"Go get our drinks." Jamie instructed Luna, raising her voice to be heard over the raucous laughter, dirty jokes, arguments, bets, long-winded stories and one-line quips. Luna raised one delicately arched eyebrow in contemptuous questioning. "Go on!" Jamie urged at her hesitation. "This kind of place doesn't do service, and we're thirsty. Aren't we, girls?"
Luna stumbled off in the direction of the bar to a hearty cheer in general favor of beer, with some added appreciative sentiment towards Luna's ass and the three-point discrepancy in the game playing in the background. Jamie watched her go and then hunkered down at the table, peering into the faces of her friends and familiar barflies.
"She's so young!" Mandy broke the ice with the first comment, which unleashed a flood of the rest: "Cradle-robber!" "She got a sister?" "Wanna share?" and someone's breathy "Mmmm-hmmm.". Drunk, horny, nosy women and a new, fresh, young meat- especially interesting for Jamie- made a recipe for curiosity and catcalls.
Jamie shook her head. "She's not so young. Just five years between us. She's a junior at SU. I met her in the office." She tacked that bit of information on in advance, knowing that they'd want to know. Girls like Luna, well, girls who looked like Luna did, always got the same reaction:
"You sure you ain't picked yourself up a straight?" Tara cried.
"Hey, they're good for a coupla fucks!" Alex called in answer.
Jamie rolled her eyes; now came a new wave of appraisal that wondered if little Jamie had hooked herself the mother of all prizes: the hot bi-curious girl. After all, Luna fit the bill.
"No." She said firmly, putting their speculative minds to rest. "No, she's a grade-A lesbian, all right. A real women's studies major."
A circle of empty glasses rose in the air following Alex's example. "Praise God for the hairy humorless old twats at SU!" She bellowed. "Mz. Evans made me who I am today!" Everybody cackled, except for Jamie.
"No," She sighed. "She's very . . . opinionated. Honestly-" But she didn't get the chance to finish her weary thought; Luna had come wobbling back with four brimming pitchers. She plunked them down, dusted off her sweater, and turned privately to Jamie.
"There's a guy at the bar!" She hissed loudly, jerking her shoulder.
Alex laughed, having overheard. "That's just Jake, honey. Oh, he'll love to hear that. He's transitioning, trying real hard to pass, you know, even with that awful patchy beard. Hang on." Alex got up and ambled over to the bar to invite Jake to the table.
"What's he doing here?" Luna asked, frowning, as they came back. Jamie frowned in turn.
"He's our friend." She said slowly and deliberately.
Jake came by and Luna buried her face in her wine spritzer, the only different drink at the table. Everyone gave him a slap on the back, chatted, complimented him on the changes, courteously skirted his questions about his beard. When he finally wandered away, attention almost immediately came back to Luna, quiet and unobtrusive, squashed between Jamie and Alex.
"Ain't you got nothing to say, girl?" Tara piped up.
Mandy elbowed her and leaned across the table. "What she means is, you're awfully quiet."
Luna lifted her head and cleared her throat. Feeling her straighten up, Jamie stiffened. "I guess I'm just a little uncomfortable." She said loudly.
The table quieted a little. Everybody turned.
"I find it offensive for a man to be in a women's space, that's all." And then, when the stares continued, she made a little shoulder shrug towards Jake.
Mandy coughed into her hand. "Well." She said. "That's just . . . Jake." Nobody had ever questioned Jake's right to hang out in the bar with all his old friends, friends who had before known and loved him as Jen. The thought had never occurred to them.
"In a way, he's even worse than a man. He's like a traitor to our cause by choosing to become part of the patriarchy." And then, just slightly, she shuddered.
"May I talk to you." Jamie growled through gritted teeth, interrupting before Luna could say anything else. Her hand formed a tightened steel vise around Luna's arm. "Outside."
In any other circumstance, there would have been catcalls and suggestive remarks at Jamie dragging another woman out of a bar looking all flushed and hot. But it was obvious she was angry, and the very rarity of calm, laid-back Jamie furious was just as unsettling to her friends as the remarks Luna had made about Jake. The two exited the bar in the uncomfortable silence.
"What?" Luna asked naively when they were out in the cold.
"What? What?" Jamie repeated. "Jake is my friend. How dare you talk about her- I mean, him- like that."
"Look at you! You can't even get it right." Luna said. "A tranny. It's unnatural."
Any chance of calming Jamie was gone. "Unnatural? Let me tell you something about 'trannies': they're everywhere. Jake's one. So is Mandy."
