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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.


Author: idrillia_fic
Original Story: Vigbean for Stormatdusk by foxrafer
Pairing: Viggo/Sean Bean
Rating: G, some angst.
Summary: Viggo, exhausted and slightly out of it, attends a series of interviews in Rome in order to promote Alatriste. He is caught wrong-footed and the fall out from this is the subject of foxrafer 's original fic, told from Sean's point of view from a point in time several weeks after the interviews. My remix delves a little into Viggo's state of mind during, and after, the interview foxrafer's original story was inspired by a translation of an article posted in the Viggo News section at Viggo Works on July 5; the heading is Viggo Mortensen, by Lorenza Del Tosto.
Notes: Both the article and Foxrafer's wonderful fic both describe Viggo's physical presence on that day in Rome. As Sean notes in Foxrafer's fic, he is "staggering," "worn out," and has "worked all night long". I was very interested in how Viggo had experienced the section of the interview in question and decided to explore that for my re-mix -- so the inspiration for how I tackled the piece came from the original author herself -- thank you Foxrafer :)
Post-reveal Notes: With copious thanks to anobtuselife who very kindly beta'd this at rather short notice. Also to andnolewen, ewyn, gattodoro, londinensa and silvan_lady who assisted me with Italian and general thoughts on the meaning of Viggo in relation to that article.


Perhaps, if he had stopped to think about it for just one precious second, Viggo would have done the sensible thing and cancelled the round of interviews and photo shoots. Possibly, if he had looked at a map for half a moment and reminded himself that Budapest and Rome were nearly 1,000 kilometers apart, Viggo would have at the very least arranged a later start time. Conceivably, if he had listened to the way voices around him sounded submerged, or tasted the sourness of exhaustion on his tongue, or felt the painful tenderness of the skin under his eyes... Perhaps then, maybe, Viggo would have begged a second day of downtime, or done the interviews by telephone, or added a diva clause that his personal life not be mentioned.

If he had thought about it for that one precious second, he could have avoided the whole thing.

Perhaps. But he didn't and he hadn't.

He has no idea why the precious second had refused to grace him with its shimmering moment of perfect clarity. Perhaps it had tried to slip in to his consciousness. Possibly it had flapped and fluttered helplessly against the barrier of his exhaustion and character concentration. Conceivably it had beaten itself half senseless trying to reach him, only to fall back in an atrophied tangle of silken, twisted strands of time. Viggo sees it in his mind's eye. He sees his carelessness birth a missed moment as the precious second evolves into the vapid, gray nothingness that covers all wasted opportunities.

He wants to reach out and caress the missed moment, to try and breathe some life into its dull, shapeless form but he knows it is too late. That is, after all, the essence of a missed opportunity. Once it's gone all efforts to revive it are only so much more squandered time.

So here he is. Ambushed by a question he had not thought to prepare for because he had forgotten to look out for just a single, beautiful, precious second.

"You were married, you have a son, but since you divorced, no-one. What happened? Don't you believe in love anymore? In marriage?"

Viggo spares a split second to lament the precious second. The irony is not lost on him that he apparently has split seconds to spare now he has thought to notice the bitter loss of the precious second.

Something flashes briefly and his heart pounds once in hope that the precious second has resurrected and will save him - give him innocuous yet true words to deflect the question. Then he realizes... The flash is just a glint of shyly innocent greed in the eyes of the reporter before him.

Heat rises, blistering his skin a telltale red. Red for stop. Red for panic. Red for roses, and love.

His words do not sound his own but they are not clever enough to have been gifted to him from any form of grace. They are not honest enough.

"It just hasn't happened." The words are hesitant, a step away from stumbling over themselves in their blind uncertainty.

The missed moment wheezes its disapproval and turns its sightless, condemning gaze on him. The missed moment knows he is lying because, of course, 'it' has happened. It happened and it is what keeps Viggo alive inside, what pays his debts to his soul for the trauma he inflicts on it by taking the roles he takes. Sean happened and Viggo has just denied him. Viggo has denied Sean before and, in turn, has read and heard Sean's denials of him... but this time is different. In that condemning gaze Viggo can see a future of a thousand precious seconds birthing a thousand missed moments that will eventually and inevitably rob Sean away from him. One lie at a time.

