You took it all without comment - all of the instruction, all of the lessons, every detail. Just another class, another thing to learn, and we all laughed about it outside the classroom; jokes and camp acting in the cafeteria and the halls - Dincht flouncing around like a twenty gil whore or Nida and the limp wristed mincing lisp, and who knew he had the makings of a comedian in him? - until we were in stitches and laughter washed away embarrassment.
Except you. You didn't laugh. You knew all along what the rest of us had to come to grips with - it's just a class. Just another lesson. One we may have to use on the field some day and you sat and learned it with the same intensity you would have turned to learning the inner workings of an explosive.
A thousand faces, hundreds of looks, dozens of different personas. They taught us a scattering of them, the ones they thought we could best pull off under pressure, the ones that would let us blend in the most or be the most unsuspected. We practiced until we could do it in our sleep... and then they gave us the hardest of our new repertoire for the final exam.
Thank fucking Hyne I'm as tall as I am. Too tall, too stocky, too square around the jaw. It saved me from your trial.
Standing in front of the tiny sink, I watch you put it on - draw the mask down over your face, in cream and powder and careful pigment. Your finger, so steady on the trigger of a gunblade, can't be any less steady with pencil and ink.
Amazing the difference a touch of color can make against your pale skin. Glossy wine shades give a pout to your lips, full and eyecatching. The dark chocolate lines of liquid khol make your eyes larger, a different shape, elegant and startling... and just as cold, grey ice beneath thick sculpted eyelashes, but if you lower them and let the lush shine of your lips do the talking no one will ever see the killer in your eyes.
They're called the "delicate" sex, but there's nothing delicate about you. A hint of frosted blush against your cheeks, following the curve of the bone, does nothing to soften them - it only accents, sharp as a razor blade, and you are what they name you: ice queen. Cold and cool and pristine white.
But some men like that. Some men would fall all over themselves for those curved, glossy lips and the lacy trace of long lashes over milk pale cheeks. Some men - a lot of them - are going to be so busy watching those lips move when you talk and imagining that slick, painted pout wrapped around the head of their cock, that they won't hear a fucking word you say.
You comb your hair back with your fingers, more of it out of your eyes than any of us are used to seeing, secured with a glittering set of pins that catch the light in tiny crystals when you slide them into place. The silver stud in your ear comes out easy, slipped free as you tilt your head to the side, and longer strands of crystals sparkle as you snap the earrings shut. They brush your throat when you shake your head, testing, the flash of them bright beneath the flourescent lights.
From the neck down I am watching your back move with every gesture, solid muscle sliding across bone and sinew, the flex of shadows in the hollows of your spine and shoulders as you reach for one last pencil. But from the neck up, in the bright lit reflection of the mirror, I am watching a woman that men would kill for come to life in the planes and forms of your face.
You're ignoring me, your eyes in the mirror glancing back and sliding across me as though I'm not there. That's fine. Ignore me all you like... just let me watch.
Thin, like gossamar spider webs; you gather them up with a practiced touch, no snags, no rips, and I watch the flex of muscles in your calf and thigh as you roll them up acoss a long expanse of leg to nestle at last in lace edged lines along your inner thigh. Sheer silk transforms raw flesh into sculpted perfection - does that feel good, baby? Gripping your thigh right there, like a would-be lover, and you not quite sure if you want to open your legs or clamp your knees shut.
Shut, of course. You're the perfect lady, from the tip of your stockinged toes to the silk soft brush of your hair at the nape of your neck. Stocking and garter, belt and thong... one piece at a time, transformed, until it seems like the only thing I recognize is the play of muscles in your back and arms and the familiar, smooth angles of your torso.
But that's next, isn't it?
You turn your back more solidly to me when you pick it up, for all the world like the woman you would be. Thin black satin straps over your shoulders and your back blocking my view of the mirror; you twist your arms around, shoulder blades sliding sharp beneath your skin, gloss tipped fingers reaching, but this is the part you always have trouble with and I wait as you fumble with it. In my mind's eye I can see those wine stained lips pressing thin as you struggle to line up the tiny hook and eye closures. Until...
"Seifer?" Your voice is low and flat, toneless - it could be the prelude for anything, from telling me off to begging a favor. "Can you...?"
"Of course," I answer. Of course. Come here, darling, let me get that for you. You stand rigid as I take the troublesome thing from you, your hands dropping to your side, face turned away. I can watch the gleam of silver and crystal caress your neck as I slide the fastenings home.
I can look past you into the mirror, to your turned away eyes and my own reflection over your shoulder as the last piece slides into place.
