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Title: The White Dress
Pairing: Girl!Sulu/Girl!Chekov
Rating: PG-13
Content advisory: Genderswap (of the always-a-cisgirl variety), fluff severe enough to make a cotton candy machine weep
Type: Oneshot, complete
Words: ~3500
Summary: On the day she becomes Lieutenant Commander Sulu, Hikaru gets more than a promotion.
Author Notes: Posted partially because I am a highly superstitious person, and supposedly whatever you are doing on New Year's Day is what you will be doing for the rest of the year. Hopefully that means I will stop being a lazyass writer and finish/publish more things. A girl can dream, yes?? Feedback is gratefully appreciated.

Polina Chekova’s taken too long to change. Twenty minutes had been scheduled between the promotion ceremony and the reception afterwards, but she’s been in front of the mirror for at least thirty. Now stepping back, she runs a critical eye up and down the result of her efforts. With stomach-chewing anxiety, Polina wishes she could plug her appearance into some mathematical formula that will calculate her attractiveness vs. the amount of time she’s run late vs. how important this day is to Hikaru, and confirm that she’s gotten it right.

She thinks she has, but she’s not sure.

Polina’s worn uniforms for most of her life: the National Conservatory uniforms starting when she was nine, the Starfleet cadet uniforms starting when she was thirteen. Now, at age twenty-three, she’s vaguely terrified of any dress that isn’t her day-to-day command-gold uniform skirt. Especially since her figure never did blossom the way Mama always assured her it would, meaning Polina’s probably doomed to be known as the little Russian whiz kid until she’s thirty-five. Maybe even longer than that.

Never has Polina dared a neckline like this, a low scooped V that finds its nadir between her shallow breasts. Nor does she have a lot of experience wearing fabric this delicate, ivory-white and silk-thin, which falls in a floaty skirt from her waist to the tops of her little feet. Big worried eyes, hooded and darting in time with her typically restless thoughts, scan a final pass over the mirror; Polina’s lips pull up in a crooked pout, which deepens as she drags a brush through her hair. Her curls have grown long enough to skim the bare curve of her collarbone, and they remain as disobedient as ever. She won’t straighten them, though. She had tried that once, but it felt like she was wearing a strange girl’s wig. And Hikaru – Hikaru had tried her best to be supportive, but she hadn’t been able to hide an initial reaction of such distress you would think her beloved greenhouse had caught fire.

Polina pauses in applying her rose-hued lipstick, her nervousness briefly broken by a fond laugh. Hikaru could be so softhearted in private!

Few people guessed this about Hikaru right away, Polina herself having been no exception. Their first meeting had been under unthinkable pressure, with Nero poised to destroy Vulcan and Hikaru being shoved in as an emergency replacement for their normal pilot. Even under such circumstances, Polina had greeted her new helm partner with a dumbfounded stare: at Hikaru’s boots, which clung to her leanly muscled legs like armor, and at Hikaru’s skirted uniform, which lifted and stretched over really excellent breasts, and at Hikaru’s dark-lashed eyes, which flickered over her console with the triumphant epiphany that she was actually about to pilot the Enterprise. Polina beheld her new helmswoman with a mixture of awe and jealousy – jealousy, because her own uniform hung straight and loose, and her boots made her feel like a little girl in galoshes.

But this intimidating new pilot had turned with a smile for Polina and Polina alone – and back then she didn’t quite know how to read the cocky pull of Hikaru’s full lips, the curious leap of her dark eyes - but she knew it registered as dizzyingly sexy. Hikaru herself doesn’t quite remember things that way, her memories obscured by crashing embarrassment due to an error she’d committed about five minutes later. Years after the fact, Hikaru still crumples if Polina ever mentions those moments, still always laments I was acting like a complete idiot around you right from the start.

