I’m prepared like a Boy Scout
Mon Aug 7, 2017 16:52

Holland had expected a laugh and acknowledgement that yes, ice cream would be great. But instead Danny sat up and launched into what must have been every single thought he'd had since this morning.

Some time around Camilla, Holland sat down on the foot of the bed and put the box of nail polish down on the other side of them from Danny. He had an awful lot to say, because everything he was talking about was a big deal, so it was hard to keep track as he kept talking. Holland felt like it might have helped to take notes, like they’d done with their Ancient Runes reading, color-coded for thoughts about pureblood society, the Dubois family, Marissa specifically, and Danny’s anxiety about the future. But they couldn’t really take notes on this, so Holland just listened and nodded until Danny seemed like he was finished.

They had to start somewhere, because Danny needed reassurance (and possibly a Xanax, but Holland couldn’t provide that), so they started with, “I don’t think it’s bad to think about things like kissing girls in the context of what it means to you.” Holland was a big-picture kind of person; they looked for patterns and meanings, and it made sense for Danny to think about important things the same way. He did seem to be getting bogged down by his interpretation, though. “Dating can be for finding the person you’re going to marry, but it doesn’t have to be. Especially at our age. I never thought I was going to marry Ruben,” they teased, because it was true, “but dating him was fun. And I learned things about myself because of it.” Like what made them feel dyphoric in a relationship, and what they would and wouldn’t feel comfortable with in a partner. “So forever doesn’t have to be the point of dating, if that’s not what you’re looking for in that relationship.”

What else had he talked about? They really could have used notes. Holland was a debater at heart; they liked time to prepare talking points. Oh, Claudia, right. “Claudia is still pretty young. I mean, I’m sure you can remember being her age. And she’s very,” Holland considered their word choice before settling on, “rigid. She’s probably still figuring out that everything isn’t so black and white as she thought.” They didn’t think Danny had been asking such big questions yet at thirteen, though maybe he had.

“You’re putting a lot of pressure on yourself—and your family also put a lot of pressure on you—to know what you’re doing or always do the right thing, but that’s not…” Holland trailed off, looking for words. “It’s just not realistic. You said it yourself, you’re not even seventeen. Human brains don’t even finish developing until twenty-five. It’s okay to have no idea, or do some things your family wouldn’t necessarily approve of. Which doesI’t mean you have carte blanche to do anything you want—I realize those aren’t your circumstances—but you’re smart and responsible, I’m sure you can figure out what would be too bad of a decision.” Within their group of friends, Holland and Danny tended to split the role of being the voice of reason. They thought Danny could probably do the same for himself, although maybe girls being involved impaired his judgment.

Holland was honestly a little proud that Danny was questioning the system he’d been raised in. It wasn’t something he would’ve done six years ago, they were pretty sure. There was a lot Holland could say about their feelings on the pureblood social structure, but that wasn’t really relevant right now. They did let Danny know they agreed with many of his points, adding, “And I think it’s a good thing that you’re questioning it. If you do decide to stay within that system, you could be someone who effects change.

“Or you don’t have to meet the family expectations. You could, literally, do whatever you want. Which I realize is easy to say, especially for me,” which might have been a reference to Holland’s halfbloodedness or to any other nontraditional characteristics they possessed, “but if that was what you wanted, I’m sure you wouldn’t be the first, and you would have help.” From them, if no one else. “And with Marissa, specifically—I mean, consent matters to her. She’d slow down to what you can handle if you asked. That’s what people in relationships do for each other.”

Holland paused for a breath. If this were a debate speech, they’d summarize here. “So anyway,” they started, “yeah, you have way more to think about about dating than most sixteen-year-olds. And it does suck.” Holland didn’t like the idea that anyone, especially one of their friends, had to kowtow to the standards of an outdated, elitist, conservative worldview. Just thinking about it made them feel gross. “But at least you’re thinking, and it’s probably not the end of the world, yeah?”

  • That's forward planning - Danny, Mon Aug 7 10:50
    “Why?” Holland asked. Danny was surprised by the immediate bluntness of the question but it wore off quickly; It was not incongruent with Holland’s character for them to want to understand causality. ... more
    • I’m prepared like a Boy Scout - Holland, Mon Aug 7 16:52
      • Constant Vigilance - Danny, Mon Aug 7 17:55
        Danny was half-expecting Holland to blink at him, tell him to chill out and run away quickly. Of course Holland was a far better friend than that, and actually listened to ridiculous nonsense spewing ... more
        • That sounds stressful - Holland, Mon Aug 7 21:50
          Thankfully, Danny looked surprised and laughed a little, which Holland took to mean that he’d received their response well. “No worries. It helps to talk it through sometimes,” Holland agreed. Or to... more
          • Emmett makes an entrance!!~ - Emmett Lawrence, Sat Aug 12 13:01
            Emmett was a bit surprised by an impromptu sleepover, especially the night after a very promptu sleepover with everybody, but he wasn’t super complaining. He was in charge of the food, so he scurried ... more
            • 10/10 Title - Danny, Sun Aug 13 15:49
              Danny didn't object to Holland’s sleepover scenario. He didn't think he'd be great company, but he was already feeling loads better since Holland arrived, so maybe having Emmett there would help,... more
              • 11/10 in my book - Holland, Mon Aug 14 23:16
                Before he left to get sleepover stuff, Emmett told them to save some food for him, as if either Danny or Holland wanted anchovy-and-pineapple pizza. There was a reason why they each just got their... more
                • I can't even count that high! - Emmett , Wed Aug 16 15:56
                  Emmett did as Holland and Danny told him. This was not an unusual phenomenon, as Emmett almost always did what Holland and Danny told him. (In fact, the "almost" was mostly just for Danny.) But... more
                  • The same way Danny did very little planning with his wardrobe choices - he often just threw on whichever garments he laid his hands upon first, regardless of whether his outfits co-ordinated - he... more
                    • But we like you anyway - Holland, Fri Aug 18 16:07
                      “Danny, you may have a future as a pop art painter,” Holland teased lightly. “You can mismatch bright colors on par with Andy Warhol.” On the other hand, Holland was very impressed with both Danny’s... more
                      • Well, sometimes you want darker colors. - Emmett, Sat Aug 19 14:34
                        Unlike Emmett, Holland decided to immediately inspect the work done to them. When the compact mirror came out, he got instinctively nervous, but Holland seemed to like it. “Hey, not bad,” was a lot... more
                        • Dark and Mysterious? - Danny, Sun Aug 20 04:01
                          He had been intending to learn from Holland, but there was so much stuff going onto his face he was fast losing track. He was surprised that he couldn't feel most of it when it was on, but the... more
                          • Or dark and stormy? - Holland, Wed Aug 23 15:55
                            Well, oops. Holland had thought they mentioned the breakup to Emmett when they were asking him to get food. Or that he could figure it out from context—Danny and Marissa had been handsy all of last... more
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