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Carl and Sandra, still worried but in better spirits now that they knew their daughter wasn't too hurt beyond what was expected, left the Plumber base, asking Rook and Wren to come over for dinner. Wren extracted a promise from her mother that it wouldn't be one of her tasteless absurdly healthy dishes, and then extracted ANOTHER promise from her father to HIDE all of the healthy ingredients. Max went back to processing the last of Wren's security clearance changes, and then gave Wren and her team the rest of the day off.
Wren and Rook found themselves heading to Mr. Smoothy, Wren needing some comfort food after everything that had happened. Ordering a double-order of chili-fries and a large strawberry smoothie, Wren sat down at a table with Rook (who had settled for a veggie burger and soda). They ate silently for a long moment, Rook growing uncomfortable with Wren's lack of conversation. Before, Ben had been quite the chatterbox while eating, usually bragging about a recent feat or arguing with Rook about the number of times he had saved the universe. (Most recent count was five, only one of which was done solo.) This silence was unsettling.
"So!" Rook said after a long moment. "How about those Dodgers, eh?"
Wren stared at Rook incredulously and began to laugh. "Geez, dude, do you deliberately look for cliche things to say?"
Rook blushed. "It is entirely possible. The silence was unsettling, and it was the only thing I could think of" he said.
Wren sighed. "Well, I think it's kinda justified. I mean..." she said, grimacing. "My parents were talking about me getting pregnant. Like I don't have enough to think about..."
Rook frowned. "It is a concern... Humans have remarkably adaptable DNA, especially if the race is bipedal like ours..." he admitted.
Wren sighed, taking a drink from her smoothie. "Great..." she muttered.
Rook smiled weakly. "But... maybe it will not be an issue! Sexual orientation is genetic, and despite what happened between us, it is more likely as not that you would go from a heterosexual male to a homosexual female..." he started.
"I'm bisexual, Rook," Wren said softly.
"Pardon?" Rook asked, startled.
"...I'm bisexual," Wren admitted. "I'm attracted to both sexes. I started to realize it, how I felt about you, I mean, after we came home from defeating Lord Transyl. I wasn't sure how to voice what I was feeling and I didn't know if Revonnahganders had a taboo against gays, so I never said anything. Plus, it wouldn't exactly be in-character for me to admit to any mushy stuff, am I right?" She smiled weakly. "But... yeah. I've had a growing crush on you for the past two years, Rook. I got scared when my parents brought up pregnancy because... because I knew they were right all along. The more I think about it, the more I realize that I do still want to have sex with you."
Rook just stared at Wren, blushing brightly. "I..." he tried, but found himself unable to finish the sentence. His mind was racing, trying to process this rather powerful revelation. Ben... Wren had a crush on him all this time, and never said anything? And... and why couldn't he think of any more ands? It's not like he had been thinking about how enjoyable rutting with Wren was ever since it had happened. ...Okay, maybe it was. But still, they were partners first, and Rook was straight, and really, that wasn't a problem anymore considering Ben was now Wren, and...
Be silent, treasonous brain, Rook commanded his thoughts. Said thoughts promptly ignored him, continuing to assure him that his reasons against forming a relationship with Wren were lacking in validity. Out loud, he said, "T-there is no special taboo against homosexuality on Revonnah. Male couples are required to donate seed, while female couples are required to use said seed to produce new young ones, so that new generations may continue the harvest. Other than that one requirement, there is no cultural taboo against such relationships..."
Wren nodded, smiling a little. "That's good," she said.
Rook put his face in his hands. "Wren... Forgive me, but this is a great deal to process right now," he said. "I am still working out my own feelings on the matter."
Wren's smile became a little forced. "O-Okay..." she said. "Yeah, sorry... I'm just... nevermind..." She looked down, focusing on her food.
Rook grimaced, feeling like a heel. It finally occured to him what she was doing, that she was trying to latch on to one of the only comforts she had in her new situation... and he, being that comfort, had just pushed her away. He bit his lip, thinking for a moment, and then went over to Wren's side of the picnic table, sitting next to her. Wren blushed, her eyes widening. Rook opened his mouth, trying to think of something to say... and then sighed, letting his actions convey what he wanted to say as he turned her face towards his and kissed her, passionately.
Wren, a surge of relief and passion flooding her, leaned into the kiss, her tongue entwining with Rook's as she put her arms around him. Rook reciprocated, surprised to feel a stirring in his loins as his hands unconsciously made their way up Wren's body, one hand squeezing her butt as another pulled her close. Rook began to realize that maybe he was attracted to Wren, and perhaps purusing a relationship with her would be an enjoyable experience...
Wren, for her part, pressed herself in close to Rook as they made out on the table. This whole mess had been nothing but misery and frustration so far. The only thing that had been good about it was sex with Rook earlier. She had been avoiding thinking about it, but the conversation with her parents made her realize that she really did need Rook right now. She needed something solid, something stable. And who better than her partner?
"Ahem," said a voice, startling both Wren and Rook out of their passion. They both blushed, looking up at the manager of this particular Mr. Smoothy, and grinned nervously.
The older man smirked. "While I'm not against human/alien relationships, this is a public place. So please, try to keep your public displays of affection to a bare minimum," he said.
"Sorry Mr. Arnson," Wren said.
The older man chuckled, stroking his beard. "It's all right, Ben... or... er, is it still Ben?"
"I wanna be called Wren now," Wren said. "And... ah... how'd you know it was me?"
Mr. Arnson smirked. "You're wearing the Omnitrix, you're wearing the same shirt you always wear, and... honestly, even without all that, Rook being here would be a dead giveaway," he said. Wren giggled.
"And you are not concerned by Wren's change to female?" Rook asked.
"Got a cousin named Carl, a few years back decided he wanted to be Clarissa," Mr. Arnson said. "I ain't one to judge people."
Wren grimaced. "This wasn't really my choice, though. I got hit with a ray by a supervillain, and... it's complicated."
Mr. Arnson chuckled. "You're handling it well enough, it seems," he said.
"...It's helping that I've got a huge support network," Wren said softly, nuzzling his shoulder. "Partners I never really appreciated until just today..."
Rook smiled, blushing. Mr. Arnson nodded. "And how about you, sonny?" the older man asked.
Rook sighed. "It is... odd," he admitted. "In the course of a day we have gone from partners to... I hesitate to use the word 'lovers,' but due to the aforementioned 'complications' we have chosen to make our relationship more intimate." He felt an odd, excited surge go through him as he said that. It felt... oddly right.
Mr. Arnson chuckled. "Best of luck to you two, then," he said. "You ever need a hand with anything, you just call on old Arnie Arnson. And just remember to save the face-sucking for when you're not in public."
Both Rook and Wren blushed and grinned at that. "Thank you," Wren said, Mr. Arnson waving to them and leaving. Wren and Rook turned to each other.
"So..." she said softly. "A-Are we actually gonna be in a relationship? Like, lovey-dovey and all that?"
Rook frowned. "Do you want that just yet? To be in love?" he asked softly. "I care for you, Wren, but I am not sure I am ready to be in love..."
Wren fidgeted a moment. "No..." she said after a moment's thought. "I... no, I can't. Not yet... And I'm sorry it seemed like I was pushing you to one earlier..."
Rook smiled, shaking his head. "It is fine. If I am recalling my Earth terms correctly," he said, "I believe we can be... ah... 'friends with benefits?'"
Wren smiled slowly. "Yeah... I can live with that..." she said after a moment.
Rook blushed even brighter, adding, "Although next time I do not think you will have to change into a Revonnahgander for me to enjoy those benefits..."
Wren grinned widely, blushing.
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