the fact that they had a spiteful, who-can-outsmart-who rivalry since childhood shows that it has always been ben, actually
((I typed this all out to reply to a YouTube comment but realized it’s too long, so decided to put it here instead))
Comparing Ben and Paxton’s ways of being there for Devi—because, despite some people stating one guy or the other is not there for her, I think it should be factually stated that yes, yes they are both there for Devi. But in different ways.
Paxton does the superhero/cool-guy type saving for Devi; Ben does the emotional/loyal/meaningful saving for Devi. When Paxton saved Devi from the coyote or when she fell into the pool, Ben was there - still worried, but not knowing what to do. After all, he’s a nerd, not a cool jock, and he had his girlfriend right next to him. What would it have looked like if he had left his girlfriend’s side to help Devi? (I feel like if he had actually left his girlfriend’s side, haters would still come after him for it.)
Ben was there for Devi when she was emotionally unstable, when she needed a shoulder to cry on, when she needed to be brought back to reality. As many people have stated, Paxton is an escape from Devi’s reality. With Paxton, Devi avoids reality, an unhealthy form of escapism. Ben, on the other hand, brings Devi back to reality. Ben helps her through the situation she’s dealing with, and makes her become a better person upon dealing with it.
Paxton and Devi don’t talk about personal/family/friend issues, it’s more of a face-level connection.
- Ben took her to Malibu when it mattered most (Paxton kind of shrugged the topic off when Devi told him in episode 1 season 2 that she went to spread her dad’s ashes).
- Ben was terrified of driving without his license, at 70mph on the LA road. As someone who has had terrible anxiety on the road, the fact that he did this for her says a lot to me.
- Ben let Devi move in with her when she had no one else, with no hesitation.
- Ben set Devi straight (made her be the better person) when she spread the rumor about Aneesa. Heck, he went to the girls’ bathroom with no hesitation to check on Devi after she took a risk and Paxton publicly humiliated her.
Honestly, I’m almost torn between benvi and daxton, but my opinion still remains.
Paxton may be the hot, cool guy, genuinely sweet and kind guy - great guy to have as your “first love;” but Ben is there for the long-run. They share that playful flirty banter, and Ben understands her in a way Paxton (at least at the moment) does not. Paxton doesn’t know half of the struggles Devi has gone through, I don’t even know if he knows she suffers from PTSD. When Paxton picked sobbing Devi up from the sidewalk, it would’ve been the perfect opportunity for Paxton to put his anger aside, dig deeper, and try to comfort Devi and understand what she was going through. Devi even gave him a window to do so by saying something about everyone being mad at her. But he didn’t help her. He did the kind of saving that he had done before - physically saving her from a situation, but not emotionally.
Ben has seen Devi at her worst and at her best, he sees the subtle changes in her, and even when he’s mad at her - when his heart has been broken by her - he knows how best to comfort her. They’re intellectual equals and make a great academic duo; they’re a power couple that want to go to the same Ivy League. That’s soulmate material right there.
The way I see it, Daxton is the super cute high school couple that end up cutely together at the end of a romcom. Paxton has become a hero character, experienced massive character development, and has viewers swooning over him. After everything he had gone through, it’s painted to feel like like he’s “deserved” the female lead at the end of the movie. But, As Devi says at the end of season 2, “I wonder what that’s going to be like (being Paxton’s girlfriend).” Now that they had their cute romcom finale, what’s next?
On the opposite end, Ben and Devi are the slow burn couple who just “get” each other, and for some reason constantly find their way back to each other. They’re enemies, then friends, then once they’re fully matured, they’re lovers. When fully mature and at their best, when the credits roll after a romcom ends, they are what a real, true life romance looks like.
broke, woke, bespoke: ben x aneesa s3 breakup edition
broke: ben cheats on aneesa with devi and it ruins everything
woke: ben comes clean with aneesa about being in love with devi and they decide to break up amicably
bespoke: aneesa has a Sapphic Awakening and they break up because they realize they both have feelings for devi 👀👀
y’all i just realized that mr kulkarni’s class probably finished reading the great gatsby around the same time that devi got caught cheating.
so ben got his heart absolutely demolished by devi, and then like two days later would have had to read,
“angry, and half in love with her, and tremendously sorry, i turned away.”
TRADING SPRING FLOWERS FOR POMEGRANATE SEEDS: a concept playlist, when a love to be remembered becomes a tale.
