Fallon Does A Nudie (PG-13)
Fallon and Dalton met in high school through their mutual interest and participation in theater. They belonged to the Hillsboro High School Theater Club and they were involved in several shows together. They also performed in many of the same community theater productions outside of school.
Fallon was a talented actress, able to sing, dance and act. Her strength was in comedic roles and she did well in musical theatre. Dalton did okay as an actor but his real interest was in the technical and artistic side. He worked as a stage hand, in the lighting booth, as a stage manager, and eventually as the Assistant to the Director for the Senior Musical. He was good in leadership roles and managing people.
Fallon was the perfect girl next door in her appearance - cute, attractive, innocent and likable. Dalton was attracted to her not so much for her artistic talents but because she was an interesting person in real life. He liked her sense of humor and her personality and they got along well together.
Nobody could figure out why they never dated. Some questioned one or the other's sexuality. Others mistook them for brother and sister because they seemed to have the same mannerisms and characteristics. Dalton enjoyed being soul mates with Fallon and he didn't question whatever relationship they were enjoying. They were bonded as special friends and that was good enough for him.
Fallon and Dalton were considering majors in theater as they pondered their collegiate futures and when both were accepted at the small liberal arts Marcanio College in central Vermont that had a strong focus on the performing arts, they decided to attend the institution together and share the college experience. It all seemed to fall in place. The college didn't provide dormitory facilities so the two friends rented a small two-bedroom apartment together which allowed them to continue their special friendship away from Hillsboro. They had a couple of classes together and they usually got together on campus every day.
Their relationship remained strictly platonic. Fallon and Dalton were good friends who had a mutual respect for one another and they supported each other's pursuit of their dreams. The classroom aspect of Marcanio was easy enough. Show up, take notes, write papers, take acting lessons and workshops, and study the art. But it was the audition aspect of their program that was stressful and a challenge.
Fallon had to audition for most parts and the competition was intense. Dalton mostly focused on the backstage aspects of the training which was much less cut throat. As their Freshman year at Marcanio progressed, Fallon became more disillusioned and frustrated.
"At Hillsboro, I could get any part I wanted," she sighed. "I was pretty good. Here, everybody's pretty good and everybody deserves the role. The competition is unbelievable."
There were plenty of local theater groups in the area that the Marcanio students utilized to further their experiences, talents, and opportunities mostly in the summer but Fallon failed to land a big role even in those settings and by the time her sophomore year was completed she had become resigned to the possibility that she really wasn't that great of an actress in comparison to those she was competing against.
"You just have to keep plugging away," Dalton her biggest cheerleader advised. "Keep showing up, keep trying out, and keep going back and sooner or later something will break for you."
Dalton landed a summer job at the local supermarket and hung around to do theatre work. Fallon stayed too to keep pursuing her increasingly unsuccessful acting chances.
It was the summer after their sophomore year at Marcanio and Fallon was becoming increasingly depressed and defeated despite Dalton's attempts to keep her motivated and positive. Both had made new friends at Marcanio so they didn't always see a whole lot of each other even though they shared the same apartment. Fallon dated a guy named Jeff for a while Dalton had been seeing Roberta off and on during the past several months.
"What's new with you?" Fallon wanted to know as she came out of her bedroom one morning and found her roommate sitting at the kitchen table drinking coffee. "You got anything going on?"
"I'm stage managing the next show at The Pines," Dalton replied.
"Oh yeah? What is it?" Fallon wondered as she poured herself a cup and sat across from Dalton.
"A show called War Hero written by an Iraqi war vet," Dalton replied. "It's a two character show, mostly."
"Oh, a buddy play?" Fallon asked.
"No, guy and girl," Dalton revealed.
Fallon stared at him with surprise. "Has there been auditions yet?" She wanted to know.
"No," Dalton admitted.
"Why didn't you tell me about the show then?" She demanded. "You know I'm always looking for shows to do."
"You don't want to do this one," Dalton told her.
"Trust me," he said. "It's not for you."
"What's that supposed to mean?"
"It isn't Babes in Arms," Dalton replied.
"Well, what's it about?" She frowned, sounding miffed and insulted.
