Not Your Typical Day

Recipient: chaosmanor
Author: yueni
Pairing: Viggo, Orlando, Sean Bean
Rating: G
Summary: Not quite what you think. I hope chaosmanor doesn't mind my playing around in her universe for a little bit.


The day started out normal, as most days did. The alarm clock going off right on the dot at 6am, Viggo hitting the snooze button twice for good measure before rolling out of the bed, bones creaking, at 6.18. A new day had begun, and the sun was barely a blip over the horizon. A hint of not-quite cream painted the underside of the clouds overhead when Viggo re-emerged from his cramped bathroom, clean-shaven, hair lankly combed in some semblance of neatness.

He buttoned, zipped and tucked himself into clothing and footwear, the motions mechanical and repetitious. They were the same movements day after day, week after week, just the clothes changed. Life continued as it always did these days, mind-numbingly dull. He walked past the dresser on the way out the door and paused to run a finger over the abandoned collar and the lonely leash that sat there gathering dust. The apartment seemed to echo now, where once it had overflowed with energy and life.

Viggo supposed that in his own way, Orlando had tried to say his goodbyes, although he had not realised it at the time. They had run all the way down to the harbour, something they only did on very special occasions because it left him winded and gasping for breath, even in the shape he'd been in in those days. They'd even loitered there for a while, watching the sunset over the waves lapping against the concrete barrier that separated urban sprawl from the water. They'd gambolled along the waterside, and he had laughed like he hadn't laughed in months, perhaps even in years.

That last run had been the best run, the one he remembered with the deepest underscoring of emotion. Even now, months later, he could remember the sense of elation he had felt that day, how free he had been, how unencumbered. It had been so nice to have a friend, though he supposed most people wouldn't call a giant panther a friend, exactly.

He wondered what Orlando was doing right now, at that very moment. Was he with another lost soul? Perhaps there was somebody who needed the companionship more than he did. Selfishly, Viggo couldn't think of another person who needed him more than he did right then. He didn't even have pictures of the two of them together.

The refrigerator was empty. There was half a bottle of beer and a lump of something greenish and quite probably alive. He hadn't stopped by the store in days, where once it used to be a nightly ritual. That had been a habit Viggo had taken up because Orlando had liked his meat fresh, not frozen from a package. These days, it took effort to remember to stock up on bread and milk. He supposed he'd just have to drop by one of the little cafˇs on the way to work and pick up a small cup of coffee with an outlandish name.

The days moved by so differently now that he only had himself to think of. Where he used to be fighting trim, he was now gaining some flab. The nightly runs had been something he'd tried to keep up the first couple weeks, but he never made it very far. His solitary runs paled against the memories of what it had been like with a cat urging him on impishly. These days, he came home from work and plopped himself in front of the television, channel surfing mindlessly until it was time for bed.

God, how he missed that panther.

It wasn't something that he could bring up with just anybody, either, unless he wanted to be committed into a mental institution. Yeah, sure, imaginary panther that liked to eat fresh meat every night after a long hard run. That would be something interesting to tell the shrinks.

There were cars everywhere, clogging all the major thoroughfares as the denizens of the city rushed their way to work. Viggo ducked into a small cafˇ that seemed less crowded than the others he'd passed. He might as well get a bagel and a cup of java before dealing with the boss. It was a small hole-in-the-wall that he'd walked past every day on his way to work, but until that morning, he had been too wrapped up in his own life to really notice what had become part of a mundane life.

The little coffee shop might have been just your ordinary run-of-the-mill mom-and-pop operation, but Viggo had ceased to pay attention to inane details at that moment. There was something else even more important that had caught his eye. Right there in front of him was another black panther, collared and leashed up, sitting patiently next to a man in a sharp suit with a trench coat thrown over one arm and a briefcase handle tangled up with the other end of the leash in the other.

Viggo wanted to scream with joy, to shout out, "Orlando!" He wanted to run up to the man and interrogate him, and ask him to tell him in exquisite detail about his cat... and then the feline turned its head, and met him eye to eye, and it wasn't Orlando. The elation fled against the howl of rage and the return of the ball of anguish building in his belly, and the roil of emotions was so heavy, so thick, he almost left and ran home right then.

Instead he walked up to the counter and ordered his coffee and bagel in a voice that was surely too steady to be his own. He counted out the three dollars and change with exquisite precision, all the while so startlingly aware of the man exchanging fond and secretive glances with his feline companion. They could have been him and Orlando just a few months earlier.

They passed each other, the man on the way out, him going to wait for his cuppa joe, and Viggo opened his mouth for the first time that morning and mumbled in passing, "Nice cat."

It gained him a pause and a startled look, and then a card was pressed into his palm, accompanied by two words in a rough British accent. It was over in mere seconds, man and cat out the door before Viggo could even reply. He looked down at the card, a cream coloured business card made out of that fancy linen-weave with the words neatly embossed in black ink.

Sean Bean
Bean & Associates

"Call me," the man had said. Viggo intended to. Perhaps it was sheer blind luck, but Viggo preferred to think that fate had stepped in to lend a hand.


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