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The news breaks during a game in Houston. Kent's kind of glad that it wasn't an hour earlier, because then the Aeros would have had time to come up with some decent trash talk. The shock of those idiots chirping worth a damn would have probably made Kent lose all his faceoffs.

As it is, Kent finds out when some journo shoves to the front of the pack and says, “Kent, how does it feel to be the first openly gay player in the NHL?”

“Buh?” Kent says. He's—what now? How does what feel? “Uh.”

That's when Coach swoops in and physically stands in front of Kent.

“No more questions today, folks. Parse, let's go.” And then he kind of grabs Kent by the shoulder and like, propels him away from the media and into someone's office. Coach sags and sighs deeply the second they're behind a closed door.

“Jesus, Parson, you don't think you could have warned somebody?”

“Um. Sorry, Coach, what exactly is going on?” Openly gay player. Kent can't feel his knees. Or his face. Is that normal? “What happened?”

“There's a video,” Coach says. He's never been the most expressive guy, but right now his face is even more wooden than usual. “Of you. Would've been bad enough with a girl. Fuck, Parson, ever heard of discretion?”

A video. Who could have--? There's only one person who could have filmed something. Maybe his phone got stolen, Kent thinks, and tries to ignore the sinking feeling in his gut.

“I didn't know there was a video out there, sir,” Kent says. He stares dead ahead so he doesn't have to look at Coach's carefully expressionless face. “I never told him he could film me.”

The silence is deafening. Kent focuses on breathing. In. Out. In. Out. His eyes are burning. He's not going to cry. That would just make it worse. In. Out. In. Out.

“Well, shit, kid,” Coach says eventually. “At least we're on a plane tonight. PR and Hodge want a meeting the second we're back in Vegas. You sure dropped us in it this time.”

“I'm sorry, sir.” Kent swallows against the lump in his throat. “Should I—”

“Just go get dressed, Parson.” Coach sighs again. When Kent dares to sneak a glance at him, he's shaking his head. In disgust? Or just because Kent's caused another headache? “Fuck. Just go.”

Kent goes.

 

The weirdest thing was probably the quiet. Kent's never been in a totally silent dressing room before. Or on a bus where nobody joked, or a plane where everybody breathed a sigh of relief when Kent put on his headphones and pretended to go to sleep.

It's normal that nobody sat next to him on the plane. Scrappy's still on IR because of his concussion. He's Kent's plane buddy, has been since rookie year.

The meeting with the brass, though. That's not so quiet.

“Goddamn it, Parson, haven't you heard of an NDA?” Sherry from PR says. She lights a cigarette right there in Hodge, the GM's, office. That's probably the biggest sign that this is the end times, because Hodge just pushes an empty coffee mug towards her for an ashtray instead of blowing a gasket.

“I didn't say he could film me,” Kent says for the tenth time. He's standing in the middle of the room, facing the GM, assistant GM, and half of PR. Focusing on keeping his spine straight is the only thing that's stopping Kent from, fuck. Crying? Screaming? Running into the desert never to return?

“Well, he sure as fuck did anyway,” Sherry snaps.

“A warning might have been nice, Kent.” Hodge takes a minute to just stare at Kent. Kent's used to a certain amount of face time with management. He's got to be. He's the captain. But this is different. “The media's eating us alive. We don't have a strategy set up for this kind of thing.”

What the hell is Kent supposed to say? He didn't warn them because he likes playing for the Aces, thanks. “Yes, sir. I'm sorry, sir.”

“Look,” Sherry says, gesturing with her lit cigarette. “I'm going to ask. Who's the guy? What's his story?”

Kent hasn't actually seen the video. He turned on his phone after the game and saw ninety missed calls and texts, so he just turned it back off. But there's only one guy who it could be.

“That's Jared. He's my boyfriend.” Kent blinks. He's not going to cry. “Was. I guess. Has he maybe—did someone steal his phone? Has anyone said anything about where it came from?”

“Like what, somebody tweeted 'hey I hacked this total nobody's phone and posted all his fucktapes online'? No, Parse, nobody's said anything like that,” Sherry snarls. Kent can't help flinching back this time.

“I think we ought to take a step back,” Martin, the assistant GM, says, raising his hands in supplication. “Consider our strategy and start fresh in the morning. Parson just played a game through OT, and I'm sure the rest of us need to get some sleep too.”

Kent has never loved anyone more than he loves Martin at this moment. And that's not just the sleep deprivation or deep sense of doom talking.

