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Oct 20, 2019 3:10 PM
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He doesn't...not like his job. It's a little much, sometimes, and it's almost certainly not the healthiest way of dealing with his issues, but it's fun and he gets to be creative and it's not like he'd be better off doing costume design for someone other than a pop star. 

It's just....Gabriel Taylor is extremely, extremely himself, which is not actually a bad thing but it does make it nice when Sasha can have a moment to breathe. 

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Gabriel Taylor is so very himself that it’s obvious without ever having really met him in person, just through the constant dance with his trainer and choreographers (plural!) and consultants and the director for the next video and his personal assistant and...so on. The star himself has always been scarce.

This time, he’s the first one through the door, with his entourage trailing in behind him.

He moves like he’s been choreographed, looks around the room like he’s being posed. He is draped in an off-the-shoulder cutoff shirt that probably cost half Sasha’s salary and the thigh-length hair flowing in a ponytail behind him probably takes hours to manage and he is flawlessly, perfectly thin.

He approaches Sasha’s current project, first, without looking at him.

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He is excruciatingly aware of what Gabriel Taylor looks like, but the moving like it's choreographed is distinctly more impressive when Sasha doesn't know that it actually has been. He hasn't actually interacted with the guy but from what everyone says about him he's not surprised that he's ignoring Sasha entirely. 

His current project is drapey and silver with a slightly ridiculous amount of sequins. 

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He walks around the piece, examining how it drapes, nodding occasionally. The director for the video approaches to inspect it as well.

After a minute he looks up at Sasha.

“When will this be—“

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...he frowns.

“...ready to try on?”

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...yeah, okay, fair enough. 

"It should be by the of the day." He controls himself and does not put a question mark at the end. 

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"You're wasting your face."

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He could try to decode that. 

He could also just say, "I don't know what you mean by that," and keep working on his project. They're not paying him for social skills. 

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"–look at me," he says, irritably.

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He does. 

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"...perfect cheekbones," he says, with a hint of what almost sounds like resentment. "Perfect face. You could be modeling, and you're doing this."

He gestures, vaguely, to Sasha's clothes – oversized hoodie over more sweatshirts, baggy pants, so much fabric you can barely tell he has a body.

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Ahahaha he could not in a million years do modeling. 

"Thank you," he says instead of that, "but I'd rather make interesting clothes than wear them." 

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"There are steps between interesting and this."

Some of Taylor's entourage are looking distinctly alarmed.

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"My job is to make sure people are looking at you." 

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"You're going to be working with me, now. When people look at me, they're going to see you, too. Do you think this is what they should be seeing?"

One of the flock breaks off and murmurs something in his ear, starts pointing the screen of a tablet. He's ushered away without further fanfare.

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"You just looked over all of me," he doesn't say. 

"You're completely, one hundred percent right," he doesn't say. 

He gets back to work, face wiped blank. And as soon as he reaches a natural stopping point he finds a bathroom and — do you think this is what they should be seeing — puts two fingers down his throat and throws up. 

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Gabriel Taylor arranges recording sessions and takes an hour with a vocal coach and two with the choreographers and practices new steps until he nearly passes out and then deigns to eat half of what they bring him.

He asks the makeup artist if they can fix his cheekbones.

That night, he appears with the director and the makeup artist and a few other auxiliary human beings on the set of his latest video, to wait for the new costume.

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It is in fact done by then and where it needs to be, and Sasha's drawing up vague sketches of other projects with notes in the margins about colors and materials and level of sparkliness. 

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Well, there's no point in hiding behind something, is there? Everyone here knows what he looks like.

He approaches the mannequin and starts to undress on the spot. The elbow-length gloves are the first thing to go – once he's dropped those neatly on a table, everything but his underwear ends up on the floor.

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He's gorgeous in a way that makes Sasha want to touch him and also want to be him, and also makes him want to throw up again.

Not that Sasha's watching. 

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He always knows who's watching him. It's one of his skills.

So when he picks up the top part of the garment and finds that it's hooked in a few places that are difficult to reach by oneself...

"Your name's Sasha, isn't it?"

There's a warm, somewhat coquettish tone to his voice, one that wasn't there before in the slightest.

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Do you think this is what they should be seeing.

What the hell's he playing at. 

"Yes." 

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He really is pretty. Hopefully everything's not ruined by what happened earlier.

"Help me with this, won't you?"

He turns around, inclines his head at the open hooks exposing the skin of his back.

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"...sure." 

He closes the clasps, isn't as mechanical about it as he'd like to be but doesn't linger either. 

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“I’m so sorry about earlier,” he says, quietly enough that there’s less danger of someone listening in. “You just don’t see a face like yours every day.”

The pants are significantly easier. He turns to one of the mirrors scattered around the set.

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“—oh.”

Gorgeous.

He lifts an arm slowly, watches the fabric ripple and shift.

“Where did you study, again...?”

He’s entranced by his own reflection.

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