“Welcome to the circus! We have sights to tickle anyone’s fancy. Musicians, clowns, acrobats, dancers, chained gods, fortunetellers, oracles, magicians-”

“Sorry, did you say ‘chained gods?’”

“I see you are a gentleperson of refined taste! You’ll find them in the iron-barred sphere. Just follow the screams.”

“What are you?”

“Mostly carbon, I think.”

“No, no, like. What’s, uh, what’s in your pants?”

“Nothing. I’m smooth as a Barbie doll down there. My creator did not see fit to provide me with such things.”

“Um.”

“Oh, wait, you’re asking about my gender, aren’t you? My bad, I thought you were being shitty about me being a cyborg. In that case, my gender is "go fuck yourself.”“

“Hello, my name is Humanperson Normalworker and I love my job and working at it. I have skin.”

“X, I think your robot is broken.”

“I consume human food with my many healthy bones teeth because I have good dentist money insurance.”

“Well, it’s either broken or developing a powerful sense of sarcasm.”

“You’re in love with me, aren’t you?”

“…That’s a cruel question to ask.”

“But are you?”

“I can’t be. We’re destined to kill each other. I wouldn’t be able to bear it.”

“I think you are.”

“No. Maybe. Yes. No. I don’t know. Stop asking.”

“Me too, just so you know.”

“I didn’t want to know! Stop making this harder!”

“X, you’re my idol! I’ve always wanted to ask – How did you get so powerful?”

“My beautiful partner told me I couldn’t propose unless and until I could defeat the entire government in single combat, so I just trained very hard and kissed my stunning lover every day and it was very motivating. We’re married now! It was all very worth it.”

“X, we’re worried about you, are you okay?”

“I’m doing great, actually, like, wow! Life is good! Why do you ask?”

“You just keep talking about how much you long for death, how you can’t wait for death’s sweet embrace, how the thought of death is a comfort to you… that kind of thing.”

“…Ah. I see why you’re worried, but uh, actually I’m just dating the God of Death Xirself. Nothing to worry about! I’m doing awesome! Xe’s an amazing lover.”

“Darling,” the fae whispers into the mortal’s ear, through a smiling mouthful of pointed teeth. “You need only say my name three times, and I’ll be yours forever.”

“X…” the mortal murmurs, and the fae’s breath quickens. The mortal turns around, meeting the fae’s eyes, and repeats xirself, close and intimate in the space between them. “X…”

Xe leans forward, xir lips almost brushing the fae’s, longing, and pauses for a long moment. “No.”

“No?!”

“I’m out of your league,” the mortal says, but kisses the fae anyway. “Better luck next time, it’s been fun.”

“…What?”

“Hey, X, you know the superhero, right?”

“Um, you could say that, why do you ask?”

“Well… do you think. Um. This is embarrassing. Xe’s just so handsome and charming… Do you think xe, you know, likes me?”

Secret identities are the absolute worst. “Yeah, I – I mean. I think so,” X says, and tries to avoid shrieking with shock and happiness, which would be unhelpful in maintaining said secret identity. “You could say that.”