Welcome! First, thank you for offering your time and talents toward a brand new story for little old me. I have a habit of tipping into excess with this letters, so I'll try to keep the general tidbits short and sweet, so that we might skip straight to the main course: whichever of my much-loved fandoms you're ready and waiting to write.
First and foremost, I am all about characters. There are times I would loooove to be in it for the pretty or 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 AUs of the school or shop variety - certain fandoms are exceptions, but in general, I need a canon point of origin somewhere.
With that out of the way, let's move on to the fandom-specific, shall we?
Daredevil (TV) | Claire Temple
Requested: Heroes come in all shapes and sizes, and Claire Temple is small but mighty.
Yes, I know the show is named for Matt Murdock's alter-ego, but both seasons have been all about other characters for me. Season Two is undisputably (and deservedly) The Frank Castle Show, but the first season, for me, was All About Claire.
I'm so excited that our Night Nurse will be the one weaving the Marvel Netflix world together, but I'd love to know how she holds it together. She's such a fascinating character to watch -- a skeptical believer, an idealistic realist, a tough-as-nails bleeding heart. I would love a glimpse into that duality, and what shaped it. Was she the product of a nuclear family and a byproduct of New York City? Who was Claire Temple before she pulled a devil out of a dumpster?
In terms of the bigger picture, I'd love to see what life has been like in between -- post-Matt, post-Jessica and Luke, post-plummet out a whatever story window. Post-job, even. Claire's a hero in her own right. She saves lives and helps people in broad damn daylight, in a costume of surgical masks and scrubs. Now that she's walked away from that, where does she go? How does she cope? And with her hands tied, does she gain any insight into her superpowered friends, and why they do what they do? And, just because I can't not put it out there, what would happen if she crossed paths with Frank Castle? Maybe the aftermath of the finale showdown, maybe earlier. I don't know why I feel like these two would be wonderful foils for each other, but I do (I really, really do), so if you're feeling uber creative, have at it.
Mostly, I just want Claire being her competent, caring, crazy-awesome self.
The Flash (TV 2014) | Barry Allen, Iris West, Joe West
Requested: Love is nonsensical. Their family is the best example.
This show, this show, this show. It's become my TV happy place. The show is kind of perfection, for me: the origin story, the strong supportings, the diversity, the wealth of little Easter eggs. I love that the women of this universe are allowed to be the heroes of their own stories. Best of all, though, this show contains the best found family unit on television. 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 new family dynamics now that Wally is in the picture, or 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 loved Eddie, and loved Linda, and really hate infidelity. If you go the shippy route in something pre-Season Two, no cheating, please. I adore Cisco and Caitlin and E-2 Harrison, so feel free to include them. I'm also very fond of Henry Allen, with all of his insight and affection and acceptance, so please don't discount or diminish their relationship.
Hamilton — Miranda | Alexander Hamilton, Angelica Schulyer
Requested: 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.
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.
Penny Dreadful (TV) | Ethan Chandler
Requested: "We’ve all done things to survive. There are such sins at my back it would kill me to turn around."
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. But despite my rabid love of Vanessa (and Eva Green's performance), Sir Malcolm, and wonderful and woefully-underused Sembene, 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, would be interesting. Or some kind of farcical Ethan+Sembene+Lyle (the trio has 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 that 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 song, 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 Vanessa's catatonia in 4x01 was months of lucid dreaming of that life, and all the ways it would become a waking nightmare? 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 (and if so, what happened to make him lose it)?
Some of these are repeat requests, and some I've droned on about for far too long, but please know that I love each of these canons equally and insanely, and will be thrilled with fic for any one of them. Have fun!