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  • Ciel is Judgy McJudgerson Judgeypants (you know she is). When it comes to some people, she seems to have a habit of fitting them into a certain definition, and dealing with them accordingly. Which people most surprise her by trying to wiggle out of her definition of what they are? Do you think she might relax in the future, or is she always going to be judgey? How does she judge herself or what box does she put herself into?
  • Oh, someone had to ask it. Go ahead and talk about Ciel and Rohan.

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Oh, someone had to ask it. Go ahead and talk about Ciel and Rohan.

ASK ME A QUESTION and I will. I know I ramble but this is still way too broad man.

FINE MAKE ME THINK DAMN YOU

Some specific questions: You've talked a little about this in the past, but how did his leaving her in India affect her?

And, to flash forward, how is she feeling about him now? He's been trying--admittedly clumsily and a bit inconsistently--to establish some sort of friendship going forward; does she hoping for the same or would rather he just disappeared?

You've talked a little about this in the past, but how did his leaving her in India affect her?

Pretty much broke her in half. India was a wild, last-ditch effort to feel like she was still relevant, and her powers were still relevant, and she could do something. But it turned out that the things you do as a merc don't matter, except when they matter in a really bad way. Ciel had a very love/hate relationship with her job in India. She got this wild thrill from the action, and from being good at the action, and from working in a team that she knew and valued and who knew and valued her. Rohan was, near the end, the epitome of this. He knew what she could do, he trusted her, she trusted him. They'd saved each others' lives a few times. They had that foxhole bond.

So when he broke that, she lost that last little bit of glue that was holding things together. When that trust was broken, it became impossible to ignore all the other dirty things she didn't want to face. That they weren't really a team. That she wasn't doing good - and may be doing bad. That nothing she was doing mattered except to people making money. That the thrill wasn't enough anymore. He was her last lifeline, and vanishing sent her reeling. It wasn't even about the breaking of their relationship so much as it was about this last thing that made it impossible for her to pretend that this was anything like X-Force, that anything could be like X-Force, that she was doing something acceptable with her life. She spent three months trying to convince herself otherwise, but even if he'd come back, I'm not sure it would have worked. It'd already been broken, and I think she knew that she had to make a change.


And, to flash forward, how is she feeling about him now? He's been trying--admittedly clumsily and a bit inconsistently--to establish some sort of friendship going forward; does she hoping for the same or would rather he just disappeared?

She's feeling mostly okay. Better now that he's not trying to convince her she's his one true love. In many ways, I think her dating Kade was the best thing that could have happened to their relationship, because for a while he was honestly not just pissig her off, but freaking her out. His intensity was dialed up to 11, and he seemed unable to take a step back from that. Kade sort of forced that step back, and the breathing room it's given her has helped her remember that she did actually enjoy his company at one point.

I mean, it's still sort of complicated. There are still things that make her really, really angry. I don't know what she'd choose if she had two doors, one labeled 'friendship' and one labeled 'disappeared entirely'. But I do know that since he is here and is entwined in her life and her work and her friends, she'd rather be on friendly terms than not. She finds it hard to legitimately hate Rohan, even if she sometimes thinks she should. And she's coming to understand that his life was not as simple as he made it seem, just as hers wasn't, and that some parts sucked, and she feels sorry for him. She at least always had a place to run back to, a home that would take her. She's aware that she's lucky for that.

So. She's feeling mostly okay. For the moment.

Ciel is Judgy McJudgerson Judgeypants (you know she is). When it comes to some people, she seems to have a habit of fitting them into a certain definition, and dealing with them accordingly. Which people most surprise her by trying to wiggle out of her definition of what they are?

She is. She comes by it very honestly! Both her mom and her uncle were this way. Some of it's a Catholic thing, but a lot of it is just-- that's how they do the world. Boxes, superiority, labeling. Etc.

She's not completely inflexible, but it can be difficult to move out of the box she's assigned you. Sometimes this is good as well as bad - Kade, for example, benefits from the box she put him in very early on. And despite what he may think, so does Rohan, who was labeled 'a merc but not like all those other mercs'.

Rich is the obvious surprise - and of course he's a surprise because she knew him not one single iota before putting him in a box. Beyond that-- um. Honestly, Rohan has been a surprise, but in the unpleasant way. He was in a pretty positive box that turned extremely negative. He wiggled into 'I guess he really was like all those other mercs'. The fact that he started somewhere else is probably the reason that she cannot bring herself to cut him out of her life - or even want to - despite the fact that he legit freaked her out for a while with his intensity early on in his return.

I don't know that anyone else has wiggled out of a box. Sometimes her boxes shift shape a little, but that's not quite the same thing. A Beaubier's judgement is in fact sometimes very flexible in order to avoid ever admitting that it was wrong.

Do you think she might relax in the future, or is she always going to be judgey?

I will keel over in shock if she ever stops being judgemental. It is a fundamental character trait, and the one that is so deeply ingrained that it sort of overwrote some of the other ones I intended her to have (like 'outgoing' and 'friendly'. I know. But at least she's more viable than Via was!). It is basically the core of who she is, because of where she comes from, and who she comes from.

How does she judge herself or what box does she put herself into? She judges herself a LOT. I think her judgement of herself is more complicated than a box, because she judges her motivations as well as her actions, and she knows what she wants to be but not always what she is.

The box she wants to be in is superhero. I mean, straight up, Ciel wants to help save the world. Every ounce of her was built for this. Her mother preached it, her father preached it, and her uncle lived it. She spent her whole adult life doing work that she felt was, in fact, making the world a better place.

A huge part of Ciel's story revolves around the fact that she's been forced out of this box and she can't figure out how to get back into it. She has a lot of criticism for her choices after XF dissolved, from going to India in the first place to the work she did to the guy she slept with. Part of her feels like her box is now 'failure' and even 'sinner'. She hates that feeling. She runs from it. Also, 'pointless' and 'has-been'. Sometimes 'coward'.

This is why she's having more religious conflict than she has in a long time. It's the one box she knows she could actually tackle if she had the guts to. If she could really decide that she wanted to. But it's a whole mess of worms, and really, truly doing it would mean giving up some other things, and she isn't going there. Yet.

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