skieswideopen (skieswideopen) wrote,

Dear Yuletide Author 2018

Dear Yuletide Writer,

Thank you so much for writing for me! I'm excited to read whatever you write.

I've provided some general preferences below along with some prompts for each fandom. Hopefully something here will inspire you! If not, optional details are optional; go ahead and write the story you want to write. Though if you could avoid my DNWs, I'd appreciate it.

Also, I'm skieswideopen on AO3 and on Tumblr, though I don't use the latter very much.

Things I Like: Competence (so much love for characters being competent!), secrets coming out (by choice, by chance or by necessity), equal partnerships in romantic relationships, outsider POVs, brief moments of emotional vulnerability from generally stoic characters, learning something new about a character, and stories that pick up dropped plot threads. Favourite tropes include road trips, forced proximity (handcuffed together, snowed in, etc.), truth serum, in vino veritas, undercover as a couple (or spontaneously posing as a couple to avoid detection), and heading home for weddings, funerals or high school reunions.

Things I Don't Want: BDSM, A/B/O, genderswap, incest, fusions, long and detailed descriptions of recovering from traumatic events, permanent mental or physical injuries to requested characters that don't occur in canon and requested characters in abusive relationships. I'd also rather avoid AUs that substantially alter the premise or setting (e.g., coffee shop AUs, high school AUs, hospital 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. So is anything from G to E. I have squicks but no triggers. I'm fine 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. I'll happily read holiday fic for any of the fandoms I've requested if that's what you're in the mood to write. I'm equally fine with both present and past tense. I dislike plots that revolve around misunderstandings that could be cleared up with a simple conversation.

Battle Creek
Requested Character: Milt Chamberlain

Original Request: I originally fell in love with Battle Creek because of Milt, with his relentless helpfulness and hyper-competence and ludicrous good luck and the occasional slip suggesting that there's something sharp lurking beneath the surface.

The show ended by giving us one big piece of information about Milt's past and why he is the way he is, but that still left plenty of unanswered questions: Why won't his mother speak to him? Whom did he once try to save who didn't want to be saved? Was there more to his being sent to Battle Creek than the story he gave Russ? Does Milt even know the real reason he was sent to Battle Creek? Why has he gone through 12 assistants? I'd love to see any of those things explored.

Alternately, I'd also love to just see more of Milt being his helpful, competent, damaged, occasionally snarky self.

A few more thoughts:

Milt's partnership with Russ is at the heart of the show, so anything about the two of them as partners and/or eventual friends would be great. Maybe some greater threat to Battle Creek or the Battle Creek police department or to Holly leads to Russ voluntarily--if reluctantly--teaming up with Milt? Maybe Russ tries to uncover a few more of Milt's secrets? Or just a look at where they stand with each other after the events of the series finale.

Alternately, I'd enjoy seeing something that explores Milt's relationships with other people in Battle Creek. Maybe Russ is out sick or away at a conference and someone else partners up with Milt for a day? Or maybe someone has a personal problem and they turn to Milt for help? How does that work out for them? Do some people genuinely enjoy working with Milt? Is anyone else as interested in figuring Milt out as Russ is?

Or have someone from his past show up in Battle Creek. His old FBI partner? A family member? A childhood friend? A former girlfriend or boyfriend?

I'd also be interested in reading more about how Milt became who he is. This is someone who's apparently good at everything, from making jam to using a gun to reading people. What's it like for him to always effortlessly outperform everyone around him? With all of his talents and his international upbringing, how did he settle on the FBI, rather than, say, the CIA or the Foreign Service or some international non-profit or any of the million other jobs he would have excelled at? Alternately, when Milt decided to become a perfect, by-the-book FBI agent, how did he decide what that looks like? French cuffs and jam-making don't seem like inherent parts of the role, so where did things like that come from?

If you're in the mood to write ship fic, Milt/Russ is great, but I also love Russ/Holly, so if you want to keep Russ and Holly together and bring in an OC--male or female--for Milt, that works for me too. If you write Milt/Russ, feel free to embrace the tropes: First time/getting together! Undercover as a couple! In vino veritas! Snowed in! Forced to share a bed! Also, I'd rather Russ not cheat on Holly, so if you're going with Milt/Russ, I'd appreciate it if you could arrange for Russ and Holly to have broken up in the past or to have never gotten together in the first place or something along those lines. Vague background references or just never mentioning Russ/Holly at all is totally welcome in this situation. If you want to go the OC route: Milt told Russ he had been in love. Was he telling the truth? If so, who was it? What happened? Why didn't it work out? 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?

