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(please leave me stranded) it's so romantic

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We're all bored

We're all so tired of everything

We wait for trains that just aren't coming

We show off our different scarlet letters

Trust me, mine is better

 

*

 

“You are actually so pretty oh my god-”

 

Rosé doesn’t hear the door opening, too engrossed in the way her reflection sways side to side in the mirror. She can’t quite tell if it’s her balance in her heels (that make her arse look great) or the three shots she downed at Jan’s - pre-drinking to avoid the expensive drinks at the bar.

 

She’s not willing to pay double the price for a margarita when it’s just glorified tequila. 

 

Her eyes flick up, finding the figure behind her in the mirror and following them. 

 

-”Seriously, who gave you permission?”

 

The figure smiles, coming into focus with a bright grin - dark lips and a sharp cupid's bow. They’re pretty, eyes wide and crystalline green.

 

"Arguably the same person who gave you the audacity, girl," she replies. The pretty green eyes crinkle happily although their bottom lip tucks between their teeth. 

 

"Not a girl," they quip, flicking long blonde hair over their shoulder. "Though not a man." Rosé's eyes flicker down to skim their body - clad in slinky black silk. She hums appreciatively. 

 

"Certainly a sight for sore eyes." she leans against the counter, grabbing the eyeliner from her purse and trying to fix the wing that got smudged when Jan grabbed her face to sing Time after Time. 

 

"Well, you're just too sweet." They smile, teeth pearly white even in black lipstick. 

 

"I'm sorry. You're in that dress." She says with a vague and gesture, face still twisted in concentration. She lets out a huff of air when she finally leans back - examining herself with a smirk.

 

"And you're in that one." Rosé shimmies her hips - the dingy light of the bathroom making the pink satin shine. It clashes with her ginger hair but it does so in the best possible way. 

 

"Are you coming on to me?" She asks with a coy smile, flicking her hair playfully with exaggerated movements. They look at her, eyes half-lidded. 

 

"Not if you don't want me to."

 

Rosé hums. She only hears the click of stilettos as they leave. 

 

*

 

We're so young

But we're on the road to ruin

We play dumb

But we know exactly what we're doin'

We cry tears of mascara in the bathroom

Honey, life is just a classroom

 

*

 

"We need to stop meeting like this," Rosé gushes, ducking into the stall as the blonde from earlier smokes out of the tiny window by the sinks. 

 

They let out a huff of smoke, the almost orange lighting showing the way it curls through the air. Heels click against the sticker-covered counter and their black hoodie falls off their shoulders onto the taps. 

 

She backs out of the stall, shaking her hands around before she sticks them under the soap dispenser, frowning when they come up empty. 

 

"The managers never refill it," the blonde drawls, head lolling back against the mirror. Rosé snorts despite herself, they somehow manage to be both sophisticated and gauche, elbow on their leg as they wave the cigarette haphazardly. 

 

Rosé shoves her hands under the taps and just hopes the cold water will wash away the rest of the bar. She shakes them dry, wincing as droplets fall onto the blonde's bare legs. 

 

"Can I bum one?" She asks and she grins triumphantly when they throw her the box. She wipes a hand across the counter and when she deems it dry enough she hoists herself up - legs dangling. "Light?"

 

There's the pleasant flicker of the lighter and then the warmth of the smoke as it enters her lungs. She coughs on the first exhale as she always does and it makes the blonde grunt inelegantly in amusement. 

 

"Do you have a name? O' bummer of my fags."

 

"If you’re so mad about it, maybe you shouldn't smoke," Rosé jokes, her voice purposefully high and self-righteous. She blows some smoke out of her nose, enjoying how it makes her look like a dragon in her half-gone state. "My name is Rosé,” she says, ”Rosie." 

 

"I'd like to taste you, Rosé," They smirk, blowing a strand of hair out of their face out of the side of their mouth - cigarette still grasped between their lips.

 

They stub it out on the brick windowsill, slipping off the counter onto needle-thin heels like it’s no big deal. 

 

“I’d let you,” Rosé says, tilting her head. 

 

“Of course you would.”

 

*

 

(Ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah)

'Cause baby, I could build a castle

Out of all the bricks they threw at me

And every day is like a battle

But every night with us is like a dream

 

*

 

"Oi hot stuff!" Hollers Rosé as she spots the blonde leaning against the wall. It's the third time she's seen them in three weeks and she's starting to believe in serendipity. 

