Duke Looks Like A Lady
Ano – Um…
100 Yen is roughly equal toone American dollar. 300 Yen is about three dollars.
Cruised into a bar on the shore.
Her beauty graced the grime on the door.
She's a long lost love at first bite.
Baby, maybe you're wrong, but you know it's all right.
So never judge a book by its cover;
or who you're going to love by your lover.
Love put me wise to her disguise.
She had the body of Venus;
Lord, imagine my surprise…
Aerosmith – Dude Looks Like A Lady
"Hey, babe, come here often?"
The club was warm, hazy from the house special the 'Flaming Phoenix,' which you could get served plain or flambéed, and the techno music was blaring loud enough to make conversation slightly difficult. But that didn't keep her from hearing the words of the idiot with the twenty-years-lame pick-up lines. She looked the guy up and down, and finding him extremely lacking in both the looks and manners department, said in a bored tone, "Get lost."
"Aw, now that's not very nice," he said, placing an overly friendly arm around her shoulder.
"Did I mention the knee in the groin you'll be receiving if you touch me?" she said icily, shrugging his arm off.
"Ah, c'mon, babe, just let me buy ya a drink," the biker slurred, replacing his arm.
"Sorry, but I don't date outside my species," she hissed, elbowing him in the gut to make him remove his arm, before turning on her heel and stalking down to the end of the bar. The only free seat was next to a brunet who seemed to be rather involved in his drink, so she didn't think he'd bother her.
Turning to the bartender, she asked tiredly, "Could I get an iced tea, please?" When he handed her a frosty glass, she nodded her thanks and handed him three hundred yen for the drink, telling him to keep the change.
Meanwhile, the brunet had turned to study the woman beside him. Her voice had sounded familiar, but he couldn't place it, and since her back was turned to him, he was having a hard time recognizing her. Starting his perusal at her feet, which were dangling about a foot off the floor, he saw they were encased in black combat boots. Sheer stockings hugged her legs, held up by black garters, which peeked out from underneath her modestly not-quite knee-length red dress. The skirt was hitched up around her hips and swirled about the stool she was sitting on in a drift of red silk, clinging to her thin waist and softly curved chest. Long arms were a softly tanned expanse broke only by the golden bangles at her wrists and upper arms. Her hair was a riot of black curls held back by a red ribbon, and when she turned his way he saw she had startlingly green eyes.
Familiar startlingly green eyes.
"Devlin?" Tristan said in a hushed voice, shocked.
"Oh, shit!" Duke hissed. His eyes darted back and forth from Tristan to the door – which was inconveniently blocked by the dozens of people on the dance floor – before he slumped back into his chair with a sigh. "Hey, Tristan," he said gloomily.
"It is you," Tristan hissed. "Duke, why are you dressed like…that?" He waved helplessly at the clearly feminine clothing.
"'Cause I felt like it," Duke said tersely, although Tristan noticed there was a still a sheen of panic in those jade-green orbs.
"Oookay," Tristan said, giving him a look. "Why did you feel like it?"
Duke shrugged, and turned slightly away from the brunet. "I just…do, sometimes," he returned, insisting on being vague. He fiddled with the lemon wedge on his drink, pursing painted red lips in a grimace.
"You look…good," Tristan offered, floundering for something to say. At the flash of terror masked by irritation he got in response, he decided that maybe that was the wrong tack to take. "I…"
"What are you doing here, Tristan?" Duke interrupted. "I didn't really think this was your kind of place."
Now it was Tristan's turn to look slightly panicked. "My kind of place?" he repeated, voice slightly squeaky. "Ano…what do you mean by that?" He was trying, unsuccessfully, to keep his eye off Duke's clothes, obviously wondering if the dice duelist wasn't the only club-goer in drag.
In spite of himself, Duke laughed. He seemed to have calmed down quite a bit once he saw that Tristan wasn't going to freak out on him. "This is basically an 'all ages, anything goes' club. Gay, straight, bi, dom, sub, swingers…whatever. It's not really a…vanilla kind of place," he finished tactfully.
Tristan allowed himself a moment to grin in relief before answering. "I wanted to get out of Domino for a while. I, uh, have a fake ID," he whispered, after checking to make sure no one could overhear them, "and I didn't want anyone back home to catch me using it."
One raven eyebrow rose. "You came all the way to Tokyo so you could get drunk? What could be so bad you'd need to do that?"
The stunned, panicked look returned; it seemed to have completely vacated Duke's countenance only to take up residence on Tristan's. "Ano…I just…sort of needed to drown my sorrows, and I didn't want to have to explain myself to anyone I know," he said vaguely. "What about you?"
Shrugging uncomfortably, Duke gestured around the room. "Like I said, this is an anything goes club. Cross-dressers and transvestites welcome, ya know?" he said, smirking slightly. "I figured even if they did realize there was something…off…about me, no one would care. And since this place is almost forty miles from Domino, I didn't think I'd run into anyone I know here. I haven't before…" He trailed off, words halting as he realized what he'd revealed.
