Busy on the CreekbyAchtungNight©
Celebs: Busy Phillips, Michelle Williams, Katie Holmes.
Codes: FFF, reluc, oral, toys.
Intro: Welcome, readers. This story is another one-shot interlude that is connected to my other stories but not dependent on them. I hope it will entertain any 'Dawson's Creek' fem-slash fans out there. This story takes place during the filming of that classic show's fifth season. All readers are encouraged to send feedback. I would appreciate it. Votes are great too (one per person please).
Standard disclaimer- This story is a satirical fantasy. This story is fictional, even though its plot and characters are based on real events and people. I the author have no connection to these real people other than being their fan. To the best of my knowledge the real people do not act the way my characters based on them do. This story was not written for financial profit and I expect none from it. This story contains adult themes and situations, so if you are under 18 or don't like that kind of stuff, please don't read it. As parts of this story are controversial, I also do not recommend it be read by the close-minded. Thanks.
Busy On the Creek
Wilmington, North Carolina. October 2001.
People had always called her Busy.
Ever since her birth, she was always moving, and that was the reason for the name. Elizabeth Phillips was doing something whenever anyone saw her. Even when she appeared at rest, she was in reality planning and preparing for her next move towards her current goal. Her family gave her a nickname based on this quality, and it stuck.
Now, for the first time she could recall, Busy Phillips was halted and at a loss for what to do.
"This is how we roll," the writer and director Kevin Williamson had told her. "If you can't take it, you don't belong here."
Fine, Busy was thinking now, maybe you're right. She had said nothing to Williamson when he spoke to her an hour ago, only nodded and walked away in a huff. Now she was considering the issue and clenching her hands.
Busy was a new starring cast member in Williamson's hit Warner Brothers television series 'Dawson's Creek'. She had started work on the teen drama in the summer playing Audrey Liddell, a girl from Los Angeles who attended college on the United States east coast. It was a fun role and one that allowed Busy to use both her talent for drama and sharp comedic tongue to their fullest extent. She was twenty-two years old and already a veteran actress with credits in multiple TV series and a few independent films. She had initially been thrilled to get a job on a hit show like 'Dawson's Creek' and thought it would be a snap. Boy, had she been wrong.
I should have listened to the rumors, Busy told herself. She was standing on the sidelines of the set, watching the rest of the cast act out a scene. Four of the other five regulars were present, as only Kerr Smith was off that day. He and the four currently on set had little film industry experience other than the show. No regular TV roles and only a few small movie parts. Busy had figured a show where rookies like them could do well enough to get high critical acclaim and ratings among teen audiences would be easy for a veteran like her. She had ignored what she'd heard about Williamson's scripts being full of heavy adult themes, verbose complex dialogue, and deep relationships between the characters.
I got a lot of that during 'Freaks and Geeks' and my other work, Busy had thought at the time. Surely, this show can't be any worse.
The first few episodes she filmed had changed her mind quickly. Production was delayed by budget troubles and the September 11 attacks. Thus Williamson had worked the cast and crew very hard in the weeks before the new season's broadcast release. Busy had been relieved when she completed the first three episodes and got to take time off to finish the movie she had been filming over the summer. That film, 'Home Room', had meant a lot to her, and it too had suffered production delays thanks to financing and September 11.
After Busy finished, it was back to 'Dawson's Creek' and its scripts that forced her to rehearse for hours to get things right. Busy soon discovered that every rumor was understated about the intensity of Williamson's writing and what he expected of his actors. Acting on this show had become the greatest challenge of her career.
"It's not usually this heavy," the show's star James Van Der Beek had told her. "We just have a big workload because of all the delays. It should slack off once we get past sweeps."
Busy didn't know if she could last that long. The summer had been easier, she recalled, but the only benefit it brought was that the first two episodes of the new season were ready on time. The next two were rushed, and they were filming number five now. Six and seven were going to start next week, and then eight and nine the week after. Only then were they all going to be allowed a few consecutive days off.
How much longer can I take this? Busy wondered. Goddamn network executives losing faith in the show's low ratings and cutting our finances. Goddamn terrorists fucking things up in general. Goddamn series creator expecting my co-stars and me to keep doing our best with his impossible demands. To hell with them all.
