So happy to have you! I'm excited for not_primetime and all the wonderful fic it will no doubt heed, but I'm most excited for the wonderful fic you've offered to write especially for me. I have a nasty habit of going a bit overboard in these letters (I give you Exhibit A), so I'm going to keep things as short and sweet as possible.
In general, I am all about characters. There are times I would loooove to be in it for the pretty or in it for the porn, but sadly, my brain will not process without some character I find fascinating. Great characterization is pretty, pretty porn for me. Sad, but true. I love symbolism and subtext and little touches tied to canon. I love epic plottiness and slice-of-life stories. I love conflict that comes from within (as opposed to a big bad conspiring to keep people apart). I love characters of color in the spotlight and women off the sidelines. And I love love love found families (as evidenced by my requests) and trust issues and people lying to themselves about the depths of their feelings for each other (whether that's friendship or family or something else) while their actions paint a different picture entirely.
As dislikes go, I have a an irrational embarrassment squick, a significant infidelity squick, and a massive incest squick. I'm an unabashed angst fan who loves to see Complications Ensue, so full-stop fluff really isn't my thing (though open or hopeful endings are right up my alley!). And I'm not big on random AUs of the "and now they're all pirates!" variety. (Unless it's Sherlock. It's canon that Sherlock wanted to be a pirate, and dammit, there's a casefic in there somewhere.)
With that out of the way, let's move on to the fandom-specific, shall we?
The Avengers (Marvel Movies)
Requested: Bruce Banner, Natasha Romanoff. All this time, he's been telling himself that anger is all he knows. He'd forgotten how much worse guilt can be.
On the eve of the second film, I still need all the fic about these two stemming from the first! I apologize if my request synopsis makes it sound like I want this to be All About Bruce, because that couldn't be farther from the truth. It's just that I think he's put so much stock in mastering his anger that it's slipped his mind how crippling guilt can be. I found myself so intrigued by this dynamic - as crafty and capable and completely awesome as Natasha is, as in control, there's no way for her to apply that to the Hulk. Their little showdown in Kolkata, with his outburst of anger, with that thread of cold terror in her eyes and her posture and the way she held that gun... GUH. The Hulk is something she can't maim, manipulate, or mindfuck, and I don't think she has the slightest clue what to do with that. Anger might be his kryptonite (yes, I know, I'm crossing the streams), but I think fear is hers. And Bruce, after spending so long maintaining his tenuous hold on control, lost it with this woman who's on his side. I think my favorite thing is the non-resolution before the climax, that moment when he half-heartedly apologizes and she never actually accepts. The Widow fights alongside the monster, but Natasha doesn't explicitly forgive Bruce. I'd love to see the fallout from that, especially in light of his confession. From him feeling guilty, and her feeling helpless, and how the two of them are ever going to work when they're not forced to work together for the good of mankind. Gen would be awesome, but pre-pairing would be interesting, too.
P.S. If it helps any, I love Natasha best. :) Feel free to sing me the song of the Widow, and include Steve and/or Sam and/or Maria and/or Fury in the chorus of everlasting praise.
Fast and the Furious Series
Requested: Brian O'Conner, Dominic Toretto, Letty Ortiz, Mia Toretto. The next generation takes the wheel, perhaps in unexpected ways.
The possible exception to my feelings on fluff. I love these movies. I love that everyone involved is on an endless quest to top the last one. I love that you can never quite tell if the movies bred the bond in the cast, or if the cast's familial bond bled onto film. And, without going into too much detail, I love the way they celebrated Paul Walker's too-short time within that family. But I would hate for Brian's story to end there, when he has such a long life ahead of him in fic. In a perfect world, I would love a fic focused on that future family. Maybe Jack is a Toretto through and through, idolizes his Uncle Dom and all things American muscle, but unborn, unnamed daughter is a total daddy's girl who inherits Brian's soft spot for imports. Show me Brian teaching her to drive, or the moment when she says she wants to follow in his footsteps, not behind a wheel but behind a badge. Essentially, tell me the story of Brian being a better father than he thought he would be. If that doesn't float your boat, go a different way. Show me Brian spending his days rebuilding the house, and his nights rebuilding the Charger. Or look back! Show me Brian and Letty, bonding over a beer and a mission and what it's like to love and lose a Toretto. Show me that first sandwich in the shop with Mia, and all the ones in between. This fandom hits every found family button I have, and anything in that wheelhouse will thrill me to bits.
P.S. I am not opposed to Brian/Dom, but I would rather not see it in this fic. F7 is still very bittersweet for me, and at the moment I am totally in it for the hard-won happily-ever-after they made canon.
The Flash (TV 2014)
Requested: Barry Allen, Iris West, Joe West. Love is nonsensical. Their family is the best example.
