sheliak: The New Mutants (yay fandom)
[personal profile] sheliak
Hello! I'm excited to be doing my first exchange. Thank you very much for writing for me!


Likes:
- "Set back what once went wrong" time travel.
- "For want of a nail" and canon divergence AUs.
- Cool superpowers and the exploration thereof.
- Competence porn.
- Former enemies working together.
- Characters atoning for past misdeeds (not in the narrative punishment sense, but trying to make amends and do better in the future).
- In general, strong platonic relationships.
- Intense loyalty.
- The joy of learning and exploration.
- Worldbuilding - I know it's not the main focus of the exchange, but if you want to throw some in, I'd be delighted.

Dislikes:
- Mundane AUs.
- Groundhog Day style time travel.
- A/B/O.
- Rape/noncon
- “One True Love” narratives. I don’t mind characters who’ve had only one romance in their lives, or stories that only mention one romantic relationship a character has had; I mind stories where only one romance has ever mattered or could ever matter.
- For the purposes of this exchange, I’m not interested in explicit sex.

Special cases:
- Incest. If you're writing in the Kencyrath fandom, go ahead. Otherwise, I'd rather not.
- Setting-change AUs: I’d be happy to receive a fantasy/sci-fi/fairytale riff on the X-Men as long as it retained both their central relationships and some semblance of their powers. For all other fandoms, I’m not really interested in the characters without their original context.
- If I'm interested in tragedy for a relationship, I'll prompt it specifically. Otherwise, I'd prefer happy or bittersweet endings.




X-Men Comics


I'm most familiar with the X-Men of the '80s. However, if you write in a different time period, that's fine! I know enough about more recent stuff that I won't be too lost.

Anya Lehnsherr & Erik Lehnsherr
I’m interested in scenarios where Anya survives: what kind of person does she grow up to be, and how is Erik changed by having a living daughter? Does he still meet Xavier at the same time and then become Magneto, or do things happen differently?
- What if she's human? If Erik still becomes Magneto, how does having a human child influence his actions? Or does he go down a different path entirely?
- Or if she's a mutant, what powers does she have? And again, how does she fit into the cause that her father dedicated his life to?

Irene Adler & Raven Darkholme & Kurt Wagner
- Famously, Chris Claremont intended Raven and Irene to be Kurt's birth parents. Feel free to take this premise and run with it!
- Alternately: Irene knows about Kurt's relationship to Raven. How does she think about it, and him?
- Perhaps a story in which Kurt finds out about his relationship to Raven (and perhaps also Irene) before Irene's death? Either while he's with the X-Men and they're leading the Brotherhood, or while they're in Freedom Force and he's the leader of Excalibur?

Irene Adler & Rogue
Irene's relationship to Rogue gets a lot less focus than Mystique's. But she's also Rogue's mother. I'd love anything that explores their relationship to each other.
- A scene from Rogue's childhood or adolescence.
- Irene manipulating Rogue's future, before or after Rogue leaves the Brotherhood for the X-Men.
- Does Rogue stay vanished from Destiny's visions after Dallas, or reappear?
- It's a shame that Destiny has been one of the more consistently dead X-Men characters. Resurrect her! How do she and Rogue reconnect after she comes back? (Pick any time period for this one.)

Raven Darkholme & Rogue & Kurt Wagner
Kurt and Rogue weren't raised as siblings, but they share a mother. I'd like anything with them as friends (who may or may not see each other as brother and sister as well) exploring their different relationships to Mystique. (I'm having trouble coming up with more specific prompts, sorry! I really do mean "anything", though; I love all three characters and I'd be interested in any story you chose to tell about them.)

