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Kind of Maybe Not Exactly

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Howard decided he was not entirely happy with the direction this conversation was going; it wasn't that he was a jerk or something, or scared to talk about his feelings - girls liked sensitive guys, provided you kept it reasonable, like not the Sheldon kind of sensitive where you freaked at the idea of someone putting The Flash in a movie (okay, so it would probably suck and Howard wouldn't go see it until he'd duped some poor idiot to go check it out first, to make sure it wouldn't make him want to kill himself). The Howard kind of sensitive always worked fine though; asking about her day, agreeing it was terrible what people did to baby seals, putting a friendly, comforting arm around her when she talked about her last boyfriend ... getting slapped.

It was all good and nothing he felt uncomfortable with, was what he was saying. Kind of like gay sex, except for the part where when girls were involved, it wasn't usually his ass that felt a little sore - not that he would object to a bit of (un)friendly spanking or anything. (See? He could be sensitive and kinky. Not all at once, ladies; plenty of Howard to go around.)

And then Leonard, always the love-struck lemming said: "So are you guys, like, in love or something?" which was just hel-lo, backstabbing f(r)iend, because if anyone should know a bit of sex did not a love connection make, it should be Leonard.

"Kind of," he said. Honestly, what else was he supposed to say? If he said 'no', he probably wouldn't get laid again for at least a week. (Raj was a girl like that, Howard just knew it.) On the other hand, if he said 'yes', that'd be like saying he was gay.

It wasn't hip to be gay. Not unless you were starring in some sort of TV show, and even then, you didn't really have to be gay - more, like, you just had to have a good-looking best friend or something and voila, people would write ridiculously hot (gay!) porn about you.

Not that Howard used the Internet to look for porn or anything. (Just for research, ma.)

"Kind of?" Sheldon looked up, a spark of interest in his eyes which was bad, bad, bad.

"Isn't that sort of like being kind of pregnant?" Leonard asked. Howard wondered if he was one of those sick people who enjoyed Mpreg stories. Where else would a comment like that come from?

"That really happens?" Raj looked slightly worried. The idiot.

On the other hand, now Leonard looked sort of guilty. "Not to guys."

"Ah." Coming from Sheldon, that probably wasn't good.

"It's the Internet, Sheldon," Leonard said, clearly continuing an earlier discussion that was not at all relevant to the current topic, except for the part where it got everyone off that topic, so ...

"You're kidding me."

"There was a movie," Raj said.

"A movie," Leonard said. "I mean, Star Wars was a movie, and we all know that didn't happen."

"Not the second trilogy, no."

"The Phantom Menace wasn't that bad."

"Oh, really? One word: Jar Jar Binks."

"Technically," Howard said, "that's probably three words."

"Like 'I love you'," Raj said. "Or 'Please, Raj, harder.' "

Howard could tell by the expression on Leonard's face that he was picturing Howard and Raj having sex. It made him feel guilty over that (really smokin' hot) Xena/Gabrielle thing he'd posted to his blog the other day, until he realized that even if Xena had been real, chances were, she'd never get near a computer her whole life, let alone find out about fanfiction.

"I'm happy for you guys?"

"The sex we're actually having?" Howard said, because he had a reputation to think of. "Ten times hotter than what you're imagining right now. Also: I'm on top."

"Ha!" Coming from Sheldon, that was ... well, what would he know about it, anyway?

"The wedding is in May," Raj said. "My parents say we must make it a big party, to show the Americans that not all people from India are poor. Or homophobic."

"Wha- we're not getting married!" That was just crazy. Also illegal, but that, Howard could have lived with. "Are you out of your mind?"

Raj looked at him with quiet dignity, which was completely unfair, since it was the one thing Howard couldn't do right back. "If I say we are getting married then we are getting married, bitch."


"Okay," Howard said, "am I the only one who thought that was just way out of character?"

"I think you'll look lovely in a dress, Howard." Leonard, clearly not serious.

"Getting married to confirm an exclusive sexual partnership is quite logical." Sheldon, disturbingly so.

("You were just kidding, right?" Howard asked, later that day, when it was just the two of them.)

("Kind of," Raj said.)