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There is a fine line between “friends with benefits” and “the Friend Zone,” and Vince had always prided himself on living on this very line. His natural femininity and affinity for androgynous fashion had been his main selling point with girls ever since childhood. Besides Howard and Leroy and a few interchangeable club kids, Vince’s friends were always overwhelmingly female. They ranged from Camden dollybirds, for whom gay best friends were a must-have accessory, to older spinsters with annual passes to the zoo, impressed by his way with animals and innocent outlook on life, but he was always the same to them: The safe one, the one who wouldn’t pressure you to do anything, the one you could go bra shopping with and he would probably want to try one on, too.

He’d fucked them all, eventually.

But, that had been back in London, and even he had noticed that things were definitely different in Mayfield. His circle of friends was still made up of more women than men, but it wasn’t the same. Was it the girls, who came from worlds so varied and fantastic that a man who visited Hell and talked to snakes just wasn’t that impressive anymore? Or was it-- Jagger forbid-- him? After all, he’d had to build up a whole new reputation for himself in Mayfield, with no girls whispering to their friends, “Yeah, that’s him, that’s the Vince Noir,” to loosen tongues and elastics for him. But what reputation had he built? He’d never gotten anywhere with Flora. He’d gotten just as far with Alice. Tsubasa thought he was an idiot-- and she, like the majority of his girl friends, was only 16, which was a tricky age that he wasn’t all too sure he wanted to face at this point in time. The closest he’d come to getting laid in months had involved England, which was such a depressing thought that Vince just didn’t know what to do with himself. Vince had, and with great, accidental success, permanently Friend Zoned himself with every eligible woman in Mayfield.

Or had he?

Harley was exactly the type of woman Vince had always gone for: pretty, fun, smart enough to get his jokes but not enough to realize what a liar he was. Sure, she had a man back home, but everything she’d told him about her “Puddin’” had set off every Sassy Gay Friend alarm in his head. He didn’t care that she was completely mental; all of the best people were. He didn’t even care that she was a convicted criminal; it’d be hypocritical for him to do so, considering some of his very-sealed records. He didn’t know if he loved her, because love for him had always been a very confusing emotion, reserved for only the finest of 80s pop stars. But he liked her well enough. And that was more than enough for him.

So, he’d laugh with her, play pranks with her, shop for clothes with her, and bide his time. One day, the chance for him to leave the Friend Zone would finally reveal itself. And he would finally get the girl.