NOT LOOKING FOR LOVE by ELF+NUT & TERRI
Disclaimer: Not ours. The real ones at least. Just wild imaginary spinnings.
Summary: Hmmm, about technophobes and friends who mean well.
TERRI: I just want to thank Elf+Nut for asking me to do this with her. It has been a pleasure in writing this creation and I hope you all enjoy it immensely! Also thanks to Caryn, our unfailing beta, who had a great task ahead of her.
CLAUDIA: I am very fortunate to get amazing people to write with me. Thanks Terri, You rock!! Thanks to CJ for betaing (bow to your patience, dearest!) and all my love to the girls.
The three young men who straggled into the apartment were exhausted beyond their years, but managed to fire a few parting comments to one another as they flopped down on the couch.
Dominic, Billy and Orlando had just come from another press junket for the Two Towers, and were now crashing at Orlando's place.
Since he was filming already in LA, Billy and Dom planned to stay with him rather than finding solace in a hotel room. Dom was dead tired, the jet lag from the flight in from New York getting him. Billy was sunburned from filming in Baja California, and Orli was totally beat.
The schedule at Disney was murderous, and he hadn't taken a break in a long, long time. Even now, he was about to sign the contract for his next picture with New Line.
“Hey mates, I am turning in until I am on LA time. Then I’ll be able to get my next jet lag on my way back,” said Dominic, crawling towards the guest bedroom.
Orlando just lay there, watching his friends. He had a cold, he was dead on his feet, and he felt awfully fed up with everything. Maybe if he managed to have one day off with the guys ...
Billy forced himself to sit up and reach for the backpack he had left in the apartment before they had gone to the promotion. He drew his PC-Notebook out and turned to Orlando.
“Care to lend me yer phone line for a bit, mate?” he said.
Orlando couldn't believe it. “You are going to work on your PC now? Are you daft?”
Billy gave him a sleepy smile and a shrug. "Gotta keep in touch with the other side of the world, mate. What do ye say?"
"Sure, knock yourself out." Orlando watched as Billy pushed himself wearily off the couch and crawled underneath a table nearby to get to the phone jack. He couldn't understand what all the fuss was about with those bloody things. He would just as soon sit on one than actually touch it.
In no time Billy had the PC up and running, logging on the Internet to check his e-mail. "Great...Yahell is gonna be a pain in the arse tonight."
Orlando frowned. "Yahell? What’s that?" "Me fond nickname for me e-mail provider."
"Whatever," he mumbled, his mind scrambling when it came to computerese. Orlando closed his eyes, thankful to not be moving for a few minutes at least. He must have dozed off, for when he opened his eyes again, he found Billy intently reading something on his computer and the clock signaling that it was two hours later.
"I can't believe you're still on that." Billy looked up, startled to hear Orlando actually speak.
"Yeah, well I found somethin’ interestin’."
"For a woman."
Orlando's brows came up as he became fully awake.
"Why the bloody hell are you reading an ad for a woman? Surely you're not that desperate, Bill."
"Not for me. Just in general. I always wondered about 'em. Pretty interestin' stuff."
“Like what?" Orlando asked, moving closer to see the screen that Billy was staring at so intently.
"Well this one here is pretty good. 'Wanted: Man To Light My Fires'. Sounds like she's right up yer alley.”
Orlando scowled at him in agitation. "Oh fuck off."
Billy laughed and scrolled down the page. "How 'bout 'Looking For Romance'? Yer a romantic, aren't ya, mate? This might be the one!"
Orlando sighed and sank back on the couch. "I've given up on 'the one', Bill. I'm convinced she's just not out there. And even if there were somebody, I am just too bloody tired and busy to go looking.”
Billy glanced over to see the somber look on his face, before Orlando shook off the mood.
"I'm going to bed. Don't burn your eyes out staring at that screen so long."
"I willna. Night."
Billy watched Orlando wearily track his way to his bedroom, his shoulders slumping as if the weight of the world were on them. He had noticed that Orlando was looking worn out lately, but it didn't hit him just how much till now. The kid needed a long, extended break. Or maybe...maybe he needed someone to take care of him instead. Not one of the frantic fans throwing themselves at him, but maybe someone normal.
Looking back at the screen, Billy smiled slowly as an idea formed in his head. Aye, a woman to care for him is just what Orlando needed...and Billy knew just how to find her!
Next day the three of them had the day off so they slept late into the morning.
The first one to get up was Dominic, and after getting himself a cup of coffee, he went to Billy's notebook and logged himself in. Billy had made an access for him on his PC back when they were in New Zealand, and Dom made use of it when he wanted to check his mail.
Orlando felt worse than the night before, if that were possible. But he got up as well, remembering his friends were there. When he found Dom at Billy's PC, he rolled his eyes.
“Can't any one of you survive without that bloody thing?”
Dom looked up. “Hey OB! I’m just checking my mail. Family and friends keep in touch this way, and it’s better than talking on the phone all the time. It’d be good for you as well if you got yourself an e-mail addy.”
“Why in the bloody hell would I do that?”
“Because it’s totally anonymous, accessible, and you could stay in touch with your sister and mum ...and friends, if you still have any left!”
“Sure I have friends, you wanker! Just the thought of having to manage that THING makes me nervous!” Orli said, while getting himself a cup of tea. “And what does it take to have an e-mail address?” he continued, remembering his mother's and Sam's frequent insistence upon the necessity that he have an official website online. The thought made him dizzy.
