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It's Just A Game Mods ([personal profile] itsjustthemads) wrote in [community profile] itsjustagamerp2012-11-15 10:23 pm

Experiment #31 - Truly, Madly, Viking - Chapter 7

Truly, Madly, Viking - Part 7
By Sandra Hill



Ven: *walks in, still dressed in his... costume? outfit. Drops the bunnypack in a seat and takes the one next to it, a more grim than usual look on his face* This can’t be as bad as the last one, can it?
Hope: No, but that doesn’t make it good.
Lea: *slouches in seat with pocky, still with his fox ears and tail costume, munching on one of the sticks* It never makes it good.

Maggie was leaning over Beth’s shoulder that evening while she explained her Internet Web site.

“Orcalove.com is only for kids around my age, from eight to twelve. I want other young people, all over the world, to learn about killer whales. We share information, but mostly we want to increase the number of people who care about them.

Lea: And if you don’t care about them, then you should be condemned!

If we start young enough, maybe our generation will be the one to stop the killing and capture of these creatures.”

Ven: ...You know, that’s a really good thing to do. Care about the animals in your world and all. This story might be all right.

“You sound like a teacher,” Suzy commented from the sofa, where she was supposed to be doing homework. Instead Maggie noticed that the TV had somehow been turned on, to MTV, no less,

Lea: No, llllllllllllless, llllleeeess-You know last time I encountered the word less it was spelt with one L, not two. Unless we’re going for kinda double meaning here.
Ven: What kind of double meaning?
Lea: I don’t think we wanna know...

and that singing sensation, Ricky Martin, was swinging his hips and belting out the sexy lyrics to his stellar hit song from the previous year, “Livin’ La Vida Loca.”

Hope: Why point that out? All it does date your story.
Lea: Guess his hips are both important and don’t lie.
Ven: You just had to go there, didn’t you?
Lea: *grins*

Even Maggie had to stop and look and listen when he came on. Beth, too. In no way did he resemble Joe, as Beth had stated one time, but the singer was very cute.

Lea: *acting like a typical fangirl* OH MY GWASH IT’S RICKY, HE’S SO CUTE! I bet he’s just sweetheart in real life! Just like all over-the-top celebrities! *Fake squee*

“So what if I should like a teacher,” Beth protested. “It’s important to save the orcas.”

Lea: Man, these girls are more easily distracted than squirrels.
Ven: *grins* So does that mean you’re a squirrel?
Lea: Hey hey hey, *tugs on his cosplay fox ears* Fox, get your animals right.
Ven: That doesn’t make it any better, you know.
Lea: Foxes are still better than squirrels!
Hope: Is he always like this?
Ven: Considering the first thing he did when we met was challenge me to a fight... yeah, he is.
Lea: Hey! I got my right to have fun! *snerks*
Ven: You only lasted five seconds, Lea. *okay, he’s grinning too*
Lea: *shoves a bit with a chuckle* Now what did I say about giving too much details, eh?
Ven: Hey, I’m just telling the truth here, you’re the one with the problem with it.
Hope: Does he even know how to fight?
Ven: He thinks he does.
Lea: Wha-Of course I do, you guys need to stop bein’ jealous.
Ven: Five. Seconds.
Hope: J-jealous? What’s there for me to be jealous of?
Lea: *puts hands behind head with a grin* Of my sheer awesomeness of course.
Hope: Uh... sure...
Ven: That’s it, you’re going down *grabs for Lea’s neck with one arm to give him a massive noogie*
Lea: *OH LORD, THE FLAILING* G-Gah! Hey come on, no fair!

“Yeah, yeah, yeah,” Suzy commented to her sister. “Wanna dance?”

“Oh, OK,” Beth said.

Lea: ...I take it back, they’re not squirrels, they’re chipmunks. Quick! Someone in this story throw sparkles at them, see if they go crazy!
Hope: Or sparkling Vampires...
Lea: *shiver up his spine* I said crazy not... More crazy... Is there a word that describes Twilight fans?
Hope: ...“Twilight fans.”
Lea: ...*snaps fingers* ... Right.
Ven: They’re... what, twelve? Maybe? This doesn’t seem that odd to me.

First she saved the information on her computer screen and walked over to Suzy, who was standing in the middle of the small den now, mimicking the movements of Ricky and the scantily clad dancers. The two of them were soon into the salsa beat.

Ven: ...Okay, that was needlessly descriptive.

“Inside out, upside down, Livin’ La Vida Loca,” Ricky belted out, while the girls danced on, swinging their hips, lifting a leg, shaking their buns.

