Hey guys it’s me, Ricetopaz, coming at you with the top 10 best dads in the Persona series as my Father’s Day special.
Let’s get down to business. At number 10, we have…
from Persona 5!
He may not be the most caring, loving, or nice father, but if there’s one thing he does have, it’s money. Lots of it. He also has a space ship. And a spooky death scene. And that’s all he needs to win the number 10 spot!
At number 9, we have…
from Persona 3!
I don’t actually know that much about Takeharu, but if I know 3 things about him for certain: 1: He Raised Mitsuru, and Mitsuru turned out pretty alright. 2: He died. And Mitsuru was sad about it so he was probably a good Dad if that happened. And 3: He has a really cool eyepatch and all good dads need an eyepatch. All these factors and more earn him the number 9 spot of best Persona dads!
Coming in at number 8…
Mayoshi Shido from Persona 5!
Objectively speaking, every child’s favorite day is “Bring Your Kid to Work” day, a day where they get to spend the entire day alongside their beloved Mother or Father. However, when you’re MAYOSHI SHIDO’s unwanted child, EVERY DAY is Bring Your Kid to Work day! Even in-between running for Prime Minister and committing constant horrifying illegal acts, he still makes time for his beautiful son!
Some of you may argue that commanding people to be killed makes him a bad Dad, but think about it. He did order the death of one of the lesser Dads on this list, Kunikazu Okumura. So in a way, he’s simply just killing inferior Dads to improve the Dad genepool for generations to come! So shine on you, Shido!
At number 7, we have…
from Persona 5!
In a way, Iwai represents all the traits a good Dad should have: Hardworking, protective, and involved in highly illegal activities. Throughout his Confidant, he proves time and time again just how willing he is to devote himself to his son, and keep him out of harm’s way, even willing to risk his own life to protect his child!
But as our number 6 spot proves, being the greatest Dad of all takes a little more than just being willing to risk your life for your child…
Coming in at number 6…
Makoto and Sae
Niijima’s Dad from Persona 5!
Unlike that sissy Iwai, Mr. Niijima ACTUALLY died, rather than just be WILLING to die, like that coward Iwai is. Really puts him to shame, honestly.
The ultimate 80s high school movie. Five teenagers, all from different cliques, end up spending an entire day together in detention. They all learn what its like in different peoples shoes and end up becoming very good friends. While things like that usually don’t happen in my school, its still an amazing film with such incredible character development for everyone.
2. Stand By Me / 1986
This was literally my favorite movie when I was younger. Based in the 50s (maybe, that could be wrong) about four boys as they embark on a journey to see a dead body. They run into quite a few problems along the way. Including one of their older brothers as he tries to turn the body in as his own discovery. I also had the biggest crush on River Phoenix in this film.
3. Fast Times at Ridgemont High / 1982
This is one of those films where it doesn’t nessicarily have a plot. It follows a bunch of different people who are all in High School. It follows a girl named Stacy and her experience in a love triangle between Mark and Damone. It also follows a stoner named Spicoli who, honestly, makes this film worth watching.
4. Scarface / 1983
IF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN SCARFACE, WHAT ARE YOU DOING? This is honestly one of the greatest films ever created. Follows Tony Montana, a Cuban man who lives in Miami. After getting a green card he makes his place in one of the greatest drug cartels ever. It’s not based on a true story, but still incredible. And Michelle Pfeiffer is literally a queen in this movie.
5. The Outsiders / 1983
This is another one of the greatest films ever created. Based on the book by S.E. Hinton about a group of greasers in the 60s. Follows a boy named Ponyboy and his two brothers, Sodapop and Darry in their constant rivialry against the Socs the rich kids. There are also amazing characters such as Two-Bit, Dally, Steve, and Johnny. This is a film that is guaranteed to break your heart. Dally is my personal favorite but everyone has aspects to love. I don’t want to give the plot away, but its worth watching.
