Title: American Love Story Chapter 4/?
Word Count: 4858 words.
Rating: M for swearing and sorta naughtiness...
Warning: Real!People fic (if you're not keen on the idea, don't read)
Summary: On the set of American Horror Story a love story finds its beginning.
Disclaimer: As I am neither Evan Peters nor Taissa Farmiga (nor any of the other actual real people who will be mentioned in this story... like Lexie, Alex, and Shelby in this chapter) I disclaim any ownership to anything other than the words I put in their mouths. This is a work of fiction and not meant to offend in any way... and should the real people in question ever read, please believe that it was written as the highest form of flattery. We know it's not real... we just wish it was.
Author's Notes: A very special Happy Birthday Present to my bff and partner in crime, Shootforstella. I hope this LONG overdue update will make you smile today. Love you!
American Love Story - Chapter 4/?
It was fucking early on a Sunday morning.
Ordinarily Evan would never have been caught dead awake that early on a weekend, especially on the Sunday before another busy week of shooting, but considering the fact that he hadn't really gone to bed yet, Evan was pretty sure that his reputation wouldn't suffer much from the early hour.
With his friend and roommate Ryan, he had spent most of the night before drunk as fuck, playing video games, ignoring text messages from his 'girlfriend' who was two states away visiting her parents in Scottsdale, and trying to pretend that it was just another Saturday night. It wasn't.
When Ryan finally passed out on the living room floor, Evan decided to take his beer out on the patio to watch the sun rise. After a joint or two he wasn't as wound up as he had been, but the thoughts tumbling around in his head were still there on the fringes threatening to eat him alive. He still didn't know what to do.
One by one the street lights turned off as the sun rose over the San Gabriel's but Evan's mind wasn't on the beauty of it all. His thumb nail was bitten and bleeding and his stomach was sick.
She had spent Saturday at the park with Alex and her friends. He'd thought about inviting them all to come over afterwards but he couldn't bring himself to text Alexandra about it; there were too many hard things he would have explain and he was in no mood for her meddling.
Of course, he could have just asked Taissa herself but he knew he wouldn't. When he'd realized that Alex had emailed herself Taissa's phone number from his cell he hadn't done much else but stare at the message. It would be an easy thing to add her to his contacts but even after the week they'd spent working together he wasn't sure if he had earned the right to call her a friend yet. If he sent her a text, he certainly couldn't expect a reply and he wasn't sure whether he'd be able to deal with out and out rejection like that. She'd made it pretty clear from that very first day that any sort of friendship outside of work was not going to happen easily. She was in full 'protect herself' mode and Evan knew she had every right to be. He was a bastard.
If he were the type to give up easily, he would have erased her number and just pretended that she didn't make everything else in the room go foggy around the edges when she was near him. Maybe it would be the smarter thing; the fairer thing. He could remind himself that he had a girlfriend – one that he hadn't seen in over a week and had only spoken to in a couple throw-away text messages – but she existed. Of course he could do that, but Evan had never been one to sit back and take rejection or give up on something he wanted. It just wasn't who he was. He'd been taught to fight for the important things, even when he didn't deserve them.
As it was, she hadn't given him a moment to talk to her privately through the whole first week of shooting the Pilot. It didn't take a rocket scientist to know that she was purposely putting space between them, standing next to Connie or making conversation with Jamie whenever he was around and they weren't filming. She was polite and sweet and the entire crew loved her, but all the flirty banter between them was gone and when she thought no one was looking, her eyes flickered with hurt and betrayal and he knew he deserved every bit of it.
He could tell she was counting down the days until filming would be over and while he was doing the same thing it was for a far different reason. For him it was one day closer to losing her forever. He couldn't let that happen with this wall, this barrier between them.
The entire production was working on a time crunch so most of the interior shots at the Rosenheim House were scheduled to be completed by the middle of week two before a few of them were heading to a high school in LA.
Evan only had a handful of scenes in the Pilot anyway and while most were with Taissa, his more challenging scenes - emotionally anyway - were with Dylan.
The more his mind though about the psychiatrist's chaise he'd spent the week sitting on, the more he knew he'd actually drive himself crazy if he didn't talk to Alex about yesterday.
Checking his watch, Evan knew Alexandra would kill him if he sent her a text this early in the morning, so he stepped gingerly over a still-passed-out Ryan and walked through to his bathroom to take a shower. Spending extra time with his head against the glass wall, he tried to think of what he could possibly say to Alex that wouldn't end up with him being smacked with that giant purse of hers.