It's about a shell shocked Iraqi War vet, impotent and suffering from Post traumatic stress. He's a real mess."
"What about the female character?"
"She's a naive college student trying to make some extra money."
"He's a painter."
Fallon looked at Dalton with annoyance. "What aren't you telling me?"
"There's like a ten minute nude scene," Dalton sighed. "He paints her naked."
"Oh," Fallon said, taken aback. She thought about it for a moment. "Well, that would be a challenge and a dare but I think I could do it."
"What!?" Dalton asked with surprise.
"Come on, Dalt, it's called acting. Don't I have to explore and push myself if I'm going to discover all the layers of acting? I haven't had a good role since I got here."
"You'll be naked, Fallon!"
"It won't be me," she reasoned. "It will be the character.
"It's still going to be your naked ass up there."
She sat back in her chair and sighed. "I thought you were my friend, Dalton," she said with disappointment.
"I am!" He said defensively.
"You're supposed to be supporting me," she complained. "You're supposed to be telling me about all the opportunities out there. I can't believe you'd deny me this chance."
"What would your parents say?" He wanted to know.
"I wouldn't tell them, of course," she answered seriously. "I wouldn't tell anybody back home. And neither would you!"
He rubbed his chin and studied her for a long moment. "I still don't think this is right for you."
"A naïve college student?" She asked blankly. "It's practically a typecast!"
"Except you'll be naked."
"What's the matter, don't you want to see me naked?" She teased.
"I'd be more than happy to see you naked," he replied with more honesty than he meant.
"What's that supposed to mean?" She asked with surprise.
"Nothing," he mumbled. "I just don't want everybody else seeing you naked!"
"Look, I doubt I'd get the part anyway. There's probably going to be a line out the door. But I want to audition anyway. When are they?"
"Friday night at the Pines," Dalton sighed. "But you don't have to get naked in the audition."
"That's good," Fallon smiled. "You're going to be there?"
She stood and then she stuck her face close to Dalton's. "Don't you dare say anything to the director to ruin this for me!" She warned.
Dalton sighed as he watched his friend leave the room. He knew it wasn't his place to interfere with Fallon's career decisions but why was he feeling so jealous and protective all of a sudden?
The Pines Theatre was rustic old building nestled in a clump of pine trees not far from town (hence its name). It was basically a dump but it was also full of history and it wasn't a bad place to put on a show.
There were two dozen people at the audition to try out for the role of Danny the traumatized war vent and Ellie the naïve college student. The director was a guy named Carl Devine whom Dalton had worked with before. Devine made it clear from the start that there would be nudity involved for Ellie and that the actress cast in the role needed to be willing to shed their clothes to do the part.
Two women left the auditions but the rest stayed and Devine asked each actor and actress read a particular scene. Dalton had been to enough of Devine's auditions to know what the director was looking for and it became obvious through the second and third readings which actresses and actors had the inside track. There were plenty of qualified and talented individuals trying out but Dalton had to reluctantly admit that Fallon was almost perfect for the part and she nailed it during auditions. She was basically playing herself – a kind, sweet, innocent, naïve kid being intimidated and seduced by the powerful War Hero.
Devine announced at the end of the night that there would be callbacks on Sunday afternoon and he read off the list of four actresses and three guys being invited to return, including Fallon who was giddy as she and Dalton left the theater at the end of the night.
"This is my first call back in two years!" She exclaimed with disbelief. "I can't believe it!"
"Congratulations," Dalton mumbled unhappily.
"How'd I do?" She wanted to know, coming out of her shoes with excitement.
"You did great," Dalton assured her.
"Do you think I have a chance?" She asked hopefully.
"I think you have a very good chance," Dalton replied. "The brunette wearing the Harvard sweatshirt was pretty good and there was something interesting about the blonde with the Patriots shirt but you were just as good."
"What about the guys?" Fallon wondered.
"I think the guy with the beard has the inside track," Dalton replied.
"Yeah, he was pretty fantastic," Fallon agreed. "His name is Andrew."
"You talked to him?" Dalton asked with surprise.
"Yeah, during one of the breaks. He graduated from Marcanio a couple of years ago. He works at Home Depot."
"He has the look in his eyes that makes him spooky and believable as a nut case," Dalton observed.
