It’s just going to be the two of them this year. The two of them and Jesper, of course.
He has been longing for these two weeks for what feels like forever, for seemingly endless days and weeks and months. He has been longing for them since these last days of summer in London when he has last seen Viggo smile at him in person, and not via a wonky skype connection, when he has last not been waking up to an too empty bed.
It’s going to be two weeks off, two weeks away from everything, from their careers and agents, no phone in reach if they switch off their mobiles, no hassle with email, it’s just going to be the two of them, and Jesper and the sea.
On the very first day up here in the north of Jutland they have visited the coast in Skagen, where the Northern Sea meets the Baltic Sea; the sky overcast and the wind ice cold. They have had the whole beach to themselves, and Viggo has wrapped his arms around him and pulled him close, his nose cold against his own but his lips so very warm in contrast.
The little museum that Viggo has wanted to show him for years, with the images of grim fishermen staring at him, the raging sea captured in oil, and then the cup of strong black coffee that warms his still stiff fingers and Viggo’s smile, so close, so private, so unreserved.
The days are short but will get longer soon; it’s only a couple of more days. In the morning there is a pheasant that strolls up and down in front of their window, seemingly unfazed by the cold, and from the living room window Sean can see the waves piling up on the shore and watch the clouds chase each other over the sky.
The evenings are quiet, the fire is crackling in the stove, and Viggo is curled up next to him on the couch with his notebook, assigning words to memories, scribbling and scribbling and scribbling, his feet tucked under Sean’s thigh while he is reading. In Spanish now, and the worlds of Marias and García Márquez and then Zafón unfold in front of his eyes and he can’t stop, his pulse is flying with his heart as he turns page after page after page. In the afternoons Viggo reads for him, it’s not about the stories then, but about the way his lips form these sounds, and he loses himself in his voice while the timid winter sun catches in his hair, grey as the mornings, white as the frost.
Viggo is cursing softly from where he sits hunched over his ambitious building project, it’s a miniature of the old farm house they have rented, and the gingerbread walls keep coming down. Sean watches him in silence for a moment, a smile tugging at his lips, and then he lowers his book and walks over to sit down next to him. He holds out patiently while Viggo murmurs soft directions in languages that he sometimes doesn’t understand, his fingers covered in sugary glue. He leans in to lick a smear of icing from Viggo’s cheek and, instantly, he turns towards him and catches his lips. He tastes of gingerbread and salt licorice and coffee and almost, almost Sean abandons the drying parts of the little house to pull him closer.
Viggo’s feet are cold against his own, he has been dawdling in the bathroom, the cold tiles leaving their imprints on his skin, and he takes them into his hands and rubs them until Viggo all but launches himself at him and kisses him and a little while later they both are anything but cold. In the morning there will be fern frost on the window panes where their moans have cooled off during the night.
The wind is biting his skin and he can’t hear a word over the storm although Viggo seems to be shouting at the top of this lungs. Yet, he would not want to be anywhere else right then. He loves it, loves every chilly second of it. He loves to watch the wild winter waves hit the beach, loves to watch Jesper chase the one seagull that is brave enough to face the wayward gusts of wind and then chase Viggo, and he loves Viggo’s smile, so bright, so very bright in the slowly advancing Danish dusk.
There is snow then, lots and lots of snow, and from the bedroom window he watches it cover the dunes in soft layers of white, fascinated, with Viggo’s arm wrapped around his waist and his chin resting on his shoulder.
Jesper leaves a few hesitant footprints on the snowy yard before he retreats into the warmth of the kitchen to ponder over his changed surroundings while Viggo stacks snowballs around a small storm lantern that holds a candle, reviving childhood memories, and in the evening the small flame lights up the snow in a warm light and Sean just can’t take his eyes off it.
Of course, he is missing his girls. He has always been home for Christmas. Against all odds, against filming schedules, flight schedules and ever changing family constellations. He has always been in London, with them, where else would he have been? But when Viggo has proposed this in summer, tucked into his side at night, tentatively voicing his yearning to spend time with him and only him, he has asked them. Haltingly, hesitantly, not wanting to disappoint them. But he has been met with an identical warm, sincere smile all three times. He is going to call them, and it’s going to be fine, there will be time for them, too, in London, at home, when he comes back.
But this time now, it’s just for the two of them.