He loved his job, he really did. It just… didn't fit him all that well. He got to do as he pleased, as long as he was presentable to the world. He barely did any work other than to walk around and supervise the employee as they helped customers. Sometimes he mediated problems, but rarely did he have to do much more than that.
This store was over-staffed, so all the managerial duties were already covered. Sometimes he took over another's duty for a few days, maybe even a week. He was simply hired to make sure there was always a manager in the store.
Rodger sighed again, and adjusted his tie. He ran his hand through his short, brown, cropped hair. His hand trailed uncertainly, as if the hair should be longer.
Oh yes, the employees teased Rodger for being effeminate. He took the teasing, and gladly gave it back, calling the girls butch and messy. It was all in good fun, of course. Rodger walked more graceful than most women, dressed better, and had the greatest fashion tips.
This was probably because, well… Rodger was a drag queen. None other than the darling Sue-belle.
At day he worked an awful day job simply to pay the bills, but at night, at night he became who he truly was. And this night was a very special night.
The second the clock said his shift was Rodger the phony manager was out the door and making his way to his car. He drove straight from his work to a bar downtown. He pulled a discreet bag from the back seat and changed his button up shirt to a blouse that he put his boobs on underneath. He then changed his shoes to some stylish heals from his sleek designer men's shoes.
There, he thought to himself, Now, I'm presentable.
Sue-belle carefully pulled herself from her car, and strutted to the bar. Her name was yelled from many directions as she was greeted by her many friends. A smiled fitted itself on her features as she played the crowd like a magician. Slowly, the drag queen made her way to the changing rooms.
Finally, she found herself in her dressing room she shared with two other drag queens. They laughed as they changed from discreet clothing to over the top, loud, gaudy costumes. Soon, Sue-belle no longer had any traces of being Rodger.
Sue-belle sighed happily, and ran her hands through her hair, loving the feel of the long tresses.
"Sue-belle, there's someone here for you!" Sue-belle smiled, suspecting who it could be.
"Well, darling, Teal, let them in," she responded to the other drag queen. Teal, his co-star through many years, held a strict no-men-in-the-dressing-room, but men in skirts were just fine. She could hear Tel sigh loudly as she opened the door. But who stood on the other side was not the man Sue-belle expected.
"Corbin!" She screeched, surprised and pleased. "What are you doing here?" The young man smiled and entered the dressing room, Teal and Sue-belle's other co-star (Misty) happily greeted and hugged Corbin. They all had missed him dearly since he was forced to move.
It was then Sue-belle noticed a person lurking by the open door. She smiled a little sadly at the figure.
"Oh, Brier, you're welcome in here too." The shy boy jumped a little and looked from the drag queens to his boyfriends. Sue-belle could tell that he wanted to cling to him dearly, but was resisting. "Corbin, sweetie, I am going to steal your charming little flower for a moment."
Corbin stuttered for a few moments, looking from his old friend to his lover, before finally settling with "Alright, but don't be too long. Your show is soon, and Brier and I still have to get to the hotel tonight."
Sue-belle swept out of the dressing room in her glorious deep blue fish tail gown, grabbing Brier by the wrist. She led him to the bar where she sat on a stool, posing perfectly and the boy stood awkwardly by.
"Honey, I am so proud of you," the drag-queen started. Brier simply looked confused. "I know you're introverted, and you're a little timid and meek. It's hard to break these things, but there is nothing wrong with them. What I am simply trying to say is this: Thanks for bringing Corbin to us for a visit. It means a lot to us. Other than the few who managed to visit, we haven't seen Corbin in a few years. We knew him through some really rough times, and some of us blame ourselves for what happened and for how things turned out in that house. Thank you for letting us have Corbin for a little bit." A silence stretched between them. "Oh, just listen to me. This old queen is babbling—"
"No, I understand. You, all of you, are his family too." Brier stopped, almost hesitating. Sue-belle could tell he was looking for the right words. "I fell in love with Corbin because he seemed to tragically beautiful, soft, yet I was scared to touch, you know?" He looked desperately at Sue-belle, willing her to understand. "But it was when you visited that I knew what I had to do. I couldn't let him make me into one of his casual things. I had to make him admit I was important and that he had to work for me. And that I had to work him too. You guys gave him a family so he could be open to love me. I have to thank you for that. And it's simply the right thing for me to let him visit, and for to get to know this family as well." Even if it scares the shit out of me was left unspoken.
Sue-belle smiled, knowing that Corbin had found the right person for him, the one who was going to balance him and make him finally strive to be person for this boy. She pulled Brier into a hug that he seemed to resist at first, but then accepting.
"Thanks for being there for Corbin before I could be."
"Thanks for being there for him now. I've never seen such a honest smile on his face." Sue-belle released Brier, and carefully wiped her eyes, trying to dry her tears without ruining her make-up. "Oh, goodness, time for us to get back stage. You two need to find seats and my girls and I need to get on stage." The boy smiled, a little meek, but genuinely happy. "Come, child, let's find you your beau."
