8. How does one comfort the other when the other is in distress/having a panic attack/crying?
The two of them are not a particularly vocal couple (unless they’re really mad) so they tend to communicate in touches and caring gestures.
Karen has nightmares sometimes and wakes up panicked. If Frank is there he shushes her calm, holding her close so she feels safe. Karen’s distress is usually only caused by a few things (misplaced guilt, regret, or fear for those she loves) and Frank always seems to know exactly which one it is. He’s observant, and Karen has tells, so much so that Frank knows sometimes even before she does that they’re in for a bad night. Faraway looks, worrying at her bottom lip while flipping through her files, evenings that seem go go later and later until she finally drops from exhaustion. Those nights he lies awake, listening to her breathing so he can nudge her awake before things get too terrible.
Frank’s moments of distress are a little more unpredictable and he usually manages to keep the outward signs to a minimum, and yet Karen knows anyway. Like I said before, kastle cares in gestures. She makes him coffee before he can ask for it, the expensive slow roast she knows he likes but never mentions, pulls up their case files without being asked so they can go over them first thing, walks max during the day while Frank’s sleeping, makes him eat real food and actually enjoy it instead of treating it like fuel. And then there’s the touches, her forehead against his before he leaves, a brief pause so they can breath each other in, a silent I’m with you that he didn’t know he needed until the tension is rolling out of his shoulders and the strange heaviness in his chest is lifting.
And then there are the displays of bone deep grief, exceedingly rare, but unexpectedly barreling into Frank like a runaway train. Grief that Karen can’t even begin to touch, and she knows this, but still holds onto him for dear life, not letting him slip down into the dark. She’s never heard anything as heartbreaking as the sob of a man who’s lost his entire family. Empathy courses through her, tears sliding down her own cheeks as she cradled his head in her lap. They grieve together because there’s nothing else to do, and when it passes she doesn’t see him for a few days. It’s a distance he needs and she gives him that.
How do NB people answer that equal opportunity gender question on job applications? Does it look bad if you just decline to answer?
Hm… I can’t say I’ve ever come across that question myself. However, I know I’ve heard advice to kind of… lie with that kind of question if you’re trans/nb. The consensus seems to be that companies may use your answer as an excuse not to hire you.
However, I guess it’s up to the enby in question. If they want to decline answering, that’s their choice and the company can’t hold it against them - at least, not as far as I’m aware. It’s a tricky situation and depends on circumstances and variables, really.
He glanced at Tiberius. What was odder, perhaps, was that Ty was looking at him. Emma remembered Ty, years ago, saying, why do people say ‘look at me’ when they mean ‘look at my eyes’? You could be looking at any part of a person, and you’re still looking at them. But he was looking curiously at Kit’s eyes as if they reminded him of something.