“If I can’t have you, then nobody can.”
“The next time he/she touches you, I’ll cut his/her hands off.”
“No one can take you from me if I keep you here.”
“You’re mine and mine alone.”
“If you loved me instead of him then maybe he wouldn’t be dead!”
“If you’re dead then no one can steal you from me!”
“I don’t want to hurt you, but you broke my heart and need to be punished.”
“He/She didn’t deserve you so I got rid of them for you.”
“If you don’t love me then I’ll just have to make you love me!”
“You’re mine and I said you aren’t going anywhere!”
28. How quick or slow is your character to resort to physical violence in a confrontation? Surprisingly slow! So there have been several mentions of Alex getting into fights even outside the plot of the story itself and there have already been two bar fights in SOA within a span of six months. In his backstory ficlet series, he mentions using fight rings as a source of income when money was tight. In 12, Gibbs mentioned watching him take punches no man ever should, and after their fight in 7, Washington reprimanded him for instigating brawls in the past. Alex knows the same manipulation tactics as John does, able to direct conversations the way he wants to get the information he needs, but sometimes getting punched is a good defense against letting a conversation go the wrong way, so it can seem like he starts fights when really they’re just a means to an end. That said, unlike John, Alex uses his wits in confrontation before he turns to violence. That doesn’t mean he has better control over his emotions or that his anger is less physical. He is intrinsically an angry person and has a very quick temper which he loses frequently, but he goes for arguing, intimidating, and outsmarting, mentally overpowering his adversaries before he tries to physically outlast them- a habit formed from size inequalities and the desire to carry himself like a ‘gentleman’. He can also have a physicality when arguing that invites violence while he rationally condemns resorting to it, so that punching him would feel like letting him win. If he doesn’t actually want a fight, it’s better to stop it before it ever starts. Of course, sometimes he does want one. Sometimes he needs the thrill of it or a good distraction. Sometimes he knows he’ll win, and can exploit some weakness in someone bigger than him, let them get cocky and embarrass themselves, so then he can profit off their mistake. And it serves as a good outlet so he doesn’t lose control of himself in real confrontation- he knows what he’s capable of with genuine rage, so he needs frequent scuffs to let off that steam. When he gets too old to start puerile bar fights, challenging men to duels is the next-best thing… His anger is also a lot less frightening because it’s not explosive or irrational. He always carries a seething intensity, and confronts things straightforward. It simmers out over the long run, so there aren’t many things that get a physical rise out of him. Which makes it more meaningful when he does physically lose control- which we’ve only seen once so far.
So I’ve seen a couple different versions of memes for SOA floating around and while they’re all fine and dandy, most of them just didn’t meet all the points I was hoping for. So I made my own. It’s my new little project I’m working on. Obviously it’s more than the 30 days ones but that’s just because I think there’s too much about this show to fit just a month.
5. On an average day, what can be found in your character’s pockets?
This one is funny and I like it because it really reveals where people’s priorities are and what utilities they foresee themselves needing on hand.
Both of them would always carry a notepad and pencil, some coins, and a knife. The ‘notepad’ would be one of those erasable ivory plates, though Alex’s was a gift and is a little more organized in that he has one of the plates outlined to take orders quickly. John’s aren’t labeled. One an average day, they’d only carry a small knife for utility purposes like opening letters, trimming loose threads on their uniforms, or eating on the go. In the summer, it’s good for removing ticks. It would also be useful in bartering since they could shave a little gold or silver off their coins to pay for goods- depending on what kind of market they’re working in.
