Fandom: Celebrity RPS
Pairing: Orlando Bloom/Sean Bean
Challenge: AU Orlibean. Sean is hired to kidnap Orlando who he assumes is a spoiled rich kid who turns out to be anything but, when the ransom isn't paid the order comes down for Sean to kill him. It's a race against time to get them both to safety. Written for amygirl's request at the_challenger.
Summary: Sean's little brother has a taste for the ponies but no talent when it comes to choosing winners, and owes a local gangster a lot more money than he can come up with. Sean agrees to do an "easy job" in payment of the debt -- kidnapping a spoiled young punk named Bloom and hanging on to him while the gangster gets a ransom from the lad's family. It should've been a simple job, but then things started to get complicated.
Disclaimer: I don't own anyone you recognize. I know nothing about their social lives or sexual activities, more's the pity. This is fiction, period. It is done as a labor of love and I make no money from it.
Previous Chapter: One
Sean hadn't planned on sitting up all night to nursemaid a kid who'd had his head rattled. He might be concussed, though, and he'd probably been drinking before the fucking in the alley and Sean remembered something about alcohol being a bad mix with concussions. It depended how bad it was, of course; he'd had his own head thumped a few times in his day and he'd come out none the worse for it, but for whatever reason the Bloom lad gave the impression of being more fragile than Sean himself or any of his mates.
The old ideas about the differences between the nobility and the common rabble bobbed to the surface of his thoughts and he snorted. Fragile, delicate, unsuited to manual labor. Tough enough with a sword or a pistol, at least in the old days when all that had meant something, but quick to cry "gentle breeding" whenever there was real work to be done. Sean's ancestors had been the ones guiding the plow and shaping the sword, while Bloom's ancestors had been the ones sipping tea and collecting taxes.
The "upper class twit" was another image of the nobility, albeit a more modern one. And from what he'd seen, the lad wasn't long on brains, that was for certain. What sort of bloke who had even half a brain in his head would let his lovers treat him the way Bloom was treated?
On the other hand, the lad he'd seen letting lovers use him and toss him away without even a peep of protest didn't precisely square with what Merriwether'd said about him being a spoiled little snot, either. He'd have expected one of that sort to be throwing tantrums if his every whim weren't catered to.
Sean soaked the tea towel in the bowl of cold water one more time, rinsing the blood out of it, then dabbed the last of the dried-on mess off the lad's battered forehead. It was swelling already and he could only hope all the swelling was on the outside and not on the inside. If he ended up needing to haul the lad in to hospital he'd be in a right mess.
He set the basin and towel aside on the battered chest of drawers, then moved to the foot of the double bed and pulled the boy's shoes off. They were expensive trainers from some Yank company with a fancy suede label stitched on. He was half expecting them to have lights or wheels or whatever the hell the kids with too much money and no sense had on their shoes nowadays, but they were just normal shoes.
The jeans came off next, baggy things belted low on his hips so the top of his drawers stuck out for a good handspan. Sean snorted and tossed them over the back of the wooden chair in one corner. The baggy T-shirt didn't look too uncomfortable so he decided to leave it
He replaced the blanket and walked back out to the living room while glancing at his watch to note the time. He'd wake the lad up in a couple of hours just to make sure he could. Now, though, it was time to call Merriwether and let him know he could get on with the business end of things.
By noon the next day, Sean had discovered a couple of things. First, that the Bloom kid was groggy and pissy when woken up, every time. Second, that he himself wasn't really cut out for sitting about in a strange place with a bloke he'd kidnapped with nothing to do but wait on someone else.
Oh, and he'd also learned that the fridge didn't work. Which was just bloody wonderful, 'cause they had bugger-all in the cupboards and it gave him one more reason to hope Merriwether would speed things up.
Sean was playing solitaire with a greasy deck of cards he'd found in a drawer. It was missing the four of clubs, but one managed with what one had and he'd even won a couple of games by simply granting himself the missing card whenever a slot for it came up and otherwise getting on with the game. He was sitting there wishing the ace of hearts would show up some time when he heard a thready voice calling from the bedroom.
