(2530-09-27) Emotionally Compromised
Summary: Yes, the title is a play on words about compromising emotionally. This is actually two scenes, back to back, in which Finnegan discusses emotional honesty with Donna, then Tres. I really like the depth of this rp. I find myself believing in the realness of these people.
RL Date: 27 Sep 2020
Related: Link to Logs with triple-brackets around log:full-log-title, and put a space after each link including the last. Don't use pipes in the link. If you have no related logs, say None rather than leaving this blank.
donna tres finnegan 

Eavesdown Clinic - Break room

This modest room has only been described in poses. It's filled with lockers and odd furniture. There's a counter running along one wall that has a refrigerator, a microwave, and electric kettle, a drain rack and TWO coffee makers. A round table, made for industrial purposes like the ones found in schools, with metal legs and a faux-wooden top, sits out in front of the kitchenette, surrounded by blue plastic chairs. There's a small couch and the 'Verse's ugliest but most comfortable chair in an outdated but trendy mustard yellow, cloaked with various blankets and throws to try to improve its appearance. There's also a cot for resting staff. Boxes of medical supplies have been squeezed into nearly every spare space. It's not much, but it's home.

Things at the clinic finally feel like they're back to normal routines, after helping plenty of concerned members of the community with symptoms from the Paraquat Poisoning. And plenty of concerned individuals with coughs, fevers, vomiting, or other everyday ailments, that they wanted to be sure wouldn't lead to death. Today's highlight was someone who broke one leg and dislocated their other hip, falling off a ship they were working on. It took five people to get the hip joint snapped back into place without disturbing the broken leg. He's splinted, sedated, and parked overnight for monitoring. Donna now sits on the small couch in the break room, leaning back wit her eyes closed, her tea mug empty before her.

Finnegan worked all morning, but has the afternoon off, having convinced Ito that it might be better, in the short term, for her to work a bunch of shorter-than-average shifts. She's changed, but had a little computer work to do before going home. Research on the physics of falling knives, don'tchaknow!? Done with that, she enters the break room and goes to the refrigerator to retrieve a container of plain yogurt. Spoon. Lid in the trash, she comes over to sit in the ugly mustard yellow chair near the small couch. Her noise is the noise of movement, not speech, because she doesn't want to destroy a nap in progress.

"Everything all right out there?" Donna asks, without so much as opening her eyes or moving more than her mouth. So she's either awake, or still trying to do her job even while she's asleep.

"They're fine," Finnegan says. Day three of not being violently ill, though she's starting to revert. She gets a good two days after each time she treats herself with fluids. "Can you talk?"

Donna smiles a bit as she hears Finn, and starts to stir even before the question, opening her eyes and looking over. "Yeah, I'm good unless I get called out for something new. How are you doing?"

"Not bad. I've made an appointment to come talk to you more officially, but I wanted to tell you how sorry I am. I've not been very fair to you," Finnegan says, stirring the yogurt. You can't eat while apologizing. It's bad form!

Donna takes all of that in, a crease of puzzlement coming across her face as she considers it. "You haven't been terribly unfair, either," she says. "Really. Nothing's been a bother yet. I'm glad to help out, and just want to see this get easier for you, since it's taking a lot out of /you/." Ever the stoic, she'll take whatever hand she's dealt.

"Well, the way I see it, I asked if you would oversee my pregnancy because I trust you, and acknowledge that you have more expertise and experience in this department than I do. Then, I tried to sort of… I don't know really what it was I was trying to do. I think I was just deluding myself into thinking that I could make myself stronger by not acknowledging my weaknesses." Pregnancy is a weakness! Finnegan wrinkles her nose slightly because it's not really coming out how she planned it in her head. "I mean, by denying the right to be .. unwell, I could will my body to be otherwise. And, I worried about everyone worrying. So, instead of really giving you the trust you deserve, I offered it to you and then, didn't."

Donna makes a silent 'ah' as she takes all of that in, pulling herself out of the dent she made in the couch and stretching slightly to reawaken her body. She gives the words careful thought. "I do follow the line of logic there," she answers. "I'm willing to accept your apology on one condition. You need to also apologize to the person that matters most here." She fixes Finn with a pointed look.

