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Dear NoFM Author Letter [Apr. 14th, 2018|01:36 am]
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A03 name: Alley_Skywalker

Dear NoFM Writer,

First, I would like to say thank you for the time and effort that you are willing to put into writing for me! Length of fandom sections or the order the fandoms are in is no indication of how much I want fic for any given fandom; I would be ABSOLUTELY DELIGHTED to receive fic in any of the fandoms I asked for. Optional details are optional, but if you're like me and like to have lots of info to work with, I've tried to provide some details on the sorts of things I like (and don't) and give prompts for each of my fandoms/ships.



  • Outside of any ships I ask for specifically, I have a preference for slash as a general rule. But I'm good with slash, het or fem for background ships!

  • All ratings up to R.

  • A focus on the romantic/emotional aspect of a relationship and some semblance of a plot/point rather than just sex.

  • Unrequited or secretly requited pining.

  • Complicated relationship dynamics, love triangles, relationships that take some effort/time to work, loving each other but because [insert reasons here] not always being able to be together/communicate those feelings, etc in this vain.

  • UST. Eventually resolved is probably better than not, however, not a must-have.

  • Conversely from the above – romantic partners who just can’t help but adore each other.

  • Kissing, hugging, holding hands, non-sexual physical contact in general.

  • Praise kink (in the sense that there’s a lot of emotional investment in and getting-off on getting praised or otherwise acknowledged as worthwhile. Works especially well with characters who are deeply insecure. I’m generally fond of other related things, such as body worship, partners being encouraging during sex in a very sweet, reassuring way, etc).


  • Threesomes/moresomes and polyamory.

  • Incest (unless specifically asked for or explicitly canon).

  • Parings with large age disparity (over 15 years) unless specifically asked for.

  • Minors under 16 in sexual/romantic relationships with adults; one-sided teenage crushes on adults are fine. I'd rather not read about teenagers under 16 having sex, even if both are 14/15, but romance/kissing and some groping and whatnot is fine; references to off-screen sexual experimentation/sex is fine if it's something that fits the characters/story.

  • NC-17 and PWPs.

  • BDSM, omegaverse, and most kink. (NOT included in this: foreplay; bantery/lighthearted roleplay for the purposes of foreplay; preferences for a certain sexual position, fascination with a partner’s physical trait, such as, e.g., preferring redheads or virgins or younger partners or being fascinated by someone’s shoulders; rough/aggressive/desperate sex or outside-of-bedroom inequalities that transfer into the bedroom, even though there may be pining down of wrists or some other element that could be considered a kink or part of BDSM; anything specifically listed as a “like”).

  • Foot fetishes (I know I said liking specific body parts is fine, but feet are the exception).

  • Humiliation (both sexual and not).

  • Non-con/rape (dub-con that leans toward/ends up as consensual is ok).

  • Mpreg; cross-dressing; genderbending/genderswap.

Genres/Themes (and such):

  • Angst, drama. (Please don’t try to use this as a challenge to see how many angst/dark tropes you can fit into a single fic. I have no issue with dark themes, angst is my crack and things like character death don’t bother me, but if it feels like it’s just a marathon of horrible things happening with no light anywhere to be seen…that’s a little too intense for me.)

  • Humor is fun too, but I like it more as an element in the story rather than a story that sets out to be funny first and foremost.

  • Hurt/comfort.

  • LOYALTY KINK! Themes of loyalty in general. Protectiveness. I have a special place in my heart for the loylaty kink + rank difference combination, especially in M/M.

  • Friendship, family (dynamics), platonic love.

  • Fluff, banter, cuddling/snuggling, kissing, general adorableness (and adoration!).

  • Well-rounded characters, characters with emotions/sympathetic motives; the “other side of the story”.

  • Politics, intrigue.

  • Plot, long!fic. (I am absolutely NOT expecting to receive longfic, but I've seen some people say that they feel unsure about gifting longfic because they're unsure if the recip would enjoy it. So, just in case you ARE thinking of writing longfic - please do!)


  • Crack!fic, parody.

  • AUs that subvert the universe or drastically change the setting (eg: genderswaping the cast, setting a modern fandom as a fairytale, turning a historical fandom all Sifi, Coffee Shop/College AUs, etc. This includes stuff like A/B/O and inserting magic/supernatural elements into a non-magic/supernatural universe).

  • Crossovers

  • Time travel.

  • Apocalypse/post-apocalypse scenarios, regardless of whether done as an AU or some kind of post-canon possibility thing.

  • Character bashing. (Especially with requested characters.)

