No Other Troy For Me To Burn
by Rabbit

The front of the screen door to Viggo's house had peeling red paint on its surface, and it always creaked when Orlando opened it. Today, it gave him a guilty feeling like a kid caught trespassing. Which was ridiculous, since Viggo had invited him here today.

"Viggo?" He swung his torso around, through the threshold and peeked into the kitchen. A radio on the counter played some kind of Latin salsa music, but that was the only sound in the room.

Orlando walked carefully in and did an experimental hip shake in time to the beat. He had this theory that doing embarrassing things would bring people when he needed them. Like last week at dinner with Billy and the other Hobbits, Orlando had pretended to pick his nose at the table, and their incredibly slow waitress was there within 10 seconds to take their order.

He never said it was a good theory.

So here he was on the only day Peter had given John, Viggo and Orlando off this week, feeling like he'd been stood up. Not really, because Viggo wouldn't do that (never intentionally). Okay, maybe Viggo might have gotten some wild impulse and taken off with only his camera and his sword to hike across New Zealand. Not out of the realm of possibility, because Viggo had actually done that before, much to Peter's chagrin. But Orlando liked to think that their plans would be important enough to take precedence over Viggo's tangents.

Too early to jump to conclusions, so he grabbed an apple out of the dish near the flour canister next to the sink, and took a bite as he walked to the front room. He tried again, louder this time, "Oi, Viggo!"

"Yes, Orlando?"

The soft acknowledgment came from the kitchen behind Orlando, and he jumped when he heard Viggo's voice from what he'd just observed as an empty room. The apple flipped out of his hand, but he was able to catch it at waist level, which would have been kind of impressive, if his heart wasn't racing so fast.

"Very good," Viggo complimented, indicating the red orb in Orlando's clenched fist.

"Jesus, man. Viggo. Where'd you come from? You were not in that kitchen ten seconds ago. I swear." Orlando took another quick bite, widening the white crater scooped out of the firm membrane of the fruit.

Viggo laughed. "No, I was out back setting everything up. I heard your car pull in."

Orlando couldn't help feeling suspicious. Sometimes he got the feeling Viggo was laughing at him, and this was one of those times. "What about the screen door? It creaks like crazy; how could you come in without me hearing you?"

Viggo came forward, took the apple from Orlando's grasp, and turned it around so he could take a bite from the unblemished skin on the opposite side. "This house and I co-exist in a mutual arrangement." He handed the fruit back, chewing a juicy mouthful and clapped Orlando on the back. "Sometimes we revel in the sounds of occupancy, and sometimes we agree to embrace silence."

Orlando squinted, studying Viggo's expression intently for some sign he was pulling his leg, but couldn't decide if he was seeing honesty or expert concealment. He really didn't want to know if Viggo was mocking him anyway, did he? Not really.

" So, show me what you've been doing?" Orlando suggested.

Viggo tucked his hand around Orlando's shoulder and steered him back through the kitchen and out the back door. The door was just as noisy as when Orlando had used it, so he thought that Viggo's bullshit meter might be running high today, which made Orlando nervous. This entire idea of a sweat lodge had been Viggo's, and Orlando had no experience with this type of thing, so he was kind of at his mercy.

Out in the back of the house, near the vegetable garden with markers made of broken pieces of tile, there was a fire burning in a pit. Viggo leaned over to pull a knife from where it stuck out of a stump, before he sat down and grabbed a long branch from a pile at his feet. The knife had a six-inch blade and a strip of leather twisted around the handle so the grip was better. Orlando was sure that Viggo had "borrowed" it from props, but he didn't want to ask. Instead, he inquired, "What do we do?"

"We have to make a frame. We'll anchor these in the ground, and we'll cover it with blankets." Viggo's fingers clenched until the knuckles blanched white as he sliced an impossibly thin layer off the branch he was whittling, a very small slice that just scraped the wrinkled gray bark off, exposing an ellipse of the white core ringed in the light green of the skin that separated outer from inner.

"Will there also be a fire inside the tent-thingy?" Orlando had no idea of what this was supposed to achieve exactly, but he could never argue with an afternoon alone with Viggo. He was inordinately pleased that he just happened to have a pocketknife with him, a small red handled one with everything: including corkscrew, screwdriver and can opener. It was one he'd bought on a shopping trip in town when Viggo's son Henry had been visiting the set. Orlando carried it with him all the time, because Henry had told him with a serious face how important it was to have one in case you ever got stranded somewhere.