She looked at each of her co-stars on the set, sizing them up one by one. Upon getting to know them Busy was forced to admit they did have some skills. James, the tall blond heartthrob who played title character Dawson, was a worthy star. His fame in this series had launched him into a small film career and made him a well-known teen idol. Busy expected his face would be recognized by the public long after their show went off the air.
The stocky young dark-haired actor who played Dawson's best friend Pacey, Josh Jackson, was even more talented. He had won multiple Teen Choice Awards for his 'Dawson's Creek' role and had several small movie parts under his belt as well. Busy had never heard of him before they met, but it soon became evident to her he was an actor of great range and stamina. She fully expected him to retain a strong TV and film career after the show ended while James's declined.
Then there were the other actresses. Like Busy, Michelle Williams was a shapely blonde in her early twenties. Her figure was a bit shorter and slimmer than Busy's, her honey hair curlier and a shade lighter, and her skin less tanned. Busy was unfamiliar with her work outside 'Dawson's Creek', but if what she had seen on the show was any indication Michelle too would have a strong career. She was a very dedicated actress and her presence affected everyone around her on the set just as her character Jen's did on their series. Everyone was inspired to challenge themselves and work harder with a talent of such caliber nearby.
The show's other starring actress, Katie Holmes, was a tall girl of twenty-three with a runner's figure. Long dark hair framed an open face with doe brown eyes that along with her shy manner had benefitted her character Joey Potter's image as the girl next door. Katie defied that image with a skill and wisdom beyond her years. Busy had been unable to believe such talent could come out of high school plays and small film roles. We've got a lasting icon here, she considered Katie's future. Even if she quits acting for some reason, I have a feeling Katie Holmes will always be on the public's mind.
And what of me, Busy mused, placing herself against the four. Am I really better than they are, as I thought before we started working together? I have to say I don't know. I can predict others' futures with success, my talent for observation allows me that, but my own future is much harder to judge. I know I have some fans. I got a lot of critical praise on 'Freaks and Geeks' and I intend to continue acting. I would like a normal life someday, a husband and children, but life in the spotlight would be nice too.
She grimaced, aware of an intense gaze on her. The cast had stopped between takes, and tall black-clad Williamson was addressing them on needed improvements. Michelle's brown eyes, the most prominent feature of her heart-shaped face, were looking at Busy. Why does she stare at me so much? Busy wondered. She blinked her own deep blue eyes and waved at Michelle. The other actress immediately ran a hand through her pixie cut hair and looked away. Busy shook her own shoulder length curls and grinned to herself.
Michelle wanted to be better friends with her, she knew. The series cast were very close, and as the new girl Busy had found herself jealous of this. She had not been able to become that close to them either. Both their talent and Williamson's intense scripts intimidated her.
Michelle wants to change that, Busy thought. The others do too. I would like to oblige them, but it's hard to get any free time with this schedule. I'm not sure I can make friends with them either. I don't even know if I want to stay on this show.
You have to stay on this show, Busy at once silenced that impulse. You're under contract. Your character is very important to the season's main arc and several subplots. Williamson is hoping she'll breathe new life into the series and save its falling ratings. He thinks I have the ability, and in my heart I don't want to let him down. I can't quit. That would be the coward's way out. Everyone is depending on me.
"Excuse me," a voice said at her elbow. "Are you alright?"
Busy turned to see a young dark-haired man in a blue sweatshirt and jeans addressing her. Cute guy, she said to herself, and at once felt under-dressed in her casual black blouse and slacks. She had seen the man walking around the set that day, talking to the older Williamson. Josh had told Busy the man was a budding screenwriter seeking advice from a master. Until now, he had not approached any of the stars.
"I'm fine," Busy told him, blinking. "Just watching them film."
The man nodded, his lips tinged in a smile. "I have been too. They have great talent. I only hope they can cope with all the drama and heartbreak ahead in their lives."
"Oh, they can," Busy assured him. "We get forewarning on that from our scripts."
