broadwriting: (karl&orlando (otp))
[personal profile] broadwriting
Title: "Temporary Monogamy" (14/27)
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) |



"C'mon, Billy, block him!" Orlando called, and clapped his hands on his knees, watching the action as Billy managed to wrest the ball away from Dom and head to the other end of the pitch. It was an absolutely beautiful day – wispy clouds, great sun, the waves were perfect, and the beach all but deserted except for their group. When Sean and Dom had suggested the previous night that they get together for a friendly football match and some surfing, everyone had met the idea with enthusiasm, even Orlando, who tended to avoid football days, because he always got stuck with playing goalkeeper. Honestly, he knew he wasn't the most coordinated bloke on set (or at all, really), but he thought he'd make a right good forward if given half a chance. Besides, Lawrence and Sala should really be playing goalkeeper, on account of how massive they both were and all.

Lawrence stole the ball neatly from Billy, and kicked it off to Sean, who came barreling down to the goal, Dom and Viggo in hot pursuit. Orlando braced himself and watched the ball, waiting for the kick. He made a flying leap, sand dusting up everywhere, as he blocked the shot, and grinned when Marton, who was reffing today's game, whistled and gave his team the ball for the corner-kick.

"Helluva block," Sean said, and stood over him, body obstructing the sun, hair falling into his face as he held out a hand. The shadowed halo around him only emphasized the broad width of his shoulders. Like everyone else, he was dressed only in his swim trunks, and his chest gleamed with sweat.

Orlando took the hand gratefully and let Sean haul him to his feet. "Thanks, mate." He quickly started brushing sand off of himself.

"We'll make a proper footballer out of you yet."

"Tosser," Orlando grinned, and shoved playfully at Sean's chest. Sean danced out of the way, and put up his hands in a classic boxer's stance.

"Sure you want to tangle with me?"

"Oh, I could take you," Orlando replied, meeting Sean move for move, trying to find a weakness to exploit.

"Oi, stop fraternizing with the enemy and get back to your post!" Dom called.

"I take it he means us," Sean said, and clapped Orlando on the arm. "Catch you after, Montague, we'll have a proper duel."

"Not if I see you first, Capulet," Orlando replied, and shooed Sean away. "And keep an eye on Viggo, I think he's cheating again."

"Why else would I have him on my team?" Sean laughed, and started jogging out to meet the rest of his group. Orlando just grinned and stepped back in the box, ready to defend his turf once again.

***

After the game – 5-4, won by Orlando's team on a brilliant block by Elijah (of all fucking people), who'd managed to slide into Craig's knees and take him down, allowing Billy to steal the ball – Lawrence fired up the grill, and everyone scattered to their surf boards or to the towels to soak in some rays. Orlando couldn't remember the last time he'd been so relaxed – the past few weeks had been rough, not just work-wise, but in his own head. Yeah, sure, he knew everyone had their moments of self-doubt and inertia and pity and whatnot, but all of that moping about and navel-gazing really wasn't him. He could be as reflective as the next person, but this had been different. All of this inner whatever the hell it was, calling ex-girlfriends in the middle of the night, quoting poetry – poetry, like some sort of goth or something, avoiding his friends like the plague...no, that most definitely wasn't him. He was young and carefree and with an incredible group of people; he should be having the time of his life and learning everything he possibly could soak in.

He'd been relieved when things had (as much as they ever did around this lot) gone back to normal. He'd even lain off the dating thing for awhile – given himself a bit of a breather. Liv and Jemma both had a point, after all; he was never gonna find anyone unless he relaxed a little. No one wanted to be with anyone that smacked of desperation. Girls dug the whole self-confidence thing. He just needed to work on getting that back, and today was a grand enough day to start. After some time, he'd be back in the game, ready to take on all comers.

"Who's the band today, Dom?" he called, while struggling to get into his wetsuit. Dom was splayed out on one of the towels, portable CD player next to him, and the music was undeniable Irish rock (not a surprise, considering the source), but Orlando couldn't place the band.

"Cactus World News. I think Bono discovered them back in the early 90s."

"1984," Viggo corrected, without even bothering to look up from his book. He was sunning himself on the towel next to Dom.

"Ah, right you are, then," Dom nodded, shading his eyes as he gave Viggo a blinding smile.

