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Not Today, Satan

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“-and cut.”

“Fairy grandmother?!” Bianca’s tone pitched dangerously upwards, conveying disbelief and barely repressed laughter.  

To the left, Courtney made another grab for the cap perched askew on his head.  Unfortunately, successfully dodging one queen landed him (literally) in Adore’s lap.  Bianca realized the mistake seconds too late as arms wound around his shoulders, cutting off any chance of escape.

”Totally!” 

Adore grinned innocently at the camera operator, watching as Bianca gave up struggling and brought both legs up to fend off Courtney’s continued onslaught.  She tucked her thumbs under the edges of the sequined bolero, hooking her chin over Bianca’s shoulder. “You’re old, you sparkle, and you sew things.”

 

Chapter Text

“-I have another cincher if you want me to lace you in it.”

”I’m down.”

”Okay, we’ll do it.”

Bianca is in the middle of pinning her wig on when she hears hesitant footsteps approaching.  She doesn’t have to look away from the mirror to know who is (not so) stealthily attempting to be casual.  Glancing at the folded coutil on her station, she chases down one last pin to secure the silver mesh in place as the sounds of fidgeting increase until-

“Fuck!”

The exclamation is followed by a thump, and Bianca spins around to find Adore rubbing her shin and glaring at the back of the stool.

She smoothes down the sleeve of her makeup robe, and waits.

”Uhhh, hi?”  Adore’s expression is equal parts excitement and terror.

Idly, Bianca wonders if she ought to let Adore squirm just a bit longer, watching a camera operator move closer from the corner of her eye.  

In the end, she takes pity on Adore, who is clearly on the verge of scurrying back off to her corner of the makeup counter.  “You ready?”

”Sure?”

Standing up, she grabs the cincher with one hand and Adore’s elbow with the other, steering her towards her own alcove.  Adore is clutching a strapless bra tightly enough that Bianca is worried for the elastic, and that more than anything drives home just how nervous she is.  Time to dial down the teasing then.

”All right, you need to put that down,” she tugs on the bra until Adore relinquishes it, “and step into this.  Without breaking your neck,” Bianca adds gently, steadying her with a squeeze to the forearm and pulling the cincher up until it’s sitting above the multiple layers of pantyhose.

“Deep breath, you’ll need to hold it while I get this in place.”  A nod, and she tightens the cord before adjusting it downwards a half inch.  

Another breath, followed by more adjustments.  Bianca’s fingers work automatically, testing the tightness and checking for pinching with a critical eye.  While she’s spent years perfecting padding and cinching on herself to produce feminine curves, she’s been in the business long enough to know that Adore is doing herself a disservice by calling it a ‘hog body’.  

Less than five minutes yields an hourglass that even Michelle Visage won’t be able to complain about (although Bianca privately suspects she’ll find something else to criticize).  She finishes her handiwork off with a double bow, deftly tucking the ends underneath the crossed lacing.

Wordlessly, she turns Adore towards a mirror and hides a smile as she watches her run hands down the newly defined waist.  “Good to go?”

”I’ll bring it back after the runway,” Adore promises, but Bianca is already ahead of her, mentally adding the extra time to her own routine.

”Keep it, we’ll do this again next time.”

The million watt smile she receives in return is answer enough.

Chapter Text

For the third day in a row, Bianca pushed open her front door to find Adore making herself at home on the couch with a bag of Cheetos. 

Sammy and Dede, the oblivious little creatures, bounced excitedly and demanded kisses before letting her take more than three steps across the threshold.  Kicking the front door shut, Bianca paused to pet the babies before turning her attention to the (mostly) welcome guest.

”I could have sworn you have a place less than a block away?”  

Adore wiped her fingers on her chest, leaving orange streaks across the black t-shirt.  “Yanx!  You’re back early.  Thought you were gonna meet me at two to go shopping?”

Bianca sniffed the air cautiously, registering the faint smell of weed and noting Adore’s wobbly focus.  “It’s two fifteen, and since I already checked your apartment and you weren’t answering your phone, I figured you were either getting crumbs on my couch or out wandering Hollywood Boulevard getting mauled by fans.  Also,” she pointed a black-painted finger accusingly, “is that my shirt?”

”Yup!”  The shirt was ridiculously oversized on Bianca, but managed to look fashionably fitted on Adore.

“What happened to the tie-dyed monstrosity you fell asleep in last night?”

”Went outside to smoke in it.  I remembered not to do it in the house!” Adore added brightly.  

Pivoting, Bianca headed into the sewing room, not bothering to check if Adore had followed.  “New plan,” she called over her shoulder, “You can practice straight seams, and we’ll go shopping tomorrow.”

”Party!” came the reply from the doorway.

”And for fuck’s sake, put that bag down.  Cheetos and fabric don’t mix!” 

Chapter Text

An hour later, Adore’s buzz had worn off and Bianca was wondering if she needed to send her back outside.  Two perfect rows of neatly parallel stitches were followed by dozens more crooked lines, skipped stitches, tension problems, and three broken needles.  

“B, you know I can’t do this,” Adore whined as the bobbin thread tangled again.

Making a decision, Bianca leaned over her shoulder to flip the power switch and rescued her machine.  Thankfully, Juki products were made of sterner stuff than hyperactive drag queens.  

“That’s enough for today.  Eventually you’ll want to make something that requires more than a pair of scissors and thrift shop rejects.”

Green eyes widened at her beseechingly.  “But that’s what I have you for!”

Wisely, Bianca changed the subject instead of issuing what would have been a weak denial.

”Hungry?”

********

All that remained of the pizza was a greasy box on the kitchen table as Adore talked about her planned tour.  Bianca watched indulgently as she gestured with the crumpled corpse of three paper napkins wadded in her fist, face animated and eyes shining at the prospect of a solo show.

”I dunno what to call it though.  That’s what I need your help with, nothing sounds cool.”

”What have you come up with so far?”

Adore dropped the napkins in favor of peeling cold cheese off the cardboard.  “Everything my manager suggested sounded dumb.”

Avoiding eye contact meant she had an idea, but wasn’t sure it was a good one.  “You want to call it something, but he didn’t like it.”  It wasn’t really a question; this far into their friendship, and Bianca still marveled at her forays into self-doubt.  “And don’t feed that to Dede.”

“It’s a pizza party for my fans, like meet and greet but with food.  So, like,” Bianca waited patiently while Adore fidgeted with the ice cubes in her glass, “I wanted to call it ‘Pizza and Porn’, but he said no.”

”...well...”

She folded her arms defensively across her chest, and Bianca winced at the thought of how much grease was going to be on her shirt later.  Immediately after, she regretted her reaction when Adore clearly misinterpreted it.  “See, you think it’s stupid too!”

”It’s not stupid, hey, look at me.”  Bianca leaned over the table until their eyes met.  “It’s not stupid.”

”You have a better idea?” Adore still sounded hurt, and Bianca chose her next words carefully.

”More marketable.”

********

A week later, Bianca watched Adore’s Instagram announcement for the ‘A Pizza Me’ tour and hit the Like button with a satisfied smirk.

Chapter Text

They’re staying the night in Denver (or possibly Des Moines, definitely not Detroit) in another nice but nondescript hotel room.  Bianca is in the shower when the sound of the front door slamming shut jars her from the usual post-show haze.

He hadn’t bothered to close - much less lock - the bathroom door, and briefly weighs the risk of leaping out of the shower with shampoo in his eyes.  When the smell of pepperoni drifts in, he’s 98% sure that there’s no danger of a homicidal intruder and continues rinsing at a slower pace.

Sure enough, she pushes open the shower curtain to find Adore perched on the bathroom counter in fishnets, makeup, and a red wig.  She has a slice of pizza in hand, head cocked at a contemplative angle while chewing.  The box balanced on her lap is still steaming.

“Where exactly did you find pizza between the dressing room and here?” 

Bianca doesn’t hear the first part of the reply, busy toweling her hair dry.  “-gave it to me downstairs!”

He pauses after knotting a second towel around his waist.  “Say that again?”

”This super cute lesbian couple gave it to me downstairs!  Right on the way to the elevator!” Adore stuffs crust into her mouth cheerfully.

Bianca nudges her with an elbow until she gets the message and moves far enough that he can reach the moisturizer.  “You’re lucky your fans are too millennial to mess with the food, chola.”

The look Adore shoots her is disbelieving.

”They would never!  You’re way too paranoid. Hey!” Adore ducks the towel swiped her direction, cradling the pizza box protectively, “Don’t come for me when I’ve got food.”

Stepping into a pair of boxers, Bianca checks the front door and is relieved to find it locked, even if the chain has smears of tomato sauce around it.  “Please tell me they didn’t see which room you went into.”

”Too fuckin’ paranoid, B.  They just wanted to bring me pizza.  Besides, I got the receipt and everything.”  She’s moved to the bed, feet propped on the nightstand.  

Bianca sits down next to her, scrolling through Instagram and stealing a slice of pizza.  It’s surprisingly good, and hopefully not laced with anything.  There’s the usual slew of photos from the show, some of which receive masterfully sarcastic replies, and only one post Adore liked that reads:

OMG #lifegoals!!  Gave @AdoreDelano pizza and she hugged me and Jess and I’m still shaking!  Said she’s going to see @TheBiancaDelRio later #biadore #cocksuckinglips #prettymermaid #iadoreu

He pauses mid-chew to read the hashtags a second and third time.  “What the hell, Delano?!?”

“Oh, yeah, they were like, ‘we love you and Bianca’ and I asked them what they loved most, and they said they thought we had really nice cock sucking lips but like they thought our natural ones were nice too.  Like they were super drunk and all, but it was the funniest shit ever!”  

Bianca isn’t sure whether to facepalm or laugh hysterically.

”Fuck me.”

”Dude, for real, I think they think we do.”

Chapter Text

If you haven’t seen the Starbucks commercial, head over to https://youtu.be/YkyTQP27H6s. Immediately.

 

Bianca is positive that she closed the gate on Sammy and Dede’s play area before going to bed.  One of them (probably Sammy) is licking her face insistently, so either her babies have grown opposable thumbs or someone let them out.

The second option is more worrisome because Jamie is out of town, Adore isn’t back until Friday, her parents never visit unannounced, and despite jokes about cleaning ladies, Bianca is more than capable of doing her own housework.  In short, no one with a key to the front door should have been using it that morning.

Whoever it is isn’t bothering to be quiet, as the sounds of quiet humming filter through the house.  Bianca is almost convinced that it’s wishful thinking making the tone sound familiar, because her favorite person is currently halfway across the country.  

On the other hand, Adore making a surprise visit would really be exponentially better than anyone else.  There aren’t any alerts from the security system on her phone, which hopefully means it’s  a friend.

Shooing the dogs off the bed, she foregoes slippers to pad noiselessly across the cold floor, phone in one hand and grabbing the empty wine bottle off the dresser with the other (just in case).  It’s not exactly a taser or mace, but Bianca would rather go down fighting than have photos splashed across the news of her dead body in a Trixie Mattel shirt. She’s two feet from the bedroom door when it swings open.

Chapter Text

The bedroom door swings open, and she backs up half a step just before it clips her nose.

Luckily, the person on the other side is distracted juggling a tray of cups and paper bags, so Bianca has time to drop the bottle in the laundry basket instead of having to explain her choice of weapon.  

“Willow!” Adore smells like stale airplane air when she leans in for a cheek kiss, but she couldn’t care less.  Her phone is tossed onto the bed so she has both arms free for a hug.

”Well, well, well, what have we here?” The attempt at nonchalance is successful, even though Bianca can feel herself smiling wide enough that the damned dimples are visible a mile away.

”Show was cancelled, flooded basement or something.”  Whatever she’s carrying smells wonderfully of butter and onion.  Bianca takes the proferred bags gratefully and heads towards the kitchen, as Adore continues.  “Caught an early flight.  Missed you, so I grabbed breakfast for us.”

Three large suitcases are parked haphazardly in the living room, alongside a beat up designer carryon.  From the looks of it, Adore must have come directly from the airport, and Bianca tries to ignore the knot under her sternum at the thought of her not even bothering to drop the bags off at home first.

“It’s not even my birthday and you got the order right,” she mumbles, accepting a steaming paper cup and joining Adore on the couch.  Adore is already licking cinnamon sugar off her fingers, but pauses to swing her legs up onto Bianca’s lap.  

