Constant Vigilance
Mon Aug 7, 2017 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 forth from Danny’s lips. Then offered useful feedback.

First Holland elected to tackle Danny’s interpretation of dating. Okay so he knew that there was more to dating than just hinting out a future forever-partner, but he couldn't convince himself that it wasn't the ending of the novel. Sure the sub-plots and character development episodes were necessary for a good read, but the story had to culminate somewhere. Even if he could completely ignore the whole concept of finding the right girl to marry (he couldn't, but hypothetically), he knew he would still worry about dating the wrong person just for fun, or whatever other points there could be to dating that Holland had yet to outline, and end up getting in way too deep, inevitably regretting the decision to date someone so unsuitable for matrimony in the first place. In fact that hypothetical scenario didn't really sound much different from his current, actual experience. But Danny’s already had his turn to talk Holland into a stupor; now was his turn to listen.

He didn't mind Holland talking about Claudia because he knew they had interacted a little and got along okay, so it wasn't as if Holland was making unfounded observations about his sister. Claudia was rigid, and young, true enough, but that didn't make her wrong; it didn't make her opinions less valid. Perhaps she had the better grasp here of the reality Dardanius should be living.

Holland had something to say about that, too, or about the pressure Danny put on himself for his family, which amounted to more or less the same thing. Again he supposed it was a matter of perspective: his parents didn't care if he was a bit lazy in class, they didn't mind that he didn't necessarily dress as smartly as they would like, they hadn't made any demands on how he spent his time, the friends he chose, the subjects he studied, or anything else some parents could be weirdly strict about. They had merely encouraged Danny and Claudia to uphold certain family and society traditions (and, now that he thought about it, they only pushed the matter when it was brought up by his grandparents and great aunts; his mother and father independent of other relatives had never had cause to bring the subject up).

The only point on which Danny strongly disagreed, however, was Holland’s suggestion that he could figure out what would be ‘too bad’ a decision. As someone who had rarely broken any given rule (outside of Marissa’s parties - they were an exceptional that had tempted him to break curfew and taste alcohol on school premises), Danny emphatically did not know what would be counted as ‘too bad’ for his family. There were definitely things that would be worse than others, but the line of acceptability was a completely mystery to him. He’d opened his mouth to say so, but already Holland was talking about effecting change from within the system, which was, admittedly, a very predictable Holland response, but would also provide plenty more for him to think about when his head wasn't already so full.

Eventually they reached Marissa, and Danny braced himself for a rebuke that never came. Instead he received a pointed reminder that Marissa would make compromises for him, but that just felt wrong. She'd slow down for him, she'd be exclusive for him, and Danny didn't want her to. He couldn't make her wait until he was ready to be more serious with her, when he had no idea when that might be, if in fact it ever happened. He wasn't judging her at all for wanting these things, for making her own decisions, but he simply couldn't go through with dating her on his terms alone when he was relatively certain they were going nowhere. Marissa was prepared to make sacrifices for him, but Danny was not prepared to let her, especially when he had no intention of making sacrifices for her.

“But at least you’re thinking, and it’s probably not the end of the world, yeah?”

Danny looked at Holland, some surprise probably evident in his expression. “Definitely not the end of the world,” he agreed, with the start of a smile, that developed into a short, breathless laugh. “I didn't mean to offload like that,” Danny admitted, his tone apologetic. “I guess I've just had a lot on my mind.”

  • I’m prepared like a Boy Scout - Holland, Mon Aug 7 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.... more
    • Constant Vigilance - Danny, Mon Aug 7 17:55
      • 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
Click here to receive daily updates