Author: Kat Lee
Fandom: Golden Girls
Challenge/Prompt: femslashbb: Changes
Warning(s): AU, Character Deaths, Future Fic
Word Count: 1,677
Date Written: 25 April 2017
Disclaimer: All characters within belong to their rightful owners, not the author, and are used without permission.
She watches her pick daintily at her food and look around them, underneath her lashes, at the younger couples. She's been watching her all day, waiting for the moment when she could come to her and admit what's bothering her, but Blanche's softly spoken question still catches Dorothy by surprise. "Do you ever wonder," she asks tentatively, "why we're still here?"
"What do you mean?" Dorothy asks, frowning.
"Why us? Ah mean, there's been so many changes in our lives, Dorothy. We've outlived our husbands, our parents, our siblings, all th' rest o' our friends . . . Why, we've even outlived our children! That's not natural, you know."
"It's supposed to be the other way around," Dorothy says gently, inclining her head in a subtle nod and reaching across the table to take Blanche's hand in hers. Her thumb gingerly slides over the back of Blanche's hand as she admits, "But that's not always the way it is. Things change."
"Yeah," Blanche agrees. "There's been a lot o' changes in our lives, but sometimes, it's too much you know?"
Dorothy wonders what younger woman has caught Blanche's eye. It's not that she thinks she's been attracted to somebody else -- she knows she's the only woman to whom Blanche has ever turned her romantic intentions --, but she's often finding a younger female who seems to be the new, hottest thing on the town as Blanche herself once was. She almost asks her who it is this time, but Blanche speaks again before she can.
"We've seen a lot of changes in our lives, Dorothy. Many good things have happened during our life spans. Electricity has become common, and women have gotten the right to vote. We hold as many offices now as men do, even if we don't always get there the same way. Our people -- both women and gays -- are everywhere, an' most o' us don't even bother to hide any more. We don't need to hide," she corrects herself. "Ah appreciate th' good things -- don't get me wrong --, but there's been so many bad things too. Like that killer they stopped last month."
Dorothy tenses, her hold on her love's hand tightening instinctively. "Don't tell me you're thinking about that thing again -- "
"How can Ah not, Dorothy? That could've been us. We could've been at that club that night."
"Hardly. That's where the young people go."
"And where do we go, Dorothy? Now that it's just th' two o' us? Do you really want to live th' rest o' our lives in Miami? In th' same house where we found both Rose an' yoah mother dead? There are so many memories at home, so many memories in this town -- "
"But most of them are good, aren't they?"
"Yeah. Ah didn't say they weren't. But it gets hard on me sometimes, sweetheart, so Ah know it has to be hard on you." Her hand turns in Dorothy's grip, her fingers wrapping more tightly around hers. "Ah miss them too, you know. Ah still miss Big Daddy an' Momma, an' God knows Ah miss Becky. Ah never thought Ah'd bury mah own child! As much as we fought, Dorothy, Ah nevah wanted her to -- "
Dorothy lets go of Blanche's hand and moves her chair besides hers. She takes her in her arms and hugs her gently but tightly, reminding her with her embrace not only how much she loves her but that she is there for her always. She strokes her hair, strokes her back, ignoring the looks they get from other tables. In her ear, she whispers, "I know, baby. I know. Hell, I even miss Stan sometimes!"
"But do you really want to go?" She leans back, cups Blanche's teary face in her hands, and strokes her painted cheeks with her tired, old fingers. "Even if we were to go, where would you want to go? Atlanta? That town holds just as many memories for you -- "
"Ah know," Blanche says, nodding. "Ah know. It's just . . . " She sighs, words failing her. After a long moment of just letting Dorothy hold and stroke her, she admits, "Ah don't really want to go, Ah guess. It's just sometimes . . . Sometimes, Ah wonder why we're still here. After all the changes, after all th' lives that have been taken, why us? What could we possibly have still to contribute to humanity that He would keep us hangin' on like this? Why not let us go home?"
Dorothy sighs. She remembers having similar conversations with her mother after they buried Phil and Rose. So many loved ones had been taken from them already, and so many have been taken from them since. She flips to the obituary pages every day when she first gets the newspapers these days just to see who else has passed from this world, and there are more names being added to the ever-lengthening list each and every day.