Jean Grey & Madelyne Pryor & Rachel Summers
Rachel and Madelyne both tend to be defined by their relationships to Jean. I'd like to see a story that explores the relationships between all three of them. And I’ll be honest—I would really like to see a fixit of some kind for Madelyne’s situation--an alternative end to Inferno, or a redemption later, etc.
Beyond that: I liked Jean as Phoenix, but I loved Rachel as Phoenix. So I would rather that Rachel’s link to the Phoenix were acknowledged, whether or not she is currently Phoenix in the story that you write.
- Jean brought herself to accept Rachel, even though Rachel is in some ways the embodiment of her fears. In some other universe, maybe Madelyne could have come to accept Jean, who is likewise the embodiment of the way her world collapsed?
- Alternatively (or in the same story, if you prefer), what about Rachel reaching out to Madelyne? They have quite a bit in common—in some ways, the tragedy of Madelyne’s creation echoes the things that were done to Rachel. They've both spent a lot of time in Jean's shadow (for Rachel, a positive legacy; for Madelyne, anything but).




Star Trek novels


This fandom is a bit of a catchall; there are about ten thousand Star Trek novels. For clarity, the following is a brief rundown of where the characters I nominated can be found:
- Ael t’Rllaillieu is the central recurring character of the Star Trek: Rihannsu novel series. Her son Tafv appears only in the first book, My Enemy, My Ally. Ael’s niece is the nameless Romulan Commander who appears in the Star Trek: TOS episode “The Enterprise Incident”; she does not appear on page, but is mentioned throughout the books.
- Surak and S’task appear in the historical chapters of both Spock's World by Diane Duane and The Romulan Way by Diane Duane and Peter Morwood. (Surak appears in a few other places, of course, but I’m specifically interested in Duane’s version.)
- The Vorsk appear in Star Trek: The Captain's Table: War Dragons by L.A. Graf.

A few general notes for this fandom:

While I'm fond of crew of the Enterprise, I'd prefer if they either didn't appear in my gift, or had very small roles.

I'm also not really interested in stories in which the Rihannsu develop into the Romulans of the later Star Trek shows. While I think The Empty Chair definitely sets this up as a possibility, it's not one that interests me.


Ael t'Rllaillieu & Tafv tr'Rllaillieu
Ael's reaction to Tafv’s betrayal fascinates me, because she understands it. She kills him, yes, but her reaction is not horror or outrage, not prolonged denial that her own child could do such a thing, but grief that he has followed her down this road. On the surface of it, Tafv's treachery and Ael's are very different in motive--she acts to preserve what she considers best in her Empire, and he acts in vengeance. But Ael sees their actions as similar. I’d like to see exploration of that—the idea that Tafv’s problem wasn’t simple ambition (although he’s willing to profit by his treachery) but being too much like his honorable mother.
At its core, their relationship is a tragedy. I'd equally enjoy a story that explores or subverts that. I'm not interested in a story that demonizes either one of them.

Ael t'Rllaillieu & Female Romulan Comander (Star Trek:TOS)
- One thing that stands out to me in the Rihannsu books is how small Ael’s family seems to be. We know that the nameless Commander is her sister-daughter, but Ael’s sister is never mentioned; nor are any other siblings. Ael mentions her father and, very briefly, her husband; both are dead. By the end of the series, she and her sister-daughter are explicitly the only two members of the family left alive—and one of them is still legally and ritually nonexistent.
- What was their relationship like before Ael’s niece was exiled? Were they close? Was Ael a mentor to her niece, or did they not see eye to eye? Was the family always small, or was there a rapid decline at some point? Did this force them closer together, or drive them apart?
- Ael reaches out to her niece after The Empty Chair. What do you think her response was? After all, Tafv was trying to avenge her when Ael killed him. Does she feel a similar obligation to avenge him? If not, why? What does she think of the fact that her aunt is now the Empress—when Ael, and most Rihannsu for that matter, are usually deeply suspicious of lone rulers? Does she return home, or not? If she does return, she’s Ael’s legal heir—how does that work out? (I would prefer that this story not involve Ael’s niece actively plotting against her out of revenge. I’m fine with it being bittersweet.)

