Maybe…not everybody plays the game the same way.
Maybe…some people are more than a mask of convenient civility.
Maybe…I’ve just made a terrible mistake.
That’s the end of Chapter 11, and the last that we’ll see of Pakku and Una for a while. But definitely not for forever. Will these two be able to reconcile their differences, heal from their mistakes, and one day become the best of friends?
I really, really hope so.
I can never predict exactly how any character arc will go with 100% certainty, because as soon as I think I’ve got it nailed down it’ll change on me. Some characters are worse about this than others. Una is probably the most spirited of the entire cast. Her story has changed SO MUCH since I first started writing for her. So if she sets her mind on it, she’ll make her arc into whatever she wants it to be. Right now, in this moment, she wasn’t ready for the level of trust and vulnerability that a true friendship entails, and neither was Pakku, but they’re definitely not done with getting under one another’s skin, for good or ill. This chapter will have lasting repercussions for both of them. They’ve been changed by each other, and if they care enough about what that means, they’ll keep on changing.
Ultimately, it’s up to them. We’ll see where they take their story.
I know, I know, that sounds a bit like a cop-out, but I had this story go a very different way originally before I realized neither character was ready to take the last step. Yet. Two people with this many trust issues are going to take a lot more than one chapter to un-learn everything they’ve ever known about how Other People work.
In between my self-recriminations and justifications for crushing everyone’s hopes and dreams, I’m recovering from Phoenix Comicon. On Wednesday we’ll have our regular feedback day, and as always I appreciate hearing your thoughts and suggestions. I’ll also be posting for Patrons the original script for this chapter before it got overhauled. It’s not a script I’m particularly proud of, but sometimes it’s interesting for folks to see why writers made their decisions, and what they left on the cutting room floor.
(Friendship. Friendship was left on the cutting room floor. BECAUSE I AM A MONSTER.)