Crystal's StorySite

This story is a sequel to my "Half-Brother." The action begins about two months later. If you haven't read "Half-Brother" yet, I recommend that you read it first.


Half-Sisters Too

by Hebe Dotson


"Hey, half-brother! I've got a great present for you!" Paul said.

"Stop calling me that," I said semi-automatically. He'd been teasing me with that stupid name ever since he found out that I liked to try on our sister's clothes.

"Okay," he said. "If you're going to be snotty, no present."

"Fine with me. Uh -- what have you got?"

"You'll never know, will you?" He started to walk out of the room. "Too bad -- you'd have liked it."

"Hold on," I said. "If I have offended you, Lord Aardriick, it was purely intentional."

"Okay. Your non-apology is fully unacceptable."

"Thank you, my lord. What have you got?"

Paul looked around conspiratorially. "Follow me," he said. He led me out of the family room and up the stairs to our bedroom. He went to the bureau, opened his underwear drawer, dug down beneath his T-shirts, and pulled something out. "Hold out your hands and close your eyes," he said.

I complied, and a moment later I felt something soft and silky in my hands. I opened my eyes to behold…a brassiere. "Where'd you get that?" I asked.

"Just a sec," Paul said. He reached into his drawer again. "Here's another one," he said as he dropped a second bra into my hands.

"Where'd they come from?"

"Well…" Paul was stringing things out. "As you know, since you would've been doing it yourself if you hadn't had that incredible run of luck playing 'Space Zombies' with me…"

"That was skill, not luck!"

"Whatever. Anyway, thanks to your skill, it became my duty as Aalienna's loyal liege to do the trash this week. As I faithfully roamed the house from the dungeon to the tower, collecting all the rubbish, I found these in Mandy's wastebasket."

"Our big sister must be getting bigger," I said.

"That would be my guess, too, since I found the empty packages for two slightly larger bras in her wastebasket. Anyway, since one person's trash is someone else's treasure, I said to myself, 'I'm not going to throw these out when my beloved half-brother Matt would treasure them.'"

"It's nice to benefit from someone else's personal growth," I said. "You're right -- I will treasure these. But I shouldn't get both of them -- you should keep one for yourself."

Paul turned beet red. "No, thanks," he said. "That's your little hobby, not mine."


I heard the front door close and knew that Paul had come home from school. At least, I hoped it was Paul. I'd be in real trouble, dressed as I was, if it were one of the three other people with house keys -- Mom, Dad, or (worst of all) Amanda the Dragon Queen. I was either okay or I was trapped, so I went on playing "Space Zombies" with external bravado (but with fear in my heart) until I heard, "Hey, half-bro'! You're looking mighty foxy today."

"Don't call me that, Paul," I said, just as if he'd listen to reason. I stood up so he could see my ravishing beauty in all its glory. "You like this outfit?"

"Yeah! Hey, isn't that the skirt we gave Mandy for Christmas?"

"It sure is. This is the first chance I've had to borrow it." Paul and I had found the skirt at Marcella's Ladies' Wear Boutique on my first (and so far only) excursion out of the house as Tammy. We decided it was too expensive to be Mandy's Christmas gift from me, but it would be about right as a joint gift from both of us. Mandy loved it, though she seemed a bit surprised that we would find and buy a gift like that for her.

"You should have told Mandy she had to share it with you," Paul said. "After all, you found it, so you should have half rights to it."

"I only have one-third rights," I said. "Mandy has a third and you have the other third, since you split the cost with me."

"You can have my share," Paul said quickly. "I'm not interested. That gives you two-thirds -- you should be able to wear it any time you want to."

"I'm not taking your share," I said. "You shouldn't just throw away your rights without even trying it on. Who knows -- you might like it."

"I don't think so," he said. That was the first time he hadn't made an unequivocal statement of disinterest. I noticed that he kept watching me for the next hour, until I decided to stop tempting fate and turn Tammy back into Matt before Mandy got home. He followed me upstairs and watched me change back, and he didn't knock my hands away when I held the skirt against his waist to show it would fit him. He only said, "You'd better take Mandy's stuff back to her room -- she'll be home any minute."


"Why do you keep bugging me?" Paul asked.

"Because I think you'd enjoy it," I said. "Besides, I'd like to have company."

He looked at me. I was wearing one of Mandy's prettiest dresses, pantyhose, and medium-heeled pumps, I'd been extra careful with my makeup, and I felt really happy with the way I looked. "Nah," he said. "I could never look half as good as you do."

"Sure you could -- even better."

"No way."

"Okay; I give up," I said. "Hey, I've got something cool to show you -- upstairs."

"What is it?" he asked as he followed me up to our room.

"That computer game I got for Christmas -- 'MorphMasters of Mordrak.' I've been fooling around with it, and I found this great feature." I woke up the iMac.


"You know how you can set it up so one of the characters is you? So any time you log on, you get to play that character?"

"A lot of games do that," Paul said.

"Well, sure -- they give you a little icon that has your name, but this is a lot better. If you scan in a photo of yourself, MorphMasters will put your face on your icon. I did that, and there I am -- see?"

"It's so small," Paul said. "Who could tell?"

"There's a morphing feature." I clicked on the little icon, pulled down a menu, and clicked several more times. The icon was now a tiny woman. "There's a close-up feature, too." I clicked a few more times, and the icon enlarged until its photographic-quality face, beautifully coiffured and made up, nearly filled the screen.

