Who Can I Turn To?
A Loud House fanfiction by Professor Pasta
It was dusk in the small town of Royal Woods, Michigan. The sun was just starting to kiss the western horizon, bathing the surrounding sky in fiery shades of orange and red. A crescent moon and a few bright stars were already visible in the violet pre-evening sky overhead, heralds of the night to come. A crisp autumn wind blew through the town, fallen leaves of brown and orange and red dancing in the gentle breeze.
Normally, such sights would be beautiful to Luna Loud, but she had far too much on her mind to find any joy in the twilight hours. The third-eldest daughter and aspiring rock star of the Loud family walked slowly down the suburban sidewalk with her guitar case slung over her shoulder, making her way home following a jam session with a few of her friends and fellow musicians.
"Some jam session that was," Luna muttered with a sigh, reflecting on her piss-poor performance. For two hours, she and her friends had practiced, playing everything from classic rock to gentle power ballads to raging heavy metal, but Luna just couldn't find her rhythm. She would strum along for only a few seconds before hitting the wrong note or falling out of time or missing a cue. It got so bad that Luna stopped playing altogether for the last half-hour of the meeting, opting instead to sit off to the side and watch her friends play, occasionally chatting with them about music, school, and just life in general. Each of them had asked Luna what was wrong, but she just waved them off with the excuse that she was having an off day. Like any artist, musicians always had their off days, and even a passionate soul like Luna Loud was no exception.
What she failed to mention was that this was her fourteenth "off-day" in a row and counting. The storm of emotions within Luna that had been brewing for the last several weeks had developed into a full-blown hurricane of anxiety that was starting to affect every aspect of her daily life. Her grades were starting to slip because she couldn't focus on tests and homework. She barely played her beloved guitar anymore, and hadn't tried writing a song in days, the blazing inferno of her musical creativity reduced to a dull spark. She was becoming more and more withdrawn at home, to the point where some of her siblings – mainly her roommate Luan and kid brother Lincoln – were starting to notice. They had tried asking her what was wrong a few times now, and each time Luna assured them that she was fine, she was just having a bad day, there was nothing to worry about.
Luna knew that she couldn't go on like this. What's more, she knew what she had to do to lift this massive weight off her shoulders, but the thought of even attempting it brought a wave of fear and apprehension that slammed into her like a physical force. No matter what way she looked at it, Luna knew she was going to need help.
Which is why, instead of going directly home from her friend's house, she made a slight detour to the home of her brother's best friend, and his two fathers.
"Two-ninety-seven, two-ninety-nine… Here it is, three-oh-one," Luna said to herself, walking up to front door of the single-story suburban abode. The living room lights were on, and joyful laughter sounded from within. Luna stood on the porch for a few seconds, wondering if this was the right choice. Steeling her resolve, she took a deep breath and knocked twice on the front door.
"I'll get it!" A young boy's voice said from inside. The door swung open a few seconds later, and Luna found herself face-to-face with Clyde McBride, confusion written across the young boy's face.
"Luna?" He asked. The older girl offered a wave and a half-hearted smile.
"Evening, Clyde," she said, trying her hardest to sound casual. "How's, uh… how's it going?"
"Fine, I guess…" Clyde leaned to the side to look around Luna. "Is Lincoln with you?"
"No, it's just me. Listen, I was wondering if-"
"Who's at the door, sweetie?" Luna heard an older male's voice ask.
"It's Luna, dad!" Clyde replied.
"Luna Loud?" A different voice asked, slightly deeper than the first one. "You must be freezing out there! Come on in."
Clyde shrugged and turned around, motioning for Luna to come in. For a moment Luna considered bolting, but pushed those cowardly thoughts aside and followed Clyde.
As always, the inside of the McBride house was serenely quiet and completely spotless, a sharp contrast to the din and mess that Luna was used to in her own home. Stylish lamps bathed the living room and kitchen in gentle ambient lightning, and the sweet smell of a ham roasting in the oven tickled Luna's nostrils. The McBride's, Howard and Harold, were seated on a couch in the living room, a board game laid out on the coffee table in front of them.
"Good evening, Luna," Harold said, he and his husband waving to their guest.
