Agreed, and I'd add that I think the reason Maren has been so off her game in this whole situation is precisely because they've been seeing Trace and Flora frolicking at the party and that's kind of... reminded Maren that it's possible to be like that with someone. And moreover one of the young idiots in love is Trace, who was her counterpart earlier in a probably quite different relationship -- and so if it's possible for Trace, then, might it not be possible for her as well?MuonNeutrino wrote: ↑Sat Dec 28, 2019 7:22 pm She starts off with the usual expected objections, about them being a wolf and a human. But then, when Sythe rebuts that with a reference to Trace and Flora, her attitude changes. There's a beat, a moment of thought, before she violently rejects the idea. What was she thinking about, in that moment? Where did her mind go? I think it's clear from her comments that she didn't just think about Trace and Flora being together physically, but of their actual relationship.
I think that's why Sythe's line lands so hard for her in that third panel. He isn't just making a point, he's more or less saying what she's been thinking. (After already reading her on the last page with his hook up line!)
This part, while certainly plausible, I feel inclined to disagree with. I don't think it's Sythe's de-escalation that gets her, I think it's just the few beats of time. When she turns back to him, with the 'Why would you even want a relationship' line, I think she's already pretty ready to go for it, she just needs to trust that she understands where he's coming from. And I suspect she assumes, I suspect correctly, that Sythe is more interested than he could or would admit in his backing-off mode.MuonNeutrino wrote: ↑Sat Dec 28, 2019 7:22 pm And then, Sythe's response. Not only does he pay her a surprisingly ungrudging compliment (and I think her comment does suggest that it was something she was genuinely worried about), but he also explicitly disclaims the idea of a relationship. And suddenly, she's uncertain again. Suddenly, there's an excuse, a way to put an emotional barrier between her and the idea that scares her so much. A way she can say to herself that she's not *really* getting close to anyone, not *really* opening herself up to the prospect of being hurt again, that she can act on what she feels while still being 'safe'. (Now where have we seen something similar to that before?) And it's only *then* that she goes for it. That she can get past her conflict.
Consequently, in contrast to you...
... I would expect a real increase in intimacy that might come as a surprise for one or both of them, but will come a new mutual understanding. Might not be immediate public fact, but a situation where they both know the score and have a care for each other's feelings.MuonNeutrino wrote: ↑Sat Dec 28, 2019 7:22 pm I wouldn't expect their outward attitudes towards each other to change. Even if they do end up in a more committed situation eventually, I wouldn't expect them to admit it or to stop teasing and snarking at each other. But I do think there's more potential here than either of them is comfortable admitting yet.
Oh, and a glorious cuddling scene. But I think (hope!) that's a gimme, unless and until something explodes