Colors of Another Sky Ficbit: What Women Want

A/N: I’m not sure when or if this will fit into the first story, but the idea hit me…. Jason’s POV.

“I mean, what do women want?

I looked at Ha-neul, sprawled in a frustrated pile in the barracks’ Corner of Not Sleeping. Looked at the mug of strong tea in my hands. Concluded there was not enough caffeine in all the world for this.

Maybe not enough liquor, either. But I wasn’t cleared to have strong drink without Lee Cheong or someone else cultivator-fast to grab me. Just in case there was a little more leftover fox than anyone thought, and it decided to go, “Whee!”

Gumiho have a sense of humor, after all. Just… not a nice one.

“Do you seriously want to know?” I said at last. “For real? Because I’m warning you right now, you’re not going to like it. And you probably won’t ever forget it.” And he shouldn’t forget it, but… guys. We can be pig-headed stubborn about women. God help us all.

Chae never throws things at me.” Ha-neul’s expression over his tea would have done credit to a mule. “Why does Chin-sun?”

I deliberately did not roll my eyes. “You don’t threaten Chae’s territory.”


I blew across my tea. “If you really want to understand women, you’d better understand this. Women don’t want what you want.”

“But… eh?” Ha-neul blinked owlishly at me, to the point I wondered if he’d doctored his tea with some rice wine. “Chin-sun’s a Caller, right?”

“Yes,” I said judiciously. “And Callers want to protect people from evil, and heal up as much as we can of what magic does to people. On that level, yes, we all want the same things. But. What Chin-sun needs to do her work, what Chae needs, aren’t the same things you and I need.” Though as a scholar I and Lee Cheong probably came closer to the same things. A bit. “What they need, what a lot of women need, is a space completely under their control where they can work on very finicky projects that can go horribly wrong. A space where they will not be pranked.”

Ha-neul looked a little abashed. “But you never minded when we….”

“You didn’t damage my books,” I said dryly. “If you had, I would hunt you down, and hand you over to Chae.”

“Uh.” Dark eyes went wide.

Oh good; Chae had properly terrorized this crew about do not harm reference materials. I really did admire that woman. “Guys like to poke each other, all the time. I may not be into as much as you riflemen, but I get it. Thing is, for guys, that’s an advantage. We’re built to group up, go out and hunt stuff down, and bring it back. We need to be used to surprises.” I took a deliberate breath. “Women, on the other hand, are expected to keep tiny fragile ignorant creatures from killing themselves even when those women are exhausted and need a blanket and a nap more than a man dying in the desert needs water. And the only way to do that and not go crazy, is to have a safe space you can put yourself and that tiny creature, where no one will mess with you. Or else.”

Ha-neul lifted a finger, then paused to think it over.

“Guys have a group,” I went on. “They’ll kill to defend that group, but they can move the group wherever they feel like. Women have a territory. And way too often, they can’t move it.” I pointed straight at him. “When you mess with Chin-sun’s infirmary tools, it’s not like tying a guy’s socks together while he’s asleep. It’s like taking Lee Cheong’s sword, using it to hack up firewood with, and slime, and then shoving it back in its sheath just in time for him to get in a fight. Now what would he want to do to you?”

From the way Ha-neul gulped, he could imagine.

“Skin you alive,” I agreed. “Exactly.” I shrugged. “Now, do you want to know why you don’t have this problem with Chae? Besides, you know, having the sense to leave her books the hell alone?”


Ah, the beginnings of wisdom. “Chae has two territories. The inner one is her books, references, lab, the whole works all of you know enough about cultivators to not mess with. But she also considers all the Callers her territory. And she’s lethal. She can face you guys on the training grounds. Which means you feel like she’s the ‘just one of the guys’, and you don’t need to go look at me, pretty lady, all the time.” I sighed, deliberately. “Of course, that’s got its own problems. If you do try the whole hurr look at me guy thing… well. If Chae throws something at you, she’s not going to hurt you. She’s going to kill you.”


