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Pokémon Maybe even then exposure could be a difficult thing

Torchic W. Pip

~ Utterly glorious ~
Location
Sootopolis City
Pronouns
they/he
Partners
  1. torchic
  2. custom/torchic-blue
It was selfish to admit, but Steven wanted both Wallace and Winona.

Alternate summary: Wallace and Winona begin a polyamorous relationship with Steven. Y'know, to explore things. Stuff ensues.

Be the Sabotageshipping you want to see in the world.

Posting the SFW parts of this fic here cause why the heck not.

Rated TEEN (maybe MATURE?) for:

Implied sexual content
Sexual themes
Potential themes of mental illness
Slut shaming
Bigotry
 
Last edited:
Chapter 1

Torchic W. Pip

~ Utterly glorious ~
Location
Sootopolis City
Pronouns
they/he
Partners
  1. torchic
  2. custom/torchic-blue
As the heir to the Devon Corporation, Steven Stone was the primary link between it and the Rustboro City University's Students’ Advocacy Group.

From humane ways of producing Infinity Energy to better treatment of workers, Steven used his connections and charisma for the good of the people. Some at Devon called him a revolutionist. Others called him a radical. Still others called him a commie. But in terms of the Mohs Scale, Steven’s will was a solid 10.

He was a good man, in spirit, in morals, in looks. He was like a magnet, attracting all sorts of different people.

Including two other students: Wallace Papadakis and Winona Kimura.

He met them as part of his “new Champion” schedule:

Step One: Meet the Elite Four members. Easy enough—he worked in the same building as them.

Step Two: Meet the Gym Leaders. That required some travelling to each Gym to give a proper introduction, but that was all fine with a little help from Skarmory.

Step Three: Paperwork. Steven could do paperwork later.

Wallace and Winona were both very nice people, and not in the fake way that business “friends” were. They were genuinely nice with genuinely nice voices and genuinely nice conversations and genuinely nice shoes… They probably also had genuinely nice eyes, but Steven didn’t like eye contact, so when he got back home, he searched them up to confirm that yes, their eyes were very nice looking. Very aesthetically pleasing, like a pretty rock. Wallace was like green jade, while Winona was like lavender jade.

Steven learned more about them in a few classes that they shared and in their League related interactions. They were also vocal activists for everything from civil rights to environmentalism. Naturally, he interacted with them a lot: be it through meetings, battles, protests, rallies, or purely curiosity-driven visits.

-

“Wallace, do you know what rocks make up Sootopolis City’s crater?”

“No, I don’t think I do, Steven. Do tell.”

Steven smiled. He and Wallace were sitting on the fountain in the courtyard of Juan’s estate. “Well, the white colours indicate a rhyolitic composition, though further down, there are darker rocks—basalt.” Steven looked up to the sky, observing the marble arches overlooking the courtyard. “Though traces of iron and nickel indicate meteorites of some sort. The most popular theory is that Sootopolis Crater was once a volcano that got destroyed by a meteor.”

“My my, that’s fascinating. We Sootopolitans have been traders since ancient times, and as such we’ve seen many gemstones: turquoise, rubies, sapphires, emeralds… We mostly use them for artwork, where they sparkle like stars in the sky. We also use the beautiful, pristine, divine marble for—” Wallace stopped, blushing. “Sorry, I… get carried away when I talk about art.”

“No no no, I like it when you talk about art.”

“R-Really?”

“Yeah. Tell me about these marble statues you were about to talk about.”

-

“Look over here! This is my favourite spot in the whole forest!”

Winona ran over to a little clearing in the trees. The river fell down a waterfall and into a small lake—flowing down smooth slate, it seemed. Beautiful. Oddish rested in the komorebi, and Zigzagoon excitedly lapped up water.

Winona pointed up to a tree. On one of its branches, a purple flag flew proudly. “That up there? That’s my secret base. I’ve been going there since I was a little kid.” She sighed. “My mother… didn’t let me leave Fortree City or the nearby forest for a very long time, so I made up for that in any way I could with my imagination.” She spun around in the grass with her arms spread wide. “I just love the beauty of the trees and the sun and the sky…”

Steven smiled, and it even lit up his own soul. Gosh, Winona was so adorable when she got to talk about nature. It reminded him of how he would talk about rocks.