The Hikaru Sulu who had stood onstage for her promotion to lieutenant commander today had given no hint of idiocy. In her black dress uniform, its sleeve tipped with her new gold stripes, its collar rising to a queenly height around her chin and its shoulders sewn tight and sharp, she could have been the portrait of military dignity itself. It was not unlike Hikaru’s poise on the bridge, where she could look like cool fire: calm enough for command, hot enough to remind everyone what she was capable of in combat. Not that any reminders of that fact are particularly necessary. Gossipy crewmembers still get mileage out of one particular away mission, about a year and a half ago, during which Hikaru had torched her way through a Klingon ambush upon seeing one of their warriors snatch then-Ensign Chekova by the throat.

For all her solemn reserve during the ceremony, Hikaru had given herself away. Or perhaps it was that Polina had learned where to look: Hikaru had betrayed herself with the oddly vulnerable look she cast toward Admiral Pike, and with her stifled look of triumph when they put the extra stripe on her sleeve, the same triumphant look she’d worn in her first few moments seated at the Enterprise helm. Polina always likes to tease Hikaru about the girlhood fantasies she will plainly never grow out of, the fanciful dreams of being half Jeanne d’Arc and half Musashi, which will probably still inspire the same bright-eyed confidence even when Hikaru grows up to be a silver-haired admiral.

This, more than anything, had sparked Polina’s decision to dress up today. No, it had not been a decision – that would imply she needed to deliberate over it. Instead it was more like one of her characteristic stubborn obsessions, one of Polina’s super-logical conclusions that lodged in her brain and overrode everything else. Including, perhaps, her better sense and her dignity. In the mirror Polina watches the flutter of her own throat as she takes a deep swallow, sees the tremble of her hands as she smooths down her dress one last time. She’s been dawdling for the last few minutes, fussing and fidgeting, anything to delay the moment when she walks out like this amid all her colleagues. She can’t shake the possibility that they’ll all look at her like she’s been playing dress-up in her mother’s closet.

No, of course it doesn’t happen that way.

In fact, it’s an anticlimax when Polina enters the reception hall. For all her deep breaths and raging anxiety, she elicits no more than a few startled looks and appraising smiles. Oh, and across the room, Uhura offers a quiet thumbs-up. Polina’s hovering somewhere between feelings of extreme relief and extreme foolishness when she and Hikaru catch sight of each other across the room.

Whatever she and Captain Kirk are talking about, Hikaru’s side of the conversation trails off. Her lips slacken and part, her shoulders soften, and her wineglass drifts away from her mouth. Hikaru’s attention is so unblinking and so intense that Polina’s anxiety begins to swell again as she approaches. When Kirk waggles his fingers through Hikaru’s line of vision, it's almost a relief.

Anxiety doesn’t stop Polina from sliding into place next to her girlfriend, from focusing a little smile on Hikaru, her Hikaru, whose military reserve always melts under such warmth. Today is no exception: Hikaru’s cheeks suffuse pink, and she can’t seem to stop staring at Polina as she loops an arm around her white-skirted waist, her eyes moving only because she doesn’t quite know where to look.

“This is... this is where you disappeared to?” Hikaru says. “To change?”

“Oh! It’s nice to see you too. And Captain Kirk too, of course.” Polina nods at Kirk politely before turning to peck a kiss at Hikaru’s mouth. Then she murmurs: “It is okay?”

Hikaru goes into open disbelief. “I don’t think I can begin telling you how much better than okay it is.”

“Well, I think you’ve unquestionably won the day, Sulu.” Kirk claps Hikaru on the shoulder. “New rank, hot date. I don’t know what you could do to make it a hat trick, but I’m sure you’ll find a way.”

Aloud Hikaru laughs, but her hand tightens a little at Polina’s waist. “If only the date in question weren’t being checked out by my captain.”

“Relax, I’m checking out everyone’s dates. Including Lieutenant Chekova’s.”

“Captain!” Polina squawks, indignant, but Hikaru’s just shaking her head and laughing.

“Fair enough. I’ll leave you two alone.” Kirk holds up his hands. “Enjoy this party, Sulu. You’ve earned it.”

“Thanks, Jim,” Hikaru answers, and smiles with true warmth. Still, she waits until the captain’s turned his back and moved across the room before she turns and lets a long look linger over Polina. “I… Wow.”

“Well, you are in your nice dress uniform,” Polina answers. “I wished to be an appropriate date.”

