Short story about a genderqueer makeup artist who helps her trans-girl friend with makeup! Expect a lot of fluff, some kissing and an obscene amount of references. I totally wrote this to indulge in my own cravings for cute romance.
This could be considered f/f since Em uses both she/her and they/them pronouns!
I texted Brie that I was standing right next to the NYX stand and then swiftly wiped my sweating palms on my jeans. I was exceptionally nervous today which surprised me since I was always nervous about most of the things that I pushed myself to do. When Bri asked for my help with makeup, I was first embarrassed since I rarely believed the compliments I got and second excited because after all, I loved makeup and its power. We agreed to come shop first since she mentioned that she was too clueless about what to get and the internet confused her. I suggested we start off with drugstore brands since that was where I shopped mostly and since Sephora makes me too anxious to even breathe at times.
“Hey!” I turned around at the greeting. She wore a pretty floral skirt that reached her knees and chunky black boots topped off with a graphic Wonder Woman tee-shirt. Brie had that natural beauty thing down pat with her shiny brown hair and red cheeks and I always felt like my stomach decided to start a career of gymnastics whenever I looked at her.
“You look great,” she said with a smile and I could feel my cheeks blooming. I could do nothing but smile and stand there all tonguetied. I met this girl almost two months ago, we had conversations before but this was the first time we’ve hung out outside school and I suddenly felt conscious of the ripped jeans I decided to put on this morning.
“Should we start?” I tentatively guided her through the many stands, she ooh-ed and ahh-ed at the information I had no idea how to filter. We started with primers and moved our way to light-weight foundation.
“You can easily find a shade by testing it by your neck. Is it okay if I try this on you?” I asked.
“Yeah, sure.” What followed were the most agonizing five minutes in which I had to be very conscious of my breathing. Thank god I was too focused on the testing to properly panic.
We easily could find an appropriate shade for her and I couldn’t help but loosen up quite a bit as Brie got more excited. The ladies at the stands were of a great help but I was already on edge so thankfully Brie was the nicer of the two of us and said “No, thank you, we’ve got this,” while I anxiously glared at the products.
“Now, I really want some lip gloss. I know it’s coming back and I really want that glossy look,” Bruie said as she looked closely at the tag of a blush color. It was a nice peachy shade and she put it into her basket. I couldn’t help it, I looked at her mouth. She had a pouty lower lip and I unconsciously bit into mine. Brie turned to me, probably wondering why I didn’t reply. I did the most obvious thing and immediately looked away.
“My online friend Zainab told me about this brand that has great glosses,” I rambled. Thank god my hair was exceptionally curly today and somewhat concealed some of my ruddy cheeks.
It took us approximately twenty minutes for Brie to pick three lip products, a lip liner because it’s so essential, a matte lipstick and a gloss which left us both charmed when I tested it on the back of my palm. She was meticulous and I liked that about her. She had a vision in mind about what suited her color-scheme-wise which was admirable since I just chose whatever and dumped it on my face on most days.
While Brie stepped up with her somewhat hefty basket to pay, I looked through the assortment of stuffed keychain sized animals by the counters.
“These are adorable,” Brie said.
“They’re not the most accurate but yes, I love this blue whale, he’s my son,” I joked. I lifted up the blue whale and squished its soft body.
“And this red bear is my daughter and she is an aspiring ballerina,” she said in a crooning voice as she picked up the red bear.
“Well, my son likes watching movies and yelling on the internet about them,” I said as I bumped the whale to the bear.
“Wow, your son sounds really fun to be around,” she laughed.
“He is a hoot.” I nodded sagely.
Brie snorted. “A ‘hoot’? Who are you?” I couldn’t help but laugh along.
I put my ‘son’ back on the rack but she grabbed it. “Let me get this for you!” she exclaimed.
“No, no, there’s no need,” I hurried to say.
“Come on, it’d be like a thank you for helping me out with this makeup ordeal,” she reasoned. I could see how much she wanted to do this so I just smiled and shrugged. She grabbed one whale and the red bear. When she came back the second time, Brie had already removed the price tag.
“I present to thee, Prince Blue Whale.” She offered me the whale with a somewhat of a bow. I couldn’t help but be very enchanted by how adorable she was. Her skirt fluttered with every step she took.
“His name is Lance and he’s a natural flirt.” We started walking, and I automatically steered us towards my favorite coffee place.
