Breed Book 3, Part 8

Note: It’s Thursday, so this is your last Breed until Monday. There will be three more MCU pitches coming your way, though, so you don’t have to go to bed lonely over the weekend. Frack; apparently this didn’t post yesterday. So have it late, I guess.


“That was tense,” Tucker said. “And intense. I think I’m both angrier than I’ve ever been… and sadder. And given the last few years those are not low bars.”

“Yeah,” Mikaela said. “On the one hand- hoe-lee-crap, did Irene do a good job. On the other hand, my heart is fucking breaking for her. After last year, to be revictimized again… I guess we’ve all had to grow up, and quick. But she’s a kid. An actual fucking baby. I imagine me, what, four years ago, trying to deal with what she has, with the tiniest fraction of the poise and grace she just did and I- God, I just want to cry and I can’t because she’s going to come out here any minute and we’re supposed to be her support network and how the hell would that work if I’m sobbing?”

Tucker smiled. “It’s not too late for you to pull a duplicate out of the mirror and then hide in the trunk and sob the whole trip home.”

“It’s kind of good you’re a dude, now; because you’re a dick.”

“Let’s be fair- I was always a dick. You just used to enjoy being dicked around more than you do, now. And, to the extent I have the capacity to not be a dick, I’m saving that up for Irene. She just gave us probably our best damn chance of convicting those bigoted assholes and keeping us all safe. She’s all of our fucking hero,” Tucker sniffled, “aw, fuck, now you’re getting me all emotional.”

“Maybe that’s not so bad, though,” Mikaela said. “Maybe after all of that, what she’s really going to need is a big old cry. And to be held.” Tucker eyed her. “Platonically held. I’m fairly certain she does not swing my way.”

“I’m just busting your lady-balls,” Tucker said. “But I’ve kind of been thinking. When she was attacked, the way we handled it…”

We didn’t handle it. The Dean did.”

“Sure. But we were there. And he’s a he. And you’re not. I haven’t always been. We have perspective. And, right now I’m just kicking myself that because of that, what happened, what she just described- what if all of that hit her harder because of what we did?”

“Shit,” Mikaela said.  

“And… I think for us- as in, all of us- it was the right call. If bigots like Drump could have spent the last year crowing about us not even being safe at the school, and at the same time finally have even on tiny piece of evidence to justify the way he’s demonized all of us as rapists … but just because it was better for the rest of us, doesn’t mean it didn’t hurt Irene. Doesn’t mean we were right to go along with it.”

“Doesn’t mean we shouldn’t have interceded, and made sure it was her call, top to bottom. Because look at what she did in there? I have no doubt she would have chosen the greater good, even though it hurt her. And maybe she did. Maybe she feels like she did. I just feel awful that I can’t know it, now. Like, even if you tried to read her, people paper over details like that. By now I’m sure she’s convinced, consciously, that it was as much her idea as anything. But that doesn’t mean we didn’t hurt her- doesn’t mean she isn’t still holding onto to those scars, and getting hurt worse by this dumpster fire of a world we’ve failed so badly at protecting her from.”

“Whoa there, cowboy,” Tucker said. “Look, I know you feel like an elder statesman because you can legally buy a beer, but we’re barely adults, and we really can’t take all that much credit for this absolute shit-show of a world. Unless you think pubescent us should have taken over the world and remade it in our horny, lesbian image.”

“We definitely should have. Probably would have been a gay old time. With me we’d have an army, and you could control anyone we couldn’t intimidate with that army.”

“I’m not entirely sure teenaged, noodle-armed you would be all that intimidating. Adorable, absolutely, but take over the country scary?”

“You could have made me seem more intimidating.”

“Starting to sound less like a partnership.”

“Yeah, screw it. We won’t track down a time machine and take over the world. But you know what I mean. She shouldn’t have had to deal with any of this.” “Neither should we,” Tucker said. “We all deserve better. Best we can do is try to make sure those who follow us get what we deserved.”

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