sage: Still of Natasha Romanova from Iron Man 2 (AU challenge)
[personal profile] sage posting in [community profile] alternate_ds_c6d
WELCOME to our DS-C6D Alternate Universe Play Day! To play, simply grab one or more of the 86 prompts from the initial brainstorming list and do something with it! This is open to everyone, no minimums, no betas needed, no pressure -- just PLAY!

ANY type of fanwork is welcome as long as you somehow convey that there's an alternate universe involved. Sample work types include but aren't limited to: fic, art, vids, podfic, manips, mixed media, yarncraft, six word stories, limericks, thumbnail doodles, paperclip sculptures, mashed potato sculptures, one-sentence-fic, etc.

You can play as many times as you want. You can use as many prompts (as many times) as you want. Please put different AUs into different comments (eta: Unless you're doing something like one-sentence-fic of a zillion separate prompts. Use your best judgment!)

When you're ready, put your work in a comment to this post using the following format:
In the subject line: Fandom; AU; Rating; Relationships
For example: Due South; Animal transformation AU; Mature; FKV

If your work has triggery content, put a brief content warning/advisory in the first line of your comment, right at the top. If you want to choose not to warn, put "Author chooses not to warn". If there's nothing to warn for, skip this.

Make sure your work is going in a reply to this post instead of a reply to someone else's comment!

Please remember to give feedback to people when you enjoy their works!

Okay! Are you ready? This post will be open for roughly 24 hours, so grab an Alternate Universe (or several) and PLAY! \o/

(no subject)

Date: 2013-08-23 05:05 pm (UTC)
desireearmfeldt: (Default)
From: [personal profile] desireearmfeldt
I started what I thought was going to be a short piece for Play Day & it ballooned into something a little too long to either finish today or (probably) get beta'ed by the posting weekend. Would a teaser be an appropriate Play Day posting? :)
desireearmfeldt: (Default)
From: [personal profile] desireearmfeldt
Trigger warning: Major Character Death (this is a ghost!fic. But so is canon.)

Author Notes: So, I was writing this shortish AU story that I thought I might submit to the challenge if I had time. Then I went to one of the chat sessions and everyone gave me a million ideas about the giant monster epic version I hadn't been planning to write... So now this story's back on the write-someday-when-I-have-time shelf. But I thought I'd offer the first couple of scenes (un-beta'ed, un-edited) for Play Day.

------------------------

Fic Teaser #1: Ellen died and became a ghost, rather than Oliver.

------------------------
Ellen should have got someone to give her a ride home, or really, called a cab, because yes, it’s a nice night out, but it’s also two in the morning and the walk to her house is damned long at that hour, in these shoes. Especially when she’s a little drunk. Okay, maybe more than a little.

Her footsteps echo in the quiet night, staccato, uneven. Once, she catches her heel in a crack on the sidewalk and just barely keeps herself from sprawling face-first into the gutter. Wouldn’t the newspapers just love that? New Burbage Diva Sinks To New Lows. Basil would have a field day: he has the soul of a gossip-columnist anyway.

Across the deserted street, movement catches her eye. Just some poor bastard in the phonebooth, probably trying to get a cab, and Ellen really ought to follow his example. As she crosses over, she sees it’s Oliver on the phone. She can tell from the way he’s swaying that he’s a lot more smashed than she is, so it’s good that he has the sense not to drive. She doesn’t feel up to Oliver tonight, and is about to turn and keep on going, look for another phone booth, except damn it, even through the dirty glass she can tell he doesn’t look all right. And Ellen has no sense of responsibility and she doesn’t even like Oliver, but she goes over and taps on the glass anyway.

Oliver’s head whips around and he stares at her with an absolutely hunted, haunted expression, the phone receiver dangling from his hand.

“Go away,” he commands as she pries the door open.

“You’re drunk,” she tells him. “Let me get you home to bed. We’ll split a cab.”

“Harpy. You ruined him. You ruined me.” He waves the receiver at her.

Ellen has no idea what Oliver’s talking about, but she does. There’s only one him for the two of them. Still. Eternally.

She’s not dealing with this at this hour of the night. Or, preferably, ever.

“Come on.” She grabs Oliver by the elbow and tugs him out of the phone booth. The receiver swings, knocking against the wall. She can hear the faint drone of the dial tone.

“Couldn’t you just leave us alone for once?” Oliver is sloppy and pathetic, his suit rumpled, his face wet with sweat and God knows what else, but his slurred voice is thick with despair. He’s as much of a diva as Ellen is, always has been, but even though this is bullshit, she can’t help feeling sorry for him.

“Shut up,” she tells him. “We’re going home.”

