For this challenge, I’m going to write about Hurt/Comfort.
I’ve no idea why I love H/C, but I do, and I always have, even before I knew fanfiction existed. I love the idea of a strong, independent person becoming vulnerable, hopefully temporarily because I'm a sucker for happy endings - and being forced to behave in a way that is contrary to their character; to accept help and sympathy. In a way, this can apply to the comforter too, where the comforter maybe someone who is not used to being tactile or nurturing in the usual course of their lives - for instance, Castiel.
There doesn’t have to be a point to all this; I’m not bothered if the story doesn’t lead to any significant character growth or development. I simply want to immerse myself in the strife and suffering of the victim and the caring and nurturing of the comforter. It's chocolate cake for my soul!
As I am only active in the Supernatural fandom, for me, H/C has to be Dean-centric to hold my attention, or in terms of RPF, Jensen-centric, as he is generally regarded as the more stoic partner in J2. That also applies to any story where Dean or Jensen's facade of strength is broken, and an inner vulnerability is exposed, whether it be physical, like an illness or a weakness, or psychological, like low self-esteem or shyness, it all works for me!
I believe touch and closeness is an enormous part of the human bonding experience. I'm very tactile, and an enthusiastic hugger (and huggee!) so for me, to experience that closeness as an onlooker is every bit as satisfying. That touch doesn’t have to be sexual, it can be completely platonic but a well-written H/C that ramps up the hurt and manages to tread the line of helplessness and vulnerability without crossing over into melodrama can grab me on such an intense and sub-conscious level, that it can literally leave me breathless.
I'm happy to read H/C which is both gen and slash, but for me in a slash H/C, the sex is completely secondary to the hurt/comfort element of the story, however well it’s written.
Here are a few recs of the kind of things I love ...
Not Such a Damsel in Distress by sasha_dragon
Royally Complicated by Aythia
A Four-legged Friend by me!
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