Award Show Hell
by Jennifer-Oksana

Felicity looks really, really good in that dress. Rose is definitely her color, and the hair is understated but gorgeous. Teri looks like a housewife who goes to the tanning salon too much, but Marcia is okay with Teri tonight. Teri is not sitting next to her, and that's all she asked for. Marcia's currently sitting next to Felicity, and they're whispering ongoing commentary about the show because they can.

"I love Ellen," Felicity says, patting Marcia on the knee, "But these jokes are..."

"And why did Megan agree to do the song with the Donald?" Marcia replies. She doesn't really care, because right now, she's got a great view of what's under Felicity's dress, but the Emmy Idol thing is nuts.

"You know that people are really here for you five," Bill says, leaning across Felicity's lap. "After all, they're waiting for one of you ladies to get into a slap fight after they announce the winner."

"Or for there to be tears and hair-pulling," Marcia quips. "And maybe then I can come out on stage and start making out with Ellen."

Bill chuckles, but Felicity raises an eyebrow and smiles sardonically. "Hey, missy," she says. "If you're going to make out with someone on stage, I better be the one you make out with."

Nicollette, who is sitting on the other side of Marcia, snorts. "Yes, let's top that off with a drunken brawl at the Governor's Ball and make everyone's fantasies come true."

"What are we talking about?" Eva asked.

"Marcia's going to make out with Felicity if she wins the Emmy," Nicollette said. "Because everyone loves lipstick lesbos in Hollywood and we just aren't notorious enough."

"If you kiss her, you have to kiss me," Eva said. "My publicist says it shows I'm open-minded."

Marcia rolls her eyes, and Felicity jabs her in the ribs, because they've agreed not to make too much of the fact that Eva is a sweetheart, but oh, as dumb as a box of hair.

"I'll kiss everyone. Even Teri," Marcia says, trying for the conciliatory smile.

"Thanks," Teri says, trying to be nice. "I'm totally jazzed to be part of the Marcia Cross Carnival of Confused Sexuality at long last."

Well, nice for Teri.

"Speaking of lesbians, is that the girl from Buffy singing Fame?" Eva asks.

"What does Buffy -- and that's the girl from Veronica Mars, Eva -- have to do with lesbians?" Felicity asks.

Eva smiles, kind of confused. "Isn't that kind of a lesbian show? Like, you know, Xena or Battlestar Galactica, you know, the shows real geeks watch."

Marcia cannot take it anymore, and leans over to Felicity to mutter, "Oh, yay, queer America has a new and staunch defender." Felicity...and Bill, who overhears the comment...snort along with Marcia.

Felicity pats Marcia on the shoulder. "Courage," she whispers maddeningly into Marcia's ear, before grinning at Eva. "Be nice about Battlestar Galactica. It's the critical darling of the week, and plus, I bet they nominate Mary McDonnell next year just so they can talk about how fiftysomethings like her and new Housewife and former costar Alfre Woodard are the new trend and make us fortysomething Housewives look passe."

Nicollette snorts. "And then Hell will freeze over," she says. "It's on basic cable, Felicity."

"And Glenn is nominated for the cop show because she was good in it?" Felicity points out. "Come on. This town loves name recognition, or did we miss the part where Blythe Danner won for a show nobody on Earth watches?"

"I like Huff," Teri says. "It's very underrated. Hank is great in it. Blythe, too."

"Also, nobody answered my question about the girl from Buffy," Eva says.

"Her name is Kristen Bell, and she's not from Buffy," Marcia says acerbically, with the words, "and she will win an Emmy before you do, Eva" trying desperately to escape her lips. But then Felicity shifts and Marcia forgets why she's so annoyed at Eva.

Things quiet down, in part because the lengthy discussion about what shows qualify as lesbian has been getting quite a few turned heads. Marcia wants to disappear whenever these conversations happen, because ever since the idiot outed her, she's been viewed as the covert champion of gayness, and thus her opinion on all things gay is always noted.