I might start making these more often, let me know if there’s a decade you want me to do! xx
Jesus Christ is, beyond all reasonable question, the greatest Man who ever lived. The greatness of a man is to be estimated by two things; first, by the extent of his influence upon mankind, and secondly—for no one is altogether great who is not also good—by the purity and dignity of his character. Tried by both of these tests, Jesus is the supreme among men. He is at once the most influential and the best of Mankind.
“There is something strange about Christianity in that it shares with Islam and Judaism what we might call theological imperialism. Christians of even the most liberal stripe fervently believe that their religion is the best religion.
And they will state it by saying either [that] Jesus Christ is the only son of God (that’s an Orthodox way—as a matter of fact it isn’t really an Orthodox way of saying it but it’s the way Orthodox people do say it) …
… or they will say Jesus is the greatest man that ever lived. The point is that you make a commitment to the following of Jesus as an historical personage.
And for some reason or other, people who commit themselves to this exclusive kind of following of Jesus become exceedingly obstreperous …
… because they will either damn other religions outright or, far more insidiously, damn them with fake praise.”
Okay. Figured I’d write this at some
point, seems like as good a place as any to do it.
Yes: Superman is pretty great. The character’s great,
the costume’s great, the cast is great, the powers are great, the scope of the
kind of adventures you can tell with him is great, the mythology’s great, the
power he has to inspire on the page and in the real world is great.I’ve known that since I was…I dunno,
three? Two? I’m told he was my first three-syllable word. I’m not sure what my
first exposure would have been; Superman
the Animated Series was airing when I was a kid, my dad had the Fleischer
cartoons on tape, we’d watch reruns of The
Adventures of Superman whenever they aired, I had some odd issues of Superman Adventures, I had picture books
like The True Story of Superman, Superman: Slippery When Bad and I Hate Superman!, I even had an abridged
version of John Byrne’s Man of Steel many
years before I would change my tune on it. It was well past the whole nine
yards of lunchboxes and Superman-themed birthday parties - mom and dad were
Lois-Mom and Jimmy-Dad for a bit, who got a call one time from a teacher in
preschool that I had dramatically taken off my shirt to show the temporary
S-Shield tattoo I’d gotten on my chest. My dad ended up having to drive to
every Burger King in the area asking for any spare Superman toys because I
couldn’t stand that they had been discontinued before I could get them all and
I was making life hell for everyone in the process. I couldn’t play Superman
with other kids on the playground, because I’d demand we recreate the scripts
of adventures verbatim.
Around seven or thereabouts though,
while I never developed any of the disdain towards him that so many seem to
have, I drifted away for a while towards Batman and Spider-Man. Purely by
coincidence, this is also the age I was diagnosed with Asperger’s.
It’s not something I talk about a
great deal these days. Not because of some sense of shame, to be as clear as
possible about that right upfront. It isn’t even a matter of my especially
being able to pass as neurotypical - take me out of my comfort zone into any
number of common social circumstances and that illusion falls by the wayside.
But I’ve carved out I feel a pretty decent niche where I’m typically fairly
satisfied and able to function at a level that meets my own standards, and as a
result it’s usually background radiation of my life, not something that comes
up unbidden until a situation demands I start thinking about it again. Even when I do, thinking about it much often leaves me feeling self-conscious and self-indulgent, and convinced I’m either being stupidly self-aggrandizing or stupidly self-pitying about it.
I’m not quite certain when I
started to think about it, but the structure of how I thought about it I know came about thanks to @postcardsfromspace‘s (excellent) article I See Your Value Now on learning
about their own Asperger’s. I doubt it’s an association any creators for the
character have given any thought (aside from maybe Mark Waid, given that in an interview on Birthright he specifically noted how his idea for Martha Kent
becoming a UFO buff in response to her son was meant as a parallel to parents
of kids with autism having to become self-taught experts on the subject), and
all a Google search immediately turns up is comparing a young Clark’s troubles
with his X-Ray vision in Man of Steel
to sensory overload in children with autism. It’s not something that would have
likely even occurred to me if it wasn’t for that…well, that I have Asperger’s,
and Superman’s a special interest, and as a default I’m always ready on some
level to connect any input I get back to him.
