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skazka ([personal profile] skazka) wrote2017-05-18 08:39 am
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Rare Male Slash Exchange Letter 2017 (updated 6/3/17)

If for some reason this letter isn't tl;dr enough, feel free to check out my Chocolate Box/Yuletide/Darkest Night/Rare Pair Fest letters! I really babble on with these prompts, but I promise it's not an indicator of what I ~really~ want the most, it's just an indicator of me being a dipshit. I'm requesting fic in this exchange (mostly because I have no idea how to really prompt art) but I love both fic and fanart and would be totally down for any random drive-by art you want to create.

tropes and likes | DNWs
Assassination of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford (2007) | Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina (Archie Comics) | The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly (1966) | LA Confidential (1997) | Miller's Crossing (1990) | Philip Marlowe - Raymond Chandler | Rope (1948) | The Thing (1982) | crossovers (Hitchcock, 70s horror/thriller films, Coen Bros films, True Detective, Breaking Bad)


Some tropes I love:

- Combative ships -- actual fightsex, characters who won't quit bickering, characters whose friendships turn into nemesis relationships and vice-versa seamlessly (hi, Blondie/Tuco!) and characters making a conscious decision not to fight long enough to have a romantic moment.

- Partners in crime, teamwork (both grudging and enthusiastic), picaresque adventures with your best pal or worst enemy.

- Hiding out someplace together -- on the run from the law, holing up against bad weather, or just dodging responsibilities.

- Complicated feelings -- characters who can't say or even think the truth about how they feel, tongue-tied lovers, pining, love/hate, enemies-to-lovers, enemies-to-friends-to-lovers, lovers-to-enemies-to-lovers-again, etc. I'm without fail a sucker for characters who don't totally understand or recognize their own emotions, let alone acknowledge them.

- Domestic moments -- characters making coffee or getting drunk together, teaching one another something, recounting a story, etc.

- Missing scenes from characters' past adventures; whatever the adventure/crime/caper/spaghetti-western equivalent of casefic is.

- Monsters! Ghosts, werewolves, vampires, etc. If you've ever wanted to write fic where Terry Lennox is a vampire, now's your chance.

- Darkfic of any kind -- psychological fuckery, body horror, lives of crime, break-it fics, etc. Happy endings are fine by me but not mandatory. (A few of my ships have both parties trying to, or succeeding at, killing each other at various points in canon, and I'm fine with that appearing or occurring in fic.)

- Sad sex! Sex where characters' emotions are mixed, dark, or difficult to acknowledge, sex that doesn't heal anybody's deep emotional wounds, sex that does mend deep emotional wounds but takes a while to get there, or anything else where the mood in conjunction with desired intimacy is still melancholy.

- Whump, with or without darkfic! I love hurt/comfort, any kind of physical or emotional bad stuff happening to characters (either front and center in the fic or in the background/stemming from canon events), and characters looking after one another whether the stakes are high or low.

- Fucked-up courtships and obsessions-- mind games, fighting as foreplay, surveillance and obsessions from afar, villains in love with heroes and vice versa.

- other random stuff -- dramatic irony, shady pasts, loyalty kink, parental hangups, anonymous or ostensibly anonymous meetings and trysts, road trips (ROAD TRIPS!!!), partners in crime, hurt-comfort and whump, characters grudgingly sharing their mysterious pasts with each other or wanting to learn more about each other, fuckups in love, historical domesticity, trans dudes, trauma and recovery. I'm a sucker for any kind of little moment between these characters, random snippets of uncommon/high-concept AUs you've been wanting to write for whatever reason, and guarded displays of affection. Crossovers and fusions are just fine by me. My prompts may be approximately a billion words long but I have no preference for fic length and am equally happy with long plotty fic and PWP.

Kinks: size differences, age differences, partially-clothed or mostly-clothed sex, oral sex, handjobs, frottage, intercrural, drunk sex (both the emotionally messy, dubcon-tinged, bad idea kind and the sloppily affectionate consensual kind), rough sex, characters who kink on violence (gunplay, face-slapping, etc.), hatesex, gunplay and knifeplay in general, SCARS!!!, smoking, casual fuckbuddies or impromptu sexual arrangements facilitated by circumstances, sex for comfort and solace, funny goofy fail!sex, dramatic dysfunctional fail!sex, historical sexual practices and meeting places, dressing and undressing, one-night stands and one-night stands that turn into something more, messy badly-negotiated (or unnegotiated) sexual desires, sadomasochism, antagonistic/mindfucky/"you get what you want, and I get what I want" noncon and dubcon.