Hope: Because this information is really needed.
Lea: Guess they’re doing like Ricky says “Shake your bon-bon”, or whatever.

“Come on, Mom. You, too,” Suzy encouraged.

Lea: No. Noooo. Don’t encourage that. No.
Hope: It’s too late for them.

Maggie hesitated a second, then joined them. It took her a moment to get the moves right, but soon she, too, was swinging and swaying to the irresistible beat.

Lea: No... No really, no lady, lady. Lady you need to stop. No... Seriously... No... Please stop.
Ven: Come on, Lea, she’s just having fun. It’s not that bad, is it?
Lea: *twitches* You’re joking right?
Ven: No.
Lea: This doesn’t weird you out at all?

When the song ended with a flourish, they all fell back onto the sofa laughing uproariously.

Lea: Oh good they stopped... “uproariously”.
Hope: I am unsure if uproariously is the right word.
Lea: Is it even a word? I don’t I’ve ever heard anyone describe that as feeling they would have.
Hope: Well, yes, it is. Think uncontrollable laughter. I just don’t think dancing to a pop song would bring laughter like that, no matter how much fun you may be having.
Lea: Unless that pop song is sung. *dramatic camera close up* By Ricky Martin.
Hope: Who is Ricky Martin?
Lea: I dunno, I think he’s Latino or something.

This was one of those moments out of time that would be impressed on Maggie’s memory. It exemplified, albeit in a small way, how she and her girls were happy and contented in their lives. That was so important. More important than money, or...or husbands and daddies.

Lea: But not Ricky Martin, he’s much more important than making memories, for he’s a fabulous sensation. SHAKE YOUR BON-BON.
Ven: *groans* Stop saying that.
Lea: Bet you’re just jealous because you can’t shake your bon-bon.
Ven: *you’re getting a dark look at that one, Lea* I can dance, you know. I don’t dance like that.
Lea: I double dog dare you to try.
Ven: ...What does that mean?
Lea: Means if you don’t do it, you’re chicken. *grrrin*
Ven: *rolls his eyes* We’ve got to find you a better hobby, Lea.
Lea: Chicken.

“Is Joe getting better?” Beth asked, as if reading her mind.

Ven: ...Wow, that was a sudden topic change.
Lea: Squirrels, the lot of them.
Ven: And isn’t Beth a kid...?
Hope: Did he ever confirm that he worked in a button factory? And had a wife and a dog and a family?
Lea: The questions are endless in this story.

Maggie nodded. “Yes. Yes, he is. Today he had his first group-therapy session, and he did surprisingly well.” That wasn’t disclosing too much doctor/patient information, Maggie figured. And actually, Maggie was so proud of Joe...not just for his own progress, but for the sensitive way in which he’d treated his fellow patients.

Ven: This guy is a mental patient?

“When he’s better, can we meet him?” Suzy pleaded.

“I don’t know. Maybe. No promises.”

“You know something odd,” Beth said. “I forgot to tell you this before, but my friends on the Internet have been reporting sightings of that whale that brought Joe to Orcaland. It’s as if it’s been hanging around, looking for him.”

Ven: ...Okay, okay, wait. A guy was brought to a place by a whale. And that’s the biggest thing that’s happened in a twelve-year-old’s life recently? Saving animals is good and all but don’t you think about anything else?

“Oh, I don’t know about that. It could be any whale. How would they know it was this particular one?”

“All killer whales are not alike, Mom. Each has distinguishing marks and coloring. Besides, Joe’s whale is odd because orcas rarely travel in the wild in this part of the country. The water is too warm.”

“There’s probably some scientific explanation,” Maggie insisted.

“Or maybe there isn’t,” Beth countered.

“Why can’t you just believe in the magic of it all?”

Lea: Believe in the magical whales, because if you don’t, who will? Who will?
Ven: *you know, he’s just going to keep his mouth shut here*

Suzy wanted to know. “Why can’t you accept that maybe--just maybe--the orca brought Joe here. For us.”

Hope: Just accept that the magical whale did it.

“That would be more than magic, hon.” Maggie hauled both Suzy and Beth into a hug on either side of her. “It would be more like...like...” Maggie couldn’t come up with the exact words she was searching for--not fast enough, anyway. But her girls had no trouble. They finished for her.

“Like a dream come true.”

Lea: Magical Whales of Dreams making everything better.
Ven: *under his breath* A dream is a wish your heart makes...

Two days later, Maggie was walking outside on the clinic grounds with Joe.

