Tue Jan 30, 2018 06:44

“Right,” he agreed immediately that Holland had practise handling situations. They had previously discussed that dating was easier for Danny than it was for Holland; just because it was suddenly less simple for him, that didn’t change things for them. Holland had told Danny explicitly they didn’t need protecting and could take care of themself. They probably had realized by now that wouldn’t stop Danny from trying, though.

Whilst he was acutely aware of a general, blurry-edged notion of swimming against the tide being met with disapproval, the precise nature of how this might be expressed was not something Danny had ever personally encountered. However he could remember how he’d behaved towards Holland upon first meeting them, his own ignorance fueling an inexcusably judgmental attitude. “I’m sure you remember first year me,” Danny said, in a tone that suggested both of them would probably rather forget that version of himself. “Rudeness may be inevitable.”

The possibility of real danger was harder to judge, which was a disconcerting reality. He definitely had relatives who engaged in some very questionable acts, but they were distant enough that he saw them infrequently. He had no existing enemies of which he was aware, therefore he could think of no individual who would want him personally assailed, although the threat of strangers still existed. “I think actual danger is less likely,” he carefully acknowledged, “but I can’t promise it wouldn’t happen.”

“What would happen to you?” Holland asked. His energy exhausted by constant struggling to provide answers to impossible questions, Danny sat down, back resting against the wall, and decided that if he and Holland were going to make a habit of long, confusing conversations, they would need to have them in places with seats. It was surreal to discuss a future when they hadn’t yet decided they wanted a present, but it felt essential they both knew what they could be up against. Danny had thought Marissa had known, but she had ultimately bailed after some mild hostility and an informal betrothal suggestion. Her objections were valid, and Danny understood it had been difficult for Marissa, but that was a drop in the ocean compared to what Holland would have to face.

“You hear stories about being disowned,” Danny said. At times he had wondered whether it was just scaremongering to keep the next generation in line, but he was old enough now to acknowledge its reality. “That is a possibility,” Holland must know that, he reasoned, because of their reactions to his reservations; they both knew this was a high risk scenario. However, Danny thought he had reason to believe his own parents might be more lenient; He knew he would never be forced into a marriage, but he could make no assertions on whether an unapproved relationship was a viable alternative. It prompted him to add, “but there’s a chance that wouldn’t happen for me.” Besides, Danny was the only option for heir, anyway, because the system was archaic and would not consider Claudia a suitable alternative.

“I could choose to give up my position,” Danny speculated. It didn’t reflect well on the family to disown a child, but he could voluntarily renounce his claim to patriarchy and surrender his inheritance, removing himself from the spiral of society but still able to maintain contact with his family. He would feel like he’d let them down, though, especially Claudia, who still held him in unrealistically high esteem, and whose future it might also impact. “Or I could keep it, but stay quietly out of the way,” he theorized, which wasn’t ideal either because it sounded distinctly like running and hiding. However it did potentially allow him to retain his privileges.

“Or…,” a third, insane alternative occurred to him, his lips twitching upwards as he said, “you did once suggest I could affect change from within the system. That sounds…” psychotic and irresponsible were two words that Danny should have used. Instead what he said was, “tempting.” Merlin help him, why was he smiling? “I mean, assuming my parents elect to acknowledge me,” which might or might not happen if he kept following this train of thought, “I could continue as planned.” Defiantly retain his family connections, and claim his birthright. It would make a statement, that’s for sure. “Just, instead of being with a society debutant who can trace magic in her bloodline back several generations, I’d be with you.”

  • I can’t just yet - Holland, Mon Jan 29 12:41
    Holland sighed. Sure, now that Danny had said they should both just forget about this and Holland had agreed, why not explore a scenario in which they had gone on successful dates and wanted to keep... more
    • Tease - Danny, Tue Jan 30 06:44
      • You started it - Holland, Tue Jan 30 12:05
        “I remember,” Holland said, in a tone suggesting there was no need for elaboration. First-year Holland had been able to handle first-year Danny well enough for him to get over his prejudicial... more
        • You can finish it - Danny, Tue Jan 30 14:29
          Holland laughed at Danny’s suggestion, which was definitely a reasonable reaction, although it also sounded suspiciously like Holland wasn’t instinctively and immediately ruling out that option. “But ... more
          • I think I will - Holland, Tue Jan 30 15:35
            Danny took Holland’s hand, and they had that sensation of being shocked again, like a shudder that went all the way down to the base of their spine. After the whole intense circuitous conversation... more
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