rpf. marion cotillard/anna mouglalis (marion cotillard/eva green) 2262 words. r. "I thought you were someone else." The woman smiles and lifts her drink. "People do that often."
There are two women in a hotel lobby. One of them has a room.
"I don't do this very often."
"No?" says Marion, with the tips of her fingers pressed against her eyelids the way one tries to bury tears, "That's a shame."
Before she even books the ticket, she knows that she is running and she does not have the time for it.
"I shouldn't have said that."
"Which part should you not have said?" asks Marion, carefully. She is zipping up a suitcase.
"Whichever part made you start throwing things in a suitcase like a mad woman," she says, lighting a cigarette. There is a tinge of amusement coloring her voice; "That bra is mine, you know," she says lifting the item out of the rest with a finger.
Marion tosses it out. "There. There you go."
Eva coughs a little around the cigarette, her mouth pressing to a thin red line. It makes her face look very hard and still like she is not there at all.
"I don't understand," she says, "What's gone so wrong?"
It is not new. They have fought often and frankly, they have fought worse. Once, Eva took a plane to New York and rode up the elevator to Marion's hotel room and there was a man there, in bed with her and it was not Guillaume, it does not matter who it was and they had fought in hushed, violent tones in the balcony with Marion in nothing but a shirt, rolled up at the sleeves.
"I didn't know you were coming," she had said, apologetic, contrite and Eva had not known what to say, had not known what she had the right to say.
"Do I need a name for this one?" She was fumbling around in her bag for a cigarette. Her fingers shook traitorously before closing around the pack.
"I don't think you'd want it."
"Oh, well," she lit up, "I suppose you like to add them up."
"Don't be stupid."
"You do, though."
"Maybe." She leaned her hips against the balcony. There was a door shutting behind them. "What does it matter?"
"Well, if you don't mind being a whore, I don't see why anyone else should have a problem with it."
Marion's face had gone still. As if she had just been slapped. At the time, Eva almost wished she had.
"I mean, Guillaume, maybe--"
"--But whichever friend of yours just exited seems fine with it. So."
Marion did not say anything.
"I shouldn't have come."
"No. Maybe not."
They had not spoken for months after that night. She had thought today was much less-- painful, at least. So they had both said something things they might regret. Words meant nothing.
Marion has finished closing her things and she is sitting on the suitcase now, in the middle of the room and she looks a little lost with her sunglasses folded in the curve of her hands and her mouth tipped down at it's corners like the sulk of a small child.
"We keep running in circles."
"Ah." Eva grins. There is no mirth to it but it is wide and it makes her face light up a little with understanding. "So, now you want to cut lose."
They have never talked about ending it before. They have never talked about ending it because to break a pattern you have to acknowledge that one exists and they-- their pattern of falling into bed with each other, of sleeping with the lights on so that they can see each other when they wake-- it is not an easy one to break.
"I suppose we always knew it would come to this."
"At some point," Marion nods.
When she gets off the plane, she leaves her phone switched off. She did not leave a note for Guillaume or for Eva or for Melanie or anyone. She bought a ticket and she sat on a plane and now, she is nowhere and everywhere all at once. No traces. None.
She realizes that this is a little like playing dead.
In the hotel bar, she sees a woman with pale skin and a straight chin, large eyes lined in black and she thinks that she is going mad, her heart leaps up against her ribs, slamming about beneath the thin blouse.
Her shoulders pull out in a straight line, she walks up the bar.
"How did you--" her voice catches, a quick dark flush stretches over her cheek, "I am sorry," she laughs, feeling foolish, "I thought you were someone else."
The woman smiles and lifts her drink. "People do that often."
It takes a moment for the recognition to sift in. She does know her. She saw the movie, the one about Chanel with Guillaume. They saw the one with Audrey first, Marion insisted, because Guillaume was fucking her at the time and it made him squirm. She took a certain cruel pleasure in that and made light, biting comments through out about how pretty she was and did she not look nice in that dress? The one with Anna was better, though. She remembers thinking how lovely she looked, how strong. Here, at the bar, it seems very long ago.
Everything about Guillaume seems to push itself in the past, nowadays.
Marion orders a drink and ignores the trembling of her fingers around the glass. It goes down in one smooth gulp and she does not flinch, neither does the woman.
"Feel better?" she asks. There is no amusement there, Marion realizes and she wonders how accustomed she has gotten to everything being a joke, a game, one move in a complicated dance but this woman is not playing with her.
"I think I'd like another."
Her voice stays steady. Anna snaps her fingers and calls for another.
In the elevator, Anna winds her leg around Marion's waist, holding her steady against the glass wall before she kisses her and she tastes like vodka, pure and clean with no smoke to cloud the taste of her tongue.
"I thought you said you don't do this often," Marion laughs against her mouth. Her dress is twisted up against her hips and they are up against the door of her room, with Anna's fingers slipping between her thighs.
"Well--" she tips her head to one side, inching higher along the leg, "That depends on what you mean by often."
There is quick tear of lace and the warm wet sound of skin against skin. Marion's laughs flow into a quick succession of gasps.
