Leonard McCoy was exiled, essentially. Though publically and officially he just left. Just like his wife ‘just left.’ Off record and only inside the tight circle of both families, Joceyn Darnell cheated, multiple times, in their own home while Len and Joanna were away. Leonard McCoy murdered her in their own home. But that’s the kicker of being part of two big families in the south. A story of infidelity or murder gone public would ruin both, bring shame and social damage. Keep it all within the family, under the table, and behind closed doors - that is how they work. So both families come to an agreement- Mccoys best bred heir is casted out and never to return, given no resources, his credentials up for question, his life there over. In this exchange the McCoys are granted custody of Joanna. After all, family is most important and Jocelyn Darnell had casted that aside.
At Starfleet, Leonard is there to regain what he lost, his credentials and allowance, and to prove he’s worthy of the McCoy name, to prove his own worth. And that’s why he’s gets on with Jim Kirk so well. Jim wants to prove himself, but it’s more that he’s better than what those credit him with, he’s better than his Kirk name and it’s all from his own hands. They understand each other, their shortcomings and flaws, what theyre each capable of and their potential. And it’s dubious and rocky at first, but they grow on each other. While there may be some sexual benefits between them too, they don’t monopolize on each other, aren’t committed solely. Jim doesn’t want to be tied down. Len already learned his lesson on that. But this doesn’t mean they’re not secretly extremely possessive and jealous, because they most definitely are, and everyone knows not to cross too far with either of them.
Except those that kidnap Leonard. These guys, perhaps acting on their own volition or some higher ups, believe McCoy to be Jim’s weak spot, something to use as leverage against him. What they don’t understand is that although Jim Kirk is terrifying and he holds a great value in Len, McCoy is awful in his own right. That’s why when Jim arrives at the location they’re holding Bones, he’s not there to save him. Jim’s there to watch. Because he knows Bones, knows that he refuses to be weak, to be used against Jim, to be anything but strong for himself and those he deems worthy of his loyalty. So when the situation gets ugly and the stupid man leading the group takes out Leonard’s eye, before Jim can step in, Bones is grabbing the phaser gun on the guy while he’s close and shooting him. Then, he cauterizes his own bleeding socket before helping Jim dispense of the others.
Afterwards, at the hospital, Jim refuses to leave Bones side, doesn’t trust anyone else with his Bones life. He denies the doctor’s fully healing the cosmetic damage or putting in a fake eye. And when Len is awake again he just ensures the area will heal and goes about enhancing his one eye to make up for depth perception because he still intends to be the best goddamn surgeon out there, the best CMO for Jim. Leonard doesn’t cover up his scar or hide it. He stares people in the face and doesn’t why away, doesnt flinch even when others do. He’s not ashamed of it because it shows he survived and they didn’t, that he isn’t scared or ashamed of what he’ll endure for Jim. And for him, Jim adores the display. He loves the constant reminder of what Bones would do for him, what he has done. Jim has never attached himself to someone so thoroughly before.
And this is when those previously hidden feelings come out. They admit they are protective and possessive of each other, that they’d endure torture before anyone could use one against the other, and that they’d slaughter anyone that would even try. Jim and Bones don’t coddle or keep each other safe or excuse the others bullshit, but they stand by each other and help the other succeed and watch each other’s backs and that’s as close to love as they’ll get. And it’s terrifying for them, this growing near codependcy, but it’s thrilling and fulfilling, and since they’re planning on climbing to the top, its absolutely worth it.
So happy your ask box is open again! I’ve been sitting on a question for a bit: with third-world fantasy, where do you draw the line between inspiration and appropriation? I’d like to branch out from the typical ~50 Shades of European~ settings, but I’m also worried about using parts of marginalized cultures to code nonwhite settings. FREX, a Jāti-like caste system based on magic ability. Heroine is in disadvantaged caste (and proud.) Would it be harmful to code this as South Asian? Thank you!
First I have to raise a flag on the notion of “third-world fantasy.” This is not a thing. I’m not sure if you’re using it here to describe fantasy where the overriding aesthetic is based on non-white societies but I think that unless you live in the “Third World,” using a term like this is not appropriate. It does, to me, suggest is that European-based fantasy is the default and anything else requires qualification. It’s fantasy—the only limits are those you put on your own world-building.