Luna choked back laughter. "Mandy is becoming a guy?"
"Mandy used to be a guy."
Luna's eyes opened wide with surprise, and then she opened her mouth. But Jamie beat her to it. "Don't. Don't you dare say that you knew, that you could tell, because you know it isn't true. Until just now, you thought she was the nicest, prettiest dyke around.
"There isn't anything unnatural about Jake or Mandy. Anyone you know could want a different body. Just tomorrow, anybody in that bar could decide to become a man."
"Yeah, well . . ." There was a flippance in Luna's voice that shocked Jamie.
"Me, Luna." She stressed, jabbing herself in the chest. "Yeah, me." She continued, seeing that she'd gotten her attention. "Me with my long hair, me in a skirt and lace top. You don't have to look like Alex or Tara. Anybody can realize one day that they were born in the wrong body."
Luna shook her head. "Okay! I get it. You don't have to lecture me." She was dismissive, attitude dripping off of her cold stance. It was moments like this that did make Luna seem far younger than she was, a petulant child, a moody teenager. And policing her like this made Jamie feel like a tired parent. "It's freezing." Luna said, jumping around to warm up. "Can we go back inside?"
"No. Everyone needs some time to cool off. Get in the car. I'll go pay the tab and then we'll go home."
That evening found Jamie, oddly enough, in Luna's arms, caught up in the passion of make-up sex. The residual anger that she felt fueled it even more so. There was an utter lack of drive on Luna's part; she always made love very softly and sweetly. She could somehow always make it romantic, which was very much not what Jamie wanted at the moment. Jamie wished, not for the first time, that she could use her strap-on, or even just her dildo, on the receiving or giving end, it didn't matter. But it had been more than a month since anybody had been penetrated with anything: the month of dating Luna.
She scrambled for her drawer and managed to get her hand on the silicone toy before Luna smacked it down to the floor. "No." She moaned groggily, and, as if to make up for the loss, kissed and rubbed more vigorously. Even without it, Jamie finally found her release in the kissing and rubbing. She stretched out on the sheets, trying to make it clear that she didn't want to cuddle and be held. She wanted to move, so she picked the bright pink dildo off the ground and put it back in the drawer as Luna watched.
Luna's lip rose in disgust, so Jamie, feeling at that point tired, crabby, and not at all relaxed by her orgasm, shook the dildo antagonistically in her face. "What?"
Luna leaned away from it. "You know how I feel."
"This is not a penis, Luna." She said. She held it up. "There's no man attached to this, so it isn't a penis. It doesn't smell like a penis, it doesn't taste like one, and it doesn't even look like one. It certainly isn't the right color for a penis. This is just something women use to get off."
"It might as well be one." Luna retorted, surprising Jamie. "You and all your friends. I could see them wearing them in their pants." She sneered. "They're disgusting."
"They're just sex toys." Jamie replied.
"I wasn't talking about the dildos." Luna said, and then swung out of bed, facing away from Jamie.
"If you have something to say about my friends, say it." She demanded.
"Fine." Luna faced her. "I don't why they're your friends. They're awful. I could hear them joking. They're misogynistic perverts. I don't see how they can even call themselves lesbians, when they dress that way and cut their hair like that. And then they wear those- those things, and joke about giving it to a girl real hard. They're practically men."
Quietly seething, Jamie clenched her fists. "It's called butch, Luna. Butch and femme. That's how lesbians are."
"No! They're just as bad as heteros, butch and femme, playing house just like Mr. and Mrs. It's sick. They aren't lesbians, they're sellouts to the patriarchy. I'd never have the gall to cut off my hair and wear guy's clothes and still call myself a woman. At least Jake had the decency to admit he was a man."
"Okay." Jamie said gently, quietly. Somewhere in that speech, she had experienced a transcendence above anger, into a place where yelling was insufficient. This was the place where words ceased to have meaning, where action meant more. She firmly led a bewildered Luna to the closet. "Stay." She said, and released her.
She pulled out several pieces of clothing, draped them over her arm, and offered them to Luna. "Put them on."
Luna stared at her. "Put them on or get out of my house." Jamie repeated.
Slowly, she did what Jamie commanded, slipping off her nightgown and putting on each item. She put on the white t-shirt with no problem, and the white button-down shirt, but she balked at the boxer-briefs, so very clearly men's underwear with their front flap. Jamie merely stared her down until she slid them on, and over them, pants.