He was alternately staring at the sky and over toward the highway. Though he no longer talked about it, the man couldn’t seem to accept the concept of airplanes and automobiles.

Lea: Forms of transportation is a fascinating concept.
Ven: Come on, you never saw one before you came here.
Lea: It’s not that interesting though.

His face was grim with some private thoughts. Perhaps home-sickness. But the home Joe insisted was his, was thousands of miles away, and a thousand years in the past.

Hope: Wait, wait wait wait, the Viking’s name is Joe?
Lea: That’s a... Boring name. I mean that’s like saying Captain Bob, it just loses title and dignity.
Hope: Can’t his name be, I don’t know, Gustav, or something?
Lea: Joe, you’re not really a viking are you? You just thought you’d like the lifestyle, didn’t you?
Ven: He’s a football fan from Minnesota.

Despite that, his progress thus far--ever since he’d started talking--was remarkable, to say the least. If he would stop insisting that he was a tenth-century Viking and tell them who he really was, Maggie would almost believe he had no mental problems at all.

The most gratifying thing about his progress was that he was helping the other patients. Dozens of the resident patients were heavily involved in exercise, and that was always good.

Many of them had already been addicted to soap operas, but now it had become a communal undertaking, directed by Joe. They watched the soaps together, then discussed them, as if these were real-life happenings.

Lea: Sounds like a meeting at a retirement home.
Ven: I’d rather their group therapy be talking about stupid stories than breaking each other.

Isn’t that Victor Newman a self-important dictator? How about that hotty, Brooke Logan, with her penchant for stealing other women’s men? Will Reva recover from her latest bout of amnesia?

Lea: Or Maria the girl in the on and off again relationships. Will she ever find about Billy is her second cousin twice removed uncle’s aunt’s brother nephew’s roommate? Or Donny who’s not really what he seems, for he has devastating past with the ice cream parlor shop owner Lory, who is only interested snow sleds. Which coincidentally is named Rosebud... SOAPS.
Ven: *grabs Lea into a noogie again*
Lea: *THE FLAILING... again* Argh-VEEEN, cut it ouuut!
Ven: I’m gonna do this every time you go on a tangent!
Lea: That ain’t fair!

Joe also had a fascination with the reruns of The Andy Griffith Show. One of the nurses told her that Joe liked the program so much because Barney Fife reminded him of his big-eared brother...a Viking named Magnus.

Hope: Joe and... Magnus?
Lea: That sounds like a terrible sitcom show.
Ven: Do not start making up a theme song.
Lea: *starts singing immediately* ♪ The Joe and Magnus shoooooow, it’s gonna be a thrrroooow, heeee’s a mental case, muuuuusic’s not his thing, soooooo I wrote the theme, Copyrighted by Leeeeeaaaaa, copy and I’ll suuuuuue. I think that this song should end right here! *snerks* ♪
Ven: That’s it. *grabs the back of Lea’s shirt and heaves him into the next row*
Lea: KYAAAAGH-!! *crash*
Hope: *peers into the row*

“I’m going to have to leave here soon,” he announced suddenly, sinking down on a bench near a small flower garden.

Lea: *comes back up* I wish I landed in the flower garden. *brushes the popcorn off him*
Ven: I will throw you that far if I have to!
Lea: You’re pushing it bunny!! *shakes fist*
Ven: Just try it, Fox.
Lea: Oh I will prey, I will, when you least expect it... Soon... *lurks down into the seat slowly, points his two fingers to his eyes then points at Ven, soon indeed*
Ven: *yeah, he’s entirely unimpressed*
Lea: *SOON DARNNIT*

“I see.” Alarm shot through Maggie like wildfire. She sat down beside him and closed her eyes momentarily in dismay.

Ven: If you’re his doctor you can just... not let him leave, you know.

“I left my homeland on a quest for my father. Much unfinished business awaits me. I cannot dwadle

Hope: ...Dawdle?
Lea: I hope that’s what they meant, dwadle sounds like some kinda weird tinker toy.

here much longer without making an effort to locate Thora and my way home. If naught else, I cannot risk being on the high seas come winter.”

At first, an overwhelming sadness swept over her--that he still clung to these foolish notions. But then inspiration hit her. “I have the most wonderful idea.”

“Somehow I misdoubt that your idea of a wonderful idea would coincide with mine...unless it involves sex.”

