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"You're hiding," Liv accused him.

Orlando sighed and threw back the cowl of his robe. "It isn't working very well."

Liv gracefully sank down to sit down in front of him. "I just know where you like to hide." She reached out and touched his knee. "I heard about you and Henry's dad. Are you okay?"

Orlando shook his head. "No. I'm afraid."

"Fear leads to anger."

"I've heard Yoda's lecture too." Orlando sighed. "I'm trying to let it go, but every time I try to meditate, my shields start to slip. I know it was the will of the Force and I'm supposed to accept it, but I'm not ready for it."

Liv rested her hands on his shoulders and squeezed them gently. "Do you want me to shield you while you meditate?"

"Do you have time?"

Liv nodded. "Sean's in a Council meeting. He'll be there all day." She squeezed his shoulders again. "Do you want me to shield you?"

"Yes, please."

Liv let her mind just brush around edge of his, finding the shape of it. She extended her shields out and around him, bringing him within them.

"Oh. Oh, Force, Liv. Thank you." He could still feel Viggo--he didn't think anything short of death would stop that--but everything else was muted. He relaxed into a meditative trance and let the currents of the Force flow through and around him.

He eased himself out of it some time later and breathed a sigh of relief.

Liv brushed a hand over his hair. "You're welcome." She let her hands fall back into her own lap. "Henry was right. You're just glowing with it."


"You're here to talk about Orlando, aren't you?"

Viggo nodded. "You already know?"

Henry grinned. "Yeah. It's all over the Temple." He shrugged. "Besides, Orlando came to see me."

Viggo winced. "I should have told you."

"It's okay." Henry reached out and touched his arm. "He's one of my friends and you're my dad." He considered for a moment. "He's scared, but he's just glowing with your bond. You're holding it in a little better, but I can see it from you too."

Viggo smiled faintly. "I can feel him all the time."

Henry hugged his father. "He'll come around once he knows how great you are."

Viggo kissed the top of Henry's head. "Thank you, Henry."


Viggo stopped listening and looked up. After trying unsuccessfully to recapture his attention, Sean turned and followed his gaze across the dining hall. Orlando was just coming through the door. Sean watched his eyes flick toward their table, toward Viggo, and then quickly away.

He managed to avoid looking back over at Viggo while he got his food, but once he had a tray in his hands, something drew him to Viggo's table. He sat next to Viggo, close, pressed together from hip to knee. He greeted Henry and Liv, and nodded to Sean.

They tried to carry on a conversation, but neither Viggo nor Orlando paid much attention to it. Henry eventually snapped at them.

"Would you two just go fuck or meditate together or whatever it is you need to do?"

Orlando blushed, and he and Viggo said, "Henry!" in the same shocked tone of voice.

"Look," Henry said, "you have a Force-bond. You never have to be alone again. You have someone who will always love you. You're so lucky. And you don't even care!" He stood and yanked his tray off the table. He swept out of the dining hall, returning his tray on the way.

Viggo sighed heavily. "I'd better--"

Liv reached out and put a hand on his forearm. "I'll go."

Orlando muttered a feeble excuse about needing to be somewhere else and fled.

"He's right," Sean said when the padawans were gone.

"I know that," Viggo growled, frustrated. "I know he's right." He raked his hands through his hair. "I've tried, and he just shuts me out."

Sean snorted. "So make him listen to you." He reached across and touched the back of Viggo's hand. "The Force thinks you belong together. You won't hurt him." He removed his hand. "Go on. Make him listen to you."

Viggo dropped his head. "I don't know how."

Sean's lips quirked. "Listen to the Force."


Viggo opened himself up to the bond and let it lead him to Orlando. He knocked on the door he found himself in front of. He knocked again and stretched his awareness out to reach Orlando.

Orlando opened the door only enough to see Viggo. "Viggo," he said softly.

"Can I come in?"

Orlando reluctantly opened the door the rest of the way and let him in.

Viggo couldn't keep himself from cupping Orlando's cheek in his hand any more than Orlando could stop from leaning into the same touch.

"We have to talk." Viggo's words echoed loudly in the empty room.

Orlando nodded. "Sit down," he offered. Viggo sat at one end of the couch. After a short moment of indecision, Orlando took the other end.

