Author Topic: Debrief  (Read 17035 times)

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Offline Existentially Odd

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Debrief
« on: April 06, 2020, 01:26:49 AM »
Sitting at his desk in the library, Samuel glanced up and away from his screen, his gaze flicking forward to his glass office door - unopened - to the desk beyond, then towards the entry through another window. It had to be the thousandth glance in the last few minutes. No white wings yet. Nothing was changed out there, all was quiet, his colleague Oliver manning the circulation desk, just in case. With Remi going hunting for a dark angel today, Sam hadn't known whether he'd make it to work or not, so he'd brought Oliver in.

In the end, he'd come in just to distract himself. And to save his carpet from being worn in by pacing.

He glanced down at his phone, on the desk beside his keyboard, near his right hand. If his heart beat, it would be racing right about now. He touched the screen, re-reading his and Remi's text chain - the final act in his nervous scanning ritual. All was well - Remi had said so himself - but it didn't make him feel much better. He'd texted that he'd found the dark angel and was okay. The relief that had seeped through Sam's system when he'd read those words had left him momentarily weak.

After a few quick messages were exchanged, Remi had said he was on his way to the library. He'd be here any minute but... Sam's gaze flicked, flicked, flicked, flicked... no white wings yet. He needed to see for himself. Doing nothing had been one of the most difficult things he'd ever done, ironically. Knowing Remi was hunting out a confrontation and potential attack worried him sick but he also couldn't afford to let doubt undermine his belief in Remi's strength and ability. He believed in Remi, believed he was awesome and would definitely triumph... but what if he didn't?

Hence the pacing.

Thankfully, he didn't have details but he knew that Remi was at least alive and on his way to him. That was his favourite part. The message had come sixteen minutes and forty-one seconds ago, though. What was keeping him? With a sigh, Sam put his phone to sleep and looked around once again, his fingers tapping agitatedly on the surface of his desk. He couldn't even pretend to work in this state. He couldn't predict how Remi would be feeling, how the fight had gone and whether Remi had killed again or not. So much would only be revealed once he saw his beautiful angel again.

Sam's phone vibrated obnoxiously on the wood of his desk, drawing his gaze to the locked screen. Part of a message flashed up, allowing him to see that Dreki was texting him. It was not urgent, judging by the way his message casually led in with 'Hey Sam, sorry if this is a bother, but I have a question for you. I'm assuming... 'more and Sam immediately dismissed it, guessing that Dreki was only texting to find out what had gone on with Remi and the dark angel. Since he didn't have any definite answers for the hybrid angel (yet), Sam was predisposed to hold off on answering him for now...

Movement in the periphery of his vision had him looking up and he forgot about the phone entirely as he spied Remiel striding through the library's automatic doors. Everything inside him went haywire as Sam leapt to his feet, celerity propelling him out of his office and towards Remi in the blink of an eye. He intended to throw himself into the angel's arms, so overwhelmingly relieved to see him that all he could think about was getting his hands on him and examining him so that he could finally believe Remi was okay. He also intended to keep his claustrophobic darling out of the compact office and in the lofty, open space of the library proper so that he would feel more comfortable.

First things first, though; launching himself into Remi's arms as quickly as possible.

Offline Ehcorn

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Re: Debrief
« Reply #1 on: April 06, 2020, 09:48:14 PM »
If he hadn’t been looking towards Sam’s office already, Remi might’ve missed the blur that streaked towards him until it was too late to do anything about it. As it was, he barely got his arms open in time to catch Sam. Their bodies thudded together hard enough that he was sent stumbling backward before he rebalanced himself with a flap of his wings, drawing a sharp protest from someone who’d been trying to squeak by him in the doorway.

"Sorry," he managed between laughs, which resulted in a scoff and rolled eyes, but he didn’t notice. He was too caught up in Sam, hugging him close and reaffirming that yes, it felt as wonderful to be held in return as he’d remembered.

Remi eventually pulled back enough to take Sam’s face in one of his hands, swiping his thumb over the vampire’s pronounced cheekbone as he searched eyes the color of the ocean he’d just flown over.

