Then others can join in
Sat Apr 14, 2018 12:32

Claudia was surprised to learn that Danny had not always been so accepting of others. She had been eight years old when she’d heard about Holland, by which time her brother had evidently overcome his initial objections to them, because he had referred to Holland as his friend. Claudia’s opinion had altered in the other direction: she had not given any thought to Holland’s gender or orientation when it had not been relevant to her. It only became relevant when they started dating her brother, and only then had Claudia found a problem with them. Similarly, she did not care enough to condemn the life choices of other people unconnected to her. The closer Claudia was to an unconventional scenario, or those people involved, the more fervently she abhorred it. Yet Danny was right: such situations continued to occur around her, and she was - apparently - powerless to stop them. She did not believe she would ever be comfortable with the notion of a non-conventional relationship when a heterosexual union was a viable alternative, but fighting against it was apparently fruitless.

Next Danny attempted to convince her he was still the same Dardanius Dubois who had looked out for his youngest sister and respected the responsibilities of being an heir, rather than the queer traitor he’d been portraying. She refrained from snorting in derision at the notion of oppressing personal freedom; it was an illusion. Nobody was ever safe from judgment or exclusion from another party. If Danny wanted to waste all the opportunities life had afforded him to make enemies among his own society by declaring their rules and traditions obsolete, Claudia supposed that really was his idiotic decision to make (which, she noted grudgingly, was probably the point Holland had been attempting to make when they accused her of perpetuating an elitist, classist, sexist system).

“I consider your future happiness of paramount importance,” Danny said (Claudia scoffed), “and as long as we are on the same side, Claudia, I will do what I can to help you achieve that.” She had opened her mouth to declare that clearly he was not on her side, as he had just declared his intention to fight against the rules by which Claudia continued to abide, but he compelled her to hold her tongue while he promised her a secure future. His assurances were meaningless; how could she depend on his word when he had let her down so magnificently?

Danny asked when she had stopped trusting him. Claudia stared at him like he’d lost his mind. “Somewhere around Marissa,” she said dryly, and then wondered if she’d lost her own mind, to be finding humour in this tragedy. She sighed. “Danny, I know it’s a lot of pressure for you, being heir, and looking out for me. I know I wouldn’t want that sort of responsibility.” She wasn’t sure she would handle it any better than he had, although she would inevitably make less stupid and less controversial mistakes. “I just don’t understand why you would make this particular decision. I don’t get why you would risk ruining your life for them.”

As she waited for Danny to answer, Claudia remembered Holland saying, ‘I’m not going to make my decisions out of fear of retribution or discrimination.’ She hadn’t understood their meaning: Claudia made all of her decisions out of fear of retribution, until recently, when she had dared to choose outfits in which she felt more comfortable, and to push herself into social situations that made her hugely uncomfortable, but drew attention to her, where otherwise she would be ignored. Was that the philosophy Dardanius had adopted, over loyalty to his family and heritage? Claudia wasn’t sure whether she was more impressed or revolted.

  • A couple more posts should suffice - Danny, Sat Apr 14 09:19
    Knowing more about the spells she used offered Danny little comfort; she had intentionally - in both instances - manipulated the thoughts of her targets. She gave no indication she considered her... more
    • Then others can join in - Claudia, Sat Apr 14 12:32
      • They can join now, if they want to - Danny, Sat Apr 14 14:32
        “Somewhere around Marissa.” Danny couldn’t completely conceal his smirk. Well if his relationships were the sole cause for her mistrust of him, that was equal parts good and bad news. He could... more
        • Any takers? - Claudia, Sun Apr 15 11:56
          Claudia bit her lower lip. This was stupid. Everything about it was stupid, and Claudia was tired of fighting. She hated that Danny had done this to them, and she wasn’t sure she would ever forgive... more
          • I guess that’s my cue - Holland Keene, Tue Apr 17 13:29
            After the meeting with Aaron, Claudia had gone crying to Toby, who assigned Holland a month’s detention for bullying a younger student and failing to set a good example. Never mind that the younger... more
            • Sharing this one - Danny and Claudia, Sat Apr 21 11:56
              The look Holland gave Danny suggested they were not impressed with whatever he had schemed (it didn’t take a paranoid conspiracy theorist to assume Danny had been scheming something when he brought... more
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