"He definitely has a stage presence," Fallon agreed.
"Are you really sure this is something you want to pursue, Fallon?" Dalton asked nervously. "It's really a big step into the unknown."
"Isn't that the whole point?" Fallon wanted to know. "Isn't that why we're here, Dalt? To take the next step? To find out what my limitations are as an actress?"
Dalton didn't reply although he wanted to say "Aren't your limitations getting naked in a room full of people!?"
Fallon and Dalton returned to the Pines Theatre on Sunday afternoon and as the auditions progressed it was clear that Fallon was getting more reading time and that she had to be considered the favorite for the part of Ellie. It was also pretty obvious that the Andrew guy was going to be Danny.
Dalton wanted one of the other finalists to get the part of Ellie but he couldn't deny that Fallon was perfect for the role and that's the conclusion Devine reached when he dismissed the others with his thanks, leaving the Andrew guy and a teary eyed Fallon behind to be awarded the parts.
Dalton was disappointed but he knew he couldn't tell Fallon that. He didn't know if he should like or hate the Andrew guy and he was annoyed at Devine for choosing his dear friend Fallon as the one to get naked.
"Oh my God! Oh My God! Oh my God!" Fallon cried as she and Dalton left at the end of the auditions. "I got the part! I got the part! I got the part! Finally! I'm really an actress!"
"Congratulations," Dalton said with a forced smile and Fallon practically jumped into his arms with happiness.
"This is the biggest break I've had yet!"
"Can you really do it?" Dalton asked as they climbed into his car.
"The nudie, you mean?" She asked nervously.
"Yeah," he said.
"Look, I'm not crazy about doing it but I really want the part," Fallon answered. "This might be the only chance I get to play a lead. I think the character is amazing and the while it's scary to think about, the nude scene really is important to the story. It says a lot about how Danny sees women and how he takes advantage of Ellie. Besides, Carl Devine the director is a legend around here. Everybody wants to be in one of his shows."
"I suppose," Dalton remarked.
"I've never done anything like this before but I'm sure I can do it."
"The question is do you really want to do it?"
"It's a good part in a good play," she decided. "I want the role. I want to expand and grow as an actress and that means taking chances and going outside the box. Isn't that what we're doing here?"
"I guess," Dalton sighed.
"You going to be okay with this?" She asked with worry, giving him the eye.
"It's definitely going to be weird," Dalton answered truthfully.
"Yeah," Fallon agreed with wide eyes.
Rehearsals for War Hero was just like any other show. The director and the two actors blocked out each scene during the first few weeks. The two act play took place entirely in Danny's art studio/apartment with plenty of dialogue between the two characters.
Dalton helped Fallon run lines when they weren't at rehearsals. As stage manager, it was Dalton's job to make sure the blocking was correctly followed and to give lines as the actors went off book.
Fallon was allowed to rehearse the long nude scene clothed. Devine blocked it so most of the time her back was to the audience although she had to give the full frontal to them a couple of times when the character turns away from Danny who is upstage from her.
It was an intimate rehearsal setting as it was just the director, the two actors, and Dalton the Stage Manager most nights. The director discussed character development and motivation during many rehearsal nights and Dalton watched with fascination as both Fallon and Andrew brought depth and life to the characters as they took them from the written script onto the stage.
Dalton didn't like the character of miserable Danny very much. He thought he was a narcissistic masochist who cruelly took advantage of naïve Ellie for his own personal satisfaction and revenge. Andrew did a great job making the character unlikable yet believable and there were definitely some intense emotional scenes between the two characters.
Ironically, though, Andrew really was a great guy in real life and Dalton enjoyed getting to know him during the rehearsal grind. He was a gifted actor who tapped into Danny's anger, rage and meanness with believability.
Fallon was pitch perfect as Ellie, gullible, naïve, sweet, and innocent, a victim of Andrew's cruelty just as Andrew was a victim of the war. Danny takes advantage of Ellie by forcing her to pose nude even though she is reluctant and frightened.
The production was a week away from opening when Devine announced that they would rehearse the nude scene for real the next night.
"Do you think you can do it?" Dalton asked Fallon as they drove home that night.
