broadwriting: (orlando (laughing))
[personal profile] broadwriting
Title: "Temporary Monogamy" (24/27)
Author: Brenda ([livejournal.com profile] azewewish)
Pairing: Orlando Bloom/Sean Bean (Karl Urban/Sean Bean)
Click here for full disclaimers & notes.

Prologue | Part One | Part Two | Part Three | Part Four | Part Five | Part Six | Part Seven | Part Eight | Part Nine | Part Ten | Part Eleven | Part Twelve | Part Thirteen | Part Fourteen | Part Fifteen | Part Sixteen | Part Seventeen | Part Eighteen | Part Nineteen | Part Twenty | Part Twenty-One | Part Twenty-Two | Part Twenty-Three | Part Twenty-Four | Part Twenty-Five | Part Twenty-Six | Part Twenty-Seven (and Epilogue) |





The water was soothing, sparkling, the clearest shade of blue Orlando had ever seen. He wondered if he could see right through to the other side of the world if he looked far enough. He felt a little like Alice or maybe Jules Verne. Not that it would surprise him if New Zealand had a rabbit hole or a hole to the center of the Earth somewhere lurking about. There was a sort of mad magic about the place that lent itself to the fanciful and bizarrely impossible.

He paddled out past the first round of waves, straddled his board with ease. On the beach, he could see Sean and Viggo were in the middle of building a sand castle or possibly a skyscraper or, knowing Viggo, a miniature version of the Taj Majal or possibly Ecthelion. Not that it really mattered what they were building, as they both looked like they were having a grand time kicking up sand everywhere. Sean had his head thrown back in amusement, throat bare, pale strands of hair glinting like gold in the sunlight. His skin glowed with vitality and life. His body was muscled and lean, healthy. He looked fucking fantastic.

It was nice that things were mostly back to where they'd been before. The past few days, while still not completely perfect, had been much better. Sean was no longer avoiding being alone with him and their former easiness had mostly returned. It was a good enough foundation. Orlando was confident they could work on the rest.

Dom and Billy rowed on their own boards out to meet him, both of them sporting wide grins, happy to be out in the water again after so many days cooped up on set. Like ducks, the both of them were. Orlando barely resisted the urge to quack – mostly because he thought they might just answer him. Every chance to take the piss was a good one were those two were concerned.

"You just gonna sit and laze about here all day, then?" Dom asked, once they got close enough.

"Thought I was supposed to be waiting for you two," Orlando shrugged, ignoring the small waves buffeting his thighs.

"Thought you were supposed to be getting Sean on a board," Billy said.

"Tried already. He turned me down. Said only mermen should glide on water." Although, he wasn't really sure how to take that, given that he was in the ocean as often as he could manage. He really hoped Sean wasn't comparing him to a sea creature, because that would just be...odd.

"Well, if all it takes is looking like a merman, he should totally come out and join us, then, shouldn't he?" Dom said, with a lusty sigh. "I mean, look at him."

Orlando glanced back to the shore. Sean was still by the sand castle or whatever it was, applying more suntan lotion to glistening skin. Even from out here, Orlando could see the play of muscle along Sean's thighs and chest and arms. Definitely, all of that time in heavy armor tossing a sword around was paying huge dividends. Orlando couldn't remember Sean looking better – and this included how fit he looked in some of his earlier films. "A regular Apollo," he answered, his voice a little breathless.

"Aye, that he is," Billy agreed, with a leering grin of his own. "Well, gentlemen? Shall we?"

Orlando and Dom looked at each other, then Billy. "Definitely," they stated in unison.

***

The promise of Lawrence's famous grilled lamb burgers was what finally drove Orlando out of the water much later on. The waves had been beyond perfect – whoever it was that said that surfing was the best therapy hadn't been lying. Already, he felt a million times better, as if the weight of the world was finally off his back. Of course, it could also have something to do with the sight of Sean and Viggo on their knees, sculpting at windows or turrets or whatever it was. Both of them were covered in wet sand. They looked like his younger cousins after a day rolling around in his aunt's flower beds.