Finnegan meets Donna's eyes in a silent challenge. Amazing that her mother found her such a challenge when she's really so flipping "good", but also, blazing in that look the proof just how stubborn and independent she can be. She reaches into her lab coat pocket, "I've been keeping records. All the fluids, and heart rates. I'm not trying to bypass the rules." There are RULES to having babies! "I just didn't want everyone to worry."

Donna just intensifies her own look. She's stubborn and independent, too! She takes in the comments about records and rules and worrying, and answers firmly, "you need to cut yourself some slack, Finn. That's the whole point here. The only reason I'm worried about you right now is that you're trying to will yourself into some vision of perfection. And you know what? That doesn't exist. Accept what you've got, right here, right now. Accept who you are, and how things are going. It'll start to go easier once you do."

Instead of agreeing, Finnegan counters with, "Oh yeah, well, don't worry. All will be fixed, soon. /MOM's/ coming. I told Philip and he told me that she's mine to worry about. Thanks for the support on /that/ one, Hon. This is not like anything I've ever had to deal with, anyhow. There's just no way to power through it, like trying to run a windmill with no wind. I can't fake it out. I can't get around it. Apparently, Philip's all worried that I'm going to die. Gee, why would I try to hide anything?"

Donna's eyebrows lift as Finn discusses the arrangements with Mom… and Philip. She keeps on listening to the rest, and nods gently. "At least you realize that much." She hesitates, trying to come up with something to say. "I don't know what to suggest about Philip… I'm sorry he's stirring angst more than helping right now. And I'm sorry your mother's arrival likely means more of the same." She frowns, really wishing she had a magic wand for that sort of thing. "You're absolutely entitled to tell them both to stop fussing and let you rest. Neither of them is growing another human right now."

"You wanna hear something funny? I told her not to come. I mean, it's bad enough trying to keep everyone else from freaking out at me, and I know I just need to get through this, but…part of me.. wants her. You know? Just, I don't even /know/ why. I'm just, so tired. But, I'm not going to try to treat myself anymore. That's your job. The fluids help, and I've been careful with them, straight up saline because I haven't been running blood or anything and don't want to throw off electrolytes in a bad way. But, it's your job to tell me what I need, and what's normal, and what I should be doing. So, I made an appointment, and we'll come talk to you. You can assure Philip that this is a real thing and, though it's not normal, it's not the end of all things. We're not going to let the baby starve, or me starve, or anything like that," says Finnegan.

Donna smirks a bit, and nods knowingly. She inserts a "good" and a "yes" and another "good" as she listens. "That all sounds like the right approach to be taking. I'll be glad to do some more formal check-ins with you and Philip. I can understand wanting your mother around too, even if another part of you doesn't want her here. It's a primal thing. When does she get here? Will your father be coming as well?"

"A week," Finnegan tells Donna. "Both of them, yes. I've convinced them the house isn't really big enough, and that Tres has a dedicated spot there for when he ends up sleeping over to watch Simka when Philip's in the city." Which is like…NEVER. She totally lied to her mother. Blurred the truth. Whatever. "They'll be happier, and we'll all be happier. I told him, Donna. We have medical care, so we'll be fine. He just needs to hear it from someone other than me. I guess my medical degree isn't, I don't know, good enough or something." Cue hormonal theatrics! "Sometimes, the way he sees me, I don't even know why he married me… It's like he thinks I'm just a horrible person, or something. I should get home before Simka starts to think Tres is one of her new parents." She should leave before she totally cracks and starts sobbing on Donna.

Donna scrunches up her face a bit as she listens and watches Finn talk herself into another panic. "One thing at a time, Finn. Stop, breathe… we can get through all of this, we just have to take it one thing at a time. I'm sure Philip doesn't think you're horrible, since he /did/ marry you," she points out, landing on that part to answer first.

