Do you know anything about grief? If so, my character Vivian spent 6 months with a group of friends and fell in love with another character. The character he fell in love with head over heels for dies the night after they kiss. How would this grief affect active fighting ?
My grandmother on my mother’s side died when I was eleven, my father died when I was thirteen (the day after my birthday), my dog died a day before my college graduation, and my grandfather on my father’s side died from Alzheimer’s a few years ago. That’s not counting the friends and non-blood related family members who’ve died over the years.
So, yeah, I’ve got a little experience with grief, and grief counseling, and therapy, and… well, other people who’ve also lost friends and family.
I will say upfront that experience with grief can’t be faked when translating it into a fiction. You’ve either lost someone or you haven’t. You will never truly understand until you’ve experienced it yourself. And, if you haven’t, honestly, I hope you don’t join this unhappy club for a very long time.
Grief happens in stages, we consider them as five to be exact. Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance. There is no one size fits all here, or rules, no guidelines for the amount of time it takes because we work through it in our own time. You can and often do go through all five just to accept the physical truth someone you love has died, then all over again with the emotional fallout in the months even years afterward. It’s possible to go forward and back between the stages, and it isn’t a steady process. I’ve come to terms with a lot of the deaths in my life, but some took around a decade to reach the acceptance stage.
In initial the months after my father died, I waited to hear his car coming up the driveway at the time he usually arrived home from work (around 5:30). Anytime the doorknob turned, I’d feel a small bit of hope that it’d be him walking in. I still hope, sometimes, nearly twenty years later, that he’ll come through the door.
I tried to hold on to what he sounded like when I realized a month later I was forgetting. I managed a single word, the name of a friend’s father.
The problem with writing grief if you’ve never experienced it is this: you will over focus on the emotion and forget the detail.
Grief is not being able to remember where you live when you dial 911 for the ambulance. It’s the adrenaline leaving your hands shaking when you reach for the body, and the cold stiffness beneath your hands. The chalky white skin, and one eyelid half open. A frozen, milky, blue-white pupil pointed nowhere. The faint, sour smell in the air.
The way you shake it, and shake it, and shake it like that’ll bring the body back to life.
The way you still describe it as the body years later instead of referring to it as him and in second person instead of first.
Grief is never being able to watch Oliver and Company again.
This detail is part of why it’s so difficult to describe or write grief
if you’ve never experienced the loss of a loved one first hand.
You’ve also got to describe that loss through the eyes of your character, re-imagine it so the experience is not only tailored to their experiences but laser specific to those exact moments when they learned or came to the realization someone they loved died. One of the first things to understand about death in fiction is that it won’t do the work for you.
My father died a week before my first degree black belt test, and I’d just turned thirteen. I honestly can’t remember much about that week. It was Spring Break, so I didn’t have to go to school. My days were mostly filled with martial arts and emptiness. There were moments I’d remember, then grow sad or try to avoid it by focusing on what was coming ahead of me. People told me how brave I was, clapped when I came back to training a day later, but the truth is that doing that was easier than remembering what happened. I was in the shock stage all the way through the test. Numb to the world, I didn’t feel anything. Not pride, not happiness, not “oh good we’re done now”, nothing at all. It wasn’t bravery, so much as it just was. The world moved around me and the rest of it was gray.
In that moment, I became “the Girl Whose Father Died The Week Before Her Test” in the organization and everyone knew who I was for years afterwards.
However, the moment I really broke down was when I returned to class afterwards and began to cry when one of my classmates pushed a crossword onto my desk that read “Father”. I cried so hard, then I went out into the hallway and cried through the rest of the class that day.
That’s one experience, though. Like I said, there’s no one size fits all and every experience is unique. If you’ve got a character whose lost a lot of people over the years, then it does get easier.
However, if you’re writing a character who experiences death on the regular then their experience is going to be different. You could get someone who numbs themselves out to the world, defers the loss until later, and deals with it then. A person for whom “doing things” is them showing their grief. They could crumple up into a ball, give up and just cry. They could get angry to the point they want to kill the person who took their loved one and want to kill them. They could be compromised to the point of they are incapable performing their job, and need to be scrubbed from a mission for their safety and their teammates.
They could get triggered by the violence to the point where they lock up and can’t mentally face it anymore, where it becomes too much for them to handle. Sometimes, they break all the furniture in their apartment. Sometimes, they don’t clean out the other side of the closet for six years. They may get angry and lash out at those close to them who aren’t experiencing this death as keenly as they are. Or the might do it just because, without reason. They might close themselves off from everyone they know and love. Wall up out of fear of losing another person, find it difficult to build new connections. Become a different person.
