perverse & compensate
Fandom: From Eroica With Love
Written for: Hunter in the Yuletide 2003 Challenge
Perversion is in the eye of the beholder.
It was remarkably strange to be so undressed for sex. Not the nudity- although he preferred to keep something on. Keep a little mystery, as his mother once said to his sister. Keep something on, something to keep your man guessing. No-one looks as good naked as their lover's imagination paints them.
As appropriate, G would wear a camisole or his pyjama top, open. Make up as well, ever since he was old enough to blend in eyeshadow for that barely-visible improvement. Lipstick as well, blush and perfume if he could manage it. Wearing his clothes- his real clothes, not the dull suit he only wore when depressed or seeing his grandfather- made the sex better. Stronger, somehow. Certainly more intense, to be on his knees in his perfect suit, immaculate make-up being smudged while he went down on someone with great enthusiasm. Or to have his skirt pushed up around his waist while a friendly hand finished him off. Or just a good old fashioned fuck, against a wall or on a desk or even, at a pinch, in bed.
And on those occasions when it wasn't his choice- when he wasn't given a choice, other than put out or get out, how much do you need this job- well, his clothes and make-up felt like armour then. Suited up, mascara to shield his eyes, foundation to hide his feelings. Skirt and blouse and slip to protect his body.
But for this he went naked, for two reasons that made sense and one that didn't.
Firstly, of course, was safety. Of course, G normally dressed to avoid being recognised for what he was. A nice suit with a knee-length skirt, good make-up and carefully coordinated accessories generally prevented people for recognising him as a NATO agent, even if- especially if- they saw the man underneath. Dressing to avoid being recognised as who he was, was another matter entirely. For that, it meant putting away his hairbrush and reaching for a comb. The people who knew him, knew him best in lipstick. He could have compensated for that, maybe, probably would have, except for the second reason.
Dorian didn't want the make-up. G looked too convincing in it. It was all very unfair, G thought, since Dorian didn't mind putting on make-up when the occasion demanded it and had been known to wear the odd dress or two. The difference was something in the pretence- that Dorian in a dress was Dorian playing dress-up, whereas G in a dress was something real, or close enough to it to deter Dorian. Someone he could play friends with, swap make-up tips and shopping suggestions, but not, actually, want.
So, for this he took off his make-up with baby-lotion on a cottonwool pad. Showered first, did not put on perfume, although he did use the lavender scented soap. Stripped himself naked, in more ways then one. And then dressed again in one of his more-male-than-not suits, even putting on a tie. One of the nicer suits, the ones he kept for certain family engagements. Most of his masculine suits were boring and generic, office-worker styles, only worn when he was too depressed to bother dressing up. This was the suit he kept for the funerals and weddinsg of a few of his loved, but rather conservative, paternal family.
G combed his hair, which fell in feminine curls around him face even without the normal treatment, braced himself mentally and looked in the full length mirror.
It was just bizarre, to see himself like this. He hadn't dressed this straight from the skin up since, well, since Greece. No silk under his cotton shirt, no subtle mascara. Not even a tinted moisturiser to smooth out his complexion. Even stranger to see himself like this before an assignation. But if he dressed as a girl, the Earl would complement his make-up, his clothes, his shoes, and then not have sex with him, or at least, not with the enthusiasm G wanted.
It was irritating, as well as being perversely amusing. G had seen pictures of the Earl's past conquests. Many of them had more than trod the androgynous line. There had been one cross-dresser so convincing that he'd left many people deeply confused over the Earl's sexuality. Feminine in males had not been a turn-off.
All that was before G had met him. Or, more importantly, before the Earl had met the Major. After that, the Earl's taste shifted to the masculine. Beautifully male sometimes, but still, quite unmistakeably, male.
And then there was the third reason, the strangest reason, the one that made him laugh whenever he thought about it, and then made him wonder if he should take advantage of the counselling NATO offered. But then they always wanted to talk about his dresses, and really, that wasn't the issue.