"Here you go." She sassed, hands on her hips in the butchest outfit Jamie had in her closet. "Does this make you happy?"
"Now sit." Jamie instructed, ignoring her. She disappeared into the bathroom and came back with her electric razor. Luna took one look at it in her hands and jumped up.
"You're not touching my hair." She backed away as Jamie advanced.
"Hair grows back." She stated, and then reached out, lightning fast, and grabbed a handful of Luna's long, thick blonde hair. Not caring how she pulled, she used the hair like a rein to lead Luna back to the seat where she sat watching herself and Jamie in the mirror.
Watching as Jamie razored it off. In the dark room with moonlight as her only guide, in silence but for the loud buzzing of the razor, the chunks of Luna's hair fell away. Jamie made long, clean strokes in efficient military fashion. An uneven buzz cut emerged, and beneath it, Luna's morose face and wet eyes.
When it was done, Jamie looped fingers underneath Luna's arms and lifted her to standing. She ran her fingers through the silky short hair she'd created. Luna tried to turn around, but Jamie would have none of it, holding her still forward, so the only eye contact they could have was in the mirror. She kept one hand ruffled in Luna's hair and slid the other down to grasp her right breast that strained against her man's shirt.
"Is this what you hate? What you think is so wrong? Look in the mirror: it's you now.
"I think I like you this way. What if I told you that? That I liked you this way better than before? Hmm?" Jamie's mouth was running without thinking, a stream of vicious words hissed in a low whisper. Luna looked hot as a butch, true, but not necessarily better than as a femme.
"What if I told you that the only way I could get hot was with you like this, treating me like a chauvinist pig, fucking me with-" she slid her hand from Luna's breast to her crotch and clutched it- "the big cock you strap on?"
Luna closed her eyes and swallowed, and Jamie thought This is it. The moment when it became too much abuse, all these things she found so abhorrent pushed onto her. The moment when her new girlfriend became her ex-girlfriend.
Luna opened her mouth, but what came out was not what Jamie expected. She moaned.
"Oh, Jamie." She whispered, and turned around so they were face to face. She practically lunged forward, mouth-first, into a kiss that practically snapped Jamie's neck back. Her tongue moved wildly, she opened her mouth wider and gasped a little for air until she finally broke.
Jamie stared at her, completely taken aback and flustered. The kiss had turned her on, no doubt. But the question that was making her head hurt was: what had turned Luna on? Luna's eyes were as confused as her own, but primarily they flamed with heat; she moved to kiss Jamie again, but Jamie stepped back.
"No, stop. I can't deal with this tonight. I'm tired. Just go. Go back to your dorm."
Jamie didn't know what she was doing. She couldn't imagine what she was supposed to do.
"Help her become a butch." Alex had said a the bar where Jamie met her friends to discuss the odd turn of fate. "It's obviously what she wants. You're helping her come out, in another way."
Mandy disagreed. "I don't think it's that simple. You say she got all hot and bothered at the thought of being masculine?"
"No way is that girl trans." Tara interrupted, following Mandy's line of thought.
"No, not trans. There's transsexuality and then there's transvestism. Sounds to me like your girl's got a case of the cross-dressing hots. At least, if you're making her."
"What, she likes being forced to dress and act like a man?" Alex had asked skeptically.
Mandy perked up. "Makes sense, sort of. I mean, there are tons of men whose dominatrixes make them put on women's clothing as humiliation. Panties and heels, you know. And then they act all feminine and submissive and get off on it. Sissification, they call it."
"Yeah, but those guys don't hate women- or femininity- the way that Luna hates men and masculinity." Jamie interceded, feeling like the conversation was being pulled off-topic.
"No, but those guys don't want to be feminine at all. At least, not on the outside. They've got blocks about it, in their head. But they do want it, deep down. The only way they can accept that desire- and enjoy it- is when someone is forcing them."
Tara smirked and playfully slapped Mandy's arm. "We're going to have to talk about how you know things like that. Wanna make me put on heels?" They laughed and nuzzled noses and gave little kisses.
Alex and Jamie ignored them and focused on the matter at hand. "Forced masculinization? I've never heard of such a thing. How would you even do that? I'm glad you're getting that girl some sense into her fool head, but maybe shaving her head and dirty talking wasn't the way to go about it, you know?"
"But what do I do?" Jamie had wailed. "She's coming over tonight."
Everybody had shrugged. "Couldn't tell you."
Now Luna sat on the couch in a tank top and jeans- nondescript clothing that Jamie couldn't get a read on- with that same buzzed hair, only looking a little more even and better-trimmed today. Even if she wanted to forget last night ever happened, there wasn't much you could do with that hair.
