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  • The Articulator

    Okay, now, there’s going to be a mug in there. The important thing, Alison, is to *not* throw it at his head.

    • Gotham

      The very same, glued back together, hopefully.

      Or a ring and wedding proposal. One or the other.

      • friendlymosquito

        Oh come on, it’s definitely the mug. I predict Allison will tear up 😛

      • Or kryptonite.

        • Ladon

          I don’t want that but at the same time, I so desperately do. That would be inexplicably perfect.

      • Zorae42

        Or a USB stick with all the conspiracy info on it. Since he knew the likelihood of having a mental breakdown and wanted to make sure she got the stuff she wanted.

        (And some spyware too because he just can’t help himself)

        • Ophidiophile

          Don’t be ridiculous. Patrick is already the best spyware in existence, especially with respect to Allison.

      • Sengachi

        The same mug, glued back together with gold seams in the style of those intentionally shattered and reformed tea cups.

    • Right. It is the mug.

      • Thomas Woolford

        Which Mug?

        • Marika Oniki

          The one she nearly took his head off with when they last spoke.

  • Anondod

    I’m assuming Alison is verbalizing all of this for her own and/or our benefit?

    • Richard, Probably

      That or she’s saying it because she’s thinking something else. Though, personally, I believe she means it even if there are some conflicting feelings.

  • Gotham

    “I have literally no idea what you’re talking about. My last recollection involves perfectly good booze escaping my body. And… aggressively negging a super cute glass-wearing nerd with the most attractive hair puff? Who was that guy again? Do you have his number?”

    It doesn’t quite work because even if it was true he could just read her mind to get the whole story but let a gal have some fun.

    • Richard, Probably

      Yeah, there’s been a lot of cute Patrick this chapter, but it’s gonna be hard to top page 32’s moment with Patrick flopping back onto the bed with some sleepy-soft maniacal laughter after that encounter.

    • Daniel Carrier

      Maybe the reason he’s taking a while to respond is he’s looking through her memories to figure out what she’s talking about.

    • Margot

      I came here to say that, but kind of expected that you’d have got there before me.

  • Olivier Faure

    Well, someone has to say it, so I’ll say it: this is really more mature than I was expecting, and it’s the kind of page I read this comic for. Cheers!

    • Thomas S

      Agreed. And just because you love someone does not make it a thing that HAS to be chased. Love is irrational and unkind, it is cruel and heartless because it gives such heart and such joy.

    • Gotham

      What exactly was it that you expected? I’m not sure that’s the end of that plot thread (would be nice) but this is so much in Alison’s character I think Feral is reflexively rolling her eyes in her sleep

    • magnetoo

      It IS the mature response, but it’s difficult not to notice that she characterizes her feelings for Patrick as “I love you so much” while her feelings for Clevin are only “I’m happy”.

      People often do the “right” thing even though their heart would have them do something else. Alison is just the sort of person to do what she perceives as the right thing, but that doesn’t necessarily resolve the emotional tension here.

      • friendlymosquito

        And when did you decide romantic love was the superior feeling to happiness? She’s smart enough to know that pursuing that right now would be a train-wreck of epic proportions 😛

        • magnetoo

          You sound like you think you disagree with me, but I’m not sure why.

          We both seem to think this page indicates she has stronger feelings for Patrick than for Clevin, and that that might have consequences later. I was agreeing with the poster above me that one explanation for that is that she’s made the mature choice, on the basis that doing otherwise would be unfair to Clevin. You are adding that it is also in her self-interest, which sounds plausible too.

          But whether it’s because of her concern for Clevin or because of thinking about herself (and Patrick), we’re in the same place, aren’t we? She’s acted maturely but this is not over.

          • Zorae42

            I think the issue was the choice of putting the word right in quotations. Making it seem like you disagreed that picking happiness over love is indeed the right choice. Although if you meant it as choosing doing right by Clevin over love I can now see why you did that. But I think she is definitely doing this for herself rather than for Clevin. Otherwise her statements would’ve been about him rather than her.

            I don’t think their relationship is over. But I don’t think she’ll ever leave Clevin for Patrick even if he does put himself together.

          • Tylikcat

            Being the hinge of a V – which is what she basically is, even if she’s committed to not overtly pursuing a romantic relationship with Patrick, takes a lot of maturity and finesse. It also takes partners who are on the level. (Okay, having the hinge impose firm enough boundaries can get around that latter, but shit.) I’m interested to see they all work through this, and what roles they choose to play. (Patrick, please don’t be a manipulative asshole…)

          • Masala Nilsson

            This! Thank you for characterising this as a V. It kind of already is, even without committed relationships with both “spokes”.