Once he was out and dressed in a pair of beige calf-length corduroy shorts and a dark brown t-shirt, he ran his hands through his shaggy, damp hair and reached for his phone.
'So… how did it go yesterday?'
'Do you realize the fucking time, Evan?'
'You're awake now.'
'I was awake before. Some of us are working.'
'Why are you awake?'
'Late night last night.'
'Didn't sleep at all.'
He paused and simply looked down at his phone. She knew something. He felt his stomach start to twist thinking about what Taissa could have possibly said during their outing the day before. Alex messaged again before he had a chance to reply to her.
'Yesterday was fun.'
'She wouldn't talk about you.'
'No. She wouldn't.'
'What the hell did you do to her, anyway?'
'I messed up.'
'You don't say.'
'Fuck! Are you going to help or not?'
'Depends on what you did to her.'
'I'm a bastard.'
'I don't know what to do, Alex.'
'The Red Lion. 1pm.'
'I'll be there.'
'Course I am.'
The Red Lion was a funky little German tavern in SilverLake. Three levels built into the side of a hill, the dark wood interiors and the ever flowing beer steins made it a fun place to have lunch and it was definitely the only place in LA to buy a good bowl of goulash.
Evan made his way through the second level of the bar, past the dictatorial barmaid in green lederhosen who ruled over her area in Germanic efficiency, and out onto the patio where he knew Alexandra would be waiting for him.
His eyes scanned the outdoor seating area for her blonde head, but a very different looking Alex waved up at him from under one of those cheesy patio umbrellas.
"What the hell happened to you?" he asked as he sat down beside her, giving her new look the once over.
Alex fingered her now very red locks and smiled behind a pair of overly large sunglasses.
"You like it? Frances and I got the same shade done this morning. It's different, but I think it'll grow on me. I might just keep it. She looks amazing of course."
"Well... it's different. It'll take some getting used to but it's nice."
They ordered and the now red-head chuckled at his attempts at diplomacy."Thank you, Ev. But we didn't come here to discuss my attempts at method acting. What's going on? Taissa's a real sweetheart. If you did anything-"
Evan cut her off right there, setting his Pabst Blue Ribbon down on the table seriously. "I swear I never wanted to hurt her."
"Well, you did. That much is clear. You didn't fuck around with her, did you? When would you have had the fucking time? Her mother's always on set, isn't she?"
"No! No. I didn't. It's not like that."
"Then what is it like, Evan? Spit it out. God! You're paid to talk for a living. Speak!"
Evan mock-glared at her before taking a long swig of his beer. "I just - I like her."
Alexandra wasn't just going to let him finish with that. With her eyebrow arched, she gestured in that condescending manner of hers that she expected him to continue.
It was going to be a pain in the ass explaining things and Evan couldn't even organize his own thoughts well enough to sort them out himself but he knew that she wasn't going to let it go and he really did need her help.
Sighing, he started at the beginning. "From the moment I met her, Alex, there was something. She was special. Kyle told me that it looked like the rest of the world disappeared and there was just two of us. I guess that's as good a description as any. Everything else faded away and for one tiny second I felt... I dunno. It felt like home."
"So, what's the problem then, Evan? Is it the age thing? That's nothing, you know. It's not like she'll be a teenager forever. We could do group things. Maybe that Disney trip you said Gallner wanted to set up or we could do the beach." She paused when she saw his face. "Or is it that harpy you call a girlfriend?"
His mind drifted to Lexie and he stamped down another wave of guilt. He'd always considered himself a fairly decent person, but decent people didn't use people. Not the way he'd used her.
Alex continued, "If you could've just seen her face when Alanna asked me about working with you, Ev. It's like for a second her heart cracked." Alex frowned, trying to find better words to explain what she'd seen. "But it was just for a second because as quick as it came, it was gone and she was a bit more blank that she'd been before. She's one hell of an actress. She almost made me believe that she had a good time with us. Almost."
Evan winced; her every word pained him. "It's not just Lexie. It's everything. She won't talk to me. It doesn't matter what I feel or what I do."
Alexandra sighed and pushed her half-eaten goulash away from her on the table. "Well, there really isn't much you can do when you've got a girlfriend. As much as I loathe her, it's a douche move to string Lexie along like this."
"There are only two weeks left."
"And then what?" she demanded, her brown eyes flashing shrewdly. "You're just going to keep on with Lexie when your heart doesn't belong to her. It's selfish. You're just being a bastard."