Obviously, there’s Clark himself.
He screams it, right? Likely just because of a general conflation of ‘nerd’
traits with ‘Aspie’ traits, but it’s all there right on the surface: shy,
awkward, naïve, can’t read a room to save his life, unaware of some general
social conventions given his penchant for drab suits, horn-rimmed glasses and
fedoras well into the 21st century, either without many friends or
locked into a rigid and small social circle, by all appearances more alive
behind a screen than he ever is to anyone’s face. Even the more confident takes
on him, such as in the Reeves TV show or the New 52 Action Comics, seem to lack a social grace or two, seem to grate on
the people around him. Precision-constructed by the greatest man to ever live
to be beneath the notice of his peers in every way imaginable, of course you end up with that guy.
…except even when Clark’s purely a
post-Smallville construct on Superman’s part, he’s not made out of nothing, is
he? The Kansas boy who grew up reading A
Tale of Two Cities as a toddler and obsessively pouring over astronomy
textbooks for clues can hazard a guess of what it feels like to be a nerd. The
guy who grew up on a farm who flies and can accidentally shatter steel in his
grip is entirely familiar with how it feels to awkwardly maneuver around in a
crowded city. The square who grew up in the middle of nowhere constantly
getting accused of not knowing how the world really works can probably express a little doubt over his own
self-awareness and naiveté if he absolutely has to. Clark Kent is historically
built on Superman’s own worst image of himself.
And the shyness? The sense of being
out of place? The - let’s get right to the heart of it - alien-ness?
Superman’s pretty cool. He’s
friendly; he’s understanding; he’s clever and kind and determined. He’s also
something of a loner who’s often surprisingly loathe to open up to people,
and even once he’s married he still needs plenty of time to himself to think
things through. He’s someone who when he puts on the costume always engages
with the world in a very specific context: where his natural talents are most
obviously geared towards being helpful, where so long as he can pull off Sweet
and Composed and make some speeches when he has to people will accept him with
open arms. Being Superman puts him in a situation where he can show his best
self, personally and socially and morally, and be accepted for his goodness in
a way nerdy, quiet Clark Kent never can.
And god, does he need that
That’s often applied to painfully
maudlin stories of him hand-wringing over his social impact on humanity and
whether he can save all the little children of the world from cancer or
whatever, but it’s still something else that seems to be pretty consistent
across the various interpretations. Unless he’s barreling ahead with a degree
of self-confidence bordering on flat-out arrogance, he’s always worried about
how he seems in the eyes of the world. Whether that means Red Kryptonite
externalizing anxieties of old age or powerlessness or throwing him into
dreamworlds of hate or irrelevance, or wondering whether he can justify one of
his two identities, or pondering his alien nature, or questioning what Superman
means as a symbol to the world, or being flat-out replaced, or even protecting
his secret, it’s always the same question refracted through endless prisms: Can I belong here? Am I doing well enough,
being useful enough, to deserve what I’ve been given? Will they find me out?
Would they ever accept me if they
knew the truth?
For all the joy that comes with who he is, that’s his life too: it’s growing up in
Smallville knowing there’s no one else who’ll ever know the distinct timbre of
air-pressure changes when a hummingbird slows down its wingbeat a fraction, no
one he could talk about the sight of snowflakes assembling themselves out of
freezing raindrops to without sounding as if he’s out of his mind, no one who
could fully empathize with having to practice normal human reactions to the
world. It’s spending half his life trying to be a normal guy among normal
people and failing because of his own insecurities, the other half really being
able to do his best in his own element and being the person he wants to be, but
never being sure if it’s enough for those around him. It’s finally meeting other Kryptonians or
superheroes but realizing even their own experiences diverge so sharply that
the communication gap remains, that as a matter of circumstance he is and will always
remain fundamentally other in some
ways, no matter how deeply he connects with other people.
