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It by dee
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"It's just..."
      "What? What the fuck is 'it', Viggo?"
"Calm down, Orlando."
      "Screw calm. You're just about calm enough for both of us. What happened to you last night, anyway?"
"I left."
      "I noticed."
"I had to go."
      "Again. What was it this time; a sudden burning need to colour-code your socks?"
"Orlando -"
      "Forget it. So, it's just...?"
"It is."
      "You're going to say what I think you're going to say, aren't you?"
"I think it would be a good idea if we took a break."

      "Fuck. A break? That's... that's sodding bullshit is what that is, Viggo."
"It'd be best. For both of us."
      "Both of us? You're making it sound like we have a relationship or something. What's so draining for you? All you do is show up in the middle of the night and not even make it to the bedroom before you fuck me so hard it leaves a bloody dent in the wall."
"I told you I was sorry about that."
      "Yeah, well maybe I wasn't."

      "Why are you doing this anyway?"

"For you."
"I'm doing this for you."
      "The fuck you are."
"You sleep like an innocent, you know. Deep and untroubled. Don't talk. Barely move. It should be so easy to sleep beside you."
      "I love you."
"No, you don't."
      "I don't sleep like that by myself."
"Good bye, Orlando."
      "Viggo, don't hang up, don't you dare hang -- fuck!"

* * * * *

Elijah never stood a chance, and Viggo knew that from the start. All he could do was turn away, have another drink, refuse to bear witness to what was being played out. An empty gesture, in any case.

He was waiting when Elijah returned. Hated the way he flinched away from Viggo's hand on his shoulder.

"You OK?"

Blue eyes flickered up to his face, and they always underestimated how much those eyes saw, what they knew. "Yeah," he answered, swept a hand through his hair with a small smile. "Yeah, I'm fine."

Viggo handed over his nearly-full glass. "Have a drink."

"Thanks," Elijah said softly, but Viggo heard it, even halfway down the darkened corridor.

He didn't pause at the closed bedroom door, didn't even knock, just turned the handle and went in. The bedroom was dark, the bathroom light on, running water shut off with the click of the door behind Viggo.

They met in the bathroom doorway, half in the light, half-dark. Orlando was shirtless, drying his hands. Viggo was determined, not going to crumble this time.

"Did you have to bring him into this?" Viggo grated.

Orlando raised an eyebrow, tossed the towel into the bathtub. "No one's in this. Just you and me. Always has been. You're the one who needs to realise that."

Viggo shook his head. "You really think that's the truth?"

But Orlando's hand on his shoulder stopped him turning away, made him look back to blazing brown eyes. "Make it the truth."

His hand looked good laid on Orlando's neck, fingers curving over the juncture with his shoulder, thumb swooping over collarbone and yes, especially when he stretched out like that. Viggo leaned forward a little and damn, Orlando's lips were already parting, eyes half-lidded, and Viggo was determined, not going to crumble this time.

"I'm not going to lie any more," he whispered.

He walked away from the light, closed the door quietly behind him.

Elijah was waiting for him, met his gaze steadily, and held out the glass, holding less than it had before. "You OK?"

Viggo took the glass, raised it to his lips. And over the rim, he looked at Elijah. Really let himself see him; hard-as-nails fragility, angel-wicked mouth, translucent eyes that knew enough to weep and still sparkled.

Felt the bite of the alcohol, and wondered just how blind Orlando could be.

He handed the glass back, empty, and shared Elijah's smile. "I'm fine."

* * * * *

The problem with the trailers was that there was nowhere to hide. Not really. Not from incessant pounding at the door, that voice calling his name.

Viggo sat on the edge of his bed, in the dark, watching the red LED of the clock count the minutes. Click; and now it was 1:38 and Orlando had been out there for seven minutes exactly.

"Viggo!" A single thump, heavier, and that was his forehead against the door, Viggo imagined. "Please. Just... please, talk to me. This is killing me." And somehow, he was on his feet, moving towards the door, closed, with its little curtain down over the window. He raised his hands, placed the palms flat on the surface, and he could almost feel the buzz of Orlando's voice. "Vig, please, let me in."

"And what if I did?" He was close enough to the door to hear the intake of breath on the other side, to know that his voice was audible.


But he cut him off, kept talking, flat and calm. "What if I opened the door and took you in. Brought you in and took you in my arms and kissed your forehead, your cheek, your chin, that spot just under your ear, and your mouth, your goddamned mouth, so long and hard -"


" - until you're whimpering, and I know just how to make you whimper, until I strip you naked and throw you on my bed and fuck you until you scream."

"Viggo, please..."

The voice was small and sibillant, and his hands were trembling where they pressed against the door. He could barely believe he was saying this, but he had to say it. Had to say it or do it, and he couldn't shouldn't wouldn't do that, so he made himself continue: "And then I kiss you to your sweet, innocent sleep, and you wake up alone." Silence. "Because that's it, Orlando. That's it."

He imagined he could hear his breathing, or maybe that was just his own, echoing. "I love you."

And Viggo leaned his head against the door, whispered with his faintest breath: "I really hope not."

There was silence, and then the faint shuffle of departing footsteps. Viggo pressed against the door, closed his eyes, his ears, his mind, and tried to still the way his entire body beat in time with his heart.

His eyes flew open at the sound of a quiet knock under his palm, flickered to the glow of the clock in the darkness. 2:07. "Go away, Orlando," he grated.

"It's me. Lij."

