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They Had The Best Intentions
Elf
rix_scaedu
I wrote this to kelkyag's first prompt "Something in Mayin's story."

Ley and Edan were hosting a dinner in a restaurant for an acquaintance of Edan’s and Edan’s elder sister, Mayin. They were, frankly, matchmaking and both the invitees knew it. “You’ve both been discharged after a decade away,” Edan had told Georas from his work’s Technical Support Division. “You have that in common, at least. She’s very quiet, I don’t think she knows what to talk about to people who weren’t enlisted.”

“It can be difficult,” Georas had agreed. “All the things we used to talk about aren’t really appropriate anymore. Gossip about the war was an important survival currency. Now,” he flashed a smile, “not nearly so much, but I haven’t been able to find an acceptable substitute.”

“You’ve got nothing to lose by meeting her,” Edan had urged and so Georas had agreed to come to this dinner for four. The restaurant was at the top of a spire, the view being one of its selling points. The tables were arranged around the edge of the viewing platform and there was a dance band that unkind reviewers had suggested was to give diners something to do as they waited between courses. Edan had booked them a table in the middle rank, neither next to the viewing windows nor next to the dance floor.

The sister was nice. Shorter than him, with short, dark hair and fair skin. Ankle length dinner dress in a muted orange-pink colour, a matching clutch bag under her arm and heeled sandals on her feet. Her expression was not shy, precisely, but definitely watchful. She looked like a tech, or a comms op, maybe even ship’s crew. She even asked intelligent questions about his work, and seemed to understand his answers.

Edan’s work acquaintance, Georas, seemed to be a very together sort of fellow, his brown hair still in a military cut. He seemed very buttoned down, neither as squirrelly as some techs she’d worked with or as ultra-focussed as others. Mayin liked that he didn’t assume she wouldn’t understand his answers to her questions and because she was paying attention to him she merely noted that a largish party was being shown to a long table next to the viewing window. Something about the group kicked at her brain, but she firmly squashed her hypervigilance and continued with her conversation. She saw exactly when it all went pear-shaped over the entrée. He asked her which unit she’d been mustered out of, she answered him truthfully and saw his smile turn into a rictus.

When the entrées were finished he and Edan went to the men’s room together.

“You told me that she was shy,” Georas said furiously. “She’s not shy, she’s just deciding whether she’s going to kill me or not. That entire unit was, is, crazy. They use enemy finger bones for poker chips! No, sorry. I’m just not interested. Here’s the money for the food I ordered. I know she’s your sister, but please don’t ask me about this again.”

Edan came back to the table alone and made Georas’ apologies. Mayin heard what he said about a stomach upset but knew why Georas had bailed on the evening. She straightened her back and prepared to brave out the rest of the dinner. Edan called over a waiter and as the fourth setting was being cleared from the table a familiar voice behind Mayin said, “Excuse me, but may I have this dance?”

She turned and Oberxiao Huhn Jan-li stood there offering her his hand. He was resplendent in a formal uniform, his cybernetic hand and eye gleaming in their respective fashions, the blonde hair that seemed odd to her with his skin tone was cropped and neatly combed, and he was unequivocally pleased to see her.


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Did they really use enemy finger bones for poker chips, or is that just one of those stories?

Suspicious timing, but Jan-li does not seem to be at all responsible for Georas ditching dinner ...

<waits on pins and needles for the next installment>

Mayin didn't.

Happy coincidence and hypervigilance is not necessarily a bad thing.

... but it only takes one in the unit not being shut down to create scary gossip.

Hypervigilance potentially makes dealing with civilian life frustrating and stressful in ways that other people don't have to deal with. :-/

Which was why she shut it down when it tried to cut in - she has been working on it.

Hmm. Could this be an in for Jan-li with her family? He doesn't run or look at her like a lunatic?

He doesn't look at her like she's a lunatic and this could be considered saving her face.

What's not to like? :)

I don't think he made a *bad* impression the first time he met a few of them, just a weird one. And the subsequent flowers seem to've made a good one.

But I've little to no sense of how the now-homeless former enemy are considered by the population overall.

He's part of a delegation, so there aren't a lot of them here.

We may, however, touch on that soon.

oh man, (How I have I not commented on ANY of these)... oh man.

Poor Mayin, dealing with other veterans is going to be as hard as dealing with Civvies. Good thing there's Jan-li.


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