Title: That's A Wrap
Pairing: David Boreanaz/Alexis Denisof
Except: In the world where ats_nolimits actually got filmed
Rated: WB for lack of sex, Showtime for language
Disclaimer: If you think this actually happened, you need more help than I can provide. Nor does anything contained herein reflect official policy on the fictional-fictional parts of the No Limits universe.
Setting: Just post 6.22; here there be spoilers.
Summary: Unlike that other network, Showtime gives us the good crack at the craft table.
Happy belated birthday, TBQ.
That's A Wrap
"The hell it is!" comes the cry from a trio of female voices, over the small explosions of cheers and applause, and the larger one of someone popping a champagne cork. They shout in unison, and if that and Dushku's smirk aren't clue enough that they've been plotting, Alyson's wide, bright eyes when Dave looks suspiciously at her would cinch the deal.
Dave slumps against the wall, sliding away from Alexis and slipping the fangs from his mouth. The vampire face is hot against his skin, and he pulls at the rubber and foam, ripping it from his forehead. It's the last scene of the finale, the bits in Angel's human face already shot; he could give a crap about the prosthetics at this point, when they don't even know if they'll ever use them again. And if he's breathing harder than any vampire has a right to? Well, he's not Angel anymore, is he. And that makeup's stifling.
Alyson, glass in her hand waiting to be filled, is dressed as Evil Willow, though they shot that scene two days ago. Publicity photos; same reason Amy's wiping blue smudges of makeup off her neck that -- between Illyria's tourist disguise and the Fred scenes -- she hasn't worn onscreen for two episodes now. Three hot chicks in leather and the potential for a tagline like 'Angel's Devils' trumps logic, timing, and the fact that none of the girls have ever acted together wearing these outfits.
"Which part of 'Executive Producer' doesn't sound like I get to say 'That's a wrap?'" Another female voice, this one from off to Dave's right, and he doesn't need to turn his head to tell there's no smirk on that face; he can hear the amused confusion. Whatever's up, she's not in on it. "'Cause I'm pretty sure I asked for that in my contract specifically. That and the cabana boys."
"Is that what you're calling us these days?" Alexis grins and wipes fake blood from his neck.
"Cock-tease is what I'm calling you guys these days." Fuck; it's Alyson smirking now. Eliza with that expression just means she's awake, but on Alexis' wife, it's Trouble with a capital God Help Us All.
"You packing something I don't know about, Hannigan?" Marsters shoots a long, salacious look at the crotch of her leather pants, and does that thing with his tongue that's landed him more groupies than he knows what to do with, a night in jail during a con in Alabama that nobody involved will ever tell the full story about, and quite possibly this job, if Dave knows Joss as well as he's pretty sure he does.
The girl who was wearing purple overalls and a fuzzy hat with a daisy on it when Dave met her eight years ago reaches between her legs and makes a gesture at James that would never have made it past the WB's standards and practices department. Probably not even the one UPN didn't seem to have. "You wish you knew."
"Raise your hand if you don't wish you knew," Eliza says as she pours champagne into Alyson's glass, and gives a pretty good imitation of the tongue thing. Maybe not good enough to get her arrested in Mobile, but definitely enough to put somebody else behind bars. Not a hand goes up -- except Alexis'.
When incredulous eyes fix on him, his grin just widens. "What? I don't wish; I know." He sits up, back against the wall, and raises an eyebrow. "I do wish I knew why we're cock-teases, though."
"God made y'all that way to punish us?" Amy offers.
"Because that was not a wrap." Alyson holds her glass up, studying the bubbles in the pale gold liquid, but doesn't drink.
From Dave's right comes: "And I say again: contract. Mine, not Wesley's." There's a pause, and Dave finally looks over at her. Ah, hell. She's frowning. Like she's thinking about whatever the girls are up to. This can't be good. "Okay, let's pretend for a minute I'm not your boss, which is not an invitation to spend that minute toilet-papering my office, Vin, so get your ass back here. Why was that not a wrap?"
She's looking at Alyson, which means the rest of them are too, even a snickering Kartheiser. So it's all heads turn as the hunt goes by when the answer comes from Amy.
"Not gay enough," she says matter-of-factly.
"You know how I taught you guys that internet acronym that starts OMGWTF and ends with my initials? This would be the appropriate context to use that in." Ms. Executive Producer takes a deep breath -- and suddenly nobody's looking at Amy anymore.
If nobody else heard a certain person mutter, "I use my breasts to get other people's attention..." in a snide falsetto as she brushed blue hair out of her face, Dave isn't about to squeal on her.
"Also since we're doing the course review on that newfangled slang the kiddies are using online, possibly it's time for the advanced class which we like to call 'Bitch, Please.'" Something about the tone seems to imply that the minute for pretending the boss is not the boss is rapidly drawing to a close. "We all do remember that I wrote and directed this script, yes? Not gay enough?"
