Portrait of a Character – Declan Charles (D. R.) Reed

Portrait of a Character – Declan Charles (D. R.) Reed

Origins

After watching the canon E2 episode for the first time, I began to think – hey, that’s unfair. Malcolm should have had someone. In a lot of ways, that’s why I write him the way I do, particularly with Lili and particularly with the failed connection in Reversal and then the achieved one in Together. And then when I wrote Temper, I hit upon the ending as it dovetailed with the plot. And that’s how Declan came to be. Even his first birthday is celebrated, in All You Need is Love.

Portrayal

For Declan, I wanted someone with

Portrait of a Character – Declan Charles (D. R.) Reed

the coloring of Lili and the rest would be more or less Malcolm. A British actor would be a bonus. Hence I decided on Paul Bettany.

I also think he’s done some interesting, smart work. It’s not just his face that I see in my Star Trek fanfiction.

Personality

Artistic and introverted, Declan is the shyest of the Beckett-Digiorno-Madden children. Even though Neil (and, eventually, Kevin) are younger, it’s Dec who’s the one left bringing up the rear. As a result, Marie Patrice in particular sometimes turns away and gives him a bit of a cold shoulder. This is taken to its extreme in Temper, where she essentially sees him as a weakling. In the Mirror Universe, of course, that means she treats him like something she’d wipe off her shoe. In Joss‘s case, that means he’s more protective of Declan.

In Fortune, some of Marie Patrice’s antagonism is still shown; it seems she had it all along but the Mirror really brought it out.

Relationships

Louise Schiller

In  Fortune, Q reveals that only two of the children ever marry. One is Joss; the other is Declan. But it ends badly with Pamela Hudson‘s niece (Louise is also Cyril Morgan‘s grand-niece), and there are reportedly a lot of court filings. I haven’t written beyond the barest of bones about the divorce, so it’ll be fodder for some future story.

Rebecca Shapiro

It isn’t until a lot later in life that Dec meets Rebecca. Or, rather, he meets her again, for, in The Rite, they have met. But in that story, Dec is a young man and Rebecca is still a child.

Portrait of a Character – Declan Charles (D. R.) Reed
Monet’s water lilies at Giverny

After Lili and Malcolm’s deaths, Declan goes to Europe to study the great artists. This includes going to Giverny to look at Monet’s water lilies. He also heads to England (he had attended school there, and so he has Malcolm’s Leicester accent) and Rome. In England, he meets up with Rebecca, and a romance develops.

After returning, she becomes a part of the family and even gets a tattoo identical to the ones sported by Marie Patrice, Jia Sulu Beckett, Ines Ramirez and Yinora. And then they marry, and have two sons, Peter and Stuart. Rebecca is the love that Declan has waited a lifetime for. In Completely Hers, he asks Tommy if he knows of a rabbi so that he (Declan) can convert to Judaism, as a prelude to marrying Rebecca.

Theme Music

During the events of Temper, Declan is so mistreated that his music is The Cure’s Why Can’t I Be You? The title, most likely, refers to Joss rather than Tommy, although both are stronger than he is. But it’s Joss who’s compassionate.

Mirror Universe

Portrait of a Character – Declan Charles (D. R.) Reed
Declan in the Mirror Universe

Declan doesn’t have a mirror counterpart. However, like the other living offspring (except for Neil), he ends up in the Mirror Universe anyway, during Temper.

And that’s a bad situation for him.

While Marie Patrice makes friends with Takara Masterson Sato, Joss shows promising talent in baseball and Tommy works hard to become a Mirror soldier, Declan flounders and is often left behind by the others. Joss takes it upon himself to be Dec’s protector.

Dec is more delicate than the others, and he’s more sensitive, too. He can’t seem to get any traction. It doesn’t help that Tommy and Marie Patrice more or less fully embrace Mirror life, and reject him. Furthermore, it doesn’t help that Lili doesn’t even know him. But then again, given the odd temporal displacements in that story, she hasn’t had the chance to. And because the others refer to him rather pejoratively as “DR“, she doesn’t even realize he’s hers.

Quote

“I just want to look at your smile close up.”

Upshot

I wanted an artistic character, and I wanted one for whom love wasn’t easy. After all, Lili and Malcolm and Doug (and even Jay and José) all wait a long time before taking the plunge but, once they do, it’s easy. For Declan, it’s not so simple.

I like this character. I’m sure I’ll write more about him.

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