It was a week into the Keeping that things went south.
If it had been on the first or second or third order, the second day or third, Vercingetorix might have freed her and tried to get a promise not to mess with him in retaliation. But no, it was a week in and even if he’d wanted to, she’d learned too much.
“Go do the dishes, and then work on your homework.” It’d been a long day, and they were both tired; her magic class was exhausting, which he might have remembered if he’d been thinking straight.
“No.” Glaucia looked at him as if challenging him to say something. “I need something to eat, I’m falling over, and I don’t have any homework. Why don’t you do the dishes?”
And, much to his surprise, Vercingetorix had found himself washing the dishes.
To his further surprise, he found his Kept sitting in the armchair, knees to her chest and hands over her face, delicate fins sticking up behind her thumbs.
He took her to Caitrin’s, of course, because he remembered Changing without the pain meds and would wish that on nobody. And in the cuddling and reassuring and watching her little fins and webs and scales come in, Vercingetorix pretty much forgot about the thing with the dishes and so did Glaucia.
The next time was a couple days later, when she started arguing with him about sleeping arrangements. “If you don’t like it,” he bellowed, “sleep on the floor!”
“No! I don’t see why I should. You sleep on the floor!”
And not only did Vercingetorix find himself curled up in the corner of the room with a spare pillow, not entirely sure what had happened, but he felt miserable, like he’d just yelled at his Keeper.
In Vercingetorix’s defense, this sort of thing rarely happened, and he’d never heard stories of it before, not even rumors or whispers. The Kept bond was a Law; you couldn’t break it. Thus, it took him a little while to figure out what was going on.
It took Glaucia a little less time, because she had far less preconceptions to work from. Her Keeper had been able to make her feel miserable and tell her what to do; now she could share that. One made as much sense as the other.
Once she’d figured it out, it was easy to figure out that she should subtle with it – not all his orders were annoying, not everything he did was unpleasant, so she pushed back only when she found what he was doing onerous or annoying (or when she was having a bad day).
If she’d stayed with being sneaky, it might have taken Vercingetorix even longer to figure out what was going on. But since she was a curious-minded individual, she started experimenting with the bonds of her new trick. And when she started pushing things, Vercingetorix finally went from “something is weird here” to understanding what was going on.
Of course, by then, it would prove almost impossible for him to release her.
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