Or, rarely, they could be completely fine. Or, seem like they’re fine on the surface. Others who are suffering will get pissed at them if they’re fine. When it seems like you’re fine, others will call you a monster. How dare they.
Grief is not guaranteed to get you killed in combat, but it can. It leads to stupid mistakes because you’re mentally compromised, even when you don’t realize it. We run from it sometimes. It’s so big, and heavy, and dark, crashing down all at once with no easy answers. No platitude satisfies. Numb, angry, stricken, despairing, you can move through these states so rapidly that it’s almost impossible to follow. Grief just is.
In a situation where you need to be able to focus or your life and those around you are at risk, then grief becomes detrimental. If you’re mentally compromised and refuse to recognize it then it will only put others at risk. Many people will insist they are “fine”. That it doesn’t affect them, that they can still work. It does though. It will. As a result, events can be disastrous in the fallout.
Even if they can fight, revenge isn’t satisfying. It’s empty. Grief-fueled rampages will only lead to more sadness and more emptiness and a re-experiencing of the loss all over again. Usually, it causes more tragedy.
How will your character react? I don’t know.
How does grief affect fighting, even years afterward? It can be really bad, my friend. Really goddamn bad.
You’ve got to find an equilibrium in your mind and acceptance, real acceptance too. You can’t just tell yourself you’ve accepted it, and that difference can be difficult to grasp.
Understand loss is not the cause of grief, and not death itself. We will
grieve lost relationships and broken down friendships, when what we
love disappears from our grasp. Don’t assume it’s in the death, look at
the loss and how they feel about them being gone.
As a writer, your answer is they need to find a way to come to terms with this loss and that is a journey without an easily defined destination. I mean “come to terms” and not “get over”. Loss is with you forever, but whether we accept it or it continues to haunt us will be up to the person in question.
From me to you, here are some ways I dealt with my father’s death in my teenage years:
1) I went to counseling.
2) I read all the books of his on the shelf that I could scrounge from my parent’s bedroom, even when I didn’t like them. I still have a few of his fantasy hardbacks squirreled away.
3) I tried to play Star Wars: Tie Fighter.
4) I cried when I tried to tackle the Walkers in Rogue Squadron 2, because I’d always run to him and beg him to help me pass the level.
5) I’d go smell the shirts my mom left when she refused to clean out his side of the closet until they didn’t smell like him anymore. Then, I felt sad all over again.
6) I dedicated my open form during my second degree test to him, and picked a really sappy country song.
7) I read and re-read L.E. Modesitt Jr’s entire “Saga of Recluse” over and over again because Colors of Chaos was the first fantasy book my dad handed me to read.
8) I named my Sovereign Class ship in Star Trek Online after him.
I once sat with another student at college and we commiserated over our shared bond as members of the “Dead Parents Club”, telling stories about how our parents died and laughing about where we were now. To another student, who’d never experienced what we had, this seemed incredibly insensitive, they were confused, and they said so.
We said, “Dead Parents Club”. Then another student who’d recently lost their aunt asked if they could join us, and we expanded to members of the “Dead Relatives Club”.
It’s not all sadness and pain, misery and angst. In fact, if you go this route then it’s not really real. Much as it might seem like it on the surface, grief isn’t the same as literary angst. You need to show, not tell and that begins with actions. Start figuring
out how this loss affects your character before you take a stab at how
it’s affecting their ability to fight. Grief is about individuals, and
there are no easy answers. Only actions, decisions, and struggle for
good or ill.
do you have any fluffy peter & tony headcanons or anything tbh because im having a horrible day and im so anxious i feel like im gonna explode
(Okay I told myself I was gonna take a break from writing today but u know what. U deserve Good Tony and Peter Writing so,,,,I’m gonna do my best with that. Hope u feel better soon my friend, and I hope this helps in some way x)
His hands were shaking against the prompt cards he held in an iron-clad grip.
It was stupid, really. Ridiculous. He’d battled monsters and stopped bombs and yet here he was, getting worked up over a damn science presentation.
And there wasn’t even any reason why. He was good at science. Brilliant, if he did say so himself. And the whole school was full of science nerds like him, so it wasn’t as if he was going to get laughed off stage, either.
So why the damn hell did he feel so…awful?
