peace of mind tour

party chapter thirteen - shalaska - pureCAMP

A/N - i know it’s been so long. in fact, it’s been about eight months. it became difficult for me to continue this fic after it coming under fire so much. i was told it was cheap and stupid and as a fairly young writer, it got to me. i lost all motivation.

but we were so close to the end. we were moments away.

it’s short. but this is how i envisioned it. i hope you enjoy, thank you so much to anyone who read this. it means a lot <3

Their cab ride back home had been spent in a relatively awkward silence. For one, it seemed as though Sharon was slightly more rattled from running into her ex than she wanted to let on. Her knee was bouncing, the bones prominent through the thin fabric of her jeans. Alaska just needed a moment to mull over what had just happened, from the encounter right up to the impromptu confession she’d made.

It wasn’t a big deal, right? That was what the whole debacle spanning several months had been about. Alaska loved Sharon. Sharon loved Alaska. It had, essentially, ruined a tour, Sharon’s health, and the peace of mind of nearly all of their friends. So it wasn’t a big deal, that much was clear now. They were in love.

And yet it still felt like one. Mark’s words rang in her ears incessantly.

You’re good at brainwashing people, Aaron.

Sharon wasn’t a bad person. A four year relationship and a friendship afterwards had cemented that fact in Alaska’s mind. But that didn’t change that Sharon had an ugly side, a darker side, beyond the one that was revealed under the influence of illicit substances. There was the side of her that was nihilistic, offensive, the side that didn’t give a shit because she didn’t have a reason to. That side of her was rare, but it still existed.

Surely Sharon wasn’t lying, though. They’d been through so much together. No matter how cheap and stupid it may have seemed, the hard times had brought them together. It had been a wake-up call in many circumstances, from relationships to just plain health. It wasn’t something Sharon could lie about.

As they walked towards the front door – Sharon having paid for the ride and taken hold of Alaska’s hand as soon as they stepped out – Alaska started to relax again. She was just getting stressed; it was natural after such a weird turn of events. To walk hand in hand in the streets of Pittsburgh, a city now infamous thanks to the pair of them, that in itself was enough to skew her mind a little bit. Mark and his stupid little mind games were just the cherry on top of the stress cake.

Sharon flung herself down onto her couch as soon as she got inside, too tired to even properly take her shoes off. Instead, she opted to kick and shake them off as best as she could as she sank into the cushions, pulling Alaska down with her.

“So, you just said you loved me.”

“No I didn’t.”

“Yes you did.” Sharon persisted. “I heard it. I heard it come right out of your little mouth.”

Alaska chuckled at the childish game. “You must have me confused with someone else.”

“Like who?” Sharon laughed. “Who could I possibly have you confused with?”

She pretended to think. “Hmm. A boa constrictor?”

“I prefer feather boas.” Sharon muttered decisively. “They’re prettier. I know I heard you, Lasky. I even said it back. Don’t deny it.”

“Well then,” Alaska replied smugly. “If you know you heard it, why do you need to mention it again?”

Sharon puckered her lips for a kiss. Alaska gladly obliged.

“To make extra sure.” She said. “You don’t think I spent so many months worrying about this not to double check it, did you?”

Alaska softened. “The worrying can stop, Noodles. No amount of ugly exes, past relationships or overdoses are gonna stop me from loving you. I’m not encouraging any of those things, but… they won’t stop me loving you the way I do. Things turned out okay in the end, didn’t they?”

Alaska knew the saying was ‘absence makes the heart grow fonder’, but she wanted to change it. Stronger was perhaps a better word. They’d broken each other down and built one another back up again over years and years, and if anything, their hearts were stronger than they’d been before. More in tune than they’d ever been before. It seemed a break was all they needed, and that was all it had been; a break, not a break up.

The pair were comfortably silent for a while. There was no need to dive on top of one another, ravaging each other with kisses and sex and hickeys and everything that the love novels suggested. Rekindling a fire never encompassed dumping a bottle of gasoline and a box of matches onto the wood. Like a fire, it needed to be dealt with slowly, carefully, bit by bit until they got it right.

They had all the time in the world.

-

(7) New Messages

Willam: Alaska

Willam: Alaska

Willam: Goddammit you fucking snake why are you never awake when important news is breaking

Willam: good luck when you wake up bitch

Courtney: bill! This is serious!

