Title: The "How Not To Guide" To The Non-Traditional Mid-Life Crisis
AUTHOR: jocondite
ORIGINAL STORY: Blame by telesilla
PAIRING: Viggo/Bean, various.

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.


Viggo's fallen asleep, which is good, but his legs are still tangled with Sean's (bad) and he's lying across Sean's left arm (worse).

Sean manages to separate his legs from Viggo's without waking him, but retrieving his hand proves an endeavour of more fucking magnitude. He tries to ease it out slowly, praying that Viggo doesn't feel it enough to wake. Viggo's skin is still damp from exertion, and Sean takes the risk of leaning in and pressing his lips to the curl of his shoulder. Viggo smells like sex and sweat and himself, and he lets his mouth linger, just a bit.

"Mmmph," Viggo says, although as far as Sean can see, his eyes remain closed, and Sean immediately feels like a naughty child, caught red-handed.

"'S nothing, it's just me," he says quietly, "you're still laying on my arm. Mind shifting over a bit?"

Viggo makes another inarticulate noise, and half-turns in the bed. Sean sits up, rubbing at his face. Viggo's still again, so he gets to his feet, gropes around for his trousers (he finds them tossed into a distant corner of the room), and spends a few more fruitless minutes trying to quietly find his shirt before remembering that it very well could be downstairs.

He has the door open when Viggo rolls over again.

"Sean?" Viggo asks blurrily, and Sean sighs.

"Yeah. I'm just going for a shower, Vig. Go back to sleep."

Viggo gives a tiny nod, and Sean would bet anything that his eyes are still sealed shut. "You're going? I'll see you on set tomorrow."

"Yeah," Sean says, although of course, he won't. It's a good thing Viggo's not awake enough to remember (it is), because Sean's going to be cutting it fine as it is, unless he skips the shower.


"He's not taking it very well."

"Don't talk rot, Yank. He seems perfectly fine to me."

"You're fucked in the head, then. He's back to carting that sword around everywhere -- "

"You make a very Freudian point. Like a big, placebo phallus, d'you think? Bean should be flattered."

" - and when I mentioned that he must be missing him, he just raised his eyebrows at me and ruffled my hair. Then he went to talk to Miranda. Do you know what Makeup's going to do to me if he's messed up the wig?"

"Hobbit hair is meant to be tousled. They'll only flay you alive a little bit."

"Fuck you, Dom. I'm serious. You'd go weird if me or Billy finished up here, wouldn't you?"

"I'd turn to Orli for solace. Or maybe Karl- ouch, you little bastard. Actually, the more I think about it, the more I think that you're right. He's sleeping in the stables again. Either I need to start passing the word along about his dubious personal preferences, or, with Bean gone, he misses the smell. Stables as a substitute for smell, fucking great sword as substitute for fucking great - ouch."


Sean's been gone three weeks when Viggo trips Miranda into bed (one). Or rather, she trips him. He should feel guilt about that, perhaps, but guilt is a waste of human emotion when it's not followed by repentance, and repentance in this situation is an idiotic notion. If Sean knew, he'd chuckle, and probably stand Viggo a beer. Miranda's a lovely woman, and Viggo's been flirting with the notion for the few months, although it's her, finally, who makes a move. If Viggo had planned it, there probably would have been dinner, and then plenty of time to map her body, learn what makes her moan in the privacy of a bedroom. It's hard not to look at Miranda when she has her long golden hair and her fluttering long skirts, and not think of taking the time to carefully unwrap her.

Instead, it happens in the back of her trailer when they're due for another scene in twenty minutes. She pushes Viggo down onto her couch and helps him with Aragorn's trousers, and soon he's staring at the spectacular sight of her above him, arching her back as she rides him. She's hot and sweet and wet, and he holds her breasts against his palms and licks sweat from the curve of her neck, thinking about Brynhildr riding through the skies to Valhalla.

It doesn't happen again, which Viggo also did not expect. Dave, now, is an old friend of Miranda, and the two of them can be found around set with their heads together, absorbed in mysterious conversation, all too often accompanied by peals of laughter.