Eating Starbucks together is a familiar routine, and Bianca listens as Adore recounts the story of her trip back (two layovers, five crying fans, and only one misplaced passport scare), cradling her skinny latte.

There’s definitely extra foam.

Chapter Text

Bianca went to bed early Saturday morning after staying out late, looking forward to sleeping in.  Instead, the sound of the front door slamming shut woke her up at 11.  Hearing Adore singing mollified her slightly, but she still emerged into the living room with half open eyes and a terrible case of bed hair.

She found the mermaid bent over the washing machine, empty laundry basket at her feet and testing out the acoustics inside the drum.

”Really, queen?” Bianca shot over the rim of her coffee mug, not surprised when Adore ignored her and continued singing ‘DTF’ to her dirty clothes.

At least it meant she was washing her stinky tights.

Chapter Text

They’re still giggling as Courtney puts down her phone after posting to Instagram.  Darienne is fanning herself with a flyer, and shakes her cleavage at Adore, which sets off another round of laughter.  

“Staying in the bathroom all night grandma?” she calls out with an evil grin.

”Bitch!” Bianca explodes from behind the door, face an overwrought mask of outrage, before realizing that Courtney isn’t filming any longer.  Her voice drops out of character, losing the gravelly edge.  “I fucking love you whores.”

Courtney tosses her powder puff aside and launches herself at Darienne on the couch.

”Group hug!”

Bianca finds herself sandwiched between Adore (cincher digging into her back), and playfully swatting hands.

Darienne’s faux cries for help fill the room, and she can’t remember the last time life felt so complete.

Chapter Text


Adore is just finishing her eyes when Raven appears in the dressing room doorway, nose contour on literal point.  She waits until Adore sets down the brush before skimming a kiss to her cheek.

”Nice shoes,” Raven comments, nodding at Adore’s platform boots and catching her eyes in the mirror.  “You’re on after the first set.  Need anything before we go on?”

Biting her lip, Adore considers but nothing comes to mind.  “Nah, I’m good.  Thanks again, for booking me.”  She turns from the mirror, making sure that the other queen is paying attention.

Raven nods and turns to leave, but stops when Adore’s hand lightly grips her elbow.  “Serious, bitch.  I’m fucking grateful to be a part of your show.”

”That’s the second time you’ve said it, and you don’t have to suck my dick.”  

Adore picks up a lipliner, fidgeting with the lid.  “Just wanted to be sure you knew.”

Settling onto the empty chair at the vanity, Raven checks the pins on her turban before replying.  “Glad to see someone teaching you baby queens manners.” Her sharp glance is full of humor, softening the words.  

“Like, Bianca taught me and she’d probably fly back from England to kick my ass if I didn’t say so.  Only cuz she cares, but still.”

That earns an outright cackle from Raven.  “She’s a cunt, but she’s a professional cunt.  Reminds me, did she tell you what happened the last time she was working here?”

Lips pursed, Adore pulls the gloss away from her face before shaking her head.

”One of the local queens got sick,” Raven continues, “Flu or food poisoning, or sucking too much dick, whatever.  She runs off stage, starts puking her guts up in the bathroom.”

Adore nods; drag queens throwing up, usually from too many drinks, was fairly normal.  She’s not sure why Raven would find that out of the ordinary, but keeps her mouth shut and starts securing her wig.

”I closed out the show, headed to the dressing room and Bianca’s nowhere to be found.”  Raven pauses, giving her a significant look.

”...and?”

”Turns out she’s in the bathroom with the queen, still in drag, sitting on the floor and holding the bitch’s hair and rubbing her back. Takes her back and sits with her, helps clean her up.”  

Adore feels like she’s missing something, but can’t figure out what it is.

”Bianca was bitching about having to clean velvet or some shit, but I don’t remember...?”

Raven doesn’t laugh at her, though.  Instead, she smiles without the usual edge.  “Point is, Bianca told me not to scare the queen.  You know if that bitch had done something stupid, she’d have read her to filth.  She better be careful or people are going to start thinking she’s nice.”

Checking the time, Raven stands up.  “Pop your tuck, bitch,” she throws over her shoulder on the way out.  “See you on stage in fifteen.”

She should probably finish pinning her wig on, but Adore is still thinking about what Raven said and remembering her own first impression of Bianca as a fierce competitor.

Remembers being wary of her sharp tongue, even saying she wouldn’t work with her.  

Remembers Bianca saving her from Michelle’s criticism, patiently instructing her on the sewing challenge.

Adore considers all the queens who are still intimidated by Bianca, until she offers to help with their wigs, finishes their makeup, gives encouragement to help with nerves before a number.

Picking up her phone, she scrolls through the camera roll before posting a shot of her and Bianca together grinning drunkenly at a club, and turns back to the mirror.  

@adoredelano love my Willow!

Chapter Text

Bianca closes her dressing room door, reveling in the sudden quiet.  Jamie has come and gone, helping to unzip her gown and carrying an armful of gifts to be carefully packed in a spare suitcase.

The first thing to go are the heels.  She steps out of the dress, mindful of the excess hem now puddling around her feet on the floor, and settles it back on its hanger.  It’s blessedly cool in the room after the heat of stage lighting and so many bodies packed in one place.

Her cincher is next, unzipped and tossed across a chair.  Idly rubbing the marks the boning left on her ribs, Bianca goes about removing all four pairs of tights and finally untucking.  Pulling on her monogrammed onesie is a relief in more than one way - she’s physically able to slouch in the vanity chair, and it signals the end of another successful show.

Pins come out of her wig and go immediately back into a small box (she never understood other queens’ haphazard approach to organization).  The modular sections of hair unstack easily, set aside to be packed for the next venue.  Bianca peels her lashes off with a deep sigh and takes a moment to close her eyes before starting in on makeup removal.

When she meets her own gaze in the mirror, she’s taken aback by the weariness now visible through her makeup after hours of wear.  Touring is exhilarating, spreading her hate to the masses by the hundreds and thousands.  Meet and greets are one of her favorite times, giving her fans a chance to have a moment of attention and sweaty hugs.  They bring her gifts of artwork, figurines, and flowers, and sometimes it’s all a bit too much.  Sometimes she takes a step back from the reality of it all and thinks how her younger self would never have dreamed it to be possible.  She wouldn’t trade it for anything, but in moments like this Bianca feels every year of her age.

Chapter Text

Wallowing never did anyone a damn bit of good though.  What was a little exhaustion in return for everything else?

The lipstick goes next, scrubbing clean in a few swipes.  It takes significantly longer to work the rest of her face off.  By the time her paint is reduced to a few lingering smears of eyeliner, Bianca has wrangled her thoughts back into order.

Mostly.

Without layers of foundation and powder, the dark circles under her eyes are more prominent.  The lights around her mirror are brutally honest, outlining laugh lines and the beginnings of crow’s feet in stark relief.  

Bianca isn’t twenty-five anymore.  Hell, she isn’t thirty-five or even forty either.  Over twenty years of being a clown in a gown, a sharp-tongued equal opportunity insult comedienne.  Her wigs have grown exponentially taller and her eye makeup more closely resembles a raccoon than anything else.  And her audiences love it.

She’s never bored, always busy traveling and performing or madly working on costumes, the sound of the sewing machine needle like a heartbeat for her career.  Work is ridiculously rewarding, vacations full of luxurious indulgence with family or friends.

Adore had asked more than once how she keeps it up at that pace, always intent on bringing one hundred percent to those who come to see Bianca Del Rio.  She doesn’t know how to give any less.  

Sometimes she thinks if she stopped or slowed down, everything would collapse.

Her thoughts are heading down a path that she doesn’t have the time or energy to pursue, not in the middle of a tour.  Maybe on a sun-drenched beach somewhere, but not here and now.

She’s startled back to reality by a knock on her dressing room door.  Probably Jamie on the way back to help move her luggage, and she’s not ready yet.  Bianca barely hears the door open, too intent on folding pantyhose and corset into their travel bags.

Arms encircle her waist where she’s bent over a suitcase, and someone who is distinctly not Jamie squeezes tight.

”Surprise!” Adore’s voice couldn’t have been a more welcome contrast to her earlier maudlin musings.

She spins around to return the hug properly, laughing as Adore lifts her clean off her feet before they both settle on the couch.

Adore starts in praising her performance, but Bianca isn’t really listening for once.  Resting her head on Adore’s shoulder, eyes closed, is exactly what she needs right now.

Chapter Text

“Owwwww!”

”Hold-,” Bianca speaks very slowly around the pin she’s gripping between her teeth, “-still.  You wiggle, I can’t control where the pins end up.  There,” she secures the problem seam, “better?”

From her position kneeling on the floor, she can see Adore’s face in the mirror in front of them.  She’s clearly thinking, tongue hanging over her bottom lip as she turns.  The dress definitely sits better on her hip after the adjustment, draping smoothly across the front instead of bunching around her less-than-tight tuck.  

Making Adore’s dress using a modified version of Bianca’s own classic same-dress-different-color silhouette had been challenging in the best way.  She’d dropped the front into a sweetheart neckline, added off-shoulder sleeves, and gave it a floor sweeping hem.  Adore’s legs go on forever, and the dramatic cutaway showcases them perfectly.  

Except, Adore is frowning.

Bianca runs through her mental checklist and does a quick once-over with a critical eye in case she missed something the first time.  It can’t be the waist, particularly since she’ll have to cinch tighter for the taping.  The boning in the bodice isn’t warped, and Bianca had made sure there was two finger’s worth of ease after zipping Adore in.  There hadn’t been any complaints during the muslin fitting, and it was a point of professional pride that the fashion fabric always matched its dimensions.

If there was something she was unhappy with at this stage, Bianca would be disappointed in herself for not picking up on it sooner.

”What’s wrong?”

“Like, don’t be mad, but...” Adore is facing her finally, one hand holding the skirt up off the floor and chewing her lip nervously.

“But what?” Bianca’s aware that her voice sounds a little too vulnerable.

”...I’m not sure about the lace?  It’s kind of scratchy.  Uhhhhh, B?” Adore leans over where Bianca is sprawled on the floor, laughing with relief.  “Are you ok?”

Chapter Text

Despite the shade she threw at Manila and Jinkx for the audiences ("No one ever says, 'Manila, sing another song!' ", "If we wanted comedy, we'd ask you to sing again!"), Bianca was happy to stand in the wings and watch her sisters perform. 

She can hear footsteps approaching, and so she doesn't startle when someone stops well within her personal space and props their chin on her shoulder.  With an arm around her waist, Adore matches her swaying and they dance together for several minutes, Bianca's heels eliminating the height difference.

Bianca even manages to ignore the Cheetos being crunched in her ear.

 

Chapter Text

Intermission: a chance to catch a breath, down a drink, and prepare for Snatch Game.

Bianca eyed her Judge Judy outfit with a sense of resignation.  While the character was fun for Drag Race, shouting the signature catchphrase of “Baloney!” for the entire Battle of the Seasons tour was beginning to get old.  

Jinkx had Bette Davis and Liza Minnelli.  Sharon was an eerily accurate Joan Rivers and Caitlyn Jenner (the walk was perfect).  Even Alaska varied her top-notch Laganja performance, as she was currently dressing as Pearl for the night.

And Bianca?  Judge Judy with her gavel and puppet and air of biting weariness.  The audience had to be tired of it by now.

Adore wandered over, already done with her look for the second set and digging into a bag of chips.  

“You ok, B?”

It had to be glaringly obvious to the other queens if Adore noticed, even if they were too busy with their own preparation to point it out.  Bianca shrugged one shoulder, picking up the black pants that went with the robe.

”Just getting tired of old Judy,” she sighed.  “I mean sure, she’s great for laughs, but...”

Adore licked her fingers, setting the bag down in the middle of her makeup.  “So don’t be her.  Who else did you bring?”

”You know I don’t have anyone else,” Bianca huffed.  “I have one costume, and six of the same dress in different fabrics.”  That joke never got old.

”You’re Bianca Del Rio.” Jinkx offered in the middle of securing Bette Davis’ skirt, giving her a significant look.  “Make something else.”

”Do you see a sewing machine in here?”