Pull yourself together, Spiderman, he told himself, shaking his head a little and peaking out from behind the wings to watch the speech that was currently being given by another of his classmates. It was a mandatory thing in order for everyone to get a grade. Each of them had to present an idea or a theory to the rest of their year and put points that were for and against it. At the end, other kids asked questions, drilled you, probably started giggling and whispering if you couldn’t answer one of their godawful comments-
Ugh. He felt vaguely sick.
He’d been on edge the whole day just thinking about it. There were, what, a hundred faces, maybe more, in the audience? Including Flash, who was sat at the back, just waiting for Peter to slip up so he could laugh loudly or boo or something.
He could barely even think straight. His mind was all fuzzy and his palms were too sweaty. It felt like his lungs weren’t working properly anymore.
Peter jerked wildly as someone stepped up to his shoulder. God, he’d been so out of it he hadn’t even heard them, what the hell was wrong with him-
“I- uh, hi Mr-” he turned, looking over and expecting to see a teacher.
“Tony?” he said incredulously, as his brain registered the tinted yellow glasses and carefully sculpted van dyke.
“The one and only,” Tony replied absently, as he peered out through the wings and looked at the boy onstage, “you next?” He asked.
“I…what-you-how?” Peter spluttered, “what are you doing here?”
Tony looked at him, before shrugging. If Peter wasn’t mistaken, he almost looked sheepish. “You mentioned this thing, uh, a few days ago in the labs? I didn’t have anything on, so I though I’d come, show a bit of moral support, you know the drill,” he muttered. “How you feeling? You ready? Nervous?”
Peter opened his mouth, but the assurance failed to come out. He was a notoriously bad liar, after all. Plus, his vocal cords didn’t really seem to be working very well right now. Which, considering what he was about to go up and do, was Very Very Bad.
Tony looked him up and down, noting the quivering hands, slightly green face and general expression of terror before sighing and pulling the sunglasses off his nose in order to place them on the bridge of Peter’s. “Okay, Peter, today you are not Peter. Today, you are me, and I am about to give a heart-raising, mind-blowing, showstopping speech on…” he peered down, reading the top of Peter’s card, “effective and innovative designs to contribute toward a greener society,”
Peter just nodded, looking up at Tony through the yellow lenses.
“First thing,” Tony began, raising a hand and wandering backward, before gesturing around the place, “you gotta own the room, kid. Movement is important. Hands, feet, eyes- don’t just stand there like a lemon and read off the prompts. You wanna get a good grade? You engage the audience,” he stepped forward, pointing at Peter’s eye, and then his own, “eye contact. Always do the eye contact. Kinda terrifying, admittedly, but you only need to do it for a second. You’re not gonna stare em down like they’re trying to rob a bank here, okay, you’re just catching their eye. Showing them you’re focused, like you’re talking to them specifically. Keep moving around, look at everyone.”
He stopped. Grabbed Peter’s shoulder. “So, Mr Stark, how do you begin your speech?”
Peter stopped, caught off guard like a rabbit in the headlights. “Uhhhhh-”
“Okay, well for starters, I definitely don’t do that,” Tony shook his head, pushing the glasses a little further up Peter’s nose as they began to slip down. “You wanna begin with something simple. Casual. This isn’t a funeral service. You’re just putting an idea across. ‘hello everybody’ will suffice. I’d say open with a joke, but I don’t think you’re ready for that yet.”
Peter had to agree on that one. He took another look over to the side, and noticed the boy was beginning to wrap up.
Oh, hell. He was next.
Tony noticed, too, and he let his other hand rest on Peter’s shoulder as well, so that he was gripping Peter between both hands. “Listen, kid. Stick to the basics. Eye contact. Movement. Keep it light, and don’t focus too hard on individuals. It’ll only freak you out. You’re gonna do great, kid. Honestly, you’re definitely the smartest one out there, you got nothing to worry about.”
“People are gonna laugh,” Peter muttered, looking down at his feet. God, Flash- Flash was gonna be a total ass, he could predict it perfectly. Peter would pause, just for a moment, and Flash would do something stupid like laugh or make a stupid noise and then it would throw Peter off-
“No-one’s gonna laugh, Kid,” Tony said, before his eyes narrowed. “Unless there’s someone who’s planning on ruining it for you. Is there?”
“I dunno, Flash said some stuff earlier, but… I dunno,” Peter mumbled, biting his lip. He wished he’d been ill today. Or HYDRA had decided to attack a Macy’s or something. At least that would have been a genuine excuse.
