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  • Jamila Thomson (they/them)

Sage & Leo Ch. 1

Updated: Jun 11


This is a work in progress, engineered to exemplify consent and gender diversity through fiction.


“What do you call that thing?” Sage whispered, throwing their gaze toward the man’s crotch.


Leo sat wide legged, back against the bar.  Sage stood between his thighs, so that their lips were only a hair’s breadth apart.  The two’d been melting into one another for the better part of an hour, during an unplanned - and apparently successful - first date.


“Hmm?” Came the smiling response and raised brows.  “No one’s ever asked me that.”


“Well . . . What - do - you - CALL - IT?” The bartender repeated their query, softly cooing the words in a gentle jest.


“Let’s go with ‘bonus hole’ and ‘bad idea.’” Came a somewhat more composed response.


“Well Leo, I sure wouldn’t mind me a tall glass of a bad idea,” they said.  


Leo allowed an unabashed grin to shine across his face.  “Yeah?” His voice cracked.  “I mean, I would like that.”


Pause.  Smooch smooch smooch.


Leo pulled back and cleared his throat.  “Uh, what do you call your that thing?”  His hands tightened on Sage’s hips nervously.


The bartender laughed, their eyes sparkling.  “Oh man!  Usually ‘junk’ or ‘bits’ depending on the mood.’”


Sage shook the watery remains of their cocktail glass and chucked it down their throat.  They giggled and made Leo shiver by fixing a deadpan gaze on him while chewing the ice between smiling teeth.


“Do you live here now or what, Sage?” Teased a barback from behind the well.


“My shift’s only been over for -”


“-like three hours,” Sage’s coworker finished their sentence.


“Exactly.  Get me another bourbon.”


***


Warm summer air met Sage and Leo’s skin as they ambled through the old quarter.  The musky sighs of wisteria vines perfumed the air and a train in the distance called out like a lost dog.


The new lovers had a childish air about them, impulsively indulging curiosity about their surroundings.  


“Look at this!” Sage would say, pointing to a piece of graffiti.


“Look at this!” Leo would say, pointing to a rogue altar of crystals and creepy dolls tucked into a brick wall.


“Look at thiiiiis,” Sage would initiate a break in the rhythm, grabbing Leo and pulling him into their lips.


They went all night like this, wandering and show and telling, pausing at street benches to crawl into one another’s laps.


As the sky began to change hues, the space between their sentences became longer.  The ravenous drive behind their kisses melted into soft smooshes of mouths, cheeks and eyelashes as they looked out upon the horizon.


“I’m not ready to bring you back to my house,” Sage said matter of factly.  They didn’t bother reassuring their date, or presenting their statement in a “compliment sandwich,” because they didn’t regard Leo as fragile, nor did they regard their statement as a bad thing.


Leo’s face lit up at Sage’s childlike honesty.  “I think you’re adorable, and I have no expectations of going back to your house.”


“Even though I said I want a tall glass of your bad idea?”


“Oh honey, you can drink my bad idea anywhere you like!”  They both laughed.


Leo twisted his mouth as he shifted toward a nervous silence.  Sage raised their eyebrows with curiosity and waited.


He forced himself to meet Sage’s gaze and took a deep breath.  After a microeternity, he dropped his eyes with a heavy exhale.  


“Oh my god, um . . . Have you ever been with somebody who’s had phallo?”


“No,” Sage answered with a kind tone.  “But I YouTubed it a bunch!”  The laughter that they expected never came, and Sage kicked themself in the stifling silence.


“Cool.  So you know that basically the surgeon constructs a dick out of the skin that they graft, either from the arm or the thigh?”


“Uh huh,” Sage nodded.  They pulled a flattened joint from their wallet and lit the end, hoping to diffuse some of the awkwardness.  They puffed a few times to get the cherry going and passed it to their squirming companion.


“Well it doesn’t get hard,” Leo said to the smouldering tip, before taking a long drag.  


“Wait, is this Indica or Sativa?”  He interrupted himself.


“Meh, hybrid?” Sage scrunched their shoulders and they both laughed.  


“Aren’t they all,” Leo chuckled, relaxing.


“Leo I truly don’t care if your junk gets hard.  It’s a thing for most cis dudes too!  Who gives a fuck?”


“Really?”


“Yeah!” Sage responded emphatically.  They scritched Leo behind his ear and nuzzled his cheek with their nose.  Sage dropped their voice to a velvety whisper, “I just want to know what makes you feel good.”


With their heads buried into one another like swans, they felt their lover’s eyes crinkle into dopey expressions of twitterpation.


Eventually Leo allowed a question to slip past his lips, “What makes you feel good?”


“Consent and STD tests,” flitted Sage’s answer, a little too quickly.


“And?” Leo pried for a deeper response, but Sage, always on the ready to deflect what they liked to call “bonerability” countered with, 


“Nitrile gloves and Vulcan hand sex?”  They ended it with an inflection, as if to say, is that a good enough answer?


Leo read Sage’s unspoken resistance and gingerly accepted their response.    “I’ve never met anybody like you,” he said, tender as springtime antler fuzz.  He hoped that the tone of voice communicated his appreciation of them toeing the edge of their comfort zone.


“Good.”  Sage nodded their chin one time with satisfaction.  “Now where can we go to pour me that tall drink?”







