Actions

Work Header

Ingenue

Work Text:

"Hi," Kate said, taking off her dark glasses.

"Ellen," Geoffrey called, without moving a muscle. "Ellen, there's an internationally famous movie star in my office."

"Good to see you, too," she said, and kissed the top of his head. Not an ingenue any more, Geoffrey thought dazedly; not starstruck by her famous artistic director. "Aren't you pleased to see me?"

"I'm delighted to see you," he said. "Ellen!"

"She knows I'm here, she let me in," Kate said, happily. "And told me where your office was, and decided she must make coffee for us, and then realised we didn't have any milk, and then none of the staff were free to go and get any, so she went to get it herself. She'll be back in a moment. Now, I heard you needed money?"

"Money," Geoffrey repeated, still dazedly. "Kate, you're... well, you're. Well. I've seen buses with your face on the side. I've seen..."

"Movies with me in?" she said, still happily. "Have you, Geoffrey?"

He looked embarrassed. "The arthouse thing," he muttered. "About the war. Passchendaele. I didn't know you were in it. And then you were, and you were. Um, you were…"

"Selling out?"

"Luminous," he said, simply. "Jack? Did you bring him?"

"He's at the airport, he was coming from LA," she said, smiling. "He's coming to see you, but he's flying out again, he said he wouldn't be involved with my plan."

"Are you two…"

"We're good, we're happy. He's going to be in some space invaders summer blockbuster soon, we're eating. I can do theatre if I want to."

"You can do anything you want to," he said, sincerely. "But... Kate."

She relented, and sat herself on the edge of his desk. With the sunglasses and the headscarf, she looked all early French cinema, all femme fatale. "I heard about what happened in New Burbage," she said calmly. "I wasn't surprised. I tried to get a forwarding address for you, but they were quite" – she sniffed – "rude. And then a while after that I heard rumours about something new starting up in Montreal. When I heard the name, I knew it was you. And here I am."

"You want to be in my theatre again?" Geoffrey asked, and couldn't quite keep the happiness out of his voice.

"I'll audition," she said calmly. "If you like me in a role, you can cast me, advertise off my name and make lots of money. Geoffrey, you don't have any money, do you?"

"Theatre Sans Argent does seem to suggest that, yes," he agreed. "Put it like this: Ellen and I are eating a lot of canned food."

"Right." She nodded. "And if I audition and you don't want to cast me, you can keep auditioning till you find someone you like, advertise with me as patron, we can take out a nice twee full-page spread in appropriate sections of the newspapers, and make a lot of money."

"Right," he said. "Do I get any say in this?"

"Help Ellen with the coffee," she said, and grinned.