skieswideopen (skieswideopen) wrote,

Dear Yuletide Author

Dear Yuletide Author,

Thank you so much for writing for me! I'm really looking forward to reading whatever you write!

I've provided some general preferences below, along with some prompts for each fandom, but I want to be clear that optional details are optional. If you like half of a prompt and want to take it in a different direction, go for it. If you have a great idea for a story about these characters, please go ahead and write it. I would appreciate it if you could avoid my "do not wants," but otherwise write the story you want to write.

Things I Like: Competence (so much love for characters being competent!), banter, friendship, understated romance, equal partnerships in romantic relationships, secrets being revealed, first times of all kinds, stories that draw on the characters' pasts, brief moments of vulnerability from stoic characters, stories that pick up dropped plot threads, characters doing the right thing even when it costs them, clever heists and the occasional apocalypse. Happy fic is good, and so is mild to moderate angst with a happy or hopeful or bittersweet ending. I also enjoy a good trope story: road trips and forced proximity and undercover as a couple and truth serum/in vino veritas. I have more favourites here, if you're interested.

Things I'd Rather Not Receive: Dom/sub, A/B/O, genderswap, non-canonical incest, long and detailed descriptions of recoveries from traumatic events, permanent mental or physical injuries to major characters that don't occur in canon, and crack. I'd also rather avoid complete AUs (e.g., coffee shop AUs, high school AUs, vampire AUs, werewolf AUs, etc.) unless otherwise noted. The one exception to this is noir detective AUs. I'm always up for a good hardboiled detective story.

Other Things: I'm flexible on both genre and rating: plot-driven, character-driven, action, introspection, slice of life, gen,'s all good, and so is anything from G to NC-17. Whatever the story calls for. I have squicks but no triggers. I'm good with character death, including main and requested characters, unless otherwise noted. Background non-con is fine if it's helpful for the story, but I'd rather it not be the primary focus of the story. Dubcon is fine if it suits the characters and doesn't traumatize anyone too badly. Holiday fic is lovely if that's what you're in the mood to write, and so is fic that has nothing to do with any holiday. I enjoy angst sometimes as long as the ending is happy or hopeful or bittersweet (i.e., not utterly dark and depressing). I'm equally fine with present or past tense in fic.

And finally, I'm skieswideopen on AO3 as well.

Battle Creek
Requested Character: Milt Chamberlain

Original Prompt: I largely fell for this show because of Milt, with his relentless helpfulness and hyper-competence and ludicrous degree of luck, so I'm really just looking for more of that.

The show ended by giving us one big piece of information about Milt, but that still left us with plenty of unanswered questions that I would loved to see explored through fic. Why has he gone through twelve assistants? Why won't his mother speak to him? Who did he once try to save who didn't want to be saved? Was there more to him being sent to Battle Creek besides the story he gave Russ? Does Milt even know the real reason he was sent to Battle Creek? I'd love to see any of those things explored. I'd also love to just see more of Milt being his helpful, competent, damaged and occasionally snarky self.

A few more thoughts:

I love pretty much everyone on Battle Creek, so please feel free to include whoever you prefer. If it matters, I'm especially fond of Russ, Guziewicz, Holly and Font, but everyone is welcome.

Milt's partnership with Russ is at the heart of the show, so anything about the two of them as partners and maybe eventually friends would be great. (I have to admit, Milt's expression in the finale when Russ called Milt his partner and said he wasn't going anywhere broke my heart a little.) Milt/Russ is good too, if that's how you roll.

Alternately, I'm also I'm also interested in Milt's relationships with people besides Russ, whether it's Russ being away and someone else partnering with Milt for the day, or Milt helping out someone else with a personal problem or a case, or just a conversation over drinks.

I'd also be delighted to read anything that draws on Milt's past: his childhood in Monaco and Iran (what did his parents do?) and/or his subsequent language skills (undercover potential?), or an earlier assignments as an FBI agent, or maybe have someone from his past showing up. (His mother? Marjorie? A childhood friend?)

For ship fic, I'll definitely read Milt/Russ, especially if involves them both still being snarky and prickly until they're finally forced to admit how they feel and/or stumble into bed together. However, I also love Russ/Holly, so if you want to keep the two of them together and keep Milt single (or bring in an OC--male or female--for him), that's great too. If you want to go the OC route: Milt told Russ he'd been in love--was he telling the truth? Who was it? What happened? What might happen if they turned up again? Alternately, what kind of partner would suit the current, carefully constructed Milt? What might that relationship look like?

