[Now we’re making some headway. Or, at least, however much headway is possible when there really isn’t a plot, per se.]
Day 56—Slickest Coming Out Ever
They were playing a game at the apartment. Well, they were. Now, they were just talking. All of them. All lying on pillows and couches and floors. Just talking. Henna, Theo, Sara, Burnett, Lenny, Sadie, Rachel, Garrick, Sue, Adelaide and Nikolas. A couple of people were throwing a stuffed animal around. Nikolas was sketching. Moonshine was napping nearby.
“You know, I still can’t believe you named our cat after an alcoholic drink,” Theo said, putting his arm around Sara.
“The name stuck, didn’t it?” Henna asked.
“What is that thing, anyway?” Burnett asked, throwing the stuffed animal to Sue. Sue caught it and looked at it for a moment.
“It’s Bijou,” she said. She threw it to Garrick, who caught it in the crooks of his arms, which held a book.
“No. You know the white thing you’ve been throwing around for the past twenty minutes?”
“You mean this fat, white, overlarge, bug-eyed, toast-shaped hamster?” Garrick put down his book and threw it to Adelaide.
“It’s from Hamtaro, this old Japanese kids’ show about hamsters. Really popular with Asian kids. Used to be, anyway,” Adelaide said, throwing the stuffed animal to Sue. “What are you reading, Garrick?”
“How do you know that?” Burnett asked with interest. Sue threw the toy to Theo.
“I used to watch it in the original Japanese. Couldn’t understand a word.” She watched Theo throw it at Nikolas, who caught it without looking up.
“You’re going to have to do better than that,” Nikolas said amusedly. He threw it at Henna, who almost missed it. Leonard took it from her and chucked it at Garrick.
“I’m reading It,” Garrick answered, easily catching the stuffed toy. He threw it back to Leonard.
“What d’you mean you couldn’t understand a word? I thought you were Japanese!” Theo said, catching the stuffed toy that Leonard batted his way. He threw it at Adelaide.
“It,” Garrick repeated. “By Stephen King.”
“Ohhh, that book”—“That book is terrifying,” Sara commented— “And I take Japanese, but I’m Chinese.” Adelaide caught the Bijou and passed it to Sadie, who threw it at Burnett.
“So that’s how you know how to speak Japanese!” Burnett threw the toy at Rachel.
“Ye-eah,” Adelaide agreed sarcastically. “That’s why I know how to speak Japanese.” Her eyes followed the Bijou as it travelled through the air and landed in Henna’s arms. She cradled the abused toy.
“Hey, I’ve got a random question,” Henna announced. “If you had to choose anyone in this room to date, who would it be?”
Burnett groaned. “C’mon sis, we’re not in middle school anymore.”
“Why not? I don’t want to grow up yet,” Sue said.
“But you’re nowhere near graduating, freshie,” Sadie said.
“That’s true, but we should still do it, just for the sake of doing it,” Sue argued.
There was a general murmur of agreement around the room. Rachel shrugged.
“Okay, I’ll go first. If I could date anyone in this room, it would be…” she glanced around the room, hugging a pillow. “Wait, what if they’re an established couple?”
“Doesn’t matter,” Henna said dismissively.
“Well, then it would have to be Nikolas.” She grinned.
“Fag hag,” Nikolas muttered.
“Sorry, I’m not into cigarettes,” Rachel joked. “Then who would you date?”
“Lenny,” Nikolas said immediately. Leonard felt his heart skip a beat.
“But wouldn’t that be awkward?” Sue asked.
“No,” Nikolas answered. “I mean, we’ve already been through plenty of things—awkward things, mind you—together, so it wouldn’t be awful. Besides, there is a quote out there that says ‘If you stay friends after you break up, you never were in love in the first place’.”
“Quotation, and aren’t you saying that it’s all just an experiment if you two go out together?” Adelaide asked.
“Isn’t life an experiment anyway? It just depends on the choices you make, whether you choose the commonly done experiments, or decide to make up your own,” Nikolas said philosophically.
“Whoa, that’s deep, man,” Henna and Garrick chorused appreciatively.
“That’s creepy,” Sadie and Rachel said together.
“That’s ironic,” Adelaide and Sue commented.
“Well, then who would Lenny choose?” Theo asked.
“C-c-c-c-combo breaker!” Burnett yelled with immature glee.
From the pile of pillows she had gathered on the floor, Sara rolled her eyes. “Now who’s in middle school?” she asked Burnett. “Aren’t you supposed to be the adult of this group?”
“I’m nineteen going on twenty,” Burnett told her. “I’m still technically in my teens and I can’t even buy alcohol yet. I’m allowed to be a little kid.”
“And you shouldn’t be drinking alcohol,” Henna reminded him primly.
“I would choose Nikki,” Leonard said decisively. Suddenly, everyone got quiet. It seemed as though the game, which had started off on a happy, albeit slightly immature, note, had suddenly been dropped.
“What?” Nikolas looked curiously at Leonard. “Wouldn’t that be, I dunno, an insult, almost, to your sexuality?”
“No, not really,” Leonard admitted. “You know, some scientists say that sexuality is fluid. There’s a Kinsey Scale and everything.” Adelaide’s face suddenly dawned with knowledge.
Nikolas frowned. “So you’re…”
“Technically, according to the Kinsey Scale, I’m about a two. Really stretching it, I’d be a three.”
Nikolas tilted his head in confusion.
“It means he’s heterosexual, except under certain conditions,” Adelaide explained. “Err—with certain people.”
“How do you know about the Kinsey Scale?” Theo demanded.
“I read it somewhere,” Adelaide said vaguely.
“So that means…” Nikolas trailed off, waiting for Lenny to finish.
“So, you wanna go out with me?” Leonard asked with his trademark grin. Nikolas smiled back and leaned over. He kissed Leonard on the underside of his jaw.
“Good enough answer?” he asked teasingly.
“HA! Pay up, losers!” Rachel stood up and held her hand out. “I win the bet!”
Theo, Sara and Garrick grumbled, pulling out their wallets. Nikolas shook his head and leaned against Leonard.
“Did you know about this?” Leonard asked.
“I was just about to ask you the same thing,” Nikolas replied.
“You know what I just noticed?” Sara said, sitting up properly and shrugging Theo’s arm off her shoulders. “That was probably the slickest coming-out ever.”
“Not completely,” Leonard argued. “You guys knew.”
“Only because you dated that one twi—guy a while back,” Theo said.
“Oh, come on. Just admit it; you all know it’s true. He was a twink, and it was a nightmare,” Leonard said. “I should have learned how to say no a long time ago.”
Henna threw the toy at his head. “That’s not true! You two were very happy together until you decided you liked that Romilda girl better!”
“She was more my type!” Leonard said defensively.
Everyone in the room rolled their eyes.
“Even I know that’s bullshit, and we’ve been going out for, like, five minutes,” Nikolas said.
“But you know I’d never do that to you,” Lenny attempted.
“That’s what you told the Marianne girl,” Burnett said. “And look where you are now.”