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Apologies
August 6th, Tag Chris
Star Trek-AOS

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#1
Jaya had, she admitted, made a mistake. It was rooted in the fact that she'd let herself be lulled into forgetting that Chris was an alien, and so couldn't be expected to behave normally. Of course, she should have realized that, since the entire problem was built around them not admitting their sexual and romantic interest. But on some level she'd hoped that Chris, once she'd exposed everything to public view, would have admitted what was going on to Safi.

Of course, she also hadn't taken into account Safi's rage, or the fact that Chris would view it as a betrayal. And she had, after all, betrayed his confidence, by telling Safi about things that Chris wanted kept secret.

So, she owed him an apology, and since he hadn't come by the Green Goddess recently, Jaya was here to see him.

Tentatively she knocked on the door to the Avenger's Mansion, hoping that Chris would be the one to open the door.
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DC-DCTVU-1

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#2
Christian spent much of his time working in the room that Tony had given him to use. He hadn’t, not really, not when they’d first arrived in Hub. He had gone exploring as often as he’d been able to, looking around the city, finding new places… He had sold some of his older, ‘dead’ toys in return for credit at several places in the city, and from there he had begun making contacts here and there, acquaintances throughout the city.

He had spent a lot of his time in the Green Goddess, either visiting Belle, or talking to people, or spending time with Jaya.

But since the first, Christian hadn’t returned to the Goddess, and he had spent more and more time in the mansion. He’d done what he could to repair his standing with Tony, and that was good, that was nice. Safi and he seemed… More or less back to how they’d been before. And that… He would be okay with that. He had to be okay with it.

Then again, it was one thing to have something overlooked, unknown, and another thing entirely to have that something pointed out and rejected forthwith. But that was a wound the Christian nursed silently, only when he was alone, when there was no chance of Safi or Tony or anyone else finding him. Only Jonah knew of that wound, which Christian kept hidden, and Jonah wasn’t telling anyone.

He was walking from the kitchen to his room, carrying a plate of vegetables and dip to snack on while he worked on his newest little creation, when there was a knock on the door.

“Uh…” He looked around, mostly looking to see if any of the other inhabitants of the mansion were around, perhaps expecting company, but no one was coming down the hall, and Chris sighed, moving to open the door and let the guest in so he could find out who they were looking for and -

“Nope.” Before the door closed again, Christian’s face twisted from calm and confused to hurt and lost. He didn’t slam the door, he just closed it, though Jaya would hear the crash of the plate he had been carrying through the door, as well as the muffled curse as Christian made a mess. An accidental mess, but… There were a few moments of rushed action behind the door, and then Christian opened the door again, the plate and food having been swept into a dustpan that was off to the side now, and Christian’s face was one of carefully held polite calm, “Are you looking for the Tony that looks like me? Wrong place - he lives in the tall tower over there,” Chris pointed, “It’s the blue eyed Tony that lives here, but he doesn’t go to your place.” The words came out in a rush, not quite strung together but indicating that the calm that Christian appeared to possess was less than real.
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Star Trek-AOS

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#3
Jaya flinched a little when Chris shut the door in her face, but it didn't make her angry. Well, not angry at him. It made her own self-recrimination burn hotter, but that only intensified her desire to offer her apology to Chris.

"No." she said, quietly but firmly "I'm here to see you. I made a mistake, and I hurt you. I'm sorry for that, and I wish to apologize."
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DC-DCTVU-1

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#4
He was going to feel bad about shutting the door on Jaya for a long time, Chris was pretty sure. That was a thing, he didn't do things like that. But answering the door to see Jaya standing there? Yeah, that had shaken Chris more than just a little.

What she had done still stung. Deeply. It hurt, almost as much as Safi’s rejection, and in more than just the single way. Because while Safi had let Chris know that there wouldn't be anything more than what they had now, at least he hadn't led Chris on or made him believe or hope for more. Safi hadn't betrayed him or lied or twisted him up in his trust.

