give up having sex with men."
Chris frowns. "Is this… are you just fucking with me? Like, you're pissed off at my assumption of heteronormativity, or something?"
Evan laughs. "You've been reading the literature, man! Come on, you didn't get 'heteronormativity' from the daily news!"
Chris shakes his head. He's maybe blushing a little, but Evan isn't sure. "My two best friends are gay. Were. Whatever. But… you know…." He looks like he's choosing his words pretty carefully. "They were… I mean, I respect what you guys have going on out here, and whatever, but Dan and Justin—they were pretty much the strongest couple I ever met. You know? I mean, they loved each other, they liked each other, they wanted each other; they spent practically all their time together, and they still hardly ever fought, and when they did, they fought fair, and didn't get mean…." Chris trails off, and Evan knows that Chris is looking at him, trying to judge his reaction.
Evan smiles and nods. "Yeah. I've got that." He does. It had been a bit hard to take at the start, and had felt weird, being jealous of a dead guy, but Evan's got it mostly under control now. Dan doesn't throw the past up in Evan's face, but he doesn't deny it, either—just another way the guy's done the honest thing, even when it isn't easy, and in the long run, it has helped.
Chris is still worrying away at the question. "I'm not saying you guys aren't great, or even that you're not heading in that direction. I don't know. I just… well, back to the topic at hand… yeah, of course I've thought about gay relationships. Read about them, thought about the issues. Whatever."
This is a bit more honest, a bit less teasing than what Evan had
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expected. Chris sometimes surprises him that way. "But not gay sex? Just 'relationships'?"
Chris gives Evan a pretty serious look before he responds. "Sure. I've thought about the sex. I mean, it's hard not to… it's entirely possible that some of it's happening about ten feet from my head right now—God bless windowless walls—and, you know… Dan and Justin were pretty open about stuff, and you guys aren't exactly shy."
"Have you ever done anything about it? Tried it out at all?" Evan's no longer sure where he's going with this. It had started as playful and teasing, but somehow it shifted. There's a current of… something… running through the conversation. Or maybe that's just from Evan's side.
But when Chris answers, his voice is a little lower, huskier, and Evan figures he's feeling it too. "No. I've… I've thought about it. Like, thought about trying it out. But…." He sits up a little, like he's trying to shake himself out of something. "It seems a bit ass-backwards to switch teams just because I want…." He rubs a hand over his face, a little roughly. "There are great straight relationships. There is great straight sex, and damn it, I've had some of it myself. I don't…." His smile is almost sad, and his voice is soft. "Yeah, I'm jealous of what Dan and Justin had, and, you know, I'm maybe a bit jealous of where it seems like you guys might be working on out here. But it's not… I can't just sleep with some random guy and all of a sudden fall in love and live happily ever after, you know?" He stops talking, and Evan thinks maybe he's done, but then he starts again, even quieter than before. "If I'm looking for sport sex, women are a lot easier, and I love them to bits. I'm not… I'm not really curious about the sex itself, like… as an independent act. You know?" Evan nods—he's not sure he does know, but he knows what Chris needs to see. Chris continues, and it seems like he's talking mostly to himself.
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"And for more than sport sex—I don't know, if… if I met some guy, and he seemed right for me… and he was interested…." He pulls himself together, gives Evan a bright smile that doesn't seem totally fake. "Never say 'never', right? But,