Maria sighed as she pulled the rubber band out of her hair and shook it loose, the ritual signalling the end of her workday. Her feet throbbed, and she knew she smelled like french fry grease. She leaned against her locker in the back of the Crashdown, closed her eyes, and wondered what Michael was doing.
Or who he's doing,she said to herself. You're pathetic. her inner voice continued. She couldn't remember how many times she'd watched her mother dance to the Mr. Wrong hustle. Rubbing Amy's back as she sobbed on the couch, Maria had sworn to herself she'd never be that stupid. She was startled back to the present by Liz clattering around in the next locker.
"Fuck!" Liz exclaimed, as her purse fell to the floor. Lipstick and eyeshadow slid out, in colors that reminded Maria more of Haloween decorations than make-up. She was having a hard time getting used to the New Liz.
"What's the name of that new nail polish you're wearing?" Maria asked, as Liz scooped up her kit. The iridescent color was somewhere between green, gray, and dark blue. It was so ugly, she couldn't stop looking at it.
"Glock," Liz said, " and this is Uzi," she continued, holding up another bottle from her purse. "But I think I'm going to change it tomorrow," she held up a bottle in yet a third indescribable color, "to Manslaughter." Before she set her purse back on the locker shelf, she pulled out a pack of Krakatoa Kretek clove cigarettes, and lit one with a lighter bearing a skull and crossbones. She clenched the cigarette in her teeth as she began to unbutton her uniform.
"Eeww!" Maria said, waving her hand in front of her face. "Does your dad know? You're gonna get caught. And can't you at least smoke something normal? It smells like someone's baking a ham in here."
"What's so great about normal?" replied Liz. Immediately, she regretted it, as she remembered how she'd first heard that line.
Maria wasn't paying attention, however. She'd thought Liz's perky tits were a little bouncier than usual tonight, but she hadn't realized that Liz wasn't wearing a bra. Liz smiled as she realized why Maria was staring. She closed one eye as the smoke started to make it water, thrust her hips forward in a bump and grind motion, and continued unfastening the row of buttons down the front of her uniform strip- tease style. When it hung loose, she began to slowly roll down the top of her pantyhose, until she'd revealed a strip of dark brown hair above the white elastic waistband.
"Liz, come on, cut it out!" said Maria. "I don't want to see anymore."
"Then why are you still looking?" Liz giggled.
Maria turned back towards her locker. She was still in uniform, except for her shoes. It felt like her whole body was blushing, and the fabric between the legs of her own panties was uncomfortably damp. She started to undress, staying close to the locker, watching Liz's legs under the door as Liz stripped off her stockings and began pulling on a pair of skin-tight black leather pants.
As Maria stood on one leg to pull her own pantyhose off of her other foot, she started to sway backwards. She gripped the edge of the locker door in time to keep her balance, but not before she saw Liz's bare butt above the waistband of her pants.
"Liz, you're not wearing any underwear under those? Aren't you afraid they're going to chafe? You don't want blisters down there, believe me."
"And how would you know anything about that?" Liz chuckled as she pulled the pants up to her waist. "Anyway, I won't be wearing them for very long."
"You're going out with Leatherette again tonight, aren't you?" Maria said. "Liz, what's happened to you? It's like I don't even know you anymore since you started hanging around with her. I mean, Max is, well, Czechoslovakian, but she's, like, totally weird. She scares me."
Liz finally took the cigarette out of her mouth. She ignored the ash that fell on the floor as she swept her hand through the air. "Maria, when are you going to accept that I'm not that mousy little small town girl anymore? I've broken out of their spell." When I first found out about the ...Czechoslovakians, I was as in awe of them as you were. But after a while, I figured out that just because they're alien doesn't mean they can't be boring as hell. "
"And it's not as if they need us, or anything. They're so wrapped up in their own private space opera, they hardly even know we exist, except when they want us to do something for them. Take you and Michael. I know you. You wouldn't take a tenth of this shit off of a plain old human boy. But he's "Not of This Earth," Liz said archly, waving her hands, "so you're his personal welcome mat to the planet. Even if the truth is out there, that doesn't mean he's the truth. He's just out there."
"And Max isn't any different. You really want to know who Michael's with tonight? They don't need us for anything anymore, Maria."
Maria was stunned. "Look, Liz, you know you're my best friend, no matter what. This is just so different. I mean, I'm used to being the fashion victim here." She'd never realized how much tight leather could reveal.
They both turned as the bells over the front door of the restaurant jingled. A tough-looking young woman with full, plum-colored lips strode in, wearing an outfit similar to Liz's, but dusty and scuffed.
"Liz, I thought you locked the door. Any psycho could have come in here while we were changing!" Maria scolded.
"Five by five. I popped the lock." Liz's new friend said to Maria, holding up a small metal rod. "Did anyone ever tell you that you look kind of like Bette Middler? Only a hell of a lot sexier?
For once, Maria was speechless.
Liz dropped her cigarette on the floor, ground it out with the heel of her steel-shank Doc Marten boot, and walked past Maria into her lover's embrace. "Mmmmm, Faith, I've been horny for you all day," she said. They opened their mouths to kiss, then straddled each other's legs, and began to grind their crotches against each other's leather-clad thighs.
Sheesh, get a room, guys, Maria said to herself. Even Michael Guerin had more restraint than these two. But she couldn't stop watching.
Their lips parted with a smacking sound. "You're on your chopper, right?" Liz asked.
"Mmmm, yes," Faith purred against her neck.
"Then let's blow this popstand." Liz grabbed Faith's hand, and led her out into the night. Maria stood still and listened until the sound of her own heartbeat was louder than the growl of Faith's Harley.