  • Graphic gore and violence. Horror.

  • Torture. (Mentions are fine if torture is something that happens in canon. BUT no deaths/executions by torture – eg: drawing and quartering – whatsoever. No torture of requested characters whatsoever.)

  • Humiliation; any sort of glorification of bullying.

  • Issuefic.

  • Narrative implications that “sex = love” or that romantic partners HAVE to have sex to have a “valid” relationship or to be “really” in love with each other.


Barber of Siberia
Polievsky/Andrei Tolstoy. I LOVE cadet boys. Especially in this movie. The interactions between the boys are always so entertaining and amusing and the sense of friendship you get is so awesome. I do ship these two pretty hard! General shippy things I'd like to see: first time, UST, jealousy, hurt/comfort, general cuteness, cuddling, post-movie angst. I would LOVE to know what was going on in their heads before, during and after the duel and if there was some cuddling afterwards. When Polievsky spoke to Jane after the duel he said that he wanted to “knock the envy” out of himself, but what if he meant jealousy? Or, maybe, a tearful goodbye before Andrei is shipped off to Siberia? The fact that they would have to hide their relationship from their friends (?) makes it even more exciting! For something less heavy, again, drunken fun and exploits and visits to the actresses or something which end in snogging each other in the slay/carriage on the way back, would be wonderful. I feel like I’m not being super coherent but I just have so many feelings (and not so many concrete ideas, unfortunately) about these two and I would love to see them together.

Fandom DNW: any major focus on Andrei/Jane. Mentions and stuff are fine, but no more than necessary for the plot.

Дуэлянт | The Duelist (2016)
The movie is available on Amazon with subtitles.

Yakovlev | Kolychev/Prince Tuchkov. THERE WAS SO MUCH POTENTIAL!  I'm a sucker for this type of ship -- the older, cynical, emotionally conservative guy (who's not actually a bad person at all, just deep in his shell) and the Precious Cinnamon Roll young, idealistic, very emotionally available guy. I ship them a ton <3 (BTW, feel free to give Tuchkov a first name lol.) Admittedly, I really, really want a Tuchkov Lives AU. (I will admit that he's my fave!) You can kill off Martha instead if you want but it's not necessary.

My fave way for this to go is that the alley scene still happens and Tuchkov still jumps in to help Kolychev. (I feel like this would be important to their relationship - the amount of turmoil it would/could potentially cause, because this kid's loyalty would both be so sweet but also kind of frustrating for Kolychev because he doesn't want to be responsible for him. At first, anyway.) So, he'd still get badly hurt but not quite have his head bashed in, and thus survive the incident. Nhhhhnnnn. This is the perfect set up for hurt/comfort too! (You may notice as a theme in this letter that I LOVE hurt/comfort.) All the post-non-fatal-AU-alley-scene angst and worry and hurt/comfort!

Going from this AU premise, I would also love to see how their relationship would develop. (I think it wouldn't be quite as spontaneous as Kolychev/Martha was, at least because they wouldn't have the same catalyst. I felt like K/M dropped like that because of their shared shock - her grief, his maybe-guilt.) I'd love to see Tuchkov slowly getting Kolychev to open up and maybe believe in something again and live for something other than revenge. On the other hand, Kolychev teaching Tuchkov to shoot; the young prince growing up a little as he gets plunged into Kolychev's fucked up world. Some kind of play on the high-society pretty boy contrasted with the rough-but-noble officer. Protectiveness! All the protectiveness!

And, even if you don't want things to go AU, I think the same dynamic exploration/involvement could take place within canon if the timeframe is just stretched somewhat to allow some time to pass between the gun shop visit and the alley scene.

War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
Dolokhov/Nikolai. This was actually the first pairing I shipped in this fandom. These two have the potential to be very cute. I’d love to see a scene from that summer they spent together in Moscow after the duel when Nikolai’s family is out in the country. Or maybe a post-duel hurt/comfort fic? Throwing someone like Dolokhov into a situation where he’s hurt and vulnerable can be so interesting. Or Nikolai’s reaction to the card game? Why such a “messy” break-up? (We know in canon it’s Sonya but was it really?) Maybe a "getting-back together" scenario where they meet again later on in life.

Weirdly specific side-note, but I like Dolokhov as the top in this relationship.

