Beau/Yasha

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Pairing
Pairing: Beauregard Lionett/Yasha
Alternative name(s): beauyasha
Gender category: femslash
Fandom: Critical Role
Canonical?: Yes
Prevalence: major
Archives:
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Beau/Yasha is a prominent femslash ship in campaign 2 of Critical Role between Beauregard Lionett (portrayed by Marisha Ray) and Yasha (portrayed by Ashley Johnson).

Canon

Spoiler Warning: This article or section may contain spoilers. If this bothers you, proceed with caution.

Beau was flirtatious with Yasha in early episode of the campaign; however, she stopped flirting openly after learning that Yasha was mourning her wife Zuala. During the time that Yasha was separated from the party, Beau listened for thunder at night (associated with Yasha) and was concerned about not making Yasha feel blamed or ostracized for actions taken while mind-controlled - including stabbing Beau. After rejoining the party, Yasha's friendship with Beau grew deeper and mutual flirtation, protectiveness, and support became more common between them. The indirect expressions of affection and interest became more direct over time, especially after show returned from the hiatus taken from March through September 2020 due to COVID-19.

At times Marisha or Ashley have discussed elements of their characters' relationship. For instance, in the Talks Machina episode from October 13 2020 Marisha indicated Beau's feelings towards Yasha were romantic, as well as Beau's desire not to be lonely anymore and to realize happiness for herself[1]. In a previous Talks Machina episode Ashley commented that Yasha's flight with Beau was a special moment for her [2].

In episode 112, Yasha confesses that she has feelings for Beau to Jester. The two compose a poem, which Yasha later crosses out and re-writes as an earnest love letter. Yasha gives the letter to Beau in episode 114, and Beau reads it shortly afterwards.

Beau,

Yeah, this was a poem, but then I realized that it was a dumb poem, and I can't write poetry. Sometimes I have an easier time when I put the pen to parchment, so here it goes.

I've watched you. I don't mean that in a creepy way. I mean, I am a little bit of a creep, but I know you know this by now. It takes me a minute to open up. So I watch, I observe. I take it all in, as opposed to letting it all out. I guess the only time I let it all out is when I fight, which I'm not sure is the healthiest thing in the world.

But here's some things I've noticed about you. You're strong. You're a leader. You're really smart. You're really funny. You're honest, even if it hurts. But the thing that really gets me about you is that you love so fiercely. And I know you feel like an asshole most days, but I kind of like you are an asshole. You stick up for the people you love, and you make me feel stronger. I can hold my own. I know you know that, but you make me feel safe. I don't even know if that makes sense, but I know no matter what, you'll have my back, no questions asked.

Yasha[3]

Beau doesn't immediately acknowledge the letter, but a few days later talks to Yasha while in one of the ruins of Aeor on Eiselcross and asks her on a date:

Beau: Yeah? Okay. I never, like, do anything the right way, and so I figure that maybe with this I should just go like-- start from the beginning. And we haven't really had a beginning-- we had like a beginning and then we had like-- 'you stabbed me' thing, and then now we kind of need like a second beginning.

Yasha: I would love that more than anything.

Beau: Okay.

Yasha: And just-- I feel weirdly happy and excited in this really weird place. But... wow, I feel really good. I think I just thought that when you start acting weird or stupid around someone, and then you're just like, "Why can't I just act normal?" But I think I like you, Beau.

Beau: Yeah, I like you a lot, too. [...][4]

The Critical Role Fandom wiki has further details about the relationship between Yasha and Beau.

Fandom

Some fans have focused on the development of BeauYasha over time. One post points out that there was the potential for a relationship to develop between Beau and Yasha from the start of the campaign:

we have flirting from the first episode onwards, consistently every time Ashley is at the table. At first Beau/Marisha talk about it in a simple view of lust. Beau finds Yasha hot, but she knows that’s not an attainable thing, and leaves it be. She doesn’t want to create tension within the group. And then close to 50 episodes on, where in these feelings may or may not have been growing, Beau finds out that Yasha is mourning a dead wife, and immediately starts to stamp down any feelings, however strong they are, because now it’s really inappropriate in her mind.

...All the while though they keep talking, and flirting, and getting to know one another more and more as time goes on. Yasha goes through hell time and time again only to keep showing up, keep coming back, even after hurting Beau in altered states, always comes back to make sure she can try fix it.