Finnegan rises, taking her mostly uneaten yogurt with her, "Yeah. I know. I'm just being……" It's like choose your own adventure, only, in this case, it's choose your own adjective. "I have to clear out. You have to work." Cheap shot, using work like that. "I'll see you tomorrow, Donna. Thanks for understanding."

Donna scowls again. "I /don't/ understand at the moment, though. You start with an apology about how you're behaving and then you just keep behaving the same way. That doesn't do you /or/ me any good. And I know you could see this too, if you just open your eyes and look. So, which is it?"

Stopping at her locker, Finnegan turns and protests, "I'm not behaving any way…." This grown-ass woman, a doctor, a mother, pregnant, looks for all the world like a teenager trying to justify actions that were desired but known to be wrong. "Donna…"

Donna gives Finn another look that says 'I know you see it. I know you're trying to hide from it. I'm here to not let you.' She gets up and crosses over to join Finn by the lockers. She keeps her gaze on Finn, and remains silent.

"I was talking about medical stuff, Donna. That has nothing to do with the fact that Philip thinks I'm harsh and judgmental. I mean, maybe I AM. I don't live in some great psychological drama; in the real world, if enough people tell you a thing, then it's time to look really hard at yourself and see if it's maybe not true." Finn's pinned in Donna's gaze and can't open the locker to get her messenger bag.

One of Donna's eyebrows lifts. "The way you keep jumping from one thing to another, it's all blurring together. At least for me. Are you really compartmentalizing all of this successfully, when one thing makes you bring up two others right away?" And then she does her own immediate leap, barreling ahead. Yup, she's getting wound up now. "And if you /are/ harsh and judgmental, that's not the end of the Verse, either. I've been called those things too. Stubborn, mean, cold, all manner of things. I'll even admit to some of those. It doesn't mean the people who love you and care about you, love or care about you any less."

Flabbergasted. Finnegan is left momentarily speechless, then just backs down, entirely. "No. I'm not. Compartmentalizing. My brain is fuzzy and sad and guilty. And I think we all know that, in and ideal 'Verse, what you say would be true. We also know it isn't, always."

Donna steps in and gives Finn a hug, nodding in understanding. "Sure, that's a valid point. It's also true that if you start accusing people around you of thinking horrible things and not caring about you any more, they might start to question that for themselves… might start to wonder if the flaws really are a cause to care less. And if you're /there/ for each other, leaning on each other without such accusations, the thought might not even occur. There really are so many different possibilities." She falters there, and stops herself, to see how Finn is taking it.

Finnegan is listening, and maybe processing, slowly. She might have to nap before it sinks in, given that her brain is always on overload, or underload. It's hard to tell if it's overthinking or just grinding to a halt, sometimes. "He said… He said I think everyone's mean. He said I even sometimes think he's mean. I really don't. I really don't think I've ever thought of him as mean, and I think most people are just .. being. They're not actively mean or unmean. I think most people are just trying to figure out how to make it through each day."

Donna nods gently as she listens, stepping back again by a half-pace. "You can be… intense sometimes. I do the same thing," she's quick to add - as an indicator that she isn't judging. "That might be coming across wrong, if he thinks you see everyone as mean, and you just don't. It's something to think on, and talk to him about some more. I hope you can clear that up, since it does seem to be bothering you."

Finnegan shrugs a little. "It's probably fine. I just need to watch what I say, I guess. He doesn't always know when I'm joking. That's not something I'm doing, but it's something I can be sensitive to. I forget that he wasn't ever.. taught. Not until he went to the Guild. He's self raised. People don't just come with understanding of others. He might really think I do believe that. Tres was picking on me and I said he was being mean. Tres has never been genuinely mean to me a day in his life."

Donna's eyebrows lift again as she takes that in and processes it. She nods. "Didn't the Guild teach him all of that? Anyway… however it happened, yeah. Marital trouble is tough, and it's also normal. Every couple has things going on that get out of hand sometimes. I just hope you can work through it all, and put up a united front again soon."

