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Stay with me, my blood. You don't need to run.

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“I really am going to throw my computer out of the window. Like, for real this time,” Techno grumbles, clicking away at his computer, trying to find notes from today’s lecture.

“You’ll be fine, babe,” Tharn reassures him, not really paying attention since he’s writing his own paper.

“If I get one more damn email, I’m going to join you,” Type mumbles, typing at a furious pace.

The three of them are sitting on the floor around Tharn and Type’s coffee table at one in the morning, trying their hardest to get some work done before they go to bed. Unfortunately, this has been a common scene in the past month. It’s the beginning of their sophomore year and unlike last year, it has left them drowning in work and emails. Notifications about new assignments cause their phones to buzz constantly with no end. They don’t even have time to visit with each other, the only time they have is when they go to bed after they get to a manageable amount of work that can wait for the next day. However, since they quickly fall asleep in each other’s arms after all of that, it’s not common for them to have an actual conversation. They usually grab meals by themselves since their schedules are so mismatched.

“You know, Fah and Plan warned me about this when we started and I didn’t listen,” Type shakes his head, sighing. “But good news, it’s smooth sailing after this, boys. It should only last another week or two.”

Tharn and Techno groan, still typing and clicking. Techno finally has enough and stretches his arms out over his head, sighing as they come back down. He takes a second to look at the other two men sitting on pillows on the floor, slouched over with eyebrows furrowed. He smiles softly.

The three of them are still together, to no one’s surprise. All of their friends know that they are together and they were quick to accept it. Even if they didn’t, everyone knows that Type would probably beat them up, so if they were weirded out by it, they didn’t show it. After learning about their relationship, Champ’s exact words were “thank God,” so it’s safe to say that some people were happy about it as well. Techno and Tharn had learned to navigate their own relationship together and are as close as Tharn and Type are. They make it work. It’s almost been a year since they got together and only a few things have changed.

Techno is still in contact with Fah and Plan. Luckily, his two boyfriends have grown quite fond of the couple and the three of them have a close relationship with them. They come over for meals all the time and text as much as they can. They’ve been apartment hunting since they still live in the dorms at the university. It’s their last year of college and their relationship is as strong as ever, so they want to get used to living together.

Fah is about to graduate school to become a therapist and after Type had learned about it, he had many questions about it and wanted to learn more about the process. After careful consideration, he decided to switch his major to psychology. He had explained that he wanted to help people since he couldn’t get professional help as a child when he had been assaulted; he felt like it was his duty to help others in the same way that he needed it. Tharn kept working on his music degree as Techno worked on core classes and researching his own choices to declare as his major.

Techno became football captain after Type rejected the position, knowing how much Techno wanted to have it, causing Champ to tease the man about how whipped he was for his partners. Needless to say, Champ got a couple of balls thrown at his head that day. However, after their coach realized why he gave it up, Type was named co-captain, which allowed Techno to keep the main position and have some extra help during practices.
Again, not much has changed, but Techno is happier than he’s ever been and that’s what matters the most. Even getting to see the two of them stressed out of their minds brings him a certain sense of comfort since he just wants to be around them.

“Okay, no, fuck this. I’ll call Fah tomorrow, she can help me with admission stuff,” Type exclaims suddenly and closes his laptop, causing Techno to jump. He gets on his knees and leans to see what’s on Techno’s screen, seeing his notes. “Does this need to be saved? Can it wait until tomorrow?”

“No, it’s online. And yes, it can wait, but-” Techno gets out before Type closes his laptop as well, putting it on top of his own. Tharn clicks a few times before closing his, knowing that he would have been next. It’s his first time not looking at a screen in over an hour, so he starts blinking, trying to get his tired eyes to focus on what’s around him. He puts his head down on top of his computer.

“I can’t even think right now,” Tharn mutters, sighing, Techno rubbing his back. Type stands up and looks at his two lovers.

“It is 1:32,” Type announces, bending over to tap his phone on the coffee table, putting it in his pocket. Tharn finally picks his head up at that, grimacing. “I’m going out to get ice cream for us, does anyone have any objections to that?”

Silence. Type pulls keys out of his pocket that jingle throughout the room. He jogs to his shoes on the other side of the room, slipping them on quickly. He jogs back to Tharn, pecking him on the lips, then goes to Techno to do the same.

“I love you two, I’ll be back,” Type says, already to the door. “I’m getting strawberry and unless someone texts me for something different, don’t complain!”