          • friendlymosquito

            I want to believe that even if Patrick succumbs to the temptation to be a manipulative asshole, Allison will see through it and tell him to knock it off. I mean, maybe I’m an optimist, but that’s what I think would happen 😛

      • Nyzer

        She hasn’t known Clevin as long. Their relationship hasn’t hit its level cap yet; there’s still time for things to continue developing as they have been. If she’s still talking about things like this in a year or two, then yeah, that’s a problem, but this is pretty healthy for such a young relationship even if the two of them do work very well.

        On top of that, Patrick definitely needs to fix himself first. A relationship with him would go down the drain real quick as is, because he’s so unbalanced and dependent. Getting support from a friend is one thing; there’s still enough distance there for him to learn to stand on his own even if he needs someone to lean on at first. But a lover would be too close.

    • LaGrange

      Yes. I realise the authors aren’t actually intent on portraying anyone as “the good guys,” but I kinda needed the relief of an actually smart take.

  • Sophronius

    Kind of weird how Patrick keeps asking what she means and being surprised by what she says even though he can read her mind. I honestly would expect most scenes at this point to be just him reacting to things she’s thinking but doesn’t say. Especially with things like this, which are much harder to express in words than in thoughts. A scene where they just sit there silently and he just goes “you don’t have so say anything, I already know” would be pretty powerful, I think.

    • Aresius

      Well, we all have ‘duh wha?’ moments just after we wake up. He just needed a couple of panels/moments to catch up xD

    • masterofbones

      Well I would like all of these moments to be instances of carefully planned manipulation. I’m not sure if I’m going to be validated on that though.

      • magnetoo

        I’m not sure I *want* it all to be carefully planned manipulation, but there’s been a lot more taking Patrick at his word in the comments section than I personally would have been inclined to.

        “I love people, and I’ve always sort of wanted to be one” – oh c’MON!!

    • Anondod

      I’m not reading his expressions here as surprise, really. Possibly “wonder and confusion and clarity and intentional distancing and a bunch of other complicated emotions caused by having an integrated personality for the first time in forever”.

      That could be just me, though. 🙂

      • Tylikcat

        Panel five reads as vulnerable to me. And then his speech gets formal.

        • Anondod

          Sure, that’s valid.

        • Masala Nilsson

          No reason to think it isn’t both. 🙂

    • Elaine Lee

      A person’s thoughts are a confused mishmash of images, sentence fragments, distorted memories, imagined scenarios, all disrupted by surges of emotion that stir those things like stew in a pot. Speaking aloud forces a person to drag coherent ideas out of the morass. In that one silent panel, Alison was probably running every possible scenario for a future with each of her suitors through her mind. Patrick would know this and it would give him some measure of hope. He will wait. And though Alison is currently enjoying a hard-won contentment with Clevin, somewhere in her mind is the truth that Clevin is too lightweight for her.

    • Weatherheight

      I/m taking it as a “I hear what you’re saying, but that’s the purely rational part talking. There’s this whole other part of you that you’re actively choosing to ignore. Really?” look.

      He’s not so much surprised by what she says as he is surprised by the gulf between her rational thoughts and her feelings.

    • motorfirebox

      I assume a lot of it is masking, he’s learned that social interactions go more smoothly if he provides a certain level of the expected external response

  • bryan rasmussen

    why does Patrick need so much explanation about what she means when she says “We can’t”

    • Daniel Carrier

      There’s an awkward pause as it is. Imagine how bad it would be if he didn’t get her to verbalize her thoughts.

    • tygertyger

      Because he knows she needs to say it. He is a mind reader, after all.

    • Tylikcat

      Because of the assortment of images flashing through her head. They’re in bed ffs.

    • Gotham

      He may have reflexively learned to ask a lot of questions he already has the answer to considering she’s the only person in the world who knows his secret.

      • Cassandra Lankford

        Well that and last time he didnt let her verbalize she threw a mug at his head. Granted its an over simplification of the situation. But he did steam roll a dialogue into a monologue by rebuttaling before she could speak. Effectively destroying the only relationship with a human being he cherished.

    • ruidh

      You don’t think a mind reader need to focus someone on the question he wants an answer to? Maybe he doesn’t need her to answer verbally but she does because that’s what people normally do when asked a question. I think we can assume he knows the answer before she finishes speaking it. Perhaps not. Perhaps the moment she finishes articulating the thought.

