isthisthelasttime: ((TSN) your whispers are my secrets)
[personal profile] isthisthelasttime
Title: what goes unnoticed
Rating: PG-13
Pairing: Andrew Garfield/Jesse Eisenberg
Summary: No one’s skilled enough, but Jesse, lining up his shoulder with Andrew’s, is aware of every miniscule movement, attuned to everything he does and doesn’t. (BAFTAs)
Note: Ugh, cheesy title. I tried something else with this fic. I don’t know if I like it because it decided to be bipolar halfway through, but my Pookie, [livejournal.com profile] sheep_mambo, and [livejournal.com profile] yellowwolf5 finally convinced me that I could go ahead and post it, even after a week of it sitting on my hard drive. (Read: no girlfriends were harmed in the making of this story – because they don’t exist in this ‘verse.) ~2,800 words.







8:08 pm

Were anyone else watching, the slight slump of Andrew’s shoulders – that lasts a fraction of a second, like all the other quick reactions that occur before he pulls a mask back on – would go unnoticed.

No one’s skilled enough to see the wrinkle of black fabric or the clench of the jaw or the protrusion of the neck muscle or the downward tug of the mouth.

No one’s skilled enough to hear the quiet whine or the disappointed snap of the thumb and pointer or the muted stamp of the foot.

No one’s skilled enough to know that even though Andrew knew he didn’t stand a chance against Geoffrey Rush he still wished for a miracle, that by some slim chance the British Academy would choose him for the honor of Best Supporting Actor.

No one’s skilled enough, but Jesse, lining up his shoulder with Andrew’s, is aware of every miniscule movement, attuned to everything he does and doesn’t.

No one’s skilled enough, but Jesse, discreetly clutching Andrew’s hand on the arm rest, is conscious of every hope and fear, cognizant of every thought and non-thought.

No one’s skilled enough, but Jesse, sneaking a brief glance at Andrew’s eyes, is familiar with the heartbreak and with every sense of failure he finds in them.



8:39 pm

This time anyone should be able to see it – even though it all happens in about ten seconds.

There’s the snapping shut of Andrew’s mouth, in the middle of a sentence that started with “Jesse, I might just –”

There’s the wrapping of both hands around the seat of his chair.

There’s the kick of feet against the row in front of them.

There’s the sharp turn of the head away from the aisle.

There’s the frantic back and forth of his eyes searching out Jesse’s.

There’s the harsh exhalation through his nose.

There’s the wild blinking back of tears.

There’s the heartbreak –

      the sorrow

           the disbelief

                the frustration

                     the realization that Tom Hardy isn’t even there to accept the award.

There’s the aborted attempt to lean into Jesse’s side.


There’s a quick drawing in of the legs.

There’s a shake of the head.

There’s a lift of the arms.

There’s a hiss of two almost identical palms slapping together.

There’s a wide grin.

There’s a congratulatory “he is a wonderful man, certainly – genuinely deserving.”

There’s a recognition of an extended apologetic hand.


That’s what everyone sees.



8:45 pm

The camera captures their section – and thankfully the seating arrangements were done well enough to keep the cast and crew in their own corner – getting up to congratulate Sorkin, Andrew stretching his long limbs to slap the man on his back and then jostle Jesse’s shoulders.

But when the focus isn’t on them anymore, when no one but maybe Emma is looking at them, Andrew ducks his head.

His arm is still snuggly sandwiched between Jesse’s back and the chair even though they’re sitting down.

His fist clenches Jesse’s jacket hard enough to wrinkle the fabric permanently.

His fingers bruise Jesse’s side even through all the material between them and his bare skin.

His lips brush butterfly soft against Jesse’s ear.

His voice cracks when he says, “This is going to be it,”

“Two weeks and nothing else,”

“There won’t be any more guarantees between us,”

“We’re going to have to work at this.”

His whole body pulls away, a strange cold seeping into Jesse’s skin.

His eyes focus on Jesse’s.

His eyebrows lift in challenge.

