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    Big Gay Alchemists

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    Josh
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    Re: Big Gay Alchemists

    Post by Josh on 20/03/13, 11:47 pm

    "What is it you can't explain right now? Him getting remarried and all that?"
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    Re: Big Gay Alchemists

    Post by Curtana on 20/03/13, 11:55 pm

    "Well... that I'm staying with him through that," Aleyn said, trying to keep things fairly vague at least while they were walking out in public. "That we're working things out so that all of us can hopefully be happy with the situation. That we're planning to make a family together I think might bother her especially - she might see it as bringing kids into an unstable environment, and she'll probably think it's irresponsible."
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    Re: Big Gay Alchemists

    Post by Josh on 21/03/13, 12:04 am

    Cael nodded.

    "For what it's worth, um...it seems more irresponsible to bring children into an unhappy situation."

    Cael was quiet for a moment.

    "Was it easier before? Before you were involved with a noble, I mean."
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    Re: Big Gay Alchemists

    Post by Curtana on 21/03/13, 09:41 am

    Aleyn couldn't help a brief laugh. "I wouldn't really know. The only other guy I've been seriously involved with was a patrician - it's not exactly the same, I know, but in his case it meant a lot of the same issues, mostly around his parents wanting him to marry, preferably up, and definitely a girl. There were other complications too, but... it didn't end well, anyway, and some of my family took the chance to say 'I told you so,' and even those who were more sympathetic felt that it was mainly because of the differences between us, and the pressures on him, not any of the other factors that were problems in our relationship. Convincing them that things are going to be different this time was always going to be an uphill battle."
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    Re: Big Gay Alchemists

    Post by Josh on 21/03/13, 11:22 pm

    "So, uh, what were the other factors? Beyond the social disparity, I mean."
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    Re: Big Gay Alchemists

    Post by Curtana on 21/03/13, 11:45 pm

    "Oh, where to start? He didn't really want to settle down and commit to anyone, including me. He didn't understand my religion. I don't think he was gay - maybe not even bi, mostly just... confused. Even when we'd been together for a few years, it still wasn't something he was totally comfortable with. Oh, and he cheated on me. Under stressful circumstances for everyone, but still... I couldn't just forgive it. So, a combination of problems," Aleyn said with a shrug.
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    Re: Big Gay Alchemists

    Post by Josh on 21/03/13, 11:53 pm

    "Those're...some factors," Cael offered, his eyes widening for a second. "And you were together for years?"
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    Re: Big Gay Alchemists

    Post by Curtana on 22/03/13, 12:04 am

    Aleyn nodded. "Almost five," he said a bit sadly. "Not really all that seriously at first, but... for a while there, I thought we could work through the problems, or that they weren't that bad. I don't know how much of it was me fooling myself, or whether we could have made it work if things had gone differently..." He ran his thumb absently over the scarred stumps of his missing fingers. "Water under the bridge," he said at last. "Like you said - I'm happy now, and that's good enough."
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    Re: Big Gay Alchemists

    Post by Josh on 22/03/13, 12:15 am

    Cael was quiet for a bit, watching his feet as they walked.

    "You know, I always thought," he said at last, quietly, "that it would be different if my last name wasn't Scrye. If I wasn't 'marked, if I was just some regular person, then I could love whoever I wanted and nobody would care. I guess...I mean, it sounds like there's always going to be problems, huh?"
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    Re: Big Gay Alchemists

    Post by Curtana on 22/03/13, 12:34 am

    Aleyn put a hand lightly on Cael's shoulder. "Pretty much, yeah. Different problems, maybe, but... being together with someone, whoever they are, is hard work sometimes. Ideally the hard work is worth it, though." He gave his shoulder a gentle squeeze before removing his hand. "Aside from the family issues, are there other things you're worried about with Kier?"
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    Re: Big Gay Alchemists

    Post by Josh on 22/03/13, 01:19 am

    "Oh, uh, yeah, I mean, there's, ah, there are other issues we're working through," Cael answered uncertainly, blushing. "I mean, he, um, we...there are some body...concerns that can make things...uncomfortable for him, sometimes."
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    Re: Big Gay Alchemists