“Go on. Tell me about your childhood adventures.”

-

By golly, did Wallace and Winona have good thoughts and use good words, in different ways, of course: Wallace had very flowery language and beautifully woven metaphors. Winona's mind was in a fantastical world from which she could pull incredible ideas.

Over time, however, Steven felt a… change in his feelings for Wallace and Winona.

No, it wasn’t that he was starting to hate them. Quite the opposite, actually; he was feeling a new kind of liking them. He noticed how smooth Wallace’s hands and fingers were—he liked touching and holding them for as long as he could. He noticed how soft Winona’s hair was—it smelled nice too, like lavender. When he was with them, he swore his heart skipped a beat or two. He found himself trying to spend more and more time with them, trying to spend more and more time looking at them. They were… what was the word… alluring?

It was selfish to admit, but Steven wanted both Wallace and Winona, in some way.

Steven never had crushes on people in his life. No puppy love in elementary school, no awkward horny feeling in middle school, no dating in high school. Granted, he was a social outcast, but surely he would have felt something. In fifth grade, he settled on the fact that he just wouldn't ever have crushes. He didn’t have friends either, except for his Pokémon. Is this what his feelings for Wallace and Winona were? A crush? But didn’t people only get crushes on one person at a time?

But the way Wallace spoke poetry, even when he wasn’t reading from his books; the way he spoke like a lithophone; the way his face was carved by Hephaestus. The way Winona stayed so in tune with nature, especially the wind; the way her voice was like a wind chime; the way her hands felt like river-polished stones.

He loved them both. He wanted to kiss them both. He wanted to hold them both. He wanted to have them both.

…Maybe this is what people were talking about when they talked about having a crush.

But it couldn't be a crush! People knew what they were from a very young age! People knew whether they were straight or gay or bi or whatever as soon as they knew what romance was! It couldn't change!

Why were emotions so confusing?

-

Steven was supposed to go to Mauville City and Fallarbor Town to talk to their respective Gym Leaders about maintenance. He had gone to the former, only to get in a two hour long conversation with Wattson about technology. Then Steven got sidetracked by rocks on Route 111.

He regretted not flying over on his Skarmory. Then again, at least he got to look for rocks.

The sun was setting as he trekked up a ledge. The riverbank had been full of various sedimentary rocks, while the ledges above had lovely samples of scoria.

Ever curious, Steven climbed further up the ledges until he came upon a road. It probably led from the bottom. If that was the case, Steven hadn't seen it, as he had gone the long way of climbing up the ledge. It didn’t seem that any cars or people were coming up any time soon. With nothing stopping him, Steven walked up the road.

A cool, gentle breeze blew across Steven’s face. He took a deep breath and sighed. He subconsciously gasped when he saw a red car overlooking the route below.

He first took a moment to take in the view the car had gotten a hold of: Route 111, with grand cliffs of reddish stone and the desert beyond. He could even see a little house. The browns and reds of the ground, the blues and greens of the lake, the oranges and yellows of the sunset... not even the greatest of painters would ever be able to capture the beauty of the sight.

He then looked at the car: a lovely looking car: smooth, red, smooth… okay, maybe Steven didn’t know too much about cars, but he knew enough to know that it was a good car. And a lucky one, too, to get such a nice view. Maybe this was a date spot. Or a photo op spot.

There didn’t seem to be anyone in the car, though, so he took a moment to walk around the car and admire the tires, the bumper, the side view mirrors…

… oh.

He realized too late that Wallace and Winona were making out in the passenger seat. From the way their clothes were half unbuttoned, they seemed to be close to, uh, more than kissing.

Well, at least they had all noticed each other sooner rather than later.

Steven gave a nervous smile and a nervous wave, and Winona waved back with a shy smile. Wallace buried his face in her chest, and he was… blushing? From embarrassment, or arousal? Blushing was strange.

“I, uh, I can leave you two alone…” Steven stopped. The two probably couldn’t hear him from the inside of the car, so he instead pointed back to the road and slowly began walking away.