“Yeah. Appropriate...” Hikaru’s lips go up in a half-curl, distant and awed. “Holy shit, you’re beautiful.”

Polina raises a coy eyebrow. She takes the wineglass from Hikaru’s hand and drinks, and notices how Hikaru’s eyes follow the brush of its rim against Polina’s mouth. “I will try not to be offended by your surprise at this fact.”

“That fact is not a surprise,” Hikaru says. “C’mere.”

She shifts her arm from Polina’s waist up to her shoulders, shepherding her into a drink preparation area that’s curtained off from the rest of the reception hall. There in a little back corner, with only a hanging black curtain for privacy, Hikaru promptly plows Polina with a kiss.

Polina muffles her squeak of delight against Hikaru’s lips, and then lets her own mouth open warm for Hikaru’s. Backed against the wall Polina throws arms around Hikaru’s neck and pulls her closer, and as she hasn’t yet found a chance to put down the wineglass, tries to keep from splashing the drink down the back of Hikaru’s dress uniform. Then she decides it's going to be Hikaru’s fault if it happens. Polina can’t be expected to concentrate with this sweet prickling under her skin, with Hikaru making that sensation worse and worse with each full, adoring kiss.

When they pull back, Polina considers it a personal victory to see Hikaru – crisp-uniformed, military-cool Hikaru – unaware and unconcerned for her disheveled hair and flushed lips.

“You know it drives me goddamn crazy when you dress up, right?” Hikaru says, or rather growls against Polina’s ear as she leans in again.

“Mmm- oh, Hikaru-” Under the tease of Hikaru’s breath along her skin, Polina might nearly break the thin material of this dress from squirming. “You mean all both times I have ever dressed up, yes?”

“I wish you knew— ” Hikaru says between kisses along Polina’s bare throat. “How beautiful you are – always – but especially what you’re doing to me right – right now –”

“Oh!” Polina shrieks, before she can smother herself. “You will leave a mark!”

“Yeah, and?”

Polina lolls her head back, lets Hikaru’s full lips and little tongue suckle at the spot under her jaw, which has become the source from which all Polina’s crackling goosebumps now radiate. “You are not attempting to demonstrate something to the captain, are you?”

“Actually, I hadn’t thought about it—“ Hikaru sighs against her neck – “but that’d be a nice side effect.”

“I don’t know why you’re always so worried.” Polina strokes Hikaru’s hair, the short silky distance to where it ends at the top of her neck. “It’s not as if Jim’s tits are anywhere as nice as yours.”

Hikaru breaks away from the freshly forming hickey to laugh – and laugh, and laugh. If she ever catches Polina in a glazed stare at her chest, a temptation of which Polina still can’t cure herself even after two years of dating, she just laughs tolerantly and says At least someone enjoys them. Hikaru complains that her chest impedes her fencing, makes her uniform fit weird. Hikaru tends to do the opposite of complaining when Polina stretches her little pink lips over one of her nipples and smothers it in gluttonous kisses. In fact, over the last few months, Polina suspects Hikaru might be getting into the whole thing herself. She won’t admit it, but there is no other logical cause for Hikaru’s recently-acquired habit of stretching thin little shirts over herself when they’re off-duty, alone in their quarters. Not that Polina will object if she’s being pandered to. She loves one cream-colored camisole in particular, which looks so good with Hikaru's bronzed skintone and shows every soft undulation when she shifts position—

Crap. She’s staring again.

With a bright blush Polina jerks her eyes up, and finds Hikaru on the verge of another tolerant laugh. “Are you ever going to get tired of my breasts?”

“Are they ever going to stop being so perfect?” Polina purrs. Her hand drifts up Hikaru’s ribcage as she leans in for a kiss, but she resists the urge to go higher and squeeze. This is a formal day, after all.

“Permission granted to cop a feel, lieutenant." Hikaru's breathless, husky, between kisses.

Polina breaks a kiss to giggle. “Oh, you are already lording around your new rank?”

“On the contrary, I have no problem deferring to the most experienced crewmember present.” Hikaru breaks into a little laugh when Polina’s slim fingers slide up and form a reverent cup. “One day I’m really going to miss your insatiable fetish, you know.”

