Ace of Hearts

By TigerTerror

Summary: Sexual vs Romantic; other people just couldn't identify the separation between them. It wasn't what had caused him to reject the real world in favor of games, but it was one of the reasons he stayed there.

A piece exploring someone coming to terms with their sexuality... Or not, as the case may be.

His mother had assured him he was just a late bloomer. That he'd grow into liking girls in time, and that his father had been slower that way too.

But, the problem was, when his mother had told him that, he had already liked girls. He liked their soft features, gentle curves, their big, bright eyes. He liked girls, but that was a like that extended to considering how their hand might feel in his, them smiling with a blush when they looked at him. Maybe, just maybe, the thought of a gentle brush of lips. They never extended to, well, the atmosphere in the locker room when someone started discussing which girl they thought looked best in their gym uniform. He could only listen without joining in as those discussions began, and grew more and more elaborate.

At first he wondered if maybe it meant that he only liked girls because he thought he should like girls. But no, a glance towards another male – not the muscular joke who led the school's football team, not to the effeminate one with long hair in the theater club – did nothing for him. There weren't even the softer feelings he felt when he looked at a girl that fit his rigorous standards.

In confusion, and perhaps foolishness, he'd tried to form this into words when his mother had asked him if any girls had caught his eye. Late bloomer, she'd said, and he hadn't known the right words to correct her. To explain to her that no, the pull was there, but the other part, the fire that everyone expected from such a pull was absent.

He wondered if maybe he was broken. Or that he was stunted somehow. In a world where attractions were meant to be burning flame, he could only be lukewarm. There had to be something wrong with him, like a fuse inside his brain had fizzled before its time.

He had liked the kisses. Even if he'd never been the insinuate, he had liked them. That soft brush of lips was alright, but… Perhaps not enough to pursue. The expressions on the faces of those girls, the warmth of their body against his, the feeling of soft hands in his. Those he felt. Those he wanted to catch and keep locked up close to his heart. That was what he wanted. Not… not the rest.

He wasn't broken, reality was. Reality was wrong, because they said relationship and they meant that fire and sweat and the part of the pull he couldn't feel. They said love, but they didn't mean love, they meant the other one. He could love, love without the lust ever getting in the way, and because he was right in a lust ever getting in the way, and because he was right in a world that was so wrong, no one could ever understand that.

How could one feel attraction to a pretty girl without sexual attraction? How could one have such intimacy if it was only as superficial as holding hands? A purely romantic relationship, without that underneath, simply didn't make sense. Because those poor, poor people, trapped in the real world and unable to escape as he could, couldn't separate romantic attraction from sexual attraction. Else tilted her head in confusion when he muttered about it (much in the same way as he did when trying to explain a nessecary part of a type to her), his mother merely assured him he was just a late bloomer. His classmates already thought he was strange enough as it was without him trying to explain it.

Even those girls he had captured, he had a sinking knowledge, were the same way in the end. It almost made him feel sad – almost, because really he'd already come to accept it – because if they couldn't see the separation, then they couldn't understand. And if they couldn't understand it, how could there possibly ever be the chance for a relationship? It was better they forget, so he didn't have to even consider it.

But that was alright. Because in his games – games that weren't broken like the real world was – the separation was clear to the characters as well. How could it not be; when a plastic screen separated any chance of sexual intimacy, all there was left was just intimacy. Attraction, appeal, on a purely romantic level. In the games the girls had love and lust separate was well; for all they wanted was to hold hands, perhaps a soft kiss. They didn't feel the wrong pull either; their faces blushed because of feelings that were feeling and not lust. Of like, not a background thought of something that, at the best of times, could be a double innuendo. None of the cringe-worthy things the boys in the locker room talked about so loudly.

Fine. Everyone else could have the broken world. He didn't need the real world or its definition of relationship. His games were more than enough.

Hetero-romantic Asexual (As defined by AVEN): A person who is romantically attracted to a member of the opposite sex. They seek romantic relationships, but like other asexuals do not feel sexual attraction. Relationships with their partners, while not fitting any one stereotype, tend to be romantic and intimate on an emotional level with intimate physical contact that is non-sexual or not driven by sexual desire (kissing, cuddling, ect).