"He wouldn't be the first husband to feel abandoned by the fact that pregnancy demands so much," Finnegan sighs. "We'll work it out. I'm sure it doesn't help at all that he's worried, and I'm sure I've done nothing to convince him he shouldn't be. I'm not even sure that he shouldn't. I would worry, if I had to watch this as a spectator." The fact that she's been taking regular fetal heart rates means she's she actually worried as a participant. Sometimes, knowledge can be a burden. "Maybe I can convince him and Mom and Dad that what I really need is another night away with my husband. Then I get into the whole Tres and Mom issue, and… I don't even know."

Donna smiles softly and nods. "Worry is always tricky. It feeds off others and turns into a cycle before you can blink. Let's have that appointment soon, and keep talking about things. You and me, you and him, let's all keep the lines open, and we'll get through it together, yes?"

NOW Finnegan looks contrite. She was trying to do the right thing, did the wrong thing, and NOW she realizes it. "Yeah. Okay. Yes."

<FS3> Donna rolls Mothering: Good Success. (8 8 8 7)
<FS3> Finnegan rolls Adult Childing: Failure. (7 7 7 1)
<OOC> Finnegan laughs.
<OOC> Donna rofls!

Donna gives a nod of approval. She sees that Finnegan actually gets it now. "I'll see you tomorrow."

"Yeah," Finnegan says, trying to figure out what to do with the uneaten yogurt in her hand. She's totally not going to tolerate it after this conversation, her stomach turning in circles. "I'm going to go sleep. And I need to get Tres to clean my house; my mother's coming." There's a joke in that about both of her family members' neuroses.

Donna opens a hand and offers, "want me to take that off your hands? Sleep's a good idea. And… I hope Tres and Philip help with the cleaning." She's not ready to get into an analysis of all of /that/ now.

Finnegan will manipulate Tres! She'll just say how she's worried how dirty the house is right now and he'll view that as permission to clean til his little heart is full. Instant Clean! "Thanks." She hands the yogurt over, awkwardly, contrition creeping into embarrassment as the whole scene replays in her head. She opens her locker and takes out her messenger bag. "I had to restock today. Remind me to show you the X-rays on Tres' new buddy. He managed to put a knife all the way through his foot. It's a once-in-a-lifetime thing to witness. What a waste of chocolate cake."

Donna gives a knowing smirk, and nods in understanding, trying to make that part easier for Finn since she really doesn't /need/ to feel embarrassed. Donna knows the doctor has more to mull over on that whole personal growth thing that's still in progress. Her eyebrows lift again at the mention of the X-rays and the knife. "Oh no… someone stabbed with a cake knife? Blunt knives actually do a lot more damage once they're in, thanks to their bluntness. I'll be glad to see them, next time we're both actually on shift. I shouldn't be keeping you. Go… get that rest you deserve."

"He dropped it and, I don't even know how he managed it, but it managed to avoid all bone and go straight through to the floor. I stared at my old anatomy text for ages trying to figure out how he even managed it. Super lucky, though." Finn, bagged and ready to go, offers Donna a hug, now. It's a thank you, of sorts.

Donna takes in that much of an explanation, seeming amused, and leaving it at that. She can find out more when they look over the X-rays. She readily accepts and returns that hug. She can't turn off her own fatal flaws, and says, "remember, stop being so hard on yourself." The hug, at least, says she appreciates and still cares about Finn.

"I love you," Finnegan just comes out and says it, because she's not repressed that way. "Thanks for being a rock. I don't know what I'd do without you." She pulls away and heads for the door, ready now to go home.

Donna just smiles and says, "love you too." She lets Finn slip out, and has another hard decision to make… eat this yogurt or just toss it?
<Chance> Donna flips a coin: Success.


Matt's Apartment, directly after

Matt Xiocolos' 1st Floor Condo, which is a modernish one bedroom, 1 bath with living room and kitchen which, incidentally, has hardwood floors. In the living room is a guinea pig in a cage. Matt is a local coffee shop owner, friend to Tres Hill, who managed to drop a knife into his foot (while cutting himself a slice of chocolate cake) recently and so is laid up while he heals. Tres is nursing him, with the help of little Simka, Finn & Philip's 3-year-old foster daughter. Just prior to this, Simka was trying to fix Matt with her wooden doctor's kit - Tres had dressed her in miniature scrubs because he likes to dress her in costumes when her mother's not paying attention. Doctoring is hard work, though, and sometimes interferes with nap time, so she snuggled Matt and fell asleep.