A lot of emotions and thoughts swarmed in Steven’s head; mostly embarrassment, but there was also… sadness? He was happy for them both. From the looks of it, they seemed happy together, in more ways than one. How long had they been a couple? Did anyone else know? Did their families know? The other Gym Leaders?

But he still felt jealous of both of them for having each other. Shit, it was such a weird feeling to be feeling. Why couldn’t feelings be simple?
 
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Chapter 2

Torchic W. Pip

~ Utterly glorious ~
Location
Sootopolis City
Pronouns
they/he
Partners
  1. torchic
  2. custom/torchic-blue
A few weeks passed after… the incident with the car. Steven occasionally saw Wallace and Winona in classes or meetings, but he was too embarrassed to make any conversation with either of them. He was too worried he fucked up his friendship with them, and all because of a car and some stupid feelings.

Did they hate him? Did they never want to see him again? It didn't seem like it, but how would Steven be able to tell? He had never been good at telling what other people were thinking. For all he knew, they were both trying to cut him out from their lives.

Well, they still talked to him. They still said hello to him. But sometimes, Steven could catch them whispering to each other as they glanced over at him.

Who would he confide in about his problem? His dad? That would end in disaster. His dad had never known Steven to be one for relationship issues. Glacia or Drake? Surely they wouldn't understand. Maybe they would, but what if they didn't? He couldn't risk that. His Pokémon? They didn't understand human love. His rocks? Talking to rocks was nice, but they never gave advice in return.

And so, he turned to his tried and true method of coping: he distracted himself with work, school, and rocks.

He doted on his father and the other Devon associates, writing out emails or arranging meetings or filling out paperwork or negotiating with the crime syndicates of Hoenn. He took diligent notes on everything, even stuff that hadn’t been covered in class. He read every book he could find on rocks, highlighting and note taking and post-it-noting and dog-earing… Jade came in so many colours, and what was considered jade was actually two minerals: jadeite and nephrite. Jadeite was like Winona, and nephrite was like Wallace. Maybe they were both like jadeite; jadeite came in more colours, and both Wallace and Winona were colour—

Fuck.

Distractions would only work for so long, however, as Steven encountered Wallace and Winona in a situation he couldn’t brush off with a simple smile and hello.

He was walking to his dorm one afternoon. Classes were done for the day, but studying at his dorm would run less of a risk of seeing… them… compared to studying at the library.

He thought the chances would be 0%, but he was wrong.

Wallace and Winona were standing across from each other in the hallway and talking in hushed voices:

“You’re the one who knows how to speak to people,” Winona whispered.

“About art? Yes," Wallace responded. "About the political and social landscape of Sootopolis City? Yes. About unconventional sexual and romantic relationships? I’ve never done it before.”

“And neither have I, so what makes you think I’m more qualified?”

“Because you’ve seen me try to talk to people! What makes you think I’m more qualified?”

“Well, you have the best chance of convincing him to try out this little thing of ours—”

“I’m sorry for the interruption, but who are you talking about?” Steven asked.

Wallace and Winona stared at Steven, only then realizing that he had been listening. Steven held up his hands.

“Relax, you two are the only people I would snitch to, but I would never snitch on you.” He injected confidence into his voice.

Wallace closed his eyes and sighed. "Fine. You caught us. We were discussing you."

"M-Me?!"

"Damn it..."

"We mean it in a good way," Winona quickly added. "Hopefully, at least."

"All right." Steven sighed. "What about me were you discussing?"

Wallace and Winona side-eyed each other before Winona looked back at Steven and said, “Do you want to come into my dorm?”
 
Chapter 3

Torchic W. Pip

~ Utterly glorious ~
Location
Sootopolis City
Pronouns
they/he
Partners
  1. torchic
  2. custom/torchic-blue
Part of Steven expected (and hoped) that Wallace and Winona were taking him into her room for a hot one night stand threesome.

They weren’t. Sadly. Or maybe it wasn’t so sad. Maybe it was better than a one night stand threesome… But that’s getting ahead of everything else.

Anyway, Winona made three cups of green tea. She sat next to Wallace on the sofa—plush, faded blue fabric—and Wallace wrapped his free arm around her as she nestled closer to him.

Steven was sitting in a wooden chair across from them. It gave him a beautiful view of the couple, like something out of one of the paintings Wallace had once showed him.

