Seth is still scrubbing lipstick off his face in the makeup trailer when Macaulay throws an arm over his shoulder. Mack is scrubbed clean already, fresh-faced like he's about to walk home from junior high. He always looks young, younger than Seth even, and while the unlit cigarette on his lip is disconcerting on that face, at least its a less disturbing impression now that the groin feathers and glitter are gone. "You wanna go to my place and get drunk?" Mack asks casually, and wow, even more disconcerting, those words coming from someone who looks like he's auditioning for an Aryan Youth recruitment video. Blond, and pale, and young as fuck.
Seth has to remind himself that Mack isn't really fourteen before he can bring himself to say, "Sure," just as casually.
One thing that sucks about being short is that an embarassingly small amount of liquor will get him drunk, and very quickly. It doesnt really make sense, though--Macaulay is almost as short as Seth, and much skinnier, but he can hold his alcohol way better than Seth. Seth is already at the weaving and giggling stage. Mack is just sitting there serenely with a drink in his lap and a lit cigarette.
They're watching the tapes that Fenton and Randy gave them, way back before production started. The first time Seth watched this, he was floored by this world on the screen, all the flashing lights and glitter and the blissful, vacant look on everyone's faces. Now his only reaction is to wonder how anyone could wear platform heels voluntarily.
Right now they're watching James and Michael vying for the camera's attention, and thats what Seth's trying to get at--that mixture of envy and disdain and awed, annoyed desire. The look James gives Michael out of the corner of his eye reminds Seth of when he first met Ryan, feeling that same mixture of emotions. Without the desire, of course, or at least not the same kind of desire. Just wanting to have that charm and that talent, to be six feet tall with blond hair and puppy dog eyes.
He tries to look at Macaulay like that, but Macaulay is calm and pale in the glow of the screen, nothing like Michael right now, and it doesn't work.
"I fucking miss L.A." Seth says, and hates himself for sounding so despondant. Drunk and despondant and just really, really pathetic.
At least Mack is catching up with him on the drunk scale, even if his version of drunkeness is less pathetic and more mellow. Drunk Macaulay is just melting into the sofa cushions with a smile on his face, and thats not fucking fair. "I never thought I'd hear anyone say that," he muses, then takes another drag off his cigarette. Seth wonders how Macaulay's voice never gets scratchy or hoarse; he always just sounds like he's just had a big glass of milk. "I don't miss it at all. L.A. is just, like, smog and people driving too fast and girls who never look you in the eye."
"Thats just the cliche, dude," Seth says, and hears Mack chuckle at the California-ism. "L.A. is where everything is." Everything Seth knows, anyway. Ryan and Breckin and a thousand memories of the three of them and random destruction. And now Ryan is married with a baby and Breckin is getting married, and fuck, since when did everybody but him become a grown-up?
"L.A. is like, nowhere," Mack says, exhaling smoke like the prettiest dragon that ever was. "Everyone who lives here is lost." His voice sounds far away, and Seth thinks that he's quoting a movie but he doesn't want to ask which one.
Seth hates being drunk because usually he can be relied on to spout off witty one-liners or come up with something interesting to do, or at least be reasonably coherent. At least, thats how he was in L.A. In New York, when he gets drunk all he does is lay all over other people's furniture and try not to puke on their floors, and he's starting to regret buying a place up here.
Maybe its just Macaulay that's making him depressed. The last few times they got drunk together, it was Mack who was depressed, leaning against Seth in bars and mumbling in his soft voice about something Seth couldn't understand. Probably about his parents or his divorce or the cameras that followed him all the time. Seth couldn't concieve of how so much fucked-upness could fit in one tiny little guy, and much as he bitched about it when he was young, he's glad that he's never been as famous as Macaulay.
Once, though, they were at a bar and Macaulay was drunk, and he almost cried because he wasn't allowed to smoke inside, so maybe he's just a fucking drama queen.
Right now, Macaulay isn't crying. Seth's reasonably sure he isn't even drunk anymore. Instead he has the VCR remote in his hand, and he's watching two girls--or, oops, two absurdly pretty boys--kiss on the screen, rewinding back to the beginning every time they stop.
Every time Seth looks up, Macaulay's cigarette is always long and new and freshly lit, glowing at the tip.
"What are you watching?" Seth asks. Macaulay's head jerks around fast, and his hand shakes, spilling ash on him and ruining the illusion.
Macaulay takes a deep pull off the cigarette, sucking in smoke. "Wilmer and I are filming the kiss next week. I just wanna know what it'll look like."
"You've lived in New York your whole life and you've never seen two guys kissing?"