"Wow! That's really something," Paul said. "She's a real babe -- but she doesn't look quite like Tammy."

"She doesn't?" I moved closer to the screen. "It must be the makeup. Uh-oh -- I see what happened. I scanned your photo in, too, when I did mine, and I must have morphed the wrong icon."

There was dead silence for fully thirty seconds as Paul stared at the screen. "You're kidding," he said at last. "There's no way that's me."

"Yes, there is. Watch what I do and you'll see." I pulled down the morphing menu and clicked the "Unmorph" option, and the babe slowly turned back into Paul.

"You must have done something tricky when you changed me into her."

"Nope, not a thing -- honest. Watch me again. First, I click on male to female. Then age: no change. Height: no change. Weight: no change. Features: no change. Hair: shoulder length. Hairstyle: sophisticated. Makeup: sophisticated. And that's it." I clicked on "Morph" and Paul's image morphed into the girl he'd seen earlier.

"That's really something," Paul said.

"Now do you want to…"

"Stop bugging me!" Paul shouted. He left the room. I could hear him running down the stairs and then, a few seconds later, I heard the front door slam. I looked out the window and caught a glimpse of Paul walking rapidly down the street before my view was blocked by the house next door.


Two weeks later, I was home alone, playing the solo version of "Space Zombies," when I heard the front door close. A moment later, Paul walked into the family room. "Hey, half…uh, where's Tammy?" he said.

"Up in Mandy's closet, I suppose," I replied.

"You sick or something?"

"Me? No; I'm fine."

"Why aren't you…?"

I let his question hang there for a second or two. "Why aren't I dressed up?"


"I don't know. It's not so much fun by myself."

"Well, I'm here now."

"I thought maybe you were tired of seeing me in girls' clothes," I said.

"Nah. I think it's kind of fun."

"Then why don't you ever want to do it?"

He looked a little frightened. "Uh, I don't know," he said. "I think…I just…I don't know."

"It would be more fun if we both did it," I said. "I guess I'm getting tired of always doing it by myself."

He shot a nervous glance at me. "You're always bugging me, Matt."

"I'm sorry," I said. "I won't do it any more."

"Sure you won't. Look, if I do it just this once, just to make you happy, then will you stop bugging me?"

"Hey, you don't have to do anything just to make me happy," I said. "But if you do it and you don't like it, sure -- I won't say anything about it again. Come on!"


"Upstairs -- to Mandyland." Strike while the space aliens' phaser shields were down, that was my motto.


I'd thought about this a lot -- just what I'd do if Paul ever agreed to dress up; just how I'd dress him and how I'd make him up. It took me only a minute to raid Mandy's dresser and closet and bring the spoils to our room. I laid out two outfits on Paul's bed, one for him and one for me, and told him to follow my example. I stripped off my guy stuff and put on a pair of panties, and Paul did the same. I demonstrated the art of putting on pantyhose -- he watched me carefully and put his on. I put on my bra and inserted my birdseed boobs in the cups. Paul put his bra on and struggled to hook it behind him. I fastened the hooks for him, since he was a rookie -- there had been no one to do that for me when I was a beginner, I thought with a certain amount of pride. (Incidentally, these were our very own bras, the ones Paul had rescued from Mandy's trash.)

"What should I use to stuff this thing?" Paul asked.

I reached into my special shoebox and pulled out a second set of birdseed boobs. "Here you go," I said.

"Where did those come from?"

"I made a second pair -- just in case."

"Just in case?"

"Well…suppose my first pair sprang a leak. I'd need backup, wouldn't I?"

"I guess," Paul said.

Dresses next -- I thought they'd be better than skirts and tops -- a black mid-thigh minidress for Paul and a pink one for me. It's too bad Mandy hardly ever wore dresses, because they looked great on her. Fortunately, Mom insisted on buying them for her every now and then. I finished off our outfits with flats for me and low heels for Paul.

With some difficulty, I kept my brother away from mirrors, insisting that he should see the totality, not intermediate stages. I made each of us up with lipstick, a little blush, and a touch of eye shadow. I borrowed two of Mandy's necklaces and two of her bracelets and selected two pairs of clip-on earrings from my special shoebox. Finally, I put my wig on Paul's head and pulled my own hair into a ponytail. I brushed a little of my hair down over my forehead, touched up the wig, and led Paul to the full-length mirror in Mom and Dad's bedroom. We stood before the mirror, side by side, a pair of totally foxy chicks.

"Wow!" Paul said. "I can't believe it."

"That makes two of us."

"Why do we look so pretty? I mean, we're not exactly ugly guys, but I would never have imagined I'd look this good."

"I don't know," I said. "I don't think about it, I don't worry about it -- I just enjoy it. Are you ready to change back now?"

That startled him. "Why? Is it time for somebody to come home?"

"No; we've got at least another hour. I just thought, now that you've done it, that would be it."

"Well, maybe. But it's a lot of work to look so nice -- we should enjoy it for a little while."

"Fine with me. Want to play MorphMasters?"


And that's how Paul lost his power over me. Once he'd dressed as a girl, he was hooked just as badly as I was. Now we both had secrets to hide. It was like what Lord Aardriick called 'Mutual Assured Destruction' -- if he told on me, I'd tell on him and we'd both be dead meat.


