A/N: This is a second in the "different for me" series. (See City of Devils). This is very different. No a gay fic. Not at all. However, there is mentions of homosexuality. Don't like it, leave. I don't want flames.


by BoarderKC

I went to spend the weekend with my dads. I didn't see the pair too often since I went to school and they had been whining to see me for a couple of weeks. What can I say; I am a big softie when it comes to those two queens.

I loved my dads. They are the sweetest pair on earth. Unfortunately, being as they are parents, they asked me the same question they always ask. The same questions my moms always ask.

"Have you found a nice girl yet, Charlie?"

"A sweet, fit twenty-two year old girl like you, Charlie, should have no trouble finding a girl to bring home, right?"

They mean well, they really do. They are parents after all and this is their job. Well meaning, but they're blind and pushy. And because I'm spineless all I can do is force a laugh and feed them excuses.

"Hopefully soon."

"There might be someone."

"Well, I'm looking."

I'm amazed they haven't seen through my excuses.

But they haven't. Sometimes I wonder if I am that convincing, but I wouldn't bet on that. How could they not see when they tried to set me up with their neighbor's daughter how pathetically awkward I was. I'm sure they heard how I fell off my stool when she had tried to kiss me.

I could picture Ray, my sperm dad, laughing, making excuses for me because he was once geeky and awkward too. Or Daniel shaking his head with more excuses tumbling from his mouth. They had my back and I hated to disappoint them.

I volunteered to get out of the house the first chance that arrived, which was just before dinner. They had run out of wine and for the life of me I couldn't imagine getting through the evening without alcohol. My moms were coming to join us and as I imagined four parents with questions, four sets of expectations surrounding me I knew I needed to go get an oxygen mask because I was already having trouble breathing.

The area my dads lived in, which was also the place I had grown up in, was not large and bumbling. In fact, most of the people knew my name, my major, when I had lost my first tooth and the story of my failed romance with the hippie neighbor's daughter. When I walked the aisle of the grocery store I was stopped more times that I wanted to be. Someone would double take, one partner would tug on the other's elbow, a kid would wrap themselves around my knees squealing my name. Then I'd stop and under the bright florescent lights my interrogation would begin.

"Charlie, how are you?"

"How's school?"

"Still working the school's science lab?"

"Found a nice girl yet?"

The answers were simple and I knew my script.

"I'm great."

"School's going well. The plan is to graduate this year."

"Yeah I'm still at the lab. Just call me science girl."

"No girl right now." Flittery laugh. "Playing the field."

Sometimes I wonder if they can see through me or if the scarlet S on my chest is visible yet. Do they know that at school I belong to a heterosexuality support group? Or has it gotten back to them that I'm an avid supporter of straight rights? Of course they didn't know. They couldn't know. But sometimes my scarlet S burned so sharply I don't know how they don't know. I was so straight I made pencils look twisty.

Thirty minutes it took from door to alcohol aisle. With a breath of relief I hid behind a thousand bottles, a fort of liquid and glass protection from being recognized once more.

"Excuse me." A deep voice made me jump and the rack I leaned on clinked precariously. "Oops, sorry." I was faced with a male who didn't look at all sorry. I stepped out of his way quickly. "I didn't mean to scare you," his voice was warm and padded with humor.

"No, its okay," I replied quickly. "I just thought you were…" There was no specific name I could finish the sentence with. "everyone."

He smiled and a single dimple made an impact in his right cheek. "I didn't bring everyone, sadly. Just someone." He emphasized the one. "The someone being me, that is."

I laughed at his ridiculousness. "I got that."

He put a hand to his chest as he puffed it out. "Joshua Davis-Calvin," he introduced with loud bravado in his voice as if introducing some important figurehead and not a tall and muscular boy in a knit cap who was missing a dimple in his left cheek.

"Charlie Ros-Garmen," I answered back with my hand held out. He took it and shook. However he did not release it when the handshake ended.

"Well, Ms. Charlie Ros-Garmen, got big plans tonight?" he asked as if he weren't still attached to my hand.

The question was lost on me as my focus was diverted to just how close he was to me. "What?" I was starting to feel better, I was awkward with both sexes, not matter what I was attracted too.

