Kadlawen isn’t feeling particularly inclined to disagree with him.
He curls up into a small little ball on the floor, and he continues crying.
Ateshai must hate him- no, that’s really unlikely- but it feels true in one of his deeper caverns of consciousness, and he doesn’t have enough emotional energy to root it out, not when it’s being fed by a steady trickle of ‘he couldn’t possibly have communicated casual rejection more soundly’ and insinuous little currents of anxiety. Ateshai must be feeling, if not hate... apathy.
Kadlawen isn’t feeling apathy. He isn’t feeling apathetic in the slightest.
... must have known on some level that it couldn’t possibly work out, when Ateshai only resembled one of his preferred genders half the time, and had a profession firmly associated with regularly going new places, and had a completely different romantic framework and culture-
... had continued on with it anyways- but why did he continue on with it anyways, if he’d known on some level that it would be a disaster-
... because Ateshai had been so cute and so good and so intensely attractive- and he’d delegated so much of his decision making for so long that he hadn’t particularly thought to worry about things not working out, he just had to be ever so charming and cheerful and obedient- but Ateshai, although mildly charmed, hadn’t particularly wanted obedience, hadn’t particularly wanted Kadlawen, and if he wasn’t being perfectly obedient he couldn’t quite manage to flow in perfect obedience to narratives and fairy tale logic-
... how long had he been operating in adherence to fairy tale logic, where everything would be just fine if he went along with whoever had hold of his figurative collar- ever since he’d accidentally killed his entire family, he supposed, ever since he’d read newspaper articles cooing sympathetically about how he must be ever so sad, ever since he’d been condescendingly patted on the head and told that this was what happened when damsels in distress tried to rescue themselves- and the idea of doing anything else remained terrifying beyond description-