"I wonder where we could go," Paul said. He was suffering from a severe case of cabin fever, the result of too many afternoons spent all dressed up with no unrisky place to go.

"We need a plan," I said.

"What good does that do us? What we really need is a chance to get away."

"We'll get our chance -- but we have to have a plan, so we don't waste our opportunity when it comes."

"Okay," he said. "What's our plan?"

"Let's see…we've done the Pizza Heaven and Marcella's. How about…um…an evening at the Boulton Park Recreation Center?"

"The Bee-Pee Wreck?"

"Sure. They have teen-ager activities almost every night -- they want to keep us little trouble-makers off the streets."

"I hear it's pretty lame," Paul said. "Nobody goes there."

"Perfecto," I said. "We don't want to go anywhere popular, where someone might recognize us."

"Devious, Aalienna. I like the way you think."

I smiled modestly. "Thank you, sister dear. By the way, if we're going to go out, we'll need a name for you. How about Paula? Pauline?"

"I've been thinking about a name, too, but it can't be anything too close to Paul. If people who know us see Matt and Paula, their first thought will be 'Matt and Paul.'"

"Their first thought will be 'Tammy and Paula,'" I observed.

"No way!" Paul said. "You can't go as Tammy! I want to have a date -- you know, someone to give me some cover -- the first time I go out, just like you did."

"Well, that's only fair, I suppose," I agreed. "Of course, I could always fix you up with Frank LaRosa."

He ignored that offer. "Besides, we've only got the one wig," he said.

"I thought you were going to buy one for yourself on the Internet."

"I am, but I'll need three more allowances to get the one I want, so it'll be about a month. Unless you'd like to float me a loan."

"Not me -- I'm broke, too. We'll just have to wait to do our two-girl gig. So, what thoughts have you had about a name for yourself? How about Lienna?"

"Lienna? You'd name me after Aalienna?"

"Sure -- why not? She's a real babe."

"No -- Lienna's too weird."

"Well, you got Tammy by spelling Matt backwards. Let's see…Luap!"

"Oh, yeah. Sure."

"Maybe Lulu? Louise? Lucille? Lucy? How about Lucretia?"

"How about knocking it off?" Paul said. "I'm going to be…Carole! I like that name."

"I do, too," I said. "Hi, Carole."


Opportunity came thumping on the door the next Saturday evening. At dinner the night before, Mom had informed us that she and Dad were going to spend Saturday night with friends -- they had theatre tickets, and they'd made dinner reservations at the Old Town Inn. "We'll get home around midnight," Mom said. "That won't cause problems for anyone, will it?"

"Not for me," Mandy said. "I've got a date with Pete Foster -- pizza and a movie."

"Oh, yes, you mentioned that a few days ago. This is the first time you've gone out with him, isn't it?" Mom said (as if she didn't have an annotated list of all the guys who'd even looked at Mandy in the last five years).

"Yes," Mandy said. "We won't be real late -- probably around eleven."

"Just keep the rules in mind," Dad said.

"Yes, Daddy -- I will." She smiled sweetly, as if she'd never broken, bent, or inflicted any kind of injury on a family rule.

"How about you boys?" Mom said.

Paul and I looked at each other. "We've been thinking about going to the Boulton Park Recreation Center," I said. "They've got a lot of youth programs. Tomorrow night is probably as good a time as any to check them out."

"How will you get there?" Mom asked.

"No problemo, Señora. The downtown bus route will get us within a block of the Wreck," I said.

"You'll be home by 10:30?"

"How about eleven? It's a half-hour bus ride."

"All right," Mom said. "I'll give you some money so you can get something to eat. I must say, it's nice to have such sensible, responsible children, so we can go out once in a while without worrying about you."

Paul and I exchanged glances again. Which children was she talking about? "We'll be fine, Mom," Paul said.


"Did you find it?" Paul asked.

"I've got it on the screen right now," I said. "The Bee-Pee Wreck's weekly calendar of youth events. They have a teen dance every Saturday night, from eight to eleven. Do you think Carole would like to go dancing?"

"Carole would like to go anywhere, just to get out of the house. This won't be slow dancing, will it?"

"I don't think so. If there are any slow dances, we'll just sit them out."


The parental units were the first ones out the door -- could they possibly have been eager to escape from their offspring? They were quickly followed by Mandy, whose new boyfriend was the horn-honking type -- one blast and Mandy was gone. That left us alone in the house at six. Our plan was to catch the 7:02 bus. We'd get to the Wreck a little after 7:30 -- we could get burgers and sodas there, and we'd go into the gym for the dance at eight or a couple of minutes after.

Getting Carole ready was a blast -- almost as much fun as getting Tammy ready. Paul had drawn a bath before Mandy left. When he heard the door close behind her, he threw a load of bath oils into the tub and threw himself in after them. There wasn't time for much luxuriating in the tub, but Carole certainly smelled good when she emerged from the bathroom, demurely clad in panties and bra.

She looked as pretty as she smelled when we finished getting her dressed. We added sheer black pantyhose, a camisole, and a short half-slip, followed by the black minidress she'd worn the first time she dressed. The dress had a mid-thigh skirt and a high neckline, something she'd insisted on having.