I'm not too hot on: unrequested teacher/student pairings, generic modern-day AUs, characters overhearing each other masturbating or having sex, "kissing practice"-type tropes, noncon that becomes consensual because the victim enjoys it/"no, no, no -- wait, yes yes yes", omegaverse AUs, slavefic, corporal punishment AUs, urban fantasy werewolf tropes like packs and alphas, zombie apocalypses, apocalyptic/post-apocalyptic AUs.

I love sad stories, infidelity, foregone depressing conclusions, and major character death, but I'd rather not read straight-up "let's both agree to see other people"-type reasonable breakup stories for this exchange.

DNWs: self-harm, eating disorders, child sexual abuse, unrequested incest. I don't want to read explicit sex involving characters under 16.


The Assassination of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford

- Jesse James/Robert Ford

It means so much to me that one of my treasured "hero worship + inevitable doom + poisonous machismo + creepy peeping" shops is FULLY CANON in this film. Doom or no, I love how tightly Bob's identity is bound up in sheer proximity to Jesse (even in death) and how his encyclopedic obsession with all the details of Jesse's life and person seems to make a seriously mixed impression on the man himself. (It's also gay. It's super gay.) I'd be down for a canon-divergent AU going any which way, any one of the alternate possibilities Bob considers in terms of "everything wonderful that could come true", or maybe something where Bob's the one to die in the end, or something where Jesse fields off the Ford brothers' incoming treachery before things sour and their weird little household manages to limp along for a while without climaxing in murder. (Or climaxing in a different murder.) Bob both frightened and turned on by Jesse's violence, Jesse flattered and weirded out by Bob's feverish admiration, erotic snake-handling, nocturnal mindfucks, or sexy ghosts.

Bonus porn prompts: pity handjobs, bedsharing going a weird direction with sexy results; gun kink; queasy unspoken sexual overtures going off the rails due to Bob's intensity/Jesse's general terrifying personality.

- Robert Ford/Charley Ford

Okay, this one is just because I am a glutton for tragedy and apparently the central relationship was not enough. They're the only ones who really understand each other after the deed they become infamous for, but unfortunately self-knowledge is not a real blessing here. Anything about these two, their career in outlawry, and their shared fate marked by their shared blame -- boundaries blurring in the repetitive reenactment of their great triumph/betrayal, despair and failing health, and the intense alienation from everyone else that pans out as a result of something they did to save their own lives. Weird feverish intimacy! (I really like the way this screenplay draft puts it on pgs. 90-91. There is doomed snuggling.) Intense resentment! Making it very weird. Charley's TB makes his eventual fate pretty delimited in this canon's setting, but if you want to set something prior to that or during their time with the James gang (try keeping that under wraps surrounded by a bunch of paranoid criminals jostling for position) I would also be totally into that.

Bonus porn prompts: WEIRD IDENTITY-SLIPPAGE DURING SEX; yet more gun kink; bedsharing leads to sex; misguided comfort leads to sex.

Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina
- Ambrose Spellman/Harvey Kinkle
That's right -- Cousin Ambrose, Boyfriend Stealer. He does say he lives for drama -- maybe their tag team love spell has unexpected results, or doesn't quite take, requiring Ambrose to investigate? Or just regular teen drama enhanced by Ambrose being a teenage boy witch used to a totally different style of education (with prefects and whatnot) and Harvey being an all-American meathead. (Or something where Harvey strikes up an acquaintance with his steady girl's aggressively hip cousin, not entirely aware of what his own motivations are in the stew of sublimated emotions and societal repression that characterizes regular ol' Greendale in this universe, let alone the witchy side of it.) I confess to totally appreciating how distinctly, well, queer and yet genuinely hip and cool Ambrose's interests are (interests that set him apart in small-town America circa 1964 at least as much as being a displaced British warlock) so maybe something where that brings these two together (even briefly) instead of being a barrier between them? What's the best approximation of a date two boys can go on in Greendale? Or any old kind of duelling-dubiously-ethical-approaches-to-consent shenanigan between these two. Given the nature of this take on the Archie Comics universe, I'm totally open to whatever grimdark mindfucky take on this ship you care to devise or anything on the opposite end of the Archie Comics tonal spectrum too.