And just like that, Type is out of the room, slamming it closed. Techno and Tharn look at each other for a second, giving each other a small smile.

“You okay?” Tharn breaks the silence first, grabbing one of Techno’s hands. Techno runs his thumb over Tharn’s fingers.

“I just need a minute,” Techno mumbles. Another hand comes up to his head, petting his hair down to soothe him. Techno leans in for a kiss as well, lingering for a couple of seconds. They pull away, leaning their foreheads against each other, closing their eyes.

“When’s the last time we kissed? Or the last time you kissed Type?” Tharn asks. Techno exhales.

“Way too long ago,” Techno states. He suddenly raises an eyebrow. “Wait, don’t you hate strawberry? You better text him.”

Tharn huffs out a laugh, causing his forehead to push Techno’s lightly.

“It’s fine, he likes it. I can deal with it,” Tharn smiles again, pulling away completely. His eyes flicker to Techno’s lips. “Again?”

Techno nods. Another kiss, then another. A longer one. Type walks in ten minutes later to find his two boyfriends making out, the two of them still on the floor with Techno’s back against the couch, hands traveling under shirts and in strands of hair. He puts a tub of strawberry ice cream on the table, then lightly throws a small cup of chocolate ice cream at Tharn and a spoon at Techno for not including him in the activity. The two of them pull apart, blushing and startled.

“I’m all for you two doing stuff alone, but it’s been forever and I wanna join. I wasn’t gone that long,” Type whines, plopping onto the floor and bringing the tub to his lap, breaking the seal. Type’s mood quickly changes when Tharn offers to feed it to him, Techno watching them fondly as they bicker.

“After this, we can do whatever you want,” Tharn says in a seductive tone, smirking. Techno shivers at the words. Type tries to hide his smile as he hands the tub to Tharn to open it. Techno smiles at them, shaking his head

They never really change, huh?

-----

“I’m so glad you’re home! You’ve been so busy,” Techno’s mom exclaims, sitting on the arm of his chair and patting his shoulder. “At least call once in a while, your dad and brother are driving me nuts. I need someone different to talk to.”

She’s met with her husband and son glaring at her, but the two of them have a slight smirk on their faces. Technic rolls his eyes.

“He’s not much better, Ma. Your son is a delinquent,” Technic jokes, gesturing to Techno. Technic is the one that gets glared at this time.

Since he finally had a moment to himself without having a ton of things to do and Tharn and Type had separate plans, Techno came home for a visit. Techno’s kind of tired of eating out, so the four of them decided to have drinks on their patio. Technic’s slightly underage, but their parents are laid back enough that they let him have some as well.

“I’m sorry,” Techno mumbles, suddenly serious and messing with his hands. He takes the cup that was given to him and leans forward, grabbing the bottle of wine placed in front of them. “I’ve been so busy with the soccer team and classes, the beginning of the year is always rough. I’ll be here more once I get settled.”

“Oh, love, you know I’m kidding. It’s okay,” she soothes, leaning down to kiss his head while he pours. She gets up and sits in the chair next to Technic and Techno. “I know you will, I remember what it was like in college.”

“Where do you even go?” Techno’s dad asks, sending a text to someone. Techno assumes that it’s a coworker from the way he furrowed his eyebrows, frustrated with whatever he’s dealing with on the screen. “You don’t sleep here very much, I’m assuming you’re not out on the street.”

Technic and their mom give each other a look and then look at Techno as he closes the bottle, swallowing.

Techno doesn’t live with Tharn and Type, but because they’re closer to the university, he spends most of his days and nights there. It was mostly for convenience, but Techno has to admit that (basically) living with them was pretty damn nice. His mom wanted him to focus on school rather than work, which is why he lives with them in the first place. Techno felt bad about staying at Tharn and Type’s for free, but Tharn reassured him that they’d take care of it. He promised himself that, despite his mom’s wishes, he’d look for some kind of job that wouldn’t interfere with school. If he wanted to live with them at some point, he’d have to find one anyway, he’d feel bad about spending money that wasn’t his. However, he wouldn’t be able to move in with them until all of their parents were aware of who they were living with and what their relationship was.

Techno and his mom both had an agreement that they wouldn’t mention Techno’s boyfriends until Techno was ready. His mom knew exactly where he was at all times because he would text her to tell her that he was at their apartment working or that he went to get a drink somewhere to take a break. Techno’s dad wasn’t the most understanding person ever and unfortunately, Techno’s mom didn’t find that out until they were married. She tried her best to educate him on certain topics to ensure that he didn’t offend anyone. However, he was a stubborn man who didn’t like to change his ways for other people.

