Sequel to Acclimation.
“Good afternoon, Ronny.”
“Ty, hey.” Ronny motioned to the gaming controller next to her. “You want to play?”
Tyzonn gingerly sat next to her and picked up the strange looking remote. Ronny waited patiently before taking the controller and flipping it around in his hands.
“Ah. So what are we playing?”
“It’s a racing game. You just point the joystick the way you want to go, and run over the arrows to go faster. You’ll pick it up in no time.”
Ronny quickly set up the track and the cars – a figure-8 racing track, hers a yellow Ferrari and his a red BMW.
They sat in silence until the beginning of the race, when the computerized voice counted them down.
“You know Mack well, right?” Tyzonn asked as Ronny sped ahead.
“I like to think so.” Ronny avoided one of the AI cars, not looking at Tyzonn. “Why? Is something wrong?”
Tyzonn side-swiped the wall. “No.”
Ronny had finished her first lap by the time he spoke again.
“Will tried to explain something to me earlier, but he seemed uncomfortable.”
The Ferrari skidded expertly around a corner. “What was it?”
“Gay and straight.” Tyzonn narrowly avoided hitting a computer-driven Porsche. “He seemed very unsure of himself.”
Ronny blinked, barely noticing as she missed a powerup. “Will’s probably the most heterosexual guy I know.”
“Heterosexual? What does that mean?”
“You’re attracted to someone of the opposite sex. Homosexual is being attracted to someone of the same sex. Bisexual is being attracted to both.” Getting back into her stride, Ronny flew over a speed bump.
“Oh. He just told me that he wasn’t sure if his moves would work on guys as well as they do on girls.”
Ronny blinked. “I don’t think they would. At least, some of them wouldn’t.”
“That’s what he said.” Tyzonn smiled as he hit an arrow and raced ahead, overtaking a number of AI racecars. “I think I’m starting to get used to this game.”
“Why would you want to know if Will’s tricks would work on guys?” Ronny asked, her mind still stuck on his statement.
Tyzonn was silent for a moment, concentrating on the game as he swerved around three cars in succession. “I didn’t. I wanted to know what would work on Mack.”
Ronny’s fingers went slack. Her Ferrari slowed without a driver, and she lost first place. “Oh,” she managed.
Tyzonn kept going, seeing the tiny bubble above a yellow car ahead that proclaimed it was ‘P1’.
Ronny visibly shook her head, pressing forward even as her Ferrari stalled. “Why?”
“Because I like Mack. He’s pretty, and he dresses nice, and smells really good.”
The Yellow Ranger frowned, suddenly placing that sentence – only with a different pronoun. “You’ve spent far too much time with Will.”
Tyzonn sped over the finish line, words on the screen proclaiming it was his last lap. Ronny was still ahead of him, the ‘P1’ bubble popping in and out of existence.
“So…you’re gay?” Ronny asked.
Tyzonn bounced over a speed bump. “I don’t think so. Mercurians don’t put names on things like that. Love is love. I can understand how you and Rose are pretty, just as I know Will is attractive, but I feel differently towards Mack.”
Ronny slammed into the car in front, spinning it out of control and out of the race. The number on the corner of the screen changed to 1.
“Do you know of anything that would work on Mack?”
Again, one of Tyzonn’s statements made her miss a powerup. “Um. I’m not sure.”
The finish line was in sight for both of them before Ronny gingerly offered a suggestion. “You might need to be direct. Go up to Mack and tell him. Or ask him out.”
Tyzonn glanced away from the screen to smile at Ronny. “Thank you.”
Ronny started her victory lap among simulated cheers and celebration. A few seconds later, Tyzonn’s BMW crossed the finish line.