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"Deltiology" by afra_schatz for idri_fic - Lotrips Slasha Baby fic

Author: afra_schatz
Title: Deltiology
Recipient: idri_fic
Pairing: Orlando/Viggo
Rating: PG
Summary: If you ever wondered whether you were a nomad, count the stuff you own and divide the sum through the number of postcards you have written and received. At least that's what Orlando does.

Disclaimer: This is a non-profit, non-commercial work of fiction using the names and likenesses of real individuals. This fictional story is not intended to imply that the events actually occurred, or that the attitudes or behaviors described are engaged in or condoned by the real persons whose names are used without permission.

Orlando figures that they, he and Viggo, can probably be considered nomads. He isn't certain for how long you have to stay in one place to be disqualified -- they do stick around in some places, like New Zealand for example that was a whole year, or that time when Viggo had this film gig in Spain and just hung out there till Orlando flew over in order to lead a search party for one missing American. But generally speaking, being an actor is a lot like being a nomad.

At the end of the day, Orlando supposes that it has something to do with how much stuff you own. A proper nomad can't have, say, five lorries full of crap, couldn't possibly all fit onto the back of his camel. They definitely are nomads if that should be the crucial point. They really don't own that much.

It's a bit surprising actually when you think about it because Viggo has this thing of collecting rubbish that he finds and call it 'memorabilia of everyday life' or some shit like that. If he was actually able to hang on to his stuff then his proverbial camel would long ago have been crushed under all the crap. Luckily, Viggo tends to lose the random stones in the shape of dinosaurs' heads he found on the beach of New Zealand, the homebrewed gin he got from some dubious street corner shop in Venezuela, the ancient horse shoe he found when he was visiting Orlando in Morocco. Granted, Orlando maybe had something to do with some of the losing, in so far as that he trashes tons of stuff when Viggo isn't looking. When Viggo remembers that he owns a green pullover with a reindeer on it, or did he... Orlando just looks at him innocently and shrugs and doesn't mention the bag full of clothes he gave to charity just the week before. Instead he says that it's Vig's own fault for misplacing things and Viggo frowns at him and doesn't even remember he's lost his pullover, like, half an hour later.

Orlando figures the most he himself has ever owned for a longer period of time was when he was still living with his mom. Since then, it's sort of like the tide with him and stuff, random flotsam included. He pays attention that he doesn't lose his passport (there's something he learned the hard way, sort of like: never go out drinking with Brad Pitt if you don't want to wake up with 'penis' written on your arse or never lend Dom your credit card...). So, he hangs on to his passport and... well, that's about it.

Well, if you don't count the postcards, which Orlando doesn't. Mostly, because nothing says 'nomad' more than a stack of various location snapshots, or so says Viggo.

There are obvious reasons for why Orlando likes postcards -- they have pretty pictures on them and this shiny surface you want to touch maybe just to see whether you can even leave fingerprints on it. Also, they are cheap and don't take up much space. He has got quite a collection by now. Some of them aren't that shiny any longer because he has carried them around in his backpack (underneath damp beach towels most probably by the look of them), and at some of them he has looked for too long to actually still find them pretty.

He has some that he didn't buy himself or had Viggo pick out for him (Viggo, if given the choice, usually goes for the ugliest ones you can find. He says because they are artsy or something but Orlando just replies that Viggo is planning on giving him eye cancer and kill him off so that he would inherit Orlando's big fat pile of cash). Orlando got a few cards that he picked up from hotels and some he nicked, like the one with greetings from some far off place from a complete stranger on its back, just because he fancied the pissed off donkey on its front.

It started way back in New Zealand, his thing with the postcards. Viggo -- in that case the press is totally right -- is the definition of renaissance man as well as the greatest show off of all times. So, when this romantic thing or what-you-call-it between them started, Orlando suddenly found himself being the subject of frequent poetry bombs. Rather sweet that was actually, even if Orlando only understood only about half of the sonnets and odes and whatnot that he was on the receiving end of. Viggo had this thing for comparing him with rays of sunshine and shit like that. And seriously, Orlando kept the postcards not only because they made his heart skip a beat in the silliest of ways but also because Viggo, once sober, was always a tad embarrassed about his lack of originality etcetera. Hilarious. And sweet.

Viggo wrote his instantaneous miniature literature on random postcards he got in that little shop where they usually bought booze. It meant that sometimes Orlando would get rather raunchy sex limericks on the back of the photo of a swishing tail fin of a whale. Awesome.

That was the beginning -- Orlando started to respond, mostly during breaks and in full Legolas costume, which prompted some in hindsight slightly weird postcard roleplay moments. Seriously, have you seen Lord of the Rings? If you think Legolas is random there, you haven't read Orlando's postcards. Love declarations, short 'be at Harry's 8 sharp or else' messages, on the spot rants about Bean's smelly feet, quotes from Dom and Billy and Tig high scores, more love declarations (Orlando doesn't care how they all sounded the same, burst of spontaneous love need to be put to paper) -- they all found their way onto postcards that were traded back and forth between them, sometimes with a befuddled John used as currier.

Orlando also keeps most of the cards that he or Viggo actually get in the mail. Viggo's mom keeps sending him Christmas greetings with cooking recipes even though everyone and their mother knows that Viggo is less of a cook and more of a scavenger. They still haven't got a recipe for how to properly prepare roadkill which (Orlando keeps saying) still pains Viggo.