Or, hey, have everyone in Battle Creek suddenly wake up with inexplicably wake up with superpowers one day (with Milt receiving something amazing, naturally), or dose a couple of them with experimental truth serum (and watch as Milt still manages to avoid spilling any secrets--or not), or send them on a road trip somewhere. Whatever makes you happy.

Also--and this is in no way expected--if you happen to like writing crossovers and are familiar with both shows, I think a crossover between this and Intelligence (requested below) could be fun. Milt is brilliant at reading people and figuring out what's going on, Russ is constantly suspicious of everyone, and Gabriel can figure out just about anyone's secrets without even thinking about it. So that has a lot of promise. Heavy flirting and/or hookups between Milt and Riley are also welcome, but certainly not required.

Being Human (US/Canada)
Requested Characters: Aidan Waite, Kat Neely

Original Request: Aidan and Kat are my favourite couple on Being Human. They were never destined for a happy ending, and I think Kat was absolutely right to break up with Aidan as soon as she learned the truth, but I love them together anyway. I love watching them geek out together over history. I loved their willingness to open up and be vulnerable with each other. I love the moments when they triy to protect each other.

I also love them individually. I love that Aidan tries to take care of the people he loves, not just physically but emotionally, and that he uses brains as well as brawn to solve problems. I love that Kat stands up for herself and knows her own worth, and the way she takes pride in knowing things.

I would really love to see a little more of Aidan and Kat interacting, either while they're still happily dating, or later on, post-series, with the two of them meeting again after they've broken up. (Obviously the latter would involve selectively editing or otherwise handwaving away chunks of season 4, which I'm perfectly happy for you to do.)

If Aidan/Kat isn't your thing, or if none of the suggestions in my letter spark a story idea, I will also happily read a story that focuses on only one of them, so feel free to treat this as an either/or request.

Whatever else happens in the story, please don't have Aidan kill Kat, or otherwise contribute to her death (e.g. Kat dying at the hands of one of Aidan's enemies). Also, I like Aidan and Sally better as friends than lovers, so I'd rather their romantic relationship not be the primary focus of the story, though mentioning it is fine.

A few more thoughts:

Obviously Aidan and Kat's relationship is in some respects rather dark and twisted, what with the memory manipulation and the semi-accidental murder of Kat's ex, not to mention Aidan's long history of killing and his tendency to slip up a couple of times a year. For those reasons, I'm very glad for Kat's sake that she left him. That was absolutely the right choice. I don't however, really want this story to dwell on all that. What I'm hoping for is the slightly fluffy, rom-com feel of their early days together, or else post-break-up adventures or conversations that leave them in a slightly better place with regard to each other than they were. Aidan thinking about the issues while they're dating or Kat bringing it up in a post-series scenario is fine, but I don't want that to be the whole story. Nor do I want the whole story to be about Aidan the vicious killer. I much prefer him as a reformed vampire, or at least to focus on the parts of his life that weren't about killing.

For the scenario where Aidan and Kat are still dating, early season 4 is probably easiest, but go with whatever you can make work. Almost anything goes here, as long as they're generally happy together: History discussions or hanging out at faculty parties or having a beer with Kat's colleagues. Or Aidan demonstrating a surprisingly detailed knowledge of local history (and Kat trying to pry out how he knows that?). Or something more about Kat's heroic Revolutionary War ancestor. Or something perfectly ordinary, like meeting Kat's family, or the two of them babysitting someone's kids, or spending Christmas together, or what happens on their big trip, if Aidan had delayed telling her the truth until afterwards. Or maybe Kat pushes a bit, trying to figure out what's going on with Aidan, still wondering if it's drugs or gambling or something like that, confident that whatever it is, they'll be able to work through it together.

