Well, this is my first attempt at branching out from an Ouran fic, but I'm proud of this, and I figured that I'd post it anyway. Sorry you haven't heard from me in a while; I was actually out of the country and then I was really stressed.
If you know anything of Guys and Dolls, this is Miss Adelaide, the character behind the character. It is mainly a character study… with just a hint of plot thrown in for flavor. Let me know what you think in reviews. And, yes, I am well-aware that there are tons of references to the show and dialogue in this. It was written with that in mind.
Rating: I think high T, low M. There are adult references and some language, but it's never anything too graphic. You have been warned now, so I am no longer liable for anything.
There are mentions of Adelaide x Sky, Adelaide x Nathan, Adelaide x Society Max, Adelaide x Harry the Horse, General Cartwright x Joey Biltmore, Cartwright x Abernathy, and Sarah x Sky. But they're the actors and actresses, so just read on.
Disclaimer: I own nothing but a cat, and, like, fifty bazillion pictures of my native homeland, Polska.
At night, her name is Adelaide. She's the main performer at the Hot Box and has been in a committed relationship for fourteen years.
She's pretty sure her (real, though that's arguable) name is fairly unimportant during show time. It's only before and after that she's fawned over. She can deal with that. She's one of the best Adelaides Broadway and off-Broadway has ever seen.
Though, if she had a dollar for every time she's been called Adelaide off stage and on the street, she'd be richer than she already is.
In reality, she's dating her co-cast member Sky and has a gorgeous loft in the corner of New York.
And she thinks that, maybe, she likes not being known better as her true name. She's okay with being known as the nasal, annoying doll with a heart almost as big as her bill for tissues. Miss Adelaide's a far more attractive person than she is anyway.
Her niece calls her up one Saturday, practically a-blubber, wailing excitedly about how she's Adelaide in her school's rendition of Guys and Dolls, begging her to come see the play.
Her niece got her voice and her acting ability—she's flawless up on stage and so thrilled the girl can hardly contain her beam as she prances around and tries to pout and orders the most awful sandwiches.
She asks her aunt how she performed afterwards. She tells the young one she'd be better off just doing plays for fun.
And when the girl looks like she wants to cry? She's just trying to save the little one.
She'd never wish this life on anyone.
For all her good intentions, her brother, the girl's father, tells her that she can never, ever come visit them again. She thinks that, maybe, that's okay. Her parents aren't in the picture, and her brother doesn't understand, and so she's okay with it all.
She'd rather be alone anyway.
She tells sob stories to the press of her background, and people love her. But, really, she was just a nobody who came from nothing in a little place called Nowhere. Her voice got her somewhere. And her face.
Because she's pretty. She knows that too. Like, really pretty. So, she uses it because it makes her sob story all the better.
In reality, she knows relatively nothing of hardship. She knows monotony and routine, but her early life was not a challenge. True, she did ditch college just to go act, but she's twenty-five now and makes more money than anyone else her age, so she'd say that she's doing well.
But to the world, she's beaten the odds. Her mommy hit her, and her daddy touched her, and she joined the theatrical world because it was the only place where emotionally vomiting all over an audience was okay.
When she first gave an interview of her life, she knew she was going to lie (she'd had a story worked out since she was ten for when she left her dinky hometown for better things), and she half-expected the phone call from her mother.
She didn't expect the tears.
The woman wailed about how she's made her early (previous) life seem awful.
The elder did not understand.
So, she let her mother whine and promised to fix it and hung up.
Eventually, she just stopped taking calls from home. Her mother can bitch all she wants from nowhere; nobody listens to other nobodies anyway.
(She once loved her mother and her father, but they just got in the way and were, thus, expendable. Her talent's bigger than them anyway.)
So, okay, maybe her daddy didn't touch her, and her mommy didn't hit her. She's got parent issues, but they're easy pickings, and she's always liked easy pickings. She's a firm believer in Darwinism, and nobody in Nowhere deserves to reproduce anyway.
She's done other shows, but her known role is Adelaide. That's why she's who she is, and, after all these rehearsals in Broadway (and off-Broadway) settings, that's who she is.