His relationships seem to fit the mold too - it works pretty dang well that his
two best friends are a coworker who’s simultaneously the cool dude who takes
him under his wing and the kid who
uncritically looks up to him, and someone with the same ‘hobby’ who’s himself
pretty well-known for having issues opening up to people. Or that his wife
falling in love with him is framed in terms of her looking past him at his most
vulnerable and awkward and unable to fit in to see the person he actually is
when no one else can, while a major part of his love for her is her being the
kind of person who’s pushy enough to force him out of his shell and some of his
more self-defeating behaviors.
And that his worst enemy, in spite of
his aura of smug self-regard, doesn’t seem able to relate to other people on a
fundamental level or manage to work with them very well when he’s not in full
control of the situation, even as he needs them to accept and validate him. Lex
fails because he’ll never work to bridge that gap in the same way as Superman,
seeing that as a ridiculous and unrealistic imposition, and Superman as an
intruder into his personal universe trying to force his unrealistic standards
of “acknowledge other people and what
they think about things” on him while at the same time agonizingly,
bafflingly succeeding where Lex fails. He’s the embodiment in that regard of
the frustrated, shamed instinct of the isolated that you’re already great, so
people should already love and understand you and it’s their fault for not
getting it (hence for instance how in All-Star
he overtly sees the world and the relationships that make it up in a coldly material manner where people naturally flock to only the most outwardly great around
them - colored by a sexist streak that’s taken on a whole new degree of toxic prominence
when it comes to the socially awkward in the near-decade since the book’s
(It also works that Superman’s
character in All-Star is defined by
his disconnect from humanity, and that his big character arc is having to
become emotionally honest enough to talk with the people who love him about
what he’s going through.)
Again, clearly none of this is the
intent on the part of those who’ve worked with him over the years. This is by
no means the bedrock or secret key to what makes him tick; it’s at best a component
in a much larger machine. I’m sure if you dug into it enough you could find something
problematic in the proposition, and I won’t pretend there couldn’t be
characters closer in every sense to my own experiences.
But none of them would be Superman.
Sure, it helps that I grew up with
him, and that he’s a character with enough detail and weird ideas and character
work that I can delve into the minutia of him in a way I can’t with anyone else
to the same extent other than Batman, but beyond all that, he’s Superman. He’s The
Guy, the best, and that I can see myself in him in *any* way means more than it
ever could with any other character, because that makes him being a role model
mean something else.
For all I talked about how lonely
he is above he’s still an idealist, still has friends and a job and weird
personal hobbies at his personal ice-cave and a way to express his highest,
best self in a way that’s loved by the people around him. The way he sees
things differently can be accepted and shared even as he understands and cares
for the people around him. He’s happy. And that he can start from a place of being the only
one of his kind and end up a good person, the best person, in part because he knows better than anyone what it is
to be alone and why others matter so much? That has more weight to people, and
to me, than can be expressed.
I mentioned before I’m not wild
about Clark being the exclusive true identity in part because of how much it
messes with this. I’ve also said elsewhere that while both Clark and Superman
are inseparable and true parts of his identity that can’t be denied as important
aspects of who he is, if I absolutely had to choose one as being the ‘real’ one I’d
go with Superman. And I can pick apart any number of storytelling reasons for
that, but thinking about how I relate to Superman in the way I do made me
realize something else. I have to see Superman as the truest self because
Superman’s who he is at his best, when he’s not afraid or ashamed and can show
himself in all his alienness to everyone and be accepted for it. That’s the
dream, right? I’m no Superman, but I’ve gotta
believe in him, ‘cause I’ve gotta believe in me.
Every week so far during Season 2 I finish the episode thinking the show has leveled up, and wooooo doggy, was that the case again this week. There was a lot to unpack and mull over in the hour of television, and here are just a handful of things that stood out to me:
Remember this. The greatest honor a man can ever achieve is to live with great courage and to die with his countrymen in battle for his home. I say to you what every warrior has known since the beginning of time. Conquer your fear, and I promise you, you will conquer death!
