Let's say Yes
Mon Jan 29, 2018 09:53

“I am interested.” Finally Holland had said something definitive. “I like you.” The tightness in Danny’s chest was alleviated, and it was sensational to hear those words spoken, but they did not have the buoying effect on Danny that he would have expected. He felt that throughout this conversation he and Holland had been operating under a similar assumption, united in examining all the reasons that explained why neither of them were invested in pursuing whatever might exist between them. Holland had just offered something that renewed Danny’s vigor to find some way around all the obstacles, although his disbelief that a solution existed had not waned. Holland wasn’t wrong: there was clearly a smarter decision. That didn’t mean it was the right decision.

Danny lifted his gaze back to Holland, recognizing their practical approach to dealing with scenarios that might otherwise evoke negative emotions. They agreed to drop the conversation, which Danny had suggested because that was his way of avoiding getting hurt. Both of them closing off to escape the likely conclusion of this discussion might have been enough for Danny to comply (with the request he had made) if Holland had not just verbally affirmed their interest in him. That was worth a few more minutes, at least, of this torturous exchange.

He was silent as he thought for several long moments. His resolve to drop the conversation and resume a platonic friendship had been temporarily ceased, but was there any point in continuing it? They couldn’t even date, apparently, because dating would involve secrecy or exposure, neither of which were viable options. That was an impossible conundrum, but he liked solving puzzles, and this particular solution might prove valuable. Alternatively, they could clear this hurdle only to meet a hundred more immediately afterwards.

With problem-solving, Danny found it sometimes helped to apply reverse logic. If one just considered disownment as an entity without context, then of course it wasn’t a favorable option: comfort, family, wealth, social standing, connections, and perhaps one’s dignity, dependable on circumstances, were not usually things to be lightly given up. Trying to balance them against the worth of one person was hardly an equivalent comparison. But if the reverse were true - in this scenario, if Danny had nothing except Holland - would he give up that person for the promise of all the privileges outlined? The answer to that dilemma was a far more easily drawn conclusion.

“Okay, say we do manage some hypothetical dates,” Danny suggested, still with no further details on how that might be accomplished, but his aim now was to ascertain whether there was any reason for them continuing this discussion. “And we decide we wanted to try this, then it’s still -” far from ideal. Assuming the initial dates occurred and were successful, and a relationship developed, they were likely to encounter yet more challenges, of a greater magnitude. He expected any progress he made with Holland would be met with resistance. His parents and Claudia might struggle to make the adjustment, but Danny believed they would overcome and, eventually, support his decision - it was his often unnerving extended family, and all their associates and connections among society, that caused him concern.

“If you were the reason that-” again he stopped, and shook his head, because he wouldn’t place any responsibility on Holland; If Danny took the not-so-smart route here, it would be his decision. “I mean if I decided to defy expectations, you’d be - we’d both be,” Danny amended, “up against anyone who expects me to continue the patriarchy: my family, my society.” He ran a hand distractedly through his hair, its perpetually untidy appearance not benefitting from this interference. Specific relatives and even nameless supporters of the system might resent him and Holland equally for daring to be different, and make their displeasure known. They’d already covered how a relationship could be damaging to Danny, but that was only part of his concern. “I can handle them but I wouldn’t want you to go through any of that. It’s not fair.” He didn’t know why he hadn’t given up on this already.

  • Is that a proposition? - Holland, Sun Jan 28 20:34
    Holland once again had the feeling, like they had gotten last year in the Lyra practice room, that they were having this conversation wrong—like they were being tested on a chapter they hadn’t... more
    • Let's say Yes - Danny, Mon Jan 29 09:53
      • I can’t just yet - Holland, Mon Jan 29 12:41
        Holland sighed. Sure, now that Danny had said they should both just forget about this and Holland had agreed, why not explore a scenario in which they had gone on successful dates and wanted to keep... more
        • Tease - Danny, Tue Jan 30 06:44
          “Right,” he agreed immediately that Holland had practise handling situations. They had previously discussed that dating was easier for Danny than it was for Holland; just because it was suddenly less ... more
          • You started it - Holland, Tue Jan 30 12:05
            “I remember,” Holland said, in a tone suggesting there was no need for elaboration. First-year Holland had been able to handle first-year Danny well enough for him to get over his prejudicial... more
            • You can finish it - Danny, Tue Jan 30 14:29
              Holland laughed at Danny’s suggestion, which was definitely a reasonable reaction, although it also sounded suspiciously like Holland wasn’t instinctively and immediately ruling out that option. “But ... more
              • I think I will - Holland, Tue Jan 30 15:35
                Danny took Holland’s hand, and they had that sensation of being shocked again, like a shudder that went all the way down to the base of their spine. After the whole intense circuitous conversation... more
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