Lea: *SPITS OUT POCKY*
Ven: *TURNS DEAD WHITE*
Hope: Wait, wait a minute, what kind of book is this? What was with the little girls talking about the internet and dancing?
Ven: *mutters* Better than the last one I got stuck with... so far.
Lea: *twitching*

She slanted him a disapproving frown, then continued. “I think we should go on a field trip to Orcaland. It might be just the trick to jar your memories and convince you that you aren’t really a time traveler.”

He just stared at her.

Lea: As. You. Should.

Disappointment that he wasn’t immediately receptive dampened her enthusiasm, but only for a second when she realized he might not know what a field trip was. “A field trip is an excursion away from the facility. Not a permanent release. Just a day trip.”

Ven: You’re still his doctor, you don’t need his permission to set all this up.

“So you are suggesting that you and I go to Orcaland...to visit the site of my time travel, and perhaps get a glimpse of Thora...and some answers.”

Ven: Is Thora’s last name Birch? Because that would be weird.

She nodded hesitantly. “It wouldn’t be just you and me, though. I would have to take the others in the group. I know, I know,” she said excitedly.

Lea: Without exclamation.

“We could stop by that traveling Vietnam memorial exhibit, as well. The Moving Wall, I think it’s called. That might benefit Steve. And later, dinner at that new club, Boot Scootin’ Cowboy, would give Natalie a glimpse of how her life could be if she ever realized her dream of being a country-western singer. I hear they have live entertainment there.”

Lea: ...Yee-haw?
Ven: ...That’s probably too much going on in one day for a bunch of mental patients.

“Mayhap we can also stop by a farm and let Hair-vee check out the livestock for a new personality. Or perchance Rosalyn the mouse could snag a customer or two for a swiving marathon.”

Maggie gave Joe a dirty look. “Your sarcasm doesn’t help.”

He shrugged.

Lea: *crouches down a bit, getting ready*
Ven: *groans and slumps in his seat with his face in his hands* When the characters agree with you...
Lea: *AND POUNCES VEN TO THE GROUND*
Ven: -GAAAAAH! *FACEPLANT* L-LEA GET OFF ME!
Lea: *pulls back up, giving Ven noogie* SAAAY UNCLE, YOU BUNNY~!
Ven: No- WAY! *HELLO ELBOW TO GUT*
Lea: ARGH-! *grabbing arms now*
Hope: Um...guys?
Ven: Just- a second- *lets all his weight suddenly go dead, falling into a roll across the ground*
Lea: GYAAAAAAAGH! *is rolled off with*
Ven: *wrenches his arms free as the roll carries him over Lea and stops halfway through, sitting squarely on Lea’s stomach* Okay, I think we’re good.
Lea: *flails from the ground* No fair-AGH!

“This is a good idea. A really good idea,” she insisted. “Of course, I’ll have to get permission from Harry--I mean, Dr. Seabold--first, but I don’t think he’ll object.”

“Is he your lover?”

Ven: Does everything come back to that with you? *faintly red and pale at the same time*

“Huh? Who? Harry? No, of course not.” She put a hand to her mouth to hide her smile.

He exhaled with a loud whoosh, as if relieved. “Good.”

Good? Why is that good? No, don’t ask. It will just start him on the topic of things he and I shouldn’t be discussing. But, good?

Lea: SUBTLY! *waves hands*

Changing the subject, she remarked, “Of course, my daughters will be upset that they can’t come along. Especially Beth. She just loves killer whales and Orcaland.”

Ven: Yes, that’s all she talks about. That’s the most un-twelve-year-old-like twelve-year-old I’ve ever heard of.

Joe drew himself up stiffly. “I give you notice here and now: I am going nowhere with those girls of yours. Not now or ever. Keep them away from me.”

Lea: *imitates Joe* I am allergic to girls, for they have cooties. EW. UGH.
Ven: And now you’re twelve.
Hope: Are we sure he isn’t?
Lea: It’s debatable with this guy.
Hope: Um... *was talking about Lea, actually*

Maggie would have been outraged at his maligning her daughters if she hadn’t noticed the haunted expression in his gray eyes. In fact, she could swear they were misty with tears.

“Joe...?” she probed.

He turned his face away from her.

She put a hand on his arm. “Don’t you like children?”

Lea: *continues to imitate Joe, SNIFFS LOUDLY* I-I told you, I’m allergic to cooties! MY SINUSES! UGH!

Swinging his head, he scowled at her. “Heed me well, wench. Push me too far, and I will not be responsible for my actions.”

