The more I watch it…
… I definitely think the reason the Nate and Eliot relationship gets overlooked is that it’s very tacit and unspoken. These are two guys who do not discuss feelings, at least not directly, instead they just steadily… Fall into a pattern, they develop a system. The trust and loyalty between them isn’t spelled out in long speeches or discussions; it’s in the way Eliot starts to look to Nate for a cue if he should engage; Eliot allowing Nate to pull him back; it’s Nate never trying to force details of Eliot’s past from him; the way Nate only ever doubts Eliot once and then never again; the way Nate looks at Eliot after being forced to take a drink in the Bottle Job, or any other time; their conversation about the bank robbery in the Bank Shot job; Eliot being willing to kill for Nate; no matter how far on a bent he is, it’s in Nate never asking him to; it’s in Eliot and Sophie worrying about Nate’s destructive behaviour and his drinking; Nate telling Eliot ‘get them to the chopper’ rather than ‘get to the chopper’; it’s every time Eliot speaks out about a play or choice he doesn’t agree w/ and calling Nate out; it’s them sitting in silence in the bar; it’s the way Eliot falls in at Nate’s shoulder, or shifts in front of him in case of threat; it’s Eliot doing things Nate asks even when he complains; it’s Nate honestly responding when Eliot confronts him; it’s the Zanzibar Job; Eliot being mad Nate (and the others) left the baseball game early; Nate trying to protect Eliot from being forced to do the fixed fight; his panic at thinking Eliot’s been shot for a moment; Nate sounding for all the world like a proud dad during the country music ep; the exchange at the end of the cheerleading ep; them both harping on Hardison to tip the messenger; Nate trying to curb Eliot’s flirting; watching sports together; it’s the tiny glances they exchange or they way they sometimes move in sync.
Leverage Inc has no hierarchy, not really, not in the usual sense, but they fill their own roles based on their strengths and personalities. There’s no outright decision, no official acknowledgement, but they don’t need that. Nate and Eliot settle seamlessly into not just the roles of a mastermind and his loyal, trusted, and competent lieutenant and enforcer, but also something reminiscent of a father and an eldest son. They are actually one of the closest bonds in the whole crew (which is comprised of very close bonds, to be fair, but hopefully you get the point), they just do it so naturally and almost in the periphery that it can go unnoticed/understood very easily.
Dragon!Porsche, the deity who has been guarding a perilous mountain range for almost a thousand years now. He's bound to these mountains – the result of a curse he placed on himself centuries ago, when his own foolishness led to the death of his own brother.
Porsche keeps to himself; is careful that the occasional caravan of traders or group of bandits doesn't know he's there. He does send his pet tigers after the bandits sometimes, if he sees they're the especially bloodthirsty kind who won't spare innocent lives but he makes sure his presence is undetected.
Solitude is his penance.
He's spending another evening watching the stars when he hears ruckus coming from a nearby pass. There is screaming, but not the terrified kind that Porsche has gotten used to. Instead, it sounds like an argument.
"I can't let you do this!"
"How did you even follow me? I took the fastest stallion here!"
"Would you please stop changing the topic? Your Highness. You seriously cannot be trusting some half-crazed old man's advice on how to save the kingdom."
Porsche knows there's a human settlement on the other side of these mountains. Or at least, it had been a settlement centuries ago. He and Porchay used to slip into their human forms and visit there, under the guise of travelers.
Was that settlement the same kingdom these two humans were referring to? It could be. The number of traders passing by these mountains had grown significantly over the centuries.
Out of curiosity, Porsche follows the sound of their voices.
"If it can save the kingdom, I'll take advice regardless of who it comes from."
"What if it doesn't work? You'll bleed out and die!"
"I've instructed Arm to distribute rations to our people. Ships and caravans are ready. Pete will lead our men. Kim has already planned an escape route that will guarantee the survival of most of our people."
Porsche is close enough that he can see two figures -- a man and what sounds like a boy barely breaking into adulthood. The man has his back turned to Porsche but the fine quality of his clothes are certainly fit for a royal. His broad frame hides the face of the person he's talking to from Porsche's line of sight.
Porsche is close enough that he can hear the man's voice grow soft.
"It will be difficult, but I trust my brother to lead our people. He'll take care of you, so please look after him for me too."
"No. I won't do it. No. Please, Your Highness. Please don't do this. Please. You can escape with us."
"The moon is almost at it's peak. You should go."
That it is.
The moon is full tonight and she lends her light to the darkness. It's thanks to her that Porsche sees the blade glisten in the man's hands, hidden behind his back.
The boy tries to plead some more, but he runs out of time.
As soon as the moon rises to its highest point in the sky, the man pushes the boy away. He turns around, slices his palm with the dagger and lets his blood drip into the earth before turning the knife towards himself.
The metallic scent blood fills the air and Porsche looks on in regret as he hears familiar words uttered into the night before the man finishes what he'd set out to do.
The thing about being nigh immortal is being able to witness the stories about you turn into tales, which then turn into lore, that somehow evolves into a legend. To this man's credit, he does have his facts right.
Had Porsche been a weaker deity, a selfless blood sacrifice made at the height of the full moon would have bound him.
But Porsche is much more powerful than that.
He watches as the man falls to the ground, a pool of his own blood already beginning to form around him.
The man's companion rushes to his side and Porsche freezes in place as he sees tears flow down the boy's face.
No. It can't be.
Porsche is stepping closer to get a good look of the boy's face before he can even think about throwing a glamor on himself. He steps on a branch that snaps loud enough for the boy to look up, red-rimmed doe eyes the exact same as they had been nine hundred years ago.
"Please," the boy's voice wavers as he begs, completely oblivious to the fact that Porsche had never been unable to deny him anything since they were born. "Please save him."