It's from Miranda that the cast and crew learn that his nickname is 'Daisy', and Dom and Billy spend several hours on that afternoon staggering around in delirium, eyes glazed over at the magnitude of their good fortune and the thoughts of all the possible jests and punch lines that can be made at Daisy's expense.

Dave seems like a nice guy. Viggo often catches himself looking idly around, and thinking oh, there's Sean. It's disconcerting how hard his subconscious mind tries to persuade him that Sean is over there, just a little out of sight, and every time it still takes him a few seconds to stop, take a closer look, and realise that no, those shoulders belong to Dave, even if the way he's tilting his head, his back to Viggo, is subliminally identified by Viggo's brain as Sean.

It's inevitable that he ends up fucking him (two). Dave makes desperate little noises in the back of his throat when he wants urgently to come, and growls when he's in the mood and Viggo's been teasing him too long, when he winds a hand into Viggo's hair and kisses him.

Viggo can go out for a beer with him, and talk sports, although Dave's more interested in Aussie Rules football than the traditional variety. Sometimes Dave is there after a fuck when Viggo wakes up in the morning, and sometimes he isn't, and the whole thing is a matter of profound unconcern to either of them. It's comfortable. Dave doesn't care when he sees Viggo flirting with Cecily from Feet, and Viggo could care less about the fact that Miranda and Dave are probably fucking (much as he'd like to see it, and even better, participate in it.)

Dave starts laughing when Viggo shows him the belt, though, and it takes Viggo a while to persuade him that he's quite serious about a little experimentation with bondage and rough play. He starts laughing when they attempt it, too, and finally Viggo is forced to concede that Dave is pure vanilla in bed, beyond the fact that he's quite happy to suck cock and to fuck a guy, and be fucked in turn. It's easy and it's comfortable and it becomes devastatingly monotonous. Neither of them give a fuck, beyond the fucking, and after a few months of the loose arrangement, Viggo steps up his flirtation with Cecily in Feet (three). He finds the way she blushes and the sweet drawl of her Kiwi accent, with its clipped vowels and interrogative lift at the end of most sentences, to be charming and, well, new. "Dom's on the warpath," Orlando remarks, when they're having the shit kicked out of them at in weapons practice. "He's howling for your blood." He parries the final thrust his sparring instructor makes, then steps back, wiping perspiration from his forehead with the back of his hand.

"Oh?" Viggo asks, unscrewing the cap on his bottled water. "What've I done now?"

Orlando grins, then strips his drenched shirt off over his head. "You're fucking his Foot technician person. And he's as mad as flea in a fit over it."

Viggo lifts his eyebrows, curious. "What does Dom care? I thought he had arrangements with ..."

"Oh, he does," Orlando agrees, waving a hand breezily. "But it's like -- well, I wouldn't like it if you slept with the girl who does my ears, my makeup person, you know. It's like ..." His forehead creases a little with thought. "It's kind of like lending your toothbrush to someone, I guess. Yeah. You know?"

"No," Viggo says, diverted.

"Well, just a head's up," Orli shrugs. "Wanna spar?"

Viggo laughs quietly -- Orlando can always make him laugh -- and they spend the next quarter of an hour sparring, before Viggo's aching muscles tell him it's well past time to stop. Orlando gleams all over like he's been cast in bronze. "You about done, old man?"

"Laugh while you can," Viggo mutters darkly, walking over to put his sword away. Orlando follows him.

"Look," Orli says finally, "I know things with -- I know you're still kinda upset over that thing with Sean. I get that. Sort of."

Viggo stares at him blankly; he's found that that's a good way to get Orlando to drop a subject. Orli pines without encouragement.

"If you want to talk," Orli perseveres, painfully young, earnest, beautiful. "Or -- anything. If there's anything I can do, you know, to help."


To: Sean <s.bean@britishtelecom.com> Sender: <viggomortensen@hotmail.com> Subject: Hey.

I could use you around here to help control the young ones. They're running a bit wild. I can't put the fear of god into them properly (Sir Ian could, but he professes to be amused by their antics). How was your flight? You probably miss New Zealand already. I find it difficult to imagine leaving it when Principal finishes. Although I know I'll be back. You're back for Towers pickups next year, aren't you? You must be enjoying getting back your creature comforts. And the full coverage of British sport, of course.