“Excuse me, but did you just reference Voltron?” She turned to me with a wide grin. “It just so happens that my daughter is named Kei and she’s a beautiful trans girl who also happens to be the red paladin!” she shook the red bear. I grinned.
“Does she also have a mullet that my boy can recognize anywhere?”
“She sure does, and also is an awkward texan who proudly owns fifteen fingerless gloves!” Brie said as she waved Kei around.
“Don’t let my son fool you, he might seem like a flirt but he’s a horrible pining mess around Kei,” I told her before turning to order my drink.
“What is your poison, on me,” I whispered to her.
“I’ll have a hot chocolate with marshmallows, please!” Brie whispered back. I thanked the barista as I got my change and we turned to the pick-up counter.
“Oh, speaking of pining,” she began to say and suddenly I couldn’t look Brie in the eyes. Did she know that this mess of a bisexual pined over her?
“I read this great fanfic recently, of course it was klance and it was so adorable,” she continued. I breathed a small exhale of relief. My secret was safe, although anyone observant enough would notice how my body seemed in tune with hers.
Everything about this crush felt out of my control and for once it was something I didn’t mind not to control. The longer we sat in that coffee place together the longer my limbs forgot to be nervous and the faster my quips came to me. I made her laugh approximately thirty five times and each time she let out that snort, my heart did the opposite of freaking out. It was a nice feeling. I couldn’t think of a better use of my time but sit across Brie and talk about my ship.
I wondered at one point if this could be something we did often. If I judged by the way her hand lingered on mine when she leaned forward, shaking with laughter, I’d say yes.
I usually kept my room tidy but the past week had been an annoying one where I slept most of my days away and refused to take out the trash. My cat watched from his perch on my couch as I hefted the dirty laundry basket out of my room.
“Can you take this downstairs?” I asked my younger brother Jake. He was extra nice about it and loudly told me that he’d gladly do it. I smiled as I continued to clean. I found thirteen cups under my bed and four empty water bottles. I put them aside to recycle and continued with the mess I liked to call my night stand. I didn’t have a proper vanity table but fortunately I always kept my makeup somewhat organized on a tiny bench that I store by the window where sunlight gave me the best light to do my makeup in the morning.
The reason for this frantic chase around my room was that Brie was coming over for me to give her tips on how to use the makeup she got last weekend. She sent me a ton of snaps of her trying out the stuff and of course I was so tempted to capture most of them since, per my expectations, she looked so adorable. She gave up around midnight and asked me if she could get some in real life tips. Despite the loads of details I could shove into my texts, she needed guidance in person. I had no problem inviting her over, I was so giddy on the idea of having in my room.
I woke up this morning so energized. We’d texted until I fell asleep. She was watching one of my favorite movies (Kingsmen) and texted me every 10 seconds, every comment funnier than the one before. I could barely keep my eyes open however and had to say goodnight. The last thing I saw was her “Sweet dreams, dream of Lance and Kei sitting on a beach, K I S S I N G” message.
By three pm, my room looked so nice that I kicked myself figuratively for not always keeping it clean. I was doing a bad job of drying my hair after my shower when I heard my phone ringing, the beginning of Eros from Yuri!!! on Ice.
“I’m outside. Is it okay if I just come in?”
“I’m coming downstairs, just gimmie a minute.” I was already on the way down when I said the last syllable. I opened the door just as I saw my mom come out of the first floor’s entrance.
“It’s my friend!” I shooed her. She gave me a grin and two thumbs up.
I made sure she was inside when I opened the door all the way for Brie. Sunshine exploded into my eyes from behind her. She stood there, looking even more adorable with her hair in a ponytail, wearing a black and red checkered shirt with the front tucked into her skinny jeans.
“Hey! Welcome to my very humble abode. Any mess you see, I was not responsible of, I’ve got a ton of nephews and nieces,” I explained as I led her to the stairs. She looked around and nodded along, a soft smile on her lips. I noticed that she had on the same gloss we got together.
“Is it okay not to say hi to your mom?” She asked.
“Don’t worry, she is not a fan of my friends and don’t take that personally, she’s just extremely introverted,” I said. When we got into the second floor I pointed at my cat’s litter box: “That thing smells. I’m so sorry but my cat loves pooping.” She snorted.
“Also, we keeps a shoes free home, as in all shoes in this home are free,” I joked. I could feel the need to overly share bubbling in me but since she giggled at every bad joke I uttered, I didn’t worry.