“I, uh. I just want to say that I'm sorry. I didn't mean to cause any trouble for the organization.” Kent registers the feeling of about ten sets of disbelieving eyes on him and refuses to buckle. This isn't the worst night of his life. Nobody's even gone to the hospital, so it can't be the worst night of his life. Probably top five, though. Kent can deal with top five. “I'm sorry for letting you down.”

“Go home, Parse,” Hodge says after a couple years of silence. More silence. “We'll talk more tomorrow.”


Kent finally turns his phone back on. He searches through the missed calls and texts. Nothing from Scraps, which isn't unexpected. He always blows through his doctor-allotted screen time by like ten AM. Scrappy still might not have heard the news. At least there's one person.

It only takes a minute to scroll through his contacts, looking for—what? Somebody to call? Who the hell does Kent think is going to magically appear?

He lets his thumb hover over Zimms' number for a second, but—no. Kent knows exactly what Jack thinks of him. If that party last year didn't tell him, the way that Zimms wouldn't even look at him on the ice two months ago would have clued him in.

At least Purrs deigns to sleep on the other half of the bed when Kent finally gives up and goes to sleep. Kent reaches out and skritches his cat behind the ears. Purrs just meeps at him grumpily, because Kent's son doesn't like being left alone with the automatic feeder during away games. His grudges typically last about ten hours.

“I'm gonna need you to rally, Purrson,” Kent tells him. Purrs blinks green eyes at Kent slowly, and Kent blinks back, pushing down his tears. He shouldn't get this choked up about a cat. Purrs would love anyone who holds the secret of How to Get the Wet Food.

Fuck it. Kent's going to take what he can get tonight. He flips around on his bed so his face is near the cat, feet up by the headboard. Purrs nestles down against Kent's belly.

“I love you too,” Kent whispers in the dark. There's nobody to hear him, so it's not lame.

Jared wasn't one of the missed calls. Kent's going to think about that tomorrow.

 

No, Kent's going to think about it while he lies there for two hours, wide awake.

Someone stole Jared's phone. That's the only way this makes sense. Or his computer. Or whatever. Maybe Jared left his webcam on by accident?
Jared's a good guy, way too good for Kent. He's—well, he's Purrson's vet, and he's in a book club. They've been talking about Jared maybe moving in since it's been ten months. He's got dark, dark eyes, which don't remind Kent of anything and it's great. It's been great. Kent's been—happy.

There's no way that Jared did this shit on purpose. But--

There's this awful hollowness right under Kent's breastbone that's not surprised. It hurts, but he's not surprised. Kent wishes there was someone to fucking tell about it. Someone to tell him he didn't fuck up his entire life, even if it's a lie.

He wants his mom, Kent realizes, and it's like getting checked into the boards by a D man you never saw coming. The shock of it, plus the ache. He wants his mom, and it's maybe the worst part of this whole thing.

Don't be stupid, Kent reminds himself. He hasn't had his mom in years, since his parents caught him making out with Zimms the day before the draft and walked out of the hotel room without saying a word. Haven't said a word since.

This isn't new. So Kent can handle it. There's nothing else to do.

 

Kent's agent calls at six in the morning.

"For fuck's sake, Parse, you didn't ever feel like mentioning that you're queer?” Ben asks, instead of saying good morning like a normal person.

“Not really, dude,” Kent says. He rubs the sleep from his eyes and stifles a yawn.

“Well you really left everyone with their asses hanging in the wind here, pal,” Ben says. “Jesus, and you couldn't have come out with some kind of nice video? You had to make a porno?”

“Didn't make a porno,” Kent says. “Got a boyfriend who I guess turned out to be psycho.” Again. “Look, it happened, so just—”

Make it go away. No, that's not possible.

“I'll put out a statement. You Can Play has been calling,” Ben adds. “That could help mitigate some of the shit that's raining down. That gay football kid got to meet Obama.”

"His name is Michael Sam,” Kent says. “And I'm pretty sure he just got to go on Dancing With the Stars.”

“Well, you'd know,” Ben says. Kent isn't even surprised by the white-hot rush of rage that swells in his gut. Luckily, before he can say something stupid, Ben adds, “Keep your head down. For fuck's sake don't go on Twitter or Google yourself. I'll call you later, keep your phone on.”

Kent hasn't even hung up before PR calls.

“Don't come to practice today,” Sherry says.

That's not how it works. Kent's the captain. He earned his fucking C. They can't just take the game away.

Can they?

Kent tries to take a deep breath, but it just comes out shaky.
“Get Coach to tell me that.”