Jaya…. Had. And Christian just wasn't sure how to deal with that. He had made the conscious decision to trust the Orion. After trusting Safi had worked out as well as it had, Chris had found it much easier to place trust in Jaya. Obviously, he had given too much too quickly. He had forgotten to be careful, to be safe.

Taking a deep, only slightly steadying breath, Christian opened the door again, carefully giving her the out to say she had been looking for someone else and half hoping she took it. But she didn't.

The apology was clearly unexpected. Chris waved it off, “It's fine. I was stupid. I…” I should have known better. I should have remembered not to trust. To be careful. “It’s fine…” And oh god he wished that were true. He wished more than anything that he could be just fine again. He hid it as best as he could, not that it kept his eyes from growing just a touch more bright and watery than usual, but he gave her a small, tight smile, “No big deal.”
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Star Trek-AOS

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#5
"No." Jaya said, politely but firmly "I should not have spoken so bluntly to Safi, and I should not have revealed things that you wished to keep hidden." Christian was an alien, after all, and Terrans didn't always find it desirable to reveal their emotional or sexual interest in others. Jaya might find that attitude baffling and self destructive, but it was apparently part of Chris's culture as well, and she should respect that. For that matter, she'd overstepped a bit even by Orion standards. Belle was only an employee, not family, strictly speaking, and so in strict form it would have been her responsibility, not Jaya's, to look out for Chris's well being. "I hurt you, and I am sorry."
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DC-DCTVU-1

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#6
“You shouldn’t have,” Christian agreed quietly, his face a mask of calm. He could do that, of course. He didn’t usually have to use the ability to pretend to be okay when he wasn’t, to pretend that nothing was bothering him, not outside of work, where maintaining professionalism at all times was paramount, but here and now, he was glad of it. Glad he could give Jaya a small if disingenuous smile, “But you did.” Shrugging it off, Chris stepped back to allow Jaya to enter the mansion, moving to pick up the broom and dustpan that held the remainder of what had been meant to be his lunch. Ah, well. He’d offer to replace the plate, and the food… Well, he wasn’t all that hungry right now anyway.

Why hadn’t Christian wanted to reveal his feelings, his interest in Safi to the other man? Because he had known, if not consciously, that it would end badly. That he would be rejected. Better to have friendship with Safi than no Safi at all. Much, much better. It hadn’t been anything so simple as fear of rejection; no no, this had been a certainty.

And it had happened anyway. Chris had been so careful to never say anything, he had worked so hard to bury his feelings away from where the other man would be able to see them. Not that he always succeeded, but they had both been willing to turn a blind eye to it, to the tension between them, a rubber band stretched almost too tight. And when Jaya had tweaked that rubber band, it had very nearly snapped, and that… That would have sent Safi shooting away, and Chris would never have been able to reach out and pull him back.

It took Chris too long to look at Jaya, eyes heavy with moisture, “Why? Why did do you that? It was… It was awful, Jaya.” He wasn’t speaking of the panic attack, which had been horrible and terrifying. It had been the humiliation that had been hurtful, the betrayal… “I trusted you…”
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Star Trek-AOS

252 Posts
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#7
"I shouldn't have." Jaya agreed "I did it because-" she sighed "You're so normal. So much like an Orion, I mean. I know you aren't, obviously, but-you were acting so much like an Orion man who just needed a little nudge to act on a mutual attraction. And you're-you're important to me. It bothered me to see Safi hurting you, and I hoped....I got involved in a situation that I didn't properly understand, based on faulty assumptions. I hurt you, and-I hope that I didn't create any problems for you by doing so." gently, she offered him a hand "I'm sorry, and I hope that you will continue to be my friend."
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DC-DCTVU-1

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#8
So normal..? Well, that was something Christian had never, not even once, been accused of being. Odd, off, queer, strange, weird, and even creepy (usually that was a term reserved for his toys), those were things Chris had gotten used to hearing in regards to himself. Normal? Not so much, no. Not ever. He knew he was responding badly, he knew it, his mouth opening only to snap closed, but… His ears turned pink, and he looked down, “I’m… Odd, Jaya. I’ve always been odd, even when I was young. I…” He hated being ‘off’, hated being so different. His disdain for labels stemmed from the fact that he had never been called a nice or comforting one, and had quickly begun to dislike them, to eschew them whenever he could.