Dorian's flat was in a suitably discreet part of town. The road was lined with old trees, most of which had been planted when the first bricks had been laid in the Georgian terraces. G ignored the doorbell and knocked, twice softly, and then once more harder, in case the Earl didn't hear him.
The Earl opened the door and G took a moment just to appreciate the sight. Lovely. Not that the Major wasn't stunning, and not that Z didn't brighten up an office too filled with, well, B types, but Dorian was just on another level. "You're early. I was just about to put the kettle on. Tea of coffee?"
They negotiated the opening pleasantries and settled down, G in a nice chair he classified as vaguely antique, Dorian stretched out on a chaise langue. Presumably to encourage G to speak, although really, he needed very little encouragement. He took a sip of his tea- milk, one sugar- and started. "Well, first of all the Major did receive some injuries on the last mission. He's going to be laid up at the Schloss for a while. Nothing serious, but he does need bed rest to recuperate. Actually, he'd probably appreciate a visit, and the servants would like someone else to be the target. He makes us report to him there, but the Chief is trying to crack down on that. Doesn't like us going out of the office so much." G grimaced. "He almost corned me when I was coming here, you know."
"Being a little too pushy?" Dorian said sympathetically.
G pushed his hair back out of his face. "Oh, no more than usual. The Major keeps the wolves at bay, you know, being the biggest wolf out there. Very alpha."
"Oh yes," Dorian said. They closed their eyes in joint appreciation.
"Besides, if the Chief pants after me too much, the Major sends me off on some assignment out in the middle of nowhere. He's just taking advantage of the Major's temporary absence. Actually, the Major will probably be sending me off somewhere soon anyway. Rumour is France."
Then there was some polite talk about art, of which G knew enough to know he knew a little, work (his) which was even briefer, as most of the last six months were classified. It helped keep the pretence that this was a friendly chat, rather than a meeting of obsessives and enablers. Then back to the Major, which took a bit longer since he had to list anyone new the Major had come in contact with, as well as his general appearance and state of mind.
"...was nice, but since he's going back to Iceland I don't think you need to worry. And what about you? Anyone special turn up while you were busy?"
Dorian shrugged. "Some potentials but nothing serious." He smiled at G, and the mood switched from polite to flirtatious, just like that. "I find I miss the German accent. The absence of it on a lover's mouth is quite- distracting."
And statements like that were at least half the reason G came here, apart from having someone to moon over the Major with. He got up and went to perch on the arm of the chaise langue.
"I could call you a thief and a pervert, if you want," G offered, half joking.
"Not necessary," Dorian said. "I can appreciate you for who you are."
"Even if I'm not quite who you want," G finished for him. "It's okay. I won't turn you down for not being him either."
Dorian looked insulted at the idea of anyone turning him down, though he covered it up quickly. And maybe it wasn't quite right, that the Earl was with him more for being close to the Major than anything else, but still...
...the Earl was handsome, charming, and a lot better than most men G got offers from, and besides, this never felt quite like part of his life anyway. The G that came to talk to Dorian was something separate from the G that worked with the Alphabet, felt most comfortable in dresses and make-up and had more run-ins with men he didn't want than men he did. This was something different from his normal assignations and more exciting because of that.
"S'just not as fun anymore," Dorian said, pulling G down next to him. "The chase, you know. No-one's as interesting."
"I... oh yes," G said, drawing in a quick breath as Dorian unbuttoned his shirt with quick, nimble fingers. "I can understand that." Dorian undid his tie and threw it on to the coffee table. G smiled at the thought of how he must look- proper suit rumpled, tie crumpled on the table. "I mean, I can understand that. The Major is so very..."