"I'm sorry about last night." Jamie began on a rushing breath of air.
Luna looked her up and down. "You should be. I thought it was just your friends who were like that. I was willing to look past them. But you're just as bad."
All over again, despite her good intentions, anger rose in Jamie. "You don't look past anyone in my life. Or anything in me. You take me as I am or not at all."
"Who you were last night? No thanks. I'm quite happy being a real woman, thank you. A true lesbian."
Jamie couldn't care less about sensitively discussing what had happened between them, or presenting Alex, Tara, and Mandy's theories, or even gently breaking up with Luna. Screw all of that.
She stood up. "You think you know all about what a lesbian is, do you?" She said, knowing, as she said it, that they were headed down the exact same path as last night. "I think I better teach you what a lesbian is. What a woman is, for that matter."
She circled Luna on the couch, whose eyes followed her defiantly, arms folded defensively across her chest. Jamie stood behind her, forcing Luna to either crane her head or not look at her at all. She chose not to look, and Jamie relished the sort of power differential that gave her, because she knew Luna was listening to her.
"A woman has a pussy and tits. She isn't afraid to call them that, either. It's a cunt, not a vagina. A woman has those two things, and that's all. Now, she may not be feminine, but she sure as hell is a woman. None of that W-O-M-Y-N crap, either. Just a woman.
"Lesbians, on lesbians you seem to be confused. See, a lesbian is a woman who likes other women. That's all. Real neat, easy package, huh? I don't know why all you feminist graduate students have to muck everything up. If you like pussy and you've got one, you're a lesbian. Sometimes we're called dykes. Don't cringe; dyke is a word that should make you hot.
"Some of us like really feminine girls, and some of us want them as far from that as possible, and some of us like them both. But you better believe that the girl who wants the biggest, manliest butch out there knows she's a girl. She isn't confused. She wants those tits and she wants that cunt, and she wants it in that package.
"Sometimes girls pack a dildo- femme or butch- and they fuck other girls with them. And you better believe that both of them know it's no cock, or surrogate cock. It's a sex toy, and when you attach it to a woman, that's all it is. It isn't- what did you tell me?- the need for penetration isn't 'a constructed myth perpetuated by society's compulsory heterosexuality'. It feels good. It feels good to give and it feels good to get and sometimes, the way we do it, it looks like het sex, but it isn't. Even if we mess around with the idea of straight sex, the roles they play, it's still lesbian sex, 'cause it's two women."
"Honestly, I don't know who brought politics into the bedroom. Sex isn't political. Politics are sexual, for sure, but sex has nothing to do with the outside world. Women were having a heck of a time without men in their beds until someone started defining sex by who got left out of it rather than who was in it. Isn't that what lesbian sex is about nowadays? It's not two women- it's no man. It's not two cunts, it's 'wow, sex without a penis'. Every time I crawl into bed with a woman I'm made to feel like I'm doing something great because I've 'surpassed the love of men', like I've given up heterosexuality as a protest for womenkind. But in reality, it's only because I love her and I'm horny for her."
"You and all your elitist crap. Women's-only spaces. The patriarchy, oh, the patriarchy. I'm so sick of the P-word. I know some damn fine men and if being a lesbian meant closing them out, then I'd be more proud to call myself a straight girl. I don't emasculate my guy friends because they aren't the enemy, and neither is way they act. You're all so scared that the rape whistle never left your lips, so now you're just breathing, but it's still echoing, still making us out to be man-haters."
Jamie offered her hand to Luna. "Get up and go to the closet." She followed her and then watched her stand in front of the open doors. "We're going to do this right tonight. You're going to be butch for me, and you're going to like it." At that last phrase, Luna sucked in a breath of air. Jamie heard it, and smiled. "Your outfit's on the last hanger." She whispered softly. "Put it on."
Jamie watched her take off her women's clothing, including her panties. The shirt, first, slowly buttoning it up to the neck and at the wrists. She went for the underwear, but Jamie stopped her and handed her the tie instead. Luna looked at it dubiously and began to try to tie it, having incredible difficulties. She fidgeted with it, standing there in a man's shirt and her naked pussy, obviously feeling humiliated by the lengthening state. Finally Jamie interceded, showing her how to tie it, and then making her do it. She tugged the tie smooth with one hand and cupped her breasts with the other. "Mmm." She moaned, and Luna regarded her with wide eyes.