    Post by Curtana on 22/03/13, 01:43 am

    Aleyn's brow furrowed - he wasn't entirely sure what Cael was referring to, but from the young man's embarrassed reaction, it must have something to do with sex. "Well... if there are things he's self-conscious about, hopefully with time and reassurance you can show him that you think he's wonderful and beautiful regardless of... of whatever it is that makes him uncomfortable."
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    Re: Big Gay Alchemists

    Post by Josh on 22/03/13, 01:52 am

    "Yeah, that's...that's what I'm trying," Cael replied slowly. "Its just...its not really my opinion of him that's the problem. He's not going to be okay, to really be okay, until he's okay with himself, and that may not be possible right now. Its complicated. Or simple. I don't know. I guess I don't really get it. Or, I do, but I can only understand it on an intellectual level, not a visceral one."

    The young artificer gave Aleyn an apologetic look.

    "Sorry, is this too much? I, ah, I usually talk to Alia about this sort of thing, but I don't think she really has any more insight than I do. Thru gave me some books to read, but they're Iounian, and a little more, uh, theoretical than practical."
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    Re: Big Gay Alchemists

    Post by Curtana on 22/03/13, 02:02 am

    "No, no, it's okay if you want to talk about it," Aleyn assured him. "I mean... if you think I might have more... insight? I don't know if that's the case, but I'm willing to try and help, or at least give you someone else to talk to. I... um, I feel like, with Vedran and his... particular problems, I know a bit about what you mean about... he has to feel okay with himself. There are ways I can help, but it's not just about how I see him, but how he sees himself."
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    Re: Big Gay Alchemists

    Post by Josh on 22/03/13, 02:08 am

    "Thanks, I appreciate it," Cael responded with a small smile. "Um, how's he doing, by the way? Things have been so hectic, and now he's getting married again, and he was...things were pretty bad there for a while. I know I'm the "kid brother" around them and everything, but I get worried same as everyone else."
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    Re: Big Gay Alchemists

    Post by Curtana on 22/03/13, 02:21 am

    "Well... better than he was," Aleyn said slowly. "Still not completely better, not back to the way he was before he was married - but probably that'll never happen. It's like... scars. It heals, but there are still signs of what happened to him, and sometimes it still hurts him. Hopefully less often as time goes on," he added with a small smile. "And... I don't think you need to worry about the wedding with Ardith, if you were," he continued. "She's a good person, and I know she's got Vedran's best interests at heart."
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    Re: Big Gay Alchemists

    Post by Josh on 22/03/13, 06:00 am

    Cael nodded contemplatively.

    "Do you like her? Not like like like, but like. She seems nice, but, ah, I've only talked to her a little, and none of us knew Jacinthe very well before she and Vedran got married, and that...well, you know."
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    Re: Big Gay Alchemists

    Post by Curtana on 22/03/13, 02:30 pm

    Aleyn gestured in the direction of the market as they approached it. "I'll try to explain in a minute, but right now I hope you still want that breakfast, because I'm starving."

    Once they'd procured a bag of fresh-baked biscuits filled with cheese (the woman running the stall had thrown in a couple extra on account of they both looked like they could use some fattening up) and a pair of apples, and had left the bustle of the market behind, Aleyn looked around for a somewhat more quiet place to sit. A low stone wall overlooking the docks, but far enough away from them, provided a convenient stopping place.

    "I guess I should explain more why I trust her," Aleyn said quietly between bites. "I liked her first of all because she offered to abandon her suit if I wasn't happy with the situation. I thought that was considerate of her, and sensible too - she wasn't interested in stepping into an unhappy marriage. And then... well, other people we talked to might have said it was all right for he and I to keep seeing each other, as long as we kept it quiet and it didn't interfere with their family life... She wanted to make me part of their family life. So before the public ceremony, there's going to be a private one for the three of us - which you'll be invited to, of course," he added with a sidelong glance and a smile at the expression on Cael's face. "So yeah," he continued, "I like her a lot. I know there will still be plenty of things to sort out, but I think all of us are willing to put in the effort required to make it work, and... I feel way more hopeful than I did when this process started."
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    Re: Big Gay Alchemists

    Post by Josh on 23/03/13, 01:52 am

    "That sounds nice," Cael said after a moment. "I mean, not having all the things to work through, but that it sounds like everyone wants to."