Kent's got to get on the ice. He's got to. There's no way he's going to make it through today without getting on the fucking ice.

“Just make things a little easier on us, Parson, and stay home. We're working on our strategy. Stay off Twitter.”

Well, shit. Now that two people have told him that, Kent's got to check it out.

 

Well, a lot of people are calling Kent a terrible role model. That kind of smarts. He's been keeping his nose clean since 2009 when Aces management sat him down and explained they didn't want a Zimmermann situation. Some of the other stuff is just--

Well, the Sean Cody people want to offer Kent a job, and there's a write-in campaign for the porn awards. Kent didn't even know there were porn awards. He stares at the #AVNforParson thread for a bit until he can control the nausea. People are going to say worse things to his face. He's got to be ready.
People have seen him doing—something. Kent hasn't watched the video yet. Fuck, did the boys see it? Did anyone on the team watch out of like, morbid curiosity?

Thinking about all the people who have seen him that way makes Kent's skin crawl. He's only had sex with four people—two anonymous handjobs in club bathrooms, his rookie year when he was still fucked up, Jack, and—Jared.

Kent decides to tackle the DM situation. It's a lot of people he's never met telling him he's going to hell. Shit, there's a lot of messages.

And one of the those DMs is from none other than Bad Bob Zimmermann. Fuck. Kent's breath stutters in his throat.

Great gamewinning goal last night, sport.

That's it. Nothing about gay shit, nothing about how Kent's an immature fuckup, or a bad representative, or—anything. Kent takes a deep breath. He can now. He can breathe, at least for a minute.

Thanks, Bob.

It's enough.

 

Kent goes on a run before it gets too hot. Nobody in his gated community so much as glances at him—not that there's anyone out but a nanny pushing a stroller. But still. She doesn't give a shit that Kent's gay. It's nice.

Running has always cleared his head. By the time he starts to wind back around to his house, Kent's starting to think that maybe he can do this. Maybe he can like, overcome the fucktape part and just be gay. He's got an ironclad no trade clause in his contract. Why can't there be a fag hockey player? Just because nobody's ever done it before?

Jared had opinions about Kent calling himself that. About never coming out, not even to Scraps and Jeff. They'd be lying in Kent's bed and Jared would grab Kent's hand, kiss his knuckles.

“Why do you hate yourself so much? Can't you see that it's a beautiful thing? It's part of you, so it's beautiful.”

Yeah, right. Fuck, why hasn't Jared called?

Kent's house comes into view when he rounds the last corner. He squints—is there somebody on his porch? Two somebodies?

Of all the bizarre shit that's happened in the last twenty four hours, Kent decides that the most bizarre of all is the sight of Bob and Alicia Zimmermann in Vegas.



“Hell of a game last night. Hope you still like your eggs scrambled,” Bob says. The Zimmermanns cheerfully muscled their way into Kent's house ten minutes ago. Bob has colonized the kitchen while Alicia freshens up.

“Uh,” Kent says, intelligent to the last. Why are the Zimmermanns here?

“I could manage sunny side up, I suppose, but you know breakfast was never my strong suit,” Bob continues.

“Um. Scrambled is fine. What are you doing here?”

“You weren't answering your phone,” Bob says. “Where are your frying pans? Oh, found one. Jack was worried. So were Alicia and I. This seemed like the easiest way to set everyone's mind at ease.”

After taking a minute to process that, Kent decides to start with the easiest thing first.

“I never got a call from Zimms.”
Bob frowns at him, and Kent wishes he didn't still desperately want this man's approval.

“Have you got his new number saved? Providence area code.”

Oh. That makes—sense. Good thing Kent didn't try to call Zimms last night after all. So, second point.

“I'm not going to tell anyone,” Kent says. Bob doesn't look up from the stove, where he's currently poking at some eggs. “You know. About him. He doesn't have to be worried.”

“That's not why he was worried. Plates?” Bob asks, and Kent points mutely to a cabinet.

“Well, you don't have to be worried either.” Kent grows his balls back and manages to tell Bad Bob Zimmermann, “I wouldn't do that to him. So you can go.”

“I'm not going anywhere,” Bob says. He puts a plate of eggs and toast in front of Kent. “You've got to be having a rough time. Alicia says her mama radar was going off.”

Kent could say some shit about the quality of Alicia's mom radar. Where was it in the winter of 2008, where Kent's gameday routine literally revolved around getting Jack to the rink, sober, with a combination of chirping, blowjobs, and stealing the car keys? But Jared's been making him read all these advice columns about other people whose lives are disasters, and Kent's learned that he should take a deep breath before lashing out.