Lea: *still Joe* I WILL CRY MANLY TEARS ALL OVER YOU.
Ven: *bounces hard*
Lea: Ow. Jeeze, not gonna let me joke are you?
Ven: You’re not crying any tears, manly or otherwise, all over me.
Lea: I’m getting a distinction you’re not distinguishing the hammy acting of the character Joe versus me.
Hope: *says nothing......*

An alarming question occurred to Maggie...one she should have asked before. “Are you married? Do you have a wife somewhere?”

His throat worked as if he was attempting to speak, but the words wouldn’t come out. Finally he answered in a whisper of a voice, “I have no wife.”

For some reason that news heartened Maggie. She shouldn’t care, but she did.

Ven: We all know why.
Lea: *reaching up to tickle you so you can get off him*
Ven: Ya-AAAAEEEE! *jolts and kicks and flails, making him tumble off Lea - yeah, someone is really ticklish*
Lea: *Gets up, shakes his fake fur off, struts back to his seat. Gives a little smirk, I know your weakness now~*
Ven: *glares after him and sticks a leg in his path*
Lea: *pauses, reaches under his leg, hi tickle spot*
Ven: *oh HELL NO kicks before he can even get there!*
Lea: *DODGEROLL, into the seat, sticks out his tongue*

“Okay, one last question.”

“One too many,” he grumbled, looking down at his fists, which were clenched between his wide-spread knees.

“Do you have any children? Perhaps a little girl who resembles one of mine?”

“Your tongue outruns your good sense, you foolish wench.”

Lea: What... Does that even mean? Her tongues outruns-? Tongues don’t run!
Hope: But you can run your mouth.
Lea: Then why didn’t he say mouth?!
Hope: Your tongue is in your mouth...
Ven: You’re making way too much of a big deal about that, Lea. *climbing back into his own seat*

He stood suddenly and faced her angrily. A low growl came up from deep within before he informed her in an ice-cold voice, “Seed of my loins exists nowhere in this living world, neither male nor female.”

Ven: *winces at the phrasing* -Okay, that one is really bad.
Lea: Father of the century folks. Aren’t you so glad that this how he describes his kids? Absolutely fantastic. *eyeroll*

With those words hurled back at her,

Lea: EW UGGH, Watch your words there man!

Joe stomped off on the sidewalk leading back to the clinic.

Maggie watched him leave. Without realizing it, Joe had given her a clue that might lead to his cure. Children. There was no doubt in Maggie’s mind. Children were the clue to Joe’s dysfunction.

Lea: Uhhhhh... Nooooo, I don’t think that’s a good idea.
Ven: ...No. Don’t do that, seriously.

Jorund’s emotions were in a roil the rest of that day.

Ven: Wai- wha- sudden perspective switch? *hello whiplash!*

He exercised on the rowing machine till he thought his arms would fall off. He joined some pay-shuns in a lackbrain game of Bingo. He threw a Freeze-bee in the halls with Steve,

Lea: Why would you throw frozen bees?

till Norse Hatch-her took the circular toy away from him.

Lea: OOOOH.
Hope: Oh, a frisbee.
Lea: Yea I was so confused there.
Hope: You’re not the only one....

He Ping-Ponged till his head felt as if it Ping-Ponged. He ate a dinner of burr-eat-toes and a salt-sa that about took the lining off his tongue. He viewed “Em-tea-vee” till his eyes burned.

Hope: What is this guy’s problem?
Lea: Everything apparently.
Ven: ...Culture shock. Being somewhere completely new where you don’t have any idea what’s going on or what anything is. *yep, speaking from experience*

Still, thoughts of his daughters would not go away. Was he cursed for the rest of his life, or mayhap all of eternity, to carry this guilt with him?

Ven: I thought you just said you didn’t have any kids... *so confused right now*

It was all Mag-he’s fault. Why did she have to probe so deeply?

“What I need is about a tun of mead,” he muttered.

Lea: What’s a tun of mead?
Hope: A “ton?”

“Isn’t mead some kind of beer?” Steve asked from the open doorway.

Lea: No no no, I know what mead is, I’m trying to figure out the tun part, dude.

“Me, too, then. A cold beer and a baseball game would come in handy about now. Mine would have to be the nonalcoholic kind, though.” Without being invited, he stepped into Jorunds room and sank down into one of the two leather armchairs in front of the tea-vee.

Hope: Okay, why has everything been written from this guy’s point of view? There’s a way of making it obvious he’s not familiar with the world without making him look like a... well, a dunce.
Ven: I don’t know, but it’s getting really distracting.

