At the Ebb of the Tide

Recipient: enchanteresse
Author: koulagirl666 raise_the_knife
Pairing: Sean/Viggo/Orlando
Rating: NC-17
Summary: Things happen when Sean's time with the LotR cast comes to an end.
Notes: I've played with filming schedules a bit in order to fit my purposes, but other than that not much has been changed.
Author's Notes: Thanks to namarie120 and dalehead, both of whom influenced my vision of Sean for this piece.

Sean doesn't know quite why he ends up with Orlando and Viggo when they have time off. Viggo, having the exact type of strong and silent personality Sean thought only existed in bad fiction, sometimes shows up for no discernable reason at all; Sean will think Viggo's gone off fishing or communing with nature and then see him in the only shadowy corner of the pub. Perhaps he's partly in role at those times, and perhaps not. Sean doesn't know for sure, but he's always welcome when he slides a beer across the table and sits somewhere near but not quite next to Viggo.

Orlando joins them later, which is what Sean really doesn't get. He can understand why Viggo doesn't go out to clubs with the Hobbit actors, and why he doesn't compare experiences over cards and beer with Ian McKellen. Sean did that once, and found the beer was the only thing keeping him sane - he and Viggo just can't come up with the stories Ian can. Orlando's still young enough to listen with the attention of the rapt, and can even turn on the hungry eyes and ask what happened next with the best of the little ones at Bilbo's party. He never seeks Ian out, though. Sean knows because he's been watching Orlando since he saw him leaving Ian's trailer at a very strange hour.

Why Orlando doesn't stay out to all hours and never seems to get drunk is also something Sean doesn't get, but he can relate to it enough to accept it without question. Despite being of a similar age to the Hobbit actors, Orlando has a quiet maturity that sometimes Sean can see when Orlando doesn't know he's there. Perhaps that's why Sean always leaves room for one more drink when Orlando arrives; the conversation flows much easier when there's fresh liquid involved, and Orlando sees more than he lets on. The three of them talk about whatever comes to mind; be it another set of script changes or the blasted football, until the moon reaches its zenith.

Sean's becoming used to being part of a threesome; he finds that he even likes the sense of security that Viggo's company when he's on the phone sorting out some other kind of legal complication back home, and the easy way with which Orlando distracts him from his worries. The nicknames fall from his mouth into speech and he finds himself friends in the people he never expected to be friendly with.

Somehow, Sean has never noticed that there is always a camera within reach of Viggo's hand. He's vaguely surprised when he sits down in the trailer and sees a photo of him stuck to the corner of Viggo's mirror; he doesn't know when it was taken or exactly why Viggo decided it was a good thing to look at every day. Sean has to see it every day, as well - it's just in his peripheral vision, even when he has to look straight ahead and not move.

He never asks Viggo, and Viggo never draws his attention to it. It hints at something Viggo sees, that Sean never thought to look for. He looks at Viggo differently now that it's there. He's looking for a hint of what Viggo saw in him when that photo was taken. The artist's mind is, as ever, impenetrable to Sean's untrained eyes; he doesn't see what he's looking for, but he's not sure he'd know it if he did.

He forgets about the photo, eventually. What stirred him about it is surpassed when he realises that Viggo's collage keeps expanding, and he has a place in the parts he doesn't normally see. That first photo becomes just another, until it takes its place as the first of a series. Even Sean can see the pattern in what looks like Viggo's madness; there's a progression chronicled there, one only Sean can see. It's his story, and the realisation that Viggo has seen what he's been through since arriving in New Zealand, even the parts he thought he'd kept to himself, leaves him feeling exposed. Viggo sees that too, and the photo he gives Sean at the airport is another of Sean, but in which he is obscured by shadow. He doesn't know if Viggo even meant for Sean to find a meaning in the photos. It's there, though, when Sean recognises the expression of repressed pain on his face, and when Sean remembers the experience that brought the unguarded smile to his face.

Sean had expected Viggo to be there when he returned; instead, Orlando waits for him. Still for once, he leans against a wall that seems put there just for Orlando's convenience. He removes the oversized sunglasses when Sean draws near, ready to greet Sean with a huge smile and an almost inhuman light behind his eyes.