Even though he knew it was true, it was quite another thing to hear it from someone else – from a friend. He couldn't help but feel his temper rise. "Well, what would you have me do then? Get down on my knees and beg? To fucking forget that if we were together I'd be arrested for being a fucking pedophile. She said age was just a number but it's too late for that, Alex. I've fucked it all up and I can't see my way out of it."
She set her hand on his arm comfortingly and sighed. Alex knew what it was to love someone and lose them. Evan had been her friend through the painful years she suffered after losing Bryten. Her voice was softer now. Her own heart hurt for her friend, but there were only two weeks left. Maybe something could be salvaged. "Just be her friend, Evan. If the world really disappears when you're with her, then you need to live for that. You can't give it up."
Evan nodded slowly.
"And sort it out with Lexie, Evan. It's not fair to her. She doesn't deserve it, no matter how much of a flake she is."
Taissa liked Shelby Young the moment she'd met her. Of course she had read the pilot's script and she knew that she was going to have to hate the other girl on screen – but at their first impromptu scene reading she found herself sitting across the table from Shelby who was wearing a bright pink t-shirt with 'This Princess Saves Herself' emblazoned across the front and it had immediately brought a grin to Taissa's face.
The girls were closer in age than she and Alexandra and the history between the older woman and Evan was too big to ignore. It was obvious on the weekend when they'd been up at Griffith Park that Alex and her friends moved in the same circles as Evan and his, and with every mention of his name Taissa felt her stomach clench and her heart break a little more. She didn't want it to, but every day it was getting harder and harder to just ignore the hurt. So, she'd decided that if she didn't have to spend as much time with his friends, then she'd do what she needed to.
Not that she didn't ever see him or anything, but while most of his scenes were with her, she had quite a few that were with the other actors and in other filming locations from wherever he was. She'd gotten to like Connie quite a bit and she was thrilled when the older woman told her that she didn't mind at all if Taissa wandered about with her a bit between shots.
Connie had this way about her that Taissa couldn't help but admire. She could crack jokes and have a bit of laugh but as soon as Ryan would call 'Action' it was all seriousness and play-time was over. She hardly ever broke character when the cameras were rolling and it was something that Taissa aspired to.
And of course there was Jessica Lange. Taissa didn't have a single scene with her but it was a privilege just to watch her work. During one particular scene, both she and Evan stood mesmerized behind the cameras, watching the older woman complete an entire scene perfectly in one take. When it was done, she couldn't help but turn to him and give him a wide genuine smile before realizing that he didn't get to have those anymore and she slammed the shutters to her heart all over again. Mentally berating herself, she ignored the pain that flashed across his face and went in search of Shelby or one of the twins to take her mind of things she couldn't have – things she foolishly let herself believe she wanted.
Later, when the door to the make-up trailer that was set up outside Fairfax High School opened, she hadn't expected him to be there. Of course, she'd read that he would be at the school with them, but he wasn't in their scenes so she hadn't put it together. It felt like a stab to the heart when Shelby gave him a cheerful smile and welcomed him into their little space.
The girls were there for a make-up touch up after filming the billowy hallway walking scene a half dozen times – each time the extras not doing whatever it was that Ryan wanted them too. Shelby didn't seem to mind the spit in her hair too much and they both were having a lot of fun with their stunt doubles performing their first cat fight.
She and Shelby were just about to film their second fight scene and while she was glad to be temporarily away from the horrible fake cigarette smoke that was tempting her to take up real smoking just to get away from the awful incensey smell, she wasn't prepared to come face to face with Evan with no excuse and nowhere else to go.
To make matters worse, Evan was in full costume and it was all she could do not to drool all over herself. The way he looked in layer upon layer of black wool made her weak in the knees. He must have come a lot earlier that morning to get the Rick Genest make-up look that Ryan was after but it paid off. He looked positively terrifying and it was more than a little trippy seeing him laugh at something Shelby had said with a skeleton on his face and down his neck.
He must have noticed her staring because he caught her gaze and held it, a tentative smile spreading across his features. When he spoke, she had to shake her head a bit to clear her thoughts enough to hear what he'd said to her. This time, there were no excuses, no mention of the past or anything. He was just talking and it reminded her how much she'd been looking forward to actually getting to know him before everything turned to shit.
She wasn't sure whether it was painful or not to find that he really was as fun and sweet as she had hoped. With no mention of his girlfriend, she could almost pretend that things between them were perfect - that they could be friends even.
