"Fuck it, Vig. What'd I do?"
"You could have told me your we're a vampire?"
"And you've done what? Run the other way? Pulled out a stake and skewered me?"
"Oh, like that would have hurt you. Motherfucking coward."
"Coward? I'm a fuckin' coward because I didn't tell you?"
"Yeah. You trust me enough to fuck me and then you go and not trust me enough to accept you. Fucking coward. I can see how you've survived this long."
"Doesn't take trust to fuck you, Vig." Sean's harsher than he probably should be. "But, go ahead, call me names, hit me, get it out of your system."
"This isn't the fucking Middle Ages, Sean! You can't walk in and assume that everything's yours for the taking. I'm not your damned whore. You don't use and discard."
"Did I say anything about discarding you?"
Viggo glares. "I'm not a one-night stand. I got into this, expecting it to last. This isn't something you keep a fucking secret, Sean! You obviously didn't intend for this to last very long and if you think you can fucking walk over me then, well, go right ahead. Boromir's dead."
"Do not presume to understand me, Mortensen." Sean puts his hand on Viggo's chest, palm down, and presses him back against the wall. "And do not second-guess my intentions."
"So what are you intentions?" Viggo spat. He knew from many a late night wrestle that Sean was stronger than him. There was no way Sean would release him before he wanted to.
"My intentions are purely dishonorable." Sean pushes his hand deeper into Viggo's chest, slides it up. "Does that concern you?"
"Yes. Yes, it does. Very much."
"What concerns you, Viggo?" Sean's hand is pressing along Viggo's sternum, just hard enough that it would bruise if he wanted. "That I am a vampire? That I fucked you? Or that you don't really care about the first and immensely enjoyed the second?"
"I care that you lied to me." Viggo tries to struggle, but Sean has him too well pinned down. "Why did you do it?"
"I didn't lie. You never asked what I was."
"Bullshit. You lied by omission every time you didn't tell me. Every time I asked where you were when you came back smelling like beer, you lied, didn't you? You were out doing whatever it is, killing things." Viggo shudders at the thought. "You kill."
"Only when necessary." Sean's hand moves up, fingers spreading from thumb around the base of Viggo's throat. "I smelled like beer because I'd been out drinking."
"Alone? No, you usually take Dominic with you. Or Marlin - whatever his name is, the new guy who plays Celeborn."
"Marton." Sean laughed. "You don't the truth. Not really."
Sean released his hold on Viggo, running his fingers up over Viggo's jaw. "Specific questions, Viggo. Ask and I'll answer." He smiled. "No lies."
"Who are you?"
"Sean Bean. I've gone by other surnames over the years, but I was called Sean at birth."
Viggo shakes his head. "What are you?"
"A vampire." Sean stepped back. "But I believe you already know that."
Viggo takes advantage of his sudden freedom to make a dash for the bed.
Sean turned. "Not running for the door. I am impressed."
Viggo jumps into the bed and clutches the blankets around him, making it into almost a cocoon. "I'm not stupid," he mumbles. "I know running won't get me anywhere."
"No, you're not stupid, Viggo." Sean's voice softens as he says the name. "Not at all. You have other questions?"
He keeps his eyes tightly closed. "You say you're a vampire and you expect me to know what that means."
"Surely you've heard the word." Sean moved toward the bed. "You have a preconception."
There's a laugh in him somewhere at the statement, but Viggo can't bear to voice it. "If that were true, I'd be dead already."
"Most of what's been written about us is rumor and fabrication, a good bit of it propogated by ourselves."
"So tell me what's true."
"I do drink blood, but I also drink wine and beer and the occasional espresso."
Sean's tone is working and Viggo is beginning to relax. "What else?"
"Vampire mythology, the short course." Sean settles slowly onto the bed, sighing. "I'm not into tanning, but sunlight doesn't bother me. I like crosses, garlic and I have centuries of sword practice on you."
"Centuries?" Viggo's voice cracks slightly as he asks, but damn it, he has to know.
"I was born on the winter solstice in 1170. Not in Sheffield, but in Yorkshire."
"So old," Viggo whispers.
"And suddenly I've lost my sex appeal, I do believe."
Viggo turns over and forces himself to look at Sean. "Don't even joke about that."
"Is that a hint of a smile?" Sean doesn't move, stays sitting on the edge of the bed. "For my kind, Viggo, I'm really no older than you are."
"For my kind, you're ancient." But that's not what he cares about. "You've done...you've..." Viggo can't say it.
"Killed? Is that the word you're looking for? Is that what you can't get past?"