Dolokhov/Anatole. I ship Dolokhov/Anatole SUPER HARD. Dolokhov obviously tries to take care of Anatole in his own way (see scene where he tries to talk Anatole out of running away with Natasha) and canon even says that Anatole “genuinely loves” Dolokhov. Personal headcanon is that Dolokhov takes not just a leading but protector-type role in this relationship, but you can play with that as you like. I think Dolokhov would secretly enjoy being someone’s hero – he’s good at taking care of people he actually loves. I also feel like Anatole would allow him to be himself in a way that he doesn’t get to do elsewhere, because Anatole doesn’t expect him to be righteous nor is he judgmental nor does he care much for things like rank and position. They share interests, they share friends. It just works. (In fact, if you’d like to see some of my notes/meta on Anatole’s characterization, here’s my Anatole tumblr tag. It’s not all useful but in case you’re interested and linking to there prevents letter-bloat. On a similar note, this is probably my most comprehensive Dolokhov characterization post. My general W&P tag is here.)

You could do anything with these two! Happy fluffy summertime fic, banter, first time, UST (especially at a ball), friendship-turned-more, drunk fooling around. All the hurt/comfort (post-war/Borodino, post-Natasha fiasco, post-duel). Or awfully angsty war!fic. What about that whole Anatole/Natasha thing? How does that fit in? Did it cause a rupture in their relationship or was it a catalyst for realizing they have feelings for each other? Maybe Anatole has a teenage crush on Dolokhov, who ignores it at first because they have a significant age difference. Anatole goes away for some time (abroad?) and comes back a few years later. Suddenly, they’re both adults and maybe this time the tables have turned?

For something more “serious” – having to hide their relationship; maybe Anatole is in denial about having romantic feelings for men? There are some major socioeconomic imbalances in this relationship, but Dolokhov has the upper hand personality and intellect wise and an exploration of how all that translates into power dynamics within the relationship would be cool. Not to say that their relationship has to be flawless. With someone like Dolokhov it’s never going to be. I’m sure there would be plenty of jealousy and cheating and hurting each other (probably unintentional on Anatole’s end and intentional on Dolokhov’s). I’d be up for a kinda-fix-it where Anatole survives the war and well…that’s going to cause its own slew of problems and issues, but maybe a happy ending of sorts if you go in this direction? I do want these two to be happy, but their angst has the potential to be extremely delicious.

Екатерина | Catherine (TV 2014)
Both season of this show are available on Amazon (S1, S2) with subtitles. There is also a fansub.

Elizaveta "Liza" Romanovna Vorontsova. Liza was awesome and heartbreaking! I loved her relationship with Peter, I loved how happy she made him, how happy they made each other. I loved her spunk and quirkiness and outspokenness, which totally rubbed good old over-proper society the wrong way. Also, are we even surprised that 18th century society is crazy ableist? I’m not saying that because I want an issue fic, but more because I just loved how Liza’s limp, which made her “damaged goods” to society, even in the eyes of her sister, was not something that stopped her.

Peter/Liza is my het OTP of this fandom. I love that of all the women Peter could have had he chose Liza. Not some flawless, sexy toy but a rough-around-the-edges, “unattractive” girl with a limp who loves what he loves and seems to understand him and knows all the right things to say (in his POV). They make each other so happy - it's adorable. They’re both outcasts in some way: Liza is not the flawless, demure bride prized by society at this time and age; Peter is stuck in a country he cares little for, far from what he considers home, his marriage is unhappy, he’s under the control of a tyrannical aunt… But when these two find each other, it’s like everything else goes away.

I don’t have many specific prompts for this ship, admittadly. I just want fluff, I guess? I want them to be happy, to make each other happy. Oh, maybe Liza is actually in control of this relationship? Not in a creepy manipulative way, but like, she’s the only one who can talk Peter down from one stupid thing or another and she knows that though he might think that all the good ideas are his, they’re actually hers. Maybe an AU of some sort where they manage to run away to Holstein during the coup and go through a period of adjustment but then end up living happily. Or, IDK, an AU where Catherine is removed out of the way somehow (she dies in childbirth, takes Peter up on his offer to go back to Prussia, whatever I’m not picky) and they get married and rule happily together. I don’t think I want too much angst with this ship, or at least, even if there’s angst I’d want a happy ending. Canon ends so heartbreakingly for them that I don’t think I could stand it :/

Otherwise, maybe some friendship with Brockdorff – they could both use a friend after Peter’s death to commiserate with, and seem to be the only two people (except for maybe Shuvalov) who are 100 percent on his side. Actually, friendship fic with all three of them (Liza, Peter Brockdorff) would be great. I'm not averse to character studies either, btw, especially since Liza isn't a character who is fully expanded on in canon, but we get enough of her to kinda know who she is and to make us (well, me) interested to find out what she's like when she's not with Peter and what her thoughts on stuff are, etc. Feel free to use anything you can gleam from historical sources, but I’m looking for show-fic more than Historical RPF, especially re: characterization.

