Title: Motivation

Author: Proserpina

Feedback: evilwillow@gtemail.net

Note: This story depicts real people in fictional situations. In no way am I trying to claim that any of this happened. I do not own the characters depicted in this story because they are real people. This is real people FICTION, okay? If you are not cool with this idea, do not read this fic.

Note to other authors: If you are not cool with being associated with a real people fic, I will be glad to take this off the archive.


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They still don't know each other very well, so Michael coming into his trailer is... Ryan thinks for a moment. Unprecedented. They're not quite friends, except as characters, and not even really then. Ryan only knows him as Richard-to-Justin, not Ryan-to-Michael yet. Doesn't know Michael at all, really.

When he's not in character he slumps more, his shoulders turned in and his face turned to the ground with an everpresent scowl, and usually a cigarette. It makes his hair fall over his face in a tangled mess, and Ryan keeps thinking that he just has to accidentally burn it one day, but so far he never has. Not that Ryan's seen, anyway.

He tries so hard not to be beautiful but he is. Beautiful. Ryan can see a flash of pale skin through a hole in his shirt.

Michael coughs, and Ryan realizes he's been staring. Part of being an actor, really--looking at people, trying to catologue their features and turn them inside out, understand them--but not everyone works the way Ryan does, and those people tend to get weirded out. He shakes himself, smiles winningly at Michael. "Sorry. Whats up?"

Michael pushes a hand through his hair and pushes himself off from the doorframe. Comes inside and sits on the coffee table in front of Ryan, hands pressed against the wood, dirty boots turned in towards each other. "Can we talk?"

Ryan nods. "Sure." Its funny. Even after some rehearsals and a couple days shooting, he still has no sense of Michael, of what kind of person he is, who he is. Most people are all on the surface--even ass-kissing studio people are so fucking transparent, lizards covered in saran wrap. He can mimic almost anyone, not just mimic them but play them, like a character. He just can't get inside of Michael.

"Listen...I know we've only been working together a few days, so I don't really have the right to say this to you..."

"Go ahead," Ryan says, and smiles. "I don't mind at all."

Michael smiles back at him, and its this beautiful, cherubic, glorious thing, even with his strange dead eyes. "Well. I was going to anyway." But then his face blanks again, and he flushes a little and looks down at the floor. "Its just...you know, the last two movies I did were Hedwig and Bully--I don't know if you saw them or anything--"

"Yeah." Michael's head comes up, obviously not used to that answer. "They were both...beautiful."

Michael blushes again and rolls his eyes. "Well, Bully, not so much, but...thanks. Anyway...well, like, so you know I'm not homophobic or anything."

Its not quite a question, but it sort of is, so Ryan says, "Yeah."

"Good." Michael tugs at his sleeves, hanging too long at his hands. "Good. Its not like I mind playing gay characters, but..."

Oh. That. "But you don't want this to be one of them," Ryan says, getting it.

"Yeah. Like, I could give a fuck what studio people think, but I feel like I'm getting typecast because--"

"Because you're pretty?" Ryan lets his smile have just that little edge of flirting, because. Well. This boy is pretty.

Michael makes a scoffing noise and rolls his eyes again. Flutter of lashes. "Yeah, I guess. Fuck, like its my fault I have big lips and girl nipples. But just...like, do you have to play it gay? If you feel like its important then, you know...do what you have to," he says quickly. "But if not..."

"Cool it down?" Ryan asks, and Michael nods. "I dunno, man. Thats just...like, Richard isn't in love with Justin, he doesn't want to fuck him or anything, but..." Ryan struggles for words. So far he's just been in character, without having to think about it too much. When he has to do press, sure, he'll have a pat answer for 'who is this character?' down by then. But for now...he just is Richard. And then he isn't.

"Its like Richard is only half a person. And Justin is kind of half a person. So when they're together, its like they've finally found the other part of themselves, you know? And you know, when they murder her, its like they're making a connection to each other. A permanent connection." Michael is leaning forward, his hair not in his eyes for once. They're wide and blue and strangely intense, for all their blankness. "So when Richard touches Justin--" Ryan leans forward and wraps his fingers around Michael's wrists, and Michael draws in a breath, "--its like he's affirming that connection. So its like he wants to touch Justin all the time."

"And you don't think thats sexual?" Mike asks, his face blank like Justin's, his mouth hanging just a little bit open, so Ryan can see the pink inside of his bottom lip.

He's suddenly very aware of his hands on Michael.

He draws them back, trying not to be too obvious, and leans back against the couch. "Well...homoerotic, maybe. Not really sexual."

"So you don't think Richard and Justin were fucking?"

Ryan laughs. "Naw, man. At least, I'm not playing it that way. But you can if you want, Michael."

Michael grins. "No, its okay. I got it, man." Suddenly his face falls. "Shit. What time is it?"

Ryan checks his watch. "Um...9:45. Why?"

Michael stands up, and Ryan pretends not to see the line of flesh between his shirt and his low-hanging jeans. "I was supposed to meet my girlfriend fifteen minutes ago. She's gonna kill me."

"Well, what are you waiting for? Go, man, go!" Ryan stands and pushes Michael towards the door, glad he has no such murderous influence on his own life. Girlfriends in this business are just too fucking complicated.

"Okay, I'm going. Jesus." When they get to the door, though, he doesn't go out. Instead he turns in Ryan's hands and leans against the doorjamb, his face too close to Ryan's for anything but honesty. Ryan hates being this close to someone he's not kissing, especially if he really wants to kiss them. "Call me Mike from now on though, okay?"

"Okay." Mike smiles and jumps down onto the ground, completely forgoing the steps. "Hey, Mike?" Mike turns around, and Ryan smiles back at him, letting it go Richard-like. That is, vaguely sexual at all times. But only vaguely. "Girl nipples?"

Mike blushes. "Um...I'll tell you tomorrow. 'Kay, man?"

"Okay. I'm holding you to that, you know." Mike flips him off and walks quickly away, obviously in a hurry to meet his girlfriend.

"Fuck." Ryan goes back into his trailer and flops onto the couch. He's had relationships with his costars before, but dude. Just because the boy is pretty doesn't mean anything should happen. Besides, he barely even knows Mike. Sure, Ryan has a little bit better of a picture, now--Mike instead of Michael, for one thing--but the other boy is still a blurry watercolor, not a photograph, if we're still using the picture metaphor.

He's sure its just because of Richard. The first few days of the shoot, everyone's a little too much in character, and this is just a part of it. Richard wants Justin, so Ryan wants Michael. Simple.

Ryan grins, and wonders what he'll feel like after his scenes with Sandra.