This set is literally my favourite collection of panels in the entire comic. It illustrates so much about the relationship between fighter and navigators, particularly the relationship between these fighters and navigators. And I’ve been thinking about it for days and I just wanna gush ok.
First, you have Phobos and Deimos. A team who clearly do not mesh well at all, and we know this from interactions between them in earlier scenes (mess hall in particular). Instead of working together as they should be, Phobos outright tells Deimos what he expects of him, and Deimos for whatever reason opts not to bite back. It’s clear evidence of the lack of respect Phobos has for Deimos as a fighter, and imo is a pretty nice contrast to the typical ‘alpha fighter’ complex that’s normally portrayed. Rather than the fighter being the controlling pain in the ass, this time it’s the Navigator, and you end up feeling kinda sorry for Deimos for being stuck with such an asshole. Phobos’s disdain is obvious, and Deimos’s submissiveness is equally clear. Both of these guys are two characters who are used to things going this way, regardless of how well it’s worked for them.
Makes me wonder how long it will take for them to end up being split in one way or another. If they don’t work well, they don’t fight well. And in enemy territory, if they don’t fight well, they sink. Something’s gotta give.
Next up you have Cain and Abel. They got off to a rocky start and both of them are complete fuck ups in a lot of ways. You can even question their compatibility altogether because it is entirely possible that Abel was lumped with Cain only for his abilities and for the sake of the Shady Plan. But compatibility and their relationship outside of the Reliant aside, both here clearly know their roles and both trust each other in the ship. It started off rocky, but since their first flight together (when Abel ignored Cain and went after the Tiberius) they have settled into what is clearly a comfortable routine. They know their roles, they know what to expect of each other. There is none of the tension or disdain that Phobos and Deimos display.
Despite that though, they still have to remind each other that they know what they’re doing. Abel still checks to make sure Cain is good to go, and Cain is still reminding Abel of his expectations (albeit a lot more subtler than Phobos does). There’s an easy confidence between them that I think would be standard between most Fighter/Navigator teams.
And lastly we have Keeler and Enke. My two favourite god damn characters in this entire gay-ass comic. Look at them. Just look at them. Compare them both to the two pairs above them and just consider the differences here. There’s no reassurances, there’s no expectations and no reminders. They don’t even have to look at one another, both are completely focused on their own tasks. Either they’ve been flying together for so long that they just know their routines, or they are so damn compatible that they are the epitome of a perfect Fighter/Navigator team. All Keeler has to say is Enke’s name and they know where they’re at. They exchange three words and they are ready to go. There’s a subtle way that Hamlet has drawn these two panels that just oozes the experience of this team, that tells you they have been flying together and working together, and regardless of whatever else is going on outside their ship (Keeler’s health being the big glaring one), they still work flawlessly together.
Even Abel and Cain’s easy confidence looks like a joke compared to Keeler and Enke’s. Don’t even get me started on just how glaringly different the relationship between Phobos and Deimos’s is. Keeler and Enke have this flying business by the balls, and they don’t need reminders, demands or any other kind of coaching of one another to do it. They just. Fucking. Work.
Just take a minute to look at these three teams and think about how much is being portrayed. Just how different they are, and how very little needs to be illustrated to get the point across. Right here are three examples of how glaringly contrary the relationships between teams can be. From a Navigator who treats his Fighter like property (or, a little more disturbingly, like a slave), to a duo who just mesh so smoothly together that they barely even need to talk to communicate.
I just fucking love the dynamics of Fighters and Navigators ok.
Gold in the Wreckage by dolphins: One of my favorites! Yuri SUFFERS quite a bit and this one, and there’s lots of him and Yuuri bonding, so basically the perfect combo. Will probably make you cry.
The Dress Shopping Series by Bam4Me: Cute series of oneshots featuring trans!Yuri. Mostly fluffy cuteness, but there’s a good one where he gets a concussion.
Transitions: Another series about trans!Yuri. Lots of angst and hurt/comfort, endgame Otayuri.
Raincheck: Yuri has a cold, and there’s lots of Otayuri cuteness.
We Grow, We Grow, Lest We Lose the Light by Enk: Yuri has growing pains, and there’s domestic cuteness.
Laughter is the Best Medicine by Poynter Jones: Yuri gets sick, and there’s Otayuri cuteness.
Love is a Battlefield (and You Have the Eyes of a Soldier) by shilo1364: Not as much hurt/comfort in this one, but there is a lot of Otayuri angst and pining, which is good. Also at fanfiction.net.
Domestic Bliss by BunniesofDoom: (I’m promoting my own fic here, sue me) A series of domestic one-shots set post-series focused on Yuuri, Victor, and Yuri. Generally fluff with the occasional hurt/comfort. Also on fanfiction.net.
Watching Over You by sinnoh: Yuri gets sick and Victor and Yuuri take care of him. Very cute!
Yuri, It’s Cold Outside by dreamingunderthestars: Yuri angst with a suitable amount of comfort.
Grief by Syrum: Yuri is really upset, and Yuuri comforts him.
Piroshkis and Soda by Arisprite: Yuri has a stomach bug, and Yuuri takes care of him.
after the cold comes warmth by orphan_account: Yuri gets sick while training in Hasetsu, and Yuuri and Victor take care of him. Also on fanfiction.net.
Mix-Up by Fayina (Dayea): Yuri is having relationship problems, and he’s also getting sick. Victor and Yuuri take care of him.
Intertwined by stella_polaris: Yuri gets a bad cold, and tries to figure out his feelings for Otabek.
Help is on the way by geekysparkle: Yuri gets sick at an event, and Otabek is there to help. Emeto.
Unspoken by tastewithouttalent: Yuri processes a loss.
I’ll be There by Eternal White Rose: Yuri’s nerves get to him, but Otabek is there to help.
Family by Hey-Diddle-Diddle25: Post-series. Yuri gets sick, and learns to accept his new family.
i think i “had a dream” that someone asked cassandra clare how she came up with the angelic rune design and she was like “well i started by drawing one half of an eyebrow…and then one half another eyebrow…and i got this!” and i still don’t,,,