(I'm down for infidelity, fic where Sabrina and Harvey broke up on friendly terms, or fic where they never got together in the first place -- any solution where Sabrina's not dead or explicitly written out. Given Harvey's canonical fate, I'm also fine with any flavor of fix-it fic, Harvey Kinkle: Doomed Revenant, or anything playing fast and loose with witchy backstabbing.)

I don't have any really porny hankerings for this ship but if you've got ideas I'd be happy to read them!


The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly

- Blondie/Tuco

I love these guys and their tempestuous push and pull-- sometimes friends, sometimes enemies, sometimes partners in crime. I'd love to read about a time when they pulled off a con without a hitch (either the shooting-the-rope trick or something else) and got to celebrate for once, or about the screwed-up vendetta between them playing out in a more intimate way, whether before/during/after canon. A snippet of their history together, or an alternate take on where their partnership could go. Their volleying murder attempts are one of my favorite ship dynamics but you're by no means restricted to that; they're two archetypal scoundrels who maybe know each other too well to get along and I'd be down for the banditry equivalent of casefic or any little scene from earlier in their acquaintance. (Or later, for that matter, post-canon-drama. Can they mend things after that much drama? What the hell would either of them really do with that money?) Blondie is clearly aware of Tuco's shortcomings and sadder moments (cf. them sharing a cigar after Tuco bullshitting about how much his brother loves him, and Blondie plainly letting him have the lie for his dignity's sake) and is willing to let some of them slide -- when has that happened before? Has Tuco ever played that role for him? Them in a more peaceful moment, maybe. (Or a more combative one! I'm easy.)

Bonus porn prompts: BREATHPLAY BREATHPLAY BREATHPLAY. Bed-sharing leads to sex, bath-sharing leads to sex, sleeping space-sharing in the middle of an inhospitable desert leads to sex. (Canon takes them mostly to warm-weather locations but I'd love to see them in a snowbound, Hateful Eight-esque context, however unlikely that might be. Which isn't a sex thing as such, but lends itself to its own flavor of grudging huddling for warmth.) Spite sex that says spiteful all the way through or takes a turn for cautious camaraderie partway through. Weird inventive vengeance noncon. Dubcon gunplay! Or just a grudging-affectionate helping hand in the night.

- Blondie/Angel Eyes

Oh boy, I've never read this ship before but I'd love to. They're both pretty frosty characters, and it seems possible they've even met before the film's events take place -- supposing they did, how did that go? An interlude during their canon-era cooperation or something else where their paths cross would be great. Bad dudes working together for their own ends is my bulletproof narrative kink, and Blondie (while nominally the Good) can clearly at least play that part in the service of his own goals, so anything with these two would be delicious for me. I'd appreciate a wholesale canon-divergent AU where Blondie and Angel Eyes are on the same side for whatever reason or partnered up, or where they meet in the context of a prisoner/information-gathering situation? Maybe something where Blondie has to recruit Angel Eyes' assistance for something (or vice versa) and it descends very quickly into a cascade of backstabbing and gay sex? Gambits and gun battles as cockeyed courtship attempts, mercenary alliances that solidify into VERY grudging like, backstabbing as foreplay, or just very scary dubcon going any which way you can imagine.

Bonus porn prompts: Cagey mutually-beneficial "I'll do this, but I won't necessarily like it" dubcon. Terse bargaining with sex. Blondie suckin' dicks.


L.A. Confidential (1997)

- Ed Exley/Jack Vincennes

These two are about the opposites on the idealism vs. pragmatism spectrum but it's Ellroy (kinda) so nobody comes out looking squeaky clean -- I'd love anything playing off their opposite qualities and dispositions, the way Jack can't seem to really get a read on Ed at first until he really gets to see him do his thing. They're both pretty ruthless and can be real assholes, which I love, so that's one way for the two of them to either bond or clash depending on who they're being real assholes to. Vincennes' astronomical levels of self-loathing vs. Exley's limitless capacity for self-deception: fight, fight, fight! I'd love to read fic about their super-clandestine uptight affair, or falling into bed together after an exhausting/exhilarating case, something where Vincennes is pleased but mildly unsettled to find out what a freak in the sack his strait-laced coworker is or Exley gets sucked into Jack's vortex of sleaze with sexy results. Evidence-gathering/undercover!fic where the shady milieu is a pretense for boning down? Phenomenally repressed barely-not-gen-fic-except-for-the-crazy-weird-subtext? Weird pining! Or anything you can come up with, it's all good.