“Flash, huh?” Tony mused quietly, peering out into the audience, “greasy looking pussy at the back, right?”
Peter laughed nervously, nodding. “Uh, yeah, that’s the one.”
Tony pulled a face, and then nodded to himself. “Okay. Okay, cool. Well listen, I’ll make sure Flash isn’t a problem, alright? Don’t worry about him.”
A sudden wave of applause filled the auditorium, and signalled Peter’s turn up.
“Big breath. Come on, you’ll kick ass. You’re Spiderman. Or you can be me, just for a few minutes, if that’ll make it easier,” Tony assured him, patting his cheek and smiling.
“-And now, it is my great pleasure to present to you, Peter Parker!” The Principal announced, and another round of applause burst out.
“Wait, kid, sunglasses!” Tony caught him before he could move, sliding them back off his face with a grin, “they’re a tad too big for you. Don’t want them sliding off whilst you’re deep in the middle of solving the world’s energy crisis.”
Peter huffed out a nervous laugh, and then did as Tony said, taking a long, deep breath before turning away and walking slowly toward the main stage.
He could do this. Tony did it all the time. He could be Tony, just for five and a half minutes, right? Tony had said he could.
His hands were still shaking a little as he stepped in front of everyone, but he felt a little braver. A little prouder. Maybe even confident.
At the back of the hall, he watched Tony slip in through the doors, more inconspicuous than Peter had ever seen him as he wandered toward the back row and grabbed a chair, leaning over the back of it and whispering something into-
Peter sighed, unable to hold back the little grin of satisfaction as Flash’s head turned to look up at him, eyes widening in a hilarious fashion as he realised, yet again, he was being told off by Tony Stark.
It was even more amusing to watch the colour drain from his face as Tony continued to whisper in his ear. He watched as Flash nodded a little jerkily, and then Tony smiled, before stepping back and leaning against the back wall, right in the middle where Peter could see him.
He grinned up when Peter made eye contact, and Peter smiled back.
He could do this.
“You did it!”
Peter turned, smile on his face as he watched Tony jog up toward him, hands raised in a thumbs-up as he grinned over. Luckily, the presentation had been at the last period, and so Peter was free to get the fuck out and finally relax for the first time that day.
“Yeah- I think it went…well,” Peter admitted happily.
Tony pulled a face, letting his arm fall across Peter’s shoulders and squeeze. “Uhm, you did more than ‘well’, kid- you totally blew everyone else out of the water.”
“You didn’t even see everyone else, Tony.”
He felt the shrugging gesture Tony made beside him. “I’m gonna go ahead and assume here, kid. You were great. Very Tony Stark-ish. Except with less narcissism and more genuine-ness, y’know? Never would’ve guessed you were nervous.”
Peter grimaced. “I thought I was gonna throw up the entire time.”
“Well then, you are a remarkable actor, Mr Parker,” Tony told him, “hey, how about doing my speech for me this weekend at the charity gala I am being forcibly blackmailed into attending? I have a busy schedule of sleeping and eating and I don’t want it disturbed.”
Peter laughed, giving Tony a shove, “thanks, but if it’s all the same with you, I’m never going to give a speech ever again. That was crazy. Everyone stares at you. What the hell?”
“Yeah, when you’re the only person talking in a huge auditorium, people tend to do that,” Tony huffed, shaking his head, “so damn rude of them.”
“It really is,” Peter agreed, hiking his bag up a little further on to his shoulder before turning to tony, a grin beginning to form on his face. “Hey- what did you tell Flash, by the way?”
Tony tapped his nose secretively. “None of your business.”
“Aw, come on, I see him most, it’s more my business than yours.”
“Hey, maybe I just like him. Maybe I was having a catch up, Peter, huh? You’re not special, I might be secretly mentoring him, too.”
Peter rolled his eyes, shoving Tony playfully and then grabbing his arm before he went careering to the floor. “Whoops- superstrength.”
“That was a threat, wasn’t it? I feel threatened. Again. Physical threats, this time, too- it’s getting worse-”
“Tony,” Peter whined frustratedly, “please tell me.”
Tony stopped, hand half-way to reaching his car door before turning to look back at Peter. “I told him if he made a single sound, I’d hack the school system and turn all his A* into C’s,” he admitted, before adding “is that bad? I don’t know- I tend to threaten both adults and kids alike, what can I say, I’m all about equality,”
Peter watched, smile on his face as Tony jumped into his car and pulled his shades back on. “You did good, kid. I’ll see you ‘round,” he said, shooting Peter another thumbs up before revving the engine and pulling out of the car park.
