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A Shared Suffering
"You're an echo, that's all. A Time Lord is so much more. A sum of knowledge, a code, a shared history, a shared suffering."
It's hard being the only one of your kind
. Therefore, if a character finds that There Is Another
, they tend to cling to the few members of their species/group/type left. They can be surrounded by friends, but that can't compare to having someone who can really understand what they're going through. Most of the time this other person is someone they don't even like - occasionally even an enemy - but their shared history, or shared condition gives them a connection. A bond - maybe not friendship, but at least a sort of grudging respect.
Anime and Manga
- Ai Haibara in Detective Conan admits early on that the reason she can handle being stuck the size of a six-year old is because she has Conan around to share the same situation.
- Naruto and Gaara are ( or in Gaara's case was) Jinchuuriki, living containers of powerful demons. They grew up isolated and lonely because most people were afraid of them.
- The same goes for Naruto and Killer Bee, the latter of whom is now helping the former learn to control the Nine-tails.
- In Dragon Ball Z, Vegeta and Goku are the last of the Sayians, so Goku asks Krillin to spare Vegeta's life. If Goku could change, so could Veggie, right?
- In Natsume Yuujinchou, Natsume finally meets someone else who can see youkai as well... but turns out he's an exorcist, who does not hesitate to kill youkai. Still, they become friends.
- In Bokurano, Kanji and Ushiro met while visiting their respective mothers' graves. Although Ushiro's mother is actually not dead.
- In the Kung Fu Panda story The Eyes of the Wolverine after Jo confided in his soon-to-be love interest, Jada that he was put in foster care because his parents were abusive drug dealers, she confesses that her mother walked out on the family after seeing another man. She had previously told Jo that her mother was simply traveling.
- Arthur and Trillian in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy are the only two humans left - for a while at least.
- It's understated, but this forms part of Harry's bond with Ginny in the Harry Potter series — she is the only other person (he knows) who understands how it feels to have been possessed by Voldemort.
- In Thief of Time, Susan Sto Heilt (Death's granddaughter) is indirectly goaded into action when Death tells her there is another like her (half-human and half-not).
- A blood variant in Warrior Cats. Brambleclaw is the son of Tigerstar, who terrorized the Clans when he was alive. Because of this, the other cats hate and distrust Brambleclaw; he grows up feeling lonely and uncomfortable around them. (Brambleclaw had a sister, but she left the Clan to get away from this treatment.) When he finds out that Tigerstar had another son- Hawkfrost- he's overjoyed, and the two strike up a fast friendship because of this trope. However, while they share the same memories of prejudice, they deal with it in different ways: Brambleclaw tries desperately to impress his Clanmates and be the best warrior he can be, while Hawkfrost tries to overthrow the Clans and make himself deputy. Unfortunately, when other cats try to warn Brambleclaw of Hawkfrost's bloodthirsty ambitions, he considers it a sign of the same discrimination that he endured, and refuses to listen.
- The Dungeons & Dragons 3E supplement Races of Faerūn states that on the rare occasions that two aasimarnote meet, "there is a sort of unspoken understanding between them, and an aasimar is likely to take another aasimar's side in an argument, regardless of other affiliations, just for a taste of kinship."
- This is essentially the Central Theme of Planescape: Torment. While the members of your party aren't immortal beings with memory problems like the Nameless One, all of them are drawn to him by their respective personal torments, and many of said torments are ultimately revealed to be offshoots of his own original torment in the first place!
- Very similarly to Torment above, Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords has most of the Player Party members deal with and bond over the emotional fallout of the same event that made Jedi Exile what she is (an exile from the Jedi Order and a living hole in the Force): the tragedy/atrocity at Malachor V. Not just that, but the Relationship Values are eventually revealed to be a gameplay manifestation of the Exile drawing on her companions' shared trauma to bind them to herself.
- This is a large component of Garlot and Leon's friendship in Blaze Union, and also contributes to Gulcasa and Nessiah's relationship, though the former isn't exactly aware of the nature of the shared suffering in that case.
- In the Citadel DLC for Mass Effect 3, it's revealed that Jack has adopted a biotic varren from an abused animal shelter and she's been slowly teaching it to trust people again, leading it to become something of a big softy as a result. One of the dialogue options has Shepard start to lampshade the parallels to how Jack was when they first met (a convict experimented on as a child), but tactfully decides to drop it.
- In Sluggy Freelance Aylee thought she had one of these relationships with Leono and the others of her species in a different dimension. However, it turns out Leono's a quasi-Omnicidal Maniac, while the rest of her kind are barely even sentient, so she leaves them behind to return to the main Sluggy universe.
- The members of Team Kimba bond together on their first day at Whateley Academy because of this: they're more than just mutants. They are all transgender in one way or another.
- In the Paradise setting, an unknown force is randomly, permanently turning humans into Funny Animals (and sometimes changing their gender) in a way that is Invisible to Normals. Changed, especially from the early waves where they are few and far between, often fear they're alone or outright going crazy. After spending weeks, months, or even years alone, they are so relieved to find out there are others like them that they might break down and cry.
- The Golden Marvel and Ultra-Man from the Global Guardians PBEM Universe are close friends who often dine together to remember life during the Great Depression, the Spanish Influenza epidemic, World War II, and other events of the first four decades of the 20th Century.
- Most of the true immortals in the Global Guardians Universe, like Abyss, Master Mist, Black Angel, and Ishmael, tend to treat each other as competitive rivals rather than as true enemies (if they were, in fact, enemies in the first place), because they all know that the only person a truly immortal being can talk to about how hard it is to be a true immortal is another true immortal.
- This is subverted in Futurama when Leela supposedly meets the last remaining member of her species, and therefore feels obligated to marry him even though he is rude, dirty, and misogynist and they have nothing in common. Unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately, it turns out that he's not really a member of her species, but a shapeshifter who "collects wives" of odd species to do housekeeping for him.
- On The Fairly Oddparents, both Timmy and Tootie are harassed by Vicky the most, and several spin-off children's books and episodes hint to Timmy feeling sympathy for Tootie and her having to live with a mean sister.
- In the Beast Wars episode "Transmutate", Rampage seeks out and befriends the malformed Transformer, believing he has found a kindred spirit in Transmutate's tortured existence. When Transmutate is destroyed while trying to stop Rampage and Silverbolt's battle having befriended them both, Rampage wails in anguish. Silverbolt makes the other Maximals leave him alone in his grief, declaring that for this moment they are brothers.