“Why?” He asked with a slight frown on his face. The crease between his eyebrows something that I knew rarely happened unless he was confronted with something that just didn’t make logical sense.
Not for the first time, I paused before answering because his confusion made me doubt my own answer. Why indeed. The pause wasn’t in agreement. Frankly, there were a lot of reasons. All of which I was likely about to explain, but the pause was for clarity. I couldn’t win a logic war with emotions. Even if I managed to win a battle, it would take just one night for him to unwind all my progress inside his own head and the whole battle would begin again on another day with a detrimental tick for each time the debate started.
So, my best option
would be to follow the logic and hope that it would help rather than hinder my
“Because I think you’re the best person to have it.” I settle with a vague reply since I know that we haven’t even approached what it is. At this point it doesn’t yet matter, does it?
“What if I don’t want it?” He pulls out his phone and begin texting, seeming to be unsure if he even wants to engage in another volley. Perhaps I’ve become too easy to read and perhaps this issue already has a detrimental tick.
“You likely don’t.” I admit. “You can’t understand why I insist on it or why it’s important to me.” I don’t see the use in being furtive about it. This is a conversation we won’t have, but it should be the conversation we would have had, at least.
“Then why do you do it? Insist on giving me things I don’t ask for and telling me things I don’t care to know?” He snaps a bit, chancing one small look up from his phone to show the slight break in character on his face. That small moment of concern that hides behind his sometimes waspish exterior is the reason for everything, but I can’t say it like that.
“Because you care.” I settle for the shortest answer since I’m fairly sure that we’re not done and I word vomit enough anyway.
“I care about the price of gas, but you don’t see the cashiers handing out love letters.” He may have rolled his eyes, but I can’t tell from where I sit. I want to argue that I’m not handing out love letters, but I end up grinning instead. “I sort of do that, don’t I. But only to you.” Then I cough and look away, trying to hide my grin because this is supposed to be a serious conversation and if I push the wrong way, I’ll regret it.
“I’m not the most eloquent.” I continue, considering my words and why this medium expresses things better than I ever could. Perhaps this fact alone is one of the many reasons why he struggles to accept me into his logic. He thrives better when he’s challenged and I struggle to challenge when it’s in my nature to nurture. But I digress.
“I am often crass. My sense of humor is off-putting, at best.” A fact that I’ve seen in play many times and I could, honestly, cut back and play the furtive damsel, but it wears on me and the result is a shallow level of self-expression that means I could never feel accepted by anyone no matter how many friends I accumulated. Alternatively, I could return to the roots of our friendship and simply pretend to be a man and I’d actually be considered a better behaved male specimen.
“I complain too often. About everything.”
“I am insecure about everything.”
“I learn better when trained like a dog even if I am fairly apt at logic. My strength is in reading people and situations more than analyzing options and outcomes. One could argue that I have more experience in feelings…to temper that, I’d like to argue both the good ones and bad ones.”
so…” He starts, looking up from his phone with a spark of combat already
in his eyes. Sweet Jesus, I’ve only gotten started.
“My point..” I insist quickly before it all unravels completely because this is sometimes a timed game. “Is that despite all the reasons that most people would have moved on already, you have not. You care about me. Enough to put up with my emotional mess. All the time.”
“I’ve said before that I say what I need to get what I want.” His gaze even across the chasm is disconcerting because I know that there are at least five other responses sitting on the edge of his tongue and none of them are that one but in this medium I’ve chosen, I can’t choose them all at once. So we’ll start there.
“That’s human nature. We all do.” I reply calmly. I’ve had plenty of time to think about this conversation tree and I’m not worried yet.
“See? I told you. Everyone wants something. Even you.” He counters, his tone isn’t even victorious because I don’t think he wants to win this battle.
“But what do I really want?” I murmur, shifting in my seat. “Let’s follow your logic and see where it goes.”
I pause a moment as I channel Doctor Strange and consider all the options of our future in which I convince you that love is not what you think it is and that I’m what you’re looking for. The results are what I expected. Like a magic 8 ball, the only possible answer is either ‘Please try again.’ or ‘Not at this time.’ simply because there are too many variables that can’t be considered without literally living out each option and despite my odd penchant for running scenarios in my own head, there are some things that I cannot simulate predictably.
“I can’t say that I want you to love me like that even if you could.” I admit. Oddly enough, that’s one of the few things that my simulation agreed on. Every time the scenario reached critical mass, that moment where I thought happiness was right around the corner, it crashed and couldn’t continue.
“Not because of you. You are worth every moment. But because of me. Right now I can’t trust someone to love me. If you caved in and gave me what I want, I think…it would cheapen what we have right now. You…can be brutal. I’ve seen it and I don’t have to worry about you just flattering me because you have an agenda. I need that. It means that your rare moments of softness mean something. I can trust that when you say something nice, you mean it.”
He sighs and I’m
unsure at this point whether it’s from annoyance, frustration or just an
exhausted expression. As always, I’m not able to see his face so my social
measurement is based on breath and tone that’s often lost in translation.
“If you don’t want anything to change, why do you keep doing this? Why
tell me anything at all if you don’t want anything? Why make me read all this
shit over and over?”
I hum. It’s a valid question and I’ve asked myself the same thing, but because of that I have an answer ready. Coincidentally, it’s also what I wanted to give him in its unique way and has been what I keep giving him in small ways every day and simulation or not, what I will keep giving him in the future.
“It’s a Knight’s Vow.” I smile and give a light shrug.
UNIQUE: If your Partner is nearby, gain 20 armor, and 15% bonus movement speed while moving toward them.
UNIQUE: While within a 1000 range of your Partner, heal for 2% of the damage your Partner deals to champions and redirect 12% of the damage your Partner takes from champions (after reductions) to you as true damage.