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Cause I give you all

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It isn’t often that they get the night off when touring. Thinking about how tired and lacking months of proper sleep Trixie is, she strongly considers staying in the five star hotel they’re in and sleeping the best sleep she knows she’s had in months, but at the end of the day she knows she gets a good amount of free time on the tour bus, even if sparse and uncomfortable, and she hasn’t had fun in a long time. So she showers away her laziness, gets dressed in nice clothes and her own make-up, and goes in search of a bar.

It’s apparently the only bar in town and it’s really crowded with the most redneck crowd Trixie’s ever seen. There are large bearded men and strong women and as soon as she enters she can spot at least five people arm wrestling on tables filled with empty gigantic glasses. The smell of beer is strong and so is the smell of bacon and she turns her nose.

She finds an empty stool by the end of the counter in the middle of two couples heavily making out and she sits down with her eyes fixed on the bottles in front of her, tries to tune out the sexual noises coming from each of her sides. She truly found the most heterosexual bar in the state.

Maybe she should have chosen her sleep.

She orders herself a beer - when in Rome, right? - and sips at it slowly, lets her eyes unfocus as they stare at the bottles and her mind wonder.

She’s so tired. She hasn’t picked up her guitar in three months. She washes her hair once a week only and it’s starting to show. Her favorite clothes are now all worn out. Her make-up kit is getting way too close to being empty.

But she loves it. Touring with a country legend as a backup singer is something Trixie never thought would be so satisfying, but it is. She’s friends with her which is something she couldn’t even dream of when she was a kid, and she gets to experience the ups and down of the famous life up close. She’s doing what she loves, earning good money with it, and she’s at the best point of her life so far.

She just lets herself wonder, sometimes, when it will end. Not in a bad way but not in a good way either. Is this how it’s going to be, forever? Always on busses, from city to city, hotel to hotel, in the shadows of someone else’s spotlight? Will she ever stop somewhere long enough to find someone to build a life with? Does she even want to settle down?

She doesn’t, particularly, not in the white picket fence with 2.5 kids kind of way. But she does in the having a loving wife who cares for her and wants to share a life together kind of way. Trixie’s in love with the idea of being in love, and she knows she’ll always be.

She finishes her beer and asks for another one. There’s no point in going back to the hotel, even if she’s not mingling in any way. She might as well drink as much as she hasn’t been able to while touring, and sleep in until noon or later since they have a show in that same town the next evening so they have no plans for a few hours.

And then she takes one more look around, tries to figure out if there’s anyway at all she could fit in with anyone, and she spots a blonde woman at the other end of the long counter, sipping on a beer alone, her posture similar to Trixie’s. She might be projecting or reading what she wants to read, but everyone else is very ingrained in the place’s vibe and the two of them are the only ones completely isolated.

Trixie’s not saying the woman's a lesbian. But Trixie isn’t saying she isn’t. There’s just that face when you know you’re the only gay person in the middle of a clearly non-accepting space and, well, that’s what Trixie’s seeing.

It’s worth trying, right?

She asks for an extra beer and moves over to where the woman is, spots an empty stool by her left side and slides swiftly into it. The woman doesn't notice, so Trixie decides she has nothing to lose and slides the new bottle of beer in front of her. She blinks three times before coming back to her senses and looking over at Trixie.

She grins widely and Trixie melts a bit. Her teeth are displayed in the most symmetrical smile she’s ever seen and they are extremely shiny and white except for the small red mark on her front one where her lipstick probably brushed and she didn’t notice. It makes her look a bit dorky and it’s a look that definitely suits her.

"Hi," the woman says, grabs the beer without breaking eye contact or letting her smile drop. "Is this for me?" She motions the bottle, sips at it before even getting an answer. Trixie's half convinced her old bottle still has beer inside.

Trixie shrugs, drinks her beer as well before answering. "I was a bit lonely over there and I saw you a bit lonely over here, thought we could drink together?"

The woman smiles wider, her tooth still a bit red, and nods a little before adjusting in her seat so she's half facing Trixie. Trixie can't tell her intentions, isn't fully sure if she's just glad that she has a girl talking to her instead of a creepy guy, but whatever. At the very least she'll share a few beers with a pretty woman before heading back to her hotel.

"I'm Katya," she offers as she extends her hand, her short nails painted the same red shade as her lips. "Thanks for the beer."

"Trixie," she replies as she shakes her hand, small and pointy. "And you're welcome."

They cling their bottles together, cheers , they say, and take a sip together, eyes interlocked.

Maybe she'd been right in going out tonight.

*

There’s a table in the corner where a couple seemed intent on doing as much as they could without having to remove their clothes and Katya convinced Trixie to bet on when they’d leave and how far they’d go before doing so.Trixie is looking at them very attentively - probably creepy - waiting for her phone to beep indicating Katya’s time is up and she’s won. She has five minutes left and then she wins. They haven’t agreed on what the winner gets yet, but she just doesn’t like losing.

“One of them is gonna end up finishing right there in the next two minutes and then they’ll leave,” Katya says over her shoulder, pulling her attention back. Her tooth is still not clean and Trixie kind of doesn’t want to tell her at all. It’s nice to see a flaw in her, honestly.

“First of all, ew ! We want that table so I truly hope they don’t.”

“When will you ever have the chance again to say that you’ve lived through an experience like this? Live life, Trixie!”

Trixie snorts, looks back at the couple and her timer - she’s two minutes away from winning.

“I am living life to the fullest , thank you very much.”

Katya’s eyes sparkle a bit. She seems interested in Trixie, in what she has to say and even what she doesn’t have to say. It’s odd to receive all that attention, but it’s thrilling too.

“Tell me about it. What are you living like?”

“I’m a singer. I mean, a backup singer at the moment. But I do sing and play guitar sometimes, on bars and stuff. Or I used to, before touring.”

Katya nods, her eyes wide as she gives Trixie her undivided attention. “That sounds fascinat- I won!”

She exclaims as she points to the couple getting up and sure enough Trixie’s timer is thirty fucking seconds away from beeping.

“Fuck me,” she whispers in frustration and Katya doesn’t miss a beat.

“Actually I get to choose what you have to do since I won the bet but I’m okay with that.”

Trixie laughs loudly, Katya’s smile is shiny and the little mark still there.

“Maybe if you learn to clean your teeth after you apply lipstick.”

Katya’s hand move to her mouth to brush against it. “Shit.”

*

She's not sure how they ended up in a park at 2AM, both of them having had one too many bottles of beer before leaving the bar, but here they are. Trixie's at the talkative phase of her drunkenness and she's sure she's shared way more than she should with a complete stranger, but this is something tomorrow her will worry about. Today her is blissfully out of her mind, giggly and in good company.

"Ok so how does one reach the ripe age of twenty-seven speaking five languages?" Trixie asks as they stumble through the empty and quiet park, their healed steps and loud voices echoing through the trees.

"I don't speak five languages, spanish and italian are like child level knowledge at most," Katya replies with raised eyebrows, as if that makes any difference, as if Trixie isn't immensely impressed by that anyway.

"I get that, my english is at a child's level as well," Trixie retorts, thinks she's being funny but honestly she's far too drunk to be sure.

Katya laughs though, loud and clear in the night sky, enough to send the birds flying from the tree tops near them.

"Hey, it's not your fault you're from Wisconsin!" she finally says, and now Trixie's the one screaming, her hand hitting Katya's arm playfully.

"You bitch ," she says jokingly, and Katya gets it because her eyes are sparkling and they stumble closer to each other, one practically leaning on the other as their breaths mingle.

There's a beat of silence in which Katya licks her lips, and then she murmurs, "By the way, I'm like, really really gay."

Somewhere in the back of Trixie's mind she knows the setting is intimate - they're practically embracing, faces close, eyes interlocked - but the way Katya says it just makes a loud bubbly laughter leave her lips as she takes one step back to ground herself.

"Girl, me too !"

*

It's 4AM and they're at a 24 hour diner, most of the alcohol evaporated from their system although Trixie's skin is still buzzing. They're seated facing each other in a corner booth, there are quite a number of customers for the time, but everyone is talking quietly and it's really peaceful. They each have a mug of steaming coffee in their hands and even though they'd looked at each other's eyes all night, Trixie's just now realizing Katya's eyes are green.

"Your eyes are really pretty," she says then, doesn't really realize she's doing so. She's forgotten bits and pieces of everything she's told Katya all night, but that's more related to how dumb some of these things were and how many than to them being drunk. She likes it though, feels comfortable with her. With the pretty, beautiful lesbian with whom she spent the entire night and has yet to kiss.