Techno loves his dad and the two of them are very close, they get along very well. However, he remembers a very vivid rant that his dad made when Techno was a child and it was not unlike Type’s old homophobic rants; wondering how people like that were able to live, asking why they couldn’t just be straight, unable to understand what it was like. Recently, his dad went on a rant about transgender people and Techno had to leave the room before he lost it. Something told him that mentioning he was into men and really into two of them would not go over well. Hell, he didn’t even tell him about Fah and Plan. He’d rather keep his relationship with his dad than jeopardize it by explaining that he wouldn’t be bringing a girl home anytime soon.

Technic also had to vow to secrecy to keep his brother’s secret from getting to their dad. He agreed mostly because he cared about his brother, but Techno also had some dirt on him that shouldn’t make its way to either of their parents. They were mostly about him climbing into the window of Kla’s house and doing various drugs with him, but Techno had some made up stories that he was ready to pull out if he needed to.

“Uh,” Techno stutters, trying to figure out an answer to the question. He puts his cup down on the ground next to his feet.

“He stays at his friend’s house,” his mom cuts in, trying to save him. “It’s close to the university, so he doesn’t have to drive back and forth.”

His dad looks at him in confusion, then his face lights up.

“Ah,” his dad says in realization, leaning over to put his phone in his pocket. “You have a girlfriend, don’t you?”

Another look from the two other pairs of eyes as his cheeks turn a light pink. He looks at Technic who is giving hand gestures as a way to encourage Techno to be brave. All Techno can do is panic and look at his feet.

I can’t tell him about them.

“Yeah. We’ve been dating for nine months,” is all he manages to choke out.

“God damn it, Tech,” Technic shakes his head, earning a light slap on his arm from his mom. The two of them silently mouth to each other, all Techno can make out is Technic apologizing.

“What?” his dad questions. Technic’s mouth opens and closes as he tries to come up with an answer as to why he was so frustrated.

“Nothing, I just didn’t think he would tell you,” Technic gets out.

“You told your brother but you didn’t tell your parents?” their dad asks Techno, putting a hand to his chest, faking offense. Techno laughs.

“Sorry, I just didn’t find the time to tell you,” Techno says.

“In nine months?” his dad raises an eyebrow.

“I’m busy, Dad.”

“Okay, okay,” his dad throws his hands up in surrender. “What’s her name? What’s she like?”

Techno scrambles to try to think of a name, but the only one that comes to mind is Fah’s.

That works, I guess. Sorry, Plan.

“Fah. Her name is Fah,” Techno finally spits out, feeling weird mentioning her name. “She’s in my year, we’ve been dating for about 9 months. She’s kind of a tomboy, she’s really laid back and sweet. You’ll like her.”

“Do we get to meet her?” his dad questions.

What Techno’s dad doesn’t know is that he already has. Well, his real partners. Tharn and Type come to their house all the time, but as far as he knows, they’re just friends with his son. Techno, Tharn, and Type had a formal “I’m dating your son” dinner with Techno’s mom and Technic when his dad was out of town. His mom had already met Type many times as his friend and she absolutely adored Tharn. Needless to say, she was pretty happy with the two men for taking care of Techno and had no problem with welcoming them to the family.

“Yeah, soon,” Techno says, leaving it at that. He picks his cup up again as the boys’ mom looks at her older son with sympathy, him looking back with a shrug. His dad cuts in.

“I’m happy for you, son. Just don’t get her pregnant. You’re too young.”

“Sure, Dad,” Techno snorts. His phone buzzes in his pocket and he pulls it out, seeing a text from his mom. He looks up and sees her scrolling on her phone. He opens the message.

“Yeah, don’t get her pregnant,” the message reads, followed by a suspicious emoji. Techno laughs out loud, heads shooting up. His mom’s shoulders shake with silent laughter, her eyes closed.

“Sorry,” he says, snickering behind his hand.

“Will do, Ma.”

Another text comes in from the group chat with his partners.

“Tharn and I are home, Tech. Do you have work to do or are you staying over there?” Type writes. Techno bites his lip, looking at his family members, who are all drinking and talking quietly.

“No work. But I might go see you guys, I can come see them tomorrow for the day. Is that okay?” he writes back.

“You know you don't have to ask, it’s up to you. Take your time, love, we’ll be here,” Tharn writes.