Tafv tr'Rllaillieu & Female Romulan Comander (Star Trek:TOS)
Tafv betrays his mother in order to avenge his cousin: clearly she was desperately important to him. What was their relationship like? How does she react when she finds out about his choices, and his death? (I’d prefer that she not directly plot against Ael, but I’m fine with this one not having a happy ending.) Alternatively, tell a story about happier times—what was this family like before everything went to hell? Were they allies in everything, or rivals? Which one of them was older? Did they grow up together? What does a Rihannsu childhood look like, anyway? She had a command before he did—did he look up to her?

Surak & S'task
- A story about their early relationship, with or without foreshadowing of their later break. Or alternately, comparisons of their later lives, after their final break?
- They dedicate their lives—and ultimately, their deaths as well—to essentially creating new cultures, both of which endure into present, and which are in some ways inverse images of each other. I find the parallels between them really interesting, and I’d enjoy a story that explored them.
- What if Surak was the one who was kidnapped by the Etoshans and/or Duthulhiv? Does he die (leaving the grieving S’task to either save Vulcan or lead it to its damnation) or does he convert the proto-Orion Pirates to the way of cthia? I’m equally interested in a win-win scenario and an alternate tragedy, and I’m really curious about the ways S’task’s ideas might develop in either of those scenarios.
- Another “what if”: in these books, Vulcan’s second alien contact is with the Hamalki—friendly and profoundly weird crystal spider people. In other words, pretty much exactly the kind of alien that Vulcan really, really wanted to meet. What if that had been first contact instead, and the space pirates had come later? In this universe, do Surak and S’task remain close, or do they have philosophical differences even without the canonical trauma?

The Vorsk
And now for something completely different! The Vorsk are a clutch of alien lizard sisters, born by accident, who grew up first in hiding and then on an abandoned world, and who then basically take over their species for its own good. The very end of the novel implies that they eventually join the Federation, or at least let some of their daughters join Starfleet. Beyond that—sky’s the limit! Write about their childhood (first hiding from the Anjiri males, then alone on a dead world with the dying Anjiri female), their efforts to remake their species and culture, the choices they make regarding the future of the Nykkus and Anjiri. I’d seriously be happy with anything about these ladies.




The Heartstrikers


Chelsie Heartstriker & Julius Heartstriker
I love the relationship these two develop. He believes in her when no one else does; she comes to believe in him right back. He holds her back from murder, and she does the same for him. So I’d really love anything about their relationship, especially post-third book! Some specific ideas:
- Chelsie juggles the new and amazing experiences of not being miserable, and being friendly with her youngest brother.
- Chelsie gets into politics? They could switch out the Fang’s seat on the council.
- I would seriously love anything about them continuing to be supportive siblings and friends and having a surprising amount in common despite their admittedly profound differences..

Amelia Heartstriker & Brohomir "Bob" Heartstriker
-They’re two ancient and amoral dragons who clearly also love each other a lot! She raised him; she may be the only person he truly cares about, at least as an individual; they’re also co-conspirators when everyone else is pretty much a pawn to them (especially Bob). I would love anything about their dynamic together.
-Their backstory—Bob’s childhood, Bethesda’s coup, Amelia fleeing the plane…
-They planned, in advance, that he would kill her. How did this plan go from something they joked about to a grim certainty, and finally to what we see on page?
-He may be raising her reincarnation. Or not. I’d like any interpretation: did he kill her knowing that she would be gone forever, or that she’d be back, in a different form, as his niece and “best enemy”? Were they counting on her coming back along with Marci, or was that never a possibility? (Both tragedy and fixit are welcome.)

Brohomir "Bob" Heartstriker & the Quetzalcoatl
- Okay, there are two things that really hit me about Bob’s relationship with his grandfather. First, he clearly loved and even admired him. Second, it’s implied pretty strongly that he was an active participant in Bethesda’s power grab, since most of her first two clutches died in the attempt—and even if he wasn’t, he had to know it was coming. So: why? Presumably, the long game—perhaps the very long game—required it. But I’d like to see how he came to that decision—it can’t have been easy.
- Alternatively, tell a story from Bob’s childhood or adolescence in the Quetzalcoatl’s court, his coming of age as a seer—the greatest seer born on this plane, we’re told— and relationship to his grandfather, one of the youngest of the dragon refugees, one of the last survivors, and one of the ones who survived the longest. He also seems to have been one of the most honest about the failures of the dragons—how did that influence Bob?

