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When My Baby Wears a Dress

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“Here. Pin,” Makishima orders, pinching fabric together on the back of their sleeve. Tadokoro moves the pin where they indicate with exaggerated care. He’s only jabbed Makishima once so far, so he’s doing well.

Makishima studies themself critically in the mirror, moving their arm through different positions. The sleeve looks unnecessarily complicated, like it’s braided from different fabrics, until it loosens and feathers apart. (Only on one side. Makishima is still in love with asymmetry and their left side has no sleeve at all.) Tadokoro can’t tell if it’s not doing something they want or doing something they don’t want, but it’s obvious they are still not pleased.

“You could get a model.”

“No. I’m wearing this one.”

Makishima always walks a few designs down the runway themself. They do seem to favor their more outlandish designs, but the things they choose may masculine or feminine or androgynous. Anyone who tries to read into which designs they choose only gets a dismissive scoff as Makihisma says, “Don’t even talk to me about gender.” Makishima prefers the fit of their own labels.

This one suits them. The fabric is rich purple edged with acid green, woven in patterns Tadokoro’s eyes can’t decode, and yet the dress flows with every move Makishima makes (except, apparently, for the traitorous sleeve they are still adjusting and re-adjusting.) This dress clearly wasn’t made for anyone else.

“It needs to be tighter here.” Makishima indicates a spot below their shoulder that they can’t reach. Tadokoro attempts to adjust it to their satisfaction and watches them test the fit again.

“You never ask me what I think,” Tadokoro comments.

“What, are you going to tell me to show more leg?”

Tadokoro laughs. “You could, but it already looks too good. Like you’re not even a human being.”

“This is why I never ask you!”

There is no one on this planet who can match Makishima. Their hair is escaping their messy bun in all directions and they have bags under their eyes dark as bruises and when they laugh they sound half-drunk with exhaustion. Tadokoro could drink in their presence all night.

It’s not just beauty that makes them wonderful to watch. There is no one else Tadokoro finds so much fun to tease, and no one whose smile pleases him more. Even when they first met, when Makishima was painfully awkward and gangling all over the place, Tadokoro wanted them. There’s just something about them he can’t ignore.

Eventually Makishima is satisfied, though Tadokoro doesn’t see the difference. They need some help out of the dress, and normally that would be fun but the way Makishima leans back against him says just how exhausted they are. No one could ever push Makishima as hard as they push themself.

Tadokoro is going to have to ask for a private showing later, to make up for not nearly enough time to admire Makishima now. For now he abruptly scoops Makishima up in his arms and carries them out into the kitchen, ignoring protests that they are still in their underwear.

“Time to eat something before you waste away. Besides, you look good like this.” He plants a kiss on Makishima’s cheek and grins as they complain about him being a pervert.

When he puts Makishima down on the nearest chair they sprawl out and sulk instead of storming back into their studio, which says that they are too tired and hungry to argue. If that’s the case then it was past time for him to intervene.

“What do you seriously think?” they ask when Tadokoro comes back with sandwiches. Before Tadokoro can open his mouth they add a defensive, “About the dress.”

It’s not about the dress. It’s never about how clothes look on the rack, only on the person wearing them. Tadokoro learned that at a glance the first time he saw Makishima wearing something like that. Makishima looks otherworldly, too good to be real.

“It’s never going to look as good on anyone else as it does on you.”

“Great,” Makishima mutters, as if this is a problem. They can’t hide the flash of a pleased smile, though. That’s what Tadokoro loves to see most.