Tres texts Finnegan a picture of Matt and Simka sleeping, after he spreads out Simka's doctor kit, artfully.

Finnegan texts back: Awwww. :) Let's not show this to social services. "Lets child sleep in man's bed with fetish objects."

Then, she deletes her own text, but not the picture. "OMWH."

Tres texts: "pretty cute, huh?"

Finn texts, "Very cute. Both of them. He's a nice guy. Think they'll be out long? Wanna talk."

Tres texts: "She went down about ten minutes ago, he took his pain meds about five minutes ago." And then he steps out of the room and calls her, keeping his voice low.

Finnegan stares at her phone as it rings. She's at the front door to her own home, opening it to let Circe run out. She answers, "Hey. I sort of meant, you know, face to face. But it's okay. How are you holding up?"

"Oh," Tres replies. "Do you want to come over here? I don't want to disturb either of them. And we're fine." He sounds downright chipper.

"Yeah. Let me get Circe back inside. She's doing her thing. It'll just be a minute." Because, it takes a minute to do a thing. "I feel like I'd be okay there. I mean, he didn't invite me, but once you've detached a man's foot from his kitchen floor, it's like home, right?" Finnegan cleans up even as she's talking and ushers Circe back into the house. She gives her a treat and puts her in her kennel.

"I'm sure he'd love to see you. I'll unlock the door and put the kettle on," Tres says. "Talk to you soon."

CLICK. There's time, walking time, about the expected amount, then Finnegan knocks softly and opens the door. She does that so many times a day to the exam rooms it feels like she's just at an extension of work. "Tres?" It's soft, no waking.

"Hey - " Tres says, having set up two steaming mugs of tea at Matt's table or counter or wherever they sit. While he waited, he tidied even more, checking Matt's books, and maybe organizing them by genre, /then/ by author.

"Hey Hon," Finnegan says, setting her messenger bag on the floor against the wall. Going somewhere without it would guarantee someone goes into anaphylaxis or falls off a nearby cliff. She comes to the table and sits, looking suddenly weary. "It's nice of you to look after him."

"I'm having a really good time," Tres confesses, quietly, then shrugs. "I feel purposeful. There's meaning in it. It almost feels selfish, because I know he's miserable."

"Is he taking the pain meds?" Finnegan asks, with an arch of the brow. "You said he did, and I guarantee you that if that's the case, he's not too miserable. At least not for the moment."

"He did. He toughed it out for 8 minutes and 38 seconds longer than he was due for, on the schedule," Tres reveals. "He's still funny, when he's in pain."

Finnegan gives a halfway smile, "I've always liked him. He just strikes me as particularly genuine. I don't feel like there's more than one Matt about him, you know? But, I admit I don't know him well. It's a typical Doctor-Barista sort of relationship."

Tres considers this. He's not entirely confident in his own ability to judge character, anymore. "Yeah," he agrees, then takes a sip of his tea. "What did you want to talk about?"

"Mmm," says Finnegan, accepting her own tea to take a sip. "I don't know. I had a long talk with Donna at work. I swore I'd come clean to her, and she was… I won't say brutal, but, fair, maybe? I don't know. I just feel so defective. Like everything about me is all wrong."

Tres tilts his head. "You feel so defective after the talk? Or you told Donna that you felt defective and she was fair?" Either way, he seems concerned, although holding back. He trusts Donna, to an extent.

"Maybe both. She said, well, she said the same thing they always say; nobody's perfect. Cut yourself some slack. I don't think I'm perfect, Tres. I've never thought I was perfect. I don't think that's the same thing as trying to be the best possible person I can be. I'm not a narcissist, am I?" Finnegan's pretty convinced that their mother is, so this is a terrifying thought.

