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I know you once asked me how their relationship has started on his side, but I am not sure if you ever told me how didyme fell in love with marcus?
I’m just gonna link to your post regarding all this on his end because parts of my response are going to be influenced by it (granted you don’t mind that).
It was NOT love at first for her, not at all. Her previous experiences with romance were, frankly, traumatic. They left her deeply scarred and extremely skeptical where matters of the heart are concerned. To her mind, love is nothing but a pretty lie told to get between someone else’s thighs. And, if you do manage to find someone whom you not only love but also loves you? If you do manage to discover that mythical beast named “true love”? In the words of Ernest Hemingway: “If two people love each other, there can be no happy end to it.” All was doomed to end in sorrow. She didn’t even believe that genuine happiness was attainable; all was tainted somehow. She was the pessimism to Aro’s optimism, the skeptic to his romantic. I won’t go into detail about what her previous two experiences were like right now unless you wish for me to, so suffice it to say that they were marked by death, sorrow, and abuse.
Because her ability manifested itself while she was human, she was accustomed to having suitors full of fair words and false fantasies from a very young age (about 12-14). Initially, being young and inexperienced, she found all of the attention to be flattering, and it wasn’t until she married one of the suitors (Euphemios) who proved to be emotionally and verbally abusive that her eyes were opened and she was disillusioned. The vast majority of her admirers were basically deluded – they loved the thought of her, the way they felt around her, a dream of her, rather than her. She had suitors and admirers even after she was married, and her ability only increased in strength after becoming a Vampire to the point that as a newborn, RIGHT AFTER being turned, she canonically showed up to the Volturi with an entourage of followers who were attracted to her ability and became the original Guard members. So all of her experiences, skepticism, etc. essentially makes it impossible for love at first sight to happen with her. She’s too closed off in order to protect herself.
Nevertheless, I do think she liked Marcus after meeting him for the first time and had a favorable opinion of him. Which is, in fact, saying something because Didyme was very scrutinizing of the other Core members when she first joined. Aro had told her about them before she met them (perhaps Marcus most of all since I headcanon (or is it canon?) that he met him first), but Aro has a poet’s tongue. He’s very eloquent, but almost too eloquent sometimes. He uses lofty language, gets very excited and passionate about darn near everything (especially in his younger years), and has this tendency to exaggerate usually with the result that things seem better than they are. He’s a bundle of boundless optimism and hopeless romanticism. She knew that very well and so took his words with a grain of salt (or five). Marcus she was especially scrutinizing of because she’d heard the most about him, so it’s pretty significant that she walked away from that first encounter with a favorable opinion of him … except that he was a bit shorter than she’d expected. :P Aro had made it out like he was a giant or something.
You say it was love at first sight for him, correct? I don’t think she would have noticed that at first because (and this is just the impression I’ve gotten from your Marcus, so apologies if I err here) he tends be sort of calm and subdued; he’s not hasty or excitable usually? He errs on the side of thoughtful and level-headed. So, it’s not like his eyes would start BLAZING with passion and he’d start spouting poetry or get on one knee or something, y’know? Again correct me if I err, but I get the impression that she wouldn’t be able to immediately read that in him. Especially considering that you go on to say that even he didn’t trust his own feelings about her at first after taking into consideration the effect her ability might be having on him. She would take note eventually, especially after getting to know him better, but it wouldn’t be immediate. Which is actually for the best. If she had noticed right off the bat that he was falling for her, she would have immediately shut herself off from him and sort of spurned him, kept him at a distance mostly in order to protect herself. She wouldn’t trust his emotions, either.
All that being said, once she did begin to take note of his emotions (especially when he at last did begin trying to prove his love to her), she would also take note of the fact that he’d waited to act on them. Especially after Aro finally finds out about the way Marcus feels and angrily rants at her about all that he’s read in his mind. (Angrily because, y’know, over-protective older brother.) That’s most likely how she’d find out just how long he’d taken to act on them. Her initial reaction would be to pull away a little, but I do say a little. It wouldn’t be the massive shutting him out, cutting him off that she does with all her other suitors (and would have done earlier on). It’d be more: “I know you’re convinced that you love me, but I’m not convinced that you love me; and I’m not willing to let down my defenses unless I’m sure.” A defensive, arms-length (versus football-fields length) distance. The fact that he’d waited, though, to prove his own emotions to himself before trying to prove them to her would give his love more credibility in her eyes. She’d be more willing to hear him out and permit him opportunities to prove himself. Especially because by that point she will likely have known him long enough to begin to respect (and perhaps even care for) him. His patience would set him apart from her other suitors, and she’d then begin tallying up other ways in which he was different from the others – something she’d never done before. I get the impression that his love would not typically be expressed in grand gestures and fireworks like that of the other suitors. It wouldn’t be pretty lies and false fantasies, dire proclamations and dramatic poetry. It wouldn’t come in these blazing, passionate BURSTS, but it would come hourly and daily and always. It would be more constant – even when she did not look her best, even when she did not feel her best, even when she isolated herself or questioned his feelings. He would genuinely care about her rather than the experience of being around her (the experience of being around her ability), and it’s in the small gestures that she’d see that. He would ask how her day is going and genuinely want to know. Perhaps she’d say she’d picked some apples that day, and he’d ask why. He’d ask her opinion about something and share his own, even if it differed from hers. They’d engage in civil debate occasionally, sharing world views and experiences. He’d care; he’d want to know; he would engage her in conversation because it was her that mattered. None of the other suitors did things like that. If they asked her how her day was it was only so they could loudly proclaim all the ways in which they could make it better if they were her lover. She’d be confused at first after he engages her in real conversation after she finds out he loves her. Sure, he’d engaged her in real conversation before which is why she’d come to like him so much, but this was different. Sure, he was in love with her before, but now she knew he was in love with her, and she kept expecting things to go sour somehow. Kept expecting him to become another disappointment, another reason to lose faith in the world, but he never did. And, that’s why she fell. Not only because she came to trust and respect him, but she came to understand that he trusted and respected her.
