October 22, 2012 by Lyn
Friday, October 3, 2003
You persist in being angry.
Sylvia’s complaint was poking at Gar’s mind, like a mosquito bite in a place he couldn’t quite reach. Some of it, he knew, was the Bond. His Keeper being unhappy with him pressed against the be-a-good-Kept brainwashing and made him want to apologize until she forgave him.
In the part of his brain that was probably still his own, though, he was still bugged. It just didn’t make any sense.
He made it most of the week, stewing and struggling to make sense of it, trying not to look angry, trying not to be too angry. Friday night, as Sylvia was once again changing with her back to him and his back to her, it was just too much.
“You don’t want me to be angry.”
It wasn’t so much a question as an attack, but with his back to her, he didn’t have to know how she reacted, and her voice would be calm.
“I don’t wish you to be unhappy in your life or in my Keeping.”
“Unhappy and angry are different things, though.”
“They are.” Like he was saying the sky was blue. Of course, it was pretty hard to argue that one. “But anger is a subset of unhappiness.”
“Hunh.” He chewed over that one while they slide into the wide bed, a pillow’s-width apart. “So you don’t like me being angry because you don’t like me being unhappy.”
“You could ord-”
“I will not order your emotions, Gar, nor should you ask me to. It is a violation and an invasion.”
“…” She had interesting lines about where she thought violations began and where reasonable mind-fuckery began. But he didn’t want to get in an argument, not this late at night. She stewed when they did that, sat up staring at the ceiling all night. “Okay.”
Saturday, October 4, 2003
Sylvia did not do dances.
Gar was not surprised, but it did mean that, since Timora-and-Birdbrain and Porter the terminally cool did do dances, Gar and Sylvia were left alone in the suite for far longer than was comfortable.
He tried to read for a while, because Saturday night she had shows she liked to watch. Alone, of course. She liked to do everything alone. Gar was surprised she put up with a crew, much less a Kept.
Which, of course, begged the question.
He waited until her favorite show was over, but before the next one came on. She muted the commercials and turned in her chair, pointing her most annoyed frown at him.
“That is an imprecise question at best, and impossible at worse.”
“Sorry.” He found himself ducking his head without meaning to, looking like Bird-Brain. “I meant why me, why do you have a Kept?”
“Those are two separate questions.” Before he could apologize again, she turned off the TV, and shifted until she was fully facing him.
Shit. That frown. Gar cringed, and then sat up quickly, as straight as he could. Never mind if she didn’t like him angry, being angry was better than being miserably apologetic. He glared back at her. “I don’t go around asking a lot of them.”
He knew he was bristling. He knew bristling was a lot more dangerous for him than for normal people. But he couldn’t bring himself to stop.
For once, she didn’t look worried. “Why a Kept?”
“Or why not keep b – Arundel?” He tugged on the necklace again. At least it was staying quiet.
“It is traditional to only Own a Kept in Addergoole for one school year. And, having released him, I needed someone to pass the collar to.”
“This.” He tugged on the necklace again. “So why me?”
She pursed her lips, and, he thought, almost smiled. It was the closest to a human expression he’d ever seen from her. Something, he thought, like dry humor. “I thought you would be best able to handle it.”
Gar had nothing to say to that one.
This outtake was written in response to Rix’s donation and request for “more Gar.”
For every $5US donated, I will write 300 words on the character or situation of your choice. In addition, every donation will bring you to a small snippet of story – a new snippet every Wednesday!