-----

“You’d think that, considering the amount of money we pay these people to earn a degree, this would be a lot easier,” Type sighs, looking at the table in front of him that’s filled with papers. Fah and Plan look at him in amusement, Fah breaking off a piece of her banana bread and putting it in her mouth. The two of them sit across from Type in a coffee shop, trying to finish up the paperwork to get Type’s major switched to psychology. Fah pulls up the required list of documents on her phone and sorts through the things that Type had already printed. Plan just wanted to tag along, so she sits and enjoys the atmosphere while the two of them deal with Type’s work.

“You’re the one switching majors after the school year started. Don’t blame the education system,” Fah says, covering her mouth and looking him up and down. She starts crossing things off on her list as she reads the titles of the papers in front of her. “So, what are you taking?”

“Basically everything that was on your old schedule.”

“Did you sign up for that human sexuality elective I told you about?”

“I did. With Dr. Sae, right?” Type looks up from the table, Fah nodding.

“Yeah, you’re going to like that lady,” Fah says simply, drawing a line on her list.

“What is the class even supposed to be about?” Type asks.

“Human sexuality,” Fah answers sarcastically, her eyebrow raised as she stops what she’s doing. Plan snickers into the coffee that’s currently in her hand.

“I know that, dude,” Type acts annoyed, but he lets out a small chuckle.

“I’m kidding. Just trust me,” Fah winks, continuing her work. Type gives her a look and starts looking at papers as well.

“I should not have to write so many letters to get my classes switched, it’s fucking ridiculous,” Type mutters, taking the ones she put to the side and organizing them by who they need to be sent to. Next to him is a list of credits that he needs to graduate with names, phone numbers, and notes written sloppily on it.

“Well, psychology and sports medicine aren’t super similar, they have to put you in classes that will allow you to graduate. It’s hard for them, too,” Plan explains, fiddling with her phone. Type nods, closing his eyes. He puts his hands on his face.

“I’m sorry, I’m just overwhelmed. I appreciate you guys helping me,” Type mumbles, Fah stopping and leaning over to ruffle his hair. He takes his hands away, looking at her.

“I know, this is how my sophomore year was, I didn’t even switch anything,” Fah says, trying to make him feel a little better. “Anyway, we’re always here for you guys, you know that. You have a couple of days left before everything settles down, you can do it.”

“I just...I haven’t even had time for Tech and Tharn even though we see each other all the time, I’m going crazy. All we’re doing is working, eating, and sleeping. Techno went to visit his parents for the first time in a month, the only time he went over there was to get some clothes so he could spend more time at our apartment. I haven’t even called my parents this month,” Type explains as Fah continues crossing documents off of her list. “Tharn’s sleeping at home, he hasn’t had time for that either.”

Fah and Plan give him a sad, sympathetic smile.

“When you go home, go cuddle or watch TV together or something, the work can wait,” Plan says. “It’s a lot, but one or two things can wait for you to have some time with them. Call your parents and say hello. Just take the night to not do anything.”

“You should, because good news, all of the things you need are here,” Fah says, putting the stack of papers that she was looking at in front of Type. He blinks.

“Wait, what?” Type asks.

“All you have to do is drop them off. You had everything sorted super well, so I just looked at everything really quickly and you have everything.. Now you just need to figure out who they go to,” Fah pats his hand that’s resting on the table. Type looks at them in shock, grinning from ear to ear. The girls smile back, knowing that it’s a big weight off of his shoulders.

“I did it,” Type mumbles. He sighs, leaning against the back of the chair. Fah pushes his untouched juice towards him.

“Congratulations. Take a minute, visit with us before you go home. We haven’t had a chance to see you either, so don’t worry about where they need to go. Just relax,” Fah laughs. She takes one of the paper clips on the table and collects all of the papers, putting them together in the order that he had started sorting them in. She places it next to Type. He nods, taking the juice in his hands and taking a sip, placing it on the table again. The three of them sit in comfortable silence for a moment as Type basks in the relief.

“Random question, have you guys found an apartment yet?” Type asks suddenly, looking between the girls. Plan nods.

“There’s one we really like, but we’re still looking around. It’ll be a while before we pick one because someone is picky about what she likes,” she explains, looking at her girlfriend. Fah raises her eyebrow, pointing at herself.

“Excuse me, it’s not just me. I wanted a balcony, you wanted fancy countertops,” Fah rolls her eyes, but she puts an arm around Plan, kissing her on the head. “Both are weirdly hard to find.”

“Yeah, yeah. We’ll just fix it on the inside and you can get your balcony,” Plan laughs, her arms wrapping around Fah’s torso. Type just watches the two of them be close, beaming at the sight.

