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Dear Yuletide Author

YULETIDE. I thought I was excited last year, and yet somehow this year I am even more excited. Last year I comfortably found four things to request; this year I had to squeeze and squeeze before I managed to get my requests down to six.

I hope that you, dear author, are feeling similarly excited. I'm thrilled to have you writing something for me, and the fact that you offered one of these fandoms at all tells me that you have excellent taste. I'm so excited to read whatever it is you choose to write!

Also: personally, when I write for really small fandoms I end up putting all this pressure on myself to write The Definitive Fic in the fandom, but that's silly. If you feel the same, please be assured that I'm not hoping for the fic, just a fic. :)

So, on with the requests.

General likes:
* TROPES. Mpreg, alpha/beta/omega dynamics, arranged marriages, soul bonds, generally WORLDBUILING CRACK OF ALL KINDS. I especially love alternate/subversive takes on those things.

* Canon divergence AUs. Love 'em. Also love AUs that are canon but with a pinch of something extra, like soulbonding or a/b/o or what have you. For these canons, not a fan of space or steampunk or coffee shop AUs that drop characters into whole new settings.

* Romance that's quiet, that develops in between the cracks of people's lives until it blossoms into something more. Romances featuring nonfunctional people in weirdly functional relationships. Interspecies romance. Romance with conflict that comes from the people's individual personalities and hangups and baggage (but with hopeful endings).

* Long fics. Short fics. Five things fics. Nonlinear fics. Epistolary fics. Fics composed of documents or eyewitness reports. In general I love fics that play with structure! But I also love fics that are more linear and A->B. I'm very easy to please, here. :)

* Unexpected moments of grace. Unexpected gifts. A strong sense of setting. Grumpy characters with hearts of gold. Ominous weather: Winter, gray autumn days with leaves underfoot, summer too hot to think with threat of a thunderstorm on the horizon.

* When it comes to sex, I like explicit consent, lots of communication, and people having fun and enjoying themselves, and I care more about the feelings than the mechanics. I am cool with all ratings from G to NC-17, and fade-to-black is also fine!

* Kinks: Xenophilia. Consensual tentacles. Non-genital-focused kink. Watersports. Enemas. Stuffing/belly kink. Kink negotiation. Experimentation. Awkward/not-perfect-the-first-time sex. Awkward morning afters. Pining. Romance that's sex first and feelings later. Non-romantic sex between friends for plot-related reasons. Women taking charge in bed.

General Dislikes: explicit torture (especially bad things happening to hands, eyes, or teeth), emotional or situational power imbalances in a sexual/romantic relationship (boss/secretary, teacher/student, doctor patient etc), gaslighting, possessive/abusive/manipulative behavior framed as romantic, rape, character death, dark endings with no hope, character studies without any plot or interaction with other characters, first-person point of view, crossovers (except where noted below).

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Uncanny X-Force (Betsy Braddock) (my UXF tag)
I've read all the runs that she's been in - Remender (loved it and loved her in it), Humphries (liked certain bits but thought it was terrible overall and particularly hated his "resolution" of the Betsy/Fantomex/Cluster triangle), Spurrier (clever, hasn't given me tons of feelings so far). Feel free to set your fic during any of those runs. For reference, I’ve also been reading the all-female X-Men book.

I fell for Betsy during Remender’s run – she gets put through the ringer over and over, losing people left and right and struggling with her sense of ethics while outsiders condemn (her brother Brian) and her team dismisses her concerns (except for Deadpool, lol). I’m mostly excited about Betsy with other people – Betsy+Fantomex and/or Betsy+Cluster, as you’ll see below, but Betsy and Storm also seem to have an awesome and supportive relationship, and something to do with that would be lovely, and there’s some interesting Betsy+Bishop material to mine, as well, given that she wandered around in his mind a bunch and also adopted his demon bear. Or Betsy+Wade, where they really do share some of those ethics concerns, or maybe they kick back with beers one night after the end of Remender’s run, and Wade manages to amuse Betsy despite herself. However, I'm also really interested what this whole "can't feel sorrow" thing is supposed to mean. Like, how does that work? What does that mean for her, long-term?