“It is not a fetish, these are standard secondary sex characteristics –” Polina’s face drops. “What are you talking about, you will miss it one day?”

“I didn’t—” Hikaru freezes. Too softhearted, she’s let something slip that she didn’t mean to, something that must be serious if she’s stiffening her shoulders and trying to sound calm. “I didn’t mean anything, Polya, I didn’t.”

“Yes, you did.”

“No, I really didn’t.” Hikaru breaks off. “I just – had kind of an idiot moment.”

“But you know I find it very charming when you are an idiot.” Polina skims fingertips over Hikaru’s cheek. “So you should tell me why you said this thing.”

“Well—” Hikaru chews her bottom lip in a long moment of thought. “This whole promotion thing is nice, and I'm certainly not ungrateful enough to complain about it, but it still makes me think. We really got lucky, you and me, being assigned together at the helm. I’m pretty sure I won’t ever get something this perfect again. And, you know. This kind of change – moving apart in rank – it just reminds me that, you know, maybe more changes are coming. For both of us.”

“Oh.” Polina falls into a pout, deeply unready for the looming prospect of professional separation, the inevitable bane of Starfleet couples everywhere. In the back of her brain, some little voice whines for a return to the much more pleasant topic of Hikaru’s breasts. “So, what you are saying is that I should try to get promoted faster.”

“Polya–” An edge of outright pleading has crept into her voice.

“What is it?” Polina pulls at Hikaru’s shoulders, gentle and searching. “Hikaru?”

Hikaru drops her head, lashes shadowing her eyes in an uncharacteristic display of glumness. Her mouth moves, likes she’s working up to equally glum words, but she can’t quite seem to get them out.

“There you guys are!”

The black curtain gets whisked aside, and there stands Uhura. Her knowing grin drops away as she glances from Polina to Hikaru, sensing she’s caught them at a serious moment. But Polina straightens, unwilling to give her a toehold to ask.

“Lieutenant Uhura! Did you know Hikaru likes my dress? Your advice was extremely helpful,” Polina says brightly.

“It was my pleasure to help. Now get ready to show off that pretty dress to everyone else, since I’ve been sent to inform the guest of honor she’s expected on the dance floor.” Uhura’s grin halts in place as Polina nervously tucks back her hair. “Dear sweet baby Surak, is that an actual hickey? Yeah, I guess you did like the dress, Hikaru. Honestly. You two are worse than Kirk in the self-control department sometimes. Don’t think anybody’s forgotten about the turbolift incident.”

“Hey! There were alien drugs involved in that one,” Hikaru protests, her good humor resurfacing.

Out on the dance floor, they ignore the titters that greet the sight of the latest accessory to go with Polina’s white dress. It helps that the hickey nicely matches Hikaru’s lips, which are set in a firm line that dares anyone to remark on it.

Hikaru and Polina dance for a long time, until both the music and their energy fade into something soft and slow, when they can pass off cradling each other and swaying in place as dancing. And, okay, maybe fetish had been a fair accusation, since Polina basks in the sensation of Hikaru’s soft, full chest pressing against hers. This causes her to feel a little guilty when Hikaru sighs and rests her head on her shoulder, apparently oblivious; and really guilty when Hikaru’s fingers drift through Polina’s curls, a gentle rhythmic stroke that begins at Polina’s crown and ends cupped at the base of her neck.

Polina’s so busy feeling guilty she almost misses Hikaru’s low murmur: “It’s just that there was an offer.”

Polina frowns. “An offer?”

“Yeah. From Captain B’yel.” Hikaru clutches a little tighter at Polina. “Apparently the Gaspar lost its first officer on an away mission last month. She offered the position to me.”

Polina won’t lift her head; won’t let Hikaru see the stricken look on her face, or the precise shade of pale she’s turned. “First officer?” she manages, and doesn’t add on a ship where the last one was killed in action?! “A-already?”

“I’ll try not to be offended at your surprise...” Hikaru says. “Yeah. Already.”