"Not gay enough," Amy repeats, nodding.
There's a feminine finger in Dave's face, suddenly. He blinks up at it, and watches as it jabs back and forth between him and Alexis. "We were watching the same scene, right? Where Angel's pretty much giving Wesley's throat the blowjob of two and a half centuries? Also where Dave was grabbing Alexis' ass in a manner that, while I didn't actually tell him to do it, I heartily endorse as an improvisational choice?"
"I wasn't--" Dave coughs, then looks at Alexis. "Uh. There was grabbing?"
"I just figured hey, Method, and went with it," Alexis assures him. His eyes are twinkling, which tells Dave exactly jack squat about whether he's being fucked with or not. "I don't think there'll be much bruising."
"Er. Sorry?" Dave mutters, glancing at Alyson.
"Hey, don't apologize to me. I'm planning on stealing the dailies and showing them every Christmas," she says.
"And yet this is somehow not gay enough for you people?" That pretend-I'm-not-your-boss minute is definitely over now.
"Oh, not us," Eliza says, looking - well, like she's trying to look innocent. If she can't manage it while doing photo-ops with puppies, she sure as hell can't pull it off wearing leather. "We're totally cool with whatever your directorial genius comes up with."
"...cough-brown-nose-just wants her name in the credits next season -cough..." comes from the craft table, where Andy, his cameo filmed weeks ago, just here for the wrap party, has set up camp. He hides behind a grinning J. August when Eliza shoots him a glare, but pops his head out to add, "You don't even know if there'll be a next season!"
Amy grabs a sheaf of paper from one corner of the long table, next to the uncut cake. "Not us. The viewers."
"The viewers?" Fuck. The boss is either taking this seriously, or she's got acting chops she never listed on her resume.
Dave darts a nervous look at Alexis. Who's obviously not taking it seriously enough, because he's still twinkling, damn him. And possibly giggling.
"Fan mail doesn't lie." Amy picks the top one off the stack, and reads. "Loved the amnesia ep, but when are we gonna get some real boykissing?"
Eliza walks over and snatches another page from Amy's hand. "Dudes, you're on Showtime now," she reads. "Where's the nudity? And I'm not talkin' full frontal Nina, here, either."
Marsters groans. "Fucking Queer As fucking Folk... You don't wanna know how many letters I got telling me what Kita 'left out' of the St. Petersburg flashback." He shudders. "From girls. Describing positions."
Alyson holds out her free hand for the stack of papers, and reads the one that's now on top, gesturing with her champagne glass to emphasize. "You guys threw a nice bone to the Angel/Spike shippers, but what about the Wesley fans? Where's our bone?"
"In Aly's pants, apparently," Marsters snickers.
"I like subtext as much as the next girl," she continues as if he hadn't spoken, though her red, red lipsticked smile twists up at one end. "But in terms of canon smuttery? You guys might as well be back on the WB."
"Ok, that's enough." Boss-frowns are a scary, scary thing even when they don't involve taking the word 'smuttery' seriously. Though Dave gets the feeling it's those magic 'WB' letters that actually caused the pissed-off tone in her voice.
"You sure?" Eliza asks. "'Cause we've got boxes of this stuff. And that's just the snail mail."
"I'm not exactly unsympathetic to this particular complaint," the boss understates. "But you guys know the drill. The point here was to make a show that went with the slash vibes, but wouldn't lose the little old ladies in Peoria."
"Half these letters are from little old ladies in Peoria," Amy points out.
"Or the jocks in Altoona, and I'm pretty sure they're not writing to complain about the Nina-boobies," the boss says.
"You're twenty-two episodes in," Alyson replies. "If the jocks in Altoona didn't switch over to The West Wing when Angel was amnesi-angsting over whether his gay English vampire boyfriend loved him anymore, I think they're here for the long haul." She shrugs. "Except, y'know. This is the long haul. Maybe even the end of the line."
"Right." Boss-voice isn't losing any of the pissiness. "And Angel's a vampire." There's that finger in Dave's face again. "In this mythology, what he just did to Wes is the equivalent of bending him over the Viper and fucking him blind."
Dave coughs. "And can I take this moment to congratulate you on the editorial wisdom of cutting that scene from the Christmas Special before filming started?"
"No," comes from that same trio of female voices that started this whole thing. Dave's...utterly unshocked. By that -- the fact that he's pretty sure he heard Alexis echo it under his breath is a little unnerving.
"Look, we're in no way saying the bitey wasn't hotter than a really hot thing on hot toast with a side order of hot cross buns," Eliza adds. "And we get it. Art, metaphor that doesn't involve magic wicca crack, blah blah blah. Just sayin'...this is it. The big bang. We...uh...they... don't get an honest to God kiss out of it, and there's gonna be bitching and moaning and gnashing of teeth."
