There's a knock on the door, same as every morning, and Ruel comes in without waiting for a reply, just as predictably. He tosses a change of clothes and a couple granola bars onto the end of the bed: "C'mon, kid, we've got stuff to do today."
She's not gone long, and when she gets back she has a yellow blanket draped over her shoulders and is carrying a blue one, which she hands to him.
"If you're still cold I have more stuff."
"Ah- no- this'll be- this'll be fine," he takes the blanket, not sure how to refuse.
She pauses, not going back to her tree just yet.
He's still for a moment and then wraps the blanket around himself.
That seems to have been what she was waiting for.
"I'm not going to get mad if you tell me no about things," she taps out after another few minutes of skywatching.
"...I- don't understand?"
"It's bad for things to happen to you that you don't want, and I don't want that. And sometimes I can guess, but sometimes I can't."
"I know it's scary to say what you want, because if someone knows that they know what to do if they want to hurt you. So I'm not going to get mad if you don't tell me. Keeping yourself safe is good, too."
"But I'm not going to get mad if you do tell me, because you're helping me when you do that."
"-Oh." He thinks for a moment, he isn't sure he understands that much more than he did previously, but he nods. He thinks he can at least figure out the rules from that.
She hums quietly to herself, tapping again. "It's not the only bad thing but it's important."
He thinks for a moment before saying anything. "S'different."
She looks over. "Mm?"
"I don't- s'all new." (And he doesn't like not knowing the rules.)
"They didn't think it was important but they are wrong."
"Do you have any questions?"
He's quiet for a moment, decides to go with honesty. "I don't know what to ask."
"It's not really okay but it's not your fault and I'm not mad at you."
"Not knowing how to be okay is a way they hurt you, and it's not okay that that happened. But you can learn."
"-What if I can't? Learn? I- I try. But I'm- not good at it?"
"If you can't learn then we will figure something else out. But it's a lot easier out here than in a place like that, where they are trying to make you not okay."
"For now the most important thing is resting and eating, probably. That was the most important thing for me at first."
He nods. "I- yeah. I can...do that?"
"You can go in when you're ready, I'm not going to want to sleep for a while."
"I- s'nice- out?" Beat. "Uh, but I can- go in? If'm disturbing you?"
"You don't have to. You can if you want to and you don't need my permission."
"If I am bad, you need to figure that out, and figure out what to do about it. Both of those are hard and talking to me about them isn't safe if I am bad, but I can say a few things about them."
"You can usually tell who is bad and who is okay by watching what they do. If they hurt you, or lie, or try to make you do things, that's bad. Sometimes there are reasons to do those things but bad people will say that there are reasons when there aren't. Sometimes you can tell who is bad by doing something that doesn't hurt anything but that they don't like; good people might get mad but being mad is not a good reason to hurt you. And if you do that on purpose, you can pick a time when it is more okay if you do get hurt."