When Evelyne crosses the floor to return to Tatiana the envelope with her name on it, Tat's arms are reaching for a hug almost as soon as she charts her trajectory. Evelyne bends to it immediately, dipping into that space around Tatiana that is warm and soft and smells of her. Her face tucks into the curve of Tat's neck and she says, "T'es formidable" into her ear. Tatiana holds on just a beat too long, but then she's letting go and Evelyne is straightening. She does not look to her left; small and spiteful as it is, she permits this tiny snub of Kathryn as her only revenge.
There are so many ways in which this comes with the territory; being an actress, you're always falling in and out of love, acting out love stories onscreen and off. The person you fall in love with on one TV show or movie is going to move to the next project and fall in love with someone else.
Get over it. The actor's life. Move along now.
But with Tatiana...
It's hard to play someone in love with just one person, while that person, the person you love... The actor, the character, it all blends together. That person is playing three, four, five love stories at once. Other projects aren't like this; still, she knew what she was getting into.
But Tatiana. Her face, her smile, that space around her... The energy of Cosima, so lively and bright and captivating, so much of what Tatiana also has; what she draws from.
And Evelyne fell in love. Nothing new. Nothing original. Her relationship with Tatiana is amazing—beautiful, really, and she's so grateful for it.
Yet even with all those love interests... it's Kathryn. Kathryn who gets the special smile. Kathryn who gets the dedication in her speech.
Because Kathryn is the one Tatiana works with every day, day in and day out. Kathryn is Tatiana's true love interest here, so Kathryn is the one Tat fell in love with. And it doesn't matter whether that's actor's love or platonic love or romantic love—it does not matter.
What matters is that Kathryn has it, and Evelyne does not.
As soon as Tatiana hits set, she’s everyone’s best friend. She’s the one hugging the lady at craft services, the one asking the 2nd AD how his wife is, rubbing his arm with one hand. Walking, she draws eyes, hellos, good-morning-Tatiana!!s.
It’s not that Evelyne is shy, exactly, and she’s certainly liked; but she’s quiet, and she passes through set more like a benevolent ghost, a small smile on her face. She trades nods—not excited exclamations, not hugs.
She watches Tat from across the room, across many rooms, seeing the way she talks with her hands, her whole body, how the energy bursts out of her no matter the topic of conversation. Evelyne has a ripping envy in her, because she wants so much to have that quality—to be that person—but even more than that she wants to be the focused object of all that energy. She wants to be the one who inspires that in Tatiana.
Sometimes she is, because Tat’s gregariousness is not limited; she offers it to everyone, five courses on a silver platter. She doesn’t know the meaning of the words “limits” or “boundaries.”
And God, it feels so good. Just to talk to her, to see that intent look in her eyes that means you’re the only thing in the world for her in that one moment. But it always passes, and when it does it leaves an aching emptiness in Evelyne’s stomach. Like something has been carved out of her. It’s amazing how much and how physically an absence can hurt.
Her consolation is that the days when she’s on set, watching Tatiana across the room, are almost always the days she also gets to play across from Tatiana. Well, really always, just not necessarily the same Tatiana. It amazes her that even to herself, Evelyne, cast member of Orphan Black, Cosima seems like a completely different person from the others. Like she knows Cosima. Like she—Delphine—she loves Cosima, and the others are strangers.
It’s amazing, really.
On one of their very rare, very brief breaks, while a shot is being set up, or lighting is being checked, or a scene they aren’t in is being filmed, Tatiana and Evelyne go to Tat’s trailer. Evelyne shares a recurring cast member trailer, but of course Tatiana has her own and it feels cozy and lived in. There are pillows and soft blankets everywhere, a little reading nook, and photos pasted to the walls.
Evelyne has been here many times, but every time she lingers over the selfie of herself and Tatiana. Taken with one of their phones at the end of a long shooting day, they look exhausted but satisfied. Happy. It always warms her heart.
