Odd couple + angst + romance = all the stories I want
May 6, 2015 10:47 AM   Subscribe

[Fic Rec Filter] Looking for novels, short stories, or fanfics that play on the odd couple trope, especially the Sensitive Guy and Manly Man.

Person A may have these qualities:
- Military/black ops/hired killer background with tortured past
- If not an action man then perhaps a jerkass with a heart of gold
- Aggressive with others except for Person B
- Person B is the evident weakness in a whole 'macho' persona
- Only exposes softer side in front of Person B or if Person B is concerned/in danger

Person B may have these qualities:
- Good at a lot of things except being sociable or picking up on social clues
- "Sensitive" can be replaced with socially awkward, nerd, shy, genius
- NOT weak, and has own admirable strengths
- Observant about everything except self which becomes hilarious blindspot

- Romance and angst (please please please)
- Opposite personalities, perspectives, beliefs chafing against each other
- Protagonists get into a seemingly impossible situation that forces them to admit feelings to one another
- Protagonists both have scars (physically, emotionally, or psychologically)
- Either of the protagonists are irredeemable assholes
- Either of the protagonists are protective or obsessive about the other
- If Person A is a dog, then Person B is his/her person (or vice versa)
- M/F or M/M

- Erotica, but not a dealbreaker; I'm happy enough with fluff
- Alpha male/BDSM, but if dominance/submission trope is going to be subverted (i.e. Person B ends up becoming dominant instead of Person A), it better be damn good

- When either protagonist is sick or dying
- Elaborate love triangles that are a waste of time
- Person B always relying on Person A for everything
- Hot sex with little substance to the story; I would rather a long, drawn-out tension woven throughout a well-written story, with bits of romance and fluff in the end

If you can recommend films or TV shows that I can also binge on, that would be fantastic!
posted by pleasebekind to Grab Bag (7 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
A couple of fanfiction pairings that seem like they might be up your alley:

Arthur/Eames from Inception
* Eames is totally a jerkass with a heart of gold and Arthur is usually the only one he shows that heart of gold to
* Arthur is startlingly competent at everything he does, EXCEPT that he has no idea how to tell Eames he likes him
* Sometimes one or both is written as having a military background or an excessively angsty childhood

Keep the Car Running
Breaking and Entering
I Seem to Be a Verb

James Bond/Q
* Military, think-on-your-feet action guy vs nerdy, plan-everything-thoroughly guy

posted by MsMolly at 11:11 AM on May 6, 2015

A Farm in Iowa [M/M]
It's a Stargate Atlantis AU, but you really don't need to know the show at all to read it.
Also it is LONG and there are sequels, so that should help.

I may be back with more, but that's my go to.
posted by sazerac at 12:31 PM on May 6, 2015 [1 favorite]

Watch The Sentinel. It's not for everyone, mostly due to the enormous cheese factor, but it's four seasons of joy if you like those tropes. See also.
posted by asperity at 2:38 PM on May 6, 2015

Northwest Passage by Kryptaria (BBC Sherlock/John, alternate universe) has what you need, I think. "Seven years ago, Captain John Watson of the Canadian Forces Medical Service withdrew from society, seeking a simple, isolated life in the distant northern wilderness of Canada. Though he survives from one day to the next, he doesn't truly live until someone from his dark past calls in a favor and turns his world upside-down with the introduction of Sherlock Holmes."
posted by tomboko at 4:12 PM on May 6, 2015

The TV show you want for this is Bones (although no sexy screen time).
posted by Night_owl at 10:29 PM on May 6, 2015

I'm sorry that I don't have direct links to stories you might like, but I've been thinking back on the various fandoms I've been in, and these might be places to start looking for the stories you like:

The Sentinel: Jim/Blair (and I agree that the tv series should fit your requirements)
StarGate SG1: Jack/Daniel
StarGate Atlantis: John/Rodney (possibly, John is rather on the laid-back side)
Star Wars Episode 1: Qui-Gon/Obi-Wan(possibly, Qui-Gon is more on the sensitive side, but some AUs may fit)
Harry Potter: Sirius/Remus might fit. Snape/Harry (or Snape/most people) fits as well, if the age difference doesn't squick you. If it does, look for Snape/Lupin.
Merlin BBC: Arthur/Merlin might fit.
The Hobbit: Thorin/Bilbo. Many stories rewrite the canon ending.

and if you don't mind manga, there's From Eroica With Love, which has a small fandom, but still.

I've linked to the AO3 listing for the pairings. If you don't know the site: sort stories by kudos will give you the ones with the most thumbs-up. If you like a story, both check out what other stories/in what other fandoms the author has written plus check their bookmarks, and note the tags on the stories. You can browse tags, if you're lucky you can find a few tags that will reliably get you the kind of story you want. Also, if you get an account you can also see some old stories that were added when older archives were imported: the ones where no author could be reached are set to only be visible to members (this applies for example to Sentinel).

Outside of fanfic, one of the big themes of romance novels is the big alpha hero who only discovers his love for that one special woman (or occasionally guy in m/m romance), try googling for Alpha heroes in romance novels, you should get tons of recommendations. I know marine/ex-marine/biker heroes are a genre.

Or, if you know a book that fits your criteria, check GoodReads. They tag books and create lists of themes, that may help you find more books you like.
posted by ari_ at 11:41 AM on May 7, 2015

Have you watched Person of Interest? Because I feel like Reese/Finch might be right up your alley. (This dynamic is a little more evident in earlier seasons than later - mostly because there's a smaller core cast - but it's still very present.)

Plus there's fanfic! Look for astolat's stories, especially.
posted by darchildre at 1:03 PM on May 7, 2015 [2 favorites]

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