    He looked out over the docks, watching the mid-morning bustle.

    "So what does all this mean for that? I know they're, uh, I guess you're getting married before we go, but this is going to change a lot of things. Like, I can't imagine Vedran not being involved with Nachtur, politically. That's probably going to, ah, adversely affect his adventuring career. Are you going to stop adventuring if he does?"
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    Re: Big Gay Alchemists

    Post by Curtana on 23/03/13, 02:04 am

    "I don't really know," Aleyn said. "It's hard even now to leave him - I mean, this time I just couldn't do it, not knowing that he was maybe going to be married when I got back, but even other times when that wasn't a factor it's not been easy. With kids I can only imagine it will be even more difficult. We've talked about the possibility of all of us going to Nachtur, once it's safe enough - but we'd have to come back here pretty regularly, at the very least for Macen to have time with his mother, and because I think my mother would kill me if I provided her with grandchildren and then immediately took them halfway across the world and didn't bring them back to visit," he added with a smile. "If there are things we can do from there, or locally, maybe we can keep on... or maybe in a few years when the kids are older... who knows? I've tried to quit before and you can see how well that worked."
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    Re: Big Gay Alchemists

    Post by Josh on 23/03/13, 02:09 am

    "About as well as my attempt at it, if somewhat less disastrously," Cael said, a strange look on his face. He remained quiet, feigning an almost comical interest in his cheese biscuit.
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    Re: Big Gay Alchemists

    Post by Curtana on 23/03/13, 02:16 am

    Aleyn stayed quiet for a moment too, giving Cael space to talk more if he wanted. He didn't want to pry into what had happened to the young man - he remembered how little he had wanted to repeat his story over and over again in the months immediately afterwards. But maybe Cael wanted to talk about it, and just didn't know how to start, or was worried about upsetting Aleyn... "Pretty bad, huh?" he said gently, and then fell silent again.
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    Re: Big Gay Alchemists

    Post by Josh on 23/03/13, 02:24 am

    "Yeah," Cael said simply, remaining quiet for a few more moments. "I, uh, I try not to think about it too much, which I guess is maybe not the healthiest thing to do. Then again, poor mental health is the mark of a real adventurer, right?"

    Cael gave a half-hearted laugh at his own attempt at a joke, then settled into another small silence before continuing.

    "I...I don't know if I can do this. Going back out, city of demons, all that. At least I'm not in charge or anything. I just...I feel like I need to try. If I can do some good, if I can help...a lot of people are throwing themselves behind this. I should be willing to take the same chance they all are."
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    Re: Big Gay Alchemists

    Post by Curtana on 23/03/13, 02:31 am

    "You're doing a lot of good already," Aleyn reminded him. "Everything we make will go to help soldiers keep themselves and their teammates alive, and make a lot more demons dead. No one is going to think worse of you if you choose to stay behind the front lines and contribute your efforts there. We're grateful for every bit of help we get. Go easy on yourself - it took me three years to go back out there, and I didn't..." 'die', he was going to say, but changed it at the last second to "have it as bad as you."
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    Re: Big Gay Alchemists

    Post by Josh on 23/03/13, 03:15 am

    "Its, ah, its not really for other people. I mean, I know I can help from behind the front lines, and I'm sure I will, but..." Cael paused a moment, trying to arrange his thoughts. "I failed last time, and I almost got my best friends killed. They got trapped, and almost lost to the Change, trying to protect me, and I still got, uh, I still died. I need to prove, to myself, that I can do this. I know I'm not going to be an adventurer, and I don't think I want to be, not anymore. But I need to know, for me, that, if its necessary, and I don't think it will really ever be more so, that I can stand up and, um, you know, fight the good fight."

    Cael quieted again, idly scratching the pavement with his shoe, looking like he'd used up his quota of words for week.

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