Aldo Novalli & Marci Novalli
- Aldo mentoring Marci in magic! Marci’s magical geekery is one of her defining features, and that’s something that she shared with her father. Show me something of their relationship, pre-series?
- Post-No Good Dragon Goes Unpunished: The epilogue has Marci meeting her dad in the afterlife, when Ghost breaks their contract to send him to her. It’s an amazing moment. Your mission, should you choose to accept: follow up on that! If you’re feeling ambitious, show how Marci returns to life with her dad’s help. Alternatively—Marci gave up her memory of her father, who she loved so much, to become a Merlin. Now she has that memory back—now they’re together again, even though they’re also both dead. How does she feel about this?




Liavek


Liavek is a five-volume shared world anthology series from the 80s, and it’s one of my favorite fantasy series, ever. If you've had to switch prompts for whatever reason, though, you can just read Points of Departure, which reprints Pamela Dean’s stories, as well Patricia C. Wrede’s stories about Granny Carry, Guardian of the S'Rian Gods. All of the relationships I requested are from those stories.

Nerissa Benedicti & Deleon Benedicti
- I’d love a story about Nerissa and Deleon reconnecting after the events of “The Last Part of the Tragical History of Acrilat”. They were extremely close during their miserable childhood, until he ran away and left her behind; how do they relate to each other as adults? We see hints in “A Necessary End”, but only that.
- Alternatively, if you want to write a story about Nerissa and Deleon as children, go ahead and do that too!

Nerissa Benedicti & Jehane Benedicti
- Do they end up living together after Jehane’s apprenticeship? If so, does that work out or do they decide they prefer the option of solitude now they're both adults?
- Jehane really dislikes the House of Responsible Life (which is an understandable reaction, really—she loves her sister and she’s a sworn suicide; it’s not too surprising that she’s appalled). Does she ever become reconciled to it, or simply reassured that Nerissa’s means of suicide is unlikely to actually be what kills her?
- So, does Jehane ever find out about Nerissa’s ability to see what Floradazul sees?

Nerissa Benedicti & Verdialos
- Nerissa’s relationship with Verdialos is one of my favorite things in Liavek. I would really love anything with the two of them together.
- Nerissa discovers from Verdialos’s journals that he had mixed feelings about becoming so close to her—she is, after all, a powerful last tie to life, and one that he surely did not expect. More about his side of the relationship, and how he felt about it?

Nerissa Benedicti & Granny Carry | Tenarel Ka’Riatha
- Granny’s POV of the time when Nerissa tried to return a cat. Did she know then what was going on?
- More generally, Granny Carry takes an interest in the Benedictis—both as her descendants and as a path by which Acrilat can invade Liavek—but there’s a lot that she doesn’t know (like no one telling her that Deleon had run away). And of course there's so much they don't know about her.
- What might their relationship be like when Nerissa is an adult, out of her parents' house and raising cats as she planned?

Jehane Benedicti & Granny Carry | Tenarel Ka'Riatha
- Tell me about Jehane’s apprenticeship! What does she learn—of weaving or otherwise—from Granny Carry?
- Does Jehane ever learn about Granny’s work as the Ka’Riatha? Perhaps she has to help deal with some threat to Liavek or its gods?

Verdialos/Etriae
- How did they join the House of Responsible Life? Were they married before they did so? How did they reconcile their relationship, which lasted until their deaths and seemed happy, with a faith that revolves around cutting ties?
- How did they come to change their intended manner of death?