“Oh.” Polina bites her lip, hopes it is isn’t obvious she’s about to cry. “You – I am very happy for you, of course. With your record, it was only a matter of time. Captain B’yel is wise to choose you.”

“I’m happy too.” Hikaru kisses Polina’s temple. “’Cause I turned it down.”

Now Polina does pull back, her near-tears evaporated by shock. “You said no?”

“I did.” Hikaru’s soft lips set firm, but her eyes are bigger and darker with uncertainty than Polina can remember. “Like you suggested. It’s too soon.”

Polina goes cold. “Perhaps I flatter myself to think this has any relevance,” she says, “but if I was any factor in that decision, I should not be. I would never forgive myself if I interfered with your opportunities.”

“Polya...” Hikaru brushes slow fingers across Polina’s cheek, curtains back her hair. “Of course you were a factor.”

“But that is foolish!” Polina hisses. “Being a soldier is everything to you, Hikaru!”

Hikaru registers brief, wounded anger. “It is not everything.”

“But still. It is very important, and you are in your prime,” Polina insists. “You must think logically about your career.”

“Maybe that’s not all I want to think about."

“Don’t be ridiculous! What else could possibly matter—”

Hikaru's eyes flash. “Maybe I’m also thinking I want us to get married, okay?"

The reception hall is still loud and busy, and there are lots of other couples dancing and laughing on the dance floor around them. But Polina feels like it’s gone silent, like they’re in a tunnel. “You – you want – ” she gasps. “What?”

“Yeah. Um, unless maybe that’s too soon.” Now Hikaru disengages from her completely, hands swallowing her cheeks. “Oh, God. I really am an idiot, aren’t I? I didn’t mean to ask it like this. You know what, this is probably why I shouldn’t be allowed to have wine at public functions…”

Polina snaps out of her shock, hands on her hips. “Oh no, Miss Hikaru Sulu. This is a one hundred percent valid marriage proposal, and you will not get out of it that easily.” She lifts her head. “Furthermore, I expect you to commit seriously to learning how to hold your drink, because my brothers certainly will not allow you to escape the wedding party before consuming the proper amount of vodka—”

“So you–” Hikaru’s eyes widen, her little mouth falling open but not yet daring a smile. “Wait, are you actually saying yes?”

“Of course I am saying yes,” Polina hisses over the sharpening ache in her throat, and her eyes aren’t stinging, they definitely aren’t. “Now you really are being an idiot. Don’t you know my answer? It is yes, it is always yes. Whether you are a hundred light years away on the Gaspar or here giving me embarrassing marks on my neck, do you understand?”

“Oh. You mean- Oh!” Hikaru cries, a high-pitched trill that escapes before she can clap a hand over her mouth. It’s loud enough to cut through the music, and to attract several stares. Hikaru attracts the rest of the room’s stares when she all but leaps to grab Polina up a tight embrace, when Polina gets dipped backward under her joyous kiss. And in a single moment, Lt. Commander Sulu gives away her softheartedness to the whole world.



( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 2nd, 2011 02:51 am (UTC)
Oh my gosh, this is the sweetest thing I have ever read! You have no idea how hard I'm grinning right now and the silly squeaking noises I've been making and the stupid clapping and giggling I've been doing for the last five minutes. Oh, goodness. My face hurts from smiling so big. I love this!!!! It's the most adorable thing ever.

Bad-ass warrior Hikaru with her well-fitted boots, fantastic breasts, and ability to torch hordes of Klingons to save her girl and who is still a total softie at heart. AWWW!!! I adore her so much. And Polina, all nervous about her dress, her waif-like body, how Hikaru is so entranced by her, her wanting a mathematical formula to figure out social niceties. (Oh, Polina, honey-- so true)

And that unplanned proposal and Hikaru getting all flustered and Polina being all bossy and the bit about her brothers and the vodka and Hikaru's shriek. *grins like crazy*

Oh yeah, Hikaru! Hat trick, indeed. *grins so hard her face falls off* *is so in love with Hikaru Sulu that it's not even funny*
Jan. 2nd, 2011 03:37 am (UTC)
Hee! Kirk was totally right, even if he didn't know he was going to be right XDDD I don't know if he went back and teased Hikaru afterwards or vice versa about the hat trick comment! I really like the idea that Hikaru is weak for nobody but totally helpless for Polina, and Polina's slightly nerdily oblivious about it. Also, I love it when Chekov/a (in either gender!) gets bossy so I totally could not resist that. This fic was pretty fun to write, I have to admit.

