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Jun 05, 2020 9:14 AM
a d/s au Alessa and cousin in Daémon
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"First of all, you're not in trouble.  Of everyone involved, you two are the least responsible for the problem.  And... the what at the front desk?"  

(Florentho has pulled aside the daemons into their own group, as is normal.  Do they want hugs?  His human can handle the logical reasons that they ought to feel better.)

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That's - not what they were expecting at all, and incredibly forgiving, and - then there's the second part and now he's worried someone else is in trouble, and he's not even sure who, or how to ask about it, or how to - try to say that they shouldn't be in any way that isn't, well, arguing. 

And then he is distracted from both parts of this by the third part.

Did he - get her role wrong after all - but she hadn't done anything when he'd stopped addressing her properly -. But wait, the dom had left before they'd met Mareline, he'd never seen her, maybe the person staffing the front desk when he'd been there had been a dom (why would that happen...)

"I'm sorry sir, I should have - asked about this too, when I - knew I couldn't tell - the way we show role must not be at all the same as here, and I haven't known how to role read people here right. I've - guessed a few, but I - was guessing. I've been very disrespectful, and I'm sorry, sir."

...And, better tell it all then, if not everything with that woman might be over yet.

"...I thought we were in the subs' room because it was the other one from where you went, sir, but - we have subs' rooms and doms' room, for the restrooms; if you do it differently here I - might have misaddressed the woman who was angry with us. I'm sorry, sir."

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The daemons are worried about their humans! They can't tell/remember what bad thing their humans are expecting to happen, but they definitely know their humans are expecting a bad thing to happen.

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So he had heard that correctly.  "Explain what 'dom' and 'sub' mean in your culture," he suggests.  "And 'role'.  Here... well, I've only ever heard them as terminology in an obscure category of sexual fetish, which doesn't sound like what you're talking about."

"As for restrooms here, the space-efficient stall varieties are usually divided between men and women.  The stated reasons are... related to biological differences, but fairly trivial.  The real reason that it's persisted is because people who do go into the wrong room generally cause trouble when they do, making people think that there would be more trouble if they were combined."

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He is - more confused (and he'd already felt disoriented, unbalanced, as well as worried, more so than he's been feeling for a while in this other world). 'Mean in your culture' made sense - he'd been ready to start talking about how some of the things he doesn't know here were done in their home, a better basis for understanding here.

He's... not really sure what else role could mean. (He - thinks he's heard of places or times in history that had some other roles, third or fourth or more even, but a role was still the same thing...). The next part - had these words turned to meaning something inappropriate at some point here, and the more everyday words were ones he doesn't have...? (He blushes slightly, winces).

(He flinches a little at 'people who do go into the wrong room generally cause trouble').

 

"Roles are - the kinds of people that there are. Dominants and submissives. Submissives, we - orient to obedience, and devotion, and being kept and useful and pleasing. Dominants orient to command and ownership and guardianship." (He's half-expecting the dom to slap him for being condescending. But he wants to make sure it's as obvious as he can quickly make it, what he's talking about, that it's clear. And if they do have more roles here, or something like that...) (He - should probably mention, have mentioned discipline. He - didn't.)

And - there's so much about how things are done, he isn't sure how to try to order, or start...

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...Well, he supposes that if you made a rule that only people wearing blue that day could go into a certain bathroom, you could probably predict that the people who didn't go with that might also go do something else that mattered more. And that you couldn't use that as a screen or whatever if you didn't keep the rule.

He jumps in to the culture question, drawing on reading he's done and the like.

"Where we're from, one dominant usually marries one submissive but not always, both dominants and submissives can be employed, submissive and dominant siblings are raised in the same house, dominants aren't allowed to kill their submissives or any of their children, there are some restrictions on a dominant selling a submissive who they married, submissives are permitted in public alone, public punishment isn't very common, discipline by an authority other than a submissive's guardian or dominant is permitted with restrictions, submissives are allowed to speak in public..."

He's not sure if this is what Azure meant, but if not that should give him a chance to tell them. He leaves out anything about sex; doesn't know the rules for talking about that here. ...It was possibly asking for trouble to mention discipline, but too late to not do that now. And maybe it'd be a really obvious omission. 

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He mulls it over for a moment.  "Interesting.  We do have people who are more or less obedient or commanding, as personality traits.  We don't have any large-scale identification system ordering people along that axis into a binary pair of classifications, and no legal differences for people based on those traits."  That does sound a little like what the local obscure fetish group calls dom and sub, but he makes a note to himself to try and avoid making assumptions based on that.  They - Alessa in particular - also seem to be uncomfortable with the comparison.