"Do I have a choice at this point?" Fallon sighed. "We're days away from opening. What am I going to say now?"
"I don't know," Dalton confessed.
"I'm glad you're going to be there, Dalt," Fallon told him with vulnerability in her voice. "I'll feel safe and secure knowing you're right there in the wings."
"Okay," he said.
"I'm going to pretend that the only one who will really see me nude is you," she decided.
"Do whatever works for you," Dalton suggested.
Dalton was lying in bed later thinking about Fallon when he heard a knock on his bedroom door.
"You awake?" Fallon asked.
Dalton rolled over and saw her standing in the doorway.
"Yeah," he said.
She stepped into the room. "Do you think it's wrong for me to do the nudie?"
"No, I don't think it's wrong in principle," Dalton answered as his friend sat at the end of his bed. "There are plenty of actresses and models doing nude work."
"In principle?" She asked with a frown.
"The question is, is it right for you?"
"I've been talking to some of my friends about this," Fallon revealed. "My acting friends understand what's going on but some who aren't into theatre say I shouldn't do it."
"It's your decision," Dalton said, sitting up in the bed. "Are you okay with it?"
"I'm nervous as hell," she sighed.
"Will you be happy with the work afterward?" Dalton challenged.
"I worry about what people will think," Fallon admitted. "What would people say back home if they found out?"
"Some might be shocked or disapproving but you need to decide if that matters to you enough," Dalton advised. "You made the decision when you were first offered the part because you believed it was right for you. You can't second guess yourself now."
"Do you think I was wrong to do this?" She asked, looking into his eyes.
"It's not pornography or even sexual," Dalton said. "But I don't know if you'll eventually end up regretting it. It's nudity for the purpose of acting and performance art and in theory I think that's perfectly acceptable."
"In theory?" She asked with a raised eyebrow.
"It's a little different for me because it's you," Dalton admitted.
"What's that supposed to mean?" She asked with interest.
"I don't know," he answered with a sigh. "But as long as you're okay with what you're doing I'm here to be your friend and support you."
"Sometimes I think it's silly how people freak out over the naked human body," Fallon stated. "It's who we are and there's nothing to be ashamed of. But then I think about standing up there naked in front of a hundred people and I realize it's just…theory." She smiled at him knowingly.
"Its part of the job," Dalton said, reaching out and patting her thigh. "You should be flattered and proud that Devine wanted you for the part."
"He could have blocked it so I was off stage and the audience imagines what Danny was doing but the emotional impact wouldn't be the same and it would be a cop out," Fallon decided. "Nudity is such a huge part of the scene."
"This is college," Dalton reasoned.
"I'm very reserved in real life," Fallon revealed. "But nudity is just another costume when it comes to art, right?" She asked tentatively.
"Perverts might think otherwise!" Dalton semi-joked.
"I'll be auditioning for the rest of my life if I don't do this," Fallon said. "It's a scary challenge to step out of what people expect me to play but the risk is worth it if it makes me a better actress and gets me more parts."
"You are an amazing actress and I admire you for taking the challenge," Dalton told her. "But acting is about control and I worry that when you're naked you'll have no control over where the audience is looking or what they're thinking!"
"Well, if Andrew and I play the scene right they will be feeling for poor Ellie and despising the creep Danny," Fallon replied.
"Okay," Dalton concluded. "Good luck."
Fallon stared at him for a long moment. "I'm glad you're here, Dalt," she said before leaving his room.
Dalton fell back on the bed and groaned. He wanted to run after her and tell her don't do it. He cared too much about her to think of her vulnerable and exposed in front of others. There was something demeaning and vulgar about having to take her clothes off just to act in a play, just to get a part on stage. But he also knew it was way to late now. He should have told her how he really felt the very first day when he told her about War Hero.
Dalton was nervous and anxious all day thinking about rehearsal that night and he and Fallon were quiet during the drive to the Pines Theatre. Devine and Andrew were patient, kind and understanding as soon as Fallon walked through the door. Interestingly, Andrew brought his girlfriend to the rehearsal for the first time, a cheerful and pretty girl named Iris who sat in the audience and watched the performers work.