"No," Viggo whispers. "Stop being so fucking fixated, Sean."
"I"m not fixated, Viggo. You were the one obsessing on it earlier. So, what's your next question?"
There's no answer to that one. The one at the tip is why Sean's even bothering with him, but he knows that Sean'll take it the wrong way. When he had heard, he had thought Sean younger. Comparable to his own age. Nothing like this.
"Silence. From the poet. It must be serious." Sean ghosts his hand over Viggo's blanket-wrapped body. "You can't have asked all your questions."
The reaction is immediate. Viggo rolls away and curls up even tighter. "Don't fucking touch me," he screams. "Don't you dare fucking touch me!"
"Don't be such a hypocrite, Viggo. Just hours ago, you were begging me to fuck you. And now I can't touch you" Sean's tone was harsh, but he drew back his hand. "You drink with us. You party with us. As long as you didn't know what I was, that we were part of your world, it was alright. But now you know. And you don't want me to touch you."
Viggo's shaking and he doesn't know why. But of course he does. He has a vampire angry at him. Pop culture's been telling him since he was a baby that that's something you don't ever do. And Sean isn't fucking helping get rid of the stereotype. There's tears coming down his face and all he can whisper is "don't".
"Don't what, Viggo? Don't fucking tell you the truth? You asked for it." Sean stands up, clenches his fist, runs his hand through his hair, all signs he's obviously irritated. "You want more truth? How much do you think you can take, Viggo? Want to know why I go out drinking with Dominic and Marton?" He opens his mouth, as if to add another sentence, and stops.
Viggo takes a deep breath and then exhales slowly. "Yes."
"Because they're part of my world." Sean leans over the bed, puts his hands on the edge of the blanket Viggo has cocooned himself in. "Marton was born at nearly the exact moment I was, halfway across Europe." He presses his hands down, effectively trapping the blanket to the bed. "Dominic, though, is special to me. A lot like Henry is to you."
Until that moment, Viggo hadn't thought he could be shocked any more that night. "S-son?"
"Yes, son. Born a vampire."
"Dead and in her grave," Sean whispers. "A long time ago."
"Did you...did you love her?"
"Does it matter to you?" Sean's tone turns bitter.
They'd talked about Sean's wives - the ones Viggo had known about - once and Viggo had accepted that they were as much a part of Sean's life as Viggo was. But all three of them were alive. Viggo doubted he could hold a candle to a dead woman. "Very much."
"I loved her very much, Viggo," Sean says flatly. "But that was 300 years ago, and when she died giving birth to Dominic, I let it go."
People died in childbirth, Viggo reminds himself. Much more common then than now. But the finality in Sean's tone makes Viggo wonder. "Do you have any more," Viggo isn't sure how to phrase it. More children? He knows about Sean's girls already. More sons? "...like Dominic?"
Sean laughs. "Like Dominic? Not exactly. He's fairly unique." His fingers play along the blanket's edge. "I have other sons, though. Five. All of them vampires." He pauses. "Four of them actors."
Shit. "Anyone I know?"
"Yes. Know rather well. At least one of them. The others, you've probably heard of. Do you really want to know all the vampires you're working with?"
"You hesitated. You're not sure if all this truth is really worth it." Sean sits back down on the bed. "Hugo, for instance. Does it make you feel more at ease to know he's vampire and my son?" He stretches out the length of the bed, propping up on his elbow, chin resting on hand. "Then there's Christopher and Bernard. And they're both older than me."
"Current cast? That's all."
"And...Hugo?" Because, damn it, he does want to know.
"What about him?"
"Is he...very much older than me?"
"Not really. He's one of my youngest, born just before the turn of the century."
"Who's the youngest?"
"Now that's a sticky one. The one non-actor in the group. Well, unless you count politics as acting."
Viggo has a bad feeling about this. "Who?"
"Tony Blair," Sean mutters. "But I want it known that vampires have no more control over their children than you humans. Sometimes."
"TONY BLAIR?!" Viggo shouts, then starts laughing hysterically.
"I really try not to claim him. And, even though everyone else in the immediate family thinks it would be a great idea, I'm staying my hand at killing him."
That last line should probably annoy him more than it actually does, but Viggo can't get over the fact that Sean named a son 'Tony'. Or maybe he just named him 'Blair' and 'Tony' was the added name. Made more sense.
Sean edges the blanket with his free hand, inching closer to Viggo's body with his passing trail. "So now you know the family's dirty secret," he says lightly. "Care to dissect me anymore tonight?"
