This is a repost of a Fire Emblem fanfic that Six wrote on 4/8/17.
Writer’s note: If you need reference for all these Fire Emblem characters! Listed in order of appearance:
Hana: A dedicated samurai serving as retainer to Princess Sakura, with little patience for people she finds lacking in character. Hardworking, intense, clueless about relationships. (Fates)
Sully: A blunt and confident cavalier whose cool competence upstages most of her male peers. Brusque and without patience for ceremony. (Awakening)
Lyndis (Lyn): A descendant of a royal bloodline who did not learn of it until her teens, by which time she was already a trained swordswoman, living alone and fighting bandits. Was briefly ruler of Caelin out of necessity before resigning. Practical, enjoys solitude. (The Blazing Blade)
Robin: An incredibly talented tactician with a mysterious background. Talented with both swords and magic, has a strategic mind as sharp as any blade, always looking to learn from any source she can. (Awakening)
Mia: A mercenary and sword prodigy dangerously dedicated to improving her swordplay. Playful, enthusiastic, but has no tolerance for being talked down to or taken lightly. (Path of Radiance and Radiant Dawn)
Lucina: A warrior princess who crossed time and space to save her own parents from an apocalypse. Loyal and serious, with a strong sense of justice. (Awakening)
Eirika: A princess whose ability with a rapier is outmatched by her dislike of needing it. Kindhearted, gentle, and forgiving. (Sacred Stones)
Marisa: A mercenary swordswoman focused on surpassing her swordmaster father. Graceful in combat, clumsy in most other things. Most of her personality here is made up because boy she barely speaks in her own game >.< (Sacred Stones)
Ike: The commander of the Greil Mercenaries, a hardworking and tenacious warrior who prefers the front lines, and fights to protect his friends. Brave, kind, humble. (Path of Radiance and Radiant Dawn)
The Heroes bar was always crowded. Its patrons had a lot of downtime, the drinks were on the house, and there wasn’t any other bar in town anyway. To be accurate, there wasn’t any other bar in the dimension. It was larger than the exterior let on, and the various large tables were arranged in cliques: warriors and adventurers from diverse worlds bridging their cultural divides through drink and commonalities. And at one such table, a group of swordswomen prepared to order.
“Have you settled on what you’d like?” asked the server.
Hana flicked a lock of hair aside. “It’s the others who couldn’t make up their minds. Hot sake.”
Sully considered momentarily. “What do you have on dra- alright, alright, just a Newcastle,” she amended as Hana began to glare daggers at her.
“Could I have a screwdriver?” asked Lyn.
“Rosé, please,” said Robin.
Mia grinned. “You got Sazerac Rye?”
“And Lucina will have a martini when she gets back,” declared Sully. “Thanks. I know you guys have your hands full.”
“We’re just here to make your lives more livable in between your battles. I’ll be back with those in a few.” The server headed off to the back.
“Now, as I was saying,” began Hana again, “really this whole thing is just a summer camp for cultural warfare.”
“Is that… what you were saying?” asked Lyn, taken aback.
“Of course! We’re all kidnapped from our homes by magic to fight here in this other world? And none of these fights are important– no one stays dead, you come back after every battle, nothing changes. The only thing you could hope to change is our minds.”
“But, Hana, when we get sent home, we don’t remember any of this,” reasoned Robin. “When we go to sleep, our minds go back home, we don’t remember anything… and then we’re summoned back here again and get our memory of this place back.”
“Whose culture is supposed to be the aggressor here, anyway?” said Mia, puzzled. “I mean I guess I’ve learned a surprising amount about Hoshidan culture because Hana’s so pushy.”
“Rude!” “True.” “Thank you, Sully.” “No, I meant her. You are definitely pushy.” “Hmph.”
Lucina slid back into her seat. “What are we talking about? And did I miss the server?”
“I ordered for you.” “Thanks, Sully.” “Don’t mention it. Hana was pushing some crackpot theory about this all being a conspiracy to cultural warfare.” “Whose culture?” “Good question.”
“Obviously, it’s the SUMMONER’S culture!” declared Hana, thumping the table. “I mean, just look at the way we’re talking! We’re using contractions! Lyn ordered a screwdriver! Mia keeps checking her phone!”