...Up until we have Yasha breaking free of her shackles and letting go of her grief and pain. Ultimately letting Zuala go, and now it’s become all too real for Beau. It’s suddenly a distinct possibility in her mind and she can no longer contain the feelings she’s been ignoring for 7-9 months now.

(Beau) ultimately admits that she’s felt something for Yasha for a long time, that she has been containing, that she hasn’t addressed because it wasn’t the right time, it wasn’t appropriate. In Beau’s mind it was not at all a possibility until now. [5]

For some fans, the appeal of BeauYasha is that Beauregard would get to be pursued actively by another character who might have requited feelings for her in contrast to Beau's earlier one-night stands:

But now she’s in a position where someone will have to go out of their way to choose to be with her. And not just because she’s some hot monk who can woo all the ladies; but because they want her heart. Her big, messy heart. And that’s all I’ve ever wanted for her. I want her to feel wanted, needed, seen. In a way life so far has cruelly denied her until the Nein. But the Nein’s love is so subtle. I just really want someone to love her loudly, in a way even she has a hard time denying...[6]
When Beau said that there was something more meaningful in her feelings for Yasha and that her feelings for jester were temporary and unsustainable, that’s not devaluing the feelings she has/had for jester. That’s acknowledging that people and relationships change and grow, and that her romantic feelings for jester changed to reflect the lack of reciprocation. And by elevating her feelings for Yasha - which do seem to be reciprocated - compared to her feelings for jester reflects how her relationship with Yasha is also changing. Her feelings (that she turned away from bc she believed they also weren’t reciprocated) are now being fuelled by Yasha’s own externalized feelings. They’re both putting energy into their growing relationship and directing it towards a lasting romance. It’s actually so beautiful to see portrayed cause that’s the kind of nuance that gets completely erased in mainstream media and I’m v happy to see this kind of healthy growth ESPECIALLY for queer characters and relationships [7]
think about how nervous beau must be to like yasha following yasha’s marriage to zuala. obviously she briefly mentioned it in e108 but potentially entering into a relationship with yasha and committing to her now would mean beau having to eventually acknowledge that she’s special as fuck to be the person following zuala. to be the person yasha chooses after losing her wife. to know that this shit is real. it’s not just flirting or a fling or even just a regular relationship. to know that yasha must really, well and truly love her if she’s choosing to be with her...[8]

Many fans feel that there's great potential for both Beau and Yasha to find emotional healing with each other. One fan describes their dynamic as a "canon slowburn hurt/comfort" ship. [9]

...yasha later sprouting wings, with which she later flies upwards with beau, is so, so important in indicating how she’s healed, learned to forgive herself for her past, and crucially, allow herself to move on (to someone new)... [10]
beau’s growth of feelings is amazing, but can i also talk about yasha?

like. one of the rawest and truly scariest scenes in critical role to me is when yasha lets herself get beaten up in the fighting pit because she thinks she deserves it. it was indirectly very much self-harm. feelings of unworthiness.

but since return from hiatus, seeing how yasha has grown into the nein has made my heart so warm. she’s let herself be happy, be open. she’ll go where the nein goes.

she finally is letting herself let go of some of that guilt she built up from running when zuala died, and is even letting herself accept that she has romantic feelings again. and not just feel them, but be forward with them. all of yasha’s stupid little smiles when talking to beau hold this lightness and levity that not long ago yasha wouldn’t have allowed herself to feel.[11]
GOD I'm so here for Beau pining but REALLY my fav dynamic is Yasha, soft and openly enjoying the butterflies and warm tingly feelings of falling in love again and beau, allergic to emotions and only just beginning to take benadryl for it constantly trying to play it cool around Yasha because now she isn't just hot for Yash but like ACTUALLY having feelings that aren't forever unreciprocated and she KNOWS Yash has loved before, like enough to MARRY the woman, so she obviously knows what good is and WHAT IF BEAU DOESNT LIVE UP TO IT and like. She knows these are unhealthy thoughts. She knows she is loved and she knows she's deserving of good things bc she's not a terrible being and she's been working to actually believe that more but. Old habits, she feels vulnerable and seen and not just seen platonically but OH GOD MAYBE ROMANTICALLY???[12]

It is common for fans to refer to Beau and Yasha as disaster lesbians, especially since both of them are awkward - this designation is not generally considered derogatory [13][14][15]. Many fans also feel that their reactions towards each other are realistic, and their awkwardness relatable [16][17][18][19].