"How do people get categorized?  Is there a test, or physical marker, or do people self-sort themselves?" 

(Florentho will reassure their daemons that everything is fine and they will do their best to stop any bad things from happening.)

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That -

 

He's not sure if that means they - have submissives and dominants (and... maybe something else?) but don't have the - explicit acknowledgement (...that sounds horrible) or - something else. (He's not at all sure how the earlier 'terminology in an obscure category of sexual fetish' connects into it).

He's not sure what 'no legal differences mean' - it probably doesn't mean 'doms can do whatever they want'; he doesn't think a place where that was true would look like this...

(It's less that he's uncomfortable with the comparison - nor does he understand it well enough for that - and more worrying he said something inappropriate. Not that he knows Azure is thinking this.)

 

He answers the question almost automatically.

"If you watch children you can see things, but children start saying it themselves once they're old enough to talk that much. Some take longer, but usually by seven or so most everyone'll say." He'd been early. Kente had been a little later - and some had thought he might be a dom, before that - but he was very insistent that he wasn't, once he started. "Some don't, and then their guardians report based on what they've seen."

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He isn't really less confused. And this definitely beats bathrooms in things it's very surprising to have suddenly be weird in aliens who are otherwise so much like them. Though, that might definitely explain why they don't have subs' and doms' rooms. And why Alessa's been having so much trouble with the clothes and all.

(Part of his brain attempts to figure out how this might affect the chances that Azure will want to sleep with him (and/or do something about it if he does want to). This is probably not really among the top ten things to be thinking about right now.)

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His human had said 'It isn't fair that they can't just only punish me'. And he's pretty sure he was thinking about it as something everyone would agree would be right.

Are their humans going to be punished?

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He supposes if he'd grown up in a culture that treated it like an important legal category, he'd have tried to sort himself young, too, to fit in.  

After having more time to think on it, "Kente, that list of differences... submissives being allowed out in public alone and allowed to speak in public, and so on.  Those were differences between cultures on your world, where in some they aren't allowed to but doms are?  Or is it that in your culture it is subs that can do those things, and doms that are forbidden from being without a chaperone or speaking in public?"  It would be very strange if the more submissive half of the population was legally allowed to kill their spouses and their children, but it seems worth clarifying.  

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No one will hurt them for having stepped into a restroom then done nothing.  Azure and Florentho aren't going to hurt them, and will do their best to make sure they don't step into any serious trouble.  (They are apologetic about not having caught the restroom thing.  It hadn't occurred to them that there would have been a cultural difference in that).  

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"I don't think there's anywhere where doms need chaperones or are forbidden from speaking in public?" That would be weird. Maybe there's some other aliens somewhere else that do that. "I think there's somewhere where it looks bad if doms argue in public and they're supposed to send their submissives to talk to each other? But it wouldn't be forbidden.

Speaking of, should he stick with the sir? And, in specific, do the 'adding appellations beyond base etiquette because he's worse at sounding polite other ways' thing? Yeah probably better to stick with it while they still don't know what's going on.

"Some of those were historical, sir? I don't think killing kids is legal anywhere anymore. Don't think unrestricted selling is legal anywhere, but I think some places don't enforce their rules very well." He hopes that's not a problem to say here. It's not like he's saying it about the local government. 

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Oh, that's good. He doesn't think their humans wanted to be punished for this. 

It looks like no one caught it; he doesn't think it's really anyone's fault. Maybe they should try to think of other things that might be like that, though.

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"As I mentioned, we don't have legal differences. Not for that, anyway - there are some special accomodations made or required of certain daemons, and many jobs require daemons who can learn Moves that make the jobs possible.  Also, our church gives certain responsibilities to each of the 18 different Types.  I suspect that types might be the closest thing we have to your kind of sorting, but from what it sounds like we don't take it nearly as far as your culture takes yours.

"For specifics... Marriage is normally two people, sometimes three or rarely more.  The most church-approved marriages are for different Types, but it's not illegal for two people of the same type to marry.  There's no assumption that one person owns the other, or is allowed to control the other other than mutually agreed upon and symmetrical agreements to limit extramarital sex.  Sometimes that's complete monogamy, or more often various other limits.  

"Everyone can be employed.  Murder of anyone by anyone is illegal.  Everyone can speak in public, though there is some speech that's illegal.  Slander, false advertising, making too much noise when people are trying to sleep, any sound that is immediately dangerous our causes people to fall asleep in dangerous situations..."

He thinks there were some others he could have used as a prompt, but some of the statements were so, well, alien.  There is one that stands out as being especially concerning, though.  "What does 'selling' mean in that context?"  