Tatiana, still in her Cosima getup, flops down on the couch and reaches out to Evelyne, who walks over and takes her hands. That isn’t good enough, though, as Tatiana tugs her down to lie between Tat and the back of the couch. They wriggle a bit to get comfortable, and then Tatiana rests her head on the arm of the couch and closes her eyes, while Evelyne lies on her side, one hand propping up her head.
Admittedly Evelyne hasn’t had much experience with the other clones, but Tatiana is always more tactile as Cosima; more than her own usual, anyway. Certainly more than Evelyne’s.
She rests her free hand on Tat’s stomach, fingertips just barely rubbing the fabric of her top, and Tatiana lays both her own hands on top. Without opening her eyes, Tatiana stretches her neck all the way to one side and then the other, causing audible pops, and then slumps back into the couch.
“You good, girl?” Evelyne asks quietly.
“You know,” Tatiana says, chin almost on her chest. “Just tired. Always tired.”
“Oui,” Evelyne says, letting herself down to lie flush against Tatiana’s side, putting her head on Tat’s shoulder. “Je sais.”
Naturally it takes moments—moments—before someone is tap-tap-tapping on the door.
“Tatiana? Five minutes.”
“Okay,” Tatiana yell-groans. She rolls off the couch and Evelyne rolls into the warm dent she left in it.
“Yeah, don’t rub it in,” Tatiana grumbles, patting her dreads and glancing in the mirror just to ensure she hasn’t turned into the Bride of Frankenstein in the last half hour.
Evelyne smiles with her face pressed to the couch cushion and says, “Go catch that tiger.”
“Umm…” Tatiana replies, looking back with her face scrunched up before leaving the trailer.
“Go get the tiger? Something about a tiger,” Evelyne mumbles, before falling asleep.
When she wakes up again, there’s a piece of paper on her face and she can hear the shower running. Reaching up, she pulls the post-it from her forehead and turns it around to read: Not fair. You owe me one fantastic nap.
Her stomach clenches and she wonders if Tatiana has any idea what she does to her. The shower shuts off and she springs to her feet, wrenching her neck in the process. “Merde.” At the mirror she re-fluffs her flattened hair and smudges away the specks of mascara she’s shed. She’s got a deep red crease across her cheek and the shadows under her eyes are not doing her any favours but—there’s the click of the bathroom door.
“You’re up!” Tatiana says, sounding oddly chipper for someone who just got off work at… Evelyne looks at the window and then glances around for her phone. She has no idea what time it is or how long she was asleep. “We called it at midnight,” Tatiana adds.
“Wow. It really isn’t fair, but…” Evelyne stretches, pushing her hands as far toward the ceiling as possible. “That was a great nap. I feel fantastique.”
Tatiana picks up a cushion from the couch and throws it at her face. Evelyne dodges, laughing, and catches it on her shoulder.
“I’ll show you abuse,” Tatiana says mildly, not moving from the opposite side of the room.
“Anyway,” Evelyne says, totally nonchalant. “Want to eat?”
“I want to go home!” Tatiana says, and Evelyne is opening her mouth to start backpedaling when she goes on: “So, Chinese?”
They share a blanket on Tatiana’s couch, wrapped around them like a cocoon for two and a space in the middle for the food. They drink beer out of bottles and eat with chopsticks, compete to see who can hold the most grains of rice suspended in the air at one time. So many sticky grains of rice fall to the blanket where they get caught up in the fuzzy wool and they laugh forward, forward, until Evelyne just smiles and kisses her.
“Ah,” Tatiana says, straightening.
Evelyne does the same, saying, “Sorry,” breathlessly. Tatiana just looks at her and Evelyne puts a hand to her forehead. “God, sorry. I should get home.”
“You don’t…” Tat says half-heartedly and Evelyne shakes her head.
“No, it’s late. You need your beauty sleep. I’ll see you, you know, next time.”
Outside the door she leans back against the wall, turning her eyes to the ceiling, and thinks, I need to get a life. I need to go on a date. I need to never do that again.
She knew what she was getting into. That’s her only consolation.