“It’s just that Ike was gonna text me,” said Mia apologetically. “He should have by now, but his phone might have died, he always forgets to charge it….”
“No, it’s exactly the point! We’re all acting and talking and… and thinking like the culture of these summoners! Who here doesn’t google things all the time?” She waited, and no one spoke up. “And that’s not to mention their thoughts on… relationships.”
“Hang on, back up. Robin, you said that we go back to our original realms when we sleep with no memory of events, right?”
The tactician leaned back in her chair. “Yes- though I’m not sure what the point of it is.”
“I don’t think that’s right. I mean, we remember our latest escapades in our home world, but I think that’s just an update.”
“Yeah. I think we’re actually, like, copies. When we were summoned here, it made a copy of who we are in our homes, and when we sleep we get updated on our original selves’ ongoing adventure.”
“Huh.” Robin drummed her fingers on the table, her eyes narrowed in thought. “Huh. That… huh.”
“That’s absurd. That would defeat the whole point of bringing us here: immersing us in their culture so that we propagate it upon our return home.”
“But when we’re back home we don’t remember anything that happened here. There’s no point to changing someone’s mind if it doesn’t keep- if they just forget it.”
Hana crossed her arms irritably. “Fine. If I’m wrong, then why are they summoning us?”
Mia snorted. “Entertainment, Hana.” The mercenary stretched, and popped her knuckles. “You want everything to be so complicated. ‘Cultural warfare.’ Come on. They just wanna see a good fight. Cheer for their favorites. It’s like the arena.”
The table sat in silence for a moment as they all considered the idea, and in that silence, the server returned. “Your drinks, ladies,” he declared, setting each swordswoman’s order in front of them. “Enjoy.”
“Where is everybody else?” asked Sully, taking a sip of her beer. “Eirika and Marisa should be here by now.”
“Well, given that it’s Marisa, she’s probably running very late… and given that it’s Eirika, she’s probably patiently waiting for Marisa to be ready.”
“That girl’s too nice for her own good.” Hana poured herself a sakazuki of sake. “If Marisa can’t be bothered to do anything right, that’s not Eirika’s problem.”
“They’re from the same world- they’re comrades. She feels responsible for her. You can understand that, right?”
“Hardly. If Princess Corrin was flaking on her commitments that would be her problem, not mine. She causes enough trouble for Lady Sakura as is, I’m not going to cover for her.”
Sully took a drag from her beer. “You know, you can just call them ‘Corrin’ and ‘Sakura’ here, right? Except that I guess there’s another Corrin who looks a lot like her and is a dude, that’s kind of confusing.”
Hana glares at Sully. “She is Lady Sakura and she will always be Lady Sakura. This is summoner culture talking again: you need to respect nobility, or-”
“Or… what?” asked Mia. “I mean, I guess I’ve always had a problem with ‘nobility’ and ‘royalty’ and all that trash, even before I came here. It’s nice to be in a world that agrees with me. People are people. No such thing as noble blood. Blood’s blood.”
“If we were in my home world I would kill you for that,” declared Hana matter-of-factly.
Mia set down her tumbler. “Hana. Girl. I appreciate your loyalty and dedication. But there’s a reason I haven’t been called to the battlefield yet. They’d need to make new rules for the way I use a sword. Don’t pretend you could take me.”
They locked eyes for a moment that was likely not as long as it felt for all present, and then finally Hana looked away. “We’re not in my home world. You can say what you want here.”
“Smart answer.” Mia turned her attention back to her rye.
“Hey, Hana, I had a question.” “Yes?” “Do you do the honorifics and titles on Sakura to cover the massive crush you have on her?”
Hana spit sake in the air like a geyser. “W-w-what did you just say?!”
“Hey, we’re all friends here, and it’s not like no one else here is gay,” shrugged Robin. “I’m not sure they make em any gayer than Marisa. And you and Lucina are both into ladies, right Sully?”
“Lucina’s pan, but yeah. Thought you were too, Robin.” “Still figuring it out, to be honest. Had a lot of other things on my mind, sexuality hasn’t felt like a high priority.”
