broadwriting: (orlando (laughing))
[personal profile] broadwriting
Title: "Temporary Monogamy" (16/27)
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) |



"Oi." Dom nudged Sean with an elbow to the ribs. "Is that Jerry from craft services with our Orlando?"

Sean obligingly looked up. And, sure enough, Orlando was winding his way through the pub with Jerry, the very attractive, (and very out and proud) head of craft services, and they were holding hands. "Seems like," he admitted, glancing at Karl in question. "Know anything about it?"

Karl shook his head, but he looked troubled, which was its own sort of odd, as there wasn't a lot that fazed Karl. "News to me."

All conversation stopped when Orlando and Jerry paused at their table. Orlando's smile was bright, friendly. Relaxed in a way that Sean hadn't seen in quite awhile. His own lips curved reflexively in response, despite his confusion. "What's up?" Orlando said, by way of introduction.

Karl returned the greeting, as did Sean. "How's it goin'?" Dom continued to stare at Jerry like he was a puzzle he was trying to solve, but didn't say anything.

"C'mon," Orlando said, after an uncomfortable beat of silence. "Let's go find a booth. Gentlemen," he nodded, then gently guided Jerry away.

Dom immediately got up, to, as he put it, confer with Billy. Karl watched Orlando and Jerry's progress to the back of the pub. "They seemed cozy," he observed, glancing at Sean out of the corner of his eye.

"Very," Sean replied. "What the hell is going on?"

"Like I hang about at keyholes, spying on Orlando at night. Shouldn't that be your job?"

"Bastard." But Sean couldn't fight off his own smile. "He seems...different tonight." He kept thinking back to that smile, and how nice it was to see Orlando finally happy. He'd had shadows behind his eyes for far too long. Orlando had far too much light in him to be pulled into cynicism and despair.

"Stick around Zid long enough, it'll start to do that to a person." Karl squeezed Sean's knee, then crept his hand upwards in a playful tease. "C'mon, sailor, let me buy you a drink. We can suss out the mystery of Orlando and Jerry later."

Never let it be said that Sean didn't know a good idea when he heard one. He leaned in, lips brushing over Karl's in a light caress that turned into a slow kiss. "Buy me one at home," he murmured, and flicked his tongue across Karl's just to hear the reverberating moan.

"A much better option," Karl managed to groan before he tugged at Sean's hair for another kiss, and all thoughts of Orlando's blinding smile were pushed to the back burner of Sean's mind.

"Right, then, get off each other, Billy's got news," Dom announced, sliding into his vacated chair, and giving Sean and Karl a glare until they finally parted. "Don't give me that look, Sean, you two can go back to rooting like rabbits in a minute."

"I appreciate your generosity," Sean deadpanned.

"My middle name is munificence." Dom elbowed Billy in the ribs. "Well?"

"Oh, right." Billy cleared his throat, clearly distracted by the kiss. Bless the Scots and their hedonistic ways. "Well, it's like this. Me and Orlando were at the craft services table earlier today during that break when the lights needed to be re-rigged, you remember –"

"Christ, Bils, no one cares about the set-up. Get to the point."

Billy just rolled his eyes at Dom. They squabbled more than flesh and blood siblings, Sean was sure of it. "My story, now, isn't it?" Billy said. "Anyhoo, so I'm having a look at one of the cream cheese muffins –"

"Sinful, aren't they?" Karl sighed.

"Oh, absolutely," Billy agreed, bobbing his head. "Stop growling at me, Dommeh, it's bad for your teeth when you start grinding them like that. So, I'm there with my tea and my muffin when all of a sudden I hear Orlando ask Jerry out." Billy paused to let the drama of the moment sink in. "Like, on a proper date. Dinner, movie, pub, all that. And Jerry, well, he's just looking at Orlando like his birthday's come early, I mean, who wouldn't, and immediately says absolutely and Orlando says great, I'll come pick you up at 8 and that's that." Billy finished his tale with a swig from his mug, and looked at the others expectantly. "Anyone have any idea when it was that our fair Elf started batting for his own team?"

"I'd ask Karl," Harry said, as he sat down and put his glass of port down in front of him. Everyone looked at him in confusion. Even Karl looked flummoxed, and he was never flummoxed by anything Harry said.

"Ask me what?"

"Why Orlando's going out with men," Harry clarified.

"It was one kiss, Sin, you can't expect –"

Sean did a double-take. "You kissed Orlando?"

"We both did," Karl said, pointing between himself and Harry.

"At the same time???!!!"

"Christ, Dom, this isn't one of your skin flicks. No," Karl enunciated, when Dom kept staring.

"So, what happened?"

Karl leaned in, dropped his voice. Good call, Sean thought, as Bernard was starting to give their table a speculative look. "Look, we all know Orlando's been hesitant to try anything with a man, even though we all know he's been curious. So I kissed him — to get him thinking in that direction. If he hadn't responded, I'd have laughed it off as us just being stoned."

"But he did. Respond, I mean," Sean said, trying to follow along. He thought it all made a certain sense, but there was still a odd feeling coursing through him at the thought of Karl and Orlando kissing, no matter what the reason.