His hand lands heavily on Jesse’s knee.

His smile blinds.

His head turns.

His expressions fade.



8:57 pm

No one sees Andrew backstage but Jesse and Tilda Swinton, who politely steps ahead of them to give them some space before they’re assaulted by photographers and cameramen.

So no one witnesses the thirty seconds of emotion that burst out of Andrew but Jesse.

Jesse has to hold him by the elbow.

Jesse has to draw him into a hug.

Jesse has to pat his back,

      massage his shoulders,

           rub his neck.

Jesse has to whisper into his ear, “Hey, it’s ok, these don’t matter, they’re just awards, you’re going to win them all one day.”



Jesse feels the clutch of his fingers.

Jesse feels the dry heave of his stomach.

Jesse feels the scrape of his nails at Jesse’s waist,

      the open press of his mouth on Jesse’s neck.

Jesse feels the vibrations of his voice.



Jesse has to – even though he’s wary of such public privacy – kiss the side of his neck.

Jesse has to push him away,

      has to hold his face,

           has to wipe his unshed tears.

Jesse has to promise him, “It’s not going to change anything. I’m not going to change anything.”

Jesse has to let him go.

Jesse has to pretend that he hasn’t just seen him on the verge of a breakdown.

Jesse has to watch him put on a fake smile for everyone when Tilda Swinton hands him back the Statuette and the flashes of cameras start to go off relentlessly for two full minutes.




10:16 pm

Too many things are going on right now.

The lights are flickering, the floor is vibrating, the air is being sucked out, the walls are closing in.

People are crowded around each other, forming clusters and even a few quartets.

The music is so loud and Jesse has lost Andrew.

He finds Emma speaking to the other Emma, the more famous one with the pixie haircut, and quickly introduces himself before asking, “Have you seen Andrew?”

Emma, the one with the blonde hair, the one with the red – pink, scarlet, whatever – dress, shakes her head, contorts her lips a weird way. “Not since the last time I saw you.”

Jesse nods and turns away so quick that he doesn’t even answer Emma’s question of “where do you think he might be?”

(And when he thinks about it, he probably wouldn’t have responded kindly anyway because, really, if he had any idea of where Andrew might be, he wouldn’t have sought out Emma.)

Dozens of people stop him as he twists his way through the crowd, hands laid on his shoulder like they belong there, fingers spread on his suit and claiming him for at least a greeting. Jesse doesn’t like being rude but his colleagues are too oblivious to recognize the man on a mission face he’s pulling.

It takes him ten minutes before he bursts out the side doors of the Great Room and onto the balcony.

Thankfully, that’s where he finds Andrew, arms braced on the railing, head ducked low.

Jesse takes a quiet, deep breath and steps up to him. “Hey.”

Andrew tenses at his touch, tries to shy away. “Jesse.”

“I’ve been looking everywhere for you.”

“You found me.”

Nodding, Jesse slips his hand to the back of Andrew’s neck and squeezes it. “You might get sick. All the rain and cold – it’s not good for you.”

“I am Spiderman. I don’t get sick.”

Leave it to Andrew, in the midst of turmoil, to make light. “Andrew . . .”

“Leave it, Jesse. I’m fine.”

“You weren’t fine before and you’re less fine now.”

Andrew grunts, shrugs Jesse off and pulls away. “You can go now.”

A knot rises in Jesse’s throat but he swallows before it can impede him. “You don’t have to hide from me,” he says, ignoring all of Andrew’s attempts to keep him at a distance because it’s illogical to let things fall apart now after all they’ve been through. His fingers catch on the ends of Andrew’s jacket and he manages to crowd his space again, sidled up close between Andrew and the railing.

“I’m not hiding,” Andrew whispers. He tips his head down and Jesse can see the redness in his eyes glinting in the moonlight.

Sighing, “Why is this hurting you so much?” Jesse frames Andrew’s face in his hands like he did backstage and strokes his fingers at the edge of his hairline.

