As Alia opens and shuts the door, trying to be quiet, Ellen lies back, looking backwards, liking the view upside-down. She can’t help, too, noticing a second set of footsteps. The lights are dim because it’s night and the light crews have all gone home and this place wasn’t made for Hollywood or even late-night trysts. Ellen tries to think what its original purpose must have been (aside from the obvious – the giant pig on the roof probably spells that one out) when the second figure comes into view and Alia sits next to her and the vodka.
“Oh my fuck, it’s Michael Cera!” Ellen shouts, shaking dust from the shelves that surround the seating area where they’ve cleared a place on the floor to pow-wow tonight. She does an awkward backwards somersault over her head and ends up on her side looking up at him again while he does that quiet shuffle-laugh and says, quietly, “Oh my fuck, it’s Ellen Page,” in return.
Ellen manages to get to her feet, slaps Cera on the back and grins at Alia. “Where’d you find him?” And then to Michael, “Where’ve you been? This roller-rink flick could use a shy, skinny Jew love interest, right Alia?” Ellen leans casually against a support pole, not awaiting either of their answers, content with their presence and the silence.
Michael looks down at Alia, who is downing a swig of vodka – neither of them knows if it’s her first or her fifth – and smiles gently. It’s been far longer since the two of them have seen each other, have had to face the awkward pauses when they talk. Of course, the drive over was strange. The wonderful kind of strange that they remember. Alia put on the new Shins CD and Michael nodded and rolled down the window, and the wind was too intense, but he didn’t say anything. “I’ve been filming Youth in Revolt. I sent you a text.” He directs this at Ellen, but she doesn’t respond, so he shrugs and sits down across from Alia, offers his hand and she fills it with the bottle.
“Aren’t you using this place for the movie?” Michael ponders after the first burning swallow. “I mean, how’d you get in here?”
(“Awwe, c’mon, Miss Barrymore,” Ellen said with big eyes, looking up. “You know you can trust us.”
“Yeah!” added Alia, in back up, knowing Ellen was the clincher on this one – that if Drew didn’t buy her hook, line and sinker that this wasn’t going to go off.
“You know how it is… I just want to spend some time, collecting the ambiance of the place. And I can’t do that during the day, with all the crew lurking around.” Ellen grimaced, gesturing with an open hand, a gesture of need. They needed the keys to the Oink Joint set.
Drew opened her mouth to protest, or agree, but Ellen spoke quickly. “I know you’re wondering about Alia, and I know, it looks shifty. To be honest, I wasn’t sure about bringing her, but then I remembered when I was working on Hard Candy, and this one day I got really deep into character and it was really scary, and I was in this… like… trance? And, so I thought Alia could just come and if I get like-“
“Take them.” Drew was shaking her head, but she’d already worked the spare from her key ring and was holding it, thrust outward, into Ellen’s chest.)
Alia falls back struggling to catch her breath. “Oh my God, Michael, its like,” she sucks in a lung-full of air, “It’s like. Either ‘Juno: The Series’ or AD: The Movie up in here.” She starts laughing, and it quickly turns into snorting, which then dissolves into sniggling when her breath gets caught again. “Ellen and I should,” gasp, “We should Rock, Paper, Scissors to see which of us is the guest star!”
Ellen tilts her head. “You two,” she gestures between Alia and Michael, “had a thing on that show, a whole, cousin-cest thing. Right?” She swipes at the spilled vodka at the corner of her mouth before Michael can reach out at do the same for her. “I like that better than the feel-good adoption movie of the year, even if it did earn me an Oscar nom.” She leans forward onto her elbows, stretching her neck to examine Alia a bit closer. “What’s your vote, Cera?” Ellen asks, giving up on the stretch and notching her chin somewhere between Alia’s second and third belt loops, taking a deep breath. Alia barely reacts. “In my experience, cousin-cest is a real win with the critics,” Ellen adds, mumbling.
For what it’s worth, Michael is still cross-legged, slow-sipping and taking in the scenery. “Either one is fine with me, I guess. But I might have missed the point when we were going to start playing pretend?” He’s confused, both mentally and physically now, no thanks to the alcohol. He doesn’t know how this works. Ellen and Alia. Not at once. And he doesn’t know how they are together… this is something new. He thinks a moment, takes another drink, then slurs out, “Is there going to be kissing in this game?”
