A Date with Identity

Maguri wanted to dance with the Postman.

Maora teetered between being flattered and annoyed for the briefest of moments before settling on annoyed. Here he was, offering his pity and himself as a date, and that stupid Magu just pushed and shoved and said no. Maguri didn't want people to see them arm in arm, didn't want to dance with him for the fear that people would see them together and think they were a couple. Maora thought he looked very nice, if he did say so himself. Not bad arm candy at all. The dress was a halter, accented by a frilly choker necklace and matching arm cuffs. The bodice was sculpted so that he actually looked like he had boobs—small ones, but a chest nonetheless. The gloves were a nice touch, too. Pulled the ensemble together as elegant and classical. All in all, Maora thought Papa had outdone himself with this one.

These efforts were never good enough for Maguri, of course. He liked his men a bit more, well, masculine and refused to let his head be turned by a cross dresser.

Maguri wanted to dance with the Postman.

The Postman.

Maora yelled something at Maguri about how he should stop all his bitching, yanked him around by the necktie a bit—a camouflage bow tie, where does that man find a camouflage bow tie?—and forcefully planted Maguri's hands on his hips. They were going to dance, dammit. There was a dangerous glint in his eye when he told Maguri that gem and his falsetto sounded just a tad demon-possessed, and so Maguri obediently swayed slightly to the music, hands still the other boy's hips. Maora sniffed, sounding half-hurt and half-indignant. It was the puppy eyes did the trick though, and once Maora turned those suckers on Maguri, his expression softened and his dancing improved. Nothing spectacular, but an improvement. He'd still rather be dancing with the Postman, after all.

The Postman.

Maora had placed his own hands on Maguri's shoulders. This was a nice set-up. He really did enjoy it quite a bit. Maybe for the next song, he could get Maguri waltz with him, instead of this swaying stuff. That was for people who didn't know how to really dance. They did. They took lessons together when they were eight. Those classes were structured so that they both had to dance with little girls instead of each other, but Maora knew all the girl's steps, too.

"Yoshitaka," Maguri muttered suddenly. Maora's eyes widened and he blushed. They were going to talk while they danced? Whisper to each other as their bodies moved to the music? This was so much better than he'd hoped for. Maybe he was making progress after all.

"What?"

"You ought to try wearing a suit to one of these things."

His slight blush a thing of the past, Maora used the convenient placement of his hands on Maguri's shoulders to shove him. Maguri appeared honestly bewildered by the sudden change in Maora's mood, but it didn't do him any good.

"Stupid Maguri!" Maora shouted, looking around for something to bop the boy with, but they had drifted far enough onto the main dance floor that there weren't any tables within arms reach. "I hate you!" The other couples on the dance floor were staring or backing away from the commotion. "See if I ever feel sorry for you again!"

By this time, Maguri had regained enough of his wits to shout back, "I don't want pity from someone like you anyway!"

"Then I'm not going to waste my time pitying stupid people!"

As much as Maora didn't care about appearances, Maguri did. The staring and whispering of the other students was prickling his nerves and he knew—just knew—all those kids thought they were having some kind of lovers' spat. Which, being as they were not lovers, was quite impossible. He directed his shout to the rubber-neckers: "What are you looking at?"

Maora took this opportunity to slip away. If their argument escaladed anymore, he was likely to get violent, regardless of whether or not it was convenient, and he always regretted that later. Maguri didn't deserve to be hurt, he was just so frustrating.

The Postman.

The Postman was perfectly likable, Maora wasn't so set on any one version of himself that he could overlook that. The Postman was pleasant and helpful and did a great job delivering letters all over campus. Maora personally found that look a bit on the boring side, but it's not like he had a lot of choices when it came to the uniform. And who was he kidding anyway? Everyone loves a man in uniform. Even Maguri could look past his hopeless, pig-headed infatuation with Shizumasa long enough to dream of dancing with the Postman instead of with the Emperor. (Okay, he wanted to take pictures with Shizumasa and those are more permanent than a dance, but dancing together involves touching and moving and closeness.)

All of which Maora—right here, right now, like this, in a dress—had with Maguri until he let his temper ruin it. Maguri didn't mean anything bad by the suggestion. It was probably even a compliment in a weird sort of way. Like Haine-chan would want, Maora could look at this in a positive light instead of a negative one. Instead of thinking, 'Maguri rejects Maora because Maora is a girl for him,' he could think, 'Maguri wants Maora to be a boy for him.'

It cheered him up for a brief moment, but even the positive thought was a negative one. Even if Maguri likes a male-looking Maora more, it still means that Maguri won't lo…like, won't like Maora unconditionally. If Maora cannot teach Maguri to love him for himself—not how he looks on the surface or what clothes he's wearing—then this love is just as futile as the blonde's desire for Shizumasa.

The Postman.

Before latching on to the stupid Magu, Maora had been occupying himself with the refreshment table and after getting a bit of air, he decided to head back that way. Gorging himself with cake sounded like a good idea right about now. The catering at Imperial Academy events was always top-notch. Maora himself made sure of that. It was good to be in charge of events planning and accounting. It's said that the Emperor has absolute power, but his power was nothing compared to what Maora wielded. In theory, Shizumasa could do anything he wanted. In reality, all the little details of their Academy experience fell to Maora's judgment day in and day out.

Munching on cake failed to improve his mood very much. The sugary sweetness didn't make up for the lack of sweetness possessed by Maguri. How depressing.

And say…and say one of these days, Maora did dress as a boy for an event. Would anyone notice him for who he was? Or would his friends just wonder why Maora didn't attend the party. Maguri probably wouldn't notice any absences.

After all, he'd been too busy fawning over the Postman to wonder about Maora's conspicuous absence.

The Postman.

Geez.

"You idiot."


Disclaimer: Standard rules apply. Lack of ownage-wise.

Author Notes: Edited the story as of 5/25/08. I really liked the original version of the story, but it clearly wasn't working the way it was supposed to. People kept thinking they were giving me spoilers when they pointed out that Maora was the Postman, when Maora's duel identities, his inner conflict about who he is and his frustration with Maguri for being unable to see the truth, is the basis for the story. I changed some of the more ambiguous wordings in the part where Maora thought about the Postman's good qualities and boring clothes express more clearly that he was praising himself. I also took the time to change a few other sentences that I felt were too long or awkward.