  • MaxArt

    I can’t help noticing that Patrick is *not* reading her mind, but just asking like any other person would do.

    • Zinc

      Well, she wouldn’t think about an answer before the question is asked, so he can’t just read her mind without asking first, anyway…

      • Zinc

        Oh, you probably meant the question in the third panel. Never mind.

    • David Claughton

      When Alison says “We Can’t!” there is initially no coherent thought behind it, just an mix of emotions. It’s only when prompted is she able to organise her thoughts behind her outburst.

      We do this all the time – have an emotional response, followed by a process of introspection where we work out why we feel that way.

      That and the fact that panel after panel of Alison and Patrick thinking at each other just doesn’t make a very interesting comic 😉

    • Weatherheight

      That’s a psychologist’s trick. It’s a way of getting someone to verbalize a feeling or thought, rather than letting it go unexpressed. A lot of times the act of expressing something helps to clarify one’s viewpoint; understanding a feeling by expressing it can lead to new viewpoints on that feeling for the person expressing that feeling.

      Patrick doesn’t need to hear it; Alison needs to say it.

  • Domenico Montini

    Man, this comic is gooooooood

  • Philip Bourque

    Patrick: All according to plan. So predictable, just like every other meat puppet on this planet.

  • Pol Subanajouy

    HA! Nice touch with him wearing a “Green Family Reunion” shirt for this exchange!

  • ruidh

    “It’s not me it’s you.” Brutal.

  • plainclothes supervillain

    Am I the only one getting some Really Ominous Vibes from that Very Special Gift?

    Like. I don’t think it’s REALLY going to be dangerous. But he did come here drunk and monologuing like he was a supervillain before and after he threw up on her floor. Is it possible drunk and deranged Patrick set a trap for her? Patrick is clearly capable of making himself forget.

    Sidebar: How weird is it that getting his backstory makes me trust him LESS, not more? I guess we were told in the text (and it was referenced, but never elaborated on) that he was a supervillain, but we never saw any of his actual villainy until now.

    • Weatherheight

      Great – now I’m going to hear Patrick in my head as Jason Lee / Syndrome…

      “You sly dog, you’ve got me monologuing!”

    • Rich McGee

      Yes, clearly it’s a chunk of red kryptonite and the next story arc will involve Lion-Head Alison having to conceal her temporary mutation from Clevin while still scooping Lois Lane. :

    • palmvos

      true ‘on screen’ we haven’t seen him do:
      order significant number of murders (and get away with it)
      make deals with foreign nationals in a way extremely suggestive that it involved very sensitive materials (stuff more sensitive than detailed nuke weapon plans)
      lock an extremely inventive genius in the closest legal thing to slavery.
      we did see him (flash back)
      take over a presidential broadcast to announce his coup attempt.

      I’m sure there are some who have a more detailed list of villainy for him.

      • Zorae42

        Well those are all pretty standard villany. Like anyone could do that stuff, super or not. It’s really only the stuff that we just saw (and the offscreen stuff of using his powers to manipulate people into joining his cause) that really delved into supervillainy.

        Also, he trapped Lisa into a pretty mean contract, but it was nowhere close to slavery. There are plenty of legal things that are much more like slavery than that.

  • Ladon

    Oy, I’m not here for this. I read this comic for the brilliantly applied philosophy. I never signed up for all these emotional dilemmas, I just wanna see the god dilemmas applied properly like they never are in fiction. Ok, who am I kidding? I’m glad to see this kind of emotional maturity and sweetness too.

    • Lex of Excel

      Me too. I think I actually prefer it over the philosophy.

      • Ladon

        I wouldn’t go as far as that. The goodness is good and all but the philosophy is just mmmmmmmmmmmm

  • JohnTomato

    Is that a present in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?

  • Dawn Smashington

    “We can’t what,” says the mind-reader?

    • David B Huber

      Either Patrick’s powers are at low ebb, or he has sworn off reading Alison’s mind without permission, or Alison’s thoughts are conflictedly different than her words…

      • Gotham

        Or he’s polite enough to not ruin the flow of communication if say there was a webcomic reading audience hiding nearby

        • Rich McGee

          Patrick’s powers have broken the Fourth Wall (Louis must be very annoyed by that) and he’s now reading OUR thoughts, then? 🙂

        • Dave Huber

          Or maybe Patrick has no memory of what transpired while he was unconscious?

