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AUTHOR: Kelly Nicola (wolfsage)
ORIGINAL STORY: The Difference Between Friends and Lovers by Chelsea
Notes: This was written for the Lotrips Remix 2004 challenge.
Written: March 27, 2004
Disclaimer: This is a work of fiction. Original story written by Chelsea (lj: godofwine)
Orlando presses in close to Viggo, heads together intimately. There's no space between them for the seconds that they cling together.
Viggo hasn't planned on this, but the feeling can't be ignored. He lightly moves his fingers, one hand tracing up Orlando's back and the other firm on one hip. He leans in, and smells, that undervalued sense that shoots signals to the deepest parts of his brain that this is right.
Ah, but we forget this is a public place. Viggo places an kiss on the boy's cheek, and draws away, casting him a brief but meaningful smile and hoping that will be enough for now.
Evening slips in and Viggo shuffles through his suitcases, back in his hotel room. Pulling out a sketchpad and a set of pencils, he begins to trace the lightest dusting of graphite onto white paper. He gradually darkens the page, filling in shadow and outline. He finds himself at two in the morning with a finished portrait of Orlando Bloom and an ice-cold pair of feet. He tucks away the drawing, and falls asleep as soon as his head hits the pillow.
Impressions don't leave Viggo easily, and so when he sits down next to Orlando for a joint interview a few months later, the first thing that his mind recognizes deeply is Orlando's familiar smell. The difference between friends and lovers, even ex-ones, is that one can instinctively recognize the scent of one's lover. Orlando has a smell so very individual and personal that Viggo could never mistake it, yet try as he might he can never remember it. They have to be in the same room, or that visceral memory slips away. A real shame, he thinks, but decides it can be something to look forward to.
He follows the conversation attentively, sipping his water. He is careful not to interrupt, or glance over too often. Orlando gestures and speaks with a rolling self-assurance almost as unbreakable as Viggo's own.
A breathlessly amused retelling of one of the many stories they've taken with them from the set of the movies, and Orlando unconsciously exudes welcoming body language, grabbing Viggo's knee at times, and smiling genuinely.
Viggo so thoroughly enjoys himself that he forgets to prepare for the questions. Sarah, the interviewer, chirps, "You two are very close, aren't you?" She eyes them with a friendly but professional expression.
Viggo glances over. Looks like he's to take this question. He decides that inviting this interviewer into more private matters would not be a good idea. He easily tosses out the stock answer: "Yes, we're good friends. Everyone is, the cast and crew were really able to bond through this experience." He doesn't look at Orlando, but looks Sarah straight in the eye. Friendly. Brief. We're professionals here, ma'am.
She takes the smoothest route, moving back to discussion of New Zealand. Viggo relaxes into the dusty blue couch and watches the curve of Orlando's back, and the absurdly trendy paintings on the walls.
The paintings soon merge into store-fronts, as Viggo drives; they are going to dinner. And they walk together on the sidewalk by the sea-side, brushing elbows and shoulders. Viggo keeps the topic of conversation on their many mutual friends but does not fail to notice the way Orlando's eyes dilate when he looks at Viggo, and the way they seem to sway in rhythm, finding many excuses to walk shoulder to shoulder, to touch wrists and fingers and upper arms.
But they don't say a word. Viggo's careful of that.
And the evening ages; and soon they are exchanging information, and cheerful goodbyes.
When Viggo slides into bed that night, his hands drift down and soon he is silently moving, the sheets whispering together in a practiced rhythm. He is choking out Orlando's name when the phone rings, and he lets it go unanswered as he lies with panting breath and a sheen of sweat on his forehead.
As usual, time passes. Viggo drifts through the day wondering if he should perhaps take a trip to London, or maybe just make a nice long phone call.
He isn't expecting Orlando to show up at his doorstep, cheeks flushed and hair messy. But he doesn't ask; he is more than happy to simply open the door wider and make a motion of welcome. Orlando looks pale but otherwise unchanged, and their conversation drifts as Orlando yawns with more frequency.
Eventually, Viggo shows him to the guest room, his eyes drifting lazily across Orlando's features, his clothes, his body. Despite his exhaustion, his movements spark with energy, and he hugs Viggo goodnight, fingers lightly twisting along Viggo's shoulders and arms and sides. Orlando shifts his balance and Viggo is poised on that peak, that point where you either lean forward and in to the other person, or you draw back and away.
He stops. Balance returns. "I've missed you, my friend," he says. There's a sort of edge of uncertainty in his voice at the last part of the sentence, but he's pretty sure only he can notice it. Orlando smiles and slips away to have a shower. Viggo walks down the hall and leans heavily back on his bedroom door, once he's inside and unseen. He wonders if their agreement, to end the relationship on good terms after New Zealand, was a good idea. His mind is suddenly flooded by images and memories and emotions. His body is nostalgic for Orlando; he misses the planes of his stomach and his puppy-fuzz hair. He misses the scent of him. But perhaps Orlando doesn't realise the signals he's giving off. Orlando had specifically said "just friends." He had agreed. Friends.
There must have been a great reason why they agreed to stop seeing each other. But with a hard cock and the sound of running water behind the walls, Viggo can't quite remember what it was.
Viggo squints in the sunlight and brews himself a cup of tea, determined to say something romantic and sweep Orlando back off his feet.
So, when Orlando folds himself easily into one of the chairs, and nibbles on a slice of toast, he prepares himself, and takes a breath, and---
"I don't want to be friends anymore," Orlando says suddenly.
Viggo lets out his breath in a quiet whoosh and doesn't say a word. Orlando stands and looks at Viggo with that look of his -- part cocky youth, part uncertain boy. That look that drives the temperature of the room to summers in L.A. or an hour under the spotlights. Orlando closes the distance between them, pressing his body against Viggo's silently.
Viggo sighs fiercely as Orlando's fingers and lips are suddenly everywhere, pressing into him and tracing over his face and neck and hair. Viggo surrounds him easily with his long arms, holding him protectively and whispering "alright" into Orlando's ear, his skin warming to touch. Viggo thinks that the difference between friends and lovers is just this: the heat that flows across his skin; and the idea that things can change upon a single word.
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