A moment of stillness, and then he opened the door. The moonlight was really quite bright. Bright enough to cast silver and shadows over the figure waiting before his trailer. Elijah squinted up at him, stamped out his cigarette butt. He stepped closed to the trailer, disappeared into its shadow.

"Nothing happened. That night at Orli's." Viggo could barely make out his eyes, huge and so innocent it was easy to underestimate how much he saw, how much he knew. Casual-earnest voice, like he was discussing characterisation. "We were just kissing, and he was so urgent, almost frantic, I don't think he even realised, but then it slowed, and stretched. Longer, easier. More intimate, you know? Treasured."

"Yes." Viggo knew. And he looked down into blue eyes that knew. "Why are you here?" Though he knew that too.

"Because I'm not Orli. And neither are you. But for now..." Elijah hesitated, the first time Viggo remembered ever seeing him uncertain. He shifted, placed his foot on the first step up to the trailer. "Can I come in?"

Wordlessly, Viggo stepped aside. And let him in.

* * * * *

You couldn't keep secrets in the seething mass of a movie set. They travelled without vocalisation, by sheer symbiosis. People just knew.

Viggo had been expecting Orlando. He hadn't been expecting the grip on the back of his neck, fingers white-knuckle tight, the intensity of those eyes reflected off the mirror in make-up. They were alone in a bubble of space by the mirror, too early to get started. Viggo was always early when he couldn't sleep. Viggo was always early, these days.

A hiss in his ear brought his attention back, jagged, to the moment. "So did you fuck him?"

Viggo watched Orlando's lips move so close to his ear. "Does it matter?" He kept his voice just as quiet, pre-dawn chill whispered quiet.

Not seething vitriolic quiet. "What do you think?"

"I think..." In the mirror he could see Orlando's knuckles through his hair, unreal, disconnected from the pressure on his neck, digging into the soft gap behind his jaw. "I think it matters as much as you think it does."

When Orlando clenched his teeth, the hinge of his jaw stood out. Viggo traced the line of it with his eyes, down to those lips, still close beside his ear, where he could feel the words. "Why the fuck should I think it matters?"

Never mind the obvious, that didn't matter. Viggo met brown eyes in the mirror. Shrugged against the restraining hand. "You brought him into this."

"I told you; he's not in this."

"Do you even know what this is?"

The question hung between them, suspended in the mirror. The grip against his neck eased, and he tilted his head a little further back.

"You can't just use him." The words were breath, curling and twisting through the whorls of his ear. "He's a person, not a thing. He's not just some inanimate object."

Viggo smiled, then, seeing brown eyes and blue in a different time and place. "It's a cycle, an asymmetric sequence, beautiful. The steps we take; you, me, Elijah. And I wonder... who's trying to prove what to whom?"

The grip tightened again, whitening into pain, and for a moment he thought he'd gone too far, would end with his nose broken in the splintered shards of the mirror.

Then it was gone, he was gone, and Viggo opened his eyes when asked if he was ready for make-up.

* * * * *

Viggo didn't like the hotels. Didn't like losing his personal space, his own rhythm. Didn't like the sterility or the forced companionship.

Didn't like meeting people in the corridor when all he wanted was solitude.

Especially tonight. Tonight he was tired, too tired of it all, too tired to talk to anyone. Ready to turn the other way at the sound of voices.

But it was them.

Them, the pair of them. A lazy leaning slide of shoulderblades against the wallpaper under soothing, smoothing hands. A soft suspiration of breath shared, mingling, moistened by a slide over tongues and lips. The rasp of denim on denim, a hitch in the rhythm, a swallowed, voiced sound.

"Elijah." Whispered, pleading, forced by absence, and he was indeed absent, edging away, hands clinging, down the corridor towards his own room, away from the corner where Viggo loitered. Orlando turned, leaned against the doorframe, trying to keep the contact.

"I should go." Not convincing, betrayed by body hesitation, not fighting the hands that pulled him back. That gathered him against a body, wrapped around him, held him close.

"No." The voice was muffled, Orlando's face buried in hair and clothes as he hunched over slightly. "No, you should stay."

Elijah's head was just visible over the engulfing shoulder, dark hair and pale forehead and eyes closed, and then, in an instant, open and blue and knowing and burning into Viggo's.

"OK, I'll stay."

Shoulders shuddered, hunched further on the expulsion, the release of a breath. Viggo watched pale hands smooth across, stroking, soothing, and a voice: "Shh. It's OK."

He slipped back around the corner, and went the other way.

* * * * *

      "This is Orlando, this is my answering machine, and this is the beep."
"I meant what I said, once, telling you you slept like an innocent. I want to sleep that way, so undisturbed. I sleep light, and wake so easily. Maybe I'm getting better, but I'll never sleep like you. I don't know that I've ever met anyone else who did sleep like you, Orlando. Elijah sleeps like a child, which isn't at all the same thing."
      "I don't want to talk about Elijah."

"You're there."
"Haven't you seen him sleep?"
      "I said I didn't want to talk about him."
"What do you want to talk about, then?
      "Why did you call me, Viggo?"
"Why did you answer?"

"I have your number on speed dial."
      "Can't think why."
"I used to call when I knew you were out, just to listen to your message. And hang up, and do it again."
"To hear your voice. To hope it would be enough."

"It never was."

"Have you seen him sleep, Orlando?"

      "No. I was asleep beside him."
"Of course you were."

      "It's over, isn't it?"

And that was it.