In The Abstract

Recipient: zebraljb
Author: almaviva
Pairing: SB/OB, VM/OB implied
Rating: no rating
Author's Notes: Given the once over by kiltsandlollies

"Is that..." Sean struggled to find something to say about the drawing Orlando had been quietly working on for nearly the entire tea break, but couldn't decipher what the lines and squiggles were meant to represent. He looked out over the landscape in front of them--a shady glen, perhaps the only ten feet within a hundred not covered with cables, machinery, crew members and men dressed as Orcs. It was prettyish, but Sean couldn't see how it had any relation to what Orlando had conjured on the large pad of paper he held in his arm. "It's rather abstract. Nice though."

Orlando smiled but didn't turn away from his drawing. He seemed willing to agree with nearly anything at that moment to keep Sean near, and Sean obliged by peering over his shoulder to take a closer look.

In another fifteen minutes the sun would sink just enough to turn everything golden and then they'd start filming again. For once, Sean wasn't eager for it. Tomorrow or the next, Boromir would die, Sean would be gone, and they would all move on to something else without him.

For a few moments the only sounds were the scraping of charcoal on paper and the little noises of the woods around them. Sean, who was known as the quiet man on set, couldn't stand the silence between himself and Orlando. He searched for something to say, something that would make up for all the things he hadn't said in the weeks leading up to this moment, but failed. "I took some art courses," he tried.

"Did you?"

"At Rotherham, when I wasn't much older than you."

"Were you any good?"

"Fair. I'm better at other things." Orlando's laugh was barely more than an exhale of air, but it was enough for Sean. He looked back over his shoulder to see if anyone was near, if anyone would notice if he pressed the flat of his hand against the small of Orlando's back. There was only Viggo, standing like a gatekeeper to the rest of the crew, wielding his sword in a showy display. Sean relaxed, moved closer still, and let his hand rest lightly on Orlando's waist. Orlando's hand faltered in its movement but he did not stop. "Tell me what you're drawing."

Orlando's hand dropped and his arm hung loosely at his side, the pad of paper against his leg. He could feel Sean's breath against his neck, and another half step back brought their bodies together. It had seemed accidental, a move to balance himself rather than to bring them together, and Sean was sharply reminded that that is how all their steps towards one another had seemed--accidental rather than purposeful. Another inch or two and Sean could tip the balance and press his lips against the only bit of skin showing between the high collar of the costume Orlando wore and the long wig of blond hair.

"Viggo suggested I draw what I feel, not what I see," Orlando answered, his voice barely above a whisper. He had tilted his head slightly, exposed himself a bit more.

"Viggo?" Sean asked. He looked again over his shoulder and saw that the man himself was leaning against a tree, his audience gone back to their tea. Viggo wasn't looking at Orlando and Sean, but Sean felt as though he had just turned away so as not to be caught.

Only the night before over dinner they had discussed Orlando, both of them rather unintentionally calling him the boy. It had felt like Viggo had won some game that Sean hadn't known they were playing. At least, not until it was too late.

"And what are you feeling now?" Sean asked. He had come over to say goodbye. There wouldn't be time later, but he found he couldn't say the words he had practiced. It had been the same with each of his wives in the past and it struck him as a little ironic that it should be so with this boy--this man--with whom he had done nothing but imagine what it would be like.

"I don't know. Sad, I guess. A little bit at least."

"Because of me?"


"There wasn't enough time." It was Sean's turn to laugh as he tugged Orlando back against his body. The tension between them seemed to dissolve and Sean thought that maybe it hadn't existed in the first place. Turning one last time he found Viggo gone, slipped off, and they really were alone now.

"Here," Sean clarified. He wasn't sure that it was necessary anymore, if Orlando would even believe him. "There wasn't enough time here."

"What would you have done differently."

"Don't know," Sean said even as his fingers curled more possessively around Orlando. "What would you have let me do?"

"Don't know."

Sean felt as though the answer was really anything, and he had to once more resist pressing his lips against Orlando's neck. This was a goodbye, he reminded himself again. There was no game, at least not one he could have won. There was nothing more than flirtation on Orlando's part, and not even that from Sean. "Maybe we should just leave it at that, then."


But there was a tone of disappointment in Orlando's voice that Sean couldn't ignore. Didn't want to ignore. He pressed his nose against Orlando's neck, the scent of the woods and the wind--of Orlando--filled his senses, and this time he didn't bother to stop himself or look to see if they were being watched. He kissed Orlando and wasn't surprised when Orlando turned in his arms and kissed him back full on the mouth. It didn't last, couldn't really, but Sean sunk into the kiss while he could and then held onto Orlando when it changed into a hug instead.

Orlando was the first to pull away, but Sean caught his hand as he turned. The piece of charcoal had dropped from Orlando's hand to the forest floor, leaving a smudge of black on his fingertips that Sean brushed at with his thumb. "Will you send it to me?" Sean nods at the pad of paper still in Orlando's hand. "When you're done."

Months later, when Sean was alone in a London hotel, he sometimes took out the drawing and thought he could see himself within its lines.


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Concept created by Megolas in 2002
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