What was Jefferson's reaction to Hamilton's death?
Thomas Jefferson didn’t have an outward reaction to Hamilton’s death. He mentioned it in a letter to his daughter Patsy on July 17th, 1804:
“P.S. I presume mr Randolph’s newspapers will inform him of the death of Colo. Hamilton, which took place on the 12th.”
That is it. That was Jefferson’s reaction to Alexander Hamilton’s death. I spoke more about Jefferson’s more later talks about Hamilton here.
But do not be Ron Chernow. Chernow spoke about Hamilton’s death and how Jefferson didn’t even care. But in fact, just about a month before Hamilton’s death, another of Jefferson’s children died–Maria “Polly” Jefferson Eppes–this made his fifth child to die and he was still inconsolable with grief. In Art and Power, Jon Meacham states from a primary source that one walked into his room at the President’s Home only to find him crying. Jefferson wasn’t ignorant over Hamilton’s death, he was just already grieving the death of his daughter.
A day later on July 18th, Jefferson wrote to Philip Mazzei:
“…remarkeable deaths lately are Samuel Adams, Edmund Pendleton, Alexander Hamilton, Stevens Thomson Mason, Mann Page, Bellini, & Parson Andrews. to these I have the inexpressible grief of adding the name of my youngest daughter who had married a son of mr Eppes, and has left two children. my eldest daughter alone remains to me, and has 6. children. this loss has increased my anxiety to retire, while it has dreadfully lessened the comfort of doing it.”
August 28th he mentions to Robert Smith:
“Willing is Presidt. of the bank of the US. you may also observe he was Chairman at a meeting when they agreed to hoist the black cockade on the left arm in honour of Hamilton.”
October 11th, 1805 to Albert Gallatin:
“I imagine Colo. Hamilton had assays made wherein he founded his rates of foreign coins. indeed I think I recollect his having stated in some of his reports the particulars of his assays.”
To William Short, 12 October 1806:
“…you had, in your letters to Hamilton, indulged yourself in the same expressions of disgust towards the revolution of France.”
To Walter Jones, 5 March 1810 and my personal favorite:
“…Washington’s practice for the first two or three years of his administration, till the affairs of France & England threatened to embroil us, and rendered consideration & discussion desirable. in these discussions, Hamilton & myself were daily pitted in the cabinet like two cocks. we were then but 4. in number, and, according to the majority, which of course was of three to one, the President decided. the pain was for Hamilton & myself, but the public experienced no inconvenience. I practised this last method, because the harmony was so cordial among us all, that we never failed, by a contribution of mutual views, of the subject, to form an opinion acceptable to the whole.”
To Benjamin Rush, 16 January 1811
“[telling a story]I invited them to dine with me, and after dinner, sitting at our wine, having settled our question, other conversation came on, in which a collision of opinion arose between mr Adams & ColoHamilton, on the merits of the British constitution, mr Adams giving it as his opinion that, if some of it’s defects & abuses were corrected, it would be the most perfect constitution of government ever devised by man. Hamilton, on the contrary asserted that, with it’s existing vices, it was the most perfect model of government that could be formed; & that the correction of it’s vices would render it an impracticable government. and this you may be assured was the real line of difference between the political principles of these two gentlemen. another incident took place on the same occasion which will further delineate Hamilton’s political principles. the room being hung around with a collection of the portraits of remarkable men, among them were those of Bacon, Newton & Locke. Hamilton asked me who they were. I told him they were my trinity of the three greatest men the world had ever produced, naming them. he paused for some time: ‘the greatest man, said he, that ever lived was Julius Caesar.’ Mr Adams was honest as a politician as well as a man; Hamilton honest as a man, but, as a politician, believing in the necessity of either force or corruption to govern men.”
