Note: in this story Avon has regained his sight but still has the wolf, Sharp-Eyes.
The women were milling around the teleport room, waiting for the men to arrive. Ereh Eb Dekannem was an unusual planet but they might be willing to let the Rebel Alliance to set up a base there.
Before they decided, they wanted to meet the head of the Alliance, Argus.
Jenna, with a highly amused gleam in her eyes, said, "Do you think they'll do it?"
Cally's eyes were fixed nervously at the open doorway. The mental impressions she was receiving from Avon weren't encouraging but she refrained from intruding into his privacy unless there was a great need. "They'll have to if they want to establish a base here."
There was a faint scuff of footsteps and then the men arrived, walking slowly, and wearing nothing but THONGS and HATS WITH BELLED TASSLES AT THE ENDS that tinkled as they walked.
Avon, with a strategically placed wolf, walked in front. Of course it didn't completely hide the fact that he was wearing a leather thong. Cally's eyes widened and breathing seemed to be a bit of a problem.
Vila, in a cheery yellow thong with white polka dots followed, his hands restlessly trying to cover the exposed, or threatening to be exposed, parts of his body. Sester entered next in a snazzy silver thong and bracelets to match.
The men stopped and their ...eyes bulged as they saw the women wearing short pleated silk skirts, sandals and leather corsets.
Vila said, "You look...stunning!" The temperature in the teleport room seemed to be rising with each passing second.
"Quite," said Avon, glad he had the wolf to 'stand' behind. His eyes were glued on Cally.
"I couldn't have said it better myself," said Sester, who seemed to be the only man in the room who didn't look uncomfortable in his thong.
Cally said, "Avon, you shouldn't hide. You look wonderful."
"I'm not hiding. I'm..."
At that moment, a nervous Argus, his muscular body a faint reddish tinge, came slowly into the room.
Avon said dryly, "What are you wearing?"
Everyone was focused on the mortified Argus's groin, he was wearing...
A furry sporran attached with a leather belt aroung his waist. Fortunately, it was wide and covered far enough down. His hands were held behind him...covering something else.
"What are you all wearing?" Argus shouted, his face turning a bright shade of red.
Avon cocked his head, studying their erstwhile leader as if he were a zoo animal, "The question should be, what are you wearing?"
"It's...it's...oh god..." Argus backed up a couple of steps, his eyes pained as the furry sporran rubbed softly against him.
"Maybe he can borrow Avon's wolf," smirked Sester.
"You! This is all your fault!" Argus advanced on him but stopped as the sporran swung freely in front of him. He quickly slapped his hands over it. Then with a panicked look, had one hand in front and one behind. "This is embarassing," he grumbled. "I'm going to change."
Reya, looking rugged in her leather corset and her lips quivering in a mix of amusement and sympathy said, "I'm afraid we don't have time. Punctuality is extremely important in this society."
"I believe your choice of dress might impress them," said Sester.
"No one asked you!" growled Argus.
"He may have a point," said Cally.
"Not you too." Argus looked like a wounded deer caught in a spotlight.
Avon's lips pursed. "The Dekans value transparency for males."
"I don't think they were talking about this..." Argus indicated his sporran.
"Though what possessed you to chose this mode of dress is..."
"D'you think he's possessed?" asked Vila, his eyes searching Argus for any telltale signs.
"I AM NOT POSSESSED! All right let's go down before I change my mind." He stepped onto the teleport pad, carefully facing his back to the wall, and the others followed suit.
There was a lot of coughing and covering of mouths but no one dared laugh.
Once they arrived on the planet, they were met by a large welcoming party. Women dressed in pleated skirts, sandals and leather corsets, and men in tight thongs. The men began to...
come up from behind Argus because some of the crew had teleported down facing the wrong way.
Argus gave a strangled cry and sat down heavily, his sporran flapping wildly while he belatedly pressed it back down. "Oh god. I am NEVER going to get up until we leave this planet."
"Did he just scream like a girl?" asked Sester, a smug smile on his face.
Kirsten, stunning in a black corset, put her hands on her hips. "Is there something wrong with being a girl?"
"I...well...not in so many words." Sester cleared his throat.
"That wasn't very good," whispered Vila to him.
"Are you sure you're a psychostrategist?" Argus asked with lips that parted in a smile, but ended in a snarl.
Sester sighed and gave Kirsten a lop-sided apologetic grin. "Most days, but obviously not today."
Reya put an encouraging hand on Argus's shoulder. "Stand up, dear. They're expecting the leader of the Rebel Alliance. You have to get up."
Looking up at her with faintly pleading eyes, Argus sighed and stood up carefully. He squared his broad shoulders and tried to convince himself this was just another mission, in a really really hot climate.
A tall imposing woman in a gleaming black leather bustier and pleated skirt, stepped forward. "Greetings. I am Queen Versa Lan. Welcome to Ereh Eb Dekannem. Which one of you is Drel Argus?"
Argus took a step towards her, and in his low rumbling voice, said, "I am Drel Argus."
"Well now," her eyes raked him from head to toe, lingering at choice places in between. "You are a choice man."
The light flush on Argus's body deepened under her admiring gaze. This was a very hot planet.
Reya's eyes narrowed. "Are the men on your planet slaves?"
Queen Versa Lan turned to her with an appraising eye. "They are not. But because the aggression of the men nearly destroyed our society, they have voluntarily agreed to certain...necessary customs."
"Such as transparency," said Avon.
The Queen regarded him with fascination. Avon wasn't muscular like Argus, but he definitely wasn't shabby in the handsome department, other than for the faint scars that still marred his body, courtesy of Servalan and the Federation.
"Yes. And our custom of greeting." She moved forward, her hard bustier pressing against Avon's bare chest. His mouth opened in shock and she kissed him hard and deep.
"Wait..." Avon gasped into her mouth, his hands coming up to push her away.
* Avon, you must bear this. It is their custom, * Even though Cally projected the message into his mind, her eyes were like daggers.
Avon sighed and wondered why life's ironies were always visited on him. The Queen moved down his body, explaining. "This is our Five-Fold greeting." She kissed him in four other places (which I will leave to everyone's imagination). "It is to ensure that the men are fully disarmed."
Avon stiffled a startled groan as she kissed the last spot gently, her lips brushing against the thin material of the thong, sending a shock of electricity through him. His eyes closed tightly and he called on his considerable self-control and concentration to order certain parts of his anatomy to behave themselves.
* Avon, try not to offend our hosts, * said Cally. * You look as if you're in pain.*
* I swear it, Cally. I am not enjoying this. * His suffering eyes opened and looked at her.
* I know, Avon. Try, for me. *
Avon sighed again and forced himself to relax, just a little.
The Queen, her back ramrod straight, stood up and smiled. "Excellent." She drew a finger lightly and sensually along one of his scars. "And very interesting. Of course, there are other customs for the females." She waved her hand to the black-leather thonged man behind her. "This is Stavir, my head of security." The man stepped towards Reya and...