"And very nicely, I might add. Kid's a very passionate kisser." Sean couldn't say he was surprised – Orlando did rather seem the type to throw himself wholeheartedly into whatever it was he was doing.

"Then he shows up at mine, asking me to kiss him so he can make sure it wasn't a Karl thing or a being stoned thing," Harry continued.

"Smart thinking," Billy said. "And a fair excuse for getting his lips on you both."

"I'm upset he didn't just ask me."

Billy sighed. "Dom, you're shite at kissing, give it up already."

Harry just ignored them. "And then we talked about how he thinks he might be bisexual, and this morning, he announces, over waffles, that he's going to start dating men to get a handle on this, quote, new thing."

"Oh, Orlando, you insufferable moron," Karl groaned, bumping his forehead against the table.

Harry saluted Karl with his mug. "Like I said, all your fault."

"He hasn't even gotten his women issues sorted and he's adding another sex into the mix?" Dom sounded equal parts impressed and concerned.

"Recipe for disaster is what that is," Billy said, and Sean couldn't help but silently agree. What the hell was Orlando thinking?

***

It was simply astounding how much brighter the world looked when one didn't wake up alone. Not that Orlando was naïve enough to think that all of his problems were solved simply by having someone else in his bed, but it certainly made mornings a lot nicer. Could be there was a method to Viggo's madness. Orlando certainly wasn't in love with Jerry or anything remotely like that, but still, perhaps there was something to this whole expanding his horizons thing.

He still wasn't entirely sure where this whole thing was going, or what it all even meant, but there had to be a reason why he'd reacted so strongly to both Karl and Harry kissing him. And Jerry was, well, a nice sort of bloke. Wasn't the sort to take anything seriously, which was nice. It also helped that he was rather easy on the eyes – lanky and blond, with a dancers' body and gentle hands. Orlando could have certainly done far worse as far as someone teaching him the ropes of this whole man-on-man thing.

He wondered what Sean's first male lover was like. Or Karl's or Harry's. If they'd been as lucky. He hoped so.


"And how are we doing this fine afternoon?" Orlando asked, certain his grin had to rival the Pacific as he draped his arms across Sean and Viggo's shoulders when he found them in the food tent. Viggo was enjoying what looked like road tar, but was probably coffee, and Sean had his usual cup of tea in front of him.

"You seem to be enjoying life" Sean said, canting his head back. He looked genuinely pleased at Orlando's good fortune. Orlando really had the best friends known to man.

"I am," Orlando affirmed. "It's been a very nice week."

"I take it your dates with Jerry have been going well?" Viggo asked.

"Let's just say they've been fun," Orlando replied. The last thing he wanted was to go into too much detail around Viggo. Bloody man would probably start offering advice or go into the mating rituals of some pachyderm in Southeast Asia and what that meant for the butterflies in Papua New Guinea. Or whatever it was this week.

"Next time yer both at the pub, have a sit," Sean said. "We don't bite, you know."

"I'd've done, but you and Karl seemed a little...busy...with each other."

Viggo's huff of laughter came out as a snort. "Is that what we're calling it?"

"Yes, that's exactly what we're calling it," Sean replied, and poked Viggo in the side. "Mind your manners."

"What manners?" Orlando wanted to know. "Honestly, Sean, it's like you don't know the man."

"I'm thinking of taking a hike on the Queen Charlotte when we get to Auckland," Viggo abruptly stated, and drained his cup in a noisy swallow. "Karl mentioned the flora there was particularly nice this time of year."

The more Orlando got to know Viggo, the less he felt he actually, y'know, knew. "Vig, have you ever had a linear conversation with anyone, ever?"

Sean sniggered like a schoolboy while Viggo seemed to consider the question. "I suppose it would depend on what you meant by linear."

Of course it would, Orlando thought to himself. He pinched the bridge of his nose between his fingers. He didn't know why he bothered, honestly. "I mean, talking to you is like talking to someone in another language from another solar system. Or like trying to decipher the Voynich Manuscript."

"I have a theory about that."

Orlando risked a glance at Sean. Who was still quietly sniggering. The bastard. He had no idea why he was cursed with such sadistic friends.

"Of course you do. Involving aliens, I expect."

"Possibly," Viggo mused, stroking his chin thoughtfully. "Or it might involve time travel. There are reports that it might be an alien artifact."

"You know what your problem is? You're too friggin' smart," Orlando nodded. "That's why you're mad."

Viggo made a small noncommittal sound. "I wasn't aware that intelligence was something I needed to apologize for."

"It's intimidating, trying to converse with all of that crazed genius non-linearness."

"You're hardly material for the short bus, Orlando," Sean protested.

Orlando jerked his thumb at Viggo. "Compared to him?"

"Well, now, we can't all be mad non-linear geniuses," Viggo grinned.

"We're all a little mad," Sean replied. "But, I have to agree with Orlando. You're on a completely different playing field."

