Thinking aloud about Couch, today. (From the “Big City, Little Magics” stories, of course.)
About what an actual horror she is.
About how one of the first things we know about her is that she kills people. Like, a lot.
And yeah, turns out it’s never on purpose. Doesn’t make the people any less dead, though.
And it’s not like she wouldn’t kill on purpose. Just, so far, she hasn’t had to, because she ends up destroying them involuntarily.
Which is, you know, not better.
Also, she’s angry. Pretty much all the time.
Because she’s anxious. Pretty much all the time.
She’s grouchy and picky and not very nice.
She’s a neurodivergent dragon in a world that doesn’t much like anyone of either of those descriptions.
The band knows all this about her.
Yet they still include her as a friend.
Because mixed in with the wrath, the danger, and the nuisance of her, there is also this:
Her consistent gentleness with Harkness.
Her availability to drive Sleeves around the AU Bay Area, despite not particularly enjoying Sleeves or driving.
As brave (and reckless) as it was for Amygdala to try to make a friend of Couch, it was likewise brave (and imprudent) of Couch to let her, and to reach back in mutual goodwill.
She shows Manchester much-needed kindnesses.
She is generous with her time, her things, her space – incredibly so, when one factors in the stress such generosity causes her.
In light of the whole of her, the band continually treats Couch as a creature worthy of love, care, and understanding.
This means the world to me – on a deep-down level – because Couch is (100% deliberately) a fictional manifestation of very real aspects of myself.
And if there are other characters inside me who can care for Couch that way, then that means I’ve got what it takes to demonstrate self-love.
Because I’m worth it. Darkness, weirdness, and all.