Chapter V

Past, set of "Reign"

A few weeks after the start of shooting

Megan shifted the weight from one foot to the other, out of the corner of her eye she could see Alan leaning against the door frame. He had finished his scene with Anna a few minutes earlier and now it was Megan and Anna's turn. The velvet bag in her hand served Megan as a stress ball, she could feel Alan staring at her blatantly. To make matters worse, he was standing right next to her chair where her water bottle was, just now her mouth felt dry. She got herself together and went straight to him to finally take a sip of water.

"My Queen", Alan made a silly but perfectly formed bow as she approached him and Megan shook her head with a soft laugh.

"Don't you have anything better to do?" she asked after he stood up and she took her water bottle from her chair.

"Better than watching my beautiful Queen at work? Absolutely nothing better," Alan grinned and Megan quickly shook her head when she noticed that she admitted to herself, that he looked kind of cute. Embarrassed, Megan didn't know what to say for a moment. After all, as she was well aware, Alan was an attractive man. And especially because Megan wasn't used to having a man interested in her at all, she reacted clumsily.

"Well, who dares to make you wait?" Alan continued to play his game and Megan pointed with a movement of her head to a spotlight that was broken.

"From the looks of it, this is going to take some time," she replied hesitantly, unsure how she could escape this interaction as quickly as possible, "but Anna will certainly be glad to have some company," Megan added quickly and now it was up to Alan to laugh quietly.

"As you wish," unasked, he took her free hand, bowed again to leave only the touch of his lips on the back of her hand. He winked mischievously at her before turning and disappearing. Megan swallowed dryly, she really hadn't expected that.

"Well, how's it going?" Anna Walton asked from the royal bed and grinned at Megan who looked up. She blushed slightly, but that was almost invisible thanks to the dimmed lighting and Megan's make-up.

"What are you talking about?" Playing the ignorant seemed like the best way for Megan to avoid this conversation.

"I mean, Alan," Anna didn't bother to lower her voice, "is obviously trying everything to get to you."

Megan approached her quickly, so she didn't have to tell the whole room about Alan's efforts. "Shhh", she hissed, her head now bright red.

"Oh come on", Anna shook her head in disbelief, "you must have noticed that!

Megan made a loose gesture and shrugged her shoulders. "Of course I noticed," she finally took a sip from her water bottle, "but that doesn't automatically mean I have to join in, does it?"

Anna could not help but shake her head again. "Well, if you ask me, he's pretty much risking making a fool of himself all the time," she replied indirectly to her colleague's question, smoothing out the sheet that covered her very lightly clad body "and just now it didn't look like you didn't know what I was talking about.

Megan sat on the edge of the bed, making sure not to ruin her costume or hairstyle. The royal bedroom was re-lit and the two women waited patiently for their turn.

"I don't know," she finally admitted and unscrewed the cap of the water bottle again, "I think it exaggerates. And anyway, I really don't want to be just one of his conquests," she made a face, "the only thing he sees in me is a challenge."

"Well, I think," Anna objected, "that's not true. Everyone here can hear it crackling when you're in the same room. Not to mention your chemistry in the scenes."

Megan couldn't help rolling her eyes, "Oh, stop it", she rose again to get her water bottle out of the camera's field of vision. Luckily, at that moment, the technical team gave the okay to continue filming and Megan concentrated on Catherine.

Present, set of "Reign," season 2 episode 10

Megan

Now that she thought about it that way, it had been pretty obvious. Anyway, looking back on the past, she couldn't help but shudder uneasily. Megan watched in the mirror as she slowly changed from Megan Follows to Catherine de' Medici. She held patiently still, although the hairpins were poking painfully into her scalp from all sides. She lowered her gaze to the text that lay in her lap and went through it again calmly. Although Megan tried very hard to focus on Catherine, her thoughts could not stop her from wandering further into the past. At that moment, she was just Megan in a pretty dress, thinking about the past like reading a favorite book for the fifth time. Never did the ending change, never were the tragic parts less painful. Maybe, Megan thought, maybe she only thought so much about Alan and their common past, because she hoped for a different course of events or even a different ending.

Past, Set of "Reign", Season 1 Episode 11

Megan

The grin on Alan's face ignited the need in Megan to say something very nasty and unkind just to make him stop. The next scene made her feel slightly uncomfortable, not only because Catherine was revealing her entire soul-life, but because the scene would end in a kiss. Of course it was not Megan's first movie kiss, she was a professional after all, but Alan's flirting and her insecurity towards him made the whole situation much more difficult. But instead of giving in to her need, she just rolled her eyes in his direction. "Stop it," she said, but couldn't suppress a subtle laugh.

"With what?" Alan asked as if he was completely confused and Megan shook her head, her expression getting serious again.

"You know exactly what I mean. This is Catherine and Henry and not you and me," she tried to make him understand, but most of all to herself.

"Such accusations", Alan pretended to be shocked, but then went to his place with his usual grin. Megan closed her eyes for a brief moment. Well, this would be fun.

They were much closer to each other than Megan had expected, her heart was beating wildly, after all this scene was filled with pent-up feelings of both. Alan looked at her calmly, the complete opposite of what he had shown seconds before. Fearlessly Megan returned his gaze, she was in complete control, but Catherine's emotions felt as real as if they were her own. Remorse, excitement but also relief, pain and anger mixed with her subliminal insecurity to an emotional chaos in the most dazzling colors.

"What's the use of the might-have-beens", she carefully raised her hand and laid it on his chest, Megan could have sworn that for a short moment, she could feel his heartbeat, "Those two, innocent children are dead now. We killed them."

Alan's gaze was blurred for a moment. "Did we?" he followed his lines and to Megan's, or rather Catherine's, emotional chaos, surprise and incomprehension were added.

"Let down your hair. Let me look at you", his voice was soft, deep, gentle and very different from how Megan knew Alan or Catherine knew Henry. She lifted her arm, ignored her trembling hand and released the hair clip from the blonde curls, which cascaded heavily down on her shoulders.

For a moment, there was absolute silence. Alan just looked at her. Although only a few inches separated the two of them, he crossed this distance when he lowered his head, Megan knew there was no turning back now. The scene had gone perfectly, without flaws, with a dynamism that was unparalleled. She stretched towards him slightly for a reason she didn't know, that split second seemed to her like eternity and Megan didn't want to wait any longer. An imperceptible but pleasant shiver ran over her as her lips finally, finally touched his. The kiss grew so fast in passion that Megan was carried away by Alan. She felt him putting one hand on her back and pulling her closer, her own hand had slipped from his chest to the back of his head.

Looking back, Megan would later discover that she only vaguely remembered the scene. Except for the kiss, everything had disappeared in an unimportant stream of daily impressions and was no longer relevant.