Jinkx raised her eyebrows at the sarcastic reply and went back to her makeup table.  “You of all people know it’s not just the look, it’s the acting.  Take something you’ve got in your bag and borrow the rest.”

”You do great impressions,” Adore pointed out,  “Like RuPaul and Courtney.  Or Lady Bunny.”

”Too much makeup for RuPaul, and I’m not going out there mostly naked for Courtney.” She paused. “And there aren’t enough wigs in this entire dressing room to make me into Bunny.”

Adore picked her bag of chips back up.  “So do me.”

”What?”

”You know, pizza, party, chola,” Sharon called over.  “That’s all she says.”

”Fuck you, bitch,” Adore yelled back amicably.

”That’s never-“ Bianca paused.  “Adore.”

”Yeah?”

”Is your bag in here?”

********

It took ridiculously little time to transform into Adore, she thought ruefully.  The cutoff shorts were a bit big, but would hopefully stay up with the belt and flannel around her hips.  Her own boy shoes should be fine from a distance (“I’m not wearing your shoes, bitch.  You never wash your tights!”).

Adore’s Budweiser shirt was another matter - the sleeves dropped nearly to her elbows, and the body of it billowed around her torso. (“Take off your corset,” Adore suggested, looking blankly back at Bianca’s stare.  “What?”)  It didn’t look right tucked in, and leaving it out would cover the belt and most of the shorts.  Finally, she twisted the excess into a knot on the side and pinned it into place.

The final look wasn’t up to Bianca’s usual standards of perfection, but all of the essentials were there.  All that was left was Adore’s signature red wig, pinned in tightly since it wasn’t a lace front.  

“Oh my god,” Adore snapped a photo as Bianca posed dramatically, “This is so fucking crazy! I can’t believe you’re actually doing it.”

Michelle took an actual step back when she came into the dressing room to touch up her makeup.  She opened and closed her mouth a few times, but no sound came out.  At last, she managed, “Well.  This is going to be interesting.”

********

”From season six of RuPaul’s Drag Race, please welcome Adore Delano.”

Bianca pushed the curtain aside and skipped out.

”I look fucking cool!!”

 

For those wondering, Bianca really is wearing Adore's clothes.

 

Chapter Text

Finally, another sewing challenge.  

Acting challenges are something that Bianca feels more than comfortable with, but creation with fabric is where she can make real magic happen.  DeLa assigned her sapphire, which won't be a problem. 

She's sitting at her worktable with a handful of crystals and a bolt of tulle, planning out details and mostly ignoring the swirl of activity from the other girls.  It's a matter of minutes to cut strips of tulle and run them through the machine into gathered layers, thoughts still on overall structure while her fingers work independently. 

Bianca exchanges a few words with DeLa (hot gluing a cardboard shape on the floor) and watches Courtney assembling something draped (without hemming the edges...the seamstress in her cringes).  Behind a pile of fabric, she can hear Darienne bemoaning her choice of design.  Adore, however, is unusually quiet, and Bianca glances over to see her sitting on the floor surrounded by white tulle but not moving at all.  

"This'll do, for a start," she nods, checking the fit and fall of the shoulder ruffles in the mirror and shrugging off the look DeLa shoots her direction.  It's far too late in the competition to worry about pleasing everyone.

The ruffles go back on her dressform, and she's laying out blue charmeuse for the undergown when Adore's sniffles catch her attention.

Ru had come and gone maybe twenty minutes ago, and Bianca had done her best to give Adore as much privacy as possible with four cameras filming her frustrated tears.  Adore always bounced back, so this challenge shouldn't be any different.  Surely.  The white corset on her dressform is a little basic, but ought to be fine covered in crystals.  Bianca is more worried about Adore giving up on the skirt, particularly when they're so close to the final three.

She knows exactly how long it will take to turn the satin into a gown (unlike the other girls), and decides she has a few minutes to help a sister. 

"Wait, I'll show you."

********

Adore's diamond white tutu is coming together nicely.  However, a glance at the clock confirms what she's known for the past hour: there's not enough time left to complete the multi-layered gown she'd originally been planning. 

Even simplified into a column dress with a bejeweled belt, it's going to look miles better than the nude illusion disaster that Darienne is gluing together.  The judges are going to have at her for the same silhouette (again), but she ought to at least be safe.  

Besides, Bianca is pleased to see Adore smiling again.

Chapter Text

Bianca is still awake, scrolling through Instagram, when Adore stumbles into their room.  

Adore flashes her a grin before disappearing into the bathroom, presumably to de-drag.  It’s always possible she’ll want to keep her face and wig on to sleep in, and Bianca briefly considers telling her to put down a towel so she doesn’t leave makeup all over the pillowcase.  Then again, it’s hardly the worst thing that probably ends up on hotel sheets.

Twenty minutes later, the bathroom door opens enough for Adore to pop her head out amidst a cloud of steam.  

“Hey B?”

Bianca looks over her phone screen, takes in the shampoo in her hair, and makes a mental note to wipe up the water before she goes to sleep so neither of them slip and break their necks going to the bathroom in the middle of the night.

”Yeah?”

”Can you sign for it?  Supposed to be here in thirty.”

“...okay.”  She’s learned that getting Adore to start at the beginning of a story is impossible. “Want to tell me what it is?”

Just then, someone knocks loudly on the door and she rolls her eyes before climbing out of bed.  

“I should make you answer it like that,” she grumbles, making her way across the room and hearing the shower start again.

The level of surprise when she opens the door is somewhere in between expecting Gia Gunn to not say “absolutely” and Laganja not finishing a sentence with a tongue pop (nonexistent).  Bianca accepts the boxes with a tired professional smile and signs the receipt.  The delivery guy doesn’t even look at the signature (which is a shame, because she’d carefully added hearts above the “I” in Danny Noriega) before wishing her a good evening in a complete monotone and setting back off down the hall.

The smell of garlic mixed with bread and grease makes her stomach growl, and Bianca realizes it’s been hours since anything besides alcohol went into her stomach.  

Adore emerges from the bathroom to find half the garlic twists and two slices of pizza already missing.

”Hey!  How did you know I wasn’t gonna eat it all myself?”

Bianca shoots a trademark “really, queen?” look in response to Adore’s mock outrage.  In hindsight, it would have been more convincing if she wasn’t licking butter and Parmesan off her fingers.

“Bitch, even you can’t eat an entire XL on your own.”

Adore mimes giving a blowjob to a breadstick dipped in ranch, and Bianca can’t decide whether to laugh or tell her to chew with her mouth closed.

Tour life as usual, but she wouldn’t change it for the world.

Chapter Text


“BIANCA!”

The panicked shout had her half out of the bunk before her eyes even opened fully.  Kicking free of the blanket, both bare feet hit the floor and she didn’t bother with shoes or clothes in the headlong scramble for the lounge.  

Roughly half the bunks were still occupied as she rushed past.  Pushing through the curtain at the end of the hallway, she winced at the early morning sunlight but kept pace.  It could be anything from one of the other queens going in too hard to an actual emergency.  Regardless of the situation, Adore needed her, and - 

Hurricane Bianca came to an abrupt halt once the sun was out of her eyes and the lounge came into focus. 

Alaska had her long legs tucked up onto one of the benches, out of the way of the scuffle on the floor.  Beside her, Jinkx was watching with a bemused expression and clutching a mug in both hands.  And on the floor in front of them, Manila was sitting on Adore’s stomach, knees squeezing her sides, one hand being fended off and the other digging into her ribs.

In the sudden silence filled only with harsh panting, both Manila and Adore were frozen with identical looks of shock.  

”What...?”

Manila took one look at Bianca’s expression, paled, and let go of Adore as if she’d been burned.  Half a moment later, she was as far away as possible given the dimensions of the space, standing behind Jinkx nervously.

Adore was still prone, mouth open in an O of surprise.  Bianca didn’t see any blood or tears, and Alaska and Jinkx clearly weren’t terribly concerned, so...

“I didn’t do anything!” Manila blurted, shrinking back against the cupboard, trying and failing to keep Jinkx as a barrier against Bianca’s stare.

At her feet, Adore looked up with an air of slowly dawning realization immediately followed by chagrin.

”Oops?”

“Verrrrrrry interesting,” Alaska dragged out the first word.

”Would someone like to tell me what the fuck is going on?”  

Given the circumstances, Bianca thought her voice was remarkably calm, although Manila still cringed.

“Uhhhh,” Adore sat up.  “Errr, sorry?”  

Bianca pulled her hands back from where they had been outstretched to balance her arrested momentum forward, and planted them firmly on her hips.  It didn’t look as impressive without the cinched waist and heels, but the effect seemed to work well enough in boxers and an oversized tank top.

”We were, uhhh, Manila and I were like...”

“We were discussing being ticklish.” Jinkx set down her mug and quirked a painted on eyebrow.  “Adore said her sides were ticklish, Manila poked her, Adore tried to get away -“

”I didn’t know she’d do that!” Manila insisted.

Bianca opened her mouth but was interrupted by a pajama-clad Michelle skidding to a halt behind her, courtesy of grabbing onto her shoulders.

”I heard shouting...?”

”Apparently,” Alaska spoke in her driest tone, “when Adore panics, she yells Bianca’s name.”

Dropping her arms, Bianca fixed Adore with an admonishing look.  “Really, queen?”

Without waiting for a reply, she turned and stepped around Michelle, heading for her bunk and leaving the others to explain the situation.  

It was way too early to deal with this without pants on.

Chapter Text

If anyone had asked Bianca what a perfect day looked like twenty years ago, the answer might well have gone along the lines of, "No last minute disasters in the costume shop, taxi on time to the club, and more than ten people in the audience." 

Ten years ago, the response would be much the same, although she could at least count on larger crowds in NYC. 

Five years ago, her star was just rising with Drag Race advertisement, and the eight-to-five work that paid her rent was plentiful. 

Past the age of forty when a queen might start to show some wear around the edges, she simply painted her eyes darker and built her hair bigger with no expiration date on her particular brand of hate in sight.  Part of her missed the ebb and flow of the costume shop, creative design followed by fittings and production and the sense of satisfaction seeing her work on stage.  Now her stage included audiences around the world, heart pounding every time she stepped out to a thunderstorm of applause.  

Bianca wouldn't trade that for anything.

 

Chapter Text

It's not so much an unspoken rule that other queens don't seriously shade Bianca Del Rio, but a healthy sense of self-preservation.  If someone does, she can take them down with a few choice words, either in caps lock on social media or calling them out on stage with microphone in hand to howls of laughter.

Adore throws out jabs about her age and income on a regular basis, but Bianca never snaps back with a truly cutting reply.

All of her sisters are fair game when it comes to her self-titled rolodex of hate, reading them to filth for her audience and readily helping them backstage.  

Her stage material about Adore is full of praise and promotion with the same gentle almost-reads year after year, no matter how hateful she's being immediately before and after.

It's not an unspoken rule that other queens don't seriously shade Adore Delano, because most of them know better without ever having to be told.  

No one wants to be standing alone when Hurricane Bianca sweeps through, obliterating everything in her path.

Chapter Text

[7:35 AM] Adore U awake?

Adore hit send and waited for the muffled ding of a text message received.  The sound of a low groan followed.

Read 7:35 AM

[7:36 AM] Bianca no, I’m not

[7:36 AM] Adore B

[7:37 AM] Adore B

Read 7:37 AM

[7:37 AM] Adore I’m hungry

[7:37 AM] Adore B

[7:38 AM] Adore Yanx

[7:38 AM] Adore Yanxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Read 7:39 AM

A louder groan filtered through, accompanied by indistinct muttering that nonetheless didn’t sound complimentary.

The curtain opened with a snap and Adore pasted on her best innocent grin.  

“You’re awake!”

Bianca looked distinctly unimpressed.

”I’m trying not to be, but someone keeps texting me.  You’re literally less than three feet away, and you still texted.”  

“Yeah?” Adore shrugged the shoulder she wasn’t lying on.

”Why didn’t you just get up or lean over and check?”

”Because I didn’t want to wake you up if you were asleep.”

Bianca’s long-suffering eyeroll was less effective than usual when paired with the Katya eye mask pushed up onto her forehead.

”You didn’t want-“  One hand came up to cover her eyes.  “Never mind.”

“Are you hungry?”

”No.”

”Since you’re up, wanna grab me the cereal?”

