I sat on this for 3 days because I was afraid to post. Too many brilliant writers around here, and I am definitely out of my comfort zone. Anyway, super awesome @callmeder reviewed it for me - all the thanks! - and I finally decided to put on my big girl panties and post it.
Also - I don’t know how to put this under a cut, so, sorry if it takes up a lot of space on your dash.
Sam wasn’t particularly looking forward to his day. He’d
flown in from London last night for another round of screen tests. He’d already tested with what felt like
hundreds of actresses, although he knew in reality the number was only a few
dozen. Dozens of young women with whom
he’d read, acting out the fight by the river, the scene on the horse (he was
bloody tired of falling off of that thing) and finally, kissing.
“Don’t fool yourself,” he thought ruefully, “the kissing
wasn’t so bad.”
He had actually taken a class in ‘intimate scenes’ back in
school, and had plenty of experience with the look, the touch, the slightly opened
lips, the kiss, the final, searing gaze. He was good at it, and he knew it. He had
kissed plenty, men and women, in the name of work before. Actors would tell you during interviews that
it was awkward, embarrassing, unfortunate work, but he knew them for the liars
they were. Kissing was fun, no matter the circumstances, and he relished the
job. And to kiss a bevy of beautiful actresses in the name of work? He wasn’t
daft enough to complain. The problem here was that Claire was proving to be
After landing what appeared to be a dream role – the chance
of a lifetime, really, playing the male lead in a rather large undertaking – it
all seemed to be going nowhere as the ever diminishing supply of relevant
actresses failed to be right for ‘Claire.’ Granted, he was in LA, where they
would never, ever run out of actresses, but Claire had specific requirements,
and Ron Moore wasn’t going to settle for anyone less than perfect to be his
lead. Sam had given up believing that this perfect embodiment of Claire could
possibly exist, in LA or London. So, he’d woken up this morning with a bit of a
damper on his usually exuberant spirits.
Still, needs must, and he worked through his morning routine,
exercising, showering, meeting with his agent and manager, catching up with
friends for lunch and finally, arriving at the studios for the screen tests.
He’d arrived in plenty of time to meet with the casting
director, look over the headshots of the women he was to test with and review his
lines, just to be sure. Sam took every aspect of his job seriously; he refused
to be unprepared for a test, no matter how many he had to do or how tired he
was of doing them. Today’s testing was scheduled to take all afternoon, and he
would be working with six new women. He glanced briefly through their bios, but
his dampened spirits prevented him from really paying attention. He knew that
at the end of the day they probably still wouldn’t have a Claire, and he would
be tired, emotionally drained and, if he was being honest with himself, aroused
from the close proximity of pliable female flesh, pressed close to him, soft
lips at the ready.
It certainly wasn’t the arousal of attraction to a specific
individual, but Sam was young, healthy, physically active and most certainly
susceptible to the pleasures of the fairer sex. He was also a man of honor, not
prone to sleep around just because he could. Oh, sure, he’d had his time
playing the field. He was undeniably attractive. Even his genuinely humble
nature couldn’t pretend otherwise, and he knew exactly how to use his charms to
devastating effect, making nearly any woman he desired putty in his hands. It was
just that these dalliances, while physically rewarding, did nothing for his
emotional core. He was old enough now to want more from his relationships with
women, and found casual hookups far less gratifying than they used to be. So
while he knew he could most likely make arrangements to go home with at least
one of today’s actresses, he couldn’t bring himself to want that. He sighed
deeply, knowing already what that meant: a good, sweaty two-hour workout at the
hotel gym later tonight and if that didn’t work, a long, steamy shower where he
could release the physical tensions of the day.
It wasn’t that Sam was a prude, or opposed to casual sex. It
was just that since his last relationship ended, he was unsatisfied with the idea.
He felt restless, as if he were searching for something. He knew that in
reality, he was searching for someone. Someone to share this new adventure
with. He’d spent a number of years travelling all over Europe and the U.S.,
working at theaters here and there, and was happy with his nomadic life. But
now, who knew? Maybe it was the unrelenting search for the perfect Claire that
put him in mind of finding the perfect companion to share what was sure to
prove a more stable life in Scotland.
The first test was scheduled to start in ten minutes, and he
owed it to the young woman not to begin in this agitated state of mind. He
excused himself from the room where he had absentmindedly been chatting with
the casting director, a few producers and some other staff. In the bathroom, he
splashed his face with cold water and stared at his reflection. “Oh, God,” he
practically prayed, “please let us find her today.” And then, “get it together,
Heughan.” He took a bracing gulp of whisky from the flask in his jacket pocket
and returned to the room.
