1.74 Merry-go-round

Disclaimer: Language.

Micah had never seen the magic realm HQ like this. Golden-lined curtains, drink fountains, uncomfortable looking obnoxious sofas. Clearly all Morgyn’s doing, he thought as his eyes traversed the hall. He wondered how long he’d have to stay.

Having been frozen in time for decades now, years passing didn’t make much of a difference to the vampire anymore. But this time, New Year’s Eve felt different. For once, he’d actually be stepping into the new year with a clean slate.

He spotted Morgyn by one of the banquet tables. Let’s get this over with, Micah thought to himself.

“Where is your better half?” The sage asked instead of a greeting once he was close enough.

Micah scoffed. “Were you really expecting her to come to this thing? Even you can’t be that delusional.”

Morgyn’s eyes were searching. Micah didn’t like it. “Frankly, I was not even sure if you would show.” The sage replied, turning serious.

“I considered it.” Micah admitted. “But I thought this should be done in person.”

Morgyn’s eyes narrowed. “Ah. And what would ‘this’ be, exactly?”

They had to have some kind of inkling; Micah mused. Morgyn was not dumb, and things have been rocky for the last few years, to say the least. But clearly, the sage wasn’t planning on making this easy.

“Can we talk? In private?” Micah asked.

“Here is perfectly fine.” Morgyn’s lips formed a practiced grin.

Of course they’d insist on being frustrating and difficult. What else was new. “Whatever.” Micah huffed.

He considered what to say next for a moment. “You didn’t cast the spell on Cordelia, did you?”

“She didn’t want me to.” The sage shrugged.

“Oh, and you’re telling me that now is the time when you suddenly start caring about what other people want? It would have nothing to do with what you want, would it?”

“Are you saying you would have preferred for me to cast the spell on her against her will?” Morgyn’s tone was infuriating. Of course Micah was not saying that, and the sage had to know that, but they’d never miss an opportunity to go on this merry-go-round…

“Do I need to remind you it needs to be cast every year to remain effective?” Morgyn carried on. “I’m not sure what you expected me to do. Trap her into an endless loop of immortality that she doesn’t desire, didn’t ask for? Sounds an awful lot like what happened to you. The very condition you were so hell-bent on ‘curing’ when we first met.”

“Another front you never delivered on, thanks for reminding me.” Micah interjected. Perhaps Morgyn wouldn’t make things all that difficult after all. “I’m sick of you twisting everything I say. I’m sick of your false promises. I’m done.”

“Took you long enough to get to the real reason you came here.” The sage replied. “Had to work yourself up, list all the perceived times I failed you… If you are truly so done, then why is it so hard for you to walk away?”

Micah was worked up, sure, but wasn’t that precisely what Morgyn wanted? They’d always default to mind games eventually, wouldn’t they? Typical Morgyn. “It is not hard to walk away from this version of you. Nothing you just said is real.” The vampire pointed out.

“Is that so?” The sage raised an eyebrow. “I think you lie to yourself far more than I have ever lied to you.”

“Well maybe I’m done lying.” He felt more and more agitated by the minute. “Done fighting a stupid spell that never mattered in the first place.”

“And you and Cordelia will live happily ever after?” Morgyn asked, their tone mocking.

“You don’t know the first thing about what’s between her and me.”

Another of Morgyn’s stupid fake smiles. “Ah yes, you two have found each other.” The sage nodded. “Thanks to me. You’re welcome.”

“Thanks to you? That is rich. Thanks for casting a spell on us to make sure we can never tell what is and isn’t real. A spell that can’t be broken unless we die. And then you go and preach to me about casting spells against people’s will?”

Seemed like this was the first time tonight Micah actually managed to strike a nerve. “Not this again. How many times have we been through this? Dying doesn’t break a love spell. Willpower does. I know that for a fact. Maybe you chose not to break it, but that is a choice. Your choice.”

Bullshit, Micah wanted to say. Then again, every word that ever left Morgyn’s mouth was bullshit, wasn’t it? Sometimes bullshit with a thin coating of gold, but bullshit all the same.

“Once again, you’re full of it. You’re contradicting yourself, you know that?” Micah pointed out. “Claiming credit for us ‘finding each other,’ but saying we had a choice all along. So which is it?

Morgyn shook their head. “Why would those two things be mutually exclusive? I am pleased that at least you’re finally ‘done fighting the stupid spell,’ as you’ve put it, if you’re not going to break it. The approach you two have been taking so far is by far the most frustrating one you could have chosen.”

