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Nov 22, 2019 4:29 AM
democracy at work
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Deina suppresses a pang of envy.

"Then I'm delighted to be introduced to them."

He helps himself to one, ignores the process of eating it in favor of watching Valentine.

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His fingertips linger on Cato's lips for just a moment before he draws back his hand.

"...well. I suppose I should figure out where to start."

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"You can't seriously expect me to believe you haven't already decided."

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"...I suppose I have. But it's such an exercise in willpower."

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"That must be very difficult for you."

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"Again, the sarcasm."

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"What would you have me say?"

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He considers.

Then, with perfect calm –

"Thank you."

 

 

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Deina finds that he ... rather likes ... Valentine feeding him lines.

"Thank you," he repeats, and the breathless sincerity of the delivery is all that anyone could ask for.

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"...that was – quite gratifying, actually."

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There doesn't seem to be much point in disguising his plain delight at the praise.

"I'm glad."

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The look Valentine turns on him is obviously, immensely fond.

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It's devastating.

He forgets to breathe, drinking in every moment of Valentine's expression.

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"...are you all right?"

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"--yes, of course."

He recovers, smoothly and all at once.

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"–not a criticism! Just caution."

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"I'm entirely well."

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"–well, now I don't believe you."

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"Has anyone ever told you that you are impossible?"

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"Frequently. Occasionally with whipping!"

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He can't help himself; it's too much, in the span of two minutes.

He bursts into tears.

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"–ah."

He stands, makes his way to the other couch, sits down beside Deina.

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He pulls himself together, once again, with the same abrupt change.

"I apologize. Something came over me."

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