Title: "Star Light, Star Bright" 1/17
Author: Ren (dreamerren
Featuring: Karl Urban/Orlando Bloom/Heath Ledger
Rating: R (with some NC-17 parts, I'll label these chapters accordingly)
Summary: Actress, Skye Winslow has spent the last year recovering from her bitter breakup with Orlando Bloom. Certain, the worst is behind her, she's diving head first into her latest project, a challenging new role in a film directed by cinematic genuis, Brian Miller also starring Karl Urban. The two are instantly drawn to one another, but Orlando's sudden reappearance throws Skye's emotions into turmoil.
Battling his own ghosts, Skye and Karl's elusive and mysterious co-star, AJ Gibson, is coming face to face with a past that he thought he left behind. As tensions build and angers rise, the truth that they uncover will change them forever.
Feedback: I live for it!
Disclaimer: If only. Don't sue, I have no money.
Notes: Karl doesn't show up until Chapter 2, but I promise it's worth the wait, he IS a central and vital character. Skye Winslow, Mallory Jensen and Keith all belong to me. Brian Miller, Kevin Miller and AJ Gibson are all STRONGLY based on Brian Littrell, Kevin Richardson and AJ McLean of the Backstreet Boys. (Seriously, don't ask, this is my cracked out crossover fic.) I hope everyone likes it!
He had always loved the rain. Loved the way the rhythmic sound of the drops beating on the window was like a soothing song, drowning out the thoughts that made silences seem so loud. But the rain that drummed against his window this evening did more to aggravate his nerves than ease them. Sighing he picked up the remote, flipped on the TV and stared at the moving pictures not really watching.
He dare not admit to anyone how desperately he wanted this part. He knew what it would mean for his career. He knew what it would mean for him. Names like Brian Miller and Skye Winslow were not laughed at in the film industry: they were respected. It was that respect he had squandered away on his own mindless drivel and now building back a life had proved more difficult than he had ever imagined. But he was strong. If he had learned anything from the path he had chosen to walk in his life, it was that he was tougher than even he had known.
He tapped the remote against his palm and glanced at the silent telephone. He wished it would just ring, either way he’d be put out of his current state of misery. Even as he tried to stay optimistic, doubts edged at the back of his mind. He had stiff competition, including names like Jake Gyllenhaal and Matt Damon. Who was he kidding? What chance did a washed up child star have? Lots of chances. That’s what his new manager, Keith McKade had insisted. He admired Keith’s optimism but secretly he wondered if it was unfounded. What had he proved in the last ten years, other than the fact that he was a miserable failure at life in general?
The brash ringing of the phone jerked him from his thoughts. Slowly he reached for it, “Gibson here.”
“AJ, it’s Keith. You’ve got the part.”
Closing her eyes, she willed the thoughts that threatened to suffocate her to disappear. But the memories only intensified, emotions boiling to the surface and bringing tears prickling to her eyes. Cursing softly she dumped the script that lay in her lap beside her and rubbed at her temples. She shouldn’t be thinking about him. It had been a year, couldn’t she let go? She glanced over at the script, and grimaced at the bright pink sticky, Mallory, her agent and personal assistant had stuck on the front.
Read through some of your lines. You need to impress that big shot director. I’ll call you tomorrow before we leave for set.
She shrugged, Mallory was right; she really should be working on her lines. But concentration had become futile and she was already frustrated with herself. Deciding to take a break, she stood and stretched, wandering into the kitchen for a glass of water, opening cabinets to see what she could find to snack on. Pulling a bag of Oreos off a shelf, she opted for milk instead of water and stood over the sink, biting into the cookie. The rain poured down outside, the gray skies and drenching water matching her mood perfectly.
Damn you, Orlando Bloom. It was because of him that she, Skye Nicole Winslow, was in her current emotional state. One year. One year, to the day, since she had walked into their home and found him screwing his best friend, Janie, in their bed. One year since her world had come crashing down around her. One awful, painful, and lonely year. A year that Nicole had spent throwing herself whole-heartedly into her work. She had told herself it would help to ease the pain. She could just spend her time becoming someone she wasn’t; lose herself in the characters she played. An emotional escape from the harsh realities of her own life, from the wounds that were still too fresh and tender to think about.
“When did you become such a pathetic whiner?” Nicole asked her reflection in the window. “It’s been a year you fool. Get over it. You are so much better than him. Remember that.” She stuck her tongue out at her wavy glass likeness and grinned, feeling a little bit better.
The phone rang then and Nicole debated whether or not to let the machine get it before finally deciding she’d better answer. “Hello?”
“Nikki, just the voice I wanted to hear! How are you?” The familiar rolling Australian accent sent a smile bursting across Nicole’s face. How did he always know?
“Heath! How are you?”
“The same as always. Just doing what I can to get by.”
“I’m sure.” Nicole laughed and she physically relaxed for the first time all day. That was the nature of her relationship with Heath Ledger. After appearing in two films together, Nicole and Heath had formed a fast and tight friendship. He was one of the few people she trusted wholly and completely. When she had just begun to find footing in the treacherous Hollywood world, Heath had been there to help her find her way. And their friendship had endured, blossoming into the sort of brother/sister relationship that Nicole had always longed for. It was the rock steadiness of their friendship that had harbored Nicole through the past year.
“So, how are you Nikki?” Heath asked again.