Pyotr Fyodorovich | Peter III of Russia. Peter stole my heart in this show! I actually came in knowing only basic things about him and this time period. I knew some about Catherine and some about Elizabeth but little to nothing about Peter and this show basically inspired a whole knew historical obsession for me. Show!Peter isn't quite historical!Peter but this slight bending of characterization is common for period dramas, and as it happens, I love both versions :)

I think I would happily read anything (that is genuinely sympathetic) about him. It can be one of my two OTPs (Peter/Brockdorff and Peter/Liza) or it could be something gen - there's a lot of angst potentially around his situation re: being taken to Russia without anyone caring what he wants, being expected to support a war that threatens the country he grew up in (Prussia), being isolated at court, having good ideas but not being very good at implementing them, the difficult relationship he has with Elizabeth who, after all, is the closest thing to a mother figure he ever had and is the only close family he has left by the show's timeframe. The conflict between wanting to do the right thing but also being scared and isolated, etc. There's plenty of character study potential. To be honest, I think the one thing I wouldn't care much for is a further exploration of his relationship with Catherine, at least as a major theme/focus, and I don't ship them at all. On the other hand - father-son bonding with Paul (and Peter's conflict re: whether or not Paul is his son) would be very welcome.

For Peter/Liza prompts, see Liza's section above.

Peter/Brockdorff is my slash OTP for this fandom <3 I even wrote a shipper’s manifesto in case that’s helpful to anyone? [BE ADVISED there are GIFs, though they are under spoiler cuts.)

Brockdorff is always in the background but also always around, even when it doesn’t seem like he has a “duty” to be. (Or any comprehensible reason? Like when Peter is woken up in the middle of the night to go watch Catherine give birth and Brockdorff is there with him. I mean, other than like providing moral support, why would he be there?) Even if you don’t want to use historical background, Brockdorff seems to be the one person who is always exclusively on Peter’s side. (Well, Liza too.) There are just so many little, subtle things. But the potential in this ship for loyalty kink and hurt/comfort and kinda awkward/messed up power dynamics is through the roof. This could even be a one-sided ship. I love the dynamic of the emotionally vulnerable, mildly daft Prince and his loyal and more competent/composed underling (chamberlain in this case).

You could go fluffy – private, happy moments. Maybe they fly that kite (and watch it burn up in the air!). Maybe the reason Peter mentioned the kite at all as something that would make him happy is because that’s something he and Brockdorff would do as kids back in Holstein before things got complicated. Pre-canon childhood fic in general! Triumphant moments/success during Peter’s short rule and/or grand plans for a brighter future. (Oooh! Their first kiss?) Some cute scenes with Pavel maybe? If they get into a relationship, when/how do they make the switch from formality to informality? (Especially Brockdorff, as Peter is already all over the place with his yous and thous. but Brockdorff is always overproper and I'd love to see how that formality may break down in intense/intimate moments.)

Or all the angst! Brockdorff’s one-sided love or a complicated relationship made even more complicated by Peter’s constantly worsening paranoia and dissatisfaction with everything. Peter having to leave home (Holstein) and everyone/everything he knows behind. Brockdorff dealing with the coup and Peter’s death – when you’ve basically committed and built your entire life around someone, that’s a lot of empty space to suddenly fill when they’re gone. Having to say goodbye when Peter is first called away to Russia (and Brockdorff swearing he’ll come and join him as soon as he can?).

Hurt/comfort would be amazing <3 Aftermath of Peter’s smallpox and all the emotional fallout and insecurity there and/or remaining physical weakness, for more tradition h/c. Or maybe Brockdorff walks in on Peter during a private breakdown/vulnerable moment after he finds out that Catherine is going to have a child after all and that child might very well not be his. Peter’s constantly dealing with a lot – social pressures of being the heir, insecurity/sense of inferiority instilled by Elizabeth’s constant disappointment, homesickness (especially during his first years in Russia), a failed marriage, constant fears about the future. It’s ripe for some hurt/comfort!

Pavel Petrovich | Paul I of Russia. Paul! He's such a cutie in Season 2, it's ridiculout. I squee/comment a lot about him in my S2 reaction posts.

