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Very much so.
Tue Dec 12, 2017 22:42

“I think you’re right,” said Joe slowly when Raine seemed to doubt her own thought about the mouths of ticks, thinking back through a lot of years. He’d never been as into survival skills and all that as John had, but he’d been there where they learned them and so remembered a few things. “I think they might have told us that in – these outdoorsy classes Mom put us in when I was little.”

The bit about the oil making the ticks sleepy surprised him, as he’d assumed ‘anesthetic’ had meant making the bird not notice or mind the pain of having the tick removed, but it made sense that having the stuff applied directly to it would knock the tick a bit loopy, too. Further, it made sense that a loopy tick would be easier to remove than a conscious one, which probably dug in deeper when it realized some idiot was trying to separate it from its host. Knocking it out was a win-win for everyone, assuming the tick wasn’t smashed in the process of being removed – which, his hands being decidedly less deft with tweezers than Raine’s were, was a real possibility. He hoped she was not the sort to feel sorry for ticks, because otherwise, he might end up upsetting her by accident….

That was the funny thing about Raine – they’d known each other five years, more or less, and yet she often seemed nearly as shy as she had been in their first year. Of course, some people were just very soft-spoken, without the…excesses of personality his family tended toward even in its less noisy members, but for a while he’d wondered if something completely and utterly awful had happened to her. The funny thing, though, wasn’t that – it was that Joe felt oddly protective toward her. He occasionally felt compelled at home to do this or that to prevent John or Julian from putting their feet in it or keep Mom and Paul from taking some of their disputes a touch too close to home, but he didn’t think of that so much as being protective - that was just management. With Raine, he had nothing to gain as such – if something was upsetting her, he didn’t necessarily have to hear about it, because being in the same House here wasn’t the same as being in the same house at home, unable to avoid listening to arguments or feeling tensions bubbling just beneath the surface when something went wrong, and yet, talking to her and trying to help out if he could didn’t feel like doing charity work, either. He knew exactly what that was like and had worried that was a complete monster until Julian had admitted she hated it too – not doing good, they were both in favor of doing good things, but neither of them felt comfortable doing good in person, openly, without any convenient motive to hide behind. That wasn’t what he felt like with Raine, but he worried sometimes about her thinking he did - or possibly even worse, that he just thought she’d eventually fool around with him if he was nice to her - because he didn’t really have a word for their relationship.

“That’s a good idea,” he said when she suggested leaving the oil a little longer next time. “Do you mind if I watch how you – uh, remove the thing?” he asked, as Raine was the sort of person who it seemed important to ask before getting too close to her personal space.

  • Are... Are you sure?Raine, Wed Dec 6 06:06
    Raine was glad it was Joe who had come to join her, as she counted him amongst her friends. Or at least… She felt comfortable with Joe. Sometimes even good. She wasn’t sure they were friends in the... more
    • Very much so. — Joe , Tue Dec 12 22:42
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