After they tried to revive it the first time, and she'd just so happened to snag the part and make them a ton of money, everyone wanted to do it.
Her cast mates are all familiar to her, except for Sarah, who is new to the scene and just happened to hook up with the right person at some nightclub that was so dark she forgot who she was.
But her Nathan is the same as he's been for the last couple of runs, and she met Sky during West Side Story when he was her Tony.
In a way, she's (kind of) over them and this role, and she wants something else. Something new.
Maybe that's how she winds up in trouble.
It's one day before practice during the month they have set aside for rehearsal, and she's sitting on the floor, foot bent in half as she curls over it.
She used to dance ballet and only gave it up two years ago when Guys and Dolls revivals were suddenly the new, hot thing.
It still feels good to stretch her toes out before dancing, and, though there isn't much in this show that's incredibly difficult, she's still into keeping her joints fluid.
So, she's sitting there when Miss Sarah wanders up, tears streaked across her cheekbones (that still hold freckles, dotting the skin like tiny, fawn constellations).
"I'm pregnant, but I don't know if I should get an… abortion," Sarah says without much preamble, but she spits out the last word as if it's a curse. She continues on about how she's Catholic, and it's wrong, but Adelaide tunes her out as she's thinking of Sky and the fucking kid he's left behind and the fact that now she's the person to whom people open up.
She only comes back to the real world when Sarah, with her sweet face and innocent eyes (she'd put money on the fact that her co-cast member was a virgin before Sky, and now she's probably got some disease or infection), murmurs, "Do you think he'd want it? Should I tell him? Should I just… get rid of it?"
She looks at this new girl with her tear-streaked face and rosy complexion. And then she looks over at Sky, who's flirting with a chorus girl again.
He's always stepped out on her. It's why she's messing around with Harry the Horse, Society Max, and her Nathan. That's how their relationship works, and everybody knows it (even though, like Macbeth, it's taboo in this theatre to mention it). So, she can't understand why this new, young thing didn't pick up on the relationship.
She's surprised she only sounds slightly cynical, but she still manages to swipe most of the pity from her voice.
"Yeah, doll, get rid of it."
Her best friend is Nicely Nicely Johnson. He's gay. And, despite what the stage directions say, he despises eating because he despises throwing it up later. He's the first one to admit that he has a problem and the last to want to change. In a way, because they're all so screwed up, that's how they all are.
They're in a coffee shop down the road from the theatre, and she's telling him about Sarah, and he keeps making these little, clucking noises with his tongue.
"Well, dear, you can't hate the girl," he finally murmurs, and she looks at him a bit stunned.
"Why not? He's my boyfriend."
"No," he's quick to jump in, "he's your whore. Just like he fucks around on you, you do the exact same thing. And she's just a baby."
"She's two years younger than I am," she says with steely resolve, as if this is Judgment Day come to pass.
He disregards the comment though, drops the conversation, and orders one of the barista's chocolate croissants saying, "I'm going to hate myself for this later."
In a way, she's glad that Nicely can focus on what's really important more than anyone else.
She really hates how everything in life is so non-canon. She hates the fact that she's, practically, made it canon again even more.
They're in the chorus girl dressing room between acts, and she really doesn't know why she's here—she hasn't been in here ever, and she only came to try and fix her lipstick. There is gossip that's floating around almost as abundantly as the hairspray, so many girls making pouty faces at the mirrors, and so much laughter that she knows why she stayed away.
A box of cigarettes gets passed around, and everybody reaches in to take one. Cigarette kisses are shared, and, when she doesn't reach to take one, one girl starts up with how, as the star, she must think she's better than lowly chorus girl.
Which is true because she is, but she takes one and lights up.
She doesn't even puff on it twice before she looks around again.
She stubs her cigarette out and ignores the dirty look one of her Hot Box girls shoots her.
She's never really liked the taste of tobacco on her tongue anyway.
(But, just to fuck around, she shoves her tongue into Nathan's mouth onstage so he can hate it too.)