Katya smiles at the compliment, and Trixie realizes she hasn’t complimented her smile all night. It's really pretty. She 's really pretty. Trixie is still amazed that they're hanging out.

"Thank you. All of you is really pretty," she says back, and Trixie bites down on her lower lip. She's not one for one night stands usually, but she is on a long tour where there aren't really any other options and is it even a regular one night stand after they've spent the whole night together? Technically yes, she knows, and technically she's not even certain Katya wants to sleep with her, but at the end of the day she knows that all she wants is to finish this day in a bed with Katya. It can be her hotel room, it can be Katya's hotel room - she's travelling too, she learned, she's a photographer following some models for a project, and what astounds Trixie the most is that she's not one of the models herself - it can be anywhere really. She's really drawn to Katya, more so than she usually is to any strangers - are they still strangers by now? - and she knows she deserves it.

She squirms in her seat, thinks of the proper way to put this question out there, but then Katya cuts her off with a question in a completely different direction.

"So, where you heading next?"

"Somewhere close, I think. I never remember the schedule."

Katya raises her eyebrows. "Really? And how does that work?"

Trixie shrugs. "I just get there and go to the stage and sing I guess? I recognize several of the cities and sometimes I'll explore for a couple of hours if we can but mostly I just sleep, it's a really tiring routine."

Katya seems baffled and Trixie feels like she's done something wrong for some reason.

"Seeing new places is my favorite part of touring. I'll gladly give up sleep if I can see something I've never seen before."

"I mean, after the fourth town with the same hay stacks and trees it gets old, you know," Trixie jokes into her cup of coffee, trying to find her ground again. She'd been so comfortable seconds ago.

Katya laughs, but her heart isn't fully in it. God, had Trixie somehow ruined this? She's not even sure how.

"Yeah. I mean, I'm a photographer. I usually find beauty everywhere I go."

"Oh," Trixie says, doesn't know what else she could say.

"Sorry, it wasn't meant to sound pretentious like that. And I'm not judging you or anything. I'm just… I don't know, it's nice finding these little differences, isn't it? We've been so similar all night."

They have . Their similar sense of humor is something that made them hit it off instantly. But also realizing that they travel so much, live the same home is nowhere lifestyle had been a major point. It never occured to Trixie they might perceive it so differently.

"Yeah, of course," she responds, although she isn't sure it is. Meeting Katya had felt like fate, but now she isn't so sure.

But then Katya's hand slide across the table and holds tightly onto hers.

"My hotel is really close. Do you want to crash with me?"

Trixie knows what she means, and most of her worries disappear as she looks into her eyes. She nods and they get up together, Katya's hand clasps onto hers and the only time she lets go is when they're inside the room and she needs it to unzip Trixie's dress.

*

Trixie goes back to her hotel room late in the afternoon with Katya's number in her phone, a bite mark on her left hip, and the song I Put A Spell On You by Annie Lennox from Katya's alarm stuck in her head.

Chapter Text

It's been six days since their night together - which lasted well into the following afternoon due to brunch -, Trixie's already been in two different cities and is heading for the third, and she and Katya have exchanged messages everyday. It's not obsessive or a lot at all, Katya's work days are usually from early morning to mid afternoon and Trixie's are the opposite, so they're never quite free at the same time and their texting consists of blocks of text from Trixie at noon, and then blocks of response from Katya at sunset.

They're also slowly heading towards the opposite coasts, they'd met in the middle with Katya having left from Boston and Trixie from LA and now Trixie's going east and Katya's going west. They'd been a perfect star alignment, Trixie thinks, right in the middle of the country, never to meet again.

Except they keep talking . And it's easy, so easy to talk to Katya. It's easy to talk about things she didn't even think bothered her anymore because they'd happen so long ago and she'd never talked them through. And she likes listening to Katya too, her weird habits and ideas, how she talks about the places she's at with such admiration. Trixie's taken it upon herself to notice at least one nice thing about where she is so she can tell Katya about it, be it how yellow the trees are or how the birds sing louder. Katya seems to love it.

Trixie doesn't do one night stands because she gets attached too easily. Sex and feelings are too mixed for her to be able to fully separate and enjoy them apart. She thinks that having spent more than half - much more than half, actually - of their time together effectively talking and not fucking had done nothing more than aggravate things. Trixie likes her, she thinks. Not like like , there hadn't been enough time, but she likes her, as a person, as a friend, as someone she slept with and enjoyed it very much.

And they are absolutely in no position to have that. Not with their lives the way they are. Not while literally heading to opposite sides of the country

Trixie wakes up in the middle of the night when they are halfway through to their next stop when the bus comes to a halt to quickly learn that it broke down. They are in the middle of nowhere and will have to wait until morning to call for rescue. This will limit their time getting ready, so the instruction is to go back to sleep now because the following day is gonna be busy.

She's too alert, though, needs time for her brain to settle down again, so she picks up her phone.

Katya is online.

She's already replied to all of Trixie's messages and added several things of her own and Trixie marvels at how early she wakes up - she does yoga every morning, she'd said, and that explains a lot of things Trixie learned while in her bed and also increases Trixie's curiosity.

She skims through the texts, too tired to actually read them through and strike a conversation by replying, but she's curious as to what she said. Her last messages started in reply to something Trixie had said about Dolly Parton and guitar playing.

Katya: hey you're the country gal not me

Katya: i mean sure i like dolly parton but who doesn't like dolly parton

Katya: that's like not liking abba

Katya: wait you like abba right

Katya: you gotta like abba or we can no longer be friends

At first Trixie laughs, tries to be quiet in her bunk because she knows everyone else must be sleeping again already, but soon her eyes focus on the last bit. We can no longer be friends . They are friends, right? They talk more than Trixie talks to most of her friends apart from the very best ones like Kim or Shea, and Katya does know a lot about her, if she thinks about it.

But they've slept together. And Trixie doesn't sleep with her friends. She definitely doesn't think about sleeping with them, like she does with Katya.

Trixie sighs and locks her phone, turns to the side so she can try to sleep. Her brain is still wide awake and she knows she'll be up for at least half an hour. She picks up her headphones and plugs into her phone, hits shuffle on all of her songs and hopes that the god of music will send a calming one her way.

She falls asleep minutes after, It's All Wrong But It's All Right by Dolly Parton playing quietly in her right ear.

*

Trixie loves music. She studied it in college, she sings for a living, she's bought the phone with the biggest storage because she wanted to download every single song she could think of. College had taught her to appreciate all sorts of music, even the ones she used to turn her nose up at. Now she knows way more songs than she thinks a regular person should, and she can pretty much always choose one to associate with how she's feeling.

So Trixie loves making playlists. Some days she'll just create "random playlist #223" and add songs through the day as things happen and end up with over thirty. She shares them with her friends, sometimes, makes them special ones for their birthdays and they all love it - or they say they do, anyway. Trixie loves using music to communicate, loves expressing how much someone means to her or what she's feeling through the chords and the voices she knows so well.

The week following the bus breakdown is a busy one that has Trixie really tired while she also thinks she's getting a cold. She gets frustrated with her runny nose and gets scared about losing her voice so she spends the whole day worrying and trying not to think of Katya - she shouldn't be thinking about her this much, in fact, maybe they should cut contact altogether so Trixie can go back to normal .

But she doesn't because she likes it, at the end of the day, and suddenly she finds herself with a playlist titled "Katya" on her phone. The first two songs she put there were I Put A Spell On You and It's All Wrong But It's All Right, but since then she's also added Smile by Avril Lavigne because she thinks that's the kind of music Katya would laugh at while secretly dancing to when she's by herself.

She thinks she knows Katya a bit too much for such a short time. She also thinks she thinks about her too much.

She's back to her bunk bed after a particularly tiring show and she plans on replying to Katya's messages from the previous night before going to sleep. It's the first she'd looked at her phone that day and is surprised when there's only one text waiting for her. Her stomach plummets a bit, worries about what happened, but when she opens their chat the text says "text me when you're free, i want to call you. don't worry about the time".

A rush runs through her entire body at the words. What does she want? What could that mean? Is she gonna tell Trixie they can't talk anymore? Is she gonna try to have phone-sex? Is she in jail?

No, of course not. The last one is stupid.

Instead of texting, she just calls. It rings once, twice, then three times. Trixie's nervous and worried she might wake her up.

Katya picks up on the fifth ring and greets her by saying, "Pat Benatar!"

"What?" Katya is weird, sure, but that doesn't mean it doesn't surprise Trixie constantly still.

