Prompt: Shitty being on the opposite end of coming out. (How is he identifying? Who is he coming out to? How does it go?) (I have lots of Thoughts and Feelings about B. Shitty Knight.
Alright so, I’ve always had a thing for Shitty being, I dunno not quite gender fluid or gender queer, but somewhere in that zone(that’s about where I find myself, honestly, so this is sort of me projecting but I really love the concept). So here is what I came up with, and thank you so much for the prompt. I wrote like three different fics for this prompt, but this one’s my favorite(I have a weakness for Shitty and Jack’s friendship).
Shitty had always liked skirts. He liked how they felt, he liked how he looked in them, he liked how freeing they were. There were a lot of things he liked, suits, dresses, denim vests and cut off shorts, anything really, it depended on the day. He loved his hair long and his moustache well-trimmed.
He had never considered himself to be self-conscious, but if there was one thing he was self-conscious about it was the skirts. In his house, and everywhere really, it wasn’t even a plausible thing for men to wear skirts or dresses. Even the long hair was a stretch. And Shitty had never been able to break free from that, the extent of his more feminine outfits coming from scrounged bits from his mom’s donation pile of clothes, all too short and too tight, yet nice to have all the same.
It wasn’t until Samwell that he got to feeling like maybe it’d be okay, to have a couple of nice things of his own. But he wasn’t sure, not really. He liked to consider himself someone who would be willing to go outside the norm, but he just wasn’t sure, not about this. And so he sat there in the kitchen of the Haus, halfway done with his freshman year of college, looking at skirts on the internet, trying to muster up the courage to just buy one already.
And that was when Jack walked in. Shitty quickly attempted to exit out of the tab on his phone, and somehow in the process had managed to fling his phone across the room. Jack, who both fortunately and unfortunately had crazy good reflexes, caught it in an amazing bit of dexterity that almost made Shitty swoon. Except Jack was looking at the screen of the phone, and then squinting up at Shitty in that way Jack does when he’s thinking.
“Be careful buying skirts from that retailer. Maman says they use cheap material,” he said, handing the phone back to Shitty and then going to the cabinet he used to store protein powder in the Haus. Shitty sat there quietly, looking at Jack, watching as he put together a protein drink with practiced ease and then sat down at the table across from Shitty.
Working up all the courage he could muster, Shitty plowed on in inquiries. “Did…. did she happen to say where a good place to shop is?” he asked, setting his phone down and leaning on the table in a way he hoped wasn’t too eager, but he really did want to know.
“Banana Republic. It’s expensive, but it’s quality. She modeled for them for a little while, and bought a couple of things. And Old Navy,” Jack said, forehead crinkled in thought as he tried to recall anything his mom had said on the matter.
“Oh, sweet, great, thank you, I’ll look there then,” Shitty said, closing the previous tab and opening a new one. They sat in companiable silence for a while, before Shitty began to ask new questions, carefully wording them so as not to incriminate himself. “Do you know, if there are styles that work for taller people?” he asked, and Jack nodded. Shitty sent up a quick thank you to all the gods around for sending him this blessing of a boy who grew up in the fashion world (even if he did dress like he was about to rob a Burger King).
“Midi skirts don’t always work; they’ve got to be high around the waist to make them look less awkward. Maman and the other models are all rather tall, and they always complained about those types. Short skirts are not good if they are too form fitting. But there are tall brands, you just have to know the sizes or have them tried on,” Jack said, again putting a lot of thought into his answers. It was endearing, how meticulous Jack was, even if it was frustrating sometimes. The lack of spontaneity was almost stressful.
“And, umm, what are these brands, might I ask?” he said, opening up notes on his phone so he could write these down.
“There are a lot, Height Goddess is one, Maman did a section of jeans for them, she said they were very good,” Jack said, taking a drink of the mud that was his protein drink, and then looking at Shitty directly.
“I can give you her email address, if you want to ask her directly. She has many more details than I do,” Jack said, and Shitty nodded vigorously, before toning it down.
“That would be great, thank you,” he said, handing Jack his phone to type the email address into. This conversation had been very fruitful, and maybe he would be able to gather the courage to actually follow through on the information.
“I’m glad I could help.” Jack said, handing the phone back and getting up from the table. He put the now empty cup in the sink and left the kitchen, leaving Shitty to sit there, debating how to start the email.
It was weeks later that Shitty was staring at the online shopping cart icon at the top of corner of his laptop. The information that Jack had given him had been good, and the added information from Alicia Zimmermann had been golden. The only problem was actually buying the things. What if the team didn’t approve? What if he got kicked off the team? What if his parents saw the charges and noticed that he was buying ‘women’s clothes’? There were so many what ifs.
But he just wanted to feel comfortable in his own skin. There were days when the pants he was wearing chaffed, psychologically. Some days he just wanted to wear a nice skirt, damn it.
That’s how Jack found him, sprawled on the floor, laptop resting on his belly, practically burning him as it heated up.
“Those are nice,” he said, gesturing to the screen as he took a seat beside Shitty. Shitty had noticed that Jack was being more friendly than he previously had been, initiating conversations and spending time around the Haus, though not as often as the average teammate.
“Yeah, they are,” he replied glumly, looking at them longingly, before thumping his head back on the ground.
“Why are you upset?” Jack asked, and Shitty took a deep breath, figuring it was now or never to tell somebody. And if he was going to tell anyone, it may as well be Jack.
“Because I want them, but ‘men don’t wear skirts’ but sometimes I don’t wanna be a man, necessarily, and sometimes I just want to be a man wearing a skirt,” he said, words coming out in a rush, and it took Jack a minute to catch up.
“Those aren’t a good color for you,” was all Jack said, taking the laptop from its perch on Shitty’s chest and poking away at it. Shitty was too shocked by the lack of reproach or teasing, as well as simultaneously being bashed for his color choice. Before he could think up a response, the laptop was back on his chest, a new couple of skirts now displayed on the screen, some of them the same but in different shades or colors. They were equally nice, but Shitty was too dazed to truly appreciate them.
“So you’re telling me the only thing you have to say on the matter is ‘those aren’t a good color for you’?” he said, and Jack’s eyebrows drew together in confusion.
“I’m….sorry? They were nice colors,” he said, and Shitty couldn’t help but burst out into helpless giggles.
“Here I am, stressing that you’re gonna judge me for being a ‘man lady’ or too girly or something, but there you go being all helpful and fashionable!” he said, patting Jack’s knee in an attempt to steady himself. He had been stressed and anxious to tell anybody, but Jack Zimmermann, the beautiful man, was only concerned about the colors. “You, sir, are one beautiful man,” he said, sitting up and finally pressing the complete transaction button on the sight, buying the skirts that Jack had so helpfully helped him choose.
“Oh. Well, we all take comfort in our own things. And you’re always the one saying that gender norms are a social construct,” Jack said, and Shitty grinned at him.
“So you do pay attention to my rants. I’m so proud,” he said, ease now returning to the conversation.
It would take him a while to start wearing his skirts and dresses anywhere other than his room, but it was a step. And he was glad that Jack had his back, and even more glad to have Jack’s back. (Jack was very good at choosing colors, it turned out, and Shitty’s legs looked great in the blue and grey skirt).
It took another year to come up with the word for it, and by then he had mastered the art of putting makeup on around his moustache, and none of the labels fit quite right (as labels tend not to do) but somewhere between genderqueer and gender fluid B. Shitty Knight found himself.
So his friends jovially called him Shitty, or the Haus all inclusive terms of ‘bro, dude, and home slice’, and life went was good.