"Yes." He can't ignore this anymore. "Will you be...expecting to, um, drink from me?"
"I already have, Viggo. Tasted you. Drops here and there. Drunk you? I haven't done that. And I won't, unless you give me express permission." Sean eases his fingers over the blanket, nearing Viggo's arm. "I don't want a blood bank. I want a lover."
'Drops here and there'. And Viggo hadn't even noticed. "I'm a damned fool, aren't I?"
"Not. Not all. You're human."
Viggo laughs a little. "Is that an insult or a statement of fact?"
"Statement of fact. Take it as you choose, Viggo, but I don't consider you a fool."
"What do you want from me, Sean?"
"Tonight, I want to fuck you into the mattress. Tomorrow, I want to film, maybe eat lunch with you. After that ... well, that's sort of up to you. I won't press myself on you. Not matter how much I'm attracted to you."
"I don't want you touching me."
"Then you touch me. Any way you like. I give you my word I won't touch you."
Viggo hesitates, then shakes his head. "You have...fangs?"
"When I need them. Our canines extend as required."
Sean takes a deep breath and opens his mouth. Over the next few seconds, his canine teeth drop below the other teeth. He holds his wrist to his mouth and lightly rakes one of the tips over his flesh, creating a pinhead-sized break in his wrist.
"Wow," Viggo breathes.
Sean licks the blood off and closes his mouth. When he smiles a moment later, the canines are back to their original length. He lays his head down on the pillow.
"Can you make anything else grow?" Viggo asks slyly.
Sean silently holds up his right hand, curling the fingers inward slightly. As Viggo watches, the nails grow into talons. "That's all."
Seeing Sean's fingers turn into claws throws him a little. "Well...I guess those are useful."
"Sometimes." Sean retracts the claws and drops his hand back to his chest. "Is there anything else you'd like to see?"
"A thousand things and one." Something gnaws at the back of his mind. "Wait. Marton? Just what is your relationship...?"
"Fuck buddies," Sean says quickly. "That's the simplest explanation."
"What's the less than simple explanation?"
"Brothers in arms, comrades who'd willingly go to hell and back for each other, and have. Anything else is much more complicated and requires knowing a lot more of the people in our lives."
"So you're going to evade the question."
"Not evading, Viggo. Just not answering as completely as you think you want to hear right now. When you start pulling back the layers, it gets complicated."
"How complicated?" Viggo hears Sean say he doesn't want to know, but doesn't really believe him. Different times were different, but how different could Sean really ahve been?
"How complicated?" Sean echoes. "Like asking you to explain your poetry."
"But poetry isn't your personal history without someone I'll have to look for during shooting."
"Viggo, that doesn't make any sense. I'm not sure what you want from me. Marton and I have a relationship that's very difficult to explain. And it's wrapped around other people." Sean's looking at Viggo, staring at where the blanket is pulled to his chin. "If you want specifics, details on who and what I've done in the past 800 years, it might take awhile."
"Not everyone you've done, just..." Viggo pauses. "I get the feeling he was special. Is special. I want to know who I'd be sharing you with."
"You plan on being around long enough to share me." Statement, not question. "Implies sharing you with Marton. Even more interesting." Sean licks his lower lip. "You might have to talk with Dominic first."
"Stop it." Yes, he couldn't deny the fact that his feelings for Sean hadn't changed. Yes, he still would consider all concessions he would need to make to keep Sean. But he wasn't offering.
"Telling you the truth? Then I'd be back to lies by omission, which is what got us where we are right now." Sean shifts, turns his head, eyes to the ceiling. "Really, Viggo, decide which way you want it."
"Stop being so fucking difficult. I know you have all the time in the world, but I don't."
"I am not being difficult." Sean seems to be carefully enunciating the words. "I am answering you the best way I know how, without bombarding you with so much information that you shut down completely." Sean pauses. "There are things about me, my kind, my life, that it will take you time to process."
"So give me a sample. Don't just say "hi, luv, I'm a vampire, but don't worry, I'm not a bad guy". I deserve more than that."
"Too damned open-ended, Viggo. If I say the wrong thing, you bolt again."
So what if it was true. "Can you hypnotize people with your eyes?"
"Can you read people's thoughts?"
"No, at least not in the sense you mean. We have a heightened awareness of emotions, and among ourselves that often plays out to bond that you would call telepathy."
"Will you abandon me when I grow old?"
Sean's body shifts noticeably on the bed, as if he's breathing too heavy. "I won't answer that. It assumes too many variables not yet decided."