"You ever get tired of sucking up to him?" Billy asked, walking up, his own surf board in tow.

"Not at all," Dom replied, cheerfully. Viggo just chuckled and kept reading. Looked like poetry in Norwegian or something.

"Shove over, ladies, man with meat coming through," Lawrence said, balancing a tray in his hands as Orlando and Billy parted to allow him access to the nearby grill.

"That sounds like a porn film," Billy said, and Lawrence just grinned.

"Well, my meat's certainly big enough."

"I really don't need to be a party to this conversation," Orlando said, shaking his head. "Lascivious brigands, all of you," he added, just as Sean walked up to join them, beer bottle loosely dangling from his fingers.

"Well, you know what Shakespeare has to say about us lascivious brigands."

Orlando stopped. "What?"

Sean raised an eyebrow, looking as if Orlando should already know the answer. "Lechery, sir; it provokes the desire..."

"But takes away the performance," Orlando finished with a laugh. He should have known Sean would start tossing the quotes around. He was forever trying to catch Orlando flatfooted.

"Too right. But I think I'd rather be lecherous," Billy said.

Orlando threw his arm around Billy's narrow shoulders. "Which explains why you've only got the old right hand for company."

"As soon as this one's done with Karl, you'll see."

Sean's smile was small, but no less wicked. "He may tire of me sooner than you think."

Which was a ridiculous thought, and anyone that had ever seen Sean and Karl together would know that. "Who in their right mind would get sick of you?" Orlando ignored Billy making kissy noises. Tosser, like he wasn't even worse with his mancrush on Karl.

Dom jerked a thumb at Orlando, gave Sean his best talk show host smile. "Think you've found your replacement when the time comes, Sean."

"Even if I was into blokes, which I'm not," Orlando reminded them, for what had to be the millionth time, "I'm quite certain Sean could do much better than me."

"Don't sell yourself short, Orlando, you've got plenty of good qualities," Sean said, and Orlando could just feel himself glowing on the inside at the compliment. Maybe Billy was right. He really was a sucker for Sean's approval.

"Thanks," he replied, softly, then kicked at Dom's foot. "You coming out with us or what?"

"Yeah, yeah," Dom grumbled, but got up. "Here, Sean, you can keep my towel warm for me."

Sean made himself at home on the space that Dom just vacated. "You might not get it back."

"We can wrestle for it later."

"Only if I can referee," Viggo countered, with a lascivious wink.

"Please, you'd have them wrestling naked in Jell-O," Orlando said. Viggo just grinned and didn't bother to deny it.

Definitely lascivious brigands, all of them. Most days, Orlando felt like a vestal virgin protecting her virtue.

Once Orlando, Billy and Dom were on the way to the shore, Orlando nudged at Dom's shoulder. "Can I get a favor from you?"

"Would you like chips with that?"

"Oi, are you trying to get me fat?"

Dom made a point of looking at Orlando's hips. "You could do with a bit of fattening up. No one likes skinny bitches. You'll never find a husband like that."

"I'll do my best to get some curves," Orlando promised, even if he thought that Dom was quite the fine one to be calling his kettle skinny, what with his hips and all.

"So, what can I do for you?"

"Keep Craig occupied."

"Why?" Billy asked, peering back at the grill, where Craig was helping Lawrence keep an eye on the steaks – which, in their case, meant drinking copious amounts of alcohol, but it wasn't like Craig and Lawrence didn't have the heads for it.

"He's not giving up on setting me up with his cousin," Orlando grimaced, just managing to suppress the shudder.

Dom and Billy nodded in commiseration. "Ah, right. She's a bit of a disaster, that one, isn't she?" Billy said.

"Too right," Orlando agreed. "I'd have asked Lij to do it, Craig's got a soft spot for him, but..."

"Yes, well, you can't trust Elwood, now, can you? Man's a bloody heathen."

Billy chimed in. "You know, he actually thinks it's normal to pour perfectly good tea over ice?"

"Get out." Orlando was strangely horrified and fascinated.

"Americans, I'll never get them," Dom said, and Billy murmured his own concurrence.

"So true," Orlando agreed. "So anyway, will you?"

"Yeah, of course, you know I've got you," Dom said, clapping Orlando on the back. "But now, gentlemen, our chariots await."