In. Out.

“That's better,” Alicia says, sailing into the kitchen, now in a sundress and with her hair tied back. “Ugh, I hate airplane smell. Ooh, eggs. You didn't make him try anything more advanced than scrambled, right? Eggs are his nemesis.”

“I can do omelets now,” Bob protests.

“So when are we meeting with management?” Alicia piles eggs onto her own slice of toast and shoves the whole thing in her mouth.

"Um. They said they'd call when they had a strategy in place. You know. To handle—me.” Kent looks down at his breakfast.

More silence. Great.

“No,” Alicia says after a minute.

“No way,” Bob agrees. Kent raises his head to find them exchanging one of their weird psychic married looks. Kent's parents never did that, so it really freaked him out the first time the Zimmermanns silently conspired in front of him.

“This is your story, you're involved with the strategy. Did they even ask how you want to proceed?” Alicia fixes her eyes on Kent. He can only shake his head. “Bobby?”

“Yeah, I'll—here, scooch together. Maybe put that glass of juice in the forefront to make it look--” Bob gets out his phone and aims it at Alicia, who is suddenly cuddling up to Kent, beaming.

Kent slaps on a smile a second before Bob takes the picture.

“What are you—ya know, doing?” Kent asks. Bob is typing something into his phone.

“You're ours, Kenny,” Alicia says. She steals a piece of Kent's toast. “We're not letting them say this shit about you without fighting it.”

“Since when am I yours?” Kent gets an awkward dinner with the Zimmermanns once a year when the Aces go to Montreal. He and Bob usually play in a celebrity golf tournament together over the summer. He and Alicia text when Kent needs to know stuff like what flowers to buy Jeff's wife.

But it's always been secret. As far as Kent knows, nobody's even told Jack that Kent still talks to his parents. He's always been stupidly, pathetically grateful that the Zimmermanns feel sorry enough for him to still communicate, but this is different. This is a declaration.

“Since always. Jack's doing better now. He can handle knowing it.” Alicia steals Bob's phone and looks at whatever he's been working on. “That's good, I like that. Go ahead and post it. Actually, wait—Kenny, what do you think?”

The picture is simple, just Kent and Alicia smiling over breakfast in Kent's kitchen. The caption--

Family breakfast in Vegas.

"Yeah, that's—go ahead and post it.” Kent wipes at his eyes, praying that they haven't seen him tearing up.

Alicia hugs Kent around the shoulders again. “We've got you, honey. We've got you.”

 

“What do you want to say?” Alicia asks. Bob is on the phone with his hockey mafia in the other room. Alicia and Kent are in the den, discussing the next move.

"I don't know. I mean, what is there to say? It's not like I knew he was going to put up a sex tape.” Kent still can't believe it. But there's zero calls from Jared, zero texts. Fuck, not even a smoke signal.

“Fuckshit,” Alicia says, and Kent snorts a laugh. It's always funny when she gets vulgar. “Honey, did you watch the tape?”

"No. Not yet.” Kent doesn't want to. It'll make this whole thing real.

“You've got to,” Alicia says firmly. “No, I'm serious. You've got to know what you're up against. Then we can start to craft a narrative.”

"I, uh.” Kent blinks rapidly. “I guess. Can you--?”

"I think I'll go check on Bobby,” Alicia says, and rises gracefully from the couch. She presses a kiss to the top of Kent's head on her way out. Kent stares after her for a second.

It doesn't take long to find the video. It starts with Kent on his knees.

“I don’t do this for all the guys,” the Kent in the video says. He tucks his stupid little grin into Jared’s thigh. Kent wants to reach through time and space and strangle that Parse for being such an idiot. Why the hell did he think he could trust this guy? Just because Jared let Kent call him his boyfriend?

“Just most of ‘em.” Jared’s voice is warm and teasing. That’s what Kent thought at the time. It’s kind of completely fucking awful now, the mockery too genuine, since, what was it? Oh, yeah, Jared leaked sex videos of Kent. God, he still can't believe it.

"Shut up,” past Kent mutters into Jared’s leg. He glances up, eyes flashing at the camera. At least the angle’s good. “Are you seriously checking your email right now? Doing some of my best work here, babe.”

"Maybe you better put your money where your mouth is,” Jared laughs.

"Do you one better,” Video-Kent smirks, and that’s when Now-Kent throws his phone at the fucking wall.

 

Bob and Alicia don’t ask. They just keep making calls, and feeding Kent lunch, and trying to get Purrs to let them pet him.

