Leo leans against the door frame and watches as Cody is getting ready.
It's not his day, but he's still allowed to witness the thorough preparations Cody goes through before going out with one of them. Not that he needs much preparation – he's already pretty much perfect the moment he opens his eyes in the morning – but Cody likes to put extra care in his outfits when it comes to them. Better, he likes to drive them crazy with clothes he knows have the ability to blow their minds.
Today is Adam's day, two words Leo can't even think without cringing. They have a strict schedule for dating Cody – over which he and Adam fight any other week – and it was pretty much built around Leo's endless needs and his equally endless list of lovers, so he can't really complain about it, but it doesn't mean he has to like it. As a matter of fact, he hates it because he hates the mere idea that Adam could have Cody even for a little while. That man has the United States of America, for Christ's sake, any more than that can be rightfully filed under greed.
When it comes to Adam, Cody always goes for skintight clothes, the tighter the better. Leo doesn't know if Adam just likes to peel him like an orange or if it's just the nude-like effect that triggers him. He could probably ask him if they talked, but screaming profanities to each other every time Cody's name comes up in a conversation is not really talking, so he will keep his doubts to himself forever. He can live with that. One thing he knows, tho. Adam must be on tonight because Cody took out the big guns. He's going to wear a leather miniskirt, so short that it doesn't qualify much as a skirt but rather as a belt, and a tight shirt that leaves most of his shoulders naked and emphasizes the true magic of his slim waist.
He looks a little sexier than Leo would like him for one of his own dates, but yummy nonetheless. And Cody is dressing up for Adam, after all, so no surprises there. Leo prefers a much more innocent look for him. In fact, as far as he's concerned, Cody should always look more pretty than sexy – one time he described the look he likes the most as a sort of modern version of a fairy tale princess on vacation – so he can ravish him with all his clothes still on. After a closer and deeper analysis of his own preferences, he realized that he just really likes the idea of tainted purity, as long as said purity is completely fake – Cody is dirty as they come – and can be reestablished after a long shower.
He doesn't know where this kink of his comes from, but it makes his girlfriend Meredith laugh her ass off every time the subject comes up; even if she can understand how something like that is appealing to him and she actually saw Leo being predatory with Cody a couple of times, she still struggles to imagine Leo ravishing anything, since he's always the meekest, most cuddly thing with her. The way he just changes attitude with each one of them is always fascinating.
“Let me guess, you're thinking that he's dressed too slutty for your tastes.” Adam's voice comes as pleasant to him right now as a gumboil.
“Don't you have to do whatever fake presidents do?”
Adam chuckles as he leans against the door frame mirroring Leo's own posture, a thing that doesn't exactly help Leo finding him more pleasant. As if his mere shiny presence wasn't enough to spoil the moment for Leo, Adam is not even wearing one of his freakishly fancy presidential suits, but a pair of cargo pants and a tight white t-shirt that make him look like a model, a thing he would probably have been if their Country hadn't slowly but inexorably slipped back into a 1950's time bubble for the past thirty years, forcing his heroic ass to start a revolution.
“I'm not a fake president, but an interim president. And you, as one of my spokespersons, should know that,” Adam corrects him. How he likes to do that.
“I, as one of your spokespersons, want to resign because I've never signed for this.”
Adam turns his head to look at him, an eyebrow perfectly arched in outrageous disbelief. “Really?” He asks, and the amusement in his voice is not missed on Leo. “Well, I might have a few names in mind that can take that burden from you.”
Leo crosses his arms over his chest and sulks, going back to look at Cody, who's taking an incredible amount of time to put on his shirt. “Over my dead cold body.”
“Thought so,” Adam chuckles again, not less irritatingly than before. They're both looking at Cody now and avoiding each other's face, which is more or less a summary of their life lately. “Another thing you're thinking is that you have no idea if Cody feels more like a boy or a girl right now.”
Leo sulks harder. The maximum depth his sulking is able to reach is still being assessed by the whole family. “I didn't know we were playing a game of guess-what-Leo-is-thinking.”
“Everybody is always playing that game since half the time you don't make any sense whatsoever,” Adam informs him with a shrug. “Your mind is a mystery nobody felt the need to solve, but yet here we are.”
“Fuck off, Walker.”
“I love you too, Leo,” Adam says. This time he openly laughs and he's so illegally handsome that Leo has to force himself not to look at him. Luckily, Cody still wearing only his tiny panties is a good distraction from the constant threat to his self-esteem currently standing next to him. “So, what is it? Boy or girl?”
This is a question Leo has never been able to answer right so far, no matter how hard he tries. Cody identifies himself as gender fluid; more specifically, his perception of himself randomly fluctuates between boy and girl. And Leo can't never tell the difference. As the presidential spokesperson for gender identities and new forms of family – this is his complete and official title – he's perfectly able to explain to people all the nuances of the sexuality and identity spectrum, but he admits that sometimes he has problems understanding how those translate to reality.
“I don't know,” Leo says. “He's wearing a skirt, I'll go with girl.”
Adam looks at him, but this time there's nothing mocking in the way he smiles. “That is your problem, Leo,” he says, sweetly. When he really tries to explain something to you, Adam always manages to make it bearable. Another of his uncanny gifts. You don't guide an entire nation out of a new Dark Ages only with bombs, after all. “You focus too much on his clothes, but they are completely inconsequential. Cody can feel like a boy or a girl, but he himself never changes. He just wears clothes that suit him. To put it simply, he dresses his body not the gender he identifies with.”