“Just shut up. What’s between her and me has nothing to do with you. You yourself claimed I had feelings for her even before the love spell. I bet that’s why you’ve cast it. To confuse us. To make it go away. But you know what, it’s been almost 20 years since the damn spell. The spell doesn’t matter. Because I know for a fact that what I feel for her is far more real than anything you and I ever had.”

Morgyn’s expression hardened. “Touching.”

“I pity you, Morgyn.” Micah concluded his speech while he was ahead, before Morgyn found more ways to use his own words against him. “So busy hiding behind your shiny hooks that you can’t even tell you’re living a lie. You may have forever, but your forever is empty.”

This was likely the point when Morgyn would try to convince him that what they were offering had any substance at all. Enough of falling for that trap. They’ve done this dance too many times.

“Quite the view you have there from that high horse of yours.” Morgyn said, their tone eerily calm. “Almost makes you forget that you hate yourself. You lecture me about lies? You and I aren’t that different.”

It was not quite what Micah had expected. High horse? Hardly. Morgyn couldn’t be more wrong.

“All you ever gave me was lies.” He said simply.

“Yes, you mentioned. Lies, shiny hooks and false promises, I’ve heard the list.” Morgyn replied with a brief nod. “Have you been listening to yourself, though? You’ve just made an impassioned speech about your feelings towards the woman you love. When you first met her, she was barely more than food to you. False promises? You wanted to regain your humanity. Do you feel you have not?”

Morgyn’s eyes were locked onto Micah’s. That look trying to remind him of all the times it seemed like the sage was the only person that could truly understand him. But that was just another part of Morgyn’s lies, Micah reminded himself.

Now was not the time to back down.

“Then I guess there’s nothing more I need from you.” He told Morgyn.

He did not linger. The cut was clean. He walked out of the hall without another word, or a single glance back.

***

Cordelia was reading when he walked in. Micah smiled to himself. So much for her being self-conscious about not being “well-read enough” for Morgyn. As if most of Morgyn’s supposed knowledge didn’t come straight out of their behind anyway.

“You’re home early.” She looked up from her book.

“You would have hated the thing.” He told her.

She frowned. “I know. That’s why I didn’t go.”

“Had the right idea all along,” Micah nodded. He had no clue how to approach this. “Listen, I… I’ll not be going to any more functions in the magic realm any time soon.”

Cordelia didn’t seem to be paying that much attention. “Oh?” She barely acknowledged him as she got up to put her book away. Clearly he had to be more explicit.

“I’m done. With Morgyn, I mean. We don’t need them do we?”

“We? What are you talking about, Micah?” Cordelia replied. “Listen, whatever is going on with you and Morgyn, don’t feel like you need to cut it off on my account.”

“On your account? No, I…” Micah paused. How could he explain himself, exactly? “I thought we’d be better off if we… If I…”

Cordelia’s eyes narrowed. “I don’t particularly need to hear any of this. You and Morgyn-“

“Fuck Morgyn. Are you not sick of pretending? I know I am. I thought if we ignore it for long enough, it would go away. I thought being on Morgyn’s good side was in our best interest. But I’m done with that. We don’t need Morgyn.”

“Micah, what are you talking about? Nothing’s changed.”

“Exactly. Almost 20 years, and nothing’s changed. Cordelia, why can’t we just be? Forget Morgyn, forget all of these Glimmerbrook assholes. Forget the love spell. Just you and me. I’m so tired of fighting this. And what was there to fight in the first place?”

Cordelia stared at him for a moment. “I don’t know what you want from me.”

He was making a mess of things. As per usual. “Tell me, if there was no love spell, where do you think you and I would be?”

“I don’t know. You’d still be at the ball, I assume.” Her tone was bitter.

“Cordelia, stop that. Maybe you wouldn’t have me, but you have to know I would love you either way. I know you think this is all made up. But it isn’t to me. Hasn’t been for a long time. Love spell, no love spell, why does that even matter anymore?”

“Micah, no. Like I said, nothing’s changed. I… I’ll always care for you, you know that. But I can never love you. Hell, I don’t know if I can ever love anyone again. But especially not you.”

Of course she couldn’t love him. Not really. Micah understood that. But the frustration over years of watching her waste her life away was stronger.

“Don’t say that. Of course you can still love someone. Maybe not me, but…”

“What is love, anyway? Tell me Micah, do you know anyone who’s been better off thanks to love?”