They are both early risers and quiet in the morning light. Anna pads about the room barefoot, still naked, pouring herself a glass of water. She is standing by the window. The sun comes in behind her, goes through the clear liquid in her hand.
Marion lifts herself up on her elbows. The sheet is tangled in her legs.
"I suppose I should go."
Anna shrugs. "If you'd like to."
She pulls her knees up on the bed and lights up, carefully. "I am sorry, again," she begins, "About last night."
"Really." She is smirking.
"I didn't mean that.I meant-- about not recognizing you, immediately."
"Well, I'm not the Oscar winner."
"I came here to run away from someone," she confesses, "And when I saw you--"
She breaks off. She is not sure why she is telling her this. It is not her way to confide in strangers.
At night, she stands on a balcony somewhere and throws her phone over.
It is probably a very stupid gesture. She does not care.
"You're very quiet," Anna comments.
That is true. She is so much in the habit of being with people; so much in the habit of the quick biting tongues of her lovers, of making jokes after you make love, of always having to be very clever, very quick. Keeping up.
Anna is as calm as the sea. Marion closes her eyes and appreciates the silence while she can.
"I think you're very scared," she says gently, pressing her palm across the curve of bare shoulders.
Marion laughs. It comes out a little harsh and loud. "I don't scare very easily."
(as a child, in the dark rooms and spiders and fairy tales, she was always the one with her chin up in the air, brave bold brave, she used to be brave. Maybe she is not so brave anymore but she does not scare easily, all the same.
In a ways, she is still bold even if she is not brave.)
Anna's mouth closes around the cigarette, her lips curling in the same line that they made against her skin and she takes in a deep, long breath through them.
"No. No, I didn't say it was easy. But someone's done it all the same."
They watch The Dreamers one night. It is a very stupid idea.
Eva is stretched out naked on screen, mocking her with rose lips and the boy with his fingers against her cunt, Garrel smoking and smirking in the background. The lights in the room are off. The film dances in the dark.
"You know," Anna says, gently (her voice is very clear when she talks, like bells) "Flattered as I am, I can't really say I see the resemblance."
At that moment, neither can she.
"I suppose my eyes were playing tricks on me."
Anna lets out a rare peal of laughter. The light from the screen flickers against her face, her open mouth and the long line of her neck with her head thrown back to the bed. She looks a film of her own.
"Something's playing tricks on you, my girl, but it's not your eyes."
She calls Melanie up from the hotel one night.
"Guillaume's called, you know." She does not sound worried. Only bored and a little tired. "He seems to think I'm hiding you here."
"Ah." She fingers the top button of her blouse. It is only half sewn on. Eva had almost ripped it off and they were neither of them particularly adept with a needle.
"I figured you were with Green," she says, stretching out the word with a sigh that sounds half acceptance, half irritation.
"I don't really know where I am."
"Well. That's a change, isn't it?"
She hangs up.
Marion joins her at the pool. Anna is a swimmer, apparently. She doesn't care much for it herself but there is a certain comfort to be derived from watching her limbs cut in and out of the sun soaked water.
She pushes her sunglasses further down her nose and sprawls her legs out on a chair.
"Too lazy to join me, Cotillard?"
"Mmm. Watching is more fun," she leers.
Her head rests on the ledge, the rest of her body floating somewhere beneath. For an awful minute, Marion wonders if perhaps, everything else had dissolved completely or she had been decapitated, (off with their heads) and someone had saved her lovely head, left it there, at the side of the pool.
Anna's head bobs back down in the water and then she is gone completely.
"I have to go soon."
There is a film to make. She cannot really remember this one but there probably is one, or something to promote and someone to fuck, but she is tired. She is tired of keeping track of these things and maybe, she is not as good at this as everyone thinks she is. In America, she sleeps mainly with men, not always the ones she makes movies with but men in bars whose names never make the papers or actors she does not know because Hollywood may have taken her for it's own but she has not taken it back. There was one in New York who took her to his apartment and told her she was beautiful and a few years ago that would have made her smile but now, it is a little too bright to be genuine.
At any rate, she stopped keeping track. It is all a game anyway; she started it to play with Guillaume but now, now with her the stakes are too high and she has nothing to play for.
"I have to go," she says but Anna's head is below the water and she cannot hear her.
Back in Paris, she is sits awake on her sofa with Guillaume asleep in the next room, cradling the phone between her hand and her elbow.
It is too early in the morning or too late in the night. The voice at the other end drawls out a groggy "hello."
"I wasn't running away from you."
"Yes. Yes, I just wanted to say--"
"Heard you the first time."
She can hear the heavy rustling of blankets and the sharp flick of a lighter. She can see Eva's face burn up like paper in the dark room.
"Oh. Well, so."
"I didn't think you'd run away from me." She breathes into the phone. "Did you go somewhere?"
Marion laughs. It is loud and a little hysterical.
"Fuck off, Green."
"You're the one who called me," she points out.
"Yes. Yes, I did. I don't know why."
"Did you have a good time?"
"Wherever you went."
"Yes," her voice sounds like it's coming from far away, "Yes, I did."
The line goes dead.
She thought about leaving a note for Anna before leaving. She thought she should say thank you and you are stronger than I am and maybe we can do this again.
Leaving no traces is a hard habit to kick.