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The Ragged Ends of Your Summer Dress

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Alex was lying on the couch in one of the sitting rooms, watching Raven sift through piles of books. They were the only two in the house, everyone else was out getting ready to throw Sean off a satellite dish. It was nice to just relax and pretend everything was fine when it very much wasn’t.

All of a sudden Raven shifted into a guy, she picked up a mirror, examined her face, and shifted back to her prefered appearance.

“Do you ever just wander around as a guy sometimes? You know go do things and stuff.”

“Sometimes,” Raven said, looking up from the pile of books, “I haven’t for a while though, why?”

“Just- just wondering,” Alex said, “Does it feel weird? Being a guy when you’re actually a girl?”

“Not really, it’s just being me. I can be a guy, a girl, whatever I feel like, I mean sometimes I don’t feel like anything.”

“Huh,” Alex was quiet for a moment before speaking again, “Do you think other people have those feelings? I mean people who can’t do what you do.”

“I… guess, I’ve never met anyone else whose gender changes,” Raven said, “I told Hank about it, he thinks it’s ‘idiosyncratic to me’ and ‘probably a resultant factor of my mutation’.”

Alex frowned, “Maybe it’s not though, maybe…”

Raven watched Alex silently, playing with the edges of the book she was holding.

Alex took a deep breath before continuing, “I don’t- sometimes I don’t feel like a guy. Like being a guy is… I don’t know, wrong somehow, like I’m supposed to be a girl, but there’s nothing I can do about it.”

“But it’s only sometimes?” Raven asked, “You don’t always feel like that?”

Alex shook their head, “Sometimes I’m fine being a guy, being a guy is great. Sometimes.”

“What do you do when you feel like a girl?”

Alex shrugged, “Try to ignore it mostly, it’s not like there’s anything I can do. I’ll never actually be a girl.”

“So does that mean I’ll never really be a guy because the form I revert to is female?” Raven snapped.

“What? No. You’re different, you actually can change. I just- I just meant, I’ll never be able to achieve that cause I’ve only got one form that I’m stuck with. You can change, you have a fluidity with your body that I never will.”

“Well that doesn’t mean you can’t be a girl,” Raven said, “I don’t always look like what I’m feeling. Hell sometimes I don’t even know how to change into what I’m feeling.”

Alex nodded, “It’s not really an easy thing though, sometimes ignoring it’s the only thing you can do. It’s not exactly safe to go around telling people that sort of thing.”

“Well now you’ve told me,” Raven said, “So you don’t have to ignore it around me.”

Alex opened their mouth to say something, but they couldn’t think of anything to say so they closed it again.

“Do you have any clothing for when you’re a girl?”

Alex shook their head, “You’ve seen me in all the clothing I own.”

“Well, that’s not going to do,” Raven said, getting to her feet.

“You’re not going to take me shopping are you?” Alex asked, they didn’t want to take any of this out in public.

“Not if you’re not comfortable with it, but no, I was just gonna go through my closet and see I’ve got anything that might fit you.”

“Raven I hate to tell you but you are smaller than I am.”

“Not by that much,” Raven said, “Come on get up.” She grabbed Alex’s arm tugging on it until Alex got up off the couch.

“Why are you so insistent that we do this now?”

“Because everyone else is out either trying to get Sean to fly or off doing official CIA things, and we have the house to ourselves. Now is the perfect time for you to try on some of my clothes,” Raven paused, “Unless it’s not a girl day, cause we don’t have to if you’re not comfortable.”

“No it’s- it’s a girl day,” Alex said quietly.

“And you’re fine with doing this now?” Raven asked. She didn’t want to drag Alex off to do something that she wasn’t comfortable doing.

Alex nodded, “I just wasn’t expecting it.”

“Alright, come on then, I have to have something that will fit you.”

 

“Raven it’s not gonna zip don’t force it.”

Raven huffed, “It’s so close to fitting though.”

“Raven if I move my arms I’m going to pop the seams.”

“Fine take it off,” Raven said with a sigh, turning back to her closet,  “I’ll go look for something else.”

With Raven’s back turned Alex slipped out of the dress. It had come surprisingly close to fitting, but her shoulder’s were just too broad.

“How about this?” Raven said, holding up a bright yellow sun dress.

“I really think you need breasts to wear that.”