"Hey Mr. McBride, Mr. McBride," Luna greeted while Clyde went back to the couch and sat beside his parents. She cast a nervous glance at the game on the table. "I'm not interrupting anything, am I?"
"Oh, you're fine," Harold said as Howard rolled a pair of dice, the tiny plastic cubes clattering on the table's glass surface. "We're just having our family game night."
"Six," Howard said, picking up and moving a tiny silver boot along the board. "One, two, three, four, five…" His smile fell as he set the piece on the final space, which was dotted with tiny blue plastic homes. "…and right on Park Place. Darn it, not again!"
"Yes!" Clyde said, pumping his fist while Harold guffawed. "That's another $2000 for the Clydesdale! Pay up, dad."
Howard shook his head, chuckling as he counted out two-thousand dollars in paper play money. "I swear, the dice just hate me tonight." He handed the faux-bills to Clyde before turning his attention back to his guest. "So, what brings you here, Luna? Is Lincoln with you, or your parents, or…?"
Luna shook her head. "No, they're all at home. The reason I'm here is… I was wondering if I could get some advice from you and Mr. McBride."
Howard and Harold exchanged a glance.
You want advice from us?" Harold asked. He motioned to himself and his husband, and Luna nodded.
"Yeah, if you don't mind. It's… kind of important."
The McBride parents looked at each other again, this time for longer than just a quick second.
"Clyde, sweetie?" Howard said, looking towards his son. "Why don't you go play in your room for a bit? We'll finish the game later."
Perplexed, Clyde looked from Luna to Howard to Harold, who nodded in agreement with his spouse.
"Okay then…" Clyde said. He looked at Luna with a mix of confusion and concern before hopping off the couch and making his way down the hall. "Call me when you're done, I guess."
"Let me just check on the ham first," Howard said, rising from the couch and making his way towards the kitchen, Harold following close behind.
"Take a seat, Luna," the black McBride said as he opened the refrigerator. "Would you like anything to drink? Water? Milk? Iced tea?"
"Just water is fine," Luna said, carefully leaning her guitar case against the living room recliner before sitting down in it. She watched as the McBride's bustled about in the kitchen, mumbling quietly to one another and occasionally glancing her way. Luna's heart was beating like a double bass drum at a death metal concert, and it felt like a mosh pit for that same concert was raging in her stomach. She closed her eyes and focused on taking deep breaths, trying desperately to keep her lunch from making an encore appearance all over the McBride's nice clean carpet.
Eventually the pair returned to the living room, Harold holding a glass of amber iced tea and Howard holding two cups of crystal clear water.
"Here you go, dear," Howard said as he offered one of the cups to Luna. She gratefully accepted it and took several big gulps while the adults retook their places on the sofa. "So, what exactly do you need advice on?"
This was it. The moment of truth, the point of no return. Once Luna told them about the feelings that been tormenting her for the last few weeks, the secret would be out forever, never to be taken back.
"Well…" Luna said, racking her brain for the right words, "you see… There's this, uh… I was wondering if you… Um…"
"You've fallen head over heels for a girl, realized that you aren't entirely straight, and now want advice on how to come out to your family?" Harold asked.
Luna's train of thought came to a screeching halt. She worked her lips for a few seconds, but was too shocked to make words. Finally, she managed to croak; "What? How did you…?"
"It wasn't that hard to figure out, really," Howard said with a shrug. "You've been stammering, your shoulders are hunched, and you've barely made eye contact with us since you got here. That told us that this problem of yours was pretty serious."
"Now, most children will go to their parents or siblings for help with something that big," Harold said. "The fact that you didn't indicates that you either don't want your family to know about this problem, or you feel that you can't talk to them about it. And you came to some of your parent's friends for help instead of your own, meaning you want advice from an adult with years of worldly experience."
"And since you specifically came to us for advice," Howard put his arm around Harold's shoulders, "instead of a teacher or some other grown-up, we were able to make an educated guess."
Luna continued to stare at the McBride's, both of whom gave her patient, judgement-free smiles while they waited for her to process everything they had said.
"Was it really that obvious?" Luna asked.
