Another year, another Yuletide. My ninth, I believe — time flies when you're waxing poetic about tiny fandoms in the hopes that someone else loves them as much as you do. And as that's the very reason why you're here, welcome! I hope my word-laden squee will not send you running for the hills. And if I have rambled on longer for a fandom or two in particular (and I have, I have most definitely done that), it's just my strange stream-of-consciousness, not an indication that I love any of them more or less the others. I want each and every thing I've requested, want them like burning, and I will be thrilled to receive fic for whatever delightful fandom we've matched on.
Yes, please: Character-driven fic (with plot. Or porn. Or plot and porn). :) Found families. Platonic soulmates. Canon divergence. Demonstrating love, not declaring. Magical realism. Verbal sparring (TO THE DEATH). Internal versus external conflict. Symbolism, subtext, and stories that live between the lines. Unique approaches to the narrative (non-linear storytelling, stories that play with format and structure). Broken-boy soldiers, magnificent bastards, snarky sidekicks with hearts of gold. Strong women whose strength isn't all (or at all) physical. Certain tried-and-true tropes: amnesia, huddling for warmth, fake relationships (when they both have Feelings!). Hero's Trials, especially when the hero is female. And good old-fashioned jealousy, when the jealous party is the person who holds the balance of emotional power.
No, thank you: Incest and infidelity. If you take nothing else away from this section, please take that. Completely non-canon AUs (i.e. of the bookshop, coffeeshop, or college variety). Unabashed fluff of the curtainfic variety - I like a dash of salt with my sugar. Sidelined female characters or marginalized characters of color. Second person (sorry!). Animal abuse. Rape as a plot device. PWP. For Yuletide, D/s, BDSM, kinks that end in "play" (and don't start with "fore") except where noted. And bananas. Because reasons.
Being Human (US) | Aidan Waite, Sally Malik
The Request: Finally. In this life, the next, or the ones they never lived.
The Details: I am truly sorry for the word vomit that is about to take place.
Once upon a time, a time of great and terrible sickness, one Yuletider decided to get off her ass (metaphorically, so metaphorically, her physical ass was nigh incapable of movement) and finally cue up the last season of Being Human on Netflix. And it was then, friends, that she was vindicated, for three seasons of shipping had actually paid off.
First and foremost, you should know that I loved Aidan and Sally's friendship more than anything, literally anything, in a show where I loved a whole hell of a lot. Except for that one couch moment (and they had so, so many) early on in season three, when he was newly unearthed and she was a baby zombie and they were both so stinkin' thrilled to be kind-of-alive and able to touch each other that things got kind of weird, their bond was firmly familial and platonic and all the more awesome for it. They fought for each other, they supported each other, they talked to each other — about hopeful things, about hurtful things, about the things that scared them shitless — and it was so damn good. They had this beautiful, honest, healthy, ride-or-die friendship, and I loved every second of it. Did I ship it like FedEx? Of course I did. But I wasn't at all invested in it becoming canon, because the friendship was perfection — I was completely content, and so were they. Not a will they or won't they in sight, which is so very rare for m/f friendships on television. And then word came down that the show had enough money to eke out two threadbare seasons, and the cast & creative team banded together and said "why don't we blow it all on one super solid season?" and all of the sudden the Aidan/Sally endgame, which I hadn't dared hope for, was a very close reality. (All of this unbeknownst to me, of course, because I would not watch said final season for nearly a year after its airing.) A reality that had to happen very quickly, and stem from a friendship that hadn't been anything more. So how did they pull it off?
They wrote an AU.
The events of "Rewind, Rewind…" and "Too Far, Fast Forward" were the best possible way to go from BFFs to True Love in the span of six episodes. Six. Episodes. And you never question it, because they lampshade everything. Even after Sally returns to her own timeline, having spent years reliving a life she never got to have, a life where she was happy and human and in love with her best friend (and then a werewolf, and then a ghost again — do werewolf ghosts get doors?), she tells Nora that neither she nor Aiden had ever looked at each other that way. That she sees things differently now, because of the second life she got to lead, but the Aidan she knows hasn't had the same luxury. And that's the part that fascinates me, because the Aidan she left, willingly, to fix the mess that became of his life and Josh's, was both a vastly different Aidan and not. She gets to him so early on in that life — before he kills Rebecca, before he falls prey to Bishop, before he slips back into drinking live and being everything he hates. He's hopeful and optimistic Aidan. And he stays that way, because he falls for Sally. He's happy. He's on the wagon. He's not mourning Celeste or Suzanna or whoever else haunts Aidan Prime's heart, though he's loved and lost them just the same. He doesn't become what he fears until he loses Sally. Until she's dead, and he takes his vengeance. And then he's pretty much the worst Aidan we've ever seen. And I say all that because it's directly related to my request. I swear. :)
When Donna agrees to send Sally back, she says that it's not an exact science, and Sally will ping through time until she settles. So what if there are these infinite alternate universes, where these three people are destined to collide in some capacity, and Sally spent time (however infinitesimal) in some of them, even if she can't consciously remember? Does she take what she learned in the first alternate timeline and try to do things differently? Maybe she plays with different points of first contact. Maybe she lets Josh and Nora happen more organically. Maybe she takes matters into her own hands and tries to kill Bishop or Marcus on her own. Does history always repeat itself? Is she always doomed to die at someone else's hand, or is their reality, where she sacrifices herself — saving and dooming and saving him again — their best possible outcome?
