metatxt: (voy: longing)
[personal profile] metatxt
[personal profile] mammothluv asked me "Favorite tropes (character, fanfic, relationship, show, etc.)"

AWESOME PROMPT. Let me preface by saying: I love a LOT of tropes. This subject WILL get revisited again and again throughout the meme. Because I love a LOT of tropes. A LOT. But for today:

1. I may be married to the job, overwhelmed by past trauma, or both, but you make me feel vulnerable and squishy inside. See: Bering and Wells, Janeway/Seven, Bo/Lauren, Bo/Tamsin, Bo/Kenzi, Emma/Snow, Eli Gold/Natalie Flores (the Good Wife)*... the list goes on and on and on.

DEEP FEELS. Character thinks, "I mostly accept that I will feel or be forever alone because of the unique nature of (my work, my trauma, or both *cough* Lost Girl)" and then connection with special person whose presence directly disrupts the isolating nature of work or trauma forces the character to reevaluate their desire for a romantic relationship. Once they see it's possible, they WANT IT, they WANT the person who makes them feel like they aren't alone, even though deep down they are still SUPER fucking scared that it's fleeting.

It also often a trope that moves both directions! Myka Bering had all this trauma with her character-device-ex who died, then took a job she could never disclose to anyone not in Artifact Club, and then Helena G. Wells shows up. Meanwhile, Helena "imprisoned for decades with only her thoughts" Wells thinks her original trauma is evidence that existence is a failed experiment, but Myka talks her off that cliff (or geyser) and just... *flails* When the vulnerabilities cut both ways like that, it pretty much makes me fall off the couch with longing and feels and pain and oh gods please just make out right now and everything will be right in the world.

Edit to note: I am NOT into it when the trauma just completely disappears because ~love~ or when trauma is a plot-device obstacle to the romance. But I do like it when one character can reach another despite the walls up from their trauma. If that makes more sense?

*still rarely want to read fic about canon-het even when I ship it.

2. As [personal profile] chaila astutely noted...Robot/Human is my sci-fi otp binary. For ship examples, see: Laura/Tory, Janeway/Seven, Sarah/Cameron, Sarah/Weaver... is that it? we've been missing out on cyborg femslash tv for some time.

Human thinks they're going to teach Robot/Cyborg about humanity, while the Robot/Cyborg actually teaches the human. It's a narrative tension built by learning across significant differences (haha. school). The ultimate lesson for the human is that human-centrism is bullshit: first, the lie of human exceptionalism, the importance of dignity and respect for sentient non-humans (non-sentient beings, ecosystems, relationships not involving humans, etc.), and generally how that human-centric ideology limits the human's engagement and stunts the human morally.

If you dig a bit, usually the concept of "humanity" that the human is so invested in sharing is really a type of racist supremacist colonialism...or in more sanitized terms, neo-liberalism. Unfortunately, if I think about that too much I start to dislike my human characters and get turned off by the idea that the Robots/Cyborg is responsible for the moral education of humans, let alone that the Robot/Cyborg's first choice of love partner should be their remedial social-justice project. Also, the human is usually teaching the Robot/Cyborg about passing, which is supposed to be entertaining. Often it IS entertaining because the writers will employ a reversal where the Robot/Cyborg fails at passing but their culturally-specific approach garners greater rewards than anticipated. So the cyborg still pwns, even on the human's terms. OK moving on.

In the land of Id, where we sometimes selectively and temporarily ignores social justice implications, this is all a fantastic pretense for how the human just doesn't SEE the robot/cyborg and how the robot/cyborg is so super hurt that the human can't see them because robot/cyborg is frustratingly in love with human and wants to be loved in return, just as they are. ... *random thought* Is human/robot actually Pride and Prejudice? not precisely of course, but sort of? kind of?

This often takes place in the context of larger political struggles that force our characters to question their allegiances. Seven of Nine has to choose between (Mommy) Janeway or (Mommy) Borg Queen. Or in the case of Sarah, Cameron and Weaver, they all must assess whether their political purposes align or conflict, over and over again, because they have different goals, different goal priorities, or different strategies for reaching the same goal. In effect, they must constantly choose each other or be emotionally-wounded by their separation. Sarah Connor's stoicism hides all sorts of deep feelings about robot ladies, I am certain.

There is also the tragic case of Laura Roslin and Tory Foster. Let's revisit how we were teased and denied the natural progression of their human/cylon relationship: Laura fucking Tory across her desk many, many times when Laura thought Tory was human, Tory servicing Laura under her desk, Tory stealing babies and elections for Laura because Laura asked her to do those things (sometimes implicitly), Laura pretending Tory didn't do any of this out of everlasting love and devotion, Laura making Tory play honeytrap and go fuck Baltar for information (then report back to Laura with details about their sex), Laura horsewhipping Tory for not telling Laura *every detail* about sexspying on Baltar -- when Laura KNOWS Tory is so good at taking minutes during the Quorum meetings, and then Laura finds out Tory is a cylon and refuses to complete their epic journey towards OTP perfection. By this time, Tory already resents Laura for Laura's cylon bigotry so she'd rather fight against Laura than for her. It should be noted that Laura/Tory fit in this category, but their trajectory is also a good example of:

3. Morally-gray Alpha and Alpha Jr. See: Patty/Ellen, Alicia/Kalinda, Diane/Alicia, Regina/Snow... It looks like this: sometimes we are at outright war, but sometimes we cautiously trust each other and if that trust ever lasted long-enough we may actually canon-fuck. Usually, there is a power differential that is structurally imposed (if temporary), but when it comes to power of manipulation and skill they are more evenly matched. Often one party is more aware of their own capacity for strategic deceit, while another is in denial it is part of their nature. (See how this is also Laura/Tory?! They are amazeballs)

4. Mommy/girl or Daddy/girl: Bo/Kenzi, Michelle/Sasha, Snow/Emma, and Xena/Gabrielle. Xena was totally Gabrielle's Daddy for like... 3 seasons. I want to talk about ageplay ships quite a bit more, but I think that probably deserves an entire post of its own. Also I'm outta time for today.

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July 2017


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