Oliver shoves her hard, the force sending them both reeling in opposite directions. Ellen’s heel catches on the curb and she goes down hard, cracking her head on the pavement.

. . .new lows. . . Stars dance across her vision, a squeal like a thousand pigs being slaughtered rips the air, and then she’s engulfed in blinding white light and a roar like the ocean sucking her under.



* * *


The phone is ringing.

Ellen turns to answer it and discovers that she’s in an unfamiliar apartment. The place is cheap and run-down to begin with, and is not improved by the wreckage of what must have been a pretty damn good party. She’s standing at the foot of a sofa, which contains—or fails to contain—a presumably-unconscious body half-buried under a ratty afghan.

Ellen looks around for the phone, which is still ringing, and finally locates it on a bookshelf above the sofa. It’s held together with duct tape. Another casualty of the festivities, maybe.

She thinks about answering the damn thing, but it’s not her phone, she doesn’t even know these people. Or what she’s doing in their apartment, for that matter. Presumably someone in the Young Company lives here and Ellen decided to slum it with the youngsters. She must have had either a good time or a bad one, since apparently it involved drinking so much she doesn’t even remember how she got here.

The phone keeps ringing.

There’s a groan from the sofa. The blanket-wrapped lump tumbles to the floor with a heavy thud and a louder groan.

His voice is permanently written in her blood. So the rat’s-nest of dark curls that emerges out of the blanket isn’t a surprise. The broad shoulders covered by a worn t-shirt, the big, expressive hand that fumbles the phone off its cradle while the other hand scrubs over the face that Ellen absolutely hasn’t dreamed about, not once in the last seven years.

“What?” says Geoffrey into the phone, and suddenly Ellen is seized with terror.

Put it down. Hang up. Don’t, she thinks, but she doesn’t speak, doesn't lunge forward to snatch it from his hand. She just stands there watching his back as he stands there silently listening to the voice on the other end announcing the end of the world as he knows it.

The receiver falls, pulling the whole phone off the shelf with it to smash on the floor. Geoffrey stands motionless like a waxwork waiting to be turned on.

She thought she knew what he looked like, broken, but apparently she was wrong. Even then, after Hamlet, even the one time she looked in on him in the hospital and found him drugged to the eyeballs, he was a Catherine Wheel of emotions, words pouring out of him, body never still. This is far more terrifying.

“Geoffrey.”

The word drops him to his knees. He buries his face in his hands with a high, sharp keening sound.

She kneels beside him. Puts her hands on his shoulders. She can feel him, sort of: his substance and solidity, but not the heat of his body. He was always too warm, she was always too cold. Very convenient for her, when they shared a bed. They used to joke he was her hot water bottle. Not anymore.

He’s shivering violently.

“It’s all right,” she tells him. But he’s shaking his head and muttering, one word over and over like a metronome: “No no no no no….”

“All right,” she says, right on the edge between laughter and tears. “It’s not all right. It’s not fucking all right at all.”

His head comes up. He stares straight into her face. One beautiful, shaking hand touches her cheek, contact but no heat.

“You’re right,” he says softly. “This is not fucking all right at all.”

And he starts to laugh, jaggedly, helplessly.

peoriapeoriawhereart: blond and brunet men peer intently (Napoleon & Illya peer)
From: [personal profile] peoriapeoriawhereart
Oh dear.

passes tissues and an antipasto platter.
desireearmfeldt: (Default)
From: [personal profile] desireearmfeldt
I'm glad you like it. :)
desireearmfeldt: (Default)
From: [personal profile] desireearmfeldt
Thanks! :)

(I blame you for the hypothetical monster this fic has turned into. But only in the nicest possible way. :) )
ride_4ever: (Canadians are hot)
From: [personal profile] ride_4ever
ZOMG sage, I <3 your Geoffrey icon so much...possibly the best Geoffrey icon ever!
luzula: a Luzula pilosa, or hairy wood-rush (Default)
From: [personal profile] luzula
Oh wow. I rewatched the series recently, and I can just see them in your writing. I love that it's from Ellen's POV.
desireearmfeldt: (Default)
From: [personal profile] desireearmfeldt
Thanks!

(Doing Oliver's gonna be harder than doing Geoffrey & Ellen, I think.)
ride_4ever: (How Like An Angel)
From: [personal profile] ride_4ever
On the one hand OH NOES! On the other hand, this AU is SO RIGHT that I marvel at not having seen this particular 'verse before. So close to canon both in morbid humor (the pig truck! *snerk*) and in the Geoffrey/Ellen angst (but of an otherworldly type this time). A devastating and intoxicating AU...I hope you will indeed write more in this 'verse.
desireearmfeldt: (Default)
From: [personal profile] desireearmfeldt
Someday.... (And someday after that, my two different Long DS/S&A Crossover ideas. Or, y'know, the million and one other things in my queue. *sigh*)
desireearmfeldt: (Default)
From: [personal profile] desireearmfeldt
Trigger Warnings: the story itself has themes of suicide (like my last teaser, the triggery content is fairly obvious from the AU description) but this scene doesn't touch on it except by implication.