I mentioned in my Peter section that I would love to see some father-son bonding with him and Paul and that is absolutely true! Peter alludes to at least one time they were doing stuff together aside from that first time they met on Paul’s birthday. And there must have been more because Paul’s memories of Peter are, while undoubtable vague, very fond and happy. Of course he was a young child and he admits to not really knowing much about his father, but what he does remember has clearly left quite an impression on him. (“He [Peter] was kind. I remember.”)  And, honestly, all of Paul’s issues with his parents are so heartbreaking. His awful relationship with Catherine is in large part her fault, and I wonder if that’s part of what pushes him to idealize his father. I would really enjoy an exploration of any of that.

Also, I never really had BroTPs until this, but Paul and Poroshin are definitely one! They have such a touching relationship. It’s really more of a friendship than a teacher/student relationship. Anything with them discussing life or Paul asking questions he shouldn’t and Poroshin never being quite able to lie to him/avoid his questions would be fun. Or an AU where Poroshin and Anna are alive and Paul somehow helps them elope or something, that would be cool too. I just really enjoy their dynamic.

I’d enjoy a missing scene somewhere between when Alexander is born and the ending – Paul settling into his family life and enjoying it, realizing that maybe his feelings for Maria are calmer than they have been for other women but that they make a good team and, in a way, he’s very much in love with her.

Or also I actually totally really ship Paul/Louisa so I'd love something with that ship. Maybe an AU where they get married after all? Maybe it actually works out better than Paul had thought it would? (It's so sad that he thinks he'd ruin her life if they ot married! I think they'd work really well together.) A friend of mine pointed out some Peter/Liza callbacks in the Paul/Louisa scene where she's reciting her poetry to him and they talk about learning the violin ans I definitely think there's somet of that there and Peter-Paul parallels are so my thing,G

Fandom DNW: anything relating to Paul/Sophia.

18th Century CE RPF
Pavel Petrovich | Paul I/Andrei Razumovsky. Ok, so. In his youth, Paul carried on a very-very close relationship with Andrei Razumovsky, a charming, handsome officer, and Paul’s childhood friend. They were extremely close – I’d even say that Razumovksy was the first true friend Paul had, as well as one of the very few people in his life with whom he had a genuinely close relationship with zero trust issues. Paul’s letters to Razumovsky are incredibly sweet, almost romantic at moments. He’d close with lines like “Farewell, my dear friend. I love you with all my heart.” In one letter, Paul confesses that he is waiting impatiently “for the moment I can see you [Razumonvsky]” especially since a whole 3 days had passed since they had last seen each other. Paul, who was already fighting the demons that would consume him later in life (loneliness, bitterness, anxiety and trust issues), would tell Razumovsky how much the latter helped him deal with these issues – gave him more confidence and tranquility. (There are a bunch of their – mostly Paul’s – letters collected here starting from page 6. They’re all in French though...)
[How it ended, for those who don&apos;t know but would like to.]
Their Friendship fell apart not without Catherine’s help. Andrei was close to both Paul and his first wife Natalia (whom Paul loved dearly) and there were even rumors that Andrei and Natalia were involved, but there’s no actual evidence of this. Whether Catherine bought into the rumors, disliked Andrei’s political maneuvering and closeness to Paul (she liked to isolate Paul from people he had a mutual affection with) or she just wanted Paul to forget Natalia as quickly as possible when she died, the result was the same: she monopolized access to Paul long enough after Natalia’s death to convince him that Andrei and Natalia had been lovers and Razumovsky was send away from court, allowing him no chance to defend himself to Paul. This was basically the end of their friendship. Which – sad!

Prompts! Umm...I'm so bad at this seriously. But I’d love to see something like an exchange of letters or intimate moments together. How was Razumovsky able to break through the walls that Paul was already building up? Paul – more lively, romantic-idealistic and anxious at this point than anything else (as opposed to the more hardened versions of these traits he expressed much later in life) – discovering a first love (maybe without even fully realizing it). Them supporting each other during the days that Natalia was ill/dying. Razumovsky’s bafflement at the sudden change in Paul’s disposition after Natalia’s death or Paul’s destress as he gives in to his mother’s manipulation and starts to believe that Andrei had in fact betrayed him (by being Natalia’s lover). Just, like, happy and fluffy summer adventure things. Andrei trying (and failing) to teach Paul to dance. AU where they actually manage to mend their friendship many years later.  (Although, I can’t imagine them having an overtly sexual relationship. Romantic with a little more touching/kissing than would be exactly platonic – yes, but overtly sexual would feel strangely OOC for Paul, I think, given how platonic his other intense non-marital relationships were.)

