Empathy

There is a bit of a history to the scene I’m going to post below and to those of you who are reading, or participating in, SOF it may actually be posted there in the future although. Read at your own risk, although it contains no plot relevant anythings and it’s just something I wrote for cuteness sake. The history I spoke of, well… I’ll tell you guys about it in the end. 😉

——————

Luckas sighed, holding back a laugh. They had been doing this for a while now; Lily followed him around for a bit then stood in front of him, stared for a few seconds, and then yawned vigorously. After some time of making the girl chase him down for this; with no explanation as to why whatsoever, Luckas finally stopped trying to get away and just sat down by the oak, compliant, watching as she stared at him for long periods of time and then let out another exaggerated yawn, Stalker joining the girl in her yawning and eventually just curling up beside Luckas and taking a nap. Finally, Lily threw her arms up in the air in clear frustration and stormed off. Luckas was intrigued, so he jumped to his feet and went off after her.

Lily hadn’t gone far, she was standing beside an amused looking Jason, arms crossed and a severe expression that was a clear imitation of the one Jess would give the children at bedtime. “It doesn’t work!”

“There’s nothing wrong with the test, Lily.” The boy responded as if not wanting to explain anything more than that.

“Nuh-uh!” Lily protested. “I did just like you said and it didn’t work at all.”

“Okay…” Luckas snorted a laugh. “What is going here? What was that all about with the yawning and why are you two arguing?”

“It’s an empathy test.” Jason explained.

“An empathy tes-…” Luckas cut himself off, a look of understanding spreading across his features slowly. “I see.” Luke sighed, scratching the back of his head awkwardly. “Well, it doesn’t mean something is wrong with the test, Miss Lily… It just means I didn’t pass.”

The girl shook her head stubbornly. “That’s not right. Because you’re not mean so you should pass!” She argued.

Luke arched an eyebrow at the girl. “Is this an empathy test or a meanness test, hm?” He questioned playfully. “Listen kid, it doesn’t mean I don’t have any empathy. I just have… a lot less of it than most people. So your test wouldn’t work on me, because tests are made for regular people. You understand? Either way, not having empathy doesn’t necessarily mean a person is bad. It means it’s easier for them to do bad things because they wouldn’t feel bad about them.”

“But I think you have lots of empathy! You do nice things all the time.” Lily argued. “You tell us stories, and you help Jess with Danny even if you don’t really have to… And you make Miss Ess smile all the time… and stuff…”

Luckas snickered. “Do I? Huuh…” He mumbled, scratching his head playfully as though he hadn’t actually noticed these things before. “Weeeird.” Noting the girl’s confused expression Luckas sighed crouching down to her level. “Listen kid, I’m nice to you because I like you, yes? I like Miss Ess… and Jess is just very, very, bossy, you know? It’s easy being good to people you like. Good people are good even when it’s not easy. That’s something I can’t do.”

Lily frowned a bit as she thought on Luke’s words, making a face as if she had tasted something bitter. “Are you saying that to be good you have to be nice to people even if you don’t like them?”

Luckas laughed at the girl’s expression. “Nah, Miss Lily, that’s not what I’m saying. I’m saying that good people don’t do bad things to people just because they don’t like them, or because they can. They would feel bad if they did.” He asked, standing up straight and waiting for her to nod in response before starting to walk back the way he came, purposely keeping his pace relaxed, knowing that the questioning wasn’t quite over yet.

“So you’ve done bad things to people just ‘cause you didn’t like them?” Lily asked, following after Luckas.

“Sometimes. More often than that  because I could.”

“Why?”

“Why not?” Luckas retorted, his tone almost bitter, yet he halted and glanced at the girl with the corner of his eye, softening his next words. “That’s what empathy’s for, Miss Lily. It tells you why not.”

“Mister Luckas… Why do some people don’t have empathy then?” The girl asked.