It was obvious from the moment the first actress opened her
mouth that she wasn’t Claire, but Sam gave 100%, helping her get through the test and
wishing her well at the end. His mood did not improve. The next few tests were
passable, and one seemed almost promising but he didn’t have high hopes for
her. He figured he’d see her again in a few days for a second test, and made a
mental note to have his manager reschedule his flight back to London.
It was getting on in the afternoon, and he was looking
forward to his last screen test, only because that meant he was about an hour
away from going back to his hotel. In the restroom, he brushed his teeth for
the last time (he was meticulous about oral hygiene when it came to these sorts
of things) and reapplied his cherry lip balm, mentally readying himself for
another round of fighting, loving and leading the scenes. When he returned to
the room, he was informed that the final candidate of the day had phoned to say
she was stuck in traffic and would be late.
He silently cursed, but put on a brave face, pulled out his phone and
settled down to entertain himself on Twitter until the poor soul should arrive.
God knew he’d hate to be late to a screen test.
After about 30 minutes, he excused himself and wandered down
to the lobby, feeling the need to get out of that room and breathe some fresh
air. He was pacing around the lobby like a caged animal when suddenly he
felt…odd. Turning around, he saw the most beautiful face. Momentarily
flustered, he stared with his mouth slightly agape. The beautiful face
coalesced into a full person, and Sam came to the realization that she was
speaking. To him. He should do something. He knew that much, but this odd
feeling…well, he seemed to be at a loss. He floundered, lost in her face. Suddenly
his brain caught hold of words, and then managed to string them into a
“Hi!” this beautiful vision was saying, “I’m Caitriona. You
must be Sam. I recognize you from your headshot. They sent it over with the script
and the rest of the paperwork. It’s nice to meet you. I’m so sorry to be late.
It’s horrible, I know, but I just couldn’t…”
Sam dimly realized that she was babbling, nervous words
pouring out of her mouth in reaction to her anxiety. Ever the gentleman, Sam’s
instincts took over and he reached out and took her hand. Not to shake it in
greeting, but merely to hold it, comfortingly, his thumb unconsciously
caressing the soft skin at her wrist. He
cleared his throat, shook off his confusion and spoke.
“Hello, Caitriona! Yes, I’m Sam. Don’t worry about being
late, it happens.”
He still felt unaccountably odd, and covered his own
confusion by determinedly soothing this lovely creature. They chatted for a few
minutes, and Sam, regaining his composure, was able to deploy his considerable
charm to great effect. Before long, Caitriona was smiling and laughing,
perfectly at ease. Sam was delighted to see her relax, and spared a moment’s
wonder that he should be so…enchanted? Really? Was that really the word? But it
was. From the moment he felt her presence in the lobby, he had been
unaccountably enchanted with her.
Sam walked her to the room where the Very Important People were waiting and
busied himself with his phone while they made introductions and conducted the
necessary small talk. Finally, the time had come and the screen test was ready
The test had an unmistakably rough start. Caitriona was
obviously nervous and unsure, and Sam felt the anxiety of it in the pit of his
stomach. Why was it so important to him that this woman do well? He didn’t have
the answer, but knew without doubt that he must give her everything he had. As
they worked through the scenes, Sam saw Caitriona’s confidence grow, until he
became aware that she, not he, was subtly leading the scene. He followed where
she led, and by the time they were fighting at the river, Sam was lost in the
moment. They were positively tearing into each other. Sam had her in a bear
hug, she was fighting him off. He saw real anger in her eyes. Was she going to
hit him? God, he hoped so! All of his senses were tingling. He felt alight,
sizzling with the magnetism in the air. This is what he loved about acting.
Getting in deep, putting it all out there and leaving caution behind. Clearly
this Caitriona knew her stuff, and didn’t feel the need to hold back. They
worked through the lines, repeating a few things at the direction of the
producers, relishing the moment.
Sam was so lost in the joy of it, he hadn’t paid attention
to where they were. He knew the scenes and could do them in his sleep. So, it
was a bit of a shock to him when he found himself stilled, quiet, projecting
longing, love and lust from his beautifully expressive eyes. Caitriona was
still, as well, standing close to him, leaning into him, so that he could feel
her warmth, smell her heady scent. Her hair was softly brushing his jawline and
he could feel her breasts just skimming across his chest. Holy Lord, he could
feel her nipples, hard under her dress. Was the woman even wearing a bra? Why
was he thinking about this?