"But do you believe in marriage?"

The cold, rational part of Viggo that is still awake and functioning wants to laugh at the absurdity of the question. Of course he believes in marriage; it's real and evidenced all over the world. His eyes drop to the reporter's hand for a second and sure enough there it is; a wedding band graces her finger. Thousands of 'normal' people all parading bands of gold as if the rings are nothing more than the next stitch in an inevitable life pattern. He doesn't laugh, because really, he knows what she meant even if she does not know what she is actually asking.

Does he believe in marriage? He would like to... but no. Not for him and Sean. No wedding for them. When they managed time together they didn't even talk about their future that evening, let alone tomorrow or next week or next year or... a wedding. Viggo has never even heard Sean say that he loves him.

He has never heard, "I love you" in the gruff tones of pies and whippets, moors and white roses.


White roses mean purity but they also represent silence and secrets. White roses are bridal roses. Wedding roses.

Viggo believes in marriage, but knows he cannot have it. That is alright; it doesn't bother him. Not at all. The fact that the institution excludes him and his lover (his Beloved perhaps, as he does not actually know, now he thinks about it, if he is loved in return) means that no matter what he believed when he spun another lover in his arms and asked her to be his forever, wore the band of gold that tied them together, and believed in it, in every last ounce of it... no matter all that... he does not believe in needing marriage anymore.

Perhaps this woman should ask Sean the questions she is asking Viggo. That's certainly a story Viggo would read. Possibly it would shake Sean as it has Viggo. Conceivably it would shake the words loose from both of them because, you see, Sean has never heard an 'I love you' either. Viggo is suddenly shamed by his cowardice and feels fire crawl over his skin again.

"I don't think that belief is necessary."

He flinches at the harshness in his tone that only served to rebuke himself. He knows it sounds as though he is being Viggo the artiste, Viggo the avant-garde, when here it is not that he wishes to be the non-conformer. In this one instance it him that is excluded from conforming by the law, by Sean's silence and his own. And he has only just realised it.

Marriage had been good to him before. The sense of oneness, the togetherness had been earth shattering. It had given him permanence, given him Henry, let him know he was loved, really loved.

He imagines it. Togetherness. Permanence. Sharing Henry's achievements along with Lorna's, Molly's, and Evie's. Being loved.

By Sean.

The missed moment nods at him, once and deliberately. It looks like a warning and an agreement all at once. Viggo cannot not be sure, but he thinks for an instant that it takes on the glow of a precious second again and Viggo has to make sure he softens his words, has to make sure he is not misunderstood.

"Sometimes, though, it's a good thing."

The woman nods, happy with him at this, and the round of interviews and photo shoots continues. The missed moment becomes itself again.

Viggo's exhaustion grows and he turns his attention, such as it is, back to photographers and reporters. The latest precious second of near clarity and optimism fades as quickly as it arrived. It shivers as it completes its transformation into another missed moment, sad that Viggo has not seen it for what it was. The precious second had tried so hard to make Viggo recognise it, as so many of its brothers and sisters had before. As it falls towards Viggo's red and black bag it has enough time to regret becoming just another ounce of the burden it knows Viggo must bear until... until he finally recognises a precious second for what it is.


A month later and Viggo opens the email his agent has sent him and reads the article, even though he does not need to read it to be reminded of what he said. His words have haunted him, haunted his dreams.

Without stopping to think about what he is doing, he forwards the email to the flower shop two streets over from his house in LA with simple instructions:

"Please arrange to have this wrapped around a white rose in full flower and delivered to..."

Viggo types the address and hits send.

As he sits back a golden flash blinds him for a second but when he is able to look, there is nothing there to see.

He shrugs, helps himself to a whiskey, surprised how little is left, and wonders if perhaps Sean will understand. "Possibly," something seems to whisper to him with hope in its silent murmur, "Conceivably."


To read the story that continues this 'verse, and the original that this re-mix is inspired by, follow the link to Vigbean for Stormatdusk by by foxrafer.


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