Favourite shippy tropes include undercover as a couple, forced proximity (handcuffed together! locked in a room!) and truths forced out by alcohol or circumstance. I also like first times and slow burns and gradual seductions. Or combine it with a case! Whatever you like.

Or hey, have a bunch of people wake up with super powers one day and show the Battle Creek PD dealing with that, or have a former spy-turned-criminal shoot up a couple of them with experimental CIA truth serum, or send them on a road trip somewhere.

Being Human (US/Canada)
Requested Characters: Aidan Waite, Nora Sergeant

Original Prompt: This is an either/or request, so feel free to leave out either Aidan or Nora if you only want to write about one of them. Both are welcome, of course, but I'll be happy as long as at least one of them is the focus of the story.

If you do want to write them both, Aidan and Nora's friendship was one of my favourite things about season four, and I'd love to read more about that. Maybe something set during the period when Josh was in full-time wolf mode looking at how they navigated those early days and set up that elaborate system for covering for Josh's absence? Or the two of them supporting each other when one wanted to give up? Or coming to terms with past disagreements?

I'd also be interested in seeing more about how the supernatural intersects with either Aidan's or Nora's work, during the series, pre-series (Aidan), or post-series (Nora): ghosts, people with supernatural problems, supernatural beings, or their own abilities helping and/or hindering their work.

Or how about an AU in which Aidan and Nora became friends instead of Aidan and Josh? Or something about Aidan, Nora, Josh and Sally all hanging out or facing some problem together? Or something else entirely! I have more ideas in my letter if you're looking for something else.

I generally liked the ending of this show, but I can also see other ways it could have gone, so I'm pretty neutral on whether you want to keep the ending, change the ending, or write something set earlier in the show that has nothing to do with the ending--whatever makes you happy. However, I never really got into Aidan/Sally, so if could avoid making their relationship the main focus of the fic, I'd appreciate that. And I'd prefer to stay away from Aidan/Josh altogether.

I loved BHUS, and Aidan and Nora were my two favourites from the main characters.

I love Aidan's courage. I love that he fights so hard to be good when it would be so much easier to go back to being a monster. I love the way he takes care of his roommates--not just protecting them, but making sure they're okay emotionally and comforting them when they're not. And I love the fact that he's (mostly) competent and knowledgeable as a friend, as a guide to the supernatural, and (reluctantly) as a leader of vampires.

I love Nora's strength and the way she adapted to and learned to thrive in the whole supernatural world she was unwillingly thrust into.

As I said above, I'd love to read more about Aidan and Nora's friendship or their lives at work.

If you're a Josh fan, I'd enjoy reading more about Aidan and Josh in the early days of their friendship, before they become roommates. Something about Aidan introducing Josh to the whole supernatural world, or Josh slowly learning more about Aidan's past, or the two of them slowly bonding?

Or I'm always happy to read more Josh/Nora. Maybe something from that period between seasons two and three when it was just the two of them? What were their reactions at the end of season two? Or how did they get to where we saw them at the beginning of season three? Or Nora meeting Josh's family. Or something where they're interacting with non-supernatural friends or colleagues. Or something from their lives post-series, like working through the kid issue, or dealing with all of the werewolf wives after their husbands died.

For Aidan, my favourite romantic partner was Kat. Kat wasn't nominated and I absolutely don't expect anything about her, but if you happened to like them together, I'd definitely read something about them. Personally, I think Kat was absolutely right to dump Aidan, but I still thought they were adorable with their bonding over history and unexpected outbursts of honesty. I'd enjoy reading a happier version of their relationship: a moment of happiness before things went bad or Aidan supplying Kat with historical details and her wondering how he knows or an AU where their relationship ran a little longer and Aidan was faced with regular relationship things like meeting Kat's family. Or even a post-series AU where Aidan lives, and Kat runs into a supernatural problem (Family curse? Haunted classroom? Student who confesses to Kat they see ghosts?) and reluctantly turns to Aidan for help. The one thing I would ask if you pursue this path is that you don't have Aidan kill Kat.

I'd also love more about Nora and Kat and their friendship. They were apparently fairly close friends once until Kat found out about Aidan and understandably felt betrayed. Do they ever run into each other again? Does Kat ever forgive her? Maybe Nora is the one Kat turns too if she encounters a supernatural situation post-series? Or maybe Nora feels compelled to let her know that Aidan has died? How would Kat feel about that?

