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This is the love that now invents my fear

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Mary wriggles on Harley's knees to get a better angle in the mirror, then sighs. "I wish I could pull off red like you."

She's right, red is too aggressive on her young face, too sexual. It draws attention to the small body in her lap, the body of this girl-woman who looks so sweet and yet ain't. Mary's a spitfire, fiercely intelligent, with an opinion on everything; she leaves scathing reviews on every successful project her former co-stars are involved in, criticizes every gender stereotype she can find, and discusses literature in purely post-structuralist terms just to mess with Harley.

As long as they're traversing the intellectual sphere, Harley's more than happy to match her step for step. It's when the journey takes them out of their heads, into the realm of hugs, of corkscrew curls brushing skin, and knees poking ribs that Harley's gut twists. Mary's so small and soft and fragile, like a little bird. Harley has no business being attracted to her.

"What's wrong with pink?" Harley asks, nervous, a chatterbox. "It's cute. It suits you. I love it."

"That's the thing: it's cute. It reinforces the impression everyone already has of me." There it is: Mary's self-awareness – the very thing that stirs something within Harley.

Harley swallows. "For what it's worth, I think you own the role of Baby Doll. Why change that when you use it so well? Pink softens your look, makes you less intimidating." Less desirable, too.

And that's the whole idea.