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The Road Not Taken

Chapter Text

The vault scene changed everything.

He'd spent the entire day being absolutely livid with her. Everything she did or said seemed to set him off, provoking a scathing retort or a blistering insult. Of course, it was all just as it was written in the script. And she'd responded in kind, her own delivery equally fierce, fuelled with her character's defiance. She gave as good as she got, and if the sparks that flew between them were real, the entire set would have burned to the ground.

But it was exhausting to work like that. She kept finding herself wishing she could have a break, just a moment alone with him, to reconnect, to find whatever it was she felt like she was losing, scene by scene, moment by moment. But it never came. And it was no solace when she finally admitted to herself that she just wanted to touch him, just wanted to feel the warmth of his body against her own. It just made the work more difficult.

No, she thought. Challenging. This wasn't difficult at all. She was a professional and this was some of the best work she'd ever been involved with. If she could keep pace with him, she would have the world at her feet. He set a gruelling pace, made her earn every step, and she gave her very best. That he never yielded, never once caved and gave her that little smile of encouragement was the hardest part of all, but she knew it was because he trusted her. He knew she had it under control.

(Did she? Or was she just desperate to not falter while he was watching? Did it make a difference in the long run? She didn't know.)

It all came down to the vault. A simple locked room scene, just the two of them, half-dressed, soaked to the skin with sweat both real and simulated. So close she could smell his skin and count his eyelashes. The tension between them was off the charts, so thick the entire crew seemed to be holding their breath as he beckoned her into his arms. The lump in her throat was real and the relief at just being able to rest her head on his chest was palpable. The lights dimmed and faded to nothing and he whispered the last line. It was all acting, superbly wrought, the way he gripped her so tightly, the way her lips came so close to brushing his.

And then it was done. The scene was called, and a smattering of applause rang in the small space, voices calling out to get the next scene ready.

She pulled away, shaking, grinning, giddy. He met her gaze for a moment and she knew, she knew. It was as if the road had taken a steep downhill turn, and she was gathering momentum, speeding towards an end she knew not what, only that it was a matter of time before the inevitable crack up. Just as with everything with him, it was exhilarating and terrifying in equal measure. And she didn't care anymore. She just didn't care.

It took forever to get through the rest of the scenes. Every retake, every pause for a camera shift, every cup of tea seemed to stretch her patience thin. They took a short break for dinner, and he wouldn't even look at her over the craft services table. She began to second guess herself, began to wonder if she hadn't just imagined it all.

She tried to settle her nerves by knitting between scenes, but it wasn't working. Her mind was racing. No, he wouldn't dare give them away, not with something as simple a glance. Hadn't they agreed, they both had too much to lose? She gave up and stuffed the mess of yarn back in her bag, and settled for sitting on her hands. Even her own rational assurances didn't soothe the ache in her skin, the line of tension in her jaw, the crushing tightness in her chest.

She tried to keep her eyes from following him, but it was impossible. It was all she could do to keep from grabbing his hand and bolting from the set. She wanted to be away from the crew, away from the rest of the world. She wanted him all to herself again, wanted their own locked room scenario. It must have been one in the morning before they finally wrapped, and she disappeared without even waiting for the usual post-shoot notes.

She managed to get away clean, leaving her white jacket and boots with wardrobe, heading back to her trailer to turn on the light and hang the 'do not disturb' sign on her door. There was no one around to see her slip away, just a few yards down the line, to his trailer.

She let herself in and watched carefully through the blinds as she pulled it shut behind her. She didn't turn on a light, reaching out a hand for the counter in the kitchen, a hand to rest on the table and then the door to the tiny bedroom beyond. The bed beyond was rumpled from where he'd sat earlier, reading his script. There was a pair of jeans draped over the foot, and a polo shirt that she brought to her nose, drinking in his scent. Her eyes closed and she sighed, arousal flaring in her skin.

She moved, as if in a dream, unbuttoning her blouse, thinking of him already. Careless fingers let it drop it to the floor, already working on her bra. She shimmied out of her jeans and stood in the darkness, wondering just what on earth she was doing here when she heard the door to the trailer open.

"Let me know if you see her, would you? Thanks, mate." The small trailer rocked as he stepped up.

"Shut the door," she whispered.

"Lee?" He turned on the light in the kitchenette, his eyes taking a moment to readjust before he caught sight of her, standing in the doorway, clothed only in shadows. "What the devil?" His eyes went wide, and his breath left his body in a rush.

"Phil, please."