original here. dated 2013-01-28.
[A/N: Continuation of yesterday’s post– Idea for a Believable “Rise of the Brave Tangled Dragons” Crossover (Part Three). Which is combining the protagonists of Rise of the Guardians (Jack Frost), Brave (Merida Dunbroch), Tangled (Rapunzel… does she have a last name?), and How To Train Your Dragon (Hiccup Horrendous Haddock… the third?)
The Romantic Relationships part at the bottom I edited in later and which I was kind of… reluctant about. Also–obviously this was before How to Train Your Dragon Two so I hadn’t fully embraced the HiccupxAstrid ship. I totally do now. I mean, a part of me also still ships HiccupxMerida, but ships are completely peripheral to this whole endeavor anyway.
Also, lostiel was a major inspiration for me to get into this crossover fandom… which considering how many of their posts I link and have reblogged is not surprising.]
[[since the characterizations were longer than I expected, I’ve split Part Three into two posts. So this one is character interactions feels/peeves]]
Part Three and a Half: Character Interactions (I mean it this time)
Last post, we were only to get through the first four of a list of 16 things we need to consider. Hopefully, each of these parts won’t take as long since these are all hypothetical character interactions. Here’s the remaining items on the list:
5) Merida and Hiccup’s relationship
6) Merida and Jack’s relationship
7) Merida and Rapunzel’s relationship
8) Hiccup and Jack’s relationship
9) Hiccup and Rapunzel’s relationship
10) Jack and Rapunzel’s relationship
11) Merida, Hiccup, and Jack’s relationship
12) Merida, Hiccup, and Rapunzel’s relationship
13) Merida, Jack, and Rapunzel’s relationship
14) Hiccup, Jack, and Rapunzel’s relationship
15) The Four’s interactions alone
16) The Four’s interactions around others
We’ll make Toothles and Pascal extensions of their humans and address them when relevant. Something else to consider: we have only seen Hiccup interact with people his own age (and while they do respect/listen to him in times of crises, they generally still look down on him). Jack and Rapunzel’s reasons are obvious, but Brave shows us that Merida’s hobbies are all solitary ones. Why is this? Maybe there simply aren’t any kids her own age (excepting her suitors who are from regions far away) or maybe because she’s a princess the commoners don’t interact with her or something else entirely (it’s my personal theory that she’s actually introverted). Additionally: how do each of The Four’s varying family circumstances affect their interactions? For example Merida’s mother troubles versus Rapunzel’s.
5) Merida and Hiccup’s relationship
As stated in Part Two, a lot of Merida and Hiccup’s relationship will be influenced on what we do with the Viking raids. Regardless what we choose, there will always be some degree of mistrust on Merida’s side if not also on Hiccup’s. Eventually, though, his helpfulness and dependability–especially I’ve decided to have her be fostered in Berk for a season–in opposition to the other dragon riders will make her friendlier.
Truthfully, I think she’ll get along with Toothless before accepting Hiccup’s kindness at face value; she’s better with animals than with people, and would probably enjoy catching him fish, whereas Toothless is probably extremely curious of her and follows her when she’s wandering and whenever Hiccup is unavailable. As for Hiccup, he’s used to dealing with and overcoming animosity from others (though Merida’s is reasonable) and he’d understand best what it’s like to be alone and dismissed by the Berk villagers.
Also, I think they’d bond well over archery and the mechanics of it, because Night Furies are all about speed and precision which isn’t exactly the Viking way, and if Merida has been practicing her archery for want of other activities, she’d go through her arrows pretty quickly and go to the armoury/blacksmith to see if they have more (which they don’t). But Hiccup would make some for her (somewhat secretly, he doesn’t want to show her until they’re perfected, but perhaps during the crisis she’s run out of arrows and he’s like no, wait, go to the blacksmith, and there’s like a hundred practice/test arrows or something).
Together, though, I think they are very goal oriented or, rather, problem solving–when faced with a crisis they’d probably sync up perfectly in order to save the day, though outside of a crises they’re on less steady terms. Especially because they don’t really understand each other and the vastly different confidence levels.