(I'd be equally happy to read fic set before Vincennes dies or fic where he doesn't for whatever handwavey reason you feel like. I've read the L.A. Quartet so I'm also equally happy to read fic that incorporates the books' RIDICULOUSLY ANGSTY BACKSTORY MATERIAL or that disregards them entirely, whatever you feel like.)

Bonus porn prompts: Ed Exley's scary dirty talk; banging in sleazy motels; pretending like they don't know each other when they rendezvous at the same queer watering holes they're normally policing; just-us-guys handjobs; fighting or arguing leads to fucking; cigarette burns.


Miller's Crossing

- Mink Larouie/Eddie Dane

Okay, so Mink being Eddie Dane's boy seems to be fairly well-known, at least among insiders, but it's definitely a tread-lightly thing among people in the know. How did they end up involved with each other? Is this the first time Mink has strayed? What do they see in each other? I'd love to read about any past noir misadventures for these two or a regular night around town, or a take on canon where Mink doesn't get shot in the face out in the woods and the fallout from that. I'm comfortable with a fucked-up or a relatively functional take on this ship, or anything in between, just anything that fills in the gaps in their acquaintance. What if the Dane gets to Mink before Bernie does -- hustling him out of harm's way, maybe, but putting him back in the Dane's way for sure and confronting some unfortunate stuff about their relationship? (With or without reconciliation.)

Bonus porn prompts: fucked-up possessive sex, disarmingly tender sex in unlikely locations, anything capitalizing on size kink, Mink being an absolute terror in bed, losing one's cool between the sheets (or anywhere else), the mysterious yet undeniable sexual charisma of Steve Buscemi.

- Mink Larouie/Bernie Bernbaum

What happened there? Bernie seems to have a pretty good read on Mink's weaknesses but also the ways in which he's useful -- how'd they meet and get involved? How did things transpire between them? (And to what degree did they transpire in the first place -- one-time thing or ongoing connection or a series of trysts?) Bernie has his moments of charm but he's also big-time bad news; to what degree did both of them realize they were stirring up more trouble? What's a typical racket like for these guys? How do their respective vices interact? Mink's avarice getting the better of him, or sex-for-drugs gone south, or who knows, Mink actually thinking Bernie's an alright guy who's going places in life and has the right idea about how to turn a profit in this town?

Bonus porn prompts: Cigarette burns, trading sex for drugs, clandestine deliberately-paranoia-inducing sex, the thrill of infidelity, guilty intimacy, surprise bedroom visitations in the middle of the night.

- Tom Reagan/Bernie Bernbaum

My rarest of rare pairs! (Which is to say, currently nonexistent.) However this has to go, with reluctant collaboration or showing up in each other's homes unannounced or more taunting telephone calls, Bernie is my fave unlikely femme fatale ("dude fatale", French for "Fatal Dude") and I love him and Tom's interplay of double-meaning and talk with flat-out violence. Tom's a pretty sensible person, but even a sensible person can lose their way now and then -- what happens if he gets entangled in all this workplace love and murder drama even deeper? Or just a quick-and-dirty disastrous tryst in the course of their volleying mindfucks, showing up in each other's apartments at all hours and trying to needle one another.

Bonus porn prompts: contemptuous sex, Tom's miserable alcoholic flop streak versus Bernie's taste for mind games, wary intimacy after one or both of them has had the shit kicked out of them, sexual extortion that goes both ways.


Philip Marlowe - Raymond Chandler

- Terry Lennox/Philip Marlowe

These two have it all -- wartime trauma, healthy skepticism, secrets piled on secrets, symbolic booze. They're both men with their own cautious principles, but when they first meet Lennox is such a mess that Marlowe looks positively sober and respectable in comparison and as they both learn more about each other's qualities and little mysteries it just firms up that bond of uneasy tenderness -- even when Marlowe has abundant reason to think Lennox has already shuffled off this mortal coil. Casefic with a romantic angle that creeps in despite Marlowe's best efforts, a romantic interlude that has fuck-all to do with any case or any mystery at all, an alternate take where Terry Lennox really is murderously bad news despite being a very polite war hero and Marlowe loves him anyway, Lennox continuing to haunt Marlowe a little after the timeframe of canon or a fic where their last meeting goes differently -- something where they're reunited or correspond with each other after parting ways, or even just something to do with the experience of falling for someone as you try to put together exactly who the hell they are and what their racket is. (Hell, I would also take absolutely any hardboiled/noirish tropes you want to party up with this pairing, up to and including wholesale AUs.) If you've ever longed to go to town on a Marlowe pastiche, I would love and welcome that for these two, but I also totally understand why you might not want to go there.

