So, I've been mainlining Leverage lately. Because it is awesome. Really, it is, in so many ways - it's just really, really good.|
One of the reasons I like it is that it avoids lazy writing and cliché very carefully. The plots are brilliant and well-written, which is awesome, but I realised that one of the things I specifically appreciate it is all about the characters: it has something that few shows really focus on, particularly plot-driven ones.
Characters who love each other, but have zero romantic or sexual tension.
It's not that Leverage lacks these things; that tension between Sophie and Nate has been there since the first episode, and Parker, Eliot and Hardison form my second ever OT3 and my first non-canonical one. (The Doctor, Rose, and Jack? Canon. Totally canon.)
However, they all love each other.
One of my favourite moments in the series to date is a beautifully understated one late in the first season. For reasons I won't go into, Sophie is standing with a non-team-member dude, watching Parker interact with some other non-team-member folks. They are talking about Parker, and the brilliance of it is in Sophie's expression and voice. (Gina Bellman is a fantastic actress.) Her voice is in the character of her grift, her demeanour is professional... and yet, threading through her voice and radiant in her expression, she just looks utterly, utterly loving.
Sophie loves Parker utterly. She knows Parker's flaws and frailties, knows there are ways in which Parker can't be trusted not to go off the rails because Parker's, well, Parker. She also knows Parker is brilliant, the best at what she does, and respects that - but there is love. She cares.
Their relationship isn't sisterly, isn't maternal, it's just... love. Sophie loves Parker; Parker's not very good with human emotions, but in her Parker way, it is clear she loves Sophie back.
And yet, despite the fact that I really like f/f slash, I would not read Sophie/Parker, because it is just completely wrong, for me.
I find it kind of brilliant that those dynamics are there, threaded pretty much seamlessly throughout the show.