6) Merida and Jack’s relationship
I’ve seen a lot of posts that assume Jack and Merida would just be constantly yelling/needling each other. I actually think they’d get along pretty well, though, since Merida does have three trickster brothers and she’s also all about pushing the limits of what she’s allowed to do. Jack probably appreciates that, and her ambition for autonomy, though he might annoy her occasionally because he doesn’t like being alone and we’ve seen that Merida’s hobbies are rather solitary. They may eventually figure out a rhythm for this and figure out how to make her activities not solitary, maybe create a friendly competition (and of The Four of them it seems more likely for Merida and Jack to compete than with, say Hiccup or Rapunzel) with races or archery vs ice bolt accuracy sort of thing.
Further, after a few initial find-and-therefore-avoid-sore-points, they may fall into a gentle needling of each other more focused on lighter things such as hair (Merida’s hair is hilarious, okay, but she could easily respond that he looks like a wee old man with his). Since I am having Merida be afraid of flying (but not of heights–she’s cool with that, but she likes having her feet on the ground) this may be a point of actual contention between them and the whole… family issue. So when they do get into fights (which I personally think would not be often enough to define their interactions) they’d be very good at picking at each other’s sore points–his lack of family, her obligations trapping her, etc.
7) Merida and Rapunzel’s relationship
The foundation for Merida and Rapunzel’s interaction would be their differences more than their similarities simply because they have so many. It’s not necessarily a matter of Merida becoming more feminine and Rapunzel becoming more physical, but there’s an underlying drive to learn. Rapunzel would be curious about basically everything and I think Merida would enjoy teaching someone who is interested. As for Merida, she does crazy shit (like climbing Crown’s Tooth and high speed archery) for the sake of pushing her limits; I’m sure she’d want to excel at different tasks as long as she’s not being pressured into it. I can easily imagine Rapunzel encouraging Merida who is a terrible baker, but will not back down from this challenge she’s given herself. Their relationships with their mothers will be a key point between them, though I’m not entirely sure how it would play out.
Since this crossover is after Brave and, at the very least, after Mother Gothel has outrightly made Rapunzel aware of how much a prison the tower is (and possibly tried to kill Rapunzel’s first humanoid friend), while they do both have very controlling mothers they are at different points in resolving that. Further, I think I’d want them to play chess. How Merida acts with Pascal is somewhat influential (though not to the same extent as with Toothless) to her relationship with Rapunzel, but it’s somewhat difficult to extrapolate. At first I think Merida would be freaked out/constantly shocked whenever he shows up (especially since he’s very small and a chameleon) which would lead to some annoyance on both sides, but eventually may evolve into grudging acceptance and respect due to their mutual care for Rapunzel and surprisingly helpful skills.
8) Hiccup and Jack’s relationship
Hiccup and Jack’s relationship would be fun–both in universe and to write since we’re mixing Jack’s mischief with Hiccup’s sarcasm. Further, Jack would pull more pranks on Hiccup than the other two not because they’re girls, but because Hiccup has a self-deprecating humour which works best with pranks (Merida would get angry when pushed too far, which is why Jack wouldn’t go too far with her since the whole point is to make people happy; Rapunzel is still naive and may not fully understand the difference between friendly pranks and bullying and Jack would simply be gentler around her due to her own gentle nature).
Similar to the girls, though, I think Hiccup and Jack have a lot to learn from each other–their main difference being Jack’s confidence and Hiccup’s experience with socializing; Jack tries to figure out why Hiccup is down on himself all the time and helps him boost his self-confidence (decreasing, though not entirely stopping the pranks as to not get him suspicious) while Hiccup functions as not quite a moral compass, but a check whenever Jack is unsure how he should react to some social circumstance.
I think Jack and Toothless are similar enough that they’d maintain this really odd mixture of affinity and constant one-upmanship, they don’t really need to go easy on each other as much as they do with the more fragile humans (and chameleon).
9) Hiccup and Rapunzel’s relationship
Rapunzel would bring out Hiccup’s more Ravenclaw-ish tendencies in something that would create really cool or crazy things like most combinations of art and science do. They would click so easily because they both know what it’s like to obsess over a project (she charted the stars for years just to fact check the floating lamps and then there’s the montage of dragon training) though there may often be misunderstandings considering her naivety, his cynicism, and the fact that he is least magical of all of them and she’d be the one more willing/able to explain but kind of fail because how does one explain magic? And even then, their easy rapport may cause issues such as them being too caught up in a project that they lose track of something important.
