Title: Fragments, put together
Summary: 11 drabbles, 11 snapshots of Viggo's thoughts, somehow mostly revolving around Bernard.
Notes: Merry Christmas and all that, and I hope you like this, dear!
When it comes to chess, Viggo is a very sore loser. He doesn't force-feed pieces to the winners afterward, but he retaliates by, say, nailing the door to their trailer shut (with Dave still inside). There are a few exceptions, however. There's Ian, because everybody (even Viggo) accepts that Ian is basically Deep Blue in a human shell. There's Christopher, but Viggo only loses to him because he's too awestruck to concentrate. And there is Bernard who can barely tell a knight from a pawn. It's unfathomable (even to Viggo) why he keeps winning and lives to tell the tale.
Sometimes (mostly) during battle scenes, Viggo loses himself in the fighting sequences, etched into his memory. The stunties joke about it when again they have bruises to show. In the last fight with Lurtz, Lawrence for once leaves more marks on Viggo than vice versa. Later that day, Viggo locks himself in the bathroom of his empty house, takes all his clothes off. He takes pictures of the different colors of his skin, an entire film, then develops it. He burns the prints a few weeks later, when the bruises have faded, and the pictures have subsequently lost their appeal.
He can't bake for shit. He is supposed to bring cake to Bernard's birthday party because he didn't pay attention when Karl assigned tasks. He clogs his sink with margarine, has a (one-sided) shouting match with an egg carton, and nearly burns down his kitchen before he admits defeat. He bribes Sean (who has experience with baking and frosting thanks to two girls at home) to doing it for him in exchange for one of his cherished Jazz LPs. At that point Viggo would have been willing to give one of his kidneys for a handful of muffins with sprinkles.
One night in the pub, Viggo mentions Tolkien's poems to Bernard. He's read some of them over the last weeks, and they haunt Aragorn (or him, in a way) in his sleep. He talks about which one he'd like to sing, hums a melody, quietly, so only Bernard can hear. Bernard listens, and there is a small smile on his lips. He nods when Viggo has finished, but is quiet (while the hobbits make their usual racket in the background). Then he leans in and tells Viggo about his idea for Pelennor Fields. Nine months before the scheduled shooting time.
Henry visits, and Viggo secretly frets a bit. After the first sort-of party, he asks his son what he thinks of his new friends. Henry tells him to get his myriad of buddies to wear name tags. Viggo laughs, feels stupidly blessed to have a teenage son with a dry sense of humor. He has people over again the next evening, fewer this time. All of them are required to wear tell-tale home-made stickers reading things like 'British guy' (Sean), 'other British guy' (Orlando), 'scandalmonger' (Dom), 'Witch-King' (Lawrence), and 'Bernard' (Bernard). Henry loves them all, and God, Viggo is glad.
Viggo spends a sleepless night talking to Sean about football. He spends one day conversing with Ian in Shakespeare quotes, two days talking to Billy solely in Monty Python. He spends a week speaking more to Uraeus than to all of his other friends combined (Dom tells him to write a horse dictionary and ends up ass first in the muck heap). On a weekend when they don t have to work, Bernard takes him fishing. Neither of them says a thing for nearly 48 hours. Viggo is still searching for the right word(s) to capture those two days. Perfect, maybe.
When they film Helm's Deep, Viggo temporarily sort-of moves in with Bernard. Viggo is nerve-rackingly tired, functions on auto-pilot and doesn't question where his feet take him. He hasn't got a key, hasn't got a room, but Bernard always opens his door and expects Viggo to prepare his own meals. Viggo spends hours he should (needs to be) sleeping awake on Bernard's couch. He stares at the ceiling, hears Bernard shift in his sleep. He thinks about nothing in particular, thinks about someone in particular in those hours of the night when he's tired enough to be honest with himself.
Viggo admires Ian for his professionalism, Christopher for his experience. He admires Astin for his values, Sean for his faith in values. He admires Orlando for his enthusiasm, Dom and Billy for their wicked sense of humor and lack of a sense of self-preservation. He admires John for his patience, Cate for her serenity, Liv for her lightheartedness. He doesn't compare himself to them. Abstract concepts may be fitting for philosophic seminars, may (in combination with a little too much red wine) prompt halfway decent poetry. But they are useless companions for everyday life. One always falls short in comparison.
Bernard laughs at dirty jokes and comic strips in the paper. Sometimes he still smells of bacon and eggs when he bursts into the make-up trailer, almost late and with an easy excuse on his smiling lips. When Viggo chips his tooth, Bernard drives him to the dentist, even though cricket is on. In the waiting room he makes a slightly drugged Viggo watch the rest of the match with him on the tiniest of televisions. He hates moonless nights, pulls people into spontaneous dances for no apparent reason. Viggo learns all these things, keeps them to himself. Tangible things.
When Viggo kisses Bernard, it's not a joke, and he doesn't pretend it is. When Bernard pulls back, licks his lower lip and looks at him contemplatively, Viggo wants to say 'ask me anything, ask anything of me'. He wants to eviscerate his own chest, offer up everything he is. He doesn't. It's stupid. For a moment he fears that this is the epitaph of his own honesty, of everything this maybe could have become, been. Then Bernard nods. He says, 'Alright', and his hand comes to rest on Viggo's shoulder. Viggo's mind settles, fear is a foreign concept. Yes.