AR 1211-12-15 Rissa Asks Yari for Advice on How To Be Slutty
Rissa entered the Gargoyle boys’ dorm cave looking for her twin. She found Yari crashed next to Wolf on his bunk, the two reliving their window-jumping escapades for the umpteenth time.
“Hey brother, can I have a word with you? I want some advice.”
“Sure, sis, what’s up?” said Yari, lifting his head from its prone position on the dwarf’s mattress. Wolf, in turn, looked quizzically in Rissa’s direction.
Rissa nodded her head for the door, indicating this was to be a private conversation. Yari sighed, as though suffering a great burden, and excused himself from his friend’s company. He followed Rissa into the library, right to his favorite table at the back of the room.
There was nobody else around, but Rissa was still hesitant to begin. “I know this probably isn’t proper, but I didn’t know anyone else well enough to ask, and I really need to know,” she started awkwardly, then fell into silence.
“Well just spit it out already!” Yari encouraged, a little frustrated, but mostly concerned. He scrunched his nose in the same way their father did when he was being silly, and gently pushed her into a chair.
After Yari had seated himself too, flipping his chair around and leaning against its back, she went on. “Ok,” Rissa said, taking a deep breath. “You have a girlfriend. And you’ve stayed overnight, so I assume you were alone at least some of the time.”
Yari knew already he didn’t like where this was headed, but his sister continued gingerly, “I know I said before that I don’t want to think about what you two do, but… I kinda do. What I mean is: I want to know what you do so I know what to expect when I’m with a boy. What do you boys do when you’re alone with a girl? And what does the girl do?”
“Didn’t Mom have this talk with you?” he asked, stalling for time.
“Yeah, but,” she trailed off. “Her advice wasn’t exactly… useful, you know?”
“Really? That’d be a first!” said Yari in earnest.
“Well, it wasn’t, okay? I mean Mom went into a whole lot of detail on how our bodies work, and some mumbo-jumbo about finding my soul mate like she did when she found Daddy. But there’s a big gap between first meeting someone and making babies together that she totally left out. She never really said much on how boys and girls act when they get together.”
“It’s not a play, Rissa, there’s no script telling you how to act,” Yari said. “You just do what comes natural.”
“How do I know what that is!” Rissa ranted. “Maybe there should be a script. I mean, I don’t even know how to kiss a boy properly. Like, I overheard some of the older girls talking about kissing with tongue, not just the lips, and I don’t get how that’s supposed to work. And does the boy always initiate the kiss or is it okay for me to do that? And that’s just the kiss, not to mention all the stuff that goes beyond kissing. Do you touch each other…down there? What feels good and what doesn’t?” Rissa groaned, and put her hands on her head in frustration. “I just hoped you could maybe give me some insights, you know, because you’ve been there so you can tell me what to expect.”
Yari was blushing. “Okay, so,” he said finally, “I can only tell you what to expect, if you’re Elsie, and you’re spending the night with me, right? I can’t tell you what to expect if you’re, like, you, and you’re spending the night with someone else.”
Rissa gave Yari a look that said he was not being helpful.
“Hey, I’m sorry!” he exclaimed. “I can’t speak for Boykind at Large. Who’re you thinking about, though? Maybe I can offer an insight into how he might behave?”
“There is no who, I’m just asking in general, for future reference,” Rissa offered.
Yari wasn’t buying it. “Nice try. You don’t come to me, asking something like this – needing to know right now! – if you don’t have somebody in mind. So who is it?”
Rissa bit at her lip nervously. “I don’t really need to name names do I?”
Yari nodded, “If you want my advice, you do.”
Rissa tried to dodge, “Let’s just say it’s someone handsome, strong, more… uh, ‘developed’ than you… y’know… physically. He’s confident; he’s had a girlfriend already, so he’s got some experience… but, I don’t know how much….”
Trying to ignore Rissa’s nonchalant putdown, Yari took a stab, “Beckum?” The look on his sister’s face said he nailed it.
“Didn’t you tell me you were over him?” She cast her gaze at the grain of the wooden table, stalwartly refusing to meet his eyes. He continued, in a less accusatory tone, “Whatever.
“Okay, here’s my advice for dealing with Beckum: don’t.”
