I still think I'd like you to stay on the physical plane
Thu Aug 23, 2018 08:40

"Right, sorry," Dorian nodded, when Jehan told him off for apologising. It was reflexive enough that he didn't even notice the irony of apologising for apologising, or even really that he had done it again.

"Oh," he said, mostly for the sake of something to say, unsure for a moment which of the swirling and conflicting thoughts to present first. He felt several types of confusion. Everything was a bit opposite to what it should be. As Jehan had pointed out, they were not supposed to approve of the Muggle world. Dorian was not sure whether ‘approve’ was the right word for what he felt anyway. He had never felt any desire to go there. Part of him wanted to now, but only because he wanted to be with Jehan, wherever he went. He was still scared of it and would rather neither of them went. He thought that the ways that he felt uncertain were reasonable, and he thought that Jehan might almost have agreed with him, although Jehan seemed to think it wasn't much of a problem… But he knew from his own experiences that people sometimes thought or said things that were hurtful or prejudiced without meaning to. And he wasn’t sure whether his fear extended beyond the basic, reasonable fear of the unfamiliar. It was true that he had pictured a dark and sinister place. Also confusing was that Jehan thought that he, Dorian, was racist. Or capable of racist thoughts. Which would have fundamentally hurt and been ridiculous, except he knew that he had never told Jehan why that would be ridiculous, and part of him thought it was obvious but he knew that not everyone in his own family had made the connection that he had made when he was - he wasn’t sure. He didn’t remember ever not noticing the hypocrisy. That bit was less confusing, and also would help explain anything else he did or didn’t think about the Muggle world, so he started there. " I don't want to be mean to anyone. Ever. And especially not about that type of thing. At home, I am different. Me, Matthieu, Émilie and Mama... We don't look like everyone else. Sometimes people make that be a bad thing. I don't want to make other people have those feelings because I know how much not nice they are. I… I never really thought about it as a place to actually go though," he admitted, still sounding a little overwhelmed by that as a notion, “I just thought about people. Like… Like when I talk to Parker, I don’t want him to feel bad.”

He looked up at Jehan again. Dorian had hinted at some elements of what he was saying before - to know what it was like to be different, that he stood out to a certain degree because of his appearance. But he had let the important parts of that go unsaid, either assuming Jehan implicitly understood or just trying to forget about them himself. It felt good to talk about it. Surprisingly good to talk about pain and hurt and meanness. He wanted to let Jehan in, for them to know each other completely, and maybe it was the revelations he had had over the summer, or the talk with Professor Brooding, or the way that Jehan was looking at him right now - a look that made him feel safe and wanted and warm. Very warm. He lowered his gaze, finding he couldn’t keep meeting Jehan’s eyes. Not because it was bad but just... intense. And there was a bunch of scary, depressing stuff on his mind and some part of those feelings didn't go together. He knew it would be ok though. They could be themselves completely, share everything, and it wouldn’t be scary or dangerous to tell Jehan anything he felt because everything he felt would be safe with Jehan. Something about that thought nagged at the corner of his mind. It felt like he had been thinking something recently about people who made one feel safe... For some reason, an image of Katerina at the feast came to mind, although the thought could not have been about her, as he barely knew her. But he thought that might have been when he was thinking it. Maybe because he had been offering it to her? Though that didn’t seem to tally with the feeling of the type of thought it had been. Maybe because he had been thinking about Jehan. He thought a lot of Jehan.

He rearranged them, sitting back almost as they had been, leaning sideways against the back of the couch. He put himself at half an arm's length from Jehan, so that he could look at him as they talked, one arm curled under his own head and the other loosely draped across Jehan. Comfortable, cosy, connected still. But in a way that was more soothing, more conducive to a serious conversation.

"Not belonging is a horrible feeling," he confirmed. He thought for a moment about saying more of his own experiences in the department, he felt like he had so many things to say, but he wanted first to reassure Jehan. "You can always have home with me though. I know I was far away this summer,” he added, experiencing a pang of guilt that he hadn’t been available for Jehan. He would make up for that though, “but you can come to stay all the time you want for Christmas and next summer. Mama and Émilie ask for you so much.” That was a long time away though. They had weeks yet, before either of them had to face their families’ houses again. “And here... Here is home to me. And to you?" His hand had been resting on Jehan's arm, and at some point without being consciously aware of it, his thumb had begun to work back and forth, gently stroking the skin underneath it. And, as he sought to reassure Jehan, the hand trailed down the length of his arm. And what he wanted to express was that he had felt lost and out of place sometimes too. But that he never did with Jehan. That they could give each other that feeling of belonging. And the way this came out, in Dorian's English was, "We could belong together."


His eyes moved from Jehan’s face to his own hand, almost surprised to find where it was. And he hesitated. He had been going to, instinctively, reach for Jehan's hand, but then the thought had crossed his mind Boys hold hands with girls. It wasn't like he had never held Jehan's hand before. Or at least... taken his hand, squeezed it to offer reassurance and as a sign of friendship. That was different than holding hands in the way one would do with a girlfriend. But something about it still bothered him. It had been fine to be affectionate when they were younger but they were getting older. Grown men did not hold hands. When he and Jehan got girlfriends, were they going to have to stop being so affectionate with each other? His father had told him about inappropriate touching with girls but nothing about boys had been mentioned... But for the first time, he found himself questioning how he and Jehan were with each other. Whether it was... alright. Whether it was normal. Self-conscious suddenly, he lifted the hand that had paused at Jehan's wrist, running it through his own hair and then dropping it onto his own lap with a perplexed sigh.

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    • I still think I'd like you to stay on the physical plane — Dorian, Thu Aug 23 08:40
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