Peter watched, shaking his head fondly. He felt kinda exhausted- the day had been stressful as fuck, and it had taken it out of him. But hey- at least it was over. And at least it hadn’t turned into a full-blown panic attack, either. That would’ve just been embarrassing.
“Thanks, Tony,” Peter muttered, waving cheerily over at a still rather horrified looking Flash from across the road before beginning to make his way down the drive.
“Wait. You got a lift?”
Peter turned, watching as Tony reversed back to him and raised an eyebrow at him curiously from the open window.
“Sorry, I don’t get in cars with strangers,” Peter deadpanned, beginning to walk forward again, hiding a fond grin as Tony just rolled forward and followed him.
“Uhh,” Tony made a face, turning around and shuffling in his car for a second before pulling out something. It was a bag of kisses, a few of them already eaten, with the wrappers thrown back in the bag. “I got candy?”
Peter broke his deadpan stare a second later, in order to laugh. Tony was a fucking idiot, honestly. “Right, okay, I’ve been convinced,” he declared, before sliding over the bonnet and opening the door on the other side.
As soon as he’d fallen in, Tony flicked him on the ear. “Ow!” He yelped, looking betrayed.
“Don’t slide your dirty school jeans over my car, you heathen,” Tony scolded, before turning back to the road and stepping on accelerate. “And don’t touch my radio. We’re listening to my music, not yours.”
Peter groaned, “ugh, but your music taste is-”
“Unless you want to get forcibly removed from this vehicle, I suggest you quit running your mouth, boy,”
Peter looked over to him. There was silence for a stretch, before Peter muttered, “Metallica sucks.”
“RIGHT,” Tony pulled his sunglasses off, chucking them at Peter’s chest and then moving his hand to the dash where all his modified features sat, “that’s it, you’re getting ejected, buh-bye demon child-”
Author’s note: This is it. This is the final part. Thank you all so much for sticking around and supporting me and giving me your honest thoughts. I wouldn’t have come this far without you. All the love. Xx
It’s four-thirty in the morning.
You notice the time passively. It’s the least of your worries. You’ve been tossing and turning, in and out of sleep for the past couple hours.
Harry is sprawled out across the mattress on his stomach. His legs are spread, arms outstretched. One hangs limply over your waist. He’s facing you and his cheek is pressed against his pillow, lips parted, hair disheveled. You’ve been staring at him for twenty minutes, thankful that he hasn’t woken up to your probing eyes.
He smells just as he always has when you finally shift into his body, settling your forehead against his shoulder and letting your eyes rest closed. His arm curls around you and you bask in the essence of him—the soft snores and rolling heat. You’re not sure when you’ll get to be this close again.
The pain was beginning to overcome you, and you felt like you were drowning. Suffocating.
You didn’t think there could be any feeling worse than heartbreak, but here you were again
— back in square one. All of the pain was still there, though this time, you weren’t just holding a heart torn in two. You now had the note Shawn wrote for you, thoughts of guilt, and the voucher laying on the edge of your bed. The walls you built around your heart had become so high, that when they were knocked down by the letter and finding out that you were too late, you took the hardest fall yet.
Part of you wanted to redeem the voucher and go to the show that Shawn was having in your hometown in four weeks, but the other part was telling you that the universe was working against you and that you should just give up on the boy. You were unsure of which side of your conscience to listen to, but you knew that you had to choose quick. You were done and tired with everything. Tired of crying yourself to sleep every night, tired of blaming yourself, tired of running in circles, and exhausted of your heart getting smashed to millions of pieces every time you tried to pick up the segments to your messy life. Heartbreak changed you, but for the worse. It felt like everything in your life was flipped upside down, but one thing remained the same: you wanted Shawn back.
There was no use in staying at the villa—not when Kageyama would be gone, and no one left there to fill the awful hole that seemed to have opened in Shouyou’s heart.
It was different, than all the times they’d said goodbye before it. Different even than the first time, when Shouyou had thought he wouldn’t be returning month after month, to tumble from the carriage doors and run straight to where Kageyama waited, always, for him.
It was worse now, having made up his mind to stay, but having no idea when Kageyama could return to him. So Shouyou came back to the temple, to wait. At least there, he had the people he’d grown up with. He had his duties. He could try, as best he could, to be distracted.