Hana had grown increasingly pink as the conversation moved along. “Have you always been gay, or did this place turn you gay?” she demanded.
Sully sighed. “That’s really not how it works, Hana. I get that your world’s culture is not as progressive as this- shit, not even as progressive as ours– but gay is gay. You don’t get turned gay. It just often takes a while to figure out what you are. And some people never are in a position to figure it out.”
“I-I don’t… this is a lot,” declared Hana honestly, and she took a deep drink of her sake.
“Mia’s straight! And so’s Lyn!”
“Is that supposed to comfort her?” asked Lyn quizzically. “I mean, I’m comfortable in who I am and what I like, but I don’t think Hana’s actually thought about the fact that she might be a lesbian before.”
“No way.” “No way. She has it for Sakura so bad, there’s no way it hasn’t occurred to her.” Hana was saying nothing, and simply pouring herself another drink, but her face was a picture of complicated displeasure. “She may have dismissed the feelings as confused, or something of that sort, but there’s no way she isn’t aware they exist.”
There was a sharp tac as Hana brought her sakazuki down on the table harshly. “I would thank you not to sit here and decide my identity for me!” she snapped.
“Sorry, Hana.” “…Apologies. That was inconsiderate of us.” “Yeah, our bad. We just got excited for you.”
“Excited for me?” demanded Hana, her face still flush, though it was hard to tell if it was irritation or alcohol- her drinking had sped up alarming since the new conversation topic.
“Hana, you have to understand: you’re… well, you’re of an age where normally you’d start showing an interest. And if you’re ace that’s fine, for sure. We’d totally respect that. But it really doesn’t seem like you are.” Lyn was choosing her words very carefully, and maintaining direct, unblinking eye contact with Hana. “It seems like you’re very much into girls. Especially Sakura.”
“Based on what, exactly?”
“You became a samurai in order to protect her. The two of you do each other’s hair. You get very defensive of her in conversation. You are in a better mood just being near her. Despite being her bodyguard and attendant you leave the room when she changes.” Robin sipped at her drink. “Could be nothing, for sure. But it’s a lot of little things. Plus the body language is pretty clear. I’d be surprised if Sakura hasn’t figured it out.”
“I don’t… your examples are ridiculous. She is the princess. It is my honor to serve her. And I wouldn’t dream of intruding on her personal space when she changes.”
“Does she ask you to leave? Has she ever?”
“Well… no, but it wouldn’t be proper for a commoner to-”
“You didn’t bat an eye when Eirika was getting undressed for the hot spring the other day. Or Hinoka, in case you try to use some ‘she’s not from my world’ excuse.”
“I dunno if I’d say she didn’t bat an eye- she was definitely checking them out. But she didn’t feel the need to leave the room, at least.”
“Enough.” Lyn finished her drink, and then pushed it away with one finger. “We’ve said our piece. Hana would probably like a chance to think about this without being harassed. Let’s change the subject, and also get more drinks.”
“No, you don’t get to drop this on me and just move on,” declared Hana. “This doesn’t make any sense. You are just describing that I like Lady Sakura and respect her. That doesn’t make me ‘gay.’”
“What does make a person gay, Hana?”
Hana froze. “I… don’t… know?”
Sully let out a quick laugh. “Are you serious? I mean, there’s the quick and dirty test. Do you wanna have sex with her?”
Hana flushed a deep scarlet. “That’s not…! I… that doesn’t even make sense! I don’t have the… the means to….”
The table was silent for a moment. “Holy shit, you’re serious, aren’t you.”
“Don’t look at me like that!”
“Oh, Hana, you are so much more innocent than I would have thought. Come here. We’re going to look at my phone for a bit. Explain some things to you.” “…What are you doing?” “I am turning SafeSearch off.” “But it keeps you safe!” “Do you know what it’s keeping you safe from? No? Thought not.” Sully glanced up. “Don’t mind us, folks. We’ll just be in the corner here. This girl needs an education.”
“Sorry we’re late!” declared Eirika, pulling up a chair. “Marisa had some other obligations, and they took longer than we expected.”