“But I know for a fact that the difference is not in how he carries himself,” Leo says. Cody can either be a boy or a girl, but he doesn't turn into a girly girl or a tomboy any other day. He's just Cody all the time. “So, if I shouldn't look at the clothes, what exactly should I look at?”
“Him,” Adam says, simple as that. “It's true that he doesn't behave in two different ways, but there's a sharpness in his movements when he's a boy that is simply not there when he's a girl. And his eyes have a cunning sparkle every time he wakes up feeling like a girl. They are subtle but very deep nuances of his character that make all the difference in the world.”
“I'm not sure I get that,” Leo admits. Once again he focuses on Cody, who's now dressed and checking himself in the mirror. “He looks always the same to me.”
“Think of it like this. It's a little like those very rare times when you don't voice your complains after something offended you,” Adam says, patiently. “Your attitude doesn't change, but you get rigid and suddenly unapproachable and everybody knows something is wrong.”
This is a concept even he can understand. “I'll have to think about it.”
“It takes time,” Adam nods, patting him twice on his shoulder. Cody joins them and kisses Leo before holding Adam's hand, signaling that he's ready to go. “You can practice while we go out for dinner.”
Leo frowns. “I need to look at him to practice!”
Adam's already halfway through the door when he answers, his black, sleek presidential car waiting for him in the driveways. “I'll send you some videos, then.”
Three weeks later Leo and Adam are leaning against the door frame of Cody's bedroom door as Cody gets ready to go out, with Leo this time. They seem to spend all their spare time watching Cody doll up for them. It's ultimately not true – they both have jobs and hobbies and must eat and have showers sometimes – but it feels that way. Cody got used to have them around the moment he steps out of the bathroom and he learned to dress, undress and pile up discarded clothes on the bed as if they weren't there. Leo supposes this is some sort of necessity when you have two boyfriends gawking at you all the time.
“So, did you think about what I told you?” Adam asks. He's expected to speak at a meeting later tonight – Leo is seventy percent sure it's something about new housing, education or financial help for the people coming from the ghetto – so he's sporting a snazzy black tuxedo and shiny black shoes. This must be Blaine's doing, because if it was for Adam, he would be holding important political meeting in his old riot outfit.
As a personal policy, Leo always tries to avoid Adam's suggestions, because they're usually wise and he hates to owe Adam for anything, but this time he really needed the help, so he not only listened to Adam's words but did as he was told. He already has an inferiority complex when it comes to Adam – the guy led a rebellion and freed the Country, he's a legit hero – and the last thing he needs is to feel even worse because he can't read Cody as well as Adam does. He needed to learn how to do it, and Adam was the only teacher available. Well, Blaine could have taught him too, but Cody is a sensible subject for him, so Leo thought better than involving him.
“I think so,” Leo says, looking thoughtfully at Cody.
“And...?” Adam urges him.
Leo looks at Cody more closely, even tho it's hard to look at him more intensely than he's done in the past few hours. Today Cody is wearing a long, black sweater over a white t-shirt with a chubby unicorn near the hem, and a frilly skirt made of tulle that spreads around him like the petals of a pink flower. Leo has been dying to slip his hands underneath it since the moment Cody put it on and he's not sure he won't give in to temptation as soon as they get in the car. Or even in this very room, actually.
Anyway, the clothes are inconsequential. Adam was right. Cody is wearing a skirt, but there's nothing that would qualify as traditionally feminine in him right now, if not the skirt itself, but Leo's finally over that particular mindset – pants are for boys, skirts are for girls – and the thought doesn't even cross his mind this time. But when Cody woke up next to him this morning, Leo felt the shift in him. He was different from the day before. It was a subtle difference, but it was there.
He couldn't really understand it, but now he kinda sees it. The mellowness that made Cody melt in his arms last night is gone, leaving fierceness in his wake. It doesn't mean that Cody is weaker when he's a girl, but his strength comes from other sides of him. She's tough and resilient, she bends not to crack, and Leo doubts she can be broken. But the boy in him is fearless and brave and he's made of fire.
And God, he looks good in a skirt.
“He's a boy,” he says, so certain of his answer that he doesn't even need to turn to Adam for confirmation. As the thought clicks into place in his head, he's already pushing himself away from the door frame. “And I suggest you to leave. You don't want to be late to your meeting, do you?”
Adam was laughing, but he stops and frowns. “The meeting is in three hours.”
“There's traffic on the highway,” Leo continues, getting closer to Cody.
Cody sees him approaching through the mirror and keeps brushing his hair, which he let down tonight. He knew the skirt was going to mess with Leo head, so he's not even surprised. In fact, that's the reason he wore it. He even booked the restaurant taking into consideration the half hour he'll spend on his back, with his legs parted and Leo's face planted between his thighs, before they will actually leave the room.
“Come on, man!” Adam complains, watching in horror as Leo ignores him and starts kissing Cody down his neck.
When his hands slip underneath the skirt and find out that there are frilly panties under the frilly skirt, Leo literally meows in pleasure. “Would you mind closing the door on your way out, interim president?” He asks, picking Cody up in his arms. Cody squeaks, flailing his legs.
“You're gonna pay for this, Leo.”
Leo knows that. There will be war and it will be harsh, but he can't think about that now.
There's a boy in his arms and he moans.
As the door clicks closed, he can only think one thing: the skirt definitely makes the next few bloodbaths worth it, and even more.