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Son-rise Bay

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The Roses have a small, rented house in Los Feliz, and no matter how many times Moira has assured Patrick that “we’re very close to signing the concordat on a more permanent dwelling - any day now!”, he still has a hard time fitting his larger-than-life costar here, in this humble, quiet corner of Los Angeles. There should definitely be peacocks on the lawn, or something.

He also realizes, when the front door opens, that he’d expected a butler or maid on the other side of it, not Moira’s son. He recognizes him from the aggressive Reacquaint Yourself with the Marvelous Moira Rose! packet she’d sent around to the entire cast and crew.

“Hi,” David Rose says, waving with the hand holding a massive iced coffee. He’s dressed all in black despite the weather, but there’s a jaunty, anthropomorphic red heart over the breast of his sweater that makes Patrick think this isn’t funereal. “My mom’s expecting you.”

The front hall is a bit more what he’d anticipated from the Roses, with white tile that must be a nightmare to keep clean and high ceilings. But it’s still small, by the standards of former millionaires, Patrick can only assume.

“They’re just here temporarily,” David says nervously, and Patrick realizes he’s been gawping. “They can afford something bigger now, between my dad’s business and the show, but - it was, like, a really fast turn-around, for them, between getting the reboot announcement and moving out here.”

“The house is lovely,” Patrick assures him. “I would kill to live this close to the mountains.”

“Mountains? Oh, you mean those little speed bumps outside of town. We used to have a chalet in Zermatt. That was altitude.” David sighs and waves a hand as if to erase all of that. “Sorry, bad habit from being in this part of the country. Um, my mom is running late, actually - she said she’d be here soon but based on the typos littered through her texts, I think ‘lunch with Tippy’ turned into ‘drinks with Tippy’, so it could be a while still.”

“Oh. Should I - come back another time?” He lives across town, and it had taken literal hours to get here, because LA is the worst, and he starts shooting his scenes next week, but that’s show business, he supposes.

“Well,” David prevaricates, and his eyes narrow at his cell phone, like he’s debating making an excuse. “She did leave me $50 for pizza, and I have a feeling that could buy us a lot, if you wanted to stay. Admittedly, I’ve been living in a town where pizza costs $5 and tastes like it too, so.”

Patrick laughs. He hasn’t been doing a lot of that here lately. It’s a lot of forced smiles at people’s massive egos. “Yeah, it’s a bit more expensive in LA. Um - I wouldn’t say no to free pizza, then.”

David leads them into the kitchen, which is about the size of the kitchen Patrick grew up with. It’s going to continue to knock him sideways to think of Moira Rose living in anything other than the peak of luxury.

“So you still live in Canada, then?” Patrick asks as they settle on sturdy wooden barstools by the kitchen island. “I thought you moved to New York.”

“No, that was my sister.” David finalizes the pizza order and flips his phone face down on the countertop, tapping the case absently with a fingertip. “I stayed in Schitt’s Creek.”

“Alone?” Patrick gives a low whistle. “That must be tough.”

“I’m not alone,” David says defensively. “I have - some friends, and my store.”

“Rose Apothecary, right?” Off David’s surprised look, Patrick chuckles. “Every time your dad comes on set, he tries to sell craft services on offering your mints at the end of the buffet.”

David’s face does about three gravity-defying transformations in under a second, but Patrick thinks pleased is the prevailing emotion underlying them. “Wow, that’s - that’s so unnecessary. And embarrassing. I will have to tell him to stop.” He gives his head a quick shake, smoothing down the little smile that had started twitching on his expressive mouth. “Speaking of the middle of nowhere,” and Patrick gets the sense this is why David has agreed to babysit him until Moira returns, “should I be concerned for the success of this reboot that they hired you, someone who is, no offense, essentially a nobody, to play Vivian Blake’s son?”

“Some of us prefer the term ingenue, actually.”

“Oh god, my mom’s already gotten to you.”

Patrick grins. He’s gotten a lot of passive aggressive who are yous since arriving in town and he much prefers David’s bluntness. “In my defense, I starred in a baseball musical that gained a lot of traction in certain circles.”

David’s eyebrows shoot up. “Mm! Wow.”

“But, uh, yeah, I get the impression that they spent all their money on your mom and Nicole Kidman so they had to go a bit more unknown for the rest of us. I think it’s a good group, though. I think it’ll be solid.”

“It had better be,” David says. “This is my mom’s comeback vehicle. I mean, sure, there was The Crows, but that was as much a spectacle as anything. Her heart has always been at Sunrise General.”

He takes another sip of his iced coffee and crosses his legs, and Patrick gets the distinct sense he’s being vaguely threatened. He finds it utterly charming.

“Just so I know what I’m dealing with here,” Patrick says, leaning forward, “would your mom ever have someone fired if you asked?”

David snorts. “Oh god no. When I told her Francesca broke my heart, Mom still insisted on inviting her over for dinner every Friday until the movie wrapped. Most excruciating raclette I’ve ever experienced.” He’s quiet a moment, gaze drifting to the windows that look out on a tiny patch of neatly-kept lawn. “Though I guess that might be different now.”

