What You See

by Kass

I got tired of Femme!Blair. This is what happened.

I know it's a little early for a Halloween story, but hey, that's life. Thanks to Destina and Sihaya for the beta-reads, and to Prospect-L for being inspiring.

The boys are theirs, the words are mine. This is news?

Jim looked in the mirror and shifted uncomfortably. He'd forgotten how stifling chaps felt over jeans; he was basically guaranteeing himself an evening of sweatiness.

Still, they didn't look half-bad. Not that anyone would notice, but it would be nice to feel sexy for a few hours.

He turned to the side, gave himself one last glance, and grabbed the cowboy hat off of his dresser.

"Let's go, Chief," he called, clunking down the stairs. "We're gonna be late."

The bathroom door opened and Jim gaped.

"Whaddaya think?" Sandburg did a slow pirouette.

Jim sat down on the couch heavily. He had no idea what to say.

Sandburg just stood there, waiting. His jeans hugged his body, accentuating every line and muscle. His shirt clung just as tightly, some kind of silky blue that almost shimmered - Jim knew better than to focus on fabric like that, that stuff was pretty much zoneout-in-a-can.

And Sandburg was wearing makeup, his face accentuated by eyeliner and blush, his lips looking impossibly full and wet under a coat of lipstick. Jim knew he'd seen Sandburg in eyeliner before, back in the early days of their acquaintance, but it looked different now, more pronounced under his short curls. He'd put all of his earrings back in, hoops and studs, and they glinted. As did the three bracelets on his left wrist, which even in the stillness were making a faint hum from having knocked together as Sandburg moved. Without meaning to Jim let his sight zoom in on his partner's nipple, curious -

-- and then he looked down, quick, bypassing his partner's crotch, where the jeans seemed to be even tighter than everywhere else. Jim looked intently at Sandburg's shoes. They were Doc Martens; ordinary shoes. Safe shoes. Jim could deal with the shoes.

"What the fuck?" Jim eventually managed.

"Excuse me?"

Jim swallowed, his throat surprisingly dry. "What the hell are you supposed to be, Sandburg?"

"I'm gender-bending." His partner's smile was almost gleeful. "Think the guys'll like it?"


Sandburg crossed to the table and fished in the basket for his car keys. Jim tried not to stare at his ass. "Yeah," he said, his voice muted slightly because he was facing away. "I thought about out-and-out cross-dressing, but I figure at least one other person's gonna do that. It's too predictable. So I thought I'd blur some boundaries." He stood. "Ready?"

Jim blamed his dizzying flush on standing up too fast.

The party wasn't so bad, once Jim tossed back a couple of drinks. Thank God Sandburg was driving.

And Sandburg was right; Rafe was cross-dressed, wearing some god-awful pink thing and high heels that obviously hurt his feet. Jim almost asked if he'd borrowed the dress from Connor.

The rest of Major Crimes had turned out as superheroes, although they swore up and down it wasn't planned. Connor was Wonderwoman, H was Superman, and Simon was Batman.

He made a pretty good Batman, actually. And that suit had to be even hotter than Jim's chaps. It was small consolation, but it helped a little.

One rookie from highway patrol - a kid Sandburg hadn't liked much in the academy, if Jim remembered correctly - was wearing a bright-orange prison jumpsuit; he didn't seem to have any idea what kind of poor taste that was.

There was the usual spate of people in masks - gorilla, Darth Vader, the president. There were a couple of other cowboys. There were a few people wearing some kind of tunics and carrying plastic light-sabers. Here and there a devil with a rubber tail and pitchfork. Nothing out of the ordinary.

Except for Sandburg.

Seemed like every time his partner crossed his field of vision, Jim's dick tried to get up and follow him. The chaps, of course, weren't helping; there's nothing like having a single triangle of denim exposed and having your dick decide to stand up and do the mambo, right where everyone's probably already looking.

After the third Sandburg sighting Jim took off his hat and laid it on his lap. It exposed his hairline, but it was better than the alternative.

At first he'd figured it was the makeup. Something about the scent of the lipstick, maybe, something that reminded him of women. The urgency of his response reminded him of Laura; for a few minutes he wondered whether cosmetic companies were toying with human pheromones.

But there were other people at the party wearing makeup, and it wasn't affecting him at all. Rhonda, for instance, who was dressed as a belly-dancer - even the combination of makeup and exposed flesh didn't do a damn thing.

So it wasn't just the makeup; it seemed to be something about the combination of makeup and Sandburg.

Which worried him. It would've been easier to deal with his reaction if Sandburg *had* cross-dressed; but he hadn't. He was a mess of contradictions. The gloss made his lips look full, almost feminine; the mascara and liner made his eyes stand out; the slinky shirt made his pecs seem alive, like something with a mind of their own; the jeans made his maleness too obvious to ignore.

Jim focused his eyes there for a moment. Had Sandburg stuffed his pants, was that part of his gender-bending? Or was he just walking around with an erection to match Jim's?

