Title: Cafe on the Corner (18/?)
Author: Amre ([livejournal.com profile] dazzamre)
Pairing: Viggorli (brief mention of others)
Rating: This chapter PG-13, overall R/NC-17
Summary: AU. A local coffee shop. An Open Mic Night. Anything could happen.
Feedback: It would be most welcome. :)
Disclaimer: Lies, lies! It’s all lies, I tell you!
A/N: This chapter went through several revisions. Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] dreamerren for being a patient beta and sticking it out through them all.

Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5 Part 6 Part 7 Part 8 Part 9 Part 10 Part 11 Part 12 Part 13
Part 14 Part 15 Part 16 Part 17

Chapter 18

Orlando stretched out on the sofa, trying to enjoy spending the time alone, but it was Christmas Eve, and he found his mind drifting to where everyone else was and what they were doing. Ignoring the repeat of A Christmas Story on TV, he thought about Liv at home with her family, Viggo with his parents, Henry at his mother’s, Dom and Elijah…well, he didn’t know what they were doing exactly, but he was sure they were together. He could have been at Viggo’s, he’d invited him repeatedly, but Orlando was already spending Christmas Day with them, and it just didn’t feel right. He sighed and turned his attention back to the TV; thinking about how easily he could have been with Viggo right now was only making him depressed.

A knock at the door interrupted his brooding, and he scrambled off the couch to see who it was. He checked the peephole and grinned when he saw Dom and Lij standing out in the hall. “Hey, what are you guys doing here?” he asked as he let them in.

Dom shoved a six-pack in his hands, slipping out of his damp jacket, wet from the snow that had started falling. “You sounded fucking miserable on the phone, Orli. We thought you could use some cheering up,” Dom told him, throwing his jacket over a chair and taking the beer back from Orlando.

“Make yourselves at home,” Orli quipped, rolling his eyes as Elijah had already collapsed on the couch and was flipping through the channels on the television. Meanwhile, Dom had made his way to the tiny kitchen, shoving the beer in the fridge and looking around at the sparse contents. Liv had been gone two days, and Orlando hadn’t bothered to go to the store since.

“You don’t have anything to eat,” he complained, closing the door in disgust, and flopping down on the couch beside Elijah. “Anything good?” he asked him, nodding at the TV.

Elijah shrugged, and Orlando noticed for the first time how quiet he was being. He wondered briefly if he’d had other plans for Christmas Eve that Dom had usurped to drag him here. Regardless, he was glad for the company. Christmas Eve was a lousy time to be by yourself, and he hadn’t spent as much time lately with his friends as he should have.

Orlando joined them on the sofa, and Lij finally stopped on the movie Orli had been watching to begin with. They were silent as they watched TV, but it was comfortable, and Orlando realized he’d been more unhappy alone than he’d realized. Flick had just gotten his tongue stuck to the flagpole when Dom climbed off the couch to scavenge around the apartment for something to eat. He came back, stepping over Orlando’s outstretched legs, with two bags of microwave popcorn, some candy that had been left over from Halloween, and three beers.

Taking one of the beers and leaving the candy untouched, Orlando was surprised to find that he was actually enjoying himself. Elijah seemed to lighten up as the night wore on, the good mood Dom and Orlando were in appearing to be contagious. They were laughing and talking, providing a running commentary to the movie, most of which, to Dom’s surprise, Elijah could quote word for word. It was nice just hanging out with them, not thinking about any of the worries that would be waiting for him on the other side of the holiday.

Elijah grew quiet, and Dom poked him in the side, accusing him of falling asleep. Orlando left them arguing and took advantage of a commercial break to stand up and stretch. He moved to the window, concerned by how heavy the snow was falling now. Much more of this, and he was going to have a hard time getting to Viggo’s tomorrow.

The phone rang, distracting him, and he absent-mindedly answered it, his thoughts still on the snow. “Hello?”

“Hey,” Viggo said, his voice making Orlando grin.

“I was just thinking about you,” Orlando said quietly, subconsciously moving closer to the window and away from the couch where Dom and Lij had apparently called a draw and gone back to the movie.

“Yeah? Mom and Dad are asleep, and I just wanted to call you before I went to bed. I wish you would have come over here and not spent Christmas Eve alone,” Viggo told him, and Orlando could picture him frowning, his forehead creasing with worry over the thought of him being by himself.

“I’m not, actually, Dom and Elijah are here. So no need to worry.”

“Oh, they are?” Viggo asked surprised. “Well, good. I’m glad you’re not alone. I’ll let you go then, I just wanted to check in. We’re still on for tomorrow?”

Despite still having some trepidation over being with Viggo’s parents, he wished Viggo would stop acting as if he were going to cancel at any second. “Yes, I’ll see you then,” Orlando told him. He hung up the phone and rejoined Dom and Lij. Elijah had curled up on one end of the couch, his head resting on the arm, snoring softly. Dom had turned his attention from the movie to Lij, watching him sleep, his lips turning up in the hint of a smile. He turned away, glancing at Orli as he settled on the other end of the sofa.

