“Winn & Sanvers preparing for Pride Parade, Winn getting his nails painted with the Bi-flag colors as a coming out to his friends. (His crush on Superman has no hetero explanation to me)” from @draconicdivinity
He paces outside of Alex’s apartment for nearly ten whole minutes.
He paces and he breathes in through his nose and out through his mouth, his cheeks puffing up with the effort to calm himself.
“She’s your best friend. She’s your best friend, and he’s your best friend, and they love you and they don’t care that Alex and Maggie are gay, they love them both, and they’ll love you.”
But the thought of Kara and James only makes his heart race harder, scarier.
He tries a different tactic.
“They’re lesbians,” he mutters. “Alex and Maggie lesbians, they lesbian together, they invited you to get ready for Pride with them, they love you, and they’re lesbians, for god sake, of course they’re not going to care that you’re bi.”
But he paces, still, because in one of the homes he was in as a kid, well… being bi was one of the main reasons he got shifted around so much.
They’d wanted to know why he couldn’t just pick one. Even the gay kids. Sometimes, especially the gay kids.
Even in college, it had happened.
Even in college, he’d gotten raised eyebrows and skeptical sound effects.
He’d stopped telling people, because what was the point, really?
If no one would believe him, either way.
So he paces, his hand tight around a plastic bag he’d picked up with a hammering heart and sweaty brow at the pharmacy.
Because he’s been to another planet, and he’s the tech support for not one, but two, superheroes, but coming out?
God, coming out is so much scarier.
So he paces.
He paces until Alex wrenches open the door and gives him a partly concerned, partly annoyed look.
“Dude, Kara says you’ve been pacing out there for ages. You okay?”
“Where… where is Kara?”
“Showering,” Alex shrugs, tugging him inside.
Tugging him inside to where he’s greeted by James – in a tight black t-shirt with Tolerance is Not Enough emblazoned in rainbow print across the front – and Kara’s yell of greeting from the bathroom and a half-dressed Maggie, rainbow belt on denim shorts, barely buttoning up a short-sleeved flannel.
“Ooh, look at my favorite pool shark, looking all sexy!” he grins, and Maggie shoves him gently before pulling him into a hug.
“Not wearing anything special for Pride, Schott?” Alex asks, that concerned look still in her eyes.
“Actually, I um…” He fidgets with the pharmacy bag he’s carrying. “I thought maybe – oh, hey Kara.”
Kara’s hair is soaked and her skin is still dripping slightly, towel draped around her body. Winn and James both carefully look anywhere but her.
“It’s Pride! Give me one second to put clothes on, and I’ll – “ She speeds her way into her outfit, scattering Maggie’s case files and Alex’s medical journals with the rush of wind she creates.
“What’s wrong?” she mirrors her sister’s concern, stepping closer to Winn at more human-like speed.
“Nothing. Nothing’s wrong, I just thought… I bought these.”
He spills the three small bottles of nail polish he’d picked up from the pharmacy from the bag. They clatter slightly onto the counter, and Maggie gets it first.
Her eyes find his over the bottles of pink, lavender, and blue nail polish, and she recognizes the tears she sees there. The terror.
She smiles softly and she nods almost imperceptibly, because she knows this feeling, and she knows, better than he does at the moment, that his sisters and his brother will love him all the more for it.
She certainly does.
“I thought maybe someone could paint my nails. For Pride. For me.”
“Cool man, uh – Kara, are you any good at that? I don’t imagine Alex would be – “
“Put a lid in it, Olsen, I can hit a moving target at – “
“Yeah yeah, but can you paint nails with precision, though?”
“They’re bi colors, Winn! Did you know that? Is that why you got – oh. Oh. Oh. Winn!” Kara stammers, and Winn’s stomach twists.
James and Alex stop their playful bickering, faces suddenly sober. Eyes suddenly locked onto Winn’s face.
“Winn?” Alex asks, her voice full of empathy and support and something that sounds an awful lot like deep, powerful respect.
“I just thought someone could paint my nails with the bi flag colors. For Pride,” he splutters, his face bright red. “Because that’s me. I’m bi.”
He forces himself to look at each of his friends – each of his siblings – in turn.
Kara’s eyes, bright and proud and teary, with a dash of recognition so strong he thinks that maybe, just maybe, she’ll want to paint her nails with the bi flag colors, too.
James’s eyes, dawning comprehension and full-throated acceptance and deep, deep pride in his best friend. His brother.
Alex’s eyes, glistening under the glitter her sister had put on her face, knowing that feeling so damn well.
Maggie’s eyes, soft and earnest and excited for him.
“So there are three colors and four of us,” Kara starts, a huge smile beginning to form on her face as James steps forward to crush Winn in a hug. “Maggie, Alex, maybe you guys can share lavender? I’ll get blue, and James, you wanna do pink? We can all paint your nails together, Winn.”
His chest wracks with a sob and he darts forward to pull Kara into the hug with James, laughing and crying at the same time.
Alex joins at Kara’s urging, and Maggie hesitates, but Winn reaches to pull her in, too.
When they settle – when Winn’s tears are reduced to mere sniffles and he thinks his ribcage might not be able to tolerate being hugged by so many superheroes at once for much longer – he puts out his hands and spreads out his fingers.
Maggie opens the windows and blasts queer summer jams for the world to hear, and all Winn hears is the laughter and the love and the happiness of his friends as they take turns transforming his fingernails, one color at a time, into signs of his own laughter, his own love, his own happiness.