The doorbell rings when they’re finishing lunch. Kent’s pretty sure he’s never had this many people wanting to come to his house.

“I’ll get it,” Bob says. “In case it’s--” Reporters. A pissed off fan. Who knows.

"So what do you want to tell management?” Alicia asks.

Kent’s been considering this. “I guess that I was outed against my will. That I didn’t know anyone had filmed me. I mean, it’s not the best coming out story--”

And that’s when Bob steps back into the kitchen, with--

"Jared.” Kent stares.

"I’m so sorry,” Jared says in a rush. “Kenny, babe, I’m so sorry. Someone invited Justin to Maria’s housewarming party.”

"Your psycho ex?” What? What does that have to do with anything?

"He stole my phone,” Jared says. “And, I mean. My password--”

"I told you it was dumb to use your name,” Kent says. It’s almost a relief to be in this old argument again. “That’s the first thing people guess. I told you a million times.”

"Yeah, well, you were right. Pretty definitively. But you’ve got to believe me, I didn’t put that video up.” Jared crosses the kitchen in two big strides--God, he’s so tall--and tugs Kent off the stool into a hug. “Babe. I’m so, so sorry.”

"Why the hell did you have that video in the first place? I never knew you took it.”

"Um. It was kind of--an anniversary present? You always say shit about how we have to hide, I wanted you to see that it’s. You know. Love?” Jared grimaces.

"So you thought I’d want a video of myself sucking your dick?” Kent pulls back to stare at Jared, can’t help laughing a little. God, this idiot. Kent’s idiot.

"Well, I was working on how to get one of me sucking yours, but it’s hard to maintain the element of surprise if you’re holding the camera,” Jared says.

"You’re the biggest moron I know,” Kent says into Jared’s chest. There’s one hand stroking his back, the other settled on his waist. It’s nice. To be surrounded by Jared. Even if he is stupid.

"I know. I’m sorry. Would it help if I groveled?”

"Oh, you’ll be groveling for a while, bud,” Kent says. “Count on that.”

 

The next hour or two--well, Alicia and Jared, who actually went to college and don't run around on knife shoes for a living, take over the planning. There's mention of a Twitter campaign. Bob and Kent are allowed to turn on last night’s game, Lightning versus Caps, and dissect the defense for gaps.

“You wanna help me get past the Falcs, too?” Kent asks. Alicia and Jared have moved on to bullet points and lists. Kent’s pretty sure he's supposed to start doing charity stuff with gay kids, so their only hockey role model isn't just some guy with a sex tape.

“No luck,” Bob says. “Tell ya what, I won't tell him about your center’s weak left side.”

Kent is trying to figure out exactly what Bob means by that--he’s gonna have to talk to Coach--when the doorbell rings.

“What is this, Grand Central Station?” Kent complains.

This time nobody has to get up, because a second later the front door opens and a familiar voice shouts, “Parser, where the hell are you?”

“Come out, Parse!”

“Scrappy? Jeff, you better not have made him leave his house, he’s got a concussion!” Kent jumps off the couch, full of rage, and goes to intercept his boys. Scrappy is wearing a huge pair of sunglasses that make him look like a bug. “Where the hell did you get those?”

“I stole them from Laura,” Jeff says, clearly unrepentant. “So I could take Scraps into the sun. Where the hell were you today?”

“PR told me not to show up. Why?”

“Because now we’ve got to get all new rainbow balloons for tomorrow, dipshit,” Jeff says. “And we had to pie Henny instead so we didn't waste them.”

“You pied Henny? And you're alive?” Wait a second. “Balloons?”

“Duh,” Jeff says. He narrows his eyes at Kent. “Cap. You didn't seriously think we care.”

“But--last night,” Kent says. “You were all quiet.”

“You looked like you’d been punched, bro,” Jeff says.

“I saw the sneaky Snapchats this morning,” Scrappy adds. “You looked worse than the time Purrs needed surgery after he ate that sock.”

“Shut up, no I did not.” Kent’s not allowed to punch Scraps when he's on IR. But he will remember this and have his revenge. This is equipment bag full of shaving cream territory.

Jeff finally takes a second to register the world around him. “Uh, Parser. Bad Bob Zimmermann is in your house.”

“Ah, gee, really? I thought he was a hallucination brought on by stress.” Kent grins. “Jeff, Scrappy, this is Bob and Alicia. And Jared.”

“Oh shit,” Scrappy says. “You're the guy. The porn guy.”