An indulgent smile and slight negative shake of his head preceded the even syllables of Viggo's answer," No, just this one. We heat up stones here, and put them in a pit in the center." He shifted his grip on the branch, and tension radiated into his forearm. A vein that lay over the bone of his wrist popped up in a convoluted rope halfway up his arm. "I'll pour water on them, and the steam will roll over us. It'll feel like you're going to leave your body."

That was the part Orlando was interested in. He'd had a kind of similar experience the first time he'd gone bungee jumping. The sensation that he was being forcibly ejected out the top of his head when the cord caught his ankles. Very fucking trippy. It was a feeling he wanted to repeat, which is why Viggo hadn't needed to use much persuasion to get Orlando to agree.

Orlando leaned over and collected his own branch, clenching it between his knees, while he flipped the short blade of his knife out. "So how many of these do we need?" he asked, thinking that it might be dark before they finished.

"Just do that one. I think we'll have enough. We only need a dozen or so."

Orlando carved a dull point, and Viggo stood to begin lashing together a rough framework, a dome that stood just tall enough to stoop slightly when inside. Branches curved to the point where Orlando was sure they would snap, but they never did. Each gave up its natural shape to the arrangement Viggo chose, allowing themselves to be bent and joined with lightweight twine.

With the skeleton assembled against the advent of dusk, Orlando helped Viggo cover it with a skin of blankets, working silently until it was completely enclosed. Viggo filled a bucket with water from a large barrel, set it just inside the door, and then threw Orlando a towel. "Strip down."

"Huh?" Orlando blinked, not sure he'd heard correctly.

Take your clothes off, and wrap the towel around you." Viggo was already spreading the coals of the fire out with a shovel and laying large smooth stones over them. The embers were a dull red as they were folded around the rocks, when disturbed, fine white ash floated up in the air.

"Because we have to be naked?" Orlando asked suspiciously, eyes narrowing.

Viggo stood up, and leaned into the handle of the shovel as the point dug into the soft ground. "Of course. We'll be sweating from every pore. You can't have clothes on, you'd die." It was the calm tones, laced with humor that kept Viggo's words from sounding like a lecture.

Maybe he should be self conscious, or embarrassed, but Orlando's not. He's a young man, in excellent shape, and maybe it's conceited to think that way, but he's seen the appreciative looks that Dom and Elijah, and even Billy give when they're changing into wet suits to go surfing. The idea of shucking his clothes, and seeing a similar look in Viggo's eyes was very appealing at this moment. His hands flew to the buttons of his jeans, and shimmied them down over his hipbones.

But while Hobbits were easy to interpret, Viggo was not. The V of opened buttons pressed into the workings of muscle underneath, and it was obvious that Orlando preferred going commando--unobstructed view of bare abdomen and hair ending where denim hugged his pelvic bone. Viggo nodded appreciatively, but Orlando couldn't tell if it was only because he'd obeyed the command.

So maybe he started becoming a little self-conscious as he swung a foot up on the stump and unlaced his boot. With deliberately stealthy glances, Orlando saw Viggo lean the shovel near the fire, and begin taking his own clothes off. Stealthy went by the wayside the more items Viggo took off, and Orlando almost fell over removing his other boot, because Viggo was already out of his pants. Orlando was trying hard not to stare. Really hard.

"Having a problem over there?" Viggo asked as he shook out a towel, wrapping it around his waist, and tucking the corner secure. He didn't seem to have any qualms about making eye contact, or being naked in the presence of another naked man.

But of course Viggo wouldn't have a problem with that. He was secure, probably accepted the nude form as something elevated from pure sexuality. An artist's aesthetic could appreciate without base crudity, while Orlando could only think about how nice it would be to put his hand on Viggo's back and slide it over his ass, down the muscle of his thigh.

"Nope. Nope, doing okay here." Orlando kicked the boot next to its mate and finally shoved the jeans down over his hips. Viggo didn't break eye contact, just smiled enigmatically as Orlando let the denim slide to his ankles. Raising one foot at a time, Orlando easily twisted out of them. He could have bent over and got rid of them faster, but he didn't want to lose the intimacy of Viggo's stare, it felt very sensual to expose himself while they watched each other.

