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violent delights

Nick Aldebaran Leena Koyel

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#1 Nick Aldebaran

Nick Aldebaran

Posted 31 March 2017 - 10:02 PM

Being verbally accosted on the walk to his first class of the day would typically have resulted in a completely derailed day, a destroyed schedule, a constant buildup of nerves that would have him screaming into his fist by lunch time. To say the least, he didn't cope well with his social anxiety when conflict was involved, despite how very argumentative he could be when one caught him in the right (or any) topic. But that was last week, right?

 

This week was different; this time he fully expected to be assaulted within minutes of walking out of his door, as he'd somehow pissed someone off so much that she now made it her personal goal to ruin his mornings. Yet routine was comfortable to Nick, even if it was full of strife. Instead he found himself stepping outside already in search of her, wondering if she'd already grown tired of their back and forth. On one hand, it would be convenient to not have his blood pressure elevated by his first class. But on the other hand-- well, what would he do with this extra coffee?

 

As he spotted her figure across the lawn, he was flooded with a strange mixture of irritation and relief. Certainly he didn't like to start his mornings this way, but it was easier than wondering what was on her mind to make her stop. If he wasn't careful, he'd end up concerned about his own sworn enemy in life. He raised his eyebrows in a stiff greeting as he approached her, holding out the extra cup of coffee as an offering.

 

"There was extra," he explained rigidly. "I don't like to waste things."


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#2 Leena Koyel

Leena Koyel

Posted 31 March 2017 - 11:07 PM

Routine life was easy, simple, enjoyable. She woke up, got dressed, read the morning news, and had breakfast. Her first class was at ten which meant a fifteen minute walk from her apartment under normal circumstances, but the past week and a half had been anything but normal. Now, that may or may not have been her fault. Upon immediately discovering that he lived so close, well, it was just too good an opportunity to pass up.

Did harassing one no good man do shit to dismantle the patriarchy as a whole? Probably not worth a goddamn lick. Did it matter? Not a single fuck. This dumbass, this motherfucker had pushed her buttons not once, but twice now. Twice! That was twice as many times, and that's just terrible.

So yeah, needless to say, it was entirely too tempting to harass the bastard all the way to his first class. The first day had been something else. He had somehow managed to throw up some false facade of anxiety in a sad attempt to garner pity. It was pathetic.

By now, though, things had sort of settled into a steady little routine. Hell, he had even found a stash of balls and put them to use, arguing back occasionally as if he had never been nervous at all. It was routine, normal.

She actually... appreciated it, in a way.

She barely noticed the coffee at first, instead opting to snatch it from his hand with an accompanying snarl. By the time the first sip hit her throat, she had woken up enough to put two and two together.

"Nice fucking bribe, but it isn't gonna change anything."

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#3 Nick Aldebaran

Nick Aldebaran

Posted 31 March 2017 - 11:19 PM

A single, sardonic laugh escaped his throat at her words. He shook his head with exaggerated motions, though in spite of how casual it all seemed, he hardly felt relaxed at all. "Oh, that's no peace offering. I remember the last time I made that mistake." He raised an eyebrow at her as he took a sip of his own coffee, already starting forward through the courtyard towards his first building. "I dislike waste more than I dislike arguing, if you can believe that. Simple selfish act on my part."

 

Was there an edge of humor to his voice? Perhaps, but he was certain it would be beaten out of him within mere moments. There was still a strange social comfort in offering someone coffee in the morning and it being accepted, even if it was accepted on condition: she would not enjoy his company, no matter the day or the hour, no matter if the world caved in on itself and left only the two of them in its shell. He knew that was why they walked together every morning. She saw it a personal goal of hers to rile him up as often as possible.

 

It was a matter of time, of course, before she grew bored of that. Already that felt lonely. Strange that Nick preferred this type of attention to no attention at all, but perhaps it wasn't surprising; with her here he could focus on their arguments rather than his anxiety. Still, he had to put up the idea that he absolutely hated it, or else she would stop altogether. "So what're we angry about today?"


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#4 Leena Koyel

Leena Koyel

Posted 01 April 2017 - 12:02 AM

Truth be told, if he wanted her to fuck off entirely, all he had to do was ignore her. Acting like nothing she said bothered him at all would piss her off more, sure, but she was far too used to men not even attempting to right their wrongs. The difference between them and Nick was that Nick fought back, and gave her something to fight all the while. He wasn't just a wall of indifference. To her, Nick seemed to be a staunch believer that he was right in his wrongs. To her, he was not only abiding by and upholding the patriarchal problems that she and her sisters suffered day to day, but he was defending them.

That was her problem.

Now, what she didn't realize that her problem was actually a very stupid miscommunication. She was not good at reading the intricacies that rested under words. She also wasn't good at understanding that people weren't all made the same. For all of her laurels, for all of her activism, she was just shit with people, plain and simple.

