Title: monologues for two [23/?] (previous parts)
Authors: noalinnea and evocates
Pairing: Viggo Mortensen/Sean Bean. In this chapter, mentions of past Melanie Hill/ Sean Bean.
Disclaimer: Didn't happen, just a product of imagination!
Summary: Viggo has a bad day, and he and Sean have a conversation that reveals more than what either of them thought it would. Still dialogue-only.
Re: Why are you not home?
I'm having a bad day, evening, whatever. I couldn't reach you yesterday evening and tried to call you at least a hundred times (or that is what it feels like) since I thought you might be awake but you are not answering your phone, not at home anyway and your mobile is switched off and I don't want to leave yet another mailbox message. So I drove all the way to the studio to send you this. I don't even know what's wrong, it's just- I haven't been sleeping enough yesterday and the day before yesterday and today was a hell of rain and mud and dirt and not enough breaks and I have bruises everywhere, literally, I look as if I've been run over by a truck, and I miss you and just want you to be here and tell me it's going to be alright, and then you are not answering your phone and I can only kick something or yell my frustration out into the night (which I did, several times). Where are you? Why aren't you answering your phone? Are you alright? Please call me the minute you read this, we don't need to talk long.
Your tired Viggo
phone call Sean--> Viggo 4:53 pm
[Rustle] "Mmmh- what?"
"I'm-- asleep-- mh---wait--" [Rustle. Clears his throat] "Are you alright?"
"I'm fine. I just saw your email. What happened?"
"Everybody was fighting all day. And you weren't there to have a smoke with so I had to listen to all of it. And- I don't know---"
"What were they fighting about?"
"Nothing, really. I guess it's just everybody being stressed out and patience running thin and-" [Sighs] "There was-- some technical problem and the camera team was arguing for what felt like forever-- and I was so irritated that I snapped at poor Orlando for being cheerful, I don't know what got into me-- I mean, he didn't really do anything and I just- fuck-" [Pause]"And then Dom and Billy started fighting about something minor, I don't know what, but they made a lot of racket, and Ian roared at them to be quiet for once, really, he just completely lost it for a moment. It was- I don't know. Frightening, really. Yeah. And for the rest of the day nobody dared to breathe... And then I spent the afternoon being beaten to pulp by the orcs and when I came home- I've been so fucking restless and out of sorts these last days and then there was no hot water for a shower and I couldn't reach you and couldn't sleep and- yeah- I'm just being a little happy ray of sunshine, as you can hear."
"It sounds like a shite day. I'm sorry, luv, I had ta go ta a studio and do some preliminary screen tests fer Equilibrium since I'm going ta fly off ta Berlin during the weekend. Had ta shut off me phone, you know what it's like." [Soft sigh] "Everyone alright now? You?"
[Pause] "I don't know."
"It ain't just everyone getting all testy that's bothering you, is it?"
"No. But I don't know. I don't seem to-- to be able to pin it down. I'm just- restless and on edge."
"Do you want me ta distract you? I haven't told you this damned film, have I?"
"I don't know, I-" [Pause. Heavy sigh.] "Tell me about five good things that happened to you this week?"
"Well, first off, the girls came over ta stay with me." [Chuckles] "I got ta navigate cooking 'em brekky in the morning, which means making use of me kitchen fer once, and in the afternoons Lorna got it into her mind fer baking. I swear there's still flour in some corners. Molly's got football practice, and I dropped her off that - bit awkward, that one, 'cause I got a few stares, but I got ta see her kick a ball 'round and it was good." [Pause] "And I talked ta Mel."
"That sounds wonderful, Sean, it really does. What did you bake?"
"Bunch of cupcakes. We'd have iced 'em, but they were red velvet and the girls love those, so they ended up being eaten before I even got out the icing sugar."
[Laughs] "Did you take pictures? I would like to see that, the three of you together in the kitchen!"
"We didn't. But if- if you ever come over while they've got the time ta stay with me, we can do that again with you."
"I'd love that." [Pause] "I spoke to Exene, too, you know. What did you and Mel talk about?
"We talked 'bout plenty of things." [Pause] "Hey, are you tired or sleepy still?"
[Soft chuckle] "Well, I'm surprisingly wide awake for 5 am." [Rustling. Footsteps] "Go on?"
