Dear Yuletide Writer,
It's my tenth Yuletideversary! This challenge is my favorite fandom time of year. I'm thrilled you're here to make my fic dreams come true, and I hope my word-laden squee will not send you running for the hills.
Yes, please: 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. 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, coffee shop, or college variety). Unabashed fluff in the curtainfic vein — 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.
First and foremost, you should know that I love Sally Malik. I love her sarcasm and her self-deprication and her stream-of-consciousness babbling. I love her tendency to screw up while trying to do the right thing, and screw up more when she tries to fix what she's broken. And I love 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. For three and a half seasons, they had this beautiful, honest, healthy, ride-or-die friendship, and I adored every second of it.
And then the show 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. Which is where my request comes in.
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. Maybe she's stuck in a perpetual Groundhog Day loop, testing which things to test until she gets it right. 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 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.
Luke Cage (TV) | Claire Temple
The Request: Heroes come in all shapes and sizes, and Claire Temple is small but mighty.
The Details: This show. This show, this show, this show. I can't begin to tell you how amazing it felt to watch this show from start to finish. The music, the language, the family ties and tiny details… it's a superhero show, yes, in a mainstream Marvel canon, but it's one created specifically for black consumption, with black viewers in mind, and that increased my enjoyment exponentially.
That said, Claire Temple is my favorite part of the Netfix Marvelverse. I'm beyond excited that our Night Nurse is the one weaving that 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 started saving superheroes?
In terms of the bigger picture, I'd love to see what life has been like in between — post-Matt, post-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. With her hands tied, does she gain any insight into her superpowered friends, and why they do what they do? And now that she's walked away from humans in hospitals, and run full tilt toward superheroes and make-it-work medicine, how does she marry the two?
Show me Claire with Soledad, since she's so clearly her mother's child. Show me Claire with Misty, facing off or making peace or doing both at once. Show me Claire with Luke, heading back to New York before the rally or working out a plan through prison glass or finally having that coffee. :)
The Fine Print: I ship Luke/Claire and love the dynamic of tenuous respect struck between her and Misty, so include as much of them as you'd like. Mostly, I just want Claire being her competent, caring, crazy-awesome self.
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: Penny Dreadful was a thing of beauty — well-acted, wonderfully written, sex positive, queer positive, with amazing women and the most gorgeous set design and production value I've 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). And now that it's over, I'm left with more questions than answers.
If you're in it for the Ethan… I have a huge weakness for men with daddy issues, and damn did season three ever feed it. Show me the past sins, all the horrors of the Talbot household — the war between father and son, the bond between Ethan and his sister, the faith he had and lost. Or show me the future — Ethan and Malcolm, trying to carry on when they've lost everything and everyone else (most by their own hand, or some extension of it). Do they move on? Do they self-destruct? Given who Vanessa and Sembene were within the family they made, and how both of them met their end, what impact does guilt have on Ethan? On Malcolm? And are they just haunted in their own heads, or is it more literal than that?
If you're here for the gen, I adore almost nothing more than Ethan and Sembene's friendship. I love that they reserve 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. Likewise, 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. Perhaps there's some kind of farcical Ethan+Sembene+Lyle fiasco (the trio has high tea? Sembene conducts baking lessons?). Perhaps Lyle returns, post-everything, and the men left behind try to carry on together.
If you walk on the shippier side, Ethan and Vanessa. Ethan. And. Vanessa. "We have claws for a reason" became 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 he'd made it back in time? What if, what if, what if. 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.)
The Fine Print: If it helps, have a gander at my Ethan Chandler Tumblr tag. Fix-it fic is more than welcome, for any and all of it. I'm not the biggest fan of Victor, in the context of Ethan (I like his dynamic much more with Vanessa), so there's that, but I adore Brona/Lily and would love to see where she fits post-finale. And where Ethan/Vanessa is concerned, I'm all for canon-influenced kinks. Bondage, bloodplay, marking, maybe some edging. Throw it at me.
The Adjustment Bureau (2011) | Harry Mitchell
The Request: He's lived vicariously since the beginning. In the end, his penance is firsthand experience.
The Details: Who is Harry Mitchell? This movie is one of my favorites — clever, quick, and unique, with a really appealing cast and some thought-provoking concepts. I have a huge soft spot for Elise (that's my Emily Blunt crush talking), but it's Harry that intrigues me most (and my Anthony Mackie crush doesn't help matters). Every time I watch, I wonder who the Adjusters are. They're wearing the standard Wings of Desire / City of Angels uniform — full suit, trench coat — which definitely implies something, but their powers are all about the hat. But do they have powers? Or are they just conduits for the power of the Chairman?
More specifically, though, I wonder about Harry. His ill-timed nap not only changed David and Elise's lives, but may have changed the course of humanity. So the questions I want to pose are these: is Harry a pathological screw-up, or did he catch a few winks on purpose? Were David and Elise flukes, or has Harry been building up to something with a series of small "mistakes" made in other peoples' lives? And most importantly, what's the fallout for the Adjusters in general, and Harry specifically, when all is said and done?
I'd love to see something where Harry gets to live as a human after sending those two on their way, either as punishment or reward. How long has he spent watching humanity before he gets to have a life of his own? What does he envy most about the humans in his charge? Does he get an Adjuster of his own, one he's aware of and can interact with? And is he eager to actually live a life, or is he a little afraid of mortality?
I also like the idea that Harry has fallen for a human he monitors, and this is all an elaborate plan to ultimately join them. Or for another take, what other interesting adjustments has Harry made (and for whom?)
The Fine Print: The original ending featured Shohreh Aghdashloo as the Chairman, and it's become part of my headcanon, so I don't think Harry is secretly God. It's much more interesting, for me personally, that he's just a cog that broke the wheel by squeaking. A lot. :)
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 brain babbling, 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.