"Dug your way to China yet, boys?"

Sean wiped a line of sweat off his brow with a forearm. The time in the sun had bronzed his skin and lightened his hair to a pale shade of blond. "Don't think that's geographically possible," he said, squinting up at Orlando.

"California, more like," Viggo agreed.

"Tossers. It's the principle, ain't it?" Orlando said. Honestly, his friends were far too literal.

"Guess it would depend on if your principles concerned geography."

"I have no idea what that even means," Orlando said to Viggo, shaking his head.

"I think it means we need more beer," Sean declared, with a quick commiserating wink to Orlando.

"Beer we can all agree on," Orlando said. He held out a hand to help Sean up. Sean took the hand gratefully, and Orlando pulled, stumbling when his foot slipped on the sand. Sean slid an arm around his waist to steady him, bringing their bodies flush with each other.

"You alright?"

The concern in Sean's voice was hard to hear through the roaring in Orlando's ears. He felt breathless again, heart racing, skin prickling with heat. "Yeah," he drawled, and slowly nodded. "Uh...thanks."

"No worries." Sean smiled, that lovely private crooked grin for Orlando alone, and let him go. It took Orlando a second to find his bearings.

"While you two are at the cooler, see if Craig's stashed any of his cider anywhere," Viggo said, without glancing at either of them, and the request was enough to shake Orlando out of his stupor.

"No worries," he replied, and cocked his head in Sean's direction. "Beer?"

"Beer."

***

After Viggo and Sean were finished with their masterpiece – Minas Tirith, or so Viggo claimed, although Orlando didn't really see it (he only saw a wet mountainous glob of sand) – everyone decided a proper celebration was in order. Why that celebration involved more beer, some really great weed, and Billy's guitar wasn't something Orlando was going to question. He was pretty sure he didn't care as long as the day never ended. He couldn't remember the last time he'd had such a perfect day, unless it was the last time they'd all gotten together for some surfing and grilling out.

Hopefully, though, he wouldn't end the night by snogging on any of his friends. That would be slightly scary in a not good way.

Karl caught up with him when he was snagging another burger off the grill. "Careful there, don't want to burn your fingers again."

"I am a greedy thing," Orlando agreed, and softly head-butted Karl in greeting. He really had missed Karl over the last few weeks in his self-imposed exile. His own fault, really, but that was over now. He and Sean were back to normal, and it was past time he got back on even footing with Karl again. "Was wondering when you'd surface."

"Someone had to be in charge of making sure there was plenty of beer."

"Lawrence called begging, did he?"

"Called Harry, yeah," Karl shrugged. The motion pulled his board shorts even lower on his hips. It was seriously bordering on almost indecent. But then, that was Karl for you. Sexy as all get out, but didn't do anything to call attention to it. "I think he thinks I'll say no to him."

"Because that's a word you use so much," Orlando grinned, and danced out of the way of Karl's half-hearted attempt to tickle him.

"See if I ever make my curry for you again," Karl replied, and neatly stole Orlando's burger off his plate.

"Oi, I was eating that."

"And now you're not. Grab another, let's have a sit. Feels like it's been an age."

Since Orlando had just been thinking the same thing, it was an easy enough request to honor. He also grabbed two cold bottles and they made themselves at home on a blanket that Karl had brought with him. It really had been far too long since they'd done this. Never again, man. Some things were far too important to fuck with, and the friendships he'd made were definitely sacred. And far more important than his mental forays into the ridiculous.

"So, what's the deal with you and Jerry?" Karl asked, after taking a long pull from his beer. "Lawrence told me you two ended it?"

"Yeah," Orlando replied, letting out a slow breath. He'd wondered when someone was going to mention that Jerry hadn't been around of late. "I mean, we had some laughs and I really think he's a great guy, but, y'know, it had run its course. I think he was as ready to be done as I was, to be honest."

