20 Questions

Disclaimer: If I owned Static Shock this would be an actual episode. …What? It has moral value damnit!

Author: Dimitri Aidan

Series: Nope, this be a one-shot. (Yes, I do write those.)

Rating: PG-13

Warnings: Language, discussions of sex and homosexuality, Boys kissing Boys (Well, boy and boy, but whatever)

Pairings: Virgil/Richie, Adam/Sharon.

Summery: When Mr. Hawkins told his son he could ask him about anything he never expected this. But maybe he should have.

Notes: Just a little fluffy piece I wrote in computer programming. What? Schoolwork? Ha! And I kind of wanted to write something about how V's dad might react to this sort of thing.

Dedication: My mother, who was nice enough to not freak out on me and play 'research' with me for this story and only asking I show her this story when I'm done.

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20 Questions

OR: Anything at All

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Mr. Hawkins had been dreading this day for some time. In fact it was right up there on his list with 'Explaining the concept of a period' and 'wet dreams and why not to be ashamed'. It was just one of those overly embarrassing moments you could really just live your life without.

The Sex Talk. With capital letters to show the true importance and pain of this seemingly small task.

Every parent dreaded these moments actually. Not just because they were horrifying for both them and their child, but also because it meant your child was growing up and no child wanted to admit that their baby was soon going to be an adult.

It always seemed like just yesterday you were stroking their wrinkled skin and marveling at ten perfect finger and toes and then, all of a sudden, there were teenagers. They had urges beyond sleeping, eating, and crying until your ears bleed.

It made him long for those times.

Still, it had to be done.

As he sat on the couch, waiting for his son to come home from school so they could talk. He felt the loss of his wife that much more at the moment, wishing that she were there to hold his hand and offer her silent but obvious support. She'd done the same during all of those other moments…this was truly the first one he'd have to face without her.

He closed his eyes, thinking. He knew that kids these days knew about sex and had at least some small glimmer of an idea about safety and protection but, at the same time, he also knew how reckless and foolhardy they could be. He'd seen more than one promising young girl shuttled off to the Expectant Mothers programs downtown or falling for the 'game' of some boy who'd probably slept with all of her friends before her.

Game was actually a good word for it. Sex seemed to more of a game than something you did with someone you cared about these days. He hoped that he'd raised his children better and was confident that, at least where Sharon was concerned, he had. Her relationship with Adam was going strong and he could see the love in the musician's eyes for his daughter. It reminded him of the way that he'd looked at his wife, as if the stars, moon, and sun existed solely because of her presence.

He chuckled at the thought. He'd been very sappy in his youth and it showed even now.

The door opened and shut, announcing the arrival of his son. He half expected to see Richie tagging along and was mildly surprised to see Virgil alone.

"Son, come here for a minute would you?"

Virgil, who'd been on his way up the steps, turned and blinked at him wide-eyed and, dare he say it, almost guilty. Then he nodded slowly and walked over, hands shoved into his pockets almost nervously.

"Yeah pop?"

"Something wrong?"

Virgil shook his head quickly. "No! Everything is just…fine."

"No problems with…things." He arched an eyebrow to help Virgil figure out what he meant. For a moment his son looked blank and then awareness dawned. He smiled, visibly relaxing. Bringing up Static and Gear always seemed to put him more at ease.

It should probably be the other way around but it wasn't.

"Nope. Things have been real quite lately. There was that thing at the bank last night…but that's about it."

"Good. Sit down for a minute would you? I want to talk to you about something."

Virgil looked at him almost suspiciously then sat down on the edge of the couch. "What did you want to talk about?"

"Things. Don't look so panicked." Virgil just blinked. "Virgil you're getting older, of course, and as you get older your body goes through changes. …Changes of the non-electrical kind in most teenagers but I doubt that's done much to you."

His son had gone from suspicious to uneasy, shown by squirming and looking everywhere except at him. "Uh, Pops, I don't think this is…well…" He trailed off and bit his lip.