"I missed you," he said, then chuckled and lowered his gaze sheepishly. "I know it’s only been what, part of a night and a day, but… talking on the phone isn’t the same. I can’t—" And he broke off because he'd leaned forward to press a firm kiss to Sam’s lips. "Can’t do that," he finished, grinning, and leaned back again.

That’s when he realized people were watching them. A lot of people.

"Why're they staring?" he whispered, eyebrows lowered in his confusion.

Offline Existentially Odd

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Re: Debrief
« Reply #2 on: April 06, 2020, 11:08:00 PM »
Samuel's chest felt full and warm in the wake of Remi's declaration, his lips tingling from his kiss. He wanted more, though he doubted very much that he'd be able to successfully kiss the angel with how widely he was grinning. Seeing him settled some very aggressive worry butterflies he'd barely been keeping caged. He was alright, though, the dark angel hadn't killed him... not that that was Remi's priority.

When Remi glanced around, so did Sam, his Remi-only daze broken momentarily as he logged the audience they'd garnered. Remi wasn't wrong; they were being looked at with open curiosity. His baffled question was endearing and made Sam chuckle as he turned back to face the handsome angel. He reached past Remi's shoulder and skimmed the tips of his fingers lightly down a section on the inside of Remi's wings, knowing it would draw his attention to the fact that they were out, too.

Just because the campus was a safe zone and natural forms were approved indoors didn't mean that students and staff got to see an angel in all his glory with any regularity. Especially one that seemed to be lit up with so much joy that he was practically glowing. Maybe he was. Sam couldn't tell the difference; Remi was always blindingly beautiful to him. His smile was captivating at the best of times, right now it was downright hypnotic but his huge white wings... they were something else alright. The vampire felt like he was glowing, knowing he was the cause of Remi's happiness.

"Because you're just too beautiful to look away from," he grinned, unwinding his arms from Remi's torso in order to snag one of his hands in his own. "Come on," he urged, not giving Remi a chance to argue as he spun away from him and dragged him through the library. He wove a path away from the circulation desk and the bookshelves nearby, past study tables and a row of corrals towards the comfortable lounging section. It held clusters of couches and armchairs screened by strategic potted plants and book displays. It wasn't as private as Sam's office but it was beneath the void, the only thing above them was a distant ceiling dotted with skylights. Sam believed Remi would appreciate staying out here more than being locked into his office fishbowl.

There was only one other person in this section and they'd chosen to curl up and sleep in their armchair. Still, Sam didn't stop til he'd reached a distant two-seater tucked between a fern and a palm. He fell into it and pulled Remi down after him, becoming a flurry of words, hungry kisses and reaching arms as he unleashed his bottled-up anxieties in a rush.

"Ohhh, I'm so glad you're okay. And you found him? The dark angel? Him? Or her? Did everything go okay? Ohmystars I've missed you, too, last night feels forever ago and we should probably just go back to your place but-- are you okay? You're not hurt? You can fly and everything still, right?" he fretted, pulling back to squeeze every bit of Remi he could get his hands on, again, l to reassure himself that Remiel was of sound body and health.

Offline Ehcorn

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Re: Debrief
« Reply #3 on: April 07, 2020, 07:23:52 PM »
"Yes, I can. I flew all the way here," he said, unfurling a wing for Sam when the vampire’s pale fingers sought it out. Remi smiled gently as he inspected and traced the edges of his feathers, determining for himself that he was, in fact, uninjured and capable of flying.

He couldn’t see vampire’s auras — Sam’s or otherwise — but as soon as they’d sat down and he’d been inundated with questions and peppered with kisses and touches, he’d understood well enough that his venture to the beach had left Sam feeling unsettled. He indulged Sam a while longer, first spreading his other wing for Sam to examine, then pointing out that his clothing was absent any holes or bloodstains.

When it became clear that it wouldn’t be enough to show Sam that he’d made it out of the meeting unscathed, Remi pinned his wings against his back, tucked a leg underneath him, and scooted over until he could wrap his arms around the vampire.

