An All Hallows Moon, Tonight
Hello Darling
sterlingwins
To say that Sterling was not having a good night would have been the understatement of the year. It was a shame, because he usually did so appreciate the holiday; parties and costumes and candy and stiff drinks, what was not to like? Certainly, some costumes left much to be desired, but so did the fashion choices of the general public, so it was simply to be expected. However, tonight had gone nothing according to plan. He didn't know who he'd pissed off, but it seemed someone was out for revenge of the mystical sort. He'd felt a bit dizzy, out of it, like everything was being viewed through smoky glass. However, it wasn't until the dress that he'd realized just how out of it he was. Trying to fight it just made him feel worse; feverish, dizzy, like his skin wanted to crawl away from his body. His tattoos were lessening some of the effect, but whomever had cast this was powerful, and the hex seemed to be working itself up, if anything.

And that was why there was that rather insistent call to Rhys' phone, asking for his help with a hex. He gives him an address and he's sure he'll regret that part too, but probably not as much as he would ignoring the hex. Probably. He did his best to not sound overly worked up about it, trying to keep his breathing even, but he just knew this wasn't going to end well. He doesn't actually know magic himself; he's avoided even the simplest of things because he knows that would just make him more attractive to Crowley, and somehow anything the demon likes always feels like losing.

He's sitting on the bed, his small feet in black leather ankle boots with a steep heel, buttons up the side. His torso is laced tight into a Victorian corset, with a luxurious dress that fits him like a glove clinging to his skin. There are yards and yards of beautiful fabrics and they spill around him as he tries to catch his breath, stay still long enough for Rhys to get here. He doesn't want Rhys to see him like this, but he doesn't think he has a choice. It might be just embarrassing right now, but there's a razor's edge he can feel that says humiliation isn't the only end game here.

It would be easier to deal with this if there wasn't a repressed spark that liked it; the feel of the fabric, the cut of the dress, even the way the corset nipped in at his waist. He'd never told anyone; experimentation from when he'd been a teenager in London. Tht meant it was just coincidence, right? He wasn't so sure.

He Waits Dreaming App
Hello Darling
sterlingwins
✢ The Player
Player Name
: Sammy
Age: 18+
LJ: lotuspromises
AIM / MSN / Y!M: lotuspromises on all services
E-mail: lotuspromises@gmail.com
Other Characters: None.

✢ The Character
Character Name
: James Sterling [Character goes by both James and Jim in canon; mun prefers James for consistency]
Fandom: Leverage
Canon Point: Between 2x12 'The Zanzibar Marketplace Job' and 2x15 'The Maltese Falcon Job'
Age: Never explicitly stated, so, let's say 40.

Appearance: Sterling is always clean and pressed, always in a suit, and usually smiling the smile of the cat with the canary. He considers himself always one step ahead of everyone else, and it shows -- he doesn't walk so much as saunter. He has sharp grey eyes, black hair, and stands at a rather unimpressive 5'9", but has personal presence to spare. He doesn't look like he can take a punch, but looks can be deceiving.

Abilities / Powers: Is being a phenomenal self-serving utter bastard a power? No? Oh well.

Sterling is an expert conman, able to convincingly lie to people even when they're expecting it, skilled at pushing people around - from the police to FBI, competent with a gun, very good at chess (perhaps low-end grandmaster level), and he is surprisingly decent in a brawl.

Inventory: Suit, overcoat, Interpol badge, handgun, extra clip, cellphone, wallet, collapsible beat-stick, chess piece made of ivory – white king.

Personality: Sterling is the white king. He is the foil to the main protagonist, he is the mastermind. He always has at least one plan, and because of this even in treacherous situations he usually comes off with cool self-assurance. Where Nate is the black king, breaking the law for the right reasons, Sterling is ostensibly on the side of the law, but without any particular virtue to show for it. He does not play above board; when one of his underlings asked if they should call the police, he told the man he was fired, and he has also been shown to hire hitmen and engage in other less than scrupulous endeavors.

The general persona Sterling presents is a mix of mocking and charming, sarcastic and frequently with a bit of a bite to his words. At first glance, he is shown to be rather ruthless in pursuit of his desires. He often cares little for where other people fall in his maxim of achieving what he wants at any cost. He is a fickle ally at best, only ever showing half his hand, and often leaving his once-were conspirators hanging in the wind if it will help him better achieve his objectives. The only real way shown to get him on anyone's 'side' is to have it be in his best-interest, and even then he is still secretly (or not) out for Team Sterling. He often seems to take pleasure in screwing people over, but he isn't reckless about this, and is able to play by the rules if it gets him what he wants in the end.

However, Sterling does also have his occasional moments of genuine interest in other people; namely his former-coworker Nate. Nate seems to have been Sterling's only actual friend, as opposed to simply someone that was useful in his line of work. Their relationship was constantly fraught with competition; however, this seems to be a trait of all his major on-screen relationships save for with his daughter.

Sterling is a particularly driven individual: there is always something bigger and greater to achieve. He is characterized as being unrelenting, patient, and almost obsessive. A brief argument once breaks out amoung a few of the protagonists over just how many days Sterling once waited in a car trunk in order to catch someone (three or five).

His greatest fear seems to be personal failure: Sterling wins because he can't stand to lose.