"My favorite singer, you asked who my favorite singer is. It's Pat Benatar."

"That's why you wanted to call?" Trixie laughs, amazed by Katya once again. "Also I'd sort of established in my head that it was Annie Lennox, now I feel betrayed."

"Holy fuck, Annie! Yeah, no, it's definitely Annie."

"You forgot your favorite singer?"

"Not all of us walk around cosplaying our favorite artist, Miss Parton."

Trixie shouts a laugh and then immediately covers her mouth, remembers it's late and they just came back from a show and everyone wants to sleep.

"I don't imitate Dolly Parton, I was just very lucky to be born with similar genes."

Katya snorts and Trixie feels a soft smile setting on her lips. She's tired and her whole body is sagging against her pillows, but she feels nice.

"Where are you right now?"

"Somewhere in Missouri? I think? I'm not too sure."

Katya sighs audibly. "I'm in Colorado."

Trixie gulps at the information, understands immediately what Katya's saying. They'd met in Kansas. Now they're each one state over. They're three states apart.

It isn't much, if Trixie logically thinks about it. Shea is in LA, several states away. Pearl is in New York, also several states away. But those facts don’t leave a sour taste in her mouth like Katya being in Colorado does.

"That sucks. For Colorado, I mean."

Katya laughs her breathless laughter and it tugs somewhere deep into Trixie's chest. They've known each other for less than a month, they've only seen each other once. This is their first phone call.

Trixie likes her.

"Tell me other bands you like," Trixie asks, her mind on her playlist. She wants to connect with who Katya is and there's no better way for Trixie than through music. She wants to add songs to it that match both of them. She shouldn't, it's too far and she's too deep into it, but she knows there's no stopping now.

So Katya lists several artists, talks about Lana Del Rey and Madonna and T.a.T.u. And Cindy Lauper all of which she claims to be her actual favorite now that she thinks about it. And also a bunch of others that Trixie makes a mental note about and they discuss lesbian singers for longer than Trixie should have allowed herself to stay awake.

Her tiredness defeats her, eventually, and she tells Katya she needs to sleep. They bid each other goodnight and the line goes silent and Trixie is still not sure why Katya wanted to call tonight.

She falls asleep with True Colors looping in her head, and she makes a mental note to add it to her playlist the following day.

*

Trixie’s having a really bad day. They’re changing the show a little bit to better fit the audiences they’re approaching and it involves a new song with a part Trixie has to carry by herself as the lead singer holds a fermata.

And Trixie simply can’t hit the fucking note they need her to. They’re all supportive and trying their best to help but she’s immensely frustrated and she can see that they are worried. She won’t be invited back if she can’t carry the tunes they need her to carry.

Could they fire her mid tour?

She’s overreacting, maybe, but her heart’s racing and her stomach is uncomfortably tight as they wrap rehearsals for the day with a promise that tomorrow will be better, comforting hands on Trixie’s shoulders. She nods and tries to force a smile, but then immediately goes back to her bunk, closes her curtain and urges herself not to cry.

She can’t lose this opportunity. Another one like this is never going to come by - especially if she fucks it up.

She grabs her phone and opens her contacts. Usually she’d search for Shea or Kim or Trannika, but instead she goes straight to her last calls and hits dial again on Katya’s name. Her stomach churns a bit, but she doesn’t have time to mull over what that means, what immediately going to Katya means. She’s on the verge of breaking and she needs someone to calm her down.

Katya always calms her down.

“Trixie! I’m glad you called, I saw a tree that looked just like Britney Spe- Trixie? Trixie, are you okay?”

Trixie hadn’t even noticed she was crying, trying to hold in her sobs, until Katya asked.

“Trixie? Hey, talk to me. Are you hurt?”

She tries to take deep breaths and feels herself whispering, “No.”

“Ok, good. So now take a deep breath. Then another. And then another one. Ok?”

Trixie nods, knows Katya can’t see it but can’t find her voice to reply vocally. She breathes as deep as she can, slower and slower as Katya instructs her to. Her voice is soothing and warm and Trixie wonders briefly, in the middle of her turmoil, how Katya feels about her.

“Ok, good, you stopped crying. You okay, mama?”

Trixie snorts a bit at the question, the answer being more than obvious, and the sound actually mixes with a sob in such a funny way that Katya bursts into giggles for a few seconds. It pulls a smile over Trixie’s lips - she feels like she hasn’t smiled in forever.

“I have never been better,” Trixie deadpans, finally, and it sets Katya off again. This time she doesn’t force herself to stop though, she knows that if Trixie is throwing jokes, then she’s feeling better.

“Ok, serious now. What happened?”

Trixie sighs, cleans a few paths of tears on her face as she thinks of what to say.

She wishes Katya was there.

“I’m fucking it up. They want me to sing this song and I just- I just can’t. They’re gonna let me go, I’m sure.”

It’s funny but Trixie thinks she can hear Katya rolling her eyes.

“They’re not gonna fire you over one song after half of the tour, Trixie.”

“You didn’t hear me singing it. I’ve butchered the song.” She’s being irrational, she knows - she may not have sang it the way she knew the song was supposed to be sung but she has a good voice and she knows how to use it. But this isn’t a high school choir, this is real life, real performances by a really famous singer in front of an audience of thousands. Any mistake is an issue.

“Right. Ok. I want you to listen to this, but I need to really listen, ok? Full attention.”

Trixie gulps, Katya is rarely this serious. “Ok.”

And Trixie almost drops her phone when Katya bursts into a very melodramatic Lana song, the sound a lot more similar to a black board being scratched by nails than an actual human voice, and Trixie tries really hard not to laugh, but it’s difficult.

Katya sings bad . Like, really really bad.

“Oh my god .”

Katya stops singing then, laughs alongside Trixie and waits in silence for both their laughter to die down.

“Did you butcher it like that? ‘Cause if so you’re right, you’re screwed.”

Trixie still has a few laughs dying down in her throat, simply can’t stop smiling as she snuggles back into her comforter.

She really likes Katya.

“I mean, not that badly.”

Katya is smiling. Trixie’s sure. “Then you’ll be fine.”

Yeah, she thinks. She’ll be fine.

*

It’s been almost a month and a half since she got that one night off in Kansas and she’s getting another one now.

There’s nothing actually holding her back, keeping her from going out again and getting drunk and finding someone. Except there is . She feels wrong, doing that to Katya. Not that she owes Katya anything. Not that Katya would even care.

Not that there even is anything for Katya to be in any way part of her decision process.

But she is. Trixie doesn’t want to be this involved with someone she’s literally only seen once, but since when does she get to decide on that and also since when does her heart make good decisions?

Since never, that’s when.

So she’s in a hotel room, has time off to herself to do whatever she wants, and she settles for the relaxing night she’d forgone last time. She considers if things would be too different had she decided to relax last time and go out now. She wouldn’t have met Katya, and part of her wonders if that’d been easier.

She has a bathtub in her room so she fills it with warm water and some oils that she always carries with her for skin care and sinks into it, her phone playing quiet country music from where it sits on the sink, far away from her reach so she won’t be tempted to go over social media. This is supposed to be a relaxing time and being on her phone would mean the opposite of that.

When she steps out, hours later, her whole body is sagging and she feels ready to sleep for at least 24 hours. Her mind is hazy and she thinks she might have fallen into a quick nap a few times. Her extremities are wrinkled and the playlist she had on has ended already.

And then she sees that Katya texted her, and it’s like her mind is awake again.

Katya: ok ok ok ok! you win!

Katya: show me your country singers or whatever

Katya: but like give me the best songs only

Katya: i’ll try not to hate them

Katya: and if i do i’ll lie

Trixie smiles, feels a warm feeling spreading at the notion that Katya is genuinely interested in learning what she likes. Even if they’re just friends and have never discussed this, Trixie doesn’t invest herself like that in all of her friends, just some, the closest, the ones she cares about the most.

She doesn’t even reply, moves to the bed in only the robe she’d been wearing, set on making a perfect playlist. She overthinks it, of course, doesn’t want it to be a romantic declaration but doesn’t want to avoid romantic songs either because that might look suspicious. It’s like every song she chooses brings in a connotation and she’s worried about how Katya will read this.

But Katya is a friend . Apart from that night when they met, that’s all they’d been. They never even discussed the fact that it happened, they never acknowledged that they had slept together. And maybe it means a lot more to Trixie than it does to Katya, maybe to Katya they really are just good friends, maybe Katya doesn’t have a policy about sleeping with friends like Trixie does.

