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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.

Floating, Diving

Author: foxrafer
Original Story: Drowning by savageseraph
Pairing: Sean Bean/Viggo
Rating: G
Summary: From near loss to a leap of faith.
Notes: This also includes a detail from her companion piece, Surfacing


"You sure you haven't figured out a way to hike home?"

"Very funny." Sean stubbed out his cigarette, looked at Viggo's goofy smile through a smoky haze. "Got any more witty remarks up your sleeve?"

"Give me time, give me time."

It was usually hard to frown when Viggo was in his happy place, but tonight the cheerfulness rankled Sean unexpectedly. If all he was anxious about was the flight, he'd take the ribbing and come back for more. But tonight flying wasn't what bothered him. It was being away from this shoot, these people ... Viggo ... that turned his mood sour.

He was only going to be gone for three weeks, but as much as he tried to deny it he was going to miss this man. This man of a million contradictions, uncategorizable and sometimes annoying and exactly who he needed to find. Weeks of drifting, finally flowing together, a connection that smoothed the jagged edges in his life and shifted things into perspective. It was their friendship that helped him break the surface, lifting the heaviness and making him feel almost weightless.

And now this trip, planned since the beginning of filming, but now it suddenly seemed more important, the marking of some kind of milestone. Sean's head seemed heavier, thick and dense and full of thoughts he didn't exactly fear but still wasn't ready to acknowledge. Yet he knew there was a decision to be made, a confession that needed to be told. But would Viggo want to hear it, especially now right before he was about to leave?

"Jesus, Sean," Viggo laughed, "snap the fuck out of it. For tonight focus on how great it will be once you're there and forget about flying. The divorce is final, you don't have any work scheduled. Just you and the girls and your garden."

Viggo stopped and looked pointedly at Sean, forcing him to hold his attention. But then the focused stare began to slide into something that turned once gentle waters into crashing waves. Sean held his breath to keep the words from spilling into the now churning surf between them, to stop himself from revealing secrets he wasn't yet ready to tell.

Sean drained his beer and watched as Viggo's eyes shifted back, moved away from the edge and kept Sean afloat. Viggo shoved his empty glass across the table and all remnants of the moment faded, evaporating with the smear of water on the wood grain.

"Hell, I'm sitting here trying not to be jealous and you look like you're being sent in front of a firing squad. It's your round; go get me another drink while I call for reinforcements."

"Oh lord no," Sean pleaded, pushing up from the table. "Let's keep this a double act tonight, please."

"No more moping?"

"No more moping, but I hold out for a grumble or two."

"Any more than two and I pick up the phone."

A crooked smile and earnest eyes and Sean felt himself relax, the water calming beneath him. 'Save the words for another day,' he thought as he headed for the bar. Tonight was for storing new memories, creating reserves to last until he returned.


They were making their final approach and Sean's stomach dropped from more than the plane's descent. His mind wrestled with a late night, half remembered phone call, the words mostly gone but the feeling still strong. Sean worried at the quality of Viggo's voice, something not quite right in its pitch and tone. He tensed at his inability to stop thinking about it over the last few days, at the rising sense of regret and fear that on several occasions had almost made him change his travel plans and come back early.

Ever since that call he had felt slightly off-balance, like just the barest hint of vertigo as you're climbing and can't help but look at where you've been. The wheels touched down on heated tarmac but Sean still felt like he was climbing, a steep but steady ascent with no way down except to jump.

"I miss you, Sean."

A simple sentence, quietly spoken, had sent flares of light through Sean. But the delight in knowing Viggo missed him played a direct counterpoint to what he wasn't hearing in the silences, to the oddness in the pause. Something unspoken that floated between, that dampened the high spirit of his return.

He had prepared for the inevitable practical joke but was surprised at who had been chosen to deliver it. Orlando and Elijah were in his flat, but there was no punch line, nothing to dodge or clean up. Instead, he found two uncharacteristically serious young men and four heart-stopping words.

"He almost died, Sean."

Died. Almost died. Viggo. Almost.

Not spoken casually, but not carefully. Why should they be? They weren't to know the secret that he kept hidden, often from himself. But no, there was a gravity to Orlando's words, an acknowledgement of their particular importance to Sean. None of that was important now, though. Only getting to Viggo mattered, of seeing for himself that he was really ok.

He barely registered what was around him as he headed for Viggo's house. His stomach firmly lodged in his throat, his heart a loud bass drum against his ribs, pounding in his ears. All he saw were snapshots of Viggo; random images and sounds he didn't realize held special significance until now.

The lazy intensity of Viggo's eyes, full of warmth and kindness, open and unguarded with a sharpness that missed nothing.

The curl of hair that never wanted to be tamed, off center and slightly unruly and beckoning to be touched.

The quiet murmur in the rasp of his voice, a resonance that made you ache for more, to lean in to capture all of the husky baritone.

The workman's hands, nicked and scarred; not elegant yet expressive and always moving, possessing a formative strength.

So much more, so many things Sean had filed away in his mind, hidden in the dark but now demanding his full attention. So much he nearly lost.

Climbing higher and higher and finally at the peak, standing outside Viggo's door, clinging to the edge. If he jumped would he plummet into the surf, a precipitous descent plunging him into the blackness? Would it feel like a slow motion freefall, more balletic and precise as he headed for the depths below? In the end all that mattered was the choice, the decision to finally move forward into the unknown, and the hope that Viggo would take the leap with him.

He raised his hand to ring the bell just as the door opened, Viggo's tired face a mixture of surprise and relief. Sean tried on a smile, put it away as he fumbled with his resolve.

It was now or never. Time to dive off the cliff.


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