His twin’s expression made it hard for Yari to keep a straight face, but he somehow managed to persevere. “It’s like this:” he went on, genuine concern overriding his desire to make fun of Rissa, “Beckum’s already got a girlfriend – Quinellia, isn’t it? You say he’s had one before her, too? How long did he stay with her? How long’s he been with Quinellia?
“Don’t get me wrong,” the boy went on, “I like the guy a lot! But, he kind of seems like a bit of a playboy to me. I don’t wanna see you hurt, a couple weeks down the line, when he moves on for the next conquest, yeah?”
“You’d know about playboys,” Rissa scoffed, trying to hide her hurt and embarrassment.
“Right, make fun your brother, after he offers heartfelt advice at your own behest.”
“Sorry, you’re right,” Rissa said. “I know Beckum is dating Quinellia, but I overheard them arguing yesterday, and it sounded like they might possibly be going to break up. I guess that’s silly, wishful thinking on my part. Even if they did, he probably wouldn’t go for me anyway. So, sure forget about Beckum then!” she said, feigning at cheerfulness. “But, what if I like someone else like him? What makes a playboy a playboy?”
Yari moaned and slammed his head against the table. Without looking up, he said, “You don’t want a playboy, Rissa. Trust me!”
He tilted his face up to look at her, and crossed his hands under his chin for support. “I mean it. The thoughts I have… I can only imagine what the other boys’re thinking!”
“Well Hear Ye! Hear Ye!” Rissa said in mockery of a town crier. “Here’s some news for you. Girls have those kinds of thoughts too. At first I thought all this boy craziness of the other girls was just silliness. But now I think about it too, like all the time. I see a hunk like Beckum and I can’t stop thinking about what it would be like to be alone with him. That’s why I’m here talking to you.”
Taking in a sharp breath, Yari spoke to the polished wood in front of his nose, “The way I see it, if you’re worried enough to be asking questions from your twin brother, you’re pro’lly going about it the wrong way. And you do know we’re not all the same, right? Some boys’re… more insistent than others. I’m not one of those, though, so…”
“Are you telling me you and Elsie haven’t, you know…” Rissa pantomimed by making a ring with the thumb and index finger of her left hand and sliding her right index finger in and out of it a few times.
“Rissa! Don’t be crude,” Yari’s face was bright red with embarrassment.
“Oh, c’mon,” Rissa cocked her head slightly. “I find it hard to believe you go sneaking out and walk half a day each way to Elsie’s place just to hold hands. Admit it already. You took that girl’s virginity, right?”
Yari stammered nervously, “W-well, I mean, I never even brought it up to Elsie, myself. It wasn’t something I really cared about, until she…” He coughed suddenly, and sputtered for a quick second.
“Go on,” Rissa encouraged.
“No,” Yari said, flustered, “what Elsie and I do or don’t do is private.”
“Nothing stays private between us for long.”
“No kidding.” Yari buried his face in his folded arms in an attempt to avoid her gaze. But he could still feel her eyes on him, as if they were boring two holes into the top of his skull.
Rissa started tapping her fingernails on the table and Yari could take it no longer. Lifting his head he said fiercely, “Yeah, okay, maybe. I promised I wouldn’t go braggin’ or anything, though, and I’ve already said too much. Happy now?” He returned his head to the cradle of his arms.
“No,” Rissa said quietly. There was complete silence in the library for at least a minute. Finally Rissa made a sniffling sound which caused Yari to look up.
“Are you crying?” he said.
“No,” she said, wiping away the tears. “Yeah, I guess so. It’s just you’ve gone all the way with a girl and I haven’t even been kissed by a boy. We’re the same age but you’re standing at the finish line and I haven’t even taken the first step.”
“Look, for the record, I never admitted to ‘going all the way’. Also, it’s not a race, Rissa. Is that what this is all about? You wanted to know how far ahead I was?”
“Maybe a little,” she admitted. “It just seems like life isn’t fair sometimes. Why do you get a girlfriend and I can’t have a boyfriend? She asked in a hushed tone, dangerously close to tears. “Am I ugly, or something?”
“Yeah, pro’lly,” smirked her brother. Instead of crying, she punched him in the chest from across the table. “Sheesh,” he wheezed, “always the drama queen!
“Look, Sis,” he went on, really impressing the fibrous surface with his earnestness. “If you need to be walked through what to do to make a boy happy, then you don’t need to be with that boy. You should find a boy you’re really comfortable with, and it will happen naturally, trust me.”
