Characters: Ryo, Dee, OCs
Setting: Stuntman AU.
Summary: Stuntman Randy ‘Ryo’ Maclean gets a bit of a last-minute gig on a blockbuster movie due to a script change.
Word Count: 2076
Written For: Challenge 220: Fall at fan_flashworks.
Disclaimer: I don’t own FAKE, or the characters. They belong to the wonderful Sanami Matoh.
Moving with calm confidence, Randy ‘Ryo’ Maclean crossed the roof of the building and stood at the edge, staring down at the water of the swimming pool far below. He was a long way up, the hotel they were using was twelve floors and then the roof, but heights had never bothered him. If they had, he wouldn’t be in this business. Anyway, the water down there was good and deep, eight metres, a couple metres deeper than most public pools, which was why this one had been chosen. Wasn’t like he’d never done this before either, although this would be his first time working with Dee Laytner.
They’d met briefly earlier, when Ryo had arrived on location and the stunt coordinator had given them a brief run through of what was wanted for the scene. They’d be going into it in more depth shortly, before choreographing and rehearsing the fight that would end with Ryo being thrown off the roof into the pool below. Ryo had just wanted to get a feel for the roof first; seeing how much space there was to work with and what immovable obstacles would need to be taken into account helped him to gauge what could be incorporated into a fight without putting either himself or his opponent at risk.
A voice spoke behind him. “Hey.”
It was Laytner, no surprise there. Ryo stepped back from the edge and turned to face his fellow stuntman. “Hey.”
“Rudy said I’d find you up here.”
Rudy Lawrence was the stunt coordinator on the movie; Ryo had worked with him several times before, and in fact it had been Rudy who’d recommended him for this gig, knowing high falls and water stunts were among his specialties. Ryo was a strong swimmer and an experienced diver, as well as having a good head for heights, all of which were essential qualities for anyone performing a stunt of this kind.
“Just checking out how much room we’ve got to work with, and what we’ll have to work around.” Ryo gestured towards the bulky air-conditioning units. “Don’t want to damage those and have the cost of repairs docked from our wages.”
Dee snorted a laugh. “Yeah, we can do without that hassle. How’s it look to you?” He approached the edge and peered down. “Man, we’re a long way up! I’ve done my share of high falls, but never into water.”
“It’s not all that different, you just have to keep clear in your head which way’s up so you can get back to the surface quickly. Get disoriented and that’s when you can find yourself in trouble.”
“Yeah, well, rather you than me. I don’t mind throwin’ ya off, but I’m not eager to follow ya down.”
“Don’t worry about it; I’ve done this plenty of times, once or twice from even higher up. I won’t take you with me.”
“That’s good to know. Good thing Rudy was able to come up with someone with the right kind of experience at such short notice.”
The scene they were going to be shooting hadn’t been in the original script, but the star of the movie, who Ryo would be standing in for, had thought it would look a lot cooler if the big fight scene took place on the hotel’s roof and his cop character fell into a swimming pool, rather than just having him get knocked out while the killer made his escape.
“We pull this off it should look pretty spectacular. You look similar enough to Devon Hall in build and coloring that make-up’s not even gonna need to do much to ya, while I’ve gotta wear a wig and a goddamned false beard. If I’d had more lead time I might’ve just grown the beard to get out of havin’ that damned adhesive all over my face. Stuff makes my skin itch.”
Ryo decided he liked this guy. “Been there, done that! Good thing you’re not the one going in the water; it wouldn’t look too good if your wig came off and floated away.”
Dee threw back his head and laughed. “I can just imagine some poor gofer havin’ to dive in and fish it out, then get it blow-dried ready for another take!” He stretched his arms up over his head, arching his back, his tight t-shirt showing off the sculpted muscles of his chest and belly, and Ryo tried not to stare; the man was gorgeous and probably knew it. “So, you ready to go back down? We’ve got a fight to choreograph.”
“Yeah, I’ve seen what I needed to.” Ryo gestured to the rooftop. “It’s a good space; aside from the pipes and the air-con units we shouldn’t have much to worry about.”
“My thinkin’ exactly.”
Back on the ground, they spent an hour or two working out the fight choreography, trying different things to see what would work best while the camera crews were getting establishing shots and filming several short scenes that took place at the same location. Then they went through make-up and wardrobe before practicing the scene in costume, making a few minor adjustments to take into account their clothing and Dee’s wig. By the time they were called up to the roof again they had the whole fight down, except for the actual fall. Dee had practiced throwing Ryo bodily onto a pile of mats, to make sure he could get enough distance, but it wouldn’t be the same as tossing him off the roof, and there’d be no room for mistakes.
The cameras and other equipment were all in place, Rudy had set down taped marks to show where they’d be starting the fight from and where they needed to be for the climax of the scene, and airbags were in place below just in case anything went wrong, which was unlikely considering all the preparation but still a risk to be taken into account. Adrenaline was starting to pump in earnest as the two stuntmen received a few last-minute instructions from Rudy; it was a complicated stunt and they needed to get it right first time if at all possible. They ran through the fight one last time to make sure they weren’t going to fall foul of any obstacles, then took their marks.
