I’m continuing my Campaign 2 rewatch and something in ep 71 made me sit bolt upright going ‘holy shit.’ It’s the moment where Dairon and Beau reconvene in the Xhorhaus, and Dairon asks Beau to introduce them as a ‘trusted ally’ to one of the Nein’s contacts in the Dynasty.
And Beau refuses. She doesn’t think she could do it without arousing suspicion, and she doesn’t want Dairon’s activities to jeapardise what the Nein are doing. So instead Dairon starts masquerading as the Nein’s housekeeper.
But if Beau had agreed... the Nein only really had two contacts at this point. There was Waccoh, who probably wouldn’t have been much use to Dairon... and there was Essek.
Essek. The literal traitor Dairon was searching for.
So if Beau had introduced Dairon to Essek in the way Dairon wanted... would it have led to a plotline where Dairon realised what he’d done, and the Nein helped end the war by revealing Essek’s actions to the Bright Queen? Maybe. But that didn’t happen. Dairon obviously got close - I’m convinced that Essek showed up exhausted that one time, talking about a break-in in the Bastion, because Dairon had been snooping around. But Dairon didn’t get close enough to the truth before Essek was baring his soul to the Nein and pledging his loyalty to them.
Beau probably saved Essek’s life and soul without realising she was doing it. All because she’d come to trust herself enough to be certain that her approach, and the Nein’s approach, would be what put things right.
And she was right, wasn’t she?
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I was thinking about Beau and Fjord's relationship, particularly many folks in the fandom feeling a little, I guess, betrayed about how Beau and Fjord aren't active presences in each other's epilogue futures after she said to him in 2.108, "There was some, like, dream— not dreams— There was a reality that I kind of thought of like sailing the sea with you, y'know, and being like first mate, captain, but then also still an expositor. So I was like maybe I can combine that and be an expositor-pirate."
But, really: what if Beau is doing to Fjord here as she did to Jester?
Beau, pained over Yasha being taken from the party and terrified of having to confront why she feels so hurt, takes her feelings for Yasha and transplants them to Jester. Jester is, in Beau's view, easy to fall in love with because of the way she carries herself, but much of that (we know) was indeed deflecting her own feelings for Yasha and trying to avoid processing them by supplanting them.
Similarly, at this point, Beau is asked to look at her future—the war has ended, she is respected in an organization she at that moment has mixed feelings about, there is talk within the group of things coming to a close, the Isharnai thing is still recent. Her future is with the Cobalt Soul. Fjord himself immediately points out that she has obligations with them, no?
Perhaps she was avoiding thinking about what her future would look like outside of this group, a process that is difficult and a little scary to consider, especially before her grievances with the Cobalt Soul are addressed. Rather than focus on how she feels and what is truly before her, in all its confusing and scary prospects and difficult to reconcile realities, she deflects it into a vision easier to sit with: sailing with Fjord.
Much in the way that Beau dismisses her fanciful talk about Jester, encouraged by Veth and beacons ("I need to stop saying these things. No, these aren't any of these things."), Beau immediately dismisses her own pitched vision of the future ("But that also feels like, you know, a Hallow's Eve costume in a way and not, like, a real job."). And I don't think it's actually part of Beau's tendency to downplay herself and not think well of herself, but rather an acknowledgement of what she's doing: she's deflecting from what really is before her and in her future.
Sailing full-time with Fjord is the same as her crush on Jester. It is a real desire, yes, but it's not one that's realistic for her, one that isn't truly possible to have, what is best for her, or even what she really wants. It's something she's using to delay something difficult and scary to process or confront.
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Recovery (Whumptober Day 16)
Characters: Yasha Nydoorin, Beauregard Lionett
TW: refrenced mind control
“I want you to cut my hair.”
Beau looks up from her work to see Yasha standing in the doorway, wearing light pink dress, Beau’s favorite on her. Her long hair hands around her shoulders, out of its normal braid for the first time in days. In the years since the defeat of Cognoza, Yasha’s hair has kept growing out white. The white from her roots now reaches down to her jaw.
“Right now?” Beau asks.
“Unless you’re busy,” Yasha says, shifting on her feet. There’s something in her face that Beau can’t quite name, but it tells her that there’s clearly something going on.