Devine stood on stage with the two actors and they walked through the scene, testing logistics and figuring out the blocking one more time while Fallon was still clothed. The Director was a small man physically but he brought such a powerful presence with him that he filled the stage as he gave direction.
"We'll do some stuff with the lighting," Devine explained. "You won't be bathed in bright lights, Ellie," he said. "But you will be seen. Especially by Andrew and Dalton. The only other crew will be Tony in the light booth."
"Okay," Fallon said, sucking in her breath.
"Do you think you can handle that?" Devine wanted to know.
"Yes," Fallon said with confidence. "I knew what was expected of me when I accepted the part."
The Director nodded his head with approval. "Then let's rehearse."
"Okay," Fallon said meekly.
Dalton gave Fallon one last desperate stare but she avoided his eyes and took her mark on the stage. They ran the scene from the top and Andrew immediately went into character, berating Ellie and belittling her as the scene progressed. He then nearly forces her to take her clothes off and Fallon, totally in character, removed her clothes for the first time. Dalton watched from the wings as she untied the white robe she was wearing (the second act begins with Ellie entering the scene wearing the robe) and Dalton saw her beautiful small breasts and penny-sized nipples for the first time. The robe dropped to the stage with Ellie's back to the audience but from Dalton's vantage point he could see her small tuft of pubic hair and he felt his heart beat increase.
Fallon stayed in character and delivered her lines masterfully as the scene progressed. Devine knew better than to stop it to offer advice or notes with his actress naked. He'd go back and review the scene once Fallon had the robe on again.
Ellie turned away from Danny in a moment of hurt and pain and Dalton got a look at Fallon's beautiful backside as she covered her breasts with her arms in character. Danny then has her stand on a small stool (again with her back to the audience) as the lights go down and the scene ends.
When the lights come back up for the next scene, Ellie is dressed again.
"Okay, that was great," Devine said as Fallon put the robe on to cover her vulnerability. "You okay?" The Director asked his actress.
Fallon nodded her head but didn't say anything as she glanced at Dalton who couldn't help but blush.
"When the lights go down, grab your robe and run off stage to Dalton," Devine said. "You make your costume change right there. I don't want the blackout to last more than ten or fifteen seconds."
"Okay," Fallon replied. Then she turned to Andrew. "Thank you," she said.
"You were great," Andrew replied truthfully. "It's a tough scene. You're a pro."
She smiled bravely and they listened as Devine gently gave a few notes about the scene.
"Let's take a break," The Director suggested once he was done with his notes.
Andrew went to sit with Iris in the audience while Fallon awkwardly stepped over to Dalton and sucked in her breath.
"Well, it's not exactly High School Musical anymore, is it?" She asked weakly.
"I guess not," Dalton agreed with a sigh, not sure where to look or what to say.
"What did you think?" She asked.
"I think you're beautiful," he answered truthfully.
She blushed and reached out to touch his arm. "Thank you for being here."
"That's what friends are for," Dalton said but the whole night felt awkward and surreal.
Are friends supposed to ogle other friends when they're naked? Are friends supposed to be turned on when they see their friend in the nude for the first time? Should friends even see friends in the nude?
Fallon and Dalton were quiet during the ride home after her first nude rehearsal and later that night Dalton heard her quietly weeping in her room as he came back from the bathroom.
He opened the door, slipped into her room, lay down next to her and held her as she cried.
The rest of the rehearsal run was weird. Fallon did the nude scene without incident and she was patient during tech night when Tony had to stop the scene to get the lighting right. Dalton had seen Fallon naked four nights in a row and he still couldn't get used to it. He didn't like Andrew/Danny looking at her and he felt Devine's eyes on her from somewhere out in the darken house. And now Tony got to see her too. He considered them all perverts although he was glad that Andrew brought Iris to all the nude rehearsals. Somehow having another woman present took the edge off.
Dalton found himself feeling shy and uncomfortable when he was with Fallon now. Something had changed for him and he wasn't sure what it was.
Opening night arrived and Dalton felt more nervous and uncomfortable than Fallon appeared to be as she busily focused on her character and finding her groove even with the nudity. Dalton was struck by the bold request on front of the program: Please: no electronic recording devices or photo taking during this production.
Hopefully naked photos of Fallon wouldn't show up on the internet.
