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Fever

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Katya woke up in his bed feeling confused. He felt an arm gently draped around his waist, which meant that Violet was still asleep next to him, but by the way the light was shining in through his bedroom window, he could tell that it was late in the morning, way later than he was used to waking up.

Katya was not a morning person. He never had been. He simply preferred to stay up as late as possible, and then wake up the next morning whenever he felt like it. Being a drag queen only encouraged this behavior. Recently, he had been forced to slightly change his schedule, due to the fact that Violet Chachki was currently staying with him at his apartment for a few weeks, and more specifically, sharing his bed.

The one thing that bothered Katya about sleeping in the same bed as Violet was that she was such a morning person. She woke up early, around 8 or 8:30 AM, and would quickly get bored and decide to wake him up as well, usually by pouncing on him. If he resisted, she might stick her hand down his boxers and give him some extra motivation to wake up. Katya wouldn’t say that mornings with Violet weren’t enjoyable, he just thought they might be a little more enjoyable if all the action happened at a slightly later time.

Katya was understandably confused. It struck him as odd that Violet had been able to sleep until 11 AM, as he confirmed by checking his watch. Even on the days where neither of them had anything to do, she would only let them to sleep until about 9, and even that was pushing it. Katya peeled Violet’s arm off of his stomach, and realized that it was very clammy. Looking at her face pressed up against the pillow, he could see that she was pretty sweaty, her long hair plastered to her forehead and neck. Wracked with worry, Katya pulled the covers off her and began to rub her bare back.

“Violet, sweetie, wake up. Are you alright?” Violet’s eyes fluttered open. She took a few seconds to yawn and stretch, and then laid still.

“Katya?”

“Yeah, Vi?”

“I don’t feel so good.”

——–

“Well, you do have a slight fever,” Katya confirmed, pulling the thermometer out of Violet’s mouth and reading the tiny screen. “100.8 degrees.” Violet looked annoyed. She was still laying down, while Katya was standing up next to the bed. “Hey, don’t get mad at me! I’m just the messenger, you know!”

“I’m not mad at you, Katya. I just hate being sick. It fucking sucks. Like, what a waste of time. I could be doing so much today, but instead I have to stay in bed!” She punched the bed under her weakly and groaned. Katya did his best to keep a straight face, but it was hard for him not to laugh at the little bitch fit Violet was throwing. “I needa pee,” She grumbled, and then pulled herself up from the bed and wandered to the bathroom. He could tell by the way she walked that she barely had any energy. Katya went to the kitchen and brought back a cold, damp washcloth. When Violet walked back into the room, she was still just as grumpy. She flopped onto the bed on her stomach and buried her face in a pillow, letting out a muffled groan. Katya put his hand over his mouth and snickered silently at the drama of her behavior. Once he was able to stop laughing, he kneeled on the bed next to her.

“Here,” he said, placing the washcloth on the back of her neck, “use this to cool off.”

“Thanks,” Violet mumbled, turning her face towards him. “Kaaat, all my muscles are soooore,” she whined. Without another word, Katya swung his leg over her and sat himself on top of her ass. He began to massage her back.

“Feel good?” he asked her. She nodded her head against the pillow. Well, that shut her up, Katya thought.

——–

While Katya couldn’t get Violet to eat anything, (“I’m just not hungry, Katya!” she had moaned, and he knew she wasn’t in the mood to argue, so he gave up,) he did finally get her to take a nap. They had spent the rest of the morning cuddling and watching television until he noticed her dozing off. Katya was finally able to start packing his bags. He had a gig scheduled for that night, but it was over two hours away, which meant he was going to have to leave his apartment early in order to get there on time and be able to do his makeup. He felt bad for having to leave Violet alone, but he couldn’t just cancel a gig because she was sick. Katya worried that she might not eat a proper dinner and just stay in bed all day, which wouldn’t help her get better at all. He decided to make sure she wouldn’t starve. Picking up his phone, he left the room and went into the kitchen to make a call.

——–

Violet woke up from her nap to Katya rubbing her shoulder gently.

