“I would love a new dress to wear on our date this weekend. I know how much you love outfits that flatter my curves, and I love looking gorgeous for you.” He’ll buy you the dress because he wants to see you in it.
You want tuition money?
“I love that we can have these amazing intellectual conversations. College is such an important part of my life, and becoming the person I want to be. I wish it wasn’t so expensive to be an educated young woman!” He’ll help you because he recognizes that it’s an investment in your overall worth, class, and smarts – things he can’t get from any old girl on the street.
Summary: Nico has never felt quite right– he’s always liked pretty things and he’s always been afraid to express himself. And Will wants to fix that.
Word Count: 1,989
Warnings: unsupportive parents/brief mention of homophobia.
Memories are always just a little on the blurry side.
When Nico looks back, he’s always surprised by what seems to be the most clear and what his brain decided to smudge out. He finds that, usually, whatever it was about that particular moment that made him feel something, that’s what appears to be the most distinct in his mind’s eye.
In the second grade, he’d fallen down a flight of stairs. When he thinks about it, he sees the tile rushing up to meet him, he feels his stomach drop, he remembers lying at the bottom on his back, gasping for breath and being so in shock that for several long seconds he could not even cry.
In the seventh, he’d stood in front of one of his best friends, his hands shaking and his heart thudding like a death march, and had told him about his crush, that he liked him. He remembers watching the smile slip from his friend’s face, he remembers him taking a slow step backward. He does not remember if the other boy had uttered anything at all, but he remembers the feeling that settled in the pit of his stomach, he remembers the expression on his friend’s face.
And when he was much, much younger, before he’d even gotten past preschool, he’d sat on the bathroom sink in one of his sister’s dresses, and she’d told him, her voice deathly serious, that he had to keep absolutely still or else this wouldn’t work. But with a makeup brush dusting over his cheeks, Nico had found this nearly impossible; he’d giggled the entire time and stuck his tongue out when Bianca chided him.
Nico doesn’t remember what he’d looked like afterward, but he can only assume that it had been something akin to a clown. Bianca was, after all, only a year older than him. He seriously doubts that she’d known how to correctly apply an eighth of the stuff she was playing with.
He does, however, recall that they’d been having a pretend tea party in her room later and their father had come home to find them. He remembers jumping up and running to greet him just like he always did. And he remembers the horrified look on his father’s face, remembers him demanding that he take a bath immediately and get rid of the stuff and he remembers coming back later to find that Bianca’s cheeks were stained with tears and her telling him that they could not play dress-up anymore.
And he remembers being confused and sad. Feeling just a bit hollow because he hadn’t known what he’d done wrong.
Just a few weeks later, he’d snuck into Bianca’s room and pulled out the dress. And then he’d hauled himself up onto the bathroom sink and covered himself in his mother’s old makeup (she’d died before he was born and now Nico thinks that maybe that was why his father was so harsh), made faces and laughed at himself in the mirror. He remembers most clearly, his father looking at his older sister and uttering defeatedly, “Look what you’ve done to him.”
And it’s not just that, he thinks that maybe he could have looked past the disdain of his father if everyone else were not the same. If he didn’t get made fun of at school for playing with girl’s toys or if he hadn’t gotten strange looks at daycare when he’d delved into the girl’s dress-ups.
So, that’s what he’s thinking about, standing in the middle of JC Penny’s and staring down at a short red dress. Because he still likes pretty things. He always has. For twenty-two years, he’s adorned himself in all black–just plain t-shirts and jeans and tennis shoes–and stood in front of his bedroom mirror, never feeling quite like himself, never being confident in his appearance, and trudged out into the world despite it. Feeling sick and wrong and hating who he is. (He’s already gay, he can’t let his father down another time.)
He jumps and whips around so fast that he’s just a bit dizzy. It takes his eyes a few seconds to fully focus on Will’s features. He’s grinning, his head tilted to the side just slightly and his hands buried in the pockets of his jeans.
Nico’s cheeks are burning. “Oh, this?” He lifts the dress in a way that’s too jerky and stiff to be casual. He’s fighting to keep his voice level. He’s not very sure at all that he’s being even remotely successful. “I was… just wondering if Bianca might like this. You know, for Christmas.”
Will’s eyebrows dart upward, “Oh? Well, yeah… I think that she would.” There’s something in his expression. It’s too tight. Nico is almost certain that Will doesn’t believe him, that somewhere deep inside, he’s just as disgusted as his father had been all of those years ago.
He just gives him a forced smile and declares that he’ll buy it for her, then. Will doesn’t make any further comments. It’s only when they get back to their apartment that Nico realizes that the dress might not even be Bianca’s size.
Three weeks later, they’re sitting in their living room and Bianca is opening the gift. And she does love it, practically tackling Nico in a hug and declaring that he’s always had better fashion sense than anyone she knows. And Nico is smiling, but Will knows him, and he sees that it’s just a little bit forced, that he looks away quickly at Bianca’s compliment and his jaw tightens just the slightest bit. That he looks just a little bit sad, maybe even wistful.
So, when the party has ended and everyone has cleared out, Will tells him to sit back down on the couch and then carries out a white clothing box and sits down next to him, braces his hands down on it and lets out a nervous breath. “This is your actual gift, but I didn’t want to give it to you in front of everyone because I… Well, I didn’t want to embarrass you and I’m… I’m still not even sure if I’m right about this whole thing.”