Michelle: Not sure if you’ve seen Instagram and Twitter, but I’d hurry there if I were you. I’m guessing you’re not awake, but…

- Michelle Visage has sent a link –

It had been so comfortable, sat next to Sharon on the couch in silence, that Alaska wasn’t even aware the pair of them had drifted off until she suddenly awoke. Sharon’s hand was resting on her thigh, her head on her neck, and in Alaska’s right hand her phone flashed continuously. Stirring herself cautiously, so as not to wake up Sharon, she unlocked it and groggily read her messages.

Oh for fuck’s sake, she thought to herself. Not again. Why is it that the moment I’m happy, the moment anything good happens, something appears online?

A feeble part of her brain tried to convince herself otherwise. Maybe it wasn’t what she thought? Maybe it was just some snotty club cancelling one of her gigs, another article proclaiming Sharon to be a drug-obsessed Nazi – something standard and easy to brush off. There was a good chance it was another fan taking a stab at finding proof of ‘shalaska’, which again was fairly easy to ignore, if slightly amusing. Some of their theories were wild and some of them were, well, hilariously accurate.

Feeling a little blasé about the whole thing, Alaska opened her twitter. Nothing unusual. Mrs Kasha Davis spreading her positivity. A naked black guy with a gigantic cock, with a small ‘liked by Coco Montrese’ at the top of the photo. Katya spouting strangely ominous nonsense. Phi Phi interacting with fans. Ultimately, nothing seemed out of place.

She clicked trending. Various idiotic topics greeted her as usual. A sporting event, the resignation of a famous player who played… something, a funny hashtag about describing your boss with a movie title, and –

Oh.

That was what they meant.

Despite the words seeming frivolous, Alaska’s heart rate sped up upon reading them. #SharonNeedlesIsOverParty was one of the few trending topics, with a couple of hundred tweets about it.

Heart suddenly filled with dread, Alaska clicked. The first tweet, the most liked and retweeted one of all, was from an oddly familiar source.

Mark - @thatmarkman – Feb 1st

Imagine your already-shitty boyfriend leaving you to go date/fuck the ex that he abused #SharonNeedlesIsOverParty @SHARON_NEEDLES

-picture-

Enlarging the image, Alaska saw it was of herself – blurry, and from the back, but most definitely her. Her hand was entwined with the hand of somebody who hadn’t quite made it into the picture, but she knew was Sharon.

She swiped. This time the two of them were in it, still holding hands, at a side angle that would easily clear any doubts over the first image. Sharon’s side profile was abundantly clear, Alaska’s face almost fully visible. It was incriminating evidence.

angie<3 - @katyasbabyslut2004 – Feb 1st

WHY IS @SHARON_NEEDLES TRYING TO RUIN ALASKA’S CAREER JUST LIKE HERS >:( #SharonNeedlesIsOverParty

Ben||3 days - @delanoactzamomattel – Feb 1st

Wow i sure do love unstanning racist nazi cheaters! #SharonNeedlesIsOverParty

Victoria Ulgard - @trixyalaska49 – Feb 1st

Sum1 tell me this is photoshopped #sharonneedlesisoverparty

56 days - @adoorcilantrosplaid – Feb 1st

Feel like ive waited years for this damn hashtag to be a thing #SharonNeedlesIsOverParty #FINALLY

AB - @kimorasblackk – Feb 1st

Ew shalaska really? #gross #sharonneedlesisOVERparty

Leon :D - @leoshakesqueere1 – Feb 1st

Can someone explain whats going on omg i thought they broke up bc it was abusive?? #shalaska?? #sharonneedlesisoverparty

They went on and on, each one slamming Sharon, or Alaska, or both of them. A few were kind, clogging up the negative tag with positivity, but it did little to fix the issue.

Everything was now out in the open.

This was the last thing Sharon needed, and Alaska knew it. The recovery would be, and already had been, rough. It wasn’t going to get any easier anytime soon, and she didn’t need the added stress of seeing people going bananas over something that didn’t involve them. Sharon was more private than she liked to let on – this would only stress her out.

“Lasky?”