I also ship Betsy/Fantomex embarrassingly a lot, even though he spends a good part of Remender’s run being an ass, particularly to her. His character development in the second half is a little underdeveloped understated, but nonetheless I appreciated where it took him to, and I liked where they ended up. She's so screwed up in Remender's run, and he's a kind of solace. Also there was a lot of delicious Fantomex pain and Betsy pulling him out of the fire, and I’m all for that. And his backstory is so weird – three brains? How? What? How?

I don’t need to see Betsy/Fantomex (any Fantomex) as a deep forever thing, although if you feel like writing them being complicated and sometimes good for each other twenty years down the road, I would be totally be down with that.

I also loved the possibility of Betsy/Fantomex/Cluster. We came SO CLOSE, you guys. SO CLOSE. They're all screwed up (probably Cluster the least), but I still think they should work. So anything Betsy/Fantomex/Cluster you feel like writing would be fab (other than, “This is horrible idea, we should break up”).

Examples of things I would like:
* Psylocke/Cluster - go anywhere you want with this. Psylocke discovering girl-attraction feelings (or not, maybe this is nothing new), Psylocke stealing things with Cluster, Psylocke and Cluster reuniting post-Humphries, whatever you like.

* Psylocke/Cluster/Fantomex - Weirdly functional despite missteps is what I'd love most of all. Fix-it fic very welcome. If I'm reading Spurrier's run correctly (although I'm behind a few issues), then the Fantomexes are still separated and Fantomex was in Alexandria hunting for Cluster. I would love him and Psylocke on a side mission to find and rescue her, and have the three of them fall into something like love in the process.

* Psylocke + Storm friendship. Psylocke's been put through the ringer, Storm's rethinking things and doubting the appeal of that iron control she's kept on herself all this time. They need some decompress time, and who better with than each other. I'm also reading Greg Pak's Storm, fyi, if you want to incorporate stuff from there, as well as the first fifteen issues of Brian Wood's X-Men.

* Alternatively, Psylocke/Storm, same reasons.

* Psylocke + Deadpool, because they'd be hilarious together. Psylocke the grudging BFF would be AMAZING, although they also could bond over their similar reservations about being on the X-Force. I would love a fic of the two of them drinking and throwing darts and venting.

* Anything dealing with Psylocke's damage and her "can't feel sorrow" thing. WHAT DOES IT MEAN. And how does that work with her being a telepath? Does she not feel other people's sorrow, either? Is it some curiosity in their brains she can't interpret anymore? I'd also love a story about how she got her sorrow back (possibly in conjunction with other characters mentioned above).

* Psylocke teaming up and hanging out with any of: Kamala Khan, the FF crew, Natasha Romanoff, Sif. I don’t care how you do it, as long as it’s not total crack. These guys are my favorites. :D

Things I would not like: Fic focusing on how Fantomex is terrible and how she’s better off without him. (He is sometimes terrible, but I am convinced they could be good for one another). Fic focusing too heavily on the specifics of the Apocalypse plot (which I never could quite follow) or the revenants plot (which was IMO too terrible to be redeemed by fic).

FF (any) (my FF tag)
I have a lot of feelings about this comic, and they are all "AWWWW." I love this comic for how warmly human it is. Most of the problems in it are things like the moloids' well-meant jealousy and Bentley-23's need to prove himself and Darla's fear of letting people down. I love that the comic can kind of drop in to look at those struggles and then drop back out again – we're not ignoring them or fixing them, necessarily, we're just acknowledging that they're there.

