Chocobox Retrospective 2019

So I gave 8 gifts and received 2 that were both truly delightful and wonderful and awesome. First, the gifts!


Gifts Received

ART: Beneath the Moonlight (Bungou Stray Dogs)

I got Izumi Kyouka/Nakajima Atsushi soulmark art for Bungou Stray Dogs by the truly lovely TereziMakara, whose letters I have fallen in love with several times.

In my art prompts, I include characters sleeping together and quiet moments, because I am a sucker for the trust and the fondness in that kind of art so readily displayed and this one delivers on that and includes soulmarks that are just beautiful and fitting and little details like the textures and patterns and their hair and the little bunny and I absolutely love this art. Please go lavish my artist with praise!

Beneath the Moonlight (21 words) by TereziMakara
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: 文豪ストレイドッグス | Bungou Stray Dogs
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Izumi Kyouka/Nakajima Atsushi (Bungou Stray Dogs)
Characters: Nakajima Atsushi (Bungou Stray Dogs), Izumi Kyouka (Bungou Stray Dogs)
Additional Tags: Fanart, Chocolate Box Exchange 2019, Treat, Sharing a Bed, Soulmate-Identifying Marks, Haiku
Summary:

They bring each other quiet comfort.

FIC: The Colour of Honesty (Bungou Stray Dogs)

I also received this absolutely beautiful fic by the ever lovely mornelithe_falconsbane, who shares my fondness for tea and lovingly includes it and sooooo much subtext from the hardest BSD characters to write and write well, in my opinion: Edogawa Ranpo, Fukuzawa Yukichi, and Dazai Osamu. I am in awe.

She writes these two absolute geniuses who think they’ve already figured out how to be around each other in a way that will work for their respective needs for privacy and respect and autonomy, and their minder who has determined they need to renegotiate the agreement and reach not an unspoken understanding of how to hold each other at arms length but an actual understanding that allows them to work with each other. It’s a beautiful thing to behold, so much in between the interactions and so well done. Really. This fic is incredible and fabulous and everyone should also lavish it with praise.

The Colour of Honesty (2740 words) by Joan_of_Dark
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: 文豪ストレイドッグス | Bungou Stray Dogs
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: Edogawa Ranpo (Bungou Stray Dogs), Dazai Osamu (Bungou Stray Dogs), Fukuzawa Yukichi (Bungou Stray Dogs)
Additional Tags: Tea, too smart for their own good
Summary:

Ranpo knows that Dazai doesn’t like him, and he doesn’t care.


Gifts Given

5 Times They Talked in Letters and 1 Time They Finally Talked in Person (Legend of Korra)

I fell head over heels, deeply in love with engmaresh’s letters and had to write her something for her Korra/Kuvira prompts, which turned out to be a lot harder than I thought. Not because I don’t love the characters, but because I embarked on a not quite epistolary idea and wasn’t really sure if I executed it as well as I was hoping. Clearly, the real answer is write more in the fandom until I feel like I got the character voices down.

But anyway, engmaresh liked 5+1 fics and considers Kuvira a well-intentioned extremist who rose to a rather necessary occasion with a lot of worldbuilding gaps that the show didn’t handle very well, which is pretty much what I think.

So I ran with the way canon portrayed how Korra saw Kuvira doing the work she wanted to be doing and that she wrote letters while recovering, and I just had her reach out to Kuvira, who I feel like would have done a better job with not going tyrannical and still doing a ton of good if anybody at all with nation-ruling experience had actually bothered to help her or guide her around some of the pitfalls of necessary evils.

It seemed to go over well with my recip, for which I’m thankful.

5 Times They Talked in Letters and 1 Time They Finally Talked in Person (1397 words) by meme_inspired
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Avatar: Legend of Korra
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Korra/Kuvira (Avatar)
Additional Tags: Letters, Long-Distance Relationship Building, Alternate Universe – Canon Divergence, Korra Wrote Kuvira During Her Recovery, Korra Recovered Sooner and Helped Kuvira with the Reunification
Summary:

Korra knew things Kuvira didn’t, about how balance had to be maintained between the nations and the different forms of bending, between the spirits and humans. Kuvira knew what was really going on in her nation and on the ground. They had much to discuss.

