just noticed something
in [S] Make Her Pay, right before Aradia starts beating the shit out of Vriska, there’s this image:
which i originally thought was Vriska trying to start something. But upon closer inspection, what I had seen as a fight pose is actually much more peaceful and submissive.
Notice how her left hand, which, being (arguably) her dominant hand as well as being made of metal and therefore much stronger than her right, is lowered and in an open, somewhat relaxed position, while her right is loosely extended with her hand open and facing sideways.
that doesn’t seem like an aggressive gesture to me. More like a handshake, or maybe an apologetic ‘hey, look,’ sort of thing. We know when she’s feeling cocky she’s ALWAYS smiling, and she folds her arms over her chest and leans backward, or puts her hands on her hips, or otherwise just really gives off an arrogant facade that gives the impression that she just really loves fighting.
But we can see here that isn’t the case. Her body language is much more submissive and apologetic. She’s not smiling, her back is stooped, herhead is down, and her face gives off more of a ‘hey, I’m sorry’ kind of impression than a ‘you’re in for it’ one.
And let’s be honest here. If Vriska wanted to fight, she would have pummeled Aradia all over again. She’s powerful enough to give Jack Noir a run for his money. But she let Aradia beat her up. Why?
Because she was trying to make it up to Aradia. She was trying to apologize for killing her. Vriska feels awful about what she did. She didn’t want to do it in the first place, but Scratch maniulated her into it (that doesn’t erase the fact that she still did it, but the fact remains that she never wanted to be the way she is). In this frame we catch a glimpse into a side of Vriska we rarely get to see: she’s apologetic, insecure, reaching out to make amends. And she lets aradia beat her to a pulp without retaliating because, deep down, she feels that she deserves it, and she doesn’t want to hurt her again.
Now, an argument could be made that she was trying to get aradia to beat her to within an inch of her life so that she could get Tavros to take her to her quest cocoon and ascend to god tier. But if that were purely the case, wouldn’t she have orchastrated a less painful way? Wouldn’t she have come at aradia the way she normally does, ensuring aradia would be angry enough to attack? Would she have put her life in Tavros’ hands willingly, not knowing for a fact that he would stand up for her? This is the person she always accuses of being spineless and weak. And using her powers would undoubtedly make it impossible to convince aradia, because being mind-controlled by her would make him appear like a zombie–aradia would know in an instant that her longtime friend wasn’t acting of his own volition.
One thing we know about Vriska is that when she takes chances, she makes sure all of the odds are in her favor, and that she is in control of every piece of the puzzle. A plan in which she depends upon the heroic action of someone she thinks of as cowardly does not sound like a plan she would make. Rising to godtier was obviously only a plan B for if she ever got seriously injured, otherwise she would have just cut out all the middlemen and done it herself. Asking Tavros to put her out of her misery yet not psychically forcing him to do so wasn’t premeditated, it was the product of a severely wounded Vriska, who feels betrayed by aradia, and is now seeing a new, braver side of tavros and pinning her hopes of having someone there for her on him by testing his resolve. She doesn’t want to make the choice for him again, as she had pre-sgrub, because she feels guilty about that too. In a way, this is her twisted way of asking for forgiveness from tavros, feeling that her chance to make amends with aradia is shot. In the ‘K8LL ME″ scene, she has become isolated from everyone she had considered her friend, having burned all of her bridges before sgrub, and is now pinning the last of her hope for…redemption, friendship, validation… all on tavros, because he’s the only one left. The only one who helped her when she was dying, the only one who believed in her (or so she feels).
And this really explains her behavior on the meteor. The whole flash, every single one of her interactions is her desperately trying to reach out to anyone and everyone, trying to redeem herself by hatching a plan to kill jack–blinded to the concequences of this action, trying to antagonize terezi for some bit of blackrom normalcy from their scourge days, initiating a conversation with eridan of all people, being friendly and supportive to feferi and nepeta, trying to connect with equius and kanaya, encouraging tavros, trying to joke around with sollux, and humoring karkat and gamzee. And her interaction with Aradia? She avoids trying to apologize, seeing as it was something that apparently set her off last time, and instead adopts her usual abrasive style of talking. She admits that aradia’s clapback hurts. When Aradia threatens her, saying she could ‘kill her with a twitch’, vriska says ‘yeah, but you won’t!’…which seems like a taunt at first, perhaps meant to imply weakness, or rub it in her face that tavros protected her, but I think it could also betray a bit of hope. ‘you didn’t kill me when you had the chance’, to vriska, could seem to be something like ‘there’s hope that we could put the past behind us and be friends’.
idk just some thoughts