1. deliver cinnamon rolls
2. the talk
3. getting closer (ugh)
4. the fight
1. deliver cinnamon rolls
It was a normal day for Hercules, work was 8 hours of talking to boring people about their boring issues that he had to act like he cared for. He felt he was too good at what he did for the position he was in, but lacked the opportunity to grow within work, leaving him at troubleshooting people not knowing their passwords day in and day out.
Hercules was a high functioning anti-social. Intelligent and good at what he chose to work at, but really bad at making friends with people he considered fundamentally different from himself.
He was raised in places where poverty abounded, but raised by people who grew up where he was now… Idaho. He was raised too well to let himself succumb to the poverty and to accept the same future as the friends he was raised with, due to this, moving back to Idaho for school and to try to make a future for himself that his heritage would suggest he was capable for, but this still made him different from all the white Americans around him, white here meaning as far as skin color and as far as habits, preferences and general lifestyle.
Hercules currently felt he didn’t fit in to many places anymore, he was always prideful that he was allowed to expect more out of his future than his classmates and friends from where he was raised outside of the US, but he couldn’t disregard that he had received a 3rd world education and felt lower than the Americans currently surrounding him, but he managed to find some semblance of comfort going to church weekly, he sat by the same person each time, Meg. They hardly ever talked, and he wasn’t sure if she qualified him as a friend in any way, but he was glad for the habit, and looked forward to seeing her each time. He didn’t feel in love with her by any means, simply grateful that he had some regular comfort while he worked on his professional and scholar life.
It was soon to be memorial day weekend and Hercules’ mother always overcooked before family events. She offered that he should take a few cinnamon rolls to his friends, not really knowing that in his mind he didn’t really have any around, but that did only mean, maybe, one person, Meg.
Hercules enjoyed having opportunities to see her outside of the standard sitting near each other at church, still he didn’t think he liked her, but having a single person to maybe call a friend, even if it’s an awkward unsure situation, it is worth putting some extra time into for the extra endorphin’s. He took the plate with a few rolls on it, prepared by his mother, and got into his car to deliver them.
Arriving, Hercules knocked on the door and had no response for a few seconds. Figuring no one was there, he turned to leave to just then have the door open behind him with Meg in its frame. Her hair was disheveled, the dirty blonde hair known to Luna Lovegood, thin, fair skinned and with coke-bottle glasses. She wore a light and loose shirt, tucked into one side of her knee-length skirt. All looked normal at first, though Hercules noticed as she turned around letting him in after her that her leg seemed to have a few drips running down it. At first he just had to pause, his first thought was pretty clearly “did I just walk into something private?”
He entered after her and placed the rolls on the table, then looked at her and with all of his lack of social skills asked if he’d just walked into her masturbating. He tried to put a smile on his face, hoping to avoid it being creepy or too happy with the fact. Immediate regret. She looked at him the way he could best categorize as the “I’m not actually your friend and you aren’t allowed intimacy with me” look, it was the one he feared. He didn’t intend to offend in any way, and was unsure why he thought it even necessary to mention at first, but it was in his nature, and now he just had to to damage prevention at this point, part of why he was low on friends maybe.
“What is that supposed to mean?” she asked, and to Hercules’ surprise allowed him time to actually try to defend himself.
“Well, did I?” He asked, once again regretting staying on topic. “Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t lose any respect for you over it, and its not like I expect that to mean anything for me… I’m just asking… and not sure why I asked in the first place…” He was always bad at damage prevention, how was he supposed to control something he didn’t even know why he would let it out, it was clearly against social norm. “Anyway, um… bye, Meg.” he said turning and walking back to his car.
Hercules knew things like that weren’t normal to ask, even if he was sure he was right, but he meant what he said about not losing any respect for her or not expecting anything out of the question. To him the question was as social as any other, he saw something he thought of as amusing and unexpected, asked about it the same way you would ask someone with a cart full of junk food and pop while leaving the grocery store if they were going to have a party, he considered both harmless, but knew through experience, that his opinion of harmless would differ from other peoples.
