First off, I just want to say that I am so, so excited about participating in Yuletide. I've enjoyed reading of its fruits for years, yea verily, but this is the first time I have the gumption to participate. No matter what you end up writing, I will be so grateful and so pleased to read anything new for my pet fandoms. I know everybody says that, but I do mean it.
I also want to note that I'm the kind of fic reader who is up for just about anything in the fandoms I love. I know that's not the most helpful thing to know when you're trying to decide what to write, but I'm saying it in the hopes that it will help lessen any doubts you have as to whether I'll like what you write. Trust me, my tastes are wide, and I am so filled with fannish glee over all of these fandoms that really, truly, I will read and enjoy anything, of any genre and any rating, with very few exceptions. Just so we're clear.
In general, things I love but which are totally not required to include: I adore ship-centric fic, especially slash. Smut is fun, but I generally like the less-explicit kind of smut, not utter porn; I love reading about the buildup and the aftermath more than the sex act itself. I love humor and angst about equally, so light fic or dark fic is fine with me! I am a sucker for hurt/comfort of any kind. Sexual tension is so much fun. Character-driven fic is super awesome, even more so than plot-based fic. I love geeky little details or asides, especially relating to history or anything that's important to the character: Jean-Paul knowing everything about his ski rivals or Dex going on about his latest inventions or Omar going in-depth on a discussion of his favorite guns would really just make my day -- but don't feel obligated to do tons of research on an obscure subject or anything unless you're into that. I love crossovers, alternate universes, and crack, so really, if you like any of that, I will never complain if you go wild (and if you want to do a crossover, I am okay with using any other source, whether I'm likely to know it or not -- hey, it might just introduce me to something new and awesome, and I am always up for that!). There are other things I love, but it would take so long to get into them; I've put some more in my fandom-specific notes.
In general, things I'm not particularly into: While explicit sex and kink have their place and I have definitely been known to enjoy a PWP or two, that's not really what I'm looking for in any of these fandoms. While I like suspense, I'm not into horror or anything excessively dark. Also, I don't like zombies or gore at all. Just throwing that out there.
On to the fandom-specific section!
Alpha Flight (Jean-Paul Beaubier)
Optional details: I would love to read anything with Jean-Paul, gen or slash (...probably not het, although that should be pretty obvious, shouldn't it? Unless you're really feeling some Purple Girl manipulativeness, in which case, het away!). My favorite pairing EVER in this fandom is Jean-Paul/Walter, especially with attendant jealousy/guilt issues on either side over Walter's relationship with Jeanne-Marie. Alternately, maybe something from Jean-Paul's past as a ski champion (which could open the door to a crossover with skating or hockey or skiing RPF, if you're at all interested in any of that). Or, I always love some gen sibling times with him and Jeanne-Marie -- sweet and happy or complicated and painful, anything goes! Essentially, if it has Jean-Paul in it, I will be more than pleased with anything.
More details, even more optional: I love the characters in Alpha Flight, and I love the way they function together as a team that isn't really a team anymore after the government program was shut down in issue #1, but still chooses to get together on occasion to fight the big bads. For Canada! And I love the way that Jean-Paul doesn't even want to be on the team (or so he says; I have my suspicions that he's just saying that to keep up appearances, because what else would he be doing with his life?), but that he stays because Jeanne-Marie is staying. His devotion to his sister is so much love. I like him in all sorts of different phases of his life: his difficult childhood, his troubled adolescence and relationship with Raymonde Belmonde, his political activist/terrorist phase, his life in the circus (!! why is there not more/any fic about Jean-Paul the circus acrobat?), his life as a ski champion and the way it all crumbled after his mutation was revealed, his membership in Alpha, his adopted daughter Joanne and how her death gives him the conviction to come out as gay and speak out about HIV/AIDS, which... yeah, I am a huge fan of that moment in his life. I could probably go on forever, but really, just know that I am a big fan of just about anything Jean-Paul, with the exception of that time when he was dying of some mysterious disease and he and Aurora were supposed to be half elvish, which never really made any sense anyway. I will be pleased and more than pleased with anything about him.
