hannah & hugh in NYC WHO: Hannah Smith & Hugh Christian WHEN: First weekend in November, evening. WHERE: NYC. WHAT: Hugh promised to take Hannah to Phantom of the Opera and now that he's got some time between projects, he follows up on that. WARNINGS: None currently, will update if that changes.
There had been a point in the past month when there had been a distinct danger of Hugh overthinking every single thing about the trip to NYC with Hannah. She was an ex so what gave the wrong impression about their relationship moving forward? What gave the right one? But at some point during the filming, things had, if not clarified completely, settled into a place where he'd stopped overthinking it.
He'd gotten them airfare that was direct from the Capital to NYC, but not first class. He'd glanced between hotel rooms and apartments, and finally decided on a small apartment in midtown with two bedrooms. It had seemed like a nice compromise between having no shared space, and having only shared space. Phantom tickets had been the easiest part, and those he'd paid out for, center orchestra,near the front, a chandelier would raise right over them, and he hoped Hannah would love it and that it would give her one night to not worry about all of the other complications her life might offer that she had no control over.
And during all of this, he'd mostly not thought about the 'what ifs' or all the ways the trip could feel haunted with them. He was where he was, doing what he was, and he had the option to change it at any given time if he decided it was time. And maybe there was a firm boundary that had slid into place and there was no longer any doubt about what he wanted, or expected with Hannah. The question was whether or not it was something they could settle into and that was something he couldn't answer alone, and maybe that was part of the mood.
Because it was impossible to completely get away from the sense of melancholy, and he wasn't certain if it was the weather, or the end of a project, or something else driving it, and he didn't know how to describe it except haunted. He could have filled in a mood board with foggy forests and rainy streets, and it would have visually provided an apt description of how he felt constantly, but he couldn't pinpoint why, and he switched back and forth between trying to figure it out around a cup of gin, and ignoring it with work and so here it was November and he still didn't have a strong explanation for it, and he was having to dive back into his Repose life without really having it settled.
If anything The Phantom of the Opera felt like the perfect musical to see during his current mood: problematic romance, haunted opera houses, beautiful costumes, dancing and masquerades, and it was familiar. This, of all the other things was perhaps one of the biggest things it had going for it because all of the songs and the scene changes, and the costumes were reassuring in their familiarity. And watching Hannah experience it for the first time, was its own delight. Hugh's delight in showing someone something that he liked, hoping they too might love it, wasn't tied to romance. He just loved doing it. And he supposed technically that in the story he'd wove them both he didn't know this show, but he wasn't doing very well at feeling that story tonight.
As he walked outside of the theatre into the crisp, autumn New York night, he turned to look at her and offered a question that could possibly fit into the story, but possibly would just be a question: "Well?"