He returned home and got back to his book. He couldn’t help himself but wonder what next time at church would be like. He would be there early as per usual, in the far back corner, and would try to keep randoms from sitting there, it wasn’t just his seat of preference, but also the preferred seat to anyone visiting or coming or the first time. Would she come and sit next to him as if nothing happened? Would she have a family event that would keep her from coming? Would she ignore the fact that her sister would be there and bring it up without detail, trying to do something about it? Hercules didn’t even know what that would qualify as, which is what kept his mind going, what resolution does one take to being asked an improper question… He feared a serious conversation… Those were the most boring ones, people having serious conversations kept repeating the same thing as if he were stupid, or adding sentimental value as if he cared about it, he really didn’t. To him, a conversation, if entered with a goal in mind, should be having the goal clearly stated, argued for without sentimentality and then and answer given, or a discussion had if it were not the case for a simple answer.
He closed the book and took a shower before going to sleep.
Would he have to wait until church for her to try to talk to him for a serious conversation if there was going to be one? He wondered if she even remembered where he lived. She had come over for game nights once or twice a year or so ago. Would she do the pointing at his chest thing while saying something like that she felt mistreated or similar or would she ask to talk to him outside?
2. the talk
Once again, work was boring. Hercules was bugged by customers involving sentimentality into his job about how the company he worked for was declining, and it was all their fault for the issues the customer was facing, even sometimes after he was able to prove they had just forgotten their password, or saved it incorrectly. He was badgered by his manager to try to push more sales onto customers who didn’t really need it, and who could work perfectly fine on the products they were currently using. The vending machine was essentially empty, leaving him stuck with the kind of foods that would only be intentionally consumed once the zombie apocalypse took place. He was glad when it was over, and had focused so much on the last portion of the shift that he’d forgotten speaking to Meg at all the other day.
Hercules drove home and expected to be able to do nothing much again, mind still leaving the event out. He received a text while driving and noticed it when he arrived home and sat in front of his computer. “We need to talk” was all that it contained. He knew this meant the serious conversation, but he didn’t mind, he figured being vague was good enough for him. Some would find it cowardly to not bring up the topic that you know is going to be the issue, he didn’t care, to him, if it mattered enough to the person they should be the ones to bring it up. He hardly ever cared enough about an issue to bring up seriousness into conversations. People who knew him by obligation, family for example, said he was pretty amicable.
He drove over to Meg’s house and knocked on the door. He was greeted by Bonnie, Meg’s older sister, who seemed surprised, gave him a welcoming hug and then smiled expecting to know what he had come for. Hercules liked Bonnie, but she was simple, he semi-actively avoided calling her his friend, it was hard to keep conversations with her… too much small talk or real talk, neither good.
Before Hercules could ask or Meg, she tried to hide the storm in her walk as she announced she was going out and walked past him grabbing him by the wrist and pulling him along. He went willingly and she let go, allowing him to lead the direction to his car and get in.
He didn’t open the door for her, the few times he’d drive her he hadn’t done that. He considered it a good action, and liked to qualify himself as chivalrous most of the time, as it was an easy to understand straightforwardly social concept. But with Meg he’d never been able to really, just felt awkward, and for other things like offering her his coat on cold or windy days, she sternly turned them down as if jokes or pranks.
Hercules was surprised on the way up, the conversation did not begin with any pointing or yelling, or in any sort of brisk way. She simply asked “Are you going to tell anyone?” The reply of course was easy, he had already thought of it.
“No” he said easily. “I have no reason to do that.”
“Why not?” she asked, surprising Hercules once more. “Wouldn’t you want to tell the bishop or my sister or parents?”
He understood why she would think that, they knew each other primarily through church, if their relationship were based upon that, he would report her for her own good, to edify her or something else cheesy like that. But Hercules had a different life philosophy than most people around him.
“No, I meant it when I said I don’t lose any respect for you for it or anything like that. It impresses me if I’m being entirely honest, I was worried for a bit that I was the only person made of meat in this place.”
