Person of Interest FicsSorted by Character

This page still under construction!!

Note for Screen Readers

I did my best to provide aria-labels and keep the document order relatively consistent. Unfortunately, I can't figure out a way to stick content into a grid and nest sections in a logical manner. So the header hierarchy gets split across adjacent sections: H2 and H3 might be in one section, and the next H3 in the next section.

I hope this isn't too confusing! It's meant to be a two-column layout for any devices wide enough to handle that.

I write Intense Drama and Deep Intimacy. Intimacy of the nonsexual kind, I mean; only about 10% of my fics involve sexuality or Ships of any kind (and this showcase doesn't include them).

(I also update sporadically and flit around among many projects, so it might take months for a given fic to update. If you're particularly bothered by that, best find a different author.)

Another excellent chapter. One can't lose with your fics. You always manage to bring a new element to everything you produce.
Now… how long are we gonna have to wait again???
A note on fan comments

I've tried to condense/reword the comments I've gotten in a way that preserves the original meaning/feel. That might mean fixing a typo, altering the punctuation a bit, or rearranging elements of a larger comment (or set of comments by the same reader on the same fic).

Almost all comments are from my main site, AO3; a couple are from FFN.

Also: I've got a bit of a reputation in the AO3 comments section. As encapsulated by the following fan comics: Doctor Zaniida and Types of Readers: (1) Angst Addicts, (2) Slash Addicts, and (3) Zaniida.

I have a liberal Blanket Policy—I'm never stingy with my ideas, and I love seeing others build off them! If anything here strikes your fancy, feel free to create something based on it. Exceptions would include group projects (Unseen Things and Everybody Wants Finch), since I can't give blanket permission for work I'm not fully in charge of, and A Room with Five Fans.

Hover over (or press on) spoilers to see the contents.

Finch and Reese

Most of my POI fics are centered on Harold Finch: logical, learned, wary, sometimes a little uptight. Prone to panic attacks (understandably, given all he's been through).

John Reese, now, I depict as efficient, goal-oriented, a bit impish, and calmly snarky. Both are self-sacrificing and devoted to each other's welfare (if not privacy), and I do love to wallow in their guilt complexs and angst.

This first section showcases the fics where the boys play off each other (as well as the few John-specific fics that don't focus on Harold). For fics of Harold playing off other characters, see the later sections.

Harold Finch's Point of View

Open Chapterfics / WIP

Unseen Things

My most ambitious project in the POI fandom: A supernatural/horror AU group project that attracted around a dozen participants. Note: The title shifts over time, but the phrase "Unseen Things" remains constant.

You can't remember, can you? [27k AU] [+cover art]

When they realize they're forgetting their own teammates, it's a race against time to figure out what's going on and how to stop it.

Content Warnings
Oh, so very much, starting with Memory Erasure/Alteration, Gaslighting, Body Horror, and Fates Worse Than Death.
It's not a nice worldbuild, and the ending will be bittersweet.
Link
Unseen Things
(FFN version)
Cover Art by
merionees
Useful Reading
Antimemetics is information that avoids getting shared, or actively harms those who learn it.
Prequel
Adjustments showcases Nathan, in his new form, getting to know the Library.
Supplementary
POI Episode Guide gives an overview of the first season if it had taken place in this worldbuild.
Side Stories
See the End Note for links to all the side stories, written by a variety of authors to flesh out the worldbuild and the character backstories. All are canon to mine except for Stingalingaling's Gestures (which is still really cute and heartfelt).
Art
I drew The Fate of Elias for my two-year AO3 anniversary.

Now, you may have questions about this AU/project, so have some additional information:


I couldn't decide on which comment to highlight, so here's a rundown of three of the most enthusiastic readers:

Fan Comments

Wow at the world build! And I may have got distracted by pocket-sized Nathan. (I want to knit him a little jacket.)


I'm in awe of the density of the world building you've got going. This is immense.


So although you say this fic will still be up come November, I can't help wondering how much of it will actually be left… Nothing bad must happen to snuggling wee Nathan though!


What? What? There's a pattern in the cover art beyond the obvious? Gah, it's like running with handfuls of sand… I'm going to figure it out. No clues.


They're back! Well, some of them anyway… I think my brain is starting to hurt as much as Harold's. I can't begin to speculate what's going to happen next. I think me and Nathan are just going to strap in for the ride.

It was such a lovely surprise to see Nathan turn up in this AU! I love how you've written him and how he communicates. Poor guy is trying so hard please LISTEN, John!


That's a cool little anomaly. And the side effects of tier four mnestics are suitably horrifying.


I'm so torn over wanting to know what happened to Carter and not at all wanting to know anything more than we do. Based on the scant information available, I'm imagining something slightly akin to [specific horror story].


*howling* Good god, I'd hate to be Nathan in all this.


I'd like to imagine Nathan having a happy reunion with all the forgotten friends when this is all over. That's definitely going to happen. Definitely.
*rocks back and forth whimpering*

This world is just toooooooo beautiful for words. I'm speechless. You build a wonderful, supernatural world.


Loved John/Nathan they were adorable together, even more than Harold/Nathan. Also John's calling him Gram is cute.


The library is alive!!!! Omg Omg 0_O this gave me a shiver to see how far it will go to protect Harold, it's terrifying. And yet it is all cute and adorable with Leon!


Ohhhhhhh!!!!! This is amazing, you know that, right? Like there's many clues here and there.


When I looked and I didn't see Root… I was like maybe I was imagining, maybe she wasn't there from the beginning… You may stop here, sweetie; no more losses, OK?


I can't give blanket permission for this work, since I'm building on the side stories written by others. However, I would love to see more people take a hand in fleshing out this AU! Several characters have not yet found authors, so we don't yet know what happened to Shaw, Carter, or Fusco, we haven't seen Grace's or Will's point of view. We've had practically no work reinterpreting the villains of the series (e.g. Mark Snow, Kara Stanton, Control, Hersh, Donnelly, Collier, Greer) under this AU.

So I'm willing to work with anyone who'd be interested (get in touch in the comments section!). A little brainstorming can help your piece fit right into the larger world of Unseen Things, making it an official part of the groupsourced worldbuild, and something I build from as I craft the main tale.

And, of course, if you like one of the smaller ideas—Leon as a fae changeling, for example, or Root as part machine—and would like to write a fic exploring that in a way not specifically connected to this worldbuild, go right ahead! You could even come up with a different style of SCP Fusion, or a different supernatural take on the team. Again, if you do, link me up!

Other Fics
A tiny man in a tiny suit… [3k AU]

While running errands for a laid-up Nathan, Harold finds the secret he's been hiding.

This AU pulls from such classics as The Borrowers, Tom Thumb and Thumbelina, along with The Castle in the Attic… and would also pull from Indian in the Cupboard and The Littles if I had much memory of either of those. I've always loved the concept of elves, gnomes, fairies and the like, so being able to recontextualize some of POI with that in mind was pretty fun.

Content Warnings
Mention of child abuse.
Link
A Little Help
Fan Comment
Lovely, thank you. I do enjoy gen/friendship and having Nathan around is just great. I loved all the suspense of Harold tracking his phone but… but… but… you stopped there? Damnit. 😉

I hadn't actually planned to post this one so early, since I don't yet have time to focus on it, but the first chapter was nearly ready to go when the Gift Fic season rolled around, so… yeah. I've got a general plan in mind, but at the moment it's quite vague.

A mission gone wrong leaves John in a bad way [2k]

John's injuries leave him unable to communicate in normal ways, and Harold has to figure out an alternative to let John know what's going on.

Content Warnings
John doesn't even realize that he's safe, because he's temporarily blind and deaf.
Link
Best-Case Scenario
(FFN version)
Fan Comments
This is so good!!!!! Your helpless John is so viscerally written, so many emotions. As soon as I finished, I reread it because I just needed more. Excellent characterization of everyone. I'm excited to read more if/when you can continue it!
Really great story, intense in its simplicity.

Currently on Hiatus; I never meant to leave John in that state, but it's at a reasonable stopping point, and I have so many other things to write right now.

Completed Works
and One-Shots

Strip Search

That title is (mostly) figurative. This is my Pilot Revamp, which turns the hotel scene on its head.

John interrogates Harold [15k]

When John slams Harold into the wall, he accidentally knocks him out, then figures it's a great chance to tie him to a bed and interrogate him.

Okay, yes, John did strip Harold's clothes off and tie him to a bed under a sheet. No details are given and nothing sexual happens; it's just to rattle Harold, and it certainly does the job!

Content Warnings
Harold thinks that John's going to kill him… and later that John's going to kill himself.
Link
Strip Search
(FFN version)
Fan Comments
This is the most brilliant and well-written narrative. You're genuinely terrified of John as you read it, just as Harold is, yet at the same time impressed by John's capabilities and Harold's conviction. You build tension really well in this story as the stakes get higher and higher. Amazing dialogue, set-up, and story all around.
I absolutely adored this story! Like, I'm high-key making this my headcanon for how the show actually starts because it's brilliant! Thank you for writing this.

Also has an "Abridged" version because some of my notes were amusing.

Other Fics
Why did John bring Harold a stuffed octopus? [1k] [+art]

Turns out Finch has more in common with an octopus than you might expect.

Content Warnings
Canon-Typical Paranoia
Link
Squidilarities
(FFN version)
Art by
MulaSaWala
Fan Comments
Aww, this fic is just lovely. Reese claiming that he reads Agatha Christie novels as 'research' is a nice touch; I can totally see him saying that.
This was a really cute little oneshot. The dialogue felt natural and flowed nicely, and you really pegged the characters of Reese and Finch. It's difficult to find a fic that highlights their friendship without making it romantic; or, at least, it's been difficult for me, so stumbling across this was a really nice surprise. (Side note: I absolutely love the title. Puns make me happy.)
April Fools 2020 [1k AU]

"I managed to ghost into his apartment, go through all his things, break the security measures on his laptop, plant bugs on half his furniture, and the only thing he notices was the missing gum? I think you should cut me some slack here, Frinch."

What's the Joke?
I messed with all the character names, then the characterizations; see below.
Link
’Arlod Flinched
Excerpt

“You realize this hunt for the Gingham Killer is gonna get you both killed, right?”

“That’s my lookout.”

“Yeah, well, if you bite the bucket, Josie’s gonna need some comforting.”

“Ryan,” Jon drawled, his voice gone smooth and silky and lethal, “please tell me you’re not threatening to do unsavory things to my sister.”

“Hey, whoa—no. Definitely not.”

“Good,” Jon said, and ended the conversation.

Characters

This is a Crack AU; feel free to build on the idea in any way you please. If you like, ask for more info in my comments section, and I'll dredge up my notes.

The altered cast is as follows (names that didn't make it into the text are in parentheses):

Harlod Frinch
Drinks matcha lattes. Considers pacifism a liability, after it got Nate killed; that's his big guilt, not "failing to save people" but "failing to kill a bad guy."
Jon Reece
Martial artist who refuses to even pick up a gun again. Still terrifying.
Josie Carver
Reece's foster sister.
Ryan L. Frisco
Gang member who blackmailed Reece into getting him a position on the force (Frinch spoofed his record). Works with/for Cal Alias.
Nate Gingham
Murdered by "The Gingham Killer" rather publicly.
Billy Gingham
Part of the team. Vengeful street fighter (and likely a criminal), skilled with guns.
Ruth (Borogove)
Anti-AI activist, good at dismantling technological systems. Uses graffiti to raise awareness. Kidnapped Harlod to find a way to shut the Machine down.
(Cal) Alias
Still a mob boss, but somehow connected to Frisco.
(Antonio) "Starface" (Macarooni)
"More of a wetwork kinda guy." Apparently his scar is nicer.
(Shae) "Coleslaw" (Amin)
Cole's death so traumatized her that she developed a split personality ("half cold, stoic deduction, half unquenchable rage").
(Cole Mitchell)
Still got killed by his own agency.
The Gingham Killer
Harlod had the chance to stop a killer, but refused on the grounds of pacifism; the guy killed Nate Gingham. Harlod has since been trying to find the killer and get revenge.

Also, the company that Harlod supposedly worked for was "Penewict, Dumble, & Gatch"—a nod to a certain familiar name, unrelated to POI but easy to recognize even when mangled into utter nonsense.

I also wrote Retrospective: Water (FFN version) (702 words), a short scene of Finch in peril that doubles as a rundown of my first year on AO3.

John Reese's Point of View

Canonical Characters

Normal or Canon Divergence

First, a story prompt, the first in my 2018 Monthly Prompts series. Which is a Finchnapping prompt, because of course it is:

You don't want him to fall, do you? [1k Prompt]

Harold's been captured by a crafty villain, and John needs to think fast on how to respond.

Content Warnings
Harold's kidnapper hurt him, badly.
Link
Bound to Fall (aka January Promptly Arrives)
Fan Comment
I kudos you for the sake of your creativity though it was a job for me to read through the whole scenario. I leave this in the hands of those who savor both the physical and psychological torture, with a side of humiliation that you've presented! Hope you get some good efforts!

(one week later) I have an idea for this prompt. Not sure how quickly I’ll finish it but I’m working on it!

Above comment was by the only person who actually did follow up on the prompt, thus earning a follow-up from me (the second chapter, posted… two years and eleven months later), along with a bonus piece of cover art… that I have yet to complete (though I did start on it… a while back).