He finished his cup of tea before anyone spoke again:

“As I’m sure you’re aware,” Wallace began, “Winona and I are in a… sexual and romantic relationship.”

“Yeah.” Wallace’s words stung Steven’s heart a bit, but not enough to keep him from smiling and nodding. He didn't meet their gaze with his. Eye contact was... weird, especially when you were crushing on two people in a committed relationship.

“We’ve only been together for a few months or so, and therefore, we’ve been experimenting with the sexual side and romantic side of this relationship. And… well…” Wallace sighed, took some deep breaths, and continued: “…we’ve found that our love is like two cups underneath a forever flowing waterfall. No matter how much love we give each other, our hearts still overflow with it.”

He chuckled as he hugged Winona tighter, and she placed a playful peck on his cheek. “It’s a wonderful feeling. We want to share as much love as we can. Platonic love, familial love, and—in your case, Mr. Stone, only if you wish—romantic and sexual love."

Fuck.

Fuck.

Fuck fuck fuck fuck.


This wasn't a bad fuck. This was... It wasn't a "fuck no"; it was a "fuck... yes?"

Steven's heart rate flew to previously unknown heights. Was he dreaming? Was he hallucinating? Did Wallace and Winona really, really, really want to... Did they really want to give their romantic and sexual love to him?! What did that mean?!?!?!?!?!?!

"And also," Wallace continued, "Winona and I have different physical and emotional needs. Some of them can be fulfilled between ourselves, but some of them... some of them require another partner."

"You're a really nice man, Steven" Winona added, "not to mention..." She blushed. "... you're very good looking. We might have a thing for you. And we think you would be the most understanding of our situation."

"'Might have a thing'?" Wallace said, an edge of playfulness in his voice. "I'll let you speak on your own feelings, but this is very much more than 'a thing' for me. I think you two are... some of the prettiest people to ever grace my gaze."

A lot of feelings were running through Steven. Mostly positive ones, but that didn't make them anymore overwhelming. He took some deep breaths as he fidgeted with his rings.

Were Wallace and Winona—already in a fairytale romance of their own—really asking him if he wanted to join a relationship with them? It seemed too good to be true. And yet... well, Wallace and Winona didn't seem like the kinds of people who would lie about something like this. They didn't seem like the types who would play with Steven's emotions like this.

“Are you saying you want me to be your friend with benefits?” Steven tried to tease.

“Well, sort of. We’ll see how it goes.” Wallace sat up straight. “Of course, we also have other things to discuss about this relationship: what you’re comfortable with, how far you want to go physically, how—”

“Can I have little graphics or lists of all this information?” Steven froze. Shit, he had interrupted Wallace. “I-I mean because I’m more of a visual learner.”

Wallace nodded. “Ah, I understand. I’m the same way.”

This was too much preparation and care for a dream. This was too much preparation and care for Wallace and Winona to be lying.

Wallace stood up, and Winona whined a little as he did.

“Don’t worry, darling,” he said. “I’ll be back. I just need to get something from my dorm. For Steven. And maybe us, perhaps."

After Wallace left, Winona said, perhaps a bit shyly, "Can I… Can I cuddle you?”

“Uh… sure!” Well, this relationship was going to start somewhere, so why not start it with a cuddle?

Steven stood up and sat next to Winona, still not looking into her eyes, and her arms immediately swung around him. She hummed with a pleasant ring, like an Altaria. Steven rested his head against her and smiled. The feeling of her resting against him, hugging him, loving him?

Maybe this was the start of something wonderful.

-

Steven woke up to Winona and Wallace resting against him. To have two people sitting by his side was... wonderful. It made his heart feel... giddy? It was a weird word to think, but it fit the excitable energy in his body.

As Steven opened his eyes, Wallace smiled at him. “Rise and shine, agapes mou.”

"Agapes mou?"
Steven asked.

"It's Chrysosian for 'my loves'."

Steven smiled back. “Well then, welcome back... agapi mou?"

"You're learning."

"I learned Chrysosian for business, but... we don't exactly use romantic language in a business setting."