“How would that impress you? I don’t see anything impressive about it… It would make more sense if you were interested, but impressed is sort of creepy…”
Hercules noticed she was now looking out the window and anxiety started to stream through him, he would always think of multiple outcomes to serious conversations, and then do something else he hadn’t considered because he had little to no control over his mouth. Taking a deep breath he explained “It impresses me because, to me, it means you think for yourself and being entirely honest, because you were dripping… that is impressive… I thought…” ‘IT MEANS YOU THINK FOR YOURSELF?! What kind of bull crap is that?’ he thought to himself, his mouth had bested him again.
“How is that impressive?” she asked turning back to face him, face impressively plain.
“Well… this is awkward, but the way I thought it worked was… well, the more wet, the better it was. And through conversations or school, I thought most attempts at pleasure wouldn’t finish wet enough to be dripping, I figured it would be mostly a contained wetness? Not sure though… clearly… not an expert.”
She looked back out the window as Hercules kept driving. He had a destination in plans already, there were mountains, and lots of pretty nature spots to sit and talk if needed, or to sit in silence. He was fine with either. Silence would mean that his mind could wander, currently it was trying to remember if he had misheard how far the wet would go, or if he was correct.
Arriving to the camp site he had in mind, he got out of the car and headed over to a bench out in the open, she followed and sat on the same side has him, an extra seat in between the two. As far as Hercules cared, the conversation had stopped and if she wanted anything else, she would have to initiate it again, he was comfortable with the silence, especially in a pretty place.
After a few minutes of silence, Meg asked “Why don’t you care? Most people would…”
“Most people have an ideal of what they are, and think everyone needs to be at their ideal… My ideal is being my own, not alone, but separate from most of the other morons out there. Masturbating while being a church-goer is the least I could care about or worry myself about… besides, we’re just meat, I can’t judge someone for being fleshly… striving for pleasure is natural, I am more offended by people who act like they don’t, or who act like they are better than it. ”
“So… would nothing offend you? You make it sound like anything that is human nature is OK… ”
“No, not anything. Only things that don’t harm others, the only thing you can harm masturbating is yourself or the ego of people who think that they need to ignore their meat to survive this life.”
Another moment of silence.
“What about casual sex?”
“It is fine, consent is sexy. As long as both parties are equally up to it, good for them.”
“What if I told you that I have casual sex…?”
At this Hercules had to pause, he looked at her half expecting a joking smirk or similar to be on her face, but there was none. He didn’t mind casual sex, nor that she, the person, could be having it for the fact of it being sex alone. What he did care about was her age and the few times they had spoken… Meg was 19, and in Hercules’ opinion, not a dominant character, his concern was that he knew men, he knew from watching porn himself what the popular view of a woman’s roll in sex was: a body. He knew that sex was a primarily male dominated scene, it is based on a timeline determined by the male, ends when the male is done and usually will be the way the male likes. Most women wouldn’t be able to object to a males imposing body, so most learned to fake climaxing to finish it sooner than later if displeasing, but how would Meg have the instinct to do that at 19 and in a place where sex was kept quiet about, and there was next to no communication about it?
His mind must have shown through on his face, Meg stood up in front of him.
“So. Do you like me? Why do you look so sad after I say that I have casual sex?” She was closer to the tone he expected from the serious conversation.
Hercules looked back at her trying his best at a kind face. He tried to let his concern come through as he spoke. “No, Meg, I don’t like you. It’s not that I feel betrayed or envious that you say you have casual sex. I don’t have a sense of ownership over you. I am concerned… You’re pretty young to be having sex…”
“How am I too young to have sex? Seriously? I am 1 year younger than you, and the age of consent is 18 for a reason! What happened to ‘As long as both parties are equally up to it, good for them’?”
