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Disclaimer: This is a non-commercial, non-profit work of fiction under the names and likenesses of real individuals. This fictional story is not intended to imply that the events herein actually occurred, or that the attitudes or behaviors described are engaged or condoned by the persons whose names are used without permission.

Between the Lines

Author: v_angelique
Original Story: 5 x 5 by frisbyg
Pairing: Viggo gen
Rating: PG-13
Summary: Filling in the blanks on Viggo's story.
Notes: I kind of broke a rule or two, so I hope frisbyg and the mods won't be too disappointed. The fact is, all of the stories were so beautifully complete that I didn't feel right "properly" remixing them. Instead, I got the idea to take this story and fill in some blanks, making a companion piece. As such, it does not end where the original story does, but the ending is implied, since it's meant to be read as part of the same story, not a new version. Make sense? So again, my apologies, but hopefully everyone will forgive me.
Post-reveal Notes: Lightning-quick beta by the as-always amazing rainbowcobweb.



When Viggo was seven years old, he found Diego. Found, quite literally, because Diego was hiding at the time.

"Get in here!" the plump little boy hissed in heavily accented English, his jet black hair standing up on end as if he'd been running his fingers constantly through it. Viggo's eyes darted around nervously, and he made a quick decision, diving into and nearly upsetting the wooden crate, arranging himself into a little ball next to Diego, tucking his chin halfway into the collar of his red-and-white striped shirt.

A moment later, it became obvious what they were hiding from, as a big man with a long ponytail came storming down the dusty lane, waving his arms frantically with a broken bottle in one fat, ruddy fist.

"Puta! Donde estás? Te voy a matar!"

His broad, hairy chest frightened Viggo, exposed as it was in his half-open shirt. The man didn't look strong or powerful, but angry, and Viggo had to stifle an urge to run. Raw anger frightened Viggo more than muscles ever could.

"Mi hermana," the little boy whispered in explanation, and Viggo nodded. After a few minutes, the coast was clear, and they ran at full speed to Viggo's house, panting as they sat at the kitchen table, their legs dangling in the high dining chairs. Grace eyed them suspiciously, but in the end gave them each a glass of juice and went back to folding the laundry.

Later, Viggo met the lanky thirteen-year-old girl with twin braids down her back, and if he noticed the bruises on her arms, he didn't say anything. She was going to be a famous artist, and he watched her blend the blues and yellows with unfailing admiration, until he was dragged away by the elbow to kick around a football. He never forgot about Mariá.


When Viggo was thirteen years old, he met Liam. Liam played baseball, and he and Viggo traded cards, but it wasn't until one day when the two boys went to Liam's house after school that Viggo realized he had found a best friend. Liam showed him a journal, hidden in a drawer, filled with quotes and poetry and drawings, the names of authors and things he had heard on the train. He invited Viggo to write something, and it took him a long time to decide what to say. Inside the journal, a few pages from the end, Viggo scrawled his first poem. Liam read it, and smiled, and gave him a high five. He hid the book again and they went into the street to play ball.


When Viggo was seventeen years old, he met Tonya.

He had grumbled and complained when his mother insisted that he take on an after-school job to contribute to the family, but then he realized that his mother hadn't been eating lunch lately, even though each of her boys had a sandwich and a bag of chips and a shiny red apple each day. Grace let him pick out a job in the paper, unlike Walt and Charlie who were condemned to paper routes. Tonya was a retired piano teacher who needed help in her garden, and offered five dollars an hour and a hot meal every Saturday.

The soil was dry and neglected, but Viggo put in a hard day's work every week, hauling bags of dirt in the red pickup Tonya was too blind to drive anymore, and by the time spring came there were flowers blooming and a freshly mowed lawn from which to enjoy them. Sitting on the carpet in front of Tonya's massive bookshelves, Viggo learned the Latin names of tulips and gardenias and posies, and discovered a sense of achievement to which he would later return when learning a new language. He quizzed himself until his mind read like an encyclopaedia of plant life, and the amused old woman decided that the bright young man might like to learn some other things, too. It began with free piano lessons at the magnificent baby grand in the corner, and then cooking lessons that later transformed into another ten dollars a meal to cook and share dinner with her every Tuesday and Thursday night. He felt slightly guilty, being paid for his company, and wondered if she ever knew what their evenings together meant to him. But Grace's smile when he handed her a hundred and twenty dollars in a clean white envelope at the end of August was worth it. She gave him back a five, and he bought a paper carton of poutine, piping hot, and after this indulgence in melted cheese curds and salty gravy spent the rest on some gaudy purple-and-lace ribbon, using it to secure the fresh cut flowers in a vase for Tonya's table.

Three days before Viggo's birthday, when Viggo was raking the leaves in the backyard, Tonya died. He called the ambulance and her son in Florida and sat with her, his hand over hers, still warm, while he waited. It was just before his high school graduation when the son, finally having finished going through her household belongings, sent him a box. Everything in Tonya's house had been inventoried, down to the last knick knack, and the items listed under Viggo's name were neatly packed into that box -- a pile of sheet music, The Joy of Cooking, five crisp one-hundred dollar bills, and Mabberley's Plant-book.


When Viggo was twenty-three years old, he met Niall. Niall was a street performer, and sometimes Viggo would pass him on his flower-selling route, grinning at Niall and holding up a zinnia in salute. Sometimes, if he came too close and there was a crowd, Niall would pluck a rose from one of Viggo's arrangements and hold it between his teeth, dancing a tango with an invisible woman. Later though, he'd always have a few kroner to pay Viggo back.

One steamy Friday evening, while Viggo was seeking out the air conditioning in a pub, Niall came over and said hello. Out of costume, he was unrecognisable, but once Viggo did, he bought him a pint, as it was the tourist season and pockets were fat. Niall returned the gesture, and for two months Friday was their pub night, sometimes with others, sometimes only the two of them. Niall had been a theatre student at Glasgow, and went to Denmark because he was chasing his Swedish boyfriend, who subsequently went back to Sweden. Niall stayed.

Two months into their friendship, Niall's routine grew bolder, and when he plucked a rose from the cart, he took Viggo with him, leading a tango that Viggo caught onto after some laughter at his expense. This stunt went on every day for a week, and though Viggo learned the steps, he still found it strange dancing face-to-face with a man in a mask, Niall's thick white stage makeup shiny with sweat and his irregular slightly-stained teeth clenched around the healthy green stem. In the pub, Niall was a beautiful young man with shaggy blonde hair and an open smile. In the city square, under the beating sun, Niall was surreal, a circus character who could juggle fire and swallow swords. When he danced with Niall, he didn't think of the lithe young man with the translucent skin but of Tonya, and Liam, and Diego, and most of all Mariá. He wasn't the one wearing the heavy black costume, but when a thorn caught Niall's brightly painted lip, a thin trickle of blood catching in the makeup and tinting it a watercolour pink, he found it hard to breathe just the same.

A week later, a girl came to his flower cart and asked for a pink-and-yellow bouquet. He never saw Niall again.


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