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Good Is Not Soft / Fan Works

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  • A Crown of Stars:
    • The people of Avalon are pretty nice and kind. Their enemies are the kind of people prone to mistake goodness and compassion for weakness and folly. Every time they have fought them, though, the Avalon folk have proved they are not pushovers.
    • This is especially applicable to their divine rulers, Daniel and Rayana. They are compassionate, kind monarchs, driven to help everyone in need and committed to protect their subjects. Threaten or hurt innocents, though, and... it is told that Daniel sometimes shows mercy, but Rayana doesn't do it. Whoever harms children finds out why she is the patron deity of Mama Bears.
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  • In Double Agent Vader, Vader is working to bring down Palpatine and the Empire but he is still more than willing to kill if he has to. In one chapter, he deliberately sets up some Inquisitors to fail then executes them for it.
  • Mortality has this with Watson. Smith had to find out the hard way why pissing off a gentle soul like him by messing with a detective is....not a smart choice, and generally un-survivable.
  • Naruto in The Ninth Sekirei Pillar largely only wants to protect those close to him and keep Sekirei from being bonded to abusive Ashikabi. If this requires killing Ashikabi, starting a gang war, or crippling/killing their employees, then that's what's going to happen.
  • Sarutobi in She Who Dwells In Eternity seals an infant Naruto away in order to prevent the Kyuubi from escaping again (as it's unknown how it got free from Kushina) with intentions of unleashing the Kyuubi upon Konoha's enemies and sealing it into a new infant should Konoha ever need its power. He might hate himself for it, but he'll do what's necessary to protect Konoha.
  • In Fractured, a Mass Effect/Star Wars/Borderlands crossover and its sequel Origins, this comes up a lot. Given the universes involved, it makes sense.
    • Samantha Shepard bounces all over between this trope, Good Is Not Nice, and even Anti-Hero (to the point of Nominal Hero at her worst). She gets better eventually.
    • Urdnot Wrex, given his species, is as "kind" as you're going to get from a krogan. That doesn't stop him from plotting the downfall of more violent/backward-looking krogan in the interest of trying to save the species. He's happy to let his rivals off each other, saving him the trouble.
    • Admiral Grayson and the Trans-Galactic Republic definitely count. They'll protect and assist less-advanced species, but anyone who ends up on the wrong side of their turbolasers and huge Star Dreadnaughts is dead.
    • Though most of the cast from Borderlands falls into Good Is Not Nice, Moxxi stands out for taking in the homeless and hopeless Jackie Jakobs, as well as being a Mama Bear—arranging the murder of a Hodunk who had untoward designs on her daughter Ellie. She even stands by Jackie as a mother figure when she has no where else to turn.
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  • In The Pride of Sunnydale, Xander tortures a vampire by nailing her upside down to a pillar, breaking her legs, and pouring holy water on her to get information on the Master.
  • Child of the Storm has a number of these.
    • Thor (formerly James Potter) is a devoted father to Harry, a loving boyfriend to Jane Foster, and an all round Nice Guy. He's The Wise Prince, a Friend to All Children, and even willing to play up his Fish out of Water tendencies to amuse others. He is also a Physical God who can devastate entire planets, a Warrior Prince, first among a pantheon of nigh immortal warrior gods and a truly terrifying Papa Wolf. Rest assured, if you harm someone he loves, he will show you the true meaning of 'the Wrath of God', and he will only hesitate in utterly obliterating you if he's setting an example for his son, or if Steve Rogers asks him to.
    • Charles Xavier is a polite, gentle and kindly man. He is a pacifist at heart, happiest when he is teaching, and has very strong views on psychic ethics. He is also a Badass Pacifist, and as Weapon X found out, if you come after one of his, he will utterly destroy you. He is also willing to drop very sincere threats to the near universally respected/feared Doctor Strange, and slaughter demons by the thousand. He warns Essex that he knows every psychic trick the latter does and more besides, so if he doesn't comply, Xavier will just open up his mind like an orange.
    • Jean Grey is described as 'big sister to the world', most particularly to her Separated at Birth twin sister Maddie Pryor and her formerly estranged cousin, Harry Potter. She is warm, kind, and genuinely lovely, taking those who need it under her wing, and functioning as Team Mom to the young X-Men. She is also the most powerful psychic ever born, capable of feats of power at 17 on par with a Greater God or a Queen of Faerie, and informs Agent Coulson very calmly that she doesn't trust SHIELD after how HYDRA hid in plain sight amongst them, considering them to be potentially Not So Different, and therefore if they even breathe the wrong way towards Harry or Maddie, she will single-handedly bring SHIELD down around his ears.
