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don't take no guff
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And then the track of their conversation began to derail, ever so slightly. But that was how it always started. Small, then the misunderstandings snowballed, built from each other, piled on top of one another and turned into a cascade of bad interpretation that utterly ruined whatever he had in mind for something. That was how it always turned out when he screwed it up, when he was awkward, when he couldn't get his message across crystal clear.

He nearly panicked as his mind received and interpreted their responses. In the real world, he could always clarify, but here, and now, he absolutely couldn't afford any of that happening. Even the slightest mistake could rapidly lead him down a fatal route. Come on, think of something to say that'll change their mind. Something that's actually in line with your intention. Something unmistakable!

Although he tried his best to adopt a noncommittal tone, he couldn't help but nod slightly. That subconscious tic probably sealed it; he was just digging it deeper-

"I mean, I'd be fine just being with a group, really. I-I just found out I'm not cut out for being a lone wolf. It's too jumpy. S-Safer in numbers, right?"

He tried to avoid considering it, but-- they'd likely just read whatever they wanted into that statement. That was terrifying. It always was.

2015: V6 Incident
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They Stumbled Into Faith and Thought · Crematorium Gardens