Specific Alpha Flight turn-ons and bits of fannish glee: the potential for crossover with RPF, especially Olympics/athletics RPF, which would make my YEAR, possibly my LIFE (and I'll take this opportunity to point out possibly my favorite Jean-Paul fic of all time -- OF ALL TIME -- Fame Monster, which although it's X-Men fandom and not Alpha Flight is still applicable here for being an amazing, amazing crossover with Johnny Weir, who might be a fandom all by himself). The exploration of backstory and the hinted-at relationship between Jean-Paul and his mentor/foster father Raymonde (I admit, despite issues of age difference and power dynamics and consent, I do ship it). JP's unshakeable devotion to Aurora, even when they are fighting like two cats in a sack. ♥
For the non-fans who might want to become fans!: Alpha Flight is a Marvel comic book series, a spinoff of the X-Men franchise, which began in 1983 (the first volume went on through 130 issues and ended in 1994; there were two short-lived attempts at reviving the series, in 1997 and in 2004, but I'm talking about the old-school stuff here because that's what I know). The series is based around the characters of the Canadian superhero team Alpha Flight, who first appeared in Uncanny X-Men in 1979 before being given their own series, and is pretty unique among team-based series in that most issues or multi-issue storylines focuses on just two or three of the characters in various combinations, rather than all of the team members together. They have their own lives and their own problems, but on occasion they get together and go around saving Canada and the world from all kinds of menaces, from alien invasions to ancient gods to drug dealers. If you're interested in picking up this fandom or learning more about it... er, well, an eleven-year run means a lot of issues, and honestly, they sort of decrease in quality as time goes on (IMHO! even if I still do love anything AF). But I've posted an intro-to-AF and a summary of the first issue on my IJ here, and I will be posting a summary of my favorite Jean-Paul-centric issue shortly at the same link. Other resources: AlphaFlight.net, AF wiki, issue summaries, or do you just want to look at all the covers? I particularly enjoy seeing how they get progressively crackier and more ridiculous after Byrne's run is over, and especially as they get into the late 80s and early 90s, which is the period when comics were really fricking weird and also probably on steroids, as a general rule.
The Mysteries of Udolpho (Montoni, Cavigni)
Optional details: I am in love with the pairing of Montoni and Cavigni -- villain and henchman, always a classic. Can they have a dissolute, hedonistic interval together in Venice before it all goes bad? Can they have an AU happy-ish ending of some kind? Alternately, if you're not feeling the slash in this fandom, I think an exploration of Cavigni's loyalty to Montoni and why he spends all his time following him around, and the consequences for his own life/family/relationships, would be fascinating. Or maybe something dealing with Montoni's duel with Count Morano, when Cavigni steps in to stop Montoni from killing the Count; I love that scene and would adore anything to do with that moment. If you WANT to expand on the historical setting and toss in a real live 16th-century historical figure or two, or do any kind of crossover whatsoever, it would delight me to no end, but I'm not expecting it or anything.
More details, even more optional: ...Basically, from what I can tell there's absolutely no fanfiction whatsoever for this book, and that is a crying shame. I have nothing more specific to say about this one, except that I adore the setting and I adore the villains and I want to read more about them and less about Emily-Sue and Valancourt. I wrote a bit of a post here which is a little introduction to what I like about the fandom and especially the Montoni/Cavigni pairing. But on this one, please, please feel free to write whatever it is your heart desires.
For the non-fans who might want to become fans!: The Mysteries of Udolpho is the prototypical Gothic novel, published in serial form in 1794-5. It's about a girl named Emily who is very good and virtuous, but who has terrible luck and is dragged into all this mystery and intrigue and has a villainous uncle who locks her up in his gloomy, scary Italian castle for reasons mostly involving money and inheritance. There are ghosts, murder, poison, smugglers, duels, unrequited love, comic-relief servants, romantic angst, gorgeous but forboding scenery, and lots and lots of (bad) poetry. The book is really long, 800 pages of long-winded Gothic self-indulgence on the part of the author, but it's still an entertaining read if you can stomach the verbose 18th-century writing style and if you try not to take it too seriously. It's in the public domain and is available in its entirety online here, among other places; there's an entertaining short summary, complete with drinking game, here.
The Wire (Omar Little)
Optional details: On a show filled with too many fascinating, deep, complicated characters to count, Omar is hands-down my favorite. I would especially love to see the happier, more playful Omar we saw in seasons 1 and 2, especially when he's with one of his boyfriends. I am always and forever an Omar/Brandon fan, but I like Omar/Dante as well, or the idea of pairing Omar with another character, even someone totally off-the-wall like Carver or Stringer or Ziggy or even Bubbles (which might be unbearably sweet, actually). If it's possible to write a light, maybe even fluffy Wire fic, I would love to see how it works! I also adore the grittiness and darkness of the show, though, so if happy fic isn't your cup of tea, I also love violence and character death and anything that feels real to the setting. Basically, anything goes for me as long as it's Omar-centric.
