Anyway, so Ayla had an unpleasant high school experience where Clarion and Nova succeeded in making her feel very boring, stuffy and stupid. She overcompensates by being super active in things, even aggressive. I think if you get her to be serious with you, she probably lets on that she has moments where she feels very inadequate and unloved. She secretly wants to be like Clarion: popular, fearless, charismatic. She secretly also wants to be like Gal: dependable, very productive, gets a lot of things done. But she also strongly believes in being cheerful and optimistic and happy and I don’t think she allows herself much down-time. Thinks of herself as other people’s cheerleader and doesn’t think she should be down.
Anyway, Icarus is frank about himself - or he talks about the more gritty stuff, like inadequacy, insecurities - and it’s sort of a signal to Ayla that she doesn’t need to be raring to go all the time. She doesn’t talk about it with Gal coz he is not like that and doesn’t really talk about his insecurities (whatever they are). Icarus talks about it because he’s the kind who, once he trusts you, he just wants to share/tell you everything. Ayla is a bit more - guarded? She won’t show her vulnerabilities unless you turn on to your back and expose your belly first. To prevent herself from getting rejected. I think she’s probably relieved to know that she can be upset and vulnerable too. I can imagine her telling Icarus she feels kinda stupid or boring sometimes. She would be looking down and determinedly not looking at him, and saying it very quietly (Ayla, don’t be sad!!). It’s her at her most vulnerable. Icarus is the kind who genuinely likes people and believes in the best of people and he’d be quite horrified she feels like that, because that is honestly not the image of her he has in his mind. He’s idealistic about people’s flaws, he’s always looking at the positive. And his sincerity helps Ayla, coz she sort of is like, …really? And he’s quite vehemently going, yes! And she sort of slowly perks up. They make each other feel good about themselves. Not weird or boring or stupid, but just them.
Anyway, they sort of slowly become bffs. Slowly because I think Icarus is like totally ready to share everything (like I said, he’s the kind who, once you have his trust, he just trusts you all the way) but Ayla isn’t very - aware? - of these things and she’s still kind of oblivious and not really thinking about it. I guess coz she knows that people have the potential to hurt you, she’s just not very - what’s the word? - actively, consciously thinking about it? Oh, I think it’s coz she likes everyone and trust is not a conscious thing for her. She tends to trust people off the bat. Icarus doesn’t really.
Anyway, I’m not sure how they got together, like which of them looked at the other one day and realised they were more than friends. Maybe Icarus. Older them is a lot more - even? - in terms of their relationship dynamic. Older Icarus is quite relaxed and mild. He’s easy-going and generally doesn’t mind going with the flow. Like if Ayla says they’re going out to this mall but then changes it at the last minute to another mall, he’s fine with it. He generally gives the vibe of being comfortable in his own skin. He’s a very good listener. It’d be nice talking to him actually. He has a lot of unexpected things to say and he’s very unguarded with his emotions/expressions - very animated. Very sincere, doesn’t hide anything. Nice to hang out with. Generally minds his own business and does his own thing. If you need a listening ear, he’s nice to talk to. Very sympathetic, and always (it’s default for him) to say something positive about whatever it is. He’s not very good at practical advice (he doesn’t think about it/doesn’t occur to him) but if you wanna feel like you’ve got someone on your side to complain about something/sympathise with you, he’s your guy. Or if you want a better way of looking at things.
I think the biggest indicator of the difference between younger and older him is that older him will say things and Pan will listen. Like, younger Icarus looks up to Pan a lot and would never really disagree with Pan. Younger Icarus would also sort of bring his problems to Pan. Older him can have more equal conversations with Pan, where they talk about stuff and it isn’t just Icarus agreeing and nodding along and being full of admiration. Like Icarus would disagree sometimes and then he explains why and Pan listens and agrees. Amazing.
He’s the one doing most of the watching out in the relationship with Ayla. Older Ayla is more grounded and less likely to hare off at a moment’s notice. She has more concentration and focuses on things longer, tries to see them through. She can be a bit bossy because older her wants to be able to get things done. She’ll sometimes be so focused on being productive that she gets anxious and forgets to have fun. Icarus learns to recognise it and he can gently nudge her out of it. She’s more attentive and more thoughtful about doing things. She’s the one covering the big things for the two of them and he covers the smaller things - like if they go overseas together, she’s the one who does all the big things like buy the plane tickets, arrange the hotels, figure out the rough schedule/list of places they’re going. He’s the one who remembers that it’s going to be cold and makes a reminder to bring thicker clothes, or like remembers that she is allergic to peanuts (only an example) and calls whoever it is to tell them, or like remembers that you need to tip the tour guide, etcetc. Oh, she’s like the stereotypical dad who does all the “big” stuff and he’s like the mom who takes care of the details. But yeah they watch out for each other in different ways.