"There's always bitching and moaning, no matter what we do; don't think I didn't read the letter from the guy who thought the premiere had too much subtext," the boss says.
Which would be much more comforting if she weren't frowning and crossing her arms in a way that might possibly prove Amy right about the attention-seeking thing except God knows it's not like she needs to point out that particular salient feature of her anatomy to anybody; they're kind of hard to miss.
"Fine. You." She points to the cameraman. "Roll. You--" Ah, the return of the finger, jabbed at Dave, and then Alexis. "Kiss. And you--" She stalks over to the Director's chair, where Adam Baldwin lounges in jeans and a Serenity t-shirt, one long leg crossed over the other, and kicks his boot. "--are in my seat."
"Eh." He makes no move to rise, just gives her a slow grin and a vague wave of his hand. "You're not gonna need it."
"Excuse me?" Dave croaks.
She turns back to face him. "You heard me. Take it from the end of the bite, just before you lower Wes to the ground. Everybody wants a fucking kiss, they can have a fucking kiss. Then we can break out the whiskey, cut the cake, and give subtlety the big old Irish wake it deserves."
"You know, you almost sound like you don't want to see two hot guys sucking face," Alyson says thoughtfully.
"Yuh-huh. I'd give you the remedial Bitch Please make-up lecture, but I'm too busy wondering if 'roll' and 'kiss' are also on the list of shit Executive Producers get to say that got left off my contract."
"Hey, rolling, here," comes from behind the camera.
And everyone's staring at Dave. Which as the star of the show is not something he's unused to, but it doesn't usually have quite this much...pressure...attached to it.
And okay, possibly 'pressure' was the wrong word-choice there, because possibly the breathing too hard wasn't just about the makeup and possibly the fact that Alexis is rolling his eyes as he rises and yanks Dave up by the arm along with him means Dave should be doing something besides blinking and sliding his other arm around Alexis' back again.
Or possibly there's no possibly about it when Alexis mutters, "If you need to do the grabby thing to get back into the zone, I'm good. Pretty sure the wife won't complain too hard about the bruising."
"Maybe yours won't..." Dave mutters back as he lowers his face to Alexis' throat. And possibly there's grabbing, though since bitching about lack of subtlety has occurred, possibly it's more like a really long squeeze, with added massage action.
"Bitch, please," Alexis whispers, as Dave's lips make their way up his neck towards his mouth. "Who do you think put them up to this? She and Aly had lunch yester--mmmph."
Fine, Dave says, except not with words because you need air for that. I'll fucking give you people Not Gay Enough. Which sounds uncomfortably like boss-voice in his head, for the point five seconds it takes before the only thing in his head is the wet warmth of Alexis' mouth against his and the body he's pressing hard to the wall pressing hard back at him, harder than somebody who's just had all his blood drained out of him should be and hey, did we notice the totally unsubtle repetition of the word hard there? Well, yes, we did, but since the boss isn't really in our head, she's not gonna be bitching at us about it.
And possibly there's grabbing that's happening with Dave's ass and Alexis' hand, and possibly somewhere there's boss-voice saying "I'll be in my bunk," though the blood rushing in Dave's ears could be distorting the sound.
And possibly Baldwin-voice chuckling, "Did I not say you wouldn't need the chair?" while Alexis threads his other hand through Dave's hair and pulls him impossibly closer, if that's even possible.
And Kartheiser-voice whispering, "Does he even realize he's not in makeup anymore and there's no way this scene's actually gonna air?"
And Aly-voice shushing him sharply and Dushku-voice coughing out, "DVD extra and also shut up."
Alexis-hand on the back of his neck, and then there's tongue and something that might even be biting of same, and Dave opens his eyes to look into blue ones and he's still twinkling, the fucker, and somewhere behind them Vincent says, "So give it up - you guys wrote those letters, right?" and all three girls chirp their denials.
"I, uh, may've written the St. Petersburg one, though." That is not Amy-voice, and if it is, Dave can't hear it over the sound of his own not-breathing, so it's ok.
"Huh, I figured that was Kita." That's J. August, booming over from the craft table, and the voice that answers in a sad little moan, "There was more than one," is definitely Marsters, or possibly Dave's just hallucinating from lack of oxygen, not because he doesn't know how to kiss and breathe, he's not sixteen, but oxygen needs blood to get it to the brain, and that's a problem when your blood's got a mind of its own and decides it needs a sudden southern vacation.
And it's absolutely, positively not Joss who says, "And that's a wrap," because he's not even supposed to be here today; he had some Universal schmooze-party set up at the Gazebo for the whole afternoon that Baldwin only managed to duck out of because... "Guys? Wrap? Guys? What part of Creator of the Show doesn't sound like I get to say that?"
Dave would answer, really, but he's a little wrapped up.