“Baseball? Isn’t that a game where you hit a ball with a stick and run around a diamond-shaped field? One of the Norses explained it to me.”

Steve gaped at him for a second, then laughed. “Hell, don’t tell me you’ve never seen a baseball game. Man, that’s purely un-American.” Taking the remote control from Jorund’s hand, he flicked the channels until he came to one of those baseball games, the Dodge-hers against the Red Sox, and for the next hour he proceeded to explain the game to a fascinated Jorund.

Ven: It’s just baseball...

“And you excelled at this game?”

“That was thirty years ago, but yeah, everyone said I was the next Ted Williams.”

“And this is what you did in life? You played games?”

Steve laughed at his apparent confusion and named some seemingly high amount of money he was paid for this occupation.

“You obviously loved this game. ‘Twas in your eyes when you watched it on the tea-vee box. Why did you stop?”

“I was drafted...well, actually I jumped the gun because I knew I was going to be drafted.”

“Drafted?”

“Uh-huh. I got the word that Uncle Sam wanted me for military service, and there was no saying no in those days. The Vietnam War was at its height. I enlisted in the Navy SEALs.” He shrugged. “The rest is history.”

Jorund didn’t understand all that he had said. Uncle Sam, for instance. Nay-vee, for another. But the gist of it filtered through: Steve had fought in some gruesome war as a soldier of some sort, and although it had been many years ago, he still suffered the consequences.

Ven: *winces. This is hitting a little too close to home for comfort.*

“Did your wife leave you whilst you were away at battle?”

At first Steve’s eyes flashed angrily at the intrusive question, but then his body relaxed, almost as if he was tired of holding it all in. “Nah! Shelley stuck around for twenty years. I haven’t seen her for ten years. Hell, that was the last time we made love, too. The last time I was able to get it up. And a poor performance it was.”

Jorund decided to ignore Steve’s remarks on his sexual prowess.

Ven: We all wish the author had agreed with you there.

“Well, you are fortunate then. Many a feckless wench have I encountered in my day. Faithless women who spread their legs for another the minute their men pick up a spear and shield to go off a-Viking or a-fighting.”

Lea: ...*blink blinks* I’m just... Speechless. These guys are just... *twitch*
Ven: Awful?
Lea: Yeeeea. That’s the word.

“Huh?” Steve said. Then his thoughts reverted back to his Shell-he. “Man, I made Shell’s life a living hell. Good thing we never had kids. I probably would have made them suffer, too.”

Although Steve claimed happiness in not having bred children, Jorund could see the lie in his lifeless eyes. Jorund could understand this. Hadn’t he disdained children all his life, too? Then hadn’t he seen the mistruth in his lifelong protestations the moment his daughters were born?

Lea: *overly dramatic pose* THINK OF THE CHILDREN MAN! THINK OF THE CHILDREN!
Ven: No. No, we really don’t want to do that.

“I have heard much on The Young and the Restless this week about divorce...which we have in my land, too. Did you divorce your wife...or did she divorce you?”

“Shelley’s back in Iowa, teaching school. I figured she’d file for divorce once she met another man and wanted to get married again. I never received any notification, though, so I really don’t know.” He stared blankly at the screen for a long time before he spoke again. “I thought she’d find someone else right off the bat. In fact, I hope she did. Shell is so beautiful. She deserves more than a broken-down ex-baseball player.” His voice cracked on that last, making it as clear as a sunny day on a northern fjord that Steve’s biggest problem wasn’t his impotence, or aleheadedness, or black night-frights, but the empty hole left in his life by a woman.

Lea: And I didn’t get half of what those words even are or mean in that last sentence.
Ven: I’m not going to translate.

That was the way of it throughout time, Jorund decided. Women were the root of all men’s problems.

Lea: OFCOURSE! Women are the blame for everything! Tch, don’t you know? If you’re having problems, blame it on the lady! ‘Cause that’s what true manliness is about. *groans and leans back, rubs his temples* This story is stupid.
Ven: And at home guys are a lot more responsible for things going wrong, overall. It doesn’t matter whether a person is a man or a woman, it matters what they choose to do.
Hope: And blaming other people for your problems never ends well.
Lea: *in monotone* What moral lessons we have learned today.
Ven: Don’t blame others for your problems, don’t write things from the point of view of someone completely unfamiliar with the culture in question, and apparently Latin popstars are still a big thing.
Lea: *waves little flag* Yay.
Ven: Still not as bad as the last one. *grabs the bunnypack and gets up to leave*
Lea: *also gets up to leave* Tch, tell me about it.

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