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Come, and take choice of all my library...; Whaddayamean it's too late?
Topic Started: Aug 20 2016, 12:34 AM (269 Views)
shotgunkid
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not in a position to bargain anymore
[ * ]
(WADE CARTWRIGHT: PREGAME START!)

"What're you working on today?"

The sudden half-whisper took Wade off-guard. He was immediately startled into focus, having been so absorbed in his latest reading that he hadn't noticed Hannah approaching (or sneaking up on?) him at all. His first instincts told him to be defensive and to keep the conversation away from what it was he was doing.

He wasn't particularly ashamed or guilty about being a furry. Alone, he was actually somewhat proud of his achievements within it. But he'd learned painfully, especially during his rocky start in the community almost ten years ago, that a decent amount of the population found it distasteful and were often overtly hostile to it. As a result, he almost never 'outed' himself outside of the fandom and only interacted with others in those spheres of it where he was actively participating.

This approach put him somewhat on edge about browsing webcomics and art sites, even though it practically never seemed to draw attention from others even in open environments. He kept things discreet when doing so, sticking to one window or tab that he could easily close if there was ever too much attention being paid. He wiped histories, made omissions, and avoided leaving trails of any sort in general. He'd only been confronted a few times and always managed to deflect it away.

All this worked. Wade was perfectly happy keeping his life compartmentalized, and could emotionally afford to do so. It would be neat and tidy; there was furry stuff, and there was everything else. Two sides, and never the twain shall meet.

Until the day came that he or his work became too prominent (yeah, as if that would ever happen), or someone publically confronted him regarding the former, or some snooping individual, a hacker or reporter or his own parents, maybe, opened up the vault of his past. Then the distinction would come crashing down and he'd be forced to be open.

But that was either buried in the deep past or shrouded in the foggy future. For the here and now, it was just Hannah. And Wade always considered her a friend, if he wasn't wholly open to her. Under normal circumstances, he would have kept his guard and avoided revealing this part of his interests.

There was something different this time, however. The tone of her voice and the way she had just barged in, carrying herself and sitting like that... it all bore hints of anticipation. She was waiting for something. Maybe, just maybe, he told himself. Take a gamble, what have you got to lose?

He ignored the twisting feelings in his stomach and angled the monitor just into her field of vision, allowing her to just see just what was on it. Lightly gesturing to the screen, he struggled to think of words. They came up immediately and were surprisingly painless to get through: "I-I'm just, uh, keeping up with Charity and the gang here. I already finished my studying a while back. What about you? How's your latest play going?"

He still came across strained and forced. For that, he cursed himself internally. His voice was always far better in his mind's ear than in reality. But it was too late for any regret; now he would personally find out how Hannah truly felt.
2015: V6 Incident
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shotgunkid
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not in a position to bargain anymore
[ * ]
Wade realized he'd found a kindred spirit the moment Hannah spoke her second sentence.

What're the odds? A pang of elation and excitement struck his mind. He'd been participating in discussions and side chats and often-heated arguments ever since he'd found the Web. A decent portion of that had, of course, taken place within the furry community, from the beginning.

That portion steadily grew through the years as he found his footing, and especially so in recent years as he'd gotten into writing and posting. He never spoke about it in public like this, so he'd always expected his first real-life meeting with another furry would be intentional and prearranged, like a convention or meet. An afterthought, always. A decade or more, he'd believed way back when. And at least several years now. In a single moment, all of that speculation had been abruptly rendered utterly moot with a few words. The reality was that he'd meet another fur by being practically snagged in the open, by surprise, unprepared. Adrift, as he usually ended up when he tried to take the initiative talking to others or a conversation drifted into the unfamiliar.

But the fandom was very familiar ground to Wade, and he quickly gained footing: relevant information was quite close at hand as he'd kept mental tabs on some of the major furry webcomics out there since practically the day he had discovered the entire genre. DMFA happened to be one of them. And at the same time a strange, almost inexplicable sensation washed over him. He didn't consciously realize at the moment why he was so overwhemingly, unqualifiedly happy. But nevertheless, he almost immediately found something halfway decent to say. After a two-second silence, he spoke, although his voice sounded soft and breathy and halting:

"Yep. N-not a lot of the actual comic, though. The-th plot's kinda... sparse. As I guess you no-noticed. I chewed through all the setting information in a few w..weeks. I had this-this phase, I guess, a few years ago, where I was infatuated with it and drank in as much of that as I could manage. But for the life of me," he struggled to say, his emotions nearly strangling his voice once again, "I-I still can't remember if it's actually said or, uh, shown wheth-whether 'Cubi can fly or not. Funny, that, i-issn'it?"

Halfway through, he noticed his mouth spreading into a half-smile.
Edited by shotgunkid, Aug 25 2016, 08:16 PM.
2015: V6 Incident
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