They were laughing and joking and talking, and unintentionally leaving Shelby out of the conversation completely. For one brief moment, she forgot that was she was just a silly little girl who had deluded herself with ridiculous fantasies about her co-star. But then he reached out and casually touched her arm and a shock of pain shot through her. Not physical pain but rather some clouded traitorous thought reminding her that everything she was feeling was all in her head. She winced and drew her hand away instinctively.
He frowned but didn't say anything and Shelby didn't seem to notice it. They'd been called to set so she was standing at the door hurrying the younger girl along, leaving Evan behind for his intensive reapplication of black smudge to his face for the reshoots of his scenes later in the afternoon.
He was alone with only the make-up artist for only a second when Taissa returned to grab her porkpie hat from where she'd rested it on the table beside them.
Taking the opportunity to speak to her, no matter how little time he had, Evan sat up and grabbed her hand. "Taissa," he began but she waved him off with a small smile.
"Don't worry about it, Evan. It's okay," she said softly without taking her hand from his. She had decided to accept his peace offering. Maybe if they could be friends then the next two weeks would hurt a little less. "See you later, okay?"
He nodded and reluctantly let go of her hand. She smiled again and stepped back out into the sunshine where Shelby was waiting with a smug look on her face.
"You like him!"
Taissa snorted. "Yeah, but he has a girlfriend."
"Boo! That blows," Shelby intoned, with an eye roll. "Well, she's not here now and you are. Have fun while you're young, chica!" And with a wink, she left Taissa in wardrobe where they could let Erick fuss with their costumes before their scene was called.
Filming was a lot more fun for both of them once they decided to be friends. At least, that's what they told themselves they were. Friends. What that entailed was a lot of time spent 'alone' together, waiting as their sets were dressed between takes. There were always a lot of people around them, but usually they were in a world of their own.
At first it was just superficial things. They would talk about books and music – neither of which they agreed upon, and after a while she even started teaching him sign language. He was pretty terrible but it made her laugh and that's why he did it. He loved to make her laugh.
The final days of shooting were looming over them like a rain cloud. Even when she was shouting that she never wanted to see him again on film, the reality of what was about to happen to them was settling on their shoulders and both were miserable about it.
While Ryan and Brad tidied up and edited the final shots so they could be shown to the network, the actors and crew were gathering for one last hurrah before going their separate ways. No one wanted to call it a wrap party because for most, they were hoping that there would be many episodes left to film if the network picked up the show.
For the entire day, Taissa had been depressed without actually admitting that she was depressed. Even her mother was giving her a wide berth, choosing instead to visit with Jessica and Frances. Shelby couldn't even cheer her up. The day after tomorrow she was scheduled to head back to New Jersey and back to her real life. Evan was staying here... with his girlfriend. Did he still have a girlfriend? Taissa wasn't sure.
Finding a quiet corner of the set to sit and work through what she was feeling, she drew her knees up to her chest, resting her head against them as tears threatened to fall. When he finally found her, she felt him as soon as he walked into the room. When he crossed to sit beside her she let him rest his arm on the small of her back.
"Do you still have a girlfriend, Evan?" Taissa whispered, finally mentioning what they'd both avoided for the last two weeks.
"Yeah, I guess so," he answered slowly, unsure where she was going with this. Lexie wasn't scheduled to come back from Phoenix until later that night. He had finally admitted to himself that he was an asshat, but even he couldn't break up with a girl over the phone.
Taissa frowned, straightening up. "How can you guess so? You either do or you don't."
"I wasn't supposed to," he started, somehow trying to explain his idiotic plan to the girl he'd devised the plan to save himself from. "We broke up like 2 months ago. But then I met you and I couldn't-"
Her mouth dropped. "You got back together with your ex because you met me? Wow." She stood up and pushed past him, refusing to let him see her tears again.
"Stop, Tai, it wasn't like that!" He reached out to her and grabbed the sleeve of her sweater.
"What was it like then, Evan?" She half-heartedly attempted to pull her arm free from his grasp but he held her firmly
"I thought if I was with her then I wouldn't feel this way about you." It had been an insane idea; her knew this was never going to go away. "I don't cheat. I never cheat. I was trying to protect myself from wanting something I couldn't have."
"Well, how's that working out for ya?" she asked defiantly, her caramel eyes flashed anger and pain. What hurt worse was that she could almost understand why he'd done it.