Then the rest of it depends on what they’re doing that day. Some days call for a sharper knife, a vial of invisible ink or a cypher, a packet of sugar cubes to entice a horse, or packets of powder to load a flintlock pistol. I’m writing the job of aide as a lot more exciting than just desk work, and I do think we often underestimate how much footwork the job could entail in reality. Aides served at the discretion of their General, doing mostly paperwork and organizing and distributing orders and intelligence resources, but Generals also required a lot of information to make plans and they would create their own reconnaissance plans (as officers still do in the modern military). Of course, those plans usually included lower-level line officers or higher-rank enlisted men who would be capable of doing the job discretely. But, in some cases, I imagine it would’ve been extremely helpful to have a trusted man in their immediate cadre, capable of going out and collecting- or confirming- reconnaissance in person. There’s fun anecdotes of Lafayette going out and doing reconnaissance work in person while serving under Greene in New Jersey. There’s no reason not to imagine that Washington might’ve sent his immediate staff out on missions to check the movements of the enemy or to make contact with informants in Congress’s chain of spies- or his own. The fact that Meade was such an impressive rider, and that Hamilton was brought on after Washington witnessed his clear-headedness under fire, makes me suspect he sometimes used them for more than desk work and running errands.
21. If something tragic or negative happens to your character, do they believe they may have caused or deserved it, or are they quick to blame others?
Ha, starting me off easy. Both of them yes and no.
Laurens immediately lets guilt hit him, finds some way he could’ve prevented things or a way he’d deserved what happened or brought it on by his own actions. It’s a part of his grief process. He pulls his anger inward. Given time, he knows that he doesn’t have as much power or control over anything to truly be blamed for it and thinking he does is arrogant. His father always gave him a lot of responsibility and demanded he perform well under pressure, but he always eventually sees the difference between real guilt and hubris. So, on the surface, he acts on his guilt, and projects it and lets others see that he feels it because he knows it’s an easy way to show his remorse, but only up to the point where he’s pretending to have more responsibility than he was given. A good example from SOA so far would be John White’s death and how he wanted to blame himself for his tactical decisions- when he couldn’t do that without disrespecting his friend’s decision to protect him, he got angry with himself for not being a good enough friend. Or, his work on the Delaware river: when the fortifications were being overrun, he wanted to blame himself for not doing enough to get the forts the supplies they needed, but he ultimately saw that it would be hubris to think he had enough power to hold the forts by any action of his own. So, John always wants to blame himself, but he also can’t allow himself enough credit to truly believe he’s a bad person. His is a question of- can you really be to blame if you never had control?
Hamilton is subtly the opposite. He doesn’t actively recognize guilt in himself- which is not to say he avoids taking the blame if he knows he messed up, but he also holds the posture of doing everything for a reason and if something bad happens, it’s not because he wanted it to. His morality centers around intentions (in contrast to John’s morality which centers around ideals), so as long as his intentions are good, he never lets himself feel ashamed when horrible things happen or when he has to do horrible things. But, he’s seen bad outcomes of his best intentions, and he knows how his own actions affect those he cares about. I talked about this in an earlier meta post, but he knows that affiliating with him has the power to ruin the people he loves- it happened to his father, his mother, his slave, his brother… and, recognizing that pattern, deep down, he knows that when things go wrong and people get hurt, it is ultimately his fault. So, in his core, he acts on guilt by holding himself at arms-length and trying to do good from a distance. He lets people see exactly what relationship he wants with them at face-value, stays very open and honest with his feelings in order to keep control over them before they become deeper, because it’s when you push things down that they start to sink in without your notice and he can’t risk letting himself care about someone if it would bring tragedy. Alex knows he means well, but he also knows he’s cursed and will always be trying to outrun whatever evil’s following him. His is a question of- can you really be innocent if you always had control?
Author’s Note: This is a Happy Lowman imagine based on the Quote Prompt Meme #’s 99 and 47. I’m sorry it took me so late to write this! This imagine is rated T+ for language.
All She’ll Ever Need to Hear
She vibrates with anger as she stands in the middle of Happy’s
dorm room. The blood is fresh on her lips, her knuckles screaming and when she
feels the tears starting to burn at her eyes she blinks furiously. She’ll be
damned if she’s going to cry. Not now.
“What the fuck was that?” Happy’s voice growls from behind
her and turning she finds him, blood smeared on his white shirt, but before she
can answer he’s taking her face in his hands turning it side to side, eyes
narrowing on her injuries. “Stupid…”
“Excuse me?” she demands when she leaves her to root out the
first aid kit.
“You heard me,” he snaps, “Luann’s girl is a mess…”
“Bitch is lucky I didn’t kill her,” she hisses when he
pushes her down to sit on the end of the bed. He works quickly, all the while
muttering under his breath and by the time he’s done she’s calmed down considerably.
