Author: Kat Lee
Fandom: Golden Girls
Character/Pairing: Blanche/Dorothy, Rose, Sophia
Challenge/Prompt: fffc Amnesty r18.05: Lotion
Warning(s): LGBTQ Issues
Word Count: 1,599
Date Written: 6 September 2018
Disclaimer: All characters within belong to their rightful owners, not the author, and are used without permission.
“OH, DOROTHY!” Blanche groaned, leaning into her secret girlfriend’s hands. “THAT FEELS SO GOOD!” Her eyes were just beginning to roll back in her head when the door to the lanai slid open and Rose stepped out.
“Oh my!” she gasped, spotting the lovers.
“Oh my nothing, Rose!” Dorothy snapped. “I’m just putting lotion on Blanche’s back! That’s all!”
Rose stopped and eyed the two of them together. “Doesn’t she usually use a man?” she asked. Her face suddenly flushed. “I mean, hum, to do that sort of thing?”
“Do you see a man here?” Dorothy retorted irritably.
“Well, no . . . “ Rose started. “But why’s she doing it here any way instead of at the beach?”
“Didn’t you hear that weatherman yesterday talkin’ ‘bout th’ winds on th’ beach?”
“What about them?” Rose asked, frowning and growing ever more puzzled.
“Ah don’t need those winds messin’ up mah new perm, you silly ninny, not before mah date tonight! So Ah’m just gonna sun out here on th’ lanai an’ Dorothy was kind enough to put some lotion on me so Ah don’t just burn!”
“Riiiight,” Rose replied, drawing out the word. She might be silly. She might be naive. But she knew that her dearest friends were far more than just friends themselves. “You know,” she said slowly, “you can be honest with me. You can tell me you’re together.”
“What?!” Dorothy snapped. Both she and Blanche looked up at Rose in a hurry. Panic widened Blanche’s eyes while Dorothy’s blazed with anger.
“It’s not like it would change anything,” Rose told them. “Love’s love after all. And I know Blanche still goes out with men while Dorothy usually stays at home, but I don’t care what or who you girls do as long as you’re happy.” She smiled at them.
“Rose -- “ Blanche started, but Dorothy cut her off.
“That is the dumbest thing I’ve heard all day! Rose, hand me that paper,” she said, pointing at the next lounger.
“Oh, no, Dorothy, I’m not doing that again today! But I mean it, you guys. You don’t have to hide your love from me. I’m a big girl, and I’m accepting of all kinds of relationships.”
“Rose,” Dorothy stated through gritted teeth, “I’m only going to say this once: Blanche and I are not together. Not in that way. We both do men. Just because I haven’t found a guy I like in a while -- “
“Oh, come on, Dorothy, who do you think you’re kidding?”
“ROSE!” Dorothy thundered.
Rose cringed and shied away from her friends as Dorothy started to get up. “Fine! Fine!” she said, waving her hands in the air. “Keep your secret if it’s that important to you!” Despite her fear of Dorothy, she forced herself to face them again with an earnest smile. “I just want you both to be happy and to know I’m happy for you!” She hurried back inside, leaving Dorothy to sink back down onto the lounger beside Blanche. She rested one large and manly hand on the Southern belle’s back.
Blanche twisted underneath Dorothy’s hand until she was able to see her face. “Dorothy, that wasn’t necessary -- “
“The Hell it wasn’t!”
“But Rose is our friend, Dorothy, an’ you’re always treatin’ her so mean!”
“She’s always being so stupid!” Dorothy exclaimed in her defense.
“What was stupid about that, Dorothy?” Blanche asked her point blank. “She was only trying to let us know that she supports us no matter what anybody else thinks. Wouldn’t it be nice to be out o’ th’ closet a little?”
“You tell me, Scarlett,” Dorothy snapped. “You’re the one who insists on dating men!”
“Dorothy, Ah love you,” Blanche said with an exasperated sigh, “but those men -- They give me somethin’ you can’t -- or you won’t!”
“Precisely! You can, but you won’t!” Blanche exclaimed. “You won’t go out with me on th’ town, not as anythin’ more than friends! You won’t wine an’ dine me!”
“I don’t have that kind of money -- “ Dorothy started.
“You know damn well it’s not about money!” Blanche jumped to her feet and slapped her magazine loudly down onto the lounger.
Dorothy sighed. Slowly she looked up at her, and even more slowly, she started to apologize. “I’m sorry, sweetheart. I am. But -- But you don’t know what kind of mess we’d face if we both came out of the closet! I get enough harassment as it is, and people only expect I’m butch! You don’t follow the news, and you don’t know history like I do!”