"Got big plans tonight?" he repeated and leaving me still confused, which evidently showed on my face because he quickly explained. "Standing in the wine aisle, I can only assume that you have company coming over tonight."

He was fishing for something; his words held an innuendo of more than they said. "Oh." I shook my head, trying to clear the extra thoughts slowing me down. "Visiting my parents. They were out."

Joshua Davis-Calvin nodded and finally released my hand. "Me too. My mom just moved out here to be with her new lady. I'm the pack mule that hauls her stuff." I laughed and he grinned again. "I came here to get a house warming gift. Alcohol warms everyone up."

I nodded as I moved away to search the shelves. By now my parents had to wonder where I was. "I know what you mean, I hope to get my parents nice and inebriated tonight," as I spoke a picked up one of the two wines I had come for. This was possibly the only thing my birth mom and my sperm dad agreed on. How they decided to have me together was beyond me. When a few beats too long of silence had passed I glanced back to see if Joshua was still there. He was and staring at my ass. A blush reddened my cheeks.

He grinned something cocky, but the dimple didn't appear. "Do your parents know you're straight?" he asked easily.

The bottle I had picked up slipped from my hand as I jerked up. He grabbed it before it hit the tile as easily as he had made his accusation. "Excuse me?" my voice had dropped to a harsh whisper. "Who do you think you are?"

He just laughed, unruffled, as he examined the bottle he had caught for me. "I'm sorry. Is my straight-dar off?"

I jerked my gaze from side to side and thanked whatever god was on my side for allowing the brightly lit aisle to be void of people. "I really don't think this is the place to-what makes you think I'm-who the hell do you-" I couldn't gather my thoughts enough to throw a sentence and he watched me with humor in his eyes and smile. A buzzing from my pocket cut off my jumble of words and with a deep breath, I snatched up my cell phone from my pocket. "Hold on," I barked, throwing my hand up to keep him from speaking. "Hello?" My voice was nasty.

"Charlie, where are you?"

It was my mother. Not my birth one, but the one attached to her.

"I'm still at the store. I got caught talking to-" I looked up at Joshua. "Someone."

"Like who someone?" Her voice went up a hitch.

I watched Joshua as he stared at me. "A guy."

"Oh." There was disappointment. I closed my eyes to the disappointment. I don't know how they didn't know.

"I'll be home soon. I just got held up," I spoke fast, keeping Jean from getting a word it. "I'm going to let you go."

"Alright Charlie. But Ray finished dinner. We're just waiting for you."

I held back a sigh. Why did I have the feeling they were always waiting for me? "Kay. I'll be back soon." I slapped the phone closed and turned back to Joshua. He was smirking in a matter-of-fact way that needed to be slapped from his face.

"I'll take that as your parents don't know." He held out the wine bottle I had dropped and I took it, wordlessly. "Sure you can handle that?"

I ignored the taunt. "What makes you think I'm straight?" My voice dropped again like I was saying a dirty word. Perhaps it was a dirty word.

"It's nothing to be ashamed of." He held up his hands as if he were defending himself. From what, I didn't know, I hadn't even raised my voice against him. "Its just heterosexuality. Just a word."

"Listen, Joshua, I've got to go." I grabbed a second bottle for Daniel and Jean. They didn't like the wine my birth parents shared. He caught my wrist before I could get away.

"Hey Charlie, I didn't mean to scare you off." I tried to retreat, but he held fast. "You're beautiful and obviously playing for the other team." I didn't want to laugh, but I couldn't help myself. "I just wanted to ask you out."

I had been trying to pull away, but froze when he made his final argument. "What?"

"How long are you going to be in town for?"

"A couple of days. I leave Monday morning.."

He grinned again, his single dimple impacting his cheek again. "I have two days to take you out then."

I had to suppress a smile that was threatening to form on my face. "Joshua, I really can't. I'm visiting my parents. If I went out during "their" time, they'd throttle me."

He waved off the excuse. "Just tell them I'm some girl. If they were anything like my fathers they'd jump at the chance of me going out with a member of the same sex."

The sound of rattling metal cut me off before I could say another word and a stout, balding man turned around the corner down our aisle. I knew the man, my father worked with him and suddenly fear filled me. "I'm sorry, Joshua. I have to go." He looked confused as I brushed by him, ducking my head to keep the man from recognizing me as I passed.

