Random One Shots

Random one shots with actors, musicians/bands and characters.

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170. Richard Armitage 21

~“Three black coffees, one with a teaspoon of sugar, five white coffees, two with one teaspoon of sugar, one with two teaspoons of sugar, three cappuccinos, two espressos and a latté in a pear tree… or was it four white coffees… ack!”
You are aware that you’re muttering to yourself a fair bit as you stand by the coffee machine and try to remember everyone’s order that you are preparing for the crew as a new day of filming begins on Hannibal. You have left your clipboard with all the details on a table in one of the studios and you’d felt confident that you could remember the orders, up until now that is.
You know that you’re probably getting stressed for nothing, and if you go back and collect your clipboard or ask them to reiterate then they won’t tear your head off for forgetting. That’s the great thing about working on Hannibal- everybody is so passionate about their work and is helpful to everyone else, regardless of what department you are and as a runner (the figurative dogs-body at the bottom of the pile) you often get to see all of the departments in action. Only yesterday you were running costumes from the designer to the studio, and the day before helping to dress the set for Dr Hannibal’s psychiatric cell. This right now though is one of the less than glamorous jobs that comes with your role.
There has been some excitement in the studio the past few days as the actor playing Francis Dolarhyde -Richard Armitage- has finally arrived on set. The most you’ve seen of him so far has been from the other side of the set, but his appearance has caused quite a stir as the excitement for the Red Dragon (or Francis Dolarhyde, or the Tooth Fairy, depending on who you were talking to) mounts.
This is probably helped along by Sean Armstrong -one of the boom operators in the Sound Department- who keeps on tweeting about how Richard is making members of the crew disappear! His tweet yesterday had said-
‘Another day with @RCArmitage and…uh-oh, @CaraCostumes is missing… #Hannibal’
Of course Cara had replied half an hour later with-
‘@manatee73 I AM BACK! Getting a little work done #RedDragon didn’t get me! #Hannibal’
It is jokes like this -along with crew also joking that they should get t-shirts saying ‘Don’t eat me!’- that makes working on Hannibal so much fun.
You stir in what you hope is the final sugar, load the cups onto a tray and carry them back towards the set where filming is about to start. But you barely get out of the door of the hospitality/green room when someone walking a bit too fast nearly collides with you. It’s only by swerving that you avoid dropping the coffee tray.
“Woah!” you cry in surprise.
“Sorry!” the person says and their hand flies up to steady the tray. Barely a drop is spilt. “I’m sorry, are you OK?”
You recognise the deep voice and looking up from the tray you are even more surprised to find Richard Armitage -the man of the hour himself- looking down at you with concern in his eyes.
“Um… yeah, I’m fine,” you gush. You have become accustomed to working with celebrities on this show (though the first time Mads Mikkelsen had asked you for a coffee you’d spilt the milk all over the worktop in your haste. Since then you’ve learned to keep your cool) but your heart can’t help but beat a bit faster. You had of course seen him in the Hobbit films, not to mention seeking out and watching some of his other works when you’d learned he would be on the show. With his black hair and blue eyes he is very easy on the eye.
Richard bows his head in relief. “I’m sorry; I didn’t mean to send you flying, or anything. But… um, are you (Y/N)?”
You are confused about why he should know your name and reply hesitantly- “Yeah.”
“See, I need someone’s help with something I’ve been working on, and Bryan said I should come and find you,” Richard explains. You assume he means Bryan Fuller and can’t help but flush at the fact that he should recommend you.
“If I’m able to then I will do my best to help you,” you say fairly.
Richard beams. You set the coffee tray down on a nearby table and follow him down a number of wide corridors until you reach a set of locked double doors where Richard takes out a key but hesitates.
“I also ask that you wear this-” from a pocket he takes out a black blindfold. You stare at him incredulously. “It will all become clear.”
This isn’t much of an explanation, but nevertheless you take it from him and slip it over your eyes, leaving a small crack of light at the bottom so you can see where you’re walking. But Richard notices this.
“No peeking!” he chides, plucking the blindfold fully down over your eyes so all you can see it darkness.
“Great, now I can’t even see where I’m walking,” you say. You hear the key being turned in the lock and the doors swing open.
“Don’t worry, I’ll make sure you don’t bump into anything,” Richard says. He takes your right hand with his (his touch makes you flinch as you weren’t expecting it) and places it on his left arm. You try not to grip too tightly but you are very nervous. It does now seem like you are being kidnapped by the Red Dragon.
Richard leads you forward through the double doors and they swing closed behind you with a loud boom which echoes throughout the new room. With your sense of sight now gone, your other senses seem heightened in order to compensate, and from the echo you deduce that you are in a cavernous room, quite possibly an unused studio space.
