Ryder spends the entire class glaring at the back of Jake’s head, and kind of beating himself up about it.
Jake’s a cool guy, and actually really level-headed and trustworthy, as it turns out. He doesn’t deserve to get hated on for asking out an awesome girl and getting a yes.
It isn’t even about Marley in particular. She’s sweet, and hot, and talented and everything, but there are other girls like that. But they’d made a connection, she’d seemed to like him, and he missed his shot. Because of his stupid extra tutoring bullshit classes.
Not bullshit. His necessary and useful classes, which he’s really grateful for, but fuck, can’t he get a girl and get good grades at the same time?
And now Sadie Hawkins is coming up, and he can’t even ask out someone new because it’s against the rules.
This whole thing is gonna suck.
Unique is hilarious. She’s always making these funny little comments in glee club like “Dayum, no you din’t gurl” even if she’s talking to a guy, and she’s always in the mood to get up and dance. Plus she really wails on the big brassy end notes, which makes everything sound ten times more awesome. She’s one of the people that makes glee so much fun.
After Tina asks Blaine out and Blaine says no (in front of everyone, oh my god) Ryder brings it up with Artie. “What are gay guys supposed to do? Like, if the girls ask the guys, but you’re not a girl and you’re not into girls… I mean, who does the asking?”
Artie shrugs. “Either one guy has to be confident enough in his masculinity to do the asking and face the inevitable comparisons to girls, or… they just don’t get a date, I guess.”
“Huh. Well what about people who are girls sometimes and guys other times?”
Artie frowns. “Do you know more than one of those?”
At the end of the day, Ryder pokes Unique in the side as they’re walking out of the building. “Hey, are you asking someone to Sadie Hawkins?”
Unique sideeyes him. “Oh honey. No, Unique knows a distaster waiting to happen when she sees one. The straight boys at this school are not ready for all this fabulousness.” She gestures at herself, in jeans and a polo shirt, and swishes in a way that almost makes it look for a second like she’s in a long flowing dress instead.
“Well what about the gay ones? Blaine doesn’t have a date yet…?”
Unique stops walking. Her voice is suddenly very small. “If he wanted me like this, as Wade, he wouldn’t want me as I really am.”
Ryder looks her over, considering. “Yeah, a straight guy makes more sense. I mean, I know how awesome and pretty you are on stage, and sometimes it’s hard not to see you like that even when you’re, you know -“ He nods toward her clothes.
She smiles a sudden, surprised smile. “You really think I’m pretty?”
Ryder coughs and blushes. “Um, okay well, I have to get home now, so…”
Unique sways and grins and watches him go.
After that, glee is even more fun, because it has the added element of sneaky flirting.
Unique winks and fingerwaves at random people anyway, and it doesn’t seem to mean anything, but now, when she does it to Ryder, she lets her eyes drift down his body, just long enough to be appreciative without drawing attention from anyone else. And she sits right next to him in rehearsal so she can lean close and sing “embrace dat ass” instead of “embrace the past,” and she snickers knowingly at “the role we play is so important,” like it’s about sex games or something. Ryder’s cheeks hurt from holding in his laughter for so long.
Once they have the harmonies more or less down, and there’s a plan in place to try to book the auditorium in a couple weeks, they all go crazy, dancing and laughing and giving it their all, and there’s lots of hugging and mutual congratulations before everyone heads out to their lockers. Unique asks Ryder to hang back until they’re alone.
“So, I know the assignment is for the girls to sing to the guys.” She’s still panting a little from dancing, and her voice is breathy and light. “But I just couldn’t go through what happened to Tina. So.”
Ryder puts his hand on her shoulder. He thinks he should say something, but he doesn’t know what, and her lips are really shiny.
“Would you like to go to the dance with me?”
Ryder can’t help it. He throws his arms around her, and she laughs in his ear and hugs him back. “Definitely,” he says. “This is gonna be so much fun!”