He was important to Jaya?

Safi hurting him??

Chris straightened, frowning thoughtfully at Jaya for a long moment before he shook his head, “Jaya…” With a sigh, he reached to catch her offered hand, not exactly hush her, but to comfort her, “Jaya.” his voice was quiet, soft, and reassuring, “Safi wasn’t hurting me. That… That was all me.. Because…” His voice hitched slightly, but he forced himself to continue, “Because I’m a coward. Because I knew, I knew that he didn’t feel the same way about me, and I didn’t want to lose him, didn’t want to give him up.” It was just… easier to pretend he didn’t know, that they were just friends. Even though he ached for more.

“Problems?” Chris gave a nearly hysterical laugh, shaking his head, tears shining in his eyes, not dropping, but glinting at the corners, “N-no… No problems at all. Things are… Fine. It’s fine.” He gave her a smile that was more broken than put together, “Of course we can still be friends. You made a mistake, that’s all. Nothing unforgivable.”
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Star Trek-AOS

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#9
"Odd for a Terran, perhaps." Jaya said, touching his shoulder gently "If you were an Orion, you'd be completely normal. That was-I let myself forget that you're an alien. I started to think that perhaps you're from some version of Earth where Terrans act like, well, more like Orions. I realize that I was wrong." her face grew tight for a moment "Safi reminded me of that. So maybe you're unique, or maybe its your subculture, I don't know. But-I'll do my best to remember that you aren't a oddly pigmented Orion. I promise I'll do my best."

"He's attracted to you, though." Jaya protested, and then sighed "Perhaps you're right. I don't know what goes on in his mind, except that you're special to him, and he was angry at me for hurting you, wanted to protect you above all else." she shook her head ruefully "But I don't know what all that means, obviously."

"I'm glad." Jaya said "Because you are my friend, and I do want you to be happy, Chris."
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DC-DCTVU-1

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#10
The smile that Chris gave Jaya was a broken one, “Maybe. It would be nice to be normal.. But I'm human, Jaya, and I'm very odd.” He sighed, wishing he could just be…. not himself. Anyone else would be an improvement. Because other people weren't him, and right now? He didn't want to be him, either.

He didn't want to feel like this anymore.

“Safi shouldn't have done what he did, either.” Chris had been in full flight mode, in the midst of a panic attack, but he knew what had happened; he hadn't returned to the Goddess, no, but he knew. And he didn't agree with Safi’s actions. Of course he didn't. Chris was a pacifist. One who had never bothered standing up for himself all that much. “No…. I'm just a human, Jaya, weird as that makes me.”

The sob came out choked and strangled, quieter than it wanted to be, and Chris lurched forward as though he'd been hit, closing his eyes as he told her quietly, almost a whisper, “I wish it were true. But…. I'm not… I'm not just attracted to him, Jaya.” Even whispering the words without labeling it, had him going pale.

“Were friends. And Safi…. he's a protector. Fierce about it. He sees me as…” As what? As weak and defenseless and… “Someone who needs defending. That's all.”

The truth was a harsh thing. Chris had never wanted to run from it more, but he knew he couldn't. Not if he wanted to keep Safi in his life. And as much as he hurt, he was definitely not ready for that.

She wanted him to be happy. Chris smiled with tears in his eyes, “I'm fine. It's fine.”

Smile, though your heart is aching,
Smile, even though it's breaking..

Light up your face with gladness,
Hide every trace of sadness,
Although a tear may be ever so near,
That's the time you must keep on trying,
Smile, what's the use of crying,
You'll find that life is still worthwhile,
If you just smile.