"Henry's right," Viggo said. "We have to resolve this." He reached across the seemingly endless expanse of couch separating them and touched Orlando's knee. "Can't you feel how much this hurts?" His thumb stroked small circles on Orlando's leg.

Orlando closed his eyes and reached into himself. It did hurt. He'd managed to avoid thinking about it so much that he hadn't even realized how much it hurt to willingly cut himself off from Viggo. He hadn't realized how much it hurt Viggo to be cut off from him.

"Yes," he whispered. He bowed his head. "I'm sorry," he said softly.

Viggo opened his arms, and Orlando hesitantly came across the couch to settle into them. They let out a combined sigh of relief.

"You have to let me in," Viggo said, his lips brushing against Orlando's hair.

It was an effort to make his breathing slow with Viggo so close, but Orlando managed it. He reached down inside himself and started to dismantle the shields blocking his awareness of Viggo. He reached out along the bond toward Viggo and gasped as it flared to life in his mind.

Viggo was there, everywhere. Viggo knew everything about him and he knew everything about Viggo. He knew how much Viggo had wanted him from that very first moment in the dining hall. He knew how much he had hurt Viggo by denying him. He knew how Viggo worried about what this would do to his relationship with Henry, and he knew that Viggo worried Orlando would never want an old man like him.

"I do want you," he said out loud even though he knew Viggo could read the thought in his mind. "I do." He brought his lips to Viggo's and sighed into the depth of such a simple kiss.

"I love you," he said.

Viggo's arms tightened around him. "I know."
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"Orlando!" Henry's face split into a wide grin. "I didn't know you were on Coruscant."

Orlando hugged his friend tightly and followed him into the common room. "We've only been here three days. I'm sorry I haven't had time to come visit.

Henry waved away his concern and found a second teacup. He poured tea for Orlando and sat beside him on the couch. "You're glowing," he said after a long moment of scrutiny.

Orlando gripped his teacup tightly, then, realizing it might be in danger, he set it down on the table. "I'm bonded," he said heavily.

Henry snorted. "Of course you're bonded. You're a padawan."

Orlando shook his head miserably. "Not that. Newly bonded. It was the will of the Force." His last words were hardly more than a whisper.

Henry's eyes widened. "A Force-bond," he breathed. "No wonder you're glowing."

"Yes." Orlando shivered. "It's not as great as they say. I can't-- Right now, I just want to be with him. I don't even know him." Even now he could feel it. Viggo was responding to his distress, sending waves of comfort and reassurance through their bond.

Orlando raised his shields as high and as thick as he could against it. Any more and it would hurt him. More importantly, any more and it would hurt Viggo. The bond wouldn't let him do that.

"Henry, it's your father."

"Oh." Henry set his own teacup down. "Mom isn't going to like this," he predicted.

"I'm sorry," Orlando said miserably. "I didn't mean for it to happen." The waves of comfort coming from Viggo were tinged with the thread of a question.

Henry came across the couch and wrapped his arms around Orlando. "I know. It'll be alright. You'll see."

"I--" Orlando didn't know what he wanted to say, and fell silent.

"You'll never be alone again," Henry offered. "Oh," he said when Orlando stiffened. "Is that the problem?"


Viggo found him in one of the gardens trying to meditate.

"Master Mortensen," he began, starting to stand.

Viggo waved him back down. "Under the circumstances, I think you can call me Viggo."

Orlando flushed. "Yes, Ma-- Viggo."

Viggo knelt down before Orlando, mirroring his posture. "You're afraid," he said softly.

"Yes, Ma-- Yes."

Viggo reached out and brushed his fingers over Orlando's cheek. Orlando sighed and leaned into the touch despite himself.

"What are you afraid of?"

Orlando frowned and concentrated. "I'm not sure."

Viggo's thumb stroked Orlando's cheek. "I would not have saddled you with an old man."

Orlando could feel the bond tugging at him, insisting that he do something, say something. "You are not that old."

Viggo smiled softly at him. "You had no choice."

"Neither did you."

"No," Viggo agreed. "But I am an old man, and used to following the will of the Force. You are young, and should have choices."

"As Jedi, we must all follow the will of the Force."