“Violet, I have to leave for my show tonight. I’ll see you when I get back, yeah? Actually, you better be sleeping by the time I get back, so I’ll see you tomorrow morning.” Violet stuck her lip out in an exaggerated pout. “Hey, don’t gimme that face, you rotten little skunk!” He climbed on top of her, his hands and knees on either side of her on the bed. “I can’t disappoint all the fourteen-year-old fans who sneak into my shows, I just can’t!” He leaned down and kissed her sweaty forehead. “Okay, listen, I’m having chicken soup delivered in an hour, and you better eat it.” Violet rolled her eyes.

“Yes, dad, I’ll eat it.” Katya pinched her cheek until she swatted his hand away in annoyance.

“Okay, I’m leaving for real now.” Katya made his way to the door of the bedroom. He looked back at Violet, laying in his bed and staring at him. “Just… be nice, okay?” he pleaded, and then left without another word. Be nice, Violet thought, confusedly. To whom? She didn’t dwell on it, and turned the television back on, snuggling into the warm spot Katya had left in the bed.

——–

Violet woke up to knocking on the door. She realized she had fallen asleep again. Must be the soup Katya ordered, she thought. Clamoring out of bed, she made her way slowly to the door and opened it up. To Violet’s surprise, she found Trixie standing there, holding a brown paper bag and smiling.

“Hey, Violet. How ya feelin? Katya told me you’re sick? I brought you soup, it’s from that really good place on Hollywood, you know the one.” Trixie rambled on, with Violet just standing there, staring at him. The two usually got along well, Katya made sure of it, but Violet was just not expecting Trixie to be down with running errands for her benefit. Trixie would go to hell and back for Katya, she knew this, but for Violet? They weren’t quite at that level yet. There was always a sort of underlying rivalry between them, both subconsciously competing for Katya’s attention. Katya knew how to handle it, of course; she always balanced them out nicely. But Violet couldn’t help but always feel just a little bit of tension between herself and Trixie.

“So… can I come in?” Trixie asked. Violet realized he had been both staring at Trixie for the past minute and blocking the doorway.

“Oh, right,” she mumbled, and moved out of the way, clearing a path for him.

Trixie made his way to the kitchen, and Violet could hear the clanking of silverware. “Make yourself right at home, Trixie,” Violet mumbled sarcastically under her breath. She plopped herself down on the couch, but then was too tired to stand back up and grab the remote by the TV, so she just stared into space.

Trixie walked back into the room with a decent-sized bowl of chicken soup and a spoon. He sat down on the couch next to Violet and held out the bowl for her to grab. Violet did not make an attempt to move, and just stared at Trixie, and then the bowl. She looked like she was gathering up the will to move her arms. Trixie knew he shouldn’t piss her off, but he couldn’t help but let a read slip out of his mouth.

“Aww, does the baby need to be fed?” Violet almost decided to use all the strength she had to knock the bowl of soup right out of Trixie’s hands. Almost. She was not in the mood for his teasing. Instead, she settled on laughing weakly.

“Just put it down on the table, I’ll eat it later,” she sighed.

“It won’t be hot later. You should eat it now!” Trixie asserted, and Violet thought he sounded just a little too pushy. She detested being told what to do. Her natural instinct to defy orders kicked in, and she decided to push back.

“No, Trixie, I think I’ll just have it later,” Violet said, raising an eyebrow. She didn’t expect him to keep going.

“Or, and hear me out on this, how about you eat it right now?” Violet looked up at Trixie’s unsmiling face and realized that he was serious. Violet was confused; she would have never expected Trixie to act so… nurturing. Maybe he would be this way with Katya, but never with her. The two had a five-second-long staring contest, until Violet broke the silence.

“Trixie,” she said slowly, “why are you being so annoying?” Trixie hesitated, but he just decided to come clean.

“Okay, don’t be mad, but Katya asked me to make sure you finish your soup and take your medicine.” Violet squinted at him.

“Oh, great, so he basically asked you to babysit me. Wonderful,” she snarked. Trixie rolled his eyes.

“Come on, Violet. Katya’s my friend. And so are you. He just feels bad that he can’t be here right now, and he knew you probably weren’t gonna eat anything on your own. Am I wrong?” Violet looked away from Trixie but didn’t say anything, silently confirming what he had just said. “Can you just let me help you get better? It’ll have you back to stripping and dancing around on stage in your underwear in no time.” Trixie laughed at his own attempt at a joke. He waited for a response from Violet, but she continued to avoid eye contact. Trixie was worried that she would stay pissed at both him and Katya, which in turn would make Katya sad. To his relief, Violet slowly reached out and grabbed the bowl of soup from his hands. She rested it in her lap and began to take small spoonfuls.