I’ve missed them a lot.

The girls blush and pull away, muttering apologies.

“You’re good, you don’t have to be embarrassed, you do it all the time when all of us are together. You two are cute,” Type shakes his head, grinning. The smile grows when he starts giggling to himself. “Plus, you’ve both seen me do worse.”

The girls groan.

“I almost forgot about walking in on you three until you said that. Thank you, now I have to think about it,” Plan deadpans. Fah just blushes even more, putting her hands over her face, Type laughing even harder.

“God, I know. I didn’t think I’d ever see any of you naked, but it happened and now it lives in my memories forever,” Fah sighs. Type doubles over, barely audible squeaks coming out of him.

“It’s your fault for coming into the apartment without telling us you were coming,” Type barely manages to get out.

“It was Techno’s birthday!” the two girls yell in unison, the entire shop looking at them. The three of them silently apologize and Type has to catch his breath to talk again.

“Yeah, that’s kind of why we were messing around before you two came,” Type explains through giggles, Fah and Plan making a noise of disgust. “Don’t get grossed out, you guys love me.”

“You’re lucky we do,” Plan sighs, grabbing her girlfriend’s hand.

-----

Type comes home from the coffee shop, a stack of papers in hand. He walks in slowly, knowing that Tharn is sleeping in their bed, trying to ensure that he isn’t loud. That goes out of the window when he accidentally drops his keys on the floor. He jumps at the noise, seeing Tharn shift in their bed, the blanket moving around. He stretches out, opening his eyes to see his lover standing by the door, frozen.

“Sorry, I was trying to be quiet,” Type whispers. He moves quickly, grabbing his keys and throwing the letters onto the desk.

“No, it’s okay,” Tharn says, inhaling deeply. “What time is it?”

“5:30,” Type answers, looking at the digital clock on the desk. “How long have you been sleeping?”

“Well, it was 2 when I fell asleep and it was meant to be a 20 minute nap. My bad,” Tharn says, sitting up. Type chuckles. The two of them look at each other for a minute before Tharn makes grabby hands towards his boyfriend. Type walks over to him, sitting on the bed and giving one of his boys a hug. He earns a kiss on his neck.

“How did everything go with Fah and Plan?” Tharn asks.

“Great, it’s just a matter of getting everything out to the right person. Everything should be switched and finalized within a week or two.”

The two of them sit in silence for a second, just enjoying each other’s company.

“Should I tell Tech that we’re both home? He’s with his parents, right?” Type asks. Tharn takes a breath and sighs.

“Might as well, just let him know. Maybe he’ll come tomorrow,” Tharn mutters. “I hope he’s having a good time.”

Type hums, taking his phone out of his pocket without breaking the hug, Tharn doing the same. He sends a text through their group chat, getting an instant answer.

“I guess he’s coming,” Type says, throwing his phone on the bed. It dings as Tharn sends his answer, throwing his phone on the bed as well.

“You want to watch something?” Type asks. “We can wait for him to come.”

Tharn nods. When Techno comes back a few hours later after making up some lame excuse, he finds Tharn on his back on the couch, Type on his stomach on top of them. The two of them hold each other while watching some shitty reality show that Techno hates. Warmth spreads throughout him as they both look over at him, smiling at his arrival.

“Hi, love,” Tharn greets, sticking his hand out to wave him over. Techno sits on the floor in front of the couch, both of his hands making their way to their heads.

“I told them I’d spend the day with them tomorrow and that I had to go see my girlfriend,” Techno giggles. “Guess that was kind of true.”

They all take their time together to enjoy their presence without the stress and work.

-----

Two weeks later, everything is finalized and Type is ready to start the new, real school year.

Kind of.

“Today, we’ll be going over some topics that are a little uncomfortable, but I think it’s something that’s necessary-”

Type’s late arrival to his first afternoon class in his new major interrupts Dr. Sae’s introduction to her presentation that’s already projected onto the board, titled, “Sexual Orientation and Gender Expression.” The door slams shut behind him, causing the professor as well as 50 other students in the lecture hall to turn their heads towards the boy trying to catch his breath. He puts a hand on the wall and looks down, panting.

Type came home after his morning class to find Techno curled up, sleeping in their shared bed. Since he had nowhere to be and he was exhausted, Type decided to cuddle with him until he had to leave in a couple of hours. With no alarm set and no Tharn to wake them up, he slept in for half an hour more than he meant to, startling Techno when he jumped out of bed to put on shoes and get his keys. After breaking many traffic laws, he was 20 minutes late.

