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Something round here definitely does
Thu Apr 19, 2018 08:18

He got a blink and an ‘erm.’ He tried to tell himself that it could have gone down worse, in that Zevalyn didn’t seem actively upset with him for being a deeply horrible person who had said such a terrible thing, but it wasn’t really, by any stretch of the imagination, going well either.

He wished he could do a better job of explaining so that she didn’t think badly of him for what he’d said. Normally he didn’t shy away from talking about how he felt, but this was deep and personal and complicated, and he wasn’t really sure where it would stop if he started. He hated the politics of the Pureblood world with a passion, but at this stage his classmates were just the victims of that, not the perpetrators. Unless they were actively antagonistic to him, he couldn’t regard them as The Enemy. He was also supposed to be available to help… His parents were pretty clear in the idea of boundaries around that – he was not expected to be a counsellor, or try to rescue his classmates (or ‘recruit’ them) or sort out their problems. But if they were aware, through him, that help was available, that was a good thing. He could be an example, a voice that explained there was an alternative. His parents didn’t expect more of him than deciding what his principles were and sticking with them, but he found it hard not feel personally responsible for his classmates. Especially now that was actually an issue he was facing… He had witnessed Jehan Callahan asking Luke Powell to the ball, and it hadn’t seemed to be a joke or a dare. He hadn’t approached Jehan there and then, not wanting to risk drawing negative attention that came with someone like Kir talking to him, but he’d found a time to speak to him when he was on his own (eventually – the kid was damn popular, though how long that would last when his friends found out…), to slip him a few kind words, a flyer and an explanation. He’d mailed his parents about it, and they’d mailed back saying he’d already done all he could do for now. And it didn’t feel like enough. Because Jehan’s family was One Of Those Families. His brother was in Kir’s class, and Merlin knew what he thought, or would think or do, and Kir wanted to just scoop Jehan up and rescue him before anything horrible could happen. And he didn’t even freaking know him. But it hurt his heart and it frightened him, and it made him angry, that the world might be cruel to someone over who they loved, because that just wasn’t fair – that concept, of course, had been one he’d always been aware of, but it had been a lot more abstract up until now. Now it had a name, and a face – a twelve year old face that might get punched by meaner older kids. He couldn’t stand the thought that Jehan might start to get picked on, or be in trouble, and that he might not be able to do anything about it – might not even know it was happening. Even without it having much affected him, the crueller side of the Pureblood world had definitely been on his mind.

But he couldn’t talk to Zev about that anyway… He wasn’t sure who else had seen Jehan ask out Luke, or who had heard it on the grapevine, but he wasn’t going to be responsible for it spreading. Not that Jehan was exactly keeping it a secret, but if there were any negative reactions, Kir did not want to feel like he’d been involved in the news reaching the people responsible. He kind of wished he could talk to Zevalyn about the other stuff though – the way he hated everything the Purebloods, as a collective, did, whilst having to be kind or at least neutral to them all as individuals. Because each individual one was not at fault. Because he had to be better than they were. Because the last person anyone was going to go to for help was someone who’d been a jerk to them… And that it just got tiring sometimes. He didn’t want to trade, he knew he valued being the better person in all of this, and that being someone who was doing the right thing was worthwhile even when it was difficult, but it was just hard sometimes, and he wanted to complain about it to someone who understood, and vent his feelings about all the horror in the world and how powerless he felt about it, sometimes through the outlet of off-colour jokes, to people who might understand, and to whom it wouldn’t be damaging to what he was trying to do. He wanted someone he could relax in front of. Let down the front of the kind, helpful guy and just… be pissed at the world because it sucked and the people in it made him angry sometimes.

He mumbled something which might have been a further apology but was mostly just awkward noise, not trusting himself to actually open his mouth right now without going on a very long ramble about The System and his Feelings.

Zevalyn seemed to prefer the option of changing the subject rather than getting into his deeply weird family and emotional hang ups, which he supposed was a good thing – he was pretty sure you were meant to trick people into dating you before you revealed how crazy you and your family were. And the whole saga of what he meant by ‘ex-society’, plus the politics and emotions that went with it, were possibly not a conversation well suited to a time when she wasn’t feeling at her best. Much safer to pick up the subject change instead.

“Balloons?” he asked quizzically, “What are these ball-oons of which you speak?” but he’d never had much of a poker face, and couldn’t keep a smile from appearing as he said it, “Yes, we have balloons. Some of them even do things like sing, though those are often banned from hospital wards because they’re really very irritating – even on their own, but if you get half a dozen all signing different songs or singing at different times, I imagine it really is quite awful.” He glanced slightly suspiciously at the homework, but it showed no sign of transforming itself into a cute little balloon on a stick. “Noted for future reference,” he assured her. “I guess you can just… unfold your homework when you want to have a look at it. Sorry for… being weird,” he wasn’t sure he could come up with a more specific term for what he had done there, and that covered rather a lot of… recent incidents.

“You’re worth the risk,” he smiled at her, as she mentioned he might get sick. He wondered whether he was brave enough to try taking her hand, because it seemed like the kind of line that went along with doing that. He thought about it for a moment before deciding that he definitely was not, especially after making a massive idiot out of himself, so he focussed instead on answering her question. “Hmm, I feel like I should choose flowers just to buck the stereotype but fifth year, Aladren grade class notes,” he gave a sharp intake of breath, “Tempting. I guess it’s another tick for the merits of balloons that they’re at least a nice gender neutral gift. Well, unless people insist on making them pink and blue. Like… Why would anyone do that? There are only two permitted colours for cheery inflatable sacks of air, and we’ve decided half of the population likes this one and half the other… Who came up with that? And why did everyone like… go along with it?”

  • Does this medicine make people extra wordy?Zevalyn, Wed Apr 18 22:42
    Zevalyn blinked in surprise at Kir’s apparently very low opinion of Crotali. She had already basically eliminated all the Crotalus boys in or near her year as potential ball dates, because she... more
    • Something round here definitely does — Kir, Thu Apr 19 08:18
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