For something completely different, I wouldn't mind something from Aidan's past. Maybe something from the days when Aidan helped Bishop run Boston, or more about Aidan teaching Henry what it means to be a vampire and how vampire politics work, or prepping for that visit from Mother and Suren, or something about Aidan on his own--how he learned about witches or when he decided to become a nurse or one of his rounds of military service or why Bishop talks about him as the great warrior or what made him decide that human lives have value after all or something else form his past. I'm not an Aidan/Bishop fan, but Aidan/Henry could be interesting if you lean that way.

The Collector
Requested Characters: Morgan Pym, Maya Kandinski

Original Prompt: I'd love to see a story that explores Morgan and Maya's relationship after Maya finds out the truth about who Morgan is and what he does. Something that answers some of the questions left unanswered at the end of the show would be lovely, or something addressing the UST, or just a client-of-the-week case where Maya knowing the truth enables her to help Morgan in some way. Gen, UST, and full-out ship fic would all be equally awesome.

If you want to go in a completely different direction, something about Maya investigating the supernatural aspects on her own or more on her friendship with Taylor would be awesome. I'd also enjoy something about Morgan's hobby as a medical researcher. What other medical advances has he made over the years. Or maybe just something about how Morgan fills his time--all those sleepless nights!-- apart from the work he does. If you're going one of these routes, I'm okay with only including one of the two of them in the story.

My annual Yuletide request! The Collector was a tiny Canadian show that I don't think too many people outside of Canada saw. I enjoyed it for the historical flashbacks, for the interesting and sometimes troubling worldbuilding (how is it fair that someone can be sent to hell strictly because of what someone else did?), and because Morgan didn't always succeed. Sometimes he saved his client, sometimes he didn't, and you never knew which you were going to get.

Morgan can be difficult at times--overly secretive even when he doesn't need to be and angry in situations where a lighter touch might be more effective--but I really admire his persistence in trying to save others despite having no hope that he'll ever achieve salvation himself, and I love that he's managed to hold onto some sort of optimism and hope and faith in people despite everything he's seen. I also admire that he's essentially chosen to stand alone: reluctantly working with the devil because he must, but not really on heaven's or hell's side.

Maya is just all-around great. I love her stubborn efforts to rebuild her life; I love that she's trying hard not to waste the second chance she's been given; and I really admire her courage in being willing to go to hell early to save someone else. I'd like to see her succeed at creating the life she wants, whether or not that includes Morgan.

Other thoughts and ideas:

I really liked that the show found a way for Maya to find out what Morgan does and stick around afterward, and I'd love to see more follow-up on what happens after Maya learns the the truth. Seeing her learn more about what collectors do, or hearing stories about Morgan's past, or just making use of the fact that Maya is the only person Morgan sees regularly who knows the truth. What does it mean for Morgan to have someone he can talk to? What does it mean for Maya to know what's going on and have to live with it? How much does Morgan tell her about his past? Does Maya ever meet any of the other people Morgan has saved? And so on.

From a ship perspective, Maya and Morgan's relationship seems to run hot and cold, largely due to Morgan pulling away at key moments and confessing his love at the most inconvenient times (like just before pushing the button to send Maya to hell). I'd enjoy seeing something that addresses that. Is it Morgan's attempt to protect Maya from the devil? From himself? Is he not used to the idea yet that he can talk to her without sending her to hell? Is there something else going on? Can they achieve an equal relationship given the way things started? Even if they don't end up together, it would be interesting to see them talk about their relationship.

If you're feeling particularly ambitious, I'd adore seeing someone address one of the many plotlines left dangling after cancellation. Why did the devil choose Morgan (and create collectors) in the first place? Why did the devil agreed to let Morgan try to save people? (Morgan keeps insisting to people that the devil always wins; is the devil somehow winning here too?) What role is heaven is playing in all of this? Will Morgan ever achieve any sort of salvation? Why did the devil want Morgan to take Maya to Europe? What's Gabriel's role in all of this? I'm okay with leaving Maya out of this kind of story if the plot doesn't lend itself to her presence, although if you can find a space for her, that's great too.

Intelligence (US)
Requested Characters: Riley Neal, Gabriel Vaughn

Original Prompt: I love that Gabriel and Riley are both super-competent and that both regularly get moments to shine. I love how protective they are of each other. I love the snark. I love that Riley is willing to protect Gabriel, but refuses to be the one to keep him in line--that she decides early on that he has the right to look for his wife and she's not going to try to stop him. I also love that she pushes everyone, including him, to remember that he's still human. I love that they both do what they think is right, rather than what they're ordered to do. And I love how much they respect and trust each other.

