I wanted to participate in some sort of monthly link-up, and because I adore Paper Fury, Beautiful People seemed the logical choice (:
This month is about couples.
My husband laughs at me–one of those you-are-such-a-dork laughs–because I’m a raving shipper. I am a firm believer in the OTP (One True Pairing) and, when I have found it, will screech “I SHIP IT!” or “I SHIP ___ x ____!” each and every time it is thwarted….and sometimes even when it isn’t. Whispering works, too. Depends on the occasion, really.
“Come on, Carter, just tell him you like him!!!!” <—Just fyi, I felt massively ripped off by this, SG-1. WHAT. Happened. Just what. Gah.
SO, Whispers & Murmurs! ^_^
As I plug along with edits and complete overhauls I fall more and more in love with my characters, and GUYS, I am in some seriously deep shipping craze with my mc, Nikaiya, and her not-so-soon-to-be love interest, Alaknishen. They’re just so…devious. And cute. Mostly devious.
1.) How and why did they meet?
Well…if it had been up to Nikaiya, they wouldn’t have met at all. Alaknishen has three things not going for him: 1, he’s a guy; 2, he’s from Atim, a nation whose conniving and greed has led much of the world to distrust it; and 3, he’s quite chummy with Melik (sorry, spoiler alert so I can’t tell you why this is a problem ^_^’).
But alas, like most things, it was not up to Nikaiya and they met anyway. *laughs*
The simplest explanation: In want of a better relationship with Atim, Nikaiya’s parents, the Kiran and Arken of Erevfaüna,** decide to allow a small group to come to the island and build/use a research facility in exchange for technologies. As a prodigious vintsa (again, simple: think energy source) researcher and engineer, Alaknishen was chosen to be part of the project…and as the future ruler of Ere, Nikaiya had no choice but to graciously accept the entire decision.
Their first meeting occurs during a daisa (banquet) in honor of Atim.
**Did you know that you can create letters like ü just by hitting alt and a number sequence??! I did not. *_* I’m so happy right now because my writing life just got soooo much easier!
2) What were their first impressions of each other?
OK, well…let me de-rail for a sec to explain stuffs. SPHERES is an 8-book series in which each novel shares the perspective of a different main character. Book 1 features Nikaiya, 2 features Kara, 3 features Alaknishen, etc.
Alaknishen honestly wasn’t impressed. Ha! More like…he noticed her and thought it was incredible to actually meet the Karun of Erevfaüna, but he was more excited about all the discoveries he could be making. He was also nervous and confused about something…hmmm. Wonder what?
Nikaiya was admittedly a little impressed, and annoyed at herself for feeling that way. She’s generally regarded males as lacking in intelligence and humility, and isn’t keen on the idea of marrying an idiot…but Ere will eventually need an heir, so she can’t run forever. Alaknishen is literally a genius, which is promising, and he’s surprisingly warm–which, because Nikaiya is suspicious of people’s motivations, is doubly unnerving. He’s also tall. As Nikaiya is 6’2, height is important to her.
3) How would they prove their love for each other?
Unlike Nikaiya, Alaknishen was never doggedly against marriage/partnership. He didn’t expect it, but he wouldn’t have objected if it happened to come his way. Shortly after meeting her he realizes she’s invaded his thoughts and he begins to operate independently from his superior–an act which could result in him losing his status, his access, his career…possibly even his family. This break from his beloved country, and the risk he takes regarding his family, is what finally gets his feelings through to Nikaiya.
In short, Nikaiya forgives him. It takes her a long time to have the same feelings toward Alaknishen as he has toward her.
4) What would be an ideal date?
The non-spoilery version**: A mystery-style scavenger hunt through a coastal city that eventually leads them to a boat filled with a simple meal and a constellation map–because stargazing!
**Whoa, I am allll about the spoilers today!! Sorry guys. I hope it’s worth the wait!
5) Is there something they emphatically disagree on?
Haaaah. Oh yes. Many, many things! First that comes to mind (on the brain from having come back to it a few days ago): respecting people’s beliefs. Alaknishen is utterly tactless in this area and rather narrow-minded, whereas Nikaiya is open and feels very strongly that people shouldn’t be ridiculed for the way they perceive things, even if she doesn’t understand or agree with such perceptions.
6) List 5 “food quirks” they know about each other. (Ex: how they take their coffee, if they’re allergic to something, etc. …and feel free to mention other non-food quirks!)
1 Nikaiya is a vegetarian despite the fact that everyone else in her household eats meat 2 Alaknishen is creeped out by wide, open spaces. It’s awkward 3 Both refuse to eat fried foods; disgusting! 4 Alaknishen lowers his goggles when he’s concentrating intensely on a project 5 Nikaiya prefers to interact with animals over people
7) What’s one thing they know about each other that no one else does?
Nikaiya is the only one that knows Alaknishen’s yearning for the sea. Alaknishen’s the only one that knows she isn’t ready to commit to believing as her family/nation do.
8) What’s one thing that they keep a secret from each other?
That is a pretty big list. *sigh* The big one: Nikaiya doesn’t tell him she’s a Seabreather. It eventually comes out–painfully–but not for a long time. Alaknishen never tells her the primary reason for his coming to Ere.
9) How would their lives be different without each other?
Nikaiya would probably have never overcome her prejudice toward Atim/men. She also might believe she has to continue pretending to be something she isn’t for the sake of those around her. She would have never had the confidence to rule Ere. Alaknishen would have never learned the truth about his mother, about himself, and about Atim/his superior. His friendship with Melik wouldn’t have been as deep, and the new friendships he made on his journey with her would have never been forged.
10) Where do they see this relationship going?
In the beginning, they see one another as a means to an end, and are totally cutthroat about using the other as a stepping stone. They both lie to one another, manipulate the circumstances, and basically waste a lot of time circling in an attempt to figure each other out when they could have been helping instead. Midway they see things as more of a partnership, and, for Alaknishen, there’s romantic interest, though he isn’t sure how to win her over…or even if he wants to yet. Stuff then happens and they face many obstacles…during which point Nikaiya finally admits that she likes him enough to forgive him and they go back to being on terms just below speaking.
They don’t actually get together…at least not in Book 1. 😀
BUT I SHIP IT.
Looking forward to next month’s meme!!