And Trixie doesn’t want to make things awkward, especially not with a country playlist, so she thinks about the songs that her friends like and mixes all types of voices and topics and maybe she spends over an hour in it, but at the end she’s satisfied with the result and doesn’t feel nervous as she copies the spotify link and pastes it into a text to Katya.

She goes to sleep soon after that, Silver Lining from Kacey Musgraves which she’d added at the last minute running through her mind, and she feels good.

*

Katya: i quite like slow burn

This is the message Trixie wakes up to the next day, feeling well-rested and light and good . It's the only message from Katya, received around three hours after Trixie went to sleep, which wasn't as late for Katya as it was for her, but still late nonetheless.

Trixie: what?

She can't figure out what Katya means by that, finds it very vague without a context - she likes slow burn in regards to what? - but she's not gonna focus on that because being cryptic is just something that Katya does and Trixie is used to it - Trixie likes it.

So she gets up, gets dressed in a comfortable yet cute pink dress that she doesn't get to wear a lot when they're always on the shaky bus, and heads down to have breakfast. She leaves her phone in her room, tells herself it'll do her good to not be glued to it all the time, and uses the time she has to catch up with a few of the band members having breakfast with her, people she sees every day but feels like she hasn't properly spoken to in forever.

When she gets back to her room, Katya has replied.

Katya: the song slow burn. it's good

Trixie is glad she likes it, but she isn't sure where Katya heard it. Had she searched for Kacey songs late in the night?

Trixie: where'd you hear it?

Trixie: i'm glad though, good song

Katya: your playlist

Trixie is confused, she'd added three Kacey songs to the country playlist she made for Katya, but slow burn isn't one of them. She opens her spotify to check, is absolutely positive she hadn't added any songs from her new album, and when she opens her playlists her heart drops to her stomach.

The last playlist before the country one is the one named Katya . And it has slow burn in it. And it's public.

Katya must have decided to snoop around on her profile after she got the playlist and Trixie is an idiot because she never even thought about Katya finding this playlist. This playlist has all sorts of songs with the feelings she has about Katya all the time. There're songs about falling in love, there're songs about chemistry, there're songs about wanting what you can't have.

This might as well be Trixie declaring herself to Katya, and she isn't sure what to do with herself now.

She goes back to her messages, stares at the empty typing box for minutes on end. She starts typing. Oh , deletes it. Katya , deletes it. I'm sorry , deletes it. I love you .

Definitely deletes it.

And then there's an incoming facetime call from Katya. Trixie wants to throw her phone into a fire.

"Katya-"

"You have a very eclectic taste, huh?"

Trixie goes silent, analyses Katya's voice tone and her face, even if the video quality isn't great. She seems… okay? It's like she's having fun. Trixie's a bit offended, actually. But she takes it, finds it better than Katya closing off or cutting her out of her life. Even if Katya thinks it's funny, even if she's gonna laugh at her for being in love, Trixie supposes she can deal. It seems better than the alternative.

"I- yeah." She gulps. "Yeah, I do."

She searches her brain for a joke, for a way to make this situation funny or light, but she can't. Her chest is heavy still, even with Katya reacting better than she'd have expected. She just wants to erase this from history. She wants to go back to normal, to pining on her own on the other side of the country.

"Trixie, hey," Katya says with a quiet voice, calming even, and Trixie realizes she hadn't been looking at the camera, but rather had her eyes unfocused on the wall behind her. She focuses back on Katya, her eyes are earnest and open. "It's okay."

She stares at Katya, tries to figure what okay means. She sighs audibly.

"I'm sorry."

Her whisper is so low she isn't sure Katya will hear over the crappy connection, but she does because her eyebrows raise.

"For what?"

"For… this mess. This whole mess."

Katya actually chuckles and Trixie is still lost as to how this will end.

"Trixie, there's no mess. It's a really good playlist. You obviously know how to handle music."

For a moment Trixie considers that maybe Katya didn't necessarily get it, but she knows Katya isn't stupid. Right?

"It isn't.. It isn't just-"

"Trixie, oh my god, I know ." She blinks, smiles softly. "How do you think I feel about you?"

Trixie licks her lips, takes a deep breath. She doesn't know how to answer.

Katya rolls her eyes. "I made you a playlist, actually."

"Oh?"

"I made it after listening to yours so it's smaller and rushed, but yeah. Let me send you the link, hold on."

She exits the facetime app, her voice still there but her image now gone. Her phone beeps a few seconds later and her heart is hammering as she opens it and her eyes go through the songs, tries to figure out what Katya wants to say.

For a few moments she is confused, finds the music disconnected and isn't sure what the song Dumb by Nirvana means in the context at all, and then she realizes. The titles form a sentence.

You are really dumb, I haven't stopped thinking about you since that first time.

"Oh," she says again, her vocabulary apparently consisting only of that now.

"You're halfway across the country, Trixie. But I really like you."

Trixie swallows down the lump in her throat, goes back to the facetime app and meets Katya's eyes once again.

"I really like you, too."

*

Trixie's sleeping schedule is a mess, now. She's always liked her sleep and sleeping in and all that, but now she makes an active effort to be awake at certain hours she knows Katya will be free so they can talk. It's alright because Katya does the same for her - more, even, because Katya is too restless to sleep much anyway.

They are not... anything , per se. They never addressed the issue further than the few lines of conversation in that hotel room. But they've shifted . Trixie is still too afraid to ask, too afraid to try to label this in whichever way just to find out she's asking for too much, wants too much. The reality hasn't changed that their lives don't align in any way at all. They're still set to travel for months, each to their side. They're not in Kansas anymore .

Or least she thinks so, until one day she comes back from a show and there are seven missed calls from Katya and several texts, lots of them saying “i’m fine but CALL ME”.

She’s fumbling with the screen, doesn’t trust Katya’s “i’m fine” all that well - she could have a broken leg, nose and hips sitting on an old police station behind bars and Trixie truly thinks she’d claim to be fine - and walks outside to get some privacy from the tour members that were already on the bus. They should have half an hour before leaving, that gives her enough time to figure out what’s happening with Katya, what the fuck is going on .

“Trixie!! Trixie, listen. Oh my god. Trixie!”

She sounds positively gleeful and it calms Trixie instantly but it also increases her curiosity by a thousand percent.

“Oh my god, what Katya? What is it, tell me?!”

“I have the best news. Like, the best . Or for me at least, they’re the best. I think you’ll find them the best, too. Or I hop-”

Katya !” She tries to reign her back, can feel her getting lost already. Katya just laughs and it warms Trixie down to her core. “What?”

“I’m going to Indiana.”

What ?” Trixie isn’t sure she heard her properly.

“Indiana! I’m going to Indiana! Like, I’m on my way to the airport right now .”

“Oh my- why? How?”

“It’s a long story that involves a model with a bruised eye and another with a broken toe which I’ll be happy to stage to you once I see you in person in Indiana!

Trixie’s heart is hammering on her chest, she’s still not sure she isn’t imagining this conversation. They’re just about to cross the border, a two hour drive and she’d be there, in Indiana . Her mind is a bit hazy, Katya is supposed to be in Arizona right now. But she’s going to Indiana. She’s coming towards Trixie .

“I- Katya, Indiana is small but not that small -”

“I have a day off. It was my day off anyway and we’ll be there and I’ll go anywhere. Tell me where you’ll be and I’m going to see you. Just- I know it’s not easy but if you could get the day off, too. Spend it with me, I’ll make it worthwhile.”

Trixie doesn’t need her to promise anything, there’s nothing she wants more than that, so much so that it scares her a bit. But it also thrills her in a way that nothing has in a long time, she’s excited, happy, anxious .

She feels all the words bubbling inside her chest, she wants to tell Katya how happy she is and how she can’t wait and how happy it makes her that Katya seems so happy about it. Instead she takes a deep breath, listens to how rapidly she’s been breathing, and nods once before opening her mouth. “Yeah. Yes, of course. I can’t wait.”

She really can’t.

*

She couldn’t get the night off. She figures that if she really begged she would’ve, but when she tells Katya that, she’s told not to do it. Your job has to be a priority, Trixie, don’t jeopardize it over me . The words sting, a little, because Trixie has been thinking about what would happen to them once both their tours are over - maybe she’d say no to a next one, if they asked. If Katya was willing to stay too. Somewhere, anywhere.

But it’s okay, because Katya will actually be in the same city as her for two days, not only her day off. It’s fate once again working with them and maybe they weren’t star crossed lovers destined to be together for one night only. Maybe they are destined for more.