Your sense of touch also reports to your mind that the jacket Richard is wearing is quite soft in the sleeves where you are clutching his arm for dear life, and the skin on his hand that he has kept in top of yours feels smooth but coarse in places, not to mention very large and reassuring. From the way your hair is fluttering in a slight breath you can tell his head must be turned towards you…
He is watching you.
"'Tis the time's plague when madmen lead the blind," Richard muses. The change in his voice scares you.
"King Lear?" you whisper, recognising the quote.
"Do as I bid thee," he continues. His voice is more like a purr and your hair stands on end.
You are slowly led across the room until you reach a different surface and hear the hollow creak of wood beneath your feet. At this point Richard releases himself from your grip.
“Now, what I want you to do is explore the space,” he explains to you in a calm voice. “Speak out loud what you’re experiencing. If you’re unsure of anything then don’t be afraid to ask.”
“How do I not walk into anything?” you ask, suddenly scared now that you haven’t got his arm to hold on to, feeling like you have just been abandoned.
“I’ll be here, I’ll let you know if you’re about to,” Richard says. You hear him move a few feet away and settle somewhere. You gulp nervously. Without him by your side to confidently guide you, you only shuffle your feet a few inches at a time with your hands stretched out in front.
“Am I even near anything?” you ask after a few moments of silence and shuffling.
“About a six inches forward on your right,” Richard calls out. Your right arm swings out wildly and your fingers brush what he had mentioned. Moving towards it you grasp what feels like-
“Umm… it’s a metal shelf,” you call out. Your hands sweep the shelf and you encounter more metal. “And there are these weird round tins… only flat…”
“Do you know what they are?” Richard asks calmly.
The only reason you know the answer is because you had to take a number of them from the stores to the camera crew the other day. “They’re film reel… canisters… lots of them.”
The only thing on that shelf is film canisters, so you shuffle forward. You feel conscious of how silly you must look, but with not being able to see it is the least hazardous way to move. “I think I need a guide dog!” you call out, which is met by a chuckle.
“You’re about a foot away from your next object, be careful,” comes the warning, though how you could be any more careful you do not know. You lower your arms and your hands meet with another metal object, though this one seems more complicated.
“OK, it’s a film reel,” you quickly identified the large, round, sticky-out bit on top and lower your hands to the rest of the machine. “So that would make this a film projector.”
“Correct.”
You listen but you cannot hear anything. “It’s not turned on at the moment.”
“Correct.”
“If it was turned on, what would it play?”
“I’m not sure you would want to know the answer to that,” comes the response. A shiver runs through your spine at how sinister he sounds and your hands leap back from the projector. You manoeuvre your way around it and continue forward. “You’re about a foot away from something- mind your fingers.”
Your fingers -which had been leading your way- recoil at this. Something about his last answer feels ominous and almost malevolent and you aren’t sure you feel safe anymore. You wonder if perhaps some animal would bite your fingers, but listening hard you can’t hear any animal sounds or even any movement (if you didn’t know Richard was there it’s like you could be all alone in this strange, dark place) so you uncoil your fingers and inch forward.
Eventually your fingers meet with a smooth surface, almost like glass, but as you move your fingers across the surface you are met by sharp and jagged edges threatening to prick your skin.
“A broken mirror,” you whisper. Suddenly this is all very familiar. You had read The Red Dragon book before joining the crew and are familiar with the imagery surrounding the character of Francis Dolarhyde.
But then why were you here?
Freaking out, you tear the blindfold off of your face and blink in confusion as hundreds of distorted faces blink back at you. You leap back in shock before you realise it is only your face in the mirror. Spinning around you see beyond the edge of the room is the film studio, as you had suspected. Richard is sitting on a chair just outside the room with a journal on his lap that he has been writing in as he observes you. When he sees you turn he stands up in concern.
“Are you OK? You didn’t cut yourself, did you?” he asks as he moves towards you.
“No, I’m fine, I-” you try to get your thoughts back into order now that the initial panic has subsided. “I don’t understand. What is this place?”
“This is the set for Dolarhyde’s attic,” Richard explains to you, and the pieces start to fall into place. “I had some concerns when I was cast that I’d never seen Hannibal or read the books before, and Dolarhyde is a difficult character to get into the mind of- at least not without actually killing anyone!- so Bryan let me have early access to this set to help me get into the right frame of mind.”
Your mouth forms a soft “ohh” in comprehension.
“I’ve been slowly borrowing people to help dress the set as I’ve been finding new levels to what he might own, or how he might keep this space,” Richard continues. “I know it seems extreme, but it really does help.”
“But where do I come into all this? And what was with the blindfold?” you blurt out.
“It’s been on my mind for a while- what would happen if Reba were to be taken to the home of the Red Dragon?”