“I guess there should be more added to that… ” He frowned. “I personally feel that the age of consent for sex should be when you actually know what you are getting into… ”
Noticing that she was about to start asking questions, he continued. “Sex is something that is dominated by men, and men are beasts, I can say that from experience for what goes on in my own mind. Most men don’t have casual sex with the goal of mutual benefits, they go into sex expecting to get away with pleasing themselves as much as possible, regardless of whoever else is involved. I wouldn’t care about most people getting themselves into a bad situation where someone else expects to establish a sort of ownership over them, but I know you… sort of… I’m not judging you, I am honestly just sad that you… ” Yeah, let’s not go with ‘have been taken advantage of, that is no good.’ “…May have not been an equal partner in having sex.”
She was clearly annoyed at this point. “What does that even mean?! It was consensual, I’m not a little girl that was taken advantage of!”
“I didn’t say that, but, can I try to explain how I mean that?” He looked and was given the ‘go on, dig yourself a deeper hole’ look. That was fine enough. “So… do you mind if I ask how many times… No, never mind, that isn’t relevant, sorry. When was the first time you had sex?”
“About 3 months ago, and how is this relevant?”
He lifted his hand as if asking for patience, his expression clearly not one of comfort. “And how old was he?”
“Hercules, what does it concern you how old he was?! We were both adults!”
“That isn’t what I mean. How old was he?”
“OK, and how was the first part? When you actually lost your virginity, that is. What did he do besides just putting it in, or rather, before putting it in?”
“Nothing, he didn’t hurt me, he didn’t hit me, and he didn’t yell at me, anything bad like that…”
“Meg, not what he didn’t do. What did he do? A woman losing her virginity hurts, I’m sure you can tell me that better than what I currently know even. Did he do anything to make it hurt less or make you more comfortable?”
“What has he supposed to do, give me an Advil beforehand? ‘Oh, by the way, Meg. Take these 2 Advil before we meet up, it’ll help, I’m a man!’ He didn’t do anything before, Hercules!”
“He didn’t ask to make sure you were comfortable before going in? He didn’t use any lubricant or even spit so that he wouldn’t be going in dry? Women become wet when horny as a natural lubricant, from what I understand dry sex is downright painful, did he go in entirely dry? Did he make you comfortable with asking him to stop if you decided that you weren’t going to go through with losing your virginity? Did he treat you the same way he did while you spoke as friend probably before, or like you were your vagina?” He paused, getting angry. He took a breath and continued , frowning. “That’s what I’m asking, Meg.”
“I didn’t even know that, how was he supposed to know that being a guy?”
“Meg, do you watch porn? Does he? I do, and that is how I know what its application looks like. I’m a virgin, same as you were before, and still, sex ed classes, or even biology classes studying reproduction in 9th grade teach that. It’s not an abstract concept.” He hated when he started being factual, it meant he was angry and someones feelings might get hurt… as if that hadn’t already happened. “I’m not trying to hurt you, Meg. I’m sorry I get heated in discussions.”
He went silent for a moment, then standing up and walking over to the creek just a dozen or so yards away from the bench, reaching for her to come with. She didn’t let him touch her but walked behind him, and when he sad, she sat as well on the edge of the creek.
“OK, let me try again… “He thought for a moment. “OK, what is your favorite position, Meg?”
She sighed before answering. “With the guy being on top, kneeling and bent over me…”
“OK, so, missionary. Mind if I guess why you prefer that one?” He looked at her and noticed a very slight nod as she reached for a rock to throw in the creek with a ‘clunk’. “You are comfortable, on your back, you are able to see the guys face, reach around him for comfort, tell him if you want him to stop while being able to confirm he heard you and not having to control whatever it is going on, you are able to just enjoy it, and usually be kissed while at it?” He looked over again.
“Well… not quite for all of those, but some of them….”
He had convinced himself he was right and gone completely off the mark, it was the result of his pride, it was always there. “OK, then what is your least favorite position?”
She laughed, he wasn’t sure if it was a laugh of annoyance or just tired of the conversation. “I think it’s ‘doggy style’ ? With me on all fours, and the guy from behind.” She pierced her lips in a frown still looking down the creek. Tired of the conversation it was.
“Why don’t you like that one?”