“you are the kindest thing that ever happened to me, even if that is not how our tale is told” — persephone to hades, a nikita gill poem.
you can listen to it clicking HERE.
gonna write an actual little mini-essay about this tomorrow but i genuinely don’t understand how the pro-daxton side of the nhie fandom can understand and accept that devi’s terrible actions come from a place of grief and hurt and poor impulse control and not, like, genuine malice
but every time ben does something shitty, he’s just a shitty person.
like no, ben and devi are clearly shown to be two sides of the same coin. they’re both lonely and awkward and hot-headed and they both desperately want to feel happy and loved.
and yes, they go about it the wrong way, because they’re dumb teenagers who don’t have the self-awareness or emotional capacity to avoid hurting each other when they’re both focused on their own hurt.
they’re both impulsive and selfish and prickly and insensitive. they both tend to lash out when they feel too vulnerable. they both struggle with knowing when they’ve gone too far or crossed a line.
idk how to end this (it’s like 1am gimme a break) but like how do you love devi despite her flaws yet reduce ben to only his flaws…. when their flaws are so similar??
People are acting like Ben did something morally reprehensible by moving on from Devi who cheated on him, never apologised, made his new girlfriend’s life a living hell simply because she liked him, and acted like he was out of line to be upset…. like dude, yeah, it was great of Paxton to forgive her for the cheating so fast, but no one owes someone who wronged them that badly forgiveness or a relationship what
The when and the where of falling for him doesn’t matter. Whatever moment it’d been cemented one fact into reality, contradictory in its existence but irrevocably true.
It’s always been Ben.
Look, Ben and Devi are almost definitely endgame, and I’m cool with that because they do complement each other really well. But also, I’m genuinely loving Paxton and Devi as boyfriend and girlfriend, and I hope we get some good couple moments between them next season.
So like, I don’t wanna be weird, but is anyone gonna acknowledge Jaren’s new photoshoot with his six pack abs?
Cause like, people talk about it all the TIME with Darren as Paxton, but like… no one ever acknowledges it for Jaren/Ben.
What she says: I’m fine
What she means: Ben absolutely is lying about meeting and hanging out with any of the celebrities that he constantly talks about. He does this to feel like a special part of his father’s stories and to falsely present to everyone that his life is great. If you doubt this, consider how he talks about the Great Gatsby 2013. “Squash with Leo” you were 8
As cute as Devi x Ben are, one thing I know I can count on is Mindy Kaling writing a love triangle where the main Indian character picks the nice boringish white guy over the nice hot poc guy with an enemies to lovers arc
This arc consists of the guy being an asshole to her making micro aggressions “but it was secretly flirting!!”. It transitions to constant bickering and bantering, then she realizes that she is in love and they get together.
Incoming, love triangle. No matter how hot and nice the poc love interest is or how many small or grand gestures he makes, the main Indian character will pick the white nerdy guy because she will write in scenes where it is revealed that the hot poc guy will be the one who the main character ultimately just doesn’t like as much when it came down to her true feelings. She gets together with the cute white nice nerdy boy who was quietly (in her eyes, but it’s super obvious to the audience) pining for her since the beginning before the love triangle ever existed.
The thing about Never Have I Ever is that both Ben and Paxton are well developed characters that have good chemistry with Devi and there’s valid reasons for both pairings, it’s one of the most believable love triangles on TV at the moment
Istg if one more person attacks Paxton I will actually throw hands, you can ship whoever you want I couldn’t care less, but STOP trashing Paxton.
Since him and Devi became friends there were so many moments when she hurt him and even so he has always been nice and understanding with her. He is always the first one to forgive her.
When she lied to everyone that they had sex, he has been hurt as any normal person would have been, and he still didn’t tell anyone about what she did because even when she wronged him he still wanted to protect Devi.
Now excuse him for getting real mad when she cheated on him and a freaking car run him over when they were fighting, jeopardising his future career. I dare you to come to my face and tell me that after someone would have done this to you you would have been alright. I dare you. Let’s be serious, most of you wouldn’t even speak to that person again.
Yes, what he did in episode 3 wasn’t okay, but his wound was fresh, literally and figuratively lol, so of course he wasn’t thrilled by the idea of being nice with Devi as if anything hasn’t happened. And even then he quickly realised his mistake and made things right.
Then she neglected their tutoring sessions and YET AGAIN HE FORGAVE HER.
Do you see the pattern now??
Let’s say I understood the reasons why people were trashing him during the first season, but at this point I am seriously questioning if we are watching the same show or not.
I am so sick of people not seeing the reasons why he is cautious with Devi BECAUSE THAT’S WHAT HE IS, NOT EMBARRASSED AS SOME OF YOU SAY. You are all trying to make Paxton the villain and praise Ben as he is some sort of saint,
don’t even get me started on Mr. Gross!!
So you do you hun, but maybe next time try not to trash Paxton just to make you feel better that the plot doesn’t go as you want.
For the fic requests? I just love Ben and Devi when they're bantering! Maybe something with that? I need something light and happy until season 3 lol
“Boom! I finished my homework in record time, suck on that, Gross!”