    • Steve Rogers is, well, Captain America, and practically the dictionary definition of Nice Guy. He is also father, grandfather, and great-grandfather to a moderately sized family by Peggy Carter, something he finds out towards the end of the first book. In the sequel, when Harry and Carol (his great-granddaughter) are kidnapped by the Red Room, his response is to consider it calmly, get as much information as he can, make sure that an enraged Thor can keep his temper... and then personally goes to kick down the doors of the Kremlin and inform the Russian President that if they don't get Harry and Carol back, and the heads of those responsible on a platter, there will, as they say, be repercussions.
    • Wanda Maximoff is another shining example. She's a good teacher and loving girlfriend to Harry Dresden, a fine Parental Substitute to her godson Harry Thorson who (after a rocky start) comes to adore her, and a generally lovely woman. However, she's also the Sorceress Supreme in Waiting (now Sorceress Supreme in full after chapter 32 of Ghosts of the Past), trained in magic by Doctor Strange, and having long since mastered her terrifyingly vast Probability Manipulation powers, and though she doesn't get on very well with her father, when those she cares for are threatened or harmed (particularly her godson, who she loves as her own), it becomes very clear that they are far more alike than she is generally willing to admit. Exhibit A? She cornered Sinister (or a clone of him, at least), the man who was behind much of the misery in Harry's life, and used her probability powers to melt him alive.
    • Speaking of Magneto, he spends most of the first book as The Ghost, occasionally discussed, but not actually appearing until chapter 77 of an 80 chapter story. While he is often described as being The Dreaded, a godlike Angel of Death, who was not only vastly powerful but capable of viciousness fit to chill the blood and send shivers down the spines of both heroes and villains alike, he doesn't come off as such in his appearances - instead, he seems charming, gentlemanly, and even grandfatherly with Harry, with no trace of either his prior extremism or his storied ruthlessness. Then, in the sequel, the heroes unleash him on the Winter Guard, the elite superhuman strike team of the Red Room, an organisation that was Eviler Than Thou to HYDRA. He didn't kill all of them... but after seeing what he did do to those that survived, it might have been kinder to let them die.
    • Albus Dumbledore, as per canon. A grandfatherly man who always has a kind word for his students, expects no more or less than the best that they can give, and goes out of his way, in general, to help them out with their problems. He enjoys Muggle sweets, spending time with colleagues, and sitting back with a good book. But when HYDRA sent four wizards hand-picked to kill him, he disarmed them with two absent-minded spells and vaporizes their wands. When Fudge plays the Obstructive Bureaucrat, Dumbledore just steamrolls him, throwing in an almost casual Declaration of Protection as he does so. This is the man who taught Nick Fury how to be The Spymaster, and who makes a bit of a habit of Staring Down Cthulhu, even if none of the beings he does this to are strictly villainous (just ridiculously more powerful than him).
  • In What Happens in Vegas, after Raven crashes Johnny Rancid's motorcycle, Robin tells the team to "Go check and make sure he's still alive. And if he's somehow still intact enough to fight back, blast him until he's not."
  • Keitaro Urashima in Contract Labor is friendly, polite, and a caring big brother figure. He will also beat up, torture, and kill as necessary anyone who threatens or harms someone he cares about.
  • Robin in Fire Emblem Awakening: Invisible Ties is generally pleasant and easy to get along with, but on the battlefield, he shows no mercy. Case in point: he admits to Lucina in chapter 21 that after all of the atrocities Gangrel committed against Ylisse, if he were in Chrom's shoes, he would have gladly mounted the Mad King's head on a pike and paraded it through the streets of Ylisstol.
  • Mass Effect Human Revolution: Adam Jensen is one of the few good people in a Crapsack World. Ever polite and considerate, he is always thinking of others before himself. He really wants to practice Thou Shalt Not Kill. He has no qualms against punching people out or taking An Arm and a Leg. And if you're far enough beyond the line, he won't even regret it.
  • In The Infinite Loops, Equestria is declared to be sanctuary to all visiting loopers; whether you want to join in the fun, get some much-needed therapy for whatever trauma ails you, or just be left alone and not have to deal with anything at all for once, you have it, no questions asked. You can do whatever you want, as long as you don't cause trouble or hurt anyone. The ponies are nice like that. But if you do try to start anything, you'll find out that they're anything but soft.