"You've been here before then, I take it?" Tristan asked, though it was basically a rhetorical question. Combined with Duke's knowledge of the place, the other teen's words only served to cement the validity of his statement.
"Yeah, on average of once or twice a month, if I have time," Duke admitted reluctantly, fingers tensing on his glass.
"I thought as much," Tristan admitted. "That's a very…high quality dress you're wearing, not something you'd just pick up on a whim."
Blushing slightly, Duke still said, "Well, my motto's always been, if you're going to dress up, go all out."
"If you've got it, flaunt it?" Tristan joked, quoting a T-shirt he'd seen the other boy wearing recently.
Duke's lips curved up in a small grin. "Exactly."
They sat there for a few minutes, just sipping their drunks and enjoying each other's company. Duke noticed that Tristan kept glancing his way, and correctly guessed what the brunet's interest was in. "You don't get it, do you?" Duke asked, gesturing at his clothing to make his question more succinct.
"Why someone would want to cross-dress?" Tristan expounded. "No, not really, but whatever floats your boat, ya know?" He shrugged and downed the last of his drink. The alcohol must have gone to his head, for there was no other explanation for his next words. "You do make a very pretty girl, you know."
Duke's face was almost as red as his dress. "I…"
But whatever else he was going to say was interrupted by the return of the drunken biker who'd accosted him earlier in the evening. The guy was now even more drunk, and proportionately more stupid. "Hey, baby, how's a 'bout I buy you zat drink now?" he slurred out, the previously shrugged off arm coming back around Duke's shoulders.
"How about you leave before I remove your reason for having a gender?" Duke snarled, bristling at the cretin's touch.
"Aw, c'mon, I know ya aren't wit' dis joker," the biker said, gesturing with a shaky arm towards Tristan, who was eyeing him with a look of disgusted amusement. "All's I wanna do is buy ya a drink."
"And all I wanted to do was have some fun here tonight, but you're severely impeding that goal," Duke griped, setting down his empty glass and slipping off his stool. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw Tristan doing the same thing.
"Aw, where ya goin', baby?" the biker continued, following Duke as the raven-haired teen made his way out of the club.
"Away from you," Duke said succinctly. He was rather gratified to note that Tristan was following him; this guy was persistent, and he could use all the help he could get to get rid of him.
"Hey, babe, come back! C'mon, quit playin' hard ta get, sugar," the biker slurred, determinedly tagging along after him and ignoring Tristan.
Breathing a sigh of relief as he exited the crowded club, Duke rounded on his pursuer. "Leave. Me. Alone. Jackass," Duke seethed.
This finally seemed to get through to the persistent pest, but instead of doing as requested, he got mad. "No. I don't wanna. I wants ya ta have a drink wit' me," he stated stubbornly, grabbing for Duke's arm. He missed, but managed to grab Duke's shoulder, which prevented him from moving.
"Let go of me!" Duke yelled, trying to vain to get the creep to let go. He was normally a pretty good fighter, but this guy was over twice his size, and he didn't have any of his dice with him at the moment.
Dresses that tight don't have room for pockets, ne?
"Hey dirtbag!" Tristan snarled, yanking the biker around to face him. "The lady said to let go."
"What, punk? And if I don't, yer gonna make me?" the biker sneered, laughing raucously.
An almost unholy light entering his eyes, Tristan snarled, "Yeah," before landing an uppercut to the guy's jaw, which knocked him flat on his ass. As he fell, the guy's hand, which had remained on Duke's shoulder throughout his and Tristan's 'conversation' relaxed its grip on Duke's shoulder. It did, however, get caught on the sleeve of his dress. It was made of a rather stretchy fabric and didn't rip, but it was pulled down rather low.
All this went unnoticed by Duke, too busy thanking all the deities he could name that Tristan was here to help him. When he finally managed to calm down enough to think straight, he joked, "Idiot. We've got plenty of youth, what we need is a Fountain of Smart." Duke's joke fell slightly flat, seeing as how he was shaking in leftover fear.
Tristan, meanwhile, was left almost speechless. Almost, because he did manage to croak out one word: "Duke?"
"Yeah, Tristan?" Duke asked, noticing the slightly bemused tone to the brunet's voice.
"How good is your disguise?"
"Ano…why do you ask?" Duke asked nervously, turning to look Tristan in the eye.
"Because–" and here Tristan gestured toward the other's chest, "–those look real, Duke."
Looking down, Devlin was dismayed to see that her dress had been pulled so far down her arms that it exposed her cleavage – her not very pronounced, but still obviously feminine cleavage.
"Oh, shit," she hissed, unconsciously repeating her words from earlier in the evening.