---LONG POST AHEAD. PROCEED WITH CAUTION.---
So I've had an idea with a friend of mine here at FF.net, good ol' Ikonopeiston (a highly prolific writer of X-2 stories, and has written one XII story recently).
Well, really it was my idea, but Ikon approved and helped me flesh it out a bit.
It would be an attempt at mainstreamulating (your word of the day... heh) shonen-ai between Basch/Vossler. To be completely correct, I believe the term would be "dansei-ai" for "man love". Sounds much sexier then shonen-ai, IMO. XD
However - I would never, EVER write a yaoi/shonen/dansei-ai pairing involving a sexual relationship involving a*** sex. My theory:
A*** sex means the "uke" or "bottom" is effeminised. Ever read a Balthier/Vaan with Vaan as the top? I haven't. Vaan seems to be the more feminine one in the writer's eyes, and hence is always the bottom, whether literally or metaphorically (from what I've seen.)
Effeminising a man in a homosexual relationship is wrong unless they explicitly want to be. D'ya think all the ukes of the world want to be seen as girlier than their partners?
Hence I would strive to write the story where Basch and Vossler have an EQUAL sexual relationship. I'm not quite sure what kinds of homosexual sex there is other than a*** sex, but we'll leave the details out. I'm writing this story without lemons, anyway.
And so, to mainstreamulate the concept, I want to detract from the common yaoi archetype of "OMG HAWT GYZ LET'S MAKE YAOI!" even if they're hardly romantically involved canonically. Cases in point:
Vaan/Balthier, Balthier/Basch, Balthier/Vossler, etc. (Balthier is the fandom's w***. XD)
And it gets worse in other FF fandoms. Cloud/Reno. Reno/Rude. Reno/Zack. ESPECIALLY Sephiroth/Cloud. Squall/Seifer. Squall/Zell. Zell/Seifer. Zidane/Blank. Tidus/Auron. Further back, you get Kain/Edge. Luneth/Arc. Locke/Edgar. Edgar/Sabin! And even in Kingdom Hearts - Leon/Riku. Zexion/Demyx (it is NOT canon.) Vexen/Marluxia. Roxas/Anyone-except-Axel.
The list goes on and on and on and on.
The only semi-canon yaoi pairings in FF and KH, in my honest opinion, could be Cecil/Kain, Cloud/Zack, Tidus/Wakka, Auron/Jecht, Xigbar/Demyx, Riku/Sora and Basch/Vossler.
Think about it. They're both single, have been involved in the military of Landis/Dalmasca for God-knows-how-long, are both Captains, and both longtime friends.
Ikon recommends likening their relationship to Ancient Greek soldier love - proving their valour and strength to one another, gender notwithstanding.
But here's my problem! I CAN'T WRITE YAOI. Well, at least the sappy parts.
How would I describe their love? I want Basch to say to the rest of the group that they are in love, but not the whole romantic-sappy-courtly love. They're not w***, they're faithful to each other, but they're masculine. They're not exactly going to dress Basch in a ballroom gown and make him waltz with Vossler as a test of beauty. (NO YOU MAY NOT TAKE THAT IDEA. XD)
I need advice from real yaoi writers, not rabid fangirls who pair anyone at the touch of a button and call it canon.8/8/2008 #1
Btw at the a*** sex thing, it doesn't effeminise them that's the wrong word, but it can make them feel... subjugated or dominated or something, it depends. A way to avoid that is to switch-up, also known as reba, where neither of em're on top or at the bottom all the time.
As for how to handle it, it really depends. I'm one of those people who think Bal/Basch could work, but not in the context of the game (they have better things to do and just because Balthier is irresonspible and would ignore them, Basch is the opposite). But I always find Bassler is my favourite. P: For how to write it, just look at the characters. A good romantic relationship ignoring the sex of anyone is a lot liek a friendship with the interactions, just very strong, and with more physical things between men and women (women are usually touchy feely anyway, I am one and could a man get away with holding another man's hand in public? No, they'd be called gay.) Those two'd probably keep it secret because, well, it's not the done thing, but both're loyal to their country and their queen and have the capacity for being very... protective, I guess. So they'd watch one another's backs without implying that the other is powerless on their own. I see them as having a mutual reliance, unspoken, because of their respective flaws. Basch would keep Vossler grounded in a way, and Vossler'd give Basch a good kicking if he started doing that diffident thing he does. ;)
Really you have to look at it for yourself and see, you'll develop a muse and then it'll be easy-peasy to get how you imagine them. I recommend Ellnyx's way of writing them, she treats them like you'd expect two grown men to act in a relationship that isn't purely sexual but isn't exactly platonic either. :) A man can be reliant with a woman, people just forget that, so 'needing' one another doesn't effeminise either of them.8/15/2010 #2
Oh Lawd, I can't believe someone is replying to this so late! Thanks for your input, anyway, but I solved this problem a long time ago. I've sinced moved to LiveJournal and now publish fanfic there.
