This is how Jane and Helen met.
It was the Halloween dance. They were both dressed as male FBI agents. Jane’s hair was pulled back in a pony tail. No makeup. She wore an ill-fitting suit that she borrowed from her brother. The jacket looked silly over her breasts unless it was closed, and the pants were way too long and had to be rolled up at the ankles. Her father had printed out an FBI badge for her, and safety-pinned it on her lapel. It fluttered in the slightest breeze, flimsy and fake.
Helen, of course, looked just right. She bound her breasts with big bandages, to hold them flat under her suit. And it was her suit, not borrowed. She bought it used, with her own money, so she could bloody it, and tear it. There was a bullet hole in the shoulder, where she told people her partner shot her. Her hair was cut short. Her FBI identification badge was laminated, with a little picture of herself in there.
"Look at her," Jane thought to herself when she first saw Helen. She did her jacket up so that her breasts didn’t look stupid. Then she snuck up behind Helen in line.
"The truth is out there," she whispered.
Both girls had fake guns with the orange tips painted black. Before the dance had even officially started they were blocks away, standing in the middle of the road, pointing those guns at one another and shouting one-liners. It was a stand-off. Traffic stalled in both directions while Helen and Jane shouted at one another and waved their plastic guns.
"You think you can cover everything up?!" Helen yelled. "Too many people have seen what happened here. Too many people know your secrets. You can’t kill all of them."
"Of course I can," shouted Jane. "Haven’t you figured that out yet? There is no such thing as too many people. We’re everywhere."
The police found them ten minutes later. It was the first time either of them had been handcuffed. It was the first time anyone had ever pointed a real gun at them. In the back seat of the police cruiser, they stole glances at each other while the police examined the shattered toy guns. It was like being in a television show. Jane struggled against her cuffs.
"You boys bit off more than you can chew tonight," she said. Helen nodded.
"We’re FBI," she confirmed. "And you are interfering with a serious investigation."
The first Chapter of We Are Become Pals, now with color.