Luckas shrugged casually and resumed walking. “I don’t think anyone knows, Miss Lily. Some people say that you are either born with empathy or not. Others think that people learn empathy from their parents when they’re still babies and that if something really bad happens then, or if they have no one to teach them, they never learn. Nobody knows which is true though.”

“My Mommy and my Da taught me then!” Lily stated proudly. “You didn’t have a mommy to teach you?”

Luckas snorted slightly. “Not really.”

“Is she in Heaven like my mommy?”

“No.” Luckas mumbled. “No, she’s… She’s alive, but… She wasn’t a very good mommy. See, she didn’t want to take care of me or my brother; so she gave us away to some bad people.”

“Like the bad people taking children away now?”

Luckas frowned deeply, but kept his tone relaxed. “You heard about that, huh?”

“We hear lots of things. Jess says we’re not supposed to, but…”

“I see.” Luckas smirked, a little bit amused. He stopped walking as he reached his spot by the oak and was greeted by Stalker lazily getting up from his nap to lick his hand. Luke scratched behind the wolf’s ears and sighed, unable to lie to the girl; even about this. “Yes, those people were something like that.”

“How could she do that?” Lily asked, clinging to Stalker as if he was a giant teddy bear and peeking at Luckas from behind a cover of black fluff.

“She had no empathy; not for us anyway.” Luke shrugged, sitting down by the tree and forcing a smile that was rather unconvincing. “You shouldn’t worry about that, it was a very long time ago.”

“Well, you know what? You have lots more empathy than she did.” Lily stated firmly. “So you didn’t need her to teach you anyways.”

Luckas shook his head, but agreed with the girl not wanting to extend that conversation any more than necessary. “I suppose you’re right Miss Lily.” Luke went silent for a little while before smiling wickedly at the girl. “You know what, I could really use some tea right now. Should we have some tea, Miss Lily?”

Lily’s eyes lit up in excitement as she vigorously nodded. “Okay! Wait here, I’ll be right back!” She exclaimed, running off towards the Captain’s cabin.

Luckas watched the girl wander off, his expression darkening considerably now that she couldn’t see him anymore; a reddish hue lingering underneath the dark of his eyes.

————————–

Okay, so the history… I saw it on an episode of Luther (if you’ve never watched it, do yourself a favor and look it up) that sociopaths don’t yawn when they see someone else yawn; like most of us do, due to their inability to form empathic bonds or something like that. I myself yawn on cue if someone else is yawning, you probably do to right? Most people do. If they as much as read the word ‘yawn’ too many times they’ll yawn too. Yawn, yawn, yawn, yawn, yawn, yawn, yawn, yaaaaaawn.

It totally works for me. I’ve yawned a bunch of times just writing this. 😛

Anyhow… I told Wifey about it and we started looking back on our scenes looking for instances of Luckas mirror-yawning and it eventually led to her writing a scene of Lily telling Ess about the yawn thing as an empathy test (I’ll leave it up to her if she wants to post that scene in her own blog), which in turn led me to write this scene. So that’s the history behind this little scene. I personally like how Lily gets away with asking Luke about his mom… He doesn’t like to think about her at all. Not to mention he’s not at all shy about admitting to some of the things he’s done and why… Or why not… To a five year old. >.>

B.B

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4 thoughts on “Empathy

  1. Reblogged this on A Foggy Realm of Reality and commented:

    Okay, Wifey knows I can not resist.. So I’ll post what lead up to her above scene. Enjoy!
    ~~~~
    “What are you doing?” Ess chuckled, kneeling down beside Lily who was staring very intently at Puppy in a cold stone expression. She looked so serious and was silent as the grave as the large dog stared right back at her, his expression much more curious and adorable as his ears perked up at Ess’ approach. When Lily didn’t answer, Ess folded her hands in her lap and watched the two for quite some time. Ess felt like it had been forever and went to ask Lily again what she was up to, when the girl tilted her head back, her face stretching in a wide and noisy yawn. Essence quirked a brow, thinking that maybe the child had grown tired of this staring contest, absently stifling a yawn of her own. Puppy’s tail thumped happily over at Lily as he reflected her gesture and let out a soft whine, his jaws parting in a yawn of his own, tongue lolling out of his mouth. Lily broke her statue like pose and began giggling and tackled her fury protector in a massive hug, the dog covering the girl in kisses.