I'd decided to wear a sports jacket and tie, just in case I happened to meet any girls I wanted to impress. I took a shower and changed clothes while Carole went into Mandy's room to put on her makeup, her earrings, and Tammy's wig. We both finished at the same time. Carole slid her feet into Mandy's black pumps and stood back to be admired.

"Very nice," I said.

"Are you sure? You're not just saying that?"

"If you weren't my very own half-sister…r-r-r-ruff!"

"Thank you, sir. You're looking rather handsome yourself."

"The least I could do for your debut," I said. "Hey, we'd better get moving. The bus will be coming in about ten minutes."

We'd already appropriated one of Mom's 300 handbags for Carole. She put her lipstick, her house key, some tissues, and a little money in it. I made sure I had my own house key and my wallet (with the food and emergency taxi money Mom had provided) and we hurried down the stairs. I helped Carole put on one of Mom's jackets, grabbed my own, and we were off.


I had to admit to myself that Carole was gutsier than Tammy had been. She went out the door and down the walk with no hesitation whatever (which was just as well, because the bus was in sight when we reached the sidewalk). We hurried to the bus stop, reaching it just in time to flag down the bus. No one got off, no one got on with us, and neither the driver nor any of the half-dozen passengers gave us a second glance as I paid the fares and followed Carole to the back of the bus.

It was an unmemorable ride for the first twenty minutes. We passed the Pizza Heaven and Marcella's and continued on into the city. About ten minutes before we got to the Wreck, a guy and a girl I knew got on the bus. Not that I really knew them, but I'd seen them at BPHS. At the next stop, two more couples that I recognized as BPHS students boarded the bus -- again, I'd seen their faces at school but didn't know their names. I wondered where they were going. Probably not to the Wreck -- the youth programs there were generally considered uncool. Even a middle-schooler like Paul thought they were lame.

By the time we reached our destination, there were a dozen or so Bee-Pee High couples aboard -- I even knew some of them by name, but not well. To my surprise, they all got off at our stop and walked off in the direction of the recreation center. We brought up the rear -- no one paid any attention to us.

"Do you suppose they're all going to the dance?" Carole asked.

"I don't think so," I said. "There must be something else going on nearby." But I was wrong -- everyone went into the Wreck. We followed the crowd.

The Wreck was overflowing with kids. Carole and I pushed our way through the crowd, trying to reach the food concession area. Eventually, we found ourselves in a line that appeared to be heading for the BiggerBurger stand. I tapped the shoulder of the guy ahead of me. "Excuse me," I said. "Is this the burger line?"

"I sure hope so," he said. He turned to face me and recognized me just as I recognized him. "Hey, Matt! How's it going?"

It was Paul's friend and classmate, Derek Peterson. "Hey, Derek. Pretty good," I said. His date turned to look at me, and I recognized her, too -- Fiona Moore, also Paul's classmate and the great but secret love of his life. This was going to kill him.

"Where's Pablo?" Derek asked.

"He's home," I said. "He didn't want to come here tonight." Carole tugged at my arm. "This is Carole," I said. "Carole, this is Derek and…" I stopped, remembering that I didn't officially know Fiona.

"Hi, Carole. Fiona, this is Carole and Matt. Matt is Pablo's brother."

"Hi, Carole. Hi, Matt. I'm pleased to meet you," Fiona said. "Are you from around here, Carole?"

"No; not exactly," Carole said. "I'm from Beaumont."

"I met someone else from Beaumont, a friend of Paul's, just before Thanksgiving," Fiona said. "Her name was…um…Tammy!"

"She's my sister," Carole said. "She told me she'd met a girl with a lovely Scottish name."

"Why is the Wreck so crowded tonight?" I asked Derek. "I didn't think many kids came here."

"There's live music tonight -- not the usual DJ," Derek said.

"Not just live music," Fiona added. "It's D'Eon Quince!"

"I've heard of them," Carole said. "They're sort of a used-to-be-big-time band, aren't they? Glam rockers?"

"That's right. They were supposed to be performing in Calgary tonight, but the club there went bankrupt and shut down two days ago," Fiona said. "One guy in the band is from Boulton Park, and his dad's on the Wreck's board of directors. They offered to play the Wreck tonight, just for expenses. They didn't want it advertised, but there's been a lot of word-of-mouth, so they've got a good crowd."

Carole looked a bit nervous. I wondered if she'd prefer something less crowded. "Do you want to stick around, Carole, or would you rather go someplace else?" I said.

"Oh, please stay, Carole. It's going to be such fun!" Fiona said.

"Well, I…oh, let's stay, Matt," Carole said.

"Okay," I said. "We haven't bought our tickets yet. Do you think there'll be any problem?"

"I don't think so," Derek said. "This place is huge. They've got three ticket windows open -- it was just a short wait in line."

"I'll go get the tickets," I told Carole. "If I'm not back before you get waited on, please get me a cheeseburger, fries, and a Coke." I gave her a twenty-dollar bill and went off to find the ticket windows.

Derek was right -- it was a short line, and there were plenty of tickets. I got back to the BiggerBurger line just as Carole was paying for our order. She gave me the change and I helped her carry our food to a table that Derek and Fiona had miraculously found. We ate quickly and then made our way into the gymnasium, where the band had already begun to play.


D'Eon Quince was a rock band, all right -- they were really laying down a ferocious beat, and the kids were dancing up a storm. I couldn't see the band from the back of the gym, where Carole and I were dancing, but I could certainly hear them.