Patrick’s loath to break the silence, as something very profound seems to be happening in David, but he carefully slips his notepad out of his pocket and opens it on the countertop. He knows a rare opportunity when he sees it. “Well, since we have time and since you’re the expert, could I tap your brain for building this character? I obviously know your mother isn’t actually Vivian, but - you know Vivian through your mom in a way most of us, most of the audience and the rest of the world, never could. ”

David looks doubtful. “I don’t - I wouldn’t presume to have thoughts on this - really you should ask my sister, she was briefly the moderator of the fan forum and is much more familiar with the backstory-”

“Alright, no worries, I just thought-”

“Okay, fine,” David huffs, tossing his head as if Patrick has doggedly worn him down rather than asked once, “but only because I’m supposed to meet Nicole Kidman on set on Monday and I can’t risk anything disrupting my karmic balance before then. I will be glowing.”

“Right.” Patrick grins, clicking his pen; David’s got Moira written all over him. “So, the first time Julien rolls into town, pretty much all we know about him is that he and his mom are estranged.”

“Mhm.” David props his chin in his palm, lips slightly pursed as he considers. “So we should feel a distance, a strain. I imagine they’d do their best to keep up appearances to the outside world, emphasize their similarities, but that tension would be there. Their shared understanding would be undeniable, of course, but it would require work. I’m thinking lots of snarky quips and sharp glares and dramatic flips of unnecessary capes and highly necessary wigs.”

“Uh-huh.” Patrick’s scribbling as fast as he can. “So you have absolutely no thoughts on this, then.”

David gives him a look but goes on. “And I obviously have no idea what Julien’s intended story arc is, but I could see them recognizing their strange kinship in a world that doesn’t really understand them.”

Patrick pauses to glance up. “The most likely of unlikely allies.”

“Exactly. Um, are there other biographical details we know about Julien?”

“He’s a psychic surgeon.”

“Of course he is,” David snorts. “Okay, well that immediately raises the question of what it’s like living in Vivian’s shadow, dealing with the comparisons. How has Julien tried to invent or reinvent himself away from the family legacy in the Bay? And what motivated - or forced - him to come back? Is he gunning for Vivian’s job or does he want to reconnect? Or is there some family secret bubbling up?”

“I should recommend you for the writers’ room,” Patrick says, only partly teasing. “This is great stuff.”

“Oh, I could never - I hate LA,” David confesses.

Patrick smiles. “Me too. Occupational hazard.”

David smiles back, and Patrick has a million questions for him about how much of what he’s suggested for Julien comes from his actual relationship with Moira, but they’ve only just met, and it feels - it feels like it’s still a bit of a soft spot.

“Oh, and one more thing,” David says, and he taps at Patrick’s notepad as if to emphasize the importance. “For all their competition and misunderstandings, Vivian and Julien would be a powerful team. So. If the writers try to steer it some other way, you should push back. Or, like, put a bug in my mom’s ear to make a fuss. Pitting them against each other is so unnecessary.”

“You’re just saying that so they’ll keep me around for another season.”

“No, I’m saying that so they’ll keep my mom around for another season. I’ve seen her killed in far too many inventive, ridiculous ways to trust these people with her career.” His eyes are suddenly sharp and suspicious on Patrick’s face. Patrick doesn’t hate the attention. “They haven’t brought you on to betray her, have they? Matricide is not a good look.”

“Unless they’re planning filicide,” Patrick shoots back.

Dark,” David breathes. “You know, I don’t know if they’ve ever had Vivian kill any of her children before. What are you - what are you writing now?”

“Oh, just adding that Julien is really protective of Moira - I mean Vivian,” Patrick says, and David rolls his eyes, but he’s smiling as he bites the straw in his coffee.

Moira returns before the pizza arrives (“LA,” David and Patrick say together, with solidarity in exasperation). She swings into the kitchen, a rosy intoxication high on her cheeks, and gestures to them both with open arms. “Hello you! And you! My two sons! The fruits of my womb!”

“Ew,” David mutters.

“Patrick, dear, I’m going to freshen up and then we can hold our tete-a-tete on the back patio. David, would you prepare your mummy a tall glass of water and a couple of aspirin? Thank you, my loves!”

“I can’t wait until she gets a personal assistant again,” David sighs. “Here.” He slides the notepad out from under Patrick’s hand, plucks the pen from his fingers, and scribbles across his blank page. “This is my number. Um, I don’t have an international plan, because I can’t really afford that any more, but, um, iMessage exists, so. If you have any further questions. For your - for your role.”

“Right,” Patrick nods. He’s never gotten a cute boy’s number before, so he’s trying not to panic, in the best possible way. “And hey, my parents live in Ottawa, so maybe next time I’m up there I can swing by your store. Try these breath mints.”

“I’ll send you a gift basket,” David promises. “Show you what you’re missing.”

 

Patrick ends up talking with Moira until dusk, running through glasses of water and lemonade on the back patio. David leaves them to it, except when he comes out with a couple of slices of pizza on a plate which he hands to Patrick with a smile.

Patrick leaves the Rose house feeling equipped to do Moira proud and determined to make this the best possible reboot. But his conversation with David has also inspired him in more ways than one. He has always loved the Toronto theater scene...