“Focus, Sam. You have work to do. Get on with it, now.”
Slowly, he wrapped his arms around her, pulling her closer.
Her breasts pressed up against his chest, and he felt her arch her hips into
him. He pulled back just a fraction, enough to gaze into her eyes, dark and
bottomless. The electricity was snapping between them and he couldn’t tell if
she was acting or if she really wanted to kiss him. Hell, he couldn’t tell if
he was acting. All he knew was that he was going to kiss this woman. Caitriona
or Claire, it didn’t matter. He needed his mouth on hers, and so, he began.
Slowly, gently, just grazing her lips with his own, feeling the softness, the
damp, tender willingness of her mouth, open to his. He touched her upper lip
with his tongue and she started, grabbing the back of his neck tightly,
bringing his mouth more firmly into contact with her own, now opened fully to
They kissed, lost in the dizzy swirl of tongues dancing,
sharing breath, swallowing small sounds of pleasure. The kiss reached its
crescendo, an intoxicating mix of sweetness and lust until slowly,
deliberately, they brought it down, easing the dance, stilling the need, lips
hovering once again, just brushing against each other. He could feel her breath,
feel her heart pounding in her chest, matching the pounding of his own heart,
blood thrumming in his ears. He opened his eyes to find hers already on him.
They stared deeply into one another for a long moment, breathing, calming,
centering, still pressed firmly together.
Sam’s senses came back in full and he finished the scene,
releasing her reluctantly. He could still feel his hands in her hair, her thighs
soft against his own hard, muscled legs, the smallness of her waist, the
fullness of her breasts and he was off again imagining her long legs curling
around his hips…
‘STOP!’ he yelled internally. He didn’t know if he was
yelling at himself or her, but he had to get it together. Caitriona was
standing still, arms at her sides, breathing deeply, waiting. The room was
quiet. Hushed. Electric. It was just a moment too long before one of the
producers spoke, thanking Caitriona for her time. Telling her they’d be in
touch. Confirming all the information they’d already confirmed. She turned to
Sam, thanked him, offered him her hand. He took it automatically, shaking it
this time, like the professional he was, wishing her well, saying that he hoped
to see her again soon, wondering if she was attached. And then she was leaving.
Coat and papers in hand, she was walking out the door. Sam stared after her in
disbelief, feeling oddly bereft.
The kiss was still with him as he wrapped up for the day and
headed back to the hotel. Still with him at dinner, at the gym, in the shower
and undeniably still with him as he tried to focus on his nightly binge of
Friday Night Lights. It was pointless to keep trying to watch, so shutting off
his show, he opened Google and decided it was time to do some research.
He had no idea who this Caitriona Balfe person was, but of
one thing he was sure; she was going to be his Sassenach.
I HAVE ENTIRELY TOO MUCH THAC STUFF: A COMPREHENSIVE LIST.
So let’s see here we’ve got:
an Operator symbol sticker, THAC sticker, Badmitten sticker and Dogdog and Friend Explore Space sticker from Troy’s Redbubble, all resting comfortably on my laptop
the poster from the Kickstarter
2 THAC posters, plus one more on my wall that I didn’t feel like taking down, signed by all 4 THACsters
the NEW new THAC poster by reactionchick, also signed by all the THACboyzzz
all 3 seasons of DVDs (the first two seasons are the old versions, signed by THACnerds and also Doug Jones) + the boxset + the blu-ray + another of the ver1 S1 DVD (??? why do I have an extra??) all signed by THACbros
1 THAC sticker, 1 Blub Blub sticker from Troy’s Redbubble, 1 Kickstarter MH sticker, 1 Operator symbol sticker, 2 Levitating Dog Torso stickers (why do I have 2? good question, I don’t even know), 2 Shreddin Shads stickers, 2 DogDog stickers, 2 THACnerds stickers
1 RTX-CLUSIVE Ready Set Go pin (I don’t know if the guy that made those is on tumblr, but YOU ARE MY HERO) and 1 THAC pin
2 parking passes from THE season 2 hotel (one from MarbleMeet in June 2014, one from the journey back from MTAC in April 2015)
a Masky mask and a Skully mask, signed by the abovementioned THACdudes