the friendship of jack zimmermann and shitty knight
I know we talk a lot about how much Shitty helps Jack (constantly defending him, encouraging him to be himself, showing him how to have fun) and believe me, I agree with all of it (I am currently working on a freshmen year jack and shitty friendship fic) BUT may I also present:
Headcanons on How Jack is Just What Shitty Needed:
So Shitty went to Andover, which context clues/google tells me is a fancy boarding school for fancy, rich people. And we also know Shitty is… Shitty. Of all the boys, I feel like he fits in with the Andover crowd the least.
And I’m sure some of that is rebellion against the school after the fact (I went to an all-girls catholic school so rebelling after the fact is in my lifeblood) but the signs must have been there while Shitty was still attending. He chose to go to Samwell for a reason so we can assume that even in high school, Shitty did not 100% fit with the Andover crowd.
He’s not unpopular, because Shitty is loud and friendly and plays hockey but I’m not sure Shitty had any super close friends. The smart kids are a little bit jealous that he never seems to do any work and most of the hockey team isn’t keeping up with his questioning musings on sexuality and gender and he is probably known as that kid who gets in fights with the teachers all the time and Shitty doesn’t go to Harvard for many reasons: because he doesn’t want to and because fuck his dad and his dad’s family, but also because… he wants to meet different types of people. Because he doesn’t really fit in at Andover. And he never really wanted to.
So he goes to Samwell and he doesn’t get a hockey scholarship but he is allowed to walk on the team and suddenly he finds himself living across the hall from Jack Zimmermann. Who Shitty of course knows about. Because he grew up in Boston. And he plays hockey. And he loves hockey.
But he does not imagine he will be that close with Jack Zimmermann. Because, honestly, at this point, Shitty can’t imagine being that close with anyone. His friends at Andover put up with him (or at least, they at least pretended to listen to him for part of the time before talking over him or telling him to cmon, man, shut the fuck up!) and Shitty could share a few laughs with them but in terms of connecting well…
(Just please, please imagine slightly insecure but has convinced himself he’s fine young baby 17 year old Shitty Knight. But like… not even insecure just he probably doesn’t even realize that real friendship is out there. maybe he has a small inkling that this isn’t how friends treat each other but not really and i am going to need to think about this more. baby shitty. who knew.)
ANYway, the one thing Shitty does know how to do well and does love doing is getting into fights (god, young shitty was probably almost like Dex in this regard). So it’s natural that when someone says a sly, stupid comment about overdosing to Jack, Shitty jumps on ‘em. Because fuck you, sir and he has been looking for a fight since he arrived and–
Okay, I promised myself I would keep this focused on how Shitty needs Jack so let’s skip forward to the moment when Shitty realizes that Jack listens to him. Like ever since the outstanding defense move, Jack has opted to sit near Shitty and Shitty feels a warm glow of something at that (and, later, he will recognize this as claiming his role as Defender of Jack Zimmermann against All Evil) and at first they work because Jack is pretty much silent and Shitty never really stops talking and Shitty figures that is his role. To talk while Jack Zimmermann thinks about hockey.
But then one day at breakfast, Shitty is talking about his Intro to Women’s Studies class and the studies about how the idea that “boys are better at science and math” is a learned behavior, and Jack is sitting next to him, as usual, and then– “Hold up,” Jack says. “I have to go get more eggs.” and for a moment, Shitty is completely confused as to why Jack told him that information because he is more than used to people walking away from him mid-ramble and so he sort of watches as Jack leaves and wonders what is wrong and then Jack returns and doesn’t look up from his food but says something like “Okay, sorry, so girls want to be doctors, eh?” and Shitty realizes that Jack has been listening this whole time.
Can I just say how much… I really, really love writing Rhys and Mor? And maybe just take two seconds to chat about how underrated their relationship is? The more I write Rhys, the more I keep finding myself in these scenes with him coming to her, leaning on her, using her for help and advice whether he knows it or not. I think Rhys loves her so, so much. And I honestly believe that out of everyone in the IC, if Mor were to die it would hit him harder than anyone else (save Feyre, of course). They’ve grown up together, and he’s fought his entire life to give her independence and freedom, and I think Mor returns the favor when he lands on her balcony after the Mountain, and he sort of just… lets her keep being this shepherd in his life, helping him keep from fully unraveling. I think Cassian and Azriel aren’t the only ones who feel her endless warmth and spirit. Say what you will about the Cazigan dynamic in the books and who has to “shield” whom from Mor’s infectious spirit, but if you think about it, Rhys is exempt from that protection. He just gets to enjoy Mor for all she is, how selfless and supportive and encouraging, and she too gets to be there for her cousin who has empowered her and given her status and strength over her family, these things that make her into a queen. They’re friends. Really, really good friends and I think there is so much love between them that we don’t get to see a lot of in ACOMAF, but if SJM were to ever write the book as Rhys or elaborate on it, I think we’d be surprised just how much goes on between the two of them and how much he confides in her. And I think given how much they’ve gone through together… that’s just, I don’t know, really really special and I love it so much. It’s nice to see that even when the entire world and family around them falls apart, there is still this lovely little kernal of them left to lean on and it never goes away.