Dancing with your brother isn't the sexiest pastime in the world, even if he does appear to be an unusually pretty girl, but what the heck -- this wasn't slow dancing. No one was cuddling with a dance partner while D'Eon Quince was rocking. Carole and I hardly ever made contact with each other -- there were times when I almost lost sight of her.

One thing I realized was that Carole was overdressed in comparison with most of the other girls. I don't think there were more than a dozen girls in the crowd who were wearing dresses or skirts and heels -- most of them were in jeans and flats. Well, who would have known? Anyway, Carole wouldn't have been the least bit interested in making her debut in jeans. As it was, she drew a lot of admiring glances from the guys on the dance floor -- I felt quite proud of my little half-sister and wished we'd thought of doing something like this my first time out.

With some effort, Carole and I danced our way through the crowd until we were finally close enough to the stage to see the performers. She'd apparently heard of the band, but I hadn't. She'd said they were glam rockers, so I was expecting a bunch of guys in weird makeup and costumes, like I'd seen on the covers of our parents' ancient KISS and New York Dolls LP records. To my surprise, I saw five attractive women wearing identical miniskirts and tops. I could have sworn that all the vocals I'd heard had been sung by men -- and at that point, one member of the group began to sing in a strong baritone voice.

"She's a guy!" I said to Carole.

"They're all guys!" a nearby dancer informed me with a patronizing smirk.

I was tempted to say "So's my date" with a superior smile of my own, but I decided against it, since I really wanted to live through the night.


Having seen the band, Carole and I decided to get back to a less-crowded area of the gym. Dancing was impossible near the stage -- people were mashed too closely together -- so we had to walk out, as best we could. I played blocking back, inserting my shoulder into narrow gaps, excusing myself profusely, and hauling running back Carole along behind me. It was sort of ridiculous, since she was just about my size -- slightly taller in her heels -- and stronger and more athletic than I was, but I'd signed on as the guy in our couple and perseverance got us out of the crush.

We emerged to find ourselves next to Derek and Fiona, who had sensibly decided to dance on the fringe rather than in the middle. As we greeted each other, someone came on the public address system to announce that D'Eon Quince was taking a twenty-minute break. But we didn't have to stop dancing, he said, because DJ Mello was going to keep things jumping with some golden oldie recordings.

"He was here a couple of weeks ago," Derek said.

"He's great! He plays a lot of slow dance music," Fiona added.

Carole and I exchanged glances. "I guess we'll find a place to sit -- we don't know the slow dances," I said.

"Don't do that," Derek said. "Slow dancing's real easy -- all you have to do is shuffle around."

"We can teach you," Fiona said.

"We sure can," Derek agreed. "You'll be experts in just a few minutes."

"Well, okay," I said. I thought slow dancing with Fiona might be excellent. "I'm willing to give it a try. How about you, Carole?"

I expected her to refuse, and then -- having let Fiona know I was not unwilling -- I'd back her up. "I don't know," Carole said. "I…"

Fiona put her arms around Carole and hugged her. "Come on, Carole -- it will be lots of fun!"

Carole melted. "All right," she said. "If you really don't mind teaching us."

DJ Mello started playing his first recording. It had a nice rhythm -- it wasn't rock, but it had me tapping my toes. Fiona turned to me and opened her arms. "Let's go, Matt!" she said.

I glanced at Carole. The look on her face was wonderful. For a split-second each, she displayed annoyance at me for being so eager to dance with Paul's secret love, jealousy of me for having the opportunity to dance with her, and terror stemming from the realization that she herself was going to be dancing with Paul's friend Derek. Then, in the next split-second, she covered all three of those emotions with a ladylike look of calm equanimity -- where she got that, I'll never know.

Fiona's arms were still open, and I moved to join her. She instructed me to stand beside her with my right arm around her waist. She put her left arm around my waist and told me to watch how she moved her feet and to then do the same movements myself.

"My gosh -- you know the guy steps?" I said.

"Most girls know the guy steps -- we practice dancing with each other, and someone has to be the guy."

"Does Derek know the girl steps?"

"I doubt it. He'll probably tell Carol to do with her left foot what he does with his right foot, only backwards. I can't imagine him dancing backwards!" She laughed at that idea, and I laughed right along with her.

The guy steps were simple, and Fiona soon pronounced me ready to go. She turned to face me, put her right hand into my left hand, and told me to begin dancing -- and I did!

It wasn't rock -- it was so much better. An armful of up-close girl, especially one as pretty and delightfully scented as Fiona, beat dancing-at-a-distance by at least a mile. In no time at all, my feet were moving automatically and Fiona had taught me how to twirl her and bring her back into my arms. Wow! Especially the bringing back part!

I wondered how Carole was doing. I looked around and saw her, not far away. Derek was twirling her and bringing her back, and she had a huge smile on her face.

The music ended and another piece began, and I assumed that Fiona would want to go back to Derek. She didn't, though. "The first dance was a waltz," she said. "This one is a fox trot, and you and Carole should learn that, too." Once again, we walked through the steps side by side and then swung into action. The fox trot was fun, too. Where had I been?

When the second recording ended, Derek and Carole were the entire length of the gym from us. DJ Mello started another number. "Can you tell what this is?" Fiona asked.

"Um…another waltz?" I said.

