Random DoL Meta Scraps 1/?

January 2, 2009 at 1:30 am (Miscellaneous Meta) ()

A bit of Felix and Mildmay comparison + a bit on their relationship (spoilers for all three books)

I’m re-reading The Virtu right now and will probably reread The Mirador, and I’ve realized that whenever Felix uses the word darling it’s when he’s deliberately trying to hurt or be catty or cruel, and it’s something he picked up from Malkar (who does the exact same thing to him all the time) and is the shadow of Malkar showing through in him. By the same token Mildmay thinks something that includes the nickname Milly-Fox it’s only when he’s putting himself down, and it’s a hold-over from when he was a kept-thief and his Keeper, Kolkhis, would use the nickname to do the same thing.

God, both Mildmay and Felix are free of the Keepers but they aren’t, not really. Felix is still afraid of the Sim and of the memories Malkar left him with, Mildmay puts himself down in his Keeper’s voice and he does it all the fucking time, even when he doesn’t explicitly state that he’s hearing the words in her voice. It kind of hurts to read, and it hurts even more to read Felix’s sections and see all the places where he thinks Mildmay’s really great and mentally compliments him and where he thinks about defending Mildmay or taking Mildmay’s side and then doesn’t do a damn thing. It’s like he has all these great ephiphanies about himself and their relationship and then utterly fails to follow through. It’s so frustrating.

At the same time, though, Mildmay never really says why he loves Felix and would rather stay by his side and suffer than leave and uh, also suffer, but at least without the obligation d’ame hanging over him. All he does is burst out with these random declarations of loyalty that completely confound Felix because he can’t see how Mildmay could possibly feel any of that for someone like him. I mean, it’s all well and good, but it’s reasonless, and all it does is confuse; it doesn’t tell Felix what about him is worth loving and putting up with him, just that he’s worth it. Which I think scares him more than anything because what if what Mildmay is seeing that makes being Felix’s slave worth it is something Felix is making up to prettify himself? The only time Mildmay ever brings out one of his myriad, accurate observations about Felix is when he’s angry and wants to throw Felix’s faults in his face. And Felix knows that Mildmay’s right but that just scares him more because if Mildmay can see the bad than he can see the good and what, exactly, does Felix have in him that is good and worth loving? Or maybe, you know, he’s just not good at being read and deciphered, at anyone being able to penetrate his defenses so accurately and cruelly.

They are both so bad at communicating; they both hate themselves even as they love each other, but their mutual self-loathing bleeds into their love and stains it, twists it; they’re tied to each other by force and by choice but it’s not easy for either of them, and they don’t make it easy on each other, either.


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