She knows she should say something, she just doesn’t know
“Happy…” she says reaching for him but he shakes his head as
he pushes to his feet.
“Go home,” he growls as he stalks to the bathroom, “we’ll
talk about this later.”
Every minute that passes, her nerves build. She knows Happy’s
pissed. He has every right to be, even she doesn’t know what the hell she was
thinking starting a brawl in the middle of the clubhouse on a Wednesday, she
just couldn’t help it. She was finally pushed over the edge.
It couldn’t be helped.
Happy’s bike roaring into the driveway pulls her from her
thoughts, and counting the steps of his boots she tries to drum up a smile for
him, but when she sees the look on his face she knows it isn’t something that
can just be laughed off.
He makes no eye contact as he shrugs out of his Cut hanging
it by the door, and when he drops heavily onto the bench in the hall, head in
his hands she wonders how bad it is.
“Happy…” she draws close to him and slowly he raises his
head finally looking at her. “You’re still mad, I get it. I do. But you just
don’t understand. If you heard what they were saying you’d understand.”
“I don’t care what
they said, it doesn’t mean shit!” Happy explodes and she winces. “People
talk shit babe, especially the crow eaters! It’s never bothered you before.”
“It’s always bothered me Happy! What kind of person wouldn’t
be bothered by the constant whispers, and rumors? I was just really good at
hiding it, but I couldn’t take it anymore…”
“So what? Are you just going to fight a different crow eater
every day? If so we’ll have to update the first aid kit, maybe make sure Tara
has some time set aside to clean your ass up.”
“You don’t get it Hap,” she says shaking her head, throat
constricting as she stares at him. “When I
picture myself happy, it’s with you, but I don’t know where you stand, and
hearing the girls who hang around the clubhouse talking about the things you
used to do with them…it’s hard. I know you have a past. I have a past. I don’t
care about that but being in this constant state of limbo with you….”
Her words are cut short when Happy swoops her up, tossing
her over his shoulder.
“Happy, what are you doing?” she asks the air coming out on
a ‘whoosh’ when he drops her onto the
bed. He pulls his shirt over his head and snagging her ankle he gives a yank
until she’s flat on her back with Happy straddling her waist. He holds her arms
above her head by her wrists, staring down at her.
“I’m not one for words,” he says teeth scraping down her
throat, just the way she likes it. “You’re all I want, and I have all night to
She lays exhausted with an arm hanging off the bed, her
chest heaving. She’s thoroughly exhausted and when she looks over she finds
Happy sound asleep and though he may not be a man of many words, his actions
tell her everything she will ever need to hear.
30. What does your character find repulsive or disgusting?
This is going to sound weird, but human nature?
Like…the instinctual, animal drives that exist at the core of any man or woman that make them seek out hedonistic pleasure or selfish cruelties. He’s repulsed by the lack of refinement and the lack of control people have to give in to the urges that drive them to commit sins and do things they’ll later regret. He thinks he holds himself to a standard above his own urges, so he’s disgusted when other people don’t.
It’s part of what’s made slavery so horrible for him to witness: because it’s driven by economic selfishness and facilitates inhumane cruelties. He also sees it as stripping slaves of their own opportunity to reach refinement and rise above baser instinct.
It’s also part of what makes sex so difficult for him to enjoy. Physical pleasure is the epitome of hedonism and when he can’t bear to accept his own urges, it’s hard to act on them without being repulsed.
The weird thing is that it’s also part of what makes Alexander attractive to him. The way I’ve been writing him, Alex co-exists alongside his own instinctive, very human-self. Even though, in The Beast, Alex described his limbido as a “beastial hunger”, John’s rejected an animalistic description (in ch 9) when thinking of him because he sees Alex constantly accepting his own urges and sort of…domesticating them? Alexander never does anything without the intent to do it, never indulges to the point of distraction (or hasn’t yet), and he never seems to regret it. It’s new and exciting for John to meet someone who’s comfortably able to have the same ugly urges he recognizes in himself, but still hold himself upright with dignity and effect the image of a gentleman.