“You don’t need to cover for Marisa being a flake, Eirika. It’s fine,” noted Mia, giving Marisa a bit of a look.
Eirika flushed a bit, but Marisa just laughed. “Hey, it’s no big deal, right? You guys are still here. There’s plenty of night left. And I’ll catch up on drinks in no time!”
Eirika peered at Mia’s tumbler curiously. “Is that bourbon?” she asked. “Rye.” “I’m sorry, I’m not familiar with the difference.” “Robin, help me out? I don’t know the science.” “It’s a different plant. There are a lot of kinds of whiskey, most are made out of barley. Rye is made out of rye- it’s a different grain.” “Ah, I see. And it tastes very different? I think I had Jameson once.” Mia lifted the glass. “See for yourself.”
The princess took the glass carefully, and lifted it up to the light. “It looks like Jameson- maybe a bit darker.” She closed her eyes gently as she drank.. and then squeezed them tight as a coughing fit racked her body. She carefully handed the drink back as her throat made its displeasure clear, and gasped for air. “It’s spicy…!” she managed breathlessly, and began coughing again.
“Spicy, huh? Dunno if I would have said that, but I guess I can see where you’re coming from. I like it. You gonna be okay?” “I’m fine, thank you… I’m sure it’s very nice if you have the tolerance for it,” managed Eirika, still struggling for breath. “I think I’ll stick with a margarita.”
“We were just about to order more.”
“Perfect! Hey, what are you two looking at over in the corner there?” Marisa leaned over to look at Sully’s phone. “Damn, girl! You’re not even gonna find a private corner for this?”
“Hana doesn’t understand how lesbian sex works. I am showing her.” “It’s… I don’t know where to look…!” “Hey, it’s an education, right? You’re learning. It’s fine.”
Marisa leaned closer to Hana. “You know, if you’re looking to find out how girls have a good time, there are ways to show you where you don’t need a phone….”
Hana flushed a deep crimson, Sully narrowed her eyes. “Marisa, don’t tease her about this. That’s shitty.”
“Sorry- you’re right. I should have resisted the urge. Didn’t mean to make you uncomfortable, Hana. Just a joke.”
“A bad joke. A joke designed to make her squirm when she’s already vulnerable.” There was no humor on Sully’s face.
“Hey, I said I was sorry, and I meant it! If Hana’s upset then that’s fair, but don’t you go getting all mama bear on her behalf!” Sully continued to stare, and Marisa stopped trying to match her gaze. “It was shitty. Sorry.”
“It was just a joke, it’s fine,” said Hana, but she was still fairly pink in the face.
“It was one of those jokes that’s a joke unless the other person says ‘okay’ and then it isn’t,” noted Lucina, eyeing Marisa (who wouldn’t meet her eyes).
“O-oh.” She flushed a deep red again. Sully shouldered her, directing her attention back to the phone, and Hana uncomfortably complied.
“And in my opinion if you are going to make that offer, you should consider your audience, and also not couch it in humor, because that then suggests that the idea of you being interested in said person is laughable.” “And don’t be so crass about it.” “There’s value in being direct, I think. It wouldn’t be my approach, but that wasn’t a problem to me.”
“Anyway,” said Marisa hastily, “the reason I was late was because Fir was trying to tag along, and I had to convince her to go elsewhere.”
Lyn sighed. “Ah, I see. Nice girl, but… underage is underage. We have to respect the law here. She can’t drink.”
Marisa tilted her head. “I thought you were like 16, Lyn.”
Lyn was lowering her glass from her mouth, and paused. “I was 16 when I met Lord Eliwood and all that, but it’s been a few years since then. I’m 23 now.”
“I thought the summoners pulled all of us out in the middle of our big adventure.” “It seems like it’s more complicated than that- Tiki got pulled out twice, once as a child and once as an adult. It appears to be case-by-case.” “I see… strange. That must be very disorienting for her.” “I can only imagine.”
Over in the corner, Hana’s lessons continued. “Does she have her…” “Yup.” “T-that’s dirty!” “I mean, I guess if you never bathe, yeah, but it’s usually covered up so it’s actually one of the cleaner parts of your body.”