 

"You get more Scottish the drunker you get" They drawl, eyebrow raised in a way that makes Rosé shiver. Her leather skirt and bodysuit no longer seem like enough clothes.

 

"What makes you think I'm drunk?" She asks, smirking though her ever-widening eyes threaten to give her away. She pauses, "Also what the fuck is your name?"

 

They tap the side of their nose with one long, black, acrylic nail. In this lighting, they're in greyscale - face pale, silver hair and sharp black makeup. They manage to look starkly out of place to the point where Rosé wonders if they're a figment of her imagination  -but at the same time - everything they do is effortless. 

 

They beckon her closer, pale finger rippling, and together they enter the bathroom. 

 

"That's much better," they say, running their fingers through their hair so it cascades down the back of their dress. They look at Rosé, analysing her and then push her back until her hips hit the counter. 

 

"You're drunk and you're about to snap an ankle in those heels," they deadpan in place of an apology and they let out a chuckle as Rosé clumsily pulls herself up onto the counter. She frowns as she sits there before pulling her barely-there skirt slightly further down. 

 

She's not that easy.

 

"What's your name?" She asks again, enjoying how the dingy orange lights make the blonde look just as ginger as she is. 

 

They roll their eyes, leaning back against the post between the cubicles as if their heels aren't even higher than Rosé's stilettos.

 

"I'm not that easy."

 

"That's what she said." Rosé quips, setting herself into raucous laughter. When she finally calms down (and stabilises herself from almost falling off the countertop) she looks up to see the blonde looking at her curiously. 

 

"I'll let you have that one." They say shifting positions. 

 

"I'll guess if I have to. I bet I can guess." The blonde scoffs, rubbing one heel up and down her shin. "I'm serious!" Rosé responds emphatically, ignoring the affectionate way the blonde shakes their head - hair flying.

 

"Gigi?"

 

"Nope."

 

“Beatrice”

 

"Nada."

 

“Millicent”

 

“What the fuck?” Their brow furrows and then a smile crawls across their lips. “You know what, I give in, you’re persistent.” Rosé smiles, self-satisfied, and nods for them to continue.

 

“My name's Mik,” they say, hand out to shake and Rosé has to lean forward from her position on the counter to grasp it. Their hand is warm but not clammy like Rosé’s and she feels a little bad about it - frantically wiping the other hand on her leather skirt like it will help. 

 

“Put your shoes on honey,” Mik says, eyes smiling even as their face contorts to mildly unimpressed. “I should return you to your friends.” 

 

“M’kay Mik,” she smiles, giggling like a little kid. “Mik, Mik, Mik.”

 

“I hate you.”

 

“No, you don’t.” 




*

 

Baby, we're the new romantics

Come on, come along with me

Heartbreak is the national anthem

We sing it proudly

 

*

 

Rosé pushes through the door of the bathroom, not caring for the way the door slams back against the wall. She can feel her mascara leaving tacky trails of black down her painted cheeks and she curses Denali for breaking up with her in such a public place. They weren’t even ‘together’ together so she’s not sure why it’s hitting her this hard aside from the spare tampon in her coat pocket by the door.

 

She is no longer surprised to see Mik sat on the counter, wrist balanced on the window ledge and cigarette dangling out of the open window. She is, however, surprised to see them in a t-shirt, black jeans and a pair of vans. A black apron is tied around their waist and it looks out of place. She sniffles, smiling weakly and tries to snort the gross stuff back up into her nose. 

 

It doesn’t work. 

 

She nods at them and ducks into a stall, coming out with a wad of paper towels that she uses to loudly blow her nose. 

 

“You’re not looking so hot,” Mik tells her in their usual deadpan style but it makes tears well back up in Rosé’s eyes. Her ego has been plenty bruised this evening as it is.

 

“Kick a girl while she’s down,” she retorts, pushing the rough towel against her cheeks in the hope that she can remove her not-so-waterproof mascara. Mik bats at her arm disapprovingly with their free hand and stubs the cigarette out on the window sill. 

 

“I keep makeup wipes in the back room,” They tell her, jumping from the counter and landing on their toes like they’re still in six-inch heels. They place a gentle hand on Rosé’s lower back and the two walk out of the door and sidle past the bar into the back room. 

 

The backroom itself is actually a maze of smaller rooms but they end up in one full of lockers and a small sink. Mik opens one with a click and rifles through a bag before pulling out a pack of face cloths. 