Karl nodded, the motion thoughtful. "Not surprised, considering."

"Considering what?" Orlando asked, swallowing his mouthful of burger.

"What's been going on with you and Sean."

"Oh. Well." This wasn't exactly how Orlando wanted to have this conversation, but he supposed it was long overdue. He just hoped that Karl would forgive him for acting the prat for so long. "Yeah, and I've been meaning to apologize to you about that."

"Why?" Karl asked, forehead wrinkling in confusion.

Fuck, Karl really wasn't going to make this easy. Not that he should have expected anything else. If he'd been Karl, he would have made him work for it. "Well, I mean, I know you two aren't serious and all, but..."

"He didn't tell you?" When Orlando shook his head, Karl just laughed. "Sean and I are back to being friends without the benefits."

"Oh, um. Good. I mean, fuck..." Why the hell was he so relieved? Karl and Sean had been damn good together. Orlando knew he should be sad that they'd ended things, even though everyone knew it was never a permanent thing. Orlando wondered if them deciding to end it had anything to do with Harry.

"So, don't let any lingering guilt keep you from going there," Karl continued, and it was Orlando's turn to frown.

"Going where?"

Karl put his hand on Orlando's shoulder, the touch warm. "You're one of my best friends, you know that, but you're being a world-class fuckwit, and the sooner you realize that, the better."

"Great, well, thanks for the insult," Orlando replied, a little stung. He didn't think he'd been that bad, considering.

"I say it with love," Karl grinned. "And it's for your own good."

"Now you sound like an abusive boyfriend," Orlando pointed out.

"I'm serious."

"I'm sure you are," Orlando said. But it still made no sense. In fact, this entire conversation was reminding him of trying to talk with Viggo. He wondered if maybe Karl had finally cracked after spending so much time with Viggo planning all of their pranks. "Anyway, I have no idea what you're on about."

"You and Sean finally doing something about this thing between you," Karl replied, looking at Orlando in expectation.

Which would be excellent if Orlando could just figure out what the hell was going on. "But Sean and I aren't doing anything."

Karl simply smiled. "Exactly."

"And you're still not making any sense." Orlando was beginning to feel like he'd wandered into the Twilight Zone.

"You're not stupid, so stop acting like it," Karl said gently, and patted Orlando's hand in a soothing gesture. "You've been in love with Sean for as long as I've known you."

On a scale of one to ten, there was crazy, then there was what Karl'd just said. "I'm..." Orlando shook his head, trying to clear it. There was no way he'd heard that properly. Except that Karl was still just sitting there, looking at him with that same small smile and patting his hand. "Uh, Karl. I'm not in love with Sean."

That was impossible. There was no way. He'd totally know if he was in love with someone. Especially one of his closest friends.

"The hell you're not," Karl scoffed, but never stopped smiling. "And you're a rotten liar."

God save him from his mental friends. "Look, I don't know..."

Karl just sighed and cupped Orlando's chin, turning it towards the rest of the group. "I want you to look at him. Don't say anything. Just look."

Orlando did as ordered, not that he had much choice, what with the grip that Karl had on him. Sean was with Viggo and Harry, lounging in a beach chair, legs splayed out, beer in one hand, smiling that crooked smile that he got when he was particularly tickled about something. When he turned his head and caught Orlando looking at him, he waved, his smile getting even wider, until it seemed to fill the space between them and all of the air in Orlando's lungs. Something in Orlando's heart tightened so painfully at the sight that he thought he might be having a heart attack. He couldn't breathe, he couldn't move, he could barely think. All he could do was stare at Sean's smile with a sort of stupefied wonder.

"Oh, fuck me..." he breathed, the words barely audible, as realization swept over him like a tsunami hitting land and destroying everything in its path.

He was completely, totally, and utterly in love with Sean Bean.


(To Be Continued)

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