The answer to that was no, but it wasn’t a fair question. Before this life… there was no love among the members of the coven. And before that… He didn’t want to think about Carys. None of this was the point of this whole conversation. Cordelia needed to live. With him, without him, it didn’t matter.

“You have plenty of love in you. Love for Hawthorne. Love for Dandelion. You have so much to give. Cordelia, please. Don’t shut yourself off from the world. Watching you like this… you could have so much more. You could have everything. Please.”

“I don’t understand what you want, Micah. Whatever you want from me, I can’t give you it.” She caught him off. “You feel guilty, I get that. Don’t. Don’t feel guilty over me.”

“Cordelia…” He wanted to say he didn’t feel guilt, but she’d know that was a blatant lie. Of course he felt guilt. He woke up full of guilt, every night. No amount of plasma fruit would change that. But that was a different kind of guilt. Did he feel guilty over her as well? Yes. But that didn’t change the way he felt about her.

“Have the feelings… gone away?” he asked her finally.

She looked away. “That’s hardly the point. It’s not real, remember?”

Micah shook his head. “I know what’s real. I don’t care about the love spell. I love you.”

She looked like a statue, frozen in time. “I… I can’t give you what you want.” She repeated.

What did she think he wanted? Was there anything he could demand from her? Of course not. “Do you… when Hawthorne moved out… Do you still want me to stay?”

She looked into his eyes, but it didn’t feel like she really saw him. “Stay. Go. Do whatever you want. I’m going to bed.”

29 thoughts on “1.74 Merry-go-round

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  1. Okay I’m def applauding for Micah to finally make a cut with Morgyn, maybe grow a little bit and be more honest to himself.
    Cory thought 😫 she’s so stuck. Idk what would finally break her stupor. Certainly not sudden warm feelings. 😭

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  2. Oh! I can see that Cordelia has chosen Morgyn’s strategy to overcome disappointments in love.
    Sad that it makes her a copy of the one she despises 😒😢

    Why does it make me annoyed when I still feel pity for Morgyn?

    Maybe because Micah stands in front of her and confesses that he loves her and he does not want to fight it anymore.
    Ironically, the only one who has managed to live and evolve over the last 20 years is a “dead” vampire.

    It is an endless tragedy 😭💔

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Cordelia might have more in common with Morgyn than she realises.

      That is a good question, why do we tolerate certain behaviour more in some than in others? I have no idea, though I’m definitely guilty of being harder on some characters than others, so I completely get it. Yes, the fact that Micah is really trying here probably does play a role. In fairness, he took a very long time to get here.

      Oh they’ve all “evolved,” just not necessarily always in a good way 😬

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      1. You’re right. Most of them have developed into a worse position than their starting point. It is still a development but from there they are stuck in the mud.
        I think it’s a Chinese proverb that says it only takes one step to change direction.
        It requires them to start taking an interest in where they stand right now.
        I imagine Morgyn is still trying to prevent the whole world from going up in flames, but what is Cordelia trying to avoid?

        Maybe I haven’t listened properly in class 🤔

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  3. Oof, this entire chapter was just painful. Wonderfully painful mind you but – ow. My heart. I just want to slap almost everyone. Softly. With a blanket.

    Morgyn and Micah’s err.. argument? I don’t even know if it can still be called that. That was not a lover’s spat or a quarrel of a couple that is about to break up. It was so nasty and toxic on both sides, my gods. One of the pictures has Morgyn make an expression that reminds me so much of how they looked in the interludes, when they were channeling Aine/the void. Knowing what’s happened in Morgyn and Faba’s history sheds a lot of light on things, but doesn’t make it less painful.

    I actually really wonder what L Faba’s thoughts were on Morgyn casting that spell on Micah and Cordy. We never did see her reaction, did we? From her viewpoint, I mean. Or did we? Hm. Might be time to start over and read it all again…

    Ouch, and Micah/Cordelia’s scene hurt so much more than Micah’s scene with Morgyn. He broke free, but is it too late for Cordy? She’s not even that old yet but she’s so shriveled up and dry and bitter we could use her as loveless tinder.