Even stupid things, like Buffy being a gay show versus Xena or Battlestar Galactica (and where had Eva gotten that one from? If Marcia had been trying to get in a zinger, she would have mentioned Gilmore Girls because of the whole supposed flap with Lauren), that was gossiped about.

Maybe it would be a hell of a lot easier to just win the Emmy, kiss the hell out of Felicity in front of her husband, the cast, and countless millions of homophobic Americans. Jon Stewart and Ellen could then make eight million jokes and it would be over. She'd never work in anything worthwhile again, and everyone would ask when she was going to bang Portia de Rossi, but Marcia would be free to not be all about her sexuality.

"You're frowning," Felicity whispers. "You okay?"

"I hate the fucking Emmys," Marcia says. "There should be lots of booze at awards shows, so you don't think, fuck it, I'm going to announce I am Queen Gay and I plan to convert all the good Christian women of Middle America, starting with Eva."

Felicity pauses, and then squeezes Marcia's hand comfortingly. "Don't do that," she said. "Save it for the Globes. It'll be much more fun there. You can claim you did too many tequila shots before your acceptance speech."

"And then Marc can have another heart attack while the publicists and lawyers cover our collective ass," Marcia says. "It'll be extra fun."

"That's the price of being a gay Republican," Felicity says. "Heart attacks are nearly assured."

"Awards shows are evil," Nicollette mutters, fifteen minutes later. "I think that we should start boycotting them."

"Seconded," Teri says before Marcia can say anything. "Nobody cares about anything except what we're wearing, who wins the major categories, and if the five of us will have a fight. Because I hear we don't really get along."

"Well, no, they want to see you and Marcia fight," Eva says. "The rest of us are just set dressing for your titanic war of good versus evil. Like how everyone only watches Real World to see who's going to have a threesome and who's going to get kicked out."

Teri blinks, and Marcia feels the tiniest bit of sympathy. "I don't understand why nobody worries if Felicity and Marcia will have a fight if Felicity wins and Marcia loses," she says.

"Because Felicity is the classy one?" Nicollette suggests. "I bet Felicity wins just because of that."

"That's silly," Teri says, folding her arms. "Emmy voters wouldn't vote because of that, would they?"

Eva's eyes narrow. "Why is Felicity the classy one?"

Apparently, Eva has never looked at Felicity very closely. Marcia, who has come to terms with being "that one from Melrose Place" if not "that gay bitch from Melrose," thinks it's obvious that Felicity has class. Both Bill and Felicity scream class in a row of sad B-list actresses gotten very lucky. Even the way Felicity's dressed, the way she's not as prone to want to tell Eva to use her brain occasionally before she ends up doing shows much, much worse than Xena, that's part of it.

"Because she is," Nicollette says, wearing her best bitch, please face. "That's just how it is. You're the dumb sexpot, Teri is the superstar, I'm the washed-up bimbo with a second chance, Marcia's the gay bitch, and Felicity is the one with class who's slumming."

"Oh," Eva says, looking a little sad. "That's kind of mean."

"That's kind of this town," Teri says, surprising all of them because she sounds bitter, bitter the way they've all felt when their managers have told them that it's hard to find work over thirty-five, that it's hard to get past typecasting, that it's a great year for women's roles and they're sure to get a pilot that actually gets picked up, but Lifetime has a script that they should really look at, and there's always theater.

"Hey, it's finally our category," Eva says, looking up at the monitors. "Good luck, girls, and just remember, next year, that thing is MINE," she says.

Marcia looks over at Felicity and winks. "I hope you win," she murmurs. "You're the best."

"You're no slouch, either," Felicity replies, putting one hand in Marcia's and the other in Bill's. "And remember, if you win, you have to kiss me first."

"Like I'd forget," Marcia says, crossing her fingers and holding her breath.

For Felicity.

Because just once, it would be good if talent, rather than flash, won the night.


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