Even though they preferred the pronoun ‘they’ to ‘he’, they still didn’t like it. Jericho felt it was impersonal, for a lack of better word. It just didn’t feel right to them.
But the more they searched for another pronoun to use, the less it seemed likely to find one. And they didn’t.
Not an Earth one, anyway.
Their eyes were hurting from starting at the laptop screen for too long, and so was their back from hunching over. Their partner had taken notice of this and proceeded to snake their arms around them, pulling them into their lap.
"You’re gonna hurt yourself if ya stay like that too long." Herald pointed out, trying to figure out what Jericho kept starting at on the screen. Jericho responded to the concerns by straightening out their back, and then leaning back onto Herald’s chest. They didn’t take their eyes off the screen, though.
On the screen was a long list of blogs talking about the subject of subject pronouns, all of which Jericho skimmed through with a displeased look on their face. Herald had gained a frown watching them do so.
They had grown up in a society without forced gender ideals, or even a care for the concept of gender, so it worried them to see their partner stressing themselves out over it.
But, they still couldn’t just stop their partner from searching; though they didn’t understand the concern the other person had, they knew it bothered them thoroughly, so it would be insensitive of them to imply the search the were going through was meaningless.
So Herald watched as Jericho scrolled through and tried to think of the best way to ease their stress.
Their opportunity came when Jericho had put the laptop aside and heaved a silent sigh, indicating that Herald was going to have to be the one to start the discussion. Thankfully, they had a way to do so.
"I think your problem is that you can only find pronouns from Earth." Herald suggested, earning a curious look from their partner, prompting them to go on. "While we don’t really have a gender system in Limbo, we do have a set of gender pronouns. They’re only used in hospitals for newborns that haven’t been names yet."
Now that had perked Jericho’s interest. That could be exactly what they were looking for, especially if they were so rarely used. Before Herald could say anything else, they had grabbed the laptop again and pushed it towards them.
Herald knew what they were supposed to do.
Within a few key strokes and mouse clicks, they had the three pronouns typed up and shown. They pointed to the first one, Zxieal.
"This is what I was called when I was first born, since my parents didn’t have a name for me yet.. I’m not for sure, but most likely this is the equivalent to Earth’s ‘male’."
They then moved down to the second pronoun, Exieal.
"I’m guessing this one is the equivalent to Earth’s ‘female’, since it’s as commonly used as Zxieal in the hospital."
Then to the final one, Jxieal.
"This one is basically the pronoun for ‘other’." Herald had finished up their explanation, and then handed the laptop over to Jericho, who seemed to have found a pronoun they liked already.
Jxieal appealed to them a great amount. For starters, it just looked right to them. Maybe it was the fact that it started with a J, like all of the names he had ever gone by. Maybe it was because it looked radically different from Earth pronouns. Not only was it visual pleasing though, it also had very little users, which Jericho, for a reason they couldn’t quite explain, found important. No matter why, they had found a liking towards the word.
Herald gave a wide grin, glad Limbo’s unused pronouns could be of help. They had tried to say something, but Jericho had absorbed themselves into a task. Figuring it would be odd just to watch them do so, Herald decided just to do something else to occupy their time as Jericho finished up, which ended up being going to the kitchen for a snack.
Jericho used that time to turn the word Jxieal into three different pronouns, to fit with Earth’s use of three different words for one gender. They did this by putting the letters from the word into different combinations until three had struck his fancy more than the others, and afterward they would assign each word a meaning.
As it turned out, it didn’t take them very long to pick three words they thought would fit them. They even wrote out sentences using each word, to show there proper meaning:
Jxe went to the store.
That’s jie over there.
That’s jel's coat.
After that, jxe waited in eager anticipation for Herald to return.
Thankfully, it didn’t take to long for them to do so. They had even brought Jericho back a snack.
The two had exchanged laptop for breakfast bar, with Herald sitting down to read what he had been handed and Jericho barely paying any mind to the food.
"I’m glad you found something that fits you." Was Herald’s response when they handed the laptop back over to Jericho. "I assume you’re gonna correct me if I mess up and call you the wrong thing, right?" They gave a grin. "I won’t learn if you don’t."
Jericho gave a silent laugh and nodded. Jxe then put the laptop, figuring jxe wouldn’t need it much anymore, having already memorized jel new pronouns. Jxe then decided that a good mood meant that it was a good time for cuddling.
Herald did not disagree with jie.