    Why do I get the feeling that either one or both of them is not going to make it to the end of this story? For all Micah has gained in his unlife, his line of “Cordelia needed to live. With him, without him, or didn’t matter.” Is still scary. He already planned to end things once, and probably would have gone through with it if not for her. “It’s not real, remember?” Gaaaaaahhhhh then make it real already! I just *shakes Cordy furiously* woman! Stop looking at the bloody past and go live, yes! No! Gah! Don’t let the conversation end there Micah nooooooooo

    Right. Calm. I’m calm. Just getting my potatoes in a row. Next chapter, please? 😇

    Liked by 1 person

    1. To be fair, soft slaps with a blanket are some of the more tender threats they’ve had to endure from you 😀

      Ah yeah, what even was that? I suppose it’s an apt conclusion to a nasty and toxic relationship 😞 Yes, Morgyn’s behaviours and excellent coping mechanisms are not particularly new. I figured knowing the past may not make it easier. Oopsie daisy! 😅

      Oh, that’s a good question, what does L Faba think of Morgyn casting the love spell on Micah and Cordelia? Does she even know? I’m not sure Morgyn would have advertised it. We have seen her reaction to finding out Cordelia is pregnant, I can say that much. Though Faba’s only had a couple of POV scenes before the interludes – for a reason of course 🙂 Ooooh, a reread! I can imagine some of the chapters would read quite a bit differently now, so let me know if you do end up reading any of them again. Hopefully there’s mostly hints and not too many raging plotholes 😆 🥴

      Ugh, the scene between Micah and Cordelia was hard to write. I did not enjoy that. You’re right, Cordelia isn’t really even all that old yet to be this bitter. Not that there’s an age when being bitter is a good/natural thing.

      Who knows what the future will bring, season 2 is not set for anyone yet. Let’s hope these two can make peace with themselves if not each other. Cordelia is pretty stubborn. She’s an Aries. Not that you were asking 😀 “Don’t let the conversation end there Micah” I mean, how many times do you want the poor dude to get rejected in one night? He already doesn’t have the highest of opinions of himself as is 😆

      I’m glad you’re calm. Let’s see how potato-tastic the finale will be 😅

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  4. Oooh, lovely public break up about to go down and Morgyn is looking so snazzy too. Where’s my popcorn? Seeing a bit of Aine in Morgyn here, maybe it’s the lipstick. Oh, no, it’s the twisting cold and manipulation they wear like a glove.

    Gold plated bullshit. And yes, I agree, forever is empty. But I have a feeling one of these two ain’t gonna be living forever. Now, which one… Hm. Regained humanity. Well, I guess? Sort of? What Micah lives is quite human, in a way, but also not, but I do see how ‘humanity’ as a concept has been granted here. Sort of? It’s like giving everyone what they want in the least satisfying way possible! Yay!

    Ah, gosh, this bit with Cordelia is damn awkward. She’s so bitter and empty. How amusing/tragic that the vampire is the one with all the life. She can’t love anyone again, but especially not Micah? Ouch. “Do you know anyone who’s been better off thanks to love?” Not in BC universe, LOL.

    Ack. Cringe, Micah. What’s ‘I love you’ going to achieve here other than making every reader weep a little bit? You muppet.

    I didn’t eat my popcorn, I was too busy choking on the all horrible crap you were spoon-feeding me. This is all so messed up and toxic, I freaking love it. Where the heck do we go from here? Up? Down? Straight out?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good job Morgyn’s not the type to cry and ruin their eyeliner. Aine’s gone, remember, it’s fine! Phew! 🙂

      Micah is ever the poet. I see everyone is making all kinds of grim predictions today. What is humanity, really? “It’s like giving everyone what they want in the least satisfying way possible!” Haha, the entire premise of BC in a nutshell 😆

      Let’s say it’s amusing. It’s better that way, maybe. Haha, true, love has not been too kind to the people of BC so far. Oopsie daisy, once again 😅

      You’re right, kick the poor guy when he’s down, only took him 19 years or so to finally manage to say that. And you say I need to improve my motivational speaking 😆

      Where do we go from here… one would hope the only way is up. Guess it depends on whether this is rock bottom, haha.

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    1. Or something. Haha, if only I had a penny for every time someone recommends these lot counselling. But my answer still stands, no supernatural consultants are currently available, and a non-supernatural therapist visit would probably result in all of these guys getting locked up. Alas, nobody in BC will be getting counselling, I’m afraid.

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  5. Ok. What are these suits Morgyn and Micah are wearing? They look gorgeous! Are they from in game? Never seen those before! o: And the woman in the back with the phoenix colored ball gown. Ooooh! I’m loving all their clothes!

    Oh.. that love spell mechanics. Morgyn citing from his borked experience while Micah citing from Haruka.

    Morgyn and Micah’s confrontation has been a long time coming. Finally we get to this stage. After 20 years of limbo. This chapter is so satisfying to read.