I'd also enjoy having a story where Kat starts to pick up on the fact that there's something unusual about Aidan without actually realizing that he's a vampire. Maybe something happens that forces him to reveal that he can see ghosts, or that magic is real and he knows a little about it, or maybe some physical altercation takes place where he pushes the edge of human physical abilities a little. A young cousin who can see ghosts and starts doubting her sanity. A friend on the run from her abusive husband who seeks shelter with Kat and the husband follows. Getting jumped while they're on a date and having Aidan fight off the attack and then try to explain his skills afterwards. Etc.

For a post-series AU where the two of them meet again, maybe Kat or someone she knows--a student, a family member--finds themselves in some sort of supernatural trouble involving ghosts or witches or family curses and Kat eventually, reluctantly, calls on Aidan because she thinks he might be able to help. Maybe Kat gets kidnapped by people who think they can use her as leverage against Aidan (or who want to recruit Aidan as their new leader or get some information from him) and Aidan comes to save her. Maybe Aidan and Kat run into each other by chance and end up trapped together in an elevator or stuck in a bank while it's being robbed or snowed-in at a small New England inn (with or without a series of mysterious, non-vampire-related deaths). Anything that gives them a chance to talk a bit, and maybe reach a détente of some sort. (I'm not looking for Kat to be magically okay with dating a serial killer, because I don't think she would be. But she's a historian. Surely she might have some questions?)

If you want to go post-series, I have no particular preference as to how season 4 is dealt with. Branch out after Josh and Nora's wedding in season 3 and ignore everything that comes after that, or pick and choose among the season 4 plotlines, keeping the ones that work and ignoring the ones that don’t, or keep most of season four and just veer off a little toward the end, or any other option you can think of. Whatever works for the story.

If you're more interested in writing about just one of the characters:

For Aidan, I'd enjoy something that explores his past: When and how did he learn so much about how magic worked? (Did he date a witch? Befriend one? Find himself in a fight against a coven?) What led to him giving up killing? How did he first meet Tony DePaulo, the ghost he introduces Sally to? Have there been other instances when his ability to see ghosts or his other supernatural abilities have made a difference? Maybe in his work as a nurse or as a soldier or maybe a child ghost he decides to help or someone else he saves.

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 just the two of them slowly bonding.

I'm not particularly interested in Aidan the vicious killer, but other aspects of vampire politics could be fun.

For Kat, I'm mostly interested in what happens to her post-series. How does she process everything Aidan told her? Does she tell anyone? Does she find herself looking for hints that people aren't what they seem? Does she dive in and learn as much as she can in order to protect herself? Or does she manage to forget it all? Is Aidan eventually just one more bad ex? Does she ever forgive Nora, or reconnect with her? If she finds out that Aidan died, how does she feel about that? Sad? Relieved? Something more complicated?

Finally, I feel like I should add here that I'm not American, have never formally studied the American Revolution, and basically everything I know about it I learned from Hamilton, so if the war does come up, don't feel like you need to do excessive research.

The Collector
Requested Characters: Morgan Pym, Maya Kandinski

Original Request: 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's knowing the truth enables her to help Morgan in some way or where she learns more about his life and past experiences. Gen, UST and full-out ship fic would all be equally awesome.

If you want to go in a completely different direction, a story about Maya investigating something supernatural 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. How does he gain access to the resources he needs? 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, you're welcome to include only one of the two of them in the story.

My perennial Yuletide request! The Collector was a tiny 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 entirely 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 side 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 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 to 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 Request: I love that Gabriel and Riley are both super-competent and that both regularly get moments to shine. I love how protective of each other they are. I love the snark. I love that Riley is willing to protect Gabriel, but refuses to be the one who keeps 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 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 or undercover as a couple or minor hurt/comfort (especially if Riley is hurt or ill and Gabriel is doing the comforting) would be fun.

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

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

Anything that explores the uses or implications of the chip would be great. What other uses does Gabriel find for the chip? What it's like to almost automatically access detailed information about every neighbour, every friend, every random store clerk? How would you even begin to try dating in that situation?

Or maybe he discovers that someone he knows outside of Cyber Comm is in trouble or being blackmailed or has a dangerous secret: His CIA officer/FBI agent neighbour's kids have been kidnapped as leverage for certain intel and his neighbour knows there's an inside agent and can't seek help. Or Gabriel's (non-canonical but totally plausible to me) older sister undercovers some nefarious plot in her (for example) military intelligence job and turns to her brother for help. Or Norris (or someone else from Gabriel's Delta days) shows up on his doorstep and Gabriel realizes that he's running from trouble. Etc.