Ryder doesn’t have a problem with gay guys. There’s completely one hundred percent nothing wrong with being gay, and he’d punch anyone in the face who says otherwise. If he was gay, he’d be out and proud, holding hands with his boyfriend in the halls and being a role model or whatever.
The thing is, the fact that he’s not gay makes this situation really weird. Because Unique looks like a guy, at least to other people, so when she runs up to him outside his locker, grabs his hand and swings it between them, talking about dresses and matching tie colours and whether to do a boutonniere, he can’t help looking around and noticing the curious glances from basically everyone in the entire world, who all happen to be standing around just at that moment. It’s… awkward.
He smiles just the same, really thinks about her questions, and gives honest answers, and he genuinely means it when he says he’s looking forward to it. But he kind of wishes her parents would just let her wear dresses to school, because that would be a lot easier to explain than being straight and having a girlfriend who looks like a guy, and who he has to call “Wade” around non-glee people.
But nothing actually terrible happens. Just a weird nervous feeling and lot of funny looks. He can handle that much.
He doesn’t have a lot of time to hang out - extra tutoring sessions and everything - so the dance is going to be their first date. His dad’s going to drive them, so he prepares little speeches in his head, different versions of an introduction. He’d mentioned Unique before, how funny and cool she is, but will it be obvious that she has a male body if she’s dressed up? What if his dad says something? Maybe he should mention it in advance. But then if it’s not obvious, mentioning it in advance would be the worst thing he could do. Wouldn’t it?
The night of the dance, he puts on his suit and ties his tie three times before it’s the right length and not weird looking. He stands, looking at himself in the mirror, and shoves his hands into his pockets to wipe the sweat off his palms. Once the introduction part is over, it’ll be fine. She’ll be her and he’ll be him and they’ll have an awesome night of dancing and inside jokes. No big deal.
She’s probably freaking out in front of her mirror right now too. Shaving, doing her make up, straightening her wig and her fake boobs, pulling on pantyhose… Jesus.
Ryder’s a lucky guy.
As it turns out, Ryder’s dad makes an expression Ryder can’t interpret upon meeting Unique, but is polite and personable and doesn’t say anything embarrassing on the drive to the dance. Ryder has some line in his head about not judging someone just for being themselves, because his dad was probably expecting someone more like Marley, but he doesn’t even know if the expression is because of the gender stuff. It could be because Unique is black, or because she’s heavy. Heck, it could be the color of her dress. He has no way to know, so he keeps his mouth shut.
He thanks his dad for the ride and gets out of the car, wondering if he was supposed to rush around to the other side and help Unique step down. Her heels look tricky, but she makes her own way before he gets there. He takes her hand during the walk through the parking lot, and they step into the gym side by side, both grinning at the lights and music and decorations. Everything is sparkly like snow, and Unique lets go of his hand to twirl around on the edge of the dance floor, tongue sticking out like she’s catching snowflakes.
He’s not quite brave enough to dance until more people arrive, so he helps set up for the first performance. Unique calls up onto the stage: “You better do that classy dance move we discussed, or so help me Unique is gonna have words with you, boy.” Ryder cracks up because the move they discussed is just about the unclassiest thing ever. So he absolutely makes sure to do it. When the time comes, he spreads his knees wide, thrusts his hips, and flings his arms toward his crotch with enthusiasm. He catches Unique’s eye at the first opportunity and she fans herself with her hand with a twinkle in her eye.
In between that and the song she’s doing, they spend as much time as they can on the dance floor, sometimes grooving and shaking with just their hands linked, and sometimes pressed tightly together, slowly swaying. The fast songs are tiring and fun, and he can’t remember the last time he laughed so much, but the slow songs are the highlight of the evening. She smells like flowers, and her lips touch his neck, not kissing, just pressing lightly, as if she wants to.
When she joins the other girls on stage, she’s so fierce and beautiful and fearless that Ryder forgets everything else in the room and almost gets knocked over by dancers. He apologizes and pushes through to the edge of the stage to watch in safety. Unique’s powerful voice sings about sex and paradise, and as much as he enjoys it, he can’t wait for her to get off stage and dance with him again.