Black lace and satin, underwired and carefully shaped; we've done the limited resource test already, with cursorary swipes of pigment on your lips and plain white cups filled out with tissue. Enough to pass at a glance or from a distance, a quick, last ditch sort of thing. But this... this is meant to be much more. This is meant to open the doors of everywhere you go, this is meant to stand up to everything from government receptions to every Cadet in Garden in a class below ours.
This... is perfect.
You're all muscle across your chest and arms, sleek and rippling, but looking in the mirror I can hardly see it. One simple little piece of lingerie changes so much. Flawless realism, and even knowing that it's only satin, only lace, only gel filled cups of fabric... even still, the temptation is there to reach around, cup my fingers over rounded swells and feel the weight of them in my palms.
Because they're yours. Because, looking into that mirror, it would be my arms wrapped around a woman in nothing but scandalous scraps of black lace and silk, her breasts in my hands, and that woman would be you.
You look like a centerfold.
You shrug me away when the last hook and eye meet, five fastenings done up in a neat line along your spine. I take a step back - the better to watch the play of the garters over your ass when you lean down to get your shoes. Shiny and black, stylish but flat - you're tall enough as it is, the instructors advised against heels. Pity. The flex of your muscles under the sheer silk is mesmerizing; with heels to force you up onto those pretty stocking covered toes your calves would be a fucking work of art.
The rest is easy for you, motions you could do in your sleep - the tiny palm revolver that straps nearly flat against your thigh and the stilleto blades that fit against your inner wrist, where a quick jerk will slide them into your waiting hands. They said it was a shame your hair wasn't longer - you could have put another few needle thin blades there instead of just enough polarized pins to open every lock we covered in mid-grade espionage last summer.
The final gem in the creation you've wrought is hanging up. I slide it off and bring it to you without question, before you have to ask; you lift your arms and let me slide it down over you, covering up those tantalizing bits of lace and the long stretches of pale skin. Long sleeves to hide the knife holsters and the muscles of a gunblade user and a skirt that falls almost a handspan above your knees, leaving an eyecatching swath of leg exposed. Unadorned but perfectly tailored, a deep evergreen color to complement your hair, shimmering silk that glistens with every gesture and every breath. The zipper closes along your spine with a hushed, reverent zshhhhhh as I slide it up, two tiny buttons slipping into place at the back of your throat.
You turn to face me, then, hands smoothing the skirt down over your hips, and I think I forget to breath.
You wait. When I don't say anything quickly enough you swallow and the motion of your throat beneath the silk band that cups it draws the eyes... and from there down to the porcelein pale expanse of your collarbones, framed in green silk that plunges down between the rounded swell of breasts that look as though they were made to be touched, thrusting up beneath the glimmer of soft fabric with just a hint of black lace bra peeking around the edge. Scandalous.
The wet, pink tip of your tongue flicks out, just touching the deep gloss on your lips. "Well?" you ask, and your voice is the crowning glory; low and husky, liquid sex in vocal form. You found early on that you couldn't fake a convincing falsetto but it didn't matter; your look and that fresh fucked bedroom voice were a match made in heaven for the wet dreams of angels.
"You'll pass," I tell you. Your eyes flicker to me, grey and reflected green, hard as ice; in the next moment you drop them, sliding effortlessly into character, and only the hint of those artic shards is left beneath the lowered veil of exotic lashes.
"Just remember to slouch," you tell me in your normal tone, one last sharp jab before you gather up your purse and it's time to go - class and the last exam are waiting. Your shoes make sharp, precise sounds on the tiles, crisp and exact, and from where I stand the smooth, practiced motion of your hips as you walk out the door is damn near sinful.
You'll pass, Squall. You'll pass and you'll learn - that hard, cold edge of yours makes you standoffish at the best of times. But you're not Squall right now. You're someone else. And that same edge, transmuted in lingerie and skirt, is an ice bitch silk dominatrix dream that men will throw themselves in front of just in the hopes of kissing one stocking clad ankle.
From now until sundown you'll be walking in those shoes... and every man you meet is going to be thinking of nothing but pushing you down across the nearest flat surface, spreading those silk sheathed legs and fucking you raw. Oh yes... you'll pass. You're fucking perfect.
I shove my hands deep in the pockets of my pants, remembering to adjust every movement from knees to spine ("you're too tall, it's too noticeable - curve your shoulders, tuck your chin, the goal is to blend in...") and follow after you. And if my eyes are still on the curves of your ass... well... can anyone blame me?
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