Lost (Original)

My assignment took me so much longer than I planned because it was such a beautiful prompt and it was original fiction, and I am not safe to let loose to write original fiction. I’ll do worldbuilding.

That said, the pairing was Reclusive Male God/Male Human Who Accidentally Stumbles Onto His Sacred Grounds, and the prompt came with worldbuilding questions and the desire for this reclusive god to be benevolent, and I’m truly sorry that I couldn’t work in the suggestion for a fertility ritual to restore the god’s full power, but I did include a sex scene? Anyway, first I had to figure out why I’d have a reclusive loner god who was benevolent and yet rarely sought by humanity or his followers. If he was benevolent, wouldn’t they seek him out?

Which is how I came up with Shir, the God of Lost, who you only pray to if you want to lose something. Which there’s plenty of power in the idea of lost things, but there isn’t a whole lot of followers likely to show up for that unless he spent a little effort gathering them, and that’s just not his way. He does save those who accidentally stumble onto his sacred grounds though, and he’s been lonely and alone long enough that it takes someone with a little natural caring to try and break through his shell and get his attention, which is how we got Ishalt.

It’s a lot quieter of a story than I intended to write, and I did hope that I wasn’t getting too indulgent in my own interests: books, letters, tea, libraries, just quietly getting to know each other, not understanding they’re not playing by the same rules and the consequences of that until they do understand. And I do hereby freely admit that the scene almost everyone mentioned, the socks, was actually suggested by morne, who didn’t entirely realize I hadn’t planned one before she mentioned it.

So here, have a short story, my first original short story of the year:

Lost (8867 words) by Liana Mir
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Original Work
Rating: Mature
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Original Reclusive Male God/Original Male Human Who Accidentally Stumbles Onto His Sacred Grounds, Original Male Character/Original Male Character
Characters: Original Reclusive Male God, Original Male Human Who Accidentally Stumbles Onto Sacred Grounds, Original Male Character(s)
Additional Tags: Developing Relationship, the gods are real, First Love, Previous Indentured Servitude, First Time
Summary:

“Rare is the man who prays to a god, then does not recognize the answer,” Shir commented.

Diablo Under the Mask (Bungou Stray Dogs)

Akutagawa and Hawthorne is one of my favorite BSD episodes hands down, and the way these two interact, Hawthorne’s grasp of Akutagawa’s core motivations and drive and the way they battled each other is just such great stuff, and TereziMakara has such great prompts for them.

I went with the masqued ball AU, made it as canon-divergent feasible as possible, and mourned that a different or better author could have provided the clothing porn my recip loves but is just not a thing I’ve ever acquired a knack for.

Instead I focused on why in the world would the Port Mafia dream of sending Akutagawa to spy undercover at a Guild-hosted recruitment ball (they wouldn’t, but he’d unwittingly be the perfect distraction for better “undercover” operatives) and how could I keep them in character and get them to actually dance. Oh and also show enough attraction to be shippy despite not getting them together in the ficlet.

Thankfully, my recip liked what I came up with.

Diablo Under the Mask (932 words) by soukokudoubleblack
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: 文豪ストレイドッグス | Bungou Stray Dogs
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Akutagawa Ryuunosuke/Nathaniel Hawthorne (Bungou Stray Dogs)
Characters: Nathaniel Hawthorne (Bungou Stray Dogs), Akutagawa Ryuunosuke (Bungou Stray Dogs)
Additional Tags: mildly AU, Masquerade Ball, Enemies Forced to Play Nice, Attraction
Summary:

Akutagawa logged it away with every other idiotically annoying detail he’d be expected to gain from this party and wondered anew how he had disappointed his superiors so, enough to be thrust into an affair like this one, expected to harm no one and learn whatever he could. Very little of true value could be learned without battle or violence and stripping away all the pretty facades men wore to be polite. It seemed only more so at a masqued ball.

Save Me Now (Bungou Stray Dogs)

I started writing this last year at Chocolate Box as a treat for mornelithe_falconsbane, one of the other exchange regulars who shared my new fandom loves and had really great prompts, in specific that Chuuya needs Dazai to quiet Corruption and shows up for a rather unexpected booty call. You can’t hit my id much closer than that, so I wrote the first scene…

Then totally stalled out.

