you take andy home half because you're curious; could someone that dour and disinterested in life be that disinterested in bed? and more to the point could you change that? besides, in some roundabout way, matt's given you permission - at least he didn't argue - and like much of the cast and crew and people he knows, matt's permission becomes some unwritten, unspoken decree. everyone thinks you're hot; Matt didn't tell you not to. You're intrigued, even if you're not really attracted, and it seems like a good idea at the time.
you find him crying, in the middle of the night, in your kitchen, and pad over, naked, through the dark room. "Andy?" you say, hesitant, because you've never seen him exhibit this much, ever.
He wipes his eyes, puts his glasses back on, look rueful. "I didn't mean to wake you," he tells you. suddenly, he seems overly considerate, too considerate, too gentle and apologetic for his pain disturbing your sleep.
You come to him, almost put a hand on his shoulder. If it were another man, you probably would, but Andy even a little fragile is a lot different than the other men you've brought home. "Are you--" and you amend it to, "is there anything I can do?"
Already, he's stopped crying, put most of that mask back on. He tells you, "I just, it's been a while. Since my wife."
He rubs your shoulder, a little bit, as a sign that he's ready to go back to bed, and you smile at him. He was good in bed, slow, achingly slow, patient, and quite attentive, even tipsy. As you're pulling the covers up, the reality of what he said sinks in: he hasn't slept with anyone since his wife died. you want to apologize for the experiment, now, but can't get the nerve up. Instead, as he lays there on his back, carefully not disturbing your side of the bed, you roll over and put an arm over his chest, the way you like to sleep. He stiffens, a bit, but breathes easy. If you've already committed a gross sin bringing him home, you might as well go all the way.
in the morning, he's awkward, a little shy, but Andy once more. He tells you, "I have no experience in dealing with this, so I'm going to straight out ask: what am I supposed to do?"
"Well, Andy," you say to him, "you can buy me a coffee this time, and I'll drive you to work."
"This time, huh?" he says, but there's a smile tugging at the corner of his mouth, which is unusual enough in and of itself. He adds, "technically, you make more money than I do, so shouldn't you be buying?"
"what are you doing?"
you look up from your laptop. "I'm just reading."
"on the computer?" Andy shuffles in to leans against the table, instead of standing in the doorway of your dressing room with his arms crossed. it's a small victory. "What?"
"Uh, actually, morality plays." You shrug, as if to defend the choice, as if even in your choice of classical literature there's something simplistic in your tastes. You say, "I like them."
Andy stares at you, doesn't look away. "Ah," he says. "when life is simpler."
You close the laptop. It's 5 minutes until the table-read where you might actually get to act a little bit. It's all you'll ever get at Studio 60, and Studio 60 is probably the most fame you're going to find. You can't decide if it's the best, as well. "Well," you say, and stand up. "When life appears simpler, at least."
You pause beside him on your way out, and for a second you consider slapping his ass - have your palm out to do it - when you take his hand, and squeeze briefly, instead.
Matt notices, because Matt's nosy as hell. "What the hell are you doing, Jeannie?"
You're frantically going over lines for the dress rehearsal this afternoon and there isn't enough coffee in the world, and you don't know what he's talking about for a second. "What?"
"Andy?" he says, and suddenly his worried face snaps into focus and you drop the script on the table. He crosses his arms, adds, "yeah, I noticed."
"It's not," you say, "actually any of your business, you know." You can remember the smell of Matt on your pillow, in the morning, and in a different lifetime the two of you were probably married - happier than him and Harriet will ever be - but in this one, it's just a sense of nostalgia. He liked messy sex, a bit rough but always energetic, always proof of engagement.
Matt says, low, "I'm just - Andy's not. He's in a lot of pain, Jeannie."
You and Matt are both being paged to the stage. One of these days, you're going to have an emotional, important conversation not on set or in these dank dressing rooms. You're going to be in a private space, just you and whoever you're talking with, and you're not going to hear those echoing tones of being on stage while you're speaking. You say to Matt, "remember what Andy was like when he worked here before?" Off Matt's blank face, you add, "he's always been like this. Just appears simpler."
Matt doesn't get it; but then, he doesn't get why you'd want to bring Andy home in the first place, is a little hurt that you'd want someone else but him. Matt has to be the most important person in the room, has to have everyone want him most. It's a tiring trait. You have the opposite - everyone does want you most, but only as a body, not as a person. Matt was one of the few that didn't, and it was almost enough to fall in love with him; thank god, not quite.
"Well?" he asks you again, but you say,
"I'm not going to explain myself, Matt, because I am capable of not completely fucking up." Whether he gets the implication that he's isn't or not, you don't care. Andy is sitting in the stands like normal, tapping a pencil against his notebook in a rhythmic way. It turns you on for some bizarre reason, watching him be engrossed in the tapping, ignoring everyone else's sparkling personalities. You realize what attracts you to Andy is that he really isn't interested. How sad; how predictable.
"Come on!" Danny's yelling, and you snap to it, and don't get your lines right. Studio 60 is the most fame you'll get.