March 25th, 2004
|cinzia||12:03 pm - FIC: The End (SB/VM, PG)|
Title: The End (1/1)
Pairing: Sean Bean/Viggo Mortensen
Summary: Someone's been waiting for Sean to come home.
Disclaimer: This is NOT true, because I just made it up. It NEVER happened.
Feedback: Always appreciated.
Archive: My website, Rugbytackling, Green Opals.
Author Notes: Dedicated to Kandadze, for her birthday. Many thanks to viva_gloria for beta.
When Sean came back from the newsagent, there was a man standing on the sidewalk across the street from his house, huddled close to the wall to ward off the soft snow that had started falling while Sean was out. It had been snowing for almost an hour now, but the layer of white around the man's feet wasn't marred by any footprints. He had to have been standing there for quite a while.
Sean had thought he knew him, from afar: now he wasn't sure. This man had short greying hair, he wore what looked like a nice dark suit under an elegant black coat; and no hat. The man Sean used to know would've never gone for anything like that.
But of course, that had been then; and this was now and there was snow in Viggo's hair when he looked up and saw Sean watching him from only a few feet away.
"I thought," Viggo said, his teeth chattering only a little, "that they'd have sent you an invitation for this one."
"They did," Sean said. He didn't bother walking closer to the wall to escape the snow. He didn't bother getting closer to Viggo, or explaining about the unopened envelope that lay buried in the bottom drawer of his bedside table, on top of so many unsent letters and unwritten postcards.
He did gesture towards his own front door, though, on the other side of the street. "Care to come in?"
His voice came out softer than he'd intended. For a moment surprise, and a faint thrill that felt suspiciously familiar, shivered down his spine, while he looked into Viggo's face; but it was a cold night and he had had long months to get reacquainted with those old friends, coldness and its close mate, denial.
Viggo shook his head. A few snowflakes, dislodged, fell from his hair onto his cheek, melting into a cold watery trail that rushed down, slowly, towards the corner of his mouth, twisting something tight and fragile nestled precariously in the center of Sean's chest, just under the skin. Sean looked away, and the snow kept falling, lying thicker and whiter and colder around their feet.
"It's over," Viggo said, and Sean couldn't tell if Viggo's teeth were still chattering: his voice was too quiet, almost as quiet as the snow. "You missed it," Viggo added; and then his snow-quiet voice said, "Missed us."
Viggo wasn't quite looking at him.
When Sean was a kid, up in the North, he'd used to go out and make angels in the snow, the joy of just letting himself fall down and lie in the white cold softness, arms and legs spread as wide as they could go, so pure it was impossible to resist; years later, he had tackled Viggo down into the thick snow hiding Viggo's backyard in Wellington, New Zealand, and that, too, had been a crazy thing to do: he'd done it because he'd been falling for months then, and losing himself in the pure joy of it, the simple, breath-taking exhilaration of it, as though he was a kid again, with no thought of tomorrow or consequences, with no fear.
Viggo had been quicker and stronger than he'd expected him to be, and had gripped Sean hard and rolled them over, grinning down at Sean with his manic, wide open grin, with laughing eyes and a light in his face. "Let's make an angel," Viggo had said when they'd stopped laughing and Sean's breath hadn't really come back to him yet, Viggo's voice going soft and quiet as the snow that had fallen during the day. He'd spread Sean's legs with his knees, and had brought Sean's arms up over Sean's head with his hands closed warm around Sean's wrists; and he'd kissed Sean for the first time, in the soft white snow.
Sean had shivered into Viggo's kiss, shivered with all his body and with something that had reached out from the inside--and back then, he had known what it was; he hadn't needed to explain it away with the cold melting snow filtering through his clothes.
"You kissed me in the snow," Sean said now, as though Viggo had been following his thoughts. And maybe Viggo had: maybe he, too, couldn't watch the snow falling and not think of it.
"I did," Viggo said, still quiet. "You kissed me back," he added. "We melted the snow."
A lone flake found its way to the tip of Sean's nose, and he felt the first cold flicker of fear biting at him: that was then. Now it was over, just like Viggo had said. Now the snow wasn't melting: it just accumulated around them and over them, layer upon layer, soft and white and cold, freezing them where they stood--apart.
This was not the man Sean had known back then. That man would never let his hair be cut quite so short if not for a role, and if he did, he'd never let the grey show. He'd never go out without one of his damn hats. That man had made an angel with Sean in the snow, with wings open wide, and the snow had melted while they kissed, and Sean hadn't been afraid of flying, because he had already fallen, and he'd remembered the wonder of it, beyond the fear.
That man had broken Sean's heart, or maybe Sean had broken his own when he'd thought he wouldn't care if they went their separate ways in the end, didn't meet each other again--when he'd thought he didn't care whether or not Viggo would fall with him. Then the end at last had come, and they had let it come between them.
"I missed you," Viggo said now, with a hot rush of breath in the falling snow, and when he said "you," he looked up into Sean's eyes, and Sean looked up, and Viggo's eyes were a little too bright, maybe, as though snow was melting in them.
A dog barked in one of the gardens down the street; a door opened and closed loudly somewhere nearby, a car engine spurring noisily into life after a moment.
The quiet of the night dispelled, and suddenly they were in London again, on the 11th of December, 2003, and the last premiere had come and gone. Sean for the first time noticed that Viggo's sleek-looking coat was unbuttoned, and that under the dark suit Viggo wore an awful-looking, bright blue and white UN shirt, and that a Maori hook hang around Viggo's neck. Sean had chosen it for him in Queenstown, on the last day of their camping trip through the South Island, at the warm, beautiful end of a summer full of light and laughter, only weeks away from the first snow.
The falling snow felt warm in Sean's eyes, when the smile broke on his lips, taking him by surprise. It was only snowflakes catching on his eyelashes, he thought. Because he still needed to think it.
"Let's go in," he said. Only then it seemed to hit him that Viggo was actually there, in front of him, and had been waiting for him for God knew how long, out in the cold. And so he said, as though only now realising he meant it, "I missed you"--and when he said "you," Viggo's eyes closed, just for a moment. When they opened again, they held a look so naked that Sean thought, He couldn't possibly mean for me to see this--to see all that was revealed in that naked, bare look. Yet Viggo kept looking, didn't turn away.
Sean looked back.
The snow didn't melt when Viggo finally moved and stepped forward; it made a soft crunching noise, nothing as angelic as spread wings, or flying. It was just a footprint in the snow.
Well, Sean thought. That was then. And now it was over.
But he had Viggo close, again; still. Viggo had been waiting for him in the snow. They weren't touching yet, just shoulder to shoulder while they crossed the street, leaving two matching sets of footprints in the white. Sean opened the door, standing aside to let Viggo in.
The snow kept falling. It would soon cover the footprints; it would look as though they'd flown to Sean's door.
Viggo looked up and brushed against Sean when he walked past. It made Sean shiver, and he could've explained it away with the cold air drifting in from the outside--and he didn't.
Maybe they had never stopped falling: falling into each other, until they found each other again, here, at the end of the day, the end of the year. The end of past things.
Viggo turned, reached past him, and closed the door on the cold white world outside.