60 thoughts on “Colors of Another Sky Ficbit: What Women Want

    1. I leave it to your imagination how much the bunnies cracked up when they realized I could have an older scholarly guy isekai’d, who’d then have to deal with a bunch of younger Action-Type Guys. Including a vampire over two decades younger than he is.

      They still giggle about it.

      So Jason has to learn how to deal with magic and monsters… but he does have a lot of experience with just plain life to share with the guys!

      Liked by 8 people

      1. I’ve been isekai’d?
        Fine. I can deal.

        I’ve been isekai’d to an alternate historical version of my world?
        Nice. I can see all the things I’ve been learning about!

        I have to deal with a bunch of action-oriented punks?
        Oh god, why me?

        Liked by 11 people

      2. Oh, yes. It is delightful!

        I really like that he was able to explain it in a way that is easily understandable to everyone else, and not just us readers!

        …I think I’m going to have to do something like this myself.

        The newest thing I’m working on has an older guy who basically adopted a couple of kids who are adults by the time the story begins that may have questions about stuff like that…

        Liked by 3 people

      1. You know, if this doesn’t make it into the main story, I could see it being really fun as 1) an “extra” in the back of one of the books in the series, kind of like some books will do a “teaser” chapter at the end for another of the author’s works, or 2) some kind of in-the-series-but-aside-from-the main-plot book that’s a collection of oneshots, slice of life scenes, etc. – even bits of character backgrounds.

        Liked by 5 people

  1. Well, at the end of the day, it’s all about boundaries, right? The problem is, people tend to be pants at *explaining* their own boundaries, and also pants at *grokking* other people’s boundaries *without* painfully detailed documentation. Or learning them the hard, painful way.

    Although this conversation does shine a light on why the Overbearing Mother-In-Law trope so often expresses as the OMIL criticizing the DIL’s housekeeping, or applying different standards of discipline to the grandkids.

    Liked by 7 people

    1. There’s some training to view “boundaries” as “list of things that matter,” and the way to get someone’s attention for any and all reasons is do something to what they care about.

      :points at the classic little-boy-messing-with-girls’-hair:

      Liked by 4 people

      1. I’m sure you’ve heard it before– but its freakin’ LAZY!

        There’s several different options for dealing with making kids be civilized.

        What they ended up doing is going through all of them, picking out the stuff that takes the least effort, and doing all of those. Including stopping anybody else from doing the work that needs to be done.

        Liked by 4 people

      2. The older guy has probably never even heard it articulated before either. This is the first time I’ve seen it started plainly, and I’ve done a lot of digging into theories of how people function.

        And I’ve seen it in action, and even incorporate it into the female characters I wrote too. It just felt right, but I didn’t have a reason why it felt right.

        Now it makes sense.

        This raises another question: how do women react to not being able to have such a territory? Or if the area where they could be safe in is one that is not theirs? It seems like that would be high test nightmare fuel.

        Liked by 8 people

      3. That’s called “middle school.”

        OK, not exactly– it’s actually expanded well beyond middle school.

        Remember a few years ago when there was a push for teachers to actively identify who kids liked, and then take special care to keep them apart- i mean, “ensure they were exposed to others in the class”?
        That’s a deliberate removal of My Stuff.

        Likewise, the “all school supplies are confiscated and handed out at random” thing.

        It’s a form of henpecking.

        The dude version is usually described as– pardon the obscenity– pissing in the corners. (alluding to dogs)

        Liked by 4 people

      4. Hmm. Apparently I was too late to run into the “all supplies confiscated”. I ran into a more targeted, “you always have extra pens and paper, you have to share with everyone else who didn’t bother”.

        Either way, instead of modeling responsible behavior, it only shows the kids that if you have power you can get away with humiliating people. Argh.

        Liked by 3 people

      5. It hit shortly before my kids would have been heading to school, if we used public– although I did hit the “buy extra and ‘donate’ to the class” thing.