"So very. So very very." Dorian grinned and kissed G- and yes, it was strange to do that without tasting his own lipstick or even the substitute strawberry tinted lip balm, but well, it was Dorian and it was different. And the third reason for wearing a straight suit, no camisole, just a vest, no mascara, no blush, was that it made the whole, strange extraordinary thing seem even more different, even more bizarre and surreal. Unnaturally straight suit being taken off after talking with his -not lover- with the Earl about the Major, and Dorian was wonderfully, impossibly talented and really, who could blame him for spicing the encounter up with a simple grey pinstripe?
After, they talked about the Major.
The sleeping gas worked eventually, so James didn't know what the others were complaining about. Everyone else was unconscious in thirty seconds; it was only the Major who'd lasted long enough to actually see the team break in. And a few little injuries were worth the saving in money, or would be as long as no one went to the hospital. Even the Major succumbed before he'd had the chance to do more than a few wild punches and one nasty kick. He was unconscious now, at least. And they didn't have to bring him back to the hideout.
If the bloody KGB with their stupid gasmasks hadn't interrupted, the Earl wouldn't have made hem pick up Klaus and drag him back to their hideout while he distracted them. Who knows what they'd do to him if they caught him? And actually, it was all the fault of the man on the floor. Bet he wouldn't see it like that, though, bet he wouldn't give credit where credit was due for his rescue and throw a little reward their way.
James would have to take matters into his own hands, as he always had to when money and the Major were involved, and fortunately the Major was both unconscious and defenceless, which would make getting the money a lot easier. James looked at the prone body. Well, it was only fair that the Major compensate them for their medical expenses. The knockout gas should be good for another half-hour at least- more than enough time; maybe he could water it down before the next robbery. He knelt down by the Major and pressed his hand against the Major's chest. Slowly, he slid it under The Major's blazer.
Ah, there it was. He pulled out the wallet. Opened it up and flicked through it. Almost empty! What was this? No credit cards either, only a couple of twenty mark notes and some francs. He rapidly calculated the exchange rate. Couldn't the man have the decency to have deutschmarks or Swiss francs? The Swiss currency was strong at the moment. Probably did it on purpose. At least the wallet was leather. Maybe that could go for a couple of quid.
Keep looking, then. He patted the Major down, a bit more roughly than he would have if the Major actually had something valuable in his wallet and... Nothing. Cheap bastard, cheating him out of his deserved compensation.
He sat back on his haunches and lifted the Major's wrist, pulling off the watch roughly then dropping his hand back to the floor with a bump. Not a bad watch, but not cutting edge, not nice and gold or even so-so and silver.
No rings, no sunglasses, but the blazer might do. It was a bit big for him, but he could always cut it up, or maybe get the Earl to wear it... There was a brief fight between his need to save money and his jealous determination to ensure that the Earl had nothing of That Man, with inconclusive results. He pulled the blazer off anyway, taking a bit more care. Didn't want the Major to wake up now since he had a nasty reaction to be people who took bits of his outfit. James checked the pockets again. Still nothing.
A crucifix! The Major was Catholic wasn't he, or Protestant, or something, because James definitely remembered a bill for surveillance that included expenses for a collection plate. James loosened the Major's tie with eager fingers and undid the first buttons of his shirt.
Nothing, again. Dammit, couldn't the man even wear a cross? Or a ring, some family heirloom, gold and historic, that could be pawned or sold back. James stood up and kicked the major once out of sheer frustration, and then jumped back when the Major groaned. He wasn't waking up, was he? No, just stirring.
James sat down again with a huff. Nothing. The stupid man had nothing worth taking. Even his gun had been left at the scene. And now the Earl would be back and see the Major looking like this, helpless and vulnerable on the floor and he would... with him...
Maybe he could put a chastity belt on the man while he was still unconscious. The Earl had to have something like that lying about. His taste in accessories was eccentric and expensive both. Something to slow down his progress until the Major woke up and started lashing out, because if the Earl came in and saw the Major now, especially with the top of his shirt unbuttoned and his belt off... James had the bills to prove the Earl would pay money for pictures like this; what he'd do with a real-life version was unthinkable.