Brie looked somewhat nervous to be in my room so I insisted she made herself comfortable. I brought out some snacks that I conveniently remembered to snatch on the way home from school yesterday. I’ve had friends over before so I knew the prefered order of things: food first then we got to business.
“Would it be out of the question that we watch some Voltron right now?” she asked, sitting on my bed. I clutched my heart in my head, thinking how could I ever sleep in peace knowing that Brie graced my bed with her perfect bum. Then I told myself to stop being disgusting. That had the potential to spiral into a weird train of thought so I nipped it at the bud.
“Uh, the whole point of you being here is so I can watch you watch Voltron.” I pulled up my laptop and because I was a thieving bastard, I logged into my brother’s Netflix account. He was a busy person, I doubted he checked the shows I watched while mooching off of his generosity.
We started a random episode, or so I thought, but it was the one where the paladins came across space ice and started pelting one another with the thing. I couldn’t help but giggle nonstop at Keith’s flirting tone as he said “Like that?”
“There is no heterosexual explanation to this!” Brie exclaimed. She got more comfortable and hugged one of my pillows to her chest. I couldn’t help it, my heart danced around, rejoiced that she was having fun. Our comments made the twenty-something long episode feel like an hour since we kept pausing and going off into tangents about the smallest of details.
“I gotta say, Em, your meta is exceptional,” she said at some point and my mouth automatically said: “It isn’t as exceptional as your face.” My eyes bugged as her cheeks reddened and she giggled. Wow, did I just successfully flirt with Brie and she didn’t friend-zone me?
We finished the episode and I barely held back from wanting to watch another. The show felt much more engaging when I watched it with someone who’s as invested as I was.
“We should probably start the agonizing thing already,” Brie sighed. She pulled out a cute purple makeup bag.
“Did you stone this yourself?”
“I did! How’d you notice?” She was so adorable when she was surprised.
“This bag says SJM Sucks, I don’t think anyone is cool enough to make this but you.”
Brie snorted. “True. It was plain before but I had a glue gun and leftover rocks so, yeah,” she explained as she emptied the bag carefully. Most of the products were opened but I noticed that one of the two mascaras I recommended was still shut.
“I had no problem with the foundation, it felt really good on my skin and I didn’t notice it streaking, so that’s good but I still don’t know just how much blush to put,” she said. She had a somehow defeated air about her that concerned me.
“Well, any amount is good as long as it’s satisfying. If you’re wearing it for school go a small amount just to be safe,” I replied.
“I was thinking I could do your makeup and you could do mine in exchange to demonstrate what you learned,” I added.
“That feels awfully educational.” Brie stuck her tongue out. I grinned.
“What can I say, I’m a real nerd,” I boasted as I pushed imaginary glasses up my nose. Per usual she shook her head at my goofiness.
I started off the way I always did, eyes first. Since she was a beginner, I made sure to explain every step. She was curious and very responsive to my advice. She even took notes in a cute purple notebook.
“So, for school, I always make sure to go with a smoky eye, so people know I mean trouble and trouble only,” I deadpanned. She gave me one look and then sniggered.
“Of course, of course. And do you wear that look with a black lipstick?” She squinted at me as she pretended to take notes.
“Excuse you, all of my looks require black lipstick,” I said, aghast.
“Well, with gorgeous lips like yours, any color, including black, would look amazing,” she said offhandedly, totally oblivious to how my heart thudded three times and then proceeded to stop. I took a deep breath and laughed weakly. I was totally used to flirting, yep, totally… not.
I was a mess, kept forgetting steps then going back. I blamed it on how she made my hands shake as I blushed her cheeks or demonstrated how pigmented a shadow can be if you really rub it a couple of time.
When I finished with her lips, I told her to smack them like Akon would smack that all on the floor and she ended up spitting up a surprised laugh. We both ended up giggling nonstop for a good minute.
“You ruined my hard work!” I complained as I watched her wipe a tear from her eye. Thankfully, her mascara was waterproof and the foundation held.
“I’m sorry but I can’t help if everything you say makes me cackle!” Brie defended.
“I agree that I’m a fantastic stand up comedian, so I forgive you.” I got up to turn my mirror. I turned it the other way when we started because I was corny enough to want to do a ‘before’ and ‘after’ sort of thing. Brie really liked the idea so she took a picture before, captioning it: before the magic that is Em.
“Ready or not, here it is. And if you’re unhappy please get out of my house,” I proclaimed.