"I can tell you what happened if you want," he said quietly, and when Sam prompted him to begin his tale, he did. He described the night's events: how he’d used his father’s ring to camouflage himself and ambushed the dark angel, sending one of the arrows he’d fletched with his own feathers through his chest; how he’d been surprised by Adagio throwing aside his daggers and begging for mercy; how he'd removed the arrow, then healed him; and that after some tense discussion, he’d found out that the dark angel didn’t want to be dark any longer.

"We’re supposed to meet at Huggamug, with two Gs, tomorrow to talk about it some more. There will be coffee and chocolate. I haven't had either before."

Offline Existentially Odd

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Re: Debrief
« Reply #4 on: April 08, 2020, 03:06:41 AM »
Samuel listened to Remi's recount of his night with the dark angel - one that he was now on a first name basis with (?!!) - and barely closed his mouth the entire time. It kept dropping open in shock. He'd been preparing himself to hear a tail of bloodlust, hatred and murder. Instead, he got apologies, heals and... coffee dates? It was surreal.

"Do you even trust him?" Sam asked, frowning worriedly. It all sounded like a convenient excuse to not have another arrow put through him, to Sam. "I mean... he's a dark angel. They're inherently corrupt and looking to corrupt, right? This sounds like a ploy to gain your sympathy right before he betrays you." He had a feeling he was saying nothing Remi wouldn't have already thought of and his lack of originality was, frankly, embarrassing but it was also motivational

He was compelled to point out all the ways this would end badly and hurt Remi because all he wanted to do was protect him.

Offline Ehcorn

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Re: Debrief
« Reply #5 on: April 09, 2020, 02:18:15 AM »
Midway through his retelling, Remi had encircled his hands around Sam’s arm and rested the side of his head on his shoulder, but the question made him sit up and frown at the vampire.

"Not the way I trust you," he answered. "But—" and here, he broke eye contact to look anywhere except at Sam. He examined the spines of shelved books, eyed nearby potted plants that looked healthy enough to have come from his rooftop garden, and gazed the long way up at a ceiling that still allowed him a view of the night sky. The library was open and beautiful and with Sam at his side, it should’ve been perfect, but all his conflicted feelings about Adagio rushed up like water from a geyser.

"When he said he wanted to become fallen again, there was something... It was more than what he said. There was something in his eyes. Desperation. Misery, too. He’s miserable like he is. He doesn’t like how he has to keep power." Remi sighed and stared at his hand as he plucked and pulled at the dark fabric of his jeans. "I never asked what he’s done, though. How he’s corrupted. If he’s killed. He said he wanted to do better and that was enough for me."

He fell silent for several heartbeats, his mouth twisting like the thick fabric between his fingers, then shrugged and breathed out a huff of a sigh. "I don’t like killing them. I know it’s what I’m supposed to do, I just... I don’t like it. I'm not even sure if dark angels can fall, but if they can, I want to help him try."

Offline Existentially Odd

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Re: Debrief
« Reply #6 on: April 10, 2020, 04:58:26 AM »
Remiel's words caused an unwanted sourness in Samuel's heart. He tried very hard to squash it down but it wormed its way back into his thoughts anyway. Remi really had a soft spot for guys that wanted to be better. He knew it was overly dramatic and out of context but the bitterness didn't fade because he saw far too many parallels between himself and this Adagio creature.

Was Remi even attracted to him for him or was it really just that he couldn't resist a lost cause?

Sam wasn't used to feeling this way. Insecurity wasn't attractive and doubt had never had a place in any healthy relationship he'd been part of, yet here it was, rising around him like a rip on a tide. He hadn't been aware until this very moment that he and Remi weren't on an equal footing but he was very aware of it now. Remi was an angel, it was in his nature to help, to show compassion and nurture.

Remi was a fixer and Sam was a work in progress, just like Adagio was. Could that be all there was to his and Remi's relationship? He tried to remind himself of the insane physical attraction they shared, the way they'd always gravitate towards one another whenever they were in proximity - even when they were upset with each other, they couldn't help touching and when they weren't, their lips couldn't stay apart - but the doubt remained. Like a film of filth after a bathtub had been emptied, the thoughts coated Sam's mind as he forced himself to focus on Remi's final statement.