"That's right. More practice?" she said with a smile.

"I think that's an excellent idea," I said. I opened my arms and she moved into them, closer than she'd been before. Heaven!

I stumbled a couple of times before I got myself out of foxtrot mode and into waltz mode, but it wasn't long before we were waltzing smoothly around the floor. There weren't many other couples out there besides us and Derek and Carole -- I suppose most of the kids didn't know the steps and didn't know what they were missing. The waltz tempo was slow and dreamy, conducive to snuggling. I tightened my grasp on Fiona and she snuggled into my chest. Looking around, I could see that Carole was about as close to Derek as she could get.

The waltz ended and I identified the next piece as a fox trot and suggested that I could use a little more practice on that. Fiona agreed, but said that it was about time to return to our original partners. "The DJ will play only one or two more numbers before the band comes back," she said, "and you and Carole should have a chance to dance together." Ha! What did she know about the sheer joy of dancing with my brother?

As the fox trot ended, Fiona said, "Please tell Paul I'm sorry he wasn't here tonight." I took that to mean that she, for one, might find joy in dancing with my brother. After all, she'd told me she thought he was cute when we were in the ladies' room at the Pizza Heaven, back when I was Tammy.

"I will," I said. "I think he'll be sorry too when I tell him how much he missed. And thanks for teaching me slow dancing. You're a great teacher."

"And you're an excellent student," Fiona said. She squeezed my hand quickly.

With my newfound terpsichorean skills, I'd managed to bring us close to Derek and Carole when the music stopped. Derek and I exchanged partners. He seemed to be just the least bit reluctant to part with Carole and I would just as soon have stayed with Fiona, but I acted as if slow dancing with my 'date' was my principal goal in life. DJ Mello got another fox trot going, and I swept Carole into my arms and off across the floor.

"You looked like you were having a good time," Carole said when we were out of earshot.

"I was," I replied. "Fiona's a terrific dancer. You seemed to be enjoying yourself, too."

"The dancing was fun, but I was scared stiff about talking with Derek. I really had to think twice about everything I said -- I was so afraid I'd say something dumb and he'd recognize me."

"Yeah -- I'm glad I didn't have that problem."

"You didn't look as if you had any problems at all," she said.

I looked at her. "You sound jealous," I said.

Carole smiled. "I am -- but I'm not the least bit jealous of Fiona, half-brother, so don't let it go to your head."

I twirled her and reeled her back in. "We're doing pretty well, aren't we," I said. "Derek did a good job of teaching you."

"He did, didn't he -- and Fiona did a good job with you. Can you hold me closer?"

That surprised me. "Do you really want me to?"

"Yes, I do." I pulled her closer. She was too tall to snuggle against my chest as Fiona had, so she tilted her head and rested it on my shoulder instead.

"This is sort of strange, half-sis," I said. "Why are you doing it?"

"Because I'm a jealous woman," she said.

"But not of Fiona."

"No. It's bad enough that she's dating Derek. I don't want her to think you're available."

"I still don't understand."

"Paul's available. You're not. Carole's got you."

"And you had the nerve to call me devious a few days ago! I think maybe you should play Aalienna from now on."

"Maybe I should," she said.


D'Eon Quince returned to the stage, and Carole and I decided to take a break ourselves. Derek and Fiona had made the same decision, and the four of us found ourselves together again in the back of the gym. Carole and I thanked Derek and Fiona once more for the excellence of their instruction and for introducing us to the pleasures of slow dancing.

"If you'll excuse me," Fiona said, "I've got to go powder my nose. How about you, Carole?"

"Oh, uh, yes -- I guess I should go, too," Carole said.

"Would you boys mind getting us something to drink?" Fiona said. "Diet something -- Coke or Pepsi would be nice."

"The same for me, please," Carole said. They went off toward the rest rooms while Derek and I made our way to the food concessions.

"I don't think Fiona's ever gone to the john alone in her life," Derek said. "Is Carole the same way?"

"I really don't know," I said. "I haven't seen that much of her. This is the first time we've gone out together."

"Wow! I wish my girlfriends would cuddle up to me like that on our first dates."

"She likes to flirt, but she's not exactly my date. She's a family friend."

"Like Tammy?" Derek said.

"That's right."

"She's not your girlfriend then -- just a friend."

"You got it!"

"She's kind of cute. I like her," Derek said. "You wouldn't mind if I took her out?"

"Be my guest -- but it's a long way to Beaumont."

"Oh, yeah. I forgot about that."


Derek and I got the sodas and the girls returned, talking and laughing together as if they'd known each other for years. By the time we'd all finished our drinks, D'Eon Quince was nearing the end of its second set. We didn't mind -- they were fun to listen to, but DJ Mello's recordings were much better for dancing.

I glanced at my watch. It was 9:50. The DJ's set would run for about twenty minutes, and then D'Eon Quince would come back for their last set. We could listen to them for five or ten minutes, and then we'd have to go catch the bus. I didn't want to use Mom's taxi money if I didn't have to.

Derek and I had agreed to exchange partners for the first two slow dances. The girls didn't seem to mind. Carole appeared to have overcome her fear of being discovered, and she waltzed off in Derek's arms with a happy smile on her face. Fiona seemed to be equally happy to dance with me, and I was overjoyed to have her snuggled up to my chest again.