Also, sadly, they both have self-esteem issues which, happily, they may be able to help each other with better than advice coming from either of the two more confident members of the group. Toothless and Rapunzel would like each other in the same way that Max and Rapunzel liked each other in Tangled–immediately, obvious, and lightly–though that does mean their interactions are rather more boring than others.
I see Hiccup and Pascal’s relationship going in different directions, though this is set on the condition that they interact (considering how possessive Toothless is of Hiccup, it’s very likely he’d jealously block the smaller reptile). Hiccup and Pascal are both intelligent skeptics which is why they would at first be confused at each other (that skinny guy trained dragons? this wingless dragon can change colours?) but eventually they’d drift into a mutual appreciation.
10) Jack and Rapunzel’s relationship
Jack and Rapunzel’s relationship is probably the least substantive since, as I’ve set up this crossover, we’re only using a minimum amount of Jack’s movie as well as altering Rapunzel’s significantly. However, it has to be the most developed for this same reason: the reason why Jack goes to Corona so soon after his revival is because he wants to meet the girl born from the sun, while Rapunzel’s movie is shifted because he’s the one that helps her out of the tower and the kingdom.
The strength of their bond is mostly due to their extreme loneliness, they are each other’s first friend (which cements in a sibling-like bond when Rapunzel chooses Jack over Mother Gothel and over the mystery of her birth parents) and they are desperate to stay together and protect each other. Beyond that, Jack and Rapunzel are almost opposite of each other–she’s naive, he’s sly, she worries, he rebels, she wants to see the world, he wants someone to see him, and then there’s the more literal opposites of moon boy vs sun girl. It should work out for the best, though.
Say they get to Iceland via road trip and end up spending weeks in constant proximity with each other–they’re different enough that they’ll have most of the necessary skills covered between the two of them, they won’t get bored of each other, and even if they do get angry at each other they’ll make up easily and quickly. Not only will the underlying loneliness encourage reconciliation, it’ll be easier for them because they will understand that the other is extremely different and thus they’re more likely to consider the other person’s opinion as valid.
The relationship between Jack and Pascal is similarly more developed than Pascal’s relationships with the other two–they are both Rapunzel’s guides and guardians in this new outside world, though Jack and Pascal disagree, occasionally, on what is best for her because they do have different personalities and priorities (obviously Pascal is more trusting of Jack than of Eugene).
11-14) When it comes to three person interaction, there is a tendency to write two people interacting while one just observes or rather disjointed A and B then B and C then A and C. Though these really do depend immensely on what is happening with the plot because that tells you who has the power, who’s in (dis)agreement, who acts as mediator and other cues. Further, the reason why the fourth person isn’t there may influence the dynamic–for example, is the fourth person mad at one of them and are the other two trying to convince the third to apologise? We’ll look at situation normal (assuming there’s no danger and there are no ongoing arguments/grudges happening) vs crises in general and where the crisis is/includes the missing fourth.
11) Merida, Hiccup (and Toothless), and Jack
In situation normal, Jack (and Toothless) minimize the awkward tension between Merida and Hiccup, mostly by keeping the interaction fun and light and their focus away from each other, either by keeping the attention on Jack or at most light pranks and mild snarking with either of them–completely safe territory.
Jack will occasionally challenge Hiccup (and therefore Toothless) to a flying competition, which would make Merida feel slightly left out, though they may take the opportunity to keep curing/figuring out her fear of flying/motion sickness (though I think she will keep this dislike, simply because some things can’t/shouldn’t be solved through persistence). Though in times of crisis Merida will suck it up and hitch a ride with either, she will be (at least temporarily) less efficient.
During general crises, because Hiccup has the most experience/skill in leadership, he will be the one in charge even though I’m pretty sure he’s the youngest. As previously concluded, Merida and Hiccup are more compatible in times of crisis than situation normal, to the point where she’ll immediately act on his plan before he has to fully articulate it.
Merida functions as Hiccup’s second in command (in a similar, if more in sync, role as Astrid in How to Train Your Dragon) mostly because she doesn’t have the experience in leading. Further, he’s better at making more cohesive plans while she’s better at improvising or quick instinctual actions–which while good for a solitary hero, doesn’t work so well with others unless they have perfect communication skills. So while Merida will understand and follow Hiccup’s plan, in the middle of action she will abandon it if necessary most often to the plan’s benefit.
