Couldn’t ask for a better one
Sun Mar 12, 2017 10:50

Emmett’s room looked the way Emmett’s room always looked: like a reminder of why Holland had no interest in living with boys. The fifth-year followed their friend’s direction to sit on the bed anyway. What Holland had expected was a messy room (check, a tired and slightly grumpy Emmett (check), and commiseration about what a jerk Lucien was (partial check). They hadn’t expected Emmett to offer to injure Lucien on their behalf. “I’m on your team, all issues, all the time.

A rush of affection for the younger Lyra displaced the shaky anger-and-unease they’d carried back from the outdoor classroom. None of their friends at RMI had ever seemed to questioned their gender identity, but Emmett unhesitatingly volunteering to fight for it was something else. Holland hoped that Danny, Rose, Marissa, and Emmett would correct people who casually misgendered them, but they had no expectation that their friends would get involved in a clash with another student. At their schools before RMI, Holland had had a few close friends who didn’t get but didn’t care about the gender thing, and that had been okay. But Holland couldn’t remember their elementary school friends actively standing up to bullies for them. That kind of thing was Holland’s battle, not their friends’. And here was Emmett asking what time Holland wanted him to introduce his fist to Lucien’s face.

Holland blinked a few times and swallowed to un-choke their throat. That Emmett. Not the quickest horse in the race, but definitely the nicest colt in the stable. Holland couldn’t figure out how to word those feelings, so they got up and hugged him.

“Thanks, man.” Holland let go and took a step back. “You don’t have to punch him. I would’ve hit him if I thought that would help. Might’ve changed his mind to find out I don’t punch ‘like a girl,’” they added, with air quotes. Dad had read a statistic about violence against transpeople, dialed his protectiveness up to eleven, and made Holland take a self-defense class over the summer. Not that the fifteen-year-old had objected; it was a safety issue, since they presented female sometimes. It was a women’s self-defense class, so technically Holland did punch like a girl: effectively, furiously, and in a way that wouldn’t break a nail.

“I was just going to tell Director Tennant tomorrow.” He was Holland’s Head of House and the counselor, so he was the right person to go to with this. Holland wasn’t sure how that would solve the problem, but Lucien should be punished and made to sit through some kind of sensitivity training. He might at least stop misgendering them if he got in trouble for it. “And maybe see how many Lyras I can get to come up to him and let him know I can go into both dorms.” Admittedly, the goal there was to annoy Lucien rather than convince him, but Holland thought they the right to do that.

  • Indeed a friend - Emmett Lawrence, Sun Mar 12 01:54
    “Mmmmrrr.” It wasn’t English, but it was the best Emmett could offer. The knocking had woken him up, and he could only assume this was important, so he figured he should give some sort of sign that... more
    • Couldn’t ask for a better one - Holland, Sun Mar 12 10:50
      • Aw, shucks. - Emmett, Mon Mar 13 03:43
        They hugged him. A physical embrace from Holland wasn’t particularly uncommon. A one-arm hug here and there, something Emmett, who was generally fairly conservative with his physical contact, had... more
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