  • The Next Frontier: The Kerbals are a Proud Scholar Race of Bold Explorers and scientists who haven't known real war in decades, but their first interstellar mission uses a starship that is quite well armed, and they also aren't above employing a bit of subtle Gunboat Diplomacy by being quite up-front (purely in the spirit of full disclosure, of course) about just what their FTL drive is capable of doing to a planet.
  • Word of God considers Queen Majesty to be this in the Hasbroverse, due to her depiction in the G1 comics.
  • Spitandvinegar seems to like this trope, generally used with canonically kind characters who have been through a lot.
    • Bucky Barnes in Ain't No Grave. For a traumatized, mentally ill, semi-amnesiac, former tortured brainwashed assassin, he's surprisingly kind and amiable to his friends and innocent civilians, and he does his best to be a conscientious Parental Substitute to his unofficial foster children. But since his traumatic backstory is all Hydra's fault, he's not inclined to show Hydra loyalists any mercy, even if they're noncombatant scientists. And his Vigilante Man efforts can be pretty brutal.
    • "Honey" in Except It Abide in the Vine, an Alternate Self of Steve Rogers from a Hydra-ruled dystopian Alternate Universe. If you aren't a member of the fascist conspiracy that killed his best friend, used his boyfriend as their dehumanized killing machine, and turned the world into a fascist hellscape, he's as kind as any other Steve Rogers. If you ARE, he'll kill you and be glad of it. (The characters from Lighter and Softer universes find this a bit disturbing.)
  • In Risk It All, Ren is a fundamentally nice person and squeamish at the thought of leaving someone with crippling injuries. But his Soul-Crushing Strike is the best attack in his arsenal in his early days as a vigilante, and he's more than willing to use it if it means people won't end up dead. When Black Mask points out that he'll be free within hours of being arrested, Ren decides to cripple Black Mask to render him incapable of harming anyone again. But turning Black Mask's insides into soup troubles Ren enough to make him fight the urge to vomit afterward.
  • In Sugar Plums Ume is a very nice and empathic person to her friends, her siblings and to nonshinobi whom she's very popular with because they aren't used to shinobi treating them with respect. This doesn't change the fact that she is a very potent warrior with an in story body count higher than most of the Rookie Nine. If you threaten her or anybody she cares about she will not hesitate to kill you, usually in the fastest most efficient way possible.
  • Leni Loud is considered by the fanbase to be the nicest kid in her family and the fanfic Mall Rats uses the characterization flawlessly. Then some jocks decide that it's a good idea to push around Lincoln in front of her. Leni tries to get them to leave peacefully but they ignore her. So she kicks the crap out of them.
  • In this Reverse Falls AU fan comic, Pacifica Northwest is portrayed as kind, curious, and adventurous Granola Girl. But, as the evil version of Mabel finds out, she's not harmless
  • Pokémon Reset Bloodlines:
    • Clair, the Blackthorn Gym Leader, is depicted as this. She can be strong-willed and doesn't go easy on her challengers, but is very nice to those who earn her respect. That being said, she has little-to-no tolerance for people with an ego bigger than they can back up, and is very fond of knocking them down a peg or two to teach them their place.
    • Steven Stone, the Hoenn Champion, has many virtues, but "patience" is not one of them, and he makes that point clear to a group of Team Zenith grunts to get them to spill the beans about their plans.
  • In Live a Hero, Izuku is a Kindhearted Cat Lover who would prefer not to hurt others if he can help it. If he is pushed into a fight, he showcases his skills as a Tyke-Bomb Knife Nut raised to be a Serial Killer, easily dodging the Sludge Villain's attacks before immediately throwing three knives to gouge out its eye.
  • Life Ore Death:
    • Ferris is this if you consider her 'good' enough to count. She's trying to not kill people and respect rule of law now that she's in a world where human life isn't worth spit, but she will beat people senseless, break bones, and emotionally traumatize people if it becomes necessary.
    • It's also mentioned that Batman is this, as part of her justification for breaking fingers in an interrogation is to ask Robin what Batman does and use those as guidelines for appropriate behavior.
  • Diadem in Echoing Silence is one of the sweetest people you'll ever meet. She has no problem killing if she thinks the situation calls for it.
  • Examples from Hellsister Trilogy:
    • Supergirl is gentle and compassionate by nature... but when her evil duplicate threatened innocent lives as well as her friends', making clear the whole time she would never stop, Supergirl hurled her into an anti-matter star.