        Liked by 2 people

      6. Oh, on the “handed out randomly” thing– I’m sure you can guess that it was not, in fact, random.

        Because humans.

        The only question is if the teacher had an eye to humiliating the target, or rewarding someone they thought could use the (looted) boost, when they passed out the bright pink and purple sparkly backpack covered with fluffy kittens.

        Liked by 4 people

      7. Ok. Interesting. Which implies to me that anything involving that rides on emotional knife edges.

        The character I’m working with, her core problem is a curse that functions like an addiction. Managing it pretty much drives everything she does.

        One thing is, about the only place it does not ride her is in dream space, which she doesn’t control either. She is not aware of this. It’s more that it’s not nipping her heels there. My gut feeling is if she finds someone who does not impose or kick her out, she tends to set up a nest there.

        Thing is that seems like an incredibly precarious situation. I expect she reacts extremely negatively to being manipulated, but I’m trying to get my head around what happens if one day it’s just not there anymore. It is a nest in someone else’s head, and they’re going through some rather head breaking stuff.

        Liked by 4 people

      8. Whoooof. That is going to be bad.

        I can tell you she’d most likely double-down on all the controlling behaviors in the rest of her life. She’s also very likely to slip on the addictive stuff, which will be its own spiral.

        And she will feel horribly betrayed by the person who’d been giving her sanctuary. Whether or not they’re actually to blame.

        Liked by 5 people

      9. So the “even if it’s not your fault and you could not have stopped it, I trusted you and can never trust you with that again.” sort of thing.

        Given that, and given his mind is being overwritten she would need some sort of forewarning, and probably need to find that at least her little piece was still there, even after the world ended.

        This also means I need to go digging into how women go about building those sorts of sanctuaries, to get the evolution of it mailed down right.

        Liked by 4 people

      10. :nods along with Crossover:

        She’s going to react like she’s under attack.

        Because she is.

        This is her sanctuary; to violate it, is to threaten her everything. The bigger the threat, the bigger the reaction.

        (this relates to why to have peace, you want to make people feel secure– so they can allow small violations, without it being a Kill It Now With Fire threat)

        Liked by 6 people

      11. This also explains another character interaction that was baffling me from another story (fanfic 3 thing).

        Character A had set herself up as an Aztec god type thing, and character B essentially kicked her out because that sort of thing jams her berserk button. (A and B were both women. This was the grandma samurai vs the planet of the Aztecs thing.)

        I assumed that A would basically hunt B to the ends of the earth over it and be the wolf at the gates for the tribe of followers that B had ended up responsible for.

        Except A kept not quite doing that. And I could not figure out why. Did I just not want to write the aftermath of that sort of thing, or was there something intrinsic to the character that made them do that.

        This explains what was going on: by setting herself up as a god, aztec or otherwise, she had also made that tribe her territory, and the interloper was doing the job of taking care of it that she never could. This has forced the character, who up until that point had been basically unrepentantly evil, into a crisis of identity. She’s acting erraticly not because she is trying to destroy the protagonist, but because she is trying to prove to herself that she is better, and is failing.

        I’d shelved that story entirely, in part, because I couldn’t make sense of why the characters were doing what they were doing. Have to write both Meeting Place and The Great Dwarven Cheese Scandal before I could think about poking the fanfic again.

        Liked by 4 people

      12. It rolls into dominance displays; schools aren’t doing it because they’re evil, they’re doing it because you need to have control of a classroom, and most of the controls have been removed. Things like “remove the bleepin’ guy trying to stab folks.”

        Liked by 2 people

      13. How do women react?

        See harems. Real-life horror stories, not the male fantasy types.

        Women maneuvering so they and their offspring might have a chance of survival in the dynastic piranha free-for-all is ugly.

        Edit: Actually, the results of this end up being a major driver of the plot in Kingdom. Yes, in a historical zombie horror series.

        Prince Lee Chang is the crown prince because he’s the oldest and only son, despite being born of a concubine. But his father recently remarried. (To a woman even younger than the prince!) If she has a son, since she is the queen, Lee Chang’s suddenly no longer the heir… and his life is likely forfeit, because her family will kill him to make sure their grandson has the throne.