Or maybe they’re not destined for anything but Trixie’s in love. That’s a very plausible possibility.

Trixie's jittery every hour, every minute leading to the moment when she'll see Katya again. She's rented a car, apparently, and she'll pick up Trixie and her bag of clothes and make-up from the venue where she's performing and they'll drive around and Katya will let her stay in her hotel for the night and take her to her next location the following day before heading to her own work. She has to go to the shows, but she's gotten off rehearsals, just for one day, and it's more than she could have expected.

She's in the dressing room with the band after the show, she's finished changing and packing her things and she's ready, buzzing in her seat as she unlocks her phone every ten seconds waiting for it to vibrate with a new message from Katya that'll hopefully say I'm here .

Trixie remembers it all so well, the sparkle of her eyes, the smoothness of her skin, the sharpness of her bones, the whiteness of her teeth. They'd really only seen each other once and sometimes Trixie can't fully believe that, it doesn't make sense to her that they'd known each other for such a short period of time and that Katya already matters so much.

But she does and Trixie's certainty about it is what clears her head on the days of doubt or worry. She can't predict what will happen at the end of their tours and she doesn't know the intensity of Katya's feelings, her reciprocating doesn't mean she reciprocates just as much , but none of this matters because Trixie knows what she wants. She's so sure of it and the hammering of her heart at the thought of seeing Katya in mere minutes only grounds her further.

She's gonna talk about it and she's praying that Katya will want the same but if she doesn't it's good she knows now. She wants this too much to lead herself on.

Katya: your uber driver (katya) is here (ASS666)

She snorts loudly at how ridiculous Katya is and her stomach gives a full somersault at the notion that she'll step outside and be met with her sparkling green eyes. The thought is the impulse she needs to grab her bag and dash out as she mutters a half-hearted bye to everyone. She doesn't even reply to the text, just leaves in search of Katya.

She's easy to spot, has the car parked in the back where Trixie told her to go, and she's leaning against it, some old vehicle that is dark blue but looks black in the night sky. She has her hands in the pockets of her jeans, she's dressed casually and as her jeans are a bit down with the weight of her hand Trixie can see the corner of the bright red kiss tattoo she has on her left hip bone.

Her feet speed up against her own will. She's not running but she's walking fast and as she gets closer and closer she wonders what the protocol is here. Should she kiss her? Should they hug tightly? How much is too much?

She doesn't have to worry, though, because when she's a few steps away Katya pulls away from the car and strides towards her. Her arms wrap around her entire figure, one hand up to her neck and the other down to her waist and the last thing Trixie sees before she's kissed - or before she kisses Katya, she can't tell who did what - is how bright Katya's face is, from her eyes to her smile.

Their lips meet and if there was even a tiny bit of doubt left in Trixie's mind, it's gone. This is it. This is right .

Finally .

Chapter Text

Trixie has a girlfriend. Officially. They've known each other for a few months only and mostly just talk through the phone and they're both travelling to opposite sides of the United States. But they're dating.

Trixie feels like she knows Katya better than she knows almost everyone else in her life and that's a scary thought to have about someone she's met twice, but things happened so naturally that she would never be able to fight it anyway. It feels like she is exactly where she needs to be.

She sends a long text to Kim retelling the main bits of the story. I know it sounds crazy but I promise it isn't , is how she decides to finish her tale. She then forwards the same message to those she deems should know about it, like Shea and Trannika and Pearl.

Pearl is the first to reply and she's so oddly honest and non-joking that it catches Trixie off-guard.

Pearl: idc how many times you met her, just be sure you're good for a long distance thing. they're not as easy as they look and i know you

Trixie swallows down the doubt in her throat at the words that have been looming over her. She definitely knows what Pearl means with I know you . Trixie likes dates and kisses and random visits. She likes being in contact and seeing each other every day and growing comfortable with her partner. She likes intimacy in all of its forms.

She has no issues with trust and she trusts Katya maybe more than she should. The problem with distance is not them growing apart, but rather them not growing closer . This will take a toll on Trixie. If she’s honest, it already has.

They weren't even together and she already longed for more, how will they do it now? Katya won't be making impromptu trips to where she is and she certainly can't do it herself. They hadn't even properly talked about after their tours.

Maybe they should have talked more about this.

She's starting to panic, maybe, a little, when her phone rings. She's certain it's Katya, no one has called in months other than Katya, but when she answers it she's surprised with Adore's raspy voice.

"Trixie! Hi, honey!"

"Oh my god, Adore, hi! How are you?" She hasn’t spoken to Adore in so long she almost forgot how she’s always so sweet to everyone.

"I'm great, bitch! Just saw your name on a poster in New York, are you heading here?"

"I am, yes- wait, why are you in New York?"

"That's not important, what matters is that I'm gonna see you!"

"Do you wanna go to the concert? It's not your style at all but I can get you tickets if you want."

"Absolutely! Get me two, I'll bring a friend. How long are you staying here for? Cause I can offer you a couch that’s bigger than a child’s sleeping bag."

"Why do you have a place in New York City and why are you staying there for so long? I'm not there for another month, yet!"

"Stop asking questions! Send me the details later, I'll share my new song with you, we should sing together when you get here."

"I'd love that." She really would.

"Ok, love you, bitch. Have fun on your tour."

"Bye, Adore, love you."

She hangs up with a tiny smile on her face, she hasn’t seen Adore in ages and despite her curiosity eating away at her as to what the fuck Adore is doing in New York when she lives in Seattle she’s really glad for the opportunity. She’s particularly happy at the thought of singing with Adore - despite being on basically different ends of the music spectrum they both like singing and playing and writing music and she loves singing with her, be it at weird bars that’ll take both their styles or on the floor of some random living room.

She’s also excited at the idea of having a familiar face in the audience that is there for her and not the real attraction. She loves being the backup singer to her, loves her songs and her and she has quite a big role in the shows, but the idea of someone attending the concert to see her makes her feel giddy and reconsider her old thought of investing in writing her own music and looking for a deal.

And just as quickly as she gets happy, the thought strikes her.

Katya’s never seen her sing.

They talk about it constantly but for some reason that is totally beyond her Trixie’s never even hummed to Katya before. Katya has no idea what she sounds like, what type of voice she has, what techniques she knows.

Katya’s never asked to hear it.

She doesn’t want to be bothered but the realization leaves her uncomfortable. Singing is such a big part of Trixie’s life - of who she is - and to think that Katya doesn’t really know that is unpleasant. And Trixie’s to blame, mostly, for not sharing it, but knowing that Katya never thought of asking , of saying hey Trix will you sing for me . Her stomach is tight.

Her phone rings again then and this time she checks the name. As expected now it’s Katya and for the first time since they met Trixie makes the active decision to not answer.

She’s not mad. She just needs to reorganize her thoughts.

*

Trixie’s decided that she’s okay with it. She and Katya are in a good place and there’s no reason for her to create problems, especially not when they have the uncertainty of the future and the current distance to worry about. Maybe when they meet each other again - soon, hopefully, although she knows it’s unlikely - she’ll ask if Katya wants to hear something and will sing her a song she wrote in the past while playing her guitar. But until then, she won’t worry.

It’s been two weeks since they last met and she’s halfway across Ohio already. They’ll be in Pennsylvania shortly and then they’ll spend a good while in New York - the state, mostly, just four days in the city, although that’s more than they’ve spent in any other city before - and then they’ll go to Boston.

Katya’s from Boston.

Katya’s tour is scheduled to be finished a couple of days before Trixie’s, but Trixie still has places to go after Boston so Katya will still be working when she’s there. She really wishes Katya would be able to take time off and fly over and show her the city, but for starters she isn’t rich and Trixie knows she has to work.

It’s been two weeks and the distance is already taking a toll on Trixie. She didn’t think it would affect her that fast, being away and speaking on the phone had been the norm for them so they’re supposed to be comfortable with it.

Trixie really wishes she could kiss her more often.

She absentmindedly opens spotify and searches for the song Kiss Me by Sixpence None The Richer. While it starts playing she adds it to her current playlist which wasn’t originally supposed to be about Katya but now it is. She had started it with the song When The Sun Goes Down from the musical In The Heights the day they parted in Indiana after agreeing to a relationship and she knows that if she looked at the list of songs in it the cheesiness of it all would kill her on the spot.

Before she can convince herself otherwise she copies the link to the playlist and sends it to Katya. She’s more than used now to Trixie’s obsessions with them and maybe it could be their thing, Trixie celebrating every milestone - like two weeks of dating, apparently - with a new one. She’s sure she’d never run out of songs that make her think of Katya.