To: Viggo <viggomortensen@hotmail.com> Sender: <s.bean@britishtelecom.com> Date: August 15, 2001 10:30 AM Subject: Re: Hey

Sorry about taking so long to answer. Too right about the creature comforts. I've been making up for lost time with the daughters. And with other much missed female company. I can't say I'm missing New Zealand yet, although I'll probably come to it. I bought a new car. Well, Range Rover. I shouldn't call that a car, should I? Like calling the QE2 a boat. It's a beauty. Six-speed automatic transmission in both engines, and a 0-to-60-mph time of 7.2 seconds.


Orlando drags Sean in to get his Fellowship tattoo, and stands over him while it's inked into his shoulder. It hurts like a sonofabitch, the needle, but the tattooist is quite good, on the whole, and looks the other way when Sean swigs back a half-bottle of bourbon.

"It's not for the pain," he tells Orlando grumpily. "That's barely a mosquito bite. 'S principle of the thing." The tattoo artist -- on purpose, Sean thinks -- digs the needle in a little deeper, and his resulting flinch makes Orli crack into peals of laughter, the bastard.

There are curves and curling lines licking their across the bicep of the tattooist, relaxing and then coiling tighter as his arm moves. Sean watches them, and thinks that they look almost like the whorls and waves of Maori carving. He doesn't think about following the lines over the smooth muscle with his tongue, or about how fucking fanciable and gloriously barbaric Viggo would look, arms bared to display the patterns, at all.

Sean lets Orlando take him out drinking, after and watches as Orli get absolutely trolleyed -- Elf still has no head for booze. Orlando's hair has grown back in -- well, of course it has, it's been, what, eighteen months? Sean rubs a friendly hand over Orli's crop of curls. Orlando is, if anything, more frantically active (fucking pretty, pretty boy) when smashed, his dark eyes gleaming brightly and a ruddy flush smeared across the arch of his cheekbones.

Sean's a good friend, so later he slings an arm around Orlando's shoulders and helps him back to his hotel room. He's a fucking great friend, actually, so he peels Orlando out of his ridiculous shirt -- the lad can deal with his own trousers -- and puts him to bed.

He's about to beat a retreat when Orli opens his eyes and stares blearily at him. "Sean," he says, so Sean stops, hand still on the doorknob, and looks back at him.


"You don't -- you don't have to go. Stay." Orlando stretches, the golden skin of his chest and arms beautiful in the dim electric light. "'m so drunk. So fucking wasted, man. Don't tell the hobbits. Or Viggo. You can stay."

"No," Sean says, and suddenly he feels like he's the one who's had too much to drink, because his tongue is thick in his mouth. "No, that's alright, Orlando. Not really my thing, y'know."

Orlando doesn't answer, and Sean decides that he's passed out. He lets himself out, but because he's a good friend, he makes sure first that there's a glass of water by Orlando's bed, although he's fucked if he can find any aspirin.

He goes back to the bar and finishes off the job that the bourbon and Orli started, and he must have picked up some blonde thing there, because she's in his bed when he wakes up with a mother of a hangover -- why is there nobody to leave him water and aspirin? -- although thankfully she leaves as soon as she's showered.


Sean, it's Viggo, when does your flight get in? Call me with the details, and I'll pick you up, if you want. The pick-ups for Towers have been going well for the past week or so, after that hiccup with the film. The boys are already complaining about Feet again.


Hey, it's Viggo again.


Bean, it's Orli, we're all going out to dinner in Welly tonight, you're coming, yeah? A sort-of 'hey, we're all back -- well, most of us are back -- in New Zealand again' thing. I'm going to kick Billy's arse at poker tonight, just a heads-up, I think Dom's running a betting pool. Put some dosh on me, I'm a dead cert.


Sean tells himself that it isn't going to happen again this time; that it happened before was because they were on the other side of the world, away from everything -- fuck, away from civilization once they finished up in Auckland -- and he was in a bad place, really, with the divorce from Abigail and everything. Everyone experiments once or twice, don't they? (More times than he can count using fingers and toes together, to be honest, but if it's just the one person, the one bloke, that still counts as experimentation, as far as he's concerned). Right, maybe they don't wait until they're in their forties to try out the whole shebang, but a bit of experimentation, that's normal. Kinsey scale, and all that. They were away from everything, they were in this place and the rules maybe didn't quite apply, and anyway, he's certain that he'd had a few the first time. And maybe that wasn't the last time (maybe it was just the first of far too many) but the whole thing was particular to that time and place. And just because Sean's going back briefly for the Towers pick-ups doesn't mean that that the Viggo thing is going to start again.