Andrew doesn’t have an answer for him.



11:41 pm

Jesse’s hotel room is dark.

He lies in bed, stripped down to his boxers and undershirt, listening to the water gushing into the sink, waiting for Andrew to come out of the bathroom.

There’s a weight the size of one of those BAFTA Statuettes on his chest.



11:59 pm

“I don’t get it.”

They’re sharing a pillow. Their noses touch. There is an inch of space between their mouths.

Andrew doesn’t want to confess whatever is bothering him but he’s not closing his eyes or pushing Jesse away yet, so that’s got to mean something.

When Andrew says, “I’m tired,” Jesse’s lips dry a little because of the breath that passes through Andrew’s.

He understands that Andrew’s tired. He understands that he has three hours to sleep off over thirty hours of almost constant action so that he can hop on a plane, take a fifteen-hour flight to Los Angeles and shoot for another eight hours before he can sleep in his own bed again. He understands all of that and that he doesn’t want to talk.

But Andrew isn’t one to get upset about awards and Jesse isn’t one to let this kind of thing go, so he asks again, “What’s wrong?”

“Jess, please, nothing’s wrong.” Andrew’s voice is whiny. “I’m just exhausted and you’re being quite unkind to me at present.”

“I apologize for hurting your feelings but I can’t let you fall asleep without telling me why you’re suddenly so out of whack about awards. Awards, Andrew. This isn’t like you.” Beneath his hand, Jesse feels the way Andrew’s spine moves when he lets out a breath.

“It’s not about the awards, Jesse.”

Jesse rolls his eyes but immediately regrets it, seeing Andrew’s face close off. “Don’t do that. Please. Andrew. Just tell me.”

Groaning, Andrew sits up and scoots back until he can lean against the headboard. Jesse’s not sure whether or not to join him, so he just stays where he is, staring up at him. “Can I ask you something?”

Jesse blinks. Even though Andrew’s the one being interrogated here, he concedes. “Yes.”

“What’s going to happen after the Oscars?”

“What do you mean?”

“Are you going to go back to New York and forget all of this?”

“All of what?”

“You know what I mean.”

Shaking his head, Jesse sits up, crosses his legs Indian style and faces Andrew, one hand covering Andrew’s for all of two seconds before Andrew shakes it off. “All of what, Andrew?” he repeats.

The dull anger that had seemed to consume of all Andrew’s emotions quickly dissolves into melancholy and Jesse closes the distance between them as soon as he puts two and two together. It’s not like earlier tonight, when all Andrew seemed to want was Jesse’s comfort; now he just tries to push him away.

But that’s just not something Jesse will allow him to do, so before Andrew can make him fly across the room with a hard shove, he plants his knees on either side of Andrew’s thighs and holds Andrew’s shoulders tightly. He leans forward, presses their foreheads together, and murmurs, because he finally gets it, “Are you afraid that the Oscars will be where it ends for us too?”

Andrew gulps, so loud that Jesse’s eyes momentarily flit down to his bobbing Adam’s apple, and then Andrew half shakes his head and half nods it, all while saying, “Yes,” and, “That’s not what I want.”

Jesse talks as softly and gently as he can without making Andrew strain to hear him. “I wouldn’t let that happen.”



12:29 am

They’re sharing a pillow. Their noses touch. There’s an inch of space between their mouths.

Jesse talks and Andrew’s lips roll in and his tongue darts out.

Jesse talks and Andrew’s eyelids flutter.

Jesse talks and Andrew’s index finger lands on his lips.

Jesse talks and Andrew’s nose makes a whistling sound as he laughs.

Jesse talks and Andrew’s hand tangles in his hair.

      and Andrew’s legs entwine with his.

           and Andrew’s body forces him onto his back.

                and Andrew’s hips press forward.

Jesse talks and Andrew’s mouth finally keeps him from saying anything else.


Jesse talks – if you consider breathy strings of curses talking – and he knows no one’s ever seen Andrew like this before.



3:07 am

“Jess.”