"Don't worry, you'll learn quickly with me." There was a smooth mischievousness in Wallace's voice. It sent a different kind of emotion through his body... a desire of sorts, a desire to kiss Wallace.

Wallace wrapped his arms around Steven, reaching further so he could also try to hold Winona. “Is it too early to kiss you?”

Steven thought for a second. “Hm… how about you start with a peck on the cheek?”

“But what about me?” Winona rested her chin on Steven’s shoulder.

Steven laughed, closing his eyes. Right, he had not one, but two partners. He was a lucky guy. “Why not both at the same time?”

Wallace and Winona nodded excitedly. Smiling, they each kissed him on each of his cheeks. A rush went up Steven’s body. He was a really, really lucky guy.

“Ah… G-gosh, that was something.” Steven smiled. So what if he was acting like a bumbling fool now? At least he wasn’t spending his afternoon at the Devon Corporation, bottled up in some cubicle or talking to old men about things that didn't interest him. At least he wasn't getting threatened by mob bosses because a deal didn't go through how it was supposed to. He was spending his afternoon in an unexpected bliss with two wonderful, beautiful people.

Steven forced himself to look into Wallace's eyes. They were like tourmaline cabochons. He then looked into Winona's—sparkling, fine round lavender quartz. Gosh, staring into their eyes for the first time was so overwhelming, but so wonderful.

An idea came to his mind. Actually, it was maybe less of an idea and more of a hormonal urge. He had never felt these feelings before.

“Can I kiss you on the lips?”

Wallace’s eyelids lowered a bit as his smile became devilish. Winona was also smiling at Steven, playfulness in the corners of her lips. God damn it, Steven wanted to kiss those smiles right then and there. But he was only one man.

“Who first?” Wallace asked.

Steven stared into Wallace's lustful eyes. “You.”

Wallace leaned back a little and spread his arms out. “All right then. Whenever you’re—”

Steven immediately leaned forward, grabbed Wallace, and kissed him. Right on the lips. Steven pulled back. Shit. That was too much too soon.

But Wallace was… smiling.

“Do that again,” Wallace whispered. “I like the feeling of your lips on mine. They're very smooth." He licked his lips. "And is that... cherry chapstick?"

"Well, I have to keep my lips from getting chapped."

"Let me taste it again."

Goodness, Wallace sounded incredibly... horny? Like when kids would make out against the lockers, or do certain things in the band room.

Steven delivered on the request. He went deeper this time, exploring Wallace’s mouth with his tongue. It was so new, so incredible.

Ah..." Wallace moaned in between kisses. "Oh, Steven—"

Winona pulled Steven away, and he almost immediately began kissing her next. As he did, he took her hand in his, while Wallace grabbed his other hand. God, he loved how soft their hands were on his rough, calloused hands. Wallace's hands had a moisturized softness to him, while Winona's were like the wings of a Swablu. Steven pulled his hand out of Winona's so he could feel her lips with her fingers. They were just as soft as her hands. Winona gently sucked on one of Steven's fingers, a playful smile forming as she did.

He shouldn't have found this hot. He was letting someone touch him suggestively and someone else suck his fingers. He was getting intimate with two people—two people who were already in a relationship, two people who wanted an open relationship. Any conventions of society could tell him that this deviance was preposterous, paraphilic, disgusting.

Then again, since when had Steven been one for convention? Even if those conventional ideas were true, so what? Was he hurting one? No. He was pleasuring two people, making them feel good, making them feel loved. He was feeling all kinds of new and wonderful and—

“Hey do you two wanna fuck?” Steven whispered quickly as he unbuttoned his shirt.

“Yes,” Wallace and Winona said in unison.

He was really doing it. He was really going to have a threesome with two Gym Leaders. He was going to have a threesome with two beautiful people. He was really going to have a threesome period. Holy shit holy shit holy—

Footsteps began echoing from the hallway. Winona bolted up and began walking to the door.

“Dulcie’s coming,” she whispered. “Hide in the closet.”

“Again?” Wallace teased.

“You’ve done this before?” Steven asked.

“Oh, you don’t even know,” Wallace chuckled.
 