If Rapunzel is not in immediate trouble (for example she’s being used primarily as a healer during the crisis), Jack will follow Hiccup’s orders unless there’s an extreme reason such as he’s noticed something the other two haven’t. If Rapunzel is in trouble (because in this crossover Jack values his relationship with her more than the others) it’s more a matter of Hiccup racing to make a rescue plan before Jack takes off.
Merida would go with Jack if it’s just Rapunzel in trouble, where Jack will then defer to her for the most part, but if there’s a reason why Rapunzel’s rescue is a lower priority (perhaps she’s been kidnapped but not harmed, while there are others in danger elsewhere) Merida will stick with Hiccup until the higher priority is solved before they both go after Jack and Rapunzel.
12) Merida, Hiccup (and Toothless), and Rapunzel (and Pascal)
In situation normal, Rapunzel’s curiosity is actually more likely to make Merida and Hiccup confront the awkward tension (despite Pascal and Toothless’ nonverbal warnings to steer clear of possibly triggering questions)–which leads to extremely passive-aggressive, somewhat racist arguing in the short term but, if they manage to hash out all of their issues, will be good in the long run.
The problem is, though, that it takes them several sessions to get to the end of the argument because either something will interrupt them (considering the amount of issues they would have to go over, that is likely) such as Rapunzel trying to change the topic, or they’ll reach a critical point of anger where they can’t really articulate what they want to say and just implode into huffy silence, or either of them will bow out to avoid the conflict and possibly cool off.
As Rapunzel learns to avoid triggering such arguments, though, the three of them would probably engage in productive activities (because Jack’s not there to distract them away from such sensible pursuits) such as making armor.
In times of crisis, Rapunzel and Hiccup will generally both be riding Toothless as they would create a fairly balanced offensive-rescue force (with Rapunzel’s hair for mid-range grabbing, hitting, and healing while Toothless provides long-range plasma bursts, short-range grabbing, and the ability to transport more weight quickly). This configuration is also best because Hiccup can easily communicate (changes in) the plan with Rapunzel literally right behind him. If necessary, Merida (and Pascal) can do more stealthy manoeuvres of the plan especially as the other two (three plus Toothless) would provide a distraction since neither a dragon nor glowing semi-prehensile hair is subtle.
If Jack’s absence is part of the crisis, Rapunzel’s priorities will be different from Hiccup and Merida’s, though not as obvious as with Jack’s. She will wait for Hiccup’s rescue plan, and if Jack is unharmed she will help with the more dangerous crisis, but if Jack is being hurt she will insist he is rescued at the same time if not before the other people (she does not necessarily have to be the one to save him, she would be willing to have Merida go rescue Jack while she stays with Hiccup and Toothless to save the masses). Further, once reunited, she will heal Jack before continuing with the plan.
13) Merida, Jack, and Rapunzel (and Pascal)
In situation normal, this is the best and easiest trio interaction. Possibly because in this iteration of a crossover, Merida saves Rapunzel from the hypothermia (thereby earning Jack’s eternal gratitude, which is probably not an exaggeration) and by the time it is the three of them, Rapunzel and Jack have bonded to such an extent that they’ve already gotten most of their disagreements out of the way. Further, Rapunzel’s presence ensures Jack makes his teasing and pranks kinder which means they’re less likely to hit one of Merida’s sore spots (and send her into a rage like many of the gifsets on tumblr suggest).
For the most part, Jack and Rapunzel try to draw Merida out of her solitary habits (possibly not understanding why someone would choose to be alone when they didn’t have to) and Jack’s similarly bad attempts at the more feminine activities which Rapunzel has been teaching them would make Merida feel less frustrated about them (both the activities she doesn’t excel at and the fact that the two of them may have interrupted her preferred alone time).
During crises, Merida will take charge somewhat by default, though during the planning phase Jack and Rapunzel are more likely to contribute. For the most part, though, their plans usually shake out to Merida giving the two of them a general shared goal (with the implicit, unnecessary order that they work together and look out for each other) while she covers the rest of what they don’t. Also, it’s this configuration that makes her weapon choice somewhat important–if she’s the one directly battling antagonists, she’ll likely be using a sword versus if she’s doing the sneaking around or support actions, she’ll be using her bow (and Pascal).
For clarification, general crises could happen as such: Merida tells Jack and Rapunzel to handle minions while she goes after the big bad with her sword; or, she has them distract (but not necessarily fight) the antagonists while she and Pascal do some sneaking.