“Yes, yes, Dorothy! We all know you’re th’ smart one an’ Ah’m th’ beautiful one an’ -- “
“AND SOMETIMES GAYS GET SHOT JUST FOR BEING GAYS!” Dorothy jumped to her feet. “Blanche, you saw the kind of things prejudice caused in the South between races! People treat our people just as badly as they did the blacks back then, sometimes worse! How many times have you heard of someone being thrown out of their own family just for being who they are and loving the person their heart tells them to love?!”
Blanche patted her curls back into place. She smiled up at Dorothy. “Ah knew you had it in you to be romantic!”
“I’M NOT BEING ROMANTIC!” Dorothy hollered, throwing her hands up in despair. “I’M TRYING TO MAKE YOU SEE HOW DANGEROUS IT WOULD BE FOR US BOTH IF WE CAME OUT OF THE CLOSET! You worry about your reputation,” she said more softly, “and what jealous beaus might do to me for making you turn gay. How many times have you told me that? But it can get a lot worse than that, Blanche! We could lose everything -- our careers, our standing in this town, even our very lives!”
“But not because of Rose knowing!” Blanche exclaimed just as heatedly. “Rose would nevah do any o’ those things to us!”
“No, she wouldn’t,” Dorothy agreed, “but how often have you known Rose to keep a secret?”
Blanche started to protest again, but then shut her mouth with a quick snap. After a moment, she sighed, “You’re right.” She sashayed across the lanai, wanting, for a moment, to look at anything but Dorothy while tears shimmered in her eyes. “Of course you’re right,” she whispered, defeated.
“I am right,” Dorothy insisted, reaching out, taking her hand in hers, and drawing her back to her, “and I don’t like it any more than you do. But I will not endanger your life or have you hurt in any way just so we can stop hiding!” She kissed her hand, drawing Blanche to look back up at her through her tears.
“Sh,” Dorothy whispered, sensing the need to sob growing inside of her girlfriend. She drew her closer into her arms, squeezed her hand with the hand that held hers, and rubbed the small of her bared back with her other hand. “Maybe one day we’ll be able to come out of hiding,” she told her, trying to cheer her up, “but that time hasn’t come yet. It’s still too dangerous.”
Blanche sighed, a tear falling from her eyes. “Ah know you’re right,” she whispered emotionally. She stamped her foot. “Ah hate it, but Ah know you’re right!”
Dorothy cupped her face in her hands. “But it won’t always be this way,” she vowed, “and the very moment I think it’s safe for us to come out of the closet, you’ll know it, because you’ll hear me shouting at the top of my lungs that I love Blanche Devereaux.”
“You do?” she asked breathlessly, fluttering her eyelashes.
“Of course I do, Scarlett,” she answered with a smile through her own tears. She kissed her long and deep, and as they melted into each other’s embrace, their kisses and tongues working away their fears, anger, and tears, Rose squealed from just inside the living room. She then immediately clasped her hands over her mouth.
“What’s wrong with you?” Sophia snapped, looking up from her knitting.
“I -- I -- “ Rose stopped. She didn’t know if Sophia had figured out Blanche and Dorothy’s true relationship or not. She turned quickly away from the door leading out to the lanai. “Nothing.”
“Are those two making out like lovebirds again?”
“You know?” Rose asked in surprise.
“Of course I know! I’m Dorothy’s mother, aren’t I?”
“And you don’t care?”
“Of course I don’t! Long as the Slut Puppy keeps my Pussycat happy, that’s all that matters to me!” Sophia pointed her needles at Rose. “But don’t you dare blab a word of this, blondie -- “
“I won’t,” Rose vowed. “Oh, I promise I won’t, Sophia! But isn’t it wonderful?” she asked, beaming down at her.
“Yeah, yeah, it’s wonderful! Now go fix me something to eat.”
Rose chuckled. “Yes, ma’am,” she teased in response. She didn’t mind being bossed around right now, however. She was too happy to care how many times Sophia or Dorothy were mean to her, how many times Dorothy hit her in the head with newspapers, or even that Dorothy and Blanche did not yet trust her with her secret. She knew! Her friends were happy. Her family was happy! That was all that really mattered, and theirs was one secret Rose would keep until the day she died. She’d seen what had happened to gay animals back on the farm after all, and she would protect Dorothy and Blanche, and the secret to their true happiness, until her very last breath -- or until they decided to come out of the closet together, whichever came first. She hoped it was the latter.