This stuns you into silence. Reba… the love interest of Francis Dolarhyde?
“She’s blind, you see. And what might Dolarhyde think, what might he feel as he sees this woman he has let into his life walk blindly around his personal space? It’s a scenario that I’ve been thinking about for some time, but Rutina isn’t due to arrive on set for another few weeks. So I had to find an alternative,” Richard finishes.
“You couldn’t have explained all of this to me before? It felt like I was going to be kidnapped!” you tell him.
“That was kind of what I was going for,” he admits, tilting his head coyly. “Playing the cannibal serial killer is proving to be a bit too fun!”
“So I am your Reba?”
“But if you’re not comfortable to go on then you don’t have to-”
“No, no, it’s fine. You just had me a bit scared, was all.”
“Good,” Richard raised an eyebrow with a villainous grin and you could see he was going to fit in here all too well!
You slip the blindfold back on and turn back into the room.
“Mind your head!” Richard calls out. You reach a hand up and you find the sloping ceiling moving towards one of the windows. Your other hand reaches out to your side and finds a photo frame. You hear Richard draw breath behind you.
“What is this?” you ask, moving your hands across the glass.
“That is The Great Red Dragon and the Woman Clothed in Sun, by William Blake,” Richard tells you. You hear him shift slightly. “And I don’t know how I feel about you touching that.”
“I’m sorry.” You quickly withdraw your hand, and then a thought comes to you. “Could you describe it to me?”
There is thoughtful silence for a moment before- “It is a metamorphosis, of a man becoming a dragon. Though he still has the legs of a man, where his arms once were wings now spring from his shoulder blades. Horns sprout from his crown, and his tail that has grown from his muscular back wraps around a woman laid on the floor before him, clothed with the brightness of the sun.”
You find this all easy to imagine, having some previous knowledge of the painting, but you wonder how someone who was really blind would interpret brightness and horns and tails growing from your body. You imagine this happening and it feels painful. You tell Richard this.
“Really?” he says softly. “That is interesting.”
Turning away from the painting you inch back into the room, but your fingers encounter something soft, something… fleshy. You jump back in horror. Was it a body? Someone that Francis Dolarhyde might have killed? But you don’t remember anything hanging there before…
“What on Earth?” you manage to ask.
“This is me,” comes Richard’s voice, surprisingly close in front of you. “I am the Great Red Dragon.”
You hadn’t even heard him move, much less take his top off (you wonder if it is just his top!), but testing with your foot you find the space in front of the painting is carpeted which explains some. You reach you with your hand again and find his spine. Tracing it upwards you find his shoulder blades- just as he had described they could so easily be joints for wings, and his skin is so smooth beneath your fingers. You can’t help but caress his muscles. You feel him turn to face you and your hand moves with him, coming to rest on his breast, almost completely rock hard. His hand cups yours.
“Does it feel painful? Do you feel it? That I am the Great Red Dragon?” His voice doesn’t sound quite right, too gritty, but then you realise that Richard is in character. You try to remember what you know of Reba and do your best to respond in character too.
“May I touch your face?” you ask quietly. You feel him stiffen. “I just want to know if you’re smiling or frowning.”
“Trust me- I’m smiling,” Richard whispers back. You believe him, but nonetheless you extend your hand (his still over yours) and find his lips with your fingers. You trace them and discover he is indeed smiling. In your mind you picture a twisted smile; your fingers trace the line of his muscles around his mouth and brush his cheek with your palm.
You feel it happen before you can truly register what is happening- his hand firmly on top of yours, Richard moves forward and (his hand behind your neck) brings his smiling lips to meet yours.
You let out a muffled noise of surprise, but then part your lips and kiss back. Richard twists his head slightly, causing you to bend your head back so that it feels like he is dominating you, trying to consume you as though you are one of the William Blake paintings.
It’s mad, standing there sharing such a passionate kiss on a closed film set while you are wearing a blindfold. It’s completely absurd…
And yet completely wonderful.
You are both brought back to earth by the buzzing of your mobile in your pocket. You pull back and his lips (almost sadly) part from yours. You pull the blindfold off and pluck your mobile out- it's a Twitter notification from Sean in which he has tagged you-
‘Uh oh, @RCArmitage has done it again- Our runner @(Y/N) has disappeared! Where’s my coffee??? #Hannibal’
You grin and show Richard the tweet. He laughs and the sound is rich and magical compared to Francis’ gritty voice.
“I think I can stay missing a little while longer,” you say as you put the phone away.
“Good,” Richard says, before pulling you back into a heavenly kiss. Thank god, you think as you feel his tongue flick against your teeth, that he isn’t wearing Dolarhyde’s dentures!
 

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