“I doubt that anything you do to me would make me unhappy, Em,” she said, her eyes closed. I did a quick “what the fuck” at myself in the mirror before I cleared my throat. She was so good at this casual flirting thing.
She was a good distance away from the mirror so she’d see herself without needing to squint. I couldn’t take my eyes off of her face when she opened her eyes. They immediately rounded up and I noticed them getting wet.
“Oh no, don’t cry unless it’s over something funny that I’ve said!” I handed her a tissue.
“I’m sorry,” she laughed. She took a deep breath.
“It’s just that… I look so cute and it makes me so happy. I also look like a different person,” she said the last quietly.
“You’re still you even with makeup, Brie,” I tried to comfort her.
“I know that and I didn’t mean it in a bad way, I rather like this version of myself,” she said. Brie leaned into the mirror to check the brown eyeliner I applied with a pencil and buffed out for a soft look. I gave her one of the compact mirrors so she’d get a closer look without obscuring the light.
“To quote a problematic book: it’s Brie with the volume turned up,” I said.
“Only you would use an Eleanor and Park reference,” she laughed.
“I’m sorry. I used to love that book… before you know, I found out it was a steaming hot racist trash,” I said apologetically.
“I know what you mean, so many of the books I used to like before are problematic, I’m almost ashamed.”
“At least we’re aware of how shitty they could be. I know some very delusional people who would rather just live in the fantasy that there is no such thing as problematic books.”
“Yikes, tell me if I see them, I’ve got some words to say, and some fists to wave figuratively,” Brie said with a threatening tone and her fists indeed waved around.
“Are you ready for your test?” I reminded her.
“Do we still have to do that?” she asked. She still had her eyes glued on the mirror.
“We can skip it if you’d like, I just wanted to make sure I was clear enough about the instructions,” I mumbled. I could be really lacking on the whole confidence front no matter how much bravado I had.
“Em, believe me, I am not a liar when I say that you’re the best teacher I’ve ever had,” she said. Her tone was so genuine that I felt my own eyes blurring.
“Thank you. I’m glad to be able to do this for you,” I said.
“I’m so glad too. I never thought I could do this with another person comfortably but I knew I could trust you,” she said. She twined her fingers together and I felt like sharing some big part of me with her.
“You know, makeup has been a big part of my identity since I was fifteen that it helped when I began to question my gender,” I said. I saw her hands still as she looked at me. “I’m genderqueer. I’ve recently came out online to some friends and their support has been so incredible that I couldn’t ever foresee myself from being ashamed of this new thing I’ve discovered about myself.”
“Em, that’s so amazing,” she whispered. The moment felt big enough in the quiet of my bedroom. “Makeup is definitely something I felt so interested in for the longest time so to be able to grasp some ways in applying it feels like a blessing. My hands don’t feel as awkward or big when I held the brush yesterday.”
“That’s awesome. You’re a natural at this,” I told her. Brie smiled at me. Her lips looked even lovelier with the pink tinted gloss. It shimmered with every word out of her mouth.
“Sometimes, I felt like I was conforming to society’s ideals of what it is to be a female when I put on makeup but then I told myself: Makeup is not gendered and neither should I be if I don’t want to be. It’s that simple thing that has freed me from the box I’ve been shoved into the minute I got out of my mother’s womb. Yes, I like makeup and pink but that always seemed like a weapon for others to put labels on me. I always cringed when I was called a girly girl. It felt pointless to try and put that kind of label on something everyone should be able to enjoy.”
I couldn’t help it, I rambled on but not once did Brie interrupt me. She seemed as if she wanted to hear even more.
“I’m so happy you trust me with this,” Brie said.
“You ship klance and you snort at my jokes, you’re practically an honored friend,” I explained. Brie’s eyes glittered.
“Also, you get one extra privilege of having your makeup done professionally,” I added.
“If this much magic is a friend privilege, I wonder what your significant other would get,” Brie asked.
I grinned at her and in a moment of absolute daring that set my stomach into an impressive dive, I said “Wanna find out?”
I couldn’t look away from her brown eyes, they seemed to get even more beautiful in the span of these three lines we said back and forth. I almost couldn’t hear her answer over the sound of my heartbeat.
“I’d like to be, if you’d have me.” Brie almost looked shy. I wondered how this gorgeous girl had the capacity of so much wonder. Brie always seemed like the most courageous person the minute I met her.
