April 11th, 2013

ff12 - balthier

Fic Crosspost: 15 Characters

I did the 15 Characters Meme on Tumblr last week -- create a secret list of 15 characters, take prompt request with numbers standing in for the characters, see what happens -- and had a lot of fun. My list was a mixture of characters from Dragon Age, MCU, FFX/X-2, and FFXII. Some of the results (mostly on Tumblr, a few crossposted to AO3):

Steve Rogers challenges Basch fon Ronsenberg to a duel.

“I’m not so sure this was a great idea,” Bucky said, looking over his shoulder to the other side of the clearing where Basch checked the straps of his armor. “He looks pretty handy with that sword, and I don’t know if you’ve ever as much as picked one up before.”

Steve shook his head, then hooked his shield over his arm. “I don’t see that I have much choice,” he said. “That army is threatening the whole platoon. If I can save everyone on both sides by taking out their general, then I’ll do my best with a sword.”

Natasha Romanoff and Tony Stark in a love triangle, competing for the affections of another.

Tony stared across the room at Pepper, not quite certain he’d heard her right. “You have… plans? With someone who isn’t me?”

“Contrary to popular opinion, Tony Stark is not at all times the center of the universe.” Pepper crossed her arms with half a smile.

Seven and Nine get lost and argue over directions.

Character Seven was Balthier. Character Nine was Tony Stark. You have no idea how much I love this prompt.

Recast Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy as characters One and Nine. Rewrite the failed proposal scene.

The role of Elizabeth Bennet will be played by Alistair. The role of Mr. Darcy will be played by Yuna.

Alistair, Yuna, Tony Stark, and Sigrun throw a surprise party for Paine and Ashe. Two surprise party prompts combined into one story.

“C’mon, they’ll be here soon!” Sigrun ducked down behind the Warden-Commander’s desk and gestured for the others to join her. Alistair followed with a grin, but Tony didn’t move from his spot by the bar, and Yuna wavered.

“I… I don’t know,” she said. “Paine doesn’t always like surprises. I’m not sure Ashe does, either.”

Sigrun and Ashe, unexpected travel.

This prompt slots neatly into my Wardens of Ivalice AU, as a missing scene from "The Joining."

Auron and Basch are accidentally locked in a room overnight.

Auron turned the handle one last time, just to make absolutely certain there was nothing to do — he couldn’t break the lock, or bust down the door. “It seems to be sealed magically,” he said.

“Then it appears we are here for the time being.” Basch slid down the wall to take a seat on the floor, and Auron followed suit, tipping his head backwards. “I don’t suppose you carry rations?”

Ashe cuts Basch’s hair.

Though any of a hundred servants could have been called to take on the chore, Ashe feels compelled to perform this duty herself. After the Strahl is safe in the royal aerodrome but before anyone disembarks, she requests a pair of scissors, and then she cuts Basch’s hair.

Paine is afraid, because Balthier hates Yuna.

“You really think they’d come after us?”

Paine turned her head sharply to meet Yuna’s eyes. “You know Balthier wanted that sphere cache. You know you beat him to it, snatched it up from under his nose. And if you think the Youth League was mad when we pulled that stunt with them…” She shook her head. “They’ll be after us, all right."

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avengers - assemble

Stepping into the Marvelverse

Despite being a fan of the superheroes in general, and a long-time reader of graphic stories, I've never gotten into reading mainstream superhero comic books. The canons are gigantic and in some cases go back for decades, which makes them intimidating for a newbie, and I don't like the way that canon is treated as a moving target: endless retcons, the fact that new writers can take the characters in new directions and completely rework a character's personality. So I've always been content to consume my superhero media in the form of movies and occasionally television shows, because they're much more likely to tell a coherent story with a beginning, a middle, and an end. But being even peripherally in the Marvel Cinematic Universe fandom has exposed me to a lot of comics talk, and between that and a number of strong recommendations from outside fandoms, I recently picked up two Marvel TPB collections: Captain Marvel Vol. 1 by Kelly Sue DeConnick and Black Widow: Name of the Rose by Marjorie Liu. And I really enjoyed them both.

Of the two, I'd have to say I liked Captain Marvel better. Collapse )

Name of the Rose was also really well done, and I loved Natasha, but I had a harder time connecting with the story. In comparison, Captain Marvel is fairly self-contained, whereas Name of the Rose feels more like an episode in the continuing tales of the Marvelverse. Collapse )

So, is this my gateway into the world of superhero comics? Particularly the Marvelverse, which I'm finding more compelling all the time? Well, I certainly will get the next Captain Marvel collection when it comes out. And I'm game for more Natasha Romanoff stories, too, especially if they are as good as this one. And then there's this all-female X-Men book that's supposed to be out soon, and I keep hearing good things about Hawkeye, and... is this where the slippery slope begins? Um, maybe. I guess we'll see! But more than anything, these two great books have made me even more disappointed that there are no female headliners scheduled for MCU yet. Come on, Marvel, you could make a fantastic Carol Danvers movie, and I don't think I need to tell you how badly I want a Black Widow film. Let's make this happen.

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