    • During "The Apokolips Agenda", The Spectre -the embodiment of God's Wrath- comes face to face with Trigon -massively powerful otherwordly demon-. The Spectre thrusts a hand through Trigon's chest and then makes Trigon explode. Literally.
      The Spectre looked into Trigon’s eyes, let him glimpse the skulls that served him for pupils, and thrust a hand into and through his chest. It protruded from Trigon’s back, in ghastly fashion. Trigon’s left hand went limp, and Raven flew to freedom.
      Then the Guardian Ghost sent a surge of white energy through his arm, at full power.
      Trigon exploded.
      It was hard for the nonmystics to see or perceive. For those who could see it, bits of red psychomatter radiated away from the Spectre’s outstretched arm, and Trigon’s face, for the second time in a lifetime, held an expression of terror before it disintegrated. There was little audible noise, but a psychic roar for those who were attuned to hear it.
  • Johnny from Cranes is a very nice person, doesn't mean Scarecrow is any more merciful. Artemis and M'gann have shades of this as well.
  • In Warriors Redux, the Clans in general are shown to have serious punishments for wrongdoing, especially shown when Bluestar, after Tigerclaw tries to take over the Clan as in canon, decides to have him executed rather than just exiling him.
  • In Kara of Rokyn, Supergirl goes against Faora Hu-Ul, the deadliest Kryptonian female alive, and beats the crap out of her.
  • The Seven Hunters: Littlefoot and his pack certainly count. Considering they now have to kill to survive, they are not above brutally killing the enemy fast biters.
  • Call Me Kara: Upon discovering that he can't be killed without Hawkgirl, Kara throws Vandal Savage into space.
  • Downplayed in Amazing Fantasy. Peter is no Wolverine or Punisher, but he's a Combat Pragmatist who won't hesitate to beat supervillains black and blue through dirty tactics like ambushing them or trapping them inside objects. He doesn't lose any sleep when he tricks a teenaged villain who went around assaulting and robbing people into mangling his hand by punching a brick wall with a rocket-powered glove.
  • The Raven's Plan: Jon Targaryen is perfectly fine with giving out cruel punishments if the people are fully deserving of it. The only caveat is that he (officially) cannot be the one responsible for it, since he has to be seen as honorable and merciful.
  • In Supergirl (2015) fic Future Shock Kara is undeniably the hero and genuinely has the best interest of mankind in mind, fighting for them, providing them with tech to fix cancer and pollution and so forth. She will also kill you dead, engage in some ruthlessly illegal interrogation, and what the Survivor does to Sam and Lillian following the battle of little Krypton is considered even by her allies to be close to monstrous.
    • None of that gets into Kara's actions during the prior war, where blowing up a planet with four billion people on it is just another Tuesday.
  • Dark Valkyrie: Astrid and Hiccup are both still as good-hearted as they were in the series, but will resort to murder if pushed far enough (Astrid especially, with Hiccup much more reluctant). Various hunters found this out the hard way.
  • In crossover Echoes of Yesterday, Kara is extraordinarily kind-hearted and empathetic... but bullies set her off. And Sophia found out the hard way when Kara rescued Taylor from the filthy locker where Sophia had shoved her into: Sophia decided to push the older woman and found herself neck-lifted and glared by two angry glowing eyes.
    I buried my anger, and turned to the assembled students, keeping one protective arm around the girl, "Where's the nurse's office?" I demanded.
    The response I got, was, "Who the fuck are you?"
    This came from one of the trio, a short slender girl with dark skin and brown eyes. She wore a track and field uniform, and her look told me all I needed to know. I was in no mood to play nice.
    I grabbed the girl by the shirt and lifted her into the air with one hand. There were a few shouts of surprise, and the other two girls hastily backed away, wide eyed. It was weak, but I felt that familiar heat building at the base of my eyes, and I had a good idea of what this girl was seeing.
    "Nurse's office. Where is it?"
  • Loaded March: Just like in the source series, Merlin and Gwen are two of the nicest, sweetest people in the series and both are shown to be extremely reluctant to pick up a gun and shoot people. However, Merlin didn't hesitate in killing to save Arthur's life in Avalon, while Gwen doesn't take fools or villains lightly.
  • Peter Parker's Field Trip (Of course it's to Stark Industries): The moment Peter's class started their tour, Natasha has SPI-DER following them, listening in on the whole thing to check up on them. When she confronts Peter, she questions why he lets Flash push him around the way he does when he can bench-press a city-bus. Peter insists that its because he wants to be the better man between the two of them. Justified, considering that not only is Peter still keeping his secret-identity, but he has trouble controlling his strength and does not want to do anything permanent to Flash. It also doesn't help that unlike Peter, Natasha was trained at a very young age to use violence and is less likely to let Flash get away with his behavior.