In between one of her many costume changes, she walks into a dressing room, and there they are. Joey Biltmore is fucking General Cartwright up against the mirror. The General, an attractive brunette woman of questionable morals and even more questionable taste in men, is dating General Abernathy, and he's one of those types that's very needy and demanding and… soft-spoken. It's not surprising that he can't scratch that itch she's been feeling for a man, and she's even less surprised that the General is in here during the scene between Sky and Sarah in the mission.
So, she stands there for a second and just watches, and is surprised that nobody else can hear the wall-banging and moaning going down in here. And then she leaves.
She won't rat them out anyway.
Nathan's in the hallway when she comes sashaying out, so she leads him to a dark corner backstage where there are no members of stage crew underfoot, and she lets him push her against a wall. While her boyfriend is onstage singing to another woman about how he'll know when his love comes along, she's with her Nathan, letting him kiss her neck and face and eyes and guiding his hands up her costume for Bushel and A Peck. (She makes sure to keep her lips away from his suit and his face because they've been caught for that before, and the coat of red paint looks just glossy enough as is.)
(She'd hate to ruin a good lipstick job anyway.)
She remembers when Sky would sing that song to her, and she'd melt hearing his beautiful baritone voice.
Now, they don't sing to one another.
She thinks she hates him.
That's what love is though. After all, Adelaide's, probably, the wisest council there is on matters of the heart.
She isn't sure how she ended up as stupid as Miss Sarah is, but she's holding the test in her hand to prove it.
She's pregnant. The thirteen (which has always been her lucky number—that was when she was discovered and got her first role in Into the Woods as Red Riding Hood) pregnancy tests spread across her bathroom counter all say the exact same thing.
She vaguely hates the number thirteen now.
She sinks to the floor with a dramatic sigh and puts on an appropriate moue.
It's Nathan's. She hasn't slept with Sky in months, and Nathan's wonderful. But she knows that any other "normal" girl would want it to be Sky's kid because he's debonair and charming and rugged and handsome.
You know, Nathan is just as good a choice as any. Sandy blond hair that's been cut into a period style (but is still soft when she fists her fingers in it), ice blue eyes, a tall, whippet thin frame, and the most fabulous bone structure she's ever seen on a man. He's not as ruggedly handsome as Sky, but he's pretty, and, if she's going to get saddled with a kid, she'd like a pretty baby.
At least, she's pretty sure it's Nathan's kid. Or Harry's. But, then, she never gets swept up in Harry like she does with Nathan, so she'd never forget a condom like she could with her stage boyfriend. So, unless Harry was lying, which he doesn't do, about broken condoms, then she's pretty sure it's the tall one's.
So, she doesn't tell him. She doesn't tell anybody.
One of the costume ladies figures it out pretty quickly. She can tell because the other woman purses her lips and looks at her through her lashes, and it's really obvious that she just gained an inch around her otherwise-flawless waist.
The woman doesn't say anything though, just keeps letting the waistlines a bit, adding on baubles to disguise any residual bump.
She's the most ornately beautiful Adelaide there's ever been. She's also the most pregnant.
One day, when she's tired of pretending, she's sitting in Benny's living room and it just sort of slips out.
"Benny, I'm knocked up."
After Nicely Nicely, she likes Benny the most and the least. He's got the biggest dick this side of the Mission, and the only reason she knows this is because they commonly share a dressing room in the panic to get onstage. He's also the biggest dick this side of Joey Biltmore's.
"Yeah, doll, and I'm Bugsy Malone," he wheezes, slapping her thigh with the joke he thinks this is.
So she giggles and titters and slaps at his chest.
"So, how are you and Nathan?" he asks when he's stopped laughing and she's stopped pretending to.
"I'm with Sky," she reminds him, and Benny just laughs.
"Sure you are," he humors, but she can see that he knows she's lying.
At this point, being pregnant with Nathan's baby and not having shared a bed with Sky in months, she doesn't even know if she can contradict him.
She's in her fifth month (and, generally, in the seventh month of performances) when she first starts to show. And, she realizes it when she looks down after throwing off her mink in a last minute rehearsal, and it's like she's ballooned out. She's also in the middle of "Take Back Your Mink" and has just told this guy to take back his hat when it happens, and the words die in her throat with a gasp.