Tres shakes his head. "You're not a narcissist. You may not recognize that you /are/ perfect in the eyes of people who love you, though?" he offers. "Which I think has a lot to do with how we were brought up."

Finnegan's eyebrows fold inward, raising with her brow into a look of complete confusion. "I don't recognize it because it's way too high a bar to set for people. I mean, I can't tell half the time if I'm doing any of the right things."

"I mean - to me and to Philip and Simka, you are perfect," Tres tries to explain. "The 'right things' aren't objective standards, Finnegan - they're subjective ones."

"Oh, I know that. I know there are some things that don't matter." Finnegan leans back, dropping her head against the latterback of the chair. "I mean, I know I'm not good in the kitchen, but if I microwave Simka's hot dog for 30 seconds too long, it's not a matter of life or death. Philip actually eats the food I try to make for him, and is really cute about it, when his stuff tastes SO much better. But, if I were to screw up dosages it DOES matter. If I take out the wrong organ, gee, we got a problem. I get that. This is more fundamental, though. Like, like there's something people want from me that I just don't have any idea how to give."

Listening, Tres considers that, sipping his tea while he speaks. "Something that people want from you that you don't have any idea how to give," he repeats her words. "How do you mean?" he asks, next, for clarification.

Finnegan rubs at her eyes with one hand, not like a tired child would, but like a crying adult might, only there are no tears. "Emotionally. Like, I don't know what it would be because I don't know what the fuck it is they want from me. Emotional honesty, or something?"

Lips pressed together, Tres considers this. "Who is they?" he wonders, his tone gentle as he attempts to fully understand the issue.

Finnegan has to consider that, too. They is an abstract, but also very defined. Telling him who they is means being emotionally honest, which, for very many reasons, she actively tries not to be. "Philip. Mom. Dad. People at work. You, though, I've been more open with you since the treatment's been working better. It's easier knowing whatever I say won't necessary, you know, blind or paralyze you."

Considering that, Tres nods. "It's - well - for me, I think I'm allowed to be reserved? Because I'm a man. And I think for you - being a woman - more is just - expected of you. And it's not fair."

"It's really not fair," Finnegan says, and drops her head down onto the table. "I just want to .. be. I don't want people freaking out every two minutes because, sure, it's alarming I can't get out of bed, or whatever."

"You get to set the limits for your own body - when you want to rest, when you want to eat, what you need," Tres reaches across the table and squeezes her shoulder. "To just be."

"When I told Philip yesterday. When I told him Mom and Dad are coming, which I HAVE mentioned before, at least once… his reaction. I just, you know, and the knots in my stomach anticipating your reaction. It's hard enough managing Mom anyhow. And, part of me really wants her here. I don't have the energy to defend that or explain it. I've never been this sick and this helpless in my life, Tres. I just want to lie there for a little while and let her rub my head and tell me it'll be okay, because I'll BELIEVE it, if she says it," Finnegan is struggling not to tear up, and winning that battle. "And then he says, 'Well, she's yours to deal with. What am I even supposed to say to that? I /told/ her not to come because it was too soon for Simka, but you know how much she wants this…."

Listening, Tres nods. "So rather than being able to deal with your body and that rollercoaster, you're worried about what mom and dad and Philip and I will all do and think and say? That's a lot, Finny," he squeezes her shoulder again. "And not fair to you, to have to take on."

"Isn't that what people always do?" Finnegan asks, sincerely. If you think a pregnancy is just about the woman and the baby, and what's right and good for them, you are really deluded. Philip said yesterday he's worrying I might die. I hate to tell him but, not only is that really unlikely, it's also about 7 months further along than I can think at any given moment. My brain is somewhere in the bottom of the pudding cup wondering if I can not give in for long enough to let it move on by."

"It is what people always do - but you're expected to bear it whereas others are allowed to just ignore it or let it go," Tres is supportive. He may have other thoughts about the situation, but he doesn't necessarily think his opinion or analysis is as helpful as just listening and being supportive are.

