This part is most probably situated after the stuff I posted last time. There'll be one at the very beginning of their relationship (if I ever manage to nail it down, dammit!), and one after the shooting of LOTR, around the shooting of 50 First Dates.
What follows isn't very thrilling, it's just a conversation between Sean and Orlando, but it jumped on me when I was working on another part and I just had to write it down.
Title: Everything Will Be Okay.
Disclaimer: If the boys were mine, I'd be taping them right about now.
"Most of the time, I feel like a stranger in my own skin."
Orlando lifts his head up from Sean's shoulder, eyes clearly surprised. But Sean isn't looking anywhere at him, instead staring at the ceiling of his bedroom. Orlando understands, and lays his head back down, silent.
"After a while I stopped recognizing myself when I looked into a mirror. I don't know if it wasn't better than when I started recognizing myself again, though... You know, when I did this, I really thought I'd be okay with it. It was for work, and what a work at that. Christine told me that maybe I should give it more thought, that it would be a big change for me, but I thought she was getting it all wrong."
Orlando smiled. He couldn't have said whether Sean had been rehearsing those words for two weeks or if it was really on the spur of the moment. Sean always sounded like he was doing an exposé.
"I thought...I thought it wouldn't be the same as getting fat from eating too much. You know what I mean. I thought my brain would be intelligent enough to make the difference, to know it wasn't me, that I didn't need to worry. I thought it would remember how lucky I am that it was just for work, that it'd go away right afterwards. That it would remember that feeling bad about it would be an insult to all the people who are overweight and desperate to slim down. But that's a load of crap. I still feel bad about it, work or no work. Plus, it's just...it feels different, you know? Slows me down, stuff like that. I can't run up two flight of stairs without being winded now. And I keep seeing great clothes in the stores that I'd want to buy, but I can't try them on. And when I do come in and buy them the seller looks at the size, then looks at me, as if to say "Wishful thinking lad!", and it just makes me feel so stupid!"
He fell silent for a while, hand fisted around the back of Orlando's t-shirt. Orlando didn't say anything, not wanting to break the spell and make Sean stop to say all the things he so clearly needed to say, once and for all.
"But most of the time, it doesn't even really feel like it's my body. I wake up, and I look down, and I'm like 'This isn't me. When did this happen?'. Maybe it's from taking on weight so damn fast, I don't know... And I hate myself from thinking all that. I'm playing in Lord of the Rings, for god's sake! I should be grateful and grin all day long, and instead of that, I get snappish at everyone and boss everyone around just because it's as good a way as any not to dwell on things."
"And maybe because you're naturally bossy, too?" Orlando piped up, grinning. He just couldn't help it, it had to be said. He waited to see whether Sean would get offended or not, and smiled when he felt Sean's stomach shaking silently underneath him, then got hit behind the head by Sean's hand.
"Twat," was the scorching reply, and Orlando could hear Sean's grin in his voice.
"The point is," Orlando said, propping himself up on one elbow; "if it doesn't feel like your body, then you should just forget about it. Just concentrate on work and think about the time you'll be able to go back to what feels like the right weight for you."
"Look, your body isn't what matters!" Orlando insisted. "I'm not in here for your bo..." he faltered, then grinned. "Well actually, I'm pretty much in here for your body, but that's not the point," he said cheerfully, hand sneakily creeping up Sean's thigh.
"How could you ever be here for my body?" Sean asked, genuinely incredulous.
"What, d'you think everyone on earth wants to have skinny girls in their beds?" Orlando asked, raising his eyebrows. "I've always liked my girls well fleshed-out," he said, shrugging. "Having a top-model at your arm to brag is all right and good, but once you get in bed it's all bones and pointy corners and nothing to get under one's hand. If I wanted to fuck a broom, I'd get one."
Sean chuckled, but still shook his head. "There's a world of difference between a 'well fleshed out girl' and me."
"True. You're definitely not a girl. But what I mean is that...well, I like your body! I like your character too, damn, that's pretty much a combo isn't it? Never would have looked at you twice if you weren't such an amazing person. But I like your body too. And I would have thought that the twenty or thirty times I've ended up in your bed would have made you understand that already," he said, a little cross.
"But...what could yo...what does it feel like?" Sean asked, voice sligthly strangled. His hand was instinctively gripping the sheets, making sure they were staying where they were.
Orlando's eyebrows rose higher. "Haven't you showered once since you gained weight? You should know how it feels! ...okay. I...feel really stupid talking about that, I hope you realize. It's...look, I don't know. It's just...I like it. Makes me want to cuddle up against you, and wherever my hands go there's flesh to grip and massage and lean into, and your skin's quite soft, mine's so dry, I really have to do something about it, but anyway, and it just feels nice, you know? And if you think that it makes such a huge difference, having a chubby girl in my bed or having you, you're really too deep into self-loathing."
Sean remained silent for a while, obviously considering everything Orlando had just said. Then he shook his head, smiled, and pushed Orlando on his back. "You're right about at least one thing," he said to a slightly bewildered but nicely expectant victim, pulling the sheets down to Orlando's knees. "Your skin is really too dry. Have to do something about it."
Orlando's eyes fluttered shut and he smiled beatifically, hands slowly reaching up to grip the headboard.