Alternatively, you can disregard all that and write me something awesome about hijinks or house meetings or the hilarity of the three of them sitting down to dinner when Josh is the only one who eats or five times someone walked in on someone else in the shower (and whether or not there was blood involved). Or afterlife sex. That will totally work.
TL;DR: I love these two insanely as friends, but I also ship it hard. Have a ball.
The Fine Print: I love Sally most (could you tell?). And Aidan's right behind her. But I also love Nora and Josh (and their wonderful family unit), and Emily, and Zoe, and Suren and Donna and Bishop and Kat and pretty much anyone who is not Danny. Include as few or as many of them as you wish. And for the any sex not of the afterlife variety (where I don't think it would apply), Aidan's a vampire, Sally might be human, feel free to introduce some feeding/blood drunk euphoria.
Hamilton — Miranda | Alexander Hamilton, Angelica Schulyer
The Request: The great love of his life is a story only half told.
"I'm about to change your life."
"Then by all means, lead the way."
So show me their unsent love letters, or aborted confessions, or conversations in innuendo and double entendre. Show me five times something happened that changed the course of their relationship. Show me Eliza choosing to share after all, out of love for both her sister and her husband — maybe Eliza took the kids upstate, but convinced Angelica to stay behind and help Alexander, since their two minds were definitely better than one. Show me the "longing for Angelica." Show me the story of that strategic comma. Show me the fallout of Angelica's trip to New York, post-Maria, after she's seen to her sister and has to deal with the man they both love — what does she do with her own letters? I am so here for clever wordplay, for history through hip hop, for declarations of love and dedication done Def Poetry style.
If you're not shippy at all with these two, that's totally fine! My favorite thing is their dynamic — the affection, yes, but also the trust and the mutual respect. Tell me about their meeting of minds, their journey to Angelica-the-Advisor, their adventures as partners in crime. Also, it may be worth mentioning that I have a serious soft spot for Daddy Issues (and Alexander's "I'm not your son/call me son one more time" to Washington does things to me, okay?). I'd love to see a moment post-pregnancy reveal, where he confides in Angelica some kind of insecurity about the father he will make.
Or, if you're as big a Lin-Manuel Miranda stan as I am... FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS HOLY, IN THE HEIGHTS FUSION.
Forgive me, dear Writer, that got away from me. But how awesome would it be if they were together in New York, in modern times? Angelica as Vanessa, living in a time when she's free to be as intelligent and independent as she wishies, but with none of the trappings — or privilege — that wealth once brought. Hamilton as Usnavi, an immigrant New Yorker via yet another ship, forever young, scrappy, and hungry, only to find himself at a loss for significant words without the buffer of pen and paper. What happened that he's so eager to return to the Carribean and leave the America he helped build? What happened that she's no longer interested in finding like minds or forming any connections? Other characters would be more than welcome — is Eliza now present-day Nina, close friend to Vanessa and sometimes confidant to Usnavi? Maybe Hamilton and Laurens were born of the same blood in this life, with one taking the other underwing, and Laurens-as-Sonny still has grand plans for justice and change (while Grafitti Lafayette lives a little more loosely). Maybe Peggy works in the salon. Maybe George Washington runs the cab company (I SEE YOU, CHRIS JACKSON). Is Usnavi the only one who remembers their previous life? Does Vanessa have dreams or flashbacks or moments of deja vu? Is the blackout an impetus for the return of everyone's memory? If you're down for a modern AU with a side of reincarnation, by all means, go nuts.
The Fine Print: Please don't show me sistercest, or bash/villify/disregard Eliza. She is every bit as awesome as Angelica, and Hamilton loved her, and she did great and wonderful things in the fifty years she waited to be with him again. Randomly, "Wait For It" made me cry the first time I listened, and I think there are some interesting areas of intersectionality between Burr, Alexander, and especially Angelica to be explored (most keenly the notion of wanting not only things you can't have, but people you can't be with) — if you want to include him anywhere, I am absolutely down with that.
Parade's End | Sylvia Tietjens
The Request: Sylvia at her string-pulling best, and a glimpse at the "why" behind it all.