    Ess snorted shaking her head. “Lily…what are you doing?” She smiled in amusement.

    “Hi Miss Ess! I was trying an spearmint..” Lily giggled, when Ess’ expression when dumbfounded.

    “ A what?”

    “A spearmint! Jason said that he read that animals and people…who are good…sense someone is good and you can tell this by if yawning and seeing if that animal or person does it too.” Lily lifted her head proudly as if she were giving a lesson on morality.

    “OOooh…an experiment.” Ess laughed and nodded, tapping her chin thoughtfully as she listened to Lily’s explanation.

    “Dat’s what I said, Miss Ess. An exspearmint. And it worked. Puppy yawned when I did.”

    Ess fell silent for a few moments, watching the girl lovingly play with the Wolfhound. Thinking over the girl’s words, she began to understand what she was doing, a warm smile touching her eyes as she quietly appreciated the girl’s intelligence. Lily had a pretty good understanding of what Jason had explained to her, but Ess was familiar with what the boy had read and knew it was still quite a bit over the young girl’s head.

    “It’s to tell..if someone has Empathy, Miss Lily. Do you know what Empathy is?” Ess sang softly, reaching over to ruffle up Puppy’s fur. Lily looked up at Essence and tilted her head in curiosity, staying silent to politely wait for the woman to finish.

    “Um..well basically it’s..for example…Let’s pretend you fell and hurt your leg and I found you. I would feel bad and sad that you hurt yourself and want to help you. Your pain I don’t really feel, because I’m not hurt, but I see you’re in pain and I want to help it go away.I would want to take care of you.” Ess reached over and lifted the girl onto her lap as she spoke, running her fingers through her hair to separate and braid the loose strands.

    “So…it’s wanting to help people?” Lily asked, quietly settling into Ess’ lap.

    “Sometimes. It’s understanding what someone else feels, even if you don’t feel it. Sometimes you do feel it too.” Ess snorted, shaking her head when Lily looked back at her a bit confused. “Ok..what if Puppy didn’t yawn back, what did Jason say that would have meant?”

    Lily was thoughtfully quiet as Ess twisted six small braids; three on each side of Lily’s head, uniting them at the base of her neck where she began braiding those together into a much larger design. When Ess was finished, that was when Lily seemed to come to an answer.

    “I think…it would mean that Puppy was bad. I think if someone didn’t care about me then they’d be mean. I’m a good girl and I like making people stuff and helping Jason and the other kids and Maga. I was sad that day your hands hurt Miss Ess and you couldn’t eat..so I helped. So..I have mapthy..”

    “Empathy..” Ess corrected, brushing a few hairs from her eyes. “..Yes…you do. and you’re right…those who don’t..can be very mean..”

    “You have empathy too then.” Lily smiled.

    Essence giggled. “Why don’t you go find out if Mr Luckas does too? Go play your game with him…but don’t tell him why until after, ok?”

    “Ok!” Lily jumped up with a small burst of energy and went to run off to find Luckas. “Miss Ess?” Lily paused in step and looked over at Essence with what could only be recognized as confidence. “…You know what?”

    “What is it, Lily?”

    “Mr. Luckas has to have empathy because he’s never mean to me.”

    “Is that so? Well, you sure it’s not because he knows he’d get his butt whooped by a camp full of guardsmen and women if he were to be mean to you?”

    Lily laughed, clapping a bit in amusement. “Maybe..but I don’t think so..”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Clayton And Lily – Flashforward | Blackbird's Nest

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