 

“Get it wet and it’ll rub all your makeup off,” they instruct while looking back in the bag and while Rosé wants to make a lewd joke she just nods her thanks and moves over to the sink and mirror, enjoying the feeling of the foundation melting off her face. 

 

Once she’s clean she turns to find Mik holding a small bottle of moisturiser with a smile. 

 

“You’re just getting more and more interesting,” she jokes, taking the moisturiser and covering her face in it, using the scrunchie on her wrist to tie her copper locks into a low ponytail. 

 

“I do like to keep a surprise up my sleeve,” They retort, choosing to sit on the counter by the sink again instead of on one of the few chairs littered around the room. 

 

Rosé takes it as permission to sit down so she chooses one of the less worn chairs, though she can still feel the bones of her arse against the hardwood. 

 

“So what do you do here?” She asks, knowing that the only way to get an answer out of Mik is to ask it straight. She gestures around in case they’re confused as to what she’s asking.

 

They snort, “I part-funded it,” Mik says, a smile in their voice. “I mostly just bartend sometimes - usually weeknights like tonight.” They look at her, quizzical. “My turn, why were you crying?”

 

Rosé sighs, feeling affronted though she knows it’s a fair question. She looks at her fingers, they’re long, not too stubby. She wonders if she should have learnt bagpipes like her Pops always joked. 

 

“My girlfriend broke up with me,” she says, tired and worn down. Mik tugs on their french braid. 

 

“I can’t imagine why,” they say. “Then again every man I’ve dated has been a fool to lose me.” 

 

Rosé’s thoughts stop in their tracks. 

 

She looks up, eyes widening in almost comical confusion. “You’re not dyke central?” She asks, voice blank and confused. “Carpet munching, pussy licking - you’re not into any of that?” 

 

Mik cackles at her turn of phrase - pale skin flushing around the edges of their black t-shirt. “I’m figuring it out,” they shrug. “I’m getting there.”

 

Rosé scoffs. “Let me know when you do.”

 

*

 

We are too busy dancing

To get knocked off our feet

Baby, we're the new romantics

The best people in life are free

 

*

 

"What can I get you, ladies?" Mik asks, sidling up behind the var with a white towel tossed over their shoulder. Their voice is more gravelly than usual - not quite the dry rasp it was. 

 

"New voice? Rosé asks with a smirk, handing Mik her card. "Werk." She whistles to get Jan and Lagoona's attention on her and then points to Mik - blonde hair tied up on their head in a messy bun. "This is Mik." She gestures vaguely between them all. "This is Jan and Lagoona."

 

Lagoona tucks a strand of blue hair behind her ear and looks Mik up and down expectantly, "Nice eyeliner," she says and Rosé bats the drinks menu at her hand.

 

"I want a cocktail," she says to Mik and they chuckle, amused at her antics, before sliding her usual gin and tonic across the bar. 

 

"Now what can I get for you ladies?" they ask, turning to Lagoona and Jan with a charming smile and a wink. Jan giggles and flushes a pretty pink, pointing to a fancy-sounding cocktail on the menu completely butchering the name in a way that makes Rosé dribble her gin out of the corner of her mouth with a loud snort. 

 

Lagoona passes a napkin over Jan's head to Rosé and turns to Mik, rolling her eyes at the antics of her friends. "Vodka soda please," she asks, "and please charge a drink for yourself on my card." 

 

Mik gently pushes Rosé's straw towards her face and takes Lagoona's card, handing her back Rosé's. "Bless," they drawl, tossing the towel back over their shoulder after wiping the condensation from their hands. "I'll grab Kandy so I can take my break now and join you." 

 

They end up guiding the trio of girls to a booth close to the small stage set up. It's karaoke night which suddenly explains why Jan is so hyperactive (at least from what Rosé's told them) and they snicker at how apt her descriptions have been. 

 

Suddenly Rosé pulls Jan out of the booth to the small queue by the stage and leaves Mik and Lagoona alone. Lagoona sips her Vodka soda with a grin, "So," she leads on, acrylic nails tapping on the tacky table. "You and Rosie?"

 

Mik's eyes widen and they take a sip of 0% beer just to try and stall. "I'm not-" they start before trying again with a slightly less flustered tone, "I don't date women. At least not right now." Lagoona raises an eyebrow, her dark hair brushed back over her shoulders to show the pale blue spaghetti straps of her bralette. The whole scene makes Mik feel like they have to explain. "I'm figuring it out," they say eventually, sure that without their usual foundation the blush is obvious.