"So, we know in the end that what I do is going to be what's best for the baby. So I told Donna I would be more open with her about what's going on," Finnegan explains. "I haven't been hiding it, really. She knows I'm sick, but I haven't exactly sought her advice. That doesn't seem like a good trust relationship to have with a midwife, so I said I'd do better. Apparently. Apparently that means open about more than just how many times I threw up. And I get it; I've counseled women through pregnancy. Emotional health is important, but how to do you tell someone you can't because, Goddamnit, you don't want to HAVE emotional health?"

Tres takes another sip of his tea, still listening, carefully taking in her words. That last sentence resonates with him. "It's something that's hard to know, when it wasn't modeled for us, growing up," he offers, gently.

"I'm a grown up, Tres," Finnegan finally lifts her head again. She slides her tea across the surface of the table, lifting it to take another sip. "I have to figure out how I'm supposed to act, already."

"Mm, I've got eight years on you, and I haven't," Tres points out. "It's harder than we give it credit for - we know the framework we saw wasn't right, but getting past it is another challenge."

"I want to be a good wife to Philip and a good mother to Simka and the tadpole," Finnegan gives him a look of distress. "I should be able to just put my emotions away. How can I discipline if I'm worried about how /I/ feel? How can meet Philip's needs? It's easier with you because you're like my second self."

Tres shakes his head. "I wish I knew - with that last part? But for the first part - Philip is happy, Simka is happy. You're a good wife and a good mom."

"I'm not sure he is," Finnegan says, softly. Then, she's forced to admit, "I'm also not sure he isn't. Our lives spiraled so fast that we mutated before we could figure out what we were before. Does he really like his new role? I don't actually know. Does he feel completely abandoned because I haven't had actual time for him? I have no idea, because he wouldn't just tell me that. He'd hide behind a need to care for me first, and not for himself." The same thing she does, and was talking about when she brought up emotional honesty.

"You want him to communicate with you, and you want to be sure that he's being honest with you when he does, rather than shading what he says to avoid worrying you?" Tres tries mirroring her words back to her.

"He won't do that," Finnegan says. "I know he won't. He raised himself until he came into the fold of the Guild, where they taught him external communication. I can't tell you how long it took him to be able to admit to me that being kidnapped and sliced up inside a ritual circle for the sake of unholy purification upset him. So yes. We do this thing where he suffers in his corner and I suffer in mine, and we come together for dinner and wine." Tilting her head, Finn adds, "It's pretty silly when you actually think about it."

"You two are newlyweds, still," Tres reminds her. "And you've had a lot of change - a child, another on the way, a home, a puppy, and your insane brother's presence." He'll sit with her as long as she likes, listening, and then when it's time for the conversation to end, he'll retrieve her toddler for her, sending her on her way home, as he prepares for another night on Matt's couch.

"I know," Finnegan tells him. "I know. And thanks, for you knowing. And for the talk." She doesn't cheer up per se, but the talk does her good, nonetheless. Having someone understand why she doesn't want to be all shareshare with her inner core helps. Explaining that when she tries to share with Philip, he can't relate because he had nobody, so any idea of family seems better to him than having none. Simka's nap is shorter than usual, for one of 100 reasons, and she comes out of Matt's room looking confused, signing things about Broken, and wanting to listen to the guinea pig's heart to make sure it's still alive. Before they can disrupt Matt's nap, they pack up and go home. Finnegan orders a meal sent to Matt's condo via some meal delivery service - with a dessert of chocolate cake.

Matt asks, as he sees the cake, "Is this your sister's way of flipping us the bird?"

"No," Tres says, then takes a forkful of it and offers to feed it to Matt, maybe going a little /too/ far with the nursing. "She's just being sweet."

Matt is all confused. This is … nursedate? No. No. "I got it," he says, just so the lines don't get blurred again.

"Oh, okay," Tres's cheeks flush, and he smiles, sheepisly, and passes Matt the fork and plate. "Sorry."

Matt laughs, uncomfortably, "S'all good. Let's watch something. There's a documentary on Earth-that-Was flying vehicles that's supposed to be really good."

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