Still, she scoffed at his comment, rolling her eyes over the lid of the cup and snapped a sharp glare in his direction. "For someone who hates arguing, you sure don't seem to mind putting up a fight." If he hated arguing, this would have ended weeks ago. She wasn't really a bully, not entirely, but she wasn't a pushover either. Had he actually acted like a victim, she would have backed off easy.

Or so she thought.

"What is there not to be angry about? Pick a subject, I'm sure your thoughts on it are wrong anyway." Giving him the offer was pointless; if he had nothing, if he answered the offer perfectly, she would still find something wrong.

He had already thrown himself in the shit pit, after all. It would take a hell of a lot of climbing to get back out.

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#5 Nick Aldebaran

Nick Aldebaran

Posted 01 April 2017 - 12:16 AM

Of course he put up a fight. The only way to avoid being relentlessly teased in school was to at least have a brilliant retort; certainly that didn't provide him immunity back then, but it granted him the status of "invisible" rather than "laughable" most of the time. Having a brother like Toby didn't help, nor did their naturally argumentative father. Even now Nick couldn't plan a trip home without preparing himself for some kind of religious argument, so his attitude with Leena? That was a given.

 

Not that it was out of stubborn conviction most of the time, mind you, so much as a defensive nature and need to explain why he thought the way he did. Despite being so antisocial and avoidant of other people, he yearned to belong somewhere, even if years of being thrust aside didn't do much for his ego. Here he wasn't entirely being thrust aside, even if it sometimes felt like it. She was walking with him, wasn't she? Talking to him? It wasn't a sense of belonging, but it came close.

 

"Maybe you're just special," he joked, wincing internally after the words left his lips. Christ. Toby could pull that sort of thing off, but not Nick. Instead it sounded stilted and awkward coming from him, no matter how sarcastic it was intended. 

 

Still, he tried to muster up a topic that could keep them heated until they reached their respective destinations. "This is what blows my mind, actually. I'd say ninety-nine percent of the time I actually agree with you, you know, so I can't think of anything we'd disagree on. The fighting is always organic." He popped his lips twice in consideration, clearly giving their fight proper thought. It wasn't mindless to him.

 

"How about the upcoming election?" He said, a fake excited smile coming to his lips as the words rolled off his tongue. That would certainly be a stage for debate; with Colorado being a swing state and the stakes so high, there was no telling where this conversation would end up.


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#6 Leena Koyel

Leena Koyel

Posted 01 April 2017 - 12:45 AM

Truth be told, most of her vicious allegations only happened when someone else started it. There had to be something to go on, right? She couldn't (and didn't usually) assume people's viewpoints right off the bat. No, no, instead she laid in wait like a predator until the very first sign of stupidity and then, like some kind of bloodthirsty lion, she pounced.

Most people were eventually left alone thanks to rampant stupidity. Arguing with people that were just plain oblivious to the world and didn't care to open their eyes to it was painful. She was all for schooling the willing, but going over and over the same points with absolutely no change wasn't good for anyone.

Maybe that's why arguing with Nick was... actually kind of fun. Not only did he actually have a fucking brain, but he could very easily be swayed, she figured. If nothing else, his arguments were at least intelligible.

What bugged her the most was his sad attempts to act sympathetic, though. Like he understood. Like he himself had fallen victim to anything but his own privilege. Fucking sickening.

She was already scowling at his last comment by the time he brought up his next point. The election was a can of eorms not to be opened in her presence under normal circumstances, but was even more volatile when she was already pissed.

Which she was.

"Oh, you mean the fucking end of our world as we know it? The biblical apocalypse started already thanks to white women and men everywhere? And what are your thoughts on it, casper? Trickling behind your racist, sexist brethren like a sheep?"

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#7 Nick Aldebaran

Nick Aldebaran

Posted 01 April 2017 - 12:58 AM

Of course he was poking the bear. Hell, he was poking his own bear; neither candidate was worth his support, and was a topic that would only make him feel hopeless and exhausted. It was a good thing arguing with Leena was stimulating in its own right, then, as he wasn't sure he could handle this conversation with many others. Avery was oblivious for the most part, Toby apathetic; it seemed as though he was one of the only members of his family that gave a shit about politics, at least in the way he thought of it.

 

"That's the one," he answered with a half smile. "And a sheep? I'd think we were past that assumption by now, Leena. Do I strike you as a sheep?" He was, of course, trying to be agreeable with his response, but there was an element of defensiveness underneath. Those supporters were the scum of the earth in his eyes, and he hated the idea that he could be grouped in with them simply based upon appearance. Being white and male, however, he supposed he couldn't blame her.