Katya: god this is disgustingly cute

Katya: gross

Trixie smiles despite herself.

Trixie: ikr. lesbians!

Katya: it *is* very lesbian to cherish and love your partner

Trixie chuckles before she rereads the message. Love your partner . Her heart thunders inside her chest as she hovers her fingers on the keyboard and wonders what to say. It’s probably just a manner of speaking?

Trixie: then i’m the biggest lesbian

Seems safe.

Katya: bitch i’ll fight you

Katya: with my love

There are a million things Trixie could say, a million ways she could reply. She doesn’t know which direction she should go, what Katya is trying to imply - if anything, even - so she goes for the safer route.

Trixie: ♥

She hopes Katya gets it.

Katya: ♥♥♥♥♥

She does.

*

Trixie’s writing songs again. It’s been ages she hasn’t been able to write anything new, on tour she doesn’t have time and is often too tired for inspiration to spark, but even before that she hasn’t really written for a long time because the few words she would manage to put down would be garbage and the paper would be crumpled up and thrown away in minutes.

But now she’s really writing. The words flow easily out of her pen and when she rereads them she goes back and changes and improves but she likes it. She’s missed this, liking what she puts down.

She manages to pick up her guitar from time to time and strums a few cords, finds the rhythm that her words need and sometimes finds new rhythms to fit new words into.

It’s slow progress, granted. But every time she spends a long time writing one piece and wants to perfect it and feels a connection to it, that’s when the results she gets are magnificent. Trixie isn’t shy, has no problem admitting her worth, and when these pieces come together, that’s when she looks at them and thinks I’m good at this .

She’s excited to tell Katya, but at the same time she wants to keep it a secret. She wants to finish a song - maybe more, if she’s lucky - and perform it for her, maybe it’ll be the first song Katya will ever hear her sing and it’ll be her .

Maybe Trixie will even finish the one she started for Katya. She doesn’t have much of it, only three lines of the chorus and the music, but she feels this song. It’s at the tip of her tongue and it begs to be let out, but apparently it’s not time yet.

But that’s ok. Her music is the only thing Trixie is patient with. She can wait.

She sends bits and pieces of what she has so far to Adore, sends the lyrics and small audios of herself singing it with her old guitar, the driving bus making background noise. They’ve always shared songs with each other and Adore’s excited at the fact that Trixie is writing again.

Adore: you usually write when you’re really sad or really happy

Trixie: hhmm..

Adore: so?

Trixie: happy

Adore: yes bitch!!!

Trixie smiles to herself. She really is happy.

*

She meets Adore at a small café close to the venue they’ll be performing at a couple of hours after the bus has left them at the hotel. She’s surprised to see Adore’s hands are clasped with another woman’s.

Oh, so that’s why she’s in New York.

“Trixie!” Adore bear hugs her as she usually does, all warm and welcoming and Trixie’s suddenly reminded of how long it’s been since she’s last hugged her friends. “How have you been? Oh my god, it’s been ages!”

“I’m doing great,” She replies as she squeezes her friend and realizes that, yes, she is. When was the last time she actually meant that?

“Aww, I’m glad bitch. Me too! This is Bianca, by the way. Bee, this is Trixie.”

Trixie smiles as she shakes the woman’s hand and she’s reserved but she smiles back.

“Nice to meet you.” Trixie gives Adore a look , silently demands to know what’s going on. Adore ignores her.

“You too.”

They sit down at the coffee shop where they’ll be until Trixie has to go get ready and then they’ll head to the venue too because Trixie’s got them tickets and they’ll hang out with her backstage. She refused Adore’s couch offer, she’ll take the opportunity to stay at a New York hotel and she didn’t want to bother whoever was hosting Adore - now that she’s met Bianca she’s half glad and half regretful. She’s got a sharp tongue that Trixie both fears and loves and Adore still hasn’t told her who she is but they’re touching constantly on the opposite side of the table and Adore seems happy.

Trixie likes that. So much so that she feels like telling what she’s been up to, romantically wise.

“So,” she starts once their current topic dies down. “I’m seeing someone.” Adore’s eyebrows shoot up in excitement. “Well, no, I’m not seeing her at all actually.” She chuckles, both women in front of her seem confused. “Dating. We’re dating. But she’s touring to the west coast as we speak.”

“Really?” Adore perks up.

“Yeah. We met in Kansas. We got along and just kept in contact after that.”

“Get along? Is that what kids call fucking these days?” Bianca asks with raised eyebrows.

Adore laughs and slaps her. “Bee!”

Trixie’s laughing, too, throws her head back. “It’s okay. Yeah, yeah, okay. We got along, we fucked , and we kept in contact. She had to fly impromptu to Indiana when I was there and we met again. I just… I really like her?” She doesn’t mean it to be a question, but that’s what it comes out as. This is the first she’s talking about Katya in person. She lets her brain go to all of the places she hadn’t before. She’s full of doubts even if she doesn’t want to be. “Is this stupid? Falling in love with someone I saw twice? Who’s going to the other side of the country? Even when the tour ends, she lives in Boston for god’s sake. We’ll just switch coasts again. Oh my god, what-”

“Trixie, hey, breathe.” Adore holds her wrist across the table. “That’s… that’s sort of how we got together. Minus the touring or whatever.” She points to herself and Bianca.

“Oh?”

“That’s why I’m on an extended visit to the big apple. When it’s right, it’s right.” Adore shrugs.

“Listen, Barbie,” Bianca says assertively leaning over her elbows on the table. “As long as it makes you feel good and you’re happy, there are no rules. Don’t let people give you shit, you make your own choices.”

Trixie hadn’t realized how much she needed that reassurance until she had it. She smiles gratefully at both of them and lets her heart settle.

Her coffee is still warm as she puts the cup to her lips. It’s a good day.

*

“So what does one backup singer do on her one night off in New York?” Katya asks through the speakers as Trixie navigates through the Hershey’s store picking up more chocolate than a person should eat in a lifetime. “Other than acquire diabetes.”

Trixie snorts. “I’m not buying everything, I’m just picking up what interests me so I can do a triage.”

“Right. You’ll buy 80% of that and you know it.”

“Well that’s 20% less diabetes, so what’s your point?”

Katya laughs loudly and it tugs a smile at Trixie’s lips, her heart fluttering.

“But anyway ,” Trixie continues as she starts checking her bag and disposing of the least interesting snacks. “ One goes to a Broadway show, obviously.”

“Oh, right. One is a theater nerd.”

One is a theater major with an honours degree, you mean.”

“That reads nerd, mama.”

Trixie rolls her eyes as she heads for the exit, knows Katya can listen to her talking to the cashier and is waiting patiently for her to step outside again.

“Says she who studied photography in France,” she accuses once she’s out in the sun again.

“She’s educated, bitch!”

Trixie smiles fondly, presses the phone to her ear. “She sure is.”

Trixie can practically hear Katya smiling. For a couple of seconds it’s quiet and Trixie realizes she’s walking on the wrong direction.

“What show are you watching?”

“Dear Evan Hansen.”

“Hm. Never heard of it.”

What? Katya it won six Tonys.”

“I don’t know how to break it to you that I don’t watch the Tonys without breaking your heart.”

Trixis laughs and shakes her head. “Hey! I used one of its songs in the playlist I sent you.”

“Which one?”

“There haven’t been that many playlists, okay.”

“No dummy, which song.”

“Oh! It’s called Only us.”

“The one with the boy with anxiety! Yes, right. Highly relatable.”

Trixie reaches the theatre then, but it’s still early and she can spare a few more minutes on the phone with Katya.

“How are you?” she asks lightly but Katya knows she means how’s your anxiety treating you .

“Good. And not fake good, actual good. You’re good for me.”

Trixie bites down the squeal that threatens to leave her mouth. “Yeah?”

“I never dated much before. Turns out I quite like having someone, even if you’re not here.”

“I wish I was there, too,” she sighs.

“Hey, we’re almost done with this mad life!”

Trixie’s heart beats faster at that. Will they finally talk about what comes next ?

“Yes, we are. You-”

“Shit, duty calls.” Trixie can hear loud voices on the background of the call. “I gotta go, Trix, but I’ll call you tomorrow okay? Enjoy your show, love you.” And then she’s hanging up, Trixie’s heart up her throat.

She doesn’t say I love you back, mostly because Katya’s already hung up, but partially because she still isn’t sure how she means it.

Trixie loves her. She knows that. She can’t quite believe that Katya would love her back, though.

