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Sep 16, 2019 4:21 AM
change the way the story's told
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...yeah, he thinks he's going to like this place. It looks like what mansions are trying to be, large and brightly lit and full of things that look like if he touched them they'd be soft. 

Food!!! He hadn't eaten since before he got on the train; he eats an objectively ridiculous amount now, keeps a careful eye on what's being done with the food to see if he needs to store any away. 

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Charlotte is eating a large but more sensible amount; Ralphie is eating less.

"Well, aren't you hungry! Didn't they feed you on the train? I can't ever eat on the train myself, it's terrible for my digestion, isn't it, Ralphie?"

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"There was food you could buy and I brought food from the orientation but I wasn't sure how long I had to make what I had last so I slept instead. It wasn't a big deal or anything." 

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"Oh honey! That sounds awful! Did you think we weren't going to feed you?"

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He can feel himself shrinking. 

"I just wasn't sure. It really wasn't a big deal, I've gone with less for longer." 

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"Well, bless his heart, but I am going to give that King Ben a piece of my mind! I am a meek and demure woman but sometimes I am driven to speak up, isn't that right Ralphie, and this is a situation where I feel the need to make my voice heard!"

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"— No, the first thing King Ben did was get me off the isle, you don't need to give him a piece of your anything." 

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"Well, I still think he should have explained very clearly that we would not make you pay for your own food."

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"They gave me plenty of food and more than enough money to cover food for the train ride, I could have asked, and King Ben did the best thing anyone has ever done for me and I would rather he not get yelled at for it." 

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"Well, you're just a sweetheart. Of course I won't yell at King Ben. --And this is too much conflict for early in the morning, I say! What do you think of Tiana's man-catching beignets?"

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It is well past sunrise, but he's not going to argue about whether it's early or not. 

"Is that what these are? Everything is really good." 

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"I caught my Ralphie with them. Of course none of us have to catch a man now, but either way they're delicious!"

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Ralph doesn't seem like someone who would have been particularly hard to catch. He's just... not going to say anything about that. 

"Did you have to before?" 

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"Oh, yes, darling. It was my dream ever since I was a little girl to marry a prince, and I thought it would never happen. I was going to marry Prince Naveen but then he fell in love with my best friend Tiana and I had to wait and wait and wait for my Ralphie to be old enough to marry me. We were a bit of a May/December romance, weren't we, Ralphie. --Now don't you worry about a thing, Sasha, we'll take you to lots of balls and parties so you can meet the princess of your dreams without quite so much waiting."

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"...I can't say I've ever thought about marrying a princess?" 

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"Well, of course not, honeycomb, you were on the Isle, they don't have any princesses on the Isle. Uncivilized place."

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"There are princesses on the Isle. Evie's a princess. What's a honeycomb?" 

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"A honeycomb is something that's sweet, just like you! --Well, I suppose if you want to marry an ordinary woman, I can arrange balls and parties for that too." She sounds more suspicious of this idea.

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"...honestly marrying a woman just sounds like a really weird thing for me to do? Why would I do that." 

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"Sugar pie, you can't decide that you want to be a confirmed bachelor at the age of sixteen! There are so many advantages of getting married, isn't that right, Ralphie?"

Ralphie doesn't look up from his newspaper.

"There's social status, companionship, children, and of course"-- she blushes-- "the marital bed."

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Blink. Blink. 

".........is there some reason I have to get married to have sex, or —?" 

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"Why, of course, dear, you can't engage in marital relations before you get married, everyone knows that. --I suppose Prince Naveen had a few indiscretions but he also turned into a frog and nearly send all of New Orleans to the Other Side to be eternally tortured so I can't say I think much of his decisions, however well they worked out in the end."

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"Why can't I have sex before I get married, that's bizarre — and I'm pretty sure whatever sex Naveen had didn't have anything to do with the frog and the almost getting New Orleans sent to the Other Side, or was Nat leaving a whole lot out when she told us about her dad —" 

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"I'm not sure that marital relations are an appropriate conversation topic for the breakfast table," Charlotte says sharply. "Ralphie will discuss things with you man-to-man once breakfast has concluded."

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He's shrunk backward against his chair before he realizes what he's doing. 

"Okay," very small. "I'm sorry." 

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