“Most dresses are built for breasts,” Raven said, tossing the dress at Alex, “Try it on anyways.”

Alex caught the dress, setting the other dress that hadn’t fit on Raven’s bed before trying to slip into the yellow dress. She sighed when she couldn’t get it to zip up either. “Still won’t zip.”

“Let me try.”

“Raven if I get stuck-”

“Oh shush.”

Raven managed to get the zipper up another inch before she gave up. “You need something that doesn’t have a back, or is stretchy.”

“Do you have something that is either of those things?” Alex asked reaching around to undo the zipper.

“I don’t know, I’ll keep looking.”

“Why do you even have so many clothes?” Alex asked, “Can’t you just make your own clothes when you transform?”

“I can, but sometimes I like to keep things. Most of these are from before I started doing that anyways. Oh here’s something, wait no that’s a nightgown. Do you want a nightgown?”

Alex shrugged, “Sure.”

“Try it on before you commit,” Raven said, “It should fit but you should make sure.”

“You just want to see me try it on,” Alex teased.

Raven grinned, “Why on earth would you think that?”

Alex rolled her eyes, but finished wriggling out of the sun dress and took the nightgown from Raven.

It was a very easy fit, as it was much less form fitting than the regular dresses had been, and when Alex took it off she set in a pile of it’s own instead of the ever growing pile of dresses that didn’t fit.

Raven meanwhile was still sifting through her closet looking something, anything, that Alex could wear.

“You know it’s okay if you can’t find anything,” Alex said.

“No I am going to find something even if it takes all day.”

“We don’t exactly have all day though,” Alex pointed out, “Charles and everyone will be coming back eventually.”

“Even if they do, there’s is literally no reason for them to come bother us.”

Alex could think of several reasons that Charles especially would have to come bother them, but she didn’t say anything.

“Here we go,” Raven said, pulling a white halter-top dress out of the closet, “This doesn’t have much of a back.” She held the dress out to Alex.

Alex sighed, taking the dress from Raven, she’d kind of given up the hope that they’d actually find a dress that fit. She just wasn’t built like a girl.

“I heard that,” Raven said, “Just try it on before you decide that it won’t fit.”

Alex took a deep breath before stepping into the dress, and it was a bit tight, but she could zip it up all the way and it fit. It wasn't quite a perfect fit, the dress had obviously been tailored for Raven, but it still fit.

“Does it fit?” Raven asked.

Alex could only nod. She stared at herself in the mirror that hung on the door of Raven’s closet feeling completely lost for words. She didn’t know how to describe the feeling that was bubbling up inside of her.

Raven grinned, “That’s great! Now spin, let’s see how it looks.”

Alex snapped out of where she’d been lost in her thoughts, “What?”

Spin,” Raven repeated making a spinning gesture with her hand.

“Oh, um, sure.”

Alex did as Raven asked, spinning in a slow circle. Watching as the skirt of the dress fanned out around her, she couldn’t help but smile. It felt good, freeing.

“Do it again.”

And Alex did, laughing a little as she did. When she stopped, she was grinning ear to ear. “And you’re sure I can have this?”

“It’s all yours,” Raven replied, with a smile that almost rivaled Alex’s. Almost.

“Thank you. Thank you so much.”

“You’re very welcome,” Raven replied.

 

They were interrupted then, by Charles telepathically calling them down to the lounge.

“I wish he wouldn’t do that,” Raven muttered.

“It is the most convenient way to call everyone to one place,” Alex said, taking the dress off, “Can I leave this in here for now?”

“Yeah sure, you can come get it later,” Raven said, “If you want to come up after dinner I could show you how to do makeup to look a little more feminine.”

“Really? That- that would be awesome.” It would be really nice to learn how to do makeup properly. When she was still in the foster home she’d let her foster sister paint her nails, but that was really the only experience she had with makeup.

“Yeah, and you can have your pick of my makeup too, cause that’s also something that’s ten times easier to do by transforming.” She demonstrated, by changing her face so she had much more pronounced makeup.

“That’s incredible,” Alex said, as she pulled on the clothes she’d been wearing earlier.

“I am a woman of many talents,” Raven said grinning, “Now we should head down before Charles sends someone looking for us.”

“Yeah. Thanks again, for everything.”

Raven smiled, “You’re welcome.”

As they left Raven’s room Alex couldn’t help but think that it was really nice to not be so alone in the world.