Zen And The Art Of Life
by Criss Moody

he ached to hold them all together, but knew better than to try. life wasn't meant to keep people together, or apart, but to throw them into contact, toss them into a space. life wasn't an active force. it just was.

viggo knew this and took comfort from the knowing. he saw liv at the premiere. they smiled at each other from across the red carpet; she posing with roy and he waiting for the limousine that held orli and billy and dom and lij. his smile lasted for days. eventually, they'd all joined and spun out in pairs and more for the media, smiling brighter, whiter, until viggo's mouth hurt.

he relished the pain. each little distress, every time he could not make a camping trip with orli or a brief stop for a pint with sean on a stopover in london, refreshed viggo. as long as the lack of his companions hurt him, he was more alive than ever. only holding henry gave him more pleasure. once, very drunk with the fellowship at a small pub in wellington, viggo had tried to explain this aching sweetness to orli, but only succeeded in making his friend order another round of guinness.

some men would say orli was too deep in his youth to comprehend the pleasure life's agonies could bring. viggo personally believed that orli bounced between enjoying the same cuts and digs that viggo did, and willfully choosing to ignore the pain. it took a constant introspection to accept life. viggo didn't fault orli for not spending every moment of his waking existence deep inside himself. wasn't meant for everyone.

late in the last days of their eighteen months of filming, orli glued himself to viggo's side. claimed to need viggo's 'talent for belly button gazing'. surprised, but pleased, he allowed orli's constant presence. noticed orli's glances and half-sighs. he'd felt shocked, nothing else. orli could steal an apple with a sheepish smile and get away with not even a smack or dark word. the boy thought of what he wanted, there it would be, shining in his arms.

why he never pounced on viggo like he did everything else, viggo never understood. whether to make his own advances or to let what between them lie untouched occupied the back of viggo's brain like a painful tumor. he decided it was a crime to ignore any possible source of passion in life; it happened so rarely. as was viggo's habit, he resolved to let happen what would happen. he neither encouraged nor pushed orli away, and as they all broke apart, back to England or the States or vacations amidst tears and drunken laughter, viggo held close to orli's lithesome form, memorizing it for a time when it might never return.

sitting in a friend's flat in london, viggo rolled his spine against the floor, knees held to his chest, his thoughts streaming along with his meditative breath. orli had rung up a few hours ago, wondering if viggo might be free for a pint. or five or six and viggo heard the laughter and something sharp, maybe fear, in orli's smooth london accent.

when the doorbell rang, viggo released his breath, let his body fall flat for a few seconds, and sprang up from the floor. his hands smoothed down his black tee-shirt and ran through his hair. stay in the moment, feel the shirt beneath your hand, the beat of your blood beneath your skin, he reminded himself.

the open door revealed a flushed orlando, leaning against the doorjamb, a bottle of something dark and promising held in his left hand. orli grinned and laughed, head thrown back in spontaneous expression of joy. it was a good moment, viggo thought, as he returned the grin and stepped up close to orli, removing the bottle from his hand and moving to set it down.

then again, maybe this moment was only good enough, but either way, it was here for the taking. and viggo took with both hands.

their lips met, unsure and nervous like most first kisses that matter, and viggo's mind sprawled through all his memories, inhabiting each second simultaneously, however briefly. each triumph, each sadness, mingled into this beaming moment of unstable pleasure.

it held them together like two atoms, ready to split them apart, should the universe dictate it.

viggo held as tightly as he could, for as long as he could. that was all life let him do. luckily, zen buddhism and a more than a few years stoned out of his mind had taught viggo to flow where life moved him. he had orli here underneath his hands, a living struggling mass of meat and bone, silk skin and heat. tomorrow, orli might be gone or might smirk and draw viggo beneath the sheets, trapping them both in a prison of dim light and steamy breath.

tomorrow would take care of itself. now they were here, and viggo would not regret it, any more than he would grieve overly when they were apart. each piece had something to teach him, somewhere to guide him.

he touched orli's face with his fingertips, pressing the pad of each finger into orli's cheekbones. lacy eyelashes flickered against skin when his hands drifted over.

"orli," he spoke, and orli's eyes opened wide, finding viggo's in a less than a heartbeat, "let's go to bed."

orli laughed again and they kissed. he let viggo guide him back into the bedroom. viggo knew orlando understood when the younger man stripped upon reaching the bed, standing naked and glowing in the near dark of the room, lighted only by the hall light. orlando chose the pain, for now. viggo couldn't do any less than follow him. he stripped, and holding orli's hands in his, let their bodies fall into the cool white sheets.


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