There was electricity in the air when Act I finished and intermission took place. The stage manager found the actress sitting in the dressing room in her white robe costume with her arms folded across her stomach, bent over like she was going to throw up. Dalton didn't say anything as he sat next to her and held her, rubbing her back through the robe.
"I hate myself," Fallon whispered.
"You're acting, Fallon," Dalton reminded her. "And you're doing a great job."
The time came for the big nude scene at the top of Act II and Dalton nervously stood in the wings and watched as Fallon dropped her robe, showing her ass to the audience of one hundred people.
There was a slight gasp from the house but the audience was otherwise quiet and respectful as the emotionally powerful key scene played out. There was a quiet murmur from the audience when Fallon/Ellie turned to the audience and gave them the full monty.
"You're not the girl next door anymore," Dalton sadly whispered to himself.
When the scene ended and the lights went down, Fallon rushed to the wings where Dalton waited with her wardrobe change in his hand.
"God forgive me," She sobbed as she tossed the robe to the floor and grabbed the clothes from his grip. "I can't believe I did it!"
"Me either," Dalton said quietly, more to himself than her.
Fallon, Andrew and the show got a rave review and the show sold out for all three performances but each time Fallon got naked on stage Dalton felt even more disappointed, hurt, sad, and embarrassed. He was feeling shame for some reason as if he was witnessing something he wasn't supposed to see. This was Fallon, the bright eyed, sweet innocent high school freshman girl who made him laugh and made him feel good about himself. Right now, he didn't feel so good about himself…..or her.
During the next few days, mutual friends stopped Dalton and complimented Fallon's performance. The actor were respectful and appreciative of her gutsy effort while some of his friends away from the theatre world were a bit more brash and vulgar in their observations and that made Dalton feel even worse. He didn't need some jerk telling him his friend had a nice ass or a cute bush or great tits.
By the time the show closed on Sunday night, Dalton could barely speak to Fallon. He didn't know why he was feeling so confused, resentful, upset and disgusted about everything and everybody but he had never been so glad and relieved to have a show end than he was when he closed the curtain on War Hero.
Dalton barely said a word during the cast party but Fallon was busy enjoying her moment of glory and stardom and if she noticed she didn't say anything. Dalton was also quiet in the car as he drove Fallon home after the party, politely listening to her wax poetic about her latest theatrical experience and how she felt that she had finally broken through was going to be enjoying greater success during the rest of their time at Marcanio.
"But you were naked!" He wanted to scream but he didn't say anything.
"Is everything okay?" Fallon finally asked with worry once they were inside the apartment.
"Congratulations on a terrific performance," Dalton said politely but without enthusiasm. "I'm very proud of you. You're really great."
"Thanks, Dalt," she said with relief. "I couldn't have done it without you."
There were a couple of times when Dalton was with Fallon on campus or around town after War Hero and somebody noticed her from the play and gave her a second look or even gawked at her. Dalton had to bite his tongue not to go off on the pervert and he wanted to say to Fallon: "See what you did!?"
He had no idea why he was so pissed off at her except to know that their high school innocence was long gone and college was a whole new world, something Dalton didn't like much anymore.
Unfortunately for Fallon, the parts didn't come any easier or more readily after War Hero. She was back to frustrating audition calls and bit roles in school productions and soon she was back to the resentment and disappointment level she was feeling before she got naked on stage. For some reason, Dalton didn't have much sympathy for her.
"I'm getting tired of the game," Fallon sighed one night at the apartment after she was turned down following another audition a few months after War Hero. "I'm thinking about dropping out and going back to Hillsboro."
"And do what?" Dalton asked.
"Work for my brother," she revealed.
"At the radio station?"
"Sales, voice ads, I guess that's sort of acting, right?" She sighed.
"You've only got a year and a half left to your degree, Fallon," he said.
"A degree in what?" She snapped. "Failure!?"
"You're not a failure," he assured her.
"You hate me," She sighed sadly.
"I've never hated you, Fallon," Dalton insisted.
"Yes you have," she replied knowingly. "Things got weird with War Hero, didn't they?"
"It's over now," Dalton said.
"I've messed things up between us," she sighed.