Finally, Orlando wadded his jeans up, tossed them on top of his boots, but he was left awkwardly brushing his hands over his legs--until he remembered the towel. Man, Viggo was going to think he was an idiot. He hurriedly fluffed the material out and wrapped the rectangle around him, crossing the ends just to the right of his belly button.

"Come over here, Orlando." Viggo lifted his hand and scrubbed his palm over his lightly haired nipple, trying to relive some itch that Orlando desperately wanted to soothe, or lick, or something, but he didn't feel as if he could test the limits of Viggo's security with the more than friendly touch of another man. Not yet anyway. Where this resolve came from, Orlando had no idea.

Viggo's nails were short, smooth. His strong fingers were encrusted with ash from the fire and left a black streak of residue smeared behind, marring the skin of Viggo's chest with a tribal, raw bluntness. Whatever Viggo required of him, Orlando would absolutely perform with no hesitation. That sounded bad, yes, but Viggo had put all this work in, with the digging, and fire building, so it would be rude to refuse. Right? And what about the trees Viggo had chopped, and skinned? His muscles were probably aching and clenched, and wasn't Orlando indebted to repay Viggo's kindness and the time spent to show Orlando this ritual?

Maybe Orlando should offer to massage Viggo's shoulder, and arms? And didn't using an axe require one's arse to flex? So maybe that was sore as well, and Orlando could help work out the stiffness. The towel covering him was hardly enough to conceal how dangerous this line of thought was becoming. Keep a level head, he cautioned himself.

Orlando repeated Viggo's command, "Umm...come over there?" feeling the need to clarify exactly what had been said, because a case of hysterical deafness loomed on the horizon. He tried to appear nonchalant sauntering over to where he'd been called, absolutely tingling with hope and anticipation of whatever was to come.

"Yes, come," Viggo laughed at the seriously befuddled expression on Orlando's face, bringing dangerous attention to the cleft in his chin, and Orlando had to clear his throat because the fire was blowing smoke directly at him. No, really.

Viggo turned, and squatted down next to the fire ring. The towel strained around him as his thighs dipped to support his weight, more so when he reached out to pick up something near the other side of the flame. He came back with a shallow bowl filled with a brown, thin paste.

"That's a bowl of mud?" Orlando guessed, wondering just exactly was going to happen now. He wasn't sure how much of this afternoon he'd share if anyone asked tomorrow. He had a strong suspicion that the nakedness would be one of the top things on the list of details to omit.

"It is." Viggo offered simply, with no further explanation. He dipped his index and middle fingers in to the earthen gruel and skinned them down Orlando from the corner of his eyes, to the corner edge of his lip, dissecting Orlando's ear from the inner features of his face with a pair of cleaving ochre stripes. He flinched at first, but soon Orlando's head turned too easily to the pressure, following Viggo's will and direction.

For a second, Orlando thought maybe Viggo was having trouble with the whole Aragorn begins and ends here line, looking ragged and slightly wild. Character blurring too closely to reality; it's not the first time Viggo's been accused of it, but it doesn't seem fair to lay all the blame there. Everyone's been completely immersed in this fantastic universe, and apparently even Orlando had his own assimilation issues to work out. Legolas couldn't be put to rest even on a day off either, too ready to succumb to a man who would be King.

"So, there will be finger painting involved?" He couldn't help but turn to see why Viggo's fingers had left him, and to gauge if they would return soon.

A shaggy end of hair curled, fighting with Viggo's eyelashes, but he was preoccupied with scooping more of the sludge onto his fingers. Definitely lost in intense focus, his words uncurled slowly as he explained, "I paint what your spirit dictates. This is the inner you-as I see you."

The vision must have been ongoing, because Viggo brought his fingers up again, smearing a muddy line over Orlando's collarbone. Another followed until they met in a V just above the midline of his nipples. Three circles joined them as Viggo pressed the pads of his middle fingers just below the lines, into the pectorals on either side as a mirror image.