Her dancers freeze around her, clownish, dull, back-up girl smiles frozen on their faces and confusion in their eyes. One of the directors (or maybe it's the producer—she can't tell with this spotlight burning in her eyes) asks if she's okay.
She just nods.
She's been doing the whole pregnancy thing. Going to ultrasounds and appointments, eating well, exercising, taking vitamins. She's a pro at this, but nobody prepared her for a belly.
So, she starts singing again after a second of breathing and just brushes it off when her eyes catch again on the bump that just wasn't there last night.
After practice has ended, she goes to the directors, who are talking, and murmurs demurely, "I'm so sorry that I am unable to continue with this show, but I must tender my resignation."
She tries to make it nice and sweet, but they're instantly crying at the thought of losing her, and it's really quite annoying, so, just because she vaguely wants to fuck with them, she holds up a hand and cuts them off with, "I'm pregnant."
To prove it, she holds up the loose shirt she's been wearing to hide the now-somewhat-obvious bump, and they look at her with wonder and horror splashed in their eyes.
"How long?" Jeremy, the cute, subtly gay one asks.
"I'm five months along."
They look mildly horrified that she's been dancing with this baby hidden, and she just nods.
"My understudy should have no problems stepping up. She's pretty enough, and her voice is sweetly nasal, and that's okay. I have other matters to attend to though."
She walks down the stairs and catches sight of one of the girls, the one who played Mimi and is (was?) her understudy, and they share a nod.
It's her turn to sell her soul now.
He catches her as she's walking out into the night, and she lets him.
"So, I hear you're quitting the show."
She could say that's surprised by how quickly it's spread, but she isn't, so she doesn't.
"Yeah. I think that we should just end this here too, Sky."
She gestures between them, and Sky laughs the laugh that first got her into his bed.
"Baby, this was over months ago," he chides, and she can't even be mad because she knew it too.
She reaches up, cards her fingers through his stiff, gelled hair and presses her mouth against his.
(She's always had a weakness for the taste of him anyway.)
It's the fondest farewell she's willing to give anyone.
She's glad that, maybe, she wasn't the only one who knew it was over.
(Even though everybody knew. Secrets and relationships don't stay secret and committed for very long here.)
(Except for, maybe, Adelaide's tryst with Nathan. But that's just sad.)
She calls him when she's in the hospital's waiting room roughly four months later. Tells him she's giving birth to his baby and maybe he'd want to show up for the birth of his firstborn.
There's stunned silence on his end, but, ten minutes later, he comes sprinting in with his jacket flapping and dice rolling in his pocket (the gel still isn't dry in his hair, and she thinks it's rather adorable).
"You were pregnant?" he asks in this cute, incredulous voice as they're wheeling her back to a delivery room.
"I was… am… whichever."
"And you didn't tell me?"
"I wouldn't want to ruin the show for you. Or your name. Or your career. Or mine. I was supposed to be in a relationship with Sky, and now that we're over, I still wouldn't try to hurt you. So, no, I didn't tell you."
He doesn't look angry, just nods sagely.
It annoys her that he's been using his accent for so long that it just slips out periodically, but she can forgive him that just because of all the shit he's let her get away with.
He doesn't say anything else during it, but he looks disgusted and amazed, and it's vaguely reminiscent of the expression he had when she pressed her cigarette lips to his.
Her daughter comes screaming in to the world at 3:13 in the morning, her mother's lungs totally passed on in the babe.
Nathan holds her for a second before looking at his watch and tapping the glass.
"I gotta go, babe. But… thank you."
She smiles and holds the baby and thinks that maybe she's fallen in love.
"I'll call you when I want four more kids. Maybe I'll even promote you for Christmas," she jokes.
He laughs and then reaches over to kiss her sweaty forehead.
Their daughter, Avalie Rose, is beautiful. She's got her mother's blonde waves and her father's blue eyes and the most fantastical ravishing features ever. She sings all the time, and she's well-aware that her daughter would give her right arm and leg to be on Broadway.
She has no plans of encouraging these dreams.
Nathan will never not be in her life; he's pretty constant, showing up for birthdays and holidays and other stuff in their daughter's life.
She and Nathan don't get married. She thinks that maybe, given fourteen years and him being in the money again, they could though.
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