      • Frank

        From what I gather of Patrick, he doesn’t have an off-switch. It’s not that he reaches in to listen, it’s that his thoughts echo all the ones around him. Hearing thoughts for him is like us being able to tell whether it’s dark.

    • Jojo

      How many things must be running through her mind right now? I wouldn’t wanna try to read all that either

  • Ricardo Alves Junqueira Pentea

    Let it no be said that one o Alison’s super powers is not denial.

    • Masala Nilsson

      What’s she denying? She’s stating out loud that she loves Patrick, that he’s a bloody mess not really capable of a romantic relationship right now, and that her relationship with Clevin is working great, lacking drama and various other things that are actually good in a relationship.

      The fact that she _chooses_ not to be in a relationship with Pats doesn’t make her in denial, it makes her a grown-up capable of making potentially difficult decisions.

      • Ricardo Alves Junqueira Pentea

        “I’m happy with Clevin”.
        There you go.

        • Masala Nilsson

          And that is denial, how …?

          (Please let me know if I’m misinterpreting you. I’m reading your comments as saying she _isn’t_ happy with Clevin, in which case I wonder what you’re basing that on. If you mean something else, feel free to clarify.)

  • MedinaSidonia

    Um. Seriously? *No one* here has yelled “WHAT’S IN THE BOOOOOOX???”?

    • palmvos

      we all know its a loony tunes mug. the question is has it been glued together.

  • McFrugal

    Did he PLAN all this? The mug is going to remind her of him, which will keep him in her thoughts. Above all else, that is what he wants.

  • flipwizard

    gifts are okay but why do you have to phrase it like that Patrick

  • Dave Huber

    Just the right size for a human heart…

    “No, no, no! It’s alright! It’s my heart – I had it cloned!”

  • Cassandra Lankford

    Did she just read his mind? Because he didn’t say anything or make an overtly rromantic motiin after that dream nonesense.

    • sagelynaive

      No she’s just freaking out

  • BMPDynamite

    (wibble) Drama aversions and healthy relationships… MY ONLY WEAKNESSES!!!

  • Shiromisa

    My prediction: eventually it’ll be Clevin breaking it off, because while he’s all starry-eyed and honeymoon perioding right now, eventually he’ll notice that…well, there’s sometimes a huge gulf between “I’m in love with you” and “I’m happy with you”. This is a nice, comfortable, simple relationship for Alison, but I don’t think it’s The One.

    The One may also not be Patrick, but we’ll see further down the line. She’s right, at the moment he has more basic fundamentals to master before we advance to relationships.

    • Zorae42

      Being with someone who makes you happy is waaay healthier than being with someone you love. There are so many people out there in abusive/unhealthy relationships and broken marriages because they got together due to love instead of compatibility/stability/happiness.

      And she does love Clevin. She said so at the beginning of the arc. She might have stumbled a bit on it due to commitment issues, but she clearly loves him. There is absolutely no reason for Clevin to break it off.

    • Masala Nilsson

      Just going to butt in here because the whole concept of “The One”, and having that as any kind of goal for romantic relationships, frustrates me to no end. A relationship is good when it works and makes your life good. Simple as that. There can be multiple great relationships in a person’s life, or none.

      Accepting that this is a fictional story, I realise the authors might opt to go down that route anyway, but I sincerely hope not. I much prefer the current situation of a character being capable of loving two people romantically and making a thought-through decision, like a grown-up, that she’s better off with one of them. (I mean, love triangles annoy me a bit too, given there actually exist polyamorous people in the world, but seeing as that’s not for everyone, and as this “triangle” has been handled pretty damn well by the comic so far, I’m all right with the current state of affairs.)

  • spriteless

    He can’t read his own mind. He doesn’t know what just happened. Or he didn’t, until panel 5, when he read Alison’s memories of this adventure.

  • Soqoma

    I love that Feral is just off-screen, presumably sleeping through this.
    (Also: WTF is up with Guwara!! I need answeeeers)
    (Also, also: I love this whole arc, and this page, and whatever’s in that box)

  • Soqoma

    PS: I lent my copy of book one to a friend…and I don’t think I’ll be getting it back. I can’t wait to re-read all of this on paper though…any word on book two printing?
    (And can I suggest that a ‘books 1+2’ package to be an option come kickstarter time?)

  • Nutmeg

    This feels fishy and I’m a bit scared

  • boxesofboxes

    Allison: I cant be in a romantic relationship with you.
    Patrick: Understandable have a good day.