The Details: This is a threepeat request, to the letter, because I still crave it so. Sylvia is polarizing, to say the least. But, as you can gather from every previous fic exchange I've participated in, polarizing characters are kinda my thing. :) And I absolutely adore her. Have a note from my Tumblr:
I’m shocked at all the Sylvia hate, fandom. Truly shocked. This is a woman with a brilliant mind that’s gone unchallenged by education, a brilliant mother who unfairly judges every one of her daughter’s steps by her own, and a brilliant husband who unconsciously rejects every effort she makes in their relationship. She manipulates people to prevent dying of boredom, but also because she’s invested in whatever’s at the center of the drama she creates. She loves Christopher, in her maddening, destructive, middle-school-boy-who-pokes-you-with-a-s
tick way. She manipulated him once - into marriage - and hasn’t been able to do so properly since. And it drives her nuts, but she loves him a little for that, too.
TL:DR: REBECCA HALL, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN.
My Sylvia problem, in a nutshell. So I'd love to see her doing what she does best - staving off boredom and stirring up trouble, with sly looks and a silver tongue. I'd love to see where she started, back when she was Sylvia Satterthwaite, smoking and swaying in that train car and setting the perfect trap for Christopher. Or where she ends up, once she's set him free. Show me that single night after those five long years, and what happened once her husband apologized. Or cutting down the cedar, and whether she simply watched it fall or struck the first blow herself. Or an ambush-by-tea with Valentine. Or the fork in the canon road that made things end differently! Basically, any blanks you choose to fill will give me grabby hands.
The Fine Print: If you couldn't tell, I love Sylvia Tietjens. Please don't vilify her for being a complex, complicated woman who knows her own mind in a time when that wasn't acceptable. For ship writers, Christopher/Sylvia is twisty and complicated, and that's exactly how I like it. As far as my infidelity squick goes, it's just par for the course for Sylvia — nevermind the fact that her husband's one dalliance eventually ended her marriage — so don't sweat it in this case.
Penny Dreadful (TV) | Ethan Chandler
The Request: "We’ve all done things to survive. There are such sins at my back it would kill me to turn around."
The Details: I thought long and hard about what to request in this fandom. Should I request Ethan and Vanessa, for angst-fueled almost-lovers? Ethan and Sembene, for shared secrets among BFFs? Ethan and Lyle, for capers and hijinks? Ethan, Dorian, and Lily, for the inevitable moment he crosses paths with the immortal man he hooked up with once (that we know of) and the doomed woman he loved and lost (but is somehow alive again)?
And then I realized… you want it all, idiot, just request Ethan.
Penny Dreadful is the show I resisted for too long, despite a cast full of people I adore (Eva Green! Timothy Dalton! Rory Cochrane! Billie Piper!) and several people insisting that I watch. When I finally did, it was like lightning in a bottle — well-acted, wonderfully written, sex positive, queer positive, with amazing women and the most gorgeous set design and production value I'd seen in a long while. Eva Green's Vanessa Ives is a tour-de-force performance, perhaps the most physically demanding on television, and she commits so effortlessly. I fell hard for both Sembene and Danny Sapani, who I'd been unfamiliar with before, and the strength and grace and sheer presence with which he created a character who was, in truth, woefully underused. But (somewhat unsurprisingly, given my love of all things Hartnett), the character I'm most attached to is one Ethan Chandler. That combination of "lone wolf unconsciously hunting for a pack" and "born protector who's selective in deciding where his unwavering loyalties lie" is like catnip to me. That he happens to be a bisexual werewolf in Victorian London (in a canon that also includes a trans* courtesan, a gay Jewish scholar, a pansexual Dorian Gray, and a sexually ambiguous heroine who is also a witch) only makes it worse (in the "decidedly better" sense). Have I mentioned that I love this show?
So give me all the Ethan, please. If you're here for the gen, I adore almost nothing more than Ethan and Sembene's friendship. I love that they have reserved their darkest secrets for each other. I love that they fight and plot and do the dishes as a team. I love love love that they have these wonderful moments of levity within this looming reality. Elsewhere in Tales of Gen, every exchange between Ethan and Lyle in "Verbis Diablo" had me grinning like a loon. We didn't get to see them do much plundering — perhaps hijinks at the British Museum are in order. For something more on the serious side, Lyle recounting the Lupus Dei prophecy for Ethan, unaware that he's telling the man his own story. Or some kind of farcical Ethan+Sembene+Lyle (the three of them have high tea? Sembene conducts baking lessons?). For a random idea I find super intriguing, Ethan and Joan Clayton somehow cross paths — is she aware of his importance? And for shit just got real, Ethan happens upon Dorian and Lily in their ongoing quest to conquer the world. How much of Brona does Lily remember (and does she count Ethan among the men who must kneel)? What's the fallout from the whole encounter (and how much blood is spilled)? Who the hell is the middle of the sandwich (or do they take turns)? These are important questions.