Thank you so much and I am really really glad you liked it :) Happy New Year bb!
Jan. 2nd, 2011 04:51 am (UTC)
This is made of gorgeousness. It's perfectly them, and they are wonderfully female and utterly the Chekov and Sulu we know, all at the same time. After all, who could turn down the opportunity to write a line like “It’s not as if Jim’s tits are anywhere as nice as yours.” into Chekov's adorable mouth?

“Oh.” Polina falls into a pout, deeply unready for the looming prospect of professional separation, the inevitable bane of Starfleet couples everywhere.

Oh, bambini. I have been thinking about this for them, and...

Hikaru's eyes flash. “Maybe I’m also thinking I want us to get married, okay?"

i firmly believe every H. Sulu in the multiverse who proposed to a P. Chekov did it in just this way.

“Furthermore, I expect you to commit seriously to learning how to hold your drink, because my brothers certainly will not allow you to escape the wedding party before consuming the proper amount of vodka—”

and that every single P. Chekov, thus proposed to, responded in precisely this manner.

*cheers delightedly for this lovely story*

Jan. 2nd, 2011 02:22 pm (UTC)
D'awwwww, thank you so much! Wow! Yay for epic marriage proposals XD I like the idea that maybe they are both deeply romantic but also kind of clumsy/bad at being overtly romantic, if that makes sense.

After all, who could turn down the opportunity to write a line like “It’s not as if Jim’s tits are anywhere as nice as yours.” into Chekov's adorable mouth?

Hahaha, NOT ME. I don't know what this says about me but boobies!fetish!Chekova almost became my favorite part of writing this.
Jan. 2nd, 2011 05:25 am (UTC)
Oh, this is wonderful. Just wonderful!
Jan. 2nd, 2011 02:22 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much!
Jan. 2nd, 2011 06:35 am (UTC)
EEEEEHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This is the best treat ever! genderbend!chulu on new years! eeeehhhhh!!!!

I ADORE girl!Hikaru soo much! How badass and hot she is and her complete devotion to Polina! And adorable Poli who is all nervous but determined and will bully her girlfriend into learning to drink OMG!

I just.. aaahhh I love it so muuuuch!!! Also Kirk checking out ALL THE DATES~ ahahaha

I have no coherence right now. This was SOO LOVELY! <3<3<3<3
Jan. 2nd, 2011 02:35 pm (UTC)
Yaaaaaaaay!!! I am really glad Kirk was OK. It's a fine line between lulzy!perv!Kirk and creepster!Kirk and I was not 100% sure which side I was on, lol.

They are both so much fun to imagine as women :) I love that maybe Hikaru is softer than she seems and Polina's kind of the opposite (and I think Hikaru secretly totally loves it when Polina's bossy streak comes out XD).

Thank you for reading and commenting!
Jan. 2nd, 2011 06:50 am (UTC)
aww, this is really wonderful. i very rarely read chulu, but i read the ballet one you posted the other day, and loved it, and so i clicked this one too.
very nice; sweet without being cloying, hot without being OTT.

well done!
Jan. 2nd, 2011 02:37 pm (UTC)
Wow, thank you so much. I am really glad you liked both stories, pairing and all. It's funny because I feel like my tastes actually run sort of dark/angsty but then I end up writing stories like this. lol.
Jan. 7th, 2011 01:11 am (UTC)
So sweet and fun -- I love how neither of them can ever believe how lucky they are (and how neither of them can keep their hands off the other), no matter what form they're in. :') ♥
Jan. 7th, 2011 01:51 am (UTC)
Thanks! I think part of what I love about Chulu so much is that I can totally imagine them continuing to have big old honking crushes on each other no matter how long they are together (and what form they are in) XD
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )