I believe that you’re overreacting
Tue Dec 12, 2017 12:01

Danny started with, “Ruben doesn’t,” and Holland scoffed in return. The fact that only the guys reacted defensively like that to Ruben made them sure that that was what was going on, even if Danny tried to deny it. But he finished with a halfhearted diversion, so at least Danny was being honest with himself about that.

Holland didn’t try to defend Ruben, because there wasn’t much to say in his defense. Yes, he had done all of the things that Danny said, and more. Yes, Holland had problems with all of those things. But it wasn’t relevant. Flirting aside, Holland didn’t want to date Ruben. He could be inconsiderate and aggressive to other people, but the reality—the part that Danny hadn’t figured out, maybe, or was discounting—was that Ruben had been a good boyfriend when they were dating. He had been considerate to Holland, not just in general but also specifically about the things that made dating hard for them. And after they had broken up with him, he hadn’t bullied them or spread stories about them, despite knowing things Holland wouldn’t want spread around the school.

Holland knew about manipulation tactics (what kind of conspiracy theorist didn’t?), and they weren’t stupid enough to think that his being good to them meant Ruben was a nice person overall. But they also didn’t think Ruben would hurt them, like Danny seemed to believe. And yes, Danny had been on the receiving end of a curse from Ruben, and that wasn’t okay either—but Danny had started that duel.

Their yearmate had raised his voice by the end of his lecture. Holland was glad again of the practice room’s soundproofing—although their gladness was outweighed by how annoyed they were at Danny. Holland squared their shoulders. Danny was a couple of inches taller than them; it wasn’t noticeable most of the time, especially when Holland wore heels, but they were barefoot now and Holland felt acutely aware of the height difference.

“Of course I care,” Holland said, more quietly than Danny had spoken but equally vehement. “I’m not in trouble and I’m not being an idiot, I’m…” Holland began, but then couldn’t find the right word for what they were. “You’re all dating each other. And that’s great, I’m really happy for you and Marissa and Emmett and Rose, okay? But I’m left over.” They’d been doing their best not to point that out to anyone, because it wouldn’t do any good. It would make Emmett feel bad, and make Marissa worry, and Rose would—they weren’t sure. Judge them, maybe. It wouldn’t help to tell anyone; at best it would just make their friends feel guilty about being happy together, and Holland didn’t want that.

But since Danny had started this, they were just going to say it. “Ruben’s attractive and he was a good boyfriend to me,” Holland said indignantly; these were points with which they thought Danny couldn’t argue, “and he’s also the only person here who likes me like that. It’s not like I’m going to date him again,” they snapped. “It’s just—nice, to be flirted with and feel like someone w—” Holland broke off abruptly and scrubbed a hand over their face in frustration. The charm protecting their makeup kept the foundation, eyeliner, and lipstick in place. They could say this kind of thing to Maverick, who would get it, or Emmett, who would try. They weren’t going to finish the sentence here.

  • How about now? - Danny, Tue Dec 12 03:36
    Holland seemed really mad for something as predictable as Danny not wanting them to get cosy with Ruben. It was throwing him into a state of mild confusion, which was undoubtedly exacerbated by the... more
    • I believe that you’re overreacting - Holland, Tue Dec 12 12:01
      • Likewise - Danny, Tue Dec 12 15:55
        Holland professed to not being an idiot, and Danny thought he did well to merely frown in response. Then his friend altered the direction of the argument - they were definitely arguing; this was... more
        • I said it first - Holland, Wed Dec 13 00:37
          At least Danny wasn’t practically shouting at them anymore. The two hadn’t argued before—not like this—but it didn’t surprise Holland that Danny got loud when he was angry. He was shirtless again,... more
          • What’s your point? - Danny, Wed Dec 13 03:59
            He hadn’t meant to say that last bit out loud; he had just been trying to come up with anything coherent, and that had been what his mind and mouth had provided. It was true, but it obviously just... more
            • I must have had one - Holland, Wed Dec 13 15:28
              Are you kidding me, Holland thought, with an extra modifier in the middle of the sentence. They couldn’t believe Danny was dragging Marissa into this—that he was insecure because she’d slept with... more
              • I think it got lost - Danny, Wed Dec 13 16:24
                “Ruben knows things about me that you don’t because he needed to.” What? Needed to? What did that - oh. No, that’s not what Danny meant. It, well, it might have been a part of it, but that wasn’t -... more
                • I’ll organize a search party - Holland, Wed Dec 13 21:25
                  Danny looked agitated now. He was pacing and messing with his hair and avoiding eye contact and not finishing sentences. The mood in the practice room had gotten tenser in the span of a few seconds.... more
                  • Just tell me what to do - Danny, Thu Dec 14 05:42
                    It sound like Holland was going to argue that’s not what they had wanted, but then they stopped themselves. Danny was exhausted. He felt raw and restless and he just wanted to go back to his... more
                    • First we need a map - Holland, Thu Dec 14 12:27
                      “ It doesn’t matter, ” Danny agreed. Holland exhaled, unnoticed tension leaving their shoulders. They’d known that. They knew Danny; it had never felt like that mattered, not since first year before... more
                      • I found your map... - Danny, Thu Dec 14 16:47
                        Holland apologized. Danny looked at them, and blinked. Why was Holland apologizing? Okay, they’d said some stuff that had caused distress, but Danny hadn’t apologized for the original grievance of... more
                        • This is not the map you’re looking for - Holland, Thu Dec 14 21:01
                          “ It matters because Ruben’s not the only one here who likes you like that. ” Holland stared blankly at Danny. For a long moment, they didn’t understand— who —and then the right neurons fired... more
                          • Oh. Whoops. - Danny, Thu Dec 14 22:10
                            He had no idea what to expect when those words had left his mouth. Danny almost wished he could take them back, but the truth remained it was absolutely impossible he would be able to keep something... more
                            • Maybe a cartographer would help - Holland, Fri Dec 15 03:26
                              For the first time in this entire conversation, Danny said exactly what Holland expected him to. “ Then nothing. ” That was the right answer, Holland thought, with something almost like relief.... more
Click here to receive daily updates