Of course, it's what he needed; the journey back had been filled with dark thoughts brought on by divorce and the stark coldness of the world outside New Zealand. Orlando's presence grounds him, reminding him that for now he's back among friends and living in a land filled with light and beauty.

For now.

It's an experience that stands him in good stead when that light and beauty disappears behind rain and mud. He still has some of that with him when the world seems to fall in around them, trapping them away from everything but each other. Later, he'll quietly blame Orlando for what happens, though he'll admit that Orlando was good to him about it all. It is in pursuit of light that they are caught; Sean watches Orlando and smiles, though he is mindful that while Orlando inspects the perfect present, they lose time to get to safety. Orlando just laughs, because that is how Orlando deals with adversity. Sean respects that; it is Orlando who finds them a place to stay and reminds Sean that there is always some kind of hope when all other lights go out.

Orlando doesn't say anything when Sean's hand rests on his knee; when nobody else can see, Orlando's hand covers Sean's.

Sean finds that he's glad that the apparently inevitable flight was shared by Orlando. He wonders, vaguely, what Viggo would be looking at if he was there.

Viggo meets them when the helicopter finally sets down. If Orlando was Sean's light, Viggo was Sean's ground; Sean always knows where he is with respect to Viggo, and he can rely on Viggo to remind him of exactly what he needs. Viggo sees Sean, but Orlando illuminates everything around him.

Sean's sure he remembers one of the Hobbit actors commenting on how everybody seems to be acting like their characters. He thought about that for a bit; forgot it until he noticed that the Hobbits seem to be spending more time with each other, and the Elves flit in and out as if they merely visit from another world. It makes him wonder where he fits - he doesn't see his so-called brother that often, really; they only have one scene together, and even that doesn't last long. He and Viggo have a bond, but spend so much time apart that Sean sometimes feels a bit awkward around him. It's when they tease the Elf that they seem least distant; when a bit of Orlando's light escapes into Viggo's eyes and Viggo's earthiness brings Orlando back from the stars. When the Elf teases right back, Sean feels like he belongs; somewhere in between, where everything meets and swirls around each other in patterns akin to the mixing of colours in the sunset. Sometimes Viggo disappears for a day; comes back silent, eyes dark, shoulders down. Sean doesn't know where he goes, but he's always glad when Viggo comes back. Orlando, too, sometimes can be found out with Elijah or Karl, rather than with Sean in their usual corner. It's then that Sean feels the weight of everything in the world calling to him, life and work and pressure haunting him; the simple solution appealing with all the strength it possesses.

Perhaps life does imitate art, or perhaps Sean's been around Viggo too much. There's a photo of Sean and Orlando on the mirror now; Sean pretends not to have noticed, and Viggo doesn't say a word.

There's talk now, talk of leaving and arriving. It's hard for Sean; knowing that his time here has to end. He's quieter; slightly withdrawn. Viggo doesn't comment; Orlando seems ethereal and distant, as much the Elf as Viggo has become the Ranger. Everything is inevitable; he's reminded of a comment of Elijah's, made some time ago. Everyone's developing characteristics of their characters, and even the extras were hired to match. The Hobbit actors call themselves Hobbits and stick together, while Ian walks around being the source of all things Tolkien. Sean finds himself feeling bitter, envious. He's not sure quite why, but he's never had trouble with jealousy before, on set or off. He certainly doesn't begrudge the others their time here, even though he wishes he could join them for longer. There's rumours that there will be pickup shoots, filling holes in the script that had been missed during filming; he's reasonably sure he'll have to come back, for a short time at least. Leaving won't be so hard.

Being alone will test him, though. He's been grounded, here, among friends. He hasn't talked about it, not even with Viggo, whom Sean is reasonably sure has noticed everything he's been through. He spends the most time with Viggo; has even come to respect the man, in that short time since Viggo arrived, later than everyone else but not after his time was dictated by fate or whatever had drawn them all here. Viggo lets him alone to think, saying only what he needs to in order to calm Sean's mind. Orlando... well, who ever knows what Orlando is thinking? Sometimes Sean thinks that Orlando has a death wish, but then Orlando seems to love life too much to forego those dangerous experiences.

