This was the request: I am going to love anything at all that you write in this verse! Almost all of my suggested ideas involve Jo, one of my top favorite characters of all time, and most of them involve Laurie, but I'm even including a couple of ideas that involve other characters, that Jo and/or Laurie wouldn't even have to be in, just in case you decide you're more interested in those (obviously, we matched on Jo and Laurie, so these other ideas are BEYOND optional - they just provide another option
The first kind of story I'd love would involve Jo and Laurie and yes, I would love to see a plausible way for them to get together romantically and have it be wonderful. There are lots of ways I could imagine you could get there! One of the main stories you could explore would be a future!fic, where Jo and Laurie have both had their marriages to others, but their spouses die and they are single again and they rediscover each other. Or perhaps they realize just in time before they marry other people what they should actually be doing.
Or perhaps they even do get together back in Little Women days. What would happen? Maybe they'd be happy at first, but grow further apart or be bad influences on each other, and then need to do some growing and changing and fall in true love later in that process. Feel free to go au wherever/whenever you want to. I do love the canon characters and relationships (Amy, Friedrich) as well, so you could either handwave them away completely, or show them as loving relationships, but no longer a factor due to death or etc.
Basically, I'd just love to get a fic with a happy ending that allowed Jo and Laurie to be together, but in a way that felt like it honored Jo's early feeling that they were too much alike/not good for each other. How do they grow and change, either together or apart, so that they end up being right for each other? Or, maybe they WERE right for each other, and Jo was just scared. Maybe there's a story where over time she comes to realize that. Maybe something happens so that they run into each other unexpectedly somewhere that's not home, and in that environment they fall even harder for each other.
By the way, feel more than free to add sex scenes. Basically, I think their personalities and attraction would make for some hot sex, and I would love to read about it if you want to tackle that.
If you for some reason end up not mused to write Jo getting together with Laurie romantically, then write me anything about Jo (and Laurie as her friend)! She and Laurie can be the good buddies and best friends they are in canon! Maybe Jo gets into a scrape when she should be old enough to know better. Maybe she finds herself super famous as a writer and has to deal with that. Maybe she gets involved in an important social issue of the day. Maybe she has problems with one of her "boys," and she addresses it in her awesome Jo way (I love Little Men and Jo's Boys as well). Maybe she travels to some far away place and meets other awesome women doing awesome things! Really, any story that deals with her is going to be a win/win for me. Laurie can be a big or negligible presence - it's up to you!
If you, like me, have some serious love for some of the characters featured in the later books -- Dan, Nat, Nan, etc. -- take a look at my post on my journal for some additional ideas for stories that feature them that I would love equally to all the above (obviously, these are Beyond Optional!).
As you can probably see from my novel-length request, bwahaha, my love for this verse is huge, so really, you basically can't go wrong with anything at all you write for me! And, as I mentioned, I have put even MORE ideas on my post on my journal, just in case you would appreciate more, as well as a list of ~preferences I tend to have in fic generally.
These books -- Little Women, Little Men and Jo's Boys -- were among my most cherished childhood reading. Even as an adult, I'll go back sometimes and read one. This is truly a case of me just wanting to revisit this much loved world.
I think the request kept me from just letting Laurie and Jo fall into an uncomplicated love straight away, which obviously wouldn't work for these two, no matter how much I WANT that for them. Ahem. So there was a little wrinkle added in, which I think strengthened the story. My pal musesfool very kindly betaed this for me.
Laurie knew Jo would get so involved in writing their farewell note that they'd never actually leave, so he delegated that task to himself, bidding her to fetch her things and for mercy's sake to dress in the least conspicuous of her villain's clothes. "Your hero's clothes run too much to velvet," he said, poking her shoulder in a manner calculated to annoy her - he loved seeing the tide of her irritated flush climb her cheeks. "I won't be caught traveling with a dandy."
"I won't be caught at all," she returned smartly before doubt clouded her eyes. "Teddy, are we really -?"
It was wicked of him to tempt her so, but his heart had caught fire the moment she'd stopped lecturing him and yearned aloud for the fun of an adventure; he'd have her all to himself for hours if he could but get her to agree. "Just think of seeing your father's face," he said, softly, the merest suggestion, pitched so that it might seem to have bubbled up from inside her. "Seeing you will surely cheer him."
She looked up at him then - he had grown enough that she had to look up these days - with star-bright eyes and he knew, in that moment, that his heart and its conflagration both were irrevocably hers.
