It was pretty quiet up in the staffroom. I could hear the faint babble of customers in the restaurant below, but aside from that there was pretty much nothing to hear.
Which is why I pretty much jumped out of my skin when someone came in while I was still sat in my corner, in my boxers and trying to wipe off the worst of the makeup mess on my face. I looked around and saw a woman walking in.
"You okay?" she asked, a smile on her face, "you're Kyle's boyfriend, right?" I nodded, trying just a little bit harder to get rid of the makeup, but all I seemed to be doing was turning my hands black. "I'm Jeanette," she told me, going over to her bag. She threw me some makeup wipes that landed next to me with a quiet thump. I glanced up at her and mumbled a quiet ‘thank you', setting to work on getting the shit off my face properly. She sat down in front of me, "want a hand?"
I looked at her kind of curiously, "why are you being nice to me?"
"Any reason I shouldn't be?"
I shrugged, "I dunno. I guess I was expecting you to see me sat here in my boxers with makeup all over my face and call me a freak," I managed a tiny, humourless smile.
"Now why would I do that? If you want to dress in drag, that's your choice. I'm hardly gonna judge you for it."
"Kyle said it was weird," I mumbled.
"Well that's Kyle, not me. Last time I checked I was still Jeanette," she smiled and I sort of half smiled back, feeling a little bit better. "What's your name?"
"Rayn," I told her, still attacking my face with one of the wipes.
"That's a pretty name." I smiled a little more.
"Sure you don't want a hand getting that off?"
"Is it not gone yet?" She shook her head and I sighed a little, handing her the wipe, thanking her again. She got a new one out and cleaned up my face for me. "Sorry, I don't mean to be wasting your break."
"You're not, I'm finished for the day."
"Oh," I mumbled.
"How come you're up here in your boxers, anyway?"
"I kind of had a hissy fit when he said it was weird and was all embarrassed by me," I blushed a little, "I said I'd be less of an embarrassment to him if I just walked home in my boxers. Or that was the plan before he tried to get me to put on one of the spare uniforms."
"Want me to have a word with him?"
I shrugged slightly, "I dunno what there is to say."
"I can tell him to stop being a bitch and let you enjoy yourself."
"Not really any point if he's not comfortable with it. I don't wanna do something if he doesn't like it."
"That's stupid." I stayed quiet, blushing a little. Maybe it was stupid, but I didn't wanna fuck up our relationship by doing something he couldn't get his head around me doing. "If you wanted a tattoo but he didn't like them, would that stop you getting one?" I shrugged.
She tutted, "you have to live your life for you, not for him. And if you wanna wear makeup and a dress, then so be it."
"I don't want him to stop liking me, though. What if he stopped liking me if I kept doing it? I can live without the drag," my eyes widening a little at the thought of not being with Kyle. We weren't perfect by a long shot, but I'd never felt this good before.
"If he stops liking you over it then you're better off without him." I bit my lip at that. I s'pose she was right, but I just couldn't see it that way. "If he really loves you, he'll get used to it." I nodded slightly, making her smile. Kyle reappeared at that point. I looked up at him.
"Hey," he said.
"Hi," I replied quietly.
"I'll leave you guys to it. See you tomorrow, Kyle. Nice meeting you, Rayn. Remember what I said," she got up and picked up her stuff, walking out of the staffroom.
"What did she say?" Kyle asked, a curious look on her face.
"That I'm stupid for wanting to stop dressing up because you don't like it. More or less."
"Oh." I didn't know what to say to that, so I stayed quiet, watching him get his stuff. "Coming?" he asked. I stood up, and he smiled a little. "You might wanna put that uniform on, gorgeous." I glanced down at it and sighed. I put it on, feeling swamped in the too-big clothes, and rolled up the legs of the pants. He hesitated slightly, trying to get my hand, but the shirt sleeve got in the way. I left it like that, awkwardly taking hold of his hand through the material. "I'm sorry about what I said earlier."
"It's okay," I said quietly, even though I was still convinced I was just an embarrassment to him and that he probably hated me a little bit now.
"Let me make it up to you. I've been kind of a shitty boyfriend lately."
"It's okay," I repeated myself, just as quietly as before.
"I want to."
"What did you have in mind?"
"Dinner and a movie, maybe?" I nodded slightly and he smiled. The both of us were quiet on the walk home, sort of sinking into this horrible tense silence. At least, it was tense for me. When we got back to the apartment, I got rid of the restaurant uniform pretty much straight away, putting on an old pair of skinnies and a t-shirt. I kind of wanted to laze about in those leggings and the long shirt I'd got in Ohio, but I figured that probably wouldn't be the best idea in the world right now. I folded up the uniform again and sat down on the couch, turning on the TV, more to fill the silence than anything.
Kyle busied himself in the kitchen while I stared at the TV blankly. I was trying to think of a movie I wanted to watch, but nothing was coming to mind, and all I really wanted to do was go hang out with Johnny for a bit.
I was distracted from that, though, as Kyle put a rose on the coffee table, serving up some beastly looking carbonara. I smiled. I hadn't had carbonara in ages.
"You need to cook more often," I said laughing slightly as we dug in.
"I never have time," he looked at the rose on the table, "I never gave you those roses, did I?" I shook my head, my mouth full of pasta. "Sorry. I'll get you some more." I swallowed and kissed him on the cheek.
"It's the thought that counts. I still appreciated you getting them for me." He hummed slightly and we went back to eating. By the time we were finished, I'd remembered what movie I wanted to watch. I went and picked it up, showing him what I'd got. "That one?" He nodded and I stuck it in the DVD player, settling down on the couch with him again. He put an arm around my shoulders and I felt myself sort of relax against him, getting comfortable. He kissed the top of my head and I let out a hum, resting my cheek on his chest.