With a detour into the kitchen for a glass of water and two more pills, Sean headed into the bedroom. The lad had squirmed up into a sitting position against the wall at the head of the bed and was cocking his head as though trying to listen.
"Bert?" Bloom shifted and moved his still-cuffed wrists back and forth a few times. "Could you get me out of all this, please? I'm sorry but I'm a bit uncomfortable."
Sean smirked and asked, "Who's Bert, now?" letting his Northern dialect thicken slightly with some thought toward disguising his voice. "I didn't think your head got coshed all that hard." He moved over next to the bed and set the water down on the night table, then slid an arm behind the lad's shoulders, the pills in his other hand.
"Bert?" The kid shrank away, trying to put as much distance between himself and Sean as leaning would allow. It wasn't much. "Who are you? Where's Bert?"
"Never you mind about m'name," Sean said. "And I've no idea who Bert is but he was never here. Now, take some aspirin and I've got water." He tugged the boy closer, pressed the pills into his mouth, then reached behind him for the glass. Bloom tried to say something but cut himself off and swallowed the pills and water first.
He coughed, then leaned away again and said, "Bert was with me last night." He didn't sound quite so sure anymore and Sean noticed he was moving his head as little as possible while speaking in a low voice, barely above a whisper. "We met at the Dark Room and he brought me here, carried me in?"
Sean snorted. "Oh, you mean Mr. Leather Boutique? The twat who fucked you into the wall, then bashed your head into it and wandered off? That was Bert?"
"He...? Wait--" Even with his eyes covered, Sean could tell the lad was confused and trying to remember. "Bert hit me?"
"That he did." Sean noticed the lad flinch and lowered his voice. "I were watchin' from across the way. Bashed you up good. I brought you here m'self."
"Why? Who are you?"
"Whyever does someone get nabbed, lad? It's money, that's all. Bloke I work for, as soon as your da pays up, I'll get a call and we'll let you go good as new. Or at least as good as you were when I got to you -- the head is between you and your Bert."
The Bloom kid seemed to shrink into himself, his shoulders lifting and his knees drawing up a little farther. "What-- umm, what if my father doesn't want to pay?"
Sean cocked his head and scowled down at the huddled figure beside him. The question had never come up before and he didn't really want to think about it. "That's a daft question and you'd better hope you never need to know the answer."
A weak laugh was his only response.
Huh. Was the lad enough of a wanker that his own family'd let him rot with a gang of kidnappers rather than pay to have him back? Sean couldn't imagine such a thing, even if he was the conceited little prick he'd been reported to be, and actually Sean hadn't seen much sign of that. No judgement, aye that, and no taste in men at all, and from what Sean had seen while watching him and planning the grab he had a lazy, self-indulgent sort of life, all bars and clubs and what-not. The lad had probably never done a day's work in his life but Sean didn't think that was likely to be a major problem with that sort of family. Certainly not enough for them to abandon him the way he seemed to think they might.
And there was no sign of the demanding selfishness he'd expected. Of course, between the drink and the banging up, he likely wanted naught but quiet and sleep just then.
At least he had the brains not to whine about the cuffs or the scarf, now that he knew his situation.
Sean asked, "Yeh hungry?" even though he doubted he would be.
The lad said, "No, thank you." He paused a few seconds and "looked" away as though embarassed before adding, "I do have to use the loo, though."
Aaaand that was one more thing Sean hadn't thought through. Why couldn't Merriwether've found himself an experienced kidnapper, someone who'd just know all these things and not be left flailing about when they came up?