Alternately, I love this comic because it's so much fun. :D I love Scott Lang and his earnest doofiness and his simple human grief for his daughter and his general failure as a human being and how he keeps trying anyway. I love Jennifer's competence and grumpiness and how she rocks that pink suit. I love how Darla is determined to not let anyone down, and how she really, really doesn't – I love that speech of hers, about who she is and her pop music awards, because she may not have powers or, maybe, what some comics people would call 'cool' accomplishments, but she's still awesome. I love all the kids for being such individual, for all having minds and priorities of their own. I especially love that Tong was able to figure out who she was and express that. (Actually, "being awesome at being herself" seems to be a theme for the ladies I've chosen here.)

As for fic, I am really, really open. Mostly I am requesting this because I just want MOAR FIC for this canon. I've received several FF fics I've loved in past exchanges, and I just want more! Something fun and light-hearted? Darla and Jennifer going out on the town, kicking monsters and sipping fancy cocktails? (There could be kissing after if you like.) Ms. Thing and Mr. Man bonding over really weird movies?

I adore the kids and would be very happy with a fic that focused on them or some subset of them, being earnest and getting into shenanigans (and getting themselves out again, maybe). So, the getting up to something with both disastrous and awesome results, possibly involving artificial wings or weird science or a dinosaur? Or maybe a slightly more serious cultural exchange type story between, say, Vil and Wu and Luna. I would also love a crossover with Ms. Marvel, if you felt inclined to go that way, or something involving AgentofAsgard!Loki snooping around the Baxter Building and getting his plans completely foiled by the FF.

Really, pretty much ANYTHING YOU WANT TO WRITE is likely to please. I love unusual story structures, and this comic seems especially suited to them, so feel free to go experimental if you are so inclined. Also, I like basically every single member of the Future Foundation in this comic (except Alex Power, whom I don't really have a feel for), so feel free to include whoever you like, nominated or not.

Things I would not like: fic that focuses on the actual Fantastic Four (Reed, Sue, etc), Doom, or any of the plot-device characters in the last few issues.

Saga (any) (my Saga tag)
I am so easy here. I love everyone. I love how human everyone feels, despite their appearance, and I love the huge, wacky imagination Vaughan and Staples have. I've been underwhelmed by the most recent set of issues because I miss a lot of the characters we haven't seen in a while, but issue #23 has renewed my enthusiasm and all my hopes, and even without it I would still love this book.

As of posting this letter I've only read through #23, but I will make a point of coming back and making an edit shortly after #24 comes out, in case that gives me additional prompt ideas or things I want to make note of. OMG #24 WAS SO GOOD, WASN'T IT??? Prompts added to/adjusted accordingly.

I feel like canon divergence could go very interesting places here, at any place in the timeline. What if the Will dies instead of the Stalk, and it's the Stalk who ends up with Sophie and Gwendolyn? (Does this lead to Stalk/Gwendolyn? Please say yes.) What if it were Alana with horns and Marko with wings - how would that have affected their initial relationship, or any other aspect of the story? Or any other fork-in-the-road AU you can think of. :D

However, would also be very happy with something canon compliant. There's so much to explore and such great characters - so many places to go!