“What’s your name?” Dr. Sae asks, crossing her arms.

“Thiwat Phawattakun, ma’am. People call me Type. I just switched majors, so I’m new,” Type responds, picking himself up and standing straight.

“Thiwat. You’re late, it’s your first time here. You should have made it a point to be here,” the professor scolds him. Type nods.

“I’m sorry, I ran over here,” he explains, making his way over to the closest chair he can find and sitting down. He immediately reaches into his bag, searching for a pen and his notebook. Dr. Sae shakes her head and sighs.

“Anyway,” she continues, pressing a button on her remote. Type finds his book and pen, throwing it onto the table and putting his bag on the floor. He looks up at the title of the next slide. He raises an eyebrow.

…Conversion therapy? Oh, shit, this better not be what I think it is.

Type looks at the people around them, everyone with a look of confusion on their faces.

“How many of you are familiar with this term?” Dr. Sae asks, pointing to the board.

Type looks around the room. Out of all of the students, no one raises their hand.

“Really? None of you?” The professor raises an eyebrow, getting ready to press the next button. Type’s hand shoots up before she can. She nods at him.

“Thiwat,” she calls, the rest of the students turning to look at him. “Would you like to explain what this is?”

“Uh,” he hesitates, clicking his pen on the table. Everyone stares, waiting for an answer. “It’s a type of ‘therapy,’ if you even want to call it that. They try to change someone’s sexuality or gender identity. Some parents put their kids into it after they come out as gay or trans. A lot of people are forced into it, but some people put themselves into it when they believe that their identity is wrong. They try to blame it on how the person was raised and what they have experienced, but it’s not effective in any way, you can’t change someone’s identity like that.”

Looks of disgust and shock wash over the room and Type can’t really tell who’s homophobic and who’s actually shocked by the practice. Dr. Sae nods.

Does she agree, or…?

“Yeah, that’s pretty much it,” she confirms. The slide changes to a definition that’s very similar to Type’s explanation. He reads over it and takes down a couple of notes as Dr. Sae turns to the class with a serious look on her face. “How many of you think that this is effective? How many of you disagree with him?”

No hands. One hand. Three. Five. Ten. Twelve.

Jesus.

“Alright,” she points at a random girl in the front row that has her hand up. “Why do you think that this is a good thing?”

“Why wouldn’t it be a good thing? And why are you even teaching us about this?” The girl shoots back. “We have always been taught that a relationship is between a man and a woman, anything else isn’t right. It’s not even legal. I wouldn’t accept my child if they came out as gay or trans or whatever else they think they are. They choose to live like this, it’s not my responsibility to accept it. They don’t even need therapy to be normal, they can just fix it.”

It’s like... listening to my past self.

The professor looks down in frustration and then looks back up, looking at everyone.

“Why don’t you think it’s effective?” The question is directed at Type again. Everyone turns to look at him again. He sucks in a breath.

“Well, for starters, I’m gay. And frankly, I think it’s stupid,” Type responds simply, a couple of giggles being heard around the room. “It’s nobody’s business who someone loves or who they want to be, you’re just setting someone up to be unhappy for the rest of their lives loving someone they don’t want to be with or pretending to be someone they’re not. Why would you do that to someone? It’s not wrong and it’s not dirty, we have the right to do whatever the hell we feel like.

“If I was able to choose, I would have chosen to be straight, I even tried to date women. Then, I met my boyfriend. I now have two wonderful partners that I love dearly. It’s no one’s business but ours, we’re not hurting anyone. You can be straight and cisgender, I’m not forcing the ‘agenda’ on you. Let people live their lives.”

SIlence. The girl in the front row gives him a dirty look while Dr. Sae looks at Type and nods. She turns around and makes her way to a desk in the very front of the room.

“I admire your honesty, thank you for sharing that with us,” she says, pulling a photo off of the desk and standing in front of everyone again. She shows the photo to everyone. It’s an older photo of her and another woman in wedding gowns, a group of people behind them throwing confetti. Type notices the ring on her finger.

“This is my wife and I,” Dr. Sae announces. “I show this presentation and ask the same question every year, just because I want to know who is open minded and who’s not. Because all of you are adults, I expect you to handle this in a professional manner. If you do not agree with gay or trans people, I suggest you put your prejudices aside or drop my class. We are inclusive in this classroom.

