I've had to deal with taxes, price changes at the shop, trying out a new product and trying to get the best deal on the products we get.
I haven't read anything, I didn't get to write anything and oh yeah! My mother-in-law is coming to visit in 2 weeks!
Is there anyone who could put me up for a while?
Title: Death Does Not Become Him
Warnings: supernatural. minor character death, talk of death, language, VERY DARK HUMOR
Summary: What if there were people who could see how, what of and when a person will die? What if one of those people was Orlando? And how does Sean fit into all this?
Disclaimer: None of this is true. I don’t own the guys. This pub was real, but not now. It didn't have the same problems. Johnny Depp and Geoffrey Rush did not own it.
Author's Note: Unbeta'd as my beta is on vacation.
Chapter 1, 2, and 3 - wherein Orlando is at the diner
Chapter 4 - wherein Viggo diaglogues with Orlando
Chapter 5 - wherein Sean makes dinner for Orlando
Chapter 6 - wherein Orlando takes a little ride
Chapter 7 – wherein Orlando ‘commandeers’ a vehicle
Chapter 8 - Wherein the detectives question Sean and Orlando
Chapter 9 - Wherein Orlando contemplates his next move
It was another packed night at the Cat and the Fiddle, Viggo mused as he watched the comings and goings of the patrons of one of only five true pubs in the Los Angeles area.
But then, it was a Tuesday. And Tuesdays and Fridays were always packed.
The pub was situated off Mulholland Drive in a quiet area and if you walked out onto the patio, you could see most of the urban grid lit up.
It served a wide variety of beer. Some of it was on tap. Some of it in bottles. Some was domestic and some imported.
Two pool tables were situated off to the side where you could wrangle a game with some of the bar dwellers and several dartboards located on the walls where you could always get a game on.
There were precisely two 42" plasma television screens. One was displayed on the wall next to one of the aforementioned pool tables and one next to the bar. A high quality sound system ensured static-free music could be heard piped throughout.
And the bathrooms were clean.
It was considered to be one of the most respected bars in the area and had been showcased in several newspaper publications and had a glowing review in Gourmet magazine during it's 'Pubs in the United States: Reality or Urban Myth?' spread.
However, this was not the main reason the place was so popular, particularly on Tuesday and Friday nights.
The Cat and the Fiddle was owned and operated by two partners. Johnny was in his mid-forties and wore his hair long while being held back in a bandanna. He considered himself a bit of a pirate.
Geoffrey - don't let him ever catch you calling him that since he preferred to be called Jeff - was in his mid-fifties and knew how to relate a bawdy tale or two. He fancied himself the actual owner of the bar since he owned precisely fifty-four and one half percent.
It was either one partner or the other, including a small support staff, tending bar, on any given night. The one would open the bar and stay til closing.
Except for Tuesday and Friday nights.
These were the two nights the men decided to share the bar. One would come and open and run it for the first half and the other would run the second half and close.
One never knew which night one or the other would be available and no one ever knew who would open and close on those two chosen nights a week but one always knew, if they were a regular patron, of course, who exactly was tending bar that night by the music currently playing over the expensive sound system and the movie playing on mute on the plasma screen next to the bar.
As Viggo entered the bar with Orli and his mates, he could hear the sounds of 'Little Old Lady from Pasadena' wafting across the bar. The older man need not look up at the screen to know what movie was playing.
"Surfer music! It's Johnny tonight!" Dominic exclaimed enthusiastically.
Viggo and Orlando took one disgusted look at the movie on screen and turned from the sight.
"You'd think the daft bastard would be sick of this movie by now, yeah?" Orlando groaned.
"Oh! I love this part!" Billy exclaimed as he watched the scientist on screen decapitate the dean with a shovel.
"You've seen this bloody scene like...a thousand times! Isn't it getting old by now?" Orlando yelled over the surf music.
"But it's a classic!" Dominic pouted.
If there were surf tunes that could be heard and if the movie Reanimator was on screen, Johnny was tending bar.
Jeff loved music from the 70's, pop mainly. If one could hear 'Brandy' and 'Brand New Key,' you automatically knew your server tonight would be Jeff. Despite his love for the Bard and classical literature, he was a major fan of any movie made by John Carpenter. It was rumored that Kurt Russell had made a surprise visit to the pub about fifteen years back and had sat at the table closest to the kitchen door. The table had been roped off and sat as a shrine. The plaque, dated 1993, nailed onto the shiny table top simply read KURT RUSSELL SAT HERE.
Geoffrey had asked Johnny to have the plaque crafted with something tasteful and enduring.
He had never forgiven Johnny his attempt at humor.