"Still don't have what I want." He didn't take his eyes from hers and he pulled her closer, calming her heart the closer he held her.
"Who's fault is that?" she asked, her voice barely a whisper. Her eyes instinctively drifted to his lips and her head felt heavy.
"Mine and the State of California," he answered, closing the rest of the distance between them and sliding a hand in her hair as he finally found her mouth with his own.
Sharing the same breath, the hunger they'd both felt for the past few weeks erupted. She tasted exactly has he'd imagined, her soft lips opening easily against his as he slipped his tongue into her mouth. Cinnamon and chocolate only driving him closer to oblivion pressing kisses along her jaw and down her neck.
Gripping the back of his neck, Taissa's hands tangled in his hair and a soft keening sound erupted from the back of her throat. He growled and pulled her closer, nipping at her bottom lip and sliding his hand along the hem of her sweater.
As physically painful as it was, Taissa knew she had to stop this before they did something they couldn't go back from. She didn't know how she managed it, but with both arms pressed gently against his shoulders, she pulled away from the kiss. His head leaned in to capture hers for one last chaste kiss before he sat back, out of breath and unwilling to take his eyes off hers.
Looking at the floor, Taissa lifted her fingers to her lips for a second before lifting her gaze to his. "You don't cheat, Evan. Neither do I."
"Taissa, wait." He had to explain. She had to understand. Lexie wasn't who he wanted to be with. He would just tell her. Age was only a number. Anything. He had to explain everything, anything to make her understand.
Through her tears, she shook her head. She was going home. He was staying here.
"I just can't, Evan. I'm sorry," she whispered, and with that she walked out of the room and shattered his heart completely.
Evan had no idea how he got home.
He was pretty sure that he drank a lot after Taissa left the party.
Slamming the door behind himself with his foot, Evan stepped into the apartment and was nearly knocked over by a short brunette head of mostly hair.
His eyes focused a bit on the girl who had her arms wrapped around him and he realized that Alexia must have let herself into his place when she got back from Scottsdale.
"Surprise!" she squealed, stepping on her toes to press a quick kiss to his lips.
After the mind-blowing experience he'd had earlier that night with Taissa his lips against Lexie's felt hollow. He was empty. There was nothing.
"Did you miss me?" his girlfriend asked, an eager grin on her face. He knew what she wanted to hear.
"Sure. Yeah," he answered numbly, letting her drag him over to the sofa where she promptly sat herself down on his lap.
"You did?" Her eyes were wide with excitement. She slid her hands down his chest and rocked her hips against his. "I've missed you like crazy, baby."
Evan's head was still a bit cloudy but even he could tell what she was trying to do. His first instinct was to explain to her that they couldn't be together any more. That she was a nice girl and that she'd find someone who was in love with her someday.
But he didn't say any of that. The look on Taissa's face when she walked away... she'd rejected him despite everything – that's what drove him to do what he did next. Instead of pushing Lexie away he kissed her back. He just closed his eyes and imagined he was with someone else.
Excited that he wasn't pushing her away this time, Lexie lowered herself to her knees on the floor in front of him and tugged at his jeans to show him just how much she'd missed him. When she took him into her mouth, his eyes tightened shut; Evan refusing to look down at eyes that were the wrong colour - his fingers tangling in hair that was the wrong colour.
He nearly bit his lip bloody, stopping himself from calling out the wrong name as he came.
Lexie cleaned herself up and then rose into his lap to snuggle in against his chest. As far as she was concerned, things were better than ever.
From Evan's perspective, he'd retaliated against having his heart cut out and slammed against a wall. The text message from Ryan Murphy letting him know that the show had been picked up for a full season would be read later and he'd have to deal with the consequences of his choices later.
Taissa hadn't even managed a goodnight to her mother. She had slipped into her room at Vera's condo and immediately locked the bedroom door behind her.
She could still taste him on her lips and she could feel every part of herself thrumming with anticipation for what she was about to do.
Her clothes found the floor quickly and she climbed into bed, fingers finding what they were looking for almost immediately. She was sopping wet and her fingers sliding against her most sensitive places sent electricity to every part of her. She didn't say his name out loud, but her back arched against the bed as she imagined his blond hair between her thighs. She bit her lip as she came and the tears began to stream down her face as she caught her breath.
When her phone buzzed from the bedside table, her heart leaped into her throat. She was so certain that it was him; that Evan wouldn't give up on her but she didn't even bother to hide her disappointment that it was Ryan. It looked like she had a job.
To Be Continued...