Sean's glad at first that Viggo doesn't assume it is, but then it starts to bother him.

He gets into Auckland International around midday, and ends up walking half a mile to the domestic terminal for his connecting flight down South. By the time he gets into Wellington, it's late afternoon, but the sun is still quite high in the sky. Being back in Wellington feels surprisingly good, and he's glad it does, because standing in the flat landscape of the Auckland airport felt, well, flat. Wellington isn't flat in the slightest; the compact city is still curled around its harbour, sparkling blue-green with the sun, and framed by those impossibly steep sheer cliffs and hills, houses set into them at improbable degrees and angles. The sight makes his throat tighten a bit.

Seeing the others gives Sean the same sort of feeling. Dom's sprawled out across Billy and Elijah's laps, while Astin reads over the script. Dave's there, and Sean gives his 'brother' a nod -- they do look remarkably alike, really, for all that Daisy's a Aussie. It's almost like he never left at all, because Viggo's sitting in the corner of Pete's lounge, so quiet and still that Sean doesn't realise he's there until he grins at him wide and white. Uncanny bastard.

It's almost like he never left, because when Viggo grins at him, then comes over and clasps his shoulder with just the right amount of friendly pressure, Sean has to swallow and make a bit of effort not to drag him outside and get properly reacquainted.

"You should've had me pick you up, you stubborn bastard," Viggo says into his ear, just this side of friendly, and Sean just laughs, well, you know me, stubborn as they come, and they're back on a properly friendly footing.

For the next week, it's just like that. And it drives Sean past the point of stark raving madness.

It still doesn't count, because it's still New Zealand, and he can finish here and be done with it all. Leave it all behind quite properly.


To: Sean <s.bean@britishtelecom.com> Sender: <viggomortensen@hotmail.com> Date: August 15, 2001 10:30 AM Subject: [no subject]

Have a good flight back. Call me when you get to London. You left two packs of cigarettes in the kitchen. Dom called. He said to tell you that you owe him 50 NZD, and 'that's what you get for betting on an Elf.' He also made some incomprehensible threats about 'welshers', which I take it means 'people who skip the country owing other people money'. I would have driven you out to the airport if you'd asked, you know. You could have woken me before you left this morning. I would've liked to see you off. I suppose last night was goodbye. Good job on not waking me this time. I guess there's hope for the stealth skills of man - the basic, no-special-Numenor-descent version. Are you going to be at Cannes?



The Macbeth production is one he's wanted to see set in motion for over a year. He can do that now, call his agent and tell her how much he wants to play Macbeth, and yeah, it takes a while, and some talking, and all sorts of behind-the-scenes talking and maneuvering, he's sure, as well as a healthy dose of serendipity, but it happens. He hasn't trod the boards since Romeo and Juliet back when he was starting out, and it's a little like relearning to ride a bicycle, and a whole fucking lot like bootcamp, like he's gone soft and grown accustomed to multiple takes, to shooting a scene and then being done with it and with those lines. Sean doesn't like feeling out of shape professionally, but he enjoys the feeling of mastery he gets when he proves to himself that he can still pull it off.

Samantha makes a wonderful Lady Macbeth, but she makes the fact that she's unavailable clear to all and sundry, like a sign in a shop window. She's lovely, all the better, like good whiskey, for having a few years on her, but Sean knows better than to presume too far in that direction.

It's a good thing that Hall's gone for beautiful redheads to play the three witches, and not the traditional wizened old crones. Sean takes a special shine to the one playing the second Weird Sister, and one night after a performance, when they're still high on the adrenaline and haven't yet lapsed into post-show exhaustion, she asks him back to hers. It's been a few weeks since he had a shag -- he's been so fucking busy, he could barely see straight -- and they have a bit of a grope getting there. Once in the door, the second witch -- Katie -- wastes no time, and while he's still fumbling his shirt off, she's standing there without a stitch on.