Author Notes: So, a couple of days ago, I thought I was going to write a short little Play Day story. And then it turned out to be longer. (Anyone see a theme, here?) This one's actually about half-finished and I should actually be done with it soonish, but probably not soon enough to get it beta'ed and revised for the posting deadline. So it may end up just getting posted straight to AO3 outside the confines of the challenge. Anyway, since this was supposed to be a Play Day entry, here's a teaser:

---------------
Teaser #2: Dan is the one trying to save Duck.

--------------
Wilby Wonderful read the banner hanging over the bridge. Dan wondered what that was supposed to mean. Was someone trying to make a clever play on words? What will be wonderful, exactly? This morning, it was hard to imagine anything.

As he drove up to the bridge, Dan saw a man standing in the middle of it, with his hands resting on the green iron struts above his head. He wasn’t doing anything in particular: admiring the scenery, maybe, though it was a weird place for doing that. The view wasn’t anything special, and there wasn’t a footpath. Still, there wasn’t much traffic, either, and what there was, was slow. The guy wasn’t in any real danger of getting run over.

Dan gave a mental shrug as he drove over the bridge. Not his business. He had enough on his mind today as it was without worrying about why some islander would take it into his head to—

The man’s head whipped around as Dan passed him, and—yes, Dan did know the guy. His face heated up thinking about exactly how he knew. . .Duck, that was his name. Duck McDonald. Not that Duck and Dan had ever been introduced, exactly. Dan vaguely knew his name from around town: Duck McDonald, the guy you call to fix your gutters or paint your house.

What else he knew about Duck was the smell of tobacco and salt and sharp sweat. Rough-short hair. Slender, callused, nimble fingers. Strong body pressing against Dan’s, holding him up, holding him down, holding him together. He barely knew the guy’s name, but Dan knew how Duck kissed, how he tasted, the way he went absolutely still and silent when he came.

And he knew there was something wrong about the way Duck was standing there on the bridge, frozen still looking over his shoulder like he was a picture Dan had snapped as he passed by.

Dan parked his car half-off the edge of the road, nose-to-tail with Duck’s pickup, and walked back to the middle of the bridge. He smiled tentatively as he approached Duck. Duck jerked a nod at him, then turned to look back at the water.

“Hi,” said Dan.

“Hey,” Duck responded, not looking at him.

He had one foot up resting on one of the horizontal bars below the handrail; he was resting some of his weight on his outstretched hands. It was the kind of casually masculine pose Dan always admired and could never pull off himself. Unlike Dan, Duck seemed to be one of those guys who was comfortable in his skin and never had to worry about his knees and elbows and feet and too-long legs. Duck was solid and easy. . .Except he wasn’t comfortable or easy right now. He looked like he ought to be, but Dan could tell he wasn’t.

“How’s it going?” Dan asked. It was a foolish thing to ask, as if this were just some ordinary day and they were making small talk. And if he didn’t mean it as small talk, well, he and Duck didn’t know each other well enough to talk in broad daylight about stuff no one talked about. But he didn’t know what else to say.

Duck just shrugged. He wasn’t a talky kind of guy to begin with, and now the silence went on until Dan realized that was all the answer Duck was going to give him.

“You here for the view?” Dan tried.

“Hanging banners.” Duck jerked his head sideways towards the end of the bridge.

“Looks good,” said Dan. When that got no response, he tried, “What’s it for?”

Duck didn’t respond right away. Dan figured Duck was blowing him off again, and was casting around for something else to say, when Duck said in that soft, clipped voice of his, “Town Days. Some dumb festival. New thing. Carol French or someone thought it up.”

“Sounds like it could be fun,” Dan offered, but he didn’t really mean it.

Duck turned to look at him. His expression was blank. . .no, closed-off, like someone had hung a No Trespassing sign on him. The look turned into a stare; Dan stared back, awkward and embarrassed but refusing to drop his eyes or back away. He didn’t know why he was pushing like this. It wasn’t like him, but in the three days since Val left, he’d been feeling numb and restless and reckless and he wanted. . .some kind of connection, at least. But more than that, there was something about the way Duck was standing, about his shuttered silence, that made Dan afraid to leave him there alone.

