Well, yes. Riff x Ice… makes me grin like a maniac.

Title: Duty

Author: Shadow/Phantomness

Rating: PG-13

Disclaimer: I don't own West Side Story, kk? If I did, eh… well, Tony and Maria would die and Riff wouldn't!

WARNINGS: Light slash with kissing, cross-dressing

Notes: () is used for thoughts.

Timeline: Pre-movie/musical, several months


"Riff."

"Ice." He turned to see his lieutenant standing there, hands in his pockets. White jeans. He shrugged. "Something wrong?"

"No."

Riff frowned. Something was wrong. He looked around. It was late, the moon was out, the rest of the Jets were already home and he really ought to be getting back to Tony's. Why was Ice out so late?

"Don't tell me – did your old lady kick you out again?"

Light blue-gray eyes narrowed slightly, a single shake of the head.

"Then… you worried about our rumble with the Emeralds tomorrow?" Ice was normally collected. So what had gotten him riled up?

He took a closer look. The boy's hands were shaking…

Something was wrong.

"Ice? Did you take something that didn't agree with you?" He lit a cigarette, frowning…

"You're not angry with me because…"


*FLASHBACK*

"So. We need to infiltrate Emerald territory."

Ice nodded. Perfectly reasonable…

"And… you have nice eyes."

He blinked.

"So you see, you're really the best candidate for this."

(Wait… WHAT?)

"After all, I can't send Action, because he'd blow his cover in two seconds, Arab won't leave Baby John, Baby John … er… would get beat up if they found out the truth, and… I don't trust anyone else enough to do this! And of course, I have to stay here and keep an eye on things."

(Infiltrate…) he could do that easily enough… he'd have to ditch the white pants, since those were too obvious, but…


"So you don't mind dressing up as a girl, right?"

"… What?" He thought he'd misheard… he blinked at his Leader uncomprehendingly for a few seconds. "I thought you said…?"

"Infiltration. Is easy. If you're female. Or look it, for that matter."

Ice twitched. "You're saying I look female?"

"No, but you will."

Several of the other Jets broke off in titters, including Baby John. Ice narrowed his eyes. Exactly what had he missed?

"So. Down to business. What is your color…?"

Ice blinked as Riff began scrutinizing him. Was there something wrong with this clothing? He didn't think so, but…

"Yeah, that blue looks pretty good, but it might be obvious… maybe lavender…"

"Riff, what are you saying? Are you feeling all right?"

"Yes, lavender. I'm sure Velma or Graziella would be more than happy to lend you something…"

"Oh!" Arab suddenly popped forwards with a grin. Ice had a sudden sinking feeling as a curly blonde wig was procured.

"No."

"That's perfect!" Riff grinned brightly. "No one will recognize you!"


Ice wasn't sure if his eyes could go any wider. They could. He leaned against the chain link fence for support, feeling lightheaded…

"Well, it's lucky you haven't grown a beard yet." Riff continued pleasantly, stroking a cheek with one hand. "Hmm… maybe…" He snapped his fingers as he pinned Ice down securely, despite his half-hearted struggles, which became whole-hearted as he was poked several times.

Action and Arab got to work, and a second later, the curly blonde wig was firmly on Ice's head, fastened with a few safety pins…

It hid his dark hair completely…. Partially obscured his face too, frizzy strands.

"Wow."

"Wow."

"Where'd you get this, Arab?"

"Actions' old lady." The boy grinned. "Well? Well? What do you think?"

"I think… that it's perfect." Riff grinned. "All right. Let's go."

"You are not making me go out like this!" Ice protested. "Everyone's going to recognize me!"

"Who says?"

"I'm still wearing the same clothes I was wearing earlier! Who's stupid enough to fall for this?"

"That's why we're going to Tony's house. His old lady won't mind if we … borrow something."

Ice was ready to collapse in shock. (What sin did I commit? What did I do to deserve this?)

The only bright side was that they snuck in through the house's back entrance and thus, he was not seen…


"So."

"No." Red looked at the oversized black dress with distaste. "You'd look like some old bag."

"And that's a bad thing because…?" Ice asked sarcastically.

"Well, you have to look like someone younger, otherwise they'll just ignore you."

"Hn." Eyes closed in disgust.

Snowboy suddenly gave a triumphant shout as he dug something out from underneath the bed. "This is perfect!"

Ice's eyes shot open. It was… lavender all right. It was a lavender dress with frills. And sleeves. Sleeves that extended halfway down his arms… Which would hopefully hide his… shoulders.