    I’m not sure I understand Morgyn’s final jab towards Micah. They say Micah wanted to regain his humanity, even if they couldn’t shed off their eternal life. He claims Micah has regained it, then claims credit of it, but Micah had always had his humanity intact. He tried to feed from Cordy sure, but he wasn’t like Verena who kills her prey. Micah lets them live. I’m not sure why Morgyn claims they had anything to do with Micah’s humanity, and if we have to credit someone for how Micah is able to walk alongside humans and mages and feel any sense of normality, it would be Dandy and his fruit.

    Ahh and then this flaming mess of a moment between Micah and Cordy. I’m soooo happy we’ve reached it. Seriously Micah second guessing himself of whether they still needed Morgyn in their lives. Sigh. He can take a leaflet out of Cordy’s book there. /heh

    Wow I didn’t realise how terrible Micah is at communication until this moment. Or maybe it’s the Sage’s roundabout way of talking that Micah somehow got influenced by. He’s talking in riddles. I can totally understand Cordy here. She’s been so bitter and numb for years, Micah’s been shacking up Morgyn when he thinks she’s not looking, now Micah suddenly comes up with this really awkward speech about how his feelings are true for Cordy? Ah… he’s so clueless. They’ve been hurting each other for 20 years. Him / her. She/him. But she isn’t the one frolicking with Morgyn for decades. Honestly if Cordy threw her arms around Micah and started singing, that would be weird. This makes a bunch of sense to me.

    I am trying very hard to sympathise with Micah, but maybe it’s because I am still mad at him. He’ll probably try to off himself or something given he never really wanted to live. Maybe I’ll feel something for him then. But at the moment, I think he needs to try harder. Professing your love will do nothing dude. And if this sets him back into inaction, I have no words.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Let’s see, Morgyn’s suit is this, which apparently is a Discover University recolour. Micah’s I’m pretty sure is from the game, I want to say City Living?

      They definitely have differeing views on love spells, that’s for sure.

      Morgyn often likes to claim credit for setting a domino effect into motion or putting chess pieces in a certain position. If that alone is enough to take credit is debatable for sure 😆 That being said, Micah was definitely different when we first met him. Not killing humans alone doesn’t necessarily make one think like humans.

      I reckon the 14 years with the vampire coven when Micah couldn’t ever really say what he was thinking and always had to watch his back probably shaped the way he communicates more than his time with Morgyn. Morgyn’s certainly “helped” maintain some of those patterns, but is not necessarily their cause. Either way, you’re right, he’s definitely struggling to express himself.

      I agree, it would be pretty weird if Cordelia went “oh you love me, that’s great, let’s go run in the fields together holding hands” 😆 Their dynamic is something that developed all over time and one conversation is not going to change it. Not sure if I’d agree with the “when he thinks she’s not looking” part, since that whole thing was never really a secret affair behind her back, and you can hardly “cheat” on someone who keeps saying they don’t want to be with you in the first place. But as you say, the effect is the same. I doubt I’d be ecstatic if someone came to me saying “I’ve finally dumped that person I’ve been on again and off again with for the last two decades, about 5 minutes ago. So, you wanna be with me or what?” 🤣

      “Maybe he’ll off himself and then I’ll consider feeling sorry for him” Cold 😅. But you definitely don’t have to feel sympathy for Micah. Most of his actions stem from his terrible self-worth, but his life is definitely mostly his own making (beyond the whole vampire thing, obviously). He likes to position himself as if life is something that happens to him, but he’s certainly made his choices. (Which I guess is what Morgyn said, haha). Then again it’s a difficult cycle to break when your own worst enemy.

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      1. I personally think that there were enough signs to see that Micah and Cordy will find each other even without Morgyn’s ‘help’. And those two could’ve brought out the best of each other definitely without Morgyn’s ‘help’ again. Whatever positives Morgyn claims credit for is not exclusively the only way Morgyn and Cordy can reach their own enlightenment, and they mostly come with a ton of baggage and consequences. So Morgyn can pat himself on the back here all he wants, but until they also further claim credit for all the misfortune they’ve put on Cordy and Micah (and themselves), I’m just gonna give them a big eyeroll.

        Ah fair point there. I’ve forgotten a lot about the vampire parts. Cuz there’s a bigger tragedy going on here lol. Makes sense why he’s speaking in circles.