"And... what then?" Sam frowned, imagining Remi gaining himself a fallen angel puppy out of this whole business.

If Remi could help Adagio repent for his corruption and fall, Sam could only imagine that it would spark the dark angel's loyalty and he'd continue to rely on Remi for guidance. His question was evidence of the bitterness he was feeling, he could hear it in his own voice but not stop it. In that moment, he was too consumed by his own fears and an unhealthy dose of jealousy. It was selfish but he wanted to know how this might affect them and whether Remi had even bothered to put any thought into that.

Offline Ehcorn

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Re: Debrief
« Reply #7 on: April 11, 2020, 08:41:57 PM »
At first, all Remi managed to do was frown in return at Sam. He’d felt the change in the vampire’s demeanor the same way he could feel an oncoming storm, right when the air grew heavy and the hair on his neck and arms would rise, warning him that lightning was about to strike. The main difference was that while he understood weather — and that when two opposing fronts collided, storms usually resulted — he didn’t understand where Sam’s dark mood had come from.

"I..." he began, then released all his stored air in a puffy breath of frustration. He had a feeling that a lot rested on how he answered Sam’s question, but he wasn’t sure what Sam wanted him to say. All he could do was tell him the truth. "I don’t know, exactly. He’ll be free to choose his own path. He can’t return to the light fully, but he could still do good for the world. I could help him make the right choices if he wanted. Keep him from returning to the dark. But if he doesn’t want to, then I'd put the arrow back in his chest."

He let his declaration hang in the air for a span of a few heartbeats before he continued, shaking his head.

"Is that what you wanted to hear? That I'd be willing to kill him if I needed to?"

Offline Existentially Odd

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Re: Debrief
« Reply #8 on: April 12, 2020, 02:28:29 AM »
Sam frowned lightly, knowing his unease was less about the dark angel than it was about his own stupid feelings but he'd be lying if he said he didn't feel better for hearing that Adagio didn't matter enough to fight for. That, if it came down to it, Remi would kill him if he was beyond redemption. It was ridiculous because he understood very well that he was important to Remi but having the angel coming in fresh from a night that had shot Sam's nerves all to hell with worry had him a little irrational.

First, there was Dreki starting this whole business by getting accosted by Adagio - after he'd wormed his way between Sam and Remiel by convincing Remi to mentor him - and now there was Adagio. Both of them were intent on draining Remiel's time and focus so where did that leave Sam? At work waiting for Remi to find a spare moment to see him in between changing angels' lives and sleeping? They already got so little time together, one of them being a creature of light and the other darkness. Maybe it was stupid but, in his current headspace, Samuel couldn't help but feel like it was some sort of sign that they shouldn't be together.

"No," he sighed, lifting a hand to cup Remi's cheek as he stared into his eyes seriously. "Well, yes, that's good to know," he added honestly, "but I'm worried about you. You're committing yourself to helping an untrustworthy creature that's your sworn enemy after you committed to helping Dreki train... I'm worried you're over-committing yourself. I guess... that's kind of like your job though, right?" he queried uncertainly. "Helping people?"

Like me. All in a night's work...
STOP IT. You're being petulant and insecure
I need to get over myself because this is what Remi does... right? It's his purpose on this plane?

Offline Ehcorn

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Re: Debrief
« Reply #9 on: April 13, 2020, 07:10:23 PM »
He leaned into Sam’s hand, relishing the cooling quality of the vampire’s skin against his. After the long flight from the beach to the academy, it felt as good as sticking his head in one of the cold boxes at Maria and Javier’s grocery store on a hot summer day. Really, it was an improvement, because Maria wasn’t in the background chiding him for leaving the door open and letting all the cold air out.

Ay, Dios mío, she'd said, hadn’t his mother taught him better? She’d been dismayed when he told her that he didn’t know his mother, then insisted that she would take on the role since he clearly needed the guidance. Someone should make sure he behaved like a gentleman and had he eaten recently? He needed to eat.