“Hey girls!” Ike gave a friendly wave as he walked over. He smiled apologetically at Mia. “Sorry Mia- my phone died. I forgot to charge it. I cleared things with the summoners, though. We can use the training grounds tomorrow morning.”
“Great!” As always, Mia lit up at Ike’s approach. The rest of the group was used to it by now, but the debate as to whether Ike realized how into him Mia was raged on behind closed doors. “Thank you, commander.”
“Nobody’s commander here,” shrugged Ike casually. “Just another grunt. What are you guys looking at over there?” Ike asked Sully and Hana.
“NOTHING!” “Sully’s just enlightening Hana about relationships, Ike.”
Ike nodded. “Important to know what you’re getting into. Ryoma tells me Hoshidan culture is all about wives serving their husbands, saving yourself til marriage, women aren’t supposed to enjoy sex… sorry if I offend you, but that’s just ridiculous. That’s not how people work. You’re here now- you don’t need to follow that. Find your happiness, and don’t worry too much about what shape it takes.”
Hana blinked. “…Thank you,” she said after a moment.
“Don’t mention it. Oh, and I hear you Hoshidans are into tying each other up? Word of advice, learn technique first. Sakura’s on the dainty side, you could accidentally cut off her blood flow.” Ike nodded at the group. “I should go. Have a good night, girls.”
“Bye guys!” exclaimed Mia, rising to her feet. Goodbyes were said, then Mia and Ike left. The whole while, Hana just sat there, flushed deep crimson and frozen in place.
“Man, even Ike knew,” declared Lucina. “He barely sees the two of you together.”
“I never would have thought of that rope thing,” mused Sully. “Here, Hana, I can pull up some references images on that too.”
“I need a minute.” Hana pushed herself to her feet, looking embarrassed and angry. She opened her mouth, staring at the girls, and then closed it, and turned. “I’ll be back at some point. Don’t wait for me.” She walked away, and slipped outside.
Eirika watched her go with concern. “I don’t know too much about… this sort of thing, but I think you guys pushed too hard.”
“Nah.” Sully gestured to the server. “Another of the same for the table. Thanks.” “Margarita for Eirika, Moscow Mule for me.” Sully turned back to face Eirika. “Hana’s real good at not seeing what she doesn’t want to. Or hearing. She’d have told herself she was just waiting for the right guy forever if we didn’t give her a shove. She’ll be fine. She just needs some time to think.”
“I guess you’re closer to her than anyone else, so you’d know,” sighed Eirika. “I just… just worry about scaring her off.”
“I mean, all of us had our moments of that, right? Not that all of us realized we were gay, but we all realized that our own culture’s idea of sexuality was pretty backwards. I’d say you’re the most traditional of all of us, Eirika, but you’re not bowing to this ‘subservient to your husband’ nonsense, are you?”
Eirika frowned thoughtfully. “I mean, I wouldn’t mind being a housewife. And I wouldn’t marry someone if I didn’t trust their judgement, so I’m fine with them making some decisions without me. But… no, I wouldn’t want to be expected to be silent just because I was married. That does feel pretty silly to me.”
“To be frank, it’d be stranger not to question your assumptions about this stuff when immersed in a culture that treats it very differently. Doesn’t mean your answers have to change, but you should at least think about it.” Robin drummed her fingers on the tome at her side idly. “I suppose that makes me the weirdest in that regard.”
“Oh, you always knew you weren’t straight?” “In a manner of speaking. Or at least, I observed that I was attracted to more than just men, and didn’t worry about what that meant. I don’t know that I took the jump to think about what that meant. And I’m not sure I have now. It’s just… what it is. Some people interest me, and I haven’t tried to find a pattern or overriding logic to it, because I’m not going to invest the time in pursuing them right now anyway.” Robin slid a finger over the top edge of the cover. “I have my magic studies, I have tactical research, I have my swordplay, and I have to keep in mind the capabilities of all those who’ve trusted me to be their tactician. Romance can wait.”