The matter of Hiccup’s absence being the crisis makes is complicated by Toothless–is he also a prisoner alongside his rider, or is he part of the rescue party? Or is Toothless missing the reason why Hiccup is gone? In the very unlikely scenario where Toothless is with the trio, he’d act a lot like how Jack does with Rapunzel missing, and go off on his own to rescue Hiccup if he can.
However, there’s probably a reason why Toothless and Hiccup were separated so he would herd the trio into saving him first; because they can’t exactly reason with him, they will launch a rescue plan with at least one of them (probably Merida) if not all of them, depending on if there is further crisis elsewhere.
This situation is the least ideal because it would probably involve the girls riding Toothless while Jack provides cover (and we know how Merida is about that), unless there is further crisis elsewhere which makes it even less ideal because Rapunzel would be riding with Toothless (and Pascal) to rescue Hiccup (because there’s a chance he’d need healing) while Jack and Merida deal with the other issue (and Jack would be distracted by his concern for Rapunzel and thus less efficient).
If Hiccup and Toothless are missing together, then it would be like the previously stated general crisis situations where either Jack and Rapunzel distract the bad guy while Merida (and Pascal) sneak to free Hiccup and Toothless, or Merida stalls until Jack or Rapunzel find Hiccup and Toothless.
14) Hiccup (and Toothless), Jack, and Rapunzel (and Pascal)
In situation normal, Jack’s desire for attention will dominate this trio’s interaction. It will, at the same time, make things more difficult to write because of the conflicting methods he uses to get attention. He ramps up his pranking with Hiccup but tamps it down around Rapunzel–this could be solved by having him compete with Toothless, though it would have to incorporate the other two as well since that would just make it Jack and Toothless interaction plus Hiccup and Rapunzel interaction. Perhaps an epic game of tag? Or some kind of Pass the Rapunzel from one flier to another? Or, if Hiccup and Rapunzel are working on a large-scale project, they’ll enlist Jack to help them…
There’s not much overlap in the three different two-person interactions so it’s difficult trying to turn dialogues into a trialogue, because Jack and Rapunzel are bonded through loneliness and magic (which Hiccup is not involved in), Rapunzel and Hiccup are essentially nerds together (which would probably not interest Jack), and Hiccup and Jack snark at each other (which Rapunzel wouldn’t understand or enjoy too much).
In a crisis, though, it would be pretty clear–Rapunzel and Hiccup on Toothless as main offence-rescue force with Jack fulfilling secondary roles like providing cover, distraction, or sneaking. (It would take a while for Jack to get used to this configuration, mostly because he would prefer to be paired with Rapunzel, but he knows she’s probably safest with Hiccup and Toothless). This means that if Merida missing is part of the crisis, but not the major part, Jack (and Pascal) will be the ones to find, free, and bring her to Rapunzel for healing if necessary.
15) The Four’s interactions alone
Merida and Hiccup (and Toothless) actually get along best when all of The Four are together, mostly because with Jack and Rapunzel instinctively forming into a magical, fun-loving pair of unrestrained semi-orphan sort-of-siblings the other two are more likely to realize and bond over their own similarities.
Beyond that, though, it does depend in more detail on what is happening and how far along in the crossover (and thus bonding) we are. During crises, though, the standard formation would still be Hiccup and Rapunzel on Toothless with Merida taking a secondary/subtler role and Jack helping whoever needs it more.
16) The Four’s interactions around others
We’re excluding crises, since those imply other people anyway, but depending on where they are (and further, if they are around someone’s family) that affects much. If in Berk, Hiccup will be conflicted between the other Berk dragon riders and Merida, Jack, and Rapunzel–so early in the crossover, he will be leaning toward the other dragon riders by default but as they maintain their distance from the outsiders he’ll be more inclined to be part of The Four. In Berk, The Four are unsurprisingly most comfortable around Gobber–while Merida actually likes Stoic (he reminds her of her own father, and I think he’d be diplomatic yet awkward to her) since he is, understandably, suspicious but helpful to the other two The Four are very careful what they do/say around him.