Now let's see how John's trauma-inducing lifestyle is catching up to him:

Reprogram your nightmares [3k WIP]

When John starts having dreams about killing Harold, his therapist recommends a treatment option that involves rewriting the ending.

Where many fans would bend this scenario toward getting these two into a Ship, I'm not that sort of writer. Feel free to craft your own version; I'd love to read it!

Content Warnings
I'm not yet sure what this piece will involve.
Link
Improved Response Training
Fan Comment
Poor John. I can't even imagine what I'd be going through having dreams like that.
We did it… we survived [1k]

Content Warnings
Mixed feelings, some lasting injuries (occurred before fic begins)
Link
Ambivalence
Fan Comment
this is nice! I love easy things like this—peaceful and quiet and nice
Horror

Beware: This idea is creepy enough that you might find it hard to get out of your brain.

They took me apart and put me back together… [6k AU]

John finds Harold disoriented, traumatized, and babbling nonsense, acting as though they've been apart for years, though surely it's been only an hour, tops. What the hell happened to him?

Content Warnings
Severe trauma in both senses of the term. Body Horror.
Link
Bespoke
(FFN version)
Fan Comments
I should not have read this right before I went to bed. Like, at all, holy shit. It's amazing though! Just… slightly terrifying.
I'm speechless: I was reading it and saying please don't end.
wow, wow wow This is perfect
so scary it sent chills through my body.

When John started cutting the suit with scissors I was like Noooo John!!! Harold told you that he becomes the clothes he's wearing!

This piece gets a bit gruesome, so in case you'd like a fuller view of the plot before diving in: Harold got abducted by extradimensional beings who ran horrible experiments on him and Root for about ten years. They dissected him like a frog yet kept him alive; when putting him back together, they didn't understand the distinction between the person and the clothing.

Genderswap

In one fic, I showcase female Reese with female Elias. I also started a series of female Finch fics, and I'm quite enjoying those. (They're separate AUs, but if anyone would like to put the two genderswapped characters in the same fic, feel free!)

Female Reese
Joanna and Carlee [1k AU]

Reese helps Elias in a situation similar to how they met, and a few secrets pour forth.

Content Warnings
Discussion of drugs and child abuse.
Link
Joanna and Carlee
(FFN version)
Fan Comment
What I love about this fic is that being of different genders doesn't change who John and Elias are. Even as Carlee, you can totally see Elias going against and defeating the Russians and her father. And Joanna will always be there to save the day, trying to do good to make up for her past actions.

My favorite part of your fic is Carlee trying different drugs because she wanted to know the effects of them if she were to go into drug running. She wanted to know the consequences of her own actions.
Isn't Carlee an odd choice for Elias?

I recall struggling to figure out a set of female variant names that'd work with both Carl Elias and Charlie Burton. Carol Burton was natural enough, but that took away the fairly obvious female equivalent of Carl. (Someone recently pointed out Carlotta, which is obvious in retrospect. Although since Carl is canonically not Carlo, it seems the Italian background gets a bit underplayed. (Also, I can't stand the name Carla, but maybe that's just flashbacks to Cheers.))

Looking at the statistics, it appears that Carlee is a trendy variant of Carly. Carly started a little after 1970 (before I was born!), and Carlee around 1990. So it's unlikely, though not impossible, for this character to be legally Carly Elias, and maybe to have changed it to Carlee just for kicks. It's somewhat more likely that she's legally Carlotta Elias and went with a nickname that's less obvious, or that's shorter and less weighty and leads to people underestimating her.

Honestly, this is a one-shot, and I don't care enough to justify it more than that. If you'd like to make a female variant of Elias with a more plausible name, I'd love to see it!

Also of note: Tonya (Marconi) gets mentioned. Assuming they grew up in the same orphanage, makes sense they'd be the same gender.

Female Finch
Finch loves languages [3k AU]

John gets to know his mysterious benefactor and her unique relationship to language.

Content Warnings
Mostly a rundown of canon-typical events.
Link
Borrowed Accents
Sequel
A Conversation with Miss Kittiwake (written first, but later in sequence)
Fan Comment

One thing I have noticed about your genderbend fics is how much thought and care you put into it. Like in some fics, it's basically male character in female clothing. Nothing about them really changes except for how they are addressed/named and their clothing.

This is not the case in this story. I mean you actually have a Finch who previously learned how to physically defend herself, something I assume never crossed male Finch's mind. It's just something he didn't have to worry about so he didn't make it a priority to learn before his accident.

I also love how much effort she puts into her personas. They have distinct personalities, dressing, accents, and mannerisms. This Finch is more self-aware, cunning and socially adaptable; she seems a lot more paranoid and meticulous than the original Finch, and that's saying something!

Story Prompts

I've posted a variety of ideas for people to build on, and these often take the form of minifics/ficlets; here's one of my birthday prompts:

Three minutes until Harold gets kidnapped (again)… [400 Prompt]

Story Prompt: John's too far away to stop the kidnapping. They've got three minutes to talk; what does he say?

Content Warnings
Harold's distraught. Canon-typical stuff.
Link
Three Minutes
Fan Comment
You captured John exceptionally well in this—he really came to life as I read it! You inspired a lot of responses with that [idea], and each one was entertaining in its own way.

This prompted five fills on the first year, and one more later; I think that's a pretty good haul 😊

And from my 2018 Monthly Prompt set:

June Unexpectedly Arises [800]
Prompt: John just drugged Harold; why?
February Soon Appears [300]
Prompt: Navigating a dangerous environment without sight.

I pledged to write a follow-up for any Monthly Prompt that got fills; both of these did, so they should see a short update (eventually).

In addition, there's a fluffy Drabble (100 words exactly) that centers on both characters but doesn't show a strong POV: The Fight (FFN version).

John features heavily in To Be There in Time, where Harold is trying desperately to use time magic to give John a better fate.

An unusual use of John as an oblivious Impact Character is in The Journey of Anton O'Mara (three fics so far, 4200 words), where Anton runs into John numerous times, but John never actually notices. (Looking at John from the outside, he is one terrifying criminal you absolutely don't want to mess with.)

Additional fics featuring John and Harold can be found on the Ships page (once I eventually create it).

Beyond Finch and Reese

Since I focus primarily on Harold's point of view, he'll be showing up in most of these fics (and John shows up quite a bit as well). But I've sorted them by whichever other characters are in prominence.

Fics with only two significant characters (not counting Finch and Reese) will show up in both sections. Fics with more significant characters, or general group dynamics, are found in the Ensemble section.

Elias (and Marconi)

Ah, our lovable mobsters: Elias and his right-hand man. I love the way these guys play off Harold, and sometimes off John.

Elias shows up in some Ensemble fics, of course, and his friendship with Marconi is in focus in Shared Spirits; he's also in two pieces of fan art and a couple of (unfortunately buggy) Sims 3 characters (I also made Marconi). He also plays a key role in Unseen Things (or, well, he used to).

As far as fics where he's a major player, well, two of them belong on the (not yet ready) Ships and Sexuality page; the other four are here.

Bargains

Elias
So you want me to shut down Massey's little hunting party? Well, I suppose I do owe you something for saving my life. Even so, everything does come with a cost.
Finch
I assumed there would be. What is it you want?
Elias
Well, as I said, I have no need of possessions…

The negotiation scene from Triggerman (S2 E04) inspired me to write a lot of variations. The original episode plays it up like it's gonna be something dramatic; mine actually get dramatic, to various degrees of intensity (and discomfort for Harold).

For Bargains (originally One Bargain Harold Could Not Agree to (and Five He Could)), I explored other things that Elias might ask of Harold. Then, in Nippitaty, I take it a step further, into a supernatural AU. Here's the rundown:

Chapter 0: A life for a life [9k]

The bargain Harold couldn't accent: Murder.

Marconi factors into the last half, in a surprisingly solicitous way.

The (Attempted) Bargain
Elias does everything he can to persuade Harold that it's in both their best interests to kill this one guy, and when Harold still refuses, Elias swears to triple the bounty on Reese. Harold won't budge, and leaves… but that's not the end of it.
Content Warnings
Harold is scared enough to suffer a panic attack.
Link
Lines in the Sand
Fan Comment
Oh, this was brilliant. Of course Harold wouldn't agree to such a term. I know John would side with Harold on this too. Poor Harold, that really was a mean thing to trick him with. I get why Elias did it though. Fear is one of the easiest ways to see into a person; it brings out all the negatives we keep hidden.
Chapter 1: A legacy [2k]

Rather than ask something for himself, Elias asks something for his right-hand man.

The Bargain
Make a charity honoring Anthony Marconi.
Link
Legacy
Fan Comment
Awww, Elias! That's so sweet! But now I wanna see Anthony's reaction to the present.

Chapter Two: Elias asks for info about Harold, and they end up playing a game like Twenty Questions, with Elias asking well-crafted questions and Harold giving carefully evasive answers. I posted a preview snippet

Chapter Three: TBA. I have it in my notes as "Skills," or Elias sending Harold out to accomplish some task.

Chapter 4: Physical Intimacy [9k WIP]

—…

The Bargain
Elias implies that he's going to have sex with Harold, and Harold spends most of the first chapter angsting over the possibility, but in the end it's easier… and more complicated. What he's really bargained for is massage—just the stress relief and intimacy of physical touch that both men have been missing in their lives.
Link
Touch
Fan Comments (one for each chapter)
I was holding my breath the whole chapter; I can feel how nervous, confused and scared Harold is. You did a wonderful work showing his emotions. And then of course Elias's confusion about how willing Harold is to sacrifice everything to help saving lives! I found what you did brilliant.
Oh. Oh, oh, this fic hits it all for me, manipulation, mind games, non-sexual physical intimacy, Elias being a complicated mix of ruthless and caring, Harold being unshakeably moral and loyal. I adore the dynamic you've created between these characters throughout this fic—it started with such an intense unsettled atmosphere, and turned incredibly cathartic, and I'm very keen to see how you wrap it up.

Elias used the implication simply to rattle Harold—to see how far Harold was willing to go, which gives him a better idea of who Harold really is..

Chapter Five: TBA. I haven't yet figured out what the last installment should be.

Vampire Elias

The AU variants of Bargains started with Nippitaty, wherein Elias is a vampire lord:

Just a little blood… [22k AU WIP]

When Harold comes to Elias for help, he's ready to bargain almost anything—but he never expected the revelation that comes.

The Bargain
Elias lays out his reasons for wanting to feed on Harold, and Harold, despite being horrified by the idea, eventually agrees that it's the best deal. This and Chapter 4: Touch are deliberately close in terms of intensity and uncertainty but an ultimately positive Elias who does good by Harold.
Link
Nippitaty (or, The Angel's Share)
(FFN version: Nippitaty (A Fine Vintage))
Fan Comment
I'm actually shook over how good this fic is. I was expecting some sort of shallow, Twilight-esque story and I was very pleased and surprised to see that you really put a lot of work into your story, really going into depth with how Finch reacts to different things and his thought process in general.

Also, I appreciate that you're writing about friendship instead of romance in this story—while I don't mind reading romance, I think friendship is undervalued and you're right, there are far too few friendship fics.
So what kind of vampire, anyway?

As Elias explains in the first chapter, I went with the fun bits and discarded most of the weaknesses/lore—e.g. he's not harmed by sunlight, nor does he need to seek permission to enter a home. Still, his supply of blood-energy is what fuels his powers, and if he gets hungry enough, his desire for blood overpowers all other considerations.

Feeding establishes a bond (allows him to sense Harold's health, emotions, and proximity), and he can go further and establish a thrall bond like he has with Anthony (though Harold asks him not to).

Some powers shown so far include super strength and speed, mind powers (including being able to look for information, and to plant suggestions), glamours (personal illusions and "don't pay attention to me" effects), and the ability to heal. He's also shown changed into a quasi-incorporeal state with some level of flight/hovering.

This fic has resonated with multiple readers, and I'd definitely suggest giving it a shot if you're not averse to intense psychological and physiological reactions. Again, bear in mind the kind of tale I write: intense, intimate, but Ship-free.

Want more vampy Elias?

Check out Crimson Silk by Tipsylex, one of the side stories to Unseen Things; it shows what happens to Elias after the team forgets that he exists. Spoiler: He's found by sorta-vampire Zoe, who turns him into a sorta-vampire as well, and they have DubCon sex.

Also, I've released a vampire version of Elias on the Sims Exchange, though sadly it's buggy (bad CC) and I need to make a fresh one. As if I had time to disinfect my whole Sims 3 setup and start from scratch (sigh). If anyone cares to recreate them, link me up!


Genderplay

One of my collections is a Genderswap Bechdel-Wallace series: A conversation between two female characters, one of whom is male in canon. These two pieces are part of that, although the Marconi piece is borderline.

Borderline?

Well, I left Marconi's gender ambiguous. The character is pretty clearly not cisfemale, but might be trans, NB, or genderqueer -- or might be a cismale who wants the social freedom to dress in female-coded clothing.

The trans reading would fit my series conception (female Marconi), but the others would not.

Anyway! Let's start with Carlee Elias:

Female Reese with Female Elias [1k AU]

Reese helps Elias in a situation similar to how they met, and a few secrets pour forth.

Content Warnings
Discussion of drugs and child abuse.
Link
Joanna and Carlee
(FFN version)
Fan Comment
What I love about this fic is that being of different genders doesn't change who John and Elias are. Even as Carlee, you can totally see Elias going against and defeating the Russians and her father. And Joanna will always be there to save the day, trying to do good to make up for her past actions.