Orlando also has quite a few postcards that are addressed to him, filled with tiny bits of yesterday's news. He is pretty sure for example that Karl doesn't even recall writing a postcard from some Japanese pub completely shitfaced with Viggo by his side, lamenting about how he misses the soft insides of Orlando's thighs or somesuch bullshit. Orlando does, because he still has the card, and it's great fun to remind both Viggo and Karl of it since they both can't even recall writing it.

Aside from these postcards and aside from the stolen donkey one from a stranger named Vali, most of the cards in Orlando's collection bear his or Viggo's handwriting.

There are some cards that were actually intended to be sent to someone. They are addressed to Orlando's mom, or to the owner of Sean's favourite pub (because however often Bean moves -- or, to be more accurate, flees spontaneously from some big breasted blonde who wants to marry him -- his local is a constant in his life), to P.J., wishing him a merry Christmas 2004.

Some of these cards just lack stamps, some only have partial addresses, some aren't fully finished because Orlando got distracted. That's the thing, too, about writing them, you actually have to post them right away -- Orlando thinks there is something deeply wrong with the idea of still sending a card that he has written two weeks ago. It'd be like having a bowl full of the last cereal and then spilling overdue milk over it. Which is how they end up in Orlando's collection again. Sometimes he comes across them when he's searching for a new card to send and he tells himself that he'll just deliver them personally, next time the occasion presents itself. He knows perfectly well that intentions like these are what keep his postcard pile growing.

Aside from the received ones, the stolen ones, the ones almost-but-not-really sent away with messages to other people? There still are quite a lot of postcards left, handwriting on them as well. Viggo's, too.

For one, Viggo keeps mistaking Orlando's postcards for grocery lists, despite the fact that Orlando gave him about two kilos of Post-its for specifically that purpose last Christmas. Still, Orlando ends up walking through the supermarket in Mexico in search for cheese, carrying a card with a scantily clad beach bunny, while Viggo (the lazy bastard) lies fast asleep in Orlando's hotel room snoring like a freight train. Of course Orlando can't trash the card afterwards, the pain of the bunny would hunt him in his dreams.

Sometimes Viggo uses them as bookmarks and writes the passages he'd like to remember on their backs. Shakespeare and Ontario, Hemingway and Alhambra, Beckett and the king of Denmark -- Orlando thinks Viggo couldn't be more random even if he tried. Viggo also makes various notes on the cards, mostly concerning the character he's playing at the time. Orlando finds it rather amusing that he owns postcards from Frank Hopkins, Nikolai and Sigmund Freud, about horses, ways to kill people and penis envy.

Orlando likes looking at his postcards before he goes to sleep, on his own or together with Viggo. Viggo usually starts making up stories about the places shown on the cards and Orlando either ends up with his face hurting from laughter, especially since Viggo's stories miraculously almost always end up with some detailed sex description that would make anyone with more delicate sensibilities blush to no end. When Viggo wakes in one of those rare nights they manage to be on the same continent and even in the same city, he makes notes of what his subconscious came up with in his dreams. He uses Orlando's postcards as writing surface in the darkness, before he is able to go back to sleep. Orlando keeps those postcards, too, even the ones that have accidental writing on the picture side, Viggo's neat scrawl decorating mountains and clouds like ancient messages from the Gods.

Sometimes when Orlando is alone in a hotel room after a long day of shooting in God-knows-where he lays them out and sorts them -- chronologically, by place, by subject, by sender -- and he ends up with this individualized string of snippets from other people's lives, all somehow connected to him.

Still, it's Viggo's cards he cherishes the most. Partly because of the drunken kitschy poetry, yeah, but also quite frankly just because they are from Viggo. Viggo's handwriting keeps him company when they are at completely different parts of the world, in totally different time zones and phone calls are usually executed with at least one party half asleep. Viggo's sometimes a little odd choice of words, his peculiar observations keep him guessing sometimes and that's like having Viggo (slightly weird and both slightly autistic and utterly open minded) right there with him, talking random shit and giving Orlando one of his broad smiles when Orlando rolls his eyes and smacks him.

Viggo's contemplative snapshots of the world, his careful phrasing of what he thinks, what he feels prompt Orlando to call him in the middle of the night -- even years after originally receiving the postcard -- just to tell him duh, he feels the same way, always. It doesn't matter that they haven't seen each other for weeks because of fucked up filming schedules.

Orlando loves his post card collection to a degree that could arise suspicion, yes. Hardcore sentimental deltiologist, that's him. But honestly? Ever since he got a hang of the internet (which, to be completely honest, happened way later than it happened to the rest of the world) e-cards started replacing proper postcards more and more. It's sad in a way, because of the feel of real cards, because of the handwriting and the crumpled edges, because e-cards make it real hard to leaf through them while you're treating yourself to a soak in an obscenely large hotel tub.

Still. Nowadays Orlando sends Viggo an e-card, preferably one reading something as subtle as "My junk is your junk", and asks him when the hell Viggo is coming home, he MISSES him (not afraid of using allcaps, is Orlando, because subtlety is overrated). E-cards prove to be so much better than traditional cards.

That's not just because Viggo's response card is entitled "You had me at 'I'm so lonely'", although Orlando appreciates how big of a romantic Viggo is. It's because the card arrives in Orlando's mailbox about five minutes after Orlando sent his own. And it just reads: 'Already on my way'.

Nothing can beat that, right?
Tags: stories 2011
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