"There's no such things as playing fields. Just people finding connections." Viggo pinned Orlando with a serious gaze. Felt like being a frog waiting to be dissected. "Which is what you should be concentrating on – that connection. Not if they've got tits or a dick."

Which is what Orlando thought he was doing, so he had no idea what Viggo was on about. As usual. "Have you ever? I mean, been with a bloke?"

"Dated a transvestite once," Viggo grinned.

He had asked. He had no one to blame but himself for the image now in his head. "You know what, I don't need to hear any more," Orlando replied. "And right now, I'm sorry I asked."

"What's all this talk about being with blokes, anyway?" Sean asked. "Are you and Jerry, y'know...?"

Orlando quickly shook his head, poked Sean quickly to get him off the subject. No way he was talking about this right now. "I was just curious."

"Are you now?" Viggo gave Sean an indecipherable look.

"Don't worry, I'm not going to throw myself at you," Orlando assured Viggo. "Even if I was that desperate, seriously, mate, it'd be like being with my uncle."

"The mad one that talked to his dogs?" Sean asked.

"That's the one."

"Sounds like a fine, upstanding man," Viggo replied, sounding serious. Hell, he probably was.

"Yeah, you would think so," Orlando said, and he and Sean shared a commiserating smile.

"Speaking of outstanding young men, Karl and I might need some help with Craig."

Orlando's eyes narrowed. He knew what that meant, and was just as glad they weren't focusing on him this week. "What're you doing to him now?"

Viggo's eyes twinkled with demonic glee when he smiled. Rather hyena-like, really. "Switching all of the furniture in his house with Marton's."

Which sounded excellent, except for one tiny detail. "You think they'll even notice, as often as they're at each others'?"

"Karl says it'll be a week. I'm betting on two."

"We're in," Sean and Orlando replied simultaneously, after looking at each other. Better Marton and Craig than the two of them.

"I'll let Karl know." Viggo stood and bowed, his sword clanging with the movement. "Gentlemen..."

Orlando dropped immediately into Viggo's vacated chair. "Honestly, I think he's getting nuttier as time goes on."

"I think you're right." Sean lifted his cup to his lips, then set it down, staring down at it like it might hold a hidden secret or two to the universe. "So...we haven't talked about this newfound interest of yours in men."

Bugger. Orlando knew he'd been a shite friend about this whole thing. He hadn't even been over to Sean's at all, not even for breakfast, since that day at the beach. "I know, and I feel right horrible about it, I just...I couldn't think of a good way to bring it up to you," he finished lamely, hating the momentary flash of hurt in Sean's eyes. He placed his hand over Sean's, hoping the gesture would convey some of his genuine chagrin. "Look, I'm sorry, you know I trust you, yeah?"

Sean nodded, the motion jerky. But at least he finally looked up, met Orlando's gaze. "Are you happy with him?"

"I dunno," Orlando shrugged. He didn't move his hand. He thought maybe they could both use the connection. "Maybe. I mean, we haven't really gotten past the old handjob thing yet, which is a little weird, having another man's cock in your hand, I will say that, but it's getting there."

"And you're alright with that? Where it's going, I mean?"

And this was exactly why he'd wanted to talk to just Sean about this sort of thing. There was no censure in Sean's voice or question about whether he was doing the right thing. All he cared about was Orlando's well-being. Orlando was smart enough, so he liked to think, to realize that friends like this were worth their weight in gold.

"He's been really good about me taking my time," he finally answered. Fuck, it was so grand to finally talk about this with someone. "It's sort of liberating in a way, y'know? Like, he doesn't expect me to take the initiative all the time or have all the answers or to lead. It's more equal, y'know? I mean, is that normal? In your experience with men?"

"Sometimes," Sean nodded, and squeezed Orlando's hand. "I'm glad he's treating you right."

"It'd be nice to get to where you and Karl are."

An indecipherable expression flickered across Sean's face for just a moment. "Just promise me you won't rush it."

"I won't," Orlando promised, then flashed a small smile. "Forgive me yet?"

"Always, you know that," Sean answered, lightly. Already, Orlando felt better, just hearing it. "But if you did want to make it up to me, I could use some company," Sean continued.

"Of course." Like Sean even had to ask. "When?"

"I was thinking of driving to our shoot on the South Island rather than suffer though the heli again. Feel up to it?"

"What, going with?" Orlando asked.

"Yeah, I mean, shouldn't take more than a couple of hours, and I thought we could get in some sight-seeing. You've been talking about how you haven't done enough."

"That'd be brilliant," Orlando exclaimed, before Sean could say anything else. He really was blessed. "But, I mean, are you sure you want me and not Karl?"

"Well, not like it's a competition, but he's got Edoras filming this week," Sean shrugged, then smiled that crinkly smile that never failed to make Orlando's world a better place. "Besides, you're more entertaining on a long drive."

"I am?" Orlando could just feel his heart swell with pride.

Sean inclined his head. "He makes me laugh, that's true, but only you've made me snort tea through my nose."

Orlando laughed, even though he could feel himself blushing. One day, he really would learn to control his reaction to the way Sean teased him.


(To Be Continued)

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