Cloud looked at his cards while he sat with the Turks, he wasn't exactly friends with Reno and Rude, but rather enjoyed their company and would join their poker night when he was in town. Rude would always have a spread of snacks that would make a caterer envious and the contrast between the virtually silent Rude and the forever yammering Reno, was entertainment onto itself.
They would have a couple of drinks and just shoot the shit as men bonding, rather than ex-enemies. However, Reno loved to bug Cloud about his cross dressing. No matter how Cloud told him it had been necessary at the time, Reno made it seem like Cloud had a drag act going on.
"It was necessary" Cloud protested to the new batch of jokes at his expense aimed at him from the Ginger Haired Turk.
"So, if I were to take your pant down, you wouldn't be wearing panties?" Reno bugged him.
"Of course not!" Cloud protested as he collected his new cards from Rude, who was acting as the dealer. Cloud had Lady Luck smiling at him that evening and was on a roll. They didn't play for large amounts of cash; the limit was twenty dollars. It was meant to be a friendly game between old pals.
"Reno, one of these days you're going to push him too far. I've always told you that mouth of yours will get you in trouble one day" Rude warned him as he shuffled the cards.
"Come on, Cloud knows I'm just bugging him" Reno declared and dared to reach over and ruffle Cloud spiky hair. Cloud ducked his head away and glared at Reno through glowing, mako eyes, wishing the cocky man buried in a shallow grave. He was that annoying sometimes.
"So, does Tifa let you raid her closet or do you have your own clothes?" Reno added with a snicker. Cloud just pursed his lips in annoyance at him and continued to win almost every pot, effectively trouncing their butts.
"I don't wear women's clothing" he snapped.
"You and Tifa aren't really together after all this time. Is it that you prefer men?" Reno asked him with his customary smirk.
"Don't go there" Rude softly warned his obnoxious partner.
Cloud went ridged at the insult. Reno sometimes went too far. Way too far.
"You know, I would like to make a side bet between just you and me, Reno, if I win the next hand. It will be a silent bet and will not be revealed until I win. It's nothing life threatening" he assured him. "Do you have the guts to accept it?" Cloud taunted him, matching Reno's smirk with one of his own.
"I don't gotta kiss you or nuttin'?" He asked him suspciously.
"It's nothing sexual" Cloud assured him.
"Then bring it on!" Reno declared.
"I win" Cloud declared.
"She looks so lovely after her makeover" the shopkeeper said in a falsetto that was almost feminine as she drew the curtain aside and revealed the newly transformed Reno to them.
She stood before them wearing a dress they could never fathom any woman wearing without looking tacky. It was the classic red sequins gown but with fine sequins and not tacky in the least. From their vantage point, they could make out the fine body mesh holding the plunging V-sweetheart neckline of the strapless red gown, that held up a pair of very convincing falsies.
The dress hugged every curve of her and terminated in a mermaid flare, it was full length and so beautiful on her slender form. She wore glittering stacked heels that she stood awkwardly in, that were mercifully not too high.
Her former unruly hair had been pulled back and woven into a soft braid in back of her head, save for some tendrils that at the sides of her head that softly framed her beautiful face. Her usual ponytail had been fastened into a bun in back.
Her eyes had been outlined in black and tastefully done, enhancing the natural slant of them and her red lipstick matched the twin crescent tattoos on her high cheekbones. Her cheeks were red, but not from blush but from her actual blushes and her lips pouted in anger as she glared at Cloud.
In place of her normal gold hoops, were a pair of sparking red chandelier earrings that almost brushed her, board, muscular shoulders and a glittering choker obscured her Adams apple.
Slender fingers were topped with scarlet nail polish, that matched the rest of her outfit and held a clutch that matched her outfit completely.
Rude facepalmed his head in one large, brown hand and then slide it down to his mouth obscure his snickers. "I told you that mouth of yours would get you in trouble one day" he observed to his partner with such mirth in his voice that Reno's blush deepened.
"I think you look just lovely, Miss Renotta" Cloud said with his hands on his hips as he examined the embarrassed man, he wore a classic formal black and white tuxedo. Then without warning, he bent and flipped Reno's skirt up and peered beneath to look at the red panties and matching garter belt that held up black stockings.
"What the hell are you doing?" Reno demanded, thrusting his skirt down.
"Aerith was right; the right panties really do tie the outfit together. Shall we? I made us dinner reservations" he said offering the taller man/woman his arm.
"You expect me to go out in public...like this?" Reno demanded.
"I do...and you look really convincing, you look far better than I ever did. Why I could swear that you're an actual girl if I didn't know the truth. Just make sure you talk in a more feminine voice. A bet's a bet and you lost. Surely you're a man of your honour?" Cloud teased him.
Reno reluctantly took his arm.
"Besides, you're safe with me. I'm only going as your escort. I'm not into men, so your virtue's safe. I'll protect you and deliver you to your door afterwards without demanding so much as a kiss. I'm a man of honour too after all. Well, deliver you once we hit a drag bar to two so I can show you off. They're having Prom Night at Hags in Heels. We can get our picture taken" Cloud cooed at Reno.
"Picture? I never agreed..." He protested as he awkwardly walked in his heels.
"I want a copy for the office Christmas Party" Rude told him.
"I'll send you my bill" Larry, or Tonya, Cloud's neighbour called after them. Tonya was a lifestyle transsexual and ran a shop that provided makeovers for men into women, hence how Cloud knew where to take Reno.
"Shoulders back and take mincing steps. Ladies don't slouch..." Cloud lectured the flame cheeked Reno as he escorted him to their awaiting taxi.
Hours later, Cloud returned to his home with glitter confetti stuck in the fold of his tux, after dropping Reno at his door unmolested. Well unmolested except for a few fanny pats he'd received with an indignant yelp of protest to each while Cloud was in the washroom.
Tifa laughed as Cloud told her of their adventures and showed her the picture from where they were voted King and Queen of the Prom. Cloud's smile while he wore his crown with pride, was huge and natural as his arm was wrapped around his "date's" waist. Whereas, Reno's smile was more uncomfortable and sickly looking as he wore his tiara and held a bouquet of roses.
"What a beauty" Tifa commented. "And Reno doesn't look so bad either" she added as she got changed for bed.
"Are you sure you really need that nightgown tonight?" Cloud said as he carefully hung up his rented tux and stood before her in tented boxers.
She giggled as she dropped it back into its drawer and slipped into bed as bare as the day she was born. He shucked off his underwear and joined her to make love to his woman.
The occupants of the other double bed normally there were spending the weekend at Barret's, so they took full advantage of this.