”Really queen?”

”Yeah?”

”No.”

Adore pouted as Bianca slid the curtain closed again, followed by the sound of her flopping back down on her own bunk.

”B?”

“I’m going back to sleep.  You know where the food is.”

Sighing, Adore rolled out and onto the floor.  A quick trip to the kitchen area later, she climbed back up and settled in with a box of Honeycomb.

”Can you please eat that quietly?”  Bianca’s aggrieved request was half lost under the sound of crinkling plastic as she dug in for another handful.

”What?”

”Never mind.”

********

[8:12 AM] Adore B?

Chapter Text

Touch is something so natural that Adore doesn’t even realize she’s doing it most of the time.  It’s as much a part of her as her green eyes (and fabulous ass), and it comes in three types.

(One) Casual contact with friends and strangers alike.  

Arms wrapped around a fellow club-goer for a selfie.  

Grabbing someone’s shoulder when they’re telling a funny story.  

Brushing a gentle kiss on the cheek of a fan who is almost too shy to talk to her.  

Holding hands with another queen on stage or walking down the street.

(Two) The touches that really matter, because they’re communicating something that words can’t encompass.  

The other queens gathered around her in a tangle of limbs when she decides to leave All Stars, surrounding her in their love.  

Pressing her cheek to Joslyn’s after she tells an entire convention audience that Adore never needed it anyway.  

(Three) The times she needs human contact, needs to feel skin on skin the same way she needs air to breathe because she’s drowning, needs someone to hold her together when she’s falling apart.

Hugging her mom after she admits how deep her addictions run and knowing she has to get help.

Clinging to Bianca in yet another hotel bed because her broken heart feels like it’s never going to heal.

Chapter Text

“All right, you better clap for this next bitch.  She’s my little pizza party chola angel and one talented whore.  Give it up for Adore motherfuckin’ Delano!”

Bianca pivoted and headed offstage as the lights went down and the music started.  Standing in the wings watching her fellow queens perform was one of the perks of hosting, and seeing Adore perform live was a treat.

Bass thrummed like a heartbeat, filling the air with tension, and Bianca felt its pulse deep in her chest.  Lit by the neon glow of her name splashed across the screen, Adore moved quickly from the wings on the opposite side to the center of the stage.  All eyes were trained on her as the lights slowly came up and her voice carried over the wild cheering, ringing through to fill the space.  

Bianca watched, enthralled along with the audience.  As quick-tongued as she was, there weren’t words to properly describe the richness of Adore’s voice, how she imbued every note with emotion.  Lots of queens could sing, but none of them could command a stage like Adore when she laid her heart open, bare and vulnerable and powerful.  

(Waking up warm next to someone you loved, lightning flashing across the sky, diving into the depths of the ocean until only darkness remained.)

The last note lingered in the air as the song ended and Adore broke the spell with her shouted greeting, directing the energy of the crowd into something less brittle.  She moved to the edge of the stage, leaning down to touch the hands reaching towards her. 

The next song began with a toss of her wig, and Bianca knew what was coming when Adore stood, gesturing for the crowd to raise their arms and stepping over the speakers.  She never got tired of watching her interact with her fans, as if they could capture a part of her magic for themselves.        

Chapter Text

As she fell forward, the messy hair across her face obscured her vision just enough that Adore misjudged the distance down.  Her dive turned into a stumble, too wrapped up in the song until the last moment to realize that security had pushed the crowd back too far and the hands reaching to catch her wouldn’t be enough to break the fall.  

The floor loomed large below as she tried to twist, and time seemed to tick by in slow motion - the security guy's chagrined expression, the resentful protests from the fans who had been forced back, excitement writ large on the faces of the people in the front.  For a moment, it felt like she might be able to balance as hands caught her right hip and legs, but none made it to her shoulder and outflung left arm. 

Time resumed its normal pace with a jolt as Adore slid down and landed hard on her elbow, sending white hot pain shooting up her arm.  Those closest to her stood stunned, disbelieving, before rushing forward.  The crowd closed in, bringing suffocating heat and the buzz of too many voices in too small of a space.  She was dimly aware of the microphone still clutched in her hand as a security guy (not the one she'd seen forcing the crowd back) pushed through the throng. 

Numbly accepting the outstretched hands, Adore pulled herself to her feet and moved quickly back to the stage. Everything had happened in less than a minute, and she forced herself to pick up the song with an artificial smile that felt more like a grimace. She ended with a wave and didn't linger on stage as she usually would have, intent on finding somewhere to sit (or lie) down as the adrenaline wore off. Bianca caught her hand in passing, pressing her painted lips into a thin line at Adore's negative headshake and letting go with reluctance.

She quickly made a joke about Adore's clumsiness to cover her own concern even as she itched to run backstage and make sure she hadn't been seriously hurt. She'd seen just how hard Adore had hit the floor, and while she had come back up again quickly, it was clear from her stiff movements that something wasn't right. Ever the professional, she forced down the worry and called for another round of applause before beginning the finale.

After final bows, Bianca remained on the stage just long enough to ensure that all of the other queens made it back off before the lights went down. Hiking up the skirt of her gown, Bianca moved as quickly as her heels allowed down the maze of hallways. Adore had been one of the last queens called onstage for the finale, and she'd come out wearing a dark red flannel over her usual fishnets-and-lingerie ensemble.

Back in the dressing room, everyone chattered on as they touched up their makeup before meet and greets, oblivious to what had happened. Adore was nowhere in sight; she was usually one of the first queens done with touch ups and tended to sprawl over whatever furniture was free. Bianca scanned the space then headed straight over to the corner where she was set up next to Adore and Manila.

"Have you seen Adore?"

"Think she's in the bathroom."  Manila didn't look away from re-applying her lashes, and Bianca tossed a distracted thanks over her shoulder.

The door to the bathroom was shut, but the sign above the latch wasn't turned to "occupied".  She let herself in after knocking received no response, shutting the door again against the flurry of activity in the dressing room.

"Hi," Adore’s voice sounded shaky over the running faucet, "think I might need a bandaid."

Leaning over her shoulder, Bianca sucked in a sympathetic breath as Adore rinsed the blood away from her elbow to reveal an ugly gash surrounded by a raw-looking abrasion.  She could see why Adore had worn the flannel out for the finale; discarded on the floor, the sleeve was clearly soaked through with blood.

"Fuck," she muttered, torn between rushing out to get her 'for emergencies' kit and staying to make sure Adore was okay.  Seeing her flex the elbow in question, albeit slowly, she made up her mind.  "I'll be right back."  

Everyone was still busy at the mirror or changing outfits, and only Raja looked up in askance when she blew by.  

"Bianca?"

"Hmmm?" The emergency kit was at the top of her case of extra supplies, and she thanked obsessive planning and years of experience knowing where things should go.  

Raja paused with her lipstick in hand.  "Everything ok?"

"Yeah, Adore just banged her elbow and needed a bandaid," she answered, keeping her voice calm.  The last thing she wanted was a cluster of concerned and half-drunk queens creating panic.

"Okay..." From the tone of voice, Raja didn't sound completely convinced, but she turned back to the mirror after one last thoughtful look at the bathroom door.  

Back in the bathroom, Adore had turned off the faucet but was still leaning heavily on the sink.  Her face looked pale under the layers of makeup, fluorescent lights casting her features in a sickly green hue.  Setting the plastic box on the counter, Bianca reached for a handful of paper towels and gently urged her to turn away from the sink.

Adore pressed her face into Bianca's shoulder with a hiss of pain as she carefully blotted at her elbow.  Part of her mind noted that the foundation and setting powder were going to be a bitch to get out of velvet, but the majority of her attention was focused on making sure the damage was mostly superficial.

"Anything feel broken?" 

A headshake.  "No...just really hurts.  Kind of numb in the middle too."

Bianca crouched to get a better look, relieved to see that while the gash went several layers deep, the bleeding had mostly stopped.  

"Don't think it's too bad, actually," she soothed, guiding Adore to sit on the counter.  As gently as possible, she applied antibiotic ointment and made sure everything was covered with a bandage.   

She was finishing taping things down when someone knocked loudly, startling them both. 

"Guys?"  Raja stuck her head around the door, "Meet and greets in five, everyone is heading up."  To her credit, she didn't bat a false eyelash at Bianca nearly sitting on the floor surrounded by discarded wrappers and stained flannel.    

Bianca glanced in the mirror - she didn't need much more than her powder puff, switching shoulders with her brooch would hide the worst of the makeup smear, and at least Adore's punk rock style meant a little smeared eyeliner wasn't going to cause a stir.  As she stood, Raja was already moving forward to rest her hand on Adore's cheek, inhaling deeply and pressing a kiss to her forehead.  Silently, Bianca watched as the pained frown creasing Adore's brow subsided into something that spoke of manageable discomfort.  

Well.  That was very...interesting.

Together, they made their way back out to the dressing room, grabbing a long-sleeved jacket to cover Adore's arm before heading down the hallway. 

Making eye contact with Raja behind Adore's back, she raised an eyebrow in question, receiving only an enigmatic smile in response.      

Jinkx didn't refer to her as a witch for nothing, Bianca decided. 

 

Chapter Text

Group MMS 

ABCD

 

[7:32 AM]

morning you whores

 

[7:45 AM] Courtney (Pussyface) 

!! *sleepyface emoji*

 

[8:01 AM] Darienne (Shady Elephant) 

Some of us have been up for hours

 

[8:03 AM] 

had to take your morning Boniva? *clown emoji* *middle finger emoji* *clown emoji*

 

[8:06 AM] Darienne (Shady Elephant) 

I was refilling your Viagra prescription 

 

[8:07 AM] 

too embarrassed to tell them it’s for you?

 

[8:10 AM] Darienne (Shady Elephant) 

Going for brunch, try not to catch any more STDs while I’m gone

 

[8:12 AM] Courtney (Pussyface)

have fun Dazzle!

 

[8:13 AM] 

*rolling on the floor laughing face emoji*

 

[12:22 PM] Adore (Angel)

happy v-day single bitches!!!

 

[12:25 PM] Adore (Angel)

check out my insta?

 

[12:29 PM]

where’s the lie though?

*eggplant emoji* *eggplant emoji* *eggplant emoji*

 

[12:36 PM] Darienne (Shady Elephant)

Anyone ever told you you use emojis like a 12-year old girl?

 

[12:43 PM]

*eyeroll emoji* *middle finger emoji* *middle finger emoji*

 

[12:57 PM] Courtney (Pussyface)

Happy Valentine’s Day lovers!! *heart emoji* *heart eyes emoji*

 

[1:05 PM] Adore (Angel)

hope you’re out getting laid for all of us single hoes

 

[1:09 PM]

it’s a made up holiday for straight people to buy stuff they don’t need

 

[1:11 PM] Adore (Angel)

fuck all the way off

 

[1:12 PM] Courtney (Pussyface)

You never know when Cupid’s arrow might strike!

 

[1:18 PM] Darienne (Shady Elephant)

Always thought Cupid was pretty gay.  Guy in a jockstrap shooting arrows?

 

[1:22 PM]

Court is going to catch them in her ass

 

[1:23 PM] Adore (Angel)

I thought Cupid was the one in a diaper?

 

[1:26 AM]

*facepalm emoji* *facepalm emoji* *facepalm emoji*

 

 

Chapter Text

Every queen has their own pre-show ritual.

Katya drops into a full split incrementally, checking to be sure that her tuck won’t pop.

Trixie strums a few chords on her guitar, giving nervous hands something to focus on.

Courtney does her vocal warmups, reaching the highest notes in her range.

Alyssa chugs two cans of Red Bull - through a straw because she’s a lady and isn’t going to smear her lipstick - and checks her face in the mirror.  Five times.

Adore dances backstage to her favorite song of the moment, getting hyped up for her number.  

After turning off the music, Adore heads to the corner Bianca has set herself up in with her wineglass and notes, or to the window where she’s sitting staring out and gathering her thoughts.  For all of her sharp edges on stage, she needs a few moments of solitude before stepping out.  The corset and tights and wig, the painted face and heels, these are only the outward signs of readiness.  She takes a deep breath and wraps Bianca Del Rio around herself, settling quietly into character.  

When she turns around, Adore is waiting and they walk to the wings arm in arm.  

Chapter Text

“Oh hell.”

