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Written for the likes/dislikes meme. starfishchick requested Geoffrey Tennant and Ellen Fanshaw.

Title: The Reversal of Expectations
Author: voleuse
Fandom: Slings and Arrows
Characters: Geoffrey/Ellen
Rating: PG
Disclaimer: Not mine.
Summary: The lilac (my favorite) can spend its profligate scent.
Notes: Set after S2



Dislike #3

Geoffrey hates actors.

Never mind that he used to be one--he knew then, and he knows now, that there are no more self-centered, self-aggrandizing, self-promoting creatures than actors. They're messy, they're shallow, and they're always late for call. Actors are lazy, whiny, and irresponsible. They bitch at their costumers and blame the crew when they drop their lines. They are children, without the excuse of not knowing better.

Ellen is, before anything else, an actor.


Dislike #2

Geoffrey sympathizes, deeply, with Ellen's continual struggle with her taxes. He is quite willing to listen to her bemoan the depth of her debt, even when they're eating dinner. Even when they're eating breakfast. Even when they're in bed, and he is doing his very best to help her not think about her taxes. He is willing to listen, and to sympathize.

What he is not willing to do, however, is look at the paperwork. He has a deep aversion to red tape, and numbers, and forms that feature separate boxes for each individual letter and number. Ellen, he is very sure, knows this full well.

Her insistence on producing her tax forms--from God knows where--at every opportune moment, is disconcerting, to say the least.


Dislike #1

Ellen has never been a chaste woman, and Geoffrey does not mind that overmuch. (Provided, of course, that it wasn't Oliver fucking Welles.) That said, it would be nice if they could go out to dinner, just once, without a waiter or a bartender or a busboy or a valet winking at Ellen like some clichéd lothario from an American sitcom.


Like #3

Sloan isn't so bad, despite their history. (Geoffrey's jaw aches when he thinks about it, a phantom throbbing.) He has the decency to shake hands, and he smiles like he means it.

Maybe, Geoffrey hedges, Ellen doesn't have such bad taste after all. It's comforting, in light of, you know, everything.


Like #2

He'll never admit it, but Geoffrey is enamoured of Ellen's elbows. Specifically, the line of her arm. The edge of her wrist, a shade too thin, tracing into the grace of her forearm, and her elbow a sharp imperative.

He loves the way she moves her arms when she speaks, each gesture a note of careless control.

When the sun falls into their bedroom, the first ray illuminates her side. He curves over her, touches his lips to her shoulder, then her elbow, twice.

Ellen stirs. "Geoffrey, what are you doing?"

"Her beauty makes this vault a feasting presence full of light," he murmurs against her skin.

Ellen's laugh is muddled with sleep. "That's a little morbid, don't you think?"

"It's much too early for a critique, Ellen." He trails down to her wrist, kisses the center of her palm.

"You woke me," she protests.

"Ah," he says. "I'll make it up to you."


Like #1

In rehearsal, Ellen's questions focus on two areas: her line readings and her light. As with all actors, she'd like her character to be believable while caught in the most flattering position possible.

Every once in a while, however, she'll pipe in with insight Geoffrey doesn't expect. It's usually at the behest of a younger actor, an unsolicited clarification of stage directions, or a correction on an emphasized word.

After all these years, he shouldn't be surprised that Ellen has developed her own understanding of the text. Yet her input gives him pause, sends him into startled contemplation. Off his silence, Ellen raises her eyebrows, lifts her shoulders. She scowls at him, and moves forward with the scene as an act of self-defense.

Sometimes he remembers to apologize later. He tries not to be too specific, though, because where Ellen leads, the company will follow, and if everybody tried a hand at directing, he'd never get a word in edgewise again.


###

A/N: Title and summary adapted from Kevin Stein's Wishful Rhetoric.

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
starfishchick
Aug. 22nd, 2007 05:18 pm (UTC)
I *adore* this. So much.

Ellen and her tax forms? BWAH.

Thanks for this - I treasure it!!
mirageofmae
Aug. 22nd, 2007 05:22 pm (UTC)
Oh my goodness. I loved this. Especially the last bit,

Off his silence, Ellen raises her eyebrows, lifts her shoulders. She scowls at him, and moves forward with the scene as an act of self-defense.

Sometimes he remembers to apologize later. He tries not to be too specific, though, because where Ellen leads, the company will follow, and if everybody tried a hand at directing, he'd never get a word in edgewise again.


That is so them. From Ellen's self defensive continuation to Geoffrey's vague apology so that his cast doesn't upstage him. Too perfect.

Thanks for sharing this!
ulkis
Aug. 25th, 2007 05:39 pm (UTC)
Yay, there's fic here again, and it's "Slings and Arrows" fic! This was great, show why Geoffrey and Ellen are drawn to each other despite all the ups-and-downs between them.
ainsley
Aug. 25th, 2007 10:30 pm (UTC)
You capture Ellen so well here, the good and the bad.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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