“Anyway,” said Duck at last. “I’ll see you later.”

In other words, Get Lost.

But Dan had nothing to lose anymore, and that meant he had nothing to be afraid of.

“See you,” he said, and stayed right where he was, leaning against the bridge, looking at Duck, until Duck shoved his hands in the pockets of his overalls, stalked to his pickup with his shoulders hunched and his head down, and drove away.

Dan waited until he couldn’t hear the pickup’s engine anymore, then got in his own car and followed Duck in to town.
desireearmfeldt: (Default)
From: [personal profile] desireearmfeldt
Yeah, it's interesting thinking about what how to make Dan, the same basic guy in the same basic situation, have a different response to it. (And ditto, Duck.)
luzula: a Luzula pilosa, or hairy wood-rush (Default)
From: [personal profile] luzula
Oh, that is intriguing. Yeah, what Sage said about Dan. But also, now I'm really wondering what's driving Duck to it.
luzula: a Luzula pilosa, or hairy wood-rush (Default)
From: [personal profile] luzula
Cool! Also, check out the (spontaneous and disjointed) meta I posted at the bottom of this post.
ride_4ever: (Duck McDonald)
From: [personal profile] ride_4ever
I hadn't ever pictured Duck as the suicidal one...awaits continuation with interest.

Especially <3 :
He had one foot up resting on one of the horizontal bars below the handrail; he was resting some of his weight on his outstretched hands. It was the kind of casually masculine pose Dan always admired and could never pull off himself.
I can completely SEE that from the way you've written it.
desireearmfeldt: (Default)
From: [personal profile] desireearmfeldt
This definitely falls under the heading of Stories Ideas That Would Never Have Occurred To Me Without The Prompt.

But I'm having fun experimenting with the idea that things don't have to be much different at all to get both Dan & Duck reacting differently to the situation.

Re: DS; Ray/Goat bodyswap; Gen

Date: 2013-08-24 02:40 am (UTC)
desireearmfeldt: (Default)
From: [personal profile] desireearmfeldt
Hee hee.

Now there's an interesting teaser...

(Interesting that being magicked by his car -- if the Goat is in fact the agent, here -- has the side effect of making Ray able to see ghost!Bob.)

Re: DS; Ray/Goat bodyswap; Gen

Date: 2013-08-24 06:48 pm (UTC)
luzula: a Luzula pilosa, or hairy wood-rush (Default)
From: [personal profile] luzula
Heh. Now, did Fraser not notice the difference when they were away? Or perhaps the Goat has had a long time to study Ray's behavior, so as not to give it away...

Re: DS; Ray/Goat bodyswap; Gen

Date: 2013-08-24 09:27 pm (UTC)
garonne: (explosion)
From: [personal profile] garonne
I REALLY want to read more of this. I've been hoping for an anthropomorphic-type Goat fic for ages, and this teaser was particularly intriguing!

Re: DS; Ray/Goat bodyswap; Gen

Date: 2013-08-28 04:04 am (UTC)
ride_4ever: (Default)
From: [personal profile] ride_4ever
Truly a bodyswap I have never seen before, and I hugely <3 it! Such a sneaky fic...I read it through three times before I felt like I really totally got it! *admires your AU-brain*

due South, always-the-opposite-gender AU, gen

Date: 2013-08-24 07:19 pm (UTC)
luzula: a Luzula pilosa, or hairy wood-rush (Default)
From: [personal profile] luzula
Ah, no, I can't write any fic today, apparently.

But! Maybe I can write some meta. I got to thinking about the completely genderswapped dS universe, where everyone's always been the opposite sex. This is something I've had on my fic idea list for a while anyway.

How would Fraser's character change if he'd always been a woman? She'd've had an emotionally distant Mountie mother who was murdered, and be a Mountie herself. Her father died when she was six. She fell in love with a bank robber and brought him in despite that, and later he comes back to revenge himself. She's classically beautiful and has an obsessive sense of justice. She acts innocent and oblivious to put off flirting men (somehow I suspect that strategy would work less well for female Fraser).

Hmm, there's something about this that highlights the tragic aspects of Fraser's character? Women are not usually written as tragic in quite the way that he is. I can't quite get a grip on Fraser's character as a woman, to be honest. What are the differences in how it would play out?

Relatedly, do you think Fraser has a lot of manpain? Okay, Bob was pretty much killed to give him manpain in the beginning, sure. And he does have the world-resting-on-his-shoulders thing going on. But the Victoria arc is a bit different--she's not fridged or anything, and I feel that Fraser's pain is mostly for himself in those episodes. Hmm.

All right, that was your tiny spontaneous bit of meta for the day. : )
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