"He doesn't dance anymore"
"He doesn't sing anymore"
At least that what I had heard when I started working with him. Being a Jr publicist was a rewarding job, considering I had landed a good deal, even more so when I found out my client was none other than Mr. Tom Hiddleston himself, and let me tell you, Tom's life had many aspects to look after, each as important as the last. Everything had to go off without a hitch, red carpets and fan events had no shortage of screaming people and excited reporters, the only difference is that before, Tom had to be reluctantly pulled from his autograph signing and selfie taking, as I had seen on many pictures and videos during my late night Tumblr binging. Whereas now, as soon as he was told to leave, he did so without question, leaving many a fan with a sharpie in the air and sad, disappointed look. If I was honest, it meant my job would be easier, but left me thinking why Tom would act that way.
I started working as Luke's aid for anything that could overwhelm the young publicist workload wise. I was briefed by Luke himself that Tom was very private lately, keeping to himself most of the time. One thing I had noticed during my video investigations was that he didn't seem as cheery as he did in the interviews anymore, and he didn't dance as often, he also didn't joke as much, but one thing that really caught Luke's attention and he was quick to tell me; was that Tom no longer spent his days singing.
Anytime anyone found themselves in proximity with him, they'd hear him humming or softly singing any given song, which no longer happened. That had stopped a few months before I began working with him, so I never got the see the happy, dancing, singing Tom his staff mentioned. It wasn't until after a few weeks that I actually saw him in person, as I was being trained in other areas, and besides, that's what Luke was there for, I was just gonna take petty tasks and handle them, ah the Hollywood glamour.
Working with Tom was simple enough, and since I was Luke's aid, it left me plenty of free time, which I spent researching ways to make our job more efficient. When I did have the rare treat of a chat with Tom, our conversations mostly consisted of daily life, I wasn't sure how personal I could get with him, taking into account he was, after some consideration, my boss, and having had Luke mention his social silence, it made me even more cautious.
I ran small errands for the Brit when no one else was available, I'd never given much thought to just how many people work to keep up the lifestyle of a single person, especially someone as high-profile as him.
My first talk with the ginger bearded man was a menial one. I had been getting up to speed with how the whole routine was being managed, so I spent all my work days with Luke. Until one day he had told me that he had meetings to attend to and that I would keep an eye on Tom and keep him out of trouble, he assured me I could handle it.
"Luke!, You can't do that, I'm not sure how to act in case of an emergency" I tried to talk my way out of the command.
"C'mon Kiddo," he comforted, using the nickname he had baptized me with when we met, "he's a grown ass British guy, not a spoiled toddler," the young man joked, "besides, today he's dedicated his time to reading through scripts, worst comes to worst he'll ask you to get him tea and biscuits, he likes Earl Grey with a splash of milk with those oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, just don't let him get too comfortable with them, he's got a big role coming up"
"Fine," I reluctantly accepted, "but I'm not changing any diapers!"
"I'll take care of that when I get home Kiddo, promise" he clapped back and hung up the phone.
I put away my phone and rubbed my temples. I had never been face to face with Tom before, so of course I was nervous, what if he needed something bigger than tea? What if I prepared it wrong? What if he hated me and fired me on the spot? I was his publicist, not his assistant, and he couldn't technically fire me, right? I was hired by the agency, after all. There was also the chance that he wouldn't even need anything of me today.
Shaking the silly thoughts out of my brain, my stomach made its presence known by grumbling loudly, I decided a snack was in order, so I walked over to the kitchen, ready to raid the fridge to ease my hungry stomach, that's when I saw him, sitting alone at the little table in the corner, away from prying eyes.
I made to turn and leave but my heels betrayed me by clicking on the hardwood floor, prompting Tom to turn and look at me, I felt like a deer in headlights, I stood frozen in place.
He spoke with a soft voice laced in a delicious British accent,
"Hello, didn't see you there," he eyed me curiously through his glasses, before having a moment of realization, "you're Luke's new hire, right?" he asked, standing up and making his way over to me.
"Yes Mr. Hiddleston," I walked towards him to shake his hand, "my name is -"
"Please," he interrupted with a small smile, "call me Tom, pleasure to finally meet you"
"OK, Tom" I tested the waters, "yes, I'm your sorta new publicist, it's a pleasure to finally meet you too"
He gave me a kind smile that hid behind his beard, his eyes crinkling in the corners. "Whatever you need, just let me know, darling"
I stupidly tried to hide my blush at the endearing term by pushing my hair behind my ear "I think it should be the other way around, don't you?" I asked, "I mean, I kinda work for you"
"I suppose you're right, and I may just take up your offer, especially if you can help me find the oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, I'd be delighted, Luke hides them because he insists I should 'watch my figure" he gestured with quotation marks in the air.
"I'll get right on it then Mr. Hiddles- erm, Tom" I corrected myself.