"Grab the shaving cream!"

"Wait, what!"

"Well, girls have shaved legs. And arms. And lots of other parts! So if you want to pull this off…"

"We don't even know if the dress will fit yet." He managed to get out. "Shouldn't we… test it out first?"

"Oh good idea!"

Saved….

It didn't. The bloody dress didn't fit. He was about to exhale in relief when…


"Bingo!"

His eyes opened in a plea, but to no avail… and when the metal worked contraption was finally laced around his ribs, he was turning red from lack of oxygen. But at least it made him look like he had curves.

Ugh.

"Now, see?" Riff dropped the dress over his shoulders. "Perfect fit!"

Ice didn't answer, as he was still trying to breathe. Several wolf whistles and appreciative smiles came from the other members.

"Perfect." Action grinned. "Perfect…"

"I can't breathe." The lieutenant managed to get out, before he swooned. Riff caught him before he hit the ground.


"Did we lace the corset up too tight?"

"Maybe."

"He's not breathing! Unlace it!"

"Hey! Don't tear the dress!"


He came back to consciousness with a slight headache.

"You okay?"

"No corset." Ice ground out, eyeing the discarded piece of… tortuous female clothing with a frown.

A footstep sounded on the stairway. Riff made a quick motion and all the other Jets dropped out the window.

A tipsy prostitute – a.k.a. Tony's mother, came stumbling in.

"More customers?" She drawled. Then, catching sight of the wig, "Oh, hello, Amy darling… no work tonight?"

Ice blinked.

Riff made a hand motion.

Ice coughed and prayed for deliverance. There was none.


"Oh Amy darling, what's wrong with you? Why you're not supposed to leave everything lying around."

Ice pitched his voice an octave up. "I'm having trouble with the corset."

"Why didn't you say so? Here."

And, five minutes later, the evil contraption was once again tight around his chest. But at least he could breathe… somewhat.

"Now dear, Tony will be home soon? Did you want to see him?" She winked.

Ice resisted the urge to gag as Riff began buttoning up the back of the dress. "Oh…" However, he was saved from saying more when Riff whacked Tony's mom on the head and knocked her out.

"…"

"Okay." Riff positioned Ice in front of the dressing mirror and gave a critical once over. A few seconds later, he had yanked the drawers open. Aha! "Powder puff, eyeliner, lipstick, perfume, some weird stuff… Oh! Here are the fake eyelashes."

"No."

"It's for the good of the Jets, Ice."

"There's no reason I'd be doing this otherwise…"

"Now open your eyes wide, I'll stick em in."

"Ow!"

"Sorry."

"I can't see a thing…."

"Don't worry! Everything will be fine. Now, the other eye…"

After a few moments, the fake eyelashes were in. Riff picked up the makeup, took a deep breath, and began.


Ten minutes later…

"Mom! I'm home!"

Ice shot Riff a look. He couldn't very well climb out a window in this getup… Riff had insisted he wear nice girl's shoes too, for the, er, maximum effect.

"Don't worry about it."

The rest of the Jets began climbing in the window. Their faces varied, but the overall expression was one of shock.

"Wow."

"Don't clench your fists. Girls don't do that."

"Gloves!" Riff said, nodding.

"I need gloves?"

"Unless you want to shave your arms…"

"NO!" He had already put his masculinity on the line far enough!

"Then, here." The Leader grinned.

He pulled on the white gloves with an expression of extreme disgust.


"Mom?" Tony asked. The blonde turned around. Nope, it wasn't his mom…

What were Riff and the Jets doing here?

Well, Riff kind of lived here, but…

"So who's the chick?"

The chick twitched. Tony frowned. She had nice eyes… "New girlfriend, Riff?"

"Er… no."

"Well, introduce me!"

"This is Ic- Isabel!" Riff said hurriedly. Isabel began to look positively murderous as Riff put an arm around her.

Action stifled a laugh that turned into a cough halfway.

"So, where's Ice?" Tony asked, looking around. "I saw Tiger and Mouthpiece out marking territory, but…"

Isabel twitched some more.

"You really can't tell?" Arab finally broke out in laughter.

"Can't tell what?"

"This is Ice!" Baby John hooted. Tony's eyes nearly popped up as he leaned in closer… after several moments of intense scrutiny, he shook his head. "Wow."

"…."

"Well, let's go!" Riff said. "Time to show Isabel off!"