"Just a little," Howard said, holding up his hand with his thumb and index finger less than an inch apart. "To be fair though, we are good at reading people."
"So, who's the lucky girl?" Harold asked.
Luna didn't say anything for several long seconds.
"Sam," she finally said, leaning back in her chair. "Her name is Samantha Rhodes."
Howard and Harold nodded in understanding.
"So, is she your girlfriend then?" Harold asked, taking a sip of his iced tea.
"No, nothing like that!" Luna said quickly, shaking her head. "She's just my friend. She doesn't even know that I like her… in that way."
Luna glanced out the window as the memories came flooding back. "I met her over the summer at my favorite music store when I helped her find this rare Mick Swagger LP she was looking for. We talked about music and stuff for a bit, then she left and I kind of just forgot about her. Then school started and I met her again; we have the same homeroom. I said hello one day, and we became friends fast. We share a lot of the same hobbies and interests, we like the same movies and music and shows and stuff. I really got to know Sam, and she's a really cool girl. She's super nice; she babysits and volunteers at a soup kitchen every other Saturday. Plus, she's smart, she's funny, she's really cute…"
Luna trailed off, a blush lighting up her cheeks. "I don't wanna say it's love or anything, but… I really like her. I'd do anything just to hold her in my arms."
"Aaaw!" Howard and Harold gushed in perfect unison. Luna looked away and blushed deeper, and the men awkwardly cleared their throats.
"Uh, sorry about that," Harold said. "Is Sam the first girl that you've had feelings like this for?"
"Yeah," Luna said. "I've had crushes on guys before, but I've always thought that women looked good too. I never thought much of it since girls call each other cute or sexy all the time without really meaning it, you know? But then Sam along came along…"
"And now you want to come out as bisexual to your family, but you're not sure how?" Howard asked.
Luna gave a heavy sigh. "Yeah. I've tried a few times before, but kept chickening out. I keep telling myself that my family will always have my back and that they'll love me no matter what, but…"
"But you're still scared," Howard said gently.
Luna sniffled and looked away, ashamed to be feeling such traitorous thoughts about her own flesh and blood.
The McBride's nodded sympathetically.
"Luna, it's okay to be scared about something like this," Harold said. "Aside from our wedding day, the day I came out to my parents was the most nerve-wracking day of my life." He chuckled. "I was nervous that when I finally tried to tell them, I fainted."
Luna's eyes widened. "Really?"
"Yup, and I conked my head on the kitchen table when I went down. When I came to, Dad was bandaging my head and Mom was dialing nine-one-one. I wound up blurting out that I was gay while trying to convince them that I was okay."
"Wow. What happened then?"
"They were shocked for about half a second, then went right back to fussing over me. Despite my protests, I would up at to the hospital anyways. Good thing too; that whack on the head gave me a minor concussion. My parents stayed with me the whole time. They never stopped loving me for a second."
Luna smiled, Harold's story easing some of her doubt. "That's nice," she said as she turned to Howard. "What about you, Mr. McBride?"
Howard cringed, Harold's smile vanished, and Luna instantly knew that she had stepped on a land mine.
"My coming-out… didn't go as smoothly," Howard admitted as Harold put a comforting hand on his spouse's shoulder. "I came from a very conservative, deeply religious family, and I didn't work up the nerve to tell them until I had gone away to college." He closed his eyes, pushing down the unpleasant memories of that night. "I'll spare you the details, but let's just say that I haven't spoken to my parents in years."
"Wow. I'm so sorry," Luna said, feeling like an ass for reopening such old wounds.
"That's ok, dear; you didn't know. Besides, it was a long time ago," Howard gazed deep into his husband's eyes, and both men smiled warmly, "and I have a new family now."
He turned back to Luna. "What we're saying is, you're not wrong to feel nervous about coming out. It can be hard sometimes to be gay or bisexual in this world, even in a country as enlightened as this. As much as I hate saying it, there will probably always be people who will hate others just for being different. But your family? They're not like that at all."
"You… you really think so?" Luna asked.
"I know so. Your parents are the kindest, most open-minded people we've ever had the pleasure of knowing. They were a little surprised when they first learned that Harold and I were together, but after that they've treated us like any other couple."
