Desperate to drum up hype about a film in production with no stars, the studio sends the actors to court their one built in fanbase, the readers of the comic book the movie is based on. The Golden Apple, a comic book shop on Melrose, was more than pleased to host a book/poster signing for the actors playing the Endless, Desire, Delirium, Destruction, Dream and Death (Despair and Destiny would be portrayed as CGI) in Burden's upcoming movie.
"Let me guess, you're my biggest fan," Astrid says churlishly to the girl in Death's make up. Small as it is, this supporting role as Gavin's sister, it's the biggest role Astrid has ever landed, and she's already begun to fear the long term repercussions playing Death will have on her career. Comic geeks are already fanboying her before they've heard her speak so much as one line, all because of this costume. Typecast as a goth forever...
"Astrid, this is Stina," Gavin says, "She's my friend."
"I'm really excited about this movie," Stina enthuses, but Astrid's attention has already moved on to wondering if Fox Owen, the actor playing Destruction, is gay or straight, and if she could get him into bed.
"Hey, Stina, will you have lunch with me when this is over," Gavin asks, "I need to talk to you."
"Sure thing," Stina agrees, and moves down the table to get autographs on her copy of Brief Lives.
"I'm just so lost in this script," Gavin sighs, finally out of make up and having lunch with Stina, "I have no idea what's going on half the time, or what I'm supposed to be feeling. I mean, I go around with one crazy sister looking for our missing brother. People start dying everywhere we go. Then, we find him and he tells us how unnecessary we are and leaves again. Then I have to go kill my son? Who is this disembodied head...I really don't get it."
"I think it's weird Burden would choose Brief Lives to base it on. You're getting really close to the end of Dream's current incarnation in that one. So, he'd, like, have to do a bunch of prequels next to do the whole story."
Gavin drops his head into his hands, "I don't think I can do prequels. I'm struggling just to get through each day's shoot."
"Well, look at it this way, Gavin," Stina says, "Dream has a strong sense of purpose and duty to his realm. It's what drives him; he doesn't exist outside his role. Destruction blew off his duty to his realm centuries earlier. He was tired of fulfilling a predetermined role and just wanted to live. That's kind of what it's about."
After her lunch with Gavin, Stina hangs around Melrose to do some shopping. As excited as she is to see one of her favorite books coming to life in a movie, seeing a living version of Death shook her up. Her own look had been modeled on Gaiman's character, and that was fine while it was just an image on the page. But now, it's Hollywood, and the look belongs Astrid, making Stina just a copy. That needs to change.
She gets her hair dyed, buys a whole new wardrobe and tops that off with a new tattoo.
"Is that on purpose?" Coby asks when he sees her new hair for the first time.
"No, a crazed leprechaun kidnapped me and took me to the rainbow sprites, who dyed my hair and then released me into the wild."
"It's cute," Coby answers, "Is something bothering you?"
"I just didn't feel like my old look was still me. I needed something new," Stina answers, "Do you like it?" she asks, feeling a little insecure about it now.
"Of course I do," Coby smiles, "It's you."
"You always make me feel special," she sighs, "Not like every other girl out there."
"There's no one like you, Crissy," he says.
"So, I, uh, kind of spent all my rent money on new clothes," Stina says, "Do you think you could help me out?"
"I can scrape some cash up for you. It's coming out of my pot money, though, so be prepared for a month with no weed."
Stina frowns. "Well, maybe I should return some of the stuff I bought..."
"Why don't you just move in here? You haven't spent the night in your own place in ages."
Astrid dropped by Gavin's house to go over some lines with him while he was getting ready for a date with Tori, who comes in while the actress is still in his room.
"Ah, you must be the girlfriend," Astrid purrs in her sultry voice. Like she's trying to make trouble for him, "I'll just be going, then."
Gavin tries to hug Tori in greeting , but she pushes him away. "Why is that woman in your bedroom?" she demands.
"I was already up here," Gavin explains, "Zach must have let her in."
"That doesn't explain what you were doing with her!"
"We were just reading lines!" Gavin shouts back at her, "Astrid is an actress. We're just working together." He doesn't mention that he used to date Astrid; Tori already has issues with his being friends with Stina, another ex-girlfriend hanging around him would just make this more complicated than it has to be.
"I'm only doing this for you, remember?" he continues, more gently now, embarrassed at his own outburst. "Now let's go out, and forget about this."
They spend the night drinking and dancing at the Warehouse, putting their littl fight behind them.
And then it's back to Gavin's place.
"Gavin!" she shrieks, slapping his arm. "Stop! Stop!'
"There's a girl in your room! Watching us!'
"I can't believe it's really you! Dream! In person!" the girl exclaims.
"Who are you? How the hell did you get in here?"Gavin demands, noticing the door to the balcony is open. Did she climb up here? he wonders in disbelief.
"I saw you at the signing today. I just had to see you again, to see you without your make up. So I looked you up on the internet. Can I get a picture with you?"
"No! Get out of here before I call the police!"
"I don't think I'll ever feel safe to take off my clothes here again," Tori says, putting on her underwear.
"We could go to your place," Gavin suggests, "My crazed fans won't find us there."
"I live with my parents," Tori reminds him, "My strict, old-fashioned parents."
"Right," Gavin sighs, laying down next to her to sleep, the mood ruined.
"You should move out of here," Tori says, "Get a house with a gate. Get some bodyguards."
"I just wanted to be an artist," Gavin says, "I don't want to live behind a gate..." Tori, already asleep, doesn't hear him.