        Her efforts to make sure she has a son despite the king being “very ill” are what kickstart the whole zpoc. And she knows darn well what fire she’s playing with.

        Liked by 6 people

      14. The older guy has probably never even heard it articulated before either. This is the first time I’ve seen it started plainly, and I’ve done a lot of digging into theories of how people function.

        Forgot to mention– Crossover did a *really good job* of translating it into concrete, organized terms– I got a variation of it, mostly taught in terms of animal metaphors, because my family is Odd and we know it. Even then, it wasn’t spelled out like this because most likely nobody HAD spelled it out like this. It was taught by modeling, and metaphor, and– well, basically on the job training. Which you need to be around functioning adults, rather than a bunch of roughly equally ignorant, feral children and some vaguely monitoring for too much bloodshed tenders.

        The “he’s teasing her because he likes her, and he can’t figure it out either” thing was explained via friendly dogs being obnoxious, for example, and I was able to ask because my parents actually spent time around us. ….and mom was terrified we’d ask questions Like That in front of people. For good reason. 😀

        Liked by 7 people

    2. Jason, and to some extent Chae, have advantages here: Both greater life experience, plus a lot of studying of “exactly why did X happen?”

      Chae mostly does it with magic and cultivation, while Jason did it with history. But both of them you have to do a lot of nailing down of “What are the boundaries, and what happens when something violates them?”

      Liked by 6 people

  2. :applause:

    Oh, that is well explained.

    For even more ‘fun’, women will usually tell you what that territory is– so that when you crush it, they know it’s an attack, and respond with appropriate nuclear force. You ‘just’ need to listen to them.

    (Yeah, that berserk button. I love-love-LOVE the bit in Embers with Airbenders-vs-farmers pointing at the ground and screaming “LISTEN!”)

    ‘Fun’ because they don’t always realize that they’re saying it, and neither do even some of the people who ARE listening to it, and then there’s the issue of folks being grabby, plus authority vs responsibility….

    This means you can get some really nuclear reactions from Mommy type characters by having someone (alright, about 99.99% going to be a guy) she identifies as My Territory, Protect do a stupid jump-scare at her, so she ENTIRELY APPROPRIATELY tries to murder this thing that jumped out at her– and thus damages a MINE, PROTECT, so you get both “how dare you be a threat to my stuff” and the self-blame of failing to control something that is your territory, and humiliation of Public Failure, because if you Did It Right then he wouldn’t have been so stupid and wouldn’t be hurt, now.

    And all of this isn’t necessarily obvious to anybody involved.

    And at the same time, the guy probably did the pranking exactly because it’s a trust thing, which he doesn’t consciously understand.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. “For even more ‘fun’, women will usually tell you what that territory is”

      …I would *literally* pay non-trivial amounts of my disposable income for this to be the case. In my life, at least, I cannot recall this ever being true.

      That said, my ability to pick up on male equivalents is only marginally better.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. :points to the rest of the statement:

        I’m with you on not usually being able to pick up on it in real time, unless I can be far enough back to be people-watching instead of directly involved, and I know them.

        GENERALLY, I figure it out what they value after something that is seriously WTF has happened, and I’ve tested the predictive power and it works pretty well.

        …including on me. To the tune of “Wait, why am I gritting my teeth and trying to keep the hackles I don’t even have smoothed down?”

        Started noticing it after reading about how people are territorial about their food, and almost invariably they will touch their plate when it’s set down in front of them on the table. A minor adjustment, turn or push, but — after waitresses told them, they started researching, and discovered this.
        Even knowing about it, it takes real effort to not touch my plate after it’s placed in front of me.

        Even folks like us who were behind the door when they handed out the translation cards do pick up on some things, we just usually figure it out because we eventually go “wait, where the heck did that come from?”

        ….on the upside, it makes us harder to do social hacking on?