“Everything ok over there?”

”Yeah.  Actually, no.  The thread keeps tangling.”

”Did you check the tensio- wait, I’ll come take a look.”

Adore glances across the room from where she’s combing out her wig and pauses, attention caught by DeLa’s frustrated groan.  

From the next worktable over, Bianca snips off the end of her thread and moves to stand at DeLa’s shoulder.  DeLa is slumped in front of her sewing machine, hair sticking up in tufts from where she’s been tugging it in frustration (Adore can sympathize) and a tangle of thread spilling from the needle.

”Hmmmm...” Bianca examines the mess, leaning closer and pulling on something.

”Is it broken?” DeLa addresses the tabletop where her forehead is now pressed.

Nimble fingers pluck the bobbin out, setting it aside before Bianca turns her attention to the dials on top.  ”No, but your bobbin wasn’t seated in the holder right.  If it’s not flat, every pass over from the top thread is going to catch.”  

Adore is only partially sure she understands what Bianca is referring to, but files it away for the future when she sits down to try herself. 

The very far future.

”See,” Bianca adjusts the tension dial and re-threads the needle, elbowing DeLa until she looks back up, “two part problem.  The bobbin and the top thread weren’t matching up, but they should be good to go now.”

She snaps the bobbin cover back in place and grabs a scrap of fabric.  After a few successful stitches, she nods in satisfaction and turns away.

“Should be fine, just watch your tension and make sure the bobbin stays where it’s supposed to be.  If it doesn’t snap in place, you’ll know.”

Bianca returns to her own table, nodding distractedly at DeLa’s thanks and brushing off the effusive gratitude with a self-effacing smile.

Adore goes back to styling her wig and thinks about how it takes a kind heart to help your competition.

Chapter Text

When Bianca’s alarm went off far too early, the first thing that registered wasn’t the posh Hong Kong suite (appreciated the night before) or the fact that Jamie had already texted a reminder about their flight time.  Instead, she focused on the string of notifications marching up the phone screen, including several texts in the ABCD chat.

Scrolling up, she passed three heart-eye emojis from Courtney, a picture of Darienne’s brunch mimosa, and praise from them both before reaching Adore’s ‘What do you guys think?  Trying something different.’

Intrigued, Bianca reluctantly set the phone down long enough to brush her teeth and make coffee.  Steaming mug in hand, she checked the group chat again, but it didn’t offer any  clues as to what the others might be discussing.  

Her notifications had also included an adoredelano was live message from Instagram, which seemed to be the most likely option.  ‘Something different’ from Adore could be anything from a new wig style, a vintage shopping find, or on more than one occasion, her naked ass.  Bianca impatiently flicked past a dozen other stories before reaching the one she wanted.  

Acoustic guitar spilled out from the blank screen, the sounds of traffic and wind providing their own backup track.  Adore must have had the patio door open, she mused before settling back.

The same pattern of chords on repeat, Bianca lost herself in their hypnotic cadence.  When they faded away, she set down her empty mug and checked the video again.  It still showed over four minutes remaining and although a few last things remained to be packed, they could definitely wait.

She smiled in anticipation of what might be next  when the guitar began again.  The opening was tantalizingly familiar, but her sleep-fogged brain couldn’t quite place it.

Whoa, my love...

Bianca’s eyebrows shot upwards.  Unchained Melody was a surprise for sure.  

Any song filtered through Adore’s vocal cords took on an inexplicable richness, her unmistakable Etta James-like smoky husk shaping the words into something powerful.  Courtney called it her siren voice - enthralling and impossible to ignore.

As the last notes faded away, she broke her own spell with a fit of laughter.  It was so very Adore that Bianca found herself grinning in response, firing off a text into the group chat.

[Bianca/Roy] Different and AMAZING!!!  

Setting the phone out of the way of her suitcases, she started the livestream again, smiling all the while.

Chapter Text

Adore was being even more distracted than usual, Bianca noticed, when she lost the thread of conversation for the sixth or seventh time.  Instead, her words trailed off mid-sentence, eyes distant.  The stillness was starting to worry Bianca, and she found herself wishing for Adore to snap back into her normal perpetual motion.

They both sometimes just needed to fill the silence, but after Adore failed to even crack a smile at the blatant dick joke at the end of an elaborate setup, Bianca simply closed her mouth and waited, counting silently.

She was up to ninety seconds when Adore finally returned from wherever her thoughts had wandered.  

“...yeah.”

Cocking her head to the side, Bianca debated the best approach.  Nine times out of ten, Adore would blurt out whatever she was preoccupied with, often in the middle of a thought so complex that Bianca had to scramble to catch up.

”You in there?” she murmured, tapping Adore’s forehead and ready to smooth it over with a joke if need be.

”Hmmm?”

Well, nothing like the direct approach, Bianca decided.

”You’re being too quiet, and it’s making me start to worry.”

” ‘M fine.  Just thinking.”

Adore was picking at the chipped black polish on Bianca’s nails and she paused when Bianca turned her hand over to gently squeeze the restless fingers.

”About?”

”What do people see when they look at me?”

Bianca blinked, trying to think if anything in the earlier conversation was related.  It didn’t seem to be, just discussing venues she’d be performing at for her tour.

”A crazy talented chola,” she answered honestly.  “Why?”

Adore’s eyes grew distant again, but this time seemed to turn inward.

”I don’t know how you do it B.  All the cities, all the people, everything.  I love the fans, but don’t you ever get tired of everyone expecting you to be exactly who they want you to be?”

”Sure.  ‘Course I get tired”

”Everyone wants something different.  Sometimes seeing that look makes me want to run and hide.”  Adore paused, forehead resting against Bianca’s arm.  “No one sees me.”

”Queen, they all see you.  I’ve watched you and people can’t look away.  That gift?  They don’t stand a chance.”

She slid down further until she was curled on her side against the cushions, cheek pressed to where Bianca’s corseted waist would be.

”They want Adore, but they don’t want Danny.  Or they think I should quit drag and just be a boy.  It’s so hard sometimes,” her voice was muffled by Bianca’s loose shirt, “Remembering who I am.”

Bianca nodded in understanding.  

“Yeah.  It’s easier for me though, Bianca comes right off.  You’re always a little bit of both, but I didn’t think that bothered you?”

Adore sighed into Bianca’s side.  “I feel like I’m invisible to them.  Me, like that thing that you know makes you, you?  They see right through me because they don’t want everything.”

There wasn’t an obvious answer, unfortunately.  

”B?”

”Mmhmm?”

Bianca caught Adore’s wandering hands, sliding down until they were face to face.  In that moment, she seemed so small folded in on herself.  Most days, her force of personality meant that this unsure side never surfaced.

”Who do you see when you look at me?”

Bianca didn’t hesitate.

”I see you.”

Chapter Text

Watch the video here.

 

“You’ve got a friend in me, asshole.”  Adore propped her arm on Bianca’s shoulder, heels evening out the usual height difference.

”Oh honey,” Bianca’s low pitched voice and mischievous look suggested that she was in for a noteworthy punchline. “-I’ve had many things inside of your...”

”Wow,” she deadpanned in response as the audience screamed with laughter.

”I’m still looking for my tv remote, bitch!”

”I broke it with my front tooth.”  They were getting off track, but when had the two of them ever been able to stick to a script?

She stuck her tongue out, and Bianca actually peered into her mouth.

“Oh yeah, you got your tooth fixed-“

”No, I haven’t got it fixed.  I’m like Tyra bitch, it takes a decade to fix my tooth!”

Pausing to let the shade sink in, Adore grinned at the memory of drunkenly stumbling against Bianca with laughter, mouth colliding with the remote when she missed and landed on the floor.  Now that she’d been reminded, Bianca would probably insist she get it fixed - and probably offer to pay for it - but she’d worry about talking her out of it later.

They carried on, Bianca cracking a joke about being pretty (Adore privately thought her makeup was always beautiful) as she tossed and spun her acid green wig.

As she moved closer, Bianca caught her hand a little awkwardly, fumbling as they both tried to orient their fingers properly.  She might be handsy, but the obvious amount of physical proximity and touch Bianca unconsciously sought out went unspoken.

Gripping tightly, she used their joined hands to reel Adore back in, anchoring her against wandering off.  And really, wasn’t that a metaphor for their entire relationship?

Chapter Text

Adore is in full face long before anyone else and drops into the chair beside Bianca, lazily slouching with her legs slung over the side.

She’s said more than once that there’s no point in the process that defines when she becomes Bianca Del Rio and not just Roy in makeup.  

Adore disagrees.  He’s her Bianx in drag or out, no matter what name she uses (really, she still rarely calls him by his own name).  He’s B on a lazy weekday afternoon watching tv at home, Willow when he’s busy posting selfies, the same as when the wigs and makeup and gown are present.  It’s less about names and more about something far more difficult to describe.

It’s not just based on the packaging.  There's something else it takes.

He can still see himself as he blocks his brows.  Hints of Bianca manifest as he draws in her exaggerated eyes, hands moving on automatic to line and fill and blend.  She’s not there yet when he’s busy erasing all of the contours of his boy face in preparation for Bianca’s narrower, more delicate features.

As she watches, Adore thinks each layer of makeup is also one of armor, building a barrier to stand between himself and everyone else.  The blue contacts are another part of the wall, hiding the soft compassion in his eyes from the audience.

The lines of Bianca’s face start to emerge in contours and shadows, but he’s still very much  present even as he draws on her pronounced Cupid’s bow and fills in deliberately fuller lips.

Adore can almost see her when he fills in her brows and reaches for the first wig.  She’s lingering around the edges when he stacks on more hair, pinning and teasing and spraying.

To anyone else at this point, Bianca would be plainly present above the worn tank top, padded hips, and tights.  Adore knows better though. She silently observes as he laces and zips the corset, creating her feminine curves.

He steps into her gown carefully, nodding in thanks as she stands to help with the zipper.  Bianca’s face and body are all there as he adds earrings and oversized bracelets to make her hands look smaller.

When he steps up into her heels, the illusion is almost complete, but not quite.  

Adore waits.

He leans on the back of the chair, eyes closed and breathing slowly.

Bianca opens her eyes, lashes fluttering as she blinks a few times.  The differences in body language are subtle but significant: shoulders back and weight shifted forward in her heels, chin held higher.

“B.”  Adore grins, tilting her head to the side and winking as Bianca smiles back.

Chapter Text

Haven’t seen it?  Skip to 11:00 at https://youtu.be/h7qlZtChPlY

 

As the opening lines of “All The Single Ladies” played, Bianca moved back behind the row of chairs.  She hadn’t had enough time yet to chat with the first two under the cover of a performance, and wanted to be sure that they were enjoying themselves.

Up until that moment, everything was proceeding as usual.  The Cologne audience was receptive and loud in the best way, the four ‘contestants’ good natured about her insults, and no one seemed likely to spoil the show for everyone else.

Twenty years in heels meant that Bianca seldom had to look where she walked on stage, confident in her balance.  The precisely tailored hem on her gown just skimmed the floor without presenting a tripping hazard, and there was enough space between the chairs and backdrop that nothing should snag.

Reaching out to lean on the empty chair as she stepped forward, Bianca was completely unprepared for her right foot twisting and sliding out from underneath and grabbed for the chair to catch herself.  Out of drag, it probably would have been fine, but the added height and restricted movement meant she missed and landed hard on her padded backside.

For a moment she was too stunned to react, brain catching up with the reality of sitting on the floor.  

Winded, Bianca gratefully accepted the help back onto her feet, watching as the stagehand untangled a wig from her stiletto.  She raised a shaky hand to her chest and then her hair, checking that everything was still in place.  Nothing seemed to have come loose (who knew what would have happened to a queen who didn’t glue down her lace front), and more importantly, nothing felt broken.

The irony of slipping on a cheap wig wasn’t lost on her, and she started to shake with full body laughter even as her heart was still pounding from the fall.

Once the music came to a halt and the audience roar died down, the only thing to do was make light of the situation.  Force of will alone controlled the urge to break into those damning high-pitched giggles, but only barely.  She could hear her voice spiraling upwards with repressed laughter, Bianca’s harsher tone and diction giving way to something that sounded far closer to normal.

So much for Adore or Darienne being the clumsy one.  

