You stand backstage in the New York studio wing, listening to all the people out in the audience get their seats. Christoph is sitting beside you, drinking from a bottle of water as a couple of interns are hard at work attaching his microphone properly to his lapel.
You both watch from back there on the small screen, waiting to be introduced. You're exhausted, having come from two interviews this morning, GMA and E Talk. Christoph had done Seth Meyers last night, and spent this morning going for a walk around Central Park.
"We've got a great show for you tonight, we'll be right back!"
You're given the signal by the producers to get ready to come out, and Christoph comes to stand beside you.
You regard his pout. "What's up?" you smirk.
"I hate these talk shows. They never ask any good questions," Christoph murmurs, arms crossed. He really does look like an angry puppy, and it makes your heart flutter.
"I know. Just... try to have fun, I guess."
He gives you a look, then starts smiling.
"What?" you whisper with a small smile as well.
"I was just thinking about the bakery I went into this morning," he whispers back, "It was that bakery from that American show everybody loves... anyway, I got a piece of coffee cake the exact colour of the dress you're wearing."
"Gold coffee cake?
"Well it had little gold sprinkles, and came with a charming little cappuccino-"
"Like the ones I had on set?"
"Yes, exactly those!"
"Shhh!" an intern tells you guys, and indicates that he's turned the mics on. You both shut up, and prepare to enter onto the recording stage.
Christoph puts his water bottle down, and you fight not to look at him bending over. This is your costar-- your older, distinguished costar who probably can't wait for tonight to be over. There's no way he thinks of you that way, and there's no way his mind is on that tonight.
"--now, you probably haven't heard of a little movie called Inglorious Basterds..." Jimmy feigns. The crowd applauds wildly. "Really?! All of you? Well-- it just so happens that the second one comes out in three days, and we've got the stars here to talk about it, please welcome Miss (y/n) (y/l/n) and Mr. Christoph Waltz!"
You both walk out, all smiles, waving at the studio audience. Christoph takes the chair on the left, and you take the one beside Jimmy.
"Wow. You guys look like you're having a good night," Jimmy opens, gesturing over, "Look at Christoph, he's all smiles compared to last time."
"Yes, that's because last time you put me in an atrocious Yuletide sweater," Christoph deadpans, and Jimmy throws his head back, laughing as the audience also laughs.
"It wasn't atrocious, c’mooon."
"Perhaps not for you, you did not have to wear it." More laughter. His serious face alleviates, and he breaks out into that smile again. "No, but I was just telling (y/n) about a bakery I visited today, the coffee reminded me of something she used to drink on set."
"So you guys were pretty close on set?" Jimmy asks you, and you nod.
"I mean, it was kind of like what I heard about the first one, where Christoph was kept mostly separate from most of the cast, you know, for effect," you tell the host, "But craft services is craft services, right? You might just end up sharing some carrot sticks."
"Oh hey!" Jimmy jokes, "You work here too?!"
"This movie takes place right after the last one, picking up and jumping right back in. What do you think made Quentin Tarantino go, okay-- this needs a second part?"
"Well with Quentin, it's always very deliberate," Christoph says, "If there's a second part, you know it's because there's a second part to the story, not because he wanted a sequel, but because there was more story to be told."
"Everyone loved the first one, it's probably one of Tarantino's most famous films, and the one that launched your career."
"Did you enjoy working on this one as much as the first, working with your character again?" Jimmy asks.
"It was like returning to an old friend," Christoph explains, "Of course, Landa isn't someone I'd particularly want as my friend, but yeah, more or less." You giggle, and he shrugs. "Plus, the new cast members, especially (y/n), were wonderful to play off of." Your stomach flutters, and you try to hide your blush on national television.
"So, it's... it's no secret, actually, how much chemistry you and (y/n) have got on screen, and you've got something in really life too that the internet has really caught onto."
"Oh no," Christoph jokes.
"In fact, this was from just last night," Jimmy says, and plays a clip from Seth Myers. You're intrigued-- you haven't seen it yet.
"And you star in it with the lovely (y/n) (y/l/n)," Seth says in the tape.
"I do, yeah. I have a bit of a crush on (y/n) (y/l/n)," he admits, and looks down bashfully. Seth laughs.
"Well, who wouldn't? She's great!"
"Yes, she very much is that," Christoph nods, running a hand through his hair.
Jimmy looks back at you two.
"Oh god," Christoph jokes with a blush, "Were they filming that?"
"The camera is always on to catch the most embarrassing stuff," Jimmy grins, "No, but that was really cute."
"Cute? I am not cute," Christoph protests.
"You're pretty cute. What do you think of that, (y/n)?"
You don't want to appear too into Christoph and add more fuel to the fire, so you just laugh it off. "Makes for some great headlines," you reply.
"Sure does-- well, let's see a very intense scene, uh, from the new, Inglorious Basterds: Volume II, now-- (y/n), you play an American OSS officer who ends up questioning Christoph's character, Hans Landa?"
"Yes," you nod.
"Great, let’s take a look."
You look down at the monitor facing you on the stage to see the clip. They chose the interrogation clip, of course, the one that Quentin had approved for promo. On screen, you both are in a dark room lit by one light. Christoph has dried blood on his forehead, running down his nose from the swastika that had just been carved in.
"Oberst Landa. Ich kann endlich dem Gesicht einen Namen geben.” (Colonel Landa. At last, I can put a face to the name.)