“No reason… I don’t think.” She replied looking down.
He thought this meant that he was actually more accurate than she had led on. “No, I’m serious, I’m actually trying to figure this out. I can only guess that its for the opposite reasons of why I’d think you like missionary style more: You can’t see him, it is just a penis and a vagina, but no holding, no comfort, maybe hair pulling?”
She took a bit before answering. He hoped she wouldn’t just ignore the question and didn’t want to give her an out of it, or interrupt her deciding to answer it.
“I don’t know when he is going to finish…” She finally said.
Got it! he thought. Then he chastised himself for wanting to win a debate, and only then noticing that this is what he was concerned would happen to her during sex.
Hercules tried the kind face once more, looking at her. “Did any of them finish inside of you?”
“No, of course not, Hercules… That would be stupid.”
He tried to hide his relief, and after a moment of thinking, asked again. “So… did one, or more, of them… cum somewhere on you?”
“Well, yeah, isn’t that what happens during sex? It’s boring to actually finish in a condom, right?” She added a forced laugh at the end.
“OK, mind saying where, then?”
She avoided the question for a bit with an “It’s fine, really.” He wouldn’t let it by.
“C’mon, Meg. I’m not going to make fun of you or say anything to chastise you, I really am just trying to figure this out. Besides, like I said, I watch porn myself. There won’t be a place on your body that I won’t have seen cum on some womans body, really. I can guess if you’d rather? On the stomach maybe, the small of the back, the bum… the face…” He tried to keep his tone light, hoping to lead on that he was more OK with it than he actually was.
“Yeah, those and one more or two…”
Hercules had to take a deep breath, and then he sighed after trying to push the anger down. “Meg, you know how I said men are beasts?” She nodded. “I meant that more literally than it may have seemed. Did they ask for your permission before cumming on you?”
“Why would they need my permission? It’s part of sex, it was consensual, and people go into sex knowing they’re going to exchange bodily fluids.”
Hercules closed his eyes, and laid back against the ground. He rubbed his face as if in disbelief, eyes still closed, and reached for Meg’s hand, holding it without letting her pull away. He didn’t pull as if to have her lay down next to him, just in hopes of still feeling present to her, though he couldn’t face her without thinking of morons cumming on her as if she was their property, without asking for permission, likely not helping her clean herself, and probably walking off shortly after. Probably with just enough time to put on their clothes, he assumed.
“Meg, listen… I’m going to say this, and I’ll ask that you let me finish, even if it sounds stupid and at first you feel that I am offending you.” He sat up, looking straight ahead, but still holding her hand in his, yet not daring face her.” The reason it worries me that you are having sex, and the reason I do think you are too young to be having sex on your own, is that guys are morons.
“Guys think of sex as self-pleasure, not as a mutual or even consensual thing. Them cumming on you without our permission isn’t the norm, or just to be expected, it is an act of domination or ownership. I say this because I feel the same way, it’s the same instinct that makes me want to win an argument and then kick someone while their down, it is purely for my own pride and my own ego, never for anyone else. It is a sense of victory, of owning without caring. It is disgusting, and it honestly hurts me more than it should to think of troglodytes taking advantage of the fact that you think this is the norm in sex…
“I’m not trying to say necessarily that you are a victim in the same extreme way as a rape victim or anything near that. And you being a victim at all is still entirely up for debate, but I do feel without much doubt that you have been taken advantage of… and it makes me angry! I know I have little right to be angry in this situation, but that is what I feel about it.
“It makes me angry at Idaho for allowing the topic of sex to be so suppressed, it makes me angry at teachers and parents all the same, for not explaining that men can be dicks if left unchecked, and that women need to be aware of it and not let it happen. It makes me angry at porn for feeding the idea that acts of ownership and claim are normal in sex, because even though the people watching don’t understand it, they like it, and will feed more money into the industry.
“It makes me angry that there are a handful of men out there that think they have claim over you, or your body, regardless of anything else you do in your life. That when you cross their mind, it is your body, as property that they have marked, and not what you’ve been through or where you plan on going.