Time flew by; the second number ended, and it was time to reclaim the dates we'd come with. Fiona brushed her lips quickly across my cheek as the music died away and said she hoped we'd have another opportunity to dance together. Then she smiled at Derek, took his arm, and danced away with him as Carole stepped into my arms.

"Having a good time?" she asked.

"I sure am. How about you?"

"I'm having a great time. It's really fun turning Derek on -- though probably not as much fun as being turned on by Fiona."

"If you want an expert opinion, I'd say that Fiona is at least ten times more fun than Derek."

"How would you know?" Carole asked with a sly smile. "You haven't danced with Derek. But maybe you will the next time we go out -- Tammy."

I looked around frantically to see if anyone had overheard her, but there was no one that close to us. "Derek thinks you're cute," I said. "He likes you. I bet he'll be checking out the Beaumont bus schedule tomorrow."

"I'm safe enough," she said. "He'll never reach me at the phone number I gave him."

"He asked for your phone number? I'm impressed."

"So was he," she said with another sly smile. "And so was Fiona. She thinks you're very nice and really cute. That's the latest word from the ladies' room."

"She does?"

"She does. But she thinks your brother's cuter."


The slow dance set ended and DJ Mello retired from the stage. D'Eon Quince reappeared and began to play with as much energy as they'd had at the beginning of the evening. Carole and I stood in the back of the crowd, enjoying the music. I barely noticed that she was gripping my arm, probably as a display of territoriality for Fiona.

A soprano voice behind me said, "Hi, Matt! Enjoying yourself." It was an extremely familiar soprano voice. Carole's grip became tight enough to hurt. I took a deep breath and turned.

"Oh -- hi, Mandy," I said. "I'm having a great time."


"I didn't expect to see you here," I said.

"I didn't expect to be here," Mandy said, "but the movie was so bad I couldn't stand it. I heard someone talking about this dance while Pete was getting our tickets, so we decided to come here and catch the end of it. Pete," she said to a guy standing beside her, "this is my brother Matt."

"Pleased to meet you," Pete said, shaking my hand.

"Pete," Mandy said. "Would you be a sweetie and get me something to drink? There are concession stands out in the lobby."

"Sure," Pete said. "What do you want?"

"I'd really love a Diet Mr. Pibb," Mandy said. "If you can't find it at one of the stands, I think there are some machines in the basement."

"Okay," Pete said. "Be right back."

"No you won't," Mandy muttered as Pete strode away. She turned to me. "The movie wasn't that bad, but this creep is all hands," she said. "I'll never go out with him again. I made him leave the movie so he'd leave me alone, and then I thought of how much fun he was going to be when he took me home. So I mentioned the dance to him, figuring I could find you and Paul and offer you a ride home. Where's Paul?"

Where indeed? Without my noticing it, Carole had relaxed her grip and vanished. "Uh…I haven't seen him for a while," I said. "He must be somewhere in the crowd."

"You've been having a good time, haven't you?" Mandy said. "Dancing with all the pretty girls."

"Oh, yeah -- a great time. How long have you been here?"

"About half an hour. Pete doesn't know the slow dances, and I told him I didn't either -- I wasn't about to teach Mr. Octopus any new grips -- so we just stood in the crowd and watched the dancers. That's when I saw you dancing with…Fiona Moore, wasn't it?"

"Yeah. She's here with Derek Peterson."

"Nice of Derek to share. I saw Derek dancing with another girl, and then you and he swapped partners. Who was the other girl?"

"Uh…her name's Carole. I didn't get her last name yet."

"I have a dress just like hers," Mandy said.

"I…uh…I didn't notice."

"I'm sure. So why is Paul wearing my dress?"

"What are you talking about, Mandy?"

"Come on, Matt. I've been watching you two. I was fooled for a few minutes, but then I realized that she -- your girlfriend -- was Paul."

"Um…we were playing 'Space Zombies' this afternoon, and Paul was almost all the way to the Portal of Doom. He bet he could get through it before I could, but I know the game better than he does, so I got through it first. The loser had to…ah…borrow some of your stuff and be the winner's date tonight."

"That sounds stupid enough to be true," Mandy said. "Look -- go find him and tell him that you two are getting a ride home with Pete and me. Otherwise, you'll both be in big trouble."

"You're not going to tell Pete, are you?"

"The only thing I'd tell him is to keep his hands in his pockets. As far as he's concerned, Paul's at home and you came here with a girl from the neighborhood. We'll give both of you a ride to our house, and then…"


Pete's car came to a rattling stop in front of our house and Pete turned the engine off. "Thanks for the ride, Pete," I said. "Come on, Carole -- I'll walk you home."

"Good night, Carole," Mandy said. "Tell your mom I said hello."

"Good night, Mandy. I'll tell her. See you again soon."

It was a two-door car, so Mandy had to get out first and flip her seat forward to let me out. I knew she wouldn't be getting back in. I reached into the back seat to help Carole climb out and closed the door when she was on the sidewalk.

Carole and I walked rapidly away from the car, hand in hand for Pete's benefit. From the corner of my eye, I could see Mandy going up the walk to the front door, and I could see Pete scrambling to get out of the car and catch up with her. We turned the corner and went down the side street until we were out of Pete's sight and could safely disconnect our hands.