Without even thinking about the consequences – the bond he'd be forming with a virtual stranger, the life force that he'd be sharing with someone who he wasn't even sure was worthy saving, the target he'd be placing on all their backs if the wrong people found out – Porsche takes the dagger and gives in to his brother's request.
(Later, when the three of them are safely in Porsche's home, the man he'd saved wakes up. His name is Kinn, and he is the king of the relatively small but prosperous kingdom nearby. There is an invasion brewing and all plans of negotiation have failed.
"They will need to pass through these mountains if they want to get to us. Please, protect us."
"You won't ask for anything in return?"
Porsche holds up his hand, shows Kinn the fresh scar on his palm.
"You've already paid the price. You're a king, aren't you? The ritual you performed binds you to me. As I am bound to these mountains, so shall you be."
"You're saying I'm your slave and I can't leave this place," Kinn says grimly. Porsche nods, lets him assume the worst; hopes this interpretation of the bond will keep Kinn as far away from him as possible . "For how long?"
"This is not a bond that can easily break."
"Will you keep protecting the kingdom?"
Porsche sneaks a glance at Kinn's attendant. The boy called Chay, who was currently napping beside one of Porsche's tigers.
"Sure, why not?"
"Then so be it.")
Genuine thought as a fellow trans dude, I’ve seen a lot of (obviously non-serious) questions on other blogs about characters’ genitals such as “how does it look like?” and similar, and I think we all know & understand that such questions are extremely inappropriate to ask and (I hope) no one would actually go around asking these questions irl. Idk, I think we should treat trans characters just like cis ones, without any special “precautions”, so to normalise them and not make cis people treat them like fragile boxes, a thing which happens to a lot of us irl. Hope this doesn’t come off as an attack or anything lol.
no worries, i didn't take this as an attack at all. i actually agree with you, that's why i mentioned feeling conflicted about it and also mentioned that i've changed my stance on how i felt about handling Noel and Clementine in game and in explicit intimate scenes.
however, for me the problem comes from the fact that people... don't ask these kinds of questions about cis characters? i suppose people do get cheeky "who is the biggest 🤪" asks but i would hardly compare the two. to be a bit crude, no one is going to be asking if a cis character has a dick or not, or "what does it look like". of course it's natural for people to be curious, and i honestly encourage the open discussion and am happy to see trans bodies being talked about more in a positive way, but not everyone is going to be comfortable with it due to the inescapable transphobia online and in the community. sending me that kind of ask is like sending out an invitation for a debate or a discussion that i don't necessarily want to have. i also just don't think people should default to asking a random IF author on tumblr dot com to describe what bottom growth looks like.
and with most of these asks typically coming from someone who is anonymous, i have no way of truly knowing what the tone is, what their intentions are or why this is being asked - is it another trans person? or maybe someone who is just genuinely curious? or, more likely in my experience, is it someone who is going to immediately follow up this message with something transphobic after i answer? do i want to roll the dice and find out?
so while i agree with what you're saying, it's important to consider the context and the reality we live in. the IF community is not kind to trans people or trans characters. and as a trans person, my first priority is protecting myself and my mental health. so what i mean when i say "precautions," is that those precautions are for me, because i've had to deal with transphobic harassment here for years now, and i try to mitigate it as much as i can. it's also for my personal comfort - again, to be blunt, i'm simply just not comfortable discussing a trans character's genitals with anonymous strangers on the internet. it makes me feel vulnerable.
also i do want to say i didn't mean for any of that to come across as a dig at other authors - if you're comfortable answering those kinds of questions, that's really only something you can decide for yourself. like i said, this is just coming from my own experiences in IF and for my own personal comfort - i have previously talked a lot about trans stuff and gender and sexuality here, when i'm feeling up to it, but it is something that is very draining for me and can also be very upsetting.
basically: i do agree that it's important not to other trans characters or treat them any differently than cis characters, but i also think there are ways to do it that don't require me answering invasive questions or questions that i don't feel comfortable with as a real life trans person, you know what i mean?
Okay I absolutely adore the idea that Red and Blue are on their honeymoon in Alola (and I do like to think that their eventual honeymoon is in Alola) but also I think there's some charm to them being together, but not yet married.
Because hey, if we as an audience assumed that they're married, wouldn't it be only natural for people in their life to also assume so?
The people of Alola just see them together and assume that they must be because hey, they live in Alola together, and they own a battle tree together, and they tease each other, and act like a married couple, and the looks Blue gives Red when he thinks that he's not looking are so so so fond and even if Red isn't the most expressive you can sometimes see a little quirk of his mouth whenever Blue does something especially stupid (/lh) and thinks that nobody's looking. And anybody can tell just by looking at their interactions that they know and understand each other more than most people — if not anyone else.
Whenever brought up to them Blue probably shrugs it off, makes a remark, tries not to think too hard about the ring he has back at home in a place where he thinks Red won't find it (he's definitely already found it), and if Red has to stifle back a laugh with the knowledge of what Blue's planning then is it really so off for people to make that assumption?
Their engagement as well isn't anything special with Red already knowing what Blue has planned and when he has it planned (because of course the nice date out that they have planned that Blue made extra sure that would cater to his tastes would be the perfect opportunity to pop the question) and so there is no suprise at all when Blue proposes, and that's okay for both of them.
Afterall, when you're as close as them isn't it normal for the concept of marriage to feel as natural as breathing? They know each other by heart they know each other well enough that they don't hide from each other and can tell when the other is feeling unwell by the smallest things. Isn't it only natural for them to not make a big fuss of it when so many things in their life are dramatic, and hey maybe it's nice to just have this one thing be calm and peaceful and happy and affectionate?
Sry I just think they're neat