Remi imagined she’d be delighted by Sam’s efforts to ensure he was looking out for himself, even if he didn’t think it was necessary.

"I’m not sure how much I’ll be able to do for either of them," he admitted. "I can try to help Adagio, but what can I do except tell him what’s right and hope he chooses to do it? I can’t make him do anything he doesn’t want to. I can’t be with him all the time, either. And Dreki? I wasn't on the heavenly plane long. What do I teach him when I'm still learning?"

Remi pulled on Sam's hand gently, dragging it down so he could twine their fingers together. As he examined their joined hands, his brow furrowed. "It’s not my job to help people. Not exactly. I do it because I want to. Because it feels right. The only mission my father gave me was to stay safe." Remi looked up and met Sam’s gaze, determination settling into the mixed green and brown and gold of his hazel eyes. "If helping had been my mission, they would've given me better tools to do it with. I've just got to do the best with what I have. I’ll figure something out.” He paused to smile and squeezed Sam's hand. "Maybe with a little of your help?"

Offline Existentially Odd

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Re: Debrief
« Reply #10 on: April 14, 2020, 05:32:04 AM »
Oddly, Remiel's admissions of doubt soothed Sam's nerves more rapidly than hollow reassurances would have. The litany of self doubt flowing through his mind eased and he looked down at his hand entwined with Remi's, feeling the warmth of his skin and pulse flow into him like electricity. The angel of light was correct. He could only offer haphazard support to the angels he'd committed himself to. He was still learning. Samuel understood then that Remi wasn't making any of his decisions from a logical or rational place; he was just doing his best. He was following his heart.

"With as much of it as you need and a little more besides," Sam smiled through his promise, nodding then leaning forward to press his lips to Remi's. It was a gentle kiss; though his mouth opened to lightly taste each of Remi's lips in turn, he kept his tongue to himself for the time being. His twisted insides began to detangle throughout the kiss, his knotted thoughts unravelling before the resentment and bitterness could take hold. Requesting his help was a sign - a sign that Remiel trusted him and his judgement and that he needed him. He wasn't the same helpless cause as the others. He was different. Special.

Whatever they were to each other, Sam's role was still that of a position of privilege because, even though he still had a lot to learn to make him a better person, Remi saw him differently. He wasn't here just so Remi could work miracles with him.

Offline Ehcorn

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Re: Debrief
« Reply #11 on: April 15, 2020, 06:27:50 PM »
"Thank you," Remi said, though the two words didn’t quite cover the extent of his gratitude. He closed the short distance between them and recaptured Sam’s lips with his own, aiming to show him what he hadn’t been able to say. It was a slow kiss, with lots of lingering lip contact broken up by brief periods of Remi pulling back to make eye contact and smile before he dove back in again. He’d slid his hand to the back of Sam’s neck and flicked his tongue out in an effort to dive deeper when there was a thud and a muted curse.

Remi broke away in time to witness a bespectacled and flustered looking woman stumble past the table she’d thudded into. There was another curse when she also lost her hold on a manilla folder and every bit of paper within slid out and fluttered to the ground.

"Er," she said, glancing at them and then away again like she’d been scalded, "I didn’t realize you were… I just— I didn’t mean to interrupt." She crouched down and scooped up the sheets to stuff them haphazardly into her arms. When she'd finished, she stood and turned to face them, clutching her papers to her chest.

"It’s only… I overheard someone say an angel had come this way. I didn’t believe them, though. I mean, when you stop and think about it, it makes sense, right? There are dark angels, so naturally, there'd be light ones, too, but,” she shook her head, "I’d never seen one. Until now. I think. I’m assuming. That’s probably rude, but there's the wings and you’re so—" She trailed off to stare at him and smile.

Remi cocked his head at her as he waited for her to elaborate, but the silence stretched and stretched until he turned to Sam, giving him the same look of confusion he had when he’d realized everyone in the library lobby was staring at them.