She actually began to reciprocate his feelings not long after finding out how he felt, the seeds had been planted. But, they were seeds and they had to grow; and she was constantly seized by the urge claw them from her heart. For what terrible thing might they grow into? She denied her love. She was terrified of it. It was an awful beast lurking in her own chest, stalking and growling and licking its lips in anticipation of devouring her. She came up with reason after reason for not loving him, but he disproved every single one. She kept berating herself, telling herself she’d be a fool to open herself up to more agony and disappointment. That’s really why I think it took them three - five years to get married, because she was scared and in denial. But, you can’t be in denial about something that isn’t true. Eventually, her feelings for him did win out, and she made the single most frightening decision of her entire life: to trust this man, to give him her heart and her all. After that point, though, she only put him through about two or three months of courting at the most before agreeing to marry him. She’d already made her decision to marry him before that point actually, but she still had to put him through the paces, y’know?
Idk if you have any ideas about how shy Marcus might have been about certain things early on in their relationship, but I can 100% say that Didyme was quite shy when it came to romantic things with him. She was coming out of a twenty-seven year emotionally and verbally toxic (abusive even tbh) relationship that had left her with no pure concept of what a marriage SHOULD and COULD be. She had only a vague clue from a brief love affair twenty-six or so years ago (that had ended poorly) of what a healthy relationship was like. Her shy behavior around him at times now would no doubt be noticeable as different from her behavior beforehand. The first time he said he loved her or complimented her or just said something genuine and positive about her and she believed him, left her feeling very dazed and confused. Joyous, yes, but uncertain how to proceed. She couldn’t just tell him off like she had with everyone else because she actually believed him. She was at a total loss for words and probably felt as if she could cry because it meant so much to her. The first time he held her hand, brushed her hair from her face, kissed her cheek – her heart could burst within her from these genuine acts of affection that she’d never experienced before. And, she does tend to prefer acts of affection (i.e. hand-holding) over words. She wouldn’t actually SAY I love you for a long time (perhaps not even til after they were married????) but would do her best to SHOW it, hoping he’d understand. And, she’s the sort of person who primarily SHOWS her love rather than TELLS. But, at first she’d have no clue how. Was it alright to hold his hand? Was it alright to kiss his cheek if he kissed hers? Was it alright to kiss his cheek first? Was it alright to embrace him or hold his face in her hands or tell him she thought he was wise and that she admired that? The first time she held his hand was an incredible act of bravery on her part. And, the first time she kissed him, wove him a garland, complimented him were all brave, as well. And, in time (not even a long time I’d say) she realized she was safe with him. A profound revelation. There was need neither for fear nor bravery. She was safe and loved, and the space between his arms was home. Finally there was a place for all of her repressed passion and affection, where it would no longer be rejected, and she was a woman who loved with the fullness of her being, as though she teetered upon the brink of death.
the world as we know it has ended and mother nature starts taking back what’s hers. there are no zombies or cannibals or murderous bandits. the most valued members of the community are those who know how to garden and farm, sew and weave, treat wounds, work wood or build with bricks, cook from scratch.
people bond together to begin rebuilding instead of killing each other. everyone teaches each other whatever they do know and works together to figure out the stuff none of them know. books become incredibly valued resources because they’re often the only way to learn critical information. if someone is elderly, disabled, or otherwise unable to work at the same level as most of the community, they’re taken care of by the others, not told any sort of “survival of the fittest” bs.
as the generations ware on, communities begin expanding into small cities. some of the settlements even find ways to repurpose solar or wind power on a small scale and have electricity in some of their buildings. storytellers wander the countryside telling tales of the old world in return for some hot stew or a place to rest for the night, and the mythos of the new world start to incorporate elements of the past. the only thing that remains constant is that humans survive, and they do it by working together.
Shahi has always had incredible chemistry with whomever she is working opposite on any show, but never to the degree she had with Acker. Both are incredible actresses on their own, but paired together on screen they delivered some of the most stunning moments of their careers. Their chemistry gave birth to the relationship between their characters and their joint commitment to nurture that relationship made it something truly special that will live on in the lexicon of pop culture until the end of time. You absolutely can’t talk about either character or either actress without mentioning the other because these parts richly intertwined them. For years, and likely decades, to hear the mention of one will elicit a reference to the other. Their hard work and dedication to Shaw and Root has forever bonded them in ways I doubt they could have fully comprehended when this journey began.