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Title: Of older women and reflected glares
Author: kaydee falls
Original story: "Things to get away with in a skirt" by Doom's Eyebrow
Pairing: vaguely implied Orlando/Viggo, Viggo/Miranda
Disclaimer: Lies, all lies. Even the story doesn't belong to me.
"I heard you guys had your first scenes with Miranda today," Dom says, passing over a beer.
Orlando takes the bottle. It makes his hand damp and clammy. "Miranda?" He squints at the label on the beer, as though it would remind him who Miranda was and why she had scenes with him and Viggo today. "Oh, right, Eowyn. Yeah."
Elijah flips the cap off his own beer. It bounces and skitters across Orlando's coffee table. "Yeah? What's she like?"
"All right," Orlando says vaguely. "Very nice." He hadn't exchanged two words with the woman.
"Fucking gorgeous," Dom sighs, flopping melodramatically onto the couch. His head whacks against Billy's knee. "Ow!"
Billy glares down at him, shoving Dom off his lap. "Serves you right, tosser."
"You're one to talk."
"Anyway," Elijah interrupts, rolling his eyes, "so, she's nice? Cool." He reaches across the coffee table to retrieve his bottle cap, for reasons unbeknownst to any but himself. "Not that I have any scenes with her, but you know, it's cool that she's cool."
"I have scenes with her," Dom announces. "I get to ride on a horse with her. With her arms around me." He mock-swoons again, carefully avoiding Billy's knees this time.
"Be still, your beating heart," Billy mutters.
Orlando tries to picture Miranda as seen through Dom's eyes, and fails. He shrugs. "She's pretty, I guess. Too old, though. She's, what, ten years older than us, Dom."
"Older women!" Dom proclaims from his recumbent position, pressing his hand to his heart and fluttering his eyelashes.
"So," Billy says, raising an eyebrow at Orlando, "how's she getting on with Viggo?"
Orlando coughs as a swallow of beer goes down the wrong way. Elijah takes advantage of his distraction to flick his bottle cap at Orlando. It bounces off his forehead.
* * * * *
Viggo likes Miranda. Orlando can tell, even if Miranda can't. Not that Viggo's necessarily interested in her...in that way, but he definitely respects her. He watches her every take intently, and almost quirks a smile once when she's not looking.
Then again, Viggo's intense with everyone. Yeah.
Too intense. It's getting boring. Orlando pokes him in the back of the head with an arrow to distract him.
But Viggo just brushes him off. Viggo waits until the take is done - it's just before his next real scene with her, instead of these interminable approach/reaction shots - and goes up the stairs to where Miranda stands in front of the Golden Hall. The wind, always particularly violent at this location, whips their hair. Below them, Orlando straightens his wig, scowling.
"Stand there," Viggo is telling her, "and look like you love me."
She does some kind of mock-film-noir-screen-diva thing with her face. It doesn't suit her. At all.
Viggo is apparently in hardcore je-suis-artiste! mode, because he doesn't make fun of her or even laugh, really. Much. "No, I mean--"
Miranda's makeup-enhanced paleness doesn't stand a chance against her embarrassment. "Oh, I'm sorry--"
She's blushing. How cute. Cue Orlando the flirt, leer already in place: "Miranda, if you're ever interested in looking like you love me..." He finishes it with a calculated wink.
Her awkwardness vanishes, replaced by cool sarcasm. "I'll bear that in mind."
Orlando notes the abrupt shift in attitude, but doesn't comment. He totally has this girl's number. Not that he can blame her, really. All the makeup girls past a certain age are gaga over Viggo, too.
"Too much color in Eoywn's face!" someone calls, which really doesn't help Miranda's blushing problem.
She isn't fucking gorgeous, like Dom seems to think, but she's cute enough. Too old for Orlando, though, and he doesn't regret it. He watches Viggo watch Miranda trudge over to the standby makeup girl.
Viggo's too old for him, too, but Orlando has an annoying habit of forgetting that.
* * * * *
Orlando sits in the back of a car at some ungodly hour of the morning with Viggo and Brett. They're bumping their way back out to Edoras, of course, all twelve thousand hours of car ride it takes to get there. The rest of the principal cast are in the comfy van. Apparently the powers that be decided that the older gentlemen and the lady would be happier in the van with the nice, plush seats, and relegated the younger, tougher guys to this little cramped thing.
Brett's listening to his walkman with his eyes closed, completely indifferent to his Gimli garb and the other people in the car. Viggo stares out the window, watching dawn creep gradually over the mountains. Orlando fidgets in his seat and feels a sudden surge of sympathy for the hobbits, who have to be up this early every morning.
The first harsh rays of sunlight break between the mountains and manage to hit Orlando squarely in the eyes. He blinks and squints, squirming to see if he can twist himself out of range. He can't.
Viggo just lets the sunlight hit him. It picks out strands of reddish-blond in his dark hair. Orlando wonders if maybe he's composing a poem or a painting or an internal photograph out of the landscape. But that's stupid and clichéd. Just because Viggo can do things with a pen or paintbrush that Orlando could never duplicate doesn't mean he's always thinking artsy thoughts. Maybe he occasionally thinks about mundane things, like how fucking early it is or what to grab for dinner tonight or--
"I bumped into Miranda in the supermarket last night," Viggo says.
