Wow, I received such a great response to my question with varying opinions, I am so grateful to you guys. I thought I would share a little of my thought process leading up to that question and the resultant thinking since you have all answered.
My writing style tends towards whump ::several characters, including Virgil, jump up in the background with disgusted looks on their faces – No? Really we would never have guessed!:: and angst ::Virgil rolls his eyes:: though I do love to throw in some humour from time to time ::glares at an uncooperative Virgil who, in turn, pokes out his tongue:: and some action/adventure ::TB2 roars past in glee::
I have recently, let’s face it, dragged poor Virgil through the mud and was looking to give him the upper hand in something. The first thing that came to mind was a little punch up or action ficlet. One of the things I used to like to do to blow off steam myself was channel it into a random character and have them beat up some bad guy (don’t worry, I don’t tend to be a violent person, just experimental in my writing) and I thought I should give Virgil a go.
Of course, the guys I usually write (read Michael Knight, Jack O’Neill and Jim Kirk) all have a military background of some kind. Virgil does not. In fact, Virgil is a completely different kind of character. And building scenes in my head, none of them got the result I was looking for, aka Virgil angry enough to punch someone.
Character interactions are simply equations and none of them added up to the result I was looking for. It was in amongst this that I asked the posted question. These are some of the brief scenarios that went through my head.
Virgil + Scott walking down street. Scott gets mugged and injured. Result: Virgil attends to Scott to make sure he is okay, calls cops.
Virgil + Scott + Alan walking down street. Scott gets mugged and injured. Result: Virgil attends to Scott and holds back Alan.
Virgil + Scott + Alan walking down street. Alan gets mugged and injured. Result: Virgil attends to Alan, Scott chases down bad guy.
Okay, up the ante. Virgil + Grandma walking down street. Grandma gets mugged. Result: Virgil attends to Grandma, sends cops after bad guy, Scott possibly hunts bad guy down later and does him some serious damage with Gordon for backup. Virgil looks after Grandma. This is what would probably end up happening if I continued that 3.30am ficlet I posted – that will need to be changed to work.(Though I’m probably being a bit OOC with Scott here, amusing though it is 😀 )
Okay, isolate him. Virgil + Grandma, stranded on island with bad guys. Grandma injured by bad guys. Result: Virgil will protect and defend to his life’s end, but his priority is Grandma and getting off that island – at no time would he lose it enough to be randomly violent and risk exposing Grandma. Tactically violent would be a whole different kettle of fish, and I suspect he would do what was necessary to get himself and his grandmother off that island, but no emotionally driven punch ups.
So the question remains, what could possibly make him completely lose it, even if only for a second? I believe that we all have our buttons, some are just harder to reach than others. Virgil’s appears to be harder than most (for reasons I will discuss in a moment). Talking about it with my Hubby (and yes, I discuss fan fiction and characterisation and plot points with Hubby from time to time, he is the most patient man in the world after all 😀 ), the only situation I can possibly think of it working and Virgil losing it with another person, if only for a moment, would be if he came across the act of violence in progress. And there would be no extended punch up, there would be a sudden unleash of violence with a goal – the removal of the assailant.
In this I can actually speak from experience. I’m generally classified as a geeky nerd, arty, wimpy kind of person. But once as a teenager, I came across a teenage boy holding my little brother up against a door, choking him. Within moments, that boy was thrown across the room. No thought, no consideration for the fact he was stronger than me. Adrenalin made the decision in a split second and I moved (hardly remember doing it, though the fallout was much bigger).
In that kind of situation, I can see every quite large muscle in Virgil’s body being pushed into action immediately. But it wouldn’t last. Control would return almost immediately, defaulting to defense and assistance.
And why the control? Well, I’m thinking people are controlled because they are closer to the high end of the spectrum of care/sensitivity. They care too much, are too sensitive, and have learnt to control as a matter of mental health. I’m putting Virgil in this pot (where a lot of artists live). He’s learnt to control and his controls are iron clad, particularly considering his chosen profession – that would have just reinforced those controls even more.
So, in conclusion, I may have called John the Vulcan in one of my fics, but Virgil, despite his easy manner may exhibit more Vulcan control than any of them. There would be no emotionally driven punch ups.
And now I look back at my recently written fics and pick holes in my characterisations. Would he have really lost it and pushed his piano aside like that? Hmmm, he was under quite some pressure ::ponders::
Anyways, this is just random analysis (and yes, I’m well known for thinking too much). Feel free to tell me I have no idea what I’m talking about (but do it nicely 😀 ) or add to the discussion – Virgil is a very interesting topic 😀
Many, many thanks to all the wonderful peeps who commented on the original question post. you gave me lots to think about, particularly @sonatanotwo You guys are totally wonderful.
(hmm,quite large muscles… 😀 )