Disclaimer: This is purely a work of fiction, inspired by real actors. The events portrayed in this story are in no way true - no matter how much I might wish they were.

A/N:  This is a short, unbetaed story I wrote from an odd little plot bunny that grew up around the supposition that Orlando just might not be straight and that the women he's seen in public with are nothing more than attempts to preserve a budding career.  I'd intended it to devolve into smutty sex, I swear, but the characters just wouldn't cooperate. Go figure.  In any event, I hope you enjoy.  This fic is dedicated to jmtelessar - my twin, my muse and very often, the receiver of many a late night phone call - without whom this would never have been written.





Itís all you can do to lift your hand to turn the key in the lock that leads to your small London flat. You arenít tired Ė you did manage to sleep on the long flight home, however fitfully Ė but you are weary.  Bone deep, soul achingly weary in a way youíve never been before.  The glamour of it all has worn off long since you took your first step onto New Zealand soil and there have been too many sacrifices made in the name of stardom.  Far too many...


It is a measure of that weariness that you simply instruct the driver to drop your bags inside the door, pass him a generous tip with a nod of your head and a wan smile, and close the door quietly behind him.  The open curiosity on his face as heíd glanced about the flat had served as an unwelcome reminder of how little privacy you truly had and this space, this one last vestige of a life youíd left behind, was too dear to be exposed for long to prying eyes.  Instead, you lock the door behind him and turn to walk on unsteady legs down the short hall that leads to the single bedroom.  You donít stop to do more than pull off your shirt and kick off your shoes before you are falling face down onto the bed, eyes closed and breath rapidly easing into the deepness of sleep.




You donít have to open your eyes to know that you are no longer alone but, before the fog of sleep can lift enough for panic to set in, a broad hand settles gently on your back and a low, soft voice breaks through the darkness behind your lids like a flare.


ďI didnít want to wait until next week. On the phone, you sounded...Ē


ďLost.Ē Your own whispering voice pulls that darkness back, wraps it around you and makes you shiver despite the ambient warmth of the room.  The hand on your back strokes slowly along your spine to the back of your neck and thick, strong fingers begin to knead tense muscles.  You sigh despite yourself and shift closer to the comfort offered by that hand, brushing your shoulder against one bent knee and you donít have to open your eyes either to know that itís the roughness of denim that presses into your skin.


ďYouíre not lost, Orlando. Youíll always be right here.Ē The quietly murmured words force a soft, bitter laugh from your lips and you shake your head against the sheets.


ďNo, I wonít. Depending on the week, Iíll be in New York or Los Angeles or... or some other godforsaken place, smiling brightly for the cameras and making sure that Iím seen with someone... appropriate on my arm, to keep the rumours at bay...Ē  You have to clench your eyes tighter shut against the swelling tide of desolation in your voice and for a moment, the kneading fingers grow still against the bare skin of your neck as the pad of a thumb lightly strokes your jaw.


ďThat was your choice, Orlando. Not mine.Ē  The voice is still low but some of the softness has bled away, replaced by a tension that makes that in your muscles seem weak by comparison.  Itís the resigned tone of those words, though, that drives a shard of pain deeper into your chest and makes your breath catch in your lungs as you fight to speak.


ďNo. Not anymore... I donít... I canít keep doing this. I canít keep pretending Iím someone Iím not... pretending I love someone else when itís... when itís not you...Ē The effort to contain a sob of desperation strangles the vocal chords in your throat and your words stumble to a halt.  Shifting sounds beside you, the fingers against the skin of your neck resume their gentle stroking and this time, when the words come, the mouth they issue from is closer to your ear.


ďIím here now, Orlando. Iím right here...Ē  The barest shake of your head and the thumb against your jaw slips to rub softly against your chin.


ďBut I want you here always, even when youíre not.... Christ, Iím not making any bloody sense, am I...Ē  A low, rough chuckle and this time, when the breath catches in your lungs, itís because of the barest brush of lips across the nape of your neck.


ďYouíre making perfect sense to me but then, Iím not everyone...Ē  The soft, easy humour in that voice tugs the corners of your lips up despite themselves and you canít help the small smile that crawls onto your face.


ďI donít want everyone, Viggo. I just want you...Ē  You donít know if itís the ache in your voice or the pleading whisper in which you speak that brings that thumb up to rest against your lips, stalling any further words.


ďYou have me, Orlando. And you will always have me, even when Iím not here...Ē  The fingers on the back of your neck slip away to trail down between your shoulders again, as the thumb against your mouth is replaced by gentle, chapped lips. Lips that ease away despite the murmur of protest from your own at their loss, as the body beside your own slides down the sheets and an arm urges you closer still.


ďDonít worry about any of it for now, just let it go.  Let it all go and just... be here, with me.Ē


One breath and then another and you can feel the tension draining from your muscles, your cheek coming to rest against a cotton covered shoulder and that strong arm settling more comfortably around your waist as you listen to the slow, soothing rhythm of your loverís heartbeat.  For the first time in longer than you can remember, your lips curve upwards into a easy, genuine smile, as you whisper words soft with wonder into the darkness behind your lids.


ďThereís nowhere else I would rather be...Ē



The End



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