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...What other things could that possibly mean? They've been buying things all day, it's not that people here don't use money or something.

"...Come to think I think it isn't always selling, I think in some places there isn't exchange involved. Sir.

Sometimes a dominant marries a submissive and later doesn't want them anymore, and not in the way where they need to tell the government they can't control them. Abandonment is usually not allowed - it used to happen a lot more anyway, but now it's easier for the government to find the dom by records and hold them responsible. So they transfer them to someone else, sir."

He might wonder how marriage like that would work, but there are places in their own world where dominants can marry each other, and it must happen at least sometimes that they have some amount of time without submissives.  

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Could it be that people here just - (a middling sub who'd spent a few weeks in the house had shown him a story she'd written, one time after he'd - helped her. The main character had realized she wasn't a dom or a sub, was finding people who would understand that (also fighting bloodthirsty fairies, but that doesn't seem so applicable to what's happening here). Not something you'd see in books or tv more usually, but she'd written it well. He could understand, if he thought about it. And if you could have a person like that, you could have more...).

That - he isn't sure what it would be like, how it would work. But - sounds much less horrible than the other way, than imagining so many people caught without their own underpinning, not being able to say it, talk about it, maybe think about it themselves... (That couldn't last long, could it? Not decades, not longer than that? Someone would figure it out, would tell others, they could find it...

But - all sorts of things have lasted more than decades...).

But he doesn't know yet, what it really is here. (Isn't sure how this type division might relate...)

But, however things are here, they're here (and he needs to do better at being here...), so -

 

"Do we need to know anything, about the - types we are, and anything we should do? Aside from the clothing, sir.

..what kinds of sounds are dangerous or cause people to fall asleep?" Of things he wouldn't want to do by accident...

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He doesn't look happy about that.  "I was hoping that you'd meant some kind of second, alien definition.  For the record, our people haven't had slavery since before the ships left.  Both people in a marriage choose whether they want to move in together, and can be left by either at any time."

From everything he's heard, and some that he's been unconsciously combining from the local bdsm subculture, he's not concerned with the thought of uncontrollable submissives running rampant and destroying the ship if no one can rein them in.  This seems like an open-and-shut case for the 'doms' in charge of their world just being slavers and therefore awful.

Azure takes on a distant look, remembering and reciting something that he learned a very long time ago.  It's... well, it's not calming or reassuring, exactly, but it is something else to focus on.  "Fire is associated with the virtue of Productivity and the traditional goal of crafting.  Most are stereotyped as being angry and quick-witted.  Bug is associated with the virtues of Justice and Mercy, and the traditional goal of law enforcement.  They're stereotyped as being honest, and eager to rush to the defense of others.  These aren't necessarily accurate, and you don't have to follow them, it's just that people will look at you and assume you have those traits.  If you join a church, they expect members of the congregation to take on certain duties by Type.  Leading ceremonies during the matched month being the biggest one.

"Dangerous sounds are mostly Moves, or sometimes other daemon abilities."

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Yeah there's usually not much to be happy about in the unwanted submissives topic. Sometimes it works out at least ok in the end, but. 

He's not sure why slavery is suddenly up as a topic - maybe because of the selling relevance? And not really weird for Azure to think they could use the reassurance, since they're basically without their own resources and also were kidnapped. But he returns, since they seem to be exchanging,

"Our country hasn't for more than a century. I don't think there's anywhere slavery's still legal? Definitely not how it used to be. Think some places might have pockets anyway."

He's not entirely into the news that he'll be associated with productivity and crafting (Alessa might have liked those in specific better). Anger stereotype sounds like it could cause a problem, or else possibly be maybe ever useful, depending on how people feel about it.

Eager to rush to the defense of others is definitely Alessa to the core though.

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"and can be left by either at any time" Oh, that - . It could be really hard, of course, if someone left someone who was dependent, if that ever happens here. But they probably have some other way to deal with that, if this is the usual rule, and - that would be so much, much better, some other way; being dependent on someone who wishes they didn't have you is nightmare and rarely anything else. (And it's not as though those subs are allowed to leave even if it would be better even with no help at all-)

And oh how incredibly better this would be, for runaways, for everyone who doesn't dare or can't or can't bear to be a runaway (...for everyone who - dares, and fails). For everyone who looks at what it means to be a runaway and looks at what they're living with and however bad it is it isn't bad enough when they compare... (And - maybe some people would be better, at least some, if they knew the one they married had any recourse, if they had to think ever of more constraints than the law and maybe what their friends might think...)

He doesn't know the details, he doesn't know enough, but oh it feels almost unbelievable in worth.