In Scotland, Merida’s family is rather welcoming to The Four and they get along well for the most part–I have a feeling that Hiccup will still bear the brunt of some culturally induced antipathy. When it’s just the family and The Four, all is well: Jack and the triplets get along astonishingly well which entertains Merida’s father. Rapunzel and Merida’s mother also get along partially because Rapunzel’s presence calms the triplets. While Hiccup does at first get the cold shoulder, they do see his good qualities and the triplets agree with Jack on how good of a target he is. Merida is pleased with all of this.
However, when the other clans come to castle DunBroch–thus reminding Merida of her duties as princess–she uses The Four as an escape, and they side with her as she continues to carve out a more fitting place for herself. Jack and Rapunzel understand the idea that she wants more freedom, but Hiccup gets that it’s more about being accepted for her true self–Merida as a warrior princess makes sense to all of them, but while Brave concluded with her being allowed to choose her husband (out of three suitors) it seems like her path is still stuck as a more traditional lady.
I’m unsure what other “others” we should consider… but for we’ll consider how The Four may interact when around strangers. Strangers are probably more interested in where this odd group came from and what their intentions are. Merida and Hiccup will probably try to hide their statuses as well as they can, unless it is strategically advantageous, while Jack and Rapunzel hide her origin as best as possible (her being paranoid at people wanting her hair). They’d have to scramble for an excuse, and it’s mostly whoever is the fastest and loudest with their newest excuse that determines what they pass as, ranging from merchants with no wares to circus performers perhaps. For strangers who specifically are not okay with magic and/or cannot see Jack they’ll have to be especially careful, Rapunzel especially, though Jack’s invisibility/intangibility may prove useful in such situations.
Romantic Relationships between or including The Four (even though I don’t actually want any):
Canonically, Rapunzel has Eugene, Hiccup has Astrid (though in the books there’s Camicazi), while Merida is (subtly) leaning towards Young MacGuffin. Following that, here are some matters that should be considered in a four way crossover.
I] Astrid will be the main reason why Berk is against Merida, possibly because of jealousy, but mostly because she is actually really suspicious in general and very hostile when suspicious.
II] Rapunzel and Eugene’s romance, if it ever did happen, would be extremely different than movie canon. this may depend on whether or not he got away with stealing the crown. if his timeline were pushed back far enough that Jack and Rapunzel have already vacated the tower when he goes to hide in it, it’s possible that he could have gotten away with stealing the crown, but what will he do with it afterwards? I think it would be cool if he also travelled around, trying to find a buyer or other jobs (because he lost the crown?), and occasionally ran into Rapunzel and Jack (who does not like him at all). This could be part of Rapunzel’s main storyline, where he helps her figure out her past/identity.
III] Merida and Young MacGuffin’s romance probably wouldn’t be significant overall, though that could make the Scotland-set part of the story pretty interesting. Also, I think Young MacGuffin (of the three suitors) would get along best with The Four so they’d be supportive/understanding of the romance if somewhat concerned that the relationship would detract from The Four’s.
IV] The tense and rocky beginnings between Hiccup and Merida would be the most likely (and preferable) romance and could contribute to the plot. There’s the whole enemy nations but also (from here) “she’s everything he wants to be and he’s everything she wished she could be.” In theory, this could be the accidental but fortunate conclusion of the peace treaty.
V] I personally don’t want Rapunzel and Jack due to their co-dependent sibling-like relationship (it’s probably hypocritical, but I always feel like co-dependent platonic is okay while co-dependent romantic is not). But in another crossover I feel like it could work but it would be very… “A Whole New World”.
VI] Jack with either Hiccup or Merida could also be interesting. But then, I don’t know how that would work with the whole firstborn political obligations and the zombie-ghost issues. Also, I usually prefer when romance adds to the plot as opposed to the romance being influenced by what is happening–otherwise it just becomes weird, somewhat unnecessary, baggage. And then that means you have to figure out the impact of Hiccup’s sexuality
VII] It’s somewhat difficult for me to imagine Rapunzel in a romantic relationship with either Hiccup or Merida. Or at least a deep enough romance to bother with the details necessary to transform it from friendship. With Hiccup, it’d be cute and sweet; fluffy but with not enough foundation to do much. With Merida there would be that interesting Merida-is-supposed-to-get-married much less the matter of sexuality, I think it could be very interesting, but I don’t know what direction it would go in nor can I see it helping the plot much–as in, it would significantly alter the plot, but I don’t how?
[[Yeah, you can tell how not keen I am on romance subplots.]]