So, I got an idea.
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.