Just as Viggo had reached the bar with the boys, the song changed to 'Surf City.'
"Oh I love the Beach Boys!"
Viggo turned his head to look at the girl he had brought in with him.
"This is Jan and Dean sweetheart," Viggo smiled.
"Jan and who? Why are they singing a Beach Boys song?" the blonde asked as she tilted her head to the right.
"Hey look! That's just like Snyder!" Elijah giggled.
"Quit it," Billy admonished as he elbowed his friend.
Viggo patted the girl's hand. "That's cute. No dear. This isn't a Beach Boys song. Jan and Dean were a group around about the same time as the Beach Boys. This is their song."
The girl tilted her head again. "Do they know that the Beach Boys stole their music?"
Viggo sighed heavily as he had to remind himself why he had picked up Sandy...or was it Cindy...or Sarah? The numbers that went through his head when looking at her were most definitely not her IQ score but the numbers 36-24-36 and yes, in that order.
"Here, why don't you go and sit down at the table over there. We'll be by in a bit with some drinks," Viggo said as he pointed across the room.
Viggo watched as the shapely young woman made her way to the table. "Don't tell me, you like her for her mind," Orlando droned as he faced the bar, trying to get Johnny's attention.
"I asked her if she wanted to see my sketchings," the older man chuckled, "she said, and I quote, 'awesome! I have like five pair of those sneakers too!'"
Orlando scoffed, "I guess at your age, beggars can't be choosers...or some shite like that..."
"Hell, at my age, I'm surprised I can still get it up," Viggo quipped. "Hey Johnny! Put tonight's rounds for my friends here on my tab. I'm feelin a might generous."
"That's cuz he's gettin laid tonight," Dominic said as he pointed to the blonde sitting at the table. "What the fuck's she doing mate?" the young man asked with a frown.
Viggo looked over at his date. She seemed to be pointing at objects on the wall and doing a mental tally. "Counting sconces."
Johnny walked over to Viggo and Orlando. The music had changed once again and the unmistakable riff could be heard.
Billy and Dominic grinned at each other, laughed and uttered the word "Wipeout" at the same exact time before jumping onto the bar countertop and dancing as if they were surfing in a Gidget film.
"Off the fucking bar you two!" Johnny scolded as he used his bar rag to shoo the young men off.
Viggo had laughed at their antics, making a mental note that Orlando had most definitely not joined them as he usually did.
"Not up to dancing tonight?" Viggo asked his young housemate.
"Huh? What?" Orlando asked distractedly. "No." He watched as Orli grabbed a hold of the mug of beer Johnny had put in front of him.
"Hey man," Johnny said as he approached Viggo and Orlando, "I'm glad you two are here tonight."
There had been many rumors surrounding the man standing before them. Some say that he really was a pirate and had come across the money to go into business by less than savory means. Another vicious rumor, no doubt started by Geoffrey in one of his 'moods,' that Johnny had been one of the Manson kids. These are the kids that had been picked up from the Manson ranch back in the late sixties after the cult's famous killing spree and then distributed back into the mainstream population via adoption.
It had been a cruel joke kids had taunted other kids about in elementary school in the seventies. It had always been one thing to question your parentage but another altogether to assume your parentage was homicidal.
Of course, that rumor was never substantiated. In fact, Viggo knew the rumor to be downright untrue when Johnny's parents had paid a visit to the bar two years ago.
His father, simply put, was Johnny's clone.
Viggo still wasn't too sure about the pirate rumor though.
Orlando and the older man watched as Johnny looked around nervously before focusing on both of them.
"What's up mate?" Orlando asked, taking a long gulp of his beer.
"I was listening to the White album," Johnny started.
"Backwards?" Orlando asked.
"Of course," the man shrugged.
Johnny was known to listen to all the Beatles albums backwards. He had claimed he was getting closer and closer to the message contained therein.
The other thing most people needed to know about Johnny was that he wasn't all there.
"And I think I finally cracked it," the man said excitedly, wagging his finger as if to emphasize his point. "Finally...," he said again, a manic gleam in his eye.
Dominic and Billy, who had been standing nearby, leaned over to listen in. Elijah was happily bouncing to the music.
"It was either 'Eliminate Oprah' or 'Eat more okra,'" Johnny smiled.
Everyone looked back at Johnny, nobody saying a word. Viggo cleared his throat. "Johnny..."
"No man, it's okra I bet," Billy piped in. "The Beatles didn't even know Oprah back then. That would have meant they were...what's that word Dommie?"
"Clairvoyant," Dominic supplied.
"Yeah that," Billy nodded.
"It's like they share the same brain," Orlando quipped.