If he smiled and lied and said it was fine, maybe eventually it would be. Fake it till you make it, right?
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Star Trek-AOS

252 Posts
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#11
Jaya understood that every species, and all of their subcultures had different norms and different mores, but that didn't mean that she approved of them. She especially didn't approve of

"You're right." Jaya said "He shouldn't have, and he won't get the chance to do something like that to me again." seeing Chris's instant apprehension she said "No, I'm not going to do anything to him, but he isn't going to come back to my place. Ever. You will always be welcome, of course. Because you aren't weird, and you aren't a freak. You may not be like some of the other Terrans, but that doesn't mean that they should treat you like you are less than they are."

When he claimed to be fine, Jaya sighed, and laid a hand on his shoulder "Chris, you don't have to pretend. You've given your love to someone who either won't or can't return your affection, and its ok for you to be hurt by that. Although, after the way Safi acted...I'm not sure that he deserves the love of someone like you."
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DC-DCTVU-1

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#12
There were plenty of things in human culture that Christian wasn’t overly fond of. Bullying, hazing, violence… But he’d lived through them, all of them, and he dealt with it. And now he was facing something completely and entirely different. It was a new sort of hurt, and he was ill equipped to deal with it.

He wished Belle were near, that she weren’t off having an adventure, going on some quest with elves and magic… But she’d wanted to go, and he wouldn’t have called her back even if he could have. He just had to get past this. Make it through the rain, so to speak. When Jaya said that Safi wouldn’t be able to do what he’d done again, Christian had looked up, eyes going wide for a moment, and for all the world looking ready to jump in and defend the man. As it was, he shook his head. It was hard for him to reconcile the gentle, protective bodyguard with someone who would physically assault Jaya over spilling a secret. It just didn’t seem like Safi; why had he gotten so angry with her??

“He doesn’t.” The words were small, sad, but honest. “Safi’s never made me feel like I’m less than him. Different, sure, but… He hates certain things, things that are a big part of my life, and he accepts them, accepts me, even with that. He’s… He’s different than most people.” Most humans, anyway.

He claimed to be fine because he desperately needed to be fine. He needed to buck up and get over this thing. Yes, he needed to pretend, because he had to be able to keep moving instead of giving into the paralyzing sorrow that kept his heart from beating properly.

”I’m not sure that he deserves the love of someone like you.”

Chris blinked at Jaya, tears weighing in his eyes but not falling, “That’s because you don’t know him, Jaya.” The words came out soft and hoarse, choked out, “Safi’s… Good. I know you don’t see it, and you’re mad at him. I know you don’t like him because of how he acted, I don’t blame you, but… You don’t know him. Before we… Before he liked me, before he was my friend, he was angry because I got hurt. Mugged for my wallet, ended up with bruised ribs. He was upset about it, because he didn’t think people should be hurt. And when Belle got hurt? He came with me to make sure I was okay. He… He protected me, Jaya. He’s always protected me, ever since we met.” And there was something there, in his tone, not just hero worship or blind affection, but something else. “I’m safe when I’m with him.” Not just physically, either. Christian was able to honestly relax with Safi, trusting the man to watch over him, that if Safi said something was okay, it was. He sighed, “I don’t have time to be anything other than fine.” Like his sister, Chris could be stubborn, he could dig his heels in and refuse to move, and right now… He felt like he had to. He had to be okay. He couldn’t keep breathing if he weren’t okay. “I’m fine. And Safi is good, and he’s my...friend..” his voice cracked on the last word, but he managed to choke it out.
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Star Trek-AOS

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Katie

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#13
"How can he hate something if its part of someone he cares about?" Jaya asked. When Chris continued his defense, she sighed "Chris, I've spent a lot of time with men like Safi. It feels safe, yes, knowing that you have someone who can protect you. But there is always the chance that one day, he'll turn on you. That you'll be the one getting thrown across the room. Because he's already hurting you, and hurting you badly. A friend, a real friend, would not treat you so." gently she added "Chris, you don't have to pretend, not with me. I promise, I'll keep your secrets. I won't tell anyone. If you aren't ok, if you hurt, you can tell me."
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DC-DCTVU-1

289 Posts
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#14
“Because it’s something scary, Jaya. I’ve told you, I’m odd amongst humans. I’m odd, but it’s more than that, I’m different. Not just because I’m quiet or because I’m a pacifist.” He frowned, he really wasn’t comfortable sharing more with her than she already knew. He might be willing to forgive her, but right now he wasn’t willing to just give her more secrets to do with as she pleased, either. She had broken his trust, and that… That wasn’t something an apology could mend back together immediately. That would take time to heal.