Alaska had been so caught up in scrolling through the madness that she didn’t notice Sharon stirring on her shoulder until the older queen spoke. She was squinting, her glasses having fallen off into her lap, and her brow was furrowed down at her own mobile.

“Why is Michelle texting me?”

A heavy sigh escaped from Alaska’s lips. She couldn’t lie about it. It was inevitable that Sharon would find out; she might as well deliver the news as gently as she could.

“…Your asshole of an ex told the world about us.”

She waited for the reaction.

After a couple of seconds of silence, Sharon nestled down into Alaska’s shoulder again, her eyelids still heavy from sleep.

She yawned. “Is that it?”

Alaska shifted her arm to pull Sharon closer to her, appreciating the calming warmth of having another body by her side. Sharon dropped her phone into her lap, not caring about it, and opened her eyes momentarily to gaze into Alaska’s.

“The thing is…” She began sluggishly, clearly still half-asleep. “It doesn’t fucking matter… ‘cause, I love you baby. ‘N you love me too. The whole world don’t have to love us.”

Within seconds of soliloquising, her eyes were closed again, her body growing heavier against Alaska’s. She sounded so sure, so certain, like it was the most obvious thing in the world. It didn’t matter, she was positive. All that mattered was their love shared, right?

Alaska wasn’t as convinced as she wanted to be. “I don’t know, Sharon… this could have repercussions. It’s so soon…”

“Trust me, pumpkin… you lose a gig, I lose a gig… doesn’t matter. We’re famous ‘n involved in a scandal. We’re hot shit.”

The words were so painfully Sharon that Alaska couldn’t help but laugh. Maybe she was right after all. Logically, she knew it wasn’t going to get any worse than this. Mean tweets, or perhaps a rude comment, or something snotty on Reddit – that would be the beginning and end of their troubles. Of course Sharon’s overdose would remain a problem, but at the same time, the news was dying down. It seemed as though, when it came to Ru Girls, everything flared up for days and then dissipated again.

It was cliché. Beyond cliché. But that didn’t matter. Alaska switched off her phone, putting it face down on the coffee table and gently stroking Sharon’s hair.

Gigs didn’t matter. Mean comments didn’t matter. Unkind tweet and speculations didn’t matter.

What mattered was happiness, love and health.

Happiness. Only months ago, Alaska had expected she wouldn’t find proper happiness again. Confusion shrouded her mind from the obvious, pulling her away from her instinctive thoughts. She stopped following her gut and started following her head, knowing in the back of her mind that this was the same head that caused her self-depreciating thoughts. The head that caused the meltdowns, the tantrums, the angry fits that made her appear overly-competitive and petty. In hindsight, she needn’t have listened to her head. Her heart knew what it wanted. Her heart knew what it needed.

Love. That had been the difficult one. She hadn’t even wanted to recognise the way she was feeling, and had just silenced herself in order to keep up the illusion. In a hotel years ago, she’d decided to listen to her heart and break away – and in another hotel later on, she’d decided not to. For so long she denied herself the very idea; love doesn’t die when a relationship does. It had taken a while. And maybe, just maybe, it didn’t feel as explosive and all-consuming and fiery as it had when they were young, dumb and broke. Maybe, just maybe, the gentle warmth and softness between them, the delicacy of Sharon’s sleeping face and the weight of her body next to her, was enough. Maybe, just maybe, that was love too.

Health. Admittedly, they weren’t doing too well at this one. But it was a start. Sharon was starting to get better. The problem was acknowledged, and being tackled. After one of her many mood swings from angry to guilty, she’d told Alaska she was going to limit her cigarette intake. Originally, she’d decided to quit completely – a resolution that lasted all of five minutes before a craving struck her. Still, it was something. Drugs were out of the window and cigarettes were slowly disappearing. It was something. Progression.

It wasn’t perfect. They would never be perfect. Alaska would always be sensitive, a perfectionist, and prone to reacting negatively when things didn’t always go her way. Sharon would always want to find solace in a bar, to block out the bad feelings with a substance or two, and revert back to her old ways. They would never be perfect. And love certainly wasn’t going to fix that.

But there was nothing they could do to change the imperfections.

So, with as much blasé as she could muster, a brief imitation of her old old friend, Alaska smiled to herself.

Party.

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The Wailers performing “Is This Love” @ The Congress in Chicago on March 24th.