        Liked by 6 people

      2. Now I’m imagining the frustration if you’d never met someone who’s hard of hearing– and suddenly there’s someone who utterly ignores you, until you SCREAM at him, and then suddenly he listens but can’t figure out why you’re angry.

        That’s what the folks who don’t pick up on the unspoken communication are like, to the folks who do– although partial colorblindness might be a better metaphor.

        They never learn how to convey information in a different way because there’s no need to, most people understand it., or if they don’t it can function as if they did, so any violation is a deliberate attack.

        And then you have someone who walks right past the big yellow CAUTION tape as if it didn’t exist.

        Liked by 5 people

      3. “Started noticing it after reading about how people are territorial about their food,”

        It’s kind of embarrassing to realize that one is food-aggressive.

        But there was no more surefire way for my brothers to send me into a frothing rage (er… felt internally more than expressed. I used my words.) than poking their fingers into my cereal and stealing some.

        If they’d asked? That would have been fine. (well… not with cereal, because that’s really hard to share especially once the milk is in.)
        If I’d offered? Also fine.
        But just taking it? Hahahahaha no.

        Liked by 6 people

    2. Part of the problem there, in my experience, is that even women frequently _don’t actually know_ what they _subconsciously_ identify as _My Territory_, just what they _consciously_ identify as such… but it’s violation of the _subconsciously identified_ territory that triggers the “must fight to the death” reaction. Not that women are alone in this, I’ve noticed that the actual patterns of reactions people have rarely match up anywhere near fully with what they _think_ are their triggers (tho they may have some slight overlap at the edges). Most people just notice “I reacted badly”, and go one of two ways: either associating the bad reaction with the most readily available “obvious visible thing that could possibly be a trigger”, or associating it with the thing they think their idealized view of their self and their philosophies says _should_ be a trigger for them.
      My sister was _very_ bad at this (the one who would be “I always liked X” one day, and “I never liked X” the next, and _not realize/remember_ that she had ever said the other, or would be “I never liked X food” while not noticing that she was gobbling that very food down with obvious relish), and would regularly state “territories” that she was sure she must have, yet not even notice when those territories were violated, and trigger off of violation of territories she’d never mentioned and never really understood (and that took a lot of meltdowns on her part for me to even begin to map out the edges of). And a lot of those triggers turned out to be ones that _she herself_ was causing the violations of, as a result of her going the second way, “this is how I view the world and what I _should_ be thinking about it, therefore this must be what triggers me”. As you note with the “getting both sets of triggers”, and “all of this isn’t necessarily obvious to anybody involved”.

      Liked by 6 people

      1. I think it also depends on how much you feel you have to defend your territory. This ‘need to defend’ could be due to repeated violations of the limit or due to scarcity of resources.

        Person came into my room for the first time in a year to take one of the 50 pens on my desk because they have a final paper due tomorrow and have a serious need? Much smaller deal than person coming into my room for the third time that day to take my last pen the day before we both have a final paper due and I need my last pen.

        Liked by 5 people

      2. I know that has happened to me.

        I post stories and sample chapters over on Spacebattles before any of them migrate over to AO3.

        One of my buttons is someone else trying to dictate to me how a story I’m working on should be written. That gets me all snarly and hackles raised.

        One such story was given to me as a challenge: a Marvel/SAO crossover.

        That person very specifically wanted me to give Kirito and Asuna Spider powers because Spiderman is the face of Marvel.

        I took it up because it sounded interesting. Though, because I have next to no actual interest in Marvel as a whole, I knew there were only going to be four to five chapters maximum.

        In the initial planning stages, I realized very quickly that Spiderman and SpiderGwen were not a good fit for either Kirito or Asuna. I ended up going with Gambit and Jean Grey for their initial powers, with Spidey being something for them to experiment with later.

        The moment the person challenging me to write this refused to budge on who got what powers. My hands fisted and I started trembling in rage.

        It got so bad that I had to step back from the forum and have someone else step in to stomp on them or else I’d go off so bad I’d get threadbanned from my own thread.