--or grocery shopping with Miranda. "Oh," Orlando says.
"This morning, rather. Around three AM."
"Our call was at five," Orlando remarks, somewhat irrelevantly. He abruptly wishes that he had decided to go food shopping two hours before call this morning.
"Yeah," Viggo says, and then doesn't say anything else. He's staring out the window again.
Orlando squints against the sunlight and tries to see what Viggo sees. But all he gets is the reflected glare.
* * * * *
"I'm going to McKinney's tonight," Orlando tells him.
"Isn't that Viggo's usual hangout?" Elijah's voice is faintly tinny on the other end of the phone line.
"Yeah, it's a pretty good place. Decent appetizer type stuff. You know, to go with the drinks."
"An Irish pub in New Zealand." Orlando can't tell if Elijah is bemused or disapproving. He doesn't particularly care. "Well, feel free to swing past my house afterwards. We're making it a hobbit video game night."
"Yeah. Hey, didn't you get that new racing game? You know, the one with the really cool graphics?"
"Oh, yeah, I haven't had a chance to try it out yet."
"Awesome. Bring it over with you. Or better yet, call me when you're done stalking Viggo and we'll all trek over to your place, you've got a better system anyway."
"Sure. Maybe. I'll ring you."
"Yeah, you do that. See ya."
Elijah rings off before Orlando has a chance to say goodbye. Orlando listens to the dial tone for a few seconds, then shrugs it off and grabs his car keys.
* * * * *
Viggo doesn't look surprised when Orlando pulls up a seat next to him at the pub table. "Elf."
"I was about to get another drink." Viggo indicates his empty glass. "Do you want anything?"
Viggo almost smirks, and Orlando wonders if he's going to regret this. He doesn't particularly care. He fidgets in his seat as Viggo heads over towards the bar, and starts playing with a napkin.
When Viggo comes back, he brings the two drinks and a Miranda. She's looking good tonight -- really good, in fact, with a slinky green top and a black skirt several inches shorter than anything Eowyn would wear, to say the least. Fucking gorgeous, Dom would say, and for the first time, Orlando thinks maybe he has a point. And from the sideways glances Viggo's giving her, he would probably agree with Dom, too.
Orlando swallows hard and plasters a smile on his face. The second Viggo's in his seat -- after pulling over a chair for Miranda -- Orlando bounces into his lap and starts messing around with his hair. Not too unusual, for Orlando, and probably has a better chance of getting Viggo's attention than poking him in the back of the head with one of Legolas's arrows.
Miranda sips her drink and raises an eyebrow. "Now," she says, "there are some things you just can't get away with in a skirt."
"That's very true," Viggo agrees, his voice somewhat muffled by Orlando's arm.
Orlando remembers a landscape at dawn, and tries to see Miranda through Viggo's eyes. She's all silk stockings and little black skirt and low-cut green top and knowing smile. Orlando thinks about the reflected glare of the breaking dawn through the car window, and, yeah, something like that. He looks away.
"What are you trying to say?" he demands playfully, but he already knows.
* * * * *
The first thing Orlando notices as he steps out of McKinney's is that it's starting to rain. The second thing he notices is Viggo at the foot of the small flight of stairs leading to the street from the pub entrance, smiling up at Miranda, who's gazing back down at Viggo.
"You know," she's saying, "I'm getting pretty good at this."
And they're back at Edoras, and again Orlando has no way of pushing his way into the scene, no recourse but a smartass remark and a flippant grin. "At looking like you love him?" he smirks, hopping down the steps to give Viggo a big, cheesy-kids'-movie type nudge in the side.
"She is," Viggo says.
Orlando keeps smiling. There's nothing else he can do. "Watch out," he warns Miranda, only half joking. "He only loves his sword."
Viggo pulls away from him, turning up the collar of his coat. "That's right. See you all Monday." And he's turning away before Orlando has a chance to say goodbye.
"Bye," he says anyway, just in case. Viggo doesn't look back.
Orlando glances over at Miranda. She's watching Viggo go, a distant and vaguely forlorn expression on her face. For a second -- just a second -- Orlando thinks maybe he's seeing her through Viggo's eyes, but then he realizes that he's really just looking into a mirror.
"Want to come back to mine for a bit with the hobbits?" he offers, awkwardly.
"No," she replies, not really paying any attention to him. "That's all right."
Orlando thinks about Dom, swooning ridiculously across his couch. "Your loss." Then, because there's really nothing else to say, he braces himself against the rain and heads in the direction of his car.
He unlocks the car and slides into the driver's seat, pulling the door closed behind him. The leather seat is damp with the rain he brought in. He opens the glove compartment and pulls out his cell phone to call the hobbits, then pauses.
Elijah's number is in his phone. So is Viggo's. And Miranda's still standing on the pub steps, toying with her umbrella.
Orlando runs his thumb lightly across the cell buttons and stares out at the dark, wet street. The rain drums on the roof of his car. The world always feels fresh and wonderful in the morning after a long rain, but the rain itself can drive a person crazy.
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