"Damn you," Viggo whispers, then louder. "Would you abandon me when I grow old?"
"Fucking artists," Sean sighmutters. "Would I abandon you should you decide to stay with me, stay human and not take the gift should I offer it to you? No."
'Not take the gift'... "You could make me like you?"
"Yes. Not exactly like me, but I could make you a vampire."
"What would not exactly entail?"
"I was born this way. You would be turned. The differences are miniscule, variations at the DNA level, most noticeably the ability to reproduce." Sean stops. "Again, Viggo, you're getting into the layers. Asking about what it would mean for you to be a vampire when you haven't even accepted that I'm one."
"There are some things that I can't deal with yet, so I'm dealing with the stuff I can."
"You are a very strange man, Viggo Mortensen. I could live a thousand lifetimes and never understand you."
"From what you're saying, you already have." Viggo wraps the blankets even tighter around himself. "You're an actor. Why?"
"A thousand is stretching it a bit. A lot of us are actors. Mostly those who weren't suited to being corporate CEOs and computer geeks and politicians, of course. "
"So your kind runs the world?" And we never even noticed. Says a lot for human intelligence.
"A good chunk of it. Not that we do any better job than anyone else." Sean pauses. "You don't have to become the blanket, Viggo. I told you I wouldn't touch you unless you asked. I am, above all else, a man who takes his word seriously."
"Need something to hold me. Can't let it be you."
"Why not? I haven't changed since last night. The hands I'd wrap around your waist are the same. The chest I'd pull you to still has a heartbeat. It is only your perception of me that has changed."
"Can't let you get too close," Viggo's back to mumbling and he doesn't care if Sean can hear him or not. "You bite."
"Only if you beg nicely, Vig."
"Stop that. Not begging for anythin'."
"I'm just talking, Viggo. Words. No actions." Sean's voice drops lower, almost to a whisper. "I wouldn't have you beg for my bite. I'd rather hear you beg to come, after I've fucked you so slowly you've lost all track of time."
"You're not human."
"I'm not inhuman, either. Get past it, Aragorn." Sean's voice is even softer, as if he's carrying on a conversation with himself. "Tolkien has elves and dwarves consorting with hobbits and men of Gondor. Let yourself in on the reality that maybe Middle Earth isn't so farfetched a concept."
Viggo nods, letting Aragorn come to the forefront. There's nothing strange about different species. It's just the way they were created. But Aragorn is abruptly pushed aside when Viggo remembers that Tolkien didn't create any parasites. "I don't want to want you," he replies softly to a question that was never asked.
"Then we have two options, Viggo." Sean sits up. "I get off the bed, walk out the door and we go back to being blokes working together." He looks directly at Viggo. "Or you let go of the blanket and we work at getting you to see it's not so bad to want me."
It doesn't sound like an ultimatum, but Viggo knows it's one. Sean's out of patience. Viggo's very tempted to tell Sean to walk out but, fuck it, he doesn't want to lose him. "Stay," he responds brokenly and lets his grip slack.
"Fine." There's a small smile on Sean's face. "Touch me, Viggo. I want you to prove to yourself that I'm not that different from you."
Viggo raises his eyes towards Sean and hesitantly holds out his hand. He lets out a slight hiss as his flesh comes in contact with Sean's chest, but he doesn't move.
"Warm. Blood courses the veins." Sean doesn't make a move, doesn't attempt to touch or guide Viggo's hand. "The heart beats."
"Mine. Predominantly. A little of Dominic's right now. And about two drops of yours, from when you scraped yourself yesterday and bled on me."
"But you stole it from someone first. It's not yours."
"Listen to me, Viggo. Very carefully." Sean's voice raises, his irritation showing, but his hands stay on the bed. "Yes, over the centuries, I have drank others' blood. Some in the heat of battle, taken from the dying. Some from those willing to give it. But, know this, I was born, like any human infant, with blood in my veins. Don't presume to accuse me of something you have no knowledge of."
"Fine." Viggo's had enough of this. He pushes the vampire away and gets out of bed. He's still wearing his clothes from before and it's not so cold that a tee shirt will kill him. "I'm going for a walk. Don't be here when I get back."
Sean doesn't stop him. "You don't have to worry." He stands up, grabs his sweater from the floor and pulls it over his head. "When you decide you want to talk, you know where to find me."
Viggo doesn't dignify that with an answer. He lets the front door slam behind him as he makes for the comforting grove of trees nearby, the grass and dirt feeling very reassuring under his feet.