rpf. marion cotillard/eva green, marion cotillard/guillaume canet. r. 2000 words. It is like trying to recreate a scene but the actors are different and do not want to act. so, this is basically a massive bitchfest involving adults acting like teenagers? i write what i write, okay!
In the history of things, Guillaume was the first to stray but she does not like to dwell on this. (She is not a bitter woman and what is more; she is a proud one and there is something about this fact that grates on her nerves, like she came second in a race that she did not know she was running.) He cheated first and he did it quietly, with what he thought was a lot of tact and discretion but she found out anyway (women always do) and when she looked in his eyes she did not see guilt, only the desire to deceive.
She is not like that. She is not a coward. They sit at the breakfast table, and she tells him, straight, "I fucked someone else," her shoulders shrug: what are you going to do?
"So." He wipes a napkin across his mouth, retrieving crumbs from the half grown beard spread out across his chin. "We're even now."
"It's not like that," she snaps.
"Not like what?"
"I wasn't trying to one up you. I wanted someone else, so I had them."
"Him, her, what does it matter?"
He chokes. "You slept with a woman?"
"Not this time," she amends, "But it doesn't matter. I'm not asking you to keep track." She stubs out the cigarette in the dregs of the coffee cup and avoids his eyes, stares at the swirling smoke.
Her hand goes up.
"I'm really-- this isn't about revenge, Guillaume, I'm not looking for another apology."
He slams his fist down on the table, quick and sudden, the plates rise and clash; she flinches. "Then what do you want?"
"Nothing, I suppose," she replies absently and now, that she has told him she cannot remember why she brought it up.
After this, however, they are all right. It's an understanding, as some would say, except that Guillaume doesn't really understand at all.
(For the record-- and just because he doesn't have to keep track, doesn't mean she won't-- she has had others before but she doesn't like to string too many along, it is not her way. She is, in fact, fucking a woman, one woman, her name is Eva, yes, the Bond girl and it wasn't really about Guillaume at all.)
"Maybe it was very stupid to tell him," Marion remarks, they are talking out on Eva's balcony in London, the streets are a flood of tiny fires beneath them and she doesn't really know this city very well and she doesn't know if she likes it, but she is here. Again and again. There's a long, sharp reason at her elbow.
"What did he say?" she asks. Her voice always sounds like it coming straight from her lungs, a dark breath, never really passing her lips the way other people's do.
"I don't suppose he said much of anything," she said, wrapping her lips around the filter and leaning her neck forward for Eva to light it, "He'd like to know who."
"And did you tell him?"
"That's a shame. I'd have liked to look Canet in the eye at the next event and let him know I fucked his wife--"
"I'm not his wife."
"--And that I did a damn better job of it than he ever has," she finishes, grinning, her eyes fixed on Marion's face as she flicks open the lighter.
Marion exhales, punching out the smoke. "You're very sure of yourself."
"I have reason to be," she purrs, "Wouldn't you think?"
It is crazy, just the drop of her voice like that, the sliver of tongue through white teeth and she can feel her knees crumble beneath her, and last night she was tied to the bed, wrists pulled up above her head, her legs spread out on the thin cotton sheet with Eva smirking beneath her thighs, fingers going up and then down like it was all a game and it probably was.
"Maybe," she says and Eva frowns, draws her fingers away from her shoulder.
"We're all a little stupid, I think," she stated.
It was still very dark.
They were never formally introduced.
It was an empty party, too many people and not enough brains. One of those Hollywood affairs, far away from France and Eva was at the bar, she was alone. There was a drink in her hand, half empty, a little spilled around the neck of her dress.
Marion put her self on the next stool.
"I'm a fan," she said, by way of introduction. There was a certain subtle arrogance to it.
"Bond?" Eva sneered.
"That's nice." She tilted her head to one side.
"Oh, I thought so."
"Well, it's good to finally meet you."
(They wound up fucking in the bathroom, with the crowd outside chattering in their years and Eva's sighs ebbing above the din and then sinking down under as she comes, quietly, with her mouth open and head tilted into the mirror.)
"This isn't new for you, is it?"
"What, sex? No, Green. I'm not a virgin."
Eva rolls her eyes, tips her nose down. "I meant infidelity."
"Oh," she gulped down her wine, "Oh, that."
"No. It's not."
She rolls on to her back. "Tell me about it?"
"Why would you want to know?"
"I get curious," she says, "Why not?"
"I like to be told how special I am."
"Of course you do."
"So, have you cheated on him before? Guillaume?"
