That evening when Zen
entered Jumin’s hotel room using the extra key card the executive had given him, he
saw the heir on the phone facing the window. Quietly he shut the door, trying
not to disturb. He considered leaving when the conversation went on for a few
more minutes but then he could hear Jumin ending it abruptly.
“Thank you. Goodbye.”
Oh oh. Even though his
tone of voice seemed neutral enough, Zen knew by now that something was said
that clearly made him upset. Jumin turned and gave him a smile when he saw Zen,
but the smile didn’t reach his eyes. The heir sat down on the bed loosening his
tie and beckoned the actor to him, who obliged.
“Want to talk about
it?” Zen asked while Jumin pulled him on his lap.
hesitation, Jumin kissed Zen, moved his hands to bury them in his hair, putting
a bit of pressure on his head to feel his lips more. Zen hummed happily, sparks
shooting through his body every time Jumin adjusted himself.
Soon he got pushed
down on the bed and Jumin followed right after, mouth chasing his. He felt
those hands grab his hair a little too hard, teeth clashing against his own painfully,
tongue pushing into his mouth with too much force and it was overwhelming. Each
time he pushed back a little, clawing at his shirt, Jumin drove himself further
like a frenzied animal.
It was becoming a
battle and normally Zen welcomed it, desired to fight for domination, but this
was a duel that arised from the wrong reasons.
“Jumin, stop. Hey!” He
held Jumin’s shoulders, forcing him to hover over Zen. He didn’t like using his
strength against Jumin, but it was the only way to get him to get his attention.
Jumin looked at him, bewildered, annoyed at the interruption, tried to move
away. The actor gave him zero room to escape and Jumin sighed deeply, plopped
his head on Zen’s chest as he admitted defeat. Mumbling, he let out his
frustrations about a bad deal his workers couldn’t handle.
“Sometimes I wish
people would stop lying. It’s tiring.”
Zen ran his hand
through Jumin’s hair, petting him as the man rambled on a bit. Jumin always
acted like nothing was a big deal but inside he was a big ball of complex
emotions and Zen was embarrassed to admit it took him a while to see that. Sometimes
the big corporate executive needed a bit of coddling to open up. Zen kissed the
top of his head, feeling black hair tickle his noise and tried not to sneeze.
you like it or not Jumin Han, I’m going to tell you exactly what I think.”
eyes looked back at him and the smile was genuine now. Jumin initiated the kiss
again with just as much force as before, but his caresses were softer, his lips
now moving perfectly in sync with Zen’s. He felt a tongue brush against his
lower lip and he let out a soft sigh, allowed Jumin back into his mouth,
feeling fire pulse through his veins whenever their tongues wrestled.
His own hands were
stroking Jumin’s face, his neck, his head and he felt skillful fingers run over
his clothes, slowly loosening them. Something familiar pressed against this
thigh and Jumin smirked at him, back to being that cocky, confident businessman.
“I can’t help it. You’re
beautiful. Handsome. Dashing.” Zen blushed something fierce. That smooth little shit.
He flipped them over,
letting Jumin know exactly how he felt as well and gave him another deep,
passionate kiss while tossing his tie on the floor.
Note: This post assumes that John really did cheat on Mary (even if the relationship with E was never physical). I’m not 100% convinced that the next episode won’t retcon that somehow; but I don’t want to get my hopes up.
Since The Six Thatchers was released, I’ve been thinking a lot about John as a “damsel-in-distress” figure.
John Watson was my favorite character in the first two seasons, and in the third season I by no means loved him less—I just grew to love Mary and Sherlock to the point that the three characters were pretty even in my book. So seeing John cheat on Mary—that hurt. His blaming Sherlock for her death so harshly and unfairly didn’t help matters. So I’ve been spending time these last few days trying to sort out my feelings about this (and alternating between fury at John and wanting to give him a hug, because I am convinced losing oneself—especially if it is one’s own fault—is one of the worst kinds of suffering. And he’s going through enough already).
Reading fan responses, one idea floating around is that John felt neglected/useless. In another place I saw someone comment on John’s “lack of agency” in season 3. It got me thinking about HLV when Magnussen calls John Sherlock’s “damsel in distress.” I started to suspect that description was more accurate than I first realized.
In seasons 1 and 2 John has a definite purpose. He is brave and capable, and always contributes in some way or other. More importantly, as everyone says, he humanizes Sherlock—and no shortage of material has been written about how significant that is. In seasons 1 and 2, Sherlock and John are partners.
But the moment Sherlock falls from the rooftop in The Reichenbach Fall, something changes. In that moment, Sherlock is not treating John as his partner, but rather as an object to be saved—as a damsel in distress. If this was the only time that happened, it wouldn’t mean so much; but then Sherlock doesn’t contact John for two years, supposedly because he might let the cat out of the bag. Again, he is treating John as a precious object to be protected, not as a trusted partner. And the trend continues. Seasons 1 and 2 were about John and Sherlock saving each other, but season 3 is unilaterally about Sherlock saving John. Sure, John gets no end of praise showered upon him; but the stereotypical damsel in distress never gets any shortage of praise. Everyone is tripping over their feet to save her, because she’s perfect; but she just isn’t allowed to/capable of doing anything in return. Perhaps John’s fury at Sherlock for not contacting him for help with his drug addiction in HLV is evidence that he is feeling useless, shut out from being able to help.
