brashblacknonbeliever brought up a real good point in her analysis and I just want to talk about that for a sec
cause lest I be accused of letting my xeno preferences color my judgment
can I just give a shoutout to Lt. James Vega?
I mean okay jesus, the flirting and the constant commenting on Shep’s body is really inappropriate as fuck and I wish there was a way to tell him to stop if your Shep isn’t cool with that
but serious, Vega didn’t even know Shepard and he was straight up getting into fights defending her from people talking shit (one of the comics, I forget which one). and even after he did meet her and the first thing he saw was basically frogmarching her it didn’t matter that she was incarcerated, she was Commander motherfucking Shepard and she deserved respect.
meanwhile Kaidan slept with this broad and went through hell and back with her and was still being irrationally shitty to her even after he got receipts
and James was defending her to him
again, he barely even really knew her personally
but he knew that shit wasn’t right
See, y’all finna make me rant on my baby Lt. James Vega.
Let me preface this with this is my headcanon intermixed with actual canon. Now that we have that out the way, let’s get this show on the road.
Your feels are my feels! and that headcanon is very similar to mine, which is why I personally wasn’t bothered by the flirting at all, it felt appropriate for the dynamic he had with Imani (and in terms of flirtatiousness she’s just as bad as he is tbh). it seemed very much to me that they’d struck up something of a friendship during her time in house arrest considering he was basically the person she had the most contact with (possibly the only person outside of Anderson or Hackett), and they had a camaraderie with each other that suggested as such.
(tbh my problem is more with Bioware/the writers not giving players who didn’t feel comfortable with it more options and having Shep’s auto dialogue respond with being okay with it even if the player isn’t. Cause that’s the kind of thing that everyone and their Sheps are going to have different opinions on and shouldn’t be forced or assumed, imo.)
But yeah, I adore James. I was talking with somebody a while back (spicy? idk) about how much he reminds me of a younger/more inexperienced Garrus, and it’s why I love their banter and growing friendship so much. They’re similarly hotheaded, have a similar deflection thing going on about opening up to people (Garrus falls back on snark tho) and possibly the same insecurities, except that by the time ME3 rolls around Garrus is pretty much entirely over his shit (in no small part thanks to Shepard), but James is still struggling and he probably sees a lot of his younger self in the kid. And Shep has that same mentor relationship with James, too.
In terms of sheer wasted LI potential, as far as I’m concerned James Vega is the Canderous Ordo of 2012. He should have been a LI for both genders, period.
I agree with you on the Vega/Garrus friendship. I knew immediately those two would hit it off. One of my favorite little dialogue bits in ME3 is watching Vega and Garrus try to one-up each other with the stories.
In my romanceable Vega headcanon, James offers exactly what Shepard needs at the time. The Reapers have come, whole worlds are burning, and now everyone believes her. The whole galaxy is counting on her to be their knight in shining armor.
James offers her a respite from all of that. He’s seen her at her lowest point, so he’s uniquely aware of just how human she is. While the flirting is used as a distraction technique for others, when he flirts with her it’s because he’s genuinely attracted to her and he wants to lighten her mood a bit. When she comes around for her talks with him, he still treats her with respect, but he doesn’t put her on a pedestal. He treats her like he would any of his friends and she loves that about him.
It’s so refreshing for someone to treat her like she’s just another person and not some mythical being or royalty. During the small amount of time they get to talk, he’s able to make her forget about the pressure and just enjoy herself. James is a reminder that she is human and she should take time out to enjoy the little things while she can.
I’m just so upset that BioWare missed this golden opportunity. I’m just dumbfounded that a character as useless as Diana Allers one, got into the game and two, was made romanceable when they had such an interesting, dynamic, and dead ass sexy character sitting in front of them begging to be a LI. What the hell were they thinking?????