 

Still, their conversations were always strange liberal arguments in nature, offers to a solution to the same problem more than disagreeing about the problem's existence altogether. "I have no sexist, racist brethren, unless you're generalizing me by my gender and race. In which case, no, I have no interest in joining their cause."

 

He paused a moment, aware that his next words could spell a death sentence. "I support neither candidate."


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#8 Leena Koyel

Leena Koyel

Posted 01 April 2017 - 02:07 AM

Did he know what a loaded question he'd just asked? Surely he did, he asked it, after all, throwing what seemed like a pleased grin afterwards. Why was he asking shit he knew would end poorly. For him, of course. This was rehearsed material. How many times a day did she preach about this election? He had to know by now enough about her to know just how sensitive this subject was. Surely he couldn't be so stupid. He had to have done it on purpose.

Which would have smacked her enrage button even harder had she not already been so wrapped up in what he said last. He didn't support either? Fine, okay, truth be told she didn't either. Hillary was a fucking terrible example of a person and a disastrous last grasp at straws but what she was was, at least, something better than Trump.

Sure, she wasn't exactly riding the delirious Clinton train, nor was she happy about having her hand forced as for as voting went, but... well, it had been. Deflecting now wasn't an option.

"Really? You haven't figured out by now how much I separate you from the rest of your gender? And yes, that's what I meant, though I've no doubt your potential siblings suffer the same problems. But that's not even remotely fucking important."

She paused, shaking her head. Despite her vibrant emotional spectrum, she had thus far managed to keep remotely calm.

"so you just aren't voting then? You're content to leave the fate of our country to the die? Just gonna fuck over minorities like that? Gonna flip em the bird and everything? And here i thought you cared more about me, Nick."

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#9 Nick Aldebaran

Nick Aldebaran

Posted 01 April 2017 - 02:20 AM

How much she separated him from the rest of his gender? He wasn't sure how to take that. It was clear on his expression, based on the way his brows furrowed in a way that was likely familiar to her by now. A frown met his features as he considered it. Certainly he identified as a man rather easily, as well as straight, and he was also so white his skin was two shades away from translucent. Perhaps he deserved that generalization, but that was what he saw as the problem in the first place. Generalizing, pushing people away, dividing them. Her language was undoubtedly divisive. Certainly educational in its own right, but divisive. That type of activism would go nowhere.

 

He knew not to say this for now, though likely if she pressed enough buttons, the worst would come flying out. Instead he chose to compose himself, something she'd taught him in just a few short days simply by being so abrasive. "I assume you don't separate me at all," he said with a shrug, playing it off as nonchalant when he didn't really like that assumption. Not that he'd go whining about it on twitter, but he had been entirely dismissed on surface value. How was that any better?

 

"You really do assume the worst of me every single time, don't you? If you bothered to listen to what actually comes out of my mouth, you'd probably see that we're on the same side here. I registered to vote here because it's a swing state-- not that my vote matters much to you, does it?" Whoops. That came out a lot earlier than intended. "For the record, I'm not with her. But I suppose I have no real choice but to vote for her."


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#10 Leena Koyel

Leena Koyel

Posted 01 April 2017 - 02:56 AM

Fine, okay, sure, she was prone to be judgmental. Hell, she was even aware of it! She knew her capacity for picking apart people - specifically men - before they even opened their mouths. It was a bad habit, Okay? Everyone had one. Her's just happened to be a little on the more ridiculous side. Truth be told, she didn't have quite as many arguments with women as she did with men. Yes, some were just as blind and just as complacent as their male counterparts, but she always gave them the benefit of the doubt before the proof started rolling in. Men needed no proof. Men were generally always assholes and had to prove themselves otherwise. The situation had always been reversed like that.

It was unfair but it did mean that Nick really wasn't getting the short end of any stick that the rest of the male species didn't already get. In fact, he was a little better off if only because he wasn't entirely complacent. Sure, she really wasn't hearing his stances entirely and she certainly hadn't pieced together the fact that they were basically two less peas in a pod politically, but iy really was only a matter of time before she did.

But for now she was just astounded at her own assumption. Why did she have the sinking feeling in her chest that came from shattered expectations? Already she was thinking the worst of him, just as he'd said. He wasn't voting, he didn't care, he was fine to just let the world burn. It was that train of that that birthed no pity in her chest from his little rant. Why shouldnt she assume the worst from him if he had just gone and proved the worst?

But then his next bit registered, finally, and she blinked afterwards, dumbfounded that they actually agreed on something.

And thus, a silent, 'oh' was all she could manage for the time being. Had she been a more humble person, she might have even felt embarrassed .