“I’m not busy.” It’s a lie, but whatever Yasha is going through right now is way more important. Besides, her work will still be there later. Beau stands from her desk and walks over to her wife, grinning as Yasha immediately pulls her closer by the waist and kisses her softly. “You okay?” Beau asks when they pull apart.
Yasha nods and then shakes her head. “I don’t know. Will you please cut my hair? I...I really need you to cut my hair.”
Beau frowns. “Okay.” She leans forward and kisses Yasha’s shoulder. “Come on.” She takes Yasha gently by the hand and leads her to the kitchen where she grabs a dining chair, a towel, and their scissors. She sits Yasha down, but not before pressing another kiss to her head.
Beau takes her place behind Yasha, running her fingers through her wife’s long hair. “Before I do this, do you want to tell me why you’re so insistent I cut your hair?”
Yasha looks over her shoulder at Beau and nods. “Yeah, uh, I probably should.” Beau kneels down next to the chair, taking Yasha’s hands in her’s and looking up at her wife with immeasurable patience. Yasha meets her eyes. “I hate it.” She picks up the ends of her hair, looking at the black. “It just makes me think of Obann and-and all the awful things I did. The people I hurt.” Yasha runs her thumb along Beau’s cheekbone, her eyes full of regret and sadness. Beau doesn’t respond, they’ve had this conversation a few times. However, Beau does press a kiss to Yasha’s palm. “I want to move on.”
Beau smiles and squeezes Yasha’s hand. “Okay. Let’s do this then.” Beau stands and walks around the back of the chair. She waits for Yasha to take a deep breath and nod before she picks the scissors up. With precision, she starts cutting Yasha’s hair. As the black tresses fall to the floor, Beau can physically see Yasha’s relief, her shoulders drooping and her breathing becoming easier.
The significance of this moment is not lost on Beau. Yasha has been tormented by her memories of the time she spent under Obann’s control. It’s been Beau’s hard fought battle to get Yasha to a place where she accepts comfort and that everything that happened wasn’t her fault. That no one blames her.
When the final piece of hair falls to the floor, Beau kisses the back of Yasha’s head. “All done.”
Beau moves to the front of the chair as Yasha experimentally shakes her head, laughing a little. “It feels so light.” Beau smiles.
“Here.” She passes Yasha a mirror and immediately the aasimar’s eyes fill with tears. “Oh shit, do you hate it? I can-”
Yasha shakes her head, and takes the mirror from Beau’s hands, eyes transfixed on her reflection. “I-I love it. This is...this is me, Beau. This is the me that Zuala knew.”
Beau smiles sadly and tucks a strand of hair behind Yasha’s ear. Yasha looks up at her, happy tears rolling down her cheeks. “She had great taste. The white really suits you.”
Yasha tugs Beau into her arms and crushes her into a tight hug. Beau hugs her back the best she can with the way Yasha is holding her. “Thank you,” Yasha tells her. They sit there for just a moment before Yasha softly admits, “I never thought I would be happy again after Zuala.” Beau squeezes her a little tighter. “You changed everything for me, Beau.”
Beau kneels on the ground once more, looking up at her wife with tears in her eyes. “You changed everything for me too.” She squeezes Yasha's hands. “Look at where we are now. Beautiful house, even more beautiful garden,” Yasha blushes, “more friends than we know what to do with. I never imagined I could ever have a life like this, let alone with a woman as gorgeous as you.”
“Stop,” Yasha says lightly, blushing up to her hairline.
“I will never stop.” Beau climbs off her knees and swings herself into Yasha’s lap, peppering kisses all over Yasha’s cheeks and neck as her wife laughs. Beau ends with a languid kiss on Yasha’s lips, winding her fingers through Yasha’s hair.
“It really does suit you, Yash,” Beau says when she pulls back.
Yasha leans into her hands, “You have no idea how good it feels. Except the hair on my neck, it’s itchy.”
“I know how we can fix that,” Beau says, leaning close to Yasha and whispering in her ear. It causes her wife to shiver delightfully. “Doesn’t a shower sound so good right now?”
Yasha hums in agreement and kisses Beau’s neck, “Only if you’re coming with me.”
Beau snorts, “That’s a given at this point, babe.”
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