Part 205: https://ponepaste.org/4086#4801
"Yeah, of course. Come on in." You reply.
"Thank you, Anon." Notaulix says before opening the door wider and letting himself in.
As Notaulix is walking up to your bed, you notice that his blanket is neatly folded and draped over his back, no doubt keeping him plenty warm.
Coming to a stop at your bedside, instead of saying anything, simply remains silent for a moment as he stares up at you.
Feeling confused, you stare back at him in return, waiting expectantly to hear about what is keeping him up this late.
"So what's on your mind?" You ask Notaulix
Your question causes him to briefly look away and break eye contact with you, his ears drooping as he does so.
"I'm sorry, Anon. I just want to make sure that I express myself clearly; it makes me nervous." Notaulix responds, his eyes meeting your own once more.
"Nervous?" You repeat with a measure of surprise in your voice. "Relax, there's no rush." You reassure him.
"Okay." Notaulix says before taking in a deep breath and slowly letting it out, a process he repeats a few times until he feels ready.
"This is about what happened earlier today, when I felt your love reduce. I feel bad for how I reacted in the moment; I wanted to explain myself to you, Anon. Explain how I felt in that moment." Notaulix begins.
"You have already done so much for me, Anon. You saved me from the vines, took me into your home where I can feel safe and secure, fed me delicious fruits and peetzer and cookies, and allowed me to work with you and be useful. But most importantly, you provided me with love and friendship, Anon, something so very precious to my kind." Notaulix says.
"That love was something I never had before. It meant the difference between life and death, it meant I could continue to live. When I felt that new, precious love decrease, even a tiny bit, it was a... new experience for me." He explains.
"I felt many emotions in that moment, but more than anything, I felt very insecure. I made myself afraid just thinking of that love continuing to fade until nothing would be left." Notaulix admits, letting a short pause hang in the air.
"Those were very foolish thoughts... I can already feel that your love has almost returned to what it once was, just like you said it would." He continues.
"I-I hope you can understand what I'm trying to say, Anon. These thoughts and feelings are very new to me; difficult to explain to one who isn't my hive brother or hive sister." Notaulix concludes.
"Sooo... I'm sorry for how I reacted, and how that might have made you feel, Anon. I will try and do better the next time it happens." Notaulix apologizes, giving you a faint, hopeful smile.
As for yourself, hearing such a sudden, heartfelt confession at this hour leaves you momentarily speechless.
To you, that whole incident didn't seem like that big of a deal, but if everything Notaulix has told you about himself and his kind up until now is true, you feel like you're starting to grasp what love really means to a changeling.
Admittedly, you recognize that it's something you'll likely never be able to fully understand; only a fellow changeling could. Regardless of that fact, the least you can do is try your best to empathize.
How do you respond?
Bit of an overwhelming response on this one! Sorry for the slower update, but this ended up being a bit difficult to write. In the back of my mind, something feels off about my writing in this one and I'm not confident in it. Do let me know if it's just paranoia, or if the writing is indeed weird and in need of a rewrite. Be honest.