This year, I looked at the prompt again, opened the work I did before, and it just came together, even if a little shorter than originally intended. Chocobox is for short ficlets though, so I didn’t try to force it, and I was more pleased with the results than I expected to be. And I was soooo happy to finish one of my late treats I never did get done, so cheers to that.

Save Me Now (704 words) by Remember When
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: 文豪ストレイドッグス | Bungou Stray Dogs
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Dazai Osamu/Nakahara Chuuya (Bungou Stray Dogs)
Characters: Dazai Osamu (Bungou Stray Dogs), Nakahara Chuuya (Bungou Stray Dogs)
Additional Tags: Porn with Feelings, In Mutual Denial, First Time
Summary:

He ignores the part of him that says they don’t touch people readily, either of them. He ignores the memory of every touch following Corruption, every touch just to drag him back to earth because Tainted was useful but Dazai would never not be a brat. He ignores that he wanted to touch Dazai and ruin him with bruises and teeth marks and unraveled bandages distributed unevenly across the bed.

Fifty Shades of Want (Bungou Stray Dogs)

Another one I’ve been meaning to write for Prinzenhasserin since I first saw the prompt, several exchanges ago. E. L. James as an ability user and canon-plausible source of sex pollen is a pretty irresistible prompt. I did do a little reading to get a feel for James and her view on the Fifty Shades books to see what nuance or parameters to give the sex pollen, and then unleashed the fictionalized version (who to be fair, barely features in the ficlet except to douse her unsuspecting victims in self-defense) on Atsushi and Akutagawa.

Have some PWP.

Fifty Shades of Want (484 words) by soukokudoubleblack
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: 文豪ストレイドッグス | Bungou Stray Dogs
Rating: Explicit
Warnings: Creator Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Relationships: Akutagawa Ryuunosuke/Nakajima Atsushi (Bungou Stray Dogs)
Characters: Akutagawa Ryuunosuke (Bungou Stray Dogs), Nakajima Atsushi (Bungou Stray Dogs)
Additional Tags: Sex Pollen, Dubious Consent, Mutual Non-Con, Bondage, Plot What Plot/Porn Without Plot
Summary:

“We weren’t really beaten,” Atsushi would point out later. “She just got away.” Akutagawa would merely glare back at him for the euphemism.

What You Made Me Do (Bungou Stray Dogs)

This was the exchange for BSD for me, a fandom I usually find harder to write than K, but apparently not this time. I wanted to write something for all my friends, but geckoholic’s prompts were for fandoms I didn’t know and so I went and fished out a half-written treat I didn’t get done for RMSE and finished and posted it in the middle of my Chocobox treat writing.

Akutagawa and Dazai do not have a healthy relationship in BSD. They just don’t.

Dazai’s methods of mentoring Akutagawa were at the worst time in his life as far as his moral compass goes and when treating people like they mattered wasn’t exactly high on his priority list. He shot at Akutagawa, beat him, lectured him (truly justifiably), but never figured out how to get through Akutagwa’s head why he was dissatisfied with him all the time, though Akutagawa tried so hard (in all the wrong ways).

Akutagawa fixated on Dazai at his darkest, the Demon Prodigy of the Port Mafia, the youngest executive in its history, and sought ceaselessly after his approval in all the wrong ways. That fixation didn’t go away when Dazai left the ADA, and his desperate need for Dazai to recognize his strength when Dazai’s sitting there throwing Atsushi’s superiority in his face, well. I stand by their relationship not being healthy at all.

And geckoholic loves that and wanted something that dealt with that and the way they interact in canon in all its nuance, so I tried really hard to capture that and she liked it. Whoohoo.

What You Made Me Do (1120 words) by soukokudoubleblack
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: 文豪ストレイドッグス | Bungou Stray Dogs
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: Creator Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Relationships: Akutagawa Ryuunosuke/Dazai Osamu (Bungou Stray Dogs)
Characters: Akutagawa Ryuunosuke (Bungou Stray Dogs), Dazai Osamu (Bungou Stray Dogs)
Additional Tags: Training, Dark Era, Post-Canon, Pining, Unhealthy Relationships
Summary:

They strive for perfection. It isn’t beautiful, it’s a struggle, vivid and terrible and Akutagawa has committed himself wholly in the belief that with Dazai leading the way, they cannot but reach his goal.

