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misplaced fingers, displaced feelings

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“You two still kind of act like you’re married, in a nice way. Is it nice to be married on tv but not in real life?” Amy asked Stefanie Powers and Robert Wagner during their interview for Entertainment Weekly’s Hart to Hart reunion. Adam looked at her, smiled, and suddenly realized how hard that question is.

It’s an honor for them doing this interview. Hart to Hart’s opening credits was what they reenacted in Amy’s episode on The Greatest Event in Television History which Adam produced, and so they’re very familiar with the work and rapport Stefanie and Robert shared.

“We-While we were making our thing, we were watchi-we watched the credit sequence over and over again and I remember we decided that you guys were great friends in real life and we could just tell by the way you just behaved with each other on the show that you were- loved each other very much in real life. We could see that sort of respect and affection there is. It’s very apparent.” Amy watched him form his thoughts into actual verbal sentences, noticing the faintest smile he has. She cannot help but have flashbacks of who they are and how they behaved on the show. All the laughter and teasing between takes, the way they always hang out when the day gets wrapped, squeezing in projects where they can work together. She wonders if people who watch them can see what they saw with Stefanie and Robert, respect and affection, and a relationship that has a very thin line bordering into an affair.

“And we recognized it because Adam and I hate each other in real life, and so we saw the opposite.” She quickly said, making sure it sounded like a real statement, earning a chuckle from the two.

When Adam replied “Yes, we do not speak and I think it’s apparent when you watch us on our show.” also making sure it came in a matter-of-factly manifesto, Amy gave him her signature cackle.

They do not talk about it, but how their banters always fall perfectly together somehow feels like coming home. They’ve unlocked the level of comfort that no other costar of them in the past ever did, love interest wise. They love talking trash about the other during interviews, knowing that no matter how dignified they imply the hatred they have for each other; no one would buy it. Sometimes they try to convince their selves that they really do hate each other, because now it’s harder to pretend they’re not in love than to act in love.

"Did we just convince The Stefanie Powers and Robert Wagner to take us to dinner soon?” Adam asked while they were walking to their separate trailers.

“We absolutely did!” Amy raised her hand for a high five, to which Adam gladly responded a little more enthusiastic than he intended it to be.

“Oww!” They both grunted after an incredibly loud and painful slapping of hands.

“Come here.” She was about to ask why but Adam was already grabbing her hand and lifting her palm to his lips.

She watched him kiss the pain away, confused and dumbfounded. It’s always the littlest of things that can catch her off guard. Adam texting her pictures that reminded him of her and their inside jokes. Adam bringing her favorite snacks. Adam watching them shoot scenes when he is not even in the call sheet, all so that he can freely laugh and give her a thumbs up when she happens to look at his direction. Adam prioritizing her comfort and safety in whatever situation they are in. Adam. Just Adam and his stupid face parts, in general, makes her feel feelings. Feelings she need to enclose in a tight container and throw in the Atlantic Ocean.

“Heyy, Amy?” He carefully settled her hand down.

“Yeah?”

“Is it nice to be married on tv but not in real life?” He continued; their walking resumed. Suddenly her questions are being back fired at her? Unfair.

Amy halted, only five steps away from her trailer, “I'm starving. Should we get dinner?” She’s not getting into this conversation with an empty stomach, it is ill advised.

"You have the best ideas. Have it delivered here.” Adam opened her trailer’s door for her, letting himself in after.

He sat on her couch, opening the Evian water Amy offered him. “So?” He followed up.

“Food will arrive in 40 minutes. The traffic here in LA is crazy, I’ll never get used to it.”

“And the traffic in Manhattan is acceptable?” He said, tightening the cap of his water bottle.

“Hey, I never said that. There’s a reason New Yorkers are very fit. We have no choice but to walk most days.” Amy sat at the end of the couch, comfortably crossing her legs.

“Remember when we walked forever to catch a film in Brooklyn? Most cardio I ever did in my whole life.”

“You said it was worth it though, all for Batman.”

“And you said that Christian Bale should be threatened by me, the real Batman.” His chuckle after and Amy’s laughter that followed are something that he will never take for granted. Making her laugh and laughing with her? Free therapy.

“So?” Adam tried again.

“I told you, food will be here in a few minutes,” Amy started to stand up and stride towards the kitchen “I’ll go check if we have anything in the pantry if you’re so hungr-”

“No, I mean,” Adam grabbed both her hands, pulling her into his lap. She wrapped her arms around his neck while his rested on her stomach. Every move is a force of habit.

“I mean, going back to my earlier question, is it nice to be married on tv but not in real life?” He stared at her while rubbing the exposed skin on her waist.

“If anyone sees us like this, they would never guess we’re not married.”

“Which reminds me that last week when I was at Trader Joe’s, someone asked me where my wife Amy Poehler is. Not the first time, but always gets me.”