 

Lagoona goes to say something until she dramatically places her forehead on the table with a deep sigh. 

 

"I really wouldn't," advises Mik with a grim smile but Lagoona waves them off. 

 

"Listen," she groans, "they're about to sing Shallow."

 

Mik rests their chin on their hand and looks towards the stage in time to see Rosé join in with Jan and they find themself starstruck. 

 

Fuck.






*

 

We're all here

The lights and noise are blinding

We hang back

It's all in the timing

It's poker

You can't see it in my face

But I'm about to play my Ace (ah)

 

*

 

“Hear me out,” they start and Rosé looks up from her drink so fast she’s a little concerned she might have given herself a cricked neck. She looks back down just to check she still has the proper range of motion before actually focusing on Mik. 

 

They’re in the backroom, Mik perched on what Rosé can only assume is the staff table though all of the staff are out in the front - actually doing their jobs. Rosé is actually sitting at the table making Mik taller than her for once. 

 

“I’m listening,” she prompts, watching as Mik’s black-lipstick coated lips wrap around the neck of the beer bottle. She swallows harshly and takes a sip of her gin mojito to try and hide it. 

 

“Okay so,” Mik starts, crossing and then uncrossing their legs which are balanced on a pulled out chair, jostling the table in a way that makes Rosé plant her hands to try and stop the movement. Her distraction allows Mik to place a single finger under her chin and they lean down. 

 

The first meeting of their lips is testing and brief but it doesn’t stay like that for long as Mik brushes their tongue along the seam of Rosé’s pink lips making her gasp and allow it to deepen. She catches herself keening into the movement and shudders to a standstill, the kiss breaking with an uncomfortable clicking of teeth. She almost knocks her mojito over trying to scramble backwards - a hand coming up to her mouth to wipe away any trace of what just happened. 

 

When she looks up, she sees Mik looking alarmed, still sat on the table with one hand on their neck and the other across their stomach. “I’m so sorry,” they try to apologise but Rosé shakes her head sharply. 

 

“No,” she says, her voice sounding hoarse without reason, “you didn’t get to do that.” She can quite identify her feelings bit sheś caught somewhere between violation and uncomfortable longing because in any other situation she would have welcomed a kiss like that. From Mik. 

 

“I know,” they say, eyes flicking to the floor before they meet Rosé´s. “I wanted to see what it felt like but that’s not an excuse.”

 

“I will not be fodder for your sexual confusion. No.” She shakes her head, panic growing in her chest, her hand reaching for her bag as she fumbles with the door.

 

“I’m not confused. God, Rosie it felt so right.” Mik whines, swinging their legs in a move to stand. 

 

“I can’t Mik. No.”

 

She slams the door behind herself and cannot find it in her to care.



*

 

We need love

But all we want is danger

We team up

Then switch sides like a record changer

The rumours are terrible and cruel

But honey, most of them are true

 

*

 

They tiptoe around each other which shouldn't be hard in a packed bar - and yet somehow it is.

 

The thing is, they've spent weeks gravitating towards each other, seeking each other out despite themselves. Rosé has lamented on more than one occasion that she can’t stop seeing Mik. Like every time she walks around a corner, they’re there. 

 

She wants to tear her hair out.

 

Because right now the last person she wants to see is MIk - she accused them of being confused but she can’t argue she’s any less than utterly befuddled. Perplexed. 

 

And she’s heard rumours from Lagoona that Mik has been out with a girl - or maybe two and she’s been trying to do the same but ever since Denali all she can think about is Mik. (And maybe even with Denali). 

 

(Maybe she’s been thinking of Mik for longer than she'd like to admit).

 

*

 

(Ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah)

'Cause baby, I could build a castle

Out of all the bricks they threw at me

And every day is like a battle

But every night with us is like a dream

 

*

 

She’s tapping concealer onto a pimple when Mik walks into the bathroom. They’re moving with a speed that’s very different to their usual strut and Rosé has to stop herself from asking if they’re okay. She hesitates long enough for the concealer to become dry before cursing under her breath and starting to smudge it around instead. It does the job and she straightens back up, smoothing her emerald blouse in the streaky mirror. If Mik notices that she’s waited for them to exit the stall, they don’t mention it. 

 

They let the stall door slam carelessly behind them and move through the motions of washing their hands quickly, a black satin clutch pressed between their upper arm and chest. They give Rosé a once over, dark eyebrows furrowing and a gentle smirk on their lips as their eyes graze her half-unbuttoned shirt. 