I'd had time to find Carole and give her a quick summary of what Mandy knew and what she'd said before Pete returned from his fruitless search for a Diet Mr. Pibb. We couldn't talk in the car, of course, but now we had a minute or two to discuss our situation.

"That bet story was really quick thinking, Matt -- brilliant -- but it won't hold up."

"I know," I said. "Well, we'll have to play things by ear and hope we'll be okay. Only one space alien to defeat! We can do that."

"But that one is Amanda the Dragon Queen -- she's very powerful!" Carole said. "I think you'd better get back to the house before she destroys Pete."

"Okay," I said. I turned and retraced my steps while Carole continued down the street. The plan was for her to go two houses down, turn into the Carstairs' driveway, cut through their back yard and into ours, and use her key to let herself in through our back door.

I walked quickly back to our house. Mandy and Pete were grappling by our front door. She was right about Mr. Octopus, or almost right -- I could count only seven hands on Pete. I was an experienced hand counter, too -- one of the MorphMasters of Mordrak was inclined to morph into Octoman, and you really had to watch him. I coughed loudly and said, "I'm back." It was funny to watch Pete reeling in all his hands -- ah; there was the eighth one. I wondered how I'd missed it.

"Do you have your key, Matt? I can't find mine."

"Right here, Sis." I dug it out of my pocket, unlocked the door, and held it open for her.

"I'm sorry I can't invite you in, Pete," Mandy said. "It's a family rule -- no boys allowed unless my parents are home." She smiled sweetly and stepped into the house. I followed her in and closed the door.


"Where's your little sister?" Mandy asked. "She's not still running around outside, is she?"

"No. I saw her -- him -- going up the stairs right after we came in."

"Good. I need to have a little talk with her about taking other people's clothes. And I guess I should teach her how to avoid guys like Forty Fingers Foster -- or maybe she should be teaching me."

"Forty Fingers? Is that what you call him?"

"That's what all the girls at school call him. Now I know why."

Paul came into the kitchen. His face was cleansed of makeup and he was wearing his pajamas and bathrobe. "Aren't you guys going to bed?" he said. "Or are we all waiting up for Mom and Dad?"

"I'm going upstairs in a minute," Mandy said. "I'm writing a note to Mom and Dad." We must have looked alarmed, because she laughed and said, "Don't worry -- I'm just going to tell them their three cherubs are safely home. That's so they won't be coming into our rooms to count noses."

"Good idea," I said. "I'm ready to hit the sack."

"Before you do, I want to have a few words with you two dweebs. What did you do with my things, Paul?"

"Your undies are in your laundry hamper, your pantyhose are in your hosiery bag, and your dress and shoes are back in your closet."

"My dress needs a bath, too, after all the exercise it had tonight. Just leave it where it is," she added hastily. "I'll take care of it. Now, I have five words for you: Stay. Out. Of. My. Room. Any questions?"


Mandy turned to me. "That was a pretty good story, Matt, about winning a bet on one of your stupid games this afternoon, but it won't hold water. You guys had to have had Carole's wig for a while, and I recognized her earrings -- I threw them out when I got my ears pierced. So you must have been planning this for some time."

"Yeah -- you're right," I said. "We've been planning it for quite a while, and it all fell into place tonight."

"I won't ask you which computer game inspired you or why you thought it was such a great idea. You stay out of my room, too. Understand?"

"Yes." The Dragon Queen speaks and her vassals obey.

"I'm not going to say anything to Mom and Dad as long as you two mind your P's and Q's. But if I find out you've been in my room again…watch out!"


Paul and I were in our room with the lights out, whispering and hoping not to end the evening with a parental interrogation. "We're probably okay for now," Paul said, "but I imagine Mandy's going to blackmail us eventually. Me, anyway -- she doesn't have anything on you."

"Sure she does," I said. "I was your accomplice, at least, even if she doesn't think I put you up to wearing her clothes."

"Which you did, half-bro' -- but that's okay. It was fun, but -- what do we do now?"

"We could give up Tammy and Carole," I said.

"We could. Do you want to?"


"Me neither. I like it too much."

"Same here," I said. "Well, we've been pretty careful, but we're going to have to be even more careful, especially if we want to use Mandy's stuff. She'll be watching us like the proverbial hawk."

"Maybe we should keep our hands off Mandy's stuff -- for a real long time."

"Isn't that the same as giving up Tammy and Carole?" I said.

"Well…no. Not if we get our own stuff -- another wig, anyway. And Carole and Tammy could wear tee-shirts and jeans, like all the other girls do."

"I don't know," I said. "I really like skirts and dresses. Maybe we can borrow things from Mom -- if we're real careful."

"Sure -- and we can mow lawns and stuff like that this summer and buy our own things."

I felt better. We had a strategy and a plan. I had a private strategy, too, that I wasn't going to tell Paul about -- it sort of revolved around Fiona. As I fell asleep, it crossed my mind that Paul might have a private strategy, too.


Footnote: The rock band "D'Eon Quince" is completely fictitious. The following links are provided for younger adult readers (that will be most of you) who want to know what inspired its name. First go to and then to

Other D'Eon links:




© 2003 by Hebe Dotson. All Rights Reserved. These documents (including, without limitation, all articles, text, images, logos, and compilation design) may be printed for personal use only. No portion of these documents may be stored electronically, distributed electronically, or otherwise made available without express written consent of StorySite and the copyright holder.