly the same position, right next to you when you have to do it. I think there's some interesting space to explore some hurt/comfort type dynamics between Cookie and Anika there, in the moment when their anger shifts marginally away from one another and marginally toward Lucious. But I also think any honest connection between them is liable to be pretty tenuous, and bound up with their mutual (and very fresh!) grief and anger. 

Visual art also very much encouraged for this canon! Visual highlights of this show for me include: Cookie's wide array of "are you fucking kidding me with this?" faces; Anika's tailored blouses and slightly menswear-inspired outfits (but also that one silver flapper dress with the Marcelle-waved hair, ugh); both women's razor-sharp makeup lines; the way they hover just on the verge of getting physical with one another when they're antagonizing each other, and then Cookie gives Anika a little push with her fingertips. 


Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen (Charlotte Lucas/Anne de Bourgh)
This pairing only just took hold of me during my most recent re-watch of the 1995 miniseries adaptation. Greywash and I were talking about how we totally get why Charlotte makes the decision to secure her financial comfort by marrying Mr Collins, and we get the impression she does genuinely enjoy solitude; but even so, her interactions with Lizzy after her marriage are poignant with the loss of regular contact with a dear friend. I made an offhand comment that I hoped Charlotte finds some new source of female companionship, and Gins made an offhand comment in return that she hoped Charlotte was, and I quote, "givin' it to Anne on the regular." That was all it took! Ever since then I've been utterly delighted by the potential of these two reserved women, accustomed to solitude and both burdened with overbearing guardians/partners, forming an unlikely bond of fellowship with each other. I'm extra amused by the idea that their connection would be sort of undeniably, sparkily sensual, since I think both Anne and particularly Charlotte would be consternated and taken aback by that development, and I'd love to see what they make of that and how they navigate it. Other things that interest me about this pairing: Anne has the vastly socially superior position, and her mother has raised her to value little besides that knowledge; but Charlotte is in pretty much every way a more competent adult human, and genuinely prioritizes things that Anne has never had to consider, like getting enough time to herself, and getting as much autonomy as she can. Charlotte, as we see in her scenes with Lizzy, is also very secure in her own values, even when they differ from those of someone she loves. Does that make Anne uncomfortable, to fall in love with a woman whose values are so solid and so initially so alien to Anne? She is undoubtedly bored and hungry for sympathetic companionship; but she's also pampered and not used to being challenged or denied unless to be ridden over roughshod by her mother. How does she deal with that conflict?

And from Charlotte's point of view: it's pretty plain that utter pragmatism is inherent in Charlotte's sense of self, in what we would now call her "identity." And at first, a friendship with Anne might seem to fit in with that pragmatism: Mr Collins, for example, would be thrilled at an increased number of invitations to Rosings, and Charlotte's own social status would rise as well. But Charlotte has to understand that getting TOO close to Anne isn't pragmatic at all: if Charlotte ends up interfering with Anne's marriage prospects, for example, or if she becomes competition with Anne's mother for Anne's emotional energy, then Lady Catherine might end up snubbing Charlotte, or publishing gossip about her, or even banishing the Collinses from Rosings completely. So, does it freak Charlotte out to find herself doing something out of sync with the "self" that she believed herself so in touch with? How does she navigate that? It seems like there's a lot of interesting space for a relationship that's compelling and valuable to both women but also troubling to them both. 

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