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Title: Reaction
Author: Elaine, chaosmanor @
Original story: ‘Creation’ by Brenda
Pairing: Viggo Mortensen/Muse
Rating: PG
Summary: Creation is a two way process.
Notes: betaed by Crimson Bride

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.

* * * * *

He’s filthy again, caked in sweat and grime and horse shit, ground into his pores. She tuts over the back of his neck after he’s dragged his shirt over his head.

His mother would scrub him if he were forty years younger.

But there’s no one to scrub him now;he’s all alone, so vulnerable and … available.

He turns the water on, too hot for her liking; she’d rather he didn’t fog the mirror over, but she’s the first to admit she’s a vain creature.

She slips into the running water beside him, the water falling through her robes and body. She’s not corporeal, at least not often, and that is probably a good thing under the circumstances.

Ah, that’s it. He’s lathered up now, head under the stream of water, mouth open.

Time for an image.

He is hers utterly for that moment, seeing what she saw: Elysian fields. He can smell the fresh-mown grass, deepest green, saturating his senses. She lets him really look, lingering over the image while the water streams unheeded over his face. He’ll drown if she doesn’t stop, so she pulls away, slips out of the shower, leaving him alone sketching shapes onto the glass of the shower recess with that pumice paste he uses to clean his hands when he’s trying to impress someone.

Impasto would please her. She just hopes he won’t do anything too abstract for her this time; she likes a little structure.

* * * * *


She can hear him, feel him, stumbling through his mind for words. It pleases her, the way he believes he might find the perfect word for a colour, a feeling, a vision. The fool. She rather suspects the word he's looking for doen’t exist in that strange hybrid morass of language in his mind. She shrugs. She not responsible for the inadequacies of the languages he uses. There's an obvious word for the image in her language for the image.

She’ll get him with a camera obscura in his hand next time. No, with the camera obscura left behind in the machine; that would be even better.

* * * * *

He’s squatting in the fading sunlight, his shadow stretched out thin on the ground beside him, his day’s work done, talking to the pretty one that she likes. Actually, she likes all the pretty ones. If only she could get the boy with the empyrean eyes to let her into his heart the way this one does.

But this one surrenders so beautifully, embraces her, lets her go each time with equanimity. She would have had him by now if she could.

* * * * *

He saw her one night, standing at the foot of his bed.

She wasn’t touching his mind, not this time. He was sleeping, images of his own filling his senses, landscapes rolling beneath him as he rode the sweat-reeking horse. She was letting him dream, letting his dream forest fill her senses, and his dreamself merged with his dreamhorse, and the unfamiliar rhythm of four legs tripped him, and he stumbled and fell awake.

He sat bolt upright and saw her standing at there.

At least she wasn’t naked, though it might have been easier to trick his mind into believing she was part of his dream if she had been.

Realization hit him hard; then the sheet fell away from his body as he held his hand out to her.

She stood there for a moment, temptation making her belly ache, and … her mind stumbled for a moment over the word for kolpos and she couldn’t find it.

She went away for a long time after that: as long as she could bear.

* * * * *

When she came back, slipping into his house late one night, unable to deny herself any longer the joy of touching his mind any longer, he wasn’t asleep.

He wasn’t clutching his stylus, ink blotting his fingers, his lips, as he struggled for an elusive word.

He wasn’t in the darkened room with the strange light like sunshine through the wall of a womb, practicing his esoteric magic that made images.

He was painting, struggling to make colors on the taut cloth. So frustrated, she could feel his ache as he searched for a memory of one of her images.

How could she have walked away from someone like this? Just because he saw her, had an image to put to the phantom he talked to when he thought nobody was listening except her?

She stood behind him, took his hand in hers, stilled the frustration that was making him clutch the paintbrush so hard she thought he would snap it.

He relaxed at the touch of her hand, and she guided his across the fabric. She leaned her chin on his shoulder and sighed contentedly. There was no union of the flesh that equaled this moment, no pleasure so deep and true as when his mind was opened to her, and hers to him.

The colors burst across the fabric, filling her mind, filling his.

She’d stay this time, not leave capriciously, stay for as long as he would let her.

He is not her servant, her slave. She is his.

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