My favorite part of your fic is Carlee trying different drugs because she wanted to know the effects of them if she were to go into drug running. She wanted to know the consequences of her own actions.
Isn't Carlee an odd choice for Elias?

I recall struggling to figure out a set of female variant names that'd work with both Carl Elias and Charlie Burton. Carol Burton was natural enough, but that took away the fairly obvious female equivalent of Carl. (Someone recently pointed out Carlotta, which is obvious in retrospect. Although since Carl is canonically not Carlo, it seems the Italian background gets a bit underplayed.)

Also, I can't stand the name Carla, but maybe that's just flashbacks to Cheers.

Looking at the statistics, it appears that Carlee is a trendy variant of Carly. Carly started a little after 1970 (before I was born!), and Carlee around 1990. So it's unlikely, though not impossible, for this character to be legally Carly Elias, and maybe to have changed it to Carlee just for kicks. It's somewhat more likely that she's legally Carlotta Elias and went with a nickname that's less obvious, or that's shorter and less weighty and leads to people underestimating her.

Honestly, this is a one-shot, and I don't care enough to justify it more than that. If you'd like to make a female variant of Elias with a more plausible name, I'd love to see it!

Also of note: Tonya (Marconi) gets mentioned. Assuming they grew up in the same orphanage, makes sense they'd be the same gender.

Marconi in a dress [2k]

An ambiguous take on Marconi's "performative masculinity".

Experimental Form: A natural-sounding text that doesn't refer to Marconi using any pronouns at all (thus leaving the gender ambiguous).

I explore the social pressures that keep Marconi from straying outside the cultural lines of masculinity. Not only did it turn out to be a fascinating character study, but it was a chance to play Marconi off Zoe Morgan, and now I'd like to see that setup a little more often.

Content Warnings
Well, it's one big dancing-around-the-issues-a-bit conversation about gender roles and societal expectations. That might bug some people and trigger others.
Link
Costumes
Fan Comment
I love how you write Zoe's perceptiveness and how she weighs up whether to bring the matter up at all, and Marconi's body language communicates a great deal. Also it's very tricky to write something natural and unstilted while leaving gender and pronouns ambiguous, but you pulled it off really smoothly!

Again, if anyone would like to explore these variations in greater detail, I fully encourage it!

Root and The Machine

Root often acts as a mouthpiece for The Machine, and readers interested in one are likely to be interested in the other, so I've grouped them together. I play Root with complicated feelings; she's intelligent, pragmatic, and good at mimickry but socially inept and a bit disconnected from others' expectations. Still, she wants to fit in and be accepted by the few people she actually values (Harold, Shaw, and The Machine).

Once I get the Ships and Sexuality page up and running, there will be an entry for one fic that delves into her love life, though it's mostly introspective. She also shows up in a piece of fan art.

One-Shots and Completed Chapterfics

Episode Perspectives

Let's start with one of my earliest fics, based on the scene in Skip where Root tried to knock Harold out so she could go kill his sorta-girlfriend:

Root… please don't kill her [4k]

As Root tries to knock Harold out, Harold begs her to find a solution other than killing Beth.

In Skip, Root tries to knock Harold out, but Harold derails her plan. That seemed a shame, so I took away the piece that allowed him to do that, and delved into his thoughts and emotions while trying to navigate that encounter and plead his case.

Content Warnings
Root knocks Harold out and ties him to a bed.
Link
A Better Way
AO3 version contains Mature Content; see below.
Fan Comment
This is just. Really powerful. I've thought a lot about Root and Harold's relationship and how deeply the kidnapping affected him but I didn't even realize until reading this that in my own little piece on the subject, when Root confesses her terrible deeds to John, all that even occurs to her are the physical injuries.

There are two versions of this fic; the FFN version concludes while it's still a Gen fic, so that's why this links there. For the slightly longer AO3 version, see the Ships page, once I get it running (or browse my AO3 account to find it).

Shorter Fics

Now for a short piece I wrote to cheer up a fellow fan over a minor but embarrassing mistake at work:

"I'm so sorry I hurt you, Harold." [400]

After Root accidentally sends Harold to the hospital, she drops by, distraught, to apologize. Harold, of course, forgives her immediately (there’s nothing to forgive), but John might have other ideas.

Content Warnings
John is scary even when he's not in the room.
Link
A Little Slip
Fan Comment
this is adorable 😸 john's little picture threat is Hilarious. and poor root!

I'm not much of a comedy writer, but I do love it when little details make my readers laugh ^_^

And for some distilled angst, have a Sci-Fi short in just two Drabble chapters: Samaritan is stripping away Harold's humanity, and that's maybe not the worst part:

You… you planned this?? [200 AU]

Samaritan infects Harold with nanites that change your brain and body, turning you into one of their agents.

It's both better and worse than that.

Content Warnings
Body Horror / Non-Consensual Body Modification; betrayal
Link
Man, on the Inside
(FFN version)
Fan Comment-
I don't know what's happening, but I love it!
Oooohhh, nanites from the Machine. That’s a twist I didn’t see happening. I’d love to see how this plays out in the end! Good job so far!

I don't anticipate following up on this one, but feel free to give it a try! I do enjoy the thought of this AU, I just don't have the time to pursue it.

Lastly, at the close of my second year on AO3 (2018), I wrote a short conversation between Harold and the Machine that doubles as a summary of my mindset during that year:

Must… try… harder… [500] [+Meta]

Harold won't let himself rest. Maybe he should.

This is kinda like a cross between an apology for taking too long to update, a rundown of my feelings about the problem, and a reminder (to myself as much as to others) that pushing myself too hard is detrimental and counter-productive.

Content Warnings
Anxiety
Link
Retrospective: Air
Fan Comment
I admire the way you weave all those layers in such a compact story. I've reread it several times and I still discover new meanings.

Maybe someday I'll internalize the lesson.

Open Chapterfics / WIP

To Be There in Time

It's been rightly compared to It's a Wonderful Life and The City on the Edge of Forever: In an effort to give John a better fate, Harold goes back through the key decisions of his life, then playing out the consequences of changing it. Which is, shall we say, not pleasant.

Time magic can fix everything, right? [16k AU]

Harold attempts to give John a better ending by changing parameters, but everything he tries ends up making things worse.

I have mixed feelings about Root, the most tech-happy member of the team, being repurposed as basically a witch, but it worked out so well for this piece, as she guides him through other possibilities and helps him see what might have happened had he chosen differently.

Content Warnings
Mind the tags. It goes even so far as Harold being basically a villain. Also has a Crying Finch tag ^_^
Link
To Be There in Time
Fan Comments
Wow—another intense and well-written chapter. There are shades of A Christmas Carol and It's a Wonderful Life and the classic Star Trek episode The City on the Edge of Forever. In all of them, of course, a character is given glimpses of alternate realities, the effect of their life and choices on those around them.

You're doing a wonderful job of exploring possibilities and making it feel real—though it's looking grim! *sigh* I guess it wouldn't be October and a story by you if it weren't a matter of multiple bad choices and painful bargains! You've totally hooked me.
Oh wow oh wow oh wow. Really enjoyed every iteration of the Ghosts of Christmas Finch, loved the stuff with Nathan, but that last part was something, man. Love to see Harold go full supervillain and I gasped when I realized John was going to do the Necessary Thing. I feel like that apology was probably enough for John in the end. They can rest together. Great work!
NaNoWriMo 2018

The cast and setting of POI with the plot of Saints Row IV adds up to a huge, glorious AU thrill ride that is not for squeamish readers.

Basically, Decima captured the gang and imprisoned them in the Matrix (virtual reality), but Root manages to free Harold, who then goes back in (with admin access) to find and free their friends.

I said from the start that this was too big a story to ever complete. It's the only fic that I do not intend to finish. (Anyone who cares to follow up on this idea is encouraged to do so.)

The Hacker in the Matrix [53k]

Within the Matrix, Harold learns to use superpowers and sets out to rescue his allies….

If you've ever wanted to see Harold with really weird superpowers, here's your chance. Being inside a simulation with admin access lets him to do some bizarre things to move around and affect his environment (or, conversely, to remain unaffected by his environment, such as sitting underwater without drowning). Not entirely comfortable.

The general idea is that Samaritan (or, well, a part of Samaritan) is trying to determine how to manipulate/control them in order to get information and/or brainwash them. Had the story continued, it would've shown Harold slowly amassing allies, some of whom would join him in the online effort to find the rest. I was very much playing it by ear.

*This fic will never be completed, though I might add to it a bit. If you've played that game, you'll have an idea of how it was all meant to play out, more or less (swapping some key plot points for POI-appropriate ones; plus, the simulation itself has more personality).

Content Warnings
Read at Your Own Risk. Contains invasive medical procedures and depicts child abuse. Not adequately tagged; see below for more info.
Link
Manipulations
Fan Comments
This is amazing, I love the idea of the computer nerd actually being in the computer (ok, as a sim, but you get my point). Also, I just love the writing style, it flows smoothly and is very descriptive without being too overwhelming, and the fact that you describe actions and situations that never even crossed my mind is an added bonus.
Each chapter seems to introduce a new form of torture for Harold. It shares with many of your other stories an underlying theme of Harold being forced to submit to and accept suffering in oddly rape-like situations: rendered partially or completely naked and having various parts of his body painfully invaded. A garden of delight for those who enjoy his torment!

Content Warning: NaNoWriMo means writing 50,000 words in 30 days; I was in a bit of a rush to write and post as fast as possible. That left no time to be careful with the tags/warnings like I usually try to be. I would go back and fix that, but it's a huge fic and I haven't the time.

Delves into some uncomfortable territory, including some really trippy stuff that might hit at primal fears, and a few non-consensual (though not sexual) elements.

I'm just gonna leave a link here to another piece of content I ought to have pulled from: Elf Only Inn, a webcomic that started as a parody set in a chat room, and later moved into an MMORPG setting. Though it remains unfinished, I have fond memories of that tale, and it's got quite an interesting interplay between the in-game and out-game (meta) shenanigans, so I really ought to read through that again and see if it sparks any ideas for this fic.

Root also plays a key role in Unseen Things)... or, at least, she used to.

Also, Root's the one coming to kidnap Harold during the Three Minutes prompt (and thus factors into the follow-ups), and she gets a significant mention in Bespoke even though she's never onscreen.

The rest of Team Machine!(Carter, Fusco, and Shaw)

I haven't covered as much ground with these guys on an individual basis, and several fics here combine them, so we'll take them as a set. They also show up in a set of fan art: Carter in one piece, Fusco and Shaw in another.

By the by, my favorite canonical stretch is what I call the Season Three Sweet Spot: Before a certain key death, and before the show’s entire focus shifted dramatically. A little Canon Divergence to get Root in the picture, or to let a certain character survive, and Season 3 is pretty much my favorite tone out of the entire series.

Early-Series Team Machine (Carter)

Genderswapped Finch
Female Finch with Carter [4k AU]

Finch gets a ride from Carter, and the secrets pour forth.

Content Warnings
Hmm… discussion of medical privacy? Pretty canon-typical topics, I think.
Link
A Conversation with Miss Kittiwake
(FFN version)
Prequel
Borrowed Accents (written later, but sequentially earlier)
Inspired By
An Unstoppable Force by iteration (original prompt/idea by giandujakiss)
(Podfic Version by dodificus)
Fan Comment
[Her name] is brilliantly creative—and drawing on an actual real world novel, I love that.
Enjoyed watching some of the layers unravel. Good mystery. Extremely well done.

My female version of Finch has by now distinguished herself, in a number of ways, from both the canonical Harold and the Harriet Finch from An Unstoppable Force. If you'd like to take her for a spin, see below for character details and general policy:

Character Details

Where John switched surnames but stuck to the same basic character, where he picked up on accents but didn’t bother changing his own, Finch switched personas with uncanny ease, affecting everything about her: posture, gestures, expressions, energy, even her sense of social space, conversational timing, and the amount of eye contact.

And, of course, her speech. Finch, as it turned out, was a master of accents. Finch didn’t just use language as part of her disguise, she lived in it. Language was her sphere, just as spy work was his. And she was even better than he was at spotting the outlier.

Finch (not a surname) is a small woman and a master of disguise. She's developed a variety of personas, focusing on changing her mannerisms to such a degree that she could meet you twice without changing her hair or clothing and you'd very likely fail to make the connection (like the flip side of Change Blindness). She told Carter that each persona is based around some core connection to herself (bits of herself or people she's known, etc.), which is how she keeps track of the details.

"Call me Finch"

Unlike with Harold Finch or Harriet Finch, this "Finch" uses it as a full name in and of itself. She constructed this deliberately intriguing, mysterious version of herself specifically to hold John's interest without letting him know too much about her; later, she uses it for her main interactions with the team, and nowhere else.

The Finch accent is built around a Western American core, and is unobtrusive enough that few pay attention, but it's been modified ("carved away at the edges") with odd turns of phrase, off pronunciations to confuse anyone trying to pin down her accent.

When playing other roles, she uses the given name "Harriet," or occasionally "Gwyn." Her parents named her "Arrietty," though her original surname has not yet been disclosed (it's not Finch or Clock).

Past and Family

“Am I ever gonna know anything about you that’s actually true?”

“You already know several facts about me. It’s just that you don’t have enough information to distinguish the truth from the… disguise. But these details about me are true: My mother died before I was old enough to remember her. My father died not knowing who I was. And my real name has never been Harriet.”

