Talk to me about Ciel and Richie. How is she dealing with seeing him on the regular/working with him? Would it be different if he hadn't decided to bro pal/stan for/i'm not sure what verb to use here Ro?
Most of our interaction has been in large groups where it's pretty easy for Ciel to just ignore Richie, which she is plenty comfortable doing. She is cool with just letting Richie hang out and pretend he's not fucking the boss and stuff in a different corner of the bar.
Every once in a while they get thrown together, though, and that's harder.
The issue here is that Richie is actually a really smart, capable, dedicated guy, the sort of guy Ciel has respect for and loves to work with. I mean, this is not surprisingly - she is a character who has a lot of Isabel in her, so.
There have been a few instances when they've both been in uber work mode (I think especially with the Ruskies, though I can't remember exact examples) where she's completely forgotten that she hates him and (BRIEFLY) really appreciated what he brought to the table. I'm pretty sure she had a scene with Kade where they talked about this, even - how much easier it was to just hate Richie before he was a real person with real skills and real feelings and stuff that didn't suck (AH HA I FOUND IT. 2046-01-18_Hangover).
I don't know how much Rohan plays into it. I feel like her issues with Rich are a lot bigger than Rohan, and although she doesn't agree with his assessment, she's kind of glad Rohan's at least building some friendships that don't rely on her. I don't think his picking on her for checking in really made things worse or anything.
What really does tick her off, though, is that Rich sometimes gives her attitude when she tries to be slightly less dick-ish. In Ciel's mind, any shit she's given Rich is well and truly deserved, and so any effort she makes to engage in any way beyond hating his guts is like. A big favor on her part. I mean, she's being a really big person, you know? And Rich for some reason doesn't seem to love that (and I suspect doesn't even recognize it, because Ciel's means of connecting often comes across as judgmental even when she doesn't mean to, because that's just how her brain works), and then she gets really pissed when he doesn't take her half-assed olive branch. So then she goes back to hating him.
At the end of the day, I don't think she honestly blames him for X-Factor's collapse. I think she knows, intellectually, that she's using him as a scapegoat because she needs somewhere to direct her rage. I think that she does blame him for opening that portal, but more in a-- like. 'You really fucked up' way than 'you directly killed all these people' way. If that makes sense? I'm not sure if it does, but. It's sort of the way she'd hold someone responsible if they really screwed up an important mission. This is a bit of a change since he's shown up on her doorstep, and she's seen a bit of his own guilt. I think there was a time when her blame was more direct. Kade's had something to do with her loosening up over this as well, because he's much more sort of forgiving about the whole thing. And also just because he's someone she can, and has, talked about the situation with, which I think has given her some of the closure she needed to move beyond just really hating on Richie.