"No you haven't," Dalton lied.
"I'm sorry things have gotten so odd between us, Dalt," Fallon told him as they stood in the living room. "I made a mistake, didn't I?" she sighed.
Dalton shrugged his shoulders but didn't reply.
"My nudie was a bizarre thing to do," she admitted.
"So, you have regrets?"
"I thought Doing War Hero would open the door for me," she said with disappointment, falling onto the couch. "Directors would see that on my resume and treat me differently. With new found respect and admiration. Now I'm embarrassed that I took that part and took risked getting naked for nothing."
"You thought it would help your career," he reasoned.
"I was never comfortable with the nudity. I hated it. I was never that uninhibited. It was never a comfortable situation and I never enjoyed it but I felt it was something I had to do to have an advantage over other actresses who were less daring."
"I don't think you need to be naked to do well at Marcanio," Dalton replied.
"That's not what you said when I first tried out," She challenged.
"I know," he said sheepishly. "I was trying to be supportive."
"And now you're bitter," Fallon complained. "You saw me naked and now you treat me differently and I've become resentful about doing something I felt awkward about doing in the first place."
"I'm sorry," Dalton sighed.
"I should have gone with my intuition," she sighed. "I never should have taken the part."
"You did what you thought was right at the time," Dalton reasoned.
"And now I'm devastated," she said. "It crushes me that you think less of me now."
"I don't think less of you," Dalton replied, taking a seat on the couch next to her and rubbing her thigh.
"Yes you do," she sighed. "You don't even look at me anymore."
"You should stay and get your degree," Dalton told her.
"So I can hang around and spend half my time waiting in line for auditions?" She groaned. "I should move on with my life. There'll always be Blue County Theater," she said with a sarcastic smile.
"Stay and get your degree," he advised. "It wouldn't be the same without you here."
Fallon stared at him for a long moment. "What happened to us, Dalt?"
"We changed," he answered simply.
"Because of War Hero?" She asked.
"I guess I didn't handle it very well," Dalton admitted.
"Seeing me naked?" She guessed.
Dalton shrugged but didn't say anything.
"Well, thank you for caring," she said with sincerity, leaning in and kissing him on the cheek before standing and heading for her room.
Dalton sighed and fell back on the couch wondering why he was feeling so light headed.
One Saturday morning a few weeks later Fallon passed Dalton's room wearing a white bathrobe that gave him a War Hero flashback.
"Ellie!" He called out. "Long time no see!"
Fallon laughed and stuck her head in the door. "Hello, Danny," she said, slipping back into her character. "Do you want to paint me today?"
"No," Dalton replied without even thinking about it. "I want to make love to you."
"What about your war injury?" She asked.
"I think you cured me of that, Ellie," Dalton remarked.
"What do you mean?"
He stepped up to her, put his hand on her cheek and gave her a soft kiss on the lips.
"Now, Danny, I'm just a naive and innocent college student, you know that," Fallon told him.
"I can help you with that," Dalton said.
"How?" She whispered, gently kissing him.
He reached down and untied her robe, letting it fall open to reveal her nakedness underneath.
"I'm shy," she let him know.
"You're also beautiful," Dalton replied, sliding the robe off her shoulders and letting it fall to the floor.
"You just want to see me naked again," she giggled.
"Damn straight," he admitted, kissing her some more.
"Do I get to see your war injury now?" She whispered.
"If you want," he replied.
"Oh My god, naked improvisational theatre acting!" Fallon giggled.
"I'm not acting," Dalton told her.
"Dalt?" Fallon asked, breaking character and stepping back. "When did you know?"
"Junior year at Hillsboro," he replied. "We had to do those monologues for Mrs. Phelps. You did that scene as Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz and you had me memorized. I fell in love with you that day."
"Why didn't you say anything?" She asked with surprise.
"I didn't want to risk our friendship," He sighed.
Her eyes welted up with tears. "It must have been torture for you during War Hero," She realized.
"I wanted to cover you up every time," he said. "I didn't want anybody else to know your beauty."
She happily made out with him, standing naked in his bedroom with him holding her tight.
"This is my best nudie ever," she sighed happily as Dalton walked her to the bed and they fell onto the mattress together.