Finch's Mother:

“I’m just trying to imagine my mother being that… ordinary. That’s what I have left of her, you see: her eccentricities. My father would tell me stories of all the outlandish things she got up to while they were dating, and even after they married. I, ah… sometimes I would… comfort myself, with thoughts of the wonderfully unorthodox fun that we would have had together, had she been able to stay with us just a while longer.”

Finch's Father:

“My father developed Alzheimer’s while I was very young. All of the wonderful stories that he used to tell me slowly melted away, along with his skills, and his thoughts, and the ability to manage the most basic tasks and keep track of what he was doing. By the time that I was forced to leave him, he’d forgotten not only me but even the fact that he had ever been married. It’s… not quite the fairy-tale ending that one might hope for, starting off with that much love.

“But the love was there, you see. And it’s not diminished just because it faded. My father’s love created a mother for me. His memories became the memories that I never had the chance to develop for myself. When his memories started to disappear, I tried to make a… a machine that could save them for him. But what I didn’t understand at the time was that he’d already saved them—the most important ones. He’d given them to me.”

Personas and Dialects
“Spinning out tales is the way I’ve learned to keep myself safe… and to keep the ones around me, the ones I care about, from getting pulled into matters that could harm them for something as simple as knowing the truth. But I haven’t lied to you, Detective. I have been very carefully and conscientiously determining which pieces of truth I can pass along without endangering you too badly, and it has been quite the stimulating exercise. I don’t usually feel free to let out even this much about my past. “The truth is that I… construct… each of my personas around a core thread of reality, something real about my past. A different piece each time. In this way, they’re easier to remember and to maintain, and it gives me a foundation from which to extrapolate new details as necessary, without overlap or confusion.”

Here's a rundown of the various personas:

Already Shown
Miss Kittiwake
Midwestern; a good all-purpose guise. Trendy and colorful, a bit more stylish than Finch.
Mrs. Bunting
A relaxed, friendly schoolteacher sort with a rhotic Southern drawl, "entirely too touristy." Fictional husband deceased.
Miss Piper
A rapid, tense, nervous energy with a Manhattan accent; a tidy suit.
Ms. Tanager
A friendly Brooklyn accent; sharp but honest eyes, more obviously observant, calls attention to her surroundings and points out birds; wears darker colors.
Dr. Siskin
No-nonsense North Dakota accent; non-medical PhD, likely a psychiatrist sort.
Ms. Kestrel
In-your-face Bronx, spitting mad, "a shot of adrenaline" for when Finch needs it.
Ms. Moa
A shifting Long Island accent; ostentatious wardrobe (big fluffy coats) and a sense of spectacle, calling attention to herself and away from others. Calm, relaxed, and over-the-top generous.
Mentioned in Footnotes
Miss Dove
Unassuming and kind
Mrs. Ibis
Sharp, disapproving
Ms. Vidua
Tricky/sneaky type; some of Finch's clandestine skills were researched with this character in mind.
Dr. Skua
The one with the pilot's license; also not a medical doctor.
Dr. Nightjar
Analogous to Mr. Egret, only somewhat more mad-scientisty; draws from the worst things she recalls of what doctors have done to her over the years.
Mrs. Tinamou, Mrs. Passerine, or Mrs. Tinamou-Passerine
Uses Passerine inconsistently, making up whatever she needs for the moment, rewriting the identity with no worry about contradictions. Uses these three possibilities whenever she wants people to have trouble recalling the name.

She rarely pulls out Dr. Nightjar or Ms. Vidua; they're more as a contingency plan.

The Mrs. types (Ibis, Bunting, Tinamou/Passerine) either have an in-paperwork-only husband, or are widowed. Kittiwake, Moa, and Skua are the ones that deviate most strongly from her normally preferred wardrobe (which is far more conservative and less noticeable/memorable).

If you have any suggestions for other bird-based identities that sound like they'd suit a female Finch better than a male Finch, by all means point them out!

At MIT

It's possible that she was Miss Wren, or Ms. Tanager.

And the "Rudiger Smoot" identity was based on an MIT hack, so I just browsed some programming terms from languages that came out in the 80s, and I'm not sure if the timing works out, but "Constance Mute" might be a possible oxymoronic identity (what is constant cannot be mutable). (I might need to search a little more.)

More Dialects/Accents Sometimes a little fellow-feeling is worth more than my artistic pride.

On the phone, she uses accents from other cultures (Russian, Indian, Portuguese, Kenyan, Korean) and, if useful, mimics a male voice (young, drunk, gay, or trans—she can't go low enough to mimic a typical adult male voice).

She exploits prejudices, including sexism, classism, ableism, and racial/cultural solidarity. She can pretend to be Deaf, change her apparent social class (including using an upper-class British accent to appear intellectual), or choose an accent related to those she's interacting with (presumably because they'd more easily pick up on her errors were she to try their exact accent).

She's also schooled in foreign idioms, and jargon for a number of professions including chemist, detective, nurse, violinist, and legal assistant—as well as jargon specific to Riker's.

Her less local North American accents include Canadian, Hawaiian, and Miami; they're every bit as practiced as her New York ones. She can also use multiple variants of Irish and Hispanic dialects, along with Italian-American and "showing off the fact that I'm studying Japanese."

Personal Details
"I trained in self-defense... used to be pretty good at dodging, could manage a few kicks, some throws and holds, even though I'm small. But now I can't move fluidly like I used to, I have to watch how I changed direction, and I'm afraid of making it worse, of going from partial mobility to none at all."

She's also studied Applied Psychology, and is skilled in social sciences and psychological tricks. You need to convey a sense of honor, and make them think you value them as a person, not merely what they can do for you; money alone won't do that.

She's brave:

The attack has her rattled, and yet she does not run; she reinvents herself.

Says that chickpea stew is one of her favorites.

Though not indicated in the text itself, Finch is (probably) a Graysexual/Bi-demiromantic; she has little interest in forming romantic bonds, even less interest in sexual activity, and she is not attracted to any of her teammates. This distinguishes her from the Harriet Finch of An Unstoppable Force, who was suppressing her attraction.

Blanket Permission with Caveats

I'd love to see others take Finch for a spin -- write any sort of story with her in it. Please make sure that readers know where the original character came from.

Blanket Permission: If my version of Miss Finch strikes your fancy, go ahead and take her for a test drive in your own writing—just let readers know where you got the character, and send me a link so I can enjoy it too! (It'd be nice if you also link back to this story.)

I don't put any restrictions on the content; however, I do have some preferences:

For one, if the topic of sexuality or romance gets raised, I would prefer for Finch to be shown as, or understood as, Graysexual (minimal interest in sex) with no sexual or romantic interest in any of her teammates (although if they raise the possibility, who knows how she might respond?). She has a romantic mind, but that doesn't mean she's interested in getting romantically attached to anyone at present. It hasn't yet been established in my series, but she had an Asexual Romantic tie to both Nathan and Grace; she's Biromantic or, more likely, Bi-Demiromantic (not much interest in romance, and certainly not before she really gets to know you, but gender is no barrier to nonsexual romantic ties).

For two, she distinguishes herself from the canonical Harold Finch in their comparative interests in tech vs. social sciences. Harold may care about people and their welfare, but he generally keeps his distance from them socially; Finch has more of an interest in forming ties, but is currently held back by circumstances. And where Harold is primarily a hacker who stays in the shadows but occasionally takes on roles, Finch is a language geek and an actress with a fair amount of tech/hacking skill. She's also spent plenty of time developing infiltration skills of a more physical nature; for example, she knew how to pick locks long before meeting John.

For three, Finch has been affected by sexism, but it is not a primary or driving force of her character, and she's not pleased when people bring everything back to gender issues. Still, her time at MIT was quite different from Harold's; she wasn't as easily accepted into the field, and had to fight more for recognition of her talents. She likely played more pranks, too. And it took a while for Nathan to see her as something other than a possible date; they didn't get along at first.

Please note that the character is intended to be in contrast to Harriet Finch from An Unstoppable Force. I love that Harriet, and she's part of the reason I created my own, who got used to creating identities and eventually started having fun with them.

Avenger Fools!

And a little fun imagining the gang as the cast of The Avengers:

April Fools MCU Fusion [1k AU]

I swapped out the cast of The Avengers (Marvel) for the cast of POI, and played out the scene of them arguing on the helicarrier.

Content Warnings
Link
Fledgling Avengers
Characters
Team Machine (minus Fusco) plus Control, Zoe, Nathan, and Michael Cole; Root's a villain
Fan Comment
This is a great idea, the POI and MCU universes fit perfectly together! I think Will Ingram is more like Spiderman than Hawkeye. Reese might make a good Hawkeye instead, but I do think he and Banner have a lot in common. I'm always curious to see how they would react to each other if Harold Finch and Tony Stark ever met. Imagine their AIs meeting!

Incidentally, I did have Harold and Tony interact (and discuss their respective AIs) in Retrospective: Fire—over an interdimensional phone call!

Character Swaps

Here's how the characters play out in this Fusion AU:

Dr. Harold Finch
A scientist whose experiments gave him some kind of split personality. (Bruce Banner)
Reese
The split personality. Comes out when Finch is in danger. "The suited menace" with lethal skills; Finch is terrified of him. (The Hulk)
Zoe Morgan
A billionaire who trades in secrets who's finally developed a conscience about what sort of secrets she trades, and to whom. (Tony Stark)
Joss Carter
To serve her country, she volunteered for an experiment; her body's now at peak physical performance. (Steve Rogers)
Agent Shaw
Her childhood training included a procedure that all but stripped her of emotions. (Natasha Romanoff)
Michael Cole
Shaw's best friend, magically brainwashed into serving Root. (Clint Barton)
Control
The no-nonsense leader of this pack of misfits, willing to use any means to protect humanity. (Nick Fury)
Nathan Ingram
Scion of an alien race that claims to be gods; here to retrieve his mad sister. (Thor Odinson)
Root
Knows how to strike at the heart of a person with just a few words; the villain of this piece. (Loki)

Come to think of it, I should probably give Nathan a different spin on his name, like Nate Gramson.

As pointed out in the fan comment, Will Ingram would be Spider-Man (which implies that Zoe would take Will under her wing, and probably screw that up as badly as the real Tony did). And Grace could be Pepper Potts. I'd say that Fusco would be that alien dad guy in GotG, except that he's probably more like a more bumbling Coulson... or maybe Jasper Sitwell, come to think of it, if Sitwell eventually turned good.

Anyway, anyone who'd like to expand upon this fusion piece is encouraged to do so!

Late-Series Team Machine (No Carter)

Casefic

One of my most acclaimed POI fics, with three points of view (Fusco, Shaw, & Finch) and an experimental form that turned out better than I expected.

Tracking a Kidnapped Finch [41k]

When Finch gets kidnapped, Fusco and Shaw try to track him down before Reese finds out.

This tale uses a couple of experimental techniques that turned out surprisingly well; some of the comments I most treasure were made on this fic by authors I look up to (see below).

The tale is split into three distinct internal viewpoints, each using Second-Person Singular ("you"). The Shaw & Fusco chapters detail the chase/recovery; the Finch chapters detail the kidnap experience, rescue, and his history with the kidnappers. The chronology is kinda weird because it keeps skipping backward to get a different character's perspective on the same events.

So there are five ways to read this story:

The Kidnap Experience (Finch): Intense Drama (and flashbacks)

From Finch's point of view, delve deep into the fear, angst, and guilt as Finch recalls his history with the kidnappers and then goes through the tortures they put him through.

The Chase (Fusco & Shaw): Lower Intensity

Follow Finch's teammates as they track him down as quickly as possible in a really tight casefic—far less focus on the torture (more focus on the first aid, once they've rescued him), less detail about the kidnappers, fewer flashbacks. More mystery about why Finch got kidnapped and why he cares about his kidnappers.

Chase, then Kidnap

Get the suspense of not knowing what's happening to Finch or why—then, once you know the ending, go back and read through his experience to get more of the details on why things happened and Finch's perspective on the kidnappers.

Kidnap, then Chase

Get the suspense of not knowing how quickly Finch will get rescued—then, once you know the ending, go back and ride along with his teammates as they try to figure out where he is and how to save him.

The Full Story

Cut back and forth between the three viewpoints as Finch goes through his ordeal and his teammates systematically track him down. A middle ground of intensity with less suspense, I think, because you're always aware of how close the rescue is and how far along the torture is.

Tailor your experience accordingly! (If OCs annoy you, the Chase experience gives them the least amount of screentime. Though I've been reliably informed that they're really good OCs.)

AO3
Numb Too Long
The Chase: Odd chapters
The Kidnap Experience: Even chapters
FFN
I split the experience into two separate fics:
The Chase: The Icy Hearts of Old Friends
The Kidnap Experience: Numb Too Long
Content Warnings
Torture: They stick his hands and feet in ice, which nearly leads to long-term damage but ultimately doesn't.

Comments by a couple of authors I look up to:

epic and wonderful—a really tight case fic, with fantastic character insights.

I don't think I've read something this long in 2nd person before—you did an amazing job. It's really clear and engaging, and the POV shifts work so well.

st_aurafina

The suspenseful quiet chase in the first few chapters is very readable, hard to put down

All of that backstory and character depth is as flawless as it is rare. A lot of the numbers in canon aren't as well developed as your OCs.

talkingtothesky

And from a reader on FFN:

This was positively brilliant—thank you!