As far as story ideas go, I'm always up for mission fic, especially if it involves new and interesting uses for the chip. I'm also interested in following up on any of the the threads from the show, like the Athens list or finding the sleeper agent whom the Flood was hoping would be elected president, or maybe tracking down some of the other Tigers from the photo, or finding out what Leland was up to with Mei Chen, or looking at whether Amelia really turned (and why she warned Gabriel about the hospital bombing).

For a less plot-driven approach, tropes like drunken confessions and undercover as a couple and minor hurt/comfort (especially if Gabriel is doing the comforting) could definitely be fun.

Or jump ahead and look at where Gabriel and Riley--and the program--might be in ten years.

And have a few more ideas, in case the first set didn't inspire you:

I'm always up for more chip!fic. What other uses does Gabriel find for the chip? What it's like being able to learn every detail about every neighbour, every friend, every random store clerk? What would he do if he discovered someone he knew outside of Cyber Comm was in trouble or had a dangerous secret? Or maybe have him tackling some unexpected emergency alone, trying to keep people safe without revealing his secret--or being forced to reveal his secret.

I'd also be interested in touching on either of their pasts. Have Norris or another of Gabriel's old Delta comrades or one of the people Gabriel and Riley helped turn up again, and deal with all the questions they might have. Or go pre-series and look at why Gabriel joined the army and why Delta, or how he found out about his brother's death, or his mother's implied breakdown and how he dealt with her alcohol problems or why she tried to keep him out of the army.

Or show Riley dealing with her family, either present-day or in the past. What was it like for her to effectively lose her mother right after the trauma of killer her mother's boyfriend? What's her relationship with her father and/or siblings like now? What convinced her mother to finally start talking to her again? Or have her brother come pay her a visit and get tangled into whatever they're up to.

Or send one of them back (accompanied by the other?) for some event--a wedding, a funeral, a family emergency--and see what happens.

Or write about the future and how Cyber Command goes about rebuilding the U.S. intelligence community after Weatherly's betrayal.

Or--and this is in no way expected AT ALL--if you happen to be aching to write an Intelligence/Madam Secretary story, I would definitely read that. Maybe Gabriel and Riley get sent along on one of Elizabeth's foreign jaunts (presumably with their own assignment), or Henry finds himself working with them?

Madam Secretary
Requested Characters: Henry McCord, Dmitri Petrov

Original Prompt: Henry recruited Dmitri as a spy with some fairly intense emotional manipulation and then failed to provide the protection he promised (though certainly not for lack of trying). Dmitri clearly has mixed feelings about Henry when he's released, and Henry--despite successfully recovering Dmitri--is probably still carrying a fair bit of guilt. do things go for them after Dmitri returns to the States? Did Dmitri pretty much forgive Henry in that moment at the border checkpoint, or is he still angry? Does Henry feel like he owes something to Dmitri? Dmitri has to build a whole new life for himself; what kind of support or help does Henry offer? Do the two of them manage to make peace? And what does Dmitri do with himself after he recovers? Does his sister join him in the US? Does he regret his decision to spy for the US? Does he get drawn back into the US intelligence community in some role--perhaps during a crisis--or is he completely done with that part of his life?

If you're writing something post-"Vartius," I'm okay with Dmitri struggling with the transition I'm also okay with him having a surprisingly smooth transition. Either way, though, I'd prefer a happy ending or an ending that offers some hope for future happiness for him (i.e., please don't kill him off or otherwise completely destroy his life).

Oh, and because I love Elizabeth and Henry's marriage so much, I'm going to please ask that there be no infidelity or any other betrayal between the two of them.

I don't have much to add as far as prompts go, but I do want to emphasize that I love all of the characters on Madam Secretary--plus Henry and Elizabeth's marriage is probably my favourite television marriage ever--and you're definitely welcome to bring in anyone else who fits your story. Want to show Dmitri interacting with Elizabeth or Stevie or Alison or Jason? Go for it! Want to have Henry talking to Elizabeth about how best to help Dmitri? Sure! Want Dmitri to somehow randomly end up with Nadine or Blake or Jay and trying out whatever cover story they give him and possibly not being believed at all? Or have Talia and Dmitri recovering and adjusting together? I'll read it! I just really want some idea of what happens to Dmitri or maybe learn a little more about him, as I'm not sure the show will ever give us that. (If the show does eventually go there, hey, I'm happy to have two versions to choose from.)

Thank you again for writing for me!

This entry was originally posted at, where it has comment count unavailable comments. Comments are equally welcome on either entry.
Tags: dear author, fandom: battle creek, fandom: being human us, fandom: intelligence, fandom: madam secretary, fandom: the collector, yuletide

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