Chapter 4

Torchic W. Pip

~ Utterly glorious ~
Location
Sootopolis City
Pronouns
they/he
Partners
  1. torchic
  2. custom/torchic-blue
“Mr. Abe, I know you showed interest during my presentation on how we can use bioenergy as an ethical and efficient source of Infinity Energy, and perhaps I could also interest you in—“

“Mr. Stone—”

Steven kept following Mr. Abe down the hall as he kept talking: “But sir, I think your company could benefit from having a mini museum showcasing the history of the fossil restoration process. What with you being an oil company—”

“First you try to destroy Sinnoh’s biggest source of energy, and now you’re trying to turn us into a museum?!"

“Oil is unsustainable! Sinnoh’s economy is falling apart! It doesn’t need an energy source that will run out and choke up the planet! It needs innovation! It needs change!”

But Mr. Abe simply shut the door in Steven’s face.

Steven was used to this kind of behaviour in the business world, but that didn’t make it hurt any less.

“Why the long face, Steven?”

Mr. Stone walked over to Steven and patted him on the shoulder. Steven forced a little smile and shrug.

“Why do people have to be so…”

Mr. Stone sighed. “Sometimes change is hard to accept, my boy, especially for older folks like me, especially when the change is… radical.”

“They could really use some radical change…”

"Steven, even you have to admit that quickly switching a whole region's major source of energy is a little too radical. Change takes time to accept and implement."

Steven rolled his eyes. "The quicker, the better."

There was silence. Awkward silence. Steven didn’t like silence; it was more overwhelming than loud crowds or amusement parks.

“Um… I have a date on Saturday.”

Mr. Stone’s eyes widened at that statement. “A date? Since when?!”

“Um…” Well, Steven had been friends with Wallace and Winona for months, but they had only become a thing (were they a thing?) a few days ago. “A few months.”

“When will I meet them?”

Mr. Stone probably meant the singular “them”. As in, when was Steven going to bring home a man, a woman, or a nonbinary person. He probably didn’t think that Steven would be bringing home a woman and a nonbinary person.

…Would he be bringing a woman and nonbinary person home?

-

Steven didn’t really know how dates were supposed to go, and he was kind of hoping Wallace and Winona would be able to help by… leading the date.

And they did: they took him to the Lilycove Museum, where Wallace talked about the history of Sootopolitan revolutionary art. They went to the Museum of Natural Sciences, where Winona explained oology, the study of bird’s eggs. Hearing them talk so passionately about things made Steven… love them?

They sat down at an outdoor cafe with blue LED tables and lounge chairs. Steven sat in between the two. It felt cozy, very cozy and friendly. Winona ordered three Ricardo Rogers.

“Ricardo Rogers?” Steven asked, “like the Unovan actor?”

“It’s apparently the ‘boy’s’ Alyssa Temple.” Wallace laughed. “Ha ha ha, I don’t care for gender! I will drink an Alyssa’s Temple and a Ricardo Rogers! Just to spite the Sootopolitan elites!”

“You should get something to eat, too,” Winona said softly.

“I’m not hungry.” Wallace’s voice was less playful when he said that.

Steven leaned against Wallace. His shoulder felt… nice.

“Can I… ask you guys something?” Steven could trust Wallace and Winona. He could trust them to, at the very least, hear him out. And if not… well, at least this was only the first date.

“Of course,” Winona replied.

“Ask and we shall answer,” Wallace added.

“Okay… uh… How long… How long have you two known you were… um… What are you guys, orientation-wise?”

“Bi,” Winona replied.

“I’m pansexual,” Wallace said.

“Pansexual?” Steven sat up. “I’ve never heard of that.” He froze. “Shit, I'm not saying that it's bad, it’s just that—”

“No, no, it’s quite all right.” Wallace smiled. “Well, to put it in simple terms… gender doesn’t factor into my attraction to people. For Winona, she’s attracted to all genders, but she has preferences, she has differences in how she feels attraction for other genders. I… don’t really have that. Of course, that’s just how it works for me and Winona. Sexuality is rather complicated, to say the least. Some people use one label. Some people use others. Some use multiple. Some don’t use labels.”

“Do those labels ever… change? Do people ever change labels?”

Winona and Wallace looked at each other, then they burst into laughter.

“What’s so funny?” Shit, was this really as stupid and unrealistic of a proposition as he thought?

