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Aug 09, 2020 3:52 PM
A Caden and a Zeke in Citrouille.
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Caden, too, en-pants! 

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And then Zeke can scoop him up, and -

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“- um, I actually think that I can walk, now? -“

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“- shit, sorry, right -“

He sets him down.

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“I don’t mind the impulse, I’d just rather my legs not atrophy. Please don’t go into a spontaneous guilt spiral.”

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“I’m an inconsiderate asshole, but you have low standards because of trauma and genuinely don’t mind, so it’s fine?”

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“Um. I’m not sure how -

- I disagree with the first half of that sentence, but it still seems like progress over ‘and therefore you hate me’, because I love you and I don’t think I’m going to stop? And I’ve been mentally sketching out ideas for the telepathy bracelets, on a related topic, do you have strong opinions on the design or should I go ahead and start growing them, I feel like they’ll help a lot with this sort of thing?”

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“What sorta design specs were you thinking of?

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“Tastefully gray wood with silver curlicues? And then something where our thoughts and senses are automatically - tagged, by criteria. And we can each toggle which subsection of thoughts we’re willing to share, and which subsection of thoughts we’d like to receive, and how we experience those thoughts, and it isn’t just a live-transmission, so you can scroll back through any tagged-accessible-to-you thoughts you’d like, by criteria? So, say, if you were willing to share all of your memories of lineball, I could pan backwards through time and see your lineball-related experiences as if I were reading about them, or I could experience them visually, or similar. And they should work over arbitrary distances, and be difficult to break or take off involuntarily, and automatically shut down if we spend more than a minute in a substantial feedback loop.”

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“... okay. Go ahead?”

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A pot of dirt in a corner acquires a small, steel-colored sapling.

 

”So, um, library?”

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“Library,” agrees Zeke, opening the door.

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Then they can walk out of the dorm without encountering any substantial trouble. They look a little strange, together, given the dramatic difference in height and breadth.

 

“I feel like you’re still upset and I’m not sure how to deal with it productively.”

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“- I super shouldn’t go around making my feelings your problem? You don’t have to deal with it, I’m gonna be fine.”

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“I feel pretty fundamentally misunderstood, whenever you get like this - I care about you. You aren’t going to - look, I’m expressing preferences because you explicitly wanted me to express preferences, I don’t actually care that much about not being carried and if you’re conspicuously sad whenever I express a preference and you want me to express preferences and I don’t want you to be sad - I don’t know what to do. I care about you. Talk to me.”

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“I - I love you. I - it seems like all of your thoughts come out really clearly? Mine aren’t - crisp. I get all sucked into stuff and then I stop and I start thinking again and the stuff that I did seems really stupid. It isn’t, like, specifically the carrying thing. We had group sex and you technically had a safe word but there were a lot of moments where you couldn’t really use it, and any sex we have while I’m drinking your blood is inherently gonna be iffy because I’m not gonna be able to stop if you safeword. You offered to have sex with random lineballers, for an hour each day, and I didn’t think to go ‘to what extent is this because he doesn’t feel comfy saying no’, I just thought about how hot it is. You completely reworked your schedule to accommodate mine, and I didn’t - you seem like you’ll do anything if it’s convenient for me or because I want you to, and I’m - worried - because I don’t want to hurt you and I have a bunch of things I might want you to do or that’d be convenient that could hurt you.

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“You could’ve hurt me, before I started loving you. I don’t think that you can, now, except by hurting yourself or other people.”

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“We could totally grow something in like twenty seconds that made us very briefly telepathic.”

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“Um. Um! Gosh, why didn’t I think of that, it’s the obvious solution - do you want to grow it, so there isn’t any doubt about what it does?”

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“Sure.”

 

They can stop by the side of the path, then, and wait for a little blueberry bush to sprout, and grow a single, lonely berry.

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Caden holds Zeke’s hand, and eats the berry.

It only has time to transmit one concept, but it transmits it very, very well.

 

Imagine that you’re a turtle, swimming across the sea. The saltwater slides across your skin and shell; fish flit below you. You’ve never been bothered, following the current that you follow, never making much fuss; the current leads you to a storm. You’re happy in the storm, too, for a little while, but not for long; it throws you around and beats you down, and it kills people, and then you don’t like the storm very much at all.

You leave the storm, one day, and you don’t want to follow the current; it led you astray. And you find a person, swimming across the sea, and they climb across your back, and - you can follow them, instead. They love you, and they’ll never stop, and they’ll never leave you, and you can follow them, instead of the sea or yourself or the storm.

So you do. People can’t hurt, in the way that storms can, and they are not so uncaring as currents.

So you love them, and you’ll go wherever they direct you, and even if something is momentarily unpleasant it isn’t lightning, isn’t thunder, doesn’t matter - and you love them.

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Zeke stands perfectly still, for several moments.

And then he beams, and scoops Caden up into his arms, and squeezes.

”We’re gonna go to the library, and then we’re gonna go to the scheduling place, and - let’s get pizza, I wanna get pizza - and then we’re gonna go to our room and have kinky sex and reading snuggles for the rest of the night - and I’m gonna put the telepathy bracelets on hold for the night so I can get something that’ll let me control when and how often you climax and how horny you are and maybe some other stuff, I bet I can make it a third-class-ish fruit if I make it consent-y - I can totally just have sex with you whenever and with whoever - I love you - and tomorrow we’ll have breakfast with Bradley, he seemed kinda lonely -“

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... he wasn't really expecting the blueberry to communicate 'I would prefer that you just do whatever you'd like with me, you don't need to ask or pay attention to expressed preferences unless you want to' quite that thoroughly, or for it to have this effect, but he is pleased with this outcome! And now he can stop flailing around quite so confusedly.

 

They go to the library, and manage assorted schedule alterations, and they do, indeed, have book-themed snuggles and incredibly kinky sex for the rest of the night. 

When dawn is just barely peeking over the horizon, and they’re merrily snuggling:

”- so, um, not to trigger a relapse, what were you so upset about, before we tried brief telepathy?”

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“Uh - I think you were right, when you said I didn’t really get you? The way that we think is totally different, and if someone with my - structure, was acting like you were, they’d be doing it because they were - acting in ways they didn’t super endorse? And then I realized that you’re acting - the way that you person - and I stopped worrying.”

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“Mm.”

Back to cuddly reading! And then more sex - vampires could not really be called satiable - and then back to cuddly reading.

 

“Um, should we go ahead and ask Bradley about breakfast? - and, Trevor too, I suppose, although he struck me as a little...”

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