And, as little as it was, he was not wholly without news of his centurion. For Kageyama sent him letters, as often as he was able.
The first letter came in place of the carriage that would have usually arrived to bring Shouyou to the temple. It was delivered by messenger, and Shouyou was so eager to open the wax seal with Kageyama’s insignia that he nearly ripped the paper in two. He snuck away to a secluded corner where he could read undisturbed.
“Lance? C'mon buddy, wake up.” Keith‘s voice covered the squeak of the fan for mere moments before it’s rotation completed.
“If I open my eyes the nightmare will be real.” Lance held his head in his hands and drew his knees up to his chest. He could hear his own breathing in the small alcove he had made.
“What nightmare?” Keith’s footsteps were silent as he crossed the room. Keith’s breath hitched as he approached, and he had to remind himself to breathe deeply.
“The one where you’re gone and this is all just in my head.” Lance’s breathing was too loud for him to handle. He kept his eyes closed and instead rested his head back against the wall.
“I would never let that happen.” Lance pushed down his anxiety and squeezed his eyes as if he could close them tighter. “Promise?” There was a shakiness to his voice. “Promise.” But when Lance opened his Keith was no where to be found. Lance let out a choked sob and grasped at his sheets. “Promise…” he mumbled the word until he fell asleep.
“Lance. C'mon buddy, wake up.”
Ew I heard America passed a bill banning trans people from joining the military? (I'm not American forgive if I'm wrong) But oml fuck Trump honestly
Actually please make it well known that there’s been no bill passed as of yet. The Secretary of Defense was supposed to implement the official policy of accepting transgender service members by July 1st, but they opted for a six month delay. During this delay, Trump became very public about how he would be banning transgender service members. While the president is at the top of the Chain of Command in the army, he still has to go through various channels to actually get the ban implemented. He PLANS to reinstate the bill. The bill has not been reinstated.
Our biggest problem is that the government keeps doing these things and then we keep thinking there’s nothing we can do. In this case, spreading the information that he’s passed a bill makes it seem like a much harder fight than the one it really is: getting the original bill that was postponed to pass in six months. As far as we know it hasn’t been scrapped yet. It’s still a huge deal that the Commander in Chief has proclaimed this but saying it doesn’t make it law.
So what’s important is 1) spreading correct information and 2) what can be done about it while 3) encouraging ACTION
Even if you can’t protest on street corners or donate to relevant advocate groups, the least you can do is send a letter to the Secretary of Defense
Jim Mattis Secretary of Defense 1000 Defense Pentagon Washington, DC 20301-1000
Tell him that you support in no uncertain terms the inclusion of transgender service members in all branches of military service. Tell him you demand the same constitutionally provided respect and equality for them as he would provide any other service member. Tell him that it’s his responsibility as the Secretary of Defense to ensure the success, camaraderie, and morale of the United States Armed Forces.
This is a case where the reaction to this decision, this unofficial not-on-the-books not-yet-legalized decision, is more important than the initial action. Please by all means do whatever you can to spur people to action in the next few days and for the next six months.
When Virgil starts spiraling down into thinking up catastrophic ‘what-ifs’, it’s Logan’s room he turns to.
Sometimes, when he’s very much on edge, he doesn’t feel the calming effect of the room, at first. His eyes are shut tight, breath rattling, as he lists every possible horrible outcome that could have-
Logan clears his throat. “Slow down, Virgil, I can hardly understand you.”
It’s not said with mean intent, not at all. Logan’s words are level headed and grounding, and Virgil begins to feel the effects of the room. It’s an odd, but not unpleasant thing- like looking through a telescope and finally having your view focus properly.
“So,” Logan continues. “My observations are you were afraid that Terrible Predicament x, y, z and so on may happen?”
Virgil nods, no longer trusting his voice.
“I see. And what actually happened?”
The silence lasts for a few long moments before Virgil realises the question wasn’t rhetorical.
“Uh, I guess um…” he whispers. “Nothing.”
Virgil raises his head to say it a little louder. “Nothing happened.”
“Good.” There’s a smile in Logan’s voice. “So what do you have to be afraid of?”
Virgil’s mouth twitches upwards in understanding. “Nothing.”
“What was that?”
“I have nothing to be afraid of.” The words echo around the room, loud and sure, and Virgil can hardly believe he’s the one saying them out loud. “I have nothing to be afraid of,” he repeats, and finally opens his eyes.
Logan is adjusting his glasses, beaming with pride.