"Oh, sure," she said casually, the lie sitting between her teeth for no reason at all. It is funny to lie like this about fucking someone. Usually it is denial denial denial, cut out your tongue, throw away your Oscar but always, always deny.
"And anyway," she continues, "It doesn't matter. We have an understanding now."
"Oh, of course," Eva mocks, "The enlightened modern couple. How chic of you."
"Well, we can't all marry our dogs."
She hits her. It is quick and sharp as a kiss.
In Paris, she keeps something of a low profile. Guillaume comes to see her band, fits the hat onto her head and kisses her before she goes on stage. He has never done this before. She guesses this whole idea is making him a bit uncomfortable, jealous even, which is ironic. He set this ball rolling and now he is chasing it down a hill side wishing desperately for it to stop.
She doesn't look for his face in the crowd and after, at the bar, she keeps her hat on.
"Do you think," she whispers in his ear, teeth grazing the flesh, "We should have a game?"
Guillaume grins, takes a drink. "What kind of a game?"
"Well, we could see which of us can get more girls tonight."
She is a little drunk. There is a dark haired girl in the corner who she thinks, is trying to get her eye. She is never entirely sure of these things, until of course, she is.
"Marion--" His eyes look very big, swimming in front of her face. She can recall the tiny slits they would go into when he used to fuck her. Now, they both keep their eyes shut or at least she does. She's never wondered about him.
"You don't think I'm good competition?"
He swallows hard. "I didn't say that."
"Well, if you don't want to play, all you have to do is say no."
They end up going home together and feels almost like the old times when he takes her against the wall of their bedroom, but not quite. It is like trying to recreate a scene but the actors are different and do not want to act.
The next time she sees Eva is in America. She is promoting a movie.
"You look different in the sun," she tells her. They have left open the curtains and the mid afternoon sun floods the room.
She is sitting naked at the head of the bed, the proud curve of her neck leaning upward. Her hair brushes against that red mouth and Marion remembers the taste of coffee on her lips when she kissed her, the way her elbow felt when it pressed into her waist. There had been some kind of pleasure at seeing each other again, like a quick release of breath crushing their lungs.
"Less like a ghost."
"Well, that's very flattering, thank you," she lights a cigarette, "Husband-- sorry, boyfriend not with you?"
She shakes her head. "He's shooting a movie in London."
"What about you?"
"What about me?"
"Marton? Craig? Irons? Whichever one you're fucking these days."
Eva tuts at her, wagging a cigarette in the air. "I never fuck Marton. We're a couple, Marion, we make love just like you and Guillaume do."
Marion snorts. It's loud and with very little grace.
"And what about me?" she asks, "Do you fuck me?"
"Always, darling," she grins, wide, "But that's quite different."
"Am I different?"
"Yes. You are."
"I bet you tell all your lovers that."
A magazine asks her if she wants children. "I'd like nothing better," she lies and after, when Eva laughs at her (why was she reading her interviews, anyway?) she raises an eyebrow.
"Why do you think I'm fucking you, Green? This way I get to cheat without having to worry about the paternity."
"You're going to get fat," she warns.
"You'll want me anyway."
"Oh, trust me, Marion. If you get round with Canet's baby, I'm not coming anywhere near your cunt."
They have stopped laughing now, even when things are funny. Life is very funny, she thinks, but no one else laughs.
"Do you still love me?" he asks her one day.
It is over the phone. He is still in London. She is still caught in limbo, nowhere is home anymore. Eva has also crossed back over. She thinks about how both of her lovers are in the same city and she is here, sometimes alone, sometimes in bed with a stranger and never quite at ease at all.
In the beginning, with Guillaume, it was coat closets and bathrooms on set and always the fear of discovery, there was his wedding ring pressing into the bone of her hip when he was inside her and the sly grins over the tops of people's heads. They thought they were such a team back then.
He never used to need to ask.
"You know I do."
"Because, I--" he breaks off; pinches his nose, "Because I love you and I don't how comfortable I am anymore."
"With what?" she says, irritated. She is late. He always wants to have these discussions at times like this.
"With you fucking other people."
"I don't want anyone else, either. I just-- can't we go back to the way it was?"
She presses the tips of her fingers against her eyelids, everything going black, black hair, black lined eyes and Eva's mouth grinning in the dark, her mouth alone, her long pale body is somewhere else lost, she can't remember what her face looks like, just her lips, her tongue, oh god.
"I love you," she tells him, "Of course I do."
Nothing really moves backward. They both know that.
The line goes dead.