“Mon-El? Can I borrow you for a moment?”
The Daxamite scratched his ear. “Um, actually, Kara and I were kind of in the middle of training—" He broke off as Winn grabbed his arm and steered him into the hallway. When he’d dragged him far enough away to be out of earshot, he punched Mon-El on the arm.
“Hey!” Mon-El complained, rubbing his sleeve. “What was that for?”
“Oh, I dunno, maybe ’cause you betrayed every sacred rule of friendship and never warned me that your teammate was hotter than a thermobaric bomb!” Winn hissed, casting a furtive glance around the hall, as if stray Legionnaires could be lurking in the corners to hear his secrets.
“Dude, Imra’s my wife. I know she’s super hot, but maybe have some respect—”
“What? No—you thought—I’m not talking about Imra!” Winn sputtered. “Brainy, man!”
“Brainy?” Mon-El repeated incredulously. “Wait, so you’re—”
“Yep.” Winn waved a hand impatiently. “But more importantly, is he—?”
“Bisexual,” Mon-El confirmed.
Winn exhaled. “Well, at least that’s one thing we have in common.”
Mon-El pressed a hand to his temple. “Sorry, I need to get this straight. You’re into Brainy—Brainy, let-me-tell-you-the-odds-of-contracting-dysentery-from-that-Taco-Bell Brainy? Brainy, my friend whom I love dearly but who’s also kind of an insufferable know-it-all Brainy? That Brainy?”
“Hold up, hold up,” Winn said, throwing out his hands. “I never said anything about being into him.”
“Literally not even two minutes ago you said that he was, and I quote, ‘hotter than a thermobaric bomb’.”
“And I stand by that,” Winn said. “Seriously, that image inducer is a gift from Satan specifically designed to punish me with soulful dark eyes and golden bronze skin and—"
“Winn? Your point?”
“My point,” Winn continued, “is that just because I’m physically attracted to him doesn’t mean I’m looking for a romantic relationship.”
Mon-El cast him a doubtful glance. “You sure about that?”
“To-ta-lly sure, my friend. After my last few romances...well, let’s just say I’m not itching to get my heart trampled again anytime soon.”
“That makes sense, bro. But are you sure you aren’t being a little overly cautious?” Mon-El placed a reassuring hand on his shoulder. “Look. After what happened with Lyra and Siobhan, I get why you might have a fear of intimacy. But closing off your heart will only—"
“I do not,” Winn yelped, “have a fear of intimacy! Jesus! You spend seven years in the future and suddenly you’re Dr. Phil?”
“Who’s Dr. Phil?” Mon-El asked curiously.
“He—never mind,” Winn sighed. “Look, I’m sorry, man. I know you’re only trying to help. But it’s just pure, raw, animalistic attraction from me, buddy. No feelings whatsoever.”
“Okay, okay,” Mon-El said, backing off. “Nothing wrong with that. You gonna go for a one-night stand, though? Board the midnight train to pound town? Jump his bones?”
“Jump his—I swear, you better be talking like that just to fuck with me because if that’s how people actually speak in the 31st century, then sorry, Jonas Brothers, but I don’t ever want to see a Year 3000.”
Mon-El just grinned slyly, and Winn groaned. Together, they watched a group of agents head out for the day, their stiff postures relaxing with every step towards the door. One woman bumped shyly against another, who took her hand and held it with such unabashed tenderness that Winn had to look away.
“It’s not that he’s not a great guy,” Winn said slowly, “because he is. A great guy, I mean.” He shook his head, grinning softly. “He’s hilarious without even meaning to be—remember that one time he mistook a vape pen for an air freshener and fogged up half the DEO with Cool Cucumber? And he’s so...unfailingly good, y’know? Like he would genuinely do anything to help anyone, no matter how much it cost him. And of course he’s so fucking smart that even I’m a little jealous, but he’s not really a know-it-all, he just really does know it all and he’s so goddamn earnest in wanting everyone else to know too—Oh god.” Winn stopped and squeezed his eyes shut.
“Winn, buddy? You good?”
Winn shook his head, face stricken. “I think,” he said, “that you were right.”
“Holy shit. You did, didn’t you?”
“I caught feelings,” Winn confirmed grimly. Oh, fuck.