Parts of it, anyway
Sun Nov 18, 2018 03:25

“Yes, that will be nice,” Dorian smiled, when Professor Brooding suggested introducing Melodie and Ailuros. Both kneazle and owner seemed to approve of his more immediate plans, and he picked up the kitten, holding her against his chest where she snuggled and purred. He continued to pet her, smiling delightedly. “I like the small and fluffy creatures,” he added, his tone soft and cautious, almost as of one admitting to a deep secret. Which, given that he was a thirteen year old boy, was possibly somewhat accurate. “Last year we studied…. Pyggly puffs?” he queried slightly. He couldn’t quite remember the first word in their name, “Tatya and I have one together. We teach it all four of our languages,” he smiled. “It is a much nicer lesson than things which try to bite you. I think Tatya will like you too,” he added to Ailuros, “Tatya can seem too bouncy but she is gentle really. She was sad when we had to give back our puff.

“Ok,” he smiled, relieved when she didn’t want him to forget about it. He liked that she was happy, and he didn’t want to have to pretend otherwise. “Sometimes things are private,” he nodded, when she haltingly explained, “But… it is nice to share a little bit.” He considered trying to tell her about Jehan. Certainly, once again, Professor Brooding and he were proving to be very alike. And he knew that she was not going to judge him for being in love with a boy if she was in love with another woman. But things with Jehan weren’t the same as they were with her and Professor Hawthorne. Jehan wasn’t his boyfriend. Dorian just wished he was. And he didn’t want to make this about him, or get into feelings that were confusing and involved some degree of hurting, because Professor Brooding was so happy. It was enough to know that there was someone though. Someone he could tell and know that telling was going to be safe.

“I will not say about it to others,” he promised, “Not on purpose anyway - I’m not really good at lying,” he added, which got him an enthusiastic nuzzle from Ailuros. He couldn’t see how it was likely that it was going to come up in a conversation but he didn’t want to risk a situation where Professor Brooding felt he had broken a promise to her. He was also relieved to hear that she wouldn’t be talking about him. It was one of the things that had made him feel safe about being around her, that she had promised it was just between them (unless something he said was serious and about people being in danger).

“I don’t dislike her,” he assured Professor Brooding, when she said he didn’t have to like Professor Hawthorne. “I… I just don’t know her at all, except from class.” He knew she had helped with the book Professor Brooding had made him, and Professor Brooding liked her, both of which indicated that she was a nice and good person. He sometimes felt a little bit of a knot in his stomach when he had to go to her class but that was more about the class than her… It was hard not to get them mixed up in his head a little bit sometimes, or to feel that Professor Hawthorne was a little bit scary because of what she taught, but he tried not to put it on her as a person. Still, he didn’t exactly foresee getting to know her any better. Professor Brooding and he were… he regarded them as friends, but not in a way where they were likely to come and socialise within the other one’s social circle. “I like that she makes you happy though. And this time around, Sonora is not a place where you are lonely,” he added, smiling broadly.

And you had a nice time? Dorian wondered why she was confirming this, and talking about family being difficult. Her own seemed to be… He wondered in what way, and part of him wanted to ask - he remembered her mentioning that she too had a brother… But he didn’t really want to talk about his own, and he wasn’t sure how to ask her about hers without risking opening that up, and it also felt very personal. He noticed that Ailuros had stopped purring. He could feel her tiny paws pressing against his chest and had the impression she was propping herself up to examine him. She could probably feel the fact that his heart rate had quickened at Professor Brooding’s question. Of course, that in itself was not inherently untrustworthy but he felt that the kneazle was scoping him out, and he did not dare look down and meet her eyes. But by the end of Professor Brooding’s sentences, she seemed to be more talking to herself, deciding he had had fun, and her question seemed somewhat rhetorical, and he thought he could get away with just nodding and smiling to what she was saying.

“But you did not finish telling me about Greece” he added, “I mean… History things you saw. Or the food,” he added, making it clear he was not trying to pry into her private life but just to hear about the highlights of an exciting place. This interest was certainly sincere, and Ailuros - if she had been doubtful at all, it was hard to tell whether or not he was reading too much into it - now resumed nuzzling him.

  • Ain't that the truth? Professor Mary Brooding, Sat Nov 17 23:14
    Mary laughed softly, appreciating Dorian's joke. "That's true, this one's a little self-centered." Ailuros let out a satisfied purr, apparently taking the comment in stride. "I think that's a very... more
    • Parts of it, anyway — Dorian, Sun Nov 18 03:25
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