I like stories grounded in canon most of all but I can be sold on just about any divergence if it's logical. So if you, say, like looking at the darker aspects of good-guy characters (like Chihaya or Natsume, for example) that's totally fine by me, but I'd like to see your thought process in-narrative, otherwise I will probably have difficulty connecting with your interpretation. One notable exception is if you ignore or handwave canon heterosexual love interests. Please feel free to do that as much as you want.
I would prefer no AU settings for this set of fandoms, but if that's where your imagination takes you, I won't complain as long as the characters are in character. For the record, I don't consider future fic to be a type of AU -- to me AU is a completely different setting/universe a priori, i.e. Japanese high schoolers who had instead grown up in Germany, or female MMA rivals as cooking show rivals instead, etc.
If you're writing "xyz character(s) from abc canon 20 years after the events in canon", as long as their canon past is used as the basis for their current lives, to me that's still in-universe, even if they're now office workers/baristas/janitors/whatever. So, like, if you want to write any of the characters from my requested fandoms in college, I wouldn't consider that to be "College AU" -- to me college AU is only AU if the original characters have no realistic possibility of going to college (e.g. the canon events retold with the characters in college instead of high school, characters who don't have 'university' as part of their canon, or characters who require de-aging to be sent back to college). I'm sorry to natter on if this is self-evident to you, I just wanted to be super clear about what I mean when I say I don't really want to see AU settings. I basically mean things like "spacesuit zero-G MMA in the year 3000" and "Natsume Yuujinchou set in the world of Skyrim", not logical extrapolation from canon events.
(ok but on second thought if you were to write a natsume yuujinchou story set in the world of skyrim or tes in general, i would not complain at all. i'm just saying.)
If you write ship-fic and one or more of the characters is under 18, please keep the rating at PG-13 or lower. I love happy endings the most, but ambiguous endings are cool too; just please no death or other tragic outcomes if you can at all avoid them.
Things I would categorically hate to encounter:
- heterosexual sex of any sort, explicit or implied
- any relationship with noticeable personal or physical domination and/or submission
- the absence of enthusiastic, unequivocal consent to sex
- underage sex (including when both characters are underage but especially no cross-gen)
- most kinks but especially incest, Mpreg, BDSM, rape fantasy, bloodplay, breathplay, scat, watersports, felching, munging, necro, bestiality.
Fandom-specific details: (the order is alphabetical -- I would be equally happy with any of these fandoms/characters!)
Chihayafuru - Ayase Chihaya, Wakamiya Shinobu
I have only watched the anime for this (both seasons) and I am slack at following the manga; I don't mind spoilers, though. For Chihaya and Shinobu, I hate to be That Person who says "ANYTHING IS FINE" but I literally mean that - anything at all that focuses on their relationship is absolutely okay with me. It doesn't have to be all happy rainbows and unicorns; as much as I love reading about them being cute and shopping for weird t-shirts together, if you want to take a look at some darker/uncomfy implications of their rivalry that would be great -- maybe Chihaya is forced to give up karuta because she needs to work 2 jobs to make ends meet, causing Shinobu to backslide to her childhood trauma and blame Chihaya for it even though she knows she shouldn't. Or maybe Chihaya reigns supreme and unbeatable as the new Queen, and Shinobu grows increasingly bitter about it despite her best intentions. My preference is for Chihaya and Shinobu to end up a couple but you don't have to go there if your story doesn't take you there.
Natsume Yuujinchou - Natsume Takashi, Tanuma Kaname
I'm up to date on the anime but don't care about manga spoilers. I'm reusing part of my sign-up from last year -- Natsume/Tanuma friendship or romance, particularly of the awkward-first-kiss or hurt/comfort variety (where the hurt is not inflicted by either one of them but by a third party). I'd like to see them cohabiting and negotiating each other's boundaries, figuring out how they fit together and how they don't (and why it's okay -- or not). I always associate soft, dreamlike tranquility with them as a pairing, but I'd love to see them mess each other up in ways neither of them expected (but that don't end up being unwelcome).
SKET Dance - Kibitsu Momoka, Onizuka "Himeko" Hime
MomoHime. Please ;-; I mean, if you just want to write about them being amazing friends that's okay! But that's sort of very much a thing in canon, so I don't "miss" it, so to speak. I'd like to see something like Momoka awkwardly confessing, and Himeko misunderstanding and responding with a tsukkomi. Or Himeko and Momoka sharing a flat for financial reasons and growing closer over time. The SKET Dance slice-of-life atmosphere really appeals to me, so I would love to read a story with the same kind of mood, but if you're inspired to write a serious/dramatic story, that would be great as well.
鉄風 | Teppuu (Manga) - Ringi Cordeiro, Ishidou Natsuo, Mawatari Yuzuko, Sawamura Sanae
I read this religiously and so I'm up to date. I would love to see their lives outside of MMA, in the same vein as Natsuo and Kei sitting around in a cafe just chatting, but this time they're chatting not about Natsuo's awesomeness or her MMA rivals but their math homework or current world events. If you wanted to explore each of the relationships betwen these four, from ANY of their points of view, that would be amazing. I'd love to see Ringi getting used to life in Japan with a little (or a lot of) help from the other three.
I am super multi-shippy in this fandom so I am fine with any ship that isn't cross-gen -- I didn't include other characters because of the "AND" restriction for writers, but if you want to write a story that includes Natsuo/Kei or Sanae/Mai, that's totally cool with me even though I haven't requested Kei or Mai specifically. If you want to just pair up the four above in any combination, that's also OK (any permutation of a polyamorous relationship would be fab, but please no love triangles... or other shapes :D). If you include no pairings at all, that's totally fine! Heck, if you did individual character vignettes without giving any page-time to relationships, that would be amazing.