“Viggo?” he whispered, his question coming out as more of a statement. Orlando nodded, and Dom looked thoughtful for a second, biting his bottom lip, his eyes falling to Elijah once again. “Be right back,” he said suddenly, standing up quickly, but trying not to disturb Elijah. He disappeared down the hall to the bathroom, the door shutting quietly behind him.

Orlando tried to focus on the movie, but when Dom still hadn’t come back by the time the end credits began to scroll, Orlando climbed off the couch to check on him. The bathroom door was open and the room empty, but the apartment was small, and it didn’t take long for Orlando to find Dom standing at the window in his bedroom watching the snow fall. The single lamp cast a soft glow across the room, sending the corners and Dom into shadows. “It’s really coming down out there,” he said softly, acknowledging Orlando’s presence without turning around.

“Yeah,” Orlando murmured, shivering slightly and hugging his sweater closer to him. He sat down on the foot of his bed and waited for Dom to continue. When he finally turned around, he was smiling, but it didn’t quite reach his eyes. He flopped back on the bed beside Orlando, staring up at the ceiling silently.

“I know you, and everyone else, thinks that Lij and I have been…hooking up or whatever, but you’re wrong,” he said at last, just as Orlando was beginning to give up on him saying anything else. “Well, not wrong exactly, but not right,” Dom said softly. “I don’t blame him for not wanting to put up with all my crap. He could do better.”

“What are you talking about?” Orlando asked, turning so he could look at him. Dom hesitated, and Orlando nudged him with his knee, prodding him to continue. “Spill it.”

“I want to be with Lij, but…” Orlando raised an eyebrow, but waited patiently for him to go on without interrupting. “Have you ever wanted something for so long, that even when you’ve stopped wanting it, even when you know that it wouldn’t make you happy, you just can’t let go of it?”

“Of course, I have,” Orli admitted. “But what does that have to do with Elijah? That doesn’t make any sense unless…Is there someone else?” he asked startled. Dom had never so much as hinted to him that he was interested in anyone and, since Orli had just assumed that he and Lij were together, he’d never thought to question it. “Is there? Who?” he asked curiously.

“It doesn’t matter,” Dom said quickly, sitting up and shifting away from Orlando. “It’s not going to happen. He’s happy, and I’m not going to interfere with that.”

“But who is it?” Orli pried. “I won’t tell anyone. Come on, Dom.” Orlando racked his brain trying to think of anyone it could be. “Billy?”

“No, it’s not fucking Billy,” Dom said facing him again, looking like he was torn between laughing and punching him. “You just don’t get it,” Dom muttered, gripping his shoulder so tightly that Orlando winced. “It’s you, you idiot. It’s always been you.”

Orlando tried to make Dom's words make sense because he couldn't have meant that the way it sounded. The kiss was sudden and unexpected, and Orlando was so shocked he couldn’t react. He was vaguely aware of Dom’s hands tangling in his hair, his knee pressing against his thigh, but it felt surreal; as if he were watching it happen to someone else. It was strange to be kissing someone other than Viggo and despite it being Dom, or maybe because it was Dom, it felt weird and wrong. Orlando reached out to push him back, but before he could, Dom broke away on his own, standing up and taking a few steps away from the bed.


Orlando turned around quickly, only catching a blur that must have been Elijah, followed a few seconds later by the sound of the door slamming.

“Fuck,” Dom muttered, sinking back down beside Orlando on the edge of the bed. “I’m sorry, Orli. I shouldn’t have done that. I’m sorry,” he repeated. He was holding his head in his hands, and Orlando had to strain to hear him. Tentatively, he reached out to place his hand on Dom’s back.

“You need to go after him,” Orlando said softly. Dom nodded, but didn’t make any attempt to move. “Go,” Orli urged, giving him a slight push. “You’ll regret it if you don’t.”

Wearily, Dom stood up. “Thanks, Orli. I…thanks.” Orlando walked with him into the other room, standing by awkwardly while Dom slipped his coat on. He didn’t know how to react to Dom’s revelation and being alone with him now was making him uncomfortable. “I’ll see you later.”

“Yeah, see you.” Orlando closed the door behind him and locked it, relieved, and instantly felt guilty for his reaction. Dom was his friend, that would never change.

Orlando collapsed on the couch. The TV was still playing in the background, but he didn’t pay it any attention. Orlando knew he was prone to over thinking things, but this he was having a hard time wrapping his mind around. How long had Dom felt that way? And why hadn’t he said something before now? As he thought back over the past few months, things started to fall into place, little things Dom has said or done, which had meant nothing to him at the time, suddenly took on a whole new meaning. He remembered how aloof Dom had been when he first met Viggo. He hadn’t given it much thought then, but now it was obvious that Dom had been jealous.

Orlando felt the dread wash over him as he realized that he was going to have to tell Viggo about all of this. Viggo was so laidback and relaxed about everything, a complete contrast to Orlando and his bundle of nerves, but this was asking a lot, even from him.

Orlando glanced at the clock, surprised to find that it had already been Christmas Day for a full twenty minutes. “Merry Christmas,” he muttered to himself, closing his eyes and letting his head fall back against the couch. “Merry fucking Christmas.”

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