Hurt/Comfort is such an interesting thing. It’s basically an entire genre of fanfiction. I’d argue it satisfies a very basic, vital need–the same way that horror satisfies the basic need to be scared in a safe, controllable space.
And yet it doesn’t really have an equivalent outside of fan culture. "Tearjerkers” can sometimes come close, they’re probably the closest thing to a mainstream hurt/comfort genre that there is. But those types of books and movies don’t usually focus on the “comfort” aspect in the same way, and don’t make use of tension and release.
I think every good hurt/comfort fic makes use of tension and release just as horror does,
whether the writer is consciously aware of it or not. Though of course the tension and release in h/c comes from different sources than in horror. Instead of anticipating something frightening, you anticipate the intimacy and/or validation that comes from the “comfort” part you know is eventually coming. That’s what provides release of the tension built up during the “hurt” scenes.
I could write a goddamned essay about this it’s so fascinating.
Edit because I should have put this stuff in the post and not the tag: storm/weather witch Michael who creates lightning to strike people down or a tornado to wreck the streets behind them to help lose the cops
Animal witch Ryan who lets loose animals in the zoo and convinces them to tear apart someone once he’s done with them, it’s an easy way to dispose bodies
Jack who uses her magic to heal them just enough until they can get to Caleb. She’s a white witch and her magic is suppose to be used for good and it is. It helps Geoff when he’s stressed over a heist and Ryan when he can’t sleep. It help Michael control his magic when he’s pissed and keeps Gavin from fainting when he has to use his magic. It helps Jeremy keep from getting too anxious about a job especially in the beginning and herself when things get to much and she needs to keep herself sane and calm. It helps them all from going mad when someone gets captured.
time/fire witch Geoff who turns back time when something goes horribly horribly wrong and one of them dies and lights shit up when need be
Necromancy Jeremy who gets ghost to help distract people and bring people just long enough when he’s not finished with them. Jeremy can only bring somebody back for so long before it drains him and they aren’t fully back to themselves they’re, well, a zombie which is why Geoff has to turn back time instead of Jeremy just bringing them back.
Blood witch Gavin who hates his magic and only uses it when he has to
Garden witch Mica who makes vines grow from the ground to tie people up
Space witch Trevor who creates black holes and stars just hot enough to burn a person when Geoff isn’t around to do it
Eclectic Witch Lindsay who is basically the crew Jack of all trades
Creation witch Matt who makes new weapons and vehicles for the crew
and divination witch steffie who they all go to before a job to see how it goes
Another edit because something was pointed out by @whatdoyewant :
ryan using mangy cats and dogs, wild forgotten things that prowl the alleys and scrap for scraps. who are starved and half crazed and more wild than any zoo animal. zoos are precious conservation programs with rare species that are well taken care of, and he wouldn’t touch them. He’d summon the cats left behind, the dogs who ran from fighting rings and abuse, the rats that fill every crack of every dilapidated apartment and every sewer.