 

 

Chapter Text

Adore woke up to multiple text notifications in the ABCD group chat. 

Three were from Darienne with jokes about her ass being hungry ("It's eating that thong faster than I go through fried chicken!) and screenshots of some of the more salacious fan comments.

Five were from Courtney with smiles and winky face emojis, and one more cautioning her about posting anything too explicit.

Two were from Bianca: the first a series of eggplants, peaches, and LOL emojis; the second, privately, reading "SLUT!" followed by a half dozen kisses.

Adore checked her Instagram and yep, that was definitely her ass in a jockstrap and thong splayed out across the duvet.  She wasn't one for body shame, but could see their point about oversharing (although damn, it was a hot photo).   

Regretfully, she hit 'delete'.  It was disappointing to lose all of the fan comments, but some things were probably better kept to herself...and her friends.  

Opening up a new message in the group chat, she took a close up photo of the front of her underwear and gleefully hit Send.

Chapter Text

"Pussyface," Bianca didn't wait for Adore to return the greeting.  "You do realize all of the teenage fans are going crazy because you said you split holidays with me?"

"Uhhhh..." Adore stuffed her head under the pillow, which did nothing to muffle Bianca on speakerphone.

"You," her voice sounded simultaneously annoyed and affectionate, "are such a pain in the ass."

Adore lifted the pillow and looked guiltily at Bianca's face smiling back from her contacts. 

"Sorry?  I know it came out sounding really gay-"

"Do you know how many comments I have on my Instagram asking about you calling me 'mom'?"

"No...?"

Bianca groaned loudly.  

"You're lucky I love you."

 

 

Chapter Text

Bianca joked about drunken Amazon purchases, but waking up the next day to a confirmation email was...interesting, particularly since she'd just been bitching about demographic-targeted marketing.  

Temptation to cancel the order warred with curiosity to see if it worked - after all, aging was a real issue and this would be less invasive and cheaper than a cosmetic procedure.  Botox could fix frown lines and wrinkles, but it wouldn't do anything for gravity.

When the package arrived in its padded envelope glory, Bianca contemplated taking an unboxing video just to send to the group chat, ultimately deciding that it seemed most entertaining to film a quick Instagram live.

"So I may have gone crazy and bought shit I don’t need on Amazon.  Don't.  Judge.  Okay?"

Chapter Text

Press for Everybody's Talking About Jamie was exhausting in the best way, and the excited messages pouring in from friends and fans alike buoyed Bianca through hours of rehearsals.  It had been far too long since the whirlwind of costume fittings and wig design - and even longer since she hadn't had to be responsible for her own. 

Moments of painting less exaggerated eyes and nose reminded her of how much she missed theater work, even though her standup tours were more than fulfilling in their own way.  Something as small as switching her usual red shadow to dark blue in the crease was thrilling out of all proportion to the act itself.

The doctor had given her voice a full bill of health, which meant everyone would finally realize that Bianca Del Rio actually could sing.

Grinning as the piles of red curls were being combed out, she snapped a quick photo for Instagram.

 

thebiancadelrio LOCO CHANELLE WIG FITTING❤️ @jamiemusical #london #westend #daytimedrag @jessicaplews

(Instagram post here)

 

Chapter Text

Bianca has spent years building the BDR look, gradually adding more layers and lashes.  Looking at pictures from twenty years ago sometimes feels like looking at another person altogether - a delicate, feminine, fishy queen with huge eyes and a wide smile.  These days, it's more raccoon than anything, black smudged from her lids almost to her temples and enormous lashes that exaggerate every blink.  Loco Chanelle requires scaling back, painting for the stage but closer to her Drag Race face. 

The face staring back at her in the mirror feels like an echo of the past, flaming auburn curls piled on the crown of her head instead of Bianca's signature tall pouf of black with upswept bangs, and Roy's own brown eyes aren't hidden behind piercing blue.

"Nice to see you again," she murmurs.   

Chapter Text

"Oh my- hee hehehe...lemme....lemme see our video!" Bianca curled on her side around the luggage cart, still snickering helplessly.  Adore wasn't in much better shape, although she managed to stay upright and kept hold of her phone.  The jaded travelers at LAX didn't even spare a passing glance for whatever chain of events had her on the floor, moving around the two of them to continue on.

Bianca's wicked cackle and rough chuckle were familiar sounds to anyone who had seen her on stage or at a meet and greet, but the high pitched giggles were a rarer treat.  (Alaska commented once that she didn't know how someone with a voice that low could spiral upwards into soprano territory so easily.)  The breathless, staccato gasps of laughter were usually reserved for moments of true hilarity or silliness, and Adore liked to think that the fact she heard them so often meant something significant.

"Where're we going, anyway?  I'm hungry."  

"The loun...the lounge.  Hehehe hee hee-" Bianca, who was finally standing again and wiping tears from her eyes, trailed off again and clutched her stomach.

They headed down the concourse with occasional pauses for lingering giggle fits, finally reaching the Virgin Atlantic Club.  Adore made a show of looking around after their boarding passes were approved, taking in the softer lighting, abundant seating options, and overall isolation from the hustle and bustle going on outside the doors.

"Wow," she whispered as they picked a pair of comfortable chairs in an isolated corner, "this is awesome!  You always get this?"

Bianca smiled indulgently.

"Yeah, it's called flying first class queen.  Gotta have some perks to dragging my ass all over the world.  Why don't you," she gave Adore's stomach a pointed look as it rumbled loudly and smiled at the staff member approaching, "take a look at the menu and decide on something to eat?"

After ordering cocktails and entrees, Bianca sat back and watched Adore with her nose buried in the menu, flipping pages in open-mouthed wonder.  Bianca privately thought she played up the slowness for comedic effect, but this time she seemed to be genuinely excited. 

Years of traveling economy left Bianca with a great appreciation for lounges, even if she wasn't always one hundred percent awake to enjoy them.  Mostly she was grateful to have a quiet place to sit with multiple power outlets, a chance to shower, and a decent selection of vegetarian options.

The young woman returned with their drinks and assured them that their meals wouldn't take long.  Bianca was torn between sighing in long-suffering exasperation or being amused when Adore winked at her after accepting the glass.

"I don't think she's your type, Delano," she murmured over the rim of her cocktail.  "Probably want to try flirting with the guy behind the desk instead."

"Hey, I liked her energy," Adore protested.  "She feels really calm."

They fell back into comfortable silence until Adore's oversized sandwich and Bianca's flatbread platter arrived. 

Once the plates were cleared (and a second set of drinks ordered), Adore started paging through the menu again.  She surfaced a few minutes later to nudge Bianca with her elbow.

"B?"

"Mmmm?"  Bianca didn't look up from where she was composing a scathing, all-caps reply to an online troll.  "Find something else you'd like?"

"Wanna have a quickie?"

Vodka cranberry burned its way up Bianca's sinuses as she sputtered, half sure she'd heard wrong.

"...what?"

 Dabbing at her watering eyes with a napkin, Bianca shook her head to clear it.  

"I'm...say that again."

Adore tilted her head in confusion but complied.  

"Do you want to have a quickie?"  She glanced at the time on her phone, handing Bianca another napkin for her sudden coughing fit.  "I think we have time before the flight?"

"Are you-" Bianca took a steadying breath and started again.  "Are you that hard up?"

"...uhhhh, for what?"

"Sex."  Adore's puzzled frown was both infuriating and cute.  "...SEX!"

"No...what's that have to do with it?"

Bianca emptied her glass in one final gulp, trying to determine why Adore would sound so casual after propositioning her.

"You just asked for a quickie."

"Yeah?"

"I - oh for fuck's sake, here?  Now?  With me?"

"Uhhh," Adore blinked slowly, "I don't see anyone else I know in here.  And I'm still hungry."

The table rattled a little as Bianca leaned forward on it until their faces were almost touching.

"Why. Would. You. Ask. Me. For. A. Quickie?"

Eyes widening, Adore turned the menu around to face her, pointing halfway down the page.

"Oh my god.  It's spelled Q-U-I-C-H-E.  Quiche!" 

Chapter Text

The text notification pinged on her phone halfway through the express makeup application. Even a simplified version of Bianca’s familiar face wasn’t a quick process, and the nineteen minutes allotted had to include wig, corset, pads, and dress.

Having help with dressing backstage was both a blessing and a burden, not part of the usual process of drag. The transformation to Loco Chanelle still needed brows and lips when the phone dinged again, and she didn’t stop to look.

Whatever it was would have to wait.

****

Back at the vanity, he was removing lipstick and changing before the stage door, and the phone went off once more.

He paused with one arm through the long (black) shirt and thumbed the screen awake. A series of text notifications from Pussyface read:

Break a leg today, dadmom

Miss u bitch. Bunny says hi and hopes you get hit by a bus.

You brought pics!

I love us

Grinning, Roy typed a quick response and headed out of the dressing room.

Wouldn’t be a show without my loves

Chapter Text

 It wasn’t a stretch to say that some members of the audience in Micky’s that night were paying far more attention to a particular corner of the stage than the queens walking the runway.

Roy could feel eyes on him as he tipped his wineglass up, using the motion as a cover for looking around.

Yup.

 Across the stage, a couple of kids had their heads together giggling with phones pointed less than subtly in his direction.  Well, their direction, because Roy was 99% positive that if he’d been attending alone, there would be less giggling.

Sitting in the corner at the very edge of the stage was both a preference and a tactical move.  For one thing, it afforded the best chance to throw shade at their sisters.  Two, his all-black ensembles helped with (pretending he could) fading into the shadows when the spotlights came on.  And, it meant no overeager fan could trap them without an effective escape route.

Beside him, Danny was applauding and catcalling with the rest of the house.  He was less circumspect than Roy, winking whenever he made eye contact with the people watching them.

The lights went down between numbers, and they set their empty glasses aside.  In the hush, Danny rested his head onto Roy’s shoulder briefly, sitting back up before anyone’s eyes adjusted to the darkness.  He really didn’t mind pleasing a few fans - they were at a club for drag queens, after all - but he knew it weirded Roy out a little even if he’d never be anything but sweet and professional to them.

As ‘Partition’ began to play and the shimmering curtain parted for a caped Shangela, Danny caught sight of the giggling pair across the way staring again.  He didn’t bother ignoring the spirit of mischief bubbling up, and decided they deserved something for their patience.

Turning to Roy, he exaggeratedly mouthed out, “Grab my hand?”

Roy’s face when he looked over held a mixture of surprised puzzlement and exasperation.  They were already pressed together from shoulder to knee, enough to satisfy both of their tendencies for physical affection without causing a social media riot.

When an explanation didn’t seem to be forthcoming (and the innocent look usually meant Danny was going for trouble and dragging Roy in with him), he clasped his hands together over the empty glass between his knees and turned back to the stage.

Never one to be ignored, Danny scooted a fraction of an inch closer, then dropped his head onto Roy’s shoulder twice in quick succession.  Aware that the staring from across the way had increased, Roy mentally rolled his eyes and reached over to squeeze Danny’s knee with a quelling look.

“Stop it.”

 It had the opposite effect than intended - not that he was surprised - and Danny continued to press his face closer than necessary to the side of Roy’s neck so he could be heard over the music.  The comments were hardly earth shattering, and he was half tempted to give in to the request, if only to hold Danny still.  Realizing that touching him would be readily misinterpreted though, Roy resolutely grabbed his own thigh and squeezed tightly.

The next time Danny practically nuzzled his cheek while asking if he wanted another drink, Roy was positive the flash from at least two of the phones in the building was directed at the two of them and not Shangela collecting tips.

“What,” he asked out of the side of his mouth, “are you doing?”

“Just giving people a treat.”  Danny sounded way too cheerful.

“Oh for fuck’s...” Roy sighed.

It was going to be a long night.

Chapter Text

Roy posts the photo without hesitation, grinning with satisfaction at how he has everything set up.

Dozens of replies begin popping up, but he ignores them, waiting.

He estimates five to fifteen minutes, depending.  It’s daytime in the U.S., so...

BZZZ

Three minutes later, a text arrives.

[Pussyface] You’re using it! ❤️❤️❤️

Chapter Text

Roy is rudely awakened by a call from Darienne at 2:45 AM.

”...motherfucker- yeah?  Please tell me you’re calling because the asshole in the White House-”

The greeting is half mumbled into the pillow, but it must translate because Darienne shoots back, “I haven’t fucked your mother yet, and sadly no.”