        Thing is, I put it down because no one was willing to listen to what I was saying. And I still can’t go back to finish it because of how bad it got. Every single person was agreeing with the guy who gave me the challenge and were really closed-minded about which characters would get what archetype.

        I am _very_ territorial when it comes to my ‘pen’. Do not backseat Author, I *will* bite you.

        Liked by 6 people

  3. There is also shades of territory. If you share a home/house with family there ends up being a lot of shared living space territory, but people tend to be a even more defensive about their personal bedrooms. I’m not quite sure how that works out with spouses who share a bedroom, and I personally am an only child and never had to share my bedroom, but it it is an entire thing I think most people can relate to.

    I have met a happily married couple who cannot share a bedroom. I also have a friend who had to share a bedroom and bunk bed with her younger sister— it got ugly. Especially when both of them were in the throws of puberty. From what I understand of college dorm rooms, it often gets broken down into this is my side of the room, and that’s your side of the room.

    Personally I have no problems with shared living spaces/territory, but I really don’t want other people in my bedroom no matter how much I care about them. I can feel my neck and shoulder’s getting tight, and while I can maintain civil or better conversations, I just want you to get *out.*

    Liked by 6 people

    1. There very often will be an “office” for one of the spouses to work in that isn’t in the bedroom while the other spouse takes the bedroom. My dad never did his work in the bedroom he shared with my mom… that was all down in his man-cave and that was *his space*. No one organized it but him unless they were working with him for the purpose of organizing it (and even then, only Mom got to do that).

      My mom would do a lot of her reading in her bedroom… or home-schooled us kids in her “office” which took up our second living room. But the bedroom was something she organized all the time and all of us kids knew not to mess with how she organized it.

      The same logic goes for “mom works in the garden, dad works in the garage”, “dad works at the dining room table, while mom reads on the couch by herself” and any other number of such paired locations a married couple can work in without the other one feeling like they have to know what they’re doing.

      It’s really a form of trust and respect in some ways because it’s willingly giving up control of what the other person is doing because both parties know the other person is working on *something* that will benefit both of them. When there’s not that level of trust and respect, it is much harder to keep to the boundaries people can just tell are there.

      Why yes, this is how you can show that a couple in fiction trusts each other… by letting them something the other person doesn’t have to be around for and have that trust be validated! When a couple has to be together “all the time” even once they’re an offical couple, that suggests that they *don’t* trust each other to be alone on occasion.

      Liked by 8 people

      1. Alternatively, they can both have “offices” outside the bedroom.

        For my parents, my father had an actual office (for most of the places they lived), and my mother essentially had the living room or the dining room as her “office”. And the rest of the family was allowed in mom’s space, as long as we behaved and didn’t bother her when she wanted peace and quiet. (Plus, growing up, we had a den down in the basement that was essentially the family room.)

        Liked by 3 people

    2. Territory can be something as small as a purse.

      I don’t know about anyone else, but we never went into Mommy’s purse without explicit permission.

      She wouldn’t even have yelled at us for it if we had, I think, but somehow that was just one of the tacit understandings.

      To the point that when my brother wanted something from my purse, he brought the purse to me so I could get the thing out of it. (And then I wondered why I woke up from my nap with my purse hanging off my wrist, because I hadn’t actually been completely awake for the whole purse-searching thing.)

      Liked by 9 people

    3. Now see, I never realized this about myself, but I have the same issue. I really don’t like people in my room, and I shared a room with two sisters until we were adults and one of us moved out (me😅). But now I had to move back and got my own room. And my brother offers to help clean it (because my organization is Kinda chaos like) and my hackles will instantly go up. Same if my mom offers to take care of something for me. I felt bad that my first immediate reaction was “NO!!” With internal cat hissing noises and everything. But this makes a lot more sense, because I don’t have my own house or territory, and people mess with my stuff in the family areas and it bugs me, but you go in my room and touch something without me asking you? It seemed like the oddest hair trigger for me considering I share a room

      Liked by 4 people

      1. I’ve shared a small room with up to 3 other sisters, and for us it came down to don’t mess with my drawer/bed. Now I have my own room, and my closet has awesome clothes that my nieces like to borrow for costumes, and because I trust them and have given them permission that’s fine. On the other hand, I have a nephew that likes to borrow movies, and I hadn’t realized why I could not stand it when he went up and looked at my shelf without me.

