A happy Andrew made his way to meet “No Hassle” Castle for lunch. His newly shaped nails felt and look good wonder if he’ll like them when I’ve polished them too... Almost bouncing when he saw him waiting he gave a shy smile in his direction.
“Hey Andy, lookin’ good, we’re a little early for lunch so we can get a nice seat over by the window. Nice view and out of the way of the crowd so less chance of spillages and stull”.
“Great I’m glad the food here is so much better than when I went to school before. It actually tastes of something although I will have to keep an eye on my weight” Andrew gave a wry smile at the memory of food at his previous school, the joke had been that the Kitchen Staff had all failed the Army Catering Corps training.
Collecting their trays the pair made their way to a side table and chatted idly about how their days had gone so far. Jack had a slight issue with his calculus class but Andrew quickly saw the problem and explained it in detail. A few members of the Football Team joined them along with Connie accompanying Peter Taylor her current boyfriend.
“So how come you’re not taking Math?” Connie asked.
“Just bad luck I think, ended up in Office Skills instead. It’s pretty easy compared to some classes I took. I think it was the only available course with any places and being a late arrival I suppose I have to fit in as best I can. Maybe I can swap onto Math next year? I’m not complaining about things, just coming to terms with them and trying to go with the flow so to speak".
“Well you’re fitting in pretty well now, want to hang at the Mall after classes this afternoon? These lunks are off at practice so while they’re running about we can take a look at what’s new.”
“Sure Connie, that sounds OK?” Andrew felt a little unsure of himself. Back home nobody really hung out with him and the idea of shopping suddenly sounded attractive. Perhaps he could get some nice pretty things too?
Gently, the School thought. There was an emptiness about Andrew but he wasn’t resisting the nudges so far. Perhaps it was time to step things up a little…
The trip to the Mall was something of an eyeopener for Andrew. Connie and her friends must have visited almost every fashion store in the place. Andrew’s knowledge of shopping could be written on a postage stamp but he found himself smiling and giggling with the others as they modelled their outfits. Deep inside, Andrew wondered how nice some of the outfits would be on her. Oddly he seemed to develop an eye for the outfits and found himself offering advice as to colour and style.
“Connie, that skirt is killer on you, it really shows off your figure but isn’t it a little short?” Andrew observed with a shy smile.
“No, I wouldn’t wear it for School but when Pete takes me out I want his complete attention.”
“Oh I see! Definitely he’ll only have eyes for you Connie.” Andrew wondered how “No Hassle” Castle would react were he to wear something so daring. What was he thinking? He could almost feel the muscular young man wrap his arm about her, him whatever…
Andrew certainly had his limited knowledge of the intricacies of female fashion extended. To his relief, albeit well hidden, the girls steered well clear of Victoria’s Secret although advice was offered about how necessary such garments were to help a girl look good in her outfits. In the past, Andrew had just grabbed a clean pair of trousers or the pairs kept for his school uniform. Here there was no real uniform although the range of colours and styles for boys was fairly restricted for girls it seemed quite the opposite. His vocabulary increased as the girls modelled “Clam Diggers”, “Cropped Trousers”, “Capris” and the like, all showing off well toned and smooth legs.
Sipping at his Diet Coke Andrew idly twisted a lock of his shoulder length hair between his fingers as the girls discussed who was going out with who, what pop singers looked hot etc. Curiously, he found himself enjoying just listening and letting the gentle torrent of feminine conversation wash over her, him. It seemed “No Hassle” Castle was regarded as a good catch although he rarely seemed to go out with any girl he was evidently not regarded as gay, he was simply waiting for the right girl and whoever that lucky girl was, she would have a “keeper” whatever that was. Unbidden that comforting thought of being held in his strong arms and protected bubbled happily to the front of his, no Her, mind and a smile danced across his lips.
“Hey spaced out or what?” Connie nudged Andrew back to the present. “Come on girls, makeup beckons!” With that Andrew found himself swept along with a goggling tide of femininity towards more shops…
The girls went at the samplers with a will, pouting and pursing their lips as various shades of lipstick were tested. Various bits and pieces of advice were passed between the girls, some of which even made sense to him. It wasn’t that he was unaware about makeup, Andrew had used stage makeup in a school production last year but this was an entirely new world.
Andrew did make a few purchases of his own, a new hairbrush and a combined shampoo and conditioner. He didn’t really notice that he had selected quite a feminine scented product but the scent was simply heavenly…
Nothing else appeared to have been changed in his locker. Andrew wondered if the prankster had given up or was preparing something else. Who cares? He thought as he placed his books in the locker, adding the new shampoo and conditioner along with the hairbrush. Well I’ve got such lovely hair and it needs a little maintenance, I wonder where Patty and Tere get theirs done? Their hair always looks nice.