Thomas Jefferson’s Notes on Patrick Henry, [before 12 April 1812]
“…from being the most violent of all anti-federalists however, he was brought over to the new constitution by his Yazoo speculation before mentioned. the Georgia legislature having declared that transaction fraudulent & void, the depreciated paper which he had bought up to pay for the Yazoo purchase was likely to remain on his hands worth nothing. but Hamilton’s funding system came most opportunely to his relief, & suddenly raised his paper from 2/6 to 27/6 the pound. Hamilton became now his idol, and abandoning the republican advocates of the constitution, the federal government, on federalprinciples, became his political creed.”
To John Melish, 13 January 1813
“…others with all it’s corruptions & abuses. this last was Alexander Hamilton’s opinion, which others as well as myself have often heard him declare, and that a correction of what are called it’s vices would render the English an impracticable government…in this they adhere to the known principle of General Hamilton, never under any views to break the union. Anglomany, Monarchy, & Separation then are the principles of the Essex federalists, Anglomany & Monarchy, those of the Hamiltonians, and Anglomany alone that of the portion among the people who call themselves federalists…he did this the more repeatedly, because he knew Genl Hamilton’s political bias, and my apprehensions from it.”
To Josiah Meigs, 18 September 1813
“…mr Hamilton, a son of Alexander Hamilton, of course a federalist and Angloman, and who was with the British army in Spain some time, declares it is their constant practice, and that at the taking Badajoz, he was himself eye-witness to it in the streets, & that the officers did not attempt to restrain it.”
To Walter Jones, 2 January 1814
“…and these declarations he repeated to me the oftener, and the more pointedly, because he knew my suspicions of Colo Hamilton’s views, and probably had heard from him the same declarations5 which I had, to wit, ‘that the British constitution with it’s unequal representation, corruption and other existing abuses, was the most perfect government which had ever been established on earth, and that a reformation of these abuses would make it an impracticable government.’”
To Elijah Griffiths, 15 May 1820
“Genl Washington’s negative to the law, but after a long. struggle in his mind, Hamilton prevailed in the last hour and let in this torrent of swindling institutions which have spread ruin and wretchedness over the face of our country.”
To John Adams, 1 November 1822
“I think Genl. Washington approved of building vessels of war to that extent. Genl. Knox I know did. but what was Colo. Hamilton’s opinion I do not in the least remember.”
To William H. Crawford, 20 June 1816
“…this most heterogeneous principle was transplanted into ours from the British system, by a man whose mind was really powerful [he was talking about Hamilton], but chained by native partialities to every thing English…”
To William Johnson, 4 March 1823
“…the life of Hamilton is in the hands of a man, who, to the bitterness of the priest adds the rancour of the fiercest federalism.”
To William Johnson, 12 June 1823
“…when, at the end of his second term, his Valedictory came out, mr Madison recognised in it several passages of his draught, several others we were both satisfied were from the pen of Hamilton, and others, from that of the President himself. these he probably put into the hands of Hamilton to form into a whole, and hence it may all appear in Hamilton’s handwriting; as if it were all of his composition.”
To James Madison, 13 June 1823
“…mentions a dispute between Genl. Washington’s friends and mrs. Hamilton as to the authorship of the Valedictory…”
To James Madison, 18 October 1823
“The jarrings between the friends of Hamilton and Pickering will be of advantage to the cause of truth. It will denudate the monarchism of the former and justify our opposition to him, and the malignity of the latter which nullifies his testimony in all cases which his passion can discolor.”
