For the next few days, I would like you to consider this post your "Getting Serious about Fluff" forum (or writing in general).
In honor of mrflyingfingers's birthday, the topic I would like to begin with is "Rugged Fluff" (or, "Manly Fluff" if you prefer).
What I've been thinking about specifically is how men go through the realization and declaration phases of a relationship.
Interestingly enough, in the stories I've been mulling over/working on lately, it is the men who go through the realization/declaration first, which I would think would not be the case in reality (Sirius is particularly girly about it, really). Although, in reality, I think that while I may have had the realization portion first, I did wait for the Admiral to declare, "I love you." before I would say it back. A protective measure really, that is common in romance novels that I've read as well.
But back to the question at hand -- how do men handle and react to romance?
Or, do you have another question that is burning in your brain -- paricularly about men and manly topics this is for Rob, after all.
How 'Bout Dem Dodgers!?!
ETA, there seems to be some difficulty getting the ball rolling. So...I took a chunk of this scene for one of my drabble projects in August, and I already know I want to change it for the actual story...but here is Sirius coaxing an "I love you" out of Irene with one of his own (and a lot of Black charm). This is from an A/U story I'm planning where instead of going off by himself, Regulus enlists the help of Sirius and the Marauders and the seek and destroy of Horcruxes and subsequent defeat of Voldemort basically happens a generation earlier.
***“What are you doing here? Don’t you know you could get yourself killed?” Sirius barked at Irene.
“I believe you came closer to that position than I did,” she said pointedly as she tore his trouser leg around the wound the Bella left and set about cleaning and mending the gash.
“I had it sorted.” Sirius watched her ministrations with a bit of surprise. “Where’d you learn to do that?”
Irene sighed impatiently. “Just because I’m not a Healer doesn’t mean I don’t know a few tricks.”
“You’re not a duelist either,” Sirius pointed out.
“More than a match for your cousin, though,” Irene’s smugness fell a little flatter than usual.
“Getting in Bella’s way isn’t exactly in keeping with your ‘keep a low profile’ philosophy.”
“I know.” She conjured a needle and thread and used her wand to set them about stitching his trousers back together over his newly healed wound.
Sirius suddenly realized she hadn’t looked at him yet. In fact, the last time she looked him in the eye was right before she stopped Bella from delivering a killing blow and then they had been ablaze with…something. Something that had scared and thrilled him all at once.
“Irene.” Suddenly, Sirius was very keen to see those blazing blue eyes again.
“Mmm?” She kept her eyes lowered, though her task was obviously finished. Some strands of hair fell forward providing a bit of a veil.
“What happened to the smart way to handle this war is to stay away from it?” he asked leaning forward to get into her field of vision.
She averted her head further. “Yes, well – apparently I’m not as smart as I thought.”
“That’s quite an admission for you,” he teased.
She shook her head. “I’ve done the stupidest thing I could possibly do and now I’m neck deep in this bloody war.”
Sirius smiled. He knew she didn’t mean battling Bellatrix. “Irene, look at me.”
She whipped her head around, her arms still crossed. Her expression was both defiant and vulnerable.
“Irene, I love you too,” he said.
Her arms dropped and she leaned back with a start. She recovered quickly, though and raised an eyebrow at him. “And what has you thinking that was my meaning, Sirius Black?”
Sirius grinned. Irene’s brogue always broke out when her emotions were high. “You said you did the stupidest thing you could do.” He shrugged. “What could be stupider than falling in love with me?”
She closed her eyes and let out a laughing sigh. “I can’t think of a single thing stupider.”
Sirius thought he saw a drop or two glistening in her closed lashes. He leaned closer not sure if he meant to comfort or tease when her eyes blinked open. Once again he was faces with that blazing something in her eyes. Up close it was even more thrilling.
“I love you, Sirius,” she whispered.
They were so close he felt the warmth of it against his face. “I know.”
She tilted her head and her mouth pressed together in an impatient and expectant line.
“What? I already said I love you too. What do you want from me?” he teased.
“What do I want?” She smiled and he felt her arm snake around his neck as she closed the scant distance between them.
Kissing Irene again, after all these years, was like waking up from a trance.
I don't know how manly that is...but like I said, Sirius is a girl about all that (really, I just say that to get him riled up).
So...comments? Other examples? Like I said, I'm already planning to change a few things, so don't hold back.