  • Dance with the Demons:
    • Batman has no qualms about beating/squeezing/mind-reading answers out of crooks as investigating an attempted murder.
      Batman: "Back to Gotham for the moment. Where we will take every crook in Gotham from the Joker to the lowest pickpocket, grab him right where it hurts, and squeeze till we get some answers."
    • If you're a member of a terrorist cell looking to murder Superman's best friend's wife, butler and sidekicks, don't expect the Man of Steel to go soft on you.
      Two Kobras skidded against the side wall at the end of the hall, their weapons twisted around their necks. They were on the far side of consciousness.
      The sounds that came to the defenders now were different. Men yelling incoherently, but having their voices stopped after sharp cries of pain. There was some gunfire, but it didn't seem to matter. And more Kobramen came flying, piling up against the side wall like so much thrown garbage.
      Finally, the tenth or so Kobra Cultist joined his brothers on the heap. Alfred knew who the man was who had put them there, and drew a great, sighing breath as his shoulders sagged.
      The man stepped into sight, his hands on his hips, and grinned.
      "I thought you might need me here," said Superman.
  • The HYDRA World Revenge Tour brings out Steve's ruthless side in Bucky Barnes Gets His Groove Back & Other International Incidents, because this is Bucky he's avenging. He happily uses guns and knives, gets halfway decent at espionage, and kills a hell of a lot of people (who were working for HYDRA, so they deserved it). When he returns to the states in the sequel, the FBI gets on his ass for taking matters into his own hands, and the Wilson family's collective asses for daring to associate with Steve, and to say he's not pleased is an understatement.
    [Steve] can play nice. He'll be a perfect fucking gentleman. He'll be the nicest brick that's ever been thrown through the FBI's window.
  • Wilhuff Tarkin, Hero of the Rebellion has a few examples, most notably Rivoche Tarkin and Luke:
    • While her uncle is more of a Token Evil Teammate for the good guys, Rivoche is a sweet and nice girl, who helps people because she can. When a coalition of Tusken Raiders prepared to attack Anchorhead and the elder Tarkin pointed out that the Imperial garrison was too far away to come in time, she went with her uncle's plan and shot to kill, even taking out the rogue Jedi leading them... Whose deactivated lightsabers she now wear as accessories.
    • Luke, like his uncles, is shown to be a kindhearted young man... Who lives on Tatooine, and you don't survive on Tatooine by being soft. Case in point, Luke was right at Rivoche' side with the Tusken, providing her with the distraction she needed to take down the rogue Jedi, and had been learning how to shoot a gun from his uncle since he was a kid.
  • A Hollow in Equestria has Villain Protagonist Ulquiorra Cifer. He works for Princess Celestia, he abides by the rules she's placed on him, and he's polite but curt. But other than that he WILL use violence if he deems it necessary to achieve his assigned mission, or otherwise protect Equestria where others can't.
  • In Funeral For A Flash, the Rogues don't murder people because they really don't want to find out what would happen if The Flash got mad.
    More than once, he said, "I'm glad I have guys like you to tangle with, and not the Gotham mobs or some megalomaniac like Luthor." But he also let them know that if they killed anybody, the gloves and good feelings would be off. So they didn't.
  • Zero Context: Taking Out the Trash produces the Infinite Defense, a crime-fighting organization consisting of alien cats and dogs, plus one retired human. They might be all for keeping the peace, helping their friends, leaving well enough alone, generally having a good time and standing up for what is right, but that doesn't mean they won't resort to such things as Mind Rape, beings of mass destruction, borderline eldritch entities, raw chaos, or Kill-Sats to do it.
  • Chloe Cerise of Infinity Train: Blossoming Trail would rather not have to resort to violence and hurting others. However, during an incident when one of her bullies dumped red paint over her ala Carrie, she snaps and violently beats said bully up with the same paint can and looking like she's drenched in blood as she threatens to kill her classmates if they ever do this again.
  • The Secret Return of Alex Mack: Alex really is a wonderful person, who tries to help people pro bono in all sorts of ways, and always tries to protect life. She's also seen a lot of nasty, scary things, and has learned to defend herself against all manner of monsters including those in human form. Threaten her and she will put you down for the count, gently if she can and with electrical burns if she must.


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