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May 28, 2020 7:37 PM
valentine furnishes his new house
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"...he likes you. I don't – know what goes on in his head, but he's careful with...stuff he likes."

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"It's possible to be fond of knickknacks."

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He sighs, resigning himself to some unknown fate, and tosses a pair of pants at Jean's head.

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He catches them.

"Thank you," he says, stripping.

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He puts a hand over his eyes.

"Shower! Go take a shower!"

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"Yes, all right."

He finishes stripping and heads for the shower, pants in hand.

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He calls down the hall after him, eyes still covered.

"Don't just take your clothes off in front of people!"

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These rules are very confusing.

Jean showers, dresses in Cato's pants.

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They aren't a perfect fit, but they're roughly the same color.

No one is there, when he emerges, to tell him what to do.

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He's inclined to hide, but he doesn't have permission to linger in Cato's room.

Jean glances nervously out the door, before moving swiftly and silently to the safety of his own.

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He's left alone, for several hours, before there's a knock on his door.

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He answers, of course, looking only a little miserable.

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"...are you feeling all right?"

He clearly knows, even as he says it, that he's not.

He's holding a full plate in one hand.

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"--of course." He draws himself up, a little, lets his face smooth out. "I'm sorry about this afternoon."

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"The fact that you're sorry means that I was negligent. I apologize."

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He's visibly alarmed and disoriented by this development.

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"If you consider yourself responsible, the fact that I allowed him to treat you as he did was unacceptable. –may I come in to put this down?"

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"...of course," he says, in a tone which sounds more like it means obviously.

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He does so.

"...this–"

He gestures at Jean's neck.

"If you were given the choice, would you keep it?"

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"--please--"

He starts to move, sharply; visibly stops himself from going down on his knees.

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"If it were to mean you were always treated the way you were treated this afternoon?"

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He looks agonizingly stricken; starts to speak, stops, struggles with conflicted emotions.

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"Tell me your thoughts."

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He doesn't want to. But Valentine has the right to command this from him.

"...I don't want to -- fail you, again."

 

"It feels like it might still be worth it. But that's -- selfishness."

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"...you haven't failed me, Jean. And I'm not sure you understand my meaning."

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