So this is definitely a piece I'd recommend to anyone who likes Whump.

Episode Perspective

In Death Benefit, Harold's trying to decide whether the greater good requires sacrificing a (relatively) innocent person; I explored his mental state at the moment of truth.

If the Machine is counseling murder? [2k]

Harold's mindset while arguing with John and Shaw over whether to kill the Congressman.

Content Warnings
Mostly just Harold's angst over the ethics of killing one to save many.
Link
Harold's Nightmare
(FFN version)
Fan Comment
This was a really amazing look into Harold's head, at an incredibly tense moment. Very well done, thank you for sharing!
With Friends Like These…

My first (and accidental) Everyone Lives fic, wherein Harold's recovering from surgery and getting royally annoyed at having his privacy intruded upon by well-meaning teammates:

Will you all stop helping me?! [3k]

After Finch gets through surgery, he's annoyed to find that his team is invading his space in the name of being helpful./p>

Note on the Title: Since it's part of a prompt series on AO3, its initial name was October Feels Odd, but when posting it outside that context on FFN, I titled it Post-Surgery Pronoia, which I like better. Once I get around to writing a follow-up, its name on AO3 will change to match.

Pronoia, btw, is the opposite of Paranoia: You don't feel like the world is out to get you, you feel like the world is out to help you (which can be its own form of distressing).

Content Warnings
?
Link
Post-Surgery Pronoia (aka October Feels Odd)
(FFN version)
Fan Comments
You know, after everything they've been through together, the team would totally do this sort of thing for one of their own!
I really liked this story very much, you got all the characters down pat especially Harold I can totally see him acting and feeling this way despite these people being his friend.

My favorite part of this story was the Fusco part and him going out of his way like he did to assist Harold. He is such an integral part of the team and for years he has never gotten his just due in my opinion. I can totally see him doing that for Harold and Harold reacting that way to such a selfless gift.

Shorter Story Prompts

These are just mini stories meant to serve as prompts or examples of prompts. Technically, the game night and pronoia fics above are also prompts (my birthday request and "obscure emotions," respectively), but they developed into lengthy fics of their own, not short and not ending in a cliffhanger.

Carter's been drugged [1k]

Carter's been dosed with a substance that makes her violent, and locked in with Finch, who's doing his best not to draw her attention.

Content Warnings
Bioweapon causes humans to become savage; details given are minimal but horrific.
Link
March Comes Barreling In
Fan Comment
Your so-called prompt is actually a beautifully-written story all by itself! Granted, it's the kind that leaves you wondering, but your descriptions and exploration of Harold's POV are excellent!

No one did give this prompt a try; I'd still like to see someone follow up on it.

Why do I gotta babysit the twerp? [1k]

Shaw has to babysit Leon Tao. She is not amused.

I wrote this as my Shaw piece when I started my Monthly Birthday Prompts, so it sorta got buried within the prompt idea, but it's a neat little piece on its own. If you'd like to read the fic without all the prompt notes, use the FFN link.

I'm not sure of the word count because AO3 is counting a lot more than that section, I can't trust FFN's word count, and a couple utilities I tried got mixed results.

Content Warnings
Typical Shaw murderous impulses.
Link
Twerpsitting (aka Monthly Birthday Prompts for 2019)
(FFN version)
Excerpt

It turned out that not only was Leon great friends with the dog, but they’d known each other longer than she’d known Bear, and Shaw had to do her best to restrain the impulse to bark some attack command, just to pay Leon back for being this annoying at everything.

She wanted to break something. More than normal.

The Shaw one is actually part of a full 12-month prompt set; January is Shaw Month, so I just threw out what little I could think of, pairing her with another character who happens to have a January birthday.

Assets(Zoe, Leon, and Team Two)

Not part of the main team, but people who can be called in to help. I'm also including fandom assets—one-shot characters who show up in fics because they fill certain roles, like Megan Tillman or Farouk Madani showing up when the team needs a medic. I think it's fair to say that these aren't assets in canon, but they still fit this general category.

Zoe Morgan

So far, Zoe's been the key/viewpoint character in only one piece that wasn't an ensemble fic:

Harboring a mobster reveals surprising secrets [2k]

When the team sends a wounded Marconi to Zoe for a few hours, they get to talking, and Zoe picks up on some oddities about Marconi's "performative masculinity".

I explore the social pressures that keep Marconi from straying outside the cultural lines of masculinity. Not only did it turn out to be a fascinating character study and an experiment in portraying a character without pronouns (leaving the true gender ambiguous), but it was a chance to play Marconi off Zoe Morgan, and now I'd like to see that setup a little more often.

Content Warnings
Well, it's one big dancing-around-the-issues-a-bit conversation about gender roles and societal expectations. That might bug some people and trigger others.
Link
Costumes
Fan Comment
I love how you write Zoe's perceptiveness and how she weighs up whether to bring the matter up at all, and Marconi's body language communicates a great deal. Also it's very tricky to write something natural and unstilted while leaving gender and pronouns ambiguous, but you pulled it off really smoothly!

Megan Tillman

While I haven't yet written any fic from Megan's POV, she does show up for a lengthy phone conversation in Bespoke, where she tries to diagnose Harold's ailment. She's also a significant character in Mirror over on the (as yet unfinished) Ships and Sexuality page.

Leon Tao

Leon's always good for injecting a little levity and annoyance into a piece.

Shaw's a scary babysitter [1k]

Shaw has to babysit Leon Tao. She is not amused.

I wrote this as my Shaw piece when I started my Monthly Birthday Prompts, so it sorta got buried within the prompt idea, but it's a neat little piece on its own. If you'd like to read the fic without all the prompt notes, use the FFN link.

I'm not sure of the word count because AO3 is counting a lot more than that section, I can't trust FFN's word count, and a couple utilities I tried got mixed results.

Content Warnings
Typical Shaw murderous impulses.
Link
Twerpsitting (aka Monthly Birthday Prompts for 2019)
(FFN version)
Excerpt

It turned out that not only was Leon great friends with the dog, but they’d known each other longer than she’d known Bear, and Shaw had to do her best to restrain the impulse to bark some attack command, just to pay Leon back for being this annoying at everything.

She wanted to break something. More than normal.

What could bring Leon Tao together with Logan Pierce? Get Rich Quick schemes:

(Logan Pierce + Leon Tao) x Genderswap = ??? [1k]

Reagan Pierce explains (to Liana Tao) the factors that interfere with getting useful content for free.

From a conversation I had with a friend, who explained many of the issues (and perverse incentives) with modern convenience apps.

Content Warnings
You might walk away from this fic a little more cynical about the world.
Link
The Problem with Convenient Apps
Fan Comment
Any version of Logan and Leon let loose together is dangerous.

Team Two

If I were trying to put together a Team Two for the show, I doubt I'd have used these specific characters (Logan Pierce, Joey Durban, and Harper Rose). But it's nice to know that The Machine is branching out a bit.

I do enjoy Logan Pierce: He’s the perfect blend of good heart, woobie backstory, interesting characterization, useful skills, a punchable face and the frequent desire to wring the guy's neck.

The Machine vs. a Covidiot [1k]

The Machine seems to have sent them on a wild goose chase… or maybe there's a reason after all.

With all the issues surrounding the pandemic, I decided to write a Covid piece for each of my main fandoms. I just went over the cast and tried to figure out who'd be most strongly affected by the pandemic, and… yeah, Logan Pierce is a dumbass and he would totally do this.

And because his behavior is totally predictable, The Machine would totally predict that, and take steps to prevent the likely loss of life.

Content Warnings
Link
No Time to Party
Fan Comment
Logan Pierce, in canon, was "That Guy", with a better personality and an ability to grow from his actions slapping his life around. I can see how his instinct and nature would go from "That Guy" to "That Fucking Guy" in these times.

Absent Friends and Family(Nathan, Grace, and others)

This covers all the characters who are dead or missing or just out of the picture: Nathan Ingram and his son Will, Grace Hendricks, Jessica Arndt (if I ever write something focused on her), and various family members (mostly dead).

Nathan Ingram (and Will)

Basically Canonical
Didn't see you at the party [500 WIP]

When Harold doesn't show up at the Christmas party, Nathan tracks him down.

Content Warnings
Drinking, obviously. Also, Nathan susses out that Harold's missing his dad.
Link
Drinks Shared in the Darkness
Fan Comment
This was excellent and really engaging.
Canon Divergence

This one's just a tiny What-If:

Harold dies, Nathan lives [200]

Story Prompt: Swap out one character and see how the story changes.

Nathan survived the ferry bomb, instead of Harold. He follows the general path that Harold took, including taking John on as a partner.

The last line and the card I was working from imply a romantic relationship between the characters, but the story works fine if you assume a more Platonic intimacy (as I tend to), so it fits fine on this page too.

Content Warnings
?
Link
November Shuffles the Deck
Fan Comment
Omg! I love this!? This is amazing! And I love the idea of shuffling things around! ♡ Also, the world needs more Nareese ♡
Supernatural AUs

A couple of WIP with things are not quite as they seem….

A tiny man in a tiny suit… [3k AU WIP]

Harold's attempt to pull Nathan out of his obsession with the supernatural landed Nathan in the hospital. So now Harold's running errands for his friend… and finds the secret he's been hiding.

This AU pulls from such classics as The Borrowers, Tom Thumb and Thumbelina, along with The Castle in the Attic… and would also pull from Indian in the Cupboard and The Littles if I had actually read/seen either of those. I've always loved the concept of elves, gnomes, fairies and the like, so being able to recontextualize some of POI with that in mind was pretty fun.

Content Warnings
Mention of child abuse.
Link
A Little Help
Fan Comment
Lovely, thank you. I do enjoy gen/friendship and having Nathan around is just great. I loved all the suspense of Harold tracking his phone but… but… but… you stopped there? Damnit. 😉

I hadn't actually planned to post this one so early, since I don't yet have time to focus on it, but the first chapter was nearly ready to go when the Gift Fic season rolled around, so… yeah. I've got a general plan in mind, but at the moment it's quite vague.

This one's a piece of backstory to Unseen Things (a substantial Supernatural/Horror AU project):

Nathan befriends the Library [1k WIP]

There's benefits to making your home in a living Library.

Yes, the Library itself is a character in both pieces. "Alive" might be a bit simplistic, but it's certainly capable of interaction, communication, movement, and, apparently, emotional reactions (including possessiveness).

Content Warnings
As established in the backstory of the main tale, Nathan's a living chalk drawing.
Link
Adjustments
Fan Comment
Nathan! I love the concept of the library making itself available just to him. God knows, he needs some perks!

Grace Hendricks

Technically this is just Harold thinking about Grace, but it's the most I've done with Grace so far, I think:

Why Harold lets them take him [1k]

Finch contemplates the Damsel in Distress trope, as it has come to apply to his life.

Content Warnings
Link
For Grace (aka December Acts Selflessly)
(FFN version)
Fan Comment
Of course, Harold can and will look at his life through a literary lens. Something so obvious, but I hardly ever explore that part of him in fics 😝 Must. Rectify.

She's kinda mentioned in a few Harold-centric pieces, but nothing really stands out. I have plans for her to show up in at least one of my WIPs.

Family

If there's anything worse than having your dad forget you because of Alzheimer's… well, I think I found it. Have a flashback within the Unseen Things tale (spoilers, if you haven't yet read the main fic).

This was original an audio-only file; I later posted the script on FFN.

I know you can't hear me anymore, Dad… [1k]

Harold's last night with his dad before he leaves for good—but it's even more angsty than the original.

A backstory piece for Unseen Things: Harold tells his dad what happened to him, and why he's leaving. Not that his dad pays attention.

I don't post things exclusively on FFN, but for now the transcript is not on AO3; it's really meant to be an audio-only file as part of Unseen Things, and there's another one coming up (if I can ever get my fic to the point where it's reasonable to post it). But if an audio file isn't going to work for you, at least you can read the transcript.

Content Warnings
Harold's dad has literally forgotten Harold ever existed.
Voice Actor
DesireeArmfeldt recorded the audio file, from a script I wrote; I later posted the script on FFN.
Link
Original Audio Version: Leaving the Birdhouse
Transcript: Leaving the Birdhouse
Fan Comment

AWWWWW, young Harold trying to figure out what happened and being so confused.

HAROLD DAD WANTING A KID

I HATE THIS SO MUCH

I NEED AN ENDING WHERE HAROLD REUNITES WITH HIS DAD OKAY!?

I AM CRYING! IS THIS WHAT YOU WANTEDDDD!?!?

IF YOU DON'T DO IT, IM DO IT MYSELF YOU MONSTERSSSSSSS

I love that gal. Her reactions are one of the highlights of my writing life.

And in case you haven't had enough angst about Harold's relationship with his dad, how about his first Christmas on his own?

I wasn't ready to do this on my own, Dad… [1k]

Homesick, Harold calls his dad and tells him about making a new life in NYC. Kinda.

Content Warnings
Harold's actually just talking into the phone, pretending it's his dad.
Link
First Christmas Alone
(FFN version)
Fan Comment
poignant. lovely.
thank you
merry christmas!

So much delightful angst….

The Villains

Any fic where the major dynamic involves a villain, collected here for your convenience. Almost exclusively "Harold vs. Villain" pieces.

