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rushing, waiting

It’s one drink too many, or maybe two, but Melissa’s hands are freer then they know to be. She corners Jennifer during a lull in the music, grips her hand and looks into her eyes until Jennifer looks away. “I feel like dancing,” Melissa says, her accent thick, and Jennifer tries not to panic, tries to remember that she’s not drowning even though she might feel like it. Melissa’s lips curl at the corners, her lipstick catching the twisting light. A shadow dips between her breasts, and Jennifer can’t let go of Melissa’s hand because she’ll fall. And it’s so far down.

stopping the time

Cut. The scene needs more tension. Jen just nods, stretches her body, pops a few places in her neck, turns away from the cameras. She's disappointed in herself, for the fifth time today.

Lena brushes a hand across Jen's shoulders, whispers "Sydney," makes Jen's heart shudder and halt. She can't get a decent breath. Lena never breaks character when she kisses her, digging her nails into smooth skin under Jen's shirt, right at the neckline, pulling her close.

Jen goes catatonic, comes back, feels every sensation for the first time. Action.

shifting and shaping

Step into the elevator at the lobby - they've an hour before the next shot - Jennifer presses 18, looks Judy in the eye, sinister grin on her face and says "Scene: Nightclub. You're infiltrating a prostitution ring run by a powerful pimp and arms dealer -- moi -- lights are low, you've made it past the body guards using your feminine wiles, and now its time for the big boss." She gestures to herself, and, wearing a flirty blue dress, she doesn't look much like a pimp, but then Judy doesn't think she could pull off undercover prostitute in a million years, but the elevator is about to ding so she nods, solemn, breathing out a full breath.

The doors slide open and Jennifer shakes her hair a bit, smoothes her dress, says "And, go," stepping from the box, her body changing immediately from slinky and fun to strong. Powerful. Judy swallows.

She actually thinks she's seen this episode of Alias, but for the life of her, she can't remember a damn thing about it aside from Jennifer's boobs in the dress she's wearing right now and that has nothing to do with how "Scarlet" - Judy's decided her alias for this mission is Scarlet - should be acting at this moment. And she must be hesitating too long, because Jennifer lets a smirk slide through and she coughs a little.

"So," Jen's voice is lower than usual. "My man tells me you're interested in work?" Interested in work? Work... Judy thinks. Work. She might be standing with her jaw open a little because Jennifer's voice is making little twisty things happen deep in her gut.

Hair flip. "Don't know if I consider it work..." she says in Scarlet's Southern accent. Because Scarlet, suddenly, has a Southern accent. Wonderful. She doesn't think this is the way that the plot should go either, with the seduction tactic. Her instincts might be off. In fact, she's pretty sure they are.

Jennifer lifts an eyebrow, draws a finger to her chin. "Not something I hear too often around here." She leans back against a marble column, crossing her feet at the ankles, drawing Judy's eyes up, up, up. Dammit. What were they doing again?

Scene. Nightclub. Prostitutes. Um. "I could show you some of my more... unique techniques." Pause. "If you'd like." Dammit, Scarlet. What the hell? Judy stares at Jennifer, trying not to collapse in an asthma attack like she would have as a teenager. Hell, like she would have last week.

Jen pushes her lips together, pushes her hands against the marble. "Well, we don't want to have to go back to make-up," she says, her voice suddenly quiet again.

they light up your eyes

Okay, this is the coolest thing ever, and even if she’s not the star, she’s kind of the star. Like, she’s a part of the star. And that totally counts. And even better, the star she’s a part of is Jennifer Garner, who is, okay, totally awesome. And if this isn’t the highlight of her entire life, Christa isn’t sure what is. Like, she’s going to end up marrying Jennifer Garner, or something, if anything is going to top this. Because everyone is looking at her – okay maybe they are looking at Jennifer Garner and her, but the point is, they are looking at her, and there are flashing lights everywhere, and the reason everyone is here is because of her movie. And she’s like, minutes away from watching her movie with a bunch of people, including Jennifer Garner, and maybe, if she’s lucky, she’ll just stick close to Jennifer Garner—ohmygodcanIcallyouJen?—and they’ll sit together in the theater and she will get to hear Jennifer—Jen—laugh, which will be the best thing in the whole world, okay, maybe not as good as this moment right now, but okay, maybe better.