“Doesn’t always have to be romance, Robin.” Marisa’s eyes sparkled a bit. “Like, I hear ya- I don’t know that I have time for a committed relationship myself. I’m not out here looking for the One Girl for the Rest of My Life. Nah thanks. What I’m looking for is cute girls who want to have a good time, because I enjoy cute girls, and if they give me a chance to show my skills, they tend to enjoy me too.”
“You forgot to say ‘if you know what I mean,’” noted Lucina drily.
“Nah. I was pretty sure she knew what I meant.” Marisa leaned forward, resting her chin on her hand. “So, Robin? Real offer. Been chewed out for teasing once already tonight- I’m totally serious. Don’t need to think about what it means about you, just if you want to.”
The tactician gazed studiously into the myrmidon’s eyes. “What would your proposal entail?” “Drinks, a movie, then whatever fooling around you feel up for. You have a good time, we do it again sometime. No strings attached, no weird possessive stuff. Just two girls helping each other relax.” “Hmmm. Give me a moment to think about it.” “So that’s a ‘no,’ then. Needing time to think is always a no.” “…You’re right. Are you good for tonight, after this?” “Extremely. Glad my apartment is clean.”
Lyn gazed back and forth between the two mildly. “That happened fast.”
Marisa leaned back in her chair. “Here’s the thing, Lyndis: pretty much every girl fighting here is sexually repressed as hell. Lot of the guys, too, but our home worlds don’t demonize the idea of dudes being thirsty the way they do girls. So they are really cautious and uncertain at first, but as soon as you get them to accept the basic idea they realize how much catching up they have to do.”
“So you’re just helping them out, then, with your endless string of one night stands.” Lucina’s face was the picture of skepticism.
“Not a single partner has regretted it. You’re not interested in that sort of thing, that’s cool. As I recall you turned me down pretty hard, Cina. But sex isn’t this like end-all, be-all culmination of years of a relationship. Sex isn’t like this sacred ritual to confirm you actually love someone. Sex is a fun time that helps you de-stress. I’m not saying it’s as No Big Deal as shaking a person’s hand, but the way it gets treated as taboo is dumb. They just want us to not have a good time. Also: most of them aren’t one night stands. Most of the girls I hook up with, we end up doing it again later, at least once more. Because it’s nice.”
“I wasn’t judging, to be clear.” “I was.” “It’s just that I haven’t seen it like this before. I’ve seen you convince people who were already sold on the basic concept, and you convinced them ‘I’m your girl.’ I hadn’t seen you take someone who thought they were too busy for sex, period, and upsell them on Netflix and chill.” “Life moves pretty fast. So do I. It’s a myrmidon thing.”
The doors burst open. “OKAY!” said Hana too loudly as she marched over to the table. “So, I have considered the argument you all presented-” “Was it an argument? I thought it was just observations.” “-and I think this is probably just a Hoshidan culture thing that you guys don’t understand. I’m her attendant, we have a special relationship. That’s all there is to it. You had me pretty confused for a bit, but I think it’s just a culture difference.”
“Hana, I really don’t think-” “Eirika, I got this.” Marisa folded her hands in front of her. “Hana.” “Yes?” “You are saying your behavior is in line with a Hoshidan royal attendant, right?” “Yes, I am.” “But what about your feelings?” “…What about them?” “If I could prove to you that your feelings about Sakura were more serious than friends and confidants, would you reconsider?” “I… suppose, yes.” “Perfect. Let’s talk about your hair.”
Hana’s face went blank. “My… hair?” “Yes. It is really pretty. I like your hair a lot. It’s a hell of a turn-on.” The samurai flushed deeply. “Marisa, I’m warning you-” “Hey, I’m not just hitting on her, I have a point. That hair obviously takes some serious work to maintain. And Sakura helps you with it, right?” “…Yes, she does.” “And do you enjoy it when she does your hair?” “I do.” “Have you ever gone to her for your hair when it didn’t actually need to be done, you just wanted that feeling?” “This feels like a trap, but… I have.” “And when she touches your hair, and her fingers dance across your scalp, does it just feel soothing and relaxing, or do you tremble a little, does it feel electric, does it make you bubble a little inside and want more, but you’re afraid to ask?”