Calloused fingertips imprinting the filth on his skin. What should have been slightly off putting, actually swung to the far end of the erotic spectrum. Especially as Viggo stared intently at Orlando's torso, pupils contracting, while he worried a patch of dry skin along the curve of his bottom lip with the tip of his tongue in concentrated distraction. Those fingers rarely left Orlando for very long, stroking and brushing in all the most sensitive places: along his ribs, round his navel, near his underarms, until a ragged hitch entered Orlando's breathing.

An extremely bad case of hero worship wasn't such a bad thing was it? How about a crush that had been festering since the second week Viggo had joined the cast? Orlando wasn't afraid to go after a fixation, in fact, it was a nice way to pass the time. It always had been before, but he couldn't get inside Viggo's head to determine if he was even interested or not. Not knowing gave Orlando a sense of insecurity that was a new state for him, especially for one whose motto was: 'I always get my man.'

Viggo added one final touch to his living artwork. Mashing the surface of his hand into the bowl, he then stamped his palm right in the middle of Orlando's chest just at the point of the V, like some personal brand. Orlando inhaled sharply, feeling the heat of their skin's contact flowing between them. His knees bowed for a fraction of a second.

"Now it's your turn." Viggo handed the bowl to Orlando, with a gleam in his eyes that Orlando chalked up to the exhilaration of composing thought to corporeal form. It couldn't be due to an interest that, while gladly returned, was probably wishful thinking on Orlando's part.

Damn, Orlando hadn't been this lacking in confidence for ages. It was very reminiscent of being a fumbling twelve year old. He could possibly explain it away by the difference in their ages, since Viggo was the oldest guy he'd ever shown an interest in. The fact that Viggo was an established actor and Orlando was such an amateur was sure to be a big part of it as well.

Or, Viggo was just hot, but so hard to read that Orlando had no idea if the attraction was mutual. All he knew was that he really wanted to impress Viggo as something more than a vapid, shallow arsehole kid. "My turn?" Orlando asked weakly, thinking it was his turn to what, faint like a girl?

"Take the bowl, Orlando."

"And paint you?" The thought of touching Viggo made his mind go suddenly, inexplicably blank. Orlando coughed as a crest of panic swelled, setting his heart thudding inconsistently. The fear of making an idiot of himself came back with a vengeance. "What am I supposed to...I'm not an artist. I have no idea what to do."

"Just do what seems natural. There is no incorrect way to do it, it's all your interpretation." Viggo's fingers closed around his, forcing Orlando to take the bowl. He nodded in encouragement over the moment of hesitation.


Well, it was nice that someone had confidence in this situation. Orlando took the muddy gruel and jammed his fingers in it.

"Take your time," Viggo cautioned, seeing the lack of care Orlando's nervousness brought. "Just spend a minute, and see what lies hidden." His arms dropped to either side of his hips, and he stood with an easy poise. Trusting.

That was probably the best thing he could have done, Orlando felt the tension leave his body. He was awed that someone could find him, the young upstart pup who was still learning all about this movie making business, a credible, artistic equal with a vision that mattered. He took a deep breath, and looked at Viggo. Really looked, and what he saw was an unchained spirit, someone who had lived in their body and was comfortable with it, knew how far to push it, and when to step back.

He lifted a tentative finger, and drew a loose, serpentine squiggle that began right between Viggo's eyebrows, bypassed the bridge of his nose. When Orlando reached the upper lip, Viggo drew them together to prevent a mouthful of earth, but allowed Orlando to drag his index finger over them with reverent care. There really was some kind of esoteric charge, a synergistic energy that felt like it leeched between them.

Orlando lingered at Viggo's mouth, imagining that the breath that escaped there could somehow connect them and allow a glimpse into the soul.

Mud clung to the salt and pepper hair of Viggo's chin. A grizzled hack, he had called himself last week in self-depreciation, but to Orlando, Viggo was mature, thoughtful...beautiful. That sounded completely nancy, but it was true. Orlando dipped his finger in the bowl again, because he'd run out of pigment just as he traced over Viggo's adam's apple.

He used that as an excuse to lean closer, pretending to align old with new, but in reality, it was with the desire to feel the hairs of his arm stand at attention from the static electricity between them. He wondered what it would feel like to press his lips against the hollow at the base of Viggo's throat, and smear the line he'd just drawn there.

Viggo shifted his hips slightly, and Orlando was suddenly afraid he'd been a little obvious in his worship. Maybe Viggo would get mad and kick him off the property. He could just see himself racing madly to his car, holding the towel around him because he was too afraid to stop and dress, or retrieve his clothes. He faltered slightly dropping his wrist.

