The pair meet at an earlier time, but the first true interaction farther than "hey that is human and i is also human hello human" is when the headmistress, Mrs. Stone, introduces them to each other. And their relationship kicks off from there.
Let me clarify: their non-romantic relationship kicks off from there.
In the beginning, they kinda hate each other. But Jace takes pride in Harper's accomplishments, encourages her, and the pair becomes friends. Family, even.
But they do not get romantically involved. I'm not saying there isn't a possibility for it to happen in future books, but this does not matter as I am currently talking about the first book.
There are many reasons I didn't write the typical girl-meets-boy relationship found in YA/NA novels.
We expect it. We expect the pretty, somewhat problematic main character to meet the stoic, handsome, somewhat mysterious other main character and fall in love.
I'm not saying it's bad or wrong, just... I'm getting a tad sick of it, so I wanted to separate my story. Besides, with these characters, the romance would seem forced, which leads me into the next reason:
[their non-emotional relationship
They're partners, and one of the first rules of spying/being a cop/having a work partner in any respect is DON'T GET ROMANTICALLY INVOLVED. It can be easy for this to happen, as people in high pressure, close-quarters, trust-each-other-with-everything situations often find that their partner is their best friend, and it is easy for relationships to grow from those types of relationships.
But with these two characters, their jobs are their lives, and they wouldn't even allow themselves to get close to each other. Hence...
They're teens, and yes, teens usually fall in "love" very easily, but these characters are not just teens. They're spies, and not only will their jobs hinder that, but their personalities take out the opportunity as well.
Harper's a hothead who (over)analyzes everything, doesn't trust people, is blunt and seemingly uncaring, and doesn't allow herself to get close to people because people leave and she has no power to stop it. If she has no power over it, she prefers to avoid it in order to save herself the scars.
Jace is silent, observant and logical, doesn't trust people easily but loves and cares for everyone even though he could never take care of everyone, and doesn't allow himself to get close to people because of his job. He could die or drop off the face of the earth any second, and he'd rather not put people through that. He has power over this, and decides to exercise it.
The fact that these two become as close as they are is a miracle, showing that they've made an exception to each other because they feel they can trust each other.
The whole story would have a different feel. If they were dating, the bonding scenes would be replaced with kiss scenes.
Harper's relationship with other characters would be different because she has the one that comes before anyone else (aka... ugh, I hate this word... b... bae... I'm disgusted with myself). Her relationship with Jace wouldn't be as familial, where he would point out her mistakes with a joking insult and she'd respond with a quip but take it with a grain of salt, it'd be romantic, with nose kisses and sweet complements. And that's not how they work.
Jace wouldn't be as honest. He'd keep trivial things from her, but share things that should have remained secret. He'd be too sweet, and in being sweet he'd be less caring as he wouldn't point out the things she needs to fix. Their quips and jokes would spark more fights, and tbh son doesn't need any more stress.
The whole dynamic with the team would be off, as well. They couldn't hang out as friends, because Jess, Quinn, and Kaity (and I guess Sasha too) would be third, fourth, and fifth wheeling BIG TIME. And that would create awkwardness and tension that isn't needed nuh-uh nope no way momma ain't havin' none of that negativity.
And the last reason is purely for the readers:
I want the shipping to be relatively open, where people can wish things to be canon but not know yet (there will be canon ships though, guys, and I'm really, REALLY excited for one of them because honestly they're dears and just pure). I find it fun to see what people sense between characters, or what they wish was there. I find fanart and fanfics to be fun to look at and read (provided they're relatively appropriate because man can fanfic get really dirty really quick––its kinda scary, guys) and even if I don't read them, others who do ship that ship can enjoy them and that's what I want. Shipping is such a fun aspect of a fandom and I want my fandom to be open to ships too.
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So yeah. These are simply my thoughts, my reasons, and you may not care but I like explaining things. I hope it can maybe help others who want to break the mold but don't know if they should or just inspire others.
I would ask who you guys ship, but a majority of you haven't read it, so you wouldn't have ANY CLUE who the characters are. If you do know them, from either reading or other things I've said on Instagram or whatever, go ahead and comment! I'd love to see what y'all gotta say.
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How do y'all feel about love-at-first-sight romances? What's your favorite/least favorite type of relationship between characters (romantic or otherwise)? Tell me in the comments, let's talk about this!