***

When Orlando finally decided he'd had enough of battling the waves, he waved to Dom that he was heading back to land. It was crazy how relaxed he felt, how loose and free. There was nothing quite like surfing, he thought, as he rose out of the water, droplets flinging everywhere, feeling like some sort of sea nymph, and started to make his way to the beach to dry off. When he trudged his way back ashore, Viggo had disappeared (probably to terrorize the seagulls or whatever sea birds New Zealand had), but he found Sean still setting up camp on Dom's towel. Just looking at him with the most peculiar expression on his face. Like Orlando'd done something out of character, and Sean was trying to figure it out.

"You alright, mate?" he asked, dropping to the towel next to Sean.

"Hmm? Oh, yeah. Yeah, I'm good." But Sean's smile was slightly forced.

Where the hell was the bloody suntan lotion…? Orlando made a small noise of triumph when he found it, hidden under his floppy hat. "You sure?" he asked, not entirely convinced. By this time, he thought himself a pretty good expert on reading Sean's moods, and something was definitely off.

"Yeah, I'm fine. Just, too much sun."

Orlando squinted as he stared at Sean. "Looks good on you," he offered, with a waggle of his brows, hoping to lighten the mood. "You're a regular Adonis, you are."

"Oh, bugger off." But the smile on Sean's face was easier now, more like his real one. The one that made his eyes crinkle just so, and made the lines around his mouth more pronounced.

Orlando kicked at Sean's foot. "What, I'm serious, not like you don't know you're a sexy beast."

"You sound like Karl."

"And he'd know, now wouldn't he?" Orlando laid himself on his towel with a small noise of contentment. "This was a good idea."

"Yeah. Good to let everyone blow off some steam," Sean said, and they both looked up when a shadow crossed their path. Karl dropped on the towel next to Sean and gave him a soft kiss hello, then directed his attention to Orlando.

"Aren't you two the cozy picture?" Karl asked, looking far more amused than anyone had a right to.

Orlando just shook his head. Truly, he loved Karl, but he'd never quite understand some of the things he found funny. "When'd you get here, then?"

"Bit ago. Long enough to watch you wipe out on that last wave."

"I was holding my own before that," Orlando grumbled.

"Of course you were," Karl replied, amiably. "Fancy a walk before we stuff our gills?"

Sean shook his head. "You lads go on. I'm not up for more exertion."

"Lazy git, you haven't done a bloody thing since the match," Orlando said, fondly, as he sat up. "We'll bring you back a sea shell."

"I'd rather you bring me back a mermaid."

"Only if you promise to share," Karl joked, and rolled gracefully to his feet, Orlando following suit.

Sean just waved them off, and closed his eyes. He looked like a lizard sunning himself, if lizards were tanned and muscled and such. Maybe more like a panther, then. Jaguar. Something sleek and dangerous.

Christ, the sun was getting to him, Orlando thought, as he slid his feet into his Birks and followed after Karl down the beach. "Where've you been all day, anyway?" he asked, once they'd gotten out of earshot. "You missed some great waves."

"Being responsible and taking care of domestic things," Karl replied. "You wouldn't believe the laundry and cleaning that've piled up."

Orlando nodded in agreement. "Sucks to be an adult some days."

"That it does." Karl fished in the pockets of his board shorts and held up the fattest joint Orlando had ever seen. "Up for a smoke?"

"Christ, I think I love you," Orlando breathed, and made a grabbing motion. "I was just thinking the only thing the day lacked was some of Viggo's weed."

They made themselves at home on a small cove of rocks, and spent a long time in silence, passing the joint back and forth, watching the tide roll out. Orlando could feel every single bit of tension that was left in his body slowly leave, toke by toke. He sighed his contentment at the world, the day, his friends, and everything else in the universe. Fuck all this brooding about, man, he had everything he needed here on this beach. When he dropped his head on Karl's shoulder, Karl just placed a friendly kiss on top of his head, and wrapped an arm around his shoulders, the embrace comforting.

"You mind if I ask you something?" Karl asked quietly, breaking the silence.

"Sure," Orlando shrugged. He was feeling far too relaxed and loose to deny anyone anything at the moment. Not that he would have denied Karl anyway.

"You remember when you walked in on me and Sean in the trailer the other week?"

Orlando groaned in embarrassment and pressed his face against Karl's shoulder. "I know, I feel like a prat."