"You're doing fine," Viggo assured him smoothly, standing still again.

Orlando swallowed, and shut his eyes. He didn't want Viggo to see the lust that was surely there, so easy to read. Orlando always had a hard time concealing his feelings. Maybe he should have stuck with someone closer to his own age, like one of the Hobbits. Any of them would have been easier to distract with a little nakedness, but Viggo had probably seen enough unclothed bodies. He didn't seem to be overly impressed, or dazzled by the sight.

"Really, Orlando. Trust yourself."

Trust? That was hard to do when he was sure he'd end up making a fool of himself, but Viggo seemed to have faith in him. It was the hardest thing he'd ever done, to continue. He did though, not wanting to disappoint Viggo, hoping that he wouldn't find Orlando some spiritual dud, and shun him on set from this time forward. Or worse, look at him with equal parts pity and disdain. Those were the fears that spurred Orlando onward.

A spiral seemed to want to be inscribed over Viggo's ribcage, on the right. At the end of the loop, he found his fingers slashing little bird print markings, and he went with it, amazed at how easy it seemed to just stop obsessing about it. Relaxed mind, idle fingers, dangerously stirring penis...but that was another matter, and he didn't think there was anything that he could do to control that, unless he ran back to his car and got as far away from Viggo as possible.

"I...I think I'm done." It was true too. It felt finished. Complete.

" Then you are." Viggo declared, taking the bowl from Orlando and returning it to the spot by the fire. "Now get inside and sit down. I'll start placing the rocks." He picked up the shovel again, and began fishing in the fire for the stones that were heating there.

Orlando walked across the space, ducked down, and crawled into the darkness. It was amazing how much of the light was blocked out. That was probably due in part also to the lowered angle of the sun as afternoon slid into evening. He sat cross-legged, and made sure to keep his knees well out of the way when Viggo slipped the first hot stone into the pit at the center of the space.

Viggo crawled in beside him, thighs brushing his as they jockeyed for position in the small space. He mumbled a throaty apology to Orlando as he settled himself in and unfolded the flap to hang in the doorway, blocking out the light, and plunging them both into darkness. Orlando could hear him fumble in the black for the dipper in the bucket.

There was a sizzle, and the air around him became very moist as steam rushed up Orlando's nostrils. The thick humidity felt heavy as he drew it into his lungs. "Wow, that feels weird." It was kind of like breathing liquid.

"You can close your eyes if it bothers you. You might want to do that when you start sweating, or it can sting."

It felt very secret, just the two of them shut in together. Orlando asked, "So we just sit here, and what?"

"Just let your mind wander, maybe you'll see something. A vision."

"Or maybe I'll fall asleep. Pass out and pitch face forward into those hot stones."

There was a quick, amused chuckle. "I won't let you. Sometimes repetitive chanting can help you focus." Viggo began a low constant singing that wasn't English. It sounded like," Heyanna, hoyanna, hey yan yan. Hoyanna, heyanna, ho yan yan."

Orlando was quite content just to listen to the calm intonation, because he had no idea what it meant, but it was very soothing. After a few times, he started mouthing the words to himself, then graduated to saying them softly under his breath. They just seemed to grow louder of their own accord, and he was enamored with the sound of his and Viggo's voices mingling as the sweat began to roll down his back.

Viggo had been right. When the perspiration started dripping down his neck, dropping off the peak of his brow and into his eyes, it stung. He pressed his lids tightly together, noting the red haze that washed over his vision. He didn't need sight to recognize the feel of Viggo's knee accidentally rubbing against his, or to analyze the contrast of wet skin that faded into the terrycloth of the towel that still covered him.

Orlando didn't much doubt what type of visions he was likely to see. Probably not the kind Viggo was striving for with this endeavor. He tried to push that line of thought out of his mind, forcing his lips to move along with words rapidly becoming familiar.

Orlando's body started feeling so very light, and he forgot whether he'd been sitting or lying. Right now it felt like he was hovering; very cloudlike. With the taste of saltwater on his lips, he decided it was the ocean.

He was floating in the ocean.