The thought crossed his mind that the Earl probably wasn't the only one who'd pay for photos and he made a note to steal them away from the Earl and sell them when he got back. Wouldn't be easy, when the Earl kept them within reach at all times. He should have got to the pics before the Earl, then he wouldn't have this problem. Wait until the next batch came through, intercept them at the door.
Unconscious, none of the man's horrible personality was visible. He looked slightly ruffled and there was a good body under the bad suit, As long as he wasn't speaking or yelling or punching, it almost made sense that people would pay for pictures of him like this
James's face lit up. So the Major could compensate them after all
There was a camera in the third drawer of the desk, along with a roll of film he'd confiscated from a trigger-happy boy on surveillance who didn't realise that films cost money, and getting them developed was even worse.
Uh, a few pictures. Pictures could sell. Pictures of this could sell for a lot. James licked his lips and looked around quickly. No one here to stop him. If the Major woke up, he'd probably break the camera and James' neck, and the repairs fees would be astronomical. Maybe if he just undid the shirt a little more. Very quietly he knelt down and pulled the shirt out of the trousers and started to unbutton it.
The skin underneath was surprisingly pale. Of course, the Earl always complained about the Major's excessive body-modesty, so it wasn't that strange that his stomach was never really exposed to the sun, but still... It made the Major seem even more vulnerable, a thought that had James licking his lips. His nemesis, completely at his mer- What was that? The Major groaned again and shifted position slightly. Damn, the gas was wearing off quicker than expected. Well, at least he could get his money back from the seller, deceitful man, cheating him out of-
He shook his head violently. He was getting distracted, and he had a time-sensitive moneymaking operation underway. He took a few pics, carefully checking that the flash didn't wake the Major up, moving around to try and find the best angle.
Well, if he hadn't woken up from that...
He unzipped the trousers. Boxer shorts underneath- not nice, like the Earl's, probably not even worth taking, even if could get them off without the Major waking up. Of course, he could just reach in and- no, hospital bills weren't cheap, and if he wasn't conscious to stop him, the Earl would take him to some expensive private clinic. Still, maybe if he was careful... James wiped one sweaty palm on his trousers. The Major rumpled was one thing. The Major exposed... Well, that might just be worth the inevitable beating. He took a few more pictures while he was trying to decide if he should risk it. Only five pictures left on the film. Better make them count. He licked his lips and very carefully set the camera down, out of reach of the Major in case he woke up. Then he knelt down and reached for the boxers.
He was as focussed as the Earl listening to the tumblers moving in a lock. So focussed, in fact that he didn't even hear the footsteps until the door was flung open and...
"James! What are you doing?" The Earl sounded shocked. James leapt to his feet, picking up the camera and holding it out in front of him like a shield.
"You... were taking pictures of the Major. My Major." The Earl sounded stunned rather than furious. "What- why were..."
The Major stirred, making James and the Earl freeze. The Earl started speaking again, rather more quietly and with the beginnings of anger. "Pictures! You were taking tawdry snapshots of him like that..." a brief stutter in the speech while the Earl looked at the prone form of Klaus Heinz von dem Eberbach. "Without my knowledge or consent. What were you planning to do with them? Personal use or-" knowledge crept into his voice. "Dear Lord, James, barter, blackmail or just selling them outright? How could you-" He choked off his speech.
The Earl really was furious. James held the camera tighter. His precious photos were in there, and he had a nasty suspicion the Earl would just smash the camera and expose the film if he got within reach. He had to say something, something to pacify the Earl. Maybe he could agree to one-day old cake for his birthday? Or point out how they could get their money back on the sleeping gas? No, the Earl didn't look like either of those would appease him. Maybe it was time for the big guns.
"The photos," James said. He closed his eyes to brace himself for what he had to say next. "I'll, I'll let you have them at almost cost."
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