He meets Nico’s gaze. It’s troubled, he looks just as nervous as Will feels, but pulls the box from Will’s lap onto his own and slowly lifts the lid off, places it to the side. He just stares for a moment, and then reaches in, like he almost doesn’t believe it, and lifts the clothes out one by one.
First, an over-sized sweater. Cream-colored and delicately crocheted.
Second, a floral-print pencil dress with shoulderless sleeves.
Next, pastel pink skinny jeans.
And last, a simple, loose, dark gray t-shirt with maroon stripes.
Nico just sits, clutching the garments in his hands, and stares for what seems like hours.
Will’s hands are clamped together, his brows tied in a tight knot. “We can take them back… I… I just saw how you were looking at that dress the other day, Nico. And I’ve seen you look at things like that before and I just thought– but you don’t have to take them.”
When he finally looks up, Will realizes that he’s crying.
“Will, I love them.” His voice is shaky and waterlogged. When he finishes speaking, he sobs quietly, clutches the clothes tighter to his chest.
Will reaches out and urges him forward until Nico is snuggled into him, his head resting on his shoulder, and wraps his arms around him, presses his face into his hair. “What’s wrong, Nico?”
Nico laughs shakily, “Nothing. Nothing at all. I just–” He pauses to sniffle and gasp, press his face into Will’s soft shirt, “No one has ever… No one has ever told me that this is okay.”
“Of course, it’s okay, Nico. You can wear whatever you want. Be whoever you want to be. I just want you to be happy and if this is what is going to make you happy then you can sure as hell bet that I’ll be here to back you up.” He’s grinning, Nico can feel it against his scalp, and it makes him smile too.
“Thank you,” Nico whispers. It’s so quiet, almost reverent. Will has to take a few seconds to just close his eyes and breathe. Just push his fingers through Nico’s hair and listen to his shaky breaths and know that he loves him.
After several long, drawn-out moments, Will pulls back slowly and gently lifts Nico’s chin. “Do you think you’re trans? Because that’s okay too.”
Nico smiles at him, laughs because he’s relieved and elated and he can’t believe that he got someone this good to love him so much. “No. No, I just… I like pretty things.” He blushes and looks away, bites his lip.
Will grins, “Well, that’s fitting.”
Nico’s brows draw together and his lips twitch, “Why?”
“Because you’re pretty.” Will cups his face in his hands, brushes his lips over Nico’s nose and then his chin, “You’re beautiful.”
Nico is just staring now. Openly, blatantly staring. “You really think so?”
“God, yes.” He says it like he can’t understand why Nico doesn’t believe him, like it’s completely obvious and truer than daylight or wind or love itself. It makes Nico’s heart break. So he leans forward and pushes their lips together, drags Will as near to him as he can possibly be, and kisses him until they’re both a little breathless.
Will pulls away first, just so that he can nudge their noses together and murmur, “You should try them on for me.”
Nico grins and jumps up, runs off to the bathroom without any further prompting. Will can’t stop smiling, he’s never seen him this content. (And he did that, it’s the best feeling in the world.)
Nico comes out a few minutes later, having pulled on the sweater and the pants. He has his arms wrapped around himself, is almost caving inwards. He looks nervous, hopefull, biting his lip and giving Will a hesitant smile.
Will is gawking. He pushes himself up off the couch slowly and walks forward, his eyes sweeping over Nico’s form. The sweater is slipping off one of his shoulders (revealing the clear-cut and delicate line of his collarbone) and he’s made sweater paws, so Will is a little more than slightly enamored with him.
Will reaches him and takes hold of his arms gently, pulls them around himself and slips one of his own arms around Nico’s waist, cups his jaw with his other hand. Just stands and looks at him.
“Do I look okay?” Nico says. Breathlessly, like Will’s answer will change everything. And, maybe, in some ways, it would.
Will laughs, “Are you kidding?” He kisses him, soft and sweet, because he feels like he needs to. And then he trails a few more down his jaw, drops one on his neck and then two or three on his exposed shoulder, just because he can. Buries his face in the crook of Nico’s neck and holds him close, “You look fantastic.”
“I don’t think I’ll wear them in public just yet… I… I’m not ready for that but…”
Will nods–more nuzzzles against his skin–and starts tracing patterns into his shoulder blades, “Okay. Maybe… Maybe we could work up to it? You could get… like, just little things: bracelets and rings and such… Maybe even some light makeup if you want. You know, so that you feel more confident and comfortable but people won’t notice as much and then later…”
Nico feels like he might start crying again, so he just fists his hands in the fabric at the small of Will’s back and presses his face into his neck, breathes in his scent. “I love you so much, Will Solace.”
Will is getting distracted again, pressing affectionate kisses onto the side of his neck, “I love you too…”
i have so much love for sprinkleofglitr and the way she can help make girls/women/females feel so amazing about themseleves. one amazing, beautiful woman sharing her clothing designs and wardrobe with women who arent your “average” size 4 or 6.
i love seeing all of the pictures of the girls wearing their brand new clothes, explaining how amazing they feel about themseleves, or how much more confident they feel in her clothing line.
its so positive and empowering to see people starting to feel comfortable in the beautiful body that they were given.
embrace who you are and keep SLAYING me in all of your beautiful new clothes!!!