Bonus porn prompts: drunk propositions leading to contrite, hung-over banging; eventual consummation after a lot of circuitous pussyfooting around; expectations of situational homosexuality held over from the war blossom into something more™.


Rope (1948)

- Phillip Morgan/Brandon Shaw

These guys are the most established of established relationships circa canon and that leaves a lot of scenes from their relationship only alluded to, so I'd love fic set at any point in their acquaintance. I confess that I love the way Rupert is an unspoken third presence in their relationship, even though I didn't request the three of them together, so I'd love anything dealing with his influence on both of them pre-canon and any jealousy resulting from that. (Brandon clearly wants Rupert's approval the most, but there's some vibes there too with Rupert and Phillip, which Phillip might or might not reciprocate and which might or might not make Brandon happy.) Or anything with their fabulous bachelor lifestyle, more scenes of their weird toxic push-and-pull relationship, an alternate take where they get away with the crime and wind up traveling to scenic locales while still at each other's throats, or post-canon fic dealing with the aftermath of both their actual crime and literally or figuratively being outed. Something set during their school days (though I'd love to see stuff where Phillip is as creepy and weird as Brandon is, not just a totally swamped innocent) or something where Phillip's comparative ability to keep his ghoulish enthusiasm under wraps gives him the upper hand to domineer Brandon a bit?

Bonus prompts: HAND STUFF; canon's obvious and excellent potential for breathplay; anything set in their school years with a veneer of plausible deniability while sneaking off; risky/semi-public sex.


The Thing (1982)

- R.J. MacReady/Childs

GRUDGING TEAMWORK BECOMES SOMETHING MORE. (How many times can I use "becomes something more" in my letter? Science does not know.) Or anything set in the weird stir-crazy altered state of wintering over on the base. I'd love to read something where their totally justified mutual suspicion in light of the whole Thing thing gives way to slowly building appreciation for each other's finer qualities, or established-relationship fic where their low-key established relationship is damn near scuttled by the "who's infected" identity scare, or fic where their shared crazy competence and ridiculous physical attractiveness mean they already have a ~history~ before the film's events, whether you want to explore that or write canon-era/postcanon fic where it's the elephant in the room. The difficulties of a secret relationship on a tiny research base? Teeth-gritted romantic gestures in the middle of nowhere? Or fic set during a regular old stretch at the research base where no terrifying assimilation-minded alien randos crash the party. You can handwave the futility of their efforts to survive at the film's end/patch it up with a canon-divergent AU where the generator isn't destroyed etc, or write fic where they end up tragically assimilated, or write fic where they both know it's a lost cause but are going to try and hack it as long as possible anyway -- the one thing I'd prefer not to read is fic where they opt for onscreen suicide or decide to lie down and die. A blaze of glory is fine, though. (I'd also prefer no blatant rape metaphors in the body-horror aspect of what the alien does to other species, if that comes up, though human-on-human noncon/dubcon is fine.)

Bonus porn prompts: grudging bedsharing leading to grudging boning, pragmatic banging all over the base,anything exploiting 1982 Kurt Russell's lavish head of hair for sexy yanking purposes.


Crossover ships

- Rust Cohle/Jesse Pinkman

The world of grim man drama is your oyster here -- the obvious candidate is the two of them recovering in Alaska together and I'd love that, but some kind of time-slip scenario (or straight-up just timeline rearrangement, I'm not a hardass about continuity) that leads to Jesse meeting Crash, or crossing paths with 1995!Rust, would make me extremely happy also. Does Rust try his whole faux-sympathetic-understanding mind whammy on this nervous young addict in the interrogation room and accidentally uncover more than he meant to? Do Jesse and junkie Rust spend some time holed up in the same hotel room together? The Iron Crusaders pick a fight with Todd's creepy Nazi gang and havoc ensues, or Rust and Jesse bond over their respective kid issues, or just two weird drifters crossing paths on their way up north, whatever you feel like.

