Someone commented on my Liara/Javik gifset to say they feel Javik is probably the biggest disappointment in Liara’s life. And I had ideas for a meta post about them, because it seems to me like it’s a bit more complicated than that. I’ll argue that Liara is Liara’s biggest disappointment, and those feelings are temporary and won’t last because Liara will come to terms with some things. Same with Javik. It’s just their meeting that makes them both aware of things they don’t like about themselves.
First, I’m thinking about this note from Liara:
“Childish/Romanticize/Dazzled/Dedicate my life to studying”
I can only imagine what it’s like for her because that level of disappointment is so high. She expected someone completely different, instead she gets a soldier who: 1. has only known the Reapers so he has never seen what the protheans are like in a time of peace 2. is a soldier
I mention all this, especially the soldier part, because Javik himself is focused on that:
(The dialogue here is my own transcription) JAVIK: The strong grow stronger by dominating the weak. It is for the greater good of all. Though I do not think your asari approves of my beliefs. SHEPARD: Liara? I think she just had a different idea of what protheans were like. JAVIK: We are all a product of our time. Had I been born in this cycle, perhaps I would be the noble scholar she wishes me to be. SHEPARD: You think you’d like that? It’s a whole different line of work. JAVIK: I wouldn’t know. Living a life of constant war, taking life in every battle… SHEPARD: I see how it could be tough to see outside the box. JAVIK: It is the only box I have known. It shapes me, as stone is shaped by the one who causes it. This stone has no choice in the form it would take. You and I, Commander… War is our sculptor. And we are prisoners to its design.
I find this conversation so enlightening, first because Javik is greatly aware of how he came to think like he does, but he also doesn’t know anything else than war, so he doesn’t know if he could enjoy being a scholar. He has no idea.
The words he chose are also significant: “No choice/Prisoners” And the look on his face:
I honestly see regret, or at least this is the look of someone who knows it’s too late to change, too late to go back. This is what he keeps telling Shepard when he warns them about war. War changes you, and this is the person he has become. And this is the person Liara finds disappointing. It’s a very vicious cycle, that both will eventually break.
Because Liara realizes she did romanticize the Protheans, which is why she’s disappointed with herself. But once she understands Javik is not going to become the “scholar she wishes him to be”, maybe she’ll get the truth out of him, and they could both write a book that shows the good and bad parts of the prothean empire.
If Javik doesn’t touch his shard, he tells Shepard at the end of ME3: “Since my birth, life’s only pursuit has been war. I look forward to seeing what peace looks like.” and “Perhaps I will write a book with the asar- with Dr T'Soni. She suggest "Journeys with the Prothean.” This is so important because: -I will/With/Dr T'Soni: this is no longer Liara just writing about him on her own, and he respects her scientific abilities enough to call her by her title now. -Journeys with the Prothean: how fitting is that title? Because they both went on a journey, Liara had to understand she had misjudged the protheans, she had to understand that as a scientist, she needed to do better. And Javik had to realize he’s “looking forward” to see “what peace looks like”, that there is more to life than just war. Javik, in his goodbye, will thank Shepard "for letting the last voice of the Protheans speak.” Last voice. It cannot be a romanticized version. It has to be a truthful, accurate one.
So yeah. I think that initially, they were both incredibly disappointed, maybe a bit by each other, but mostly by themselves. And it’s only when they accepted the truth, and accepted to move on with a more accurate one, that they stopped being so disappointed (and bitter). Basically, they were forced by their meeting to examine their own feelings, and realize that something in their past was plain wrong. I love the character development there, made possible by their relationship.
Head dipped so low his chin hit his chest, Javik sighed as he lifted a heavy hand lay it on hers. A trill ran up her back and over her crest at the contact. Carefully, Liara manoeuvred her grip to fit around his two fingers, and gave a comforting squeeze.
Already the shape of his melancholy sang alongside her own.
“Pah,” scorned Javik, studiously not meeting her eyes as his fingers curled around hers. “Now I cannot even remember her name!”
By far and large, That Hunts on a Lonely Hill is my favorite piece of Mass Effect fanfiction. There are some close runners up but out of all of them this hits the spot for me like no other. I continue to look forward to watching not only Javik and Liara develop as characters, and as a relationship, but the world that Ninaunn develops around them.
The characters are on point, their issues never undervalued, and the breadth of the galaxy is so very real.
Seriously, read this fic if you haven’t. You won’t regret it.