He wonders that Viggo and Orlando spend so much time together; never stopping to realise that he connects them, or that the three of them form a strange triumvirate that will last beyond Sean's time here. Strangely, they form a bond beyond that of their characters; Boromir barely has an independent exchange with Legolas, while Aragorn really only comes to spend more time with Legolas after Boromir's departure. Sean sometimes watches Viggo and Orlando on set, but often when he's not needed he keeps to himself. It must be how he never noticed. Sean isn't that oblivious, not usually. He's known something's different; that something's changed. He's seen it and felt it, but so far it hasn't concerned him.

The time has come, however, for him to leave. It's not the end, but he feels strangely detached. He still has a part to play, and it's not a role he can play from afar; from that otherworld outside New Zealand, in that place where Men go but Elves do not, unless they leave their immortality behind. Sean hadn't paid much attention to that part since it didn't really concern him, but Orlando had assured him that it could be done. Viggo had been a bit depressed once that revelation had been made, even though he hadn't gotten around to filming all the relevant scenes yet. Viggo still seems depressed about it, even though Orlando can't seem to make his mouth slow down to fit his words and Sean managed to spill his beer on the table and now there's a slow drip onto the floor. Unlike the hobbits, they don't really have a final scene. Boromir dies, but Legolas doesn't really get in on that until after the actual dying bit, and Aragorn... well, Sean's still not sure how Viggo interprets Aragorn in that scene, even though it's already filmed and probably half-edited by now.

So, even though they're on location and there's a week to go, Orlando has managed to find the only pub anywhere near where they're staying (in the trailers, mind... there had to be a location without a large enough hotel for everyone sooner or later) and they're having an unofficial farewell. It's quiet, just like their gatherings have always been; a lull in conversation binds them more than the words they share. Viggo's the one to interrupt it, unusual, but not unknown.

"Fuck," he says, most eloquently, as if it's the greatest revelation of his time. "Sean... fuck."

Viggo stands to drain the last of his beer, then leaves. Orlando takes the glass from Viggo's hand when he passes, and sets it back on the table.

"Well that was unexpected." Orlando decides to leave the last of his drink - juice, strangely enough for the Elf - and stands as well. Before Sean can ask, even if he was going to, Orlando speaks. "He's probably gone back to the trailer. Finish your beer, flirt with the waitress if she's disappointed we've gone, and meet me there." Orlando winks, as if he knew Sean wouldn't do at least one-third of that, and follows Viggo.

Sean doesn't say anything, just stares into the bottom of his glass and tries to calm his mind. He's not blind; he knows Viggo and Orlando have grown close, and that means that Orlando is the better one to go after Viggo. He's confused enough that he doesn't question why his instinct is to go after Viggo, or what it means to him.

The waitress doesn't seem disappointed at all; Sean tips her well on his way out, even though it's not strictly necessary. Sean thinks she seems more relieved than bemused at their quick exits, and notices someone taking their table. He hopes, fleetingly, that the spilled beer doesn't ruin their night.

The jokes about the Cuntebago quickly lost their appeal to Sean, and he'd just been calling it the trailer in his mind. He's never been one to swear that much after all, except at the bloody football and maybe one or two of his ex-wives. He swears quietly when he approaches the trailer, hearing raised voices from even as far away as the edge of the field. If anyone is in any of the other trailers, they'd be listening in, Sean thinks.

"Why don't you just tell him instead of bottling up what you feel?" That sounds like Orlando.

"He wouldn't want me if I told him!" That is definitely Viggo, sounding for all the world like a defeated warrior. Sean hates that tone as soon as he hears it, would suddenly do anything to take it away, even though he can't guess who Orlando and Viggo are arguing about. He can see them through the window, now. The light is on, and it is eerily dark outside. Streetlights hadn't been invented in Middle Earth yet, or so it seemed, at least in this part. Two shadows become one, and Sean realises when he approaches the door that the sound he hears isn't Viggo crying, however unmanly that would have made him seem. He hesitates as he reaches for the doorhandle, knowing that he has to go in sometime, that it had better be now before he interrupts something much more complicated than a kiss.

