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Nov 21, 2019 5:25 AM
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Hugs are nice. 

He holds on until it's a little weird, fails to have the willpower to let go for ten seconds, and then lets go.

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no don't let go

"It really is fine," he says. He's not sure whether that's true or not. 

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"It can be okay and still be something you shouldn't have to put up with."

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He nods seriously and — doesn't lean on Ben. 

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Ben doesn't lean on him either!

"It must be weird that none of us are Confucian."

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"Less so than you'd think — that was one of the things we were expecting, I'd been preparing for it for a while." 

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"I'm curious what you weren't expecting."

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"I wasn't expecting the sports to be so — the word I want isn't useless, but I grew up doing archery in the expectation that I'd use it someday, tourney was very strange." 

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Ben laughs. "It really is useless. I'd say Flynning is better but they systemically took all the useful parts of swordfighting out of it."

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"I know! It's terrible! My mom used to watch tournaments and point out all the things that would get you killed if you tried them in real life." 

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"Your mom sounds great."

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"She is. — she used to bring a chess set to any party she expected was going to be boring." 

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"I wish I could do that."

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"After a certain age I couldn't get away with it either, but who'd stop you." 

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"Lots of people. When I'm king-- which hopefully won't be for a long time-- I'm going to have to keep every human kingdom and all the nonhumans happy. If I offend someone at a party, they might block a law that's really important to me."

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He doesn't know how to say 'I guess I thought politics would be different if you had actual power' in a way that is neither unspeakably rude in context nor unspeakably vulnerable in context, so instead he just hugs Ben. 

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Gosh! Hugs!

"It's just. Once I become king, I won't have anything that's just for me ever again."

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It's one thing for Chen to live like that but he is very very sure that Ben should not. 

"Yeah. Public property of Auradon." 

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"Yeah. It's good to have a friend though."

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"It is." 

Maybe he should hug Ben a little bit tighter. 

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This should not make Ben as happy as it does.

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Actually, everything should make Ben as happy as it possibly can. 

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Eventually he says, "Probably we should do homework."

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"Probably we should!" Most of the homework he has is for Chem. 

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He's very smiley while they study.

Their hands touch when he gives Chen a pen.

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