instead of hero/villain ships being about weird power dynamics or sexual tension or whatever, hero/villain ships where is just kinda.. happens… like the hero spends so much time with the villain, trying to save them or rehabilitate them or kill them in some instances, that they actually start enjoying the villain’s company more than they’d like to admit. both sides end up have post or pre-battle heart to hearts, where they discover they have more in common than they thought. maybe the hero can understand the villain’s plight, or the villain comes round to the hero’s way of thinking.
more hero/villain ships where the villain just sort of hangs out with the heroes. they’re bound to betray them at some point, or so the hero thinks, because they’re a free spirit who follows their own whims. but now the villain is crashing at the hero’s apartment and the hero doesn’t even care. sometimes the hero and villain eat takeout together or fall asleep in the same places. then the hero really notices the villain’s absence when they’re gone.
more hero/villain ships where the hero and villain have known each other since they were kids, or certainly for a long time. they were friends. somewhere along the line they became more, or at least one of them started to develop feelings for the other. then when they eventually become the hero and the villain, those feelings don’t just go away. they manifest themselves into strangled pleas and frustrated yelling. alternatively, the relationship continues, but it’s not healthy and they need to stop, but they’re addicted to each other.
more hero/villain ships where it never goes past flirting and battle banter. they’re always teasing and flirting with each other, maybe even been close enough to kiss and smiled with shit eating grins on their faces, but both recognize it could never work.
more hero/villain ships from the villain’s perspective. pining away for the hero in their secret lair or from prison. being so close to almost letting slip that they love the hero. the villain being mentally ill and unable to cope with their attraction to the hero and having that drive them deeper into themselves, to the point where the hero almost becomes the villain’s villain.