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Feeling Blue

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Will frowned, standing outside the guidance office. He could see through the glass door that Emma wasn't sitting at her desk. That wasn't like her.

Opening the door, he knocked twice on the frame. "Emma?" he called out quietly. "You in here?"

"Yes," she answered after a moment.

"Emma, there are some kids out here who could really use your advice today. This blue thing, it's outed some people who weren't ready to be open about their sexuality, and has really confused everyone else." Myself included, Will didn't add. He stepped into the office, looking for the hidden guidance counselor. "They need your help."

"I can't - " Emma started, before cutting herself off with something that sounded suspiciously like a sob.

Will followed the sound of her voice to the other side of the desk, and found Emma sitting under the desk, tears streaking her cheeks and arms wrapped around her knees. Her skin was a beautiful shade of summer-sky blue.

"Oh, Emma," Will whispered. No wonder she didn't think she could help.

"Look at me!" she said, voice shaking. She gestured at her face, hand equally shaky. "How am I supposed to tell those kids that it's okay to be who they are, and - and that nobody's opinion of them matters but their own, when I'm terrified to leave my office?!"

Will crouched down by Emma's side and held out a hand. "Hey, Emma, it's okay. It'll be okay." She looked up at him, smiling weakly. An idea to cheer her up popped into his head. "You know," he said slyly, "Sue is blue too."

"Really?" Her smile more steady now, she took his hand and let him pull her to her feet.

"Yeah. So, you know, you aren't alone. That's one of the good things that came out of this - gay people have always known there were others like them out there, and now they know who those people are."

"It also paints a target on all their backs for homophobes to take advantage of," Emma pointed out, frowning. "But Will, I think you've misunderstood something. I'm not gay."

Will blinked dumbly at her. "But - the blue - "

"It doesn't mean you're gay. It means you're queer." When he still looked confused, she explained, "Not heterosexual and cissexual."

"Cis - ?"

"As opposed to transsexual." Realization dawned in Will's eyes. "So," Emma continued, "a person with blue skin today could be gay, that's true. But they could also be transgender, or genderqueer, or bisexual, or - " She paused, clearly nervous, but with a bit of prompting said, "Or... or asexual. Like me."

Will wasn't sure he understood. "Emma, you're... asexual?"

"Yes," she said, looking sure of herself for the first time today. Then, deflating, she added, "Well. A little."

"A little?" Will was starting to feel like a parrot.

"The exact term is demisexual. I looked it up on AVEN when - well." She flushed. "'When' isn't important."

"Demi - ? AVEN? I don't - " Will stopped and chose his words more carefully when Emma's face started to fall. "Emma, thank you for telling me this. I don't quite understand what all of it means, but... I'm honored that you came out to me."

"Oh." Emma smiled. "Well... you're welcome. And feel free to ask me any questions you might have."

Will grinned, pointing at her. "Now that's the kind of thing the students out there need to hear!"

She smiled sheepishly. "You're right - I've really been neglecting them today." Linking her arm in his, she walked out of her office, saying, "Now, tell me what you've seen so far. Who do you think needs the most help?"