Just tell me what to do
Thu Dec 14, 2017 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 dormitory alone. Of course Holland could follow him there - unlike when Holland went back to their dormitory, where Danny couldn’t follow - but he didn’t think they would. Of all the times he’d been short-sighted, or obsessive, or otherwise behaved illogically, and Holland had been there to talk things out with him to help him make better sense of his decisions, Danny had always felt the strength of their friendship. Right now he couldn’t find that connection; he had confessed to Holland that he had real trouble with them getting close to someone else, and in return they had suggested he was entitled. It was almost funny - without being comical at all - that the only time Holland couldn’t help Danny sort out his chaotic thoughts was when it was about them.

Then Holland suggested Danny was jealous of Ruben. It was perhaps lucky that he was too tired of arguing now to get mad at that. Instead Danny just sighed and shook his head. He had barely ordered the thoughts in his own mind, and obviously had not done a great job of speaking them aloud. He wasn’t jealous of Ruben - that implied he wanted what Ruben had. It was more like the reverse of that: he didn’t want Ruben to have something he couldn’t have himself. Was there a word for that? Probably, but Danny couldn’t think of it right now. All he could think about was that somehow he was trying to interfere with Holland’s life for his own personal gain, and for what? It wasn’t as though he was interested in dating Holland.

“Do you really think I’m not open with you?” Holland asked. After a moment’s consideration, Danny realized he hadn’t exactly been fair. Holland was open with him about lots of things; he probably talked to Holland more than he talked to anyone else about morals, ideals or philosophies, and he understood that was quite personal, to each of them. If they were to ask him now why he had gotten so riled, he probably couldn’t explain it. If they were to ask now why he was so miserable, he couldn’t explain that, either. Ironically, he needed Holland to help him figure it out. That probably wasn’t going to happen.

Whether they were frustrated with Danny’s silence, or simply had more to add, Holland continued talking, about what was probably the most personal thing to them. “Of course I had to talk about it with Ruben because I wanted to date him, and I couldn’t ask him not to care if we were going to date!” That didn’t sit right with Danny, but most of their intense, spiralling, unretractable conversation so far hadn’t sat right with him, so he dismissed it in favor of focusing fully and completely on what Holland said next: ”But I can ask you not to care because we’re just friends! It shouldn’t matter!”

“It doesn’t matter,” Danny agreed readily, with fervor. That was about the easiest thing he’d said since they came into the practice room. “At all.” This wasn’t about that. They hadn’t argued about that since the very start of first year. Danny couldn’t believe Holland thought he would be arguing about it now. As far as Danny was concerned, he knew Holland’s gender: they identified as nonbinary, and that was the end of it. “Holland, that’s not what this is about.” Merlin, please don’t ask him what it was about, because he honestly had no idea, but it seemed imperative for Danny to explain he would never try to extract that information from them by any sort of force or manipulation, and damn it, Holland should know that.

Dardanius rubbed his right hand over his eyes; his left was still holding his t-shirt, a reminder of the beach party which felt so long ago already, the memory of it so harshly misaligned with his present experience. He wanted this to be over, but he didn’t want to leave things as they were: unfinished and bitter. He just didn’t know how to fix it. “I don’t even know what we’re arguing about anymore,” he admitted, sounding as defeated as he felt. Despite the hurt they’d caused, despite their apparent ignorance of Danny’s respect for them, he still felt compelled to have some sort of tactile contact with Holland, to reassure himself that it would be welcome, to know that they would be okay. But he wasn’t sure at all, and to be rejected now would be unbearable. So he stood, and waited.

  • 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
      • 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
                • Do you know any? - Danny, Fri Dec 15 14:51
                  Holland didn’t sit with Danny, but they did move towards the door. For a stomach-lurching second, Danny thought they were just going to leave. He suspected both of them had considered vacating the... more
                  • Afraid not - Holland, Sat Dec 16 22:56
                    It sounded like Danny wasn’t going to get in the way if Holland wanted to flirt with Ruben again. Ultimately, that assurance was what Holland had wanted, although they could say with some certainty... more
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