Rick pressed his own lips together. It was like he could feel his misstep through her body language. "To hell with that then," he said, and left the topic alone in favor of silence. Keeping her in the hug, he looked over the crown of her head and collected his thoughts.
Emotional soothing and heart-to-hearts wasn't his forte - at least, he was sure he couldn't be as comforting as Kami would have been for him. And he helped out his dude friends before, took them out drinking until they threw up all their worries, but he never had a female friend as upset as this. But he wasn't going to walk out. He had sought her out in the first place, and had wanted to know what was wrong. He couldn't make good on their friendship if he left her like this.
"They can't tell you who you are anyway," he said. In spite of the mood, the gravity, and the subject matter...Rick pulled out from within him a broad, sunny smile. One he hadn't shared with her since the day they ate crepes together. "Because you were born a princess, right? Nobody can take that away."