One thing I love about Jinx and Ekko, is the fact that these two characters, these two young and brilliant inventors, are the best examples of how much Piltover has screwed itself over in its oppression and mistreatment of Zaun.
Not in the sense, oh hey there’s a rocket coming for us.
But in the sense, of how much more they could’ve achieved as one city. Piltover could’ve been brought to completely unknown heights, new levels of discovery and progress, the likes that haven’t been seen before, let alone imagined.
Piltover truly could’ve been a great city – the city of progress, science, knowledge, and equality. If it had actually had been those things. But they shot themselves in the foot and limited themselves to half of their city’s population.
As brilliant as Jinx and Ekko are -
Imagine what these two could have done, if they had healthy and secure environments to grow up in. Had the resources, education, and opportunities Piltover should’ve provided them as citizens of their city.
These two are geniuses, but they’re not the only ones.
Jinx and Ekko are just two kids who survived Zaun.
They’re not the only brilliant ones out there, but so many other kids, perhaps even more brilliant than these two – never even had a chance to survive, let alone thrive.
Because of Piltover and how it has shaped the Undercity over the years, with its constant oppresion.
Unfinished Business Part 1
First off, this is a kind of sequel to my first fic "The Start of something Dangerous". It's going to start with a flash-back of how Y/N and Viktor met, since I'm sure some of you are curious about that, so that's what I cover in this part and the start of Part 2. Then it will continue from where my other fic left off. So I hope you enjoy ;)
Pairing: Yandere Viktor/Machine Viktor x F Reader
Warnings: mentions of Blood, Fluff, Smut and some swearing
“Mama, how did you and father meet? You’ve never actually told me.”
“I have also wondered about this, mother unit. Please tell us?”
You smile as you watch Blitzcrank sit down next to your son’s bed, his head tilting to one side in curiosity as he looks up at you. Ambrose is already snugly tucked in, blankets folded in underneath him to make him look like a little caterpillar with only his head sticking out past the folds of material. With a small chuckle you pull the chair from his desk closer to his bed, sitting down in it to watch the two of them as you speak. Ambrose and Blitzcrank have become very close in a short amount of time, almost inseparable. You smile at the two of them as you take a breath and square your shoulders, ready to begin.
“Well, it all started a long time ago, in a kingdom far far away…”
You smile at Ambrose as Blitzcrank lets out a soft mechanical chuckle at the indignation in his tone.
“Very well. You remember Councilwoman Mel Medarda?”
Ambrose nods as you watch Blitzcrank's eyes light up with recognition of the name.
“I also recall the name. Father unit once mentioned how his previous partner would often disappear from their lab to bury his intentions between miss Medarda’s…”
“Blitz!” You quickly interrupt him, eyes slightly wide as you try not to laugh. “Not in front of Ambrose. He’s too young to hear of… Jayce’s intentions.”
Ambrose laughs as Blitz releases steam from his joints, his way of showing embarrassment as his eyes glow somewhat brighter to signify a wide-eyed stare.
“My apologies brother and mother unit.”
Ambrose wriggles out of his cocoon of blankets to wrap his large metal brother in a tight hug as he grins. Blitz softly pats him on the back before helping him back into bed and pulling the blankets back up to cover Ambrose once more. You smile and nod in thanks at Blitzcrank before continuing your story…
You remember all those years ago, the Hex-gate had just finished being constructed and the City of Progress was once again a shining gem on the maps of Runeterra. You worked as a records keeper for Mel and she wanted to make sure that Piltover would forever remember the two men responsible for creating this futuristic marvel that would change the world. So, you gathered your notebooks and writing utensils and headed for the workshop of these mad geniuses. The double doors loom in front of you, their secrets closely guarded as two enforcers stand watch in the endless hallway. They seem to recognize you; which is the only reason they don’t stop you from knocking on one of the doors to the, newly coined, Hex-tech Laboratory. Silence stretches on for what feels like an eternity and you fear no one is even inside, so you decide to carefully push open the door. As you step inside there is a sudden loud crash next to you, making you jump and yelp clutching at your chest in surprise. You turn around to find the two scientists looking at you, surprised at your sudden presence, but also apologetic for the projectile that narrowly missed your shoulder. There is some kind of mechanical arm perched on the edge of the table between the two and it seems to be in the middle of a seizure, grabbing random items and flinging them about. One of these items, luckily just a pencil, hits the tall muscular man in the back of the head, snapping him back to attention. He spins around, swearing as he tries to get the mechanical arm under control. The other man, he has the most beautiful golden eyes, laughs softly before simply pulling a glowing orb from the base of the arm. The arm starts to slow and finally hangs limply as if it’s asleep. Both men turn to you once more, the muscular dark-haired man speaks first.