the weather is warm

The sun is in Mia’s eyes, and she squints into the camera, fumbling her lines for the third time. She asks the director if they can change angles, re-work the scene without losing the original intent. He seems intent on making Nadia cry in frustration. She looks down and away, but Jennifer is there, and she’s another kind of sun, another kind of burning star causing Mia to well up, to well over.

a spot in the shade

Not since she was young has Jennifer dreamed of hands on her body, of careful hands, of hasty hands. Then, she thought the dream was something to await eagerly, falling into bed and holding a pillow close, wishing for the dream to come (again, again tonight?). She didn’t know the hands, then. Didn’t know what real touch was like, beyond a few frenzied kisses and quick gropes behind the gym.

The dream is different; she knows now.

She can feel the cameras rolling on them, two girls in the shade, breathing for a moment. This will be a cut-scene-caress, Kirsten’s wide eyes wary against the backdrop of authentic trees and buildings. Electra doesn’t know how to stop. Electra doesn’t want to stop. Jennifer, if she’s honest, if she knows herself, doesn’t either.

She’ll dream this tonight, either way.

watching a painting coming to life

This could be the start of something big, Rachel thinks, stepping into the too-tiny dress her character is wearing for this mission, her first going solo. It’s not Rachel’s first solo mission, not with her acting history behind her, but she still feels nervous like the first time. Years of modeling and she still thinks; legs too long, breasts too… awkward.

A voice from behind her, “You look gorgeous,” Jennifer standing there, glowing, smiling. “I’m really happy for you, Rachel.” Funny, Rachel thinks, but she says my name differently than hers.

“You’ll be with me the whole time, right?” Rachel asks, a bit cheeky. She steps into her strappy heels, wobbling, balancing herself against her dressing table.

Jennifer is something like a Madonna, face softening further, offering her hand. “Of course. I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.”

now we're alive

“Ah, no,” Ellen says, holding Violet’s hand to pass her off to Jennifer, who is trying to make sense of the look in the younger girl’s eye, “Juno is so not ready for this.” Ellen keeps a straight face so often, she’s near-impossible to read, but that doesn’t stop Jennifer from trying.

Violet laughs when Ellen tickles her lightly on her pudgy side. “Which part?” Jen asks, glancing from her daughter’s face to Ellen’s, wanting, desperately, to see something there.

“I’m pretty sure Juno still thinks Liberty Bell is some kind of giant doll to dress up and pose. Not exactly the best qualifications for a mom.” She sits down on the gravel and itsy-bitsy-spider-walks her fingers up Violet’s leg.

“A lot of life is trial and error, you know,” Jennifer says, running her hands over Violet’s head, wondering what she means.

staying inside it all goes by

She sips her drink slowly, trying to recover from Gary Busey, finds it funny that she’s seeking solace in the company of one Brook Busey, rocking a black wig and cheetah-print dress. Jen leans—too heavily—on Diablo’s arm, smiles into her shoulder (they’re both wearing monstrous heels).

“I can’t believe we’re here,” Diablo says, eyes wide, scanning the crowd.

“I can,” Jen replies, taking another swallow, looking only into her eyes. It’s time to sit soon, but how can they with all this energy?

“Yeah, well, don’t be a smug little cunt.” Diablo touches Jennifer’s cheek, smudging her thumb across the rise of bone there. Jen wants to lean forward, press a kiss to Diablo’s bright lips, but no—their makeup. Instead, she takes another drink, steadies herself. Takes a deep breath.

“Break a leg.”