rpf. marion cotillard; marion/eva, marion/jgl, marion/guillaume. for vinylroad and the prompt; three broken promises and one that was kept. ~1200 words. this business is the history of masks and maps. day one of holiday fic requests!
Someone once told me that explaining is an admission of failure.
I'm sure you remember, I was on the phone with you, sweetheart.
[little beast, siken]
We feel in cities; we grow in them. Marion in the suburbs was a little girl, in the cities she became a woman. In Paris, her lips learned to follow her brain and not her heart and in Paris, she learned to act.
The camera clicks and her spine snaps into place. This business will take you everywhere and nowhere; this business is the history of masks and maps.
They drink in the early hours of morning, her and Eva; the closest bar off set is an Irish pub that smells of stale smoke and paint stripper. Eva always sips at her wine and seems to stay sober despite the number of glasses that disappear into the red expanse of her mouth while Marion, still younger in some ways, loses focus earlier on.
She drinks like she is back in her teens because that is the way she feels around this woman; younger and less polished, always a little clumsy, always a little drunk.
At closing, they link arms and Eva, smirking, pulls her up as they stumble back to the hotel, heels clacking across cobblestones like a four legged beast. They steal across the corridors like ghosts, silent and wary past the doors of their cast and crew. Eva presses one cold finger against Marion's lips as she struggles with the lock; inside is the first place that acts are dropped.
In the bar, in the street or cab or elevator, they are actors still. In bed, they are only a pair of women, two hearts, a set of limbs and mouths; they are bodies filled with blood, forgotten names, forgotten homes and forgotten men.
(It is not her first infidelity but her first since Guillaume and the rules have since changed; there is a man who calls himself her husband sometimes, though he is not. There is a place in Paris that is theirs and it feels more permanent than anything has before.
And here in London, there is this woman and she is like a riot in the heart.
Marion presses her mouth against Eva's and forgets all promises between the bodies and the sheets.)
Two days after filming wraps, she is flying to America. The press junkets await.
The two women say goodbye in Eva's apartment.
She is wearing only a shirt and standing in the doorway as Marion gathers her things, the taxi waiting downstairs.
"You'll write, of course?" she grins.
"Of course. And you, Green." Marion zips up a suitcase, straightens herself up. She props a hand on her hip. "Keep in touch."
"Its like camp, these movies. Like school holidays."
"And do you have a habit of keeping in touch with your friends, Eva?" she asks.
The red smile falters for a fraction of a second and then leans in to kiss lightly on her cheek.
The cab driver honks and Marion leaves and that concludes that affair.
Joseph, he is nothing like he seems; Joseph on screen with his big sad eyes and broken heart is, in life, a force she does not expect. He is bright and changeable and a spin of emotions to lose oneself in (but Marion is already lost.)
She merely watches, amused, as he goes from tack to tack. In the mornings, he is always hungry, pinning her down to the mattress and hungry as he wolfs his breakfast. He is almost teenage in his touch and it is a relief.
After Eva, she needs - not simple, no, she won't call Joseph simple. She needs the comfort of sitting like this with him, over breakfast. Smoking while he eats and rolling her eyes as he speaks to her of things that he will like to do and she in her wisdom and age can mock or advise, purr as he growls.
"By the time, I'm thirty," he says, chewing on his breakfast, "I'd like to have directed my own film."
"That's a very worthy aspiration," she exhales as she speaks. Her mouth feels dry in the hot Los Angeles air; they are sitting outdoors with a pot of coffee and one plate piled high that Joseph is eating from. Marion wrinkles her nose at the thin line of sauce down his chin. "Have you decided exactly what - what genre this film is going to be?"
He swallows, shakes his head. A napkin sits between them and she resists the urge to pick it up.
"I might have you as my leading lady," he suggest, seriously, nudging her calf with his bare foot and Marion chuckles.
"Am I to be your muse?" she asks, pouting, posing.
"If you like."
What Marion would like best is release; Joseph is only the imitation of it.
She says to him once, "I could break your heart if I wanted to."
It is not a threat, just an observation and Joseph shows no reaction, stretches out calmly beneath the sheets.
"I know," he grins, lighting what looks like a spliff between his teeth.
And then, as he breathes out between the curl of her lips; "I don't care," he promises.
Marion reaches into his chest and wrenches.
The press has a deep and abiding curiosity about life with her lover; one journalist asks, "So he is the director, but do you direct him at home?" and she had played coy and lowered her eyelashes.
The truth is that it is neither; once they were a meeting of minds, a battle of wits. Now, they hardly see each other.
There is a place to call home and sometimes, she is in it and sometimes, he is in and occasionally, the two will intersect but there is no guarantee. She goes home to a set of doors and windows.
She is wearing one of his shirts, drinking coffee barefoot in their kitchen when he comes in. It has been two months. It is not usually this long but they learn to pick up where they left off.
"Good day, darling?"
"Mmm," his scruff scratches her chin as he kisses her, "And yours?"
"I've missed you," she says, linking arms around his neck. Guillaume steps into the space between her legs and leans her back, the stool tipping into counter.
This, she thinks, as he pushes down the rough fabric of his jeans and her fingers hook into the waistband of his boxers, this is what they want to see; sex and fidelity in the kitchen. The happy couple being happy; Guillaume's laugh where it sinks into the tangle of her hair. This is the what the papers want to write about.
She throws back her head and laughs, the sound dying in her throat when he presses his mouth to it. Her lover pushes in; Marion pulls under.
The next plane is to Rio; she promises herself peace, she promises herself that she will come back empty hearted, carrying nothing back.
She vows, she vows.
(It is the promises to yourself that it is hardest to keep. This business of masks and cities takes to lovers too easily and to promises too little.)
As the plane coasts over oceans, she dreams of bodies without faces.