In general, there are two types of world orientation when it comes to fantasy: primary world fantasy, that takes place in our world, and secondary world fantasy, where the world is removed or disconnected from our world—and of course crossovers. None of these has anything to do with the “Third World,” a Cold War-era geopolitical designation for any place not in the USA’s or USSR’s respective spheres of influence. (The reference of “Third World” to “underdeveloped country” is actually a subsequent development arising from the stereotypical view of the non-aligned countries in the 1950s.)
Caste in Reality and in Fantasy
Imagine there’s something heinous that’s inextricably linked in the public mind to your culture. Now imagine people outside your culture continually bring up that thing to score points against you. That’s Hindus (and to a lesser but more general extent, South Asians) and the caste system. When high schoolers in the US study world religions, you can’t avoid discussing the caste system when you talk about Hinduism (and you shouldn’t). Unfortunately this results in westerners getting it into their heads about how oh-so-enlightened they are compared to those backwards people. Then for a short while afterwards, the Hindu kid(s) in class may get grilled about what caste they are, and that’s a question you can’t answer right. If you’re from a privileged caste background, you’re an oppressor. If you’re from a disadvantaged caste background, you get called an untouchable or something awful (ever think, hey, maybe that crap’s what that kid’s family left the subcontinent to get away from?)
I will give the British Raj due credit for ending some pretty awful practices, like sati, and to a lesser extent child marriage, but casteism on the other hand, they actively encouraged—going to upper caste communities to find administrators who could engage in the direct oppression of lower castes while the ruling British maintained the appearance of neutrality. And since casteism is legally banned in India but casteist attitudes are still de facto so rife should go to show how little the British presence did anything in that regard.
But if you look at the actual consequences of casteism, it runs on a scale from “not allowing your kids to play with the garbage worker’s kids because you’re an academic” to “murdering your own daughter for eloping with someone of the wrong religion”. These things happen not just in South Asia, but in western societies too, and in non-western societies that people somehow think of as not casteist because they’re not South Asian. The actual consequences of casteist views are found worldwide, even in the US and Europe. We (South Asians) were just dumbass enough to codify it.
Today in South Asia, disadvantaged caste groups and their allies are fighting for proper, permanent reform and repair of the damage casteism has wrought on the subcontinent, but also against the image in the western mind of South Asians as a bunch of regressive caste-obsessives.
Why must this fantasy “caste system” be coded as a part of one particular culture? It’s fantasy. There’s literally magic, but we can’t get away from the notion of caste as a salient feature of “South Asianness”? I’m sorry, this doesn’t sit well with me. I would suggest you check out this tracing your logic post we have about character creation and make some analogies to see how the same logic and process applies to culture creation.
The lingering legacy of casteism is one of communal violence, and it is often these stories that filter through the western media to color the image of India and the subcontinent as an irredeemably backwards, repressive place. We cannot deny the reality of casteist crimes that persist to the modern day; let me make that very clear, but we need to acknowledge that there is a history of anti-casteism in the subcontinent as old as the notion of caste itself. Cārvāka, Buddhism, Brahmo Samaj, the Self-Respect movement, and more philosophies besides all contained strong anti-caste elements. The modern anti-caste movement is often troubled, often ineffective, but it pushes along, the ideological heir to the anti-caste legacy of yore, today sorely in need of allies.
And one thing that needed is the dismantlement of the notion that there’s anything inherently South Asian, Indian, or Hindu about casteism, the dismantlement of the notion that caste is an inextricable part of what it means to be any of those things, and I don’t believe that coding a fantasy caste system as South Asian is helpful in any of those endeavors.
and his family and the group of guards got off their horses when they saw the
Northerners were in the meeting spot at the border between their lands. He was
going to be given away to these barbarians like an expensive vase to keep the
peace between their lands. Just because he was an Omega didn’t mean he was
weak, he should have been ruling his kingdom. But recently his little brother,
an Alpha had been born, and his father had been all too happy to have a real
heir and cast him aside.
His father took his shoulder and forced him forward so he and Hux were in the front of their group.
Can we just appreciate Tashi Makh as Eadlyn?
This girl is flawless, despite her blue eyes (because Eadlyn’s should be brown but don’t worry😂).
She was perfect in The Heir book trailer, really.
Go and follow her on instagram (@tashimakh) and twitter (@tashi_makh)! 😉💞