"I understand you probably know a lot about sex already Virgil. I've talked to enough kids at the Community Center to know you aren't as naïve as I was when I was your age, all of those years ago." He chuckled softly and Virgil cracked a smile. "I'm not going to try to lecture you or scare you or even try to explain sex to you. I'd hope that by now you'd understand that, no matter what everyone is doing, it isn't to be a casual thing between someone you 'like' or have just met. You should care about that person very much, love them preferably, because…it's a special thing and you shouldn't make it less so by treating it like a game. Understand me?"

"Yeah, I know."

"Good. I would also hope you know to be careful who you sleep with and to always be protected. It may sound…morbid but the only person you can trust to protect you is you. You can't know another person's mind or actions at all times and so you have to be the one to make sure you are safe." Virgil's eyes were trained on a point above his shoulder and if not for his dark complexion he probably would have been bright red. "And I always want you to know you can talk to me about anything."

"…Right."

"No, not right." He rolled his eyes. Teenagers. "I mean it. Anything you ever need, no matter…what it is I'd rather you talked to be about it than learned from somewhere else. I swear to you not to judge or yell or flip out, even if I don't agree with it or think it's a good idea. I would rather you wait for marriage of course, but I'm not so naïve as to think I can force you to."

Virgil hesitated for a moment then nodded very slowly. "I…I get it dad. Really and…I'll keep it in mind, okay?"

Mr. Hawkins nodded, knowing he couldn't expect much more than that in this kind of situation. For a moment neither of them moved and finally he laughed again.

"That's it Virgil. You can go now."

"Oh. Thanks. Bye." Virgil more or less ran for the hills…well, the steps, but the principal still applied. He watched then shook his head and stood up. He had to make dinner tonight, as Sharon was going out to eat with Adam, and the restaurant list was on the refrigerator. Sadly his skills were about as advanced as Virgil in the coking department.

He just hoped Virgil married a woman who could cook otherwise the poor boy was going to be living off of pizza and ramen noodles his whole life.

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It was about a week later when Virgil came to speak to him. He was sitting at the kitchen table looking over the latest financial report and wondering, for the thousandth time, why he didn't just hire someone to do it for him when Virgil walked in, hands once again in his pocket and head down.

Clearly something was wrong. Virgil had always been tragically easy to read as far as his moods and thoughts went. If you knew him then you knew everything at a glance.

He didn't acknowledge his son however, knowing that he would talk in own time, and continued reading the report highlighting anything that seemed to stand out. He needed to get this in order before he gave it to Richie to make sense of.

Having a super genius 'in the family' certainly made things like taxes easier.

"Hey pops?"

"Yes son?"

"I have a friend," He almost groaned out loud. Did Virgil actually think he'd fall for that? "And they have this…problem."

"Go on."

"Well…he has a friend. And this friend is great, like the best: funny, smart, loyal, always there when he needs him, and just…everything you'd want in a friend. And this friend told my friend something and now my friend is…very confused about himself."

"Well Virgil what did your friend learn about his friend? I need to know if I'm to help you out." These sort of conversations were always so damn confusing. Just once he'd like to have a straightforward conversation with another member of the human race. All of the beating around the bush people did was pointless.

"My friend's friend told my friend that he was…um…you know…gay and it's not that my friend cares about that sort of thing because he doesn't. …We don't do we? Care I mean…about people being gay?"

So far this was easy enough. Richie had come out to Virgil. A surprise, yes, but only because he'd thought the blond had a crush on Frieda. That just went to show how much he knew. Virgil was clearly confused about how he felt about his best friend being gay.

Not the first time he'd encountered such a problem.

"First Virgil We don't care about anything. My opinion isn't your opinion. I've always encouraged you to make your own path haven't I?"

"Yes."

"Secondly no, I don't think it's a problem. Everyone deserves to be happy and find love with another person and if that person happens to be the same gender as them then who am I to begrudge that? I certainly would never have wanted anyone telling me that loving your mother was wrong or something I shouldn't do. Do you think this will help your friend?"