“Are you lost? This lab isn’t open to the public. So, we appreciate if you’re a fan, but you really can’t be here.”
“Oh, no. I’m not a fan. I mean I am, of course, who isn’t? But that’s not why I’m here…”
You trail off, closing your eyes as you slowly reach up to pinch the bridge of your nose in embarrassment. The golden eyed man simply smiles with amusement as the dark-haired man looks confused. You take a deep, steadying breath before you try to speak again.
“Mel sent me. My name is Y/N and I’m supposed to start a record on the both of you for our archives here in the Academy.”
The dark-haired man gets a knowing look as his eyes light up.
“Of course! I’m so sorry. She told me you were coming, but we got so caught up in our work I completely forgot. I’m Jayce Talis and this here is Viktor. It’s a pleasure to meet you.”
You shake their hands in greeting and it isn’t long before you’re sitting at your own table, stacks of their notes all around you, as you write down any important information. Who would have guessed that these Giants of Industry would be two of the kindest, warmest people you would meet in your life? You smile to yourself as you hear them discuss and joke about their claw arm that seems to have a mind of its own. You feel yourself getting mesmerized by Viktor’s accent, his voice soft and soothing as he speaks.
“Perhaps we should create a way to control it instead of assuming it would simply do what we wish it to on its own?”
Jayce nods in agreement as he studies the arm.
“Like a glove that feeds directly into the arm, perhaps even add receptors that feed back into the glove, so the wielder will be able to tell how much pressure they need to apply? No glove, no love; right?”
You let out a short burst of laughter before clamping a hand over your mouth, a soft blush warming your cheeks as you feel their attention slowly shift towards you. You simply shake your head as you try not to laugh more, speaking without looking up.
“Sorry. Just pretend I’m not here.”
You quickly return to your work, trying to ignore their stares. Once they realize they’re not going to get any more out of you they also return to their work. You smile as you hear their voices once again fill the quiet room, letting out a soft sigh of relief.
It isn’t long before you find yourself in a kind of routine. You show up to the lab and take your place at the table set up for you. Once you hear your own stomach growl; you’ll look up to see how fast time has passed by and you’ll go down to the dining hall to get food for all three of you, because the gods know those two men would never stop working even if it was to feed themselves. The men will thank you for the food, claiming to not have noticed the time, even though you can always hear Jayce’s stomach growl almost at the same time yours does. After eating, you’ll finish out the rest of your day and then, as you’re packing up, you’ll start a short conversation with the men; filling them in on your progress or listening to their ideas on their latest invention or concept, before saying your goodbyes and going home.
