Author's Note: I was dared to write a MatineeShipping story involving Rosa and Sabrina shooting their movie at PokeStar Studios. It was supposed to be a drabble, but I wound up going over the limit. If you don't like MatineeShipping, it's kind of a waste of time to complain to me since I did not pick the pairing. Also, this is meant to be silly and cracky, so don't take it too too seriously :P
There is a Madness to My Method
Rosa withdrew a paper cone, now filled with chilled water from the cooler, and tilted it up to her lips, careful not to spill anything on the elaborate, over-ruffled and itchy as hell costume she was wearing. After she'd emptied the cup, she crumpled it in her hand and threw it into the garbage can with a sigh. She knew that this break wouldn't be nearly long enough, and soon she'd be ordered back on the green screen to spout lines that she'd barely had a chance to memorize; have to talk to a man in a ridiculous green motion capture suit as though he was an even more ridiculous giant plush toy; and be told that she wasn't emoting hard enough.
She leaned downwards towards one of the many chairs in the break room and attempted, with some difficulty, to sit down. Every time she tried, though, the rounded structure of her skirt struggled against the act. Finally she gave up on getting off her feet altogether and simply leaned against the wall.
She took off the little crown on her head for a moment and rubbed the sore area where the metal had rubbed against her scalp. It was funny; playing a princess had seemed so much more alluring before she'd actually put the costume on.
This whole thing had seemed more alluring before she'd actually gotten into it, for that matter. When you're camping out in the middle of the forest and cooking your own meals by campfire… well, the glamorous life of a movie star just seems so much better.
But then she'd come to find out how much hard work it was and suddenly getting back on the road didn't seem like such a bad idea anymore. This film was way more exhausting then the last two ones she'd shot—perhaps because this director was so convinced that she was filming art. But even on the easier shoots it had wound up being much more complicated and tedious a process than Rosa had originally thought. A lot of it was just doing the same scenes over and over and over again until the words seemed to lose all meaning. What's more, they even had to do scenes out of order which made it a pain to keep track of the story and figure out what mindset her character should be in. And for all that work to ultimately be in the service of just a fun little story about a princess in a fantasy setting? It just didn't seem worth it.
And she hadn't even worked on the really hard scenes of the movie—called Magical Mystery Door or something stupid-sounding like that—because the bulk of her scenes would be filmed with Sabrina, who hadn't been scheduled to be on-set in the morning. She really had no clue what to expect from Sabrina—a gym leader, an accomplished psychic, and an actress? Where did the woman find the time?
"Come away, my dear," a voice recited. There was a certain poetic quality to the tone, but also an edge… a something that warned of a threat beyond the invitation. "Come away to my magical world."
Rosa slowly turned her head toward the source of the voice.
There she was—Kanto's renowned and mysterious gym leader, decked out in her Spiritomb of Halloween best. She leaned dramatically against the door like some kind of occult femme fatale, her eyes dyed an iridescent red by contacts that matched the paint-tipped edges of the black feathered fan she was waving. Her dress was grey, a few shades from black, and trimmed with purple accents on the collar and across one sleeve.
It looked like she'd been practically sewn into the outfit, and as the gym leader strutted further into the break room, it was clear to Rosa that Sabrina's hips did not, in fact, lie. Whatever that meant.
"Hi Sabrina," was all Rosa could say in response to that otherworldly introduction.
Sabrina seemed undeterred by this, letting go of her fan and allowing her psychic powers continue to move it back and forth for her. "I'm not Sabrina, princess," she said seriously. "You will address me as Magical Queen Bellelba—and you will be glad of the honor."
"Umm… okay?" Rosa responded, raising her eyebrows.
Sabrina (who would prefer at this moment to be known as Magical Queen Bellelba) glided over to Rosa and slid her index finger up the trainer's neck, turning her chin upward to look directly at her. "So young—so full of vibrant energy," she observed. "That energy will make me all the more beautiful and power as I absorb it," she predicted rapturously. "And then," she whispered, moving so her lips were just inches away from the faux-princess, "you will be my slave."
Rosa eyes widened as her head tilted very definitely away from her fellow actress. She was now painfully aware that Sabrina's lunch had involved onions. She really hadn't wanted this information.
She took several side-steps away from Sabrina. "What," she began slowly, unable to take her eyes off the witchy woman, "the hell?"
"Oh, do not mind Sabrina," a heavily-accented voice echoed into the room as the director appeared in the room with an expensive cup of coffee in hand. "She ees ah, 'ow you say?" she explained, gesturing with the hand that wasn't holding coffee, "a method-actor."