You Can’t Have Hatesex on a Honeymoon (Bungou Stray Dogs)

BSD again and another friend, shadow_lover, and another prompt I’ve eyed before. This time, how does soukoku sex their way out of a romance novel by Poe? And in my own head, why exactly did Poe write this thing?

I had a lot of fun writing them being stuck in one, Dazai suggesting sex as the solution to get out, and then planned a hatesex handjob before the fact of it being a romance novel, not erotica, gave me an excuse to demand they show their feelings a little, even if they’re in denial.

Which also ended up giving me the most incredible title. This was by far the most successful fic I wrote this round, and I blame it on a title that made people click.

You Can’t Have Hatesex on a Honeymoon (1335 words) by Remember When
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: 文豪ストレイドッグス | Bungou Stray Dogs
Rating: Explicit
Warnings: Creator Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Relationships: Dazai Osamu/Nakahara Chuuya (Bungou Stray Dogs), Implied Edogawa Ranpo/Edgar Allan Poe (Bungou Stray Dogs)
Characters: Dazai Osamu (Bungou Stray Dogs), Nakahara Chuuya (Bungou Stray Dogs)
Additional Tags: Dubious Consent, Romance Novel, Porn with Feelings, Plot What Plot/Porn Without Plot
Summary:

“Dazai,” Chuuya said viciously, in his most ungiving of tones. “We are not going to fuck our way out of this.”

Stay for Tea (K)

Finally! So many requests for K this exchange and I hadn’t written any and it was a crime, a total crime, so I found a prompt for Munakata/Mikoto ghost sex or tea and went with ghosts and tea. Close enough, right?

I also knew this recip wouldn’t mind me using Kusanagi to fill in the information gaps, which I really love throwing in a Kusanagi scene when it comes to ships with people adjacent to him, and there’s no one with better insight into Mikoto than him and/or Totsuka, so there you have it.

A little tea ceremony, Force Slate ghosts, and grieving and hope.

Stay for Tea (649 words) by Remember When
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: K (Anime)
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: Major Character Death
Relationships: Munakata Reishi/Suoh Mikoto
Characters: Munakata Reishi, Fushimi Saruhiko, Kusanagi Izumo
Additional Tags: Grieving, Ghosts, Canonical major character death, Tea, Pining
Summary:

“Did Suoh ever learn the tea ceremony?”

Between the Music and the Rests (Marvel Cinematic Universe)

I’m out of the MCU, dropped the canon like a hot brick before watching Civil War, and utterly out of love when I saw where they were headed with Infinity War. But I really wanted to write something for tielan, I still love the characters just not the canon killing them off and destroying everything they love, and I can write an AU.

Maria/Steve in space. What could go wrong?

Mostly trying to wrap my head around a good idea that didn’t mirror canon too closely while still holding the things we both love, so there’s that. I finally came up with a world I liked and threw in the scenario of rescuing Bucky from coldspace and a deep sleep, because fighting him wasn’t what I had in mind, and I got to try to mirror that moment in canon that finally let me the see the ship: when Steve is telling Maria that the twins were at war so letting someone experiment on them to give them powers made sense. He drew the parallel and she’s being pragmatic about her enemies, and they played off each other soooo well.

So that’s what I went for. How they interact professionally, how they handle when the professional the personal intersect, then how they interact on just the personal. Titling it was a beast and I’m still not happy with the title, but it works. I had fun and I’m super happy tielan really liked it.

Between the Music and the Rests (1034 words) by Remember When
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Marvel Cinematic Universe
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Maria Hill/Steve Rogers
Characters: Maria Hill, Steve Rogers
Additional Tags: Space AU, implied sex, Rescue, Professional and Personal Relationship Kept Separate
Summary:

“You’re not a night commander,” Maria reminded Captain Rogers for what felt like only the latest incident in an endless stream of them.

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