Episode 112 to 120 developments

For some fans, Yasha's confession to Jester about her feelings for Beau amounted to confirmation of mutual pining, and is when the pairing officially became canon. For other fans, the pairing was not canon until episode 120 airing December 17th 2020, when Beau asked Yasha out on a date; in between episode 114 and episode 120, it was common for BeauYasha shippers on Tumblr to make posts about 'manifesting' a romantic interaction between the characters (whether a kiss, a confession, or some other gesture) [20].

Fan reactions to Beau asking Yasha on a date were in line with earlier observations from the fandom about how much their relationship meant to each of them:

because here’s the thing—neither of them are new to relationships? but you’ve got “married my childhood sweetheart” yasha and “haven’t had a long-term girlfriend since my first disastrous partner got arrested” beauregard who are quietly and awkwardly relearning how to do this soft, gentle beginnings thing again. because it’s been a long time since it’s meant this much—and they’re both so hesitant to say just how much it means. [21]
You wait for a beautiful moment but it’s hard to find one in a barren wasteland covered in snow, so you just keep waiting. And the longer you wait, the more the tension builds and the more perfect the moment has to be so you keep waiting. And then you come a little too close to dying and you decide that you’d rather have her than have the perfect moment so you pull her aside and you ask. And it’s not perfect and it’s not beautiful and it’s nothing like you wanted it to be. Until she says yes and it becomes all of those things. [22]

Post episode 120

Events in canon temporarily postponed the date between Yasha and Beau; however, they had a number of conversations in the meantime. They are finally able to have a date which occurs in episode 126, Worth Fighting For, and takes up the majority of the second half of the episode.

Fans of this pairing were largely delighted by the date itself, and an explosion of fanworks occurred.

Other

There is a Ship War between beauyasha shippers and beaujester shippers (see more at beauyasha vs beaujester)

Fanworks

Fanfics

Fanart

Fanvids

Cosplay

Meta

Other

Links

References

  1. ^ Marisha's thoughts on BeauYasha from tonight's Talks Machina, Archived version
  2. ^ “did you wish that first flight was solo or were you glad beau was with you?”, Archived version
  3. ^ Transcript: Episode 115, Fetching Fables and Frosty Friends, or see "Fetching Fables & Frosty Friends" (2x115) from 1:49:54 through 1:51:46.
  4. ^ Contentious Company Recap or See "Contentious Company" (2x120) from 0:16:25 through 0:19:33.
  5. ^ BJ v BY, Archived version
  6. ^ I feel like the ball's in her court, Archived version
  7. ^ I’m actually…. Very Pleased with how Marisha is playing Beau, Archived version
  8. ^ i couldn’t find the post where i talked about this so i’ll just say it again, Archived version
  9. ^ Response to an ask: What's the best part about Beauyasha for you?, Archived version
  10. ^ aside from the shitty purity culture that pervades wlw representation, i think another disconnect between b/j and b/y fans is simply… seeing yasha., Archived version
  11. ^ beau’s growth of feelings is amazing, but can i also talk about yasha?, Archived version
  12. ^ GOD I'm so here for Beau pining, Archived version
  13. ^ "Surprised Pikachu" reaction from Yasha, by midground, Archived version
  14. ^ not two women fully capable of brutal murder getting sweaty and nervous when confirming that they indeed have deep crushes on one another by somecommonbitch, Archived version
  15. ^ The Beauyasha of it all is how both tried to find a special moment to tell the other about their feelings, by lucky-aspen, Archived version
  16. ^ #biglesbianmood re: Episode 118 by darkcomesoon, Archived version
  17. ^ "as much as i’d love for beau and yasha to actually talk about the letter, i’m also obsessed with the energy they’re bringing during the tundra dungeon crawl from hell" by gideonthesixtyninth, Dec 11th 2020, Archived version
  18. ^ ‘awkward, painfully human, and genuinely touching romance’ by grogblogging, Archived version
  19. ^ "it's so on brand for lesbians" by rogueshowiroll, Archived version
  20. ^ beauyashas after saying “i’m manifesting” every wednesday for months, after it finally happened by vethbrenotto, Archived version
  21. ^ this conversation is adorable by seanotturom in reaction to ep 120, Archived version
  22. ^ analysis of Beau's confession from nothingwithdignity, Archived version