But, still, she knows the answer. She knows why they're still alive, even if it isn't an answer she necessarily wants to give. It seems lame in a way, but it's nonetheless the truth. Both Rose and her mother made her realize that years ago. "Because," she answers softly and simply, "it's not our time yet."
"Part o' me wants to know when it will be that time."
"Blanche -- "
"It's not that Ah want to live you, Dorothy. You're the best thing that's ever happened to me. But Ah'm so dreadfully tired o' this world! It isn't at all what it used to be like! It's changed so much since we were little girls -- "
"Mostly for the better," Dorothy gently reminds her.
"Mostly," Blanche agrees, nodding, "but not entirely. Do you know we're going to war again? Ah swear it feels like our sailors are always leavin' for one war or another, an' it's not like Ah can give 'em th' send off Ah used to!"
"Blanche!" Dorothy cries, protesting.
"Not that Ah would if Ah could, Dorothy. That's not what Ah'm gettin' at."
"Then what are you getting at?"
"Ah guess . . . Ah guess Ah'm just sayin' Ah'm tired. Ah'm ready to go home, but not without you. Ah'm ready for us to go home together."
Her words tear at Dorothy's heart. Her eyes moisten with the realization of how improbable that goal is, but she's not about to voice it and upset Blanche any further. "There's another reason," she says gently, fighting back tears, "why we're still here."
"What's that?" Blanche whispers.
Dorothy smiles at her through the tears flooding her eyes, suddenly feeling twice as old as she actually is, and God knows she's old enough already. "Because," she answers quietly, simply, "we still need each other."
"Ah'll always need you, Dorothy!" Blanche squeezes her hand swiftly.
"And I'll always need you too," she tells her. "That's what we're really doing here, Blanche: It's not our time, but even if it was, we're not ready to let the other go yet." We'll never be ready, she thinks to herself, but if Blanche even suspects her darkening thoughts, she doesn't voice it.
Instead she stares steadfastly up into her eyes. "Ah'll never let you go, Dorothy," she vows.
Part of Dorothy wants to warn us that things aren't that simple -- that they don't get to say who stays or goes from this life any more than they had any say in the multitude of loved ones they've lost --, but another part of her wants desperately to believe her promise. Blanche's attention is focused on her now instead of the past. She lifts her hand and kisses it, then makes yet another change in this ever-changing world as she leans closer and kisses Dorothy for the first time, gently, smoothly, fully, in front of a restaurant full of strangers.
"Blanche!" Dorothy breathes her name unsettlingly as Blanche's lips lift from hers.
Her eyes seem to sparkle as they gaze up into hers. "It's all right, Dorothy," she assures her. "Ah know exactly what Ah'm doin'. Ah nevah was more ready for a change in all mah life than this." Raising her hand to her lips again, Blanche kisses the ring she gave her years ago before kissing her lips again.
Dorothy sighs into their kiss, letting her go and letting her own worries be erased with the pleasurable, passionate power of Blanche's mouth and tongue. They'll worry about death and dying again tomorrow, but today, she only wants to concentrate on Blanche and the love they share. Today she only wants to spend every moment she still has in this world loving her and being loved by her.
Today, for a short while at least, she has the answers: She doesn't want to go anywhere. She certainly doesn't want to move. She wants to stay right here in Miami with Blanche at her side and in her arms. She wants to stay with her forever, and although she can't quite manage forever, she'll certainly stay with her for however long she can, for however long she still has on this Earth, which she suddenly hopes is a very, very long time to come.
Blanche doesn't lift her mouth from Dorothy's, but she does look up long enough to spy their waiter and wave at him for the cheek. This morning, while she was getting dressed, it seemed like everything had changed, but now she knows how wrong she was. Many things have changed, but the feelings she has for Dorothy, and those her lover holds for her, will never change. She also knows exactly why they're still here: to love and cherish each other which they will do, despite death or anything else that tries to stand in their way, forever! "Ah love you, Dorothy Zbornak!" she breathes against her lips.
"I love you too, Blanche Deveraux! Now let's go home." They raise, hand in hand together, to head home and spend the rest of their lives exactly where they belong: together!