I focused on the checkout, praying not to be recognized, needing not to be given any reason for hesitation. My parents were waiting for me, expecting me as always, while I allowed my head to be turned by an overly confident boy trying to court me. Thankfully I made it to the checkout without a problem. There were only a couple of people in line and I knew neither. With only one or two items a piece I made my way to the cashier quickly.

The cashier was a sweet looking woman named Sheila. I had known her all my life, she had always been a friendly face at the grocery checkout, often giving me candy bars and her reflections on life for free. However the long blond hair, finely manicured nails, and the sweetly painted face were fairly new. Sheila used to be Shawn, a man ten years older than me, but looking barely over twenty six in his new body.

"Well, hi there Charlie!" Sheila's greeting was high and sweet as I set my bottles on her conveyer belt. "Grab yourself whatever you want from the candies rack, honey. I didn't know you were in town."

I smiled genuinely as I tossed a Kit-Kat I had been hiding behind my back on to the conveyor. "I just got in a couple hours ago."

Before I had met Shelia I had never met or heard of a transgender. It was not an idea my parents had taught me, just like heterosexuality was not discussed at the dinner table. But one day Shawn, the shy clerk with the soft feminine voice was gone and Sheila was in his place, smiling and giving me free candy bars. It was my dad's humiliation that I remember the most as he had to broach the topic of alternative sexuality with me in the middle of the grocery store check out. That was the first time I finally had a name for the weirdness I always had when faced with the idea of having to date a girl over a guy. There have been many times since my own self discovery that I have wanted to thank Sheila for what she did for me.

There was a clink of glass hitting glass and a hand on my back that pulled me from my thoughts. "Hi Sheila." I tried not to gape as Joshua's hand moved from my back to my hip, pulling me close as he drew his wallet with his other hand. "Go ahead and ring this together."

Sheila looked at me, examining my face with soft violet skimming my face to Joshua's hand before smiling softly. "Sure thing, love. Who's your friend, Charlie?" There was a knowing laughter in her words as she began to ring my things.

"Th-this is…" Joshua's hand squeezed my hip and I choked and I pulled away from his groping hand. "This is Joshua." My voice was no steadier than it had been, but at least I got his name out.

"Nice to meet you, Joshua. You're Charlie's friend?" There was an emphasis on friend that rang of anything but friendship.

"Yes ma'am, I am." I refused to look at Joshua as he pulled his credit card and made sweet talk with the woman in the apron.

"Alright, then you go ahead and grab whatever you like from the rack behind you. Courtesy of me."

Joshua went in search for a candy as Sheila winked at me. She wasn't stupid to what was obviously in front of her. She knew and it was a peace offering. I breathed relief. "Thanks Sheila." I meant it for more than the Reeses Cups Joshua threw down.

"No problem, love." So did she.

Joshua paid and we retreated from the store before anyone else who would recognize me entered the line. "Which is your car?" he asked as we stepped out into the freezing and gray evening. Our breaths came out in puffs of white and the air tasted wet like a downpour was coming soon.

"That silver Corolla." I pointed to my dirty Toyota as I shivered. When I had gone into the store the sun was still up and my thin jacket had been substantial in keeping me warm. Now I wish I had more. In the corner of my eye I watched Joshua transfer both bags to one hand and took mine with his now free hand. It was warm and another shiver crept up my back.

I had tried to date girls. I had made an attempt not to mess with the system I had been born into. But I couldn't. Girls were small and selfish. They expected to be served. Guys were easy going and warm.

"Have you dated guys before?" I looked up at him.

"Have you?"

He gave a lopsided grin. "No. I pretty much always knew I liked girls. I couldn't imagine having a guy all over me." He nudged me with his hip. "I think I like the ability of control. Every guy wants to be dominating and it's like a fight."

"Well, you are pretty controlling."

"You didn't answer my question." We reached my car and I pulled my keys." "How about girls then?"

I yanked open my car door harder than I intended as he grilled me. "Yes I have. Members of both sexes. It was disastrous." I thought of my bumbling with my neighbor's daughter and the memory of sharp pain from failing on my backside made me grimace. "My last boyfriend broke up with me saying that what we were doing was wrong and that he had seen the error of his ways. He hoped I would too." I took my bag from Joshua while he listened to my story. "He is now rehabilitating himself with some poor bastard he feels nothing for."