"A what?" Rosa asked, still looking suspiciously at Sabrina, whose unearthly red-eyes had turned to acknowledge the director.
"She 'as been going deep in-character for ze last several months to prepare for ze role," the director explained, setting herself down at the table and taking the master script out of her designer purse. "While she ees in ze costume, zere ees no more Sabrina—zere ees only Bellelba." She looked up sharply at Rosa. "You could learn from her example, my dear. Eet might help you to perform eh… less badly," she offered in a way that she probably thought of as tactful.
Rosa put her hands on her hips and glared over at the director. "So that's supposed to be a reasonable excuse for being all creepy at people?" she demanded. "What if I went all over the place acting like a selfish, spoiled brat and claimed that it was okay because it was just my character that was doing it?"
"I thought zat was what you were already doing," the director commented lightly, paying more attention to her script than her ingénue.
"Yes," Sabrina-Bellelba dived into the conversation dramatically as Rosa turned a sour face on the director, "you are a selfish, foolish child now… but soon against my charms and enchantments your proud spirit will crumble. You will try, at first, to escape my magical world, but soon you will give your life, your love and your all to Bellelba!"
"What?" Rosa asked flatly.
"Psychics can get a leetle… over involved," the director said with a shrug. "She 'as spent a leetle too much time immersed in the role. She ees, 'ow you say? Cuckoo bananas."
"Whereas, I," Sabrina continued as though she hadn't heard either of them, "shall become entranced by your strong will and your innocent heart and begin to feel the pinpricks of guilt for taking you under my control and dampening the brilliant spark of your true self, and for the pain and suffering I've wrought upon your world to maintain my power… and in your love," she wound down her speech with a declamatory gesture, "I, Bellelba, will finally reclaim my humanity."
"…What's all this about my love?" Rosa demanded.
"Zat's not in ze script…" the director said, narrowing her exquisitely maintained eyebrows in concern. "…But I like eet!" she concluded, her expression snapping to a smile.
"Excuse me?!" Rosa exclaimed, whipping her head around to look at the director.
"Just imagine it!" the director said, getting up and making a rectangular viewfinder of her two hands and peering at Sabrina and Rosa through her fingers. "A determined young princesses, ze captive of an older—"
"But still cute," Sabrina interrupted.
"But still cute witch," the director nodded. "Ze princess wants to escape, but zere is an attraction zere, and ze witch also feels it too." She clasped her hands together excitedly. "Emotional manipulation! Psychological exploration! Romance! A parable of womanhood! Ze fate of zis world and ze magical one!"
"That sounds messed up," Rosa commented, jaw hanging open. "I did not sign up for this."
"I predict it will be the darling of art houses across Unova and beyond," Sabrina prognosticated, holding two fingers to her forehead.
"Zink of ze set pieces!" the director gushed. "Ze stirring emotions! Ze grand awards! Ze tastefully handled sex scenes!"
"Oh dear," the director turned to Rosa, sounding slightly worried. "You are of age, aren't you my dear?"
"Yes, but shouldn't you have known that before you started talking about sex scenes?!" Rosa asked, fists clenched in front of her
"Tasteful sex scenes," the director corrected, as though this made a difference. "And do not blame me, my dear. Art knows no age."
Rosa crossed her arms and decided to shut down this terrible idea before it started. "My contract says no nudity," she informed them.
There was a stumped silence for a moment in which neither Sabrina nor the director said anything. Finally, Sabrina commented in a glum voice: "This could be a problem."
"Ees zis completely nonnegotiable, darling?" the director implored of Rosa. "Could you not just be a leetle topless?"
"A little topless?" Rosa repeated, dumbfounded. "How can a person be a little topless? You're either topless or you're not!" she concluded, crossing her arms protectively over her chest.
"If it would make you feel better, I could be topless too," Sabrina offered in an I-sincerely-think-I'm-helping tone.
"That would not make me feel better!" Rosa exploded.
"But it ees for ze art, no?" the director tried. "Do you not want to be part of zis avant-garde masterpiece waiting to be born?"
Rosa hesitated. Maybe… maybe it was because working with a director who had vision to create something new and strange—something that had meaning to it, even if that meaning missed its mark in the final cut—ultimately felt more worth the effort than just making some kitschy little fairytale about a princess in a magical world that made her think it; or maybe it was just that the madness of Sabrina's method was contagious. Either way, she found herself asking: "Just how… just how tasteful would the sex scenes be?"
"Ne vous inquiétez pas!" the director said with a grin. "Ze tastefullest!"