To Martin Van Buren, 29 June 1824
“we met at my office, Hamilton and myself agreed at once that there was too much ceremony for the character of our government, and particularly that the parade of the installation at N. York ought not to be copied on the present occasion; that the President should desire the Chief Justice to attend him at his chambers that he should administer the oath of office to him in the presence of the higher officers of the government and that the certificate of the fact should be delivered to the Secretary of State to be recorded, Randolph and Knox differed from us, the latter vehemently, they thought it not advisable to change any of the established forms, and we authorised Randolph to report our opinions to the President…he made these declarations the oftener because he knew my suspicions that Hamilton had other views, and he wished to quiet my jealousies on this subject. for Hamilton frankly avowed that he considered the British constitution, with all the corruptions of it’s administration, as the most perfect model of government which had ever been devised by the wit of man; professing however, at the same time, that the spirit of this country was so fundamentally republican that it would be visionary to think of introducing monarchy here, and that therefore it was the duty of it’s administrators to conduct it on the principles their constituents had elected.”
To William Short, 8 January 1825:
“…he takes great pains to prove, for instance, that Hamilton was no monarchist, by exaggerating his own intimacy with him and the impossibility, if he were so, that he should not, at some time have betrayed it to him. this may pass with uninformed readers, but not with those who have had it from Hamilton’s own mouth. I am one of those, and but one of many. at my own table, as well as elsewhere, I have heard him and mr Adams both avow their preference of monarchy, and especially that of England, over all other governments. both agreed it was the most perfect model of govmt ever devised by the wit of man: mr Adams adding only ‘if it’s corruptions were done away,’ and Hamilton that ‘with these corruptions it was perfect, and without them it would be an impracticable government.’”
Note: Okay so this is for @thing-you-do-with-that-thing ‘s week 7 of the 2017 hiatus challenge, yes I
realize it’s insanely late but inspiration struck and here we are. So the
dialogue prompt, “Stop filming me, moron!” is in italics and bolded and the
italicized is part of the video/movie, it’ll make more sense when you start reading I
promise. Thank you so much for reading!
Aaron awoke with the image of Foyet burned into his mind He blinked rapidly, his eyes falling on his current visitor. Contradictory to the injured yet still surprisingly intimidating Unit Chief’s insistence, the team had resolutely decided to stay. They blessedly compromised to keep vigil one at a time rather than the swarm of them constantly surrounding him. After all, you don’t cross a man who can still manage to look threatening in a hospital gown. Morgan had apparently gone home since Aaron’s last bout of consciousness and was now replaced by Emily. The tension released from his body; he had never been comfortable with people witnessing his vulnerability, but she’d comforted him when he felt weak enough times to where he accepted her presence. If anything, her nearness was soothing, but Aaron wasn’t about to admit that.
She hadn’t noticed his rousing. Aaron fixated on her as he tried to cleanse the memory of Foyet from his mind. She was leaned forward and staring at her hands, picking at her nails again. Her hair fell across her face so he couldn’t make out her expression, but he didn’t need to be a profiler to know she was worried. They all were. And it was his fault.
He made to shake his head against the unwelcome yet familiar thoughts, but his head moved a hair’s breadth; even that was physical exertion enough. He took it as a sign that he needed more rest and allowed his eyes to drift to Emily once more, hoping she would be there to ease him in slumber instead of Foyet’s violent memory. His lids flitted shut and he felt the droziness of the medicine begin to carry him off.
Yet before he could truly fall asleep, his hand suddenly got very cold. Without opening his eyes, he knew Emily had enveloped his hand in her own. Too tired to be startled by the touch or to even flinch back, he was about to grumble something having to do with requiring gloves as her uniform when she spoke.
Her voice was soft and shaking. It felt like another knife entering his body to hear her speak like that. “Aaron,” she began. He instantly knew she thought he was still asleep. “I know you can’t hear me and that’s probably why I’m telling you this now anyway. I’ve never been one to open up too much myself, as hypocritical as that is by encouraging everyone to be candid with me, but I suppose you know that already, don’t you?”
She chuckled quietly and her thumb circled the webbing between his thumb and index finger. He repressed a wince, guilty for letting her continue her private confession. Even if he was the subject, he couldn’t help but feel like he was intruding. “You already know a lot of things. You always have. It’s the job, I guess, but I think it goes beyond that.