Jim realized what he was doing, and groaned. Christ on a crutch - he was zooming his vision in on his partner's genitals. His male partner. Who was gender-bending. Which seemed to be having an astonishing effect on Jim's libido.

Jim closed his eyes and sank further into his chair.

"Hey, man. You okay?"

Jim opened his eyes and felt his cock leap in his jeans. He bit his lip for a second, willing the erection to subside, with little effect.

"Not feeling so hot," he managed. Which was true, insofar as it went.

Sandburg's eyes showed concern. "What's up?"

Jim choked back a laugh. Damn it, this wasn't funny! "Senses," he said curtly.

Sandburg knelt beside his chair and Jim forced his eyes away from his partner's crotch. "It is kind of loud in here," he said softly. "And somebody's wearing perfume - even I can smell it."

He reached to place a square hand on Jim's arm; the sensation was so intense that Jim couldn't help a soft moan. A flush rose in his cheeks.

"We've gotta get you home," Sandburg said. "Lemme tell Simon we're leaving." He stood and walked away. Helpless, Jim gave in to the temptation to watch his ass.

"Can you make it up the stairs?" Sandburg was obviously worried about him. And probably with good reason; they'd taken the elevator because Jim could barely walk without whimpering. Somehow, thankfully, Sandburg didn't seem to have guessed what was going on.

Jim gritted his teeth. Every minute motion of the car had rubbed his jeans over his erection; even the elevator had given him twinges. He felt almost raw. "Yeah." He started up to his room.

"Anything I can do?"

Get out of those clothes, Jim thought. Turn back into Sandburg so I can stop feeling like this. Another, darker, part of his brain twisted the thought around: get out of those clothes, follow me up the stairs, let me touch you.

He blinked, hard. "Don't think so. Thanks, Chief." He didn't look back, just threw himself onto his bed and scrabbled at his fly.

Getting the jeans and chaps off seemed to take too long, but finally he had his cock freed. He barely closed his hand around it before he was coming, coming hard, and he bit the edge of his pillow to keep from shouting.

He wiped himself off with a bunch of kleenex, threw it in the trash can, and fell asleep fast.

He was lying face-down on his bed, cock pressing into the mattress, hands rubbing his shoulders. Sandburg's hands. Strong and square and firm, circling over his shoulderblades, working their way down his spine. He shifted his thighs apart, pleading mutely, and Sandburg sighed in appreciation.

"God, you look hot like that." The hands were on his ass now, thumbs stroking at the tops of his thighs, teasing. "I could eat you alive."

He couldn't believe this was happening, couldn't believe he wanted it, but he didn't think he'd ever been so hard in his life. He strained up, aching for more.

"Jimmm..." The name was a caress. "Jim, Jim -"

The tenor of the voice started to change, became more insistent. Why the hell wasn't Sandburg touching him? Where had his hands gone? Jim spread his legs further, was about to ask for more, when the sound of Sandburg's voice drew him up and out of sleep.

Daylight hit him and he jerked awake, rolling away from where his partner stood by the bedside. Jesus: he'd been dreaming.

About *that*.

"Hey, relax, I didn't mean to scare you. I'm just not used to sneaking up on you like that."

Sandburg had washed the makeup off, the earrings were back wherever the hell they went when they weren't on his ears, he was dressed in boxers and a t-shirt, like any other Saturday morning.

Belatedly Jim realized that he was hard again, erection poking straight up like a dowsing stick that had scented water. He felt his face burning; thank God he was under a sheet.

"You're still not okay, are you?" Sandburg was - oh, God, Sandburg was walking closer. Jim panicked.

"I'm fine."

"You're not fine, Jim, you're turning red again." He reached for Jim's forehead again and Jim scooted away.

"Jeez, hold still," his partner grumbled, reaching over and holding Jim down with one arm while pressing the other palm to Jim's head.

The touch was too much; Jim's spine arched, his body stiffened, his cock pulsed all over the sheets.

His eyes were pressed shut so tight he dimly wondered if they'd ever open again. He could hear the blood pounding in his ears, feel it warming the capillaries of his skin. Every beat of his heart thundered humiliation; Sandburg was going to laugh, or freak out, or slam the door, any second now.

Except he didn't. And as Jim calmed down he became aware that his partner was sitting at the edge of the bed, not touching him, just waiting.

What the hell?

Jim opened his senses slightly, wanting to know more before risking opening his eyes. He heard a heart beating fast but steady, smelled the animal tang of Sandburg's sweat, then paused to catalogue something else. He had to filter out the overwhelming odor of his own semen to reach it, it was something familiar that he couldn't quite name --

-- Wait. It was pre-come. And it wasn't his.

Startled, Jim opened his eyes.

Sandburg sat quietly, chest rising and falling minutely with each breath. It was his turn to be flying the morning flag; the tip of his cock pushed insistently at the fly of his boxers. His eyes met Jim's.

Sandburg took a breath and opened his mouth, and suddenly Jim couldn't stand the thought of conversation, didn't want to have any idea what Sandburg thought was going on, what he thought this was all about. So he headed it off at the pass.