"Fuck," he says, and opens the door.

Viggo seems to have collapsed into Orlando; he's barely holding onto Orlando's shoulders, and Orlando is taking much of Viggo's weight on his chest. He has a hand free, and despite the kiss, he reaches out to Sean, gesturing him forward. Sean closes the door behind him, distracting Viggo. The kiss breaks, and the Viggo who looks back at Sean has haunted, desperate eyes.

"Tell him," says Orlando.

"I can't," says Viggo, in some kind of broken voice that hitches just where the apostrophe should be, as if giving it a sound of its own. Sean approaches cautiously, like he'd learned to approach wild animals and his daughters when they're angry.

"Tell me what, Viggo?"

Orlando lets Viggo go, and Sean has to catch him before he falls. He moves forward, crouched to the ground. and ends up kneeling in front of Viggo, arms around Viggo's waist. He's surprised that Viggo is so thin without the Ranger costume, and only then notices that Viggo hasn't carried his sword. It catches the light in a far corner of the trailer. That registers as strange; not as strange as Viggo's lips on his and a whispered, barely audible confession heralding the kiss.

"I think I might love you, Sean."

It's been a long time for Sean, certainly longer than for Viggo, since he at least seems to know what he's doing. Viggo was probably expecting this, though, and Sean is still surprised. He realises he's kissing back, though, and that's surprising him more. It's not like he's a stranger to men, just that he's never really enjoyed it, or been sober enough to really experience it. He's certainly never felt it like this before. Viggo isn't demanding; he's just there, holding on to Sean, and yet, somehow, still in control. Then Sean needs to shift; he's being helped up by Orlando, and Viggo's pulling him to the closest bed. Fuck, indeed.

When he can let go of Viggo without being worried that Viggo will fall over, Orlando helps him unbutton and slide off his shirt. The kiss on his shoulder and the brief touch of Orlando's bare chest against his back are both as unexpected as Viggo reaching down to cup him through his slacks.

"Do you mind?" Orlando says, mouth close enough to Sean's ear for him to feel Orlando's breath. Sean covers Orlando's hand with his own when Orlando reaches around his waist.

"Mind?" he says, before Viggo's mouth touches his own and he meets Viggo's tongue. He's in between two men, and for some reason he isn't wishing that he's anywhere else, even with Viggo overwhelming him and Orlando rubbing between his legs.

"I want to fuck him," says Viggo, quite suddenly. That's new for Sean, but Orlando just pulls back and nods. "Can I be under him?"


Sean nods, suddenly alone and almost cold, even though Viggo and Orlando are right there, still touching him. Orlando leaves him first, stripping to the side, just where Sean and Viggo can see him even though Viggo's got Sean in another embrace and Sean's dizzy with the need that Viggo suddenly seems to channel. Orlando's like a work of art; fluid muscles and smooth skin, but he's practical. "Viggo? Unless you want this to take all night..."

Sean remembers something about a makeup appointment before sunrise, but he's not sure what time it is. Late; dark... Viggo's undoing the fly of Sean's slacks. Sean's not resisting. Orlando is lying back on the bed, watching. There's a light tap on the side of his thigh. Sean looks down; sees Viggo on his knees below him. He lifts one foot, then the other, letting Viggo take off his slacks and socks and boxers and Sean's suddenly naked with Viggo's mouth suckling the head of his cock. Viggo's hands are all over, sliding around as Viggo slowly sucks more of Sean into his mouth. Sean runs a hand through Viggo's hair, grown long and dark to match the Ranger; the Ranger who is strangely absent as Viggo's finger trails over Sean's entrance. Sean bucks, either out of surprise or fear or sensation, and Viggo takes it all before letting him go, nudging him towards Orlando.