“You’ve always been such a great leader, and I imagine being as intuitive as you are has come in handy, as well as all the other skills you possess; excellent marksmen, avid reader, studious learner, engaging listener, firm speaker. It’s truly exceptional and such an honor to work for someone with so many natural talents.”
He was ready to stop her. Although she clearly wanted to say something, she was prone to babbling, especially when she was nervous, and he was not interested in hearing nothing but undeserved praise. Not to mention his hand really was getting quite cold.
Before he had a chance, she huffed. “I’ll stop. You were never one to listen to, as you would call it, ‘undeserved praise.’” He nearly huffed. She knew him so well, too well, more well than anyone he’d ever known. The vulnerability was somehow both troubling and assuaging at the same time. Why did the enigma of Emily Prentiss continue to be so contradictory? “But it’s not all for nothing,” she continued, wrapping her other hand under his, surrounding his very cold, very well hugged hand. “Although it’s a great honor, when something like this happens I really just can’t take it. To think that I’ve caused the near death of the greatest man I’ve ever met is unbearable. To live with that, even more so.
“I guess that’s why I feel like I have to tell you now. I’m such a coward, I know. I can’t even tell you, much less the entire team. Aaron.” He could hear the tears in her voice and he knew she was crying. Suddenly her babbling took on a much more serious note and her disorganized chatter was accelerating in both speed and emotional meaning. “Aaron, I’m so sorry. I should have been there for you and I wasn’t. You weren’t supposed to be home that early; we were supposed to have drink in your office or go out to the bar and have drinks or go back to mine and have drinks or even to yours to have drinks. It doesn’t matter. You weren’t supposed to be alone that night. But I was tired and weak and I couldn’t be there for you,” she sobbed. He quietly sucked in his breath. Did she really blame herself?
There was a brief pause as the agent steadied her breathing. His hand was very cold. “But I promise you,” her voice changed; it seemed more solid and steady. “I promise you that I will not fail you again. Whatever you need, I’ll be there. Anything at all, just say the fucking word and I’ll be there.
“As loathe as you are to admit it, Aaron, we love you. We all love you. For God’s sake, Rossi thinks of you as his damn son and he loves you twice as much than if you were. Penelope hangs on your every word because you inspire something in her beyond her trinkets and optimism and she delights in every bit of that drive you give her. Spencer has always viewed you as the father he never had and fears disappointing you more than anything else in the whole world. Derek, though the alpha male in him will never admit it, loves you like crazy; there’s no way anyone else could get him to follow orders as readily as he does. JJ, more than the rest of us, understands what you do and how you see because of what she sifts through every day and she loves you for remaining supportive and steady when she needs you most. And I love you, Aaron.” He winced internally. He wasn’t deserving of such honor or affection. He never had been.
“I- we- love you more than you could ever possibly realize, and not just because you’re so frustratingly humble that you can’t imagine the possibility of anyone looking up to you. It’s what you fear and it’s the fear your father put in you, but because of your strength your light has shone through. And it’s touched all of us.” Aaron tried to inconspicuously squint away the water that was welling up under his eyelids. Somehow she always managed to know exactly what he was thinking and somehow she always knew exactly what to say. He desperately wished that he would, one day, be able to make her feel the way he did when she spoke, or at the very least be able to show her just how much he appreciated her. Because somehow, even with his broken, violated body laid out all but naked in the coldness of the strikingly white hospital, she made him feel love.
“We love you and we’ll all be there. But I’ve never-“ she broke off, choking on a sob. “I’ll be here. Forever and always.”
Aaron squeezed her hand and she gasped, realizing with horror that he’d been awake to hear at least part of her admission of guilt. He slowly opened his eyes and stared at their intertwined hands, pleased that his hand hadn’t been numbed by the cold to the point of immobility.
Finally he looked at her. Her wide, dark eyes were red and tears stained her cheeks. And she was beautiful. “Thank you,” he whispered, his voice hoarse. Somehow, it was exactly what to say. She smiled through her tears. And she was everything in the world.