"You sure? I wouldn't want you ta fall asleep halfway or anything."
[Footsteps] "I'm on my way to make coffee." [Running of water] "What do you mean, halfway? What happened?"
"Nah, I had a long talk with Mel. She made me think of some things I've never thought of."
[Sound of coffee machine spluttering] "And were those good things or bad things?"
"Good things. I think."
[Softly:] "Tell me."
"You've ever felt- I don't know. Frustrated or angry with me, because I won't tell you that I'm worried 'bout something? Something 'bout us?"
[Pause] "I wouldn't say angry. But sometimes I find it extremely difficult to try and talk about something to you and you avoid answering my questions or start making jokes. Sometimes it's as if I take a step towards you and you take three steps back- but that doesn't make me angry."
"I'm not good at talking, I told you that. I don't like- I don't like telling you 'bout things that bother me, 'cause I just think it'll make you think less of me or summat."
[Softly:] "That's what you are afraid of? That there might be anything you say that would make me think less of you?"
[Long pause. Very quietly:] "Aye."
"What could that possibly be?" [Pause] "Look, I don't want- I don't want you to have to pretend around me. There's enough acting in our lives as it is and I think there shouldn't be any at home. And I'm not trying to cut back on the rambling either, it's only fair if you're telling me what's going on in your head."
"See, that's the thing." [Pause, frustrated sigh] "I ain't pretending. It's how I am. I don't like ta- it's instinctive, what I say, and I believe that it's alright when I say it is. It's only after that words crowd in me head."
"I'm not going to force you to tell me things that you don't want to talk about, you know that. But- what happens then later, with these thoughts?"
"I box 'em up, I guess. Pretend they don't exist."
"And then they return and bite you in the ass?"
"And you think that if you let me take a peek into these boxes I would run and hide and never look at you again?"
"Tell me one thing, Sean, do you ever think less of me for telling me all these things I usually tell you?"
"No, I- it's different, when it's you."
"It's different, how yer brought up, how you think 'bout things. Keeping things in, it's not like you and I like it that way, whether it's when yer rugbytackling me ta the ground or calling me up when yer upset. It don't make you less, just different." [Pause] "I admire you sometimes, silly as that might sound. That you know how to say those things."
[Softly:] "But you do as well, love. You called me from London that time, when things were so difficult with Evie, remember? And you are telling me all of this now. And I'm still here."
"I keep expecting you ta hang up the phone or tell me ta stop being a pussy or something."
"Don't be silly. I hope you know that I would never do something like that. Where is all of this coming from?"
"I told you, I talked to Mel fer a bit. She made me think of- well. The mistakes I've made."
"That doesn't sound very positive. Did she say something that upset you?"
"No, no it isn't upsetting. It just made me think." [Pause] "That maybe I've been unfair ta you, keeping most things ta meself."
"Well, maybe it would make things easier for me sometimes, if you told me about what's happening inside that head of yours more often. It's easier not to be the only one with fears and doubts, you know."
"It's- Christ, is that what I've been making you think?"
"No. You're not Superman. I know there are things you worry about and if we touch one of those areas I can usually tell. Or at least I think I can. And if I try to talk to you about these things and you draw back then that's fine, too. It's just, I sometimes- sometimes I just wish we could talk about these things. Not only the stuff I freak out about."
"I can write it down. I'll try ta."
"If that's easier for you, do that. Or you can just call."
"Mm." [Softly:] "Sometimes I'm terrified that yer going ta. Wake up one day and decide I ain't worth the damned trouble, and you'll fuck off because you deserve someone better."
"I don't consider this trouble, Sean, don't make being with you sound like a tedious chore, Christ." [Pause] "You know, maybe that's part of the problem- that there are things between us that don't come easily, that we have to talk about and have to find a way to deal with. And for you that seems to be- I don't know, something that worries you. Something that makes you think that I am keeping a chart somewhere and when we reach a certain number of points that we disagree on, I will walk away, or something like that. But to me it's not- there always are differences, that's just how things are, people are different. What matters is how you deal with these things and what you feel for each other. And I think we are getting better and better at sorting out our differences." [Pause. Softly:] "And I am very much in love with you."