I'm still a solid Basch/Vossler shipper but I decided not to write anything explicitly sexual. I wasn't very good when I tried. Instead I focus on the dysfunctionality of their relationship and the meddling influences of Noah, Balthier, Ashe, etc, etc.
If you would like, you can take a look at my LJ fanfiction comm: Poke around! There's at least two or three little B/V drabbles.
Haha, I did notice it was late, and aye, lemons can be awkward to do and b*** up a perfectly good fic. B/V could stand for Balthier/Vaan (I hate that pairing) and I momentarily thought it did, that baffled me. Out of interest how do you view them as dysfunctional?8/18/2010 #4
In my headcanon (i.e. my understanding of the aspects of canon that the game doesn't make clear) I believe they're dysfunctional for a couple of reasons:
1. Their jobs (i.e. as Knights of Dalmasca With Appropriate Capital Letters) have taken over their lives since they were teenagers.
2. Let's face it, how accepting can Dalmasca - an old-school monarchy - be of homosexuality? They both feel the tiniest bit of shame in who they are, even though they try to repress it, and Ashe doesn't really care as long as they can do their jobs effectively.
3. As Very Masculine Men, they struggle to express emotions other than anger and bloodlust and actual lust. Much confusion and frustration lurks within.
4. Although they won't admit it, they dread the day that they will have to sleep alone because they made an error in judgement in battle, leading to the other's death. This is intensified by #3.
5. Basch is addicted to the words "I'm sorry".
6. Vossler sometimes believes Basch still has more-than-fraternal feelings for his brother, and thus by extension is a closet narcissist.
7. Basch sometimes believes Vossler is using him as an emotional punching bag.
Now this isn't to say that they don't feel something resembling love and respect towards each other, but by the inherently unorthodox nature of their relationship, there is an inherent amount of dysfunctionality in their kinship and this will last until the day they die. However, they couldn't bear the thought of not having their greatest friend and partner by their side day after day, and thus having no real reason to fight, and that is why I believe this ship succeeds.8/19/2010 #5
Ah yes, I see what you mean. I have much the same, particularly on Vossler's part. Vossler just seems to have grown up a patriot, and something seems to indicate he has little else but that for some reason or another. He gave up too much for it to be a typical devotion to one's motherland. As for the accepting of homosexuality, I do wonder. It seems too developed to be truly backwards about the notion, more like modern day really, but it seems a ntraul human instinct to be uncomfortable around gays and there'll always be prejudice.
For the manliness thing, Vossler seems to practically do the 'unemotional' thing on purpose, possibly as a defence reflex. It might be one reason he's edgy around Basch as, well, he would feel threatened by it despite obviously trusting him. Basch in comparison seems quiet for different reason, more like he's been betrayed a couple of times too many or has become accustomed to being disregarded. He is bedamned apologetic though, isn't he? His melancholy just seeps out, and I can see it p*** Vossler off even though Basch can't help it; he does keep it to himself a lot but there's way too much trayma for one person to cover completely. Very much Vossler seems the kind to find empathy difficult, or just confusing, and so I can imagine he has the naturaly Manly Grr Man reaction to not understanding himself and gets angry at it.
So the fifth point, would probably just annoy the s*** out of him, yeah. I can see him viewing apologies as a kind of moral weakness, haha. As for the fourth one, it's one of the most interesting parts of their relationship. In my headspace Vossler had tendency towards morbidity, sometimes dwelling on death or becoming obsolete often - I think he's aware there's nothing for him if his country doesn't need him, and being fairly unable to make a decent emotional attachment or at least express it, all Basch's willingness to help isn't going to overcome that. I mean, he died first, but he didn't exactly see that coming until he got into the fight.
'Vossler sometimes believes Basch still has more-than-fraternal feelings for his brother, and thus by extension is a closet narcissist.' Oh those twins. I did find the Noah/Basch pairing hilarious/odd for that reason. I always thought that a good way of handling that would be 'nobody knows you like you', I mean, when you do it to yourself it;s not because you find yourself attractive. More like a baroque form of fraternal m*** than anything necessarily romantic.
And emotional punching bag made me laugh; how in particular? Taking his obvious insecurites and pretty much impotent anger out on him? And yeah. I do agree that for all their flaws in themselves and towards each other, on some level they need one another, whether slashing or not. They just have that weird chemistry that means they could be more than close comrades, though I can imagine both, epecially Vossler, try to explain to themselves it's 'not like that', even if Basch seems more sensitive (just look at how magnificently his brother cracked, that takes some sensitivity, and not only is that sort of thing hereditary/upbrought, but required that they were affectionate brothers in the first place) and prone to taking things to heart. He's very much the sacrifical sort but then so's Vossler, so at least if they're leaving their back open to watch the other, then the other's watching back. ;)8/19/2010 #6
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