Chronicles of the Kencyrath



Jamethiel Priest's-Bane of Knorth & Kindrie of Knorth
- I love how hard they have to work to be friends. Let me explain that a bit more! Jame and Kindrie have powers that mean they’re fundamentally in opposition at the best of times, and sometimes actively dangerous to one another (although she’s more dangerous to him than the other way around). Their personalities and experiences also put them at odds. In a way it still isn’t surprising that they’ve got the best working relationship out of the Tyr-Ridan—if nothing else, they don’t have nearly the baggage with each other!—but I do like that this pair of long-lost relatives grated at each other at first, instinctively disliked each other, and pulled through and helped each other and eventually enjoy each other’s company.
- One of the things I find most striking about this series is the thorny relationship between the Kencyrath (and especially the future Tyr-Ridan) and their god. So far, though, we've mostly seen Jame struggling with her role in isolation. Now that Kindrie also knows what they may become, could they either confide in each other, or find themselves in conflict again, this time over the right approach to their divine roles?
- I’d enjoy them having to team up to solve a problem of some kind, or exploring some new part of Rathillien together. ("Exploring Rathillien together" is something I'd love in general for this fandom--I love the intense weirdness of Rathillien, the weight of history of the Kencyrath, and the clash between the two.)

Jamethiel Priest's-Bane of Knorth & Jamethiel Dream-Weaver of Knorth
So much of the series is about Jame struggling with her mother's legacy, trying to avoid being subsumed into her role and at the same time to understand her. Even though they barely meet on page, their relationship is one of the driving forces of the story. Show me a bit more of it?
- There are implications that the Dream-Weaver actively chose to have twins. Now, that could have been a matter of just wanting to give both her brother-consort and her temporary consort what they wanted--but somehow, I don't think she actually cared about Ganth that much. And it's the one time we know of that she actually went against Gerridon's plans. Why did she do it?
- A meeting between the two Jamethiels in the House?
- Anything of the Dream-Weaver's POV on her daughter?

Nightshade of Randir & Randiroc of Randir
- I don’t actually ship them, exactly, but I do love the way that Kencyr loyalty often mirrors romance. Even when it partakes of tropes I usually hate—love at first sight I dislike, but this relationship is basically loyalty at first sight, and it delights me.
- It’s pretty clear at this point that Randiroc is going to take back his place as Lord Randir, and that Shade is going to help him do that. I’d love to see them working together to make that happen. Alternatively—he’s going to have a hard time adjusting to that role once he has it. Can Shade help? 


Nightshade of Randir & Rawneth of Randir
- To what extent is Rawneth an evil mentor to Nightshade, versus merely an evil overlord? There are hints in both directions, and Rawneth certainly takes much greater interest in Nightshade than a highborn lady normally would in a half-Kendar bastard. How much does she know her as the untouchable pseudo-goddess, and how much as an actual person?
- They’re both linked to the snake Addy: how does that play out?
- We see that Rawneth's followers all but worship her, and Shade was presumably brought up to do the same. How does Shade think of her grandmother as she's changing her loyalties? What does she think of her now? Does she see her purely as a monster, or are there some things she still finds herself admiring in Rawneth?

Kirien of Jaran & Nightshade of Randir
Okay, I admit it: these two have probably never met. But they're cousins, based on Kirien saying that her mother was Kenan's niece. (For the purposes of this prompt, let's assume that Kirien's mother was Rawneth's daughter, rather than the daughter of Kenan's purported father. That makes them bone-kin, about as closely related as Jame is to Vant.)
I’d love to see how they’d play off each other—they’re both in such odd situations, both hiding in plain sight, Kirien as secretly-female but officially recognized heir, Shade as a secret shifter and even more secret loyalist of Randiroc. And their Houses play by such different rules. Maybe they're forced to work together to survive, or to accomplish some common goal? (Perhaps Shade is acting as one of Randiroc’s partisans, and Kirien sympathizes?)

Terribend & Tirandys
I’m really curious about the Master’s generation in general. How did these two end up making their choices? We know that Terribend still distrusts Tirandys; how have they worked against each other, or together, over the years?

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Sheliak

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