The two sat in silence for about a minute, Violet eating and Trixie just watching her. Finally, Violet broke the silence.

“What else did Katya say about me?” she mumbled, not looking up from her soup.

“Well…” Trixie contemplated. He wanted to phrase his answer as well as he could, so as not to get on Violet’s or Katya’s bad side. Katya had a habit of gently mocking Violet to him, and he didn’t think that either of them would appreciate it if she found out. “Katya said that you hate being sick, and that you probably wouldn’t want to eat your soup, and that he feels bad that he couldn’t hang out with you tonight.” Trixie could detect a hint of a smile on Violet’s face, but she only responded with a satisfied, “Oh.”

Trixie recalled the actual conversation he had with Katya.

“Trixieeee,” Katya whined, immediately after he had picked up the phone. Trixie sighed into the phone dramatically.

“What do you need, Katya? You only whine like that at me when you’re asking a favor.” Trixie liked to act annoyed, but he and Katya both knew that he really didn’t mind doing anything Katya asked him to.

“Well, it’s just a little favor. Can you pick up some soup and drop it off at my apartment tonight for Violet? She’s sick, and being a total brat about it. You shoulda seen the fit she was throwing earlier, you would’ve laughed.”

“Katya, you do realize that you can just order soup and have it delivered, right?” Katya went quiet for a few seconds.

“Yeah… it’s just… would you mind going inside and making sure she actually eats it?” Trixie took the phone away from his face and shrieked with laughter. Katya waited until Trixie’s shrieks died down a bit before speaking again.

“Stop laughing!” he yelled, although he was laughing as well. “I told you, she’s being a brat! She didn’t want to eat anything earlier, and if she doesn’t eat something today, I’m gonna have to come home to a hungry, cranky, sick little monster in my bed!”

Trixie thought the whole situation was hilarious. He felt like he was actually being asked to babysit the devil.

“You really do baby her!” Trixie accused.

“You think I don’t know that? But I can’t help it, okay? Please, Trix, just help me out here?” Katya begged.

“Alright, alright, I’ll do it. But if I get sick, I’m invoicing you for the doctor’s bills.”

——–

Violet finished the entire bowl of soup, which didn’t take very long, because once she started eating she realized she was actually starving. As she ate, she had unconsciously been leaning closer and closer to Trixie until she was touching him, her shoulder pressed against his. She only noticed this when Trixie grabbed the empty bowl from her hands and got up to go put it in the sink. As soon as he stood up, she tipped over and laid down across the whole couch. She closed her eyes and stayed still, her head spinning a little.

Trixie came back to the living room and saw Violet sprawled out, lying on her back, her eyes shut tightly.

“You okay, Violet?”

“Yeah, m’fine. Just kinda dizzy. You don’t have to stay anymore, Trixie. Thanks for the soup.” she said, at a volume that was barely above a whisper. Trixie felt an odd range of emotions. Seeing Violet so vulnerable was foreign to him. He guessed that Katya must see this side of her more often, but to him it was pretty new. Staring at her sad little face, he decided he could kind of understand how it was so tempting for Katya to baby her. Kind of. Without another word, Trixie walked into Katya’s bedroom and retrieved a soft blanket and one of his pillows from the bed.

Violet suddenly felt warm. She opened her eyes and looked up at Trixie, who was draping a blanket over her shivering legs. He walked over to the TV stand and grabbed the remote, and then came back to the couch. Grabbing Violet’s shoulders, he lifted her upper body off the couch and slid himself under so that her head was resting in his lap. She was too tired to protest, so she just let him move her around however he wanted. Pushing her head up for a second, he slid a pillow onto his lap and then let her rest her head on it. She looked up at him, and the two made eye contact for a few seconds before Violet just shrugged and rolled over onto her side, her head remaining in Trixie’s lap. He was sort of surprised at his own urge to take care of her.

“Well, what are you waiting for? Turn on the TV, Tracey,” Violet ordered. Trixie rolled his eyes (even though she couldn’t see it) and handed the remote to Violet.

“You pick, since you’re the one that’s dying.” Violet smacked his leg.

“You wish I was dying, bitch. Then you could have Katya all to yourself!” Trixie made exaggerated puking noises.