One day you find yourself struggling to concentrate, your mind constantly drifting to other things; things like Viktor and how his hands move when he’s working on something. Or that soft “Eh” he makes every now and again as he thinks something over. You sigh, clearly you won’t be getting any actual work done today, so you decide to try something different. You take out your sketch book, pencils and whatever else you’ll need; after all, an archive wouldn’t be complete without renderings of the two mad scientists and their inventions, right? You quietly move your chair in a way that you’ll be able to observe both men, but you won’t be in their way. You prop both of your feet up on the corner of a table, trying to get comfortable, when you notice one of your shoes have come undone again. You shrug, deciding to ignore it; after all, you’re busy with more important things. You roll open the cloth you use to wrap all your drawing utensils in, laying it in your lap and you start to sketch both men with care, making sure to get all of the details just right. Now, by no means would you call yourself an artist, but you’ve never had anyone complain about your true to life sketches that you’ve done for the archives in the past. You bite your lip as you concentrate, the shading giving you some troubles since the lab has a strange kind of lighting. One small window is set high into the longest wall, casting long shadows on the floor; but the true lighting comes from Hex Crystals the men have either left lying around or purposely placed next to them for some illumination. They’ll use regular lights once the sun sets and the darkness becomes just a bit too much for the small spherical crystals. You sigh in frustration as you have to erase your efforts at shading once again, it keeps coming out looking cartoonish, as if the light is mocking you. You feel a hand on your shoulder suddenly, startling you back to reality and making you curse as you jump, almost throwing your sketchbook in the process. Viktor let’s out a soft chuckle from behind you.
“My apologies. I was not trying to frighten you.”
You can feel your heart pounding, slowly trying to climb back down your throat to its proper place.
“Well maybe then don’t sneak around. For a man with a cane, you walk way too fucking quietly.”
He laughs at that; a real, full breasted laugh and you can’t help but smile in return. Fuck, he’s so handsome, especially when he looks happy. And then his full gaze hits you, stealing your breath right from your lungs, and all you can do is stare. He gets a cocky grin before leaning in and speaking right into your ear.
“That soft gasp you make whenever you part your lips, it’s enough to get me hard.”
You feel your cheeks heat up at his words, a soft gasp escaping your lips as all ability to think abandons you. With a satisfied grin he walks back to his table as Jayce walks into the room; apparently, he’d left for a moment, long enough for Viktor to feel brazen enough to… flirt with you? You blink repeatedly, as if that might snap you out of this dream, but it isn’t a dream. You dump everything on your table and jump up, needing some air, a cold shower, anything.
“Who’s hungry? I’m going on a food run.”
You all but run for the door before they can even answer, and you’re almost free, when suddenly your shoe slips off your foot and sends you crashing to the floor in a jumble of limbs. Jayce is next to you in a flash, helping you up when you feel something wet soak into the front of your shirt. As you look down, all you see is blood, and you can feel it coming from your nose. By the concerned look Jayce gives you; you’re sure you’ve turned some shade of green or gone completely pale. You can see him speaking to you, but all you hear is ringing in your ears; a sign that your blood is quickly leaving the vicinity, leaving you light-headed. He quickly scoops you up and carries you to the infirmary, where you’re taken care of by a friendly looking nurse.
It doesn’t take too long for the bleeding to stop, and you’re relieved to find out your nose isn’t broken, you just burst a few capillaries when you landed face first on the floor. You slowly trudge back to the lab, and you’re painfully aware of your horrific appearance. Not only are you only wearing one shoe, your hair is a mess and your shirt makes it look like you lost a fight. Unfortunately, no one showed you your face, or you would have washed up first; your nose and chin is caked in dry blood and your eyes are slightly red and puffy from the pain of your nose to floor experience. You stop at the door to the lab, contemplating rather going straight home without your things, it’s not like they won’t still be there in the morning; but you have to at least try and finish your sketch. You know it’s going to haunt you all night if you don’t. So, begrudgingly, you push open the door. Both men turn expectantly, but their smiles quickly fade the moment they see you. You sigh and walk to your table, starting to pack up your things.
“Sorry, I know I probably look terrible. I just came for my stuff. Please ignore me.”
You feel someone hug you from behind and you quickly recognize Jayce’s burly arms wrapping around you.
“Y/N, are you alright?”
He lets go and turns you to face the both of them. Viktor looks almost guilty where he sits, his eyes meeting yours in a silent apology.
“Is there anything you need from us? Perhaps one of us could walk you home?”
You smile at the kind offer, but wave them off quickly.
“I’m fine. I’m sure it looks worse than it is. Luckily, I have a room here in the academy, so please don’t worry. I’ll see you both tomorrow.”