Or maybe Gabriel and Riley have to tackle some other unexpected emergency on their day off without revealing his secret. Random hostage situation. Natural disaster. Etc.

I'd also enjoy reading something about Riley's family. What was it like for her to effectively lose her mother right after the trauma of killing 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? Maybe she has to go home for some reason and Gabriel goes with her? Or just have her brother come pay her a visit and get tangled up in whatever they're up to.

I'm equally happy with shipfic or gen for this fandom. If you want to go the shippy route, I love first time/how they get together fic. Low-key background relationships are also great. And undercover-as-a-couple type tropes are awesome whether they get together or not.

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

Also--and this is in no way expected--if you happen to like crossovers, I mentioned above that a crossover between this and Battle Creek could be fun. Head up to that section for details.

I'd also happily read a crossover with Madam Secretary. Maybe Gabriel and Riley get sent along on one of Elizabeth's foreign jaunts (possibly with their own side assignment or possibly to subtly assist her without her quite knowing what they're doing)? Or maybe she learns about the existence of the program after being elected president, and has to decide what to do with it during a crisis situation, or how to use them to address the Flood?

Take Two
Requested Characters: Eddie Valetik, Sam Swift

Original Request: I was utterly charmed by Take Two this past summer. I loved Eddie's absolute dedication to doing the right thing, I loved that Sam was trying so hard to change her life, I loved the team, and I enjoyed the general lightheartedness of the whole show.

I had originally expected to ask for fic about Sam and Eddie getting together, but since the show took care of that surprisingly early, I'd instead love to see more of them as a couple. Casefic would be great, and so would something about the two of them getting to know each other a little better (and maybe share something from their pasts with the audience at the same time). Put them in a situation where the only thing they can do is talk, or have someone from one of their pasts show up and share a few stories.

Alternately, pick up from the season finale and show them working to clear Eddie's name. Or figure out how things might work if Sam did return to acting.

Also, I love these characters together, but I love them separately as well. If you have a great idea for just Eddie or just Sam, go ahead and write that and leave the other out.

I know this section is a little shorter than the rest, and I promise that's not because I want this fandom less. It's just because this is the first time I've asked for this fandom, and so I've had less time to build up this request.

So Take Two, on the whole, isn't a particularly original or serious show. If you want to write deep and serious fic, by all means, go ahead. But if you want to embrace the tropes, feel free to do that too.

As I said above, any sort of casefic would be great. If you want to involve yet another person from someone's past or put a bit of a noir twist on it, that would be fun. Or just have the team being their usual competent selves.

If you want to explore their pasts, we've seen friends but little in the way of family, so maybe there's room for something there. Or maybe something more about past relationships and moving on? Or revelations of hidden talents?

Or feel free to mix things up a bit. If you like Berto and/or Monica, maybe have Sam and Berto working together, or Eddie stuck with Monica. Or tell the story of how Eddie and Berto started working together, or talk about all the things that Monica does for Sam.

Finally--and this is in no way expected--if crossovers happen to be your thing, I think this show would lend itself well to a couple of possibilities.

First, I think a crossover with Lucifer could be fun. Maybe Lucifer knew Eddie back when he was a cop or Eddie ended up at Lux right after he left the force and Lucifer found him intriguing. Or maybe Lucifer knew Sam back from her acting days or he owns the building where their office is located and when he decides he needs an investigator for something--because Chloe is busy or away or because he's trying to clear Chloe's name or because it's part of his favour trade--he turns to them.

Second, Take Two is one of several shows currently airing that feature private investigators/police detectives reluctantly teaming up with amateur partners. Among my other current favourites are Private Eyes, Carter and (of course) Lucifer. If you wanted to write a crossover featuring two or more of these shows, that would be delightful. Maybe there's a PI conference that gives Eddie and Angie a chance to commiserate while Matt and Sam bond over the benefits and drawbacks of fame. Or maybe a case brings two or more teams together. Whatever works.

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: the collector, yuletide

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