So here’s my OTP + Adorable kids. One of them missed the pajama memo and takes after her mom a bit. Can you guess which? khajinah and I named the teal baby a couple months ago, but I can’t remember what on earth it was. It’s written on one of my sketches somewhere.
like good stories just fuck me up. i wind up thinking about them all the time.
right now i am on the edge of my seat for ScarletJedi’sComes Around Again. I literally had to get up and walk around the house a bit to get over my excitement. I am so ready to read more of that thing, you have no idea. I want to draw art for this one….not sure what tho. I won’t lie, I’ve reread this fic several times while waiting for updates and it’s solid and great to read every time.
And then sckry’s That Hunts the Lonely Hill calmed me down and eased me toward sleepy-time tonight. The emotions were calm and quiet, and warm and just the things that make you smile. Soft, domestic things. I think I’ve finally been struck by an image I’m itching to fanart of this fic too… Also the writer is friendly and adorable and you should all read this. (Edit: Mind you, the soft stuff isn’t until later chapters….the beginnings rough stuff.)
And ofc there’s Determamfidd’s Sansukh. Every time I see her mention on her blog that the next chapter’s in the works I get a bit more excited. Every little wink or nudge slyly thrown out about things to come in it….ahhh, I can’t wait. Also, I sometimes find myself wondering about the humble start of this fic, which from the author’s notes I think was a kinkmeme fill? Man, whoever that anon was they are one lucky son of a gun.
who cooks normally?: Liara, until they have children. Then Javik learns quickly how picky the kids can be (and once he served them fried Salarian Livers. Kids enjoyed them way too much, although Javik argues that it never happened. There was a report the same day about the Blasto Movies director “disappearing”)
how often do they fight?: Constantly, sometime its about Javik’s influence on the children, Liara refusing Javik to let the kids go Thresher Maw riding, (One of the kids begs to ride Kalros.) The fights aren’t really fights, more just Javik stirring Liara up because she bites.
what do they do when they’re away from each other?: At first, Javik is more then happy, Liara doesnt like it. But the roles swap after they have kids, and then they barely leave each other once the kids are all grown up and trying to conquer the galaxy
nicknames for eachother?: Javik calls Liara “Asari” when he gets angry at her for something.But nicknames are really non existent. Except for “King of the Protheans”, when Liara is being sarcastic
who is more likely to pay for dinner?: Liara, Javik uses the excuse: “After 50,000 years and the fall of my Empire, do you think I have anything on me?
who steals the covers at night?: Javik, King of the Protheans
what would they get each other for gifts?: Liara gets him ancient treasure, replicated things from his past and donuts (Javik loves them.) Javik doesnt know what to get her. He asked her Father once, she was no help. He got her drawing/writing equipment, as a joke. That didnt go down well.
who kissed who first?: Liara
who made the first move?: Shepard. They both agree that it was all Shepard’s fault
who remembers things?: Liara, Javik denies everything. Never says sorry, never does anything wrong
who started the relationship?: Shepard
who cusses more?: Liara
what would they do if the other one was hurt?: Javik usually tell her to get over it, but sometimes, when its genuine he tells her:
I’d request Glyph Cockblocking Javik but I just wrote about that right now so
“Hello, Shadow Broker!” Glyph pulsed as it entered the room.
As soon as Javik looked at it, the orb spun in a circle. The AI knew what it was doing. Javik knew it did. Fifth time this week, and the second time that day.
“Glyph…” Liara warned. She gave him a look that suggested she maybe, might believe him but if he so much as said one word, he’d never hear the end of it.
Javik kept his mouth shut. For the time being.
Glyph whizzed into the room and settled directly in front of Javik. It was looking at him. Mocking him.
Javik narrowed his eyes, weighing the merits of destroying the core.
“All operatives are currently functioning at peak efficiency, Doctor T'Soni. Operative Feron filed a report about the mining operations on Asteroid B47.” The AI circled around Javik, halting in front of Liara. “There was a minor fluctuation in the power flow in the communications grid. I took the liberty of calling a maintenance crew to fix the problem. Engineer Lucas should arrive shortly.”
Glyph whirled, whizzed to the dresser, and settled down.
As if on cue, the door chimed. Javik sighed as Liara left the room, an apologetic smile on her face.
He stared at the AI. It stared back at him.
Finally it floated out of the room, pausing at the doorway, and said, “Shadow Broker.”
That AI was definitely planning to rebel. Against him.
“Are you so blind in your infatuation with the commander,” his face merely a few inches away from hers, close enough to pick up her scent on her breath. “That you cannot see I only have eyes for you?!”