Re: [Gala, Capital: Burden & Damian]
Obviously, Damian was aware of the smartness of his so-named 'alec.' In nearly all arenas, after all, his intelligence was unmatched. Why not here? He smiled and, in truth, what he enjoyed most about this act, was that it earned him an echo from the boy himself. Damian disallowed himself the satisfaction of peering upon such for any length of time, great or otherwise, or thinking upon such. However, it had happened, and he would not forget with any expediency. Not even in the face of such confessions, yes? Wherein Burden was speaking in words only thinly veiled in their allusion. And, inevitably, as the topic furthered, the veil was wholly removed, and the naked truth stood between them as a barrier, as transparent as any portal and as solid as any wall. No. Burden was not gay. Yes. He had meant Damian. And there was nothing to be done about it.
It was not immediately apparent to Damian if this was better or worse than not knowing—or than assuming Burden's interest laid in Audrey and her doe-eyed ilk. Better, in that it provided him a victory, and he enjoyed victories immensely. Worse, in that the boundary was now delineated and impermeable. Rather than anything hypothetical and philosophical, it was a concrete—acknowledged—division between them. Impassable and impossible. And though Damian faced worse odds far more often, he was left unsteady in this moment. He desired both to depart and to stay. He knew it was not so complicated. He had to simply act as he had been acting. No lines had been crossed. There had been no more promise then than there was now.—He peered at Burden, not so very far away, and he glanced at the sliver of the room beyond. "Yes," Damian allowed, though it was certain to be stupid of him. "Fine."
He slipped by Burden. The larger space felt as if it ballooned outward and away from Damian as he stepped into it. The closeness and intimacy of the bathroom, and its contained moments, was swallowed and blotted out by the anonymity and distance of the gala at large. Damian ran a hand through his hair and looked about uselessly. The man Burden had been occupying himself with—the man who was now lighter in the pockets than he had been when the evening began—espied the boy now, and Damian watched as this person then made a beeline for them. "You have been spotted," he warned the boy.