“You haven’t spent much time with him, Jaya.” His tone was flat; she was here, judging Safi without knowing him, just like everyone judged Christian. Like everyone labeled him. “No, he’s not like me, and he’s not like you, but you don’t know him in order to be able to think you know what he’ll do.” He stiffened, “And no, he’ll never turn on me. Safi won’t ever hurt me, he will never attack me, not unless I attacked him first, and even then… I’m pretty sure he’d defend rather than attack.” Christian’s eyes narrowed, “I told you, he’s not hurting me.” Chris moved away, pacing in the small room, “He is my friend. He has done nothing but help me. He has been there for me, even before we were really friends. He came to a party he had no reason to show up to because I asked him, and we weren’t even friends then!”

He was on a roll now, pacing, his hands working, gesticulating, not wildly, but with the force of his emotions, “He puts up with magic because it’s me, Jaya, and he hates magic, of course he does! And I have no right to blame him for how I’m feeling. No right to be upset with him or think less of him because of this. I have no right, because how dare I demand that he love me just because I love him!?!”

And just like that, Christian stopped. He stopped pacing, stopped gesturing...stopped breathing. Because he hadn't meant to say that. He really, really hadn’t meant to say that, especially not out loud, especially not to Jaya. Jaya, who had just betrayed him, who had hurt him…

He looked at her, his eyes wide and wild and absolutely terrified, “You’re the one who hurt me, Jaya. And even after what you said, what you did, he let me come back. So don’t you accuse him of hurting me, because he’s not the one who did that!” his voice was fevered, desperate and thready, the tears he refused to cry echoing in it.
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Star Trek-AOS

252 Posts
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Katie

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#15
Jaya shrugged "As you wish. Maybe I'm wrong about him. I very much hope that I am. He's been kind to you, yes. But he's also lead you on, and used the fact that you love him to draw you close to him. He's fed off your emotions, gotten all of the advantages of having a mate without having to provide any of the things he'd need to give you if you were his mate in truth."

"I know that I'm the one who hurt you. I got involved in your romantic affairs, and I told Safi things that you didn't want him to know. But it doesn't alter the fact that being with Safi, without truly being with him hurts you, and it is still hurting you."
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DC-DCTVU-1

289 Posts
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Age:29
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Nyte

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#16
It wasn't as he wished, but Chris was desperately trying to make do. Trying to get through so his heart could beat and his lungs could breathe again. But he was right where it involved Safi; Safi was safe. "He has never led me on, Jaya." Fed off..? "You speak like he's some sort of vampire. * He's never made any sort of promises or given any idea of a chance of anything... More that friendship. What I give, what I do, is given and done freely.. He has told me more than once that it’s not necessary or expected. But I want to." Chris closed his eyes to block the tears he was far too close to crying, "He has been there when I've needed him, a friend. He protects me, and took me into his home when I needed a place to live. The only thing he doesn't offer me is a romantic relationship, and he has the right to offer or not, no matter how I feel about him, or what I want. I can’t demand love just because I feel that way, Jaya.”

He sighed and slumped, huddling in on himself. "Yes. But he should not be blamed for that, Jaya. He is not the culprit here. Some pain has no easy blame to assign, and cannot be avoided." Yes, he was hurting, and badly, but he refused to blame Safi for not returning his feelings. He just couldn't, no more than he could punch Tony stark for his relationship with Safi. "I'll figure it out. "I just… I’m not sure how to fix this yet.” Maybe his magic would offer some sort of way to fix himself. A spell, maybe, or…something. Anything.
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