Katie is beautiful, small high breasts and narrow ribcage tapering to her slender waist, sweetly swelling hips. Nice arse. Sean watches her push her red hair back over her shoulders, so that it no longer obscures her tightening nipples, and her gesture has more in it of genuine frustration with the length of her hair than deliberate staging. She's beautiful, and he's eager for it, he fucking is, and he tells himself that and tries not to remember Viggo brushing Aragorn's hair out of his eyes.

Sean tells himself that he never imagines Viggo running his fingers through Orli's Legolas wig, and he mostly succeeds.

It's hard to keep thinking about Viggo -- why is he thinking about fucking Viggo? Stop thinking about the bastard! - because Katie comes forward until she's pressed up close against him, and her breasts rub against his chest, and it's easier to ignore the memories of stubble scraping at his jaw and at the insides of his thighs, his belly, and to concentrate on the scent and feel of her. Sean kisses her back almost by rote, lets his hands rest on her hips and his thumbs rub against the hollows of her hipbones. She's left the light on, and when she pulls back from him a little, starts to sink to her knees ... oh, that's a bit of all right, isn't it, and he looks forward to returning the favour -- her hair shines red-gold, like the flaking halo of one of those crude old icons in the National Portrait Gallery.

And he's thinking about Viggo's mouth as hers closes around him. It's a lovely sight, the way her lips wrap around his cock, but Sean groans and then closes his eyes. She must take that as positive feedback because she seems to put more effort still into sucking him off. Sean thinks about Viggo kissing and biting his way along Sean's hips, tongue teasing at his thighs and flicking wickedly at his balls, while Sean curses at him for ignoring his cock and strains his wrists against the rough underside of the wide leather belt tying them together.

He's so caught up in thinking about it that it takes him a few seconds to open his eyes when she pulls away. Sean smiles at her, and hopes to Christ that he didn't say anything incriminating. His mind stops working when his cock's involved, which just typifies that whole fucking mess with Viggo, doesn't it, and why can't he stop fucking thinking about him?

He takes her to bed, then, but the whole process is mechanical and massively disappointing, considering the amount of time he's spent eyeing her during the past few weeks of production. Sean makes an effort not to fall asleep after, even though he's so fucking tired that his eyes ache, and it's rude to hang around too long after, but ruder to get off the bed and struggle into his trousers immediately. He spends the few polite minutes that indicate god, that fuck was so magnificent it knocked out my higher-functioning synapses staring at her ceiling through half-closed eyes. The fucking light is still on.

He didn't pay Vig that small courtesy last time they ma- fucked, scrambled out of bed as soon as they were done. And then before that, over a year now, he rushed to the shower almost quicker still. True, he had had a flight to make -- both times, actually - but the shower was important because it meant I'm leaving this behind with New Zealand.

Sean feels empty, suddenly yet more tired, like getting absolutely soused, although he can't, of course, has to -- no, there's no matinee today, thank Christ, but there's still the evening performance.

He gets up, then, struggles into his clothes -- they're strewn all over the floor, and he finds his shirt before his trousers. Katie's breathing's slow, and Sean's not sure if she's asleep or whether she's watching him leave.

He goes home and makes himself a cup of tea, and finds himself staring at the phone.


Viggo's sitting outside when his mobile rings loudly from his pocket, jarring him out of his thoughts. The trees are black and spiky against the strangely bleached sky, ominous blades, and he was thinking of indian-ink against a soft wash of grey gouache. That he has his mobile on him is no small miracle; that it should be on his person, charged, and loud enough that he cannot ignore it with a clear conscience all add to a much larger one yet. His oft-frustrated agent would be hard-pressed to believe that such a confluence of circumstances could, in fact, occur.

"Viggo," he says into the phone, once he's managed to get it open and to still its irritating bleep-bleep, bleep-bleep, BLEEP. He leans back against the building behind him, waiting for the other caller to speak. It's quiet for a few seconds. Viggo enjoys the tang of the outdoors at night, ozone on the air, once you get a little away from the city.