"You can't be comfortable, Jo," Laurie wheedled, holding open his thick woolen coat out for her. He'd pulled it off the moment he'd seen her shiver, and had it bundled on his knee in the hopes that she'd believe he wasn't longing for its warmth. "Just take my coat."
"No need to be gallant, Teddy, it's only me," she said, trying to stretch the worn-thin material of her old sack over her knees. "I've worn this a hundred times and never felt the cold."
"Because you were shoveling the garden path, or pitching snowballs at my head, or doing something to get up a fine glow," he pointed out. How had he lost his heart to this stubborn harum-scarum? "We've hours more to go on the train, and you surely don't want to fall sick just as we arrive in Washington?"
His own hands were cold, but hers, when she finally reached out for his boon, were like ice. They must have been numb, too, for she did not pull away when he began massaging feeling back into them, hissing a bit when the sensation became too much. Laurie had no idea what aspect of the dreary landscape could be enrapturing their fellow passengers but was thankful that their attention remained fixed on the vanishing scenery rather than his tender demonstrations. He took advantage of their distraction and Jo's unusual silence to button the coat for her, the backs of his fingers nestling at the warm base of her throat.
She wrinkled her nose at him, looking for all the world like a boy irritated by and yet longing for his elder brother's peremptory care. He wanted to kiss her until the charade fell apart.
He restrained himself, clinging to the vestiges of propriety he'd had inculcated in him, and she sat back in her seat, evidently satisfied that she'd bested him in that particular skirmish.
Laurie had rather expected Jo to protest at his spending money as freely as water, as she seemed to despise wealth that hadn't been directly earned, but she made not a peep as he found them lodgings for the night. Either she truly was worn through from their unaccustomed venture and the prickings of her conscience - not being there to kiss Beth goodnight was sure to be weighing on her - or he had missed a prime opportunity to pamper her and show her the delights he could provide.
Still, the room he had secured for himself and his "little brother" was neat and clean, as modest as the Marches' own parlor, so perhaps Jo would be more comfortable there. Her long legs were encased in a pair of trousers he'd outgrown, her feet charmingly splayed on the round braided rag-rug that provided the one spot of color in the tidy room. She stirred tiredly in the armchair when he leaned over her, ready to pick her up and deposit her in the bed.
"Teddy," she said just as his face lined up with hers, keeping her eyes open. He dipped his head down and caught her mouth, straining upwards under his, and for one glorious moment she returned his kiss fully.
In the next, she was pushing him away, turning her face aside. "That's not what I wish -" she said, as directly as she did everything, and his blood ran cold at the thought he'd imagined her ardent response. He didn't realize he'd gone stock-still until her hand came up to stir the air near his cheek. "Teddy, please, do hear me out."
Her pet name for him sounded suddenly ominous, falling from lips still rosy from his fervent kiss, and he dropped to his knees in front of her. "Speak, Jo; I'll listen."
But she seemed to want only silence and time in which to study him, so he met her questioning gaze without flinching. Her puzzled frown carved lines between her arching eyebrows, and her shining eyes were wide. He forced himself to stay still; Jo had never been a flirt, and she had no idea how bewitching her proximity was at that moment. He must not beseech her to cede more than she was prepared to give.
"I haven't the words," she conceded finally.
"Do you need them?" he asked softly, the hush of the room rapturously intimate. Of course she did; they were her trusted medium, and for them to fail her now was a sign of danger.
"No," she said, leaning forward and cupping his cheek. "That's the third time you've kissed me." He remembered the way she'd flown into his arms, drunk more from fear and exhaustion and exhilaration than the restorative wine she'd sipped, and how the trembling curves of her cheek and mouth had risen invitingly from his shoulder.
"Every one sincere," he promised.
"As I must be," Jo said, touching her lips to his.
She was shaking, at least until he gathered her in his arms and let her rest her heart on his, and she went pliable as his mouth moved over hers. They fell backwards, Laurie landing on his backside with a thump as Jo slid out of the chair and into his lap.
"Jo," he breathed into the warm skin of her neck, trying to keep himself from pursuing her mouth with all of the desperation mounting inside him.
But she kissed him and praised him, kissed him and questioned him, kissed him and dreamt aloud, so he held her close and answered her with a litany of kisses of his own.
In the morning, even when her father's eyes lingered on their clasped hands, Jo did not let go. Laurie looked down at their fingers woven together and knew the only word for the moment was happiness.
As always, I'd love to hear what you think.
This same entry also appears on Dreamwidth, at http://innie-darling.dreamwidth.org/448326.html.