[Long pause] "I've never thought of it that way before."
"And what have you been thinking about this?"
"If yer meant ta be with someone, it should be easy. Smooth sailing. You know what I mean?"
"Has it ever been like that before, with anybody you have been with? And I'm talking about the long run, not the first few months when you just fell in love and don't want to think about flaws and problems?
"With Debra, maybe, but we've never really-" [Deep breath] No, and I know that. Always thought there's something wrong with me." [Chuckles] "Me parents, they've always seemed so good together. Almost telepathic and never fought. Maybe there's something wrong with me that I can't find something like that."
"Well, the two of you were very young then. And we two... we've had so much time to develop opinions and habits, a thousand things that define us and that we believe in, and you settle into these things and are reluctant to budge when someone touches them or questions them, there's much more potential for disagreement once you get older. But on the other hand I think that you know much better what you want and don't want and make much better choices, or so I hope, to begin with. And you have developed strategies to deal with stuff." [Pause] "And about your parents- I think, that you maybe still carry the picture of them around that you got when you were living with them as a kid and you still had a different concept of how relationships work?"
[Chuckles] "You and yer speeches." [Pause] "I've never seen them fight. Not even now."
"Not fighting isn't always a good sign, you know. Might be indifference or fear or just that you don't know how to speak your mind. And I don't mean that with regards to your parents, maybe they really have that wonderful relationship that you are describing. I hope they have."
"Mm, maybe." [Quiet sigh] "I can't change me mind 'bout something immediately."
[Long pause] "I'm very curious about Mel now."
"She wants ta meet you."
[Chuckles] "She does? I think Exene wants to meet you, too. Also because she wants to threaten to stab you with her butter knife if you should hurt me."
"A butter knife? Does she watch Monty Python or something?"
[Laughs] "She does, she loves them. And she actually owns butter knives."
"She sounds hilarious already." [Chuckles] "Is she going ta go 'I'll dig yer heart out with a spoon' at me?"
"Nah. She would either stare at you, always, and make you uncomfortable and edgy or try to get you into a headlock and politely threaten to chop off your crown jewels if you mess with me. Or something alone those lines."
[Burst of laughter] "She sounds plenty interesting, luv."
"She is. She is hilarious. I should have made you have coffee together when she was visiting."
"Does she stay in LA?"
"Rarely. Why?" [Chuckles] "Do you want to arrange a meeting without me? Don't you dare!"
"Why, yer scared of us gossiping 'bout you?"
"Wouldn't you be? If I had a tea party with all your women?"
"You make me sound like a pimp!" [Cackling]
"Casanova, love, casanova."
"I don't think so." [Still laughing]
"Well, I won't make you compare numbers." [Chuckles] "But I'll go with Casanova."
"I'd prefer 'Sean', really."
"Always so modest..."
[Chuckles] "So what did Exene say 'bout Henry?"
"Hm? About his visit?"
"'Bout you telling him." [Pause] "You talked ta her 'bout this, yeah?"
[Long pause. Quietly]: "Yes, I did."
"Vig? What's wrong?"
"Nothing, I-" [Pause] "It's not about what Exene said, she was- just great, I mean, she-" [Sighs] "But we ended talking about Henry and our separation and- there never has been anybody since- neither in my life nor in hers- that we have told Henry about."
"Ah. It makes it real for him, don't it? That you've found someone else, and his parents won't ever get back together again."
"Yeah, basically. And I thought- I really don't know how he feels about Exene and me and how can I not know that? I'm his dad, why haven't we talked about this? I just- he seemed to be fine after we all had adjusted to the new situation when we decided not to live together anymore- and we talked about it a lot, back then, but now- I just don't know. I don't know if he will be fine with this."
"Mm." [Pause] "When Mel and I divorced, Molly was six, and Lorna was ten. They didn't take it well. First time I brought Abby home, they screamed at me, screamed at her, and told her that she'll never be their mom, that they hate me..." [Sigh] "Can't blame 'em fer doing that. Later, Lorna told me- it ain't that she don't like Abby, or that Molly don't either, but it's just that... she always thought me and Mel were just fighting, and we'll live together again, and Abby broke that kind of illusion." [Pause, chuckles] "It don't mean she really hate me. I hope."
