The odds, Alex thought, had to be astronomical. If he asked Charles, he could probably figure it out: “Well, we multiply the odds of someone being a mutant, with the odds of being a homosexual, and the odds of such an individual being picked to be on this team twice, arriving at a number that is statistically impossible. Statistics, you see, is very groovy.” He would say it with that cheesy grin, and Alex would roll his eyes. Yes, statistically impossible. And still, Alex rested his hand on Armando’s thigh, and he ran his thumb around in little circles.

“It’s very lonely,” Alex said, “Being different.”

Armando swallowed and licked his dry lips. “You don’t know the half of it,” he said. Alex’s hand moved further up his thigh, and Armando reached out to stop it.

Alex stared straight into Armando’s eyes. “Was I wrong?” he asked. He felt like there was a vice on his chest and something hot lodged in his throat, but he tried not to show it. Armando’s dark, slender fingers laced together with Alex’s, and Alex took a deep breath and closed his eyes.

“The others might come back,” Armando said, quietly. They were sitting in the lounge, the pinball table blinking lazily behind them. He stood up, and Alex followed, their hands still clasped together. They made their way out into the courtyard, stumbling together into one of the darkened corners, and maybe there were CIA agents skulking about, but neither of them cared. Armando pressed Alex into one of the cold cement walls, and he kissed him hard on the mouth.

“What are the odds?” Armando muttered, though to himself or to Alex it was impossible to tell. Alex gripped him by the collar and kissed him again. It was almost enough to make one start believing in fate.

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