There was a high shrill sound near him, and he cracked his eyes open. A spray of seawater splashed him in the face, making him blink, but then he could clearly see a group of seagulls circling lazily above him; hypnotizing him effortlessly. As he drifted languidly, looking up at the blue sky stretching endlessly over him, he became aware of something in the water with him; something that shadowed his movements as it sluiced just beneath the surface of the waves.

It circled playfully between his legs before wrapping in endless loops around him, coiling round his neck like a leathery boa. Suddenly he was looking into a reptilian face with slitted yellow eyes and a flickering tongue. Breathing stopped, and he froze in shock.

A sea monster?

The face morphed into Viggo's, and Orlando had quite enough of it. He let out a piercing scream. "Aaaghghhhhh!" and began flailing in an attempt to get out of its clutches.

"Orlando! Orlando!" The Viggo/Snake began hissing in his face, squeezing tightly around him so that his head went under water. The ocean entering his lungs made him panic desperately, and he kicked his legs trying hard to break the surface. He didn't think he was going to make it, but something picked at his hands and lifted him out of the water, into the air where he could breathe again. Thank God, he was going to be okay.


Orlando's entire body was suddenly hit with a shock wave of coldness, and a surge of icy water that hit him right between the eyes. He was lying on the ground outside the teepee thingy with Viggo squatting over him, hands cupped full of water. Viggo looked wild, illuminated by the flickering light of the fire, with smudges of ash and mud running down his face like mascara in the rain. Orlando looked weakly up at him and asked, "What happened."

Viggo stared at him; eyes examining him with concern then reached down and wiped away the rivulets of water dripping into Orlando's eyes with the heel of his hand. The mumbled explanation came between coughs caused by the sudden atmospheric change, "I think you overdid it. I shouldn't have let you stay in so long your first time."

Orlando thought he was going to be sick suddenly, and sat bolt upright. His head reeled, and he ended up clutching on to Viggo's thigh, resting his forehead against solid, reassuring Viggo. "Oh, man. I thought you were a big sea serpent. That was fucked up."


Orlando thought maybe he could dig the world's largest fucking hole and crawl into it.

Viggo was probably convinced he was an idiot, and Orlando had been such a nervous wreck all morning, that he couldn't stop flubbing his lines. Then a camera broke, and an irate Peter dismissed them all for several hours until it could be fixed. Orlando couldn't get out of there fast enough. So, he disappeared to hide behind the trailers, squatting down and banging his head back against the metal behind him. So. Very. Stupid.

"You'll scramble your brains doing that."

It was Viggo. Orlando stood quickly, because he felt very vulnerable having to look up. Not that that changed much once he was on his feet, burning with the memory of how Viggo had to save him from his 'freak out' yesterday. "There won't be much difference, believe me."

Viggo massaged his knuckles with a pained expression that changed to a definite wince when he hit a spot where the skin had been scraped raw during the battle shoot all this morning. He teased conversationally, "Well, dazed is a good look for you."

It was something Orlando couldn't handle right now. "Shit." Absolutely mortified, he moved to escape by squeezing between Viggo and the trailer, trying to avoid any eye contact that would verify how ridiculous Viggo found him. It would have been better if Orlando had just kept his stupid crush to himself, and had just quit trying to impress a bloke that would never return any of those sort of feelings for him.

"Wait. Stop." Viggo's hand on his shoulder stopped him, pushed him gently back so that he couldn't leave, and they faced each other with something more tangible than just inches between them. There was an awkward emotional distance that was painfully obvious after five hours of fighting back to back, saving Middle Earth from the forces of darkness. Orlando tried to burn the ground underneath his boot, because he couldn't look up and see Viggo mocking him, even if it was meant good-naturedly.

Viggo's apologetic explanation came out very sincere," Are you still sensitive about yesterday. I told you that was my fault. I shouldn't have let you go that long your first time. You did very well."

Viggo didn't sound sarcastic, he sounded anxious, with the barest smattering of self-blame. So Orlando dared a quick check, and found nothing that he expected in those eyes. Of course, Viggo was too decent a person to openly ridicule, so maybe Orlando could play down the whole episode and pretend it didn't matter to him. After all, a little comic armor might disguise the growing obsession he was developing for their ranger. Orlando was good at portraying the clown. "Did I really almost knock the teepee thingy down?"