Some ideas:
* Hot hot Alana/Marko. Because they are hot. Kinkiness welcome, however you want to interpret that.
* Anything Alana/Marko, really. They’re idealistic kids who love each other but are not always great at relationship and meanwhile are in so much more trouble than they bargained for. I’d love snapshots of their life on the run before Hazel, whether that involve sex or memories of home or just some time forgetting all their troubles.
* Klara/Alana bonding (however you want to interpret this)
* Klara/Izabel bonding (ditto)
* Pretty much anything centered around the wooden rocketship. Because. Wooden rocketship.
* A reporters’ eye view of any aspect of the Saga universe, courtesy of Upsher and Doff. A fic in the form of documents could be so great.
* Upsher and Doff somehow fall in with one of our groups of heroes, probably unwillingly, and get a closer look at the conflict and personalities behind it than they really wanted.
* The Brand, please. (Perhaps some Brand/Stalk, HMM? The Brand introduced them - she must have known The Stalk first!)
* Weird weird Will/Stalk sexytimes. I love me some xeno.
* The Brand/Gwendolyn, especially with this new turn of events. I neeeed it.
* Gwendolyn + Sophie + Lying Cat's adventures the last two years. One of the things about #24 that made me the happiest was that they're still together, that Sophie is Gwendolyn's Page now, that Gwendolyn's still wearing the cape and using the lance. I'd really love to see commiserating, cuddling, adventuring, bonding - any/all of those things.
* The Saga universe equivalent of poker night, using the characters of your choice.
* The great Marko/Prince Robot IV/Yuma team-up. THIS IS SO GREAT. Marko and Prince Robot are such great contrasts re: the war. Would love some conversation between them about that.
* AU where it's Marko who gets pregnant instead of Alana. (Seriously, I want this so bad. Someday my fic will come.)
* Something centered around music or dance or some other cultural aspect of the Saga universe, using characters of your choice.
* Victorian/Steampunk IN SPACE AU. I have no idea what this would look like. Please give me a hint. :D
* ANYTHING ELSE. Seriously, whatever the fic of your heart is for this fandom, I would love to read it.

Things I would not like: Basically just the things from my squicks/DNWs. In particular no infidelity, character death, or torture, please. Also not fic solely about Oswald Heist or his dead son, although you're welcome to mix Heist in with other characters.

RPF – Pittsburgh Penguins (Marc-Andre Fleury) (my hockey tag)
Flower is my goalie crush; he's hot and funny and low-key and has a delicious accent and that whole goalie mystique thing going on. I reeeeally want fic that explores some of that. Does he have magical goalie powers? Does he call the secret goalie network every time one of his teammates has a telepathic break? Or if this is some kind of AU with hockey and also a/b/o or soulbonding or something, how does Flower fit into that?

Alternatively, more serious fic about the pressures of being #1 draft pick goalie, about his relationship with rookie Zatkoff last year or veteran Vokuon the year before or with his goalie mentors in the past, about his unfortunate postseason performance the past few years (and his quite respectable showing last postseason!) would all be very welcome.

Or perhaps you will find inspiration in this recent quote from a sports columnist: I like this new Fleury. I like the one who, after his formal media session that night in Columbus when the puck hopped over his stick and momentarily added another miserable chapter to his playoff lore, sat there and cussed out everything in sight. I’ll take that over that Fleury who was ramming his forehead against the cement wall on Long Island two playoffs go.

I have no particular ship feelings for Flower, except please no Neal, Letang, or Fleury’s RL wife. I do have a certain fondness for Flower/Max Talbot, the troublemaking Quebecois duo, and for Flower/Sid, early bloomers and #1 draft picks dealing with tons of pressure, but really I’m pretty open. I also like ships between people on different teams and the obstacles that come with that, so if you wanted to write, like, Fleury/Ovechkin or Fleury/Bryzgalov (BRYZ :D), that would be so very relevant to my interests (although if you do go that route, it would help if you gave some context in the fic for the other player and their team/background, in case I’m not familiar with them).

All that said, I would also be very happy with genfic; I sincerely love hockey gen, and there is not nearly enough. Flower! Is all I want!

Some possible prompts (but please, don't feel bound by these - I would love any of them, but mostly I'm including them to give you a sense of the range of things I would like):
* Accidental, unwanted soulbond that Fleury and other person then has to deal with. Candidates: Max, Sid, Geno, any Pen from the last couple of years (because I'm more familiar with them), but really anyone you feel like. :D

* The NHL is a cult that plays hockey for the gods, the Penguins are a sect, and Fleury is their seer. Take that where you will.

* Five Times Fleury Met His Idol, Martin Brodeur

* When Sid's out with his concussion, the team's feeling a little shaky. Fleury does his part to help hold them all together.

