I smiled regretfully, taking a sip of my cocktail. “I have a free flat in a historic inn, Rowan. It’ll take me a lot to give that up. And– rooftop bars! A literal speakeasy! I belong to a concierge society where they give me free wine just for existing.”
“What was that?” Rowan teased. “I can’t hear you over the sound of me being able to hold a partner’s hand in public without being hate-crimed in my state.”
I laughed. Okay, fair. “Downtown Savannah is very queer-friendly,” I clarified. “You just… can’t leave downtown.”
We’d simply given up on each other, which was a sad fact that I found myself rather contented by. After all, there was only so many times in a relationship wherein I could argue with someone’s mother through them.
But then, AJ decides to cut out the middleman by telling their mummy on me.
AJ said one night, by way of greeting before I was even out of my hotel uniform. “All of these bugs? Just crawling on me? They just feel like tiny little rapists.”
“LITTLE DRAMATIC,” I thought, filling my wine glass as much as it could possibly go.
Somehow, Franzia was one of the healthier things I’d put my mouth on that year.
“Yeah! He thought I was a girl! Didn’t you hear it?” It’s hard to describe the look in their eyes, this sort of unhinged desperation. Almost as if my hearing this myself would make me go, ‘Oh my gods, AJ, you’re right, you’re the most tragically estrogen-laden person on the planet, clearly the only solution is to starve yourself and take chainsaw to your hip line, I can’t believe I’ve been so blind.’
On one hand, Phisoxa was a genius in mechanics and theoretical sciences, a brilliant composer, and his vengeance for his childhood crippled the church’s hold on Europe and shook the foundations of the oligarchy that had reigned for centuries. On the other hand, Phisoxa had a nasty habit of ripping people’s souls out of their bodies, and had done about… oh, three mass murders.
“Oh, I’m sorry, AJ.” I said, muttering through an entirely hypothetical conversation as I hauled my things off the porch of a residence I no longer lived in. “I can’t afford to give you gas money to your job interview. As it turns out, the fucking UNSEELIE FAE KING was too busy cementing their ass indent in Arkady’s couch to drop off MY PROPERTY THEY TOOK to the middle of downtown so I had to pay for a BLOODY Saturday night Uber.”
I certainly had never switched before, I reasoned. I’d have remembered if I had. I mean, unless one counts channelling–
Xanthe, you poor hapless idiot.
[Trigger Warnings: Abuse, homelessness, apparent death of an alter that was actually splitting, discussions of suicide, false sexual […]
“Xanthe, I’m sorry, but if Wendy is going to be a fixture in your life,” Apollo began cuttingly, “then I’m going to continue to get prickly about it.”
At this, I actually laughed. “Apollo. No one is a fixture in my life, I can assure you.”
You might have continued to groom systems and people with delusional disorders with impunity. But you just had to flex how many walls had your ears on them, had to prove to all of us that there was no hiding our thought crimes from you. My continued existence is your fault, Rowan.