Soft laughter rumbled in Viggo's chest as he answered, "I thought you were going to sit on the rocks, and that would have been...unfortunate."

Orlando wanted to cross his legs at the painful vision that brought. Thank God Viggo had pulled him out of there before he'd suffered third degree burns on his private bits. Wouldn't that have been an embarrassing thing to have to explain in hospital? burned my knackers off.

Orlando shook his head. That would have cemented his image as an irresponsible child whom Viggo could channel his paternal instincts into, and put another hurdle in an already doomed fixation. "I'm sorry. You must think I'm really thick. I just wanted to experience something you'd done before. You've got these amazing stories."

"You've got quite a resume behind you, too: jumping out of things, breaking your back. Impressive at your age."

Yes, those were the things that kept anyone from taking him seriously. That wasn't the type of person that would attract Viggo; at least he didn't think so. "I wanted to do something spiritual and, I don't know, grown up. I didn't want everyone to think I was this spastic puppy with something to prove. And how do I go about it? By being a spastic puppy with something to prove."

Viggo unconsciously fingered the hilt of his sword, thumbnail scraping back and forth as he listened. "You're very self critical."

"Pot. Kettle. Black."

Viggo started to say something, but stopped before the first syllable, then tried again, "You got me." His body was very still, except for the repetitive stroking of the sword hilt as he continued, " I just wanted to tell you that I- I appreciate your enthusiasm. You're very young, and... spirited."

That was a kind way to put it. Kind, gentlemanly, mature, devastatingly sexy, unattainable Viggo. Orlando sighed softly, hoping he could manage to keep a low profile adoration that wouldn't interfere too much with the rest of the shooting. Especially since right now all he just wanted to nestle against that infamous ratty long coat that was Strider's characteristic look, and breathe in the ripe Viggo scent.

Nope. Not stalker-ish at all. He tried to keep a neutral expression, although he was sure that he failed miserably. "Enthusiastic?"

Viggo blinked tiredly, then seemed possessed by some strange mood. In a sudden fit of animation, he moved further into the shadow of the trailer next to them until they were concealed from passers by. He drove Orlando before him until there was nowhere to go, but to wedge his shoulder into the metal wall behind him. The corrugated siding bit into the small of his back as Viggo raised his fist.

In another circumstance, with anyone else, Orlando might have flinched, but he very calmly registered the fact of Viggo's hand nudging round to grab the nape of his neck, trapping his head in position, eyes locked with Viggo's. "And young." Viggo said before his lips pressed together, thinning in frustration.

Orlando thought that maybe he'd forgotten to wake up this morning, because this could not be happening, and if it was a dream, he might as well make the most of it. He dipped his head forward, and flattened his lips against the side of Viggo's neck and breathed deeply. Yes, a fabulous, lucid dream. "But spirited?"

"Yes." The acknowledgement was strained; Viggo said it through the nuzzling as Orlando made his way upwards to Viggo's chin. He could feel Viggo's fingers tighten at the base of his skull, pulling at the blonde wig. "Spirited."

Orlando slanted against Viggo, chests bumping as he tried to reach the other man's mouth and swallow any protests of age, or impropriety, or appropriate work relationships that might be issued. He didn't want to waste any time with arguments when there was so little time to call back.

Enthusiasm? Spirit? Hell yeah, whatever it took to get Viggo to put his hands on him.

Viggo managed to angle his head back before Orlando could trace a tongue against the seam of his lips, and he cautioned, "Don't try to make yourself into something you think I want. I'm a crazy, old artist freak, and you will never be able to guess what goes on in this head of mine. So don't try."

Orlando did manage to strain far enough to kiss the corner of Viggo's mouth. "Is this the part where you tell me to always be myself, because you love the real me?"

Viggo brought his neck back to midline, forcing Orlando to move his head along as well. "Actually, I was going to suggest you stop talking so much because we've got very little time until they start looking for us." He loosened his grip on Orlando's wig, probably fearing the wrath of the makeup people, and looked at Orlando with a sudden laugh.


Viggo's hand retreated, wiping against Orlando's cheek. He showed the dark smudge on his finger to Orlando. "Mud." He moved his hand back farther and inspected the sleeve of his jacket, which proved to be the culprit behind the mess. "It was fun last time, wasn't it?" He suggested with a raised brow.


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