Log:First In First Out
The Confidant enters like a shamed dog. He closes the door behind him and stands there, for a moment, his face to the door. He gathers his thoughts. "Cash had the biggest crush on Thea. He didn't have the balls to act." He begins. "This go showed me that nothing is promised. Nothing is guaranteed. Not even if we return here. All the same...I still love you. But, I love Dare too. And Felicity. And Briar, of course. What you want with me is up to you. I can make peace with whatever you decide."
Perched on the edge of her bed, Senni gazes across at him quietly, listening while he speaks. She doesn't, for the record, look angry. Or accusatory. Or anything else that might be inciting him to the guilty, tail-between-his-legs demeanor he's adopted now. At least.. not until he gets to the bit about loving Dare and Felicity, at which point she arches a brow. "We all agreed, a while ago, that whatever happens outside of this place is just.. what happens outside. It's not really real. What counts is what's here," she stresses softly. "And we all said that, here, we were for each other. And that was it."
"I know what I said. I didn't expect..." Chance pauses, looking for the words as he turns to face her. "Something changed in me. Maybe it was being Cash. You've known me as long as Briar. You know how much I need people and how I've always had so many around. Cash had the same need. It was in his bones as much as Jody's or Derek's or even Teller's. But Cash had no natural knowledge of how to connect. It was like those wires were unplugged and sparking in vain." He moves to the bed and sits beside her. He offers his hand. A hand that trembles. He withdraws it and shakes it out.
"Cash had love and family but he felt so disconnected. He used to read books about how to make friends. He copied others, making this patchwork asshole of a person. It wasn't until he had Hector and Felicity that he began to figure how to be himself and that it was safe to be himself. And when Hector died...it was impulsive. Hurting Felicity was..." He pauses and offers a more steady hand to her. "Just like with Jody, the guilt is unbearable and the disconnection? Well, I'll tell you. My whole room reflects it so..." He trails off. "I need you. You are true north. You will never steer me wrong."
"But that was there," Senni points out, quiet, but firm. "That incarnation -- like all the others -- held elements of you, but they weren't you, Chance. And I don't.." She pauses, holding a hand up and closing her eyes as she draws a careful, steadying breath. Once it's been breathed out again, slow and even, she continues. "I know you need people. I get that, I do. But what happens if the next lifetime we all find ourselves in, you wind up in a relationship with.." Another pause, as she flounders for a potential name. "Cheer? Or Arcade, or Heck, or Lucas, or.. I don't know, some crazy combination of the above, or others? Are you going to come back here afterward and add them to the mix, too? Like some kind of bizarre harem?"
Chance shrugs, helplessly. "That's what's bothering me. Dare and Briar don't want to hear it. I'm a slut. They hate when I say it, but it's true. It-It's not even about sex. It's connection. It's how empty I feel when I wake up here. Always empty. Always. I get up, dry heave into the sink and usually, I can gather up and be ready to help others. I remember who I love here. Who matters here. This time? I realized it had doubled and, yes, I was...horrified. I can't let people go when I get here. I feel like I /need/ them. Dare took care of me before everyone arrived. I was melting down. Dare and Briar love one another and I didn't want to be a part of that--they don't care though. They both love me. I love them. Felicity is complicated. She doesn't know me, you know? She knows Cash so..."
"Back to the point, I don't want to be the center of some harem. I don't want to fight my feelings. I swear, Senni, I swear I don't want another. I only want you and Briar and Dare and...Felicity, maybe. I don't know. She's new so..." He shakes his head and shrugs again. "I don't know what to do."
"You swore you didn't want another, before. Now it's doubled," Senni points out, her features cradling a tension that wasn't there before. "First it was just you and me. I.. I was nervous when you brought Briar into things, but I'd been close to Briar as Danny, so I let myself open to the idea. But this.." She looks away, her shoulders falling into a subtle but unmistakable droop. "If this is what you need, to be happy, then take it. Because that's all I've ever wanted for you -- happiness. But I can't.." Her voice thickens as emotion surges, and she swallows hard, rising from the bed's edge and walking to the wall, her visage turned away from him. "I don't think I can be part of it. I'm sorry."
"My word is no good here. Because I can't...I can't predict what happens there. This entire thing is out of my control. Our control. Swearing and promising was my mistake. I believed in the law of attraction, see. That we'd always settle in together. I was wrong. I own that." Chance's voice breaks and wobbles but he keeps going. "What do you think I'm asking for? All of us. Five as one happy family? Fuck no. Mm. Pardon my language." He takes a breath. "Are you all going to take a number and I'll call you in? No. No. The way I imagined it was...multiple monogamy. I don't think that's even legit as a term. But...please hear me out?"
Chance gets up and follows her. He stands at her side. "Let's imagine Felicity ends up receptive. So there's four of you. Four people I love wholly, fully, deeply and as you are. Most important to me is that love being individual. When I am with you, I am with you and there is no one else. You are my focus. You are my north. You are Senni and you've known me the longest. You are the one who gets away. You are the one I chase. You are the one I will follow into the beyond." He pauses. "This is the idea, at least. I mean, my bed is a long twin right now. I couldn't get you in it with me. There have been a lot of changes to my room. Anyway, does the, uh, one at a time plan change your mind?"
Senni rounds on him, turning swiftly enough that her hair tumbles back over her shoulder and reveals her face, with eyes glistening and cheeks stained with tears. "And what happens when you're not with me? I fade into nothingness? I become part of the 'no one else'? I accepted Briar, in large part because I love Briar, too -- but partially because you made a promise to us that it would stop there. That we were it, for you. All you needed." She waves a hand at the air. "Well, now you need more, it seems. We're not enough, anymore. And you admitted that you can't let go of people you get close to in those other places once you get back here, so this will just happen over, and over, and over again. No." Her steps are as shaky as her voice has been, but they carry her toward her door nevertheless. "No, I can't. I wish you all the happiness with.. all of them, but I won't just be a face in the crowd." Yanking open the door, she rushes out, fleeing from him as though in doing so, she could somehow escape the hurt, too.