More details, even more optional: I think I covered it pretty well up there, but what I like the most about Omar is how he's never ashamed or afraid to be who he is, and what he is, he is whole-heartedly. The lighter scenes with his various boyfriends are some of my favorites, especially this sequence (the way Omar touches Brandon the same way he touches that baby, and "I just don't want them comin' down on y'all, baby boy", and the way he scolds him for swearing -- Omar, stop being such an adorable cold-blooded killer ♥) and this one (besides the sheer UNF factor of Omar hanging around half naked, I love how he lets Dante tease him into "proving" that he's not interested in Kimmy and Tosha, haha, and just... laughing, joking.). Or really, anytime we see Omar's intelligence and humor: the courtroom scene when he testifies against Bird, or the scene before it when he talks about his love for mythology, or his interactions with McNulty. As I said, anything with Omar will make me a very, very happy woman.
For the non-fans who might want to become fans!: The Wire was an HBO series that ran for five seasons from 2002 to 2008. It's truly an epic story that explores the inner workings of inner-city Baltimore from a ground-level perspective. Each season focuses on a different aspect of the city: the drug trade, the docks, the city government, the public schools, the newspaper. There's a huge and incredibly diverse cast of characters who interact and rebound off each other in fascinating and unpredictable ways. I think everyone should watch it, no lie. It should be required viewing. The whole series is currently available on DVD. You can get it from Netflix, though unfortunately only on disc, not streaming.
Sky Captain & the World of Tomorrow (Any)
Optional details: Any fic whatsoever for this fandom would make my day. I ship Joe/Dex wholeheartedly, whether it's a casual hero-and-sidekick-with-benefits sort of thing or a serious relationship, with jealousy issues over the women in Joe's life being a big plus. But I also love the relationship between Joe and Polly, and I could definitely be down with Joe and Franky, or any kind of Joe/Polly/Franky triangle. Basically, I am longing for something fun and shippy. If ship-centric fic isn't really your style, then maybe something that really makes use of the pulp/adventure-story feeling of the movie. Maybe a cracky crossover with some other adventure tale or superhero story. Or Polly and/or Dex being the big hero and saving Joe's butt, because I love when that happens. Feel free to go wild, and I promise I will love anything, ANYTHING, in this fandom.
More details, even more optional: Did I mention that I ship just about anything that can be shipped in this movie? Dex is my favorite character ever, with his brains and geekiness and love of comic books, and I love the way Joe takes him for granted and treats him like a pet, but he still sticks around. "Good boy, Dex." I'd love to read anything with those two interacting, especially from Dex's perspective. But all other pairings or triads or the whole foursome (Joe/Dex/Polly/Franky?) are also wonderful, wonderful things. Crossover potential might be big in this fandom -- I would love to see anything with any of the classic Golden Age comics. Superman! Captain America! Captain Marvel (SHAZAM! -- I think Dex would be such a Captain Marvel fanboy, just sayin')! Or anything World War II-era, as well. I meant it when I said anything goes, honestly.
For the non-fans who might want to become fans!: Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow is a 2004 movie starring Gwyneth Paltrow and Jude Law. It's set in an alternate-history version of 1939, and deals with a villainous mad scientist who wants to wipe out humanity and create the "World of Tomorrow" by blasting off on his rocket ship to colonize a new world with two of every animal, a la Noah's ark. The only people who can stop him are Joe Sullivan aka Sky Captain, an ace pilot who leads the Flying Squadron, and his newspaper-reporter ex-girlfriend, Polly Perkins. They spend the entire movie bickering and it is awesome. Other characters of note are Dex Dearborn, Joe's whiz-kid sidekick who invents all kinds of nifty gadgets for him, and Captain Franky Cook, a (female) pilot with an eyepatch who is seriously badass and who was Joe's girlfriend at one point. I love this movie to bits and pieces, and if you signed up to write for another fandom but are having difficulties, this would be a quick fandom to get into. Seriously, it's just the one movie, there's nothing else. And it's available on Netflix's Watch Instantly, so if you have that, you don't even need to leave home to find it! :)
In conclusion: thank you, dear Yuletide writer, for whatever you choose to write. I look forward to reading it and I promise that I will love it. ♥