Slasha, Baby 2007
What people don't realise about Dominic is that he's quite orderly, in his own way.
Like the notes he writes on his hands, spiralling up his arms sometimes: yeah, all right, not the most tidy way to take down reminders, but he does take them; he keeps track. No one who's kicked their way through his cluttered lounge would credit it, but Dominic knows where everything is, even when it looks a tip.
Dom's organised. He susses things out, he makes lists. He thinks things through. Some things. In his own way.
Not long after he arrives in New Zealand, Dominic thinks his way through the list.
There's Billy, of course, and wouldn't that be brilliant, but it's just Dom's luck: the person he gets on with the best of anyone he's ever fucking met, the person who suits him head to toe, makes him laugh with the flicker of an eyelash, steals the breath right out of his chest with a wicked tilt of his brow... is the one man in the whole lot who still flinches a bit at some of Sir Ian's saucier jokes. Dom suspects that even Sean Astin isn't as board-straight as Billy. Fucking hell.
Astin might be persuadable, but he's married and far too responsible to cheat. Dominic can't imagine shagging him anyway-- even in the thick of things, Sean would keep an eye out to make sure there was a clear path to all the available exits.
Elijah, there's a thought. He's lovely, and everyone says he's wise beyond his years, and they may even be right. But even so, he's young, and though he's clever and professional, he's still a teenager socially, raw and insecure; he still needs so keenly to know where he stands. It'd be far too easy to tumble Lijah into bed before he ever knows himself if he honestly wants it or not. A bit of pressure here, a bit of coaxing there... Dominic's not sure he trusts himself with that kind of sway over someone else.
And Orlando, the elf. Offensively pretty and graceful, amazing body, moves like a dream, can't seem to go a day without tripping over his own shoes or jamming a thumb. And so fucking photogenic. Next to him Dom feels like a terrier sizing up a greyhound. Not likely.
They're of an age, but Dominic feels older than Orli. He has loads more experience, for one. It's only a shame he can't lord it over Orli a bit more, but with Sir Ian McKellen and John Rhys Davies about, he can hardly go boasting about his whopping four series playing a sidekick to a pensioner in a cozy mystery programme. Even Dom's own mum thought the show was a bit boring.
Ian McKellen... trying it on with him would probably be a mistake, but maybe a mistake worth making. He's getting on but hardly in his dotage yet, strong hands, strong shoulders, keen eyes. Thing is, he's well famous now, and knighted and all, he's not hurting for companionship; some glossy-haired bloke turns up now and then to hang on Sir Ian's arm and flash a blinding white smile. Dom can offer youth, enthusiasm and respect without the blinded dazzle of hero worship, but it's not likely to be enough.
John Rhys Davies, probably quite straight, and at any rate, far too self-conscious about the reaction he's had to his makeup, the patchy stripped skin of his face. Dominic understands, he does; life before Claritin had its hellish stretches, and he still breaks out like a greasy teenager when he so much as glances at pollen or wool. John doesn't seem entirely to believe in Dom's sympathy, though, and likely wouldn't be up for it, even if he did.
Stuart Townsend's gorgeous, but he's too up himself to ever give Dominic a second look. Sean Bean, dead handsome, friendly enough, but he's always talking about his daughters. Daisy Wenham... a nickname like Daisy can't help but be promising, but he's not in on the long haul, and most of his scenes are with every other hobbit but Dom. No luck there.
Then within a few weeks, Stuart's gone and Viggo arrives, and Dom doesn't add him to the list, but only thinks: yes.
It rains and rains and outdoor shooting is cancelled; the schedule is switched about and switched some more and switched again, everyone scurrying to indoor sets to get something, anything, shot. Dom's rushed from mid-Fellowship to mid-Two Towers, hastily memorizing lines from script pages still wet with the ink of Fran's revisions.
When he wakes up on his day off, there's flooding all through Wellington, and the phone rings.
"I'm going to go fishing today," says Viggo.
"Why don't you just hang your rod out the window?"
"For fish," Viggo clarifies. "Not sheep. I think you should come."
"I've already planned a full day of playing video games and wearing shoes just cos I can for a change."
"I thought you swore off playing video games."
"Only with Elijah. I've never even been fishing before in my life."
"Then you're overdue. Come on. You don't even have to change your plans much, you can wear shoes while we fish."
"I spend all week fantasizing about the one day I won't have cold feet, Viggo."
"So don't get cold feet," Viggo says.
Dom really had been set on a day in. But just like always, when it comes to Viggo, the answer is always yes.
The trouble with Viggo is that there's no trouble at all with Viggo. Everyone adores him, everyone respects him, as an actor, as an artist, as a man. He's the King.
And yet for all that, he's a weird geezer, staying in character during lunches and training sessions and trips to the gym, carrying his sword with him everywhere, staring mad-eyed out over the hills like he can see a thousand miles further than anyone else-- and with those amazing flint-blue eyes, maybe he can.
The well-concealed but quite powerful part of Dominic that calculates and keeps track sometimes helpfully reminds Dom of all the many, many people in the cast and crew who'd be eager to bed Viggo, and all the many, many reasons that a list of candidates for Viggo's attentions ought not rightfully to include the second backup hobbit.
Dom tells that part of himself to bugger off, and lets the rest of himself dream.