“Ah Andrew, there you are. I need to go over the preparations for the Fashion Show with you.” Mrs Hartford took Andrew to one side as the lesson began, the other girls working on their cooking.
“Sure Ma’am, I’m sure that I can come up with something for them to model.”
“Ah… I think you misunderstand Andrew. This course is quite specific, you are to design and model a dress suitable for a semi-formal occasion, like the Ball itself.”
Andrew’s heart sank as he took that piece of information on board. His masculinity seeming to shrink to nothing. “Isn’t there something else I can do? A different outfit or something?”
“I’m very sorry Andrew but the requirements are fixed. I could arrange a more private showing if that would help. I have to say Andrew that if your design is anything like the work you’ve produced so far you will not have any difficulties.” She looked sympathetically at the embarrassed boy, a blush washing across his cheeks.
“It’s OK Andy, look at what you were able to do at the Mall last night! You have a great eye for fashion, it must be from all those London Fashion Shows.” Connie look encouragingly at Andrew. Perhaps it won’t be so bad after all, maybe I’ll get a better mark because of it? “Hey, perhaps we can work together too, it’ll be fun.”
Connections, thought the School. Andrew was becoming accepted by a growing number of students but still there was an emptiness that the School instinctively reached out to comfort. Andrew needed to change and connect with her emotions, if he kept them bottled up eventually when they did burst through he would be damaged… The changes planned for Andrew would develop him into a more emotionally rounded person and help the McMahons too.
At the end of the day, “No Hassle” Castle met Andrew. “Hey, how’s it goin’? Thanks for that bit of calculus, you really helped me out there.”
“Bit of a downer after yesterday with the girls.” Andrew looked down a little, “Got a project for Home Ec and I don’t think I’m going to get out of it. I could try Mom but…”
“Been there, once Mom gets her mind made up, that’s how it’s going to be.” Jack smiled down at his friend. “One thing I’ve noticed here is that people really pull together so if you think there’s a problem somebody will help you out.” Squeezing his shoulder, Jack looked at the despondent Andrew. “Look gotta go practice, can I visit later?”
“Sure, we could take in a DVD or something, catch up with homework or something?”
“Great, about sevenish?”
The evening went fairly well once Andrew had gotten over the inconvenience of having European format DVD’s which didn’t play. He got a playful punch to the arm as the pair collapsed laughing. After that minor debacle, the pair made inroads into their shared homework, Andrew remembering his copy of “Calculus for the Completely Confused” and made a show of presenting it to Jack.
“Here, I found this useful when I was studying and I don’t think I’m going to get the use out of it for a while. Stupid Office Ed course but, well that’s how things are at least for the rest of the year.” Andrew explained sadly, he enjoyed mathematics and other subjects but knew he had to make the best of things.
“I know it’s frustrating but don’t let it get to you. Hill Street High is pretty good and you’ll fit in in no time. Back in England did you have the social life you’ve got now?” Jack tried to cheer Andrew up, he suspected Andrew was feeling a little out of place but he wanted his friend to see just how great life could be in the community.
“I don’t know, its been a rough year but I have a feeling that things are going to get better. Hey, fancy a run tomorrow?”
“Sorry Andy, Football practice tomorrow maybe you can meet us after practice and we’ll take in a coffee?”
“Sure, I can do some work in the Study Centre and meet you afterwards.” The idea of going out with Jack gave him a warm glowing feeling inside.
The following morning, the Prankster struck again. What the H E double hockey sticks in going on here? Andrew held a pair of soft stretchy plain white briefs between finger and thumb. A brief search told him that his own briefs were nowhere to be found. Well, the option is to wear them or go commando. That’s a non-starter he thought. With a sigh, Andrew pulled the soft briefs into place, completed dressing and left for Home Ec.
“Given any thought to your design Andrew?” Mrs Hartford asked him as he took his place.
“Sort of Ma’am I decided that this is a really good test of my design and sewing skills. If I can make the outfit look good on me then its got to be worth an A*!” He smiled back at her.
“That’s the spirit!” Mrs Hartford grinned. “Perhaps you can work with Connie and her friends to come up with a nice set of matching outfits. Of course, it also means you can save some money by clubbing together for accessories.”
“Sure, that’s great we can hit the Mall again after School?” Connie beamed.
“No can do, I’m going out with Jack after practice.” Andrew grinned back thinking about the coming evening. “Maybe tomorrow or the weekend? It’ll be great getting some help from you and your friends.”