*

When Trixie arrives in Boston she has a weird nostalgia feeling that shouldn’t exist because she’s never been there. It’s probably the fact that her brain has her convinced that she can feel Katya everywhere. She watches the streets as the bus rides through the town and wonders if it’s a place Katya’s been to too many times, or if ever. Wonders where she grew up, how exactly her childhood was even if she knows lots of it from Katya’s stories.

Katya’s parents still live there. Maybe she’d run into them and not even know.

Once Katya confirmed that she would be working on the days Trixie was supposed to be in Boston - she asked as a formality, though, of course Katya would be working - Trixie decided not to disclose that she would be in Katya's hometown. She already misses Katya enough as it is, already feels her there despite it making no sense, the last thing she needs is for Katya to be making little remarks as she walks around, making her wish Katya would be there with her when that's simply not feasible.

She also doesn't have time to play the tourist, so the less she knows about the city, the better, the less connection she makes between it and Katya, the best.

She spends the day with the crew, rehearsing, doing her hair, makeup, getting dressed, all the pre-shows rituals she has to go through. She focuses one hundred percent on the task at hand, tries to pretend that she isn't bothered by the fact that she's in Katya's town and she isn't there.

Truth is Trixie is not upset at Katya, obviously. The issue is that she feels somewhat resentful towards her job for the situation. And that's the first time that's ever happened, she's never felt anything other than lucky and glad to have the job that she has. She can't have that, can't be ungrateful at the chance she's dreamed of for so long and truly enjoys so much.

She purposely ignores her phone. She knows Katya might get a little worried, but she figures she's allowed one day to not focus on… everything . Just for one day.

She's done and ready sooner than she has to be and tries to find something to do that doesn't involve her phone. She doesn't have to worry long though, because soon one of the security guards from the theater is asking them who Trixie Mattel is and telling her to go to the reception because there's a delivery for her.

What?

Trixie Mattel is a very unusual name - which many people think she chose when she was older, but she didn't, her mom's just a visionary - so the chances that the delivery is for someone else are quite slim. Still, she's not sure who could possibly have sent her anything, nor why, or even what .

At the front desk of the theater she's quickly met with a delivery guy who has a big basket on his hands. Inside of it Trixie can see chocolates, flowers and a pink teddy bear. Her heart is hammering in her chest.

"Trixie Mattel? This is for you, can you sign here please?"

She nods and moves forward, her eyebrows raised in confusion and curiosity. The sender address reads Boston as the city and Trixie is epically confused still as she can't read the name of who sent it on the paper she has to sign.

She takes the basket, big and heavy on her arms, and smiles faintly at the guy as she heads back inside in quick steps, anxious to open it up and figure out what's going on .

Her hands nearly drop the neatly handwritten note as she reads it.

Trixie!

The venue you're performing in today is where I went to my very first live show. I have wonderful memories there and I'll hope you will too. Can't wait to go there with you soon, I hope you have the best time.

Love, Katya.

PS. I got you roses because rose is pink in french and I didn't know your favorite flower

Trixie's shaking. How did Katya even know she'd be there? How did she get that delivered?

She has half a mind to run to her phone, but right then they announce they should head to the stage and Trixie isn't really sure how she leaves the basket and her phone at the dressing room to go perform, but she does, even it the whole night feels a bit hazy.

She feels silly for being so affected by a goddamn basket, but Katya sent it. With chocolates and flowers and a freaking teddy bear . Which is pink .

Usually the first thing she does when she's off the stage is to unpin her hair and take off her heels. Today, she grabs her phone and calls Katya. It rings for ages and goes to voicemail. She settles for texting, heart still thundering, doesn’t even read Katya’s previous messages.

Trixie: katya wtf

Trixie: how did you know i was in boston

Trixie: how did you get this delivered?

Trixie: i'm… what???

She waits for ten minutes but Katya isn't online. She's probably working, so Trixie takes a few deep breaths and changes before gathering her things and moving back to the bus. They'll be here for another hour or so as the singer goes outside to see the fans waiting for photos and autographs and Trixie hopes Katya answers before they leave. She doesn't know why but she wants to be in Boston for it.

Katya replies twenty minutes later.

Katya: did you not like it?

Trixie's heart squeezes tight. She didn't like it. She loved it. But she's more confused than anything.

Trixie: no, loved it!! i truly fully did. I'm just a bit lost?

Katya: oh, ok, yeah. i asked my mom if she heard word of a country singer going there and she said she'd seen a few posters. i checked the tour's website and it was fairly easy to find the dates and the local.

Trixie: oh. yeah, that makes sense. duh

Katya: that wasn't stalkerish, was it?

Trixie: no!!! i loved it, i really did. thank you so much. i was just really confused.

Trixie: how did you get it sent though??? you can't have shipped a chocolate basket from california?

Katya: well, no haha. i sent my mom the card and the money and asked her to arrange it for me there

Trixie: omg

Katya: she's quite excited that i have a girlfriend :) she wanted to deliver it herself but i figured you might die

She would , for sure.

Trixie: yeah, thanks for not killing me

Katya: i quite like you alive

Trixie reads the message, thinks back to her note and the phone call and the texts and all the casuals i love yous that she'd been dropping since they got together. Might as well tackle this now, right?

Trixie: like?

Katya takes a few minutes to reply, Trixie can barely blink.

Katya: what are you asking, Trix?

God , will Katya really do this?

Trixie: idk. if you like me?

Katya: you know i do. and i know that’s not your question

Trixie: then answer it

Katya: say your piece and we’ll see

Trixie: are you messing with me?

Katya: obviously. i don’t know how i can be more clear about this

Trixie stares are the text. Is she being a useless lesbian again? Is she ever not being a useless lesbian, actually? Her friends accuse her of that all the time.

She types quickly, then, hits send before she can second guess it.

Trixie: i love you

Katya’s replies comes in seconds this time.

Katya: i love you too, dumbass

Trixie smiles. She’ll take it.

*

Two weeks later Trixie sets foot in the venue they’ll be performing the last show of the tour in. She feels downright giddy, can’t believe she survived all of these months and befriended one of her idols and met wonderful musicians and managed to get a girlfriend on top of all that. Katya’s tour is done but she’s the photographer so she has to go back home and focus on the photos now. Her tour has ended but her work is only halfway done.

Trixie has already bought tickets to Boston. She’s one day away from being finished, they’ll use the next day to wrap up things and celebrate and officially part ways, but she’s less than 24 hours away from being free, from flying to Boston .

She’s ready to go on stage and on a whim she picks a photo she took a couple of days ago with the teddy bear that Katya gave her and posts it to instagram with the caption “One day ”.

When she comes back, high on adrenaline, later than usual because they took longer to finish the show, all of her friends have harassed her.

Trannika commented: that’s gay

Kim commented: gross

Shea: keep it in your pants, Mattel

Adore: *heart eyes emoji* yesss

And then, there’s Katya.

Katya commented: one day two gays ♥

It’s the most stupid thing and it doesn’t even make sense but Trixie laughs regardless.

She checks her messages then, as she heads to the changing rooms, and the very first one is from Pearl.

Pearl: you figure out the long distance thing?

Trixie: i guess

Pearl: you guess?

Trixie: we’re just… seeing where this goes

Pearl: trixie…..

Trixie: i’m flying over tomorrow. we‘ll talk about it then

Pearl: damn, you’re serious about this huh?

Pearl: is she serious too?

And that’s the exact moment that Trixie finally manages to convince herself that things will be okay. Because had Pearl asked this before, Trixie isn’t sure she would be so absolutely positive as she is right now as she types a response.

Trixie: yes, she is

Apparently that’s all that Pearl needs to congratulate her and say that she’s happy.

But most importantly, that’s all that Trixie needs too. She exhales and goes back to getting changed and packing her things. She need to get ready, she has a plane to catch the next day.

*

Trixie thought she’d cry when she saw Katya again, but as she exits the gates and spots her waiting a little far back, all she does is smile as big as her lips will stretch and speed up her steps. When she gets closer, though, it looks like Katya is definitely cleaning up a tear as she smiles and walks towards her too, and Trixie giggles.

She is so happy .

They embrace tightly and Trixie’s reminded that, if she wants, she can stretch her flat wearing feet a bit and tuck Katya’s head under her neck. So she does it.

“Ugh, stop being tall,” Katya complains jokingly into her collarbone as she squeezes her.

“Try to stop being short, maybe?”

Katya laughs and pulls her head back. “Bitch.”