"They would have had to been clairvoyant and if they were, they would have seen that whole Yoko Ono thing coming. Trust me, it's okra," Billy smiled.
Johnny nodded his head a couple of times. "You are a wise, wise man. I never thought of that. Is okra good for you?" he asked, his brows furrowed.
"Yes, yes it is," Viggo said matter of factly. "And you know," he continued, "everyone knows that Paul was and is a vegetarian."
As long as it kept Oprah safe, he would tell him okra would open up the mysteries of the universe if you smoked it in just the right way.
"He was a visionary, he was. Okay, then," Johnny said and went to the other end of the bar to wait on a customer.
"Well, I guess that's it then," Billy smirked, joining Dominic and Elijah as they moved over to the dart boards to see if they could get in on a game.
Orlando turned back to the bar and looked up at the screen as the tall decapitated body held it's own head over the naked woman's lower region.
"That's so gross," Viggo sneered in disgust.
"Yeah, I always thought a guy going down on a girl was bloody disgusting too," Orlando snarked as he took a sip of beer.
Viggo laughed while he regarded his best friend. There was no easy way to bring up what he needed to address with Orlando but to be blunt. The young man appreciated it more that way.
"So...you think he's safe?" Viggo asked.
"Johnny? I don't know mate. I mean...I'm amazed the poor wanker can get outta bed in the morning. As for Oprah? I know she's safe. I saw her just this afternoon on the telly and she still dies from a tragic dieting experiment..."
"I'm talking about Sean," Viggo prodded.
"Oh," Orlando pouted and turned toward his beer. "Yeah, for now," he nodded.
"Talk to me."
"What's there to say..."
"Look at me," Viggo said as he turned Orlando's stool toward him. "What the hell could possibly be keeping you from talking to him? If you were trying to warn him that his driver's license was about to expire, I could understand," Viggo ranted, "but this is a bit more important, you think?"
"Look! He's safe now, yeah?" Orlando yelled then looked around and lowered his voice. "I had another vision. It happens in his house again..."
"You saw how it happens?"
"No, I just saw him lying on his living room floor...I didn't see it happen...but that's where he'll be found," Orlando said, his voice getting smaller, looking away with a pained expression on his face.
"Okay, and you haven't told him because?"
"He's at the firehouse for the next four days! As soon as he gets back, I'll stay with him..."
"What about when you can't..."
"I'll stay with him...I'll take the time off from work. I'm allowed some time," Orlando grimaced.
"Or, I dunno," Viggo pondered, "you could just tell him."
"No! We just need to get through this...this thing..."
"This thing?!?!" Viggo exclaimed incredulously. "This thing is not some mood swing he'll outgrow or something. It's about his..."
"I know what it's sodding about!" Orlando yelled and turned to his beer again. "Should you really leave Cathy by herself over there?"
"Cathy?" Viggo asked.
Who was Cathy?
"The sodding bird you brought with you," Orlando shouted.
"Is that her name?" Viggo asked in confusion.
"Oh bloody hell! Can't you even remember their fucking names any fucking more old man?!?!"
"Actually, no," Viggo shrugged. "Why won't you tell him?"
"Not now Viggo, please?"
"Why? Don't you trust him?" the older man continued.
He wouldn't drop it. It was too important. He refused to let this incredible young man climb back behind the walls he was quickly erecting again to protect himself. And who was this Sean anyway? Was he someone Orlando couldn't trust?
If that were the case, then Sean didn't deserve him.
But he knew without a doubt that if Orlando didn't do something to prevent his murder, he would live with the guilt forever.
"Yes...no...I don't know!" Orlando exclaimed in defeat before his Blackberry rang. "Hold a tick," he said as he answered the phone. "Yeah...yeah...oh sod it all...I had that thing...yeah...yeah..."
Viggo watched as the young man continued to nod into the phone before he told the other person to 'hold a tick' as well and then punched some information onto the Blackberry's screen. He continued to watch fascinated as Orlando looked at the screen, his eyes roaming everywhere at once and one minute later smiled and shouted a triumphant "yes!"
"You there mate?...Yeah...so put it on the flight to Chicago leaving in about...half an hour...have it connect with the flight going to Miami...there should be an hour to spare...and then there's a smaller tourist flight going out of Miami two hours after that and it should reach the Keys by mid morning...okay? Yeah...sure...that's what they pay me the big bucks for...yeah...you too...the Cat and the Fiddle...yeah...Johnny's here...no sign of Jeff yet...yeah, should be...see you tomorrow too dude."
The older man sat in silence as he watched Orlando put the phone down.
