Not THAT unwilling…
This scene originally took place in one panel. Rather than stage direct it, I just left this for Dee to take and run with it. She has the layout of their positions and their little campfires. She knows the characters, and they are getting their introductions here.
Although Halder gives nothing away. The entire exchange is talking about Flynna and him reading her, an exchange that she cheerfully answers, because she’s proud of who she is. We are well aware this is not the way to ask someone in human society about a gender transition, but I liked the idea that they’re elves, speaking their own language. He can be direct because she knows he’s not being a jerk, just direct. And she replies in kind, and directly cuts to, “Sex?”
Elves. Direct, between themselves, at least.
At which point he does give something of himself up, and he’s honest with her- he is an assassin. It stands to reason some might object morally to this, and particularly someone you are about to have sex with. So as she has given, so too does he give, exposing himself to potential rejection for his own admission, which I like a lot better than the original dialogue run.
As Sabrina mentioned, they are VERY direct, but we did a lot of back-and-forth here to make sure that they were clear in their intention. Even in how the subject of her gender is broached, he has deduced a lot but we worked it out so that she prompts his elaboration directly so that the entire exchange is consensual.
I have been looking forward to this page for a LONG time as an artist, as this moment was one of my favorites of the story and STILL features one of my favorite lines in the book: “I certainly hope not.” Just SOOO cheeky, playful and flirty. I worked hard to make sure what I drew would match that energy and hope I pulled it off. (Phrasing! BOOM!)