"What do you fear?" Viggo asked again.

Orlando relaxed into the Force and let it bring him the answer. "This," he said, waving between them to indicate the bond. "Never being able to leave you." His voice dropped to a whisper. "Your death."

"The thought of leaving you terrifies me," Viggo admitted. Orlando could feel Viggo letting his shields thin and drift away. He started to let his own shields thin, and Viggo leaned in to kiss him. The bond shivered with their shared desire and need.

"No!" Orlando jumped up. "I'm sorry. I can't. I'm not ready." He hurried out of the gardens, feeling Viggo's hurt, feeling the bond try to pull him back to comfort him. He tightened his shields as much as possible and kept going.
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Yesterday I read Phantom Menace fic, Part 7 of bec's "Innocence Stolen" in which Atti calls Orlando "OB," and Part 6a of Julie's "Reflections in Blood" in which Ian reveals to Viggo that he's a wizard. There's a Phantom Menace AU out there somewhere where, if I remember it correctly, Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon meet while Qui-Gon is eating with Mace Windu and Obi-Wan comes in with his Master. Ian McKellen used the Force in my dream last night. All of this got jumbled up in my mind and coalesced into the following snippet.

An eddy in the Force made Viggo look up. A tall, older man he recognized as Master McKellen came in with a younger man he was sure he'd never seen before.

"Who is that with Master McKellen?" he asked his dinner companion.

Sean glanced at the door. "His padawan. You've never met him?"

Viggo shook his head, his eyes never leaving the man at Master McKellen's side.

Sean snorted. "He is your type isn't he?" He waved at Master McKellen, who made his way over to them with his padawan following close at his heels. "Ian, good to see you." Sean gestured to Viggo. "Master Viggo Mortensen. Viggo, this is Master Ian McKellen and his padawan, Orlando Bloom."

Viggo stood and sketched a bow. "I don't believe I've had the honor of meeting you."

Master McKellen's eyes twinkled. "I don't believe you have." He gestured to his padawan. "Sit, Orlando."

Orlando did as he was told. "I am honored to meet you, Master Mortensen. You are Henry's father, aren't you?"

Viggo shivered as the boy's voice washed over him. "Yes, I am. Do you know Henry?"

Orlando nodded. "We've done some training together. He's a good kid."

"He is," Viggo agreed. He watched Orlando eat and tried to catch the patterns of the Force flowing around them. He let the rhythm of the conversation Sean and Ian were having lull him into a light meditative state. He could feel the Force currents flowing around him, and around Orlando. Tendrils of the Force twined around them, between them, tightening around them. The realization of what was happening jerked Viggo out of his meditation, and he gasped for air.

Ian frowned at him and tested the currents of the Force. His eyes widened. "What are you doing?"

"I'm not doing anything," Viggo protested. "The Force--"

"The Force does not have a will of its own."

"Of course it does."

Sean narrowed his eyes. "Viggo. What have you done?"

"I haven't done anything," he insisted.

"He's attempted to bond with my padawan," Ian contradicted him.

"He did not," Orlando said, meeting Viggo's eyes across the table. He glanced at his master and shrugged. "It was the will of the Force."

Sean shot Viggo a disapproving glance, which quickly dissolved into a grin. "You cause more trouble than any Jedi I've ever known."

Viggo snorted. "I'm not the one with three children in the créche making the créche masters old before their time."

Sean frowned and focussed his attention on Orlando. "Not you too."

Orlando started guiltily. "Master Bean?"

"You're reaching out to him just as much as he's reaching out to you." Sean sighed deeply. "Ian, my old friend, I think it's best if we guide this into being before it just happens."

Ian's lips twitched as he tried to contain a smile. "I do believe you're right." He turned to his apprentice. "Can you and Master Mortensen refrain from forming a bond until we are finished with dinner?"

Orlando flushed. "Yes, Master."

"And you, Master Mortensen? Do you think you can keep your mind separate from my apprentice's until we have had time to eat?"

Viggo bowed his head. "Of course, Master McKellen."

Ian snorted. "I knew you were going to be trouble," he said to Orlando. The affection ringing clearly in his voice took the sting from his words.


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Ruth Sadelle Alderson


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