Samaritan and Decima

The Giant Unfinished Fic

Harold in the Matrix

I said from the start that my 2018 NaNoWriMo project was too big a story to ever complete. It's the only fic I do not intend to finish. Anyone who cares to follow up on the idea is encouraged to do so.

The Hacker in the Matrix [53k]

Within the Matrix, Harold learns to use superpowers and sets out to rescue his allies….

If you've ever wanted to see Harold with really weird superpowers, here's your chance. Being inside a simulation with admin access lets him to do some bizarre things to move around and affect his environment (or, conversely, to remain unaffected by his environment, such as sitting underwater without drowning). Not entirely comfortable.

The general idea is that Samaritan (or, well, a part of Samaritan) is trying to determine how to manipulate/control them in order to get information and/or brainwash them. Had the story continued, it would've shown Harold slowly amassing allies, some of whom would join him in the online effort to find the rest. I was very much playing it by ear.

*This fic will never be completed, though I might add to it a bit. If you've played that game, you'll have an idea of how it was all meant to play out, more or less (swapping some key plot points for POI-appropriate ones; plus, the simulation itself has more personality).

Content Warnings
Read at Your Own Risk. Contains invasive medical procedures and depicts child abuse. Not adequately tagged; see below for more info.
Link
Manipulations
Fan Comments
This is amazing, I love the idea of the computer nerd actually being in the computer (ok, as a sim, but you get my point). Also, I just love the writing style, it flows smoothly and is very descriptive without being too overwhelming, and the fact that you describe actions and situations that never even crossed my mind is an added bonus.
Each chapter seems to introduce a new form of torture for Harold. It shares with many of your other stories an underlying theme of Harold being forced to submit to and accept suffering in oddly rape-like situations: rendered partially or completely naked and having various parts of his body painfully invaded. A garden of delight for those who enjoy his torment!

Content Warning: NaNoWriMo means writing 50,000 words in 30 days; I was in a bit of a rush to write and post as fast as possible. That left no time to be careful with the tags/warnings like I usually try to be. I would go back and fix that, but it's a huge fic and I haven't the time.

Delves into some uncomfortable territory, including some really trippy stuff that might hit at primal fears, and a few non-consensual (though not sexual) elements.

I'm just gonna leave a link here to another piece of content I ought to have pulled from: Elf Only Inn, a webcomic that started as a parody set in a chat room, and later moved into an MMORPG setting. Though it remains unfinished, I have fond memories of that tale, and it's got quite an interesting interplay between the in-game and out-game (meta) shenanigans, so I really ought to read through that again and see if it sparks any ideas for this fic.


Brainwashing Nanites

Imagine if Season 5's Samaritan had found a way to use microscopic machines (nanites) to turn humans into its agents/slaves.

That's a concept I've explored in two short pieces. I haven't the time to explore this AU more thoroughly, but I'd love to see others tackle the idea.

He'll never be quite human again [200]

Harold's been captured and injected with nanites that strip him of his humanity. But it's both better and worse than that.

Content Warnings
Body Horror (Finch gets turned into an agent of Samaritan, but the details are left to the imagination)
Link
Man, on the Inside
Fan Comment
Fascinating concept! You expressed a lot with few words, which I guess, is the challenge of the drabble. Well done!
It’ll be my body, John; it won’t be me [1k]

An agent of Samaritan has injected Harold with nanites meant to turn him into an agent of the enemy. He's barely got enough time to call John and warn him of the change.

Content Warnings
Body Horror (Finch gets turned into an agent of Samaritan, and the fic describes the process)
Link
I don’t want this body to hurt anyone
Fan Comments
I just have to say that this is an inspired piece of writing. I appreciate the whole idea and execution of it; I'm deeply impressed and truly affected by the content and gravity of the scenario. This is one of those rarities that I come across now and then that will stay with me for days.
Oh wow! What a way for Harold to go. So scary. I do think having more dialog from John would have been good, but otherwise, I really liked Harold’s inner thoughts here. Keep up the good work!

Other Villains

Finchnappings!

Too many kidnapped Finches? There's no such thing.

Finchnapping Series #2

The second installment of my series The Many Kidnappings of Harold P. Finch… which I'd really intended to have a lot more entries by now, but I do tend to get sidetracked by other projects. Maybe someday I should release my notes.

A surprisingly talkative hitman [3k WIP]

The hitman from Ghosts interrogates Harold, who's convinced that he's about to die just to buy Theresa enough time to escape.

Content Warnings
Mild torture and plenty of fear
Link
Buying Time
Fan Comment
Oooooo! *claps excitedly* I like it! Poor Harold. This is way more terrifying than when John had him (in a way). I do wonder what the hitman will do next. How dark are you going to go?

Please, update this. *falls to her knees* Pleeeeease!
Finchnapping Story Prompt
You don't want him to fall, do you? [1k Prompt]

Harold's been captured by a crafty villain, and John needs to think fast on how to respond.

Content Warnings
Harold's kidnapper hurt him, badly.
Link
Bound to Fall (aka January Promptly Arrives)
Fan Comment
I kudos you for the sake of your creativity though it was a job for me to read through the whole scenario. I leave this in the hands of those who savor both the physical and psychological torture, with a side of humiliation that you've presented! Hope you get some good efforts!

(one week later) I have an idea for this prompt. Not sure how quickly I’ll finish it but I’m working on it!

Above comment was by the only person who actually did follow up on the prompt, thus earning a follow-up from me (the second chapter, posted… two years and eleven months later), along with a bonus piece of cover art… that I have yet to complete (though I did start on it… a while back).

Finchnapping Casefic

Now for one of my most acclaimed POI fics: Fusco & Shaw have to track Harold down before Reese finds out that he's gone.

The villains are OCs, but I've been reliably informed that they're really good OCs.

Tracking a Kidnapped Finch [41k]

When Finch gets kidnapped, Fusco and Shaw try to track him down before Reese finds out.

This tale uses a couple of experimental techniques that turned out surprisingly well; some of the comments I most treasure were made on this fic by authors I look up to (see below).

The tale is split into three distinct internal viewpoints, each using Second-Person Singular ("you"). The Shaw & Fusco chapters detail the chase/recovery; the Finch chapters detail the kidnap experience, rescue, and his history with the kidnappers. The chronology is kinda weird because it keeps skipping backward to get a different character's perspective on the same events.

So there are five ways to read this story:

The Kidnap Experience (Finch): Intense Drama (and flashbacks)

From Finch's point of view, delve deep into the fear, angst, and guilt as Finch recalls his history with the kidnappers and then goes through the tortures they put him through.

The Chase (Fusco & Shaw): Lower Intensity

Follow Finch's teammates as they track him down as quickly as possible in a really tight casefic—far less focus on the torture (more focus on the first aid, once they've rescued him), less detail about the kidnappers, fewer flashbacks. More mystery about why Finch got kidnapped and why he cares about his kidnappers.

Chase, then Kidnap

Get the suspense of not knowing what's happening to Finch or why—then, once you know the ending, go back and read through his experience to get more of the details on why things happened and Finch's perspective on the kidnappers.

Kidnap, then Chase

Get the suspense of not knowing how quickly Finch will get rescued—then, once you know the ending, go back and ride along with his teammates as they try to figure out where he is and how to save him.

The Full Story

Cut back and forth between the three viewpoints as Finch goes through his ordeal and his teammates systematically track him down. A middle ground of intensity with less suspense, I think, because you're always aware of how close the rescue is and how far along the torture is.

Tailor your experience accordingly! (If OCs annoy you, the Chase experience gives them the least amount of screentime. Though I've been reliably informed that they're really good OCs.)

AO3
Numb Too Long
The Chase: Odd chapters
The Kidnap Experience: Even chapters
FFN
I split the experience into two separate fics:
The Chase: The Icy Hearts of Old Friends
The Kidnap Experience: Numb Too Long
Content Warnings
Torture: They stick his hands and feet in ice, which nearly leads to long-term damage but ultimately doesn't.

Comments by a couple of authors I look up to:

epic and wonderful—a really tight case fic, with fantastic character insights.

I don't think I've read something this long in 2nd person before - you did an amazing job. It's really clear and engaging, and the POV shifts work so well.

st_aurafina

The suspenseful quiet chase in the first few chapters is very readable, hard to put down

All of that backstory and character depth is as flawless as it is rare. A lot of the numbers in canon aren't as well developed as your OCs.

talkingtothesky

And from a reader on FFN:

This was positively brilliant—thank you!

So this is definitely a piece I'd recommend to anyone who likes Whump.

Multiple Finchnappings!

I may not be great at completing group projects in a timely manner, but my ideas do tend to lead to some awesome outcomes. Like this, for Valentine's Day 2019: I wrangled a small group to write a fic where everybody wants Finch on the same day, but for different reasons.

Only you would get kidnapped more than once a day, Finch [7k]

Multiple people are after Finch; the first encounter is revenge, the second is bizarre, and the third’s sweet.

Content Warnings
Canon-Typical Violence; John being protective and over-the-top.
Authors
Fringuello, Lisagarland, and me
Artists
merionees (cover art) and MulaSaWala (final chapter)
Link
Everybody Wants Finch
Fan Comment
You definitely turned up the humor quotient in this installment! Loved it!
Oh this is hilarious. I also hope Harold realizes that John's going to, like, handcuff the two of them together after all this, right? Like, there's no way he's going to let Finch out of reach/sight.

I prefer writing drama to writing humor, but when I try my hand at humor, it's sometimes pretty fun ^_^

Supernatural Finchnapping!

The Many Kidnappings of Harold P. Finch has an AU side, and I'm doing better with that one: Any time Finch gets kidnapped in canon, I craft an AU variation on it. I love how this turned out:

I can always spot an imposter [3k WIP]

The identity thief from Proteus kidnaps Harold outright… and then it gets worse.

Content Warnings
Possession
Link
The Imposter
Fan Comment
I have reread this story multiple times now, and I love the dawning realization that there are no bodies left because the imposter is wearing them. Which makes me reiterate my previous comment on Bespoke: This is suitably horrible, on a whole new level 😄

Bespoke is the previous installment in the AU series; each one draws from a completely different AU.

This fic is currently on hiatus (so it functions as a one-shot), but I do have a whole story in the works (eventually).

I'm… actually surprised that so few of my fics fit into this category. Given my love for Finchwhump. Hmm.

Minor Characters

If the character in focus isn't part of the team, an ally, asset, satellite character, or a villain… well, here's the rest.

Anton O'Mara

The Journey of Anton O'Mara is a redemption-arc series for that cocky punk from the first episode.

Wait, who?

Remember our first encounter with homeless Reese on the subway, when a teen tried to steal his booze and got his ass handed to him? That's Anton.

I’m not sure why I took a shine to him to begin with, but the more I've studied him, the more I read between the lines. Because the guy's all strut and swagger, but when you look at his actions, they set him apart from his little gang.

Come again?

To begin with, when Reese acquires his first set of guns by kneecapping half a dozen people, Anton's the only one who doesn't get shot. Why?

Everyone else in the room pointed a weapon at Reese; Anton just threw up his hands and surrendered. Froze until the danger left.

Notably, he doesn't, at the time, realize (at least, consciously) that this is the guy from the subway.

And back on the subway? Anton gets the other teens to back off by his attitude alone, and he picks the fight with Reese thinking he's easy pickings—but once Reese attacks, Anton hangs back. And just before Reese releases him, I swear I hear him choke out "Please stop."

So despite all his posturing, Anton's a pushover and a bit of a coward. So I have to wonder how Anton got to be the head of his little gang… and what’s it like inside his head.

Anyway, I'm actually disappointed that he didn’t show up again later in the series. So I wrote a redemption arc for the little twerp.

An outsider perspective on John Reese…

You ever consider what strangers must think of Reese? Seriously, go look at the scenes of him in public—he totally comes across like a serial killer.

So this series has Reese become the boogeyman in Anton’s life: Anton keeps running into him at the worst moments (without Reese ever noticing Anton), and just getting confirmation that Reese is, well, terrifying.

So there we have it: Why I fixated on this punk kid, how this sheds a light on Reese, and what's to be expected from this series.

The Journey of Anton O'Mara [4k Series]

Ever since picking a fight with that bum on the subway, Anton's life has taken a turn for the worse.

Basically a rundown of canonical moments, from the perspective of Anton and, to a lesser extent, the rumors that are flying through the city about this guy in the suit. Anton runs into Reese way more often than is likely, but that's just the type of coincidence that drives this plot.

So yeah, Anton’s not gonna have a good time of it, at least at first. But he does get a second chance… eventually.

Content Warnings
Muffled Loneliness (1500)
A look at a teenage boy whose father can’t be bothered to actually connect with him.
(Drabble Version: August Zooms In)
Step One: Freeze (1135)
Anton keeps running across the guy in the suit. It’s giving him PTSD.
The Rumor Mill (1568)
Anton’s friends keep talking about the guy in the suit. He wishes they’d just shut up.
Fan Comment

I completely and totally second the motion for a Anton O'Mara redemption story. Or just a story where he continually bumps into the Team. Is this going to follow canon? Or can we please have Team Machine adopt Anton! Please, please, write more. *grovels* I needs it!!


*grins wide* Yesssss. *grin grows* Yessssss. *plops down* That was brilliant!! I love how it's all from Anton's POV. Poor kid.


Eeee! I loved seeing the different rumors and takes in the episodes. Poor Anton. That's a lot to sift through.


Oh boy, bring on Protective!Anton. If you want I could come up with some scenarios where Anton sees Harold and then protects him from John.