[Softly]: "No. I think it means that she hates that you do this to her, you whom she loves so much, and she hates that there is nothing she can do about it. You turn her world upside down and all she can do is watch. Or scream." [Pause] "What do you think I should do?"
[Softly:] "It's more cruel ta let Henry hope that you two will get back together, luv."
"No, but I won't. And I think Exene and I were pretty clear about that, once we decided that it's over. We tried to be, at least. It wasn't- Christ, it sounds terrible but all of this was so very emotional and both she and I- we barely kept it together, for his sake, because we didn't want to- I guess we could have done a better job at explaining things to him." [Pause] "And then- people sometimes tell me that Exene and I, that we seem to be- remarkably close, and I've never cared much about those comments but now- I can't help wondering if to him it might look as if there's still something there, to him. He's just a kid."
"I can't answer this fer you, Vig." [Softly] "But unless you decide ta leave me fer your ex-wife some time in the near future, you're going to have to tell him." [Pause] "It won't be a good decision ta wait until Exene does it either, eh?"
"No, but she would never do that. And I want to tell him, I don't want to keep this from him, it's too important." [Pause] "I'm just scared that I'm going to make him sad or angry or both or- I don't know-"
"You know." [Pause] "You can't always make sure yer kids are happy. Sometimes... the world's shite, things just... change."
[Self-deprecating snort] "The problem is that he knows that already." [Long pause] "You know, I've never- it has never been like that before. When I see him, it's usually- I'm crazy with joy, then, already before he arrives- and now there is always this thought, this fear that I-" [Swallows hard. Hoarsely]: "I know it's stupid but-" [Very quietly]: "That I might lose him."
"Vig. Yer the one who told me that me girls will always be mine, and they won't ever hate me for being away or screwing up. Take yer own advice a little, eh?"
"When did I say that?" [Shaky exhale] "You've got three, that's better odds, somehow."
"Stop that fucking self-pity, Vig."
[Pause. Barely suppressed anger]: "That's not helping. I'm worried. What does that have to do with self-pity?"
[Flatly:] "Because yer not thinking this through. Because now yer running yer head 'round and 'round and 'round 'bout circles thinking, 'what if, what if, what if', and it ain't going ta stop no matter what I tell you. Because yer gotten ta the point where yer just so fucking terrified that Henry might be upset 'bout this that you ain't even listening ta what's coming out of yer out mouth. Listen ta yerself."
[Long pause] "Exene asked me to tell her about you, anything really. And what I told her, was that you manage to ground me and keep my thoughts from chasing their tails forever." [Pause] "But when you're here that usually doesn't involve me wanting to slam down the receiver and smash it into pieces."
[Snorts] "If I were there with you, I would've just picked you up and slammed you against the wall and kiss you until you forget. But I can't, and I know there's nothing I can actually say ta you because I don't know Henry well enough. All I know is that yer train of thought's going in circles, and I ain't going ta let you indulge yerself like that."
"Which is good." [Pause] "But I still need to figure out a solution to this."
"I'll listen if you want ta go through yer speech with me." [Pause] "So I ground you, eh?"
[Quietly]: "Mmh. You do."
[Teasing:] "Are you blushing?"
[Groans] "You know me far too well already."
[Long pause. Frustrated sigh] "God, I wish I could kiss you right now."
"So do I, believe me."
[Shuddering sigh] "Fucking hell."
"Sometimes, when I have to get up early, I- I pretend for a moment before I walk into the kitchen, that you will be there and I get to wrap my arms around you and bury my nose in your shoulder." [Pause] "Disturbingly domestic fantasies."
[Shaky laugh] "Yer adorable, luv."
"That- or nuts. Time will tell." [Softly]: "You alright?"
"Yeah. I'm fine. Just missing you."
"I miss you, too. Very, very much."
[Long pause.] "Anyway." [Deep breaths] "You need me ta get you anything in Berlin?"
"Fake piece of the wall?" [Soft chuckle] "No, but I'd love a postcard. And some pictures of you." [Pause] "When are you going?"
"I'll see if I can get a piece of the real wall fer you, if you really want it." [Chuckles] "I'm leaving on the weekend."
"No, it's fine. How long will you be there?"