Hana stood dumbfounded. Marisa grinned. “Because if so, that’s super gay.”
The samurai carefully moved to her chair, sat down, and took a deep drink of her sake, closing her eyes. She sat there for a moment, eyes closed, breathing gently, and trying to know how the next few minutes were going to go. “…So if I were going to ask Lady Sakura out, how precisely would I-”
The whoop that Sully let out cut her off entirely. “Hell yeah! Goddamn, Marisa, how the hell did you do that?!” “I am Queen of the Gays, Sully. Doubt not my power.” “I must say it is… unsettling how spot-on that was. Do you have some sort of hair fetish?” “Nope! I am simply a keen observer of cute girls, and I can tell she’s got a fixation on playing with her hair. Wasn’t much of a jump from there.” “That is surprisingly well considered of you.” “When it comes to cute girls I am the most considerate.” “Good news for tonight then, eh, Robin?”
“Ladies,” interrupted Hana urgently. “Please. You’ve convinced me, but now I don’t know what to do. You can’t just drop this revelation on me and then not help. It would be irresponsible of you.”
“That’s an interesting way to look at it… but I don’t know why it has to be complicated. Just ask her to lunch sometime.” “Sully… I am her attendant. We have lunch together all the time.” “Huh.” “Oh… right. That’s pretty tricky.” “And it would be very hard for you to put in words why this lunch would be different without being too… forward.” “Well, guess you’re just gonna have to be really gay about it.”
Hana looked frustrated. “I don’t… what does that even mean? If I’m gay then isn’t everything I do gay?” “It is tempting to just say ‘hell yeah’ but I’m gonna try to be more helpful. So, like, I dunno if Sakura knows you’re gay. Maybe she doesn’t, maybe she does but can tell you didn’t know and didn’t want to make it weird. In either case, you just need to say it in a way that demonstrates that you know you’re gay, and you’re interested in exploring that. With her.”
“Can you give me an example of… phrasing?” “To be honest by now she knows you well enough that her reaction isn’t probably gonna be changed by how you say it. You could just say ‘Hello, Lady Sakura, I would really like to date you, in the gay way, can we get lunch.’” “That’s…! I could never–” “Yeah, figured as much. So maybe something more… I dunno, Robin, you’re the book person.” “Yes, let me just pull out my copy of ‘So You’ve Realized You Want to Have Sex With Your Childhood Best Friend.’” “…Please tell me you’re being sarcastic and you’re not actually carrying-” “OF COURSE I WAS. My point was that this isn’t a booksmarts situation. But… perhaps something along the lines ‘Lady Sakura, I was hoping we could be more than just lady and attendant, would you like to go out to lunch with me?”
“That’s still… very forward. And gay.” “I mean, you’re gonna have to be gay if you want a chance to do gay stuff, girl. It’s part of the deal.” “But I don’t…! That’s not a kind of bravery I’m used to!” Marisa grinned. “Then it’s time to learn! Finish your bottle, then we train.” “What are you-” “Drink! Drink! Drink!” Hana rolled her eyes, and then bowed to peer pressure, and finished her bottle of sake very quickly.
Marisa stood, and walked over behind Hana. “Very good. That should get you drunk enough. Are you ready?” “I feel kind of lightheaded…” “Perfect. Now, I want you to stand up. I want you to stand up out of your chair.” Hana rose to her feet unsteadily, swaying under the effects of two flasks of warm sake. “I want you to stand up and face the rest of the room, gay and strong and proud. I want you to stand there and yell, ‘I’m as gay as hell, and I’m not gonna take this anymore!’”
“I’m as gay as hell, and I’m not gonna take this anymore!” A number of members of the chattering crowd at the bar glanced up at this with surprise, but there was no extended stare. “Louder!” “I’M AS GAY AS HELL, AND I’M NOT GONNA TAKE THIS ANYMORE!” “One more time!” “I’M AS GAY AS HELL, AND I’M NOT GONNA TAKE THIS ANYMORE!”
“This night got pretty weird,” observed Lucina, stirring her drink with one finger. “It’s kinda cute though, isn’t it?” “It is very cute. So I guess it could be worse.”