"Vig, hi," Sean says into his ear, and Viggo blinks in surprise, smile creasing the corners of his mouth. "Sean!"

"It's not too late, is it?" Sean asks, and his voice is rough with alcohol, or sleep, or the lack of it, or something else altogether; Viggo can't entirely pin it down.

He always liked that about Sean, that he seems so easy to read, yon traditional bluff Yorkshireman, but that he can be difficult to properly quantify. Viggo liked that quality of his, because he likes things that can't be put tidily away into boxes, can't be cleanly divided; likes the way charcoal smudges and smears and gets all over the fucking place. He thinks that things with Sean would never have got into such a mess if Sean was easy to read.

"No, no," Viggo replies, and doesn't say it's never too late for when you can trouble yourself enough to give me a call. "It's early for you, isn't it? What with you living on theater time, you lucky bastard." Viggo pauses, but Sean doesn't answer. "How's that going? The reviews I've seen have all been good," he continues, and doesn't say I've been checking all that I can, so I can hear how fucking gorgeous you look handling a sword -- as if I didn't know -- and hoping I don't find "Bean Follows O'Toole's Wooden Performance In The Scottish Play" as a headline. Viggo's found it pays to choose your words carefully around Sean. 'Fuck, that was good' was fine and 'Fuck me' was better, but anything too far past that border -

"It's good," Sean says. "It's a bloody fantastic cast; you're right. I'm a lucky bastard." He sounds short, and his voice is still rough and a little off, somehow. Viggo can imagine his jaw is tight, teeth clenched together.

"Sean?" Viggo asks, carefully. "What's wrong?" Please let it not be one of the girls. That can't be it -- Sean would hardly carry on a conversation if it were -- but the strain in his voice makes Viggo tense his shoulders in sympathy.

"I haven't been to bed," Sean admits, and maybe Viggo is wrong, maybe he is just tired.

Doing theatre does that to you; the gruelling live performances daily, having to give that much of yourself perfectly each time. It's an art in itself, and a lot of the L.A. people Viggo's worked with wouldn't be able to handle such a return to the roots of the profession. "Insomnia again?" Viggo asks.

Another slight pause, and then, "I went home with Katie." ("Katie," Viggo says, and then he's not sure what else to say.

"One of the witches," Sean explains, "she's got red hair. Well, they all have red hair; it's very striking."

Viggo doesn't know what Sean expects him to say to that, whether he wants the back-slapping congratulations of Viggo in his Good Mate role, because he's drunk and tactless or because he still has something to prove, or whether he's purposefully trying to get some sort of reaction out of him. Sean isn't deliberately cruel, but he can be unpredictable. "I thought you liked blondes."

He switches the phone to his other ear, in time to hear Sean mutter "... bloody hell."

Not a game, then, or not one Sean intends to continue with. "Sean? Why did you call and tell me this at ... what, 10 in the morning?"

"Did you fuck Orlando after I left?" Sean counters harshly. Viggo blinks at the non sequitur, lets the silence carry on a few more seconds.

"This isn't about Orlando or who I slept with. Sean, why did you call?"

"Because it should have been a great fuck," Sean snaps at last, loudly enough that Viggo has to angle the phone away from his ear a little. "She's beautiful, not interested in any kind of commitment, isn't looking for me to advance her career and she looks bloody fantastic with her mouth wrapped around a bloke's cock."

Viggo has & no idea what to say. Not a fucking clue. What do you say to that? I'm glad? Sean would lay him out, and deservedly, probably. I'm sorry? Not something any man likes to hear after a failed sexual encounter. He doesn't know what Sean wants from him. He's moved from friendly into angry, and Viggo has no intention of allowing himself to serve as an outlet for Sean's frustration -- at least, not this way.

"I was bored out of my mind," Sean says dully. "I don't think she could tell, or I dunno - maybe she could. It just -- damn it, Viggo. I used to be straight!"

"Ah," Viggo says, carefully non-committal, the sort of tone he's more accustomed to using on a spooked horse. "You know what I think of labels."

"Spare me the politically correct shite. I don't care what you think of labels."

Carefully, carefully. "I know."

He can hear Sean sigh into the phone, frustration and tiredness. Viggo feels tired, too.