“Oh that’s a shame, but we can check our ever crowded calendars and try to fit you in.” dramatically raising the back of her hand to her forehead in a ham actor gesture. It was too much, Andrew and Connie erupted into fits of giggles as they collected the sewing kits.
“Girls…” Mrs Hartford gently scolded as with a raised eyebrow she watched the pair calm down and set to work. She is really developing Mrs Hartford thought as she went to assist a pair of students with setting their sewing machine up.
Excellent the School thought Andrew is really fitting in now and soon Andrea can begin to emerge in her own right. Interesting that there was no thought of resistance when she found her first panties. The School had learnt that not all its charges needed to change but for some it was the best way forward to become better people or to find healing…Slowly and gently were its watchwords for the moment.
One thing that Andrew had got used to from the first day was the fact that the toilet seats did not move. It had started as “one of those things” but rapidly become a habit for him to sit down and take care of business. He was doing it at home too, quite unconsciously wiping himself dry with toilet paper. Well a girl should look after herself… Whatever, he thought.
Returning to his locker to prepare for Dance, Andrew found the outfit had changed. Well I MUST have put it there he thought. Pale blue polo shirt and high cut shorts, ankle socks and the most darling pair of dance pumps with pink stitching and laces. So flexible and they fit just perfectly but there was something that was waaay out of place. Checking the time, Andrew noticed a bottle of hair remover and reading the instructions on his way to the shower began to wet himself down prior to gently rubbing the lotion over his arms and legs…
Much better! Andrew thought as he emerged into the corridor and made his way to the Dance Studio for his lesson. He could feel the draught in the corridor playing across his newly denuded arms and legs and wondered how that cutie Jack would react when he saw her… him…
“Looking good Andy! Those legs are just amazing.” Connie gave a broad smile as Andrew entered the Studio.
“Thanks, a gir… guy should try to look good eh?”
“Sure, good job you’re going out with Jack after School then. Too bad we couldn’t make the Mall as well but you’re right, Friday should be OK. Ready for some Power Shopping then?”
“Shopping? You make it sound like a military campaign girl.”
“Well the secret is planning Andy, oh and having a nice guyslave to carry for us!”
With that, the pair went into their Modern Dance routine. To Andrews surprise the outfit was so much more comfortable, not tangling as he made the more athletic steps. Mrs Bold their Dance teacher was so impressed she got the pair to repeat the performace for the rest of the class.
“Wow, it’s a shame you both missed tryouts for the Cheer Squad. Maybe September?” Annabelle, one of the Cheerleaders looked on approvingly.
A cheerleader? I’m a guy not a gal! Andrew thought wildly but he could see Connie and herself, himself he corrected, gyrating in their uniforms watching Peter and that cute Jack “No Hassle” Castle perform on the field. Maybe she, he, could get Jack to explain what to his foreign eyes was Rugby with body armour…
“I don’t know, its not something we really had back home.” Andrew answered pensively but brightened up with the thought “But HERE is home now so I should join in more yes?”
“That’s the spirit girl, you two can keep an eye on Jack and Pete too”
“Girls, more practice, less chit chat.” Mrs Bold ordered smiling.
The lesson finished a few minutes early and Andrew knew that after the strenuous dances she, no he, needed to get cleaned up. Making his way to the shower, Andrew felt the warm water flow across her, his, body. The feeling was totally different from the way she had taken showers in the past. Emerging from the shower, Andrew saw Patty McMahon collecting her books.
“Hey Andy, nice hair. You do something different to your looks?”
“No, just trying to take better care of my hair and so on.”
“Cool, can I work on your hair before next period? I help my best friend Rachael all the time. I promise I won’t do anything you can’t undo. Just brush it while it is still damp?”
“Sure, I’ve never really done much with it just au-naturelle you know”
“What! With hair like yours I bet Tere could do even better but there’s a great salon that Mom takes us to in the Mall, M’Lady it’s called, you are sooo missing out on the experience. I mean, getting a nice hairdo and mani-pedi can be such a dreamy thing.” Patty was already brushing Andrews hair into a rather androgynous style, gently curling at the neck with a fringe falling over towards her, his, eyebrows.
For Andrew it was such a dreamy feeling to have his hair brushed into shape and he wondered if his allowance would stretch to a visit to the salon rather than the straightforward barbers he used to use. Why would I use a barber? I need to take care of my hair properly, she, no he, thought.
Yes! The School thought, slowly and gently easing Andrew into her new life as Andrea. Connections made and was there a spark between “No Hassle” Castle and Andrea, a spark that may even grow into love? A wave of pleasant thoughts swept across the school as staff and students suddenly felt so very good about something they did not quite understand. Even the sun reflecting off the windows seemed to reflect a degree of happiness in the school.
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