"Yeah, I know it will." His son's voice was oddly thick and he glanced up curiously.

He paused for a moment, noticing that Virgil's eyes seemed to be shining brightly. It took a moment to recognize the sheen as wetness. He tilted his head off to the side and set his highlighter down for the first time. Maybe there was more to it than that.

"Was there anything else you wanted to know Virgil?"

The teen swallowed thickly then nodded shakily. "My friend…since his friend came out he's been…questioning things. About himself. And he thinks he has it all figured out, mostly, but he was worried about his friends and parents but I'm sure his father won't care any because he is a really good guy and everything." Virgil's lips quirked slightly. "But he isn't sure…what to…umm…"

"To?"

"Its just…howdoyoutellanotherguyyoulikehim?"

It all came out in a rush and it took a few painfully long heartbeats for him to decipher the blurted statement properly. And once he did he could only sigh and sit back in his chair.

So that's what it was.

He hadn't seen that one coming. Most parents didn't of course but he shouldn't have been most parents. He helped people though this sort of thing for a living, how could he be taken so off guard. How many times had he spoken to a confused and distressed parent before handing them literature on how to understand and relate to a gay child?

How many times had he read over that same literature?

He pinched the bridge of his nose just thinking for a moment. Virgil was looking at his shoes very intently seeming to almost…wilt with each passing second. He knew he had to say something before his son got the wrong opinion but…

Finally he smiled. "I imagine it's the same way as with anyone else. You simply…tell them and hope for the best."

"Well…yeah, I guess. But it must be different. You can't…take another guy flowers or hold their hand outside or really take them places because of people and…it just…"

He frowned. "That's true, in a way, yes. There are people who will disapprove and try and stand in the way of…your friend but as long as he is happy and has the support of his family, which I'm sure he will, he will be able to overcome it. People do it everyday."

Virgil nodded again. "One more thing?"

"I told you to ask me anything. This is what I'm here for."

More or less anyway.

"If my friend and his friend…really like each other. A lot I mean…and they wanted to…you know…how…" He trailed off again, scratching the back of his neck. "I mean I-He! He knows how, in a general sense." The vague motions Virgil made at this point were almost amusing enough to outweigh the fact his son was asking him about sex. With another man.

He'd never thought this was what Virgil would be asking him. But…maybe he should have? Virgil and Richie were so close, nearly inseparable. His son had trusted Richie from the beginning with his secret and they'd battled all sorts of horror at the other's side, even before Richie's own abilities surfaced.

And didn't he already consider Richie another son? Part of the family? Was it really a huge leap from the deep friendship they clearly shared to something more?

"But he isn't really sure how it would-"

"Virgil. Son. Maybe your friend should worry about the little things before he moves on to such bigger concerns. Simply letting things progress naturally is always the best step."

Virgil stared at him for a moment, brown eyes holding more gratitude than he could ever recall seeing. Then his son beamed at him.

"'Kay. I'm going to head over to Richie's. We should be back for dinner."

"How is Richie by the way? I noticed-" At just that very moment. "That he hasn't been by all week and that you've been at home most of the time. No problems I hope."

Another winning smile. "Not anymore."

"Good."

He was a little surprised to find that he really and truly meant it. But not that surprised.

Once he was sure Virgil was gone he rose to his feet, grabbing his coat from the back of the chair. He had a few things to pick up from the Community Center before the two teens made it back. And maybe a thing or two to consider.

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Virgil heard his sister 'cooking' in the kitchen and, assuming his father was in there still working, headed up the steps with Richie at his heels. They'd finally…gotten things sorted out for lack of a better word, after a week of avoiding each other as much as possible.

But it was better now.

They turned into his room, Richie shutting the door after him.

Virgil hesitated in the middle of his room, staring at the blond. Richie's cheeks were flushed pink, his hair was even more out place than usual, and his had this slightly stupid looking smile on his lips that just refused to fade.