Yari screwed up his nose in consternation, and after another pause added, “At least that’s been my experience. But, then, I’m just the wonder boy, who everything comes easy to, right?
“And, before you try,” he suddenly added, “don’t even think about making a quip about Sardi being my ‘wonder boy.’”
“I wasn’t thinking that, honest.” Rissa said truthfully. In fact, she thought it kind of odd that they were talking about Yari’s experience with Elsie and he would change the subject to Sardi. Were Elsie and Sardi so similar in Yari’s head—or heart—that mention of one brought up the other? Were Yari and Sardi really doing…Rissa’s head was now filled with vivid pictures of her brother being intimate with Sardi. She simultaneously wanted to inquire after the possibility of such a thing occurring, and flee from the idea in abject terror. For the moment, she chose latter; some things were better left unknown, and it was already awkward enough hearing his confession that he was engaged in such behavior with Elsie. Then another thought entered her mind. Oh no, Rissa, she chided herself. Leave it alone; don’t go down that corridor!
“Yari, is Elsie a woman?” Darn it, girl, she thought. That was unnecessary! Seriously, just leave it alone!
“Oh for the Love of Odin, Rissa!” her brother fumed at the table. “How many times do I have to say it: I don’t go after boys! Of course Elsie is a girl!”
“Not a girl,” she corrected. “A woman.”
“Girl, woman, whatever! What’re you getting at?”
Rissa sighed. “C’mon Yari, you’ve been trained in medicine. Hel, you’ve been trained by our mother! Do I really have to spell it out for you? Is. She. A. Woman. Period.”
“Oh,” Yari said, tracing the wood grain with his little finger. Then, “Oh! Um, no? I don’t know. Hasn’t really come up. She’s the same age as us, so… probably not?”
Rissa tilted her head slightly and didn’t say a word. Eventually, the quiet snuck up on Yari and hit him like Franziska’s flame bolt. “Wait,” he exclaimed looking right at his sister, “you’re not saying that you…?”
“Yes. I am,” Rissa whispered.
“Oh,” Yari said again, running his hand through that perpetually messy hair of his, not sure how else to respond. “I didn’t know”
“Some things are private.”
Still somewhat dumbfounded Yari said, “Wow, um… congratulations?”
His sister glowered at him, but Yari wasn’t paying attention. If Rissa was ‘at that stage,’ then Elsie probably was, too. Crap! He silently thanked his mother for all those awkward lessons growing up, drilling certain behaviors into his psyche.
Rissa was reading his thoughts like Dwarven runes carved into granite. “You two better be real careful. You don’t want her dad coming after you to rip your balls off.”
“Yeah,” said Yari, plopping his head back down on the table. “Don’t worry, we have been. Still, Dean’s not nearly as scary as Dad would be to any boy who –”
Whatever else her brother was going to say, Rissa cut off with outrage, “That’s why no boy wants to be with me!? Of course! Because my dad is Dad! If your father is famous for killing giants and demigods and shit, what boy would want to risk dealing with_ his_ wrath? Just kill me now and put me out of my misery!”
“Huh?” Yari said, then shushed his sister down to a more tolerable volume.
“You know what,” Rissa continued somberly, “Mom did tell me something else about boys. She told me some guys only want one thing from a girl and will try to force themselves on me. She said to always carry a dagger with me because you never know when you might have to defend yourself. I came to this school thinking I’d have to fight off the boys, but turns out I didn’t need to worry about that at all. Dad did it without so much as drawing a weapon.”
“Hey,” Yari said softly trying to soothe her frayed nerves. “Mom and Dad just want you to be safe. And yeah, maybe their reputation is a good thing ‘cause it keeps all the creeps away. But when you find the right guy, a guy you can take home to meet out parents, I’m sure it won’t be that way at all.”
“If I ever find the right guy.”
“Alright, look, enough already. Rissa, you are my sister, and I cannot sing your virtues loud enough. Most of the time, I just figure they go without saying. But maybe they need saying now and again. I cannot imagine my life with you; you’re quick on your feet; you’re self-confident; despite yourself, you have a heart of gold; any other boy would say you’re cute; and, I will forever deny having said any of this!”
“Thanks, bro. I needed to hear that.”
“Are we good, then?”