A Cure for Insomnia

Recipient: mimm
Author: telesilla
Pairing: Orlando/Craig
Rating: R
Summary: Happy holidays to mimm_ who apparently likes the Elves! :) I apologize for the lack of any smut at all, but this fic simply would not get porny on me.


After time spent in hospital and the interminable months recovering from his accident, Orlando figures he knows about all there is about insomnia. He knows the difference between sleeplessness brought on by pain and brought on by stress. He knows what it feels like when his eyelids droop but his body is too tired to let go, and he knows when sheer excitement is keeping him awake.

Tonight, he wishes it were the latter. After all, that's the reason he's had a hard time sleeping the last couple of nights that he's spent here at Craig's place. A new lover is always exciting and exhausting, and after not sleeping with anyone for over a year, he's not used to the presence of someone else in the bed with him.

But, as he perches out on Craig's balcony and smokes, he knows that tonight he simply can't sleep because ... he's afraid. It's not like that hasn't happened before; God knows he spent enough nights wide awake fearing that he would never walk unaided. But this is a kind of fear that Orlando's never dealt with, and he's helpless before it.

He lights up his third cigarette of the hour and looks back through the window at the bed. Craig's fast asleep, sprawled on the bed looking content and almost smug, although Orlando supposes he could be wrong about that latter. But Craig sure sounded smug as he'd watched Orlando catch his breath after Craig had brought him off a second time in as many hours.

And he's justified, really, because fuck but that was incredible. He's incredible.

Orlando's hardly without experience -- with both men and women -- but Craig isn't like anyone he'd ever made love to before. Inventive, kind, and funny, Craig really is as great a guy as everyone thought he was. In fact, he's almost too good to be true.

And there's the rub, of course. It isn't that Orlando expected Craig to suddenly turn into an arsehole or something like that. Craig has his flaws, same as anyone. But even his flaws are things Orlando can deal with; he doesn't mind the fact that Craig's bathroom looks like a hurricane hit it, and honestly, after hanging out with Elijah, Orlando doesn't think that Craig's feet smell all that bad after a long day on the set.

The very fact that he can stand here and excuse all of Craig's little human flaws is actually part of what's frightening Orlando. He's self aware enough to know that he's all too quick to see flaws in his lovers, and, if he really pushes it, he knows that he uses some pretty superficial excuses to push lovers away.


And there it is. That word, one that Orlando's avoided for years. The one that's scaring him now.

Viggo was a casual fling, and that thing with Anne from Makeup was understood by both of them to be a one night stand. Dom doesn't really count; not only was it just a mutual wank in the gents while they were both stoned, but Dom's with Billy now, and they're into each other in a way that's painfully adorable.

But this is the tenth time he and Craig have gotten together, and it's the third night in a row that he's accepted Craig's invitation to spend the night. For someone like Orlando, who, he willingly admits, is all about the casual good time, this is getting serious.

What's it say about me that I think sleeping in the same guy's bed three nights in a row makes it serious? Orlando wonders, stubbing his cigarette out on the balcony railing. That thought's a little too much to deal with right now, however, and he backs away from it quickly. I'll be fine if I can get some sleep, he tells himself as he heads back to bed.

The next evening when Craig invites him home, Orlando makes an excuse about wanting to spend some time with Hobbits, and the following day, when Viggo talks about going fishing over the weekend, Orlando invites himself along with a total lack of subtlety.

* * *

"I don't like being used," Viggo says as he fries up the day's catch. In spite of his words, his tone of voice is far more sympathetic than admonishing. "I also think you're making a mistake, but that's my opinion and doesn't really have any true bearing at the moment."

"You suck," Orlando says, tossing a twig into the fire. "You only said that bit about me making a mistake to get me to ask."

"On the contrary," Viggo says. "I said it to get you to think." He goes silent then, remaining that way as they eat and then settle back with their beers. When he finally does speak again, it's to share a Maori story about the stars he heard from Sala.

That night Orlando can't sleep again. Lying in his sleeping bag, staring up at the still unfamiliar stars of the Southern Hemisphere, he thinks about Craig and wonders what mistake it is that Viggo thinks he's making. He's already resolved to apologize in the morning; Vig's right about being used, and Orlando feels bad about it.

He feels even worse about the way he's treating Craig. Not only is he pushing Craig away, but he's also making a pretty big assumption about how Craig feels about him. He could be getting himself all worked up over nothing, really; what if Craig thinks that this is nothing but a causal fling?

Nice bit of irony there, Bloom, he thinks with a sour little smile. Now that he's actually thinking that he might be willing to try to have real feelings for Craig, he's instantly worried about how Craig feels.

"I'm a wanker," he mutters.

"Don't be so hard on yourself," Viggo mumbles from his sleeping bag.

"I'm scared," Orlando says. "What if I fuck things up?"

"What if you don't?"

"That's even more frightening."

"Well, then," Viggo says with a slight chuckle, "your head's in the right place." He goes silent for long enough that Orlando's sure he's fallen asleep. "You're not stupid. You know better than to think that you can go through life without the possibility of getting hurt. Well, I suppose you could if you cut yourself off from every single risk. But you've gotta ask yourself why it's okay to jump out of an airplane but not okay to fall for someone."

"You really do suck," Orlando says with a sigh. "A lot."

"Oh, don't mind me," Viggo replies. "I'm just rehearsing. Although I think I'll need to change it a bit; the line about jumping out of airplanes is a little specific."

It's Orlando's turn to fall silent; it takes him a few minutes before he realizes who Viggo's talking about. "Good luck with that," he finally says.

"Thanks. Now get some sleep, Elf boy. You made me bring you on this trip, so you're getting up with me before sunrise."

* * *

"Hey," Craig says, sounding surprised when Orlando calls him Sunday afternoon. "I figured you wouldn't be back yet. Have a good time with Viggo?"

"If by 'a good time,' you mean getting up at the crack of fucking dawn so Mr. Nature could catch the sunrise, then yeah," Orlando replies. "To be honest, my idea of a good time involves being with you."

"Yeah?" It's almost impossible to tell what Craig is thinking; his tone of voice reveals nothing.

"Yeah," Orlando says, his heart racing just a little. "I'm ... look, I'm an idiot and I'd like to talk to you. I'd like to apologize. Now, if you're not busy or maybe after we're done tomorrow or...."

"Orlando?" Craig interrupts. "You're not an idiot, and I think I understand what was going on. Why don't you come over? I missed you."

"You did? Um ... yeah. I'll be right over."

Taking a risk of this kind isn't at all like jumping out of an airplane, Orlando realizes much later that night just before he drifts off into a sound sleep. Craig murmurs in his sleep and Orlando moves in a little closer to him.

The landing beats the hell out of parachuting for one thing, he thinks. And for another, the thrill lasts a lot longer.


Concept created by Megolas in 2002
Fabulous artwork ©2002 by Hope.
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