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 Brown paper packages, tied up with string, for Defiance
Defiance
 Posted: Jan 27 2015, 03:38 AM
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Hal let forth a string of curses--or what she had to assume were curses by the idioms her translation spell provided her--and Defiance blinked twice in surprise. He seldom spoke to anyone sharply, and certainly not her... except when he was frustrated by the rate at which her confidences were offered to him.

This was very strange. Perhaps she was more important to him than she'd assumed? No, more likely he just preferred to be crudely and inappropriately conversationally intimate with everyone, and she was merely the nearest confounding force.

"I... see."

Still. He was now the second person with whom she was supposed to be entirely forthright even if doing so was enormously crass and inconsiderate. It was not a request she received often and here was Hal, all but demanding it.

"I will... try not to impose on your apparently monumental tolerance. If I may proceed?"

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Hal Silver
 Posted: Jan 27 2015, 03:45 AM
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"Please. Please. I want you to be the rudest, most inconsiderate, least polite Trueblood I have ever met. I have had enough of this pseudo-Victorian noble propriety garbage, because I am your friend, Defiance, and where I come from, people who are really friends don't do that with each other, which is part of how you know you're actually friends and not just acquaintences or social conveniences or whatever."

It occurred to him that she had possibly just not ever realized that before, but then, it was equally possible that she did realize it and she just couldn't bring herself to do it. It was like pissing your pants. The instinct not to was so ingrained that most adults had to struggle to pee themselves if they were actually asked to do so.

"Sorry. Don't misinterpret any of that as me being angry with you. Consider it me being overjoyed that you're acting like we actually know each other. Proceed."
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Defiance
 Posted: Jan 27 2015, 04:09 AM
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Defiance had, in fact, been considering how to rudely-but-not-too-rudely remind him that if he wanted her to be more open with him he was not going to get his way by yelling and cursing. Even Defiance did not have to put up with being treated that way because even Defiance did not deserve to be scolded by her peers in such a manner.

Hal had many varieties and expressions of joy, some more exuberant than others, but this sort of cross and raspy attitude was an unfamiliar one. She would have to take him at his word and perhaps have some kind of... a... conversation about it, assuming that doing so became a workable dynamic for the both of them.

"All right." She smoothed her hands down the front of one of her many functionally-interchangeable soft short skirts. "Well. In that case."

She looked up at the ceiling, staring at it through grey lashes, because some things were true enough to look away and then there were things which were True and one simply did not throw them around into everybody's faces.

"I am ill-accustomed to being wanted overmuch. Aside from the usual dalliances and my occasional friendship with my older brother, I suspect everyone back home will find my absence... mostly indistinguishable from my presence. As the youngest, even my parents did not have terribly long to become attached to me, certainly not the way they did with Justice and Valor. The Bloods were chiefly offended that I'd insulted them by leaving, and had no obvious interest in my presence in itself."

The young elf looked down to the floor, then back up at the ceiling. She clasped her hands behind her back as she recited this litany of grotesqueries.

"It is quite possible that the first person who has had the opportunity to be rid of me and sincerely rejected it was you. As a result, I am still ill-accustomed to repairing things. It is as simple as that. Reciprocating an attempt at repair is new, especially if it falls to me to build something better than what fell apart before."

Oh the floor. Oh her shoes. Nice little platform sneakers. Good shoes.

"I have not had a better friendship. I do not know what can be improved. I only know what... hurts. I do not know how to prevent it. It has never been prevented."

Did humans do this all the time? What a hideous custom.

"Thus my apprehension."

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Hal Silver
 Posted: Jan 27 2015, 04:22 AM
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Oh.

"Defiance. I fancy myself an amateur magician. A conjurer of cheap tricks, at best. But even I know that there is no magical way--both in that there is no spell and there is no 'automagic' solution--to overcoming..." Now it was his turn to be polite. "Emotional short-circuits. Whatever has happened to you in the past, whatever it is that you're carrying around with you, the fact is that those things have left you sort of...biased, I guess? Left you with blind spots with respect to yourself. Made you believe untrue things about how much people around you value you."

The Trueblood mind and the human mind could not be that different, fundamentally-speaking; humans and Truebloods were, after all, close enough genetically to produce offspring. Which meant that most of that infuriating Trueblood behavior was cultural. Sure, there might be some predispositioning factors here or there, but this was Hal's proof: Human brains and elf brains were basically the same. They had the same flaws, the same known bugs.

Elf brains could be traitors, too.

"It might take a while for you to realize this, but everyone I know here will find your absence very distinguishable from your presence. You know what? You and Skeezix might become friends again, and then, some time down the road, you might hurt each other again. You might stop being friends a second time. It could happen. Remember what we talked about before? About how sometimes, you have to take risks in order to benefit?"

At times, Hal's frustration with Defience was grounded in how alien she behaved. Now he was struck by how human she was behaving.

It was, after all, basically what he had asked her to do.
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Defiance
 Posted: Jan 27 2015, 04:48 AM
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Defiance was not at all sure she was wrong about how much most people valued her. Hal might prefer her presence to her absence, but even in his brief life she was only lately beginning to occupy a significant span of time. He was becoming accustomed to her. She had not enormously changed the rhythm of his days, but she had inserted herself into them as novel causes for typical things. Even so.

Skeezix... well, Skeezix had seemed to want Defiance to occupy a larger space, hadn't she? But she'd expected Defiance's presence to come so cheaply, had expected Defiance to be grateful for the friendship of someone who would have let Cineáltas die miserably alone. Skeezix understood now that even Defiance had to have some standards; even Defiance was not so desperate as that.

Cineáltas was unwell, though, and it made him different. He did not want her around because he did want her around, and he did not give himself good things. That she could argue with. The moment he were well, once his standards were as high as he deserved, then she would believe he was through with her, and then she would go away. Hurting her to hurt himself was intolerable. Once he did so for real, she'd understand. That would be that. Wouldn't it?

The idea of friends breaking each other's hearts over and over again as a matter of course sounded absolutely unbearable. How could they stand each other's company?

"I do not know what to say to accomplish this. I never stopped wanting the friendship I thought we'd had. I simply decided it was not our reality, and she did not argue like you did. Nor did she express remorse for helping Blondie hurt me to hurt himself. Not until now. I do not know if she is different now. I don't want to do it again, or find out what other terrible thing comes next. She's not all bad. I just don't want to look back and feel stupid for letting her near again."

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