        Liked by 4 people

  4. Situations beyond scholarship can take a man deep into ‘I really need my own space, and for others not to touch it’.

    Maybe not all good situations, but…

    Anyway, thank you again. I like colors very well.

    I’ve been enjoying path also.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I never really *thought* about it in analytical detail, but my knee-jerk response to imagining myself isekai’d into an “arranged marriage” situation has been, as far back as I can remember, that the “hosting” spouse should provide the “guest” spouse a space of their own, where the “host” spouse Will Not Enter uninvited. And while in most of history and fantasy, the “guest” spouse tends to be the woman, my instinct on this doesn’t really change based on who has which plumbing.

      I don’t read romance genre, but when romance comes up in my favored genres, I like the types where both sides are *trying* to be reasonable, and questioning their cultural assumptions. Probably why the Vixen War Bride series tickled me so much (already on the 5th book!).

      Liked by 4 people

  5. This is really good – and it fits the “Loathly Lady” stories of Medieval fiction and Arthurian romance, too. Each Loathly Lady is met by the hero (Arthur in one of them – he has to marry Gawain off to her) who has the answer to the question “What women want.” The answer provided by the Loathly Lady is, “She wants her own will.” The way the Loathly Lady is changed back into a pretty young woman is when her husband sees her at night, and her foul looks have vanished. She asks him if he wants her beautiful by day or by night, and he says (initially) night, but then she laments that means she can’t socialize with anyone besides him. “Then you decide which time of day you want to look beautiful,” he replies.

    BAM! Spell broken, she no longer looks horrible, and Happily Ever After ensues. But again, it’s a matter of territory and the man giving over territory to his new wife. The territory is “when do you want to look pretty?” which can translate to almost anything: Which room do you want to be yours specifically? You want this office all to yourself? Library is yours, got it! Your way of describing territories distills it all down into a far more scientific and REALLY helpful, “This is what it means to give someone their will in a relationship – YOU GIVE THEM THEIR CHOICE OF SPACE AND RESPECT IT.”

    I really want to see this in Colors when it becomes a series. Oh, I also bought the paperback of Oni the Lonely. When things settle down, I’m going to read it. After reading “Haint Blue,” I’m looking forward to it. 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

      1. Current dialogue sketch.

        Chae: Hmm. I believe we can disprove that myth.
        Jason: …What.
        Lee (sighs, as Ha-neul grumps about someone owing him money): Tales of gumiho say that if a human swallows their bead, then observes sky, land, and people, they will gain supernatural knowledge. (Beat.) Only every hero who’s been told that somehow fails to remember to look at the sky, so Chae wondered what would happen when someone didn’t know.
        Chae: Apparently, the legends are wrong.
        Jason: “…how does someone manage to not look at the sky, it’s right there…”
        Ha-neul: Scholars. When Bachelor Yi got his fox bead he saw the earth first, before the sky, so that’s why he only knew about things on earth instead of the workings of Heaven.
        Jason: …Oh. (Beat.) Still doesn’t work.

        Liked by 2 people

  6. Ooh, yes. Excellent articulation here.

    Admittedly, some of this I’ve known instinctively for decades. I get very territorial about “My Space” and “My Things”, and even if I trust someone, it can still be very hard to let them in to that.

    Very likely part of it was because that was where I could go when I needed to retreat from things to avoid meltdowns (not that I understood that for decades), so people coming in there (for whatever reason) meant that they were not only threatening my sanctuary, they were threatening my emotional and mental stability directly.

    Liked by 2 people

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