I just got sucked back into the beautiful world of Smash and I'm so taken with Jack Davenport's incredible interpretation of Derek Wills that this just came spilling out.
Derek/Ivy, Derek Karen
Rated - PG-13 (for now)
(She says she wants him to be good, to be loving. But she’s just like the rest when it comes down to it.)
For a night, he actually thinks there is a reason for things to change. Ivy loops her fingers through his, and suddenly he realizes that this is what doing the right thing feels like.
As he catches Karen’s frown as Jimmy disappears outside, and that’s when he realizes that this, none of this is right.
But he’s doing it anyway.
It only takes a few days to fade – for the both of them. He’s no good for her. Maybe he was when she was struggling. She liked him better then – powerful, in control, manipulative, even.
She says she wants him to be good, to be loving. But she’s just like the rest when it comes down to it. She likes the game, the chase. She doesn’t like it when his walls come down.
He declines again, because she’s never home and she’s not meeting his eye anyway. They were never right. They just wanted to be.
“I did something,” she says simply, like she cut her hair or bought a new handbag.
He’s taken to walking around again in his pajamas, worn gray tee shirt and black silk bottoms. “Oh?” he manages. He’s at least making coffee. And drinking it. Progress, he thinks.
She sits down on the kitchen barstool and it strikes him, as the sunlight creeps through his monochrome apartment that she’s too pink. Too bubbly. Too Marilyn.
Her painted smile fades slowly, twitching slightly as she struggles. It is easy for him to dismiss her, to write her off, but they know each other too well. Her surface level appearance hardly tells her story.
“Derek,” she says softly, and he understands, somehow, just by her saying his name that this is over. It’s all over. He knows what she’s done.
“Do me a favor,” he says, back towards her so she can’t see his face. “Let’s just pretend…can we just not talk about it and pretend it never happened?” He pauses. “You can get your stuff and…no hard feelings, love.”
He can almost see her eyes widening, slowly, but definitively, as she opens her mouth to protest. But what is there to say?
He sighs, filling his coffee cup halfway up. He grabs the bottle of scotch nearby and fills the rest of it.
“You can do that for me, can’t you darling?” He’ll make this easy for her.
Her silence says more than her words ever could. It tells him she doesn’t want to fight for him. It tells him she’s made a huge mistake.
It tells him goodbye.
He doesn’t know how long it’s been when he hears the creaking of his bedroom door.
“Wake up,” she orders. She says it defiantly, but there’s a tremor, like she knows she can’t control him.
He laughs maniacally. “Is that my muse come to haunt me?” He chuckles some more. “Oh, come on then. Don’t hold back, Miss Cartwright.”
He’s facing the ceiling and through the corner of his eye can see her pale face in the moonlight. The rest of her body blends in with the darkness, but he knows the shape of her silhouette better than he knows his own reflection. He can picture her subtle movements, the slight tilting of her head, the exasperated curling of her lips, the ever-so-slight cocking of her hip.
He feels her sit down next to him and he lifts up slightly, turning as she slides off her shoes. She turns back to him and he sees it then, the darkness in her eyes. Not quite sadness and not quite anger. A mixture of hopelessness only Karen Cartwright could so beautifully express.
“Can I sleep here tonight?” she asks, and just like that she’s the naïve college grad standing in front of him singing Beautiful.
He doesn’t say anything, because she’s supposed to be angry with him (though he can’t quite keep track of why) but instead, he’s watching her as she slides off her jeans, folding them (of course) before setting them down.
It’s not like it’s anything he hasn’t seen before (imagined before), between the constant costume changes and her nearly naked game of hide-and-seek behind the curtains, but there’s an intimacy in watching her in his bedroom that nearly snaps him out of his own misery.
She looks back at him expectantly and he gestures with his head. “Top drawer,” he tells her, laying back down to give her some privacy.
She returns in one of his black tee shirts, cutting off mid-thigh, leaving him to wonder if there’s anything else on underneath.
“I just want to sleep,” she says as he turns to her, which is strange, because have they ever really done anything more?
“You and me both, darling.”
But she looks exhausted and lord knows he’s been up for days, so he lets her scoot closer and fall asleep with her head in the crook of his arm. Her fingers are grasping at the fabric of his tee shirt, and the gesture soothes him, finally lulling him to sleep.