Sue-belle/Rodger knew it was all too late to be going home. But there was something waiting for this queen in the apartment that was shared with her/his important person.
"Honey, darling, I'm home. Are you still awake?" Sue-belle/Rodger knew it was late and doubted Christian would still be awake.
Sue-belle/Rodger loved Christian dearly. They'd been together for years. And tonight was their 25th anniversary. Sadly, they weren't married.
And it was this man, Christian that made Sue-belle/Rodger always question him/herself. Who really was this man? Was Rodger a man who dressed in a dress at night that sang and danced, or was Sue-belle a woman who simply was born in the wrong form?
The only thing that mattered in the end was that Christian loved this person, and this person loved Christian.
"I'm up," came a groggy voice from the living room. The apartment was very modestly decorated, a simple couch, pictures of friends and loved ones on the walls and tables. Nothing about this room said that two gay men, one a drag-queen, lived here.
"I'm so late, I'm sorry," Rodger told his partner, dropping his heals by the door and his purse on the table as he made his way to the living room. "The show was delayed, and Corbin showed up with his boyfriend. Honey, they're going to the same college and plan on living together once they don't have to love on campus anymore." Christian smiled as he sat up from the couch, enjoying Rodger's slightly breathless speech.
Christian was the opposite of Rodger. Where Rodger exuded something, even in men's clothing, that tipped people off he was gay, Christian was a simple office man who spent his days in board meetings writing speeches for heads of departments he only knew in the office.
His hair was short cropped and side swept, though now was sticking up thanks to his nap on the couch. He was well built, showing signs of having farming ancestry in his barrel chest and wide shoulders, though his body had started showing his age.
He stood and pulled Rodger into his arms. The drag queen promptly stopped talking and nuzzled his face into the other man's shoulder. Their bodies simply fit together, and Rodger couldn't decide if it was because they were meant to be, or if they had simply been together for so long that their bodies just naturally complimented each other now. Either way, he was happy.
"Happy 25th," Christian whispered in his ear, before kissing his partner. Rodger smiled happily, knowing nothing else really mattered when you had moments like these.
"Congratulations!" Rodger screamed into the phone as the bar of drag queens behind him erupted into cheering for Brier and Corbin. "So, you're both done with college. What now?"
"Well, Brier is thinking of grad school for his art. We've been looking at schools for him, and places for me to work. If we can get his name off the ground, he can sell paintings and possibly teach at a school," Corbin said. Sue-belled could hear the smile in his voice, which already exuded pride for his partner. Then there was a distinct voice in the voice in the background shyly asking if they were on speaker phone over there. Corbin and Sue-belled laughed.
"Yeah, sorry, darling! Now, what about you Corbin?" The bar leaned in leaned in closer to listen.
"I'm not really sure. I… I might be helping my dad with his business. Since my mom and I have managed to be on good terms for 5 years now, well, things are finally good at home." Sue-belle wished he could see them. Brier was probably smiling happily, holding Corbin's hand, as the more confident extroverted boy shoed some shyness. "But, since Dad seems to have been busy while I was at school, his business has really grown, and I'm sure I could do freelance for him from wherever."
The bar was silent, many of the queens were crying for their dear Corbin. It seemed not so long ago he was staying every night to avoid the family that now seemed to be working.
"Oh, Brier, you should be so proud of yourself. Look what you've done for Corbin."
"I didn't do it all. All I did was tell him to get along with his mom that day you visited when we were in high school. He did all the rest." Sue-belle smiled, she could tell Brier was smiling.
"Alright, alright, all us queens better get made up for us shows tonight. We'll let you two love birds go," Rodger started shooing everyone away. "Oh, and you two better call before the week is up so we can plan a visit, whether it be me and Christian going there, or you two coming here."
"Of course, Sue-belle," Corbin said and Brier laughed in the background.
"Ok, ok, bye darlings!" Sue-belle called and Corbin and Brier chorused a good-bye before the line went dead. The drag queen put down the phone, sighing, feeling a little tired, but happy.
"Who are we visiting?" came a voice. Rodger's voice lit up as he turned and saw his other half.
"Christian! U thought you had a thing you had to go, some speech?"
"You are obviously more important," he said, pulling the other man into his arms. He hugged him tightly, kissing his forehead and then his lips. "Rodger, let's get married."
AN And so they ran away to Canadia to get married.
I really wanted to include this scene I had in my head where Corbin called Brier when he was at work, where Corbin had this for realsies office job with his papa and Brier is working at a convenience store or some shit and he was just mopping up the floors, and they're talking about dinner plans and telling the other to hurry home because they love each other and finally say it to each other.
But I like this better.
Merry Christmas everyone! Thanks for everything, here's my gift to all of you!