You give both of them a quick hug before slipping on your shoe, making sure it’s tied this time, and heading out of the lab. You can hear their concerned murmurs as you shut the door behind you, sighing as you walk back to your room in the academy. Every now and then you’ll pass a student who will stare at you in horror and you’re left wondering if you look worse than you thought. Finally you reach your door, pushing into your room with an exhausted sigh. You lock your door quickly and head for your bathroom, dropping your bag onto your bed ass you pass. As you finally see yourself in your mirror, a horrified shriek leaves you.
“What the fuck?!”
The Gioparafication of Jayce Talis
So this is going to be long but i’ve seen a lot of discourse about how Jayce Talis and Jayce Giopara aren’t remotely the same character and, the ret-con of his appearance aside, I’d like to address my theories to the contrary. Warning! this is going to get A Little Fucking Long. (And if you want to see my theory in action, read the superhero fic I write with @the-neon-pineapple, HAMMER TO FALL) (no but really)
This is, throughout, going to draw off a couple things that are from my personal theories as I build. Other people before me in the league community have posited that Jayce Giopara has ADHD, and I agree, I think the symptoms of that are clear with Talis too. My additional thing at play here is that I think Jayce very well could have suffered from brain damage in the explosion at his apartment. It took out about half the building and he was standing right next to it. Certain degrees of brain damage can cause issues that can exacerbate ADHD, so like. Brainfog, memory problems, impulsivity, headaches. Impulsivity is the big one. Brainfog can make decision paralysis worse! so all the stuff already noted as Jayce’s character flaws.
The main thing I think about with all of that is the fact that Jayce was seriously hurt and instead of getting medical attention he was interrogated and arrested, and shortly after that he loses everything and tries to jump off a building. It's an interesting additional element to add in to, at that moment when Jayce is already losing everything else, losing an additional bit of control over his own mind and body. Jayce feels like the kind of person to go "i'm not disabled, i'm fine!" since he (for the most part) still has his mind and his intelligence, it's just his ability to access that intelligence that's affected at times. He can still Pass and even though it's limiting he can just work harder and jump it.
You don’t have to think he has ADHD or Brain damage for those to factor in though- it is 100% canonical that Jayce Talis has PTSD. He had his first near-death experience as a child in an event that he’s fixated on his entire life since. That man is Not Okay well before he walks out onto a bridge and sees large-scale death and loses his lunch. Moving along, though.
Talis is characterized by this complete inability to do anything smart under pressure. He just fucks up repeatedly forever and I think that's a perfect representation of trying So Hard to just Be Fine when in fact he's acting while Limited. I think it's an excellent parallel to Viktor to have the visible/invisible disabilities divide where Viktor is very good at what he does in part because he knows his limitations, and Jayce is inhibited too but absolutely does not know where those limitations are.
The key to the pipeline between Talis and Giopara is the fact that Talis fucks up so bad. Because really, to end up as jaded and miserable as Giopara is, you need to have really believed at one point. It's like activist's fatigue. Talis cares too much for it to even be remotely sustainable. He's heading towards a burnout with the force of a goddamn comet, even before it's all ended Very Finally at the end of the series. A lot of people give him shit for the scene where he says he's got a lot on his plate to Viktor while Viktor is...actively dying, but he does. He's taken the whole weight of the world onto his shoulders and tasked himself with fixing literally every problem in Piltover, picked up records, tried to listen to absolutely everyone's input, which has obviously not worked in the slightest. but he can't see where he's going wrong. And because he can't see where he's going wrong, he's Doomed. So he's going to end up considering the entire venture hopeless because nothing he does makes any difference and sitting down and going "fuck it".
"Okay, we can't help Zaun, we need to give them independence" was already basically a manifestation of that. It was "this is beyond me" and now that solution has failed to pan out, and he's going to be forced into an action he doesn't believe in because you literally can't let an act of aggression like that go unanswered as a politician. So he will have absolutely no choice but to sit in this position he's stuck in and play his part and he hates it-- already hates it-- says as much to Mel, none of this is what he wants to do.
And that is how you make an idealistic sweet man into an asshole.