Mar. 16th, 2014

mari4212: "Okay, you don't just have issues.  You have the full set of collectable binders (issues)

That awkward laugh. He knew it far too well by now. It was the laugh that said that once again he’d misread the situation, that he’d forgotten who has talking to. He could never remember to watch for social signals until he heard that laugh and remembered that his team was the exception, that most people couldn’t stand him. He tried, sometimes. More often than he ever let on, he was actually trying to be nice, to be friendly and relaxed with new people. But he’d never yet figured out how to seem interested in things which bored him, and so much of ordinary conversation was boring and a waste of his time. He’d open his mouth and let loose with a rant that skipped straight past snark and sarcasm into rude and petty insults. And flirtations were even worse, he always tried too hard and then found himself back-tracking and insulting worse by accident.

He’d try a joke, after that, something to cut the tension or at least make the other person stop focusing on the last thing he’d said. And they’d laugh, but out of pity, or just to make him stop before it went on any longer. He hated that laugh more than anything else. It would be more honest if they’d just ignore him and walk away. He’d rather be hated than pitied.


She was pretty sure it was worse when he tried. When he didn’t care about what anyone else thought of him, he was rude, arrogant beyond belief, and abrasive, but he wasn’t awkward, and he didn’t make her want to wince or laugh just to cover up the latest failed attempt at a witty or flirtatious comment. When he forgot to care about impressing her, he’d go on to the pure science and lose his defensiveness in the wonder of what they were exploring. It was then when he’d be insightful, sometimes humble at the magnitude of what was before them, and wickedly funny when she least expected it.

It’s why she makes herself laugh at most of the failed jokes. If she can get him past the need to prove himself to her, he might actually relax enough to be worth talking to more often. It was a pity that it took so much to get him to that point.


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