“Are you kidding me, Violet? Ever since you two started… uhh… doing whatever disgusting things you do to each other, Katya hasn’t tried to kiss me once. It’s a miracle. I can’t thank you enough for that.” The pair laughed, and then fell into silence as Violet turned on the TV and chose an old episode of Project Runway. Trixie rested his hand on her back and dragged his knuckles lazily up and down her spine. He could tell she was about to fall asleep by the way her breathing slowed. Trixie picked up his phone from the arm of the couch next to him and quickly and quietly snapped a picture of Violet in his lap without her noticing, and then texted it to Katya. His response was almost immediate.

Katya: I’m shocked that you two are getting along. I thought you’d have left in frustration by now

Trixie: she said she liked the feeling of laying on someone who didnt feel like a grizzled corpse, i figured i should stick around

Katya: Fuck off

Trixie: bitch im joking
Trixie: but i think shes actually asleep now
Trixie: i can finally stop listening to that voice. do you ever just get the urge to stick a gag in her mouth?

Katya: Well, yes, but in a different context than you’re thinking about

Trixie: ew omg tmi

Katya: You brought it up

Trixie: true… you got me there

Katya: As much as I would love to continue this conversation, the show’s about to start so I gotta go.

Trixie: Break a leg

Trixie looked down at the now sleeping Violet in his lap. She didn’t look like she was going to wake up anytime soon, so he was basically trapped. He dropped his phone on the couch next to him and leaned his head back, closing his eyes. Before he knew it, he was falling asleep as well.

——–

Katya dug his hand into his pocket and retrieved his keys. He checked the time on his phone. 4 AM. Violet better be sleeping, he thought to himself. As soon as his gig was over, he had left and drove all the way back home, skipping out on any after parties. It was a long drive, but he just wanted to get home and check on Violet. He had texted Trixie a few times after the gig, but he hadn’t even opened any of the messages, so Katya figured Trixie had gone home and went to bed already.

Unlocking his door, he quietly pushed it open and stepped into the living room, only to find Trixie sitting upright, his head bent all the way back on the couch, completely knocked out. Violet was in the same position from Trixie’s picture, sleeping soundly in his lap. The lights and TV were all still on in the room. Katya put all his bags down in the doorway and tip-toed over to the pair. He gently tapped Trixie’s arm while rubbing Violet’s back, in order to wake the both of them. Violet woke up first, and looked up at Katya confusedly.

“Huh?”

“Violet, sweetie, you fell asleep on the couch. Go to bed, I’ll be in there in a second,” Katya ordered. Without a word, Violet dragged herself off of Trixie and stumbled down the hall and into the bedroom. Katya was pretty sure that she wasn’t fully awake, and probably would not remember any of the interaction in the morning.

The loss of Violet’s weight caused Trixie to wake up as well. He straightened his neck to its normal position and groaned from how stiff it felt. Katya just stood up next to the couch, shaking his head and smiling.

“What?” Trixie asked. “Why are you looking at me like that?”

“I can’t believe you were really gonna sleep like that all night!”

“Well… I didn’t wanna move her! She might’ve bit my head off!” he protested, his face turning slightly red. The two of them both knew that Trixie was developing a bit of a soft spot for Violet, but Katya decided he wasn’t going to press the issue any further. Instead, he just laughed and moved on.

“So, you can sleep here if you want, I’ll bring you a blanket and pillow,” he offered. Trixie just wanted to avoid any awkwardness the next morning, so he opted to go home.

“Nah, it’s fine. I think I’m good to drive home. But thanks for the offer. I’ll see you later, Kat.” With that, he grabbed his phone, got up from the couch and stretched, and then opened his arms towards Katya. Katya walked over and pulled him into a hug.

“Seriously, Trixie, thank you for everything,” Katya said into Trixie’s shoulder.

“Of course. Anytime,” Trixie mumbled back.

——–

When Katya finally climbed into bed, it was almost 5 AM. Violet was already curled up in a ball on her side, but when Katya pulled back the covers and got in, she half opened her eyes and wiggled over to him. He opened his arms for her and pulled her in close.

“Jeez, Violet,” he scolded, “go to sleep already.” He began to run his fingers through her long hair until she stopped moving and fell asleep, hopefully for the last time that night.