A/N: New long chapter story. First chapter! Controversial? Well...hopefully...? Happy Memorial Day! Be warned: Liberal Hippy Character abounds.

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Intellectual Curiosity

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"What," he started heatedly, blood rapidly rushing to his face. "are you trying to say?"

"I think that war is stupid," I said, feeling rather stupid myself.

"You should just wear a sign on your head that says 'Vegan, Buddhist, tree-hugging hippie,'" he snapped spitefully, glaring at me. "You don't even know what it takes to be in the military, and then for you—"

"You should just wear a sign on your head that says 'Arrogant, Pig-Headed Prick who thinks Violence is Always the Answer!'" I retorted, cutting him off. "And maybe I do know what it takes, anyways."

"Was your father in the military?"

I cocked an eyebrow and placed a hand on my hip. "Does it matter?"

"Before you go saying that you don't support our troops—"

"You won't let me finish!" I interrupted, throwing up my hands.

"Hypocrite!" He bellowed immediately, shoving his chair away and standing up.

"No," I yelled, also standing. "If you're going to holler at me, at least let me make my goddamn point. I said that I don't support our troops as a representation of America because I think war is wrong, and not the answer. I never said that I don't support the people in the troops, simply the collective action of our country through the medium of soldiers. There," I huffed. "Now it's your turn."

He looked momentarily taken aback, both at the intellectual content and the frankness of my brief speech. "What about World War II? Are you still morally opposed to that?" He questioned astutely, and I was forced to mentally concede a point to him.

"In my opinion," I said, guardedly and cautiously, for it was my opinion that caused him to so elegantly and eloquently fly off the handle moments before, "World War II was an exception to the norm. I believe the Nazis and Hitler were actually the embodiment of pure evil, and, so, if I had been alive back then, I would have actually joined the army in order to fight for my country."

He frowned at this. "So you don't think, for example, an evil dictator like Saddam Hussein is worthy of displacing? They have to kill millions of innocent people first?"

"Has Saddam begun a mass holocaust attempt overnight?" I asked, wide-eyed.

"You're deliberately missing the point."

"It was a bad parallel." He tipped his head: point. "I'm not saying that he's not evil…merely that I can currently find no grounds, moral or legal, on which to condemn him."

He was incredulous. "No moral or legal grounds!? We're talking about the guy who ruled his country with an iron fist, an evil dictator, embezzling huge amounts of money from the government and reducing most of Iraq to poverty! How can you find no grounds on which to convict him?" He suddenly stepped back, seeming abruptly to realize that our faces were an inch away, and we were shouting at each other over a table containing long forgotten class work.

"There are plenty," I said. "If you are Iraqi."

"Your point…?" He asked archly, looking condescending.

"It's not our place to regulate the world. Hitler was an exception to the rule because he was trying to take over the world. Saddam was just trying to rule Iraq. If the Iraqis wanted to have a revolution and displace him, then they can go for it! But I don't think it's America's place to get involved in an overseas war."

"So you're saying we should ignore threats to world peace, like Saddam, unless they actually do something, like murder a couple hundred thousand people?" I nodded. "I guess you wouldn't have been a big fan of the Korean and Vietnam wars, then," he said.

"Well, I think containment in of itself was a dumb idea for a doctrine."

"Oh, I see, we should have all just followed your advice and allowed communism to take over the world!" He snapped sarcastically. "Great plan, comrade."

"Look what happened in Vietnam," I countered. "We actually lost the war there, remember that? And now it's all fine. Communism failed miserably on its own, it didn't really need our help!"

"You're advocating isolationism."

"In the words of George Washington, 'avoid entangling alliances,'" I retorted smoothly. "It's not our place to meddle in overseas politics."

"And Hitler was an exception because…?" He raised an eyebrow, mirroring me from earlier.

"Because he was fucking insane!" I snapped, finally driven to anger from his probing, patronizing questions.

"That doesn't give us the right to interfere!" He yelled, throwing my earlier words back in my face.

It took a lot of willpower to keep myself from spitting on him. "Just acknowledge that Hitler was an exception! Nobody wants a mass holocaust to occur, no matter where the hell it's happening!"

"You're the one who advocated isolationism," he growled, putting his hands on my shoulders as if I needed to be forcibly restrained.

"After specifying that World War II was an exception because of a madman," I tried to wrench myself from his grip, but he was stronger.

"Who decides that next time? In the case of Iraq? You? Or someone else, in retrospect?"

"Just—GET OFF ME!" I shrieked, enraged at his grip. I brought my hands up to his chest, trying to push him off me.

"Woah, chill," he said, removing my hands from his pectoral area with impossible ease. I realized belatedly that I had been backed against a wall.

"I wish you would just acknowledge that Hitler was a crazy—" I broke off momentarily, feeling his hand graze the curve of my hip. "—madman," I finished, still managing to keep a note of anger in my voice.

He took a step closer, and I felt his chest rumble with a chuckle. "I was merely questioning your logic as to labeling him an exception… or rather, your lack thereof…"

"Wha—!" I tried to start forward, ready to defend my point of view. My logic regarding Saddam Hussein was that I couldn't convict him legally or morally because he hasn't technically done anything yet—I think that Hitler has done enough to be convicted, and so then I can support military action to terminate his policies! I wanted to shout. Unfortunately, I only succeeded in pressing myself more firmly against him.

Somehow, all our discussions seemed to end like this, with him pressing his lips roughly to mine, and my arms twining round his neck, fingers tangling in his hair, lips and teeth and tongue clashing wildly. I felt his teeth scrape my lower jaw, his stubble scratch my cheek, and I breathed in his minty, forest-y scent, tasting his toothpaste and coffee.

And then his shirt was gone and mine vanished too and my fingers were still in his hair and his were down my pants and then the rest is history…