 

“Milf.” They comment walking over to the hand-dryer so Rosé has no choice but to wait awkwardly for the noise to quieten down. She does though, hovering in her typical spot on the counter between the two sinks. She’s sitting in a way that means her tailbone is pressed against the hard edge, her toes still grazing the floor, and she wants to move but she’s all too aware she brought this on herself. 

 

The noise stops.

 

“Don’t think I’ve ever seen you move so fast,” Rosé repeats her earlier thoughts with a hint of amusement in her voice. 

 

Mik scowls, their lips unpainted so the expression isn’t quite as harsh as usual. “Got a girl waiting out there for me,” they gesture towards the door with a shrug. 

 

“Yeah?” Rosé states, just edge of a question in the inflexion, sliding off the counter to stand on her own two feet. They look at her, confused for a second before they realise what she’s angling for. 

 

“A date,” they clarify, wiping their already dry hands on their black jeans, trying to hide any discomfort that’s crept in.

 

Rosé hums in acknowledgement. She turns around and watches Mik leave in the mirror, labouring under the illusion that it will hurt less than outright watching them leave. She’s wrong. 

 

She’s wrong about a lot of things. Namely that the emotion she’s feeling isn’t jealousy - something she’s been trying to convince herself since she distanced herself from Mik. 

 

It is absolutely jealousy. And it is eating her alive.

 

*

 

Baby, we're the new romantics

Come on, come along with me

Heartbreak is the national anthem

We sing it proudly

 

*

 

It’s truly a remark on her character that the first thing she feels when seeing Mik look alone (and somewhat distraught about it) is relief. 

 

She feels guilty for the way it floods through her, filling her up like a tidal wave and sending a pleasant tingle through to her fingertips that makes her clutch her glass tighter. The heat of her hands fogs the cold glass and she resists the juvenile urge to draw something in the condensate.  

 

They go to the bathroom, the hand in their pocket convincing Rosé it’s for a smoke and when they return, the tension has melted from their shoulders.

 

“Is it wrong that their arse looks so good in tailored pants?” She asks Lagoona who’s been providing background noise with the sound of her tinder. Rosé flicks her eyes over Lagoona’s shoulder and uses her thumb to swipe left on a guy. She hums to herself and then returns her eyes to Mik nursing a beer.

 

“Is it wrong of them? No,” Lagoona starts, taking a sip of gin, “but they’ve clearly had a rough evening and you're not going to make it worse right now.” Rosé rolls her eyes but she knows that Lagoona isn’t wrong. 

 

The way their eyes scan the room is imprecise and unnerving but she pushes it to the back of her mind. 



She does not order a gin and tonic because it will taste like Mik.

 

*

 

We are too busy dancing

To get knocked off our feet

Baby, we're the new romantics

The best people in life are free

 

*

 

Scratch that, nothing tastes like Mik.

 

Rosé feels black slacks under her fingers as they trace the inseam of Mik’s trousers from knee to zip. It’s an overwhelming feeling to have them on a pedestal in front of her and she feels unable to take it all in at once - breaking the kiss for air before leaning in again. It’s like she’s trying to breathe Mik in but all she can taste is cigarettes and menthol gum, one hand tugging their white, pressed shirt from their waist band, one hand holding firm to the countertop. 

 

Mik’s own hands are everywhere and they’re on fire. They trail one through her hair and she has to stifle a moan as their nails scrape the nape of her neck. Mik uses the other hand for leverage, pulling Rosé closer and keeping themself sat on the countertop. They whine a little as Rosé’s cold fingers press against their soft back but they lean into the touch, head leaning back to arch into it. 

 

“Fuck that’s hot,” she whispers, using Mik’s distraction to kiss up the side of their neck. 

 

“I know,” they reply. 

 

“Fuck.”

 

*

 

Please take my hand and

Please take me dancing and

Please leave me stranded

It's so romantic 

 

*

 

They drag her down onto the slightly damp pavement with a smacking kiss on her cheek. She stretches her legs out into the road, enjoying the quiet cracking of her knees after a few hours of dancing.

 

“Your hair looks like flames in this light,” They observe, and Rosé scoffs, eyes fixed on the neon 24/7 sign on the McDonalds across the road. “I love it.”

 

“I suppose that makes sense,” she muses, enjoying the way the golden glow makes Mik’s eyes sparkle. She rests her head on their shoulder with a sigh and it starts to rain.



*

 

(it's so romantic)