Bruce Banner has just returned from his lab, where his latest experiment came out really well. He should go straight to bed, because it's six in the morning, but he can't seem to become the right kind of tired, probably also because it's six in the morning. So instead he's watching the sun rise out the window of his cozy (tiny) grad-dorm single room.
Bruce scratches his head. "I mean, guys do also do that sometimes, but if you didn't start being into guys until you acquired a being a girl kink then I guess it could be causal?" Psychology is definitely the most confusing part of bio but that's part of its charm, really.
"I don't... really... have... aspects of my sexuality... that aren't about being a girl."
"Huh. I wonder if I have aspects of my sexuality that are separate from being a guy, but that might be like asking a fish what it likes about water. Man, now I really want that telepathy power."
"Well, I think that's different because you are a guy. And not a fetishist."
"I guess? I'm not sure I'd know if I was. I managed to miss both being bisexual and having a massive crush on you. Maybe I'm super kinky and just clueless about it. Also I'm afraid I've lost the plot a bit, what's this got to do with why you're pissed about the Erogame pushing you to buy a dress?"
"It's decided that I have to do sex things. In public."
"So, like, you think of dresses as sexy, and therefore wearing a dress in public is like not wearing enough clothes? That makes sense. If you get magically turned into a girl at some point would that make it better or worse?" Aarons being trapped indoors by his (her?) own sense of modesty would be so not ero.
"I don't... know? Like, I want this more than I want anything in the world it's just-- I don't want to be the sick gross perverted person doing sick gross perverted things in front of everyone. Like wearing dresses and makeup and being a girl and--"
"It doesn't seem all that gross or perverted to me? I mean, someone being female is involved in more than half of all sex acts and also half of all walking around in public. Also, do you think I'm being awful walking around naked? Not a gotcha, genuine question, if it squicks you out I won't do it."
"...I mean it's not gross or perverted if you actually are a girl. It is kind of perverted if you're like 'instead of fantasizing about sex I'm going to exclusively have sexual fantasies about painting my fingernails and having a wedding.'"
"That's not gross, that's wholesome and adorable!"
"...also perverted and really bad to get carried away fantasizing about how hot it would be to date you and be in love with you and tell you I love you."
Bruce is pink and blushing and really needs to respond to that but words are hard! "I--but--no--you are excessively cute! And not bad! The opposite of that." Why does his Broca's area glitch out when he has important stuff to communicate dammit.
"...I feel like I'm really failing to communicate something here."
"I got that you have adorably sweet and romantic sexual fantasies and also possibly that you want to date me. Was there something else in there?"
"I mean obviously I want to date you I just can't."
"What's stopping you? Like, if I were to ask you to dinner and a movie, what step between there and us actually getting dinner and seeing a movie do you expect to not work?"
"I mean that would work fine it's just-- I can't really date you because I don't like guys I just like thinking of myself as a girl."
So Aarons fantasized about dating him but doesn't like him in a romantic way? That's bad news and it sounds confusing for Aarons and it doesn't make any sense to Bruce either. Also does "that would work fine" mean Aarons is down to go out with him, or does the conditional phrasing mean he isn't?
Bugger, he's staring into space mid-conversation again.
"I'm sorry. I'm not nearly socially adept enough to model your preferences accurately. Would you mind explaining, without using the words "romance" or "dating" or "sexual orientation", what your feelings towards me are and what sort of things you would like to do together?" Possibly, Bruce thinks, he is not ready to date anyone if he is this clueless, but he wants to date Aarons anyway.
"I want to kiss you and suck your dick and cuddle you and figure out how this absolutely ridiculous sex game works with you and watch movies with you and pet your hair and argue about neuroscience and bring you soup when you're sick and hug you when you're sad and have stupid injokes and make you happy. You are one of the best things that has ever happened to me and since the game started I have not been lonely and I was lonely for a really really long time before and you're brilliant and funny and-- deserve better. Than me."
"I want all of those things too. I want to spend time with you and make you happy and figure out this game together and change the world together and take care of each other and have lots of increasingly unrealistic sex. You're the best person I could have told about the game, if it weren't for you I would have completely freaked out by now. You're smart and brave and level-headed and when I'm with you I can just say what I'm thinking and know you'll understand and not laugh. I don't know anything about deserving but you're the one I want."
"I can be your best friend with sex but I think a lot of people would want. Something other than that. In someone they're dating."
"Oh, you're in luck there, I don't actually understand the difference between romance and really good friends who also have sex and cuddle. Especially if it's not sexually exclusive, which normally I would have been fine with but I suspect if we tried to do it now there's be weirdness."
...tiny hopeful smile.
"That sure does seem like the simplest hypothesis consistent with the evidence. And I love you too."