“It isn't much of a thing, OB. And you can delete it anytime you want. Wanna try? I'll show you ...” Dom said.
Orlando glanced at the computer again and shook his head slowly. "Not right now. I'll think about it later."
Dom nodded and went back to checking his e-mail. "Okay, just let me know and I'll help you."
Billy came shuffling his way into the kitchen, his eyes still sleepy and his face looking like a cherub's.
"Morn," he mumbled, making his way to where Orlando stood.
"What are ya talkin' about this early in the mornin'?" he asked, putting a cup of instant coffee in the microwave.
"Morning? It's noon, you ass," Dom laughed from where he still sat. Billy nodded, still not really processing what Dom had said. "Noon."
Dom and Orlando just smiled and shook their heads. It always took Billy a while to wake up in the morning.
"I'm trying to convince OB to get an e-mail account," Dom stated. Billy's eyes flew open.
"Account? E-mail account? Really? What makes ye say that? I mean, Orli, are ye really interested in one?"
Orlando frowned at Billy's sudden perkiness, and it wasn't due to the mug of coffee still in the microwave."Maybe."
"Oh...well, that's great!"
"What do you mean by that?" Orlando asked, suddenly wary.
"Well, nothin'. I mean, it could be nothin'. I just meant that it would be great for ya to have one and all, but I wasna sure if ye would really like one..."
"Billy, quit blathering and tell us what you're talking about," Dom shouted from across the room.
Billy winced and glanced over at Orlando. "I hope ye dinna get mad at me...but I sort of started yer account for ye."
“You did what, you bloody wanker?” Orlando shouted, while Dom rolled off the coach laughing so hard, he was crying.
Billy blushed. “Well, OB, I was surfing and we talked about it and then I thought ... I set up a mail account for ye. We can delete it if ye want.”
Orlando looked from Dom on the floor to the contrite Billy in front of him. What the hell? If he had an account, he could keep it and maybe use it or not. Anyway he was so tired he didn't care at all.
“I don't mind Billy. But I'd like you to ask before doing things in my name. What is the address? I'll give it to Sam and then you two computer whizzes can teach me how to check my mail ... if I do it, ever.”
Billy grinned at Orlando. “Well, I thought ye like yer privacy, and it had to be totally ye, and one ye wouldna forget so easily, and then…”
Dom continued rolling on the floor, but as he stopped to breath, he said to Billy. “Tell. mate. Just tell him.”
“OB, yer e-mail addy is I_hate_Internet@yahoo.uk.com. Yer password: wanker.” said the Scot with a huge grin, keeping his distance from Orlando.
By the time Billy had slowly inched his way toward the living room, Orlando's brain had kicked in as to what had been said.
"Billy! You bloody fuckwit! Come here!" And the chase was on. Dom had to jump off the floor before he was run over, so he stood on the couch instead and cheered Orlando on as he chased Billy around the room.
"Get the bloody tosser, Orli! Watch out for that lamp! You better run, Bill! He's on your arse!"
Billy and Orli both stopped dead in their tracks and turned to look at Dom. Dom stopped his yelling, knowing that he was in trouble when the two of them nodded to each other and then gave him an evil look.
"Hey, now. I didn't have anything to do with this...I was just lending my support...oh shit!"
He barely had time to jump over the back before Billy and Orli made a dive for him. Dom wasn't quick enough to get to the bedroom, before Orlando and Billy tackled him to the floor. They all wrestled around for a moment on the floor before they all fell onto their backs in exhaustion.
"Okay, you ass, if you set this up, then you better show me how to use the damn computer, "Orlando said after a moment.
"Yer gonna keep it?" Billy asked in surprise.
"I'll think about it."
"That's what ye always say."
After shared a quick breakfast, Dom and Billy took turns showing Orlando how to check Webmail from any public computer. There was not a chance in hell he would get himself one, so the Internet café was his best option of actually checking his mail. Orlando tried to remember all the details but it was too much. Especially when the information came in stereo. He got himself a piece of paper and a pen to write the details down about how to get to his mail. He wrote his e-mail address down as well, since it had those funny underscore lines in it, and Billy said it wouldn't work without them.
When they were ready, Orlando felt weary and wary, but he didn't say anything to avoid the teasing of his friends. He thought of the possibilities for his Mum and sister to write to him and he decided to give it a shot. For a while.
“Uh, Orli?” He looked up to see Billy standing beside him, looking a little guilty.
“What did you break now?”
“Nothin’. I do have a confession tae make.”
“I dinna just sign ye up for an e-mail account. I put an ad in the personals for ye too.”
“Funny, I could have sworn you just said you put an ad in the personals for me,” Orlando replied, his eyes narrowing.
Billy’s cheeks flushed with more red. “Aye, I did.”
“What the fuck did you do that for?!”
“Look, I was worried about ye being lonely! I’m sure no one will even answer, if it makes ye feel any better. It’s not as if I advertised that ye are the hottest thing to hit the market!” Orlando shook his head wearily.
“I’ve got one sentence for you, Bill, and I want you to listen to it closely. Get rid of it. Now!”
“That’s two sentences.”
Billy sighed. “I canna do that. I had to sign up for a month. I canna take it off till the month is up.”
Orlando stood to his feet and walked over to Billy, his eyes furious. “Get rid of it as soon as you can. I know you are worried about me, Billy, but I can take care of myself. You’re my friend, so I hope you won’t ever do this to me again.”