(His facial expression is probably revealing at least something of his feeling here.)

(He isn't thinking as much about 'choose whether they want to move in together' - there's some places where subs are expected to say they choose to marry, that they give themselves, but whether or not they have doms and subs here he's seen children, doesn't imagine they don't have guardians and parents, and - what else can you do.)

 

He's not sure what he thinks of his apparent associations. But ?the dom? - the? - but their guide is saying they don't have to follow them, so he'll - better to spend time and everything else on what they do have to follow, first.

"...Would they know, what not to do because it would be dangerous? Or do we need to be careful?"

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Perhaps the word for slavery means a specific type where they're from?  Definitions can be tricky things.  There are some people on the fleet who believe it's 'slavery' to have to follow the laws, get drafted to do rare moves to keep the ships running, or having to go to school...  It's really hard to imagine a context in which 'people are literally bought, owned, and sold by others' doesn't count.  

"I would expect they would, as long as you know not to attack people who haven't attacked you first.  You can go over it with them - you probably should, since there's any ambiguity.  Best to avoid any chances for another issue."  The daemons don't seem unusual, despite their having come into existence in such an unusual way.  They can talk and walk and so on, without needing to learn.  "I've been to the library to use the TMs quite a bit - they have warning labels and lists of appropriate points to use Moves as part of the selection process, and a place to practice in nearby."

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It is indeed the case that the word for slavery does not get applied to what would be considered regular dom-sub relationships in their world, any more than it gets (or got in the past) applied to relationships between parents and children, and much like a dom who hands out severe discipline for mild transgressions is called 'strict' and not abusive (even once the latter word existed). 

Flinch at the beginning, and then ducking his head again at 'best to avoid chances for another issue'. "Of course, sir.

Yes sir. How would we go over it with them?

Thank you, that's very good to know, sir."

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He flinches internally himself when Alessa does.  He's used to speaking formally only in certain circumstances, and being casual whenever he can get away with it.  There seem to be a number of subtle social assumptions that are different enough that it's throwing him off.  Well, it's not going to do any good avoiding talking just because he puts his foot in his mouth sometimes.  

"It's alright.  Our cultures are just different enough that I'm not sure what to expect.  You mentioned public punishment, and if random onlookers would normally be expected to hit someone not following a rule that you have but we don't, that would cause a problem.  

"As for moves, I'll have Florentho tell them.  Even us local humans have a hard time understanding daemons when they talk about moves."  This is done on his phone as he speaks.  "Though, 'ask before touching anyone or anything other than your humans and their stuff' would probably suffice.  And they can read the information in the library too.  Uh, sirs.  Or whatever the opposite of that is, for people who are younger?"

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(Ceteris paribus formal speech might actually be worse, given the circumstances in which they'd usually expect to hear formal speech and therefore their associations.)

Alessa's reaction at them being called 'sirs' is very visible (it might be too strong for him to hide it well; the circumstances are too unexpected for him to really try). It somewhat like a cross of missing a step, suddenly hearing an extremely unpleasant sound, being punched in the stomach, and a much stronger flinch. It also completely derails him from any response to anything else just said.

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His reaction is not at all as strong, though still existent. He jumps in to responding again.

It takes a bit of effort to sort through the logic of the bit about public punishment, and the resulting hypothetical social practice is a bit weird to imagine, though maybe anyone's ever done that. ...Probably a good thing to clarify here. "Public punishment is by a submissive's dominant or guardian, or by someone in authority in a given place. Or the government." Which he supposes falls under the authority one but seems good to be specific. "We don't have random people - er, onlookers - doing it. 

Where we're from submissives don't do - er, administer - discipline, and where they do it's when their dominant or employment authority" says so  "directs it." And he's pretty sure that even if they came from somewhere where random people including submissives did public discipline they wouldn't just jump into doing it here, definitely not unless they saw locals doing it first and had more than 0 idea of how anything worked. Because - not who does that, he can think of some people who would probably do that. But still. But he's not going to say that. (And he supposes Azure doesn't in fact know that they're not the sort of people who would do that.)

"...Will not touching things help with dangerous sounds?" That's probably way too close to questioning/arguing, but it seems important enough that he's going to say it anyway. He doesn't append a 'sir'; he's never any good at pulling off that making it sound like he is being polite, actually, rather than dissembling. That's Alessa's territory.

Oh do they do things by age here (maybe?) that would be a way to do things. "...'Sir' and 'ma'am' are from submissives to dominants, for us. Um. Sir." He's not sure how to continue without sounding like he's trying to lecture Azure on ethics, so he doesn't.

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