First we need a map
Thu Dec 14, 2017 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 they were really friends. It usually didn’t feel like it mattered with any of their group. The only time it had been relevant was last year, when they had all come to Holland’s defense because of it, and that had been sort of nice, if unasked for. It had been all the better for being unasked for; to know that without question, their friends—Danny included—would stand up for them on this front.

Holland opened their mouth to agree and maybe apologize—they hadn’t meant to accuse him of—of prying, or of feeling like they were hiding something—but Danny kept talking, so they stopped.

They tried to order their thoughts. Holland was usually so good at this, even when arguing, even when upset. Not that they often felt this upset. What were they arguing about? They’d started with the intention of talking about Danny—and Emmett—being overprotective of Holland. Then what had happened? Danny hadn’t apologized the way Emmett had when Holland confronted him about the same thing; he’d denied and justified, and that had annoyed Holland more. The argument had spiraled out and grown like a star collapsing in on itself, pulling nearby topics into the explosion—Ruben, and Marissa, and the rest of their friend group, and dating in general, and gender. And all of those things made Holland, or Danny, or both of them more upset. Holland didn’t understand why Danny had gotten so upset, but he had, and they’d gotten upset back at him, and now it was just a mess.

It felt like no matter what happened next, the damage had been done. But they couldn’t just leave it like this. “Okay. You’re right. Sorry,” they said in a hollow voice. Holland was sorry about bringing up that insecurity of theirs, even if they meant most of the rest of what they had said. “So what is this about?” Holland said wearily. They sighed. They tried to remember what Danny had said earlier in the argument, before they felt so tired. There had to be something that would explain why this was happening. There had been all of that stuff about their safety, and Marissa, and with whom Holland decided to share things.

Obviously we’re not in a relationship, and if that’s what you need to be open with people then I guess there will always be someone who knows you better than me.” Holland had seized on the first part of the sentence, annoyed that Danny had accused them of not being open with him when they talked to him more than to anyone else, but—

“Why does it matter if someone knows me better than you?” Holland asked, looking at Danny even if he wasn’t looking at them. They could generate a half-dozen halfway attempts to answer the question on their own, none of which came to a satisfying conclusion even for their conspiracy theorist’s brain. Holland couldn’t iron that tangle of thoughts out into any workable sentences, so they just let the sentence hang by itself.

  • 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
      • 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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