I totally forgot about the baby. Now, that will be interesting...also, what will Anton think of John interacting with Elias?????!!!!

Guess I'm doing something right….

Crossovers

I don't write a lot of crossovers—heck, I don't read a lot of crossovers—but I did end up writing a significant one showcasing the parallels between Harold Finch and Tony Stark (of the MCU).

Is your New York also on fire? [2k]

Two versions of New York are in trouble; one interdimensional phone call lets Tony Stark and Harold Finch commiserate for a few minutes before they get back to work.

There's a surprising number of parallels between what Tony's going through post–Civil War and what Harold's going through near the end of the series. I like digging into parallels like this ^_^

Content Warnings
Link
Retrospective: Fire
Fan Comment
You have provided me with another version of Harold and Tony, just after the end of Marvel where Tony has at last gone to find his JARVIS while Finch is still living in the world without his Mr. Reese.

Would you mind if I translate your work into Chinese and post it on another website to let more people see your words? This is something I think other lovers of Iron Man and POI would like.

So there you have it: The first time I've been asked permission to have my work translated into another language. I hope it's not the last!

Also: This fic contains three pages of snippets from upcoming work/updates, so if you'd like to see pieces I've partially written but haven't yet completed, do check 'em out! (That's also the reason that the word count is questionable: I have unrealiable word-counting utilities, and AO3 obviously counts the previews as well.)

Random Minor Characters

If you're after my portrayal of characters who only showed up in a single episode, and who I've written only a tiny bit about, then my Reward Drabbles might suit you. Also: This is what I offer for those who catch typos in my POI fics (although I got seriously roadblocked on my latest one, which was earned on… September 20th, 2017 (yikes!)).

(Good thing my typos are rare.)

Typo-Spotter Reward Drabbles

Given my skill with the mechanics of English, typos rarely slip by me into published work (although every time I want to point that out, I figure that’s the point at which I’ll miss one). So I figured I’d offer a reward to anyone who points out one that I missed.

The Deal
Point out a legitimate typo (not a stylistic choice) in the body of a published POI fic (not counting NaNoWriMo events or my April Fools’ Day fics).
The Reward
Choose a side character (not one of the main team or Carter, Fusco, or Zoe), an emotion and, if desired, some additional location or detail, and I’ll write a Drabble.
Link
Oh Noes! A Typo!

They’re meant to highlight various characters who don’t tend to get the spotlight, ideally characters who only showed up in a single episode.

So far, to the best of my recollection, typos have been spotted by cdi1 (NSFW discussion thread), then my nephew, then Fringuello… and I think one other person fit the criteria but declined to add to my load. And my nephew never got back to me and hasn’t really watched the show.

So of the two who fully qualify, I’ve written one (how Logan and Joey met) and procrastinated on the other since late 2017. One might say I don’t get to these in a timely manner. One might wonder what’s so hard about writing a mere 100 words. (I prefer to focus on the fact that in the past four years, only two people have actually claimed this deal. But seriously: It’s on my to-do list, and it’s partially written, just… not as easy as it sounds.)

Mixed Point of View

Several of my fics are just a little collection of intimate moments, tied by theme rather than a connected story. Since they tend to switch POV per scene, they don’t easily fit into the other categories.

This section also deals with any fic where the focus is on team dynamics, or more than a couple of characters take the spotlight.

Five Moments of Intimacy

This fic form (FMI (alt: 5MI) or FMNI) showcases intimacy with no sexual or romantic component.

FMI: A Quick History

On May 25th, 2018, having gotten fed up with the way that fandom (and society at large) turns everything into sex, I coined an entire fic form to showcase the many ways that people can be intimate without any sexual or romantic interest in each other.

A mother brushing her daughter's hair, for example: That's intimacy. A pair of siblings crying together over their dad being in jail. A pair of veterans who served together during Desert Storm. A teen letting her friend read part of her diary. An old man getting help in the bathroom from his son-in-law. All forms of intimacy.

To put the form through its paces, I wrote a bunch of fics, and saw a couple people respond by writing their own versions. Eventually, I branched out from POI to write FMI fics in many other fandoms.

Then, in 2020, I got invited to host an event (August Intimacy 2020) to spread awareness of the form. This led to two AO3 collections: August Intimacy and September Stragglers (along with a set of BINGO boards in case you'd like some prompts to try this out for yourself).

As I write this, January 2021 is coming to a close, and I've got tons more FMI fics in the works. I hope to see more people give it a shot.

As for the specifics:

The Fic Form

You’ve probably run across the Five Things fic form; mine is a variation on that, focused on five categories of Nonsexual Intimacy:

Physical Intimacy
Touch, massage, cuddling, first aid, sensuality
Emotional Intimacy
Shared emotions (shared joy, rage, fear, pride, etc.)
(One character comforting another also counts for this category.)
Experiential Intimacy
A shared awareness of what it’s like to have gone through something.
Secret Sharing
Something you don’t want the public at large to know about you.
Vulnerability/Acceptance
Letting yourself be in a position to be hurt, physically or emotionally.

Trust is obviously a component of all of these, but in particular that last one. There's something deeply intimate about letting your guard down, letting someone in past your normal shields. Falling asleep next to them on the sofa, or letting them help you with medical care, or showing them your creative endeavors—a chance for them to hurt you, and the implicit trust (or hope) that they won't.

As far as Shared Experience: This could be as simple as a movie night or a vacation, or as harrowing as the Journey Through Mordor. But in the lives of everyday people, consider: Two mothers know what it’s like to have carried new life inside your own body. Two retail workers know what it’s like to have to be nice to someone who’s screaming at you for something completely not your fault. Two women of color know what it’s like to have your hair treated like community property. And so on.

My first FMI fic was my attempt to create the most "pure" form, so it's designed to showcase the Fic Form, using the cast of POI:

A Demonstration of Form [2k]

Five team members connecting with five other characters in five distinct ways.

  1. John & Root (Vulnerability)
  2. Elias & Fusco (Shared Experiences)
  3. Harold & Zoe (Shared Emotions)
  4. Carter & Leon Tao (Grooming)
  5. Shaw & Marconi (Secret Sharing)
Content Warnings
Carter mentions potential eye trauma
Link
Five Moments of Nonsexual Intimacy: A Demonstration of Form
(FFN version)
Fan Comment
Oh the feels in this one! At first, I wasn’t sure how these two would bond. I thought they’d talk about John. But this is undeniably better! So much truth here and so elegantly written.

Having just read the initial notes, I want to say: This is exactly what I was looking for!

Recently I've been thinking that I'd like to see more stories that take a look at (primarily non-sexual) relationships between characters that haven't been explored a lot. I mean, there are so many stories which go into [fandom-preferred] relationships… but how often do you see a nice moment of intimacy between, say, Root and Finch? Or Reese and Shaw? Or… Fusco and anyone (except maybe Reese)? The same, with Carter?
I haven't seen many, unfortunately. A shame, as there is much potential; indeed, it might make for something fresh, a change from what we usually see in the fandom.

Lo and behold, you go and create a whole freaking fic format that answers my inner desire. What are you, a mind reader? 😃
Seriously, thank you for this. I have a feeling that I will enjoy it 😊

A little later, I tried to see how tiny I could make the form, and came up with FMI Short Shorts: five 6-word sections with three-word titles, thus 54 words total. Explaining it would literally take longer than reading it.

Now onto the rest of the set:

Completed Five-Scene Fics

Short and Sweet [500]

I tried my best to make something fluffy instead of angsty. Success: Moderate.

  1. Harold and Shaw set up a nice place for John.
  2. Harold and John take a course in ceramics so they can keep an eye on their Number.
  3. Harold, Root, and Shaw get a little cabin fever while hiding in a safe house too long.
  4. John and Harold cuddle on the sofa, and John doesn't know how to feel about it.
  5. Root tells Harold about one of her dreams.
Content Warnings
Not sure if anything.
Link
Fluff Drabbles
(FFN version)
Fan Comments
You have painted a vivid picture with your stories. Can just picture it all.
Second person!? So rare. This is a great collection and I think you succeeded beautifully in expressing the closeness and caring in non sexual contexts. I love the intimacy both with Shaw and with John. It's just beautiful!!
Memories [1k]

Each character recalls a moment of intimacy from long ago…

  1. Physical Intimacy: Carter recalls her son brushing her hair.
  2. Experiential Intimacy: Fusco recalls a time his son found him drunk.
  3. Vulnerability: Zoe recalls the consequences of sneaking into a frat party with a friend.
  4. Emotional Intimacy: John recalls staying home from camp so his mom wouldn't have to grieve alone.
  5. Secret Sharing: Harold recalls a moment his mom asked him to keep a secret.
Content Warnings
Link
Five Memories of Intimacy
(FFN version)
Fan Comment
I loved all these drabbles. You effectively captured the core qualities of each character while encouraging us to reflect on how they evolved over time. Thank you for sharing!
Being cared for only because you exist, without an underlying motive that would end all contact when it is not fulfilled, is important too. Real friends last longer than romance and other exchange based relationships.

Too many walking wounded that could have had healthier lives, like Anton.

So very well done.
Helping the Homeless [1k]

There’s a fair in Central Park to help the homeless, and each scene is an encounter between one character and a person who is homeless.

This one’s due for a remake, because I fumbled the execution in a couple of significant ways (including one of the OCs being explicitly not homeless; no idea how I screwed that one up). But it was meant to show some issues that people who are homeless commonly need to deal with—the kind you might not think about, like basic transportation.

  1. Carter helps a woman try on some donated clothes
  2. Harold helps an elderly man with dementia
  3. John shares a quiet moment with Joan
  4. Zoe tries to help a runaway
  5. Fusco gives a ride to a guy with no transportation
Content Warnings
Link
Five Moments in the Park
Fan Comment
Another excellent chapter. Harold's patience and being reminded of his dad came through very well!
Moments with Bear [2k]

Each teammate spends a different sort of time with Bear.

  1. Secret Sharing: Fusco confides some thoughts about his son.
  2. Shared Experience: Shaw's got a cast, Bear's got a vet collar.
  3. Physical Intimacy: John takes a Doggie Yoga class.
  4. Vulnerability: Bear helps Harold come down from a panic attack.
  5. Shared Emotion: Root and Bear share disgust over bad smells.
Content Warnings
Link
Unbearably Fluffy
Fan Comment
I like the way you've given each character time with Bear, in a set of circumstances that reveal something about his or her personality. It had never occurred to me before, but Bear is clearly the most well-adjusted member of Team Machine, able to fit himself comfortably into any situation.

Open Chapterfic FMI

This one's ongoing, and has a focus on Elias and his relationship with Marconi (also, it gets kinda dark).

Case like this makes you wanna drink [2k WIP]

The team deals with a case gone wrong by getting very drunk. Then they start a compare-and-contrast of who's experienced what in their lives.

After a case hits them all the wrong way, the team takes shelter in a safe house, some alcohol, and the swapping of secrets. Notably, Marconi’s off arranging some things (so not onscreen), but Elias’s tales showcase his connection to Marconi.

Content Warnings
Alcohol, obviously. They also imply that something seriously bad happened to the (underage) Number.
Characters
John, Harold, Carter, Fusco, Shaw, Zoe, and Elias
Link
Shared Spirits
Fan Comment
It's awesome how you keep everyone in character, I can totally hear the actors saying this.

Variations

Seven team members play off each other in pairs, for seven FMIs in one collection:

Pairing off [3k WIP]

Each character gets a scene with two other characters.

This is a kind of round-robin: Each character is the primary character in one piece, then the impact/secondary character in another. The point of view isn't so consistent (the first chapter focuses on John, but from Fusco's point of view), but it's been an interesting exercise.

  1. John w/ Fusco
  2. Shaw w/ John
  3. Harold w/ Shaw

Chapters 4-7 to be announced (I know which pairs go where, just haven’t written the chapters yet).

Content Warnings
Mention of child abuse.
Link
Five Moments of Interest
Fan Comment
i don't how i missed this work
what excellent insight

Other Ensemble Fics

Let's start with a nice group get-together, shall we?

Can't you relax for just one night, John? [2k]

Elias gathers the team to his safe house for a night to relax before Season 3's drama really takes off. Unfortunately, John is not made for relaxation.Elias gets the whole gang together for a night to get their minds off the upcoming conflict.

Root’s still locked in the library, and I’m only just now noticing that I omitted Fusco. Other than that, it's a great mix of characters.

Content Warnings
John's paranoid, and ends up discussing with Elias the ways Elias could try to poison them.
Characters
John, Harold, Shaw, Carter, Elias, Zoe, Leon Tao, and Will Ingram
Link
Look, John, Just Play Along
(FFN version)
Chars
Team Machine (minus Fusco and Root) plus Elias, Zoe, Leon Tao, and Will Ingram
Fan Comment
Elias… as a DM? What sorcery is this?! No wonder John was suspicious…
The roles and alignments they chose tend to be rather fitting, I think.

This was my Birthday Request one year. Because John at one point says "Does it look like I play games?" and I just wanted to see variations on the awkwardness of getting John to play games. Would still love to see variations: Has to babysit a kid and play X-Box games, or gets stuck in a blizzard and ends up trying a round of Trivial Pursuit, or gets challenged to beat Root at chess, or whatever. (merionees made a comic where he plays jump rope with kids to get information, and PreachingtotheQuire made a fic with a similar scenario.)