“You have no idea who is going to come through that door when you are working. Most of you will be working with the general public with the degree you earn. If you decide to become a therapist, a lot of people will come to you to figure out their identity. I needed that help when I was younger and I wasn’t able to get it because I had mentioned that I had a girlfriend and was turned away. That’s why I am here teaching you about psychology. I don’t care if they’re different from you in terms of viewpoints, sexuality, race, religion, or anything else. It doesn’t matter if you don’t agree with it, your job is to help people. Does everyone understand?” She asks, the room dead silent around her. Almost everyone nods as she looks at the girl. The girl gives her a look of disgust and gets up with her stuff, walking up the steps to leave.

“I’m reporting you for trying to press your opinions on us,” she threatens. The professor scoffs.

“You can try. I have tenure, my friend, I was doing this before I got it. Anyone else who would like to leave may go,” she states. The girl storms out of the room, the other eleven people that raised their hands in too much shock to leave.

“Are all of you staying? Everyone who raised their hands, are you willing to work on this?” She asks, gesturing to the people who agreed with the student. Everyone nods their heads.

“Great, let me show you some statistics and we’ll talk about it.”

This woman is a badass.

-----

“Dr. Sae actually talked about that in class? They’re not supposed to,” Techno asks, reaching for another beer. “I heard she was pretty daring in her lessons.”

“Oh-hoh, she is,” Fah confirms with a chuckle, opening a can of beer. “Just you wait.”

“I took that class because she recommended it, she didn’t really tell me much about it. If that's what I got for my first time there, I wonder what the year’s going to be like,” Type mumbles. Fah, Plan, and Champ were all invited to have a meal with the three men. This was their first time having a meal together since the year started since none of them had any time to even think, Tharn being the designated cook for them. Tonight’s meal consisted of skewers of meat and vegetables with many, many cans of alcohol all thrown onto the coffee table, allowing them to surround the coffee table and grab what they wanted. “She showed us her wedding photo and everything. I admire that woman.”

“Yeah, they’re cute,” Fah says. “Her wife comes by once in a while to bring her lunch, you’ll probably see her around.”

“When you become a therapist, are you going to show our wedding photo to everyone?” Tharn cuts in, pulling a mushroom off of one of his skewers. He looks up to see Type and Techno blushing a bright pink color, Techno in the middle of a sip of his beer. Fah, Plan, and Champ snicker to themselves. Tharn shakes his head, still laughing. “I’m kidding, eat your food.”

Techno and Type give each other a look before going back to their food. Type can’t keep it to himself before clearing his throat, the other two looking at him.

“Do you think about us getting married?” Type asks. Now it’s Tharn’s turn to blush. Type raises his eyebrows, smiling. “Oh, so you do, huh?”

“Of course I’ve thought about it, we’re kind of in a serious relationship,” Tharn rolls his eyes, but he’s smiling too.

“Not until we tell my dad,” Techno mumbles, looking down at his hands. Type and Tharn were so busy talking to each other that they didn’t notice their partner sitting awkwardly. Type grabs one of his hands.

“We’re not there yet, don’t worry about it,” Type reassures him, his other hand running through Techno’s scalp. “I haven’t told my parents, either. You don’t have to tell him until you’re ready.”

“I know, but I really will tell him at some point, I’m ready,” Techno says with slight irritation, pulling meat off of a stick.

“Tech, my parents don’t even know about Fah yet. Her parents don’t know about me. It’s okay,” Plan reassures him. “You don’t need to rush to explain anything to anyone. Your mom knows, right?”

Techno nods.

“I’m just tired of hiding, that’s all,” Techno whispers.

“You and me both,” Fah mutters, throwing one of her finished skewers on the table. Plan looks at her.

“What do you mean?” Plan questions. Fah frowns.

“I don’t like having to tell my parents that I’m bringing my roommate over for dinner. I don’t like having to explain to my grandma that I haven’t met the right guy yet. I’m tired of having to sneak around and lie,” Fah avoids her girlfriend’s gaze, looking at everything but her. She finally meets her eyes. “I love you, but it’s hard and I wish it was more open and honest.”

Plan frowns at her as Tharn and Type look over at Techno.

“Is that how you feel, too?” Tharn asks. Everyone looks at Techno, causing him to swallow and nod.

“Do you think I like telling my dad that I’m dating Fah?” Techno asks, gesturing to the poor girl sitting across from him, blushing. Champ, who’s been relatively silent during this whole discussion, chimes in.

“That was the person you came up with?” Champ laughs. The five others glare at him. “Sorry, I shouldn’t laugh because this is serious, but come on, man.”