Karl squeezed his arm, letting Orlando know everything was alright. "You looked like you weren't sure if you wanted the floor to swallow you or if you wanted to jump in the middle."

Orlando's head popped up. Karl was just sitting there, looking at him with a mixture of familiarity and curiosity, hazel eyes steady on his own. "Jump in the middle?"

"It's alright, you know. To be curious."

Curious? About...oh. Oh. Oh, God, Karl wasn't...he didn't... "I'm not, though, I don't...Christ, you know I don't..."

"Fuck it," Karl interrupted, and tugged on the back of Orlando's head, jerking him forward. Orlando made a small 'o' of surprise when Karl's tongue parted the seams of his mouth, sought entrance, lips a warm, heavy weight against his own, the rough bristles of Karl's beard scraping against his chin.

Karl was kissing him.

Karl Urban, one of his very best mates, the man that was almost like a brother to him, was kissing him. With tongue. And rather spectacularly skillfully, at that.

Fragmented thoughts flickered through Orlando's mind - I'm not...this isn't...Christ, this feels - before higher reasoning shut down, and he found himself just as eagerly returning the kiss, twining his tongue with Karl's as it deepened, lengthened, became something...well, rather goddamn grand.

Karl ended the kiss slowly, ending by pressing his forehead against Orlando's. Orlando wasn't sure he was going to be able to catch his breath. "Jesus," he managed, lips still tingling. He licked at them a little, still tasting Karl. "Um..."

"You alright?" Karl asked, pulling back far enough to study Orlando's face.

Orlando nodded, then shook his head, then nodded again. "Yeah, I mean...um. You kissed me."

"And you enjoyed it."

"You kissed me," Orlando repeated. It seemed really important that Karl understand that part. "Fuck me, Billy wasn't lying."

Karl laughed, the sound pleasant and light. "I'll take that as a compliment. And don't worry, I won't take advantage."

"Why?" Orlando held two fingers to his lips. He could still feel the buzz from Karl's beard. "Not the taking advantage bit, I mean, because I'm, uh..." He wasn't making any sense. None of this was making any sense.

"Because it is alright if you're curious," Karl replied, seeming to understand what Orlando was really asking, and patted his knee. "You're among friends here. No one's going to judge you in this crowd if you wanted to explore your options."

"But, um, you, I mean, we're..." Christ, why couldn't he think? It was like Karl had scrambled his brain or something. It was a bloody wonder that Sean ever managed to string two words together as much as he was constantly kissing Karl. Then he remembered Karl's comment about Sean being a better kisser, and he groaned. Good Lord, it was a wonder either of them ever got anything done. No wonder they were always snogging.

He couldn't believe he was thinking this. He didn't do the whole bloke thing. He just didn't.

"Just friends," Karl assured him, with another small smile. "Besides, you're still too young for me."

"Oh, lovely. Great." Then Orlando laughed, the sound high-pitched, even to his own ears. "That was..."

"It was a great kiss is what it was." Karl wrapped his arm back around Orlando's shoulders. "And that's all it was. Although I do have to give you props on your technique."

"Yeah?" Orlando couldn't help the pleased blush, even though he was still in shock. This was the most surreal night he could ever remember. "Fuck me, I kissed Cupid."

Karl's surprised laughter reverberated through him. "And Caesar, don't forget."

"Yeah," Orlando replied. Fuck. "Felt really nice," he admitted. He had no idea what that meant, either, but he thought it was important that he say it while he still had the courage.

Karl's dropped a paternal kiss to his forehead. "That's the point," he said, softly.

Orlando still wasn't entirely sure what in sweet fuck was going on, so he just nodded. It was easier. Thankfully, Karl seemed to understand, because he just sat there next to Orlando, not saying anything, allowing him space. Not that he really wanted space. Even though he did. Space led to thinking, and he'd been doing far too much of that lately, but fucking hell, it wasn't every day that your very virile, very male friend, snogged the living hell out of you.

Karl had kissed him.

And he'd really enjoyed it. Not like the whole hearts and flowers and forever after, but there was no denying the sparks. That, far from being repulsed at stubble and masculine lips, he'd been...well, he hadn't been repulsed, and it was best to leave it there.

He had a feeling it was going to be a very long time before he stopped thinking about it.


(To Be Continued)

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