“I am sorry if I offend you, Meg. I love you, purely fraternally, but I love you. I have no intention of hurting you, only hoping that you understand my point of view on these things, as someone with instincts as disgusting as the ones I feel have been passed as if the norm to you. I am sorry.”
He looked at her, sorrow in his eyes, hoping to not have gone too far. He meant all that he said, but knew that most of it was patronizing, his goal wasn’t to be patronizing, it wasn’t to make her feel stupid or abused, it was to show her that he cared, and that the way she probably thought was going to be the norm of sex for the rest of her life was quite wrong, and she shouldn’t allow herself to be in that position, unless aware of what it meant before allowing it to happen.
She stood up suddenly and said nothing more than “Let’s go.”
Hercules looked down, his mind taking precedence over actually saying or doing anything else. He wasn’t sure if he should continue saying anything, he didn’t want to backtrack, but also didn’t want to offend here, he decided he should apologize and ask to continue the friendship as if nothing else had happened. He started to consider how to do that, he couldn’t even face her. Tell her I didn’t mean it? No, can’t backtrack. Just say I’m sorry maybe… no, I’ve already said that, what good would it to? Try to hold her hand perhaps. He thought and then looked at her hands, already lifting a hand, they were holding each other in between her thighs. Scratch that. He put his hand back. Did I not ask enough questions to prove my point, should I ask her something else so I don’t sound like I think I own the truth, and so I’m not so patronizing?. They arrived at her house and opened her door. Oh crap! Not yet! Her door closed.
He hated doing that, he hated getting stuck in his mind and simply failing to be. Sure, he enjoyed silence, and it was never awkward with Meg, except for now… Hercules started re-visiting the thoughts he had just a few moments ago, changing them to the past tense, wondering what could have been. Then arrived home and went straight for his computer. It was easy forgetting things and doing nothing when he could just let his mind go blank watching useless videos for the rest of the day.
The next day he received a text from Meg’s brother asking him to come over play tabletop games, he wanted to, of course, but wasn’t sure he’d be welcome by everyone there.
Hercules pulled out his phone and sent the text “Your brother just called me over, just wondering if you’re OK with that or if I should steer clear?”
Quick as always, came the reply “It’s fine.”
Good enough, he headed over, and wasn’t surprised to notice that Meg was in her room with the door closed from the moment he walked in. He played for a bit, but didn’t want to impose, and since he wasn’t having fun anyway, his mind too busy with how much he might be annoying her, he left only about an hour after they had started.
He hated it, sure, he had people he could be friendly with, but actually calling someone his friend took more… and less. He didn’t need someone to hang out with, just someone he could be himself with, without having to act or hide any part, and sitting silently next to Meg was enough, everyone else tried to talk about things that didn’t interest him, too many real subjects… Hercules liked to keep conversations purely for fun, senseless comments and jabs that didn’t need to be intelligent, they only had to not relate to all of the other junk going on with the rest of his life.
The next few weeks dragged on extremely unpleasantly, at church Meg either didn’t show or came in late and sat somewhere else. Hercules hated being bugged by all the other people, without her near to make it look like he was having a conversation, he didn’t care for being bugged, and would leave early. He stopped texting her, for fear she would outright tell him to go away. He wasn’t sure how to approach her to ask if they could still be friends or similar. he just didn’t want to spend the undetermined amount of time it took to find another Meg for him to cope with himself.
3. Getting Closer
About 1 month after the talk, Hercules was early to church as usual, waiting for nothing, simply there to be there. Despite not really being friends with anyone there, or enjoying their company, he did believe organizations such as churches made people “better” in a way that matched his own opinion of what that meant. All he had to do was filter out the hate and judging mentality of a hefty amount of people that also went to the same kind of organization.
He was filtering through a hymnal book when someone sat next to him. It was Meg, same as used to happen before the talk. She just came, and sat down half a seat away from him.
The hour passed without another word being spoken. Once the first block was over, he asked. “How are you?” He wasn’t sure if he should balance