        Ah don’t mind me. I’m cold to people who are mean or wronged those I care about and you know who that is in BC. I definitely have sympathy for Micah. He’s got a hard life, yes, but just because he does, doesn’t mean he’s got a right to mess up someone else’s life or be an enabler to the person who does so. Many people who commit unspeakables had had a hard life too and is just perpetuating a cycle. We can always argue that what happened here isn’t as bad as rape or murder because for some reason, society deems emotional death/abuse not as bad as physical. But again, looking at the extremists out there and what they went through to get to where they are, I’d say both are just as severe. I may be cold, but I’m a realist. Micah obviously needs therapy, like everyone in BC. He can change, and I can change my mind too. But I’m not going to pretend to be a saint by saying I don’t have preferences. He was my favourite character in BC and is still pretty high on my list. That’s probably why I’m extra hard on him. Kek.

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        1. Haha for sure, Morgyn deserves that eye roll. Though it is technically true that Cordelia and Micah would have never met if it wasn’t for Morgyn, let alone had as much exposure to each other. They did not end up living with each other by accident, after all. Anything else beyond that, though…

          Just layers of tragedy wrapped in more tragedy. Oops.

          Oh gosh Micah was never perfect. He was highly problematic from day one – by which I mean when he first showed up in the story, not innately problematic. Which definitely could play a role, if you put a lot of stake in someone that’s not necessarily all that warranted in the first place, of course you’ll be even more disappointed than if you started off neutral.

          I would imagine the emotional death/emotional abuse issue versus murder/physical abuse distinction you raise is a pragmatic one; the latter is more straightforward to identify, both in terms of visibility and intent. It’s pretty much impossible to physically abuse someone or kill someone without noticing you have done so. The former is much more of a minefield to unravel, has a blurrier line in terms of intent and generally is harder to get consensus on. Literally all of our actions always affect other people, but nobody is capable of always predicting how or to what extent. It is especially difficult to gauge impact you might have on others if your sense of self-worth is extremely poor, because you’d naturally default to thinking your actions will have little to no impact on others. That certainly plays a role in suicides, for instance. But that’s getting way too off topic so if you fancy talking about that some more for some bizarre reason, just PM me.

          One other thing you mentioned that also plays a role in the above is bias, like you say your perception will be skewed by how it affects those you care about specifically. I’m no exception! Personally, I do see Micah as both victim and perpetrator of emotional abuse, but much more so in relation to Morgyn than Cordelia (both ways). I personally am having a harder time seeing that between Micah and Cordelia, though I could certainly find something, both ways again. Which is completely to do with the ways I relate to each of them. Which are weirdly similar and different at the same time, but I’ll spare you the details since I’ve babbled on for ages and am probably putting you to sleep. Try that next time you’re having troubles with sleeping patterns, LOL 😀

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          1. Naw, I never thought Micah was perfect, nor did I put him on a pedestal. He even annoyed me at times before the whole Morgyn-Cordelia mess. It’s because he’s imperfect that I find him relatable and invest in him. His shortcomings are not foreign to me. I have just as crap of a sense of self-worth and suicide is a too familiar territory. It’s a gradual process that I became disappointed in him. I believe you quoted somewhere in your reply some chapters ago that it is because you relate to Cordy that’s why you are so hard on her. This is probably similar.

            Personally I disagree. It’s amazing how the human mind is capable to reason and explain away physical abuse to the point that even as a perpetrator does it, they are not aware that their actions are abusive. Aw, thanks. I enjoy talking about heavy topics, probably because I’m surrounded by people who counsel suicidal patients and abusers for a living and we always default to these topics lol. But I’m more of an observer than talker.

            I’ve no doubt Micah is both victim and perpetrator. He’s caught in a narcissist drama triangle after all. I think I’ve said so in the above comment that I care for some characters more than others, even if Cordelia and Micah are both relatable to me. So I agree with you that I have a bias. Like I said, I’m not a saint. I want to read a story and ride an emotional wave with whichever my chosen characters are at the moment. Considering how unlike Richard or Agra whom I have no qualms dumping into the bog, there’s no one in BC that I feel the need to do so, so I think I’m doing pretty well even if my words are harsh. Hm.. Maybe I have inadvertently stepped on some toes with how harsh I am. I’m sorry if that’s the case, but it is what it is. The good thing is emotions are temporary anyway so when I’m less mad at him, I’ll still be rooting for him. I am invested in everyone’s wellbeing even if it doesn’t look like it. Again, nobody is being dumped in the bog.