"Thank you, if it's not too much trouble, could you also fetch me a cup of Earl Grey with a-"
"splash of milk?" I finished for him.
"Yes, please and thank you"
My stomach introduced itself to Tom with another growl, he chuckled slightly upon hearing the noise.
"Seems like you're also in need of nourishment, I'll leave you to it" he said as he went back to the table covered in various scripts.
I simply shook my head went on with my search of food, my face now painted an embarrassed shade of red.
After getting myself a hearty sandwich I prepared Tom's tea and biscuits, bringing them over to the table he moved some scripts out of the way to make space for the small platter.
"May I have your opinion on something?" he asked me.
"As my publicist, do you think it's time for me to venture into other areas of acting?"
He caught me off guard, it was not the question I was expecting. I cleared my throat and spoke "Well, it's always nice to see a professional such as yourself reinvent themselves, no matter the career they excel in, and although it's a big risk, with the right consultation and team, it could go splendidly, but why do you ask?"
"The thing is, my agents are toying with me and they think I haven't caught on to their schemes"
"I don't follow"
"All day I've been reading script after script, all of them are for some type of dark, gloomy and damaged character, or Bond-esque guys, who punch their way trough life" he exclaimed, taking his tea in his hand.
"And that's, bad?"
"Yes and no, I like the privilege of going into these characters' minds and playing as much as I can with the different aspects of their personalities, but I'd also like to interpret on the other end of the spectrum, damn it, even a romantic comedy would do" he said with a hint of frustration in his voice.
"That would be very interesting indeed, not to mention adorable" I said without thinking.
Fuck, I just called my client adorable.
"What was that?" he questioned.
"Nothing, just that it would be interesting to see you in new and challenging roles, even such as a romantic comedy, but I believe Luke fears for your career if you do, it's a big leap"
"It's my bloody career, I believe I should have the final say" he almost sounded like the spoiled child Luke assured I wouldn't have to deal with.
"Well, if I happen upon a rom com script, I'll deliver it to you myself" I stupidly promised with a scoff. We both knew there were zero to nothing chances of that happening.
"Luke will have your head for breakfast if he finds out"
"I'll make sure he eats before I tell him how you got such a cheesy script on your table" I joked.
Tom let out a hearty laugh and stared at me for the briefest of moments, our eyes holding their eyes a little longer than necessary.
I cleared my throat "I have to go finish up some paperwork, call me if you need anything"
"Sure thing, darling, thank you for the tea and conversation"
After that meeting, it was a while before I saw him again, seeing as Luke was really the one to handle the big stuff, but whenever we did cross paths there was a pleasant conversation to be had. Which brings me to the fateful day I got his forbidden script.
Taking advantage of Luke stepping out for lunch, I intercepted the new batch of scripts that Tom would have to read through. I insisted Luke that I would make the delivery myself under the guise that it was time to have 'more responsibilities' which was a half truth.
He was yet again in the kitchen, nestled in his corner reading a book, already sipping his tea, cookies nowhere to be seen. I remained still when I heard a soft melody coming from where he was. After a couple seconds, I made out the words.
"Anyone, who knows what love is, will understand..."
What a nice singing voice, I thought. I enjoyed the soft sound, it was as if he was whispering the song to himself.
"I just feel so sorry, for the ones who pity me..." he kept going.
Kicking myself out of the momentary trance, I walked over to him, taking a small bag from the cupboard and setting it on the table.
"Sorry to interrupt, but I thought you might like these for your tea" I offered.
"You thought right" he smiled, taking a cookie out of the bag and bringing it to his mouth. "I swear, Luke will get a big pay deduction if he keeps hiding these from me"
"I'll have to let him know," I quipped, "by the way, I brought you something I thought you might be interested in"
¨Do you now?¨ he questioned with a raised eyebrow.
¨Yep¨ I answered, setting down the scripts on the table ¨more gloomy Bond scripts¨
¨Yay¨ he announced in a deadpan voice.
¨And,¨ I said, taking the manuscript from the very bottom of the pack and placing it on the top, ¨the cheesiest script I could get my hands on¨
He looked at it in what I could only describe as disbelief, the corners of his mouth lifting into a smile. 'My angel without wings' the title read in big black letters.
¨The name though,¨ he remarked.
¨Hey, I was told it was a working title,¨ I countered.
¨Well, you came through,¨ he exclaimed somewhat surprised, ¨getting this past Luke must have been no easy feat darling, how can I possibly thank you?¨
¨It's part of the job to keep my client happy, hope you enjoy reading Tom¨ I dismissed turning on my heels, heading towards the office.
¨Don't leave yet,¨ he called out, ¨I heard your stomach grumbling since the moment you walked in, will you please fetch lunch for us both?¨
I nodded and pulled out my cell phone, ordering two meals. After placing the delivery instructions I picked up the rest of my documents and excused myself, ¨I'll have it brought over to you,¨ I told him.