Bonus porn prompts: high!sex, Jesse feeling guilty about Rust's hospitality and assuming he wants something in return or vice versa, grimy motel room fucking, anonymous or faux-anonymous sex, trying to get it on at Rust's place with practically no furnishings and murder photos everywhere, Alaskan comfort sex in a cabin by a lake or something, the crack AU where Jesse's a woodworking hermit up north and makes artisanal wooden dildos all day long to calm his troubled psyche...

- L.B. "Jeff" Jeffries/Brandon/Phillip

I love Hitchcock's commitment to kinky subtext and to restricted-setting thrillers but this one doesn't have to be set during Jeff's period of recuperation by any means! Jeff witnessing a murder and his nice young neighbors coming over to visit him, flattered but also jittery to have a witness? Any kind of backstory fic (with or without "say, you look familiar!" as a point of entry) or fun with voyeurism. (Postcanon fic where Brandon and Phillip get away with their crimes and their social circles bring them into contact with Jeff via Lisa would also be up my alley.) Cat-and-mouse games, messed-up murder pacts, or totally benign non-murdery neighbor romance interaction with a suspenseful totally-gay subtext is all a-okay.

Bonus porn prompts: fucked-up dubcon that's pretending not to take advantage of Jeff's physical limitations circa canon, trawling for a third person for a thinly veiled mindfucky threesome, sex choking, voyeurism and exhibitionism (canon!)...

- Travis Bickle/Sonny Wortzik
- Travis Bickle/Steve Burns
- Steve Burns/Father Damien Karras

All three of these are my go-to sleazy 70s sad dark crossover ships so I'll consider them as a group here and I'd love anything that leverages that grainy atmosphere these canons share. Nocturnal meetings, random encounters, attempted acts of kindness, failed (or successful?) efforts to be morally upright… Both Burns and Karras are feeling more than a little alienated from their ostensible callings, while Bickle appears to be alienated from absolutely everything -- I'd love a ships-that-pass-in-the-night take on any of these relationships, or something where a human connection does genuinely make a change in any of their lives.

Sonny and Travis are both Vietnam vets, both more than a little unstable, and both forces to be reckoned with, but they have pretty damn different personalities and outlooks on life and intimacy -- any encounter between these two in all their squirreliness, Travis getting enlisted as unlucky wheelman, etc. Sonny's a family man capable of being charming and loving, but also a pretty flawed person who cracks badly under stress -- how does that chafe against Travis' romantic streak and weird rigidity?

Meanwhile, Burns and Bickle are both creatures of the night -- does Bickle know he's got an undercover cop in the back of his cab, or do their paths cross in a more sinister context? Travis and his aggressively-hetero coworkers are definitely in contact with queer New Yorkers, but it's not clear how much understanding they might have, and I'd love to see those streams cross given Travis' creepy ambivalence around intimacy and the way Burns eventually comes to associate sex and violence, consensual and otherwise.

Karras is nominally supposed to be a pillar of the daylit world, as a priest and a psychiatrist, and more than a little uncomfortable with the harsher elements that his vocation puts him in contact with -- Steve Burns is theoretically in service of the city as a police officer but he's increasingly absorbed in his undercover identity and disillusioned with law enforcement's treatment of marginalized people. (Also… maaaybe a serial killer? Maybe?) Anything with shadowy streets, and guilt out the wazoo, and mingled attraction/dread/repulsion, and intimacy with near-strangers.

Bonus porn prompts: weird quasi-anonymous intimacy, blowjobs, goings-on in alleys and backseats of cars, laying on of hands, anything taking advantage of Travis being immersed in the seediest side of sex but also weirdly virginal and untouchable, vows of celibacy having their limits, witnessing or participating in physical violence as a prelude to getting it on.

- Col. Kurtz/Travis Bickle

Okay, this one's the odd one out even out of my sleazy 70s thriller/horror/drama selections but that's never stopped me before. All these two really have in common is significant psychological disturbances and the Vietnam War but the potential for chronological overlap is there if you seriously turn your head and squint. I'd like to see anything with the two of them going off the rails and losing their shit -- warrior poet (in the classic sense!) meets white-knight vigilante wannabe with disastrous (and sexy) results. Something where Bickle's Special Forces background lands him in Kurtz's compound smack-dab in the middle of the war? (It already doesn't take much to set Bickle off on a creepy internal monologue, so in that respect at least he seems like a man after Kurtz's own heart.) Or something set before (or during) Kurtz's full-on break with the military and with Western society -- I can see that eliciting fascination or repulsion out of Bickle, or a little of both.