”Did someone die?  Should someone be dying?”  His mouth is working on autopilot, letting Bianca take over while he fumbles for the lamp on the bedside table.

“Did you see it?”

Flicking on the light and cringing at the sudden brightness, Roy has to admit he has absolutely no idea what she’s talking about.

”See what?”

”Twitter.”

”It’s 2 AM bitch, what do you think?”

Silence.

”What?”

”I’ll wait.”

He flips the phone to speaker and starts scrolling through his notifications.  He sees a tweet from Adore that makes his chest ache.

@adoredelano 2:14 AM 6/2/19 I miss @TheBiancaDelRio @dariennelake & @courtneyact specially hard today 

Dropping all sarcasm, he sits up, now fully awake.

“...is she okay?  Did something happen?”

There’s another silence that Roy really doesn’t like the feeling of.

”I thought you’d already know.”

“It’s the middle of the night, so how could I...?”

”Fucking- Bianca, everyone knows she tells you everything.”

”Not everything.”

”Whatever, doesn’t matter.  What are you going to do?”

He’s already checking for other social media posts, reading through an exchange with a fan about self-image and sexuality.  The time stamps are barely two hours ago, followed by something about sitting alone in a bar and texting her mom.

”Fuck.”

”Yeah.  I hope I said the right thing.”

Roy was so focused on the first tweet that he missed anything else, and goes back to read Darienne’s response.

@dariennelake 2:30 AM 6/2/19 We love you so much. Well, I know I don’t say it much, but I do. I’m trying to repair my emotional damage like the rest of us. Good friends help. 💝

There’s also several messages in the group text from Darienne, but no reply yet.  Danny is always attached to his phone, and he doesn’t think Adore is performing so there’s no reason not to.  He checks for missed calls again, but nothing shows up.

“I need to go.”

”You’ll call her.”  It’s not a question, but he answers anyway.

”Yeah.  Thank you for waking me up.”

“Let me know what I can do.”

”I will.”

They don’t bother exchanging goodbyes, and the moment Call Ended flashes across the screen he’s hitting speed dial for the entry marked Danny N (Pussyface).

It goes straight to voicemail, which does nothing to quell the rising panic.  He tries again twice more.  Still no answer.

Climbing out of bed, he paces in front of the window, rolling things over in his mind.  The tweet itself worries the hell out of him, but the others don’t have the flavor of some of Adore’s more painfully emotional moments. 

He starts to call again but pauses, thumb hovering over the screen.  Scrolling through his contacts, he sends a quick text.  

Bonnie doesn’t reply, but she’s probably busy with one of her grandkids.  Nothing to panic over, he tells himself.

Going back to sleep isn’t going to happen, but he tries anyway, staring up into the darkness.

Half an hour later, his phone buzzes to life where it’s perched on the covers over his chest, and Roy almost drops it in his haste to answer.

”Pussyface?”

”Hi B.”  

Roy’s catalogued the emotions attached to every tone of voice, and is relieved that Danny doesn’t sound too far from normal.

”Do you want to talk about it?”

“I hate being alone.”

”Aren’t Mariah and Diana keeping you company?”

”...I really miss you.  All of you guys.  Just feel, like, off lately.  Gotta recharge but I can’t.”

“I miss you too.”

”And when I- fuck, what time is it there?”

”Doesn’t matter.”

”I’m sorry B, fuck, what are you even doing up?”

“Darienne called.  She’s worried about you.”

“Shit, sorry.”  Danny’s sigh echoes down the line.  “My phone died right after I posted. I’m...I’m okay.”

Danny’s never been able to effectively lie to Roy.

”Bullshit.”

”Okay, like I’m not totally, but it’s not- I’ll get through it.”

That sounds closer to honest, and Roy knows that pushing isn’t going to help right now.

” Mkay.  You know you can call whenever.”

”Yeah.”

Roy stifles a yawn, but some of it must have made it through.

”Really, B.  Go back to sleep.  I’m- I’ll call you tomorrow?”

”I’ll be here.  And you might wanna let Darienne know.  She’s a shady elephant, but she’s got a heart under there.”

”I know.  I will.  I love you.”

”I love you too, Pussyface.”

********

When Roy wakes up for the second time, the group text is in full swing, much to his relief.  

It isn’t until he’s sitting down for an afternoon snack and reading some of the replies to Adore’s tweet that he realizes the fans are probably waiting for a response.  Social media is a wonderful thing, but it definitely has its drawbacks.

Lest the internet rise up and accuse Bianca of neglecting Adore (it’s happened, and it wasn’t pretty), he types out a quick reply to the original tweet.

@thebiancadelrio 4:29 PM 6/2/19 CALL ME 🤡❤️🤡❤️

Chapter Text

Go to https://www.instagram.com/p/By3S0uwnAG0/ you will not be disappointed.

 

"You whore!"

"And hello to you too."  

"I can't believe you."

"What?"

"Could your pants be any lower?  Fuck B, are you trying to show them your dick?"

"No, that's your thing."

"I'm...ugh nevermind.  Nope, not gonna say it."

"What?"

"Bye B."

"Wha-"

-CLICK-

Chapter Text

Faye is about to knock on the door of Roy's dressing room, but pauses when she hears a one-sided conversation going on.  The cast of Jamie had gone all out celebrating Roy's birthday with good-natured insults and a whole lot of teasing about his age, showering him with sarcastic cards and gifts.  He seemed delighted with it all, laughing giving back as good as he got.

She's planning to turn around and come back later, but there's something about the tone of his voice that catches her attention.  It feels weird to step out of sight from the main hall and eavesdrop through the shared wall between their dressing rooms, normally she wouldn't at all, but her "mom instincts" kick in.  Leaning against the wall, she closes her eyes and listens.  

"...just focus on what you're there to do.  I know you can."

"I'll be home soon, and I'll see you in a couple of weeks."

Roy sounds encouraging, and she wonders if she's worried over nothing and he's just being supportive for a friend.

"Pussyface-" 

Ahh, he's talking to Danny.  She knows exactly how close they are, and has definitely wondered how longtime separations affect their relationship.

"-I know."

Roy's sigh is world-weary, a far cry from the celebration earlier.

"You're not being selfish.  Stop that.  Whatever you're thinking about it taking away from me, can fuck off."

"I know you would have come see me.  I know."

She can hear Roy moving around, the clinking of objects on his vanity table.

"They're gonna love Adore."

"Just...hold on for a little while longer."

Faye squeezes her eyes shut at the quiet sincerity.

"I love you too."  

Chapter Text

Head over to Adore's Instagram post here.

 

[Shane (BiLife)] OMG, that's hottttttttt!

[Danny (Angel)] ;) :P 

[Shane (BiLife)] Guys, go look and see!  Dorey's done it again.

[Greg (Shady Elephant)] What?

[Greg (Shady Elephant)] Thirsty much?

[Roy] I thought someone got LAID in Bristol? 🍆🍆🍆

[Danny (Angel)] miss you whores

[Shane (BiLife)] Come visit me!  I know you're here.

[Greg (Shady Elephant)] Two whores in one place.  Still remember how to get it up, B?

[Roy] FUCK YOU ALL 🖕 

[Greg (Shady Elephant)] Miss you too, grandpa.

[Shane (BiLife)] 💗💗💗

[Danny (Angel)]  😘

Chapter Text

Danny's chatting away distractedly on Instagram live, mostly thinking about his planned shopping trip.

He's in the middle of a sentence when the phone starts buzzing.

"Hang on a minute," he tells the curious viewers.

BIANX - ROY flashes across the screen, and he fumbles the phone slightly.

"Sorry guys, I have to go," he apologizes quickly and ends the stream.

The missed call notification barely has time to pop up before the FaceTime request pops up again.

"Hey B!"

Roy is sitting in what looks like a hotel room, glasses on and frowning horribly.

"You," he points a finger at the screen, "what in the fucking hell have you done to your hair?!"

"Uhhhh..." Danny realizes that he'd forgotten to text a photo of his new look.

COURM - SHANE his phone vibrates.

"Fuck," he mutters, "uhhh, Courtney's calling."

He taps the option to add a FaceTime call, and cringes when Shane's face comes into focus on the split screen.  

"Hi?"

"Adorm," Shane starts in, "you know I love you..."

Danny drops his head back onto the couch with a groan.  It's going to be a long day.

Chapter Text

Roy’s packing Bianca’s suitcases when the notification pops up on his phone that @adoredelano went live.  He has too much to do in too little time, but makes a mental note to watch later.

When he finally sits down a couple of hours after, he can’t help but shake his head fondly at Danny’s new hair color and style.  The look suits him, along with the extra lashes, balancing the line between feminine and masculine.

”...what’s wrong with me.  Why can’t I date?”

He’s on his feet moving for the door before he even registers the feeling of his heart dropping into his stomach.  Snatching his keys off the shelf, Roy pockets his phone and locks the front door behind him.

Danny is probably still out shopping with John (and Roy can’t explain how glad he is to know that someone is looking after him when he needs it), so it’s no surprise when he doesn’t answer the door.  Roy lets himself in to the apartment, sighing at the half-packed suitcase still on the living room floor.  

He gives in to the urge to tidy, folding the basket of clean laundry haphazardly balanced on the couch to keep his hands busy.  It’s done in less time than he’d like, leaving nothing but sit and wait.  The space is sparsely decorated and still doesn’t feel like a home; it’s a place to keep things where Danny sleeps, but nothing more.

The sound of a key turning in the lock breaks him out of his reverie, and he sits up, anxious.  If John is with him, he’s going to have to wait to speak because despite how close they are, there’s some things that are only for Danny.

Danny blows in alone, torn Misfits tank top and tiny shorts accessorized with an assortment of shopping bags.  He’s just over the threshold when he spots Roy, and the look on his face is a jumble of elation, relief, and bone-deep weariness.  Roy crosses the distance between them, gently tugging on the bags until Danny releases them and he can set them on the floor.  

They pause for the space of several heartbeats, close but not touching, waiting for something that neither of them knows.  Then Danny’s face crumples, and he throws himself into Roy’s arms with a half-sob noise of a wounded animal.  

The sound hits him like a physical blow, and Roy can only react by holding onto Danny with all of his strength as his shoulders shake with silent everything.  His face is pressed against the juncture of Roy’s neck and shoulder, and he can feel Danny clutching desperately at his shirt.  

“Shhhh,” he whispers, one hand rubbing soothingly over Danny’s back and the other wrapped protectively around the back of his head, trying to ground him through touch.

“I’m here.”

Chapter Text

Roy was at his work table, attention divided between the project at hand and keeping an eye on Lola.  They were sitting together stringing beads into bracelets and necklaces for Bianca (Roy’s were color-coordinated and Lola’s...not so much) and he’d given her the job of pulling apart some older ones.  Lola’s mom was out shopping (“Go on girl, take an afternoon off, you’re here for vacation.”), and everything felt rather right with the world.

“Roy-lady?”

”Hmmm?”

He paused in knotting off a strand at the clasp.  Lola had abandoned the task and was staring at him expectantly.

”I’m hungry.”

It was well after four, so it wasn’t too much of a stretch to have an early dinner.  He set down the jewelry and stretched his neck.

“Okay.  What should we have?”

”Ummm, can we have pizza?”

Roy struggled to keep his smile under control.

“Did your mom say we could?”

Lola put on her best innocent face.

”No?”

He gave into the smile, the answer notwithstanding if that was what she wanted.

”Okay, we’ll order one.” 

Kerry was going to kill him.  And it was completely worth it.

“Yay!”

”Go grab my wallet off the counter?”

”Okay!”

She skipped out, clearly pleased, and he shook his head remembering when things were as simple as what was for dinner.  Lola was back moments later, wallet held out, and climbed back up on the stool to watch him, legs swinging.

Online ordering was easy, but he still preferred the old-fashioned way.  Tucking the phone between his ear and shoulder, he pulled out a credit card and handed her the wallet.  He paced the room, waiting as the staff put him on hold.

When he was finally done ordering dinner, he set the phone down and turned to Lola who was suspiciously quiet.  She was busy flipping through the thin stack of photos he kept alongside his cards, staring at them intently.  Past well-worn photos of her, and him with her and her mom, he also had a few newer ones.  It was those that had captured her attention.