Pavel Petrovich | Paul I/Louis XVI of France This is probably the closest I’ve ever been to a crackship xD But listen, hear me out. They were the same age (both born in 1754). They’re both dorks. They’re both awkward about sex and don’t seem to be particularly interested in women, except for maybe their own wives. (Louis didn’t have mistresses and Paul’s relationship with his “mistresses” seem to have been overwhelmingly platonic.) But at the same time their marriages never came off as particularly passionate or romantic to me? (Paul’s first marriage was, but he and his second wife were good partners/friends more than anything.) Anyway, more importantly, you might be like, ok, but…did they ever even meet? They did! Paul and his wife took a European trip in ~1782. On that trip they stayed for about a month in Paris (in May, IIRC) where they were hosted by Louis and Marie Antoinette. They got off to a bit of a rough start – apparently, Louis was a nervous, shy mess during the initial formal reception – but then the two couples got really friendly. Paul opened up to Louis about his mother’s emotional abuse and attempts to isolate him. Paris was a highlight of the trip for Paul.

And THEN Paul was completely horrified by the French Revolution. Normal reaction for a monarchist but he was like…over the top. He judged other states by whether or not they chose to go to war against France, he virtually broke off relations with his mother when she decided to go to war with Poland instead of fight France (i.e. wouldn’t put her army where her mouth was re: distaste for the French Revolution). And on top of that, some accounts say that Paul’s neurotically monarchist and disciplinary tendencies doubled in intensity after 1793. (And I mean…your boyfriend being publicly executed will do that to a guy…) So I mean…it’s kind of a crackship but ships have sailed on far less if you ask me :D

Prompts! Oh boy. I just…I just wanna see these two being super awkward but kinda cute dorks? There’s some fun contrast in there too though, because Louis was shy and raised in an etiquette of soft spookiness and Paul was awkward but kinda loud at the same time. So them like…exploring Paris and attending fancy events and not quite knowing how to approach each other at first but then when they come together It totally clicks. Midnight confessions? Mutual pining across rooms? Fluffy lunch breaks and sneaking off to be alone during royal hunts? Letters after Paul has to go back to Russia. (Epistolary fic is great!) And, of course, I’m a sucker for angst, so Paul’s angst as the news of Louis’ arrest/abdication/execution/etc comes trickling in from France, maybe interspersed with flashbacks? Honestly, I’m not attached to any one particular plot/idea – I’d love to see what you come up with for these two <3


So. Peter III is currently a historical fave of mine. Characterization wise - something that will vary wildly depending on who you ask or what book you read - my views on him are in line with the more modern perspective on him: he wasn't cruel, or an idiot, or a drunk, or a ~bad person. Hot tempered? Yea. Terrible at politics? Yea. Never got over his patriotic feelings for the country where he grew up (at least for the first 14 years of his life). Yes. Stubborn, often tactless and not particularly brave? More or less. But he was also kind-hearted, unpretentious, candid and genuine, dedicated to doing right by his people (as he understood it at least), supportive of a liberal reforms program (in which he participated avidly) and the fine arts, loyal to his friends... Look, I'm gonna put this under a spoiler cut, but if you're interested here's way more info than you probably want to know but what the hell, feel free to skip, skim or read as desired:
[Characterization, interesting facts, and squee...]
So Peter... Peter, the liberal reformer and idealist who launched a series of very progressive reforms.[Here is a short list.]Here is a short list: emancipated the nobility, abolished the secret chancellery/police (known for torture), required education for the children of nobles and provided for the establishment of technical schools for lower-class children in several cities, removed restrictions on various exports, secularized church lands and surfs, ended the persecution of Old Believers (and generally insisted that violence not be used again non-Christians, although from what I understand, this wasn’t formal legislation), recalled political exiles, made the murder of a surf by their master/a nobleman a severely punishable crime, got rid of the slovo i delo system of denunciation. He also began a codification of the laws, but this never went anywhere – not enough time – and had wanted/tried to end/reduce corruption in the bureaucracy. (Silly boy, no one’s been able to do this before or since.)Peter, who wanted to be remembered for the good things he did during his rule, who refused the golden statute of himself which the senate had offered to erect in gratitude for the edict emancipating the nobility, and said that the senators could put their money to better use. He wanted his monument to be “in the hearts of the people.” (Dear God, I could go on forever lol.)

Peter, the appreciator and supporter of music and theater. He played the violin with a fair amount of skill (I read somwhere that Elizabeth didn’t approve so he had to take lessons if not in secret, then at least keep them very low-profile) and established a court orchestra and music school at Oranienbaum.

Peter, who had a good (though far from perfect) education, a massive library that he was highly invested in. Who had, according to his tutor in Russia, a superior memory and a love for fortification, an interest in mathematics and the sciences, but a lack of interest in the humanities.