They stay out as late as they can, until Unique’s feet hurt and Ryder’s dad starts texting. They don’t want to say goodnight yet, so Ryder’s dad agrees to a strict limit of one hour, in the living room, while he reads upstairs, and then he’ll take Unique home.
They sit next to each other on the couch, grinning awkwardly, listening to the footsteps and the closing door upstairs. “So…” Ryder slides his palms up and down his thighs. “You said your feet hurt?”
“Yes, oh my lord, get these things off of me.” She pulls her skirt up just a little and bends down to slip her shoes off.
“Let me?” Ryder pats his lap. When she turns sideways and raises her legs up to rest her feet on his legs, he takes them and strokes them gently, sliding the slippery fabric of her pantyhose across her skin.
“Mmm… Thank you.” She lays her head back and closes her eyes, sighing deeply. “You can do it harder.”
He keeps stroking, pressing his thumbs into her soles and carassing her ankles, until she breathes deep and says: “That feels so much better.”
He smooths his hands up her legs, pushing up her dress just a little to reveal her calves. “You have really great legs.”
She smiles widely. “Thank you.” She opens her eyes and crooks her finger at him. “Come here.”
He guides her feet to the floor, gets up onto his knees, and crawls up the couch to meet her with his arms bracketing her body. “Hi.”
“Hi.” She raises her head up and kisses his smile.
Making out with Unique is fucking awesome. She lets Ryder guide the kisses, so there’s the right amount of tongue and it’s not overly wet or anything. She’s breathing heavy and making these little moaning sounds, and she has a hand on the back of his head to keep him where he is. At some point she got her legs under him, and he’s straddling one of her thighs, trying really hard to be a gentleman, keeping himself from grinding down against her.
Things are just starting to get, um, intense, in the pants area, when she rocks her hips up and jabs him in the hip. Immediately she turns her head away and drops her hand to her side. “Oh fff- Oh my god, I’m sorry, this is mortifying -“
The sudden absense of her lips on his is hugely disappointing, and it takes his brain a second to catch up with the fact that her dress doesn’t have any pockets. “Oh! Was that your -“
“Don’t say it, don’t you say it -“
“No, it’s okay!” Ryder raises his body up off hers to give her some space, but lowers his head to kiss her cheek. “It’s okay, don’t worry. I knew you had, um - This isn’t exactly a surprise…”
She squeezes her eyes tight and sucks in a breath. “We can stop, if -“
“No, it’s cool. Like, we don’t have to talk about it if you don’t want, but I really want to keep kissing you. If that’s okay.”
She peers up at him shyly. “Really? Even if you can feel...”
“Yeah, I mean, it’s kind of an ego stroke, you know? Usually with girls I can’t tell if they’re really into it like that…”
She blurts out a giggle and covers her face with her hand. “Ohhhh my god…”
He kisses the back of her hand, as it’s in the way of her mouth. “So… that’s a yes?”
They don’t get a lot more time that night, because Ryder’s dad is driving Unique home and they need a cool down period first, because it turns out boners are like, crazy obvious in dresses, but they make out some more and she gets in some good groping of his chest, and they’re both puffy-lipped and messy-haired and embarrassed when his dad comes downstairs. All in all, a good time.
The second date doesn’t come soon enough, because Ryder pretty much just wants to make out all the time, but they hold hands in glee club (because everybody there knows Unique is a girl, and no one would judge anyway) and everything is still hilarious and fun. They go to a movie matinee on a Sunday and kiss and kiss in the back row. The third date is at a restaurant and both their parents are home. Their time in the car before they say goodnight isn’t nearly long enough or private enough. Once again, Ryder curses his tutoring sessions. He needs more time. And more nookie.
Their chance comes when Unique’s parents plan a special date night on one of Ryder’s rare free evenings. It’s a Saturday and he spends all morning doing as much homework as humanly possible so his parents have no reason to keep him home. He races out the door the second Unique calls, and when she answers the door, she’s not done getting dressed.