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            1. For sure, I’m not interested in characters who are “perfect” either. Which is probably obviously from this shitshow, lol. Yeah I did say that about Cordelia, though strangely I feel the being hard on characters thing more with some than others. Micah is very relatable to me too. In some ways more than Cordelia is. Weirdly, Cordelia, Micah, and even more perplexingly, Morgyn, are the three BC characters I relate to the most, which I can imagine must sound very odd considering they’re all completely different and the hell of a mess between them.

              That’s true, people can reason away almost anything, which is a whole other topic of its own! I’m sure somebody who physically assaults someone or kills someone will very much reason why they have done so and so forth, and find a way to not consider the physical fact “abusive,” but there’s a very easy ‘physical’ indication/evidence of whether the fact has occurred. i.e. if you look at a dead body, it’s always arguably a dead body and you can’t really reason that away, whatever the killer’s “motivations” were. Which is what I meant by easier to get a consensus on.

              In any case, like I said happy to go into any of the above in more detail but the PM would probably be better, since I’m very aware there are no trigger warnings on this chapter 😅

              I wouldn’t say you stepped on any toes – or at least not my toes, I can’t speak for any other toes 😀 Some writers (like Snuffy 🙂 ) are very good at replying in a very neutral way, I am not, haha. I’m pretty aware of my biases, but I never consider them more important than my readers’ interpretations, even though I’m pretty awful at conveying that. I also have a weird tendency to try to defend almost anyone who’s being criticised and pointing out flaws in those who are getting praise. It’s a real problem, haha. I don’t think anything you said is unjustified. And I am impressed/shocked that nobody’s in the bog. A mud bath is great for the pores. 😀

              Liked by 1 person

  6. I am gutted. I am completely gutted. Cordelia is so broken and so closed off. Morgyn has really done a number on her brain and I’m not sure that she’ll recover. It’s been 20 years and she is clinging to this hurt so tightly that she won’t live. How can she breathe. And listening to Micah plead with her…gah…my heart. Cordelia is really one of my favorite characters. She is hard to love sometimes, but in this moment I just saw her refusing to be vulnerable. And of course! Morgyn taught her that vulnerability would be punished!

    And then Micah. I have the most hope for Micah, even if it is misplaced. He’s had this attitude that is: go out and take control of things, even when he didn’t feel like it. Even when he was stuck. He made choices. That’s where Morgyn is kind of right. Micah is an active participant in his own life. Cordelia, I fear, is not.

    I’m fresh off of reading the interlude and even though I know where Morgyn is coming from, I barely recognized them. That’s some damn good writing! They are just as bitter and broken as Cordelia.

    I cheered when Micah was like: You have nothing.

    oh man, my binge continues but man this chapter was good.

    (also the gown that woman is wearing the background is DOPE. And morgyn looks fabulous, as always).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I like that you ask how Cordelia can breathe, because yes, there’s totally a sense of “tightness” wrapped around her as she does not allow herself to step out of the tiny perimeter she’s allocated to herself. Morgyn used to say she reminded them of their old self, but have inadvertently turned her as jaded as they are, even more, perhaps. Can she recover? I don’t know. It would definitely take a lot for that to happen.

      I completely agree with everything you said about Micah.

      Technically, some of the outward behaviour Morgyn is displaying here is pretty similar to how they were with L Faba at the ascension ceremony, outwardly rejecting her and shutting down. But it’ been around 40 years since that last interlude. Is their reasoning the same? How much of the old Morgyn and their old motivations are left? Of course I could have just written this scene from Morgyn’s POV and given you the answers, but it’s been a while since we heard from Micah 😇

      Oh yeah, that gown is lovely, I almost didn’t want to put it on her to save it for something/someone more important, but hey, it has plenty of swatches, so maybe we’ll be seeing it again It only just occurred to me that you probably meant Gemma’s gown rather than the yellow gown, in which case that one is only Gemma’s. We will be seeing more of Gemma in the future. Yay.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. RIght, yes! it is Gemma! I realized that after I got to the next chapter.

        I really liked this from Micah’s POV…

        oh man, I worried about Gemma. But maybe she gives Morgyn a run for their money?

        Gah. Everything about this was so good.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. LOL NOW YOU KNOW EXACTLY HOW FAR I READ AHEAD. Maybe when I have some down time and a buffer, I’ll go back and comment on the reread, but it’d be nice to catch up.