"It's just - fuck it all to hell, Viggo. I thought it - the thing, the thing with you - was something I'd leave behind. Something that was outside real life."

Yes, he's gathered that. "If you thought that," Viggo asks, "why ask about who I slept with after you left?" Sean is briefly silent, and Viggo takes advantage of this to continue. "If you really have to know, I had sex with Miranda, Dave, and Cecily from Feet." He pauses. "And not Orlando."

A near thing though it was.

"Oh," Sean says, and for while he says nothing else. Viggo can't begin to hazard a guess as to what he's thinking about, whether he's latched on to 'did not fuck Orlando' or to 'did fuck Miranda, Dave, and Cecily from Feet', and what he makes of either admission. ("Why not?" Sean asks finally.

"Because he's too young and I really prefer my men to be a little more butch," Viggo replies, and it may be a half-truth, but it'll serve. Sean doesn't seem to be in the mood to hear anything more honest.

"And straight."

Somehow, Viggo has never expected Sean to actually accuse him of that, straight out. He's picked up that vibe from Sean before; Sean's made a point, the past few months, of mentioning the girls, women he's been with, made a point of his heterosexuality. Sean makes Viggo sound -- like he makes a practice of targeting straight men, like a predator, a corruptor, like Sean was helpless (blameless) prey. ("Is that what you think?" Viggo asks quietly. "That I set out to seduce you and that, thanks to me, you're suddenly gay? God, Sean-"

"Look, I know it's not logical. And it's not like that." A sigh. Viggo forbears to ask what it is like, then. "Or at least that's not all of it."

"But it's part of it." Viggo pinches the bridge of his nose. Fuck. Fuck. (" &Christ. I'm sorry, Viggo." Sean's muttering, but Viggo's too busy trying to remember, something which, ironically, he's spent the last while trying to forget. That first time, Sean sprawling back on his messy couch, shoving outdated scripts and crumpled clothing out of the way, laughing. Tasting like the whiskey they'd been passing back and forth. He'd still been so depressed at that point about how things had worked out with Abigail-

"Did you actually want it?" Viggo says asks. "Or was it just that you were &"

"Was I what?"

"Were you too fucked up to know what you wanted?"

Viggo can hear Sean gasp, as if he's honestly shocked by the question, and breathes a little easier. "My turn to apologise. But, Sean... you were so determined to leave it behind. What was I supposed to think? I've never been anyone's mid-life crisis before. I have yet to have my own."

"Viggo, I get the point you're trying to make."

"No, Sean. I don't know that you do."

"To take advantage of you, to call you up in the middle of the night after ignoring you for weeks or months at a time, to leave in the middle of the night after we've fu ... made love, hell, to call it fucking instead of making love." Viggo listens to him breathe, to the slight hitch in his breathing. "It's not like I haven't heard it all before, Viggo."

"Like it's perfectly all right to blame me for something that's not my fault. Don't mistake me for one of your ex-wives." He means that last sentence to sting.

"You're right. What the fuck do I say, Viggo? All I know is that I miss you, more than I've missed anyone in my life. No amount of fucking around helps." Sean pauses. "It just makes it worse."

For a long time, Viggo is silent. Finally he says, "God, Sean," and then because more seems to be expected from him, he adds "I didn't know."

"How could you?" Sean says gruffly. "I'm notorious for not saying what I feel."

Viggo breathes in, deep. "You know, it's been a long time since I saw any theatre in London."


(three months later)

To: Viggo <viggomortensen@hotmail.com> Sender: < s.bean@britishtelecom.com>> Subject: Two days.

There better be milk in the fridge when I come back this time. Beer, too. Don't think that I'm forgetting the last time I was out of town and you rediscovered your love of fingerpainting. I'm permanently scarred by the memory of coming home to find the fridge bare, except for that old milk carton holding what looked a hell of a lot like aged cottage cheese. (And if that wasn't what it was, for fuck's sake don't tell me differently). Make sure that you get the latest Blades match on TiVo, or I'll see to it you're fittingly punished.

Do you want me to bring you anything while I'm over here? Email, or call.

Plane home day after tomorrow, Heathrow, 2:30. You'll be there to pick me up, yeah?

Miss you. S.

[BACK to Remixes 2006]