It’s days like this that make Gillian Anderson certain she has made a mistake in her life. She hates being a television actor – the hours are horrendous – and would feel blessed to never set foot onto another set ever again.
Well. That isn’t completely true. She struggled so hard to reach this point and should be grateful for the unfathomable success. She should be, but she’s not. Not today. She just wants to fucking go home.
It’s the damn hallway scene and Chris wants to get it perfect. Of course, because this movie is his baby and this scene is the “pseudo-culmination of Mulder and Scully’s relationship”. She’s not exactly sure what that means, but at this point she could care less, because they’re running the scene for a tenth time and she can’t take it anymore.
She spots David looking just as miserable as she feels and a thought strikes her. If they’re going to be here for a few more hours, they might as well have some fun. Give the cameras something they will have to keep for themselves, because she knows what she’s planning will never end up on-screen.
They settle into their usual positions. She licks her lips and David’s eyes widen slightly at the sight.
Chris calls “action!”
It’s strange being back. David feels out of place being on the sets of The X-Files again and it’s an almost alien (excuse the phrase) sensation for him. This is his home, or it was for eight years.
But he left and the show went on without him. There’s history here he’s not privy to. Although it’s subtle he feels not quite like an outsider, but more like a visiting cousin. Welcomed with open arms, but his presence is somewhat resented as an aberration to the usual.
Or maybe it’s all in his head. They are filming the series finale, and emotions are at an all-time high. No need to drag his insecurities into the mix.
He catches sight of her red hair and taps Gillian on the shoulder. “Hey.”
“David!” They hug and it’s as awkward as he had expected.
Why wouldn’t it be? It had always been awkward, and now he feels like the prodigal son having returned after abandoning his family. It hadn’t seemed so stark until he held her briefly in his arms and felt a vast flood of guilt. As frustrating as it had been, they had always been in this together.
At the very least, David would be here for The End.
Vancouver is a wonderful place to film a TV show. Especially a sombre one like The X-Files. But Gillian doesn’t think it’s the greatest place to live. Not that she does much actual living off-set.
The season’s filming is coming to an end and Gillian is somewhat impatient at the thought of returning to LA. It had been far too long.
“When are you heading out?” David’s abrupt question breaks Gillian out of her thoughts.
“Day after tomorrow.” She answers after a beat. “You?”
“Probably Monday or Tuesday.” He exhales. “I cannot wait to finally see some goddamn sunlight.”
“And maybe spend some quality time with the girlfriend?” Gillian asks with a wink.
“Yeah. Maybe.” He shrugs.
Sounds like a touchy subject, so she steers clear. “Well, at least Blue will finally get some Vitamin D in her.”
Gillian actually gets a smile out of him with this.
The banter continues at a casual pace; she’s thankful their last day on set is a day when the two of them are in sync. She would hate to leave on bad terms, allowing sour thoughts to stew over the hiatus.
For the sake of their sanity, they are better off on the same side.
David makes his way through the partying crowds, smiling appropriately at acquaintances, making small talk with those he knew better ten years ago, avoiding any potential unwanted drama. Not that he expected there would be much. Sundance had been fairly tame and David had flown under the radar.
It seemed strange to think back on a time when the media had swarmed him, followed his every move. There is so much new blood now, various young talents. He isn’t young anymore, had been around the block and back. He is no novice.
He hears her laugh before he sees her, finding Gillian amongst the throngs of people. He had known she had a film premiering at the festival, but had been unsure if they would cross paths.
“David!” She squeals upon seeing him. He envelops her in a hug.
It is still awkward but these days it seems…lighter. Maybe they have just both grown accustomed, resigned to the strange pendulum that was their relationship. Somehow it has become easier as they have spent more time apart.
He grins back at her. “Hey you.”
And ultimately he feels safe with her. No frivolities, no double-talk, no false pretences. David knows exactly what he is getting with Gillian.
“Gillian, right?” David Duchovny takes a seat next to her.
“Yeah, hi.” She extends her hand in greeting. “Nice to meet you, Scully.”
“Actually, you’re Scully, I think. I’m Mulder.” He corrects her.
“Oh right. Shit.”
“Besides, I prefer David.” His attempt at humour garners a polite laugh.
“That was my clever way of not letting you know I forgot what your name is.” Gillian admitted, her lips turning up in a wry smile.
He nods back at her, wordlessly.
“So, what do you think our chances are?” She asks.
He looks up at her, a question in his eyes.
“For the show to get picked up.” She explains. “I’ve never – really, um, I’m really new to this whole television thing…”
“These network deals are such a crapshoot it’s hard to predict.” David shrugs. “I wouldn’t bet on it, though.”
She wonders if his pessimism is a defense mechanism. He wonders if she’s really as green as she seems.
Noticing her pensive look he speaks again. “Hell, but what do I know? Maybe we’ll be on air for years and you’ll get to rub it in my face what a success we are.”
“On a show about aliens? I don’t think so.” Gillian’s scoff is full of scepticism.
“Yeah… I don’t either.”