The two stunt men nodded, poised and set to go.
“And action!” the director snapped his clapperboard and the fight was on.
It was fast and furious, punching and kicking, and Ryo’s martial arts experience stood him in good stead. On screen it would look brutal even though in truth they were barely grazing each other with their seemingly vicious blows. Then they were closing in on the low parapet at the edge of the roof, Dee got a grip on Ryo, hefting him up and over, and Ryo kicked off hard from the parapet with both feet, propelling himself outwards.
Just for a moment, as he twisted in midair to orient himself, Ryo caught a glimpse of Dee stood at the edge of the roof, eyes locked on him, but a glimpse was all he had time for because the surface of the water seemed to be leaping up to meet him, and then he was cutting through it like a knife. He rolled beneath the water before he reached bottom, kicking upwards, head breaking the surface, and drew a couple of deep breaths before swimming towards the side and hauling himself out. He kept his back turned to the cameras so that part of the scene wouldn’t need to be re-shot with Devon Hall.
“And cut!” shouted the second-unit director who’d been filming the fall from below. “That looked great, Randy! Nice work.”
“Thanks. Need anything else before I get changed?”
“Nope, you’re good, I got everything we need. Go get dried off.”
Nodding, Ryo set off towards the cluster of trailers in the hotel’s parking lot.
“How’d that feel?”
Ryo turned to find his doppelganger, Devon Hall, walking beside him. He smiled slightly. “Terrifying, exhilarating, I could’ve hit the water at a better angle, but it was good.”
“The fans are gonna love it. Great job there; if you’re available for my next movie I’d love to have you double for me again. You make me look real good.”
“Thanks, I’d be happy to.”
“Okay, great. I gotta go take a dip in the pool myself now, so I’m good and wet for the next scene.”
“It’s not so bad; the water’s fairly warm.”
“Nice to know. Catch you later.” Hall headed back in the direction of the pool to get prepped for his next scene while Ryo squelched towards wardrobe in his sodden shoes. He would have liked to take them off, but it was a hot day and the concrete forecourt would likely scorch bare feet. Steam was already rising from him in the bright sunlight.
He was passing the front of the hotel when he heard pounding footsteps and a voice yelling, “Hey! Wait up!”
Pausing, he saw Dee running towards him, and despite being uncomfortably wet he waited for his fellow stuntman to catch up.
“Whoo, that looked awesome! You okay?”
“I’m fine,” Ryo reassured the other man.
“Don’t mind admittin’ my heart was in my mouth when you went over the edge.”
“It was a rush, scary but exciting.”
“Yeah, I know what ya mean. Crazy way to make a livin’, but I wouldn’t wanna do anything else. Saw you talkin’ with Devon.”
“He seemed pleased. Wants me to work on his next movie if I’m available.”
“That’s what he said.”
“Well, if he said it he meant it. He’s okay for a big movie star; not like some I’ve worked with. This is the third of his movies I’ve worked on, and I’ll probably be standin’ in for the bad guy on the next one as well, dependin’ on who’s cast in the role; these kinds of movies they like settin’ the hero up against a taller opponent, makes him look more heroic. It would mean we’d get to work together again, and I’m definitely up for that.” Dee looked Ryo up and down appreciatively. “Gotta say, the wet look suits ya.”
Ryo blushed. “Um… thanks. I think.”
“So, you got a girlfriend?”
“No, I don’t.”
“Want one? ‘Cause I’d be happy to audition for the part.”
Ryo couldn’t help laughing. “You’re crazy!”
“Yep! Goes with bein’ a stuntman; we’ve all got a couple screws loose.” Dee’s white teeth flashed in a wide, devilish grin through his fake beard. “Doesn’t mean I’m not serious though. Just say the word and I’m yours.”
Not sure what to say to that, Ryo tried to change the subject. “I need to get out of these wet clothes.”
“I could help you with that.” Dee winked.
Ryo opened his mouth to say something then shut it and shook his head, setting off towards the trailers again.
Dee fell into step beside him. “I notice you didn’t say no…”
“Didn’t say yes either. Think I can manage to undress myself; been doing it most of my life.” Biting his lip, Ryo kept his head down and carried on walking. He’d only met Dee a few hours before and the man was practically propositioning him. He wasn’t sure what to do about that; Dee was gorgeous, but…
“If you say so. How about dinner later? You gotta eat, right?”
True enough, and where would be the harm? It wasn’t like he had to be anywhere else at the moment and Rudy had dropped some heavy hints that he might be needed for a few more stunts if the big one went well, which would most likely mean working closely with Dee for a few more days. It wouldn’t be a bad idea to get to know each other a bit better. “Okay, sure. That would be good.”
“Great! So, if you won’t let me help ya out of those wet things, can I at least get ya a coffee?”
“Yes, okay. Thanks. Black, no sugar.”
“No problem. Be right back!”
Ryo almost squeaked as Dee patted him on the butt before heading in the direction of the catering truck. He could jump off tall buildings into swimming pools without batting an eyelid, but for the first time in his adult life he felt completely out of his depth. It was scary, but he thought maybe he kind of liked it.