"And you won't have to worry about your brother and sisters either," Harold said. "Sure, as a group they can be a bit of a… handful, but deep down they're all wonderful children."
Luna sat in silence for a moment, feeling a little sliver of hope pierce the rolling storm clouds of her anxiety. The McBride's were saying what she had been trying to tell herself for weeks, but hearing the words come from someone else made them… more concrete. More absolute. They made her fears of scorn, rejection and disownment feel laughably foolish.
"You really think they'll be cool with me liking girls?" Luna asked. Howard and Harold both nodded. "Okay… so, how should I tell them?"
"First, get everyone's full attention," Harold said firmly. "Make sure no one's watching TV or checking their phone or anything like that. This is very important, and you shouldn't have to repeat yourself because someone just had to finish sending a text."
"The hardest part of coming out for is getting the words out for the very first time, so keep it short and sweet," Howard said. "Don't start by explaining how you met Sam and have developed feelings for her; that will come later. For now, all you need are five simple words: 'Mom, Dad, everyone, I'm bisexual.'"
Luna blinked. "That's it?"
"That's it. Just close your eyes, take a deep breath, and say those five words."
"And do it as soon as possible," Harold added. "The longer you wait, the more your anxiety is going to tear you up inside."
That much, Luna knew was true.
"Mom, Dad, everyone, I'm bisexual," Luna said under her breath. She bowed her head and repeated the phrase twice, then took a deep breath and sat up. "Okay. I think I can do this."
She stood up, relief and gratitude written on her features. "Mr. and Mr. McBride, thank you so much. You don't know how much I needed this."
"It was out pleasure, Luna," Howard said.
"Our door is always open to you and your family," Harold said.
Luna nodded, throwing her guitar case over her shoulder and making her way towards the door. The McBride's watched her go, and Howard looked towards the hall as the front door swung shut.
"You can come out now, Clyde."
Clyde's bedroom door flew open and their son raced out, his face alight with curiosity.
"What was all that about?" Clyde asked his dads.
"Luna just needed our help with a personal problem," Howard explained. "A pretty serious one."
Clyde's eyes went wide. "Wow, really?
Harold nodded. "Yup. Once she gets it cleared up, I'm sure Lincoln will bring you up to speed."
Clyde looked towards the door. "Is she going to be okay?"
Harold and Howard looked out the living room window, watching Luna walk away. In sharp contrast to how she acted just several minutes ago, Luna walked with her head held high and her back straight, her face set in a look of unwavering determination.
"Yeah," Harold said, "I think Luna's going to be just fine."
Author's Note: Hello everyone, my name is Professor Pasta. I'm not actually a professor, but I do love pasta. And I apologize if this story is garbage; this is the first piece of published fanfiction I've written since high school.
I'll admit, when I first read the spoilers for "L is for Love" on TV Tropes, I thought a Troper was playing a joke. I figured that Clyde's parents being a gay couple would be as far as Nickelodeon's Standards and Practices would allow, that it would be years before we'd ever see an openly bisexual main character on a children's cartoon.
Then I saw the actual episode. After I picked my jaw up off the floor, I went and wrote this almost immediately.
They never said it in the episode, but it seemed obvious to me that the rest of the Louds knew Sam was a girl. Given how nervous Luna was about telling Sam her feelings, I figured that she was equally nervous – if not more so – when she first came out as bi to her family. And it occurred to me that who better for Luna to turn to for advice than the McBride's? The cartoon may show that it happened differently (if it ever does) but for now this is my headcanon. There are many like it, but this one is mine.
If any members of the LGBT+ community happen to read this and find anything wholly inaccurate about Luna's coming-out angst, don't hesitate to let me know. I may not be gay, but I do have pretty bad anxiety, so that's what I drew upon when writing this. While I'm on the topic, I hope Luna didn't come off as too OOC. Again, I'm going based on what I took away from the episode.
Feel free to leave a review, and remember that constructive criticism is always appreciated.
Until next time, this is Professor Pasta, signing off.
The Loud House is owned by Chris Savino, Nickelodeon and Viacom. Please support the official release.