“What do you call that thing?” Sage whispered, throwing their gaze toward the man’s crotch.


Leo sat wide legged, back against the bar.  Sage stood between his thighs, so that their lips were only a hair’s breadth apart.  The two’d been melting into one another for the better part of an hour, during an unplanned - and apparently successful - first date.


“Hmm?” Came the smiling response and raised brows.  “No one’s ever asked me that.”


“Well . . . What - do - you - CALL - IT?” The bartender repeated their query, softly cooing the words in a gentle jest.


“Let’s go with ‘bonus hole’ and ‘bad idea.’” Came a somewhat more composed response.


“Well Leo, I sure wouldn’t mind me a tall glass of a bad idea,” they said.  


Leo allowed an unabashed grin to shine across his face.  “Yeah?” His voice cracked.  “I mean, I would like that.”


Pause.  Smooch smooch smooch.


Leo pulled back and cleared his throat.  “Uh, what do you call your that thing?”  His hands tightened on Sage’s hips nervously.


The bartender laughed, their eyes sparkling.  “Oh man!  Usually ‘junk’ or ‘bits’ depending on the mood.’”


Sage shook the watery remains of their cocktail glass and chucked it down their throat.  They giggled and made Leo shiver by fixing a deadpan gaze on him while chewing the ice between smiling teeth.


“Do you live here now or what, Sage?” Teased a barback from behind the well.


“My shift’s only been over for -”


“-like three hours,” Sage’s coworker finished their sentence.


“Exactly.  Get me another bourbon.”


***


Warm summer air met Sage and Leo’s skin as they ambled through the old quarter.  The musky sighs of wisteria vines perfumed the air and a train in the distance called out like a lost dog.


The new lovers had a childish air about them, impulsively indulging curiosity about their surroundings.  


“Look at this!” Sage would say, pointing to a piece of graffiti.


“Look at this!” Leo would say, pointing to a rogue altar of crystals and creepy dolls tucked into a brick wall.


“Look at thiiiiis,” Sage would initiate a break in the rhythm, grabbing Leo and pulling him into their lips.


They went all night like this, wandering and show and telling, pausing at street benches to crawl into one another’s laps.


As the sky began to change hues, the space between their sentences became longer.  The ravenous drive behind their kisses melted into soft smooshes of mouths, cheeks and eyelashes as they looked out upon the horizon.


“I’m not ready to bring you back to my house,” Sage said matter of factly.  They didn’t bother reassuring their date, or presenting their statement in a “compliment sandwich,” because they didn’t regard Leo as fragile, nor did they regard their statement as a bad thing.


Leo’s face lit up at Sage’s childlike honesty.  “I think you’re adorable, and I have no expectations of going back to your house.”


“Even though I said I want a tall glass of your bad idea?”


“Oh honey, you can drink my bad idea anywhere you like!”  They both laughed.


Leo twisted his mouth as he shifted toward a nervous silence.  Sage raised their eyebrows with curiosity and waited.


He forced himself to meet Sage’s gaze and took a deep breath.  After a microeternity, he dropped his eyes with a heavy exhale.  


“Oh my god, um . . . Have you ever been with somebody who’s had phallo?”


“No,” Sage answered with a kind tone.  “But I YouTubed it a bunch!”  The laughter that they expected never came, and Sage kicked themself in the stifling silence.


“Cool.  So you know that basically the surgeon constructs a dick out of the skin that they graft, either from the arm or the thigh?”


“Uh huh,” Sage nodded.  They pulled a flattened joint from their wallet and lit the end, hoping to diffuse some of the awkwardness.  They puffed a few times to get the cherry going and passed it to their squirming companion.


“Well it doesn’t get hard,” Leo said to the smouldering tip, before taking a long drag.  


“Wait, is this Indica or Sativa?”  He interrupted himself.


“Meh, hybrid?” Sage scrunched their shoulders and they both laughed.  


“Aren’t they all,” Leo chuckled, relaxing.


“Leo I truly don’t care if your junk gets hard.  It’s a thing for most cis dudes too!  Who gives a fuck?”


“Really?”


“Yeah!” Sage responded emphatically.  They scritched Leo behind his ear and nuzzled his cheek with their nose.  Sage dropped their voice to a velvety whisper, “I just want to know what makes you feel good.”


With their heads buried into one another like swans, they felt their lover’s eyes crinkle into dopey expressions of twitterpation.


Eventually Leo allowed a question to slip past his lips, “What makes you feel good?”


“Consent and STD tests,” flitted Sage’s answer, a little too quickly.


“And?” Leo pried for a deeper response, but Sage, always on the ready to deflect what they liked to call “bonerability” countered with, 


“Nitrile gloves and Vulcan hand sex?”  They ended it with an inflection, as if to say, is that a good enough answer?


Leo read Sage’s unspoken resistance and gingerly accepted their response.    “I’ve never met anybody like you,” he said, tender as springtime antler fuzz.  He hoped that the tone of voice communicated his appreciation of them toeing the edge of their comfort zone.


“Good.”  Sage nodded their chin one time with satisfaction.  “Now where can we go to pour me that tall drink?”




_____________


art credit: photograph of LGBT center in Vienna, by Charles Hutchins https://www.flickr.com/photos/celesteh/852079827




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