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Jun 16, 2019 6:58 PM
lev and sasha pile
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"It's complicated. If you ask her to put a label on her gender she'll say that Cascadians are obsessed with labels and people should just let things be complicated. But Asher and I call her 'she' and Marlo calls her 'he' and she's our kids' weird uncle."

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"Weird. I don't think I have that thing but I'm not actually sure I'd notice if I did." 

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"Well, try wearing skirts, see if it makes you really happy when they twirl."

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"I'll have to do that sometime! You smile exactly the same as my Lev, it's cute." 

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He bounces.

"You're cute too. You're so pretty."

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That's adorable oh no. "Thank you." 

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Meanwhile —

Let's do this one last time.

My name is Sasha Mikhailov, and I'm a wizard, apparently. I lived in the Soviet Union until I was ten, and six months after my family  escaped an owl brought me a letter that — so they tell me, anyway — said I was accepted to wizard school. I think that's about as weird as you think it is. 

I hate boarding school. I don't speak the language here, and I haven't slept for more than three hours at a time in the last two days, and I think I'm failing my classes but it's hard to tell because I can't read the language either, and people keep calling me words I don't know the meaning of but sure sound the way people sounded when they used to call me a kike. Most of my teachers hate me and all my classmates hate me except one. It's kind of a lot. 

But there's enough food and I'm not going to die or anything and apparently the hospitals here actually have resources, so I think I'm doing pretty okay?

And then — 

And then the world goes green and he's somewhere else entirely. 

His spot under the stairs was quiet. Hogwarts isn't near any large cities, he doesn't think, but he is loosely aware of what London looks like and he's pretty sure this isn't that. All the writing he can see is in English, or at least it uses English letters; he recognizes a couple of words from his textbooks. 

He's so tired. He's so so tired. But he can't sleep here; he starts looking for something to eat that he won't have to pay for, because now that he isn't in Hogwarts anymore food is going to be scarce.

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"I'm sorry if I end up accidentally calling you 'she'. Force of habit, you know."

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"It's fine!" 

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Lev goes back into Asher's room and sits on the bed.

"I got Asher's summary of his life but he totally did not mention you."

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"We met a while ago when he saved me from a death trap, he decided he wanted to date me — knowing I was Spiderman, not knowing I was fifteen — when I made a joke about Tolkien, we were flirty friends for a while after that, he offered to have sex with me, I said "I can't I'm fifteen," he went "well shit" and we did not have sex but we did stay friends until Kingpin mind controlled him into murdering me and he had depression for a couple months while we were avoiding each other and then my Lev told me he was really worried so I showed up here wanting to know what the hell was going on and we've been dating since then." 

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"Okay, so he did mention you, he just only called you Spiderman-- wait what."

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"Wait what what?" 

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"Why is you being fifteen a reason for you two not to date?"

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".....uh," which is maybe a little bit hypocritical given that he and Asher are in fact dating, but. 

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"I mean, I assumed this was a pretty progressive universe, since people are being gay and poly in public?"

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"...uh, New York in particular is a pretty progressive place, I'm not sure I'd say there's anything all that progressive about being poly, but none of that means we don't.... have..... an age of consent? Which technically we're still abiding by although not for that reason." 

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"I mean, Cascadia has an age of consent too, it's not like I'm saying Asher should fuck a kid."

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"Legally speaking I'm a kid. — which doesn't mean I'm a kid by any reasonable definition, I'm pretty sure once you've saved a city more times than you can count on one hand you're not a kid anymore, but that's not how age of consent works and nobody knows I'm Spiderman anyway, so." 

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"That's-- bizarre. And Asher wasn't like 'oh, you're fifteen, but you're literally a soldier already, I guess it's fine to date you'?"

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"I'm not a soldier! SHIELD can't hire me because I'm under eighteen, I'm an unlicensed independent menace. And no, he went 'I don't think I'm comfortable even not-quite-dating a fifteen year old, sorry,' and I went 'that's legit, we're still friends right?' and he said of course." 

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"I guess if people grow up in an ageist society I can't expect them to, like, independently reinvent youth rights, even if I am married to them in a different universe."

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".....that is a really bizarre statement in context but I'm just going to assume there's more context." 

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"Well, I don't know, it's like finding out that Asher thinks racism or nuking people or sex work criminalization or something is okay! Part of me is like 'I expected better of my husband' and the other part of me is like 'well, most people don't outperform the societies they live in, this is pretty much what you should expect' and a third part of me is like 'AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA.'"

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"...that is again a bizarre way to conceptualize youth rights. I'm not sure I have an opinion on sex work but it is not in fact legal." 

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