They peck each other on the lips only, there’s no reason to extend this on the middle of an airport when they’ll have an entire week to each other, even if Katya will be working for a lot of it.

“Ok, let’s go to my dumpster.”

Katya’s car is red and currently dirty and it doesn’t surprise Trixie at all. They play-fight over what songs to hear and after each of them has changed the station the other chose for the tenth time, Katya turns off the radio and turns to her.

“How about you sing for us?”

Trixie freezes. “Uh…”

Katya notices her discomfort and suddenly she’s tense, too, looking back to the road, eyes fixed. “I mean, you don’t have to. If you don’t want. I just thought-”

“No, no, I just. Uhm.” Trixie bites her lower lip, she wanted this to be surprise. “I wrote a song, sorta. For you. And I thought that’d be the best thing to sing to you for the first time.”

“Oh.”

They’re silent for a few seconds, Trixie fidgeting with her hands.

“I thought-”

“You wrote me a song?” Katya asks then as soon as she stops on a traffic light. She looks at Trixie and when Trixie meets her eyes she can see that Katya can’t quite believe it, she looks baffled and in awe and if Trixie would dare to say completely in love and Trixie gulps at the intensity of her gaze.

“Yeah. Or rather about you? I don’t know. But it’s the first song I finished in months.”

“Wow,” Katya breathes out. She’s pulled out of her stupor by the honk from the car behind them indicating that the light is green and she starts driving again, but she’s still a bit stunned. “I- Trixie that’s the nicest thing anyone has ever done for me.”

Trixie laughs shyly. “You haven’t even heard it, it could be total crap.”

Katya shakes her head. “It won’t be. But either way, just that you did it…” Trixie smiles at her just as Katya is stopping in front of a building. She parks the cart and looks back at Trixie. “I love you.”

Trixie lets the words sink in, the fact that she’s hearing them, in person , that she’s literally looking at Katya’s eyes as she says it.

It’s real. This , what they have, is real .

She leans in and kisses her then, deepens the kiss instead of pulling apart like they did at the airport. “I love you, too.”

*

Katya’s apartment is small and surprisingly well-kept except for her photography equipment that is all over the place. They leave her bag in Katya’s room and soon Trixie’s being dragged out of the door so they can go have lunch and explore the city just like Trixie wished they’d had when she performed there. Katya gave herself the day off to spend it with Trixie and it’s sunny and nice so she’s gonna take her everywhere she can since the following days she’ll have work to do.

By the time they get back home it’s already dark outside and Trixie’s feet hurt, but her hand has been on Katya’s the entire day and she kissed her everytime she felt like it and she’s never felt so free .

As soon as they’re inside she goes straight to her guitar. It’s been a wonderful, straight-out-of-a-novel day and she wants to end it with a perfect note. “Can I play the song for you?”

Katya nods excitedly, sits down on the opposite side of the couch facing her expectantly.

Trixie strums the cords tentatively - the last words of the song came to her on the flight earlier that day so she hasn’t rehearsed it properly and doesn’t want to mess it up. She’s called the song “soldier” and she’s proud of the lyrics and she really, really hopes Katya will like it. She doesn’t look at her as she sings it, doesn’t want to lose her pace, but she can sort of see out of the corner of her eyes that Katya has her eyes closed and is swaying slightly to the tune. Trixie’s never felt so at peace and nervous at the same time before. As her fingers stop moving when she song ends she finally looks up.

Katya’s eyes snap open and she’s definitely tearing up. “God Trix, your voice. And you wrote that. For me. Oh my god. You’re so amazing, what the fuck.” Her hands are flying around as she speaks, very energetic, very Katya .

“Ah, shut up. I’m mediocre at best.”

Katya shakes her head and crawls to her, Trixie sets the guitar down just in time for Katya to straddle her lap and hold her face. “You’re phenomenal.”

Trixie can feel her cheeks reddening as Katya whispers that into her mouth but it’s brief because soon Katya is kissing her, strong and fierce, not holding back.

Trixie tries to sit more comfortably, her back resting on the back of the couch, and pulls Katya closer by grabbing at her thighs, all strong and muscular beneath her fingertips. The kiss grows from strong to desperate and Trixie is suddenly reminded of the fact that they have six entire days ahead of them. But also that they only have six days ahead of them.

Katya moves her lips down her neck as her hands travel down to the hem of her shirt and lift it up a bit so she can touch her stomach and for one moment Trixie lets herself get lost in it.

“Bed?” she asks out of breath as Katya tries to remove her shirt, but for some reason that actually gets Katya to stop.

“Yeah, bed, of course.” Her breathing a little ragged already. “Just, before that, I wanted to talk to you before doing this . But you seduced me with your guitar.”

Trixia laughs even though she’s a bit nervous. Talk about what? “Uh, ok. What’s up?”

Katya smiles then, all big and happy, Trixie can practically see all of her teeth. It soothes and excites her heart at the same time.

“This is my third photography tour gig. I do it because I get to travel and I like that, but it doesn’t pay as well as the jobs I usually get in between.”

“... Ok?” Where is this going?

“I got offered a job by the tour managers.”

“That’s great!” Trixie’s heart’s sinking a little. Katya is gonna have a steady job in Boston.

Katya shakes her head, her eyes sparkling. “I’m not finished. I actually got offered three jobs. One is in New York, the other’s in Florida.”

“What about the third one?”

Katya leans onto her, their eyes locked. “Guess.”

Trixie’s heart beats fast inside her chest. “No way.”

Katya nods excitedly. “Yes way!”

“Are you taking it?!”

“Would I be telling you about it if I wasn’t? I already said yes.”

“Oh my god.” Trixie’s the one that grabs her face and kisses her then, meets Katya's teeth as she apparently can't stop smiling. “Wait. just to be clear. It’s LA, right?”

“Of course it’s LA, Trixie, oh my god -”

“Shut up, i’m excited!” Trixie’s laughing, a giddy bubble bursting in her throat. “Oh my god. You’re going to LA. Do you have a place already? I can house hunt for you.”

“That would be great but you don’t have to-”

“I’m gonna get you an apartment like fifteen minutes away from mine,” she continues as if Katya didn’t say anything.

Katya just grabs her hands and squeezes them. "I'm moving in two months. We have time to plan."

Trixie takes a deep breath. She tries not to get upset about the two month between now and then . It's just two months. And then Katya will be in Los Angeles .

"Okay, yeah, sure. Oh my god. You're moving to LA! " She's trembling like an excited little kid and Katya can't stop smiling - Trixie doesn't mind at all, her face is so pretty when she smiles.

"I am!" And then she's kissing Trixie again, her lips hard on hers and her hands on her neck and moving down and then suddenly she's everywhere, her hands travelling under and over her shirt and her lips dragging across Trixie's skin and it's fast and wonderful and Trixie can't believe that even though there'll be two months of waiting, she'll soon be able to have this constantly .

"Bed?" she suggests again, but this time Katya just denies with her head.

"No time."

Actually, Trixie thinks, they'll have all the time in the world. But for now, as Katya's hands find her bra clasp, she's happy to stay on the couch a little longer.

*

Trixie waits for her at the airport two months later when she's supposed to arrive, most of her things already inside of her new apartment which, true to Trixie's word, is actually only ten minutes away from hers.

They kiss when Katya launches herself onto her and they hold hands all the way to the car and while Trixie drives they listen to the homemade demos Trixie's made of the songs she's since written. Adore had been right that day, Trixie only writes when she's super happy or super sad, and thankfully for her the past two months have been overfilled with the former.

I’m gonna do it , she’d told Katya one day over facetime. I’m gonna try to get a deal . She hasn't been invited to another tour yet, it'll probably be a few months before that happens again for the singer and even then who knows if Trixie will be invited, but she’s not worried. Whatever happens, they'll make it work.

Katya's apartment is a lot smaller than the one she had in Boston, but this one has Trixie just a couple blocks away, she says, so it pays off.

Much like Boston they spend the entire day hanging out and this time they actually do move it to the bed when they go back to the apartment late in the evening. The house is still a mess and the bed barely has any sheets on, but Trixie's fingers are intertwined with Katya's and that makes up for everything.

"I'm glad you got lost in a straight bar," she murmurs to Katya even though she's probably sleeping.

"Hmm. I'm glad you bought me a beer," Katya actually replies, voice drowsy and fingertips ghosting over her arms.

Trixie goes to sleep almost instantly after that, thinks about her past concerns about settling down and what she was going to do with her life.

She's not entirely sure where she's going yet, but for the very first time she knows she'll be fine.