Peter, who was never given a choice in which country he ended up ruling. Who was taken from his home and everything he knew at the age of 14 to go to a country completely foreign to him. Who was often homesick and torn in his loyalty and duty to Holstein and his duty to the Russian people. And yet, he tried to do right by both. (There was only so much he could do for Holstein while he was in Russia – Elizabeth denied her nephew permission to leave the country repeatedly despite his oral and written requests – but he did as much as he could through letters. And he was dead-set on winning Schleswig back from Denmark.)

Peter, who was generous and kind-hearted, amiable, if volatile, with an irreverent and ironic sense of humor (which inevitably offended some people). Straightforward and candid – tactless sometimes – stubborn and determined, excitable and enthusiastic. Hot tempered. Not very brave. Childish and insecure in some ways. Peter, who cared little for ranks and distinctions, and cared far more for someone’s merit or personal amiability than the accident of their birth. (He liked to talk to and spend time with soldiers, servants, common people…which naturally scandalized the courtiers.)

Peter, who wrote heartbreaking notes to his wife. Who named the first “toy” fortress he had built at Oranienbaum (allegedly, he drafted the calculations and blueprints for it himself) Ekaterinburg, in honor of his wife. He tried to impress her with what he had: played the violin for her, tried to interest her in his military-themed games and projects. But they were vastly different people and absolutely incompatible, and she had nothing but contempt for him.

Peter, whose biggest sin was that he was absolutely rubbish at being a politician. He didn’t realize how dangerous alienating the church and the guards regiments could be. He insisted on giving Catherine the benefit of the doubt, even when he knew she was capable of seizing power. He didn’t know how to twist things and to be manipulative – it wasn’t in his nature at all. He didn't know how to properly hide his feelings - including those of admiration for Friedrich the Great and his divided patriotic loyalties. His strengths, in this sense, were also his weaknesses.

(Helpful sources: Mylnikov (1, 2), Leonard, Palmer. But also R. N. Bain for a more traditionalist but level-headed view.)

Anywayyyy ships! (Another note: I know Peter had a mistress, Elizabeth Vorontsov, for many years including up to his death. I don't particularly care how you want to work around that. I could see the participants viewing them differently because one is het and the other same-sex and maybe do some hand-wavy "well-they'd-think-about-it-differently-back-then" type of thing, just to make everyone's life easier. And if it helps, Elizabeth's brother Alexander, at one point, called her relationship with Peter "platonic" so there's that...)

Pyotr Fyodorovich | Peter III/Christian August von Brockdorff
[Who is Brockdorff?]
Brockdorff was Peter’s chamberlain from before he came to Russia in his capacity as the Duke of Holstein. Brockdorff’s father and Peter’s father were friends. A Lady Brockdorff was also prominent at the Kiel court at the time (though I’m not sure of her relation to Christian exactly). There are issues with establishing Brockdorff's age but for fanfic/RPF purposes I like to assume they were about agemates. When Peter was taken to Russia at the age of 14, the man in charge of his education (something of a head tutor), Brümmer, came with him. Brümmer then advised Russian ministers that Brockdorff had such an influence on Peter that he should not be allowed into the country. (Brümmer considered it negative influence, but given the man’s tendency to be abusive and generally not give a damn about Peter’s best interests, his assessment is highly suspect. Catherine didn’t like Brockdorff either, but they had a personal rivalry going.) So when Brockdorff tried to follow Peter to Russia, he was turned away at the border. But here’s the really fun part! Brockdorff didn’t stop trying to get to Peter. Finally (about 1754-5) he found a way to get to the Petersburg court – he traveled incognito (allegedly as a glass merchant), basically sneaking into the country. In Petersburg, he got a warm reception from Peter and stayed in his existing position as chamberlain. He continued to have a lot of influence on Peter (which really irritated Catherine as they didn’t get along and Brockdorff constantly advised Peter to divorce her), and on Peter’s ascension to the throne, Brockdorff received the Order of St. Alexander Nevsky.

Them as young teenagers back in Holstein, falling in love for the first time ever only for Peter to be taken away to Russia shortly thereafter. (I have a headcanon pet theory that the reason Brummer didn’t like Brockdorff so much was because the latter constantly attempted to shield Peter from Brummer’s abuses and tried to convince the young Duke to exert some influence on his guardians and get Brummer removed.) Writing to each other during their period of separation. Brockdorff desperately trying to get to Peter at all costs. Their reunion. Hurt/comfort after one of Peter’s frequent illnesses or once another one of Catherine’s many affairs comes to light.