* So yeah, Fleury/Bryz, rival goalies for a while. Fleury melts down in the playoffs several years running, while Bryz gets screwed over by the Flyers and finally escapes. Any kind of relationship or moments of bonding or sympathy anytime in there would be great. :D

Things I would not like: porn without plot or extended sex scenes; conflict getting resolved solely with sex; non-hockey AUs; a/b/o that includes explicitly D/s aspects, like collaring or hand feeding; inclusion of non-famous RL wives, girlfriends, or family members.

Kraken – China Mieville (Dane Parnell) (no tag for this one, sorry)
Mieville's one of my favorite authors, and my absolute favorite thing about this book is the Church of God Kraken. Basically, I would just love more about the Church itself, probably set pre-novel, since there's not much left of it afterwards. At one point Mieville describes it as being "high church," saying it has "not yet gone through its Reformation," and that medieval Christian structure built up around a distinctly non-Christian core fascinates me.

I've requested Dane because he's the character most closely associated with the church, but honestly I would be just as pleased with fic about original characters, or fic composed of sacred documents, or a police report, or... I'm really open here! If you'd prefer to write Dane, then something about coming of age in the church, of holding his faith close while interacting with the wider world – anything like that would be great. I'd also be really interested in seeing his relationships with other members of the cult; if you felt like doing a compare and contrast between his faith and others', I'd be very interested in that, too.

Things I would not like: It's been a few years since I last read this, so I'd rather your fic didn't depend too heavily on the specific events of the novel. Also please no Billy/Dane (although if you feel the fic needs a romantic or sexual relationship, any Dane/OMC or Dane/OFC is fine, as is any combination of OCs).

IT Crowd (Jen Barber, Maurice Moss, Roy Trenneman) (my IT Crowd tag)
I am very much not a sitcom person, but somehow I fell in love with this show, starting with Moss and eventually broadening to adore all three of the main trio. I appreciate how different they all are and yet by the end of the first season how they all seem to find things to enjoy about each other. They tease and take offense and misunderstand, but fundamentally they seem to have formed a pretty tight threeway working relationship.

Basically: I love this show and these characters for having both hilarity and feelings.

What I'd love for this fandom is a fic that takes that further into Jen/Moss/Roy threesome territory. Possible prompt: the first time the three of them try some kink, to hilarious/awkward/terrible results. Moss could read the directions! Roy could be very unsure that he wanted that whatever-it-was anywhere near his body! Jen could be torn between being horrified and turned on! It would be great. I'm not at all picky about what the kink is, either – for me this is as much about the characters than the sexy factor (although in the end it'd be nice if everyone in the story got off who wanted to get off, one way or another). Pegging, bondage, and watersports all seem like they'd have a lot of room for both hilarity and hotness, but really: I am very open.

If you're not feeling like writing something explicit, then I'd also enjoy just reading about the awkwardness of how they all first get together, negotiating that or failing to negotiate it. There are not nearly as many threesome-getting-together stories out there as I would like. Perhaps inspired by Jen apparently sleeping with Moss early on in the show? In general I would rather the threesome not start out with establish Roy/Moss that Jen then gets drawn into; instead, I see Jen as a sort of catalyst for bring them all together.

I could also be very down for something tropey, like alpha/beta/omega or a threeway soulbond or the AU where they all have to get married for some reason.

Or, if you're really not in a threesome shippy place, genfic about the three of them working together towards some goal or involved in some scrape would also be nifty.

Things I would not like: Douglas Reynholm appearing in any capacity. I also have a pretty hardcore embarrassment squick, so whatever predicament the three find themselves in, I'd like them to be in it together, so no one person is getting humiliated for more than a little while, and I'd rather the three of them weren't humiliated in front of outsiders, either.

Crossposted from Dreamwidth. Comment here or there. (comment count unavailable DW replies)

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