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#11 Nick Aldebaran

Nick Aldebaran

Posted 01 April 2017 - 03:54 AM

Had he truly struck her speechless? How was that even possible? Nick's surprise was written all over his features as he looked at her sidelong, though he had a feeling her silence wouldn't last very long. Or was arguing the only thing they could do in the first place? Would these walks and talks stop so suddenly simply because he'd made this awkward, as he did all things? For some reason he didn't like that idea, even if that rush of anxiety in the morning didn't wake him up like he pretended. 

 

Neither did he feel smug about his victory. Arguing wasn't something he took a lot of pleasure in, even if he was willing to play the game. The main reason he argued in the first place was out of sheer defensiveness, as anyone could see. Raising an eyebrow, he studied her face for a moment, wondering what in the world was on her mind. Had she finally listened?

 

"I have a lot of opinions on abortion," he said, the corners of his lips twitching. Surely that would fire her up in some way or another-- break the ice. "I'm kidding."


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#12 Leena Koyel

Leena Koyel

Posted 01 April 2017 - 04:32 PM

So that was shocking. Yes, for once, she was speechless, which was an ordeal in and of itself. To be rendered speechless by a man, a white man no less, on a subject she assumed them ignorant of was... unspeakable. She had spent all of her life loathing men specifically for everything they had done to her family. Sure, her own experiences factored into that as well, but by the tender age of childhood she was already well biased against men as a while. She didn't exactly keep it a secret, either.

But this... this was pulling the rug out from beneath her feet just a little bit. Now she wasn't toppling over on her stances by any means, no sir, but she was finding herself a little more confused than she ought to have been.

Regardless, there had been too much silence and not enough bastardizing her victim so she was just about to turn her attention back to him and find something else to yell about when he spoke up again.

And by damn, she actually laughed. It was instinct, natural. An entire throat full of laughter tumbled out before she could even stop it. Not that she would anyway. She May have been uppity and aggressive by nature, but she was also dangerously genuine, the type to wear every expression that crossed her mind like a badge of honor.

So fine, he made her laugh. So what.

"Do tell,' she started, her words jittery on the tail end of her laughter. "I love having men police what I can and can't do with my body, so please, enlighten me, oh great one."

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#13 Nick Aldebaran

Nick Aldebaran

Posted 08 April 2017 - 07:52 AM

The avalanche of her laughter buried him entirely; he averted his face from her, suddenly too focused on the fountain in front of them as his face flushed a light shade of pink. All at once, she became three dimensional to him, a thought he hated to address. Before she'd been a negative acquaintance at best, an antagonist in his life that he hadn't expected to run into so often, but he'd gained a sort of... respect for her passion, even if it'd drove him nuts. Now she was actually laughing in front of him.

 

What made it worse was that she was laughing at something he'd said. For a moment, the universe had aligned. Her smile cemented itself in his mind, and he struggled to catch up with the conversation. Perhaps it might have seemed like he was too serious suddenly, but he did at least try to reply to her, even if he could barely form sentences.

 

"No birth control, but be totally abstinent," he joked, even if he wasn't making eye contact with her. "But I'm allowed to get away with what I want. Also media has to portray you like a sexual object but shame what you do in your private life in spite of it." He let out a disgusted tsk, his negativity seeping out. "How d'you deal with double standards like that?"

 

It was an honest question, even if it was perhaps too invasive. But he really was curious-- though perhaps he already knew the answer. She confronted people. She boasted her thoughts. He could never be like that.


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#14 Leena Koyel

Leena Koyel

Posted 08 April 2017 - 05:11 PM

She could be surprising at times, no doubt. Laughing and finding amusement in someone she seemed to outright hate wasn't exactly something most people expected of Leena, but again, she was always nothing but honest with her feelings and intentions. And certainly, it was probably in bad taste to laugh now, especially given the serious nature of their disputes thus far, but damn, didn't the world suck enough without sapping every ounce of humor out along with it?

It was hard to recover her anger after that, too, which was partially why she had obliged his comment from before in the off chance hopes that he would actually have some stupid opinion that made it easier for her to hate him. And sure, she could have taken his response at face value and torn into him over it, but it was clearly sarcasm and even she could see that. Did that mean that perhaps he wasn't as bad as she'd assumed he was? Possibly, but she was trying very, very desperately to avoid that route of thinking.

And she had no real reason for being so hesitant about everything than her own ridiculous biases.

Still, she laughed regardless at his retort, shaking her head as she prepared to agree sarcastically. His question caught her off guard, and so suddenly too, that she was rendered speechless yet again, boggling back and forth between shock and awe. Had he seriously asked that? That wasn't another offhanded comment, right?

"I fight it, I guess." which was probably obvious to him by now, really. Did he even need that answer? Still, she couldn't get over that he asked such a sincere and genuine question in the first place. It was... different, and her response was nothing she would be proud of later, her head dipping as she took a perhaps too contemplative sip of coffee.

"Well, anyway, you knew that already, huh?"

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