"That's not what I meant. I meant the drama and heartbreak in their real lives, not in the lives of their characters. I think the great writer of the universe has plans for them all, especially the two women. They may not be fully prepared for what lies ahead."
"Oh." Busy grimaced and looked away. She was not used to dealing with a deep thinker like this.
"I'm sorry." The man coughed, and she turned back to him. "I'm forgetting my manners. Marc Silverstein. Marc with a 'C'." He extended his hand.
Busy took the hand and shook it. "Elizabeth Phillips. My friends call me Busy." This guy is handsome and interesting, she thought. I'd like to be friends with him.
"Kevin told me your name," Marc said, releasing her hand. "I hear you live up to it."
"Most of the time."
Marc nodded, looking her up and down. His eyes finally met hers and lingered. "Something's on your mind right now. Do you want to tell me about it?"
Busy blushed. "Well..." She shrugged again. Why not? "It's the show. Kevin works us very hard, and his scripts are more intense than anything I've ever done before. I'm not sure I can take it."
"I see," Marc said. "Well, you should know that the great writer of the universe never gives us anything we can't handle. I believe you're up to the task."
"Really?" Busy asked him, grimacing. The man's spiritual references were unnerving her.
"Yes. I've seen your work. You can handle this. Trust me. You're talking to an acclaimed screenwriter."
"I've never heard of you."
"Well, so far I've only done a short film, one feature with Drew Barrymore, and a few TV episodes. Nothing that big. But I'm on my way."
"I'm sure you are," Busy said with a grin. His confidence was contagious.
"I'm a big fan of your 'Freaks & Geeks' character. You handle yourself very well, for someone so..." He paused, searching for a word. "Hot."
"Hot?" Busy repeated, frowning.
"Yes. I think you're the hottest girl on this show, prettier and more interesting than either of those other actresses." Marc waved a hand towards Michelle and Katie. "Most girls I've met with similar beauty and talent have been shallow or otherwise disappointing. Not you, though. Your character can take whatever gets in her way, and so can you."
"Um, thanks," Busy said. She looked away, feeling unsure of herself. Marc's hand fell onto her shoulder and she turned back to look into his eyes.
"Whatever your problem," he told her, "you can handle it. Just think about it, take things as they come, and you will find a way out."
"Alright," Busy replied. She shrugged and pulled away from him. "If you say so."
"Hey Busy!" Williamson called out just then. "We need you down here!"
"Great," Busy said with a sigh. She had thought her scenes for the day were finished an hour ago. Watching the others film had settled her down somewhat. "I have to go, Marc. Nice meeting you."
"You too," the young writer answered. "I will see you again, right?"
"Sure, if you hang around the set."
Busy smiled at him and then went to join her fellow cast members. Marc watched her for a minute before heading off on his own. Busy glanced at him once over her shoulder and grinned when he glanced back and gave her a thumbs up. Cute guy, she mused again. Weird but cute.
"I see you met Marc," Williamson greeted her as she approached. "He's a writer of some potential. Maybe you two can work together someday."
"Maybe," Busy agreed. "So what's up? I thought my scenes were done for today."
"They are," Williamson confirmed. "Everyone's are. This is the after-action review."
Oh great, Busy said to herself. The part of the day you always insist on, and which I hate the most. She nodded and took her place beside her fellow actors as Williamson began his usual spiel over how well they had done in the day's scenes. Busy listened to it all, doing her best to take the criticism in stride and not react to the praise. The others did the same. They all knew from experience that Williamson would respond negatively if they did anything else.
To distract herself, Busy thought about Marc's comment on her looks. Am I really prettier than Michelle and Katie, she asked herself. Both look very good today.
Michelle was wearing a white turtleneck sweater and jeans that showed off her figure. Katie had on a dark blue blouse and skirt that accented the highlights in her hair. Busy felt self-conscious in their presence. She edged from heel to heel, wondering if Marc had really been sincere.
I think he was, she decided at last. It could be just his opinion, though. I agree with him that my character on this show is more interesting than Michelle's or Katie's, but longtime fans probably disagree. Oh well, at least my newness will highlight the differences between us. I'm sure that will catch someone's eye.