Before he even says it, Seth knows this is one of those times where his mouth runs away with him, his brain trailing behind. "We should make out," he says, and when Mack looks at him oddly, he swallows down a mouthful of vodka and orange juice and wipes his mouth on his sleeve. "No, really. Like, just so you don't get freaked out by the stubble. It burns like a motherfucker." And he only knows this because Breckin and Ryan were joking about it after they wrapped 54, but somehow it comes out of his mouth like a fact.
"Huh," Macaulay says, and the way he swirls the syllable around in his mouth makes Seth think that maybe Macaulay's still a little drunk, after all.
Macaulay kisses like its something he learned on set, and Seth doesn't know if it would be weird or rude or something to correct his technique, so he doesn't. Eventually it gets a little better, Macaulay's mouth pressing against his softly, so their teeth don't knock together, and then Macaulay's mouth is open and his tongue flickering against Seth's closed lips.
Seth's eyes open wide, and he pulls back. "Whoa," he says, not sure if he should be so freaked out. "Screen kiss, Mack."
"Is that what this is?" Macaulay says, and the look in his eyes definately isn't fourteen.
And then he's pushed over on his back, Mack on top of him and breathing heavily on his neck. "Whoa, what the f--" Seth tries to say, but its cut off by Macaulay's tongue in his mouth.
This kiss is...good, and Seth wonders just how much of that ingenue crap was faked.
"Wait, shit," Seth says when he finally gets his breath back. Mack just lays there on top of him patiently, waiting for Seth to finish talking. "I have a girlfriend," Seth says finally, but it comes out weak, because its a lie, and Macaulay laughs, high and bright and sharp. He has to stop his hands from grabbing Macaulay's shoulders and pulling him closer, if its even possible for him to get any closer.
"Sure," Mack says against his ear. His tongue is hot and vodka-heavy against Seth's neck. "I have a girlfriend, too," and that isn't a lie.
Seth wonders if this is why Mack hates L.A. so much, if this is why he got out or if this is just some weird Method thing. Either way, its totally fucked.
Macaulay tastes like cigarettes and cranberries til Seth licks both out of his mouth. Then he just tastes like spit, wet and clean and hot. When Seth pulls back, he sees a piece of glitter sparkling beneath Macaulay's left eye, and he has to take another drink before he can kiss him again.
Seth wakes up the next morning sprawled across Macaulay's couch. His mouth tastes like a bar ashtray and he's got sleep-grit in his eyes. The first thing he thinks about is that he's going to be spending the day in three-inch heels and a miniskirt, and he wants to throw up preemptively from all the future wobbling.
He gets up and there's coffee in the kitchen, but Macaulay's not there. Just a note: 6 p.m. calltime, Excedrin in the medicine cabinet. -Mack.
He drinks the coffee and takes the Excedrin, then waits around for Mack to get home, since he doesn't have Mack's cell-phone number, and it'd be rude to just leave. Finally he realizes its too close to six to wait around, so he use's Mack's toothbrush and his shower.
He's not exactly sure how far they got last night, but he knows it wasn't too far. Hickey on his neck but nothing on the rest of his body, and besides, he'd woken up in his clothes.
Maybe its just that perpetually-fourteen aura about him, but Seth doesn't even remember being scraped by Macaualay's stubble.
When he makes it to the set his headache's mostly gone, but the thought of walking in heels still makes his stomach turn. Still, he puts them on, and the miniskirt, and hobbles over to the makeup trailer to put his face on.
Mack's already in there, and Seth isn't really sure what to say to him, so he settles for muttering, "Hey."
"Hey," Mack says back, genially enough. "Are you feeling okay?" He's tapping an unlit cigarette against his thigh, bared by his cut-off shorts, but he doesn't seem nervous or uneasy, just anxious to smoke.
"If my head falls off while we're filming, just stick it back on with spirit gum. I'm sure it'll be fine."
Macaulay laughs, a different laugh from last night. This time its a low chuckle, and Seth's not sure if Macaulay's toning it down out of respect for his hangover, or if Seth's just remembering it wrong.
"You get reckless when you drink, man. Next time, wait til we have a break from filming, cause I think we need the spirit gum to glue legos to your face."
Mack is honestly acting like nothing happened last night, totally natural. Seth wonders if he is just acting, or if he honestly doesn't remember. He sticks to saying, "I'll keep that in mind," and doesn't look back up until Macaulay comes over and brushes a finger over Seth's cheek.
Seth jumps, but Danny the makeup guy has his back turned, so its mostly okay. Still, "Not on set, dude, okay?" he hisses at Macaulay.
Macaulay just looks at him as innocently as one can through thick, feathery false eyelashes. "Glitter," he says, showing Seth the sparkling tip of his finger. Then he flicks it off and walks out the door on three-inch heels, not wobbling at all.
Inspired by a snippet from this interview:
MC: Did you get free wine?
MC: Uh-oh. I've seen you drunk. You get reckless.