“Did you just tell me you like me too?” I blurted.
“Did you just tell me you like me?” she asked back. A daring glint in her eyes.
“I asked you first,” I retorted.
“Well, I asked you second,” she laughed.
“Wow, you’re a nerd, stop quoting vines and answer me,” I whined, looking down into my hands.
“Yes, Em, I like you, as a friend and more,” her voice was soft and I took a deep breath. I didn’t even see the look on her face so I braved myself and looked up.
“Could you say that again?” I asked. She was looking at me with her cheeks redder than any amount of blush I applied for her. Her hands were twisting on the ends of her checkered shirt.
“I am in pansexual like with you, Em,” she said. I giggled. I couldn’t believe my ears so I believed my eyes. She wore her emotions so close to the surface that I couldn’t help but kick myself in the ass for not seeing it before.
“Excellent choice of label. I too am in bisexual like with you, Brie,” I replied. We sat there in a silence so comfortable you could lie in it and have the best nap ever. I couldn’t help but grin nonstop, my mouth hurting but not one bit of me cared.
“So, besides being my awesome makeup artist, do I also get kissing privileges?” I almost missed that since she said it so quietly and my heart didn’t get the memo that I needed my ears. I nodded so fast I felt like I could get whiplash.
“Okay, here I come,” she said. I couldn’t help it, I giggled. She put her hands on either side of my legs, and leaned forward.
The touch of her lips was both surprising and not. I couldn’t think of anything but: THIS LIPGLOSS IS TASTY. It was short and sweet. Both of us looked like two red tomatoes, we blushed so hardcore.
“Permission to highfive for such a cool first kiss?” I held my palm up.
She high fived me, and I took the chance to twine my fingers with hers. I held her hand with both of mine and kissed her knuckles.
“W- wow, you’re smooth,” she whispered. She was relatively close so I didn’t miss the way her words stuttered. I chuckled. Me? Smooth? As if.
“It just feels like I drank that potion that made Harry act so funny in the Half-Blood Prince,” I explained.
“Did you just insinuate that my lips have the effect equivalent of a vial of Felix Felicis?” she asked.
I looked into the distance for one second before answering “yes!” My answer made her laugh some more and lean in to kiss me again. This one lasted longer and made a hum spread from my chest all the way to my throat. Her hands were in mine and I loved the pressure of her leg against mine. She looked flushed and her lips smudged around the edges when she pulled away.
“I knew you were magic,” I whispered. Brie blushed some more and I felt a score of some sort evening out. She always made me feel like I was set on a comfortable simmer. It was cool to see my effect on her so candidly. She was excellent at making me feel great, which was a surprise to no one.
I sent Brie two snap messages showing off my makeup. I had to put my phone back into my bag as I began to drive to school. It was in the parking lot that I opened her reply. Somehow we ended up texting nonstop back and forth for the two minutes it took me to get out of the car and by my locker.
OfCOURSE I LIKE IT, YOU ADORABLE NOODLE
Adorable Noodle is blushing.
blows kissies at Adorable Noodle
ADORABLE NOODLE SENDS KISSES BACK AT BELLADONA
I was giggling as I opened my locker. When I shut the door, there she was. Her eyes glowing and her mouth the cute red shade I taught her how to turn matte on Saturday.
“How are you this cute?” I asked her while holding up the screen open to our conversation. She leaned to rest a shoulder on my locker.
“‘Cause baby I was born this way,” she sang. I can’t help it I leaned in and took her hand. Brie squeezed a little bit and I stood there grinning. How did I get this blessed so quickly?
“Are you ready for homeroom?”
“I sure am not. I was thinking I wanted to start being a delinquent who skipped classes to make out with her significant other,” she said quietly. I smiled.
“Sorry, but I don’t see black lipstick so your delinquent card is revoked,” I told her. Then I leaned in and grabbed her other hand. “Plus, I want to hold your hand in class and make everyone jealous that I’ve got the cutest girlfriend.”
Brie’s cheeks turned pinker. Just the shade I liked them.
“Ugh, you know exactly how to persuade me. Fine, to class we shall go!”
We marched on like soldiers. I felt so happy I could have flown away. My palm got sweaty but I wiped it on my jeans and then continued to hold Brie’s hand. My heart beat directly into my ears but I didn’t care. I had Brie’s hand in mine and the memory of her lips when she kissed me goodnight last night fresh in my mind. I felt like I could muster enough courage for the day.
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