I forget if this was the first time I'd thought of pairing Will Ingram with Elias, but I definitely want to see more; they're an intriguing and unexpected combo.

Sometimes I play around with challenging formats. Sometimes something cool results.

Experimental Second-Person Plural [300]

Describing the parallels between character pairs.

I considered the POI cast in three pairs, and wrote each piece as a Drabble in Second-Person Plural (“y’all”). I doubt you could keep this gimmick up for much longer than I managed it, but I think it turned out pretty cool; it’s all about finding commonalities between the two characters in the pairing.

Content Warnings
Link
Couplings
Fan Comment
lovely words for all 3 couples
and I can see them in each
of the drabbles you created
I would have known them
even if you hadn't tagged them
well done

You can blame astolat for this one: She sets up the possibility of Great Drama and then sidesteps around it, which clearly forces me to explore how things might've gone if they hadn't escaped that dark fate.

Major Character Death (…sorta) [300]

Death is the last gift John can give him.

So astolat set up the possibility of John having to kill Harold to save him, and then (shockingly!) the fic managed to save them both. I simply played out the scenario as if John had actually had to go through with it.

Notably, I wrote this as a one-shot (John’s POV as he kills Harold). Then I ended up writing the flip side (Harold’s POV as John kills him). And I thought it was done.

Then some months went by, and my Muse got it in her head that two chapters was insufficient, so she wrote me a third that… sorta turns the whole idea in a new direction. Maybe read just the first two and stew on them for a while before reading the third.

Content Warnings
If “Major Character Death” didn’t turn you off, I doubt you need a warning about blood and gore and angst.
Link
Harold Would Have Thanked Him
Fan Comments
Yes, I totally see it happening… and I've been playing with the idea of John saving Harold the very last time by killing him myself too, it's somehow so tragically beautiful, and keeps haunting me…
Oh, my heart… crushed, absolutely crushed. The original was heartbreaking enough, but the Machine's reaction to the coming events…! Searching, desperately, against hope, for a optimal outcome that may not exist…. The last line, about her distress being different from John's, if I understand correctly, stemming from wishing to avoid losing her Admin and Primary Asset, from having to, well, accept Admin's sanction of themselves as acceptable losses… Ow. Here, have all my feels, I wasn't using them anyway.

Story Prompts

I've thrown out a bunch of story prompts, mostly by writing minifics and hoping others will follow suit. Here's a rundown:

2018 Prompt Series

Bound to Fall, Post-Surgery Pronoia, and For Grace are significant fics that came from this set. The series link is Monthly Prompts for 2018.

Prompt List

I pledged that if people posted fills, I'd write follow-ups. I'm quite behind on that project, but about half of the fics did get fills within the timeframe, and I've updated one of them so far. I expect to change the name of each one I update.

April and May got very short prompts because I ran out of time to come up with something. I was actually pleasantly surprised to see April get multiple fills nonetheless! September ended up with a non-POI Notfic, because I didn't at the time have any POI ideas that I didn't want to develop myself; I think that'll change pretty soon. And it's always open for people to comment with any story idea that they're ready to abandon (in the hopes someone else might pick it up and run with it).

July is a multimedia/creativity prompt and contains my first piece of fan art for POI ^_^

January Promptly Arrives (aka Bound to Fall)
A sadistic villain has captured Finch, and is using him as leverage to force John to comply. How can John get out of this one?
February Soon Appears
Navigating a dangerous environment without sight.
March Comes Barreling In
Carter's been dosed with a chemical that makes her dangerous.
April Flounces By
Mr. Reese. I’m afraid I must ask you to stop that—immediately.
(Write three variations.)
May Hesitates to Join
It shouldn’t be a big deal, it’s just that… well… I’ve gotten so used to doing it the other way.
(A habit that's become routine gets disrupted.)
June Unexpectedly Arises
John has just drugged Harold—why?
July Goes Nuts
Try something in a creative medium you're not familiar with or not skilled in!
(Thus began my July Prompts to step outside your comfort zone and see what happens.)
August Zooms In
Let's have some love for the little guys! Showcase a character who only appeared in one episode.
September Lets Go (The Plot Bunny Purge)
Time to toss aside the ideas that are weighing you down, and see if anyone else might find them interesting enough to build on.
October Feels Odd (aka Post-Surgery Pronoia)
Obscure Emotions: Explore a feeling that's hard to put into words.
November Shuffles the Deck
Make a tiny change to canon and play out how things might have gone.
Or, use a randomization device (like TheCards.com) to give you odd ideas to build from.
December Acts Selflessly (aka For Grace)
Make three gifts for your fellow fans: To someone new, to someone inspiring, and to someone quiet.
(That's: a fandom newbie (or one new to your fics), an author you admire, and someone who comments but hasn't yet written anything.)

2019 Actor Birthday Prompts

Link: Monthly Birthday Prompts for 2019

The piece I wrote to kick off the birthday prompts is Twerpsitting, wherein Shaw has to babysit Leon and is Not Amused. But anyway, this is a compilation of actors sorted by birthdays, so you could pick one actor or pairing per month and see what comes of it:

Prompt List

The extra characters listed have actor birthdays in the same month (except for February, where I just listed a few that might play well off Elias). Pair 'em up! (I don't mean in a Shippy way… unless, of course, you want to.)

Also, the post includes a bunch of themes

Jan: Shaw Month
Hersh, Leon, Dr. Madani
Feb: Elias Month
(Valentine's Day birthday! Elias as matchmaker?)
Carter, Fusco, Zoe, Will Ingram, Bruce Moran?
Mar: Control Month
Michael Cole
Apr: Beecher Month
Dani Silva, Alonzo Quinn, Bruce Moran
May: Zoe Month
Mark Snow, John Greer, Caleb Phipps
June: Grace Month / Girls' Month
Megan Tillman, Beth Bridges, Mira Dobrica
July: Fusco Month
Arthur Claypool, Sofia Campos, Kara Stanton
Aug: Nathan Month
Joey Durban, Monica Jacobs, Genrika Zhirova
(Or give Jeffrey Blackwell some love! poor guy)
Sept: Carter Month
(Also Finch & Reese Month)
Marconi shares Carter's birthday!
Mr. Han, Daniel Casey
Oct: Will Month
Madeleine Enright, Hannah Frey, Peter Yogorov
Nov: Logan Month
Donnelly, Alicia Corwin, Dominic
Also a good month for a Fix Fic, given that Reese died in November.
Dec: Root Month
Joan

August being my birth month, I would love to see some whumpy Nathan fics. And I've always felt sorry for Jeffrey Blackwell, who was pulled into a world way over his head, pretty much blackmailed into staying there, and then given a villain's send-off. I feel like he's more redeemable than Claire Mahoney, and I always thought she'd get a redemption arc if the show hadn't gotten cut short.

Birthday Requests

I don't have much to look forward to for my birthday IRL, so I started offering prompts in the hopes that people would post Gift Fics for me to "open" on my birthday (end of August). Ideally, posted so that I wake up to the surprise of a bunch of notifications, but having them posted earlier in the month is fine. I tend to post the prompt about two weeks before my birthday, so that people have enough time to come up with something but it's small and contained and not gonna be another giant idea on the pile of whatever they're already working on.

My Birthday Requests

My "bread and butter" scenario, which is an easy way to make me love a fic, is for a character to get captured in a specific way: Realize it's coming, try to escape but find there's no way out, get overpowered (physically, or by drugs, spells, strangulation, etc.) in a slow and detailed way (futile struggle against the inevitable, then slow fading of consciousness/agency or of hope). Then, if you cared to continue the scenario, the captivity section and eventual rescue/escape/release. It's really that moment of fading agency that I connect with.

2017: Three Minutes
Prompt: Harold's about to get kidnapped, and John's too far away to help. What do they talk about?
2018: Look, John, Just Play Along
Prompt: Does it look like I play video games, Leon?
(Basically, have John play games. Of some sort. Awkwardness is to be expected.)
(I also prompted for John playing recess games with kids in Hopscotch John. Because the show totally implies that he did that, but skipped right over that content!)
2019: I requested Whump, but via a Lokiwhump fic, nothing POI.
Whump Favorites: Finch, Anthony Marconi, or Elias
2020: Borrowed Accents
Theme: Genderplay
Could be Genderswap, or genderqueer, or characters dressing up as the opposite gender, or an AU with different gender ideas (Omegaverse, Dom/sub verse, Soul Bonds, etc.), or any similar playing around with the concepts.

Other Whump targets I quite enjoy: Loki (MCU), Ben Linus (Lost), Kevin (WtNV), Eliot Spencer (Leverage), Spencer Reid (Criminal Minds), Sherlock or John (Sherlock), Simon (Firefly), Nightcrawler or Gambit (X-Men), Spike (BtVS), Winchester or Mulcahy (M*A*S*H), or (from various Star Trek series) Garak, Bashir, Odo, the Doc, Kes, Geordi, Chekov, Sulu, the new Spock, the original Spock, 7/9, or Data. Also, more recently: Neal Caffrey (White Collar).

Basically I love Whump and am always glad to find new Whump to enjoy ~\^_^/~

Random Collection Prompts

I still don't much understand the mechanics of AO3, but this was when I understood them even less: I created a few prompt collections just to try to figure out the mechanics.

Prompt List
Mission Creep Finch
Finch loses contact with Reese and must put himself in harm's way to deliver a crucial message.
Intense Duet Scenes
Michael Emerson loves intense scenes where he's talking with a person who might blow up (harm him) at any time. Let's write more like that.
Integrity Crisis
One character's compromised (drunk, drugged, enchanted, etc.) and the other must protect them by fighting off their own desires (see below for more details).
Hopscotch John
One episode teases us by suggesting that John played games with kids in order to get information. Show those games.
Odd Couple Donnelly
Donnelly is an interesting character, especially given that he's an Antagonist instead of a Villain (he's trying to do the right thing, as he understands it, and our heroes are the ones breaking the law). I'd love to see him paired with various characters to explore the Odd Couple trope and/or the awkwardness of knowing more than Donnelly does about what's going on.
Integrity Crisis

My beta reader coined the term, but I'd been noticing a recurring trope, and I'd love to see more of it. Let's put this in Finch/Reese terms:

Basic Form: Finch and Reese both want each other, but for various reasons have been silent about that fact (and Reese, typically, believes that Finch would never want him that way). Then Finch gets hit with something that kills his inhibitions (he's drunk, drugged, enchanted, hit with Sex Pollen, whatever). Finch starts coming on to Reese (which is everything Reese wants, but not this way), and Reese must, via heroic effort, resist both his own desires and Finch's come-ons. Thus keeping Finch safe, respecting his right to Informed Consent, and so on.

What fascinates me is that you can strip all the sex & Shippiness out of the trope and still have nearly the exact same trope:

Secrets Form: Reese wants Finch's secrets, and has been trying in various ways to get them. Finch has been resisting his efforts. Then Finch gets hit with something that kills his inhibitions (he's drunk, drugged, enchanted, etc.), and he's ready to tell Reese anything Reese wants to know. In fact, he might be babbling out secrets even without Reese asking! But though Reese wants those secrets, he doesn't want them this way, so he uses heroic effort to resist his own desires and to somehow stop Finch from doing something he'd regret, thus keeping Finch safe and respecting his rights.

I'm deeply curious if there are more variations of this trope around, ones that have nothing to do with sex/Ships but which hit all the same notes as far as a character showcasing their Integrity by resisting something they have always wanted.

Other Media

I've also recorded a few podfics, posted a handful of pieces of fan art, and released a few random things that aren't fics. Here's a rundown of them.

Podfics

My first set of English podfics are four short pieces in a single post, done as a thank-you to those who participated in my prompts. Also, I have Contact and Back Rub fully recorded, but the post-processing for podfics is substantial (to get them up to my standards), and it's even more when I'm working in Japanese (since I mispronounce things a lot when trying to speak naturally, so there are a lot of takes), and I've just been putting it off while I work on other projects.

  1. Contact [Japanese, WIP]
  2. Promptly Recorded [four podfics]
  3. The Void
  4. Traumerei
  5. Back Rub [WIP]
  6. Leaving the Birdhouse [audioplay]

Leaving the Birdhouse isn't a podfic; it was originally designed as an audio file. It's part of the Unseen Things worldbuild (an audio flashback), written by me and performed/recorded by DesireeArmfeldt.

Fan Art

I can't say that I'm a great artist, but some of my stuff came out kinda cute. Here's what I've done with POI so far:

  1. July Goes Nuts: Reese and Finch as a squirrel and chipmunk, respectively
  2. Little Christmas Intimacies: Five pics of the characters sharing tender moments during the holidays
  3. The Fate of Elias [spoiler for Unseen Things]: What happened to Elias after he left the main tale

I've also created many POI characters as Sims 3 sims, and posted them on the Sims Exchange. Unfortunately, it turns out that I have buggy CC, so all my sims are infected with buggy content. Nice to look at, possibly not great to download and add to your own game. Feel free to recreate them! I'm afraid I haven't the time to disinfect my system and fully recreate the characters right now. But here are the two pieces that include links and some preview pics:

  1. July Prompt 2019: Push Outside Your Comfort Zone
  2. Monthly Birthday Prompts for 2019
  3. YouTube preview (just shows my versions of the main cast)
  4. Reese pillow fights
  5. Reese learns martial arts (pathetically)

Again, the Sims I made are buggy! If you choose to add them to your collection, be sure you know what you are doing; download at your own risk!