    Oh hey, look, it’s the “what choice do people make when given the option of immortality and why” theme! As we touched on already, the black-and-white thinking approach rubs me the wrong way, especially in fiction, but there’s none of that here. Micah and Morgyn both have thoughts, but those thoughts aren’t being presented as answers. Anyway. The reason I bring this up is, I spent the break-up conversation trying to figure out whether Morgyn erroneously argues that one approach having flaws means the alternative is better in order to manipulate Micah (“I think you lie to yourself far more than I have ever lied to you”—how about you both messed up, you dip. Like, c’mon), or if they actually engage in that sort of reductive thinking. Then I thought, duh, it’s Morgyn. Even if all this is a trauma response because the truth is too painful for them to accept, they’re pretty darn consistent with that.

    Props to Micah for not backing down. He uses some faulty reasoning a couple times, but he stood his ground. It’s a pretty slick demonstration of how manipulators can leverage peoples’ desire for truth to keep them confused and maintaining the status quo. And this chapter shows us a defense against that! Micah realizes that what Morgyn is saying isn’t nearly important as why Morgyn is saying it, and their motivations are clearly against his best interest. Then again—not missing this—what Morgyn is saying might be valuable for him to hear. But that doesn’t mean the confrontation should end with the result Morgyn wants. If anything, if it’s useful criticism, Micah will likely have the chance to hear it again from someone who does genuinely have his needs in mind. Took me a while to accept that. Rambling over!

    “Then I guess there’s nothing more I need from you.”

    BAMBAMBAMBAMBAAAAM AIR HORN

    Good for Cordelia! I’m already not buying the official explanation of the love spell—they don’t seem to have thoroughly tested what breaks it, and it’s more of a limerence spell if anything—and I’m buying it less after her response and further decision to question what love is. (Didn’t you Haddaway me recently? I’m gonna Haddaway you back here.) Then again, her resilience against the spell seems less like a decision she made and more as another defense mechanism, ironically but not surprisingly similar to the one Morgyn developed.

    I’ll be keeping an eye out for how they deal with it. Too bad there are no therapists in this universe. Too bad, oh no, Morgyn’s the closest thing this universe has to a therapist.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ooh, you have indeed read far! You’ve read my favourite part now; I have a soft spot for all the interludes – mainly because it was nice to finally get them out of my head after all this time. You’re not far off catching up with where the story is at the moment, the next chapter is the season finale, and I’ve been pretty slow with season 2 so far 😀

      I’m sure you know I’m not a fan of black and white thinking either, I’m much more about the shades of grey (by which I don’t mean the Twilight fan fic novels, for clarity 😆) – which is the same reason I’m not really into the classic hero and villain dichotomy either. I don’t really see anyone in BC as purely good or purely evil, and I certainly don’t think either Morgyn or Micah would be an authority on providing an objectively “correct” answer to any kind of metaphysical questions 😀 (for the record, I don’t consider myself an authority on the subject either. I’m just throwing around questions, I’d definitely not claim to have answers, haha)

      One of the most problematic things about Morgyn is that there’s a very thin line between them saying something to reach a desired outcome and them genuinely believing what they’re saying, and I’m not sure Morgyn themself often fully knows which side of that line they’re on, they certainly do believe a large portion of the things they say. Morgyn is good at messing with people’s heads, which includes their own. I suppose they’ve had a longer time to “work” on themself than anyone else. Either way, I don’t think Morgyn would be caught dead saying that they are wrong or apologising – and Morgyn can occasionally be caught dead, lol.

      Micah’s reasoning definitely is not exactly stellar and unbiased here either, but ultimately is effective in an exchange that’s a culmination of an almost two decade long unhealthy relationship. Yes, some of what Morgyn says here are valid observations about Micah, but of course, if Micah was to attempt to apply a pick and mix approach here he’d never be able to walk away, so disregarding everything the sage says, including statements that may be truthful is really the only way he can stick to his guns.

      Haha, that line was fun.

      I’m not sure we really have an official explanation of the love spell – everyone that’s had some involvement with it seems to have different takes on what exactly it does. The closest we’ve had to a “formal” definition is from Haruka, but then again, she’s provided at least three different explanations of the spell throughout the course of the story, so I’d probably take most of the things she says with a grain of salt. Lol, I did Haddaway you recently! I mean, that song is a great fit for BC. The music video even has vampires 😆

      “Then again, her resilience against the spell seems less like a decision she made and more as another defense mechanism, ironically but not surprisingly similar to the one Morgyn developed.” Very true.

      “Too bad, oh no, Morgyn’s the closest thing this universe has to a therapist.” Oh gods. LMAO. Morgyn the therapist. Ahahahaha. Grim.

      Like

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