Title: Waiting for Viggo
ORIGINAL STORY: Walking on Sunshine by Elaine: chaosmanor
SUMMARY: Boredom leavened by occasional bursts of doing things but mostly boredom. And a slight case of the supernatural...
NOTES: AU. A different pairing for me; the quality of the original writing helped immensely.
Disclaimer: The author makes no claims or inferences to reality or truthfulness. Moreover, this story is based upon the work of another author and recognises their creation.
The headboard bored him. So did the mattress and the handles on the mattress that were most likely there for turning the mattress over. Turning over bored him. As did lying still. The fly on the windowpane had not bored him to start with, but after sixteen minutes of staring at it and making occasional lazy swipes, tedium had set in.
Orlando raised a paw and looked at it with half-closed amber eyes. The paw was part of him, deadly and sleek and shining, and sadly under-used. As were his teeth. He ran his thick, furry pink tongue along the inside edges of his razor-sharp teeth and then attacked the mattress handle again, worrying it free from the blue and white threads that connected it to the mattress, ripping it away and tossing it in the air and catching it in his big wet mouth. That made the fly jump on the windowpane, stupid fly, and it buzzed angrily.
He gnawed at the handle for a few minutes, only playing, not destroying. He felt no enmity for the handle, nor really for the fly. He felt no animosity for anyone or anything. Except, perhaps, time. Time, he hated. Time that ticked down slowly, time like a trickle of treacle glooping out of a jar, so slowly it almost seemed to have stopped altogether.
He yawned and stretched; the drool-drenched handle fell to the floor. He closed his eyes and gave in to the pure sensation of black and noise. Outside the apartment, the traffic quietened to an indistinct hum; the mad lady on the second floor had turned off her TV and was listening to something nice, something old and lyrical and it reminded him of flowers and clouds... and raw meat. He slept.
After a time, he uncoiled himself and slid off the bed and onto the floor with a heavy thump. The bedroom door was open and beyond that the apartment door itself was ajar. As he got closer, this outer door opened but he couldn't be sure if he'd caused that or not. Either way, it swung out for him and he went through, out of the apartment and down a long corridor that was all white and not like Viggo's apartment at all. As he padded along, he felt a growing sense of excitement and also anxiety. There was no reason to be afraid. He was a panther and there was little in the known universe to worry about, really. Was there? He found himself outside another door and now the music from the mad lady's apartment was here in his ears and it was louder and he liked it less but needed it more.
The door opened and after a short pause, he crossed the threshold and into darkness.
When he emerged, some time later, he felt no anxiety whatsoever. He knew everything there was to know. He felt privileged, a little smug, even, as he padded back along the white corridor and back to Viggo's little, confining apartment. Smug but also a little sad.
He looked at the bed and saw himself sleeping there; he was beautiful, so huge and sleek and black, all the long muscles at rest, only his chest moving and his long, twitchy tail as if in panther sleep he was on some great adventure.
He glanced into the mirror fastened to Viggo's wardrobe door and saw himself standing there before the bed; pale and puny and smooth and naked. His brown eyes stared back at him from beneath brows raised in curiosity and recognition. He raised a paw and slid its fingers through dark, gleaming hair. Opening his mouth, he let his tiny little tongue play among the flat, blunt white teeth... On the bed, he was stirring, his whiskers twitching.
In the silence of the afternoon in the endless day that was a life of waiting for the man to return, Orlando heard the music and it reminded him of flowers and clouds... and raw meat. He moved to the bed and laid his hand upon the gently rising chest of the sleeping animal, feeling the mighty heart pumping beneath his palm. He made ready to lie down beside the beast.
The fly buzzed on the windowpane; on the second floor, the music stopped and the TV blared noisily back to life.
He heard the key in the lock but he was so tired that he didn't open his eyes, wanting instead for Viggo to find him thus, for Viggo to awaken him with his clever little fingers.
"Had a good day?" Viggo asked, and Orlando growled softly.
"Thought so," the man continued, finding the good spot under Orlando's chin, the exact place that got him every time. "You had a nap, scratched some furniture, had another nap, gathered up the strength to have a really big sleep, right?"
Orlando rewarded him with a display of belly, legs akimbo. He felt Viggo's eyes on him, watching his every move, so he made it good for him, clawing at the furniture with casual disdain. If the man didn't care about his furnishings, why should he?
He heard Viggo's intake of breath, then the bed springs creaked and the man's insignificant weight was gone.
They'd go for a run, as they always did. It'd be good, to stretch, to bound, to play. Viggo would try to keep up and he'd try to let him.
He owed it to him to make it good, this last time. He couldn't stay for ever, after all. There were others in need. Yet this one, he thought, as Viggo attached the leash, yes this one he would miss.