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Pairing: Sean Astin & Philippa Boyens - LOTR RPS
Rating: G
Author: MSilverstar
Date: February 7, 2003
Feedback: yes please! also constructive criticism of any kind.
Disclaimer: not true, I made it up
Archive: yes, go ahead, please let me know
Notes: My first fanfic since I was 14, and I bet it's the first about PB


Sean was having problems with the lines. His accent was coming and going, his stresses were in the wrong places and he felt like an idiot. No one needed to tell him things were bad. He found the voice coach and asked for extra help, no false pride for him. This movie was too big for pride, he wasn't going to screw things up now.

The voice coach was good, had him working on his American flat As and getting into the rhythm of the West Country accent. They started doing improv, the coach giving him a word and Sean riffing on what Sam would do with that word. He was having fun, getting loose and silly. The coach gave him words that Sam could handle, "song", "beer", "Elves", even "mud". So rare to let loose: on this set he was the responsible one, always taking care and being serious.

He knew he had the accent taped now and relaxed. Saw, out of the corner of his eye, that he was drawing an audience, and he liked it. Wanted to be seen, admired, appreciated. Lij was there, cheering him on and Ian Holm, the new guy, Viggo, and the scriptwriter, Philippa, keeping it from getting too raunchy. He and the coach were drawing it out, but finally he was getting tired and ready to stop.

The coach gave him one last word, "rose", and he turned it into a declaration of love to Rosie Cotton, the Hobbit girl of his dreams, kneeling in front of Philippa and looking up into her eyes with shy adoration.

Everyone clapped and milled around, arguing about how the movies should end and whether they should show the Scouring of the Shire. Philippa was in the middle, giving as good as she got, eyes shining. He looked at her and she looked at him.

The next day, she found him. She said she had been thinking about his lines and knew what was wrong. Tolkien, in his crusty nostalgic English way, had Sam saying "Master" in almost every line. Grated on the modern ear.

"Yeah", said Sean, "and it has certain S & M connotations."

Philippa cracked up and agreed that it was unfortunate.

They went to her trailer, she started her computer, and started cutting the word out of the scripts, saving it for times when it made emotional sense.

"After all," said Sean, "I'm not his slave, I'm his gardner!". Philippa laughed and then abruptly stopped, scrolling through the pages until she found what she wanted.

"There," she said, typing quickly "that scene was begging for something like that."

"I don't want to say that line", Sean said quietly.

"No," she agreed, "not the word 'slave', but when you come to Faramir, you have to explain the relationship. He'll ask if Sam is Frodo's bodyguard."

Sean smiled with relief, imagined the scene, and knew the line would relieve the tension and please the audience.

"Thank you, Philippa" he said, turning towards her and feeling the warmth of her body.

He leaned closer to hug her, and then found himself reluctant to stop. His wife was back in the States and he was lonely. He looked at her and saw her eyes close, felt her body relax into his. He kissed her, gently but with real passion, drawing her close into him and drinking her sweet mouth. She kissed him back, reaching up to him and humming softly.

Then she pulled away.

"That was nice," she said, smiling, "but let's leave it there."

He nodded, knowing she knew that his marriage and family were his anchors, and he would never hurt them. This didn't hurt them. He and Philippa were friends now and always would be. What might have been would always be there with them, but life is full of mild regrets.

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