“Not bad. I only get asked if you really have a cute butt.” She cackled while pulling strands of hair on his nape. He kissed the closest part of her that his lips can reach, her clavicle. His crinkled eyes and nose matched hers when he looked back at her.

“Our marriage is valid in every studio lot. It’s in the contract.”

“Wow, in every studio lot? No wonder you keep offering me jobs. You minx!” Amy said with her mouth open and a hand on her chest, feigning betrayal and surprise.

Adam did his best to hide his grin by rolling his eyes but it only made the woman on his lap cackle harder.

“It is nice to be married on tv but not in real life. Stefanie and Robert were right. We never had domesticated fights. My loud snoring will never keep you up at night and I don’t have to deal with your strong principle of driving barefoot everyday. We’ll never be on the brink of divorce which is amazing.” The mention of divorce made his grip on her waist tighter, he was her safe space during her rawest moment last year and he never wants to see her in that state again.

She laced their fingers as she tried to continue, “But sometimes there are disadvantages.”

“Care to elaborate?”

Where is her food? Her hatred for LA traffic intensifies with every word that comes out of her mouth.

“Not having the right to feel feelings outside of studio lots. Knowing and understanding that we both have separate personal lives and families that we prioritize. Realizing that whatever we have right now ends the moment the show ends. What are we doing, Adam?”

“Then I’ll keep offering you jobs,” Amy gave him a small smile and shook her head, her blue eyes are now glassy. “Amy, you’re in my personal life and you’re part of my family. I’m sorry for this, for confusing you, for offering you something you cannot possibly and publicly take, for not fighting for it. But you’ll never lose me, you have to know that. All the lines may be blurry but that one’s crystal clear.”

“This is very dangerous and is on the edge of hurting other people. People we love.” She was about to get off his lap, inquire where their food is, and blame them for this whole conversation.

Adam firmly held her, no plan of ending the discussion. “Can we just please- can we- can we just enjoy what we have while we have it? They’re not going anywhere, Amy, the people we love. It’s them at the end of the day. It’s nice to be married on tv but not in real life, yes. Leslie and Ben will never have a divorce, great. But there are weekends, filming breaks, and 4 ams where I look for you – and somewhere in between those almost 4 years, I realized, you make me want to sin.”

“I know.” She smiled, resting her forehead on his. Debating if she should tease him about how he almost lived in UCB just to make sure he doesn’t miss any of her performances during their filming breaks. For a man with several projects and a family, he has so much time for her. It was questionable, but sweet.

One wrong move and every closed dam can spill, occasionally they let it. He angled his head to catch her lips and she automatically opened her mouth for him. Amy grabbed the couch behind him for support while his thumb rubs her cheek. The thing is: this isn’t new, or the first, or the last. But it feels like those three combined every time.

When you’re at the top of a roller coaster and it’s about to go down, you start questioning your horrible decisions and hating yourself for putting you in such a terrifying position, your whole life and everyone you love flashes before your eyes. There is no backing out, no use regretting. The only way to get through it is to actually go through it – so you hold tight, close your eyes, and enjoy the ride. This is what it feels like for the both of them, of whatever is between them. The certainty of uncertainty. The lingering guilt. The constant battle of doubts and regrets and what ifs. Waves of longing and denying. Always longing but denying. But not now. Maybe today they can feel. After all, everything is legal inside a studio lot. It’s in the contract.

Adam was helping her maneuver on his lap for him to properly hold her and for her to kiss him deeply. His hand was traveling under her blouse when a phone rang and it was like five buckets of cold water were poured on them. These moments they surreptitiously share always have wakeup calls – sometimes they’re thankful, most of the time defeated.

Amy kissed him on the cheek and went back to her comfortable position before, still on his lap and in his arms. “You think Parks can have eight films after it ends like Hart to Hart?”

He tucked a loose blonde hair behind her ear, “Maybe even ten. I’ll help produce.”

“Will we resent each other decades from now for some reason and won't have that Stefanie-and-Robert-esque camaraderie?”

"Amy Poehler: actress, director, writer, host, future Emmy and Golden Globes winner, doubts and hates Adam Scott. That's you."

"That's me. That is all me, although I don't think I'll ever win anything. You know I'm the queen of the losers." A soft cackle while she resumed her work pulling strands of hair on his nape.

"Oh, you're always a winner to me. Give it time, you'll see." It’s rarely visible, and Amy thinks it’s unfair, but if you look very closely under the right amount of light, the black of his eyes dominates his usual chocolate brown ones – almost always reserved for her.

Three knocks and food finally arrived. One quick smack on the lips, a little squeeze on the arm before letting her go to open the door.

“Adam?”

“Yeah?” He was already slicing chicken into tiny pieces and putting it and vegetables on her plate.

“Do you think Stefanie and Robert had what we have?”

“Let’s ask them on our dinner.”

Amy grabbed her plate from him, “You have the best ideas.” A silent thank you in between.

She realized, while chewing her salad and watching Adam open her bottle of water – she's willing to be his mistake.