Okay, so, this is wanky, but : patriarchy.
Under conditions of structural inequality shaped by a history of oppression both in the sense of generations of woe and in terms of personal history
heterosexual relationships involve dating the enemy.
And maybe this particular guy is perfectly nice so far, but he at least looks like the enemy
and then you have Barry and Harry, the alternate universe version of his enemy
or maybe he thinks he's doing everything to raise you up, but you learn what he did to the previous generation and know things are only screwed in the first place because of him, and what do you even do with that if he's doing good right now?
and there you have Barry and Eobard!Wells, until Eo screws it up again worse
or maybe you've met this guy before and you just know he's going to be a dick in the future, but he thinks you're being unfair, even though you've got a ton of evidence on your side
and there you have Barry and time travelling Eobard Thawne, who technically hasn't hurt him yet.
And sometimes you get a guy who is not only absolutely determined not to be evil but will stop his descendants being evil too
only on Flash Eddie does this by killing himself, which, how many layers of wrong is that, could he not just dedicate himself to raising the kind of people who would only make good guy Eo in the far future? Marrying Iris and having mixed race socially aware babies should have worked fine to get this entitled prick of a white boy out of the family tree, but no, we had to be depressing. and in the wider metaphor killing himself is right useless too, because one less good guy didn't exactly help next week. As evidenced by Eobard Thawne still existing. You need a better solution. Plus just using the word rehabilitation as an excise to lock people away and forget about them doesn't help at all, you need to start actually working on turning bad guys into good guys and having plots that allow it.
... which doesn't necessarily involve enemies to lovers, but, it has to be a better option than suicide, noble sacrifice or otherwise.
I mean in the real world it's super simple, lock Eobard!Wells away for murder (including that of the man he's wearing like a meat suit, he's creepy on so many levels), and if Barry was ever romantic with him all unawares it would be the most epically exploitative creepfest, and even if Eo serves his time and gets let out again, which would be a bit difficult given the scale, but even if, he should not go near the boy he was stalking ever ever again.
But it's a story so they can be a microcosm of issues to resolve instead.
And then maybe trying to resolve things with the historical enemy is more satisfying, because then you can get to the stronger together bit and have more allies instead of an endless depressing parade of enemies.
Even if said allies are pretty much enemy shaped with enemy habits and an ongoing chance of switching sides once more and doing enemy things.
See also Len.
But also everyone who could turn around and benefit from their position in the complex intersectionality of oppression, to the detriment of others, even including their loved ones.
If life is already heavily populated with varying degrees of enemy, it's satisfying sometimes to see a story work through all the issues and turn them into assets instead, is all.
Or possibly I just have a thing for power. *shrugs*
xposted from Dreamwidth here. comments. Reply there