¨You're not joining me?¨ he asked, ¨I daresay, you've earned a rest, and heaven knows I'll be going through these things until at least sundown¨
¨Erm, sure,¨ I smiled, ¨just let me put these things away, I'll be right back.¨
Lunch with Tom was delightful, we talked about nothing and everything, time flew by as we discussed everything from the weather, to theories in time travel and a way to get a man on Mars, that man really knew how to keep a conversation going. It wasn't until my phone rang with a call from Luke that I noticed we had extended lunch into an early supper, I left Tom with his scripts and went to Luke to catch up with whatever work I had pending.
Four weeks later...
¨Kiddo,¨ Luke walked into the office with a rather serious voice, ¨why did I just receive a thank you letter from the production team of 'My angel without wings'?¨
I winced, I had forgotten that the director was adamant in keeping in touch until Tom gave his answer. I took a deep breath and prepared to get my butt kicked out on the curb, Flinstone style.
¨Tom mentioned he really wanted to try reading for a rom com role,¨ I explained, ¨aaaand I may or may not have handed him the script for said movie¨
His face contortioned to an annoyed expression, ¨You know we can't do that, he has an image to keep, right now is not the time to be experimenting with these types of things¨
¨He said he knows you keep these scripts from him, he wants a shot at one, he wants to expand his portfolio, I was trying to help¨ I countered.
He rubbed the bridge of his nose, ¨look, I know you want to try and help him, but let's keep these kinds of things in the hands of people that know how to handle them,¨ he declared, ¨no offense, but you're still a Jr publicist, technically you shouldn't have access to these types of documents¨
¨Maybe I shouldn't have access to them, but have you seen he's having fun with the idea of new roles, new challenges, you can't decide if he gets to try for a specific role or not¨ I argued, ¨but fine, I'll butt out if it makes you happy¨
He sighed, ¨can we just get back to work? It took me an hour to talk him out of going to the audition¨
Two weeks later...
I stepped barefoot outside into the yard to get some fresh air, the workload was getting heavier by the minute, Tom had a red carpet coming up and though they were fun, they were a handful.
Taking a moment for myself, I noticed it was a beautiful day after all the hours stuck inside the office, the wind was cool, and the grass was soft under my feet. After a couple of minutes passed my mind went back to the embarrasing call I had to make to the director of the cheesy movie Tom had had in his radar, I felt guilty for not being able to help him at least audition for the role of 'generic love interest', it would have been fun to see him in such a part.
I suddenly felt I wasn't alone, a presence coming in through the corner of my eye and a sweet, whistled melody hitting my ears, it didn't take long to know who my visitor was.
¨Aren't you supposed to be booking my hotel room, darling?¨ he joked, standing next to me.
¨I'm taking a break, and If I can't find you one you'll just sleep in the limo, then,¨ I quipped back. ¨Sorry Luked pulled you out of the movie, if it's any consollation, the director was NOT happy to hear that¨
¨Let's be honest, I was never going to be in it was I?¨ he sighed, ¨still, it felt good to be rebellious,¨ he gave me a reassuring smile.
¨Yeah, it was,¨ I smiled back.
¨He's a good kid, and he means well, but he's not the one standing in front of the camera¨
¨Don't worry boss, soon you'll be neck-deep in rom com offers,¨ I offered, ¨fingers crossed¨
He raised an eyebrow ¨Boss?¨
I simply nodded with a little smile in the corner of my mouth.
We enjoyed each other's company, simply appreciating the cool breeze blowing between us. It wasn't long before we began to talk once again.
He turned to me and asked, ¨So, what type of acceleration would we have to reach to get a man on Mars?¨
I turned as well and prepared my answer, and it wasn't until Luke came searching for both of us that we went back inside to get our work done.
One week later...
"Come here kiddo" Luke called me from my desk into the living room with a hint of urgency.
¨What's going on?¨ I inquired, ¨I haven't given him any other scripts,¨ I held my hands up as if being held at gunpoint.
¨No, not that,¨ he retorded, rolling his eyes, ¨do you hear that?¨ he asked me.
He brought me over to Tom's bedroom door, and had me press my ear to the door, I was sure this counted as invasion of privacy somewhere, I thought to myself. However, through the wood I was able to make out the muffled sounds of a male voice singing, and not just a hum but a full blown tune.
"He's singing, you hear it too, right?" he questioned, as if wanting a witness to prove he wasn't going mad.
I nodded, not wanting to make my presence known to the gentleman inside the bedroom. I motioned Luke to follow me into the living room, not really wanting to talk right in front the door. Tom was singing, and what a marvelous voice he had when being let free! What I wouldn't give to have heard it for a longer time.
¨You said he didn't sing anymore, Luke¨ I accused.
¨He didn't, not until-¨ he stopped mid sentence as if having a realization and gave me a sly smirk, ¨not until you got here¨
I blushed to the tips of my ears as Tom walked out of the room with a bag of oatmeal chocolate chip cookies in his hand.