Then, along comes Mary. (For the record, I love Mary and I am by no means blaming her for this, or suggesting that she had to be out of the picture for it to be resolved). She is—or rather she could appear in John’s eyes—to be a better ‘John’ than John is. When it comes to detective and field work, well, as Sherlock says in TST, “she is a retired super-agent with a terrifying skill set. Of course she’s better.” Not only that, she sees Sherlock as a human being and likes him, just like John did—and just like John, she humanizes him. Oh, and one more thing: Mary is also determined to save John, even if that means deserting him without warning to wander around the world alone to disable a threat posed to him. (Sound familiar?).
If this is assumed true, then there are clear signs in TST that matters have, in John’s mind, only become worse. Although they might be mere jokes, seen through this lens Balloon-John, Sherlock’s declaration that Mary is more useful, and the dog comparisons would all take on troubling undertones. And I can’t help remembering that it was John who came up with the idea to put the tracker in the A.G.R.A. stick. He guessed what Mary would do—he expected to be treated like a damsel-in-distress she needed to protect rather than her partner with whom she could work through danger and fear.
For the record, I’m not complaining about the show temporarily (I hope) relegating John to a ‘damsel-in-destress’ position. In my opinion, the bare-bones of the trope—somebody important to the main character(s) is in trouble and is incapable of saving themselves—is not at all problematic and is potentially interesting. In fact, it is a dynamic that is bound to occur at times, particularly in an adventure story in which some are more capable than others. The problems are in the trope’s typical accompaniments: the fact that the damsel-in-distress is disproportionately a female being saved by a male, and that the character generally has no personality. They are cardboard cut-outs of perfection, and the psychology of their trauma is left unexplored. The fact that John is male obviously negates the first issue, and perhaps the affair is evidence that the storytellers are addressing the second, also.
In my mind, if John feels useless and unnecessary apart from being a husband, father, and friend (these are of course INCREDIBLY important roles; but we know that being content with domesticity isn’t his strength), it makes sense of a number of John’s actions. Between TSoT and HLV Sherlock’s affection for John has never been more openly expressed, and the trend continues in the first part of this episode: “you know I value your little contributions,” “I like you,” etc. Mary also lavishes praise on him. John’s wife and friend are in no way neglecting him. But I suspect that we humans are rather bad at distinguishing between being needed and being wanted. If John didn’t feel like he was contributing in the midst of Sherlock and Mary’s wonderful rapport, he might well feel like an extra appendage; unneeded and therefore (in his mind) expendable, no matter how many times they said they liked his company. Feeling as if he has nothing to do but be saved again and again, nothing to give back, perhaps it is not so very surprising that he looked somewhere besides his friends and family for fulfillment and ‘adventure.’ This could also add a layer of insight to why he was so angry at Sherlock at the end. I suspect that, even as he chaffed against it, a part of Watson internalized the narrative that it was Sherlock’s function to save him and those he cares about.
Forcing a character to deal with failures in areas they consider to be their strength is good storytelling, so on some level it makes sense that loyal John Watson would eventually do something like this. But, as a friend put it, there needs to be a reason that this character failed in this way at this time. If the current characterization of John Watson is an exploration of the psychological effects of being a damsel in distress, perhaps this moment didn’t come out of nowhere—perhaps it has been building for a long time. If when John’s infidelity is discussed and his motives are revealed it turns out that something like this—or something else that makes sense of why John failed in this way at this moment—was the underlying cause of his action, I think I can be content with that. It is an interesting story, and one that helps us understand what has been going on in John’s head for the last 1 1/3 season. I’ve missed that.
But I’m not gonna lie: if it turns out that John wasn’t unfaithful, even if it is done in a way that strikes me as rather lazy storytelling, I’ll do a fist-pump and a happy-dance.
abemiha au where mihashi is the sweet flower god and abe is the grumpy storm god and one day mihashi comes out (with much blushing) to thank abe for watering his plants all the time and abe looks at this sweet lil birb and thinks that he’s gonna start paying more attention to the earth now
Anonymous said: Consider this: Yosuke trying to do a cat pose and Yu nearly crying because it’s way too cute for him to tolerate
Anon, you are either a genius or just very good at knowing what I would without a doubt draw at the drop of a pin. Sorry this took forever, I got super distracted for a while. All the requests were very intriguing but I couldn’t resist making Yu cry.
Yu’s not sure if he’s created perfection or a monster. All thats certain is its adorable and it will probably kill him.
YAY ANOTHER WIP! remember when i said WHAT IF XIG BETRAYS MASTER XEHANORT?! WELL HERE S THE PIC SO FAR. of course i didnt spend 8937947391 years designing his perfect keyblade. cuz we all know thats what he wants CUZ HE HAS HIS OWNS PLANS AMIRIGHT