(If you weren't my Leader, I'd get you for this…) Ice thought inwardly as he staggered towards the door. It was a bit difficult to balance in the dress shoes, but he managed. Barely.

After leaving the house, they found…. Well, someone. The Jets dispersed, leaving Ice and Riff alone. They began walking….


"Hey," Cadillac, the leader of the Emeralds said, surrounding Riff and Ice with four other gang members. "This is our turf."

Riff took off running.

"Oh poor girl, the boy's left you." Cadillac said mock-sweetly as he leaned in close to Ice. "What say you come with us?"

The other four gang members circling around him made any other choice moot, so the boy nodded.

"My, you're a pretty one. What's your name, sweet cheeks?"

"I-Isabel." He managed to choke out. It came out higher than he expected, but at least it sounded female…

"Well, Isabel, let's go have a soda together. It's on me."

And so, Cadillac steered Ice off to Doc's candy store.


Baby John was in a corner reading a comic book, but the Emeralds mostly ignored him. Ice took a sip of the soda, wincing. Bloody corset…

"So, tell me, Isabel… are you free tonight?"

Ice managed to suppress a look of disgust, dropped his eyes, and said in what was hopefully the right tone, "I'm free now."

"Oh, eager aren't you? I pay pretty well." Cadillac leered. "Shall we?"

They left the store.

Blushing, Baby John slipped off to warn the other Jets…


Ice followed Cadillac back to a dingy room in a place he would rather not think about too much. The boy turned his back to 'her' as he began unbuttoning his jacket. "So. Tell me about yourself."

"Well…." Ice drawled softly, "I've heard that you're the strongest gang leader in the area… you drove the Jets off after all…"

"Oh, you like the strong type don't cha?" Cadillac grinned broadly.

Ice quashed the feeling of nausea and waited for the leader to turn around. As soon as he did, a reverse punch to the gut did wonders.

Once he was out, Ice slipped out.

He was back in Jet territory in a few minutes. Any excessive speed obtained could be put down to his figuring out how to run in heels. That was all.


"So, what happened?" Riff asked, smiling as he walked up.

"He's down." Ice said shortly. "I'm not cut out for the infiltration business. Next time, someone else wear the dress."

"…"

"Well, so we rumble." Action grinned excitedly.

"Can I take this off now?" He pleaded.


"You!"

"Spoke too early." Riff said, as two Emeralds dashed around the corner.

"Listen, you dumb broad, stay away from them!"

Riff grabbed Ice. "Who says she's your broad?"

Ice repressed another angry look and swooned into Riff's arms. If his Leader were going to play this role, than by God he'd do it just as well!

The Emeralds stopped.

"So." The Emerald said.

"So." Riff said.

"We might as well settle things once and for all."

"Mmhmm." Riff said, "Well, get your leader. We'll have a war council." He ignored the Emeralds, before he leaned down, just as Ice tried to get up.

It wasn't intentional when their lips met.

The Emeralds stormed off. Riff released Ice, who was looking… stunned.

"Aw crud, that was just an accident!"

Ice nodded, still slightly stunned. A moment later, his composure caught up with him. "Can I change out of this now?"

"Go ahead. Don't think we'll need it any more…"

*END FLASHBACK


*

"You're worried about that?" Riff blinked.

"Not precisely." He leaned closer. Riff swallowed as those pinpoints of gray fixed upon him. There was something unnerving in that gaze, though he knew not what…

"Ice. Look, if there's something wrong, you can tell me…"

He normally liked having his lieutenant close to him, one step two steps away, close, he felt safer that way, but now… it was almost as if they were fighting, the strange circling motions, but of course it wasn't…

"Are you feeling all right, buddy?"

Lips quirked up in a smile before…

Riff gasped for air as the kiss broke, Ice almost melting in his arms. "What do you think you're doing?"

"I think it would be perfectly clear…"

"You can't mean-!"

"But I do mean…" Ice pulled back, and it seemed as though a curtain had slid between them. "I'm sorry. I meant no disrespect, Leader."

Riff frowned.

No, there had to be more to this then… then…. because he didn't go around kissing people. He didn't even kiss Velma for goodness's sakes…!

"Wait."

Ice turned.

"It's just… queer, this, you know? You and… me."

A nod.

"But I didn't say I wouldn't accept it." He said, moving forwards.


END FIC

^^ Light slash, not a lot… because I don't want to be torched and pitchforked…! Eh, I probably will still be. Oh well! Not brave enough to write NC-17 stuff then…

Completed 8/14/05