[23 Trandary 4262]
It is clearly proper manners to, if you ruin someone's life by mistake, to dine with him from time to time to express sympathy. Though Thelvion was being particularly resistant to sympathy this evening.
Thelvion:"After I got rid of that tedious Herethroy girlfriend, things have have been looking up. Romantically, I mean."
I don't really understand how Thelvion, of all people, can call anyone else tedious. Everyone who doesn't know Thelvion's Horrid Secret thinks he's the most tedious person they have ever met. The rest of us think he's the most tedious person we have ever met, too, and are boggled and/or baffled about how he manages to be so tedious given that he is really, essentially, exceedingly exotic.
(On second thought, if he were doing it intentionally, being so boring would be an excellent disguise for a Herethroy both-female masquerading as a Rassimel man. If he had actually known his own Horrid Secret at the time, I would believe that he was doing it intentionally, and be quite impressed with him as an adventurer.)
(And, in all honesty, he's not that boring.)
Me:"From my chalice to your chalice, I think! Though I'm trying to be a good student for a change this term. What romance has come to you?"
Thelvion:"Several appealing Rassimel were waiting for me to become available!"
Me:"Nothing of the sort ever happens to me."
Thelvion:"Well, are you interested in Rassimel, appealing or not?"
Me:"Better appealing than not! But no, I was more thinking about same-species people waiting for me to become available. Same-species people are awfully scarce, for me."
Thelvion:"Well, if you want some of my Rassimels, I can probably share."
Me:"You are already on terms to share them?"
Thelvion:"Well, not to share them, but, well, I've picked one, so the others are free."
Me:"Congratulations! Who is the lucky Rassimel?"
Thelvion:"Do you know a girl named Iska? Off-Ketherian, brilliant at maths?"
Me:"We've been in the same class a few times." I have, it seems, learned a bit of diplomacy. Saying 'I despise your new girlfriend' I now understand to be the wrong thing to say under many circumstances. I glanced nervously at Thelvion's tail, worried that he might realize that I actually despise her and work some terrible transformation on me. Fortunately, Thelvion is not a nendrai in disguise. (I think that my training in diplomacy, while very informative and exciting, is a bit too specialized for general use.)
Thelvion:"Well ... how soon do you think I should tell her?"
Me:"How could I possibly answer that? ... Before you propose marriage to her, but after you're reasonably sure she's not going to switch partners on you next week. Actually, I thought she was sweet on Yarwain ... I've never been sure what was going on there."
Thelvion:"It's not what you think!"
Me:"I don't know what I think!"
Thelvion:"It's not that either."
Me:"Am I supposed to understand that?"
Me:"Do you understand that?"
Me:"This is why I never date Rassimel."
Thelvion:"Well, I'm glad I started dating them. Us."
Me:"Them." I was unaccountably annoyed with Thelvion -- and Dustweed too. It's not as if either of them had sworn an oath of loyalty to the Transaffectionate Cause -- it's not as if there is a Transaffectionate Cause. But it sat rather badly on me to hear them both explain how much they preferred being cisaffectionate.
Thelvion:"Us. Let us leave my unfortunate birth defect out of it." Thelvion sounded rather annoyed too.
Me:"Well, now that you have Iska, which Rassimel have you cast aside?"
Thelvion:"Jrakh and Nestrune."
Me:"Flushing brandy and wine for small beer, is spurning Jrakh and Nestrune for Iska!" Which was rather rude, despite being wholly accurate.
Thelvion:"Well, that was a matter of entertainment, not romance." He described the contest that Jrakh and Nestrune had undertaken, which is the sort of thing you might expect from a pair of bored libertine Rassimels. Thelvion was, in effect, part of the contest's equipment, and far from the only part. Nestrune won, if it matters to you. Admittedly, if I were Jrakh, I'd let Nestrune win too.
Me:"When was that?"
Thelvion:"About two weeks ago." Presumably Jrakh had gotten bored of Rassimel after the contest, so she snagged the local Zi Ri instead.
Me:"Well, best of luck with Iska! I wish the two of you a wide range of happinesses."