He shook his head as a sour look crossed his face. "What a coward."

I called myself this almost daily. It was my ritual as I stood in front of my bathroom mirror, taking in the face that was the dirty hetero that was my reflection. I was used to the word, but having it spat by someone else's mouth ignited something angry in me.

"No he wasn't, Joshua!" I dropped my bag onto the seat of my car before I jabbed a finger into his chest. "That's an unfair accusation. He didn't want to be hated. No one wants to be hated. This is a side of myself I just can't give into. I can't just stand out and be proud of something that is dirty." He leaned forward, cutting me off from my tirade and a painful warmth seared my numb lips. I suddenly felt freezing as Joshua kissed me.

My first thought was not that everyone could see me. It was not to pull away and tell him I couldn't. In the first few moments there was nothing. Nothing made it to my brain. Two beats too long passed before my brain kicked into gear and I was kissing him back, drawing him in to gather the warmth that radiated off his body. I pretended that time had frozen allowing my focus to be this boy. Not my parents, not my gender or his gender; just rough and searing lips, a stubble coarsened chin and just how much Joshua loomed over me. Eventually the thought of everyone watching made its way to my brain, but I ignored it. And when he tried to pull away, I pulled him back, still needing his warmth on my mouth. I could feel him smiling into the kiss.

"Feel better?" We were breathless and while he spoke, I didn't know if I could pull enough air to reply. Wordlessly, I nodded. "Charlie, why can't you be proud? It's not dirty. It's just…" He ran out of words. "Just this." Again he kissed me, but my lips were warm and it wasn't as searing as the first. He pulled away and, still breathless, I found silver eyes staring me down. "Is that really so dirty?"

I shook my head. "No."

"Besides, there is no "part" of you. There is only one part. You, Charlie Ros-Garmen." I dropped my gaze, turning over his words in my head. "Go out with me." His voice held a confidence that said he knew the answer.

"Fine. You win, Joshua." My words rang with defeat, but I was smiling.

He pulled out his cell phone from the inside of his jacket. "What's your number?" He flipped it open.

"Two, nine, seven." His phone beeped as he punched in the numbers I called off. "Twenty eight, thirty four."

He grinned and a moment later my pocket rang making me jump. "Oh good, it's not a fake." I gave him a glare. "A boy can never be too careful." This comment got him swatted in his arm. "Tomorrow, eight o'clock-ish? We'll make it a dinner and a movie."

I swallowed hard at the prospect. "Alright Joshua."

"Was that so hard?"

"It nearly killed me."

He grinned and reached forward, tugging the sides of my jacket tighter around me. "Its cold, you should probably be getting home." The gesture was nice, but my coat provided no more warmth. "And your parents are waiting for you."

The thought made me stop breathing. They had been waiting for me for at least an hour. "Way to kill the moment." My chest hurt at the thought of my parents waiting for me at my fathers' house. "I had better go."

I turned my back on him and got in my car. He kissed my cheek before shutting my door for me. My hands were frozen and after fumbling with my keys I finally managed to shove the key into the ignition. My fingers burned as my car roared to life and as he stepped away from my purring Toyota he waved. I waved back before putting my silver baby into gear and pulling out of my space.

I pulled out of the parking lot and felt my heart pick up speed. I was going to be facing my parents. My palms began to sweat in spite of still burning from frostbite. I was terrified of what faced me when I got back to my fathers' house. My parents would be asking questions, I had been gone for over an hour on an errand that should have taken me fifteen minutes. And now though I should've been in a hurry to get back I couldn't get myself to drive faster. At least I could blame that on the wet and icy roads.

The drive from the store to my dads' house took me through the bulk of the city. I knew this place. Though they lived next door together when I was a baby, my moms had moved across town from my dads when I was small. Growing up I was shuffled back and forth to opposite sides of the small city. Now I could navigate the streets on instinct, because my head was elsewhere.

I pulled into the driveway of my dad's house much too soon without enough of my thoughts pulled together. I stared up at the suburban white picket fenced house and wondered how I was the product of such normality. My parents weren't child molesters or perverts. They didn't abuse me. They were big in the community.