"Kneel over me," says Orlando, and Sean does. Orlando's been wanking; his hand is slick when it touches Sean's cock. Sean settles over Orlando, and somehow Orlando manages to lift and grasp his own cock as well. Sean has to close his eyes; the sight of Orlando too much when he can feel Orlando against him. He has to lean down, has to find Orlando's slightly open mouth with his own, feel Orlando's breath mix with his. Sean guides himself with his hands, teasing Orlando's chest until he can get that kiss and then holding Orlando's shoulders when he tastes the slightly bitter remnants of orange juice on Orlando's tongue.

Then there's something warm between his legs; Viggo is behind him. Sean finds himself pulled away from Orlando; Viggo's arm slides between them and Orlando lets Sean go. Viggo's lips are on Sean's neck, and when Sean tries to reach around to touch Viggo, Orlando's hands are around his wrists.

"Focus on me, Sean," says Orlando, and that's when something pushes inside Sean. Sean cries out; his body stiffens, but Viggo's finger stays where it is until Sean relaxes, reminded by Orlando's steady voice to breathe. He opens his eyes, slowly. The room hasn't changed; the light is softer, less bright, but everything is where it was; pain is not the end of the world even when the only sound is the rushing of his blood subsiding.

Viggo's still there, tongue teasing under Sean's ear. Orlando's let his wrists go, and is gently fisting Sean's cock. "First time?" Sean nods, letting his head fall back onto Viggo's shoulder. First time, but it feels so right for it to be here and now that he won't let even Orlando's concern stop it from happening.

Viggo helps him forward, until Orlando can swallow his cries and reassure him when Viggo starts to move his finger. Sean finds a pillow and pulls it towards him, somehow managing to get it under Orlando's head, leaving one hand clutching it as he strokes Orlando's head with the other. Orlando's hips lift up, moving Sean back onto Viggo's finger. He feels something, then; something that makes him grunt and shift back against Orlando. It's nice, but over too soon.

"Are you ready, Sean?" Viggo whispers, though Sean is sure he must know that an answer isn't needed. Viggo pulls away, and Sean whines. Orlando, somehow, twines his legs over Sean's, breaking the kiss as he does so.

"You don't have to fuck me back, Sean... just move with Vig and let me hold you." Sean can barely breathe. Orlando is hard against him, and Sean can feel Viggo's hand there, somewhere... Orlando's hand, less worn, guides Viggo's hand to Sean's cock.

It happens, then... Viggo pushes inside Sean. Orlando has a hand in Sean's hair, combing the sweat from Sean's face with his fingers. Viggo's hand is kneading Sean's shoulder. They both have a hand near Sean's cock, and now Viggo is sliding inside him; slowly, drawing out both sensation and pain until Sean feels that nice thing again, but it doesn't stop. It builds up, and he can feel it through his whole body until Viggo draws out again. He whispers something, something even he can't understand, and then Orlando comes around him, warm liquid spurting onto his stomach and until then he hadn't even noticed that he was sweating. Orlando smiles up at him, shyly, eyes half-closed. Sean thinks that's adorable, like when a kitten meets the sun for the first time, and then Orlando's hand closes around Viggo's. Sean feels himself being milked, and Viggo's moving faster now. He's holding himself above Orlando, but barely. His forehead comes to rest on Orlando's, and he comes with his tongue on Orlando's lips, just after Viggo slows and slams into him.

Sean wakes up when Orlando wipes a warm cloth over his stomach. Viggo is behind him, an arm under Sean's own draped over Sean's hip, hand on his thigh. He shakes his head when Orlando asks if he's in pain. It's something he can live with, and when Orlando goes to settle on the bed opposite them, Sean reaches out his hand. Orlando meets it with his own, and Sean pulls him back to bed. He doesn't need to say thank you; Orlando already knows.

When Orlando, too, falls asleep, Sean untangles his hand and pulls the bedcovers over them. It has been cold out, lately. He may feel like he's safe, held by earth and sky, but even the tide can wash away the strongest roots and darken the brightest days. Viggo is his ground; Viggo sees him and still loves him. Orlando is his light, when all other lights go out. He doesn't want to lose what he has with either, when the sun rises and shows them for the men they really are.


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