Brockdorff being supportive of Peter’s reform ideas; talking them through together. (On the other hand, disagreements and fights and angst because Brockdorff, being far more politically savvy would see that some of the things Peter was doing were bad for him politically and would try to stop him and well...that wouldn't go over well. I don't remember off the top of my head which ambassador this was, but there's a comment in some political correspondence circa 1760 that Brockdorff has lost a lot of influence with Peter at this point. What gives?) Or, you know, just fluff and taking a holiday together. All the loyalty kink - Brockdorff vs. Catherine as she works against Peter politically while Brockdorff tries to manipulate things in his favor at court. All the angst post-coup.

Pyotr Fyodorovich | Peter III/Andrei Gudovich.
[Who is Gudovich?]
Gudovich was Peter’s chamberlain and then, later, adjutant. He was one of Peter’s closest confidants and he was the man Peter entrusted with bringing news to Friedrich the Great that Peter intended to sue for peace and end the 7 Years War. During the coup, Gudovich stayed with Peter until the very end. When Peter was brought to Peterhof after his initial abdication, the only two people who accompanied him there (other than the convoy, ofc) were Liza Vorontsov (his mistress) and Gudovich. They were both arrested at Peterhof on their arrival and briefly imprisoned. At one point, after his arrest, Peter asked Catherine for permission to leave the country. He also asked to be allowed to take Liza and Gudovich with him.  After everything, Gudovich was released and Catherine asked him if he wanted to re-enter the service/stay at court. He, however, resigned promptly and went abroad where he stayed for several years. On his return to Russia he lived at his country estate and only returned to court upon a summons, via a very touching note, from Paul I, Peter’s son.

Their first meeting! I always got this feeling off Gudovich that he was a bit of an over-sensitive idealist. Loyalty kink and maybe a bit of star-struck hero-worship wouldn't be amiss here. I imagine Gudovich would be very supportive of Peter's reforms and he was kind of a stand-out among the Russian crowd at court in that he supported Peter's foreign policy too. So maybe them bonding over that? (They could also bond over Prussian culture/food/wtc because Andrei went to university in Prussia so...nostalgia over college days + nostalgia over childhood = lots of cuddling...right? At least that's how my brain works.) The day of coup from Gudovich's POV maybe? All the angst surrounding the coup in general. Fluff - a holiday retreat, fireworks and stolen kisses far away from everyone. IDK I see this one as more of like the fluff ship.

If you were so inclined as to write something with BOTH Brockdorff and Gudovich in it (yay love triangles! -- Gudovich as more of the "yes man" and Brockdorff is more the "I know you don't want to hear this but it's for your own good"-type and the squabling over who is more of a favorite; but I feel like they would bond out of shared grief post-coup) I would be overwhelmed with delight :D

Christian August von Brockdorff/Andrei Gudovich
If you don’t know who these guys are (not surprising lol) the previous two ship sections have brief introduction. And the good part is that since both of them are such minor historical figures and so little is known about them, there’s a lot of leeway as to the details of their personalities :))

I think what I love the most with these two together is the contrasts between them. Brockdorff the serious, manipulative, ruthless and political one vs. Gudovich: the youthful, earnest, idealistic one. They’re devoted to their Prince and both favorites of said prince, and probably in a constant struggle for priority, but also forced to work together and get along at least for long enough to get things done. I’d love all the jostling, seething banter, gloating and one-upmanship! But…also…really awkward and suppressed UST and almost-pining. Brockdorff would totally be one of those men who would, to use a quote from a tv show, "feel his desire as hatred,” at least in the case where he considers the target of said desire to be unworthy of it. And I definitely have a headcanon of Andrei kind of…admiring Brockdorff in a way and wanting to be friends on some level but every move he makes is rebuffed and they clash ALL the time.

I also could swear I read somewhere (though I can’t find it anymore D:) that Gudovich got his chamberlain appointment through Catherine or someone close to her so I could honestly see this devolving into a comedy of misunderstandings where Brockdorff has legitimate reasons to believe that Gudovich is a spy even though he really, REALLY isn’t. But also, also – all the post-coup angst. I think it’s the shared grief that would bring them together, would make them want to hold on to each other and maybe realize they didn’t really actually dislike each other THAT much. This ship is ripe for some classic enemies/rivals-to-lovers. Or frenemies to lovers, if you want to go for a softer take.

But really, I just want to see something with lots of tension and banter and snide remarks and power struggles and attraction that everyone chooses to ignore until they explode! I’m not married to any particular prompt or interpretation of this ship.