He growled a curse at himself. The kid shrank away even more and Sean reached out to pat his shoulder, if a bit awkwardly. "It's fine, I should've thought." He didn't answer and Sean stared at him for a bit and considered. Finally he said, "Look, now, the scarf is there for your protection as well as mine, yeah? If y'see me, if yeh can identify me or even describe me, then I'd have to kill yeh, right? I don't want to have t'do that and you likely don't want me to have t'do that either so if I let your hands loose can I trust yeh to be smart and not mess with the scarf?"
The lad nodded vigorously, then gasped in pain and stopped. "I understand and I promise," he whispered, still wincing.
"All right, then." Sean stood and helped the lad up. He was wobbly on his feet, like his balance was gone; that was likely the knock on the head. They made it to the loo and Sean helped him find the facilities. When Sean'd been in the room before he'd noticed that the window casing had been painted over at least once; he was sure enough that he'd hear any escape attempt in good time to dash in and haul the lad back inside that he left him alone to do his business, although he left the door open.
It took him a few minutes but Sean didn't hear anything alarming and by the time the boy called out for Sean to come fetch him, Sean was feeling more relaxed about having him free. Even moreso when he saw that the scarf was still in place and the lad had his back to him with his wrists held out, obviously expecting to be cuffed again.
Sean frowned down at the offered wrists, then said, "Hang on, I'll be back in one," and headed back out to prowl around the cottage, examining the furniture and fixtures. There was no good place, really, but if he moved the old stuffed chair over to the corner near the kitchen, there was that pipe running up the wall.... The cottage looked to've been built before things like electricity and running water were standard, at least in the countryside up there in Yorkshire, and it'd been modernized by running pipes and wires along the walls.
He went back to the bedroom and asked, "Do you need to lie down again or would you be good sitting up?"
"Umm, either way." The lad sounded a mite confused but wasn't fussing. "I can sit up if I need to."
"Y'don't need to," Sean said patiently, "but if yeh don't mind it then y'can sit in an armchair and I can just lock one wrist to a pipe on the wall. How's that, then?"
"That'd be just fine, thank you," Bloom murmured.
"All right, then." Sean guided him over to the chair with one arm around his waist, watching that he didn't run into anything on account of not being able to see nor topple over on account of being dizzy. He got him settled, turned the chair a bit so the pipe was in a good position, then cuffed his left wrist to it.
"There," he said, looking the lad up and down. "That should be better. Are yeh hungry yet? We don't have much, just some tinned stuff, but I can heat up some beans if you like."
Bloom was silent for a few seconds and Sean could imagine him trying to figure out just how he was feeling and whether or not anything he ate would come back up. Finally he said, "I should probably eat something, yes. Thank you."
Sean shook his head while heading over to the cupboard. This was the politest "rich snot" he'd ever run across. Not that he'd known many, but still. Not that he was complaining or anything, but it was odd. He didn't like odd, especially in this sort of situation.
Orlando sat in his chair and tried not to move his left hand too much. The cuffs rattled against the pipe whenever he did and he could just imagine the kidnapper glaring over at him, suspicious that he was trying to escape.
Not that he had much chance of escaping. He was frightened to death, and hurting and dizzy and still a bit sick to his stomach, and it was taking all his concentration to just maintain his cool, to not sink into a raving panic and start begging for his life. Because that was the only way he was going to come out of this alive, he just knew it; the idea that his father would actually pay any amount of money for his return was laughable.
The honest truth was that his father would like nothing better than to be rid of him. His mother might protest but she was firmly under her husband's heel and she'd stay silent no matter what he decided. He'd probably break out the champagne as soon as they got the ransom note or call or however kidnappers did it these days, and make her drink a toast along with him.
Eventually his captor would hear from his employer that there was no money coming and that would be that. Orlando had no idea what he'd do then. Aside from be murdered, at any rate. The man who was holding him seemed a decent sort of person, for a kidnapper, and he wondered if he'd actually be able to murder someone in cold blood, someone who'd never done him any harm. Orlando didn't think so, but he had to admit to himself that it was probably wishful thinking.
He had literally nothing to lose, though. He had to think of something soon.
Next Chapter: Chapter Three