This show, this show, this show. It's become my TV happy place. True, its women need work (more screen time! More agency! More development!), but the foundation is there -- I like them all, and look forward to their realized potential. Beyond that, the show is kind of perfection, for me: the origin story, the strong supportings, the wealth of little Easter eggs. And best of all, the most interesting found family unit in recent memory. The S.T.A.R. Labs branch is both endearing, with Caitlin and Cisco as the genius siblings who know all the secrets, and super interesting, with the story's real antagonist as its patriarch. But my favorite, favorite thing is the family West. Early on in my viewing, I actually said to my TV "wow, Barry Allen might legitimately be the best man on the planet." And I was wrong, of course I was wrong. Barry is fundamentally a good man, yes, which I absolutely adore -- it's exactly what makes this show everything Smallville tried to be and couldn't. But Barry is a good man because Joe is legitimately the best man on the planet, and Barry is nothing if not his father's son. TL;DR: Sing me The Ballad of Joe West, if you please. I would love to know when his heart started claiming Barry as his own, down to the first time he said "my son" out loud and perhaps surprised himself. Or when he realized his children loved each other in a way that might complicate things -- how he not only accepted, but embraced. Tell me five times grieving Barry or teenaged Barry or bitter Barry tossed out the words "you're not my father," and the one time he called Joe "Dad". Give me the three of them navigating the realities of race dynamics once Barry and Iris reach an age where they're conscious of it through the actions of others. I'll take family pizza night, or Iris and Barry making Mother's Day mean something better when it could suck so much for both of them, or (given the 4/28 episode) Joe the proud papa, five years in the future, walking Iris down the aisle to the only other man he ever really trusted with her. Or just show me the West house before Barry, after Barry, and during Barry's limbo. Basically, I want all the West/Allen family, with a healthy helping of Joe. :)
P.S. I ship Barry/Iris. Ship it like FedEx. But I also like Eddie, and liked Linda, and really don't like infidelity. If you go the shippy route, no cheating, please. I adore Cisco and greatly enjoy Caitlin, so feel free to include them. I'm also very fond of Barry's dad, with all of his insight and affection and acceptance, so please don't discount or diminish their relationship. And I was deeply amused by the new owner of Barry's old house (Sheila?) and all the signals she was sending Joe. If she made a cameo, I would not be opposed.
Sleepy Hollow (TV)
Requested: Abbie Mills, Ichabod Crane. Crane isn't colorblind, he just hasn't had a reason to reveal his research. Yet.
Before it became the Crane Family Therapy Hour, Sleepy Hollow was the perfect slice of escapism. The combination of its character dynamics, clever revisionist history, and race and gender diversity all added up to WIN, for me. I'm hopeful that it will return to it's original "Together, They Fight Crime!" magic, but in the meantime... The show has done a lot of incredibly creative things to lampshade the fact that the world has changed a great deal since Ichabod's heyday, playing up the Man Out of Time angle without being heavy handed or trite. I love that that's true not just of the little things (taxes, plastic, performing "the logging ceremony") but also significant subjects (case in point: the homosexual hat exchange). The light tone and acceptance/interplay of Ichabod's ignorance and other characters' assumptions is one of the things I love the most about this show, and one that I never get tired of seeing in fic. In the pilot, when Abbie and Ichabod first meet, he makes an offhanded comment about emancipation, and the subject hasn't really been broached again. But we know that Ichabod is a man who craves knowledge for the sake of knowledge, has a seemingly endless capacity for historical minutia, and is prone to popping up with random factoids exactly when they're needed. And I refuse to believe that Ichabod works side by side with (and deeply cares for) a black female police lieutenant, has essentially worked for a black male police chief, and presumably has free access to the internet, but has not researched black history in this country in the years he was "dead." So what I'd love to see is some more in-character interplay of Ichabod and Abbie that sheds some light on his knowledge of how and why things have changed in Black America in the past century and a half, and maybe even reveals any insight he has on how they haven't changed. Maybe they have a case that involves an undiscovered offshoot of the Underground Railroad. Maybe he perceives some sort of racial profiling in a local shop, which turns out to be a grudge on the part of someone Abbie arrested once. If trying to tackle something like that is giving you hives, never fear! I will gleefully accept Abbie and Ichabod bantering and being partners, either platonically or romantically. Main arc! Monsters of the week! Movie night! Sister fic! (Admittedly, I would love to see Ichabod struggle through 1776 or something else he would find similarly inaccurate and unbearable, when he's really just there for the popcorn.) And we've seen him take so much in stride - what would it take to tip him over the edge, into full-on twenty-first century overload? Blacklight laser tag? Rocky Horror singalong? Tumblr?
P.S. Full disclosure: this is a repeat of last year's Yuletide request in this fandom (because I want to see it that much, yes, but I'm also just giddy about the prospect of more fic for me. :) ). I'm not asking for issuefic, and I would rather not read Racism 101, Serious Discussions of Privilege, or anything where Abbie feels the need to diffuse, excuse, or apologize. I realize it's a thin line to straddle, with the prompt I've put forward, so please don't stress if it's not something you want to take on. Pick something else, and have fun. Preference-wise, you can never go wrong placing the focus firmly on Abbie, I do ship Ichabod/Abbie, I'm a big fan of Irving and Jenny (and Irving and Jenny together!), and I actually like Hawley a lot. Mostly I just love this show, and Abbie (all the Abbie), and Ichabod and Abbie together.
Everyone else, join in the not_primetime fun!