"Couple of weeks. Might be more."
"I wish I could come with you. Berlin is great."
"You've been there, luv?"
"Several times. I like it, it's unpretentious, somehow. And it has this scruffy, rundown charme."
"Scruffy, eh? Sounds like I should fit right in."
[Laughs] "Yes, you will."
"Now it's just learning the language." [Chuckles] "Shame I'd only be there fer two weeks."
"Do you have to speak German?"
"Nah. I'll leave that up ta you."
"But I'm busy trying to gain fluidity in the language of the Northerners at the moment."
"Aye? That so?"
[Chuckles] "Aye! I was hoping you might be able to tell! But then, our conversation today was not a very good demonstration of my skills, I guess." [Pause] "Ian actually told me to consider learning it."
"I'm starting ta think yer not talking 'bout me accent here."
"No, I'm talking the whole package. Less words, more actions, hm?" [Chuckles] "And I'm really trying not to dissect everything and to rein back the urge to talk about things over and over again."
[Teasing:] "Is yer memory that bad that you need constant reminders?"
"Well, you know that sometimes one half of my brain doesn't seem to know what the other is doing..." [Quietly]: "But it also is a way of reaching out to you."
"You don't have ta do that ta reach out ta me."
"Maybe not." [Pause] "But what would you have me do instead?"
"Talking ta me will do just fine."
"The thing is- it's true, sometimes I'm just stuck and repeat something over and over again." [Pause] "But sometimes, when I'm trying to talk to you about something and you- I don't know, deflect, maybe, then these thoughts tend to return. And I bring them up again if I can't work out a solution myself."
[Pause] "What kind of talking do you mean, Vig?"
"Hm? Well, just talking, really. And talking in circles as a way of trying to get you to respond to certain thoughts, I think."
"... I'm not going ta respond ta you the way you want me ta every time, you know that, aye?"
"It's not about that- I'm not expecting you to respond in a certain way, not at all. I'm just- looking for new angles, if you want to put it that way. If there's something on my mind that refuses to disappear, I often want to share it with you. And sometimes it's enough if you're just listening, but sometimes it isn't."
[Long pause] "I don't get it, Vig. I really don't."
[Sighs] "How am I going to explain this?" [Pause] "It's- I want to share things that matter to me with you. And that can be small things, like this book I read last week that I liked so much. Or it can be things like my thoughts about Henry. And sometimes I just want to tell you and sometimes I want to hear what you think about these things. And I think that, when I bring up a certain topic again and again, that it's a way of asking you for help, your perspective." [Pause] "Because you are right, you rarely tell me what you think, what bothers you,and it is something I miss. And I think that maybe my way of asking for that is bringing up the same stuff over and over again."
[Frustrated sigh] "Confusing, this. I don't know when you want me ta just listen ta yer rambling, and when you want me ta answer. If I'm sitting next ta you, I can tell immediately. But like this..."
[Quietly] "Yeah. It's not the same."
[Frustrated sigh] "Damn, I hate this."
"Yeah." [Pause] "This is why I freaked out before you left, basically. It tends to be like that."
"It usually ain't like this." [Pause, then a self-deprecating chuckle] "Maybe we're talking ta each other too much."
[Immediately]: "What do you mean?"
"I didn't get ta talk ta Mel or me girls for a good long while every year during Sharpe, and I don't have much of a problem. I'll distract meself, write letters and such, and it'll be alright." [Softly] "'Least, I can make believe it is."
[Long pause] "I can't."
[Hoarsely] "Is that what you want?" [Clears his throat] "Do you want to talk less often?"
"I... Christ, Vig. I just want ta stop missing you."
[Shaky inhale] "I thought-"
"I'm here, I- god, Sean--" [Deep breath]
[Softly] "I'm not telling you ta call me less. I just-" [Deep breath] "Wish I can stop missing you so much. Or do something 'bout it."
[Hoarsely] "I hate this. I just- want you to be here."
"Mm." [Long, deep breath] "You mind if- you mind if I hang up?"
"-Of course I do-- But hang up if-- you have to."
"Vig I- Sorry- I can't-" [Shaky breath. Clatter. Dial tone]
"No- Sean? Sean?" [Broken sob]