”Who are they?”

”You remember, the night you and your mom came to L.A. to film the last part of the show?”

Lola nodded.

”And remember the other ladies I introduced to you?  Adore and Courtney and Darienne?”

She nodded again and he smiled at the memory.

”This is them when they’re boys.”

”Oh!”

“See, that’s Courtney.  She had on the shiny dress that night, and a pink one with a butterfly when they gave me my crown.”

Lola had watched that part over and over, bouncing with glee.

”And that’s Darienne.  She didn’t make it as far as Courtney did.”

”I remember her.  You called her a shady elephant.”

”The shadiest.  And this,” he pointed to the last face in the photo, “is Adore.  She-“

”The pretty lady with the Ariel hair?  The one you made a dress for?”

That was definitely one way to describe Adore’s red wig.

”Yeah. And,” he flipped to the next photo, “this is me and Adore again.”

”Okay.”

Lola seemed satisfied and wandered out of the room.  He looked down at the photos one last time and grinned.  

I miss those hookers.

 

Chapter Text

Roy’s finished rinsing and laying out Bianca’s bright orange wigs, idly watching Danish afternoon television while they dried. His phone dinged with a new notification, and he retrieved it from the table to check.

adoredelano made a new post

Grinning, he opened up Instagram to find Danny pouting at the camera sleepily.  Having him back from his off-the-grid adventure, even if they weren’t on the same side of the world, brightened his mood considerably.

He fired off a quick text.

Bitch, you totally took your pants off just for that photo 🤡🤣❤️

Thirty seconds later, the phone buzzed to life with a call, and he answered immediately.

”Shouldn’t you still be passed out?”

”Shut up.  I can’t sleep.”

“So you thought to solution was to feed your thirsty fans?”

”Hey,” Danny’s voice was still a little rough with slumber, “they missed me.”

”I missed you more.”

The pause following his statement was comfortable, and he could hear Danny shifting around (presumably) on the carpet.

“I know.”

A knock on his hotel room door startled Roy and he nearly dropped the phone.

”-fuck.”

”What’s that?”

”Sherry.  Supposed to go shopping.  Hang on, I’ll just tell her-“

”Yanx,” Danny sounded amused but gently reproachful, “go on.  I’ll be here later.”

”Yeah,” he sighed, “I know.  I’m glad you’re home.  Even if I’m not there.”

”Me too.”

The knocking started again.

”All right.  Talk later?”

“Later.  Love you, whore.”

”Love you too.  Bye.”

Chapter Text

"Fucking..."

Adore dropped her phone onto the vanity, ignoring the way it knocked over a jar of glitter and landed in a puddle of spilled foundation.  

"What now?"

John barely looked up from his own phone, leaning in the doorway. 

"Bianca."

"What's your favorite bitch done now?"

Intermission meant a chance to retouch her makeup (done), down a few drinks (also done), and check her phone for anything she'd missed during the first set.  One of the fans during meet and greet had given her a cute drawing, and she'd texted it to the group chat.  Courtney and Darienne had already replied, but nothing from Bianca.  Adore had sent her a few separate messages, but they still showed delivered and remained unread.

"She's not answering me."

"Dan, she's probably- actually, where is she anyway?"

"Rome.  I think."

"It's six a.m., she's probably passed out drunk."

"Don't care," Adore pouted, well aware that she was being unreasonable, "I miss her."

John set down his phone, taking in Adore's frown and decided that it couldn't hurt to help.  This time.

"Call her hotel then."

"Asshole, I  would if I knew where she was staying."

Scrolling through his email, John tapped one and handed his phone over.

"Oh!  Wait, hang on- why did Jamie send you the list and not me?"

Not waiting for a response, Adore touched the highlighted number and waited for it to dial.

Amused, he watched as she paced the room until the call connected.

"Hi!  Can you put me through to Roy Haylock?  I don't know his room number, but he's definitely staying there."

Adore's frown deepened.

"What?  Yeah- no...this is Danny Noriega.  No, he doesn't know I'm calling, but I should be on his list of like approved people."

She dropped back into the director's chair in front of the vanity, spinning a brush between her fingers.

"You need a what?  A word?  Uhhh...it's Adore Delano, maybe?"

John snorted as she rolled her eyes.

"No?  Come on man, I really just- what- fine.  Ummm.  Try pussyface?"

The background music onstage wound down, and in the sudden silence he could hear an audible click followed by a dial tone.  The brush tapping picked up speed until someone presumably answered, and John watched Adore's face light up.

"B!"

Chapter Text

"It's fucking nuts," Roy's voice came from the phone as Danny wandered over to the dresser for a clean shirt, "every day of this.  Doesn't get old."

"You d- tho-"  Danny's response was lost in the swish of fabric, "Seriously though, did you ever think this is what it would be?"

"Not ever.  Couldn't have."

"Me neither."

Danny settled back onto the bed, picking up the phone and grinning at Roy's far-off contemplative expression.  It was the middle of the afternoon for him, halfway around the world, just getting ready to start putting Bianca on.  He'd woken Danny up with a surprise phone call (not unwelcome) that thus far had consisted of comments on the various venues and the antics of Wendy and Sherry, before straying into more serious territory.

"...I do miss you.  The fans keep asking all sorts of nosy questions, bitch.  We should all be so lucky."

"Yeah?" Danny retrieved a pair of shorts from the floor and sniffed before shrugging and pulling them on.

"Yeah- also, gross.  Try using a laundry basket, queen.  Anyway...someone asked if I had any nudes of Adore."

At that, he couldn't help the burst of laughter.

"They have good taste, what can I say?  What did you tell them?"

Roy's expression was put-upon, cracking at the edges into an indulgent smile.

"Don't we all have those?  Straight girls.  I swear."

'I dunno B, they're kinda fun sometimes."

"Only you."

"Uhh huh."

"Anyway.  I should go.  Meet and greet in two hours and we still have to do sound checks."

Danny nodded.

"Miss you.  Love you."

"Love you too.  Heaven save me from your damn mermaids."

 

 

Chapter Text

Found a new place I love! the message reads, followed by Courtney and Darienne replying with heart emojis and wishing dire harm on Danny’s soon-to-be-former neighbors.

Roy switches to their private conversation, quickly typing out a question.

Need help packin’?

The reply is nearly instantaneous.

No, tmrw.  Sometimes I wish I just lived in ur house

He pauses, because there’s nothing to say that Danny isn’t being serious.  When they’re both home, it feels like he does, and Roy’s never had a problem with that.

If you need to stay there, you know you can

The delivered notification doesn’t switch immediately to read, so he puts the phone down and spends a few minutes repacking Bianca’s accessories.  The phone dings again when he’s nearly done, and he abandons the task without a second thought.

Do when I miss u

He wouldn’t have given Danny keys if he didn’t want to offer a tacit invitation to be there any time.  It’s not something they’ve discussed in so many words, but he’s aware of Danny’s need to seek out comfort.  As messy as he is, he does seem to make an effort to clean up after himself and respects the no smoking in the house rule.  Roy can’t complain about coming home to rumpled sheets or a few stray Taco Bell wrappers when he knows that it means Danny’s safe.

Miss your face.  See you soon.

Chapter Text

"You know when I knew you were a winner?"

Adore's sitting backwards in her vanity chair, Courtney and Darienne busy in the other corner of the dressing room posting on Instagram.

Bianca quirks an eyebrow and replies with an expectant twist of her half-lined lips.

Go on, bitch, the gesture says.

"I mean, it was after you became my favorite person."

At that, Bianca snorts, catching Adore's eyes in the mirror.

"It was just a corset, I didn't save your life."

"Actually, you have.  And no, didn't mean that."

Skating right past that weighty statement, she continues.

"It was when you helped me for the jewel challenge.  You didn't have to.  Fuck, you got read by the judges because you didn't have time to finish your look."

Bianca pauses, one set of eyelashes in place.

"You needed help, I wasn't gonna let you fail."

"See, that's the thing.  It was a competition, but you still helped."

The glue is drying too fast, and she quickly applies the other side.

"Seemed like the right thing to do."

Adore's silent for a moment, then scoots her chair just a little closer.

"I wanted to win so bad-"

"I wanted you to win too," Bianca reminds her quietly.

"-but I knew you deserved to win."

Chapter Text

Bianca is busy enough with her own prep that she's not really paying attention to everyone around her.  Tightening her corset strings, she glances idly across the room and something catches her eye.  Her focus sharpens, hands gone idle, as Darienne leans down to speak to Adore.  She's just close enough to catch the exchange.

"Look, I...I just wanted to say.  That."

"What?"

"That I don't actually think you're dumb.  You've done so much and I don't want-"

"Girl, it was just a read, I'm not taking it serious, it was fucking hilarious."

So there's a vulnerable side to Darienne after all, flustered by the rap challenge and showing an insecurity that hasn't appeared before.  None of the camera crew seem to have noticed the conversation, and she casually looks away, unwilling to draw attention.

Bianca finishes tying her corset off and reaches for the gold caftan, satisfied that she isn't going to have to witness any fresh drama.

There's still a competition to win.

 

Chapter Text

Mrs. Kasha Davis is a savvy woman, an international celebrity housewife.

Mrs. Kasha Davis also isn't exactly a woman, but it's close enough.  

It's still difficult to believe that she's been opening for Bianca Del Rio (BIANCA DEL RIO!) and her sold out shows.  Getting into drag, he still pinches himself because it doesn't seem real.  And evenings spent on the bus, traveling from city to city, are a rare occasion to see Roy away from the need to be the consummate professional.

Take tonight: after meet and greet with over one hundred fans, Bianca's warmth and welcome was the same for the last as the first.  Kasha couldn't claim the ability to do the same, much less night after night for weeks on end.

She's known Bianca as a sharp entertainer, and getting to know Roy as a person feels like even more of a privilege.  (It also makes her feel huge next to him.)  The brilliant comedienne gives way to a man who's just a little too loud, dressed all in black with trailing sweater cuffs and an ever-present hat. 

Kasha thinks it's amazing.

They're sitting on the bus, feet propped up to recover from hours in heels, sharing a bottle of wine and companionable silence.  He's busy texting his husband, and Roy seems to be immersed in making faces at the phone, clearly taking selfies for someone.

"Say hi to Mr. Davis for me?"

Also?  Thoughtful.

"Oh, done already.  Who's bothering you tonight?"

Roy pulls off his glasses for a moment, swiping a hand over his eyes and yawning.

"Just Adore, she's bored.  And possibly drunk.  Probably drunk, actually."

"Remember being that age and thinking your liver would never die?"

Laughing, Roy opens his mouth to reply but is interrupted by the phone buzzing.

"Gotta take this, sorry," he apologizes, grabbing his wineglass and moving towards the bunks at the back of the bus.

Waving off the apology, Ed catches just a hint of his greeting, and it makes him shake his head with a smile.

"...pussyface, I swear-"

Mr. Davis is going to find this adorable. 

Chapter Text

Heels of Hell was going to be amazing.

Danny knew it the same way he knew when his dreams were prescient or his stomach told him someone was telling the truth.  It was a great group of queens, and he couldn’t wait to have Adore on stage again.  There really was nothing like a live audience to buoy her with their energy and create something amazing.

The transatlantic flight didn’t suck as bad in First Class, but it was still being stuck on an airplane that thwarted his need to move.  Aside from the hassle of travel, it also meant that despite being surrounded by Adore’s sisters (and John), he felt a little more alone in a certain way.  Memories of tours past filled with dressing room antics, nights out, and having someone who understood and would indulge his need to cuddle flooded in, and he sighed.  

When he was home, it was familiar surroundings and a sense of belonging in a place.  And if he got too restless or off-balance, he had a key to Roy’s house that he wasn’t shy about using.  Anxiety and worry weren’t magically cured, but a night sleeping in Roy’s bed even when he wasn’t home went a long way towards settling his brain.  Of course he’d rather the owner was there as well, and Danny tried not to think about how long it would actually be before they were in the same place at the same time.

He stared into the camera, snapping a photo with soulful eyes and a hint of a sober pout.  It went up on Instagram before he could think better of it, not caring about the questions that would come flooding in in response to his cryptic statement.

I miss you all the time, but especially when I’m on tour. #nofilter vibes 🌹