"Want some help with that?"

Sandburg's eyes darkened, his breath seemingly caught in his throat. "Oh, *yeah*."

Jim pushed the clammy sheet away, sat up, and pushed Sandburg down on the bed. He reached for Sandburg's cock, pulling it out through the flap in his underwear, and something about that made him look so deliciously debauched that it sent a thrill through Jim. He stroked once, twice, never taking his eyes off of his partner, who never took his eyes off of Jim, even as he spread his legs slightly, and tightened his hands on the blanket, and pushed himself into Jim's hand.

It was so surprising, so intimate, that Jim found himself bending to place his mouth on Sandburg's. And that seemed to break some kind of spell, because now Sandburg was making noise, was sighing into Jim's mouth.

And Sandburg's mouth was not like a woman's, afterall; it was warm, and wet, yes, but also large and aggressive. He bit lightly at Jim's tongue, which Jim decided he liked. His skin rasped slightly at Jim's face, which Jim decided he liked, too.

And this thing in his hand, this erection, was nothing like a woman. It wasn't even exactly like touching himself; Sandburg's cock felt different, its reactions were surprising, like it was alive in his hand. Which Jim supposed it basically was.

And then he wasn't thinking about anything, because Sandburg was gasping against his neck, was pulsing beneath his fingers, and even though Jim couldn't have come again to save his life he felt almost as if he had.

"You wanna tell me what that was about?"

Sandburg sounded relaxed - sated, Jim supposed - and almost-amused. He was lying on top of Jim, squinched at the very edge of the bed, because between the two of them they'd created two separate wet spots.

Jim took a deep breath. The moment of reckoning.

"Not sure where to start."

"How about, why you never mentioned you went for guys?"

Well, there was a good one. He cleared his throat, feeling a little awkward now that the explanations were really at-hand. "I didn't know I did."

"Ahh." There was a pause, but Sandburg didn't seem tense, just contemplative.

Jim tried to explain. "Until last night. Seeing you like that."

"So it was the costume."

Maybe because he wasn't used to hearing it reverberate through his own chest cavity, he couldn't read Sandburg's voice. "Kind of," he said. "The makeup-"

"-Made me more feminine?"

"No," Jim said, frustrated. "More masculine. I don't get it, something just..."

"Hey, chill," Sandburg said, rubbing his face against Jim's chest for a moment, gentling him. "You don't have to explain."

"But it's notÂ’—"

"No, no, I think I get it." Sandburg took a breath and let it out; it tickled, a little. "There's something...uniquely sexy about playing in the zone between genders. It shakes up the way we usually construct sexuality." He paused, seemingly waiting for Jim to interject, but Jim stayed silent. "That's why makeup can emphasize a man's masculinity, for instance. Or a crew cut can make a woman look more feminine."

Jim considered for a moment. "Yeah," he said finally.

"That was my first indication that I was bi." Now Jim could hear a slight tinge of nervousness in his tone. "Had a college girlfriend who showed up for a gender-bender dance in my clothes with a sock in her pants. She looked so hot as a man I figured it was time to question a few assumptions."

"I hear that."

They were silent for a short while. Jim ran his hands aimlessly over Sandburg's back, mapping his body through his t-shirt.

"So now what do you want to do?"

"You mean right now, or in general?"

Sandburg chuckled. "Either? Both?"

"I want..." He felt Sandburg holding his breath, which made his heart feel too big for his chest. God, Sandburg was *nervous*, and somehow that made Jim less tense himself; suddenly Jim felt happier than he could remember being in a long time. "I want to take a shower. And eat some breakfast. And wash these sheets, because we're for damn sure not sleeping in here tonight on sheets like this."

Assuming you want to sleep in here tonight, Jim thought. You do, don't you? Before Jim's brain had a chance to get really revved up with worry, Sandburg let out his breath all at once; his smile was palpable against Jim's chest. "Sounds like a plan." Slowly he inched backwards, and sat up, swinging his legs over the side of the bed.

His soft cock was still sticking out of his boxers, and his t-shirt was tight over the curves of his chest. Jim saw masculinity in the line of his chin, and femininity in the height of his cheekbones. He had to smile.


"Just looking," Jim said. "That okay?"

Sandburg smiled back, a mega-watt smile, one Jim had seen his partner aim at other people but had never imagined feeling himself. "Okay by me," he said. "Just as long as you like what you see."

What I see, Jim thought. In that moment he saw a mixture of a hundred different Sandburgs: long hair and short, clean-shaven and scruffy, pale-lipped from cold and painted with last night's lipstick. In every angle of light Sandburg looked different, and Jim realized that as many Sandburgs as he'd seen so far, he hadn't seen all that he wanted to see. He still hadn't seen Sandburg completely naked. Hell, he hadn't seen Sandburg cross-dressed, either, a notion which was dimly beginning to fascinate him, somewhere in the back of his head.

Whatever it was that he was seeing, Jim thought, he liked it very much. But he just said, "yeah," and left it at that.

The End