On the shippier side of things, Ethan and Vanessa. Ethan. And. Vanessa. "We have claws for a reason" has become such a siren's call, for me — what if he'd succeeded in the kill he tried to spare her from? What if he had stayed, when she asked him to? What if she'd said yes to that vision of what her life could be, and they lived out normal days as normal people in a normal house with their normal children and were madly in love until the end of the world? What if, what if, what if? And what happens now? You could always go darker — what if Vanessa wasn't alone in her possession, and the Ethan at her bedside hadn't been a figment, but the devil animating Ethan's body while he was trapped in his own head? Fallout from that could be delicious. (Or, to save on postage… Ethan and Sembene, in secret. Just sayin.)
And if you're just in it for the Ethan... what exactly is he running from? He's such a crack shot, but is the furthest thing from trigger-happy — what were his experiences as a sharpshooter like, and how have they changed him? Why the hell is he fluent in Latin — was faith once that important to him?
The Fine Print: If it helps, have a gander at my Ethan Chandler Tumblr tag. As I said, I love all things Ethan and Sembene. But I hate what the show did to them, so no aftermath fics, please — I'm not ready just yet. Fix it fic, though, is more than welcome! If you're delving into Ethan's time in the Indian Wars, please tread carefully and respectfully — my grandfather grew up on a Montana reservation, so I have appropriation sensitivity, both in culture and fiction. I'm also not the biggest fan of Victor, in the context of Ethan (I like his dynamic much more with Vanessa), so there's that. And where smut is concerned, I'm all for canon-influenced kinks. Bondage, bloodplay, marking, maybe some edging. Throw it at me.
Sleepy Hollow (TV) | Abbie Mills, Jenny Mills, Macey Irving
The Request: Joe Corbin isn't the only offspring with questions. Macey has a few of her own, and only the Mills sisters have the answers.
The Details: Every time this show starts a new season, I find myself wishing it knew what it wants to be. (Hint: It's the Abbie & Ichabod Hour, featuring snarky sidekick Jenny Mills.) When it's on it's so on — clever revisionist history! Women with agency! Positive POC familial bonds and relationships! I love Abbie's skepticism and Jenny's adaptability, their acknowledgement of old wounds and their dedication to new possibilities, and the impeccable team they make. And I love that the show doesn't pit the Abbie-and-Ichabod dynamic against Abbie-and-Jenny.
They're now on their second revamp, they've finally lost Katrina, but they've also lost Frank (and I call foul there) and Sheriff Reyes (who had so much potential), and gained Lance Gross (that gets a pass), Pandora (jury's still out), and a godawful Betsey Ross (which is pretty much a lateral move from Katrina). And Joe Corbin, which, meh. As he and Jenny went on their mini quest during last week's episode, I found myself thinking, "this would be so much better if the young Padawan with the wayward father was actually Macey Irving."
So hello, Yuletide!
Four years is a long time. By my calculations, Macey would be about seventeen now — a young girl who's smart, who's lost the father she loved, and who distinctly remembers being possessed by a demon. Maybe she starts her own research, first into her father's "death," then into his voluntary disappearance, and all roads lead to the Mills sisters. Maybe Abbie objects, but Jenny knows all too well what it's like to be a victim of circumstance, to be out of control of your own life, to lose a parent to things she doesn't understand, and takes Macey under her wing. Maybe, she reasons, it's for her own good. Maybe she feels like she owes Frank. Maybe Macey kind of cons her into it. Any way it happens, I would love to see Macey as the Witness Apprentice — in charge of the Archives, doing the research, connecting all the dots, like Team Witness' very own Oracle. How much does her mother know? Does she ever get to save the day with her own hands? Does one incident in particular make Abbie come around? And is Frank keeping tabs on them all?
As an alternative, the vagueness of Jenny's responses about Frank in the season three premiere have me curious. Maybe she's the one keeping tabs on the Irving family. Reflective visits with Macey (hard questions? Loaded silence? Weapons training?) over the years we didn't see would be lovely.
The Fine Print: Macey POV would be wonderful, but so would Jenny's. Ichabod is more than welcome, as are any and all incidents of Macey teaching him something (in whatever capacity), but for obvious reasons, I prefer he not be the focus of the story. And I was a fan of Hawley, and Jenny and Hawley's dynamic — I can see him being a fan of Macey's, but also not being the most responsible teacher.
So that's my pitch, for five different fandoms. If I lost you somewhere in the madness, never fear: tell a story, enjoy yourself, and have a wonderful Yuletide. I look forward to whatever you have in store for me.