This was Orlando's true gift. He didn't want to be known as the boy who could see when and where and how you died, but this.
His ability to orchestrate and command with little at his disposal but a small mobile phone armed only with an internet connection.
He made people think he was some lackey behind the scenes - someone who pushed boxes around and fit them into a truck while taking long breaks in between.
This is what he did. He made sure that all the pieces were in place so that someone who paid roughly $21.00 could get their important package or letter to someone on time in the next day or two. And he didn't do it for just one package a day but several.
The young man could look at the 'big picture' and know what to do.
This was his true gift and what Orli hoped people saw when they looked at him, not the freak who can see a future people usually didn't want to know about.
So why he wasn't getting a grasp of the 'big picture' now made Viggo wonder.
"Saved the day again?" Viggo smirked.
"The flight was canceled. They needed me to connect it somehow and make it right," Orlando yawned, taking another sip of his beer.
"You're very good at that."
"I'm a bloody miracle worker. Woo-de-fucking-do. Someone'll get their package on time," Orlando said dis-interestedly.
"It's important to someone," Viggo paused before continuing. "So the Sean thing..."
"No Viggo. Drop it, yeah? I'll figure something out, okay?"
Sometimes Viggo thought Orlando looked so lost. As lost as...
He didn't want to go there.
He took a look at Sandy sitting all by her self at the table. "Life is so easy for people like her," Viggo sighed.
Orlando scoffed. "Yeah. I envy her."
They both watched in silence as she watched as the water-ring from her drink made a swirly pattern on the table.
"But empty," Viggo added. "Don't ever forget that."
The older man knew he could add so many things to that statement. Things like, she'll never add up to your brilliance. She's a body with out a soul or any number of things.
But he didn't.
He didn't have to.
Because Orlando knew these things already.
So he decided instead to impart some words of wisdom.
"You know, Nietzsche said what doesn't kill you makes you stronger," Viggo smiled.
Orlando spit his beer out once more, threw his head back and roared with laugher. "Viggo...my man," he continued to sputter while wiping his mouth with his sleeve, "it's a good thing that little saying was at the beginning of the movie 'Conan the Barbarian' or you would never have known Nietzsche said it."
"Hey! Fine, but Nietzsche also said, 'what does your conscience say? — you shalt become the person you are.'"
"Actually, that was the Greek poet Pindar who first said it," Orlando smiled, "but I'm quite impressed," but before he could finish his thought, everyone turned as one a tall, well dressed man walked into the pub.
It was Geoffrey.
"Jeff, hey mate!" Orlando greeted as Geoffrey walked by.
"Orli, always good to see you. And Viggo," he nodded. The owner looked up at the screen, his face sporting a grimace of disgust as the horde of zombies took over the university hospital room while the almost naked blonde ran around in nothing but a man's shirt. "Excuse me gentlemen, I think it's time for something a little less gruesome...don't you think?"
Both men watched as Geoffrey made his way to the bar, Johnny having already gone into the storeroom for supplies.
"You think ole Jeff's idea of less gruesome might be 'Halloween?'" Orlando smiled.
Just then, Wallace, a regular who sat at the bar night after night, looked up and smiled. "I like Jamie Lee Curtis. Nice tits." The man hiccuped and saluted them with his beer.
"I think it'll be 'Escape from New York,'" Viggo said matter of factly.
"'Mmm...Adrienne Barbeau. Nice tits," Wallace said and saluted the men again.
All three men watched the final scene as the blonde woman on screen was bitten by a zombie, fell to the ground while her boyfriend ripped her shirt off to administer a green fluid to her heart.
"I like this blonde chick," Wallace said as he wagged his finger at the screen.
"Let me guess, nice tits?" Orlando asked, one eyebrow raised.
Wallace was a simple man and usually had only one thing on his mind.
"I agree with my man, Wallace here," Dominic said as he clanked his beer against the drunken man's sitting at the bar.
Then again, so was Dominic, Viggo mused.
All the men watched as Geoffrey inserted a new movie into the DVD player located in the cabinet under the bar. Once he was satisfied with that, he fiddled around with the sound system and the lyrical song 'Afternoon Delight' could be heard playing from the speakers.
Everyone looked up at the plasma screen as the credits came up for 'The Fog.'
"Jamie Lee Curtis and Adrienne Barbeau! Tits all around!" Wallace grinned from ear to ear. "Next round on me!"
"That'd be nice if the poor bloke wasn't dead broke," Billy whispered.
Everyone around the pub deserted their games of pool and darts and started to congregate around the bar, while people sitting at the tables, stay seated, anxiously awaiting for Johnny's arrival back into the main part of the bar.