Only real headcanon I have for Sterling is that I like to flesh out his backstory a little. He went through the Insurance and Risk Management program at the University of Pennsylvania, Wharton school of Business. This is the oldest insurance program in the world, I can definitely see him being accepted due to his merit as a conman and likely due to some favors with the right people. He got his first job in insurance sales in New York City while working on his Master's degree at the Insurance Society of New York, and met his wife. Given Sterling's wife's taste in men, I definitely think their relationship started in a big city, and New York City's financial district would have offered a new graduate a lot in the way of employment opportunities.

They got married soon after he graduated, and she got pregnant soon after, giving birth to their daughter Olivia Sterling. In her appearance in 'The Queen's Gambit Job' Olivia seems to be about fifteen, which would put Sterling at around twenty-five when she was born. Sterling's relationship with his wife grew strained with him putting in long hours at the office, and moving into Insurance Investigation, which often kept him away from home. He bought her things, but the relationship wasn't working. Orientation-wise, I see Sterling as gay, with this being something he didn't work out until after the divorce, due to not really questioning it at the time. As someone that would have been born in approximately 1972, I see this as being rather appropriate to the culture he would have grown up in. However, as he isn't shown to engage in any romantic liaisons in canon, this is pretty much my take on the character. It makes sense to me because of the fact that even with his friendship with Nate, it was something he never talked about, and even at the end of 'The Queen's Gambit Job' he doesn't actually mention what happened with his wife. It seems like there's more involved here than just the shame of being unable to fix his relationship.

I see the breakdown on their relationship as being something that Sterling couldn't really accept and didn't really understand. He seems to even still think he can get always get everything he wants, that he can con everyone, and I definitely see this as having been involved in the decay and subsequent divorce from his wife. I also see this as being something of a secret, because he sees it as his fault. Not for 'normal' reasons, such as prioritizing work over his family life, and not paying attention to his wife, but because it being the one thing that he couldn't smile and lie and make everything better. Sterling was trying to 'win' at relationships, which obviously didn't work.

However, conversely, he seems to have had a very good relationship with his daughter. Given their mutual interest in chess, I think this was a bonding activity and likely helped to fuel her interest and her own drive to improve. She also seems to have taken more after her father given the pride with which she says “it was my real dad that taught me how to win”, but is definitely more open about expressing herself. I think that after the divorce he had very limited visitation rights, but did what he could for his daughter until his wife moved to Dubai with her new husband. The fact that he has to steal Olivia back when his daughter clearly wants to live with him, even after his wife's death, seems to indicate a rather unbalanced settlement in that regard. This also ties into the fact that with marital splits, the mother is often given preference, unless there is seriously damning evidence elsewise, and sometimes not even then.

History: Wiki link goes here. It's kind of crap, though. So, I'm going to try and do a little corrective work, here, overview will be brief and attempts to be somewhat chronological.

Skills - Lip reading and speaking Arabic are taken from a scene in 'The Queen's Gambit Job' in which Sterling is lying in order to lure Eliot into the basement and thus aren't canon-confirmed.

Sometime after his divorce, Sterling moved to Los Angeles and went to work for IYS Insurance, and met Nate working in Insurance Investigation. The two became friends-cum-rivals, with nightly meetings for a drink at the top of the IYS building, and a highball glass they shared and passed back and forth to denote who was currently 'on top' (information taken from DVD commentary, and hinted at in various episodes).

Nate's son died after IYS insurance refused to cover the procedure that would have saved his life, labeling it 'experimental'. Nate left the company, and Sterling took his job as Primary Insurance Officer. They first meet again when Nate and his newly-formed band of thieves find the mark for their con is insured by IYS. They both achieve their objectives and at the end, Sterling is waiting for Nate where they both say that next time they won't play so nice. Sterling also expresses sympathy for what happened, and even he seems to find it cruel.

Sterling becomes vice-President of IYS three days prior to the events of the 'Second David Job', when he clashes with Nate and his team when they go after the CEO of IYS. The events leave the CEO kicked off the board, and it is entirely possible that this leaves Sterling in a greater position of power in the company, seeing that Nate leaves a policy change in his hands: repealing the refusal that was responsible for his son's death. In the course of this, Sterling rather personally offends the combat member of the group by sending a hitman after him, which continues through the rest of the series.

In 'The Zanzibar Marketplace Job', after Eliot beats Sterling into a table, he and Nate agree to work together on a job. Sterling is trying to steal a Faberge egg that Nate's ex-wife has been accused of stealing. The team gets no money out of the job, but they do clear her name, while Sterling rather spectacularly steps out of the trunk of a car with the egg, and in a show of false modesty, credits the local government. This makes national news (as the team watches it on TV back in Boston), and results in Interpol offering him a job which he graciously accepts.

Canon point he's taken from is where he's been working with Interpol, but before he crosses with Nate again in 'The Maltese Falcon Job' which ends with Sterling throwing Nate in jail.

First Person Sample:

[The picture clicks on, and shows a man crisply dressed in an expensive suit. A broad but sharp smile, with a glint of pearly teeth against red lips.]

Hello, Arkham. James Sterling, Interpol. Pleasure is all yours, I'm sure.

[British accent colors the words, a lift of an eyebrow as eyes look into the camera, a flash to his greys that's almost predatory.]

Now. Who's going to tell me more about the bloody monsters?

Third Person Sample: Thread link goes here.

Other: Mun really doesn't write in first person for fandom and apologizes if sample is awkward; I usually write in second for actionspam if I can't get away with third.
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One of those Thread Tracking Type Things
Hello Darling
sterlingwins
2014!Cas / Sterling - Different Types of Love - Cheating
2014!Cas / Sterling - Different Types of Love - Kids

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