Bless your soul, you've got your head in the clouds
Mon Mar 13, 2017 20:21

She listened. He talked, and she listened. She wouldn’t have asked if she didn’t plan on hearing him out. And as Lucien went on, she found herself getting, surprisingly, less upset. He seemed genuine and a bit… beaten down. Obviously, he had found exactly the wrong person at RMI to offend. Francine couldn’t help but but look at the fading bruise on Lucien’s face; it had been a rough week, probably rougher than he deserved even if he was in the wrong (and he was). Holland’s friends were pretty resilient.

Holding her breath wasn’t a conscious choice, her chest tightening up and forgetting how to do it, but she didn’t exhale until after Lucien was done. Now, in the silence, she took a deep breath. “I believe you,” she said softly, reaching forward and taking his hand. Lucien was Smart, but he was standing here and admitting he didn’t understand. Francine thought that probably took a lot of courage. She was proud of him for that.

“The fact of the matter is that what you said wasn’t okay,” she stated. Francine wasn’t very smart, but she thought she could maybe at least try to explain. “Like, let’s imagine for a moment that there was one kid in the school that constantly referred to you with feminine pronouns. ‘Hey, did you guys see Lucien today? What’s up with her? She seems off.’ Like that. You wouldn’t like it.” The Cetus paused for a moment. “Now, this next part would never happen and might be harder to imagine, but let’s say you tell this person that no, you’re a boy. What if they said back, ‘Boys aren’t real, you can’t be a boy, I‘m gonna call you whatever I want to call you.’ Wouldn’t you be upset?”

The question was rhetorical; she kept talking. “Lucien, what if I came up to you one day and said that I don’t feel comfortable using female pronouns anymore, but that I don’t like the boy ones either? What if I wanted to use they/them?” She squeezed his hand. “I would want to feel respected and loved. I would want to feel safe with you. It might not seem like a big deal to you because you and I are lucky enough to not have these kind of issues, but it’s really, really important to Holland. This is who they are.” Francine didn’t feel like she’d done a great job of explaining it, really, but she did at least have some basis to go on here. When they were third years and Holland arrived at RMI as a first year, her first interaction with them had been to bluntly but innocently ask if they were a boy or girl. When their answer wasn’t so simple, she’d done her research. It was around the same time she was beginning to wonder about Nick, so at the time, she knew she had a lot of things to learn. And she had wanted to learn. She wanted to be good to people.

Now she just wanted Lucien to want that, too. "Does any of that make sense?"

  • Rumour mills are a bit inaccurate - Lucien Dubois, Mon Mar 13 14:54
    There were a lot of things happening right now. Lucien had hoped that his relationship with Francine would be unaffected. Not even hoped - expected - for the simple reason that, well, why would it be ... more
    • Bless your soul, you've got your head in the clouds - Francine, Mon Mar 13 20:21
      • Are you trying to pull me back down? - Lucien, Tue Mar 14 00:07
        When Francine reached towards him, he reacted automatically, pulling his hand free of his trouser pockets to wrap it around hers. She believed him. She believed him. Finally, out of this entire... more
        • I'm mostly just trying to quote Adele - Francine, Tue Mar 14 01:20
          “Well... if it was you, I wouldn’t want you to feel unsafe.” Francine smiled. It was a small smile, but a smile nonetheless. This was progress. He got the threat of the situation, at least a little... more
          • That may be a more admirable goal - Lucien, Tue Mar 14 17:23
            Lucien had read up a little on gender stuff before now. The topic hadn’t been remotely relevant in his life until his third year, which was when Holland arrived at RMI; subsequently, his trips for... more
            • I'm nothing if not admirable. - Francine, Tue Mar 14 20:52
              Francine was, as almost anyone knew, not really a big reader. If it was a really good story, then she could get into it, but if she wasn’t super in love with it, she had to drag herself through. She... more
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