“Fine?” She offered up, knowing he wouldn’t believe her for a second. There was silence on the line as he waited. She relented. “Okay, not great. Better than I thought I’d be. I just was hoping I’d be over this all by now.”
“Why don’t you cut yourself a little bit of slack? Love is never easy to say goodbye too, no matter the circumstances.” Heath scolded her.
“Right.” Skye sighed and reached for the remote. Heath knew what he was talking about; he had just ended a rather lengthy relationship with actress Naomi Watts himself. She blinked as she found a movie on HBO and set the remote down. “I haven’t dared watch TV all day, I’m not sure I could stand seeing him.” She laughed a little as she thought about it. “Kind of sucks my ex-boyfriend is Hollywood’s newest ‘it’ boy.”
“That’s the way it happens sometimes.” Heath replied softly before lapsing into silence. She waited, knowing that there was something on his mind. “Look, Nikki, I just want to say I’m sorry. I feel somehow responsible for all this.”
“Why? Because you introduced us? I was visiting you on set Heath; you introduced me to your costar. You did not force me into that relationship, nor was there any way that you could have known what was going to happen,” She protested. Heath had always felt guilty about his role in introducing her to Orlando, particularly when Nikki was wallowing, like she was now.
It had been three and a half years ago when she had visited Heath on set while he was filming, “Ned Kelly”. He had introduced her to his costar, Orlando Bloom. A striking young man from Kent, England, who had just made it big in the “Lord of the Rings” films. Orlando had pursued Nikki off and on for the next six months, before she finally accepted his invitation to accompany him to a film premiere. Their relationship had moved quickly and the media blitz surrounding them had been stifling. Yet, she had been happy. It seemed that Orlando was everything she had ever wanted, she had been on top of the world. Then everything had come crashing down around her and just as quickly as it had happened, it was all gone.
“Still, I feel like I should have done more.” He insisted. “I should have known. Should have done more to protect you.”
“Oh, would you stop it with the big brother act, please?” Nikki rolled her eyes and smiled. It was nice that he cared.
“You gave him better than he deserved,” Heath commented.
Nikki sighed heavily and collapsed in a nearby chair. “I loved him, Heath. That was the bitch of the whole thing. I couldn’t hand him to the media wolves on a platter, so I let him keep a little dignity.” She knew that those close to her never fully understood why she hadn’t revealed the truth behind their breakup to the zealous media. She had chose instead to cite conflicting schedules and long periods of time apart for their inevitable split. Few people knew the truth and she preferred it that way.
“You’re a stronger woman than most people know, Ms. Winslow.”
“Thanks,” She responded, softly. The last thing she felt at the moment was strong. Tired of dwelling on the past, she changed the subject. “When do you think you’ll be done filming?”
“Hard to say. There have been a few minor setbacks. Gore was saying by late next week, maybe earlier if we can step things up,” Heath explained, not pushing the subject further.
“You moved quickly,” She commented, switching the phone to her other ear.
“It’s been a smooth shoot up until these last couple of weeks. We hit some problems with the weather so we just have to wait it out. Won’t be too bad. I’m hoping to get to come spend some time in LA once filming is done,” He explained.
“Well bring some sun back with you, it’s been raining cats and dogs all week.”
“I’ll see what I can do,” Heath laughed. “Don’t you start that Brian Miller project tomorrow?”
“Yeah, ‘On the Edge’, I’m actually really excited about it. The script is solid and I love my character. It’s about a woman who is happily engaged when an ex-boyfriend wanders back into her life and drags her into the world of drugs and addiction. Provocative stuff, something I can really cut my teeth on.”
“Any word on costars, last I heard you were still waiting.”
“Karl Urban, who worked with Orlando in ‘Lord of the Rings’ is set to play the fiancée, they cast him a couple months ago. But I just got the call on who was to play Thomas, the ex-boyfriend, today. AJ Gibson.” Nikki paused, waiting for Heath’s reaction.
“Interesting choice. Miller’s taking a risk, isn’t he? Most consider AJ box office suicide,” He answered.
“Brian is usually pretty careful about his films. He likes to control everything, so he had to have seen something in AJ’s audition that caught his attention,” Nikki surmised.
“Either that or he gave AJ points for experience,” Heath pointed out, referencing AJ’s well-documented bouts with drug and alcohol addiction.
“That’s not entirely fair, is it?” Nikki began. “He was a good actor as a kid, a really good actor. I can’t imagine that all that went away. The poor guy has been working hard to clean up his image and Brian hands him a chance. I think it’s great. I’m actually really interested to meet him.”
“There’s the optimist I know and love,” Heath said with a grin. “I knew she was lurking in there somewhere.”
“Never far from the surface,” She quipped in response. She glanced at her watch and grimaced. When had it gotten so late? “Listen Heath, I’m sorry to cut you off, but I should probably think about getting some sleep tonight, I have to be on set tomorrow morning, bright and early.”
“Yeah, you need to go get that beauty sleep.”
“Hey! That’s not very nice,” Nikki angered tone was betrayed by her stifled giggle.
“You know I’m kidding. I’m your biggest fan, kid.” Heath’s voice grew quieter. “Just wanted to check up on my girl. Keep that chin up, okay? I know today was rough but it’ll get better. I promise.”
“I know, thanks Heath. You always say the right thing.”