Offline Existentially Odd

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Re: Debrief
« Reply #12 on: April 16, 2020, 04:01:32 AM »
Completely reassured and relaxing more with every brush of Remi's lips, Samuel lost himself in the kissing, enjoying the loving nature of it... until they were rudely interrupted. By an angel superfan, apparently. Sam frowned at her as she began to gush her explanation, resenting her presence because she was interrupting their reunion. He watched her pick up all her papers critically, feeling too little motivation to help her or act in any way.

"And yet you have," he muttered under his breath in response to her saying she didn't mean to interrupt. Whether she did or not was irrelevant when she kept doing it without remorse. When she elaborated and then left her sentence about what Remi was 'so', Sam was torn between falling off the chair to relieve the tension and supplying his own adjective. He went with the latter option.

"Beautiful! The word you're looking for is beautiful," he told the girl in annoyance, frowning at her. "Will that be all? Do you need an autograph or a picture with him or are you done?" he insisted, impatient to continue his alone time with Remi and not appreciating her blocking him in the slightest.

Offline Ehcorn

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Re: Debrief
« Reply #13 on: April 17, 2020, 03:45:11 PM »
Remi had turned to Sam to dispel his confusion, but with each hurtful thing he said to the woman, he only grew more confused. She hadn’t done anything wrong. Why was he acting as if she had? Because she’d interrupted them? He pursed his lips and slid his hand from Sam’s neck so he could face forward and lace his fingers in his lap.

After he’d retreated from the vampire, creating distance between them that hadn’t existed since he’d entered the library, he focused all his attention on the woman. She was staring at Sam, her mouth hanging open and working like she wanted to say something but couldn’t quite get it out, and her face had turned a shade of red that reminded him of the peppers Maria had convinced him to try once, but never again.

He didn’t have to read her aura to know Sam had embarrassed her.

"It’s alright," he said, smiling when she looked over. "I don’t mind."

She shook her head rapidly enough her long blonde ponytail swayed and her thick and black-framed glasses slid down the bridge of her nose. She squinted at him over the tops of them.

"I-I don’t want a picture." She gathered all her paperwork into one arm as well as she could and pushed her glasses up, finishing just in time to snap her arm back down to trap a piece of paper that’d tried to escape. "Or an autograph. I just wanted to see if they were right. And maybe ask if…" She trailed off and shook her head again. When her glasses slid down her nose this time, she didn’t move to fix them — she started backing away. "But that’s okay. I um... I’m gonna..."

Before Remi could warn her she was on a collision course with the table, she knocked into it and yelped. He’d half-risen to check on her, but she announced that she was okay, totally okay, and limped off.

Remi sat back down and frowned at Sam.

"You weren't kind to her," he said, gesturing at the spot the woman had stood. "What if she needed help?"

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Re: Debrief
« Reply #14 on: April 18, 2020, 02:23:50 AM »
Samuel's jaw set as Remi withdrew from him physically, the distance between them palpable after the touches they'd been sharing. The angel's disappointment and disapproval was obvious long before he said anything. Sam tried to feel bad about it, knowing he'd spoken abruptly, his impatience taken out on the girl (some form of fae, he'd bet), but the only thing he felt regret about was the absence of Remi's touch. He was sorry that happened.

Losing Remi's warmth and attention was the exact opposite of what he wanted.

"Sounds exactly like that was what she was about to ask you for," Sam answered coolly, his eyebrows raised and his hands brushing agitatedly up and down his thighs. It was difficult keeping the petulant tone out of his voice when the thing that he'd only just talked himself out of worrying about was back; yet another person needed Remi's help. It was becoming tediously common. "Maybe you should follow after her and check?" he suggested, his tone airy in its challenge.

He didn't want Remi to go. He expected Remi to go. He encouraged Remi to go because he expected he would and he didn't want him to. It was all far too confusing and emotional, Sam wasn't used to such ridiculous levels of emotion so early on in a relationship. He and Remi didn't even officially have a relationship yet! He held no claim over him or his time so he knew this was a losing battle... and he was bitter because he didn't want to lose but he also had no idea how to win.

Remi would be angry at him for thinking in terms of winning and losing too, probably. He was in trouble.