Title: The Clothes Make The Man
Fandom: The Wild, Wild West (Original TV Show)
Summary: James watches Artie prepare for a mission.
How could you not love a man who was willing to get into a dress for his country?
Of course, the dress was the least of it. Long before Artemus could put on the lace petticoat and taffeta frock, there was this. James, with his knee pressed firmly against Artie’s buttocks, pulling the laces tight with a slight grunt, in order to help him create the vision of female loveliness who’d be appearing on his arm that night at the Fire House Saloon.
James watched the muscles tensing under the skin, and noticed a thin layer of sweat on Artie’s broad back. They were deep in the California desert and the day had been hot as blazes, but there was a cooling breeze blowing through the windows of the railroad car. It wasn’t heat, it was the exertion of getting himself conformed to the shape of a female. Pain in the name of beautify. He wondered how women managed it on a daily basis.
“You don’t have to do this, Artie.”
“Don’t be ridiculous. You need me in there with you and unfortunately, it would be hard to get in the door without the subterfuge.”
They’d come into town looking for a territorial governor who’d disappeared with a sheriff’s wife and a safe’s worth of negotiable bonds and found something akin to a armed camp. The town was divided into two factions and strategy demanded each of them align themselves with one group in order to glean information. James had found out that a big meeting and even bigger double-cross was scheduled for that night at the Fire House. It would take both of them to put things to right and retrieve the documents for the government and thus a disguise was necessary.
Maybe Artie was a little too eager to get into the female garb, James thought, again straining to pull the whalebone stays tightly enough to hold in his partner’s girth. It was the disguise most likely to fool Brinkley and his gang of thugs, given the low regard paid to women and the scant attention given, unless it was a matter of honor or possession.
With a final tug, the corset was fastened into place and Artie retired into his room to complete the illusion on his own, or at least as much of it as could be achieved without more assistance.
“James, could you come in and lend a hand.”
It was a softer voice. Still somehow Artie’s but as transformed as his appearance, and that had transformed a great deal. A wig provided long hair that looked inviting to the touch were the arrangement of curls and clips not so elaborate. He couldn’t yet see what Artie had wrought with his make-up case, but he knew the man’s brush-work with rouge and lip-stick was nothing short of artistic. From the back, he could already tell that the corset’s artificial curves had been supplemented with some enhancement producing the buxom silhouette of a well-endowed woman. All that remained was to help fasten the dress, itself a near sacred object with its heavy layers of expensive fabrics and ornate embellishments of silver as well as mother-pearl-buttons.
If Artie enjoyed his forays into feminine attire, it was nothing compared to the effect the final result had on James. It was all he could do to keep his hands steady as he did up the
Buttons and found himself slightly intoxicated by the cloud of perfume with Artie’s familiar masculine scent hiding somewhere underneath.
Once the fastening was completed, Artemus turned around and curtsied, the perfect image of a not-quite-proper lady, with a fan at the ready to shield her face from eyes that might pry too closely. Not Artie any more, but Dianna. Dianna St. Clair. His girl, and looking better than any man in a dress had a right to.
“Well look at you.”
“Can’t take your eyes off, can you, you naughty boy?”
“Just trying to figure you where your weapons are.”
“I can hide more in here than you can in those things.”
At the moment, he could barely hide the effect Artie, or rather Dianna ,was having on him. What he felt for his friend was compounded by the feminine visage, the cologne, and especially the knowledge of the corset, pushing Artie’s body into that shape.
He couldn’t wait to walk into that den of thieves with this stunning creature on his arm, maybe have a few twirls around the dance floor before the inevitable fracas broke out. The punches and shooting would be prelude to their own private tussle in the privacy of the car.
Whatever bruises or wounds he might sustain in the action would be soothed by a bit of whiskey and then the combined rough and soft as he stripped Artie of the dress and the wig, kissed off the lipstick, but left the last piece of Dianna in place.
Nothing compared to having Artie completely in his control, responsive to his touches, spread wide before him, waist still held in by the whale-bone. Artie would breathe roughly as James took him and James would relish every moment of it until they were both groaning, panting and sweating. Afterwards he would untie the corset, throw it to the side of the bed and let Artie make a few witty, if esoteric remarks.
It wasn’t anything the government would approve of, but also nothing they had to find out about. All Washington needed to know was that he and Artie got the job done, together, every time.
Best damn partner he’d ever had.