“You’re kidding yourself, Devi,” Ben smirked. “I already finished my homework thirty minutes ago.”
“Joke’s on you,” Devi folded her arms and leaned back onto his headboard. “I finished my English extra credit assignment too.”
“Damnit,” Ben curses under his breath, then exhales to calm himself down. Not to brag, but he learned mindfulness techniques from an exclusive Zoom workshop by… Oh, wait. This was his narration. He didn’t need to brag. “Well whatever, I beat you in the debate tournament today so technically, I was just letting you catch up.”
“You’re just jealous because you know I’m more efficient than you.” Devi turns up her cute little nose triumphantly, and Ben’s heart bursts in his chest.
“Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to watch a few episodes of Keeping Up with the Kardashians to reward myself for a job well done.”
“Again, Devi?” Ben groans. He usually found her reality TV obsession and colorful commentary endearing, but this was her fourth rewatch of the week. Vanderpump Rules was way better, but she refused to watch it because of how much he mentioned he’d been to her restaurant. (Whoops, here he was mentioning it again. Maybe he did bring it up too much) “You know, Khloe’s not that great. She ate way too many crab puffs at my dad’s holiday party for his clients.”
“You housed two double doubles right after school today.”
“Hey, I need that protein to stay jacked!”
“Whatever, dude. Anyway, can I watch here on my laptop while you scroll Rick and Morty theories?”
“Oh, yeah, sure,” Ben blinks. Why didn’t Devi want to watch with him? Coming up with Rick and Morty theories was something he did when he got lonely, and well… he wasn’t alone right now. He didn’t want peruse Reddit by himself when he could have been hanging out with her, babbling about how Kris Jenner was the ideal businesswoman. “Sorry, I didn’t realize you wanted to watch alone, I can get out of your hair if you need…” He turns over to get his laptop and leave when Devi senses his hurt and rests her hand on his arm.
“Ben, you don’t have to leave,” Devi softens a bit as she sits up in bed. Her eyes widen as she speaks, her voice fluctuating up and down. As annoying as she could be, Ben loved listening to her talk. Whether she was angry, sad, happy, or annoyed, she was always vibrant and lively. Ben, a quiet, lonely kid most of the time, loved being around that energy. “I just thought you wouldn’t want to watch because you don’t like it.”
“I’ll still watch with you, Devi,” A wave of affection comes over him as he watches her blush. He seizes onto his emotions, weaves his hands in Devi’s hair and presses a deep kiss into her forehead. She stutters after, and he’s happy and embarrassed at the same time. He doesn’t know what’s gotten into him. He’d never been so affectionate with Shira, but then again, he didn’t have the same level of feelings he held for Devi. He’d known her all his life and he never expected to like her the way he’d started to in the past couple months, even though she made some, dare we say, questionable decisions. Now even with all her shenanigans, he couldn’t even imagine life with her when she left for India in a couple weeks. “Who else will I go to for colorful commentary on Kim’s social media presence when you move at the end of the semester?”
“Why are you so nice to me?” Devi’s voice cracks as she plays with the corner of his silk pillowcase. Ben conceals his surprise as tears gush out her eyes. It’s okay, he rationalized, calming his initial worry down. She was probably going through a lot, with spreading her dad’s ashes and moving to India and leaving everything she knew behind. Ben wouldn’t be handling it the news well if he was her, too. “All I do is trash your In N Out order and rub my homework efficiency skills in your face.”
“Devi, you deserve someone who’s nice to you.” He assures, and he really means it. She could be difficult and capricious, but she was kind, caring, and felt deeply, just like he did. She deserved to be with someone who treated her well. Ben couldn’t wait to be that person, even as she moved across the world. He was already ordering going away gifts for things she couldn’t get in India and learned how to make the Meat Lover’s Omelet for her and had Patty set up care packages he could send her the first week she was there. He wanted to be a good boyfriend to her. “And honestly… I like that we challenge each other the way we do. Remember how many trash bags we filled up yesterday?”
“Honestly we turned that damn park into Walden Pond,” Devi sniffled and wiped her tears with her sweater sleeve. Ben pats away the rest as more come and smiles softly at her. “But I definitely filled up more than you.”
“Eh, I’ll let you have it. Although there’s no way all those headshots could’ve filled up an entire trash bag.”
“Shut up, Ben you know I beat you,” Devi laughs hoarsely through her snot and punches him in the arm. She calms down for a moment, then leans forward and kisses him again through her damp eyes. Ben holds her closely to him and gives her another kiss on the forehead . Devi lets out a little noise of happiness and pulls up the Kardashians on her laptop. He loved holding her like this, and wanted to cherish every moment of their time before she left- that is, until he sees he’s trying to convert her to a Kardashian lover.
“Seriously, Devi? We’re going back to season one?”
“You need to understand their origin stories!”