"You all did fine overall," Williamson finished his critique. "Tomorrow I expect improvement in the areas I mentioned. In closing, I have some good news. Our ratings rose with last week's episode, and the network has made an early commitment to another season."
None of the actors smiled. "Do you have that in writing?" asked James.
Williamson shook his head. "Unfortunately, not yet. I am working on it, though. Relax, guys. They dumped 'Buffy', so right now we're the strongest teen show they have. We're carrying the network with our demographic. Even if they cancel us, I have enough syndication deals lined up to keep us on the air on foreign and cable networks for many years to come. We should also do great on DVD sales."
"Right, Kevin," Josh agreed with a grimace. "We're a huge hit. So big that we've started a trend. Every other teen drama out there is copying us."
"Hey," Williamson said with a smile, "imitation is the sincerest form of flattery."
"Agreed," said Michelle. "However, imitation also makes the original look stale if it's done too much."
"Good thing we're not the original popular teen angst drama, then," replied Katie. "That would be 'Beverly Hills 90210'."
Williamson and Busy's fellow stars cringed at the mention of that hit series. Ever since starting their show, their goal had been to top '90210' in ratings and critical success. They had not succeeded. '90210' had ended over a year ago, but its popularity had ensured it would forever remain embedded in the American mind. So would its numerous spinoffs, something that had not worked out for 'Dawson's Creek'.
Busy herself had a different reaction to the mention of their rival. Oh my god, she thought, that's it! '90210'! I grew up watching that show, and I've taken a lot of my acting skills from it. It got me interested in celebrity gossip too, when I followed the lives of its stars. One of them, Shannen Doherty, left the show several times because she didn't get along well with the other actors. Her character was pretty important, though, so they kept bringing her back. Until the fourth season, when they finally had enough.
I could act like her and maybe wrangle a few days off out of Williamson. He's been in show business long enough to be used to diva-like behavior. I know he won't want to write me out when he's got so much riding on me. The days off will do me good. I just have to do things in a way that doesn't give me a bad reputation like Shannen Doherty retained after her role on '90210' ended. Now how do I go about that?
"James," Williamson said, "I need to talk to you, Josh, and Katie in my office. We have to go over the upcoming developments in your characters' love triangle. Busy, I'll see you and Michelle tomorrow."
The series creator and the three stars he had mentioned bade Michelle and Busy farewell and walked off. Busy grimaced as they departed.
I can't believe they're doing more of that stupid love triangle, she said to herself. It's so trite, so cliché. Joey is Dawson's best female friend, and Pacey is his best male friend. He shouldn't have to choose between them, and the two of them winding up together would just be lame. Williamson only put in that plot because Josh and Katie dated during the show's first season and he noticed some chemistry between them. That's long over now, though, and Joey's with Dawson! Why can't he just let them stay together and be happy? Why do TV dramas always have to put tension in their relationships? Why?
"There they go again," Michelle said, grimacing at their retreating co-stars just as deeply. Her character had also been a target for Dawson's and Pacey's affections. Jen's romantic subplots with them were apparently over, though. A relationship between Pacey and Busy's character Audrey was just beginning, and Busy knew from the scripts that as a couple they would not last that long. "It makes you feel sick, doesn't it?"
"Yep," Busy concurred. "You'd think by now they could find another way to draw in the viewers."
"Tell me about it," Michelle fumed. She ran a hand through her hair and put a hand on her hip, glaring after Williamson and the others. The other actress turned back to Busy when they were out of sight. "I'm glad we're finished. Today was nuts and tomorrow will be just like it. You want to go back to the dressing room for a while and work on our lines?"
"Sure," Busy replied.
I can probably use the practice, she thought as she followed Michelle to the single dressing room they shared with Katie. Michelle kept talking as they went, discussing how she was relieved that the tensions of Dawson and Pacey's relationships with Jen and Joey had not much affected her own friendships with Katie, Josh, and James. She also mentioned how the relationship with her current boyfriend was going. Busy listened with only half an ear, still pondering how to get Williamson to notice her frustration and care.