The Service Is a Drag

Part 2

by Dr. Susan Calvin (StrangeRelations at aol.com)
3/20/02

I've escaped the mind-binders!!! Quick, take this info and run!!!!! They're a-comin' fer me! AHAHAHAAAAAAAAA!!! Free for now!!!!!!!

Staring into his bathroom mirror, Duane couldn't help but notice he was still a little blanched from the shock of hearing the ridiculous order tumble out of Garth's grinning mouth. His hands, minutely trembling, held a tube of bright burgundy lipstick. He would never be able to put it on straight if he just didn't get ahold of himself pronto. Using all his will and top secret control techniques usually reserved for the most intense and dangerous of situations, he honed his mind until he was able to fully concentrate on the task at hand. The tube of lipstick stopped vibrating and he placed it to his lips. And now, yet another, more bizarre and ridiculous question formed in his mind: Should he simply outline his lips' natural shape, or should he mimic the fashionable "Betty Grable" Cupid's-bow he had seen in every girlie magazine this year?

After a minute's hesitation he mumbled, "To hell with it..." and slathered the lipstick on without the bow. After all, he didn't want to seem like he was obsessed with details, or that he was really enjoying this at all. The lipstick lividly stood out on his pale features. He mwaad once, then dropped the tube back into its place in a neat little oriental-style lacquered box full to the brim with unused makeup. This box belonged to Jo; it was years worth of accumulated Christmas and birthday gifts that she never used. Jo wasn't one to wear makeup, and in Duane's opinion she didn't need it anyhow; her soft blonde hair, blue eyes and freckles seemed to reflect a self-assured femininity that needed no improvement. He wouldn't be caught dead saying that, though, lest she attempt to prove just how un-feminine she could truly be. Fumbling with a box of eyeshadow, he clicked it open and surveyed the color inside. It was a light and dark shade of sea green, matching perfectly with his eyes. He was unsure of whether this was a faux pas or not, but he liberally applied the colors to his lids anyways. It confused him as to why there should be two shades in the first place -- was he supposed to utilize both, like mix them together in some manner?!? Or make alternating stripes? Use the dark for the top lid and the light for the bottom? Muttering under his breath again, he hurriedly finished his lopsided job and went on to mascara. He was making some nice clumps when Jo's tittering reflection appeared behind him in the mirror. She grasped his bare shoulders with her strong hands and swooped down to look over his face critically.

"Wow... I don't think I could've done a worse job myself," she commented. Duane screwed up his face in annoyance, trying to avoid her probing fingers. "You need to blend this a little here... smudge that... Damn, how much lipstick did you put on?!?" He batted her hands away and she pouted at him, then broke into a new fit of laughter as she witnessed him trying to apply blush. "Here, gimme." She held out an open palm and he slapped the blush into it.

"All yours," he intoned in his lazily cynical voice. A huge, gusty sigh emanated from the depths of his being. Jo daubed the bright rouge on the apples of his cheeks, then surveyed her handiwork. For someone with such chiseled, masculine features, Duane was looking surprisingly girly. She could almost understand how, with a wig, he could have fooled that drunken officer of his so long ago.... The only thing that shattered the illusion was that Duane was stripped down to his boxers, exposing his lean, toned and haphazardly scarred body. That she could cover up with a dress. Now, she thought to herself, if only he could get that unpleasant scowl off his face...

"Duane, it's so good of you to put up with this, really," she said honestly. "I mean, you really shouldn't if it's going to be such a strain...."

"I'm a man of my word." His emerald eyes held hers in his steely gaze. "Besides... it's pathetic, but I've got nothing better to do." He shrugged and looked down at the floor. Jo was reminded of how restrictive and demanding his job usually was, and understood. It was a strange way to unwind, but it worked nevertheless. She was suddenly more jealous than ever of Dr. Slate, who would have Duane's full attention tonight, and who knew, maybe forever after. Without hesitation she put her arms around him and laughed a short, bitter laugh into his ear. "You're great, you know that? You put up with all our shenanigans." His bare flesh was warm against her cheek.

Duane's rigidity relaxed and he tentatively patted her back, unsure of what to make of this abrupt show of...affection? But in an instant, she had parted from him, cheeks pink.

"Now get in that dress, soldier!!!" She imitated Duane's drawl. "What do you think this is, Girl Scout camp?!? Move it!!! On the double!!!!!!!!"

Duane scurried over to the deep blue monstrosity they had procured out of Jo's closet. Fortunately it wasn't as tight-waisted as most contemporary dresses, but the reason it had sat so long without ever being worn was immediately evident; the design was clumsy at best, tacky at worst. A gigantic triangle of fabric buttoned over to the left side of the dress, broken up by the deep V of the collar line that was trimmed in gigantic cream-colored lacy lapels. There was a thin belt that went with it made out of the same navy material, then the dress ended in an array of pleats that stopped mid-calf. Jo helped him into the dress, back to giggling again. "I don't know what Grandma was thinking -- on me, this thing looks hideous. But with your build, it's just right!" She clapped her hands together with glee and squealed as Duane twirled around in the dress, causing the skirt to flare out and providing a peek at his boxers. Jo froze. "Shoot! I forgot the pantyhose!!!!!"

On to Part 3!

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