Virgil knew all about the non-fading stupid smile because he had one of his own.

Or had before they'd gotten up to his bedroom. Now he was breathless and confused and nervous and about thirty seconds away from hiding in his bathroom because what were they supposed to do now? It was funny how you never heard about that very awkward post-kiss moment from anyone, where you just…didn't know how to proceed and were afraid to screw up because you'd just gotten it right.

More or less. He's accidentally bitten Richie's lip, thus ending their first kiss but the blond hadn't seemed terribly upset at him. A little bewildered and on the verge of laughing, but not angry. Which was good.

"I…uh…" He coughed and looked down at his hands. "Rich I-"

"What're those?" Richie was pointing to his bed. He turned and blinked at the pamphlets sitting on his bed, innocent and inconspicuous. And a paper bag. Richie was at his side suddenly and reaching for one. "…The Truth about Gay Sex? Dude…I mean…maybe one day or…something but-"

"I didn't put those there!" Virgil hadn't know his voice could get that high and squeaky but he was on the edge of completely and utterly horrified so whatever. "I…no…man."

"They're from the Community Center."

"Wait."

"…From your dad? Does you dad know about…us? I guess. Is there an us?"

"Of course there's an us. But that's not-"

"Oh, good." Richie did look a lot less nervous now, in spite of what he was holding in his hands. "I was kind of worried."

"Did you say maybe one day?"

"…yes?" Richie was starting to blush again.

"Really?"

Richie's tongue poked out from between his lips, wetting them, before he nodded. "Yeah. Yes. I mean…you'd want to? One day?"

"Oh." He let out a breath he didn't remember holding. "I…yes."

Richie's smile was worth the embarrassment. Maybe, another time, when Richie was not around he'd actually…look through those pamphlets. When he was less horrified. He could hear his heart in his ears as he moved closer to Richie, leaning into him until their lips met lightly. Warmth flooded Virgil's body at the…rightness of it all.

It was Richie who ended the kiss with a slight frown. Before Virgil's self-esteem could suffer any permanent damage the blond was once again reaching for his bed. This time he picked up a piece of lined paper. His eyes moved as he read and once again heat rose to his cheeks.

"What's wrong?"

"…Nothing, really. Uh…here." He thrust the paper into his hands and rocked back on his heels.

Virgil (and Richie of course),

I thought, since I'm not exactly knowledgeable on the last question you asked me, you might find these useful. I also understand the things in the bag are useful. Don't take this as license to have sex or anything of that nature because that isn't at all what I intend. This is simply a precaution for eventualities. If and when you two should be comfortable I want you to be prepared. As I told you before I'd rather you come to me and do what you will do under my roof than somewhere where I can't be sure of your safety.

I'm sure you understand that things will have to change. I have no intention of kicking Richie out or never letting him sleep over again, so don't worry about that. I was thinking of cleaning out the 'stuff' closet and turning it into a guest room. Until then he'll have to sleep on the couch. It's not that I don't trust the two of you, because if I didn't I wouldn't so much as allow him in your room unsupervised, it's just that I was a teenager once and know how things can get out of hand.

Dinner should be done soon and I'll be sending Sharon up to get you, so don't do anything you wouldn't want your sister to see.

Dad

"Wow." Was about all Virgil could manage. His dad was really cool.

He looked to the side to see Richie, now officially the color of an overripe tomato, staring into the bag the letter had mentioned. He started to reach out the grab it but Richie jerked it out of reach and shook his head.

"It's…uh…not important. Right now. Heh. Maybe another time."

"Oh…kay. We should probably get downstairs anyway. Dinner and everything. You think you're staying the night?"

Richie shrugged. "I would any other time. And the couch is actually very comfortable."

Virgil smiled at his…boyfriend. Was Richie his boyfriend? Why did it make him so lightheaded to even think that? Man.

"Sure."

Stick a fork in it folks, cause it's done! Started a 3 PM, finished at 5:16. Not bad time wise.