Travis as weird acolyte or wannabe assassin, usurping Willard's role in Now (or the photojournalist's?) or beating the boat crew to the compound, by accident or on purpose -- Kurtz can teach him a thing or two about cockeyed philosophy and existential horror and also about the art of love because nobody can get under your skin like scary-eyes Marlon Brando can. Scary monologues about the nature of warfare between the sheets, hero worship leveling up into pagan idolatry, or murderous obsession getting deflected into crazy-sublimated sexual desire, remaking your much younger and much more squirrelly captive/recruit/disciple/etc. in your own image… yeah. (Both these canons are pretty harsh, so if you want to leverage the ways Travis' psychological differences make him vulnerable in that context and not just open to persuasion, go for it. Or regular ol' Kurtz-level mindfucks/torture/cult of personality stuff.)

If you don't subscribe to the take that Travis is a vet, or you can't stand fudging the films' timelines this hard/would rather take this ship in a different direction logistics-wise, knock yourself out! I'd love to see anything you come up with here and you're a more inventive writer than I am.

Bonus porn prompts: SIZE DIFFERENCES SIZE DIFFERENCES SIZE DIFFERENCES. (Brando and De Niro are just about the same height, but Brando's Kurtz is famously hefty and it's hard to imagine Travis being less wiry as a younger man.) Semi-lucid sex. Travis being an extraordinarily tightly-wound virgin.

- Llewyn Davis/Larry Gopnik

...there might be a Coen Bros theme to some of my ships this year, oops. Really I just want these two to cross paths with any level of romantic/sexual consummation, seeing as they're both sad sacks with very different reasons for their sad-sackness -- Llewyn's more assertive than Larry is, but he's also way more of a dick, and way less anchored by the idea of domestic obligations. Something where Llewyn is the sexy pot-smoking drifter crashing on Vivienne Samsky's couch who shakes up Larry's life, not necessarily for the better? Prequel fic set while Larry's still an earnest slightly-less-doomed bachelor, or something where Llewyn's drifting takes him all the way to the Minneapolis suburbs? Arguments about mathematics, seductions via folk song, and scriptural exegesis optional but appreciated. (I would love Jewish!Llewyn for this, especially anything with Llewyn Davis, Latino Jew -- ordinarily I'd be like "I have no idea how that'd be fic-relevant in any way" but given A Serious Man's sweetass Job undertones, I mean, it could?)

Bonus porn prompts: anything really twisting the knife re. suburban domestic infidelity, high!sex, emotionally confusing flirtations and passes, unwelcome sex dreams for anybody involved, something that's casual and commonplace for Llewyn not being so for Larry and vice versa

- Burt Gurney/Barton Fink

Hear me out! They're both idealistic leftists in the film industry, Barton Fink ends his canon effectively barred from pursuing his calling, all because he royally biffed his shot at Hollywood greatness by penning a fruity movie about suffering and social conscience; Burt Gurney throws it all away as a matter of principle and ends up in a position that might not be so great. (Cf. the Coens' comments about a stinger scene showing Burt standing in a really long line for toilet paper somewhere in the USSR.) But both of them are tied to Capitol Pictures by contract (albeit about a decade apart) and that's enough for me to build a dream on. Barton going Full Commie and showing his hunky tapdancing subletter the way of the future (with SWEET KISSES) or fresh faced idealist Burt Gurney recruiting Barton Fink, Alienated Has-Been to the cause by actually giving a shit about him and his mildly misguided vision -- maybe he saw Bare Ruined Choirs playing in New York. Jaded former idealist meets beefy true believer! Doomed dance hall hookups with the champion of the common man! Burt takes a walk on the wild side and ends up in a much more film noirish corner of the California dream, or Barton gets welcomed into the comparatively supportive and forward-looking arms of The Future -- anything with these guys would make me happy.

Bonus porn prompts: Channing Tatum's MAGNIFICENT LEGS, banging in thoroughly non-scenic locales with peeling wallpaper and worse, size differences, meeting your heroes and then banging them, uniform kink (costume and real -- not that Barton Fink has a TERRIFIC track record with sailors in uniform but stuff can get weird, ok.)