Every cloud has one
Thu Apr 12, 2018 15:13

Danny had interpreted Holland taking his other hand as a sign they would be comfortable with more intimate contact, which they confirmed as they leaned into his embrace. Both Lyras had understood that they would inevitably meet with opposition to their relationship, should they continue to pursue it, and Claudia had already made clear that she did not support or encourage them in any way, yet the capacity of her resistance had not been anticipated. For his part, Danny couldn’t help feeling overwhelming responsible. Before they had agreed to try dating, one of the many reservations he’d discussed with Holland was a reluctance to subject them to precisely this sort of backlash. It was impossible to hold Holland now, to comfort them, without feeling like this was his fault.

“It’s not your fault,” Holland said, as if reading his thoughts. Perhaps it was due to the aforementioned discussion, or perhaps it was because they already knew Danny so well, anyway, but they evidently realized that while Danny knew, logically, that he was not responsible for Claudia’s perspective, nor her actions against Holland, he needed to hear it confirmed. He offered a slight nod in acknowledgement. It wasn’t his fault, and now he knew more about the problem at hand, he could take steps to help prevent reoccurence. “The next time something happens,” Holland said, “we’ll be ready.”

Danny smiled, the short statement spreading warmth right from his eyes down to his toes. Yes, there would be a next time. The prospect of future confrontations brought him no pleasure, of course, but if Holland thought there would be a next time, they were at least prepared to keep trying. Danny would not have resented them in the slightest if they decided that maybe he wasn’t worth the trouble - being forced to view themself as an abomination by their boyfriend’s sister was not a scenario most people would be prepared to withstand - but he was inexplicably pleased they were indicating otherwise. If anyone knew Holland as well as he did, they would recognize their square-shouldered stance as their battle cry. One of the many qualities that Danny admired and revered in Holland was that adversity fueled them, not shut them down. “We’ll be ready,” he agreed, appreciating repeated affirmation in their being united together. Claudia had accomplished a great deal with her interference: she had revealed her true feelings about Holland, demonstrated that she knew at least two potentially dangerous spells that were certainly not within the school curriculum, and Danny suspected she had strengthened the couple’s resolve to conquer such archaically informed attacks on their relationship.

After basking in the renewed determination in Holland’s gaze a moment longer, Danny was reassured they would recover from this despicable ordeal. “How are you?” he asked. They had stopped shaking, and Danny was content to hold them the rest of the day and throughout the night if necessary, but he suspected they would need some rest; they would need to go where he couldn’t follow them, providing the staircases continued to function as normal this evening. “Should I ask someone to check in on you later?” Holland was friendly with most of the girls in Lyra, although Danny suspected Kit would be of limited use in a supportive scenario. “Marley?” he suggested; Holland seemed to be friends with the fourth year (they were also friends with Myfanwy, but she was friends with Heather, and Danny didn’t know her well enough to trust that this mess wouldn’t be spread around the entire school as a result). “Or I’m sure Emmett wouldn’t mind you camping out with him tonight.”

Oh no. Emmett. He’d been fairly tolerant of Danny and Holland dating so far, but Danny was under no illusion that this new development would be taken lightly. He wasn’t the sharpest tack in the corkboard but he was definitely somewhere near the top of the list of people who were protective over Holland.

  • There must be a silver lining - Holland, Thu Apr 12 05:16
    Both Danny and Emmett had grown taller than Holland over the last two years. They didn’t think heels high enough to make them taller than Emmett existed, but they were close enough in height to Danny ... more
    • Every cloud has one - Danny, Thu Apr 12 15:13
      • At least, that’s what I’ve heard - Holland, Fri Apr 13 15:15
        “A lot better now,” Holland said, still not quite able to match Danny’s genuine smile, but making an effort. They felt a rush of affection that surpassed their usual feelings for Danny. It wasn’t... more
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