“Steven, Steven, Steven, you should have seen me in my teenage years,” Wallace sighed. He took a few breaths. “I should calm down a bit… Anyway, when I was in my teen years—early teen years, about fourteen to sixteen—I was… trying to figure out who I was. I’m grateful my mentor gave me the space to explore myself in the safety of his estate, and my sister in the safety of her home. I... didn't exactly have that sort of freedom elsewhere."

Wallace waved a hand in the air. "I identified as a feminine man, then a transgender girl, then several flavours of nonbinary, until I settled on genderqueer. A queering of my gender. My gender isn’t something to be defined; it’s something to be played with. Gender is a dance, and I want to be the most fabulous bitch on the dance floor.”

Winona looked down at her feet. “I… I didn’t know people could be gay until I was in middle school.” She chuckled to herself. “I was a stupid girl growing up in a family and a city that didn’t talk about being gay. And as I was finding out that people could be gay, I was finding out I liked girls. So I immediately latched onto the label of ‘lesbian.’” She shook her head, laughing again. “I thought boys were gross. And then I started thinking they were cute again in high school. And other girls. And I kept learning more about queer stuff once I got out of the house and into college, and I realized that I like girls and boys and nonbinary people.” Her smile fell. “But even when I started calling myself bi, I felt like I was just pretending to like women, like I was a straight person in denial, like I was faking it to be cool.”

She tapped her nails on the table. They were very pretty—sparkling in the blue shades of the night sky. “Both of my siblings are on the nonbinary spectrum, and coming out to my mom and step sister was… not a fun experience.” She gently bit her tongue. “And they still think Wallace is some sort of freak.”

“Hey, so does Megalos,” Wallace teased, though it was clear there was… something else underneath.

“Fuck them, in that case.”

Winona and Wallace looked up at the sound of Steven’s voice.

“You’re both two of the smartest, nicest, greatest people I’ve ever met, and if people are going to be dicks to you just because of who you are, they can fuck off.”

It was Wallace’s turn to lean against Steven.

“Steven, Steven Steven Steven… Steven, I think I love you. Not just like you. Love you.”

“Steven,” Winona said, “why do you ask about labels? I’m just… curious.”

Steven sighed. Well, now or never.

“You two are… I’ve never been as close to a person as I am to you two, and now I’m feeling all of these emotions I’ve never felt before, and now I’m just confused, and I thought I was the only person who was confused about stuff, but now”—Steven smiled, shaking his head—“I don’t know, I feel even more confused and less confused.”

“When you say emotions,” Wallace began, “what do you mean by that?”

“Like… wanting to kiss people. And do…” Steven tossed up his hands. "I always thought I was asexual. Am I a bad asexual? Am I a fake? What am I?"

Wallace rested a finger under his chin. “So you don’t feel sexual attraction immediately, but you feel it once you’ve formed a deep emotional bond with someone—or two someones. Am I understanding this correctly?”

“Uh… yeah. Yeah, that sounds about right.”

“Have you ever heard of the term ‘demisexual’?”

“Don’t think so. Is that the word for 'attraction after bonding'?”

Wallace nodded. "There's also 'demiromantic', but for romantic attraction instead of sexual attraction."

"They can be... separate?"

"M-hm." Wallace nodded.

And then, a click. A quiet, quick click in Steven’s head.

“...Oh.”

He didn’t know what else to say. He just felt… It was like… It was like finally figuring out a complex math equation.

"Gender is a spectrum," Wallace said. "Sexuality is a spectrum. Asexuality is a spectrum. Identity is a big, big rainbow of hues and values and saturations. It's not my place to tell you what you are. It's no one's place—except yours. And like you said..." He smirked. "...anyone who tells you otherwise can fuck off."

Steven looked at Wallace, then Winona. For the first time, he let himself see their eyes, see them in all of their beautiful reality.

"I like that word... demisexual. demi-bisexual. Demiromantic-biromantic. Demi-bi." Steven could feel a smile growing on his face. "Holy shit, I'm demi-bi! I'm demi-bi! It all makes sense now!"

He hugged Winona and Wallace, kissing each of them. He belonged with these two. He truly, truly belonged here with these two.
 
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