Jesse groans and rolls onto his side, away from Andrew’s cold hands. “No.”

Soft laughter rings out. “Jess, come on. I have to go.”

“No,” he mutters, rubbing his cheek against his pillow and throwing his leg over the one Andrew discarded however long ago.

Andrew sighs, really close behind him, and then the bed dips and an icy palm is pressed to his shoulder. “Please don’t make this any harder than it already is.”

Exhaling quietly, Jesse rolls onto his back and blinks up at Andrew, seeing him through blurry eyes. The corners of Andrew’s lips are pulled downward, his brow meeting in the middle. His fingers press firmly against Jesse’s jaw and Jesse’s eyes close for just a second.

“My flight is in an hour and a half, Jess. I’m already late.”

Jesse nods and pushes himself up on his elbows, smacking his lips and yawning. “I know, I’m sorry. You need to go.”

“When’s your flight again?”

“11.”

Andrew sits down next to Jesse and hugs him, Jesse flailing back without balance before Andrew shifts a little and straightens him up. Eventually, Jesse gets his arms around him and tucks his face into Andrew’s neck, which smells like the Prada bottle he saw on Andrew’s bathroom counter when he was in LA for the SAG Awards. It hadn’t been used yet but Jesse’s olfactory receptors are always overworking themselves, forcing him into having one of those really good sensory memories. He hums and pulls Andrew closer.

“I’ll see you in two weeks, then?”

“Who knows?”

In warning, “Jess,” and Andrew bites Jesse’s earlobe.

Jesse whimpers, shakes his head and stammers, “No – no – y – yes, two weeks. Two weeks, I’ll see you.”

A giggle – because Andrew’s a little girl sometimes and likes to laugh in high-pitched tones – resonates in Jesse’s ear. Then Andrew pulls away, kisses Jesse quickly and releases him. He doesn’t look like he wants to spend fifteen hours on a plane when he stands up but he’s in comfortable clothes, at least.

“I’ll call you after filming’s wrapped for the day.” Andrew’s standing at the foot of the bed now.

Jesse’s not sure how that happened so fast; he’d only closed his eyes to blink. “Yeah, ok. I’ll text you when I land in New York.”

A smile breaks out across Andrew’s face – how could he even be smiling at this hour, Jesus – and he says, “Go back to sleep.”

“Andrew?” The blanket pools in Jesse’s lap.

“Hmm?”

“At the risk of sounding cliché . . . Everything’s going to be ok.”

Andrew bites the corner of his lip and rounds the side of the bed, clutching his bag to his shoulder as he leans over to kiss Jesse one more time. Jesse tilts back his head, lets Andrew’s mouth slant over his for a few seconds because he doesn’t want the inevitable to happen. He doesn’t want to watch Andrew leave and he doesn’t want to remind himself that they’ll see each other again in two weeks. He just wants to relish this moment, where Andrew’s still here and they’re still touching and there’s no future to worry about.

But the problem with inevitable things is that they actually have to happen. Andrew stops kissing Jesse and he tells him goodbye again and Jesse hugs him and kisses him one more time. Then Andrew ruffles Jesse’s hair, a heartbreaking little frown on his lips, and says, “I will talk to you tonight.”

Jesse swallows hard and ducks his head. “Ok,” he says, and his voice wavers and betrays him.

“Hey, come on.” Andrew tips Jesse’s chin up and flashes a quick smile. “It’s going to be ok. Didn’t you just tell me that?”

Nodding, “Yeah,” Jesse wraps his fingers around Andrew’s wrist. He lets him go after a few seconds and gently pushes him away. “I’ll be waiting for your call.”

“Sleep,” Andrew warns, and then he’s standing at the door, smiling sweetly (or sadly, depending on how you look at it) and waving like an idiot. He says, “Bye, Jess,” and turns.

Then he’s gone but not before Jesse notices that his Ween hoodie is tied around the straps of Andrew’s bag – clearly there’s no way they won’t be ok.
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