“Just give me fifteen minutes to put myself together, I’ll be quick…”
“Hey.” Ryder stops her by pulling her into a hug with his arms around her waist, then steps back to look at her. She’s in a blue dressing gown, bare feet, and a little bit of make up (none of the eye stuff or lip stuff, but her skin looks very smooth). She doesn’t have a wig on. “Can I watch?”
“And ruin the magic?” She rolls her eyes. “You can watch me do my face, since that takes the longest, but I’m kicking you out before the nakedness.”
“Aw. Are you sure?”
She gasps exaggeratedly. “Mr. Lynn, really! I’m not that kind of girl.”
He laughs and follows her up the stairs.
Ryder is lying on Unique’s bed with her (next to her this time, not on top of her) being thoroughly kissed, reveling in the knowledge that they have time. They can keep doing this all night.
He says: “I don’t know why you bothered with lip gloss when I’m just gonna kiss it off you anyway.”
Unique backs off enough to shoot him a teasing glare. “Why did you bother to comb your hair? Hm?” She grabs a fistful and tugs, sending a delicious tingle through him, before running her fingers through it just to mess it up.
Ryder retaliates by biting her lip, and she groans into his mouth. “Actually,” he murmurs, stroking a hand down her back, "I don’t know why you bothered with clothes.” His smirk falters when he realizes she’s not smiling with him.
“Is it okay if I keep my clothes on?”
“Of course! I was just teasing.” He reaches down to grope her butt through her skirt. “I can do this just as easily either way.”
She blushes and grins, and flicks her gaze down to his lips. “I want to do more than just kiss you.”
“I am so okay with that.”
“But… I need you to promise some things. To make this work.”
He nods. “Tell me.”
“Can you call my, um…” She glances down.
She laughs. “Yeah. Can you call it…” She swallows and rolls her eyes. “This is so stupid. Can you call it my clit?”
“That’s not stupid. I’ll call it whatever you want.”
“And can you treat it like that too? Like, don’t wrap your hand around it or anything. Just, keep it flat against me, like…”
“Like a clit. I get it.” He pulls her close and kisses her. “I can do that. Just tell me if you want me to stop.”
Ryder has never been so close to anyone’s phallus but his own before. It turns out Unique is okay with taking her underwear off, she had just wanted to keep her dress on. She’s on her back, panting, with her eyes closed, as he rubs with the flat of his hand. “I love frigging you.”
She moans out loud and rocks her hips. “Ohhhh…”
It’s actually a two-handed job because it keeps jumping and twitching away from her body. He has to hold it down with one hand (careful not to wrap his fingers all the way around) while rubbing the head with the other. But he doesn’t mind. He feels weirdly proud that he has that much of an effect on her. “Can I lick your clit?”
He bends down to lick, and it twitches upward and bumps along the side of his face. He shifts position to hold it more steady as he presses with his tongue, side to side, as firmly and as wetly as he can. He keeps his eyes open to watch her thrash and jerk, gasping and gripping the folds of her dress.
“I’m -! Oh god! It’s too-ah ah!”
He struggles to keep his tongue on her as come shoots up onto her stomach and his nose. Everything is pulsing and wet, and her cries are so freaking hot. She’s beautiful.
He licks and licks until the twitching stops and her panting subsides, and then he crawls up the bed to kiss her wetly. “How was that?”
She laughs deliriously. “I never knew I could have sex that I would actually like. I just - I never knew I could do it without remembering that I have the body I have...”
“So, I was good then?”
“Honey, you were fabulous.”
He kisses her again, undoing his pants as he does. He squeezes his cock and starts to stroke.
“No.” She grabs his wrist. “Let me. I want to touch you.”
He excitedly scrambles onto his back. “God, how did I get such an awesome, pretty, multi-talented, hilarious girlfriend?”
She sits up in a kneel, straightens her wig, and reaches down to touch his cock for the first time. “You really think I’m pretty?”
He grins. “Gorgeous.”