"The music's changed...where's Johnny?" Elijah asked urgently.
"Give it time," Dominic smiled evilly.
"What the?!?!" could be heard shouted from the back.
"3...2...1," Orlando counted while biting his lip in anticipation.
"What the fuck!?! Couldn't you wait till I was at least in my fucking car?" Johnny started to yell.
"Don't give me," Jeff sputtered, "having that disgusting movie still playing..."
"What did you put...ahhh," Johnny nodded. "How predictable."
"Predictable you pathetic, wanna-be pirate?!?! Talk about predictable! At least I have a large repertoire of movies to choose from. You play the same fucking movie night after bloody fucking night..."
"It's a cult classic," Johnny pouted.
"Twenty years ago!" Geoffrey crowed smugly.
"And this music? What about this washed out, pop-bubble-gum, sex-hidden-in-the-lyrics...do you even know what 'Afternoon Delight' means?" Johnny shot back.
"What about you? Surf music!!!! You can't even bloody surf?!!?"
People watched as the arguing started to escalate.
It wouldn't be long now...
"Surfing is part of the mind man," Johnny said as he pointed to his temple. "It's more to do with up here. I'm surfing all day long up here man."
"Yes and if I put my ear up to your head, I'm sure I could hear the ocean," Geoffrey shot back.
"You know, I'm not the one who was creaming myself when that burn out, Kurt Russell, walked in here..."
"I will not talk to you when you start to tarnish the image of that man," Geoffrey said haughtily. "He's an amazing actor..."
Viggo winced as he realized the eventual conclusion was getting closer when the insults about Kurt Russell started. It wouldn't be long before the insults degraded down into...
"You know, Jeff, you'd make your mother blow him if he asked you just right," Johnny smiled.
...into their parentage, mothers specifically.
This of course, always opened Johnny wide open to the worst insults his partner could hurl at him.
"Speaking of mothers, how's Squeaky Fromme?" Geoffrey yelled at Johnny.
And that was it. The first fist that flew was Johnny's right into Geoffrey's face, which knocked him back several feet and landing on one of the tables that had been vacated quickly as soon as the patrons saw Johnny swing.
And that was all it took.
The main reason why the bar was always packed on Tuesday and Friday nights.
Because it led to total and complete anarchy.
It opened the floodgates so that the boys could be boys and let out a little steam.
Once one of the owners took the first swing, everyone either grabbed a bar stool or a bottle and a mass bar fight broke out.
No one cared who was right.
No one cared about what music played or what movie was showing.
They didn't care that they would be sore the next morning or that they would be sporting a black eye when it came close to closing time.
Viggo watched as a maniacal smiling Dominic took a swing at Wallace and Billy took a bar stool and dropped it over Tex, a 6'5 plumber who wore a Stetson hat even though he had grown up in Jersey.
He watched as Elijah, sweet angelic Elijah, jumped on the back of a fellow Angeleno while covering the man's eyes so he couldn't see straight.
He then looked over to where Orlando stood atop the pool table, holding a cue stick while stick fighting with a kid named Cole.
Viggo racked his brain trying to remember who it was that Orlando had dated that he had learned that skill from. He gave up and just looked at his friend.
He looked happy and didn't seem to have a care in the world.
There was no way he could take this fun away from him. For just this small moment in time, he would allow him his fun.
Then tomorrow, he would bring up the subject of Sean once again.
Maybe it was time to meet the man himself.
Viggo calmly grabbed his beer, downed it in one gulp and walked over to the table where Chrissy sat.
"So you wanna," Viggo burped, "sorry...wanna see those sketches now?"
"I dunno about sneakers," she squeaked as a fighting couple crashed landed onto their table, "but can we just go back to your place and fuck?"
"I like how you think," Viggo smiled. He had to laugh at the irony of that statement.
And with that, the older man walked out of the pub, oblivious to anyone else, his arm around the slim girl's waist.
This just wasn't his kind of scene.
After all, he was a lover, not a fighter.
There was a pub called The Cat and the Fiddle on Mulholland Drive back when I was in college but I think it's gone now.
Johnny Depp and Geoffrey Rush did not own it.
Re-animator was and is a cult classic and my college boyfriend was in love with it. I could only watch it twice, tops.
The scene with the disembodied head going down on Barbara Crampton was priceless.
Squeaky Fromme was one of Manson's girl/sex-slaves/puppet/etc...
That really was the cruel joke going around elementary school back in the early 70's. Yeah...ha ha ha...
I think that covers it...
I know this was a strange chapter, but I am setting my characters up here. That's why I gave you Viggo's POV. I'll post sooner now. :)