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As Ourselves

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"First of all," said Jay, "you gotta moisturize."

Kay rolled his eyes in a way that suggested that the only thing he had moisturized in his life was his front lawn. Jay looked unimpressed.

"Yeah, Kay, I know you belong to the sect of manly aquaphobes. Whatever, after this assignment you can go right back to cultivating that Sahara desert you call a face."

Jay rummaged through his little rucksack and produced a tub of cocoa butter. Kay accepted the tub indifferently; but when he took off the lid and sniffed at the contents, his expression changed to that of interest. He scooped some buttery flakes with his large hand and let them melt in his palm.

"This is just making me hungry," he admitted. "How do you wear this without getting chocolate cravings?"

"You don't." Jay flopped a Lindt bar on the table in front of Kay. Kay's face lit up, and Jay felt disproportionately smug. "Apple and cinnamon!"

"Maybe I could live with having to moisturize," mused Kay. The corners of his mouth hitched up, which he attempted to counteract by frowning but only succeeded in looking comical. "You do know me well, slick."

"Years of hard-won familiarity are paying off," conceded Jay.

 

"How are you two taking this long?" grumbled Frank from the couch. For the last forty minutes he'd been asleep in a heap of decorative pillows, snoring away like a congested trucker. Now he was looking at Kay and Jay, his beady eyes blinking peevishly. "I only took five minutes, tops."

"All you had to do was put on a skirt, asshole," retorted Kay, who was in the middle of his own struggle with a luxurious trumpet dress.

"Yeah, you try doing that when you have no hands, human." Frank kicked with his hind legs, fluffing up the pink folds of his tutu, and glanced at it with an expression of self-satisfaction. "Damn, man, I'm one pretty bitch."

"Why don't you sleep a little more, Frank?" asked Jay with a sigh.

"Can't. The smell of chocolate woke me up. Any chance I could get some?"

"Hell no. Alien or not, you're still a dog. I ain't going undercover with a dead pug!"

Frank huffed in disappointment and crawled back under the pillows. All that remained visible was his butt framed in wavy pink fabric.

 

"How's my dress?"

Kay gave Jay a long assessing look.

"Blue."

"You're a terrible drag queen, man. Just let me do the talking, okay?"

"Sure," Kay said easily, and popped another chunk of chocolate into his mouth. "Diplomacy's never been my strong suit, anyhow. I'll be your armed support."

Jay stared at him suspiciously.

"You better not get into a fight first chance you have, Kay," he warned. "In this outfit, you're more likely to provide armed support to your opponents by blastin' off your own legs.

"How are you on heels, anyway?"

Kay demonstrated. His multilayered dress billowed around his bare ankles in wild banana-coloured waves. The four-inch silvery stilettos clinked loudly against the floor.

"Kay, my dude." Jay tried very hard not to laugh. "This is- no. Every step you've just made was somehow an entire new type of OSHA violation. You know what, let's stick with flats, shall we?"

He threw a pair of lacquered brown ballet flats in Kay's general direction and turned to the mirror, concentrating on applying a generous quantity of turquoise lipstick to his own mouth.

If he was being honest, he was rather enjoying himself.

 

"How in hell do you know this much about drag?"

"Eh," said Jay, without turning, "I thought for sure that must've been in my file. Amateur theatricals. You serve in the 34th precinct, you either gain fifty pounds and give up on life, or you get yourself a hobby."

"You're full of surprises, rookie."

Jay did a slight double take. There were genuine appreciation and respect in Kay's voice, of the sort Jay would have never heard from his colleagues in the force.

Sometimes he forgot how different the MIB was. How different Kay was.

"Hey," he said, grinning awkwardly. "Thanks, man. Thanks."

"What? I ain't done anything." Kay walked closer and leaned his elbow against Jay's shoulder.

Their reflection in the mirror was certainly spectacular. Jay's luxurious black wig was so large its curls were tickling Kay's arm, and the false heart-shaped beauty mark on Kay's upper lip sparkled with glitter.

"You gotta admit," said Jay, "we make this look good."

"Who are we going as, kid?"

"Oh said we're sassy best friends."

"Heh." Kay gave a charming orange-lipped smile. "We're going as ourselves, then."