And for this, they got a hetero for a daughter.

The cold wind rubbed roughly against my cheeks and I remembered Joshua and his confidence and warmth. He believed so strongly in the words he spoke. Hetero was just a word. That I knew. But what he seemed to miss was that hate was not.

Shelia was dating a man. He was a news anchor on the evening news, a really sweet looking, charismatic guy who was one of the more popular men on set. That was until it got out he was dating a woman. He was now a newspaper reporter, under a nom de plume so none of the hateful anti-heteros could throw things at him as he left the building or scream hateful words on the set.

It amazed me all the adversity Shelia and Brandon could have avoided at the cost of herself. She could have stayed Shawn, a woman trapped in a him, but living the normal life with a boyfriend, a man with a man as everyone had said it should be. But he didn't…she didn't. Shelia became what she always needed to be; what she always should have been.

I still had not moved from my spot beside my car as I stared up at my dad's little suburban house. The four people I loved the most were in that house, waiting for me. Always waiting for me. They loved me and told me so. Had uttered the words every parent tells their child about loving me no matter what. I wanted to believe it so much.

My parents had avoided the subject of sexuality while I grew up. My dad had told me awkwardly about the meaning of transgender when I was thirteen, but he never said whether it was wrong. It was my mothers who I had cornered when I was fourteen to explain what alternative sexuality was in its entirety. They didn't say it was wicked, just described it so I could truly understand it.

Joshua knew none of this. He didn't know my parents. He didn't know Shelia. All he saw was a girl who had fallen awkwardly into a kiss and had blushed when expected and said yes when asked.

The front door opened before I could finish gathering myself. Jean stood there, watching me expectedly and hurriedly I fished the bag from the car and shut the door. "Charlie, darling, what took you so long?" My mother's tall and thin wife came forward and met me at my car where I still couldn't quite bring myself to pull away from.

I hated Joshua for being so expectant of me.

"I'm sorry."

I hated that he had the confidence I didn't.

"I got to talking to someone."

Hated that I couldn't give a gender and would lie if asked.

Jean took the bag and kissed my cheek tenderly. She hadn't been with my mom since I was born, but she had come into my life when I was five. I had never met the other woman who had been there when I was born. "Its okay, we were just waiting."

I sighed. "I know," my voice cracked unexpectedly.

She looked at me strangely as we approached the front door, her hand around my waist. She was taller than me by at least four inches. It kept me from ever feeling like a true adult around her when I stared up at her. "What's that?" she asked in response to the pathetic breaking in my voice.

"N-nothing." We are approaching the house and my pounding heart is in my throat and I don't know why. The evening air was freezing, but I didn't want to go in and I feared what I had to face. We stepped onto the porch and the heat from the house brushed my face. Flashes of Joshua erupted fresh in my mind; his searing warmth painfully on my lips like a memory etched in fire. I halted and Jean knocked into me.


I turned to her, my heart thundering harder and I wondered how Jean could ignore it. I imagined a lifetime sneaking behind their backs in shame and people like Joshua looking down on me and laughing and it made me sick.

"Jean, I-" She is staring at me expectantly, shivering because she isn't dressed for the winter air. "I'm straight." The word sounded strange in my ears and hung in the evening air sounding wrong.

She touched my cheek and I jerked because it was unexpected. She had always been affectionate, but this was startling. I imagined disgust and having to watch as those I loved move away from me, standing out of arms reach and being kept like that for the rest of my miserable and immoral life.

She was smiling in a knowing way with her hand on my cheek. "I know, Charlie. We've just been waiting for you to say it." I want to scream, I want to cry, I want to laugh. I was right, they were always waiting for me. "But, love, its freezing. Can we talk about this inside and maybe after dinner. We'll talk about this boy you met once we've got some food."

I stood aghast and shivering, unable to come up with the words to respond. But it didn't matter as Jean ushered me inside with a hand on my back because everyone was still waiting on me.

A/N: The premise might be hard to figure out. Everyone in the world is gay. It is the Bizzarro world to this universe. Everyone is gay and it is wrong to be straight. Its just a little point of view change. I'd like other people to understand no matter what you are, if you're a majority, it can be turned around on you.

Please review. No flames please.