"We tried to be better, but we aren't. I don't think anyone could last more than a week here if they weren't willing to do bad things." - Alba Reyes

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Don't cast aspersions on my asparagus.
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Bradley feigned agreement, respect, clemency and magnanimity. His grin dropped, replaced by a sombre and dour frown, nodding along as if it accept the gravity of Aiden's request. Someone so quickly angered, who had so comprehensively abandoned the appearance of neighbourly geniality, must perhaps have a deep-seated, searing desire to move the conversation into clearer pastures. Slips of the tongue had sadly led into this confrontation, and it was all too clear that Aiden was pulling all the stops out to navigate out of it.

He had tried reasoned argument. If maintained, such tactics provoked respect from Bradley. Could even lead to a mutually beneficial friendship with him. However, at the first sign of adversity, Aiden had foolishly shifted gears, to inefficacious pleading and undignified threats, trying to emphasise the negative consequences of continued agitation. That only further encouraged Bradley. He would have fun from this. Aiden had marked himself out as an excellent recipient of gadfly shenanigans. Hopefully he had more buttons to push, but Bradley doubted that.

No matter. He only needed the one.

"Personally," he spoke, between offputting chews, eating his meat with a casual veneer now rather than active displays of vulgarity, "I think you're being a bit callous towards the hearing impaired with your remark, and would like you to stop, for you are triggering me." He maintained the serious force for the duration of the sentence, but the revival of his smirk at the end made it clear, to any doubting observers, that Bradley was not in the least offended.

"But sure! I shall oblige by your request! So, how are your relatives?"

Bradley loved synonyms. Signs of a good vocabulary, tools of rhetorical flourish, and excellent enablers for ignoring the spirit of an instruction.
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