"I can't do this anymore."
It was a faint whisper, not meant for anyone to hear, but Sean did. His green eyes moved from the window in the car to where Orli sat beside him. At his words Sean withdrew the arm he had held around Orli's shoulders. They had just been to the SAG awards and Sean thought everything had gone fine. Sure, when he had caught Orli's smile it had seemed a bit strained at times, but he hadn't really thought too much about it. However, now that he did, Sean began to remember other times in the past months when Orli had seemed withdrawn, when his smile had seemed forced and his eyes had lost some of the special glow they once held.
"What do you mean?" Fear made Sean's voice sharp. Did this mean what he feared it did? Was Orli leaving him? He should have known it would happen sooner or later. Orli was young and had a whole life ahead of him; he would want to taste everything his new life of fame and fortune had to offer. Why would he want to be with someone like Sean? Really, Sean understood. It wasn't like he hadn't known this would happen all along, and that was also why he had never said those three special words, why he had insisted they should keep their relationship a secret from everyone... save Viggo who was too damn insightful for his own good and Ian who was just damn nosy. Sean had thought he had been prepared for those words, for this day where Orli would leave him, but suddenly it came all too soon. He found he wasn't prepared at all and only his pride made him keep from pleading Orli to stay just one more night.
"This... us," Orli made a small gesture towards the older man and Sean idly wondered if Orli knew how graceful his movements always were; even such a common gesture as this one.
"I knew this day would come," Sean admitted, trying to keep his voice emotionless, hoping no feelings showed in his eyes. If Orli was old enough to discuss this as a sensible adult then so, by God, was he. Orli frowned at him, confusion written in every line of his face.
"Well... yes," Sean looked as confused as Orli. If this wasn't what he thought then... what was it?
"Then why did you keep doing it?" Orli demanded to know, a hint of hurt in his voice. Sean briefly closed his eyes. No, this was just what he thought it was and bloody Hell; it hurt a lot more than he had thought it would, or rather a lot more than he had hoped it would. When he opened his eyes again, he noticed Orli was still waiting for an answer.
"I don't know," he confessed, and it was half way true. He knew why he had kept this relationship up, he knew of all the foolish hopes he had had, but he didn't know why he hadn't tried to save what little piece of his heart Orli hadn't stolen yet.
"You don't know?" Orli grinned but it was a hard and painful thing to hear and Sean frowned, his eyes filling with concern. This wasn't Orli breaking up with him, there was way too much pain in Orli's eyes for that.
"Are you alright?" forgetting his silent rule of saving what he had left, not sure why that had been so important before anyway, Sean reached over and gently stroked Orli's cheek.
"No, I'm not," Orli confessed lowly, those pained words almost breaking Sean's heart. Sean withdrew his hand in surprise and hurt over his words. Never had he heard Orli tell him he was this unhappy... actually he had never heard Orli say he was unhappy or sad about anything at all. Come to think of it, after almost a year together that was more than a bit odd but in his pretended happiness Sean hadn't wished to take sorrows beforehand... .now he found he should have. Should have seen the signs instead of just believing in his own truth, in his own fears that Orli would leave him as everyone he had ever loved always ended up doing.
"Please... tell me," Sean begged, forgetting pride and dignity in his fear and concern. He caught both of Orli's hands in his and held them close to his heart before taking his right hand to his lips and softly kissing it. Orli looked down, not meeting his eyes.
"I did this, didn't I? I've hurt you," Sean suddenly realized with pained certainty, suddenly understanding Orli's hesitation.
"You didn't mean to," Orli automatically defended him, and that just broke Sean's heart completely, like glass shattering into a million pieces.
"Oh, lov," Sean mumbled, fighting back tears. What had he done? What had he done? He reached over and drew Orli into a big hug, softly stroking his hair. Orli closed his arms around Sean, holding him close.
"Tell me... tell me what I did wrong, " Sean asked softly and Orli drew back, wiping away betraying tears on his cheeks. Orli began to shake his head but Sean spoke again;
"I really need to know."
The look in Sean's eyes where like fire on ice, leaving no room for argument.
"I... I feel I'm losing myself. There's nothing left of me," Orli confessed softly, again not meeting Sean's eyes. Sean put a hand under his chin, forcing him to look up and into his green eyes.
"I'm not sure I understand. Explain it to me," Sean asked gently.
"You... you remake me. In your image... you remake me," Orli did a movement with his right hand, not sure how to explain.
"I remake... " Sean began but then he understood. By God, he was right. He had done just that. He had picked out clothes for him, told him how to do things... he had been so eager to help, to show Orli all he knew and all he could while there still was time he hadn't stopped to think about how Orli might take all this. Especially when he had never said why he did it... why he did anything.
"Your suit... " Sean reached over and touched Orli's suit, the color and style down to the last detail almost an exact remake of Sean's own. Oh no. He really had been remaking him.
"I love you, Sean. I never said anything before because I know you don't feel the same," Orli said and Sean's lips move to form words but Orli placed a finger to his lips, asking for silence. "No, let me finish. I knew from the beginning I wasn't who you wanted, but I hoped I could be. I hoped that if I let you remake me the way you wished you'll want me... me, really me. But I can't do this any longer. I'm losing myself, Sean. You fill my every senses until there's nothing left of me," Orli's voice broke down, any more words getting lost in a tearful mumble.
"Orli," that one word held a world of pain and a world of love as Sean gathered Orli in a gently hug and their lips met in a short but endlessly bittersweet kiss tasting of both their tears. As they drew back Sean's face was serious.
"I've been such a fool, Orli. Such a damned fool. When I've told you all I wish to say I hope you can find it in you to forgive me though I'm not sure you should," Sean drew a deep breath before he continued, hoping with the air to also find the right words to say just now. "I love you," Sean ignored the sharp hiss of air as Orli drew a deep and surprised breath. "I did from the first moment I saw you, but I was so sure you'll never love me, so sure you'd leave me that I promised myself to try and save myself some heartache by not telling you. I was a fool. And Orli, I don't wish to remake you. I never did. I love you just the way you are. I even love your outrageous clothes," this drew an amused chuckle from Orli. "because it's part of who you are. I love <em>you</em>... just the way you are... and if you want me, I'm yours."
Orli reached over and cupped Sean's face with his hands, his eyes shining with that magical glow, his smile wide and real... it was like looking into a sun, burning so brightly it was painfully beautiful to look into.
"I love you and I've always wanted you," Orli's lips moved closer to Sean's.
"Always," Sean mumbled, awe, happiness and a million other emotions he couldn't even begin to describe in his voice. Then Orli's lips closed over his, promising love, promising forever... all wrapped up in a single kiss, as lips met, breath mixed and both got lost in the feel and touch of each other.
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Story notes: See? Finally a more normal and sweet... a little anyway... SB/OB fic from me.
Based on the SAG awards photo where Orli and Sean dressed almost exactly alike. Yes, I'm *that* slow. Thanks so much to Joelle for great beta as always.
Chapter notes: Set after the filming of LOTR. AU in a mild way but what isn't?
Chapter end notes: This never happened unless I have psychic powers and can change the past, present and future. Any likeness to real characters is all in your mind, nothing more. This is fiction, made up, never happened, not real... you want that in other languages as well? *LOL* I intend no infringement, this is a piece of amateur fan fiction, and I make no money of it. Only the original idea contained within this work is the property of the author. Please do not copy this story to any website or archive without permission of the author.