as much as I love the angst potential of Steve and Tony being willing to die for each other, i also want Steve and Tony being willing to do anything to get back to each other.
give me Steve outnumbered in a fight, staring down some villain who’s holding an unconscious Tony hostage. what would you do for your precious lover, Captain? sneers the villain, or something cheesy like that, and Steve’s answer is tear all of you apart and that’s exactly what he does. then he calmly scoops Tony into his arms so he can get him to medical and afterwards they can go home.
give me Tony trapped in a room without his suit while some other baddie gloats over the intercom how he’s torturing Captain America in the next room, given the ultimatum i’ll only let one of you go, Stark, who’s it going to be? and Tony plays along, crying and begging for them to take him instead, and when they actually fall for it, he detonates the handmade explosives he had made and planted while the goddamn idiots weren’t looking. he neatly picks his way through the rubble, finds Steve, and calls for extraction, so he can get Steve to safety where Tony can hold his hand while he heals.
give me either of them battered, beaten, and bone-tired, about-to-collapse exhausted, hanging onto their last shred of life, and they don’t close their eyes and think it’s okay if i die, because at least i’m keeping him safe. instead they push themselves back on their feet and grit their teeth and keep fucking fighting because yeah they’d die for each other, but above that, above everything else, they’d live for each other.
Daenerys never knew a home. In Braavos, there was a house with the red door, where she stayed for a few years when she was a young child, but that was all. Ever since she and Viserys were thrown out of it, they’ve been wandering from place to place, from city to city, never staying for more than a few days in each location. Daenerys longs for the house with the red door, a symbol of her lost childhood and her desire for stability and safety.
That was when they lived in Braavos, in the big house with the red door. Dany had her own room there, with a lemon tree outside her window. After Ser Willem had died, the servants had stolen what little money they had left, and soon after they had been put out of the big house. Dany had cried when the red door closed behind them forever.
All that Daenerys wanted back was the big house with the red door, the lemon tree outside her window, the childhood she had never known.
Jon never knew a true home either. Winterfell was the home for Arya, Bran, Sansa, but it was never one for Jon. He has always been an outsider there, he lived in the castle knowing he was not entirely welcome in it. He was treated differently by his family, looked down upon by society, reminded of his otherness by his very name.
There was no place for him in Winterfell.
He had never truly been a Stark, only Lord Eddard’s motherless bastard, with no more place at Winterfell than Theon Greyjoy.
Daenerys dreams of the house with the red door, although she knows it was no true home really, and that she could never return there:
She had been dreaming of a house with a red door when Missandei woke her.
And Jon has nightmares of Winterfell, in which he is time and time again rejected by House Stark:
He dreamt he was back in Winterfell, limping past the stone kings on their thrones. Their grey granite eyes turned to follow him as he passed, and their grey granite fingers tightened on the hilts of the rusted swords upon their laps. You are no Stark, he could hear them mutter, in heavy granite voices. There is no place for you here. Go away. He walked deeper into the darkness. “Father?” he called. “Bran? Rickon?” No one answered. A chill wind was blowing on his neck. “Uncle?” he called. “Uncle Benjen? Father? Please, Father, help me.” Up above he heard drums. They are feasting in the Great Hall, but I am not welcome there. I am no Stark, and this is not my place. His crutch slipped and he fell to his knees. The crypts were growing darker. A light has gone out somewhere.
Daenerys’ nostalgia and Jon’s exclusion deeply shape their personalities. Daenerys and Jon both yearn so much for a place where they could belong and be themselves, for a place where they would finally be accepted and welcome and at peace.
And once they meet, they will find this home in each other.
I know everyone’s jumping on the idea of reapfist, and I’m the last one to say Jack is a healthy influence for Gabriel (even in my own headcanons and writing as a R76 shipper I tend to acknowledge that Jack has a lot of soul-searching, apologizing, and compromising to do before he’s earned back so much as a passing glance from Gabe after the shit he’s put up with). And I’d definitely say that without that effort from Jack, Gabe just plain deserves better than his flat pasty ass.
But look. Listen. Gabriel cares about people hardcore. We’ve seen it with everyone he’s ever been close to. He’s even said to respect and be a little proud of Sombra, according to the devs. He’s a fake-edgy hardass with a gooey halloween themed marshmallow center.
And Akande? Yeah no. He doesn’t care about much of anyone or anything. He’s got his “humanity will get stronger through conflict” deal which is probably talking about a long-term goal of escalation and encouraging various arms races, and that’s probably for the sake of preventing the kind of shit that went down during the omnic crisis the first time around, but to me that seems to be rooted in the trauma of losing his arm. Strength means no one else can beat him, and if he’s never beaten, he’s never left to be just another name etched into a memorial.
Gabriel doesn’t think this way. To him, every name on a memorial is another letter of condolence sent to a family. It’s a face he’ll never see in the mess hall, a dumb joke he won’t hear again, an echo of something that won’t ever come back. Even if Akande thinks he’s being pragmatic and realistic, seeing things as the world might see them, Gabriel can’t justify it. We’ve seen how he never kills more than he has to. We know he took in criminals and turned them into good people. His isn’t a policy of “might makes right”, it’s about justice.
Akande knows better than to step into an argument with that, and I doubt Gabriel’s point of view is about to change his mind anytime soon. It’s the wrong angle to approach it from. He’s too hardened and purposefully distant, cool and calm and strategic. What he needs isn’t someone who’ll agree to disagree because if they don’t it’ll get ugly, it’s someone a bit more…
Optimistic. Someone who can parry his cool boardroom debate skills with clear examples of the world simply not being as fucked and in need of escalation as he thinks it is. Someone who could be said to be as much of an outlaw terrorist as he is, from a certain point of view. Maybe even someone who’s creative, who’s… Musical.
My friends, I see your offer of reapfist and raise you: doomfrog.
listen isak has no time to deal with Straight Couples™ but when it comes to sana and yousef? my buddy, he’s secretly their #1 stan, rooting for them, always advising sana indirectly or just being there for her when she needs someone to rant to because “listen we’re science buddies that’s why i agree to put up with you. otherwise? pffffftttt idc.”, and sana reads right through his bullshit excuses bc they both don’t need to tell each other how much they both care about each other. they both already know that they both care too too much about each other.