“Not exactly the description I would have picked, but strictly speaking, yeah.” Jared waves a little, the enormous dork. “I’ve heard a lot about you guys.”

Jeff immediately abandons his shock in favor of mockery. “Awww, Parser, you love us.”

“We’re your pride and joy,” Scrappy says. “Thanks, Dad!”

“So,” Alicia says, clapping her hands for their attention. Hockey players and kindergarteners have similar attention spans. “The team is okay with Kent?”

“Well,” Jeff hedges. “There's always assholes.”

“Carly,” Scraps adds darkly. “But they know that the Kent is the Aces. They’ll get over it.”

“We can work with this,” Alicia says.

“We?” Scrappy asks.

“Team Parse,” Bad Bob clarifies. Kent knows you can’t actually split in two from feelings overload. But damn it if he doesn’t feel like he could.


“This,” Jared says, tipping his phone towards Kent. “See, this is some kid from Canada.”

“Hate Parson because he goes plus three against the Leafs, not because he’s gay,” Kent reads. “Really? Plus three? They need to get their shit together.”

“Focus, Parser,” Jeff calls. He’s on the laptop with Alicia, having been deputized to the A-team due to his self-proclaimed ‘mad statistics skills.’ “We’re looking for stuff to rehab your image now that everyone’s seen you going down on your boytoy.”

“I’m older than him,” Jared protests mildly. “And I’m bigger. If anything, he’s my boytoy.”

“I kind of like the ‘hate Parson because’ angle,” Bob says. “It’s self deprecating. Could be funny.”

“Oh! Like hate Parson because of his stupid hats, not because he’s gay?” Scrappy asks. He’s lying down on the couch with those stupid sunglasses on.

“My hats are cool,” Kent protests, injured. Jared pats his knee sympathetically. “Should I maybe call my agent and tell him that I’ve got a boyfriend?”

“Might be a good idea to loop PR in, too,” Bob says.

Kent puts the three way call on speakerphone so Alicia can take over if Kent gets scared. What? He’s got a mom again, he’s going to hide as much as he can.

“So I talked to Jared. The guy from the video. His phone got stolen and the video got posted without either of us knowing. Also he’s my boyfriend. So--sorry?”

“Jesus, kid,” Ben grouses. “Anything else? Got a secret love child somewhere? Now is the time to tell us so we can, you know, have a plan ready to go in case of emergency.”

“Boyfriend we can work with,” Sherry says. Kent can practically hear her chainsmoking. “Would have saved us all a lot of headache if you’d mentioned that in the first place, Parse.”

“So--I can practice again?” Kent asks.

“You’re the only player who would get upset about an extra day off,” Hodge says. “We’ll see you in the morning, Kent.”

“Yes, sir, thank you,” Kent says, and hangs up before he can embarrass himself.

“I think that went well,” Bob says. He claps Kent on the shoulder. “You should text Jack. He’s blowing up my phone.”

“Jack Jack?” Jared murmurs into Kent’s ear. “Should I be worried?”

“Nah,” Kent says. “I kinda broke my phone though, can I borrow--thanks, Alicia.”

Hey Zimms. Borrowed your parents, hope you don’t mind.

A second later, the phone buzzes.

Haha, I think they’re probably happy about it. Are you okay?

Kent looks around. He’s got Bob, Alicia, his boys. And his boyfriend. And Jack, maybe.

Yeah, dude. Thanks for looking out.

“My ‘hate Kent Parson’ tweet is looking good,” Jeff says. “Hate Kent Parson because he brings your wife better flowers than you do. Which he does. Laura says hi, bee tee dubs.”

“It’s not my fault that you always get her red roses.” Kent puts a little effort it, okay?

“You should do one,” Bob says. “Make some kind of statement.”

Well. Kent’s sort of got an idea.

“Here,” Kent says. He whips out his phone and kisses Jared on the cheek, snaps a selfie of them. Jared looks delighted, Kent looks--shit. Happy. “That good? Ready to go on the internet, babe?”

“Oh god,” Jared says, faint. “My mom is going to find out that I have a sex tape.”

“Suffer, dude,” Jeff says. “You got us into it, you’re going down with us. Or, heh, I guess Parse--”

“There are ladies present,” Alicia interrupts. “Think of Bobby’s sensibilities.”

“Done,” Kent says, Tweeting it.

#HateKentParsonBecause my boyfriend is cuter than yours.

“People are still gonna be shitty,” Scraps says. “We can’t stop that.”

Kent knows. But he looks around, at all his people, and isn’t so worried.