"Officer.” His eyes run up and down you, and he smirks. “Please... go ahead, speak your language."
"Hm. So you've met the basterds," you say, gesturing to his forehead.
"I have. I can't say I enjoyed our parting terms," Landa returned.
You smirk. "I'll have to chew Raine out for that later. For now though, I can't say I have much sympathy for you."
"Why would you? You're American."
"And you will be too, according to these terms," you frown down at the notes in front of you. "This is one hell of a deal. You sure are smart."
He shrugs. "I'm a detective, my dear."
"The Jew Hunter."
You narrow your eyes at him. "Nobody ever stops being a "jew hunter"."
"One does when the war is over."
You put your fists on the table. "And what if I decided to nullify all of these terms?"
His eyes meet yours in a warning sort of glance. "You don't have the authority."
"You don't know the kind of authority I have," you growl.
"You won't do anything to harm me or put my life in jeopardy," he simply says, wiping at the blood trickling down his face. "Or it will be the last thing you do."
The clip ends, and the audience applauds.
"Oooh," Jimmy smiles. "Well, it's obvious you two are very talented... very emotional actors."
"Yeah," you shrug, playing along.
"I guess you could say that," Christoph nods as well, and Jimmy puts a hand on his desk.
"I think it's time... for an Emotional Interview." The Roots play the little riff for the game, and Jimmy sits forward. "So here's the rules-- whenever you hear this little ding--" a bell goes, "--the emotion will change. Now since it's so close to Valentine's Day, you two are gonna play off each other and it's going to be love themed. Okay, let's start off."
The bell dings, and you and Christoph look to the little monitor: (y/n) finds everything Christoph is saying hilarious.
You look to your costar, and he starts to talk.
"So the other day, I was at the opera--" he begins, and you burst out laughing. He stares at you, perfectly deadpan. "Is something funny? Have I said something that is funny?" His affronted expression is enough to make you laugh for real, and you keep giggling. "I-If you could keep your hysterics down to a minimum, I would like to finish my story," he says, and you laugh even harder.
The bell goes, and the emotion changes: Unrequited Love.
"I hope you liked the roses I sent over this morning," Christoph beams at you. Your heartbeat quickens, but you focus on your role.
"Oh yeah! My crush really appreciated them, he loves red roses." Christoph visibly deflates. "There he is," you smile, looking out into the audience at a random man. Christoph blinks.
"My crush. He's wonderful," you bite your lip, and Christoph whips his head back to look at you.
You suppress more giggles at his glare.
The bell dings: Everything (y/n) says gets Christoph hot and bothered.
"Who makes these?" Jimmy snorts, "This is a family show guys, a family show!” You clear your throat.
"So this morning, I had the best bagel--"
"Ohff," Christoph moans softly, clutching his chair. The audience goes wild laughing.
"It was so good, with all those sesame seeds--"
"Mm," Christoph bites his bottom lip, eyelids fluttering. You try not to watch him, in fear of getting just as horny as he’s pretending to be.
"And when I bit into it..." you continue.
"Good lord," Christoph gasps, crossing his legs. More laughter, and you try not to think about how turned on this is getting you.
"It tasted like cheese and jalepeno," you conclude, and Christoph bites his fist.
"Sorry, excuse me-- does anyone have a change of pants on this show?"
The bell dings, Jimmy's doubled over giggling, and the next emotion pops up: Both think the other is lying to them.
"So... what did you do last night?" Christoph sits forward, toward you.
"Oh, just stayed at home. Watched some TV."
"Okay, but what did you really do?" he presses.
You narrow your eyes. "Don't try and distract me from the fact that you weren't really at Brad's party last night."
"As if you actually know Brad," Christoph scoffs, and the bell dings as you both laugh.
"One more, let's make it a home run," Jimmy announces.
Extreme sexual tension.
You take a deep breath, willing yourself to calm down, and sit forward, smirking. "You're just... so handsome."
"You think so?" Christoph’s voice is lower, "Because I was just thinking to myself how beautiful you look in this light."
The audience whistles and claps, and you lean even closer.
"I love your hair."
"I love your lips," he returns easily, his voice deep and husky. Your breathing gets shallow, and you forget how to speak for a moment as his eyes fall down to your mouth.
"I..." you whisper, and he blinks, pupils dilated....
"Whew," Jimmy claps, "Is it just me, or is it like a sauna in here!?" You and Christoph break apart, and you steal a quick glance over to him to see that he's smirking. Your knees tremble a little, but you wave to camera 5 and the audience, giving your best laugh and smile to pretend that all of that was, in fact, acting.
"You can see these two fabulous love birds-- I mean actors-- in Inglorious Basterds: Volume II, opening this weekend!" Jimmy shouts.
After the show, both of you return backstage, and you quickly approach Christoph, worried out of your mind he could tell how you felt.
"Hey," you nudge him, "I hope you don't think I..." you murmur, "I, um..."
"I know exactly how you feel," he says, and turns to you, putting his hand behind your head and kissing you. You moan into his mouth, wrapping your leg behind him as he holds it up, and he deepens the kiss, backing you against the studio wall as he slips his tongue into your mouth. You can feel how hard he is by him rolling his hips between your legs, and you whimper out his name.
He finally breaks away, a light blush on his cheeks.
"Scheisse. I didn't actually think I was going to do that."
You giggle. "How long did you want to do it for?"
"Since I met you at the reading," he bites his lip, getting flustered. You melt at his embarrassment, and kiss him on the cheek.