(Michael thought it was weird when Ellen told him, on the third day of filming that it depended on what scenes they were working on, but as long as she gave him the go-ahead, she was definitely okay with off-camera kissing. It was a weird he was okay with, definitely, but weird. Alia would never kissed him off camera, except the once, at the wrap party, and that was more of a funeral kiss. A cousin kiss. It was still Maeby kissing George-Michael, in a lot of ways, saying good bye. But when Ellen kissed him, it was dangerous. And sure, Juno was dangerous, but not in the way that Ellen was.
Ellen was… fucking him with just her mouth and when crew would call set times, she’d just back up and smile and shrug and he’d be stupid and speechless, with the stupidest boner ever and Ellen would laugh, and tell him she’d better go put her fat suit on.
Michael would take a shower and ward off the door-pounding runners and sigh into the water and think about how kissing Maeby – Alia – gave him hard-ons too.)
Ellen is unbuttoning Alia’s blouse, though her fingers keep fumbling. Alia just lies back on the cool floor and smiles, her eyes blinking slowly, once in awhile, her tongue passing across her lips. “Have you ever seen her tits, Cera,” Ellen asks, finishing up with a flourish and spreading the garment as wide as she can while still attached at the arms. As usual, she doesn’t wait for an answer or sign, but examines Alia’s underwire – hook in the back. It’s a sleek black number. She dressed to get laid tonight. Ellen grins, tells Alia to sit up, and she does, her head lolling a bit after.
“Michael’s going to take your shirt and bra, Kat,” a mere flick of her eyelashes in his direction and he’s up, moving behind Alia, working the fabric from her body. His eyes are on Ellen, the low lights making her skin look devilish, hot. It wouldn’t take much for her own clothes to come off, not a tank top, shorts… he starts with his eyes, even as his hands work on Alia, slowly, slowly. But he stops abruptly when he hears Ellen’s sharp intake of breath, when his hands slide against Alia’s breasts and her bra falls loose to her lap. Alia isn’t so drunk that this isn’t affecting her either; she arches back against Michael, and Ellen’s eyes darken.
Alia hums quietly, turning her face back towards Michael, kissing his chin. “It’s okay to touch me, you know,” she murmurs into his neck, but before proceeding, Michael glances at Ellen who nods, almost imperceptibly, in approval. A knot forms in his throat but his fingers find his friend’s nipples and graze over them, eliciting a faint animal groan. Alia’s body is tight and pert and smooth and it’s reacting to his fingers and becoming tighter and smoother and her lips are moving against his face, saying things he can’t begin to decode. Of course, they’re not alone either. Ellen is watching, curled tight, her face unreadable. Because she wants it that way.
(Of course the script didn’t say anything about whether or not Bliss and Pash were the kind of friends who kissed during desperate sleepovers when perfect rocker boys were just out of reach and life was just a little too hard. So Ellen improvised. Caught Alia mid-word, mouth open and pulled her in with a tiny hand on Alia’s neck, swallowing the other girl’s gasp, transforming it.
When Ellen released her, she didn’t see Pash in Alia’s eyes. They’d have to do it again.)
Ellen unwinds slowly, moving the vodka bottle from harm’s way and crawls towards her friends, noting the sleepy desire in Alia’s face and sharp want in Michael’s. “This doesn’t have to be some sort of strange crossover event, you know,” she says, her voice clear, her mouth shaping the words, her lips her own. “I know this is some surreal movie set, and we’re actors, and we spend our lives playing roles, playing games…”
Alia murmurs something about transformation, facing Ellen now, her eyes burning dark. Michael runs his fingers along her hot stomach, nods.
Ellen stands up, and though she’s tiny, she towers over them suddenly, like a kind of Aphrodite. She raises her hands, watching them stretch towards the ceiling, watching them dance. “For one night, why shouldn’t we just be ourselves? No awards, no movies, no… Hollywood.” She lowers her voice, looks down, her face tender now. She kneels at Alia’s feet and removes her shirt. Her plain white bra stands out against her skin in the half-light.
Michael catches her eyes and her hand. “I get it.”
“Just us,” Alia sighs, smiling, hooking a finger through Ellen’s hair, not resisting when it continues to travel down her back.
Ellen slides her eyes shut, knowing that she doesn’t have to, but that she can, and presses her mouth first against Michael’s and then Alia. Time doesn’t move here, in this room, but the remaining clothes fall quickly, forming a makeshift bed. None of them pretend that their nudity is Eden-esque, but they find beauty in it just the same.
It's messy and far too loud (gasps and moans and shouts and "Jesus could you go any slower?"s) and awkward and worth it.