through a door. (throughadoor) wrote in peter_and_fran,
through a door.
throughadoor
peter_and_fran

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Part 11

Orlando drew the short straw and he's pretty sure Karl rigged it, but when everyone else goes out for Haitian food, Orlando stays behind. Viggo said he wanted to fiddle with the harmonicas on the weather song, which has nothing to do with the fact that they're supposed to sign the last of the contracts for the tour at dinner. So, Orlando stays behind, thumbs in his pockets, approaching Viggo a little bit like he might saddle up to a skittish horse. On top of everything, the harmonica solos don't seem to be going well.

"Hey," he says.

Orlando puts out his hand and Viggo takes it in his own. It's an old routine. Sometimes, in the old days, when he could tell that Viggo was sick and tired of being on the bus, Orlando'd put his hand out and let Viggo take it and tease him about how he had model-perfect hands, nails like little sea shells.

Viggo's hands are his road map: he has a cut on his palm from when he nicked himself with a knife trying to carve his own clarinet reeds, his fingers are rough with calluses after hours with the guitorgan, and his nails are chipped to boot.

"You gonna be late for your manicure?" Viggo says.

"Yeah, well, you know."

Orlando doesn't always understand Viggo, and sometimes he thinks that they don't fit together that well, not really. Viggo's a great bit older than Orlando is, but that's not it. He was with Ian, after all, he's been with lots of blokes who were older than him. Not that's he was ever, like, with Viggo.

Not that Viggo is really with anyone, exactly, not like that and also in the way where he's not always speaking the same language as anyone else, sometimes.

"I can't change the weather," Viggo says.

Like that, there. Exactly like that.

"Yeah?" Orlando asks.

Viggo nods. He squeezes Orlando's hand absent-mindedly in his own and then withdraws so he can start putting the harmonicas back in their cases.

The first time Orlando met Viggo, it was at an after-party for a play he'd done at WSDE, right before he'd dropped out. Viggo, Dom and Billy were crashing the party, but in a classy sort of way -- Dom and Billy were telling jokes about Spanish midgets and Viggo was just Viggo, wearing an ill-fitting pair of khaki trousers and a mis-buttoned shirt but also looking like he could belong anywhere. He said he'd seen the show every night that week and that Orlando's birth scene had been magical.

They slept together, obviously.

The next morning, Orlando crept out into the kitchen of Viggo's flat, thinking he would make coffee, but there was only a French press and he wasn't sure what bit was what. Viggo found Orlando in the kitchen, in his shorts and a sweatshirt of Viggo's he'd stolen off the floor. It was faded red and the neck had been cut out, the cuffs soft and frayed.

"Can't quite," he said, holding the pieces in each hand, "do the grounds go in the water or this bit here?"

Viggo smiled against Orlando's forehead and put the water on for tea.

Which is to say that it's easy to be a little in awe of Viggo, because he always makes you feel like he's a little in awe of you. Being around him can make you feel like you're more than you are. Orlando has a hard time talking about Viggo without making it sound like Viggo is some kind of nose flute playing messiah slash myth, and sometimes it's hard to talk to Viggo while still remembering that he can barely dress himself and cares too much about the rain forests and wouldn't think twice about putting the tour off until three weeks after Christmas if he thought the energy wasn't right yet.

Orlando, basically, wishes he hadn't drawn the short straw.

"I think that, you know, things are, I think that things are going quite well," he starts. "I think we've been rehearsing for, like, weeks, and we're probably ready. For the tour."

Viggo is changing the reed on his clarinet. He buys and cuts the bamboo himself, something he taught himself how to do out of a book when they first started experimenting with Klezmer. He's fitting the reed and twisting the screws when he says, "They think it's about practicing, don't they?"

"Uh, I think that we think that you think that," Orlando says, like a tongue twister.

Sean Astin says that Viggo enjoys letting other people perpetuate his reputation amongst them as a means of manufacturing their expectations. Orlando thinks that this is possibly not untrue but the way that Astin says it makes it sound like complete rubbish and also like it's all tied up in Sean's frustration with Viggo and filmmaking, because Viggo made a Moroccan re-make of Nanook of the North when he was at uni that won a bunch of awards but he won't talk to Sean about directing. He's given Sean a copy of a book called Camera Lucida more than once and keeps forgetting that he's already done it.

So Viggo wants to rehearse through lunch and Viggo wants to rehearse through dinner and Viggo wants to record and sample the sound of the traffic on the Santa Monica at dawn and Viggo wants them all to take yodeling lessons and part of that is just Viggo, you know, crazy Viggo, he won't quit. That's certainly not untrue, and Orlando has the bruises to prove it, but that's not the whole story. Or at least they think that Viggo thinks that they don't think it is.

So then Viggo says, "Are we really going to do it without Bean?" like he's looking for permission and explanation, or maybe both.

Orlando's never had a big love like the way Viggo feels about Bean. The others give Orlando a bad time for being slutty, but when he sees Viggo so confused and full of Bean-sized missing pieces, Orlando's not sorry for how he is, not a bit.

"Well, we don't have to," he says. "We don't have to do anything." He struggles to remember his talking points and wishes he'd taken Dom's advice and written the essentials on his hand. "We can't keep waiting," he says in a rush.

Viggo nods, seemingly chewing on this for a moment. "I can't change the weather," he says for the second time. "I though the harmonica solo would help, but it still doesn't work. I should probably just leave it for tonight."

Viggo puts down the clarinet. Orlando puts his thumbs in his pockets. Somebody else is going to have to have this talk with him because, fuck, it's just not --

"I should probably just leave it until we're out on the road," Viggo says.

Orlando knows that Viggo's holding up the white flag, and he tries not to worry that it might be forced. If they can just get back out on the road, everything will shake itself out, like the rancid quilt they used to keep in the back of the van, which was always sporting at least a handful of biscuit crumbs and a fresh coffee stain. They used to shake it out in the car park of whatever petrol station they happened to be stopped at, and Karl would always say that the quilt was disgusting and that they should just throw it out, but Viggo and Dom both loved the quilt, claiming they'd had it since Wellington.

If Orlando was Viggo, he'd figure out a way to say that the band was like the quilt, all of them crazy patchwork pieces, and how they just needed to shake off the crumbs and they'd be right again. But even if the band is like a blanket covered in coffee stains, there's only one Viggo, and so Orlando stands up and says, "Do you want Haitian?"

"Yeah," says Viggo. "I could eat."

He gives his hand to Orlando and Orlando takes it in his own. Viggo runs the pad of his thumb over Orlando's thumbnail, which he does, admittedly, shape with a file when he's on boring conference calls, and a manicure here and there never hurt anyone either.




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