Dom wears three pairs of socks for his fishing trip with Viggo, and brings spares in zip-lock bags.
"I'm serious," he says, "if my feet don't stay warm and toasty for this entire debacle, I'll do whatever it takes to get them that way. If that means I have to gut you open like a Tauntaun to warm my feet up inside you, so be it."
Viggo shakes his head and laughs. Anyone else, Dom might be frustrated not to get more of a response, a verbal parry, some repartee. Viggo, though-- Dom's just glad to make Viggo laugh, see him smile. He's glad to discover that he doesn't mind being silent himself, sometimes.
It's a better time than Dom would've imagined, sitting by the water, watching the ripples spread. Quiet never made Dom feel comfortable before.
Somehow it soothes him, even the churning calculating part of his brain that usually drives him spare, spinning on and on.
Once Viggo says, "Look," and points to a long-legged bug skimming the surface of the water, never breaking through.
Once he says, "Reel it in, let's see you cast again... good. That's good, you've got it."
Once he says, "I knew you'd like this. After a big rain, there's not so much pollen in the air. Gives you a chance to enjoy the countryside instead of sneezing at it."
The day stays overcast and dim, and in the half-light, Viggo looks like architecture, structural. Good skin over good muscles over good bones. His shaggy dark-dyed hair coats the curve of his skull. His knuckles and wristbones protrude hard and elegant.
The hollows of his cheekbones and eye sockets look shadowed and holy. His face is hewn so chiseled-craggy that it's almost ugly, except that he's beautiful.
Dominic catches a fish. It's funny, he thought he'd be flustered when something finally happened. But as soon as there's a tug on the line, he finds himself calmly winding the reel, slowly pulling the line up and out, just the way Viggo explained and guided and demonstrated. The fish flops and gleams, beautiful, dying.
"I feel a bit bad, killing it," Dom admits, watching it arch and wriggle.
"You can throw it back."
"Only a bit bad." Dom sets his shoulders. "I've already hooked a hole through his lip, it's not any kinder to put him through all that just to chuck him in again. Besides. You only fish when you want fish for dinner, and there's only one way to get this bugger onto a plate."
Viggo shows him how to take hold of the fish, mindful of the fins, and puts it into Dom's hands. He's amazed by the weight of it, how alive it is still, how that life is ebbing away right here in his grasp.
He's eaten fish before that Viggo caught. He wonders if this one will taste any different to him, more satisfying, because he caught it himself.
Viggo insists on taking Dom's picture with the fish.
"You look as if you've been doing this all your life," he says.
"It's almost as if I were an actor," Dom replies lightly.
Viggo smiles down at his camera, though somehow it's clear that the smile doesn't quite follow from the joke. "You're something special, Dominic," he says.
"That's what my mum tells me," answers Dom, still glib. "I'm her special little man."
"Stop that," says Viggo, not harshly at all, but with a certain amount of weight.
Dom stops that, and the quiet gets comfortable again.
Later, though, as they arrive at Viggo's house, Dom says, "My feet are cold after all. You bastard."
Viggo says, "You caught it, I'll cook it. You can put your cold feet up in front of the fire."
The fish does taste more satisfying somehow, knowing he caught it himself.
Once Viggo says, "Look," until Dominic finally manages to meet his eyes.
Once he says, "Good. That's good, you've got it."
Once he says, "I knew you'd like this."
It's funny, Dom thought he'd be flustered when something finally happened.
Not long before he leaves New Zealand, Dominic remembers how he thought his way through the list, and it makes him feel like a twat.
Billy's the best mate he's ever had, but for all that, they're quite different: Dom likes to close the pub, Billy's all early nights nursing a shot of Macallan. They make for a brilliant pair of friends, but if they shared more of their lives, they'd make each other miserable. And one of the few things he likes even better than being with Billy is seeing Billy happy.
Sean Astin deserves better than being written off as the safety-crazed, responsible family man. He's that-- he's certainly that-- but he's more than that as well, and belatedly, Dom wishes he'd given Sean a bit more credit.
Elijah really is wise beyond his years, and no matter how adolescently eager he's been for friendship during this job, he never for a moment let anyone budge him from his rock-solid sense of comfort with himself. Dominic needn't have ever worried about overwhelming Elijah, he knows now that Lijah's a match for him and then some.
Orlando's more of everything than he seemed at first. More canny, more clever, more grounded, more silly and fun. He's the most good-natured guy in the world, and despite his envy, Dominic can't really begrudge all Orlando's portents of success.
Ian McKellen and John Rhys Davies... now it almost seems a bit embarrassing than he ever thought he had anything to offer those two. Some elders deserve more than mere respect.
And it's rather sad to remember how little compassion he had for Stuart Townsend, who probably wasn't up himself and scorning Dominic at all, but only preoccupied with his struggle to fill a role that would turn out to be better fitted to another man.
Not everything is about him, Dominic understands now in a way he didn't, quite, before.
He understands it now because now, some things really are about him.
What people don't realise about Viggo is that he's quite orderly, in his own way.
Like the notes he writes on Dom, spiralling up his arms sometimes: not the most tidy way to take down reminders, but he does take them. No one who's kicked their way through his cluttered house would credit it, but Viggo knows where everything is, even when it looks a tip.
Viggo thinks things through, like Dominic does. Some things.
But some things, neither of them have to think about at all.