“I don’t know if I could explain this to him without being disowned, I'd rather he believe that,” Techno mumbles, gesturing to Tharn and Type, rubbing his eyes in frustration.

Everyone gets super silent for a moment before Fah starts talking.

“I have a really stupid idea,” Fah mutters. Five pairs of eyes are trained on her after she says this. “What if we all called them tonight? We’re all here so we won’t be as nervous and after that, everyone will know about our relationships.”

They all look at each other in shock and thought, except for Plan, who looks at Fah like she's insane.

“Wait, are you all serious?” Plan asks. “You want to do this right now?”

Fah stares at the table and then looks Plan right in the eyes.

“I’m not leaving you. And even if something happened and we broke up, I’d have a higher chance of being with another girl than I would a man. I would have to tell them anyway,” Fah explains. Plan looks at her for a second before nodding.

“Yeah, you’re right,” Plan whispers.

“You don’t have to, but I think I’m ready. I think it’s time for me to tell them. They love you to death and they might hate me after I tell them, but it’s time,” Fah states, pointing at her phone. Plan bites at her lip, contemplating. She then pulls out her own phone, placing it on the table. Fah looks at her in shock.

“I don’t know if they’ll be okay with it or not, but I think I’m ready, too,” Plan mumbles. “They know you, they love you too. I might as well, even if it goes wrong.”

They look at each other with nothing but love in their eyes and something about it makes Techno desperate.

You know what? Yeah.

“I’ll do it, too,” Techno suddenly says, looking at everyone around him. Type and Tharn look at him with wide eyes.

“Techno,” Type says softly. “You need to think about this. You know how your dad is, what happens if he doesn’t approve?”

“And you expect me to keep it a secret?” Type rolls his eyes, then looks down sighing. “I’m not going anywhere either, you two are mine. I have to tell him. What happens if our relationship goes further?”

Marriage.

Tharn closes his eyes and sighs as well.

“I’ll do it too,” Tharn announces.

“Yeah, to hell with it. Me too,” Plan joins in.

Type and Fah nod in agreement. Champ just looks around the circle as everyone prepares themselves for what’s about to come.

“So...who’s first?” Techno asks, looking around at their little group. Fah stutters for a second.

“What about you?” she gets out. “It kind of sounds like yours would be the hardest. Do you want to get it out of the way?”

Everyone’s eyes go to Techno. He looks at them blankly, his hands shaking a little.

Dad’s gonna kill me. He’s gonna kill me. I don’t even know where to begin explaining this to him. How do I even tell him that I’m gay? And there’s two of them, this is so much worse than telling him I’m just dating Type like I was before.

Type senses his unease and pats his knee, leaning over to speak into his ear. Techno feels slightly better by having him at his side.

“You’re not ready,” Type whispers. It’s a statement, not a question. Nonetheless, he’s right. Techno nods, looking down. “I know. I think Tharn and I are ready to do this, but you don’t have to, Tech. It’s okay.”

Something about Type being so considerate makes Techno’s eyes burn with tears. He sniffs, wiping at his face.

“I’m tired of it,” Techno says to everyone, the five of them looking at him in sympathy. “I don’t want to sneak around and hide you guys. It doesn’t concern anyone but us. I love you both and I want people to know that, I don’t want to have to keep it to myself.”

“But if it keeps him from losing it and giving you hell, it’s worth it to keep quiet about it,” Tharn whispers to him leaning into his other side. Tears fall onto Techno’s hand, Tharn wiping his eyes with his thumb and kissing his cheek. He wipes his own eyes as well, the sight of one of his boys crying is too much for him. Techno quickly tries to pull himself together, frustrated and embarrassed that he started crying in front of his friends. He’s an emotional person, but something really has to be wrong for him to cry in front of anyone that isn’t his two partners.

“You’re going to have many opportunities, I don’t think this is the right one,” Fah agrees. Everyone around her nods. “You need to sit down in person and talk to him. We can do this, but I think your situation would be easier to handle in person.”

Techno nods. His boys continue to rub at his back and wipe the tears away. Suddenly, Tharn leans over, pulling his phone out.

“You know what? Fuck it, I’ll go first,” Tharn chimes in, turning it on. “They already know I’m gay, they’ll be fine.”

The other five people sitting around him give each other looks, some of them with wide eyes. Techno looks at him, putting a hand on his arm and rubbing it to calm him down.

“You sure?” Techno asks, sniffling.

All Tharn can do is nod.

Here we go.