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What Changed

Pairing: (Sean Astin / Christine Astin, mentions of others) - LOTR RPS/RPHet
Rating: PG-13
Author: MSilverstar
Date: April 12, 2003
Feedback: yes please! also constructive criticism of any kind.
Disclaimer: not true, I made it up
Archive: yes, go ahead, please let me know
Warnings: Het, crack!fic
Notes: Thanks for great betas by Rhiannan and Andrealyn

What Changed

The day after the premiere of The Return of the King, the Astins threw a 'Bilbo's Birthday Party'. Sean and Christine were great hosts, the plates and drinks were full, the music just loud enough, plenty of games for the kids.

They made sure that everyone was finding friends, that no one could sulk by themselves for more than a few minutes without the person they most wanted to see appearing before them. The hosts sparkled with pleasure that day, basking in the success of the movies and the party. Sean was so proud of Chris, seeing her happy with his friends, overcoming the jealousy that had so stressed their relationship back in New Zealand. She was more beautiful and sexy than ever. She spent a long time talking with Liv and Miranda; flirted with Sean Bean, even danced with Orli and Dom, laughing with them. His Chrissie was blossoming, smiling and talking everyone, not scared any more of Ian or Peter.

Sean thought about her, and couldn't stop thinking. She had been a lot sexier lately. Without losing weight or changing her clothes: she just walked different or something. He had assumed it was the kids getting older, but now he wasn't sure. She'd started teasing him more, touching his neck or nuzzling his back, and become much more active in bed. She'd finally started liking oral sex, and he got to go down on her as much as he'd always wanted, enjoying her mouth on his cock as well. She didn't like swallowing but he didn't need that. And why did she keep messing around with his nipples? They weren't sensitive like hers -- he felt odd and only a little sexy, but she did it all the time.

The party was winding down, and the ones who stayed late were the most involved: the nine of the Fellowship along with Miranda, Liv, Hugo, Cate, David and Karl. They all knew it might be the last time together and wanted to mark the occasion. Chris was there, quietly sitting in a corner, watching the teasing and the care among them. The younger hobbits were tangled in a pile at Sean's feet, Viggo and Cate stretched out on the floor by the fireplace. Orlando jumped from lap to lap before curling up on Hugo. They talked about their projects, hashed over various old jokes, admitted playing pranks, argued about the final edits on the films.

They drank a little more, relaxed a little more, revealed themselves, discussed love affairs in New Zealand and afterwards. When Sean Bean and Dave revealed their fling, Dom seemed to think it was equivalent to incest. It was intimate, honest: most of them confessing what the others hadn't known. Apparently Karl had got it on with almost all of them: he had seemed so innocent! No one judged or condemned, but the sexual tension in the room grew as everyone got a little drunker.

They barely heard Chris get up, but as she left the room, all their eyes moved to her.

Viggo quietly said, "That's one hell of a woman, Sean". And they all breathed more smoothly and laughed a little.

"Watch out, someone's going to make a move on her soon," said John, and something in his voice told Sean that he might have done so already.

"She has been more, um, affectionate lately," he admitted.

Elijah said, "She's been looking at us in a different way, too, less jealous, more, like, considering."

Sean was confused. Why was she looking consideringly at his friends? Who was hitting on her? What had changed in the last few months? It couldn't be just the kids growing up a little. She'd been online a lot lately, closing her browser when he got near, not reading him the funny bits out loud any more. She seemed sexier on those nights, and kept doing that damned nipple thing.

The conversation was continuing without him. He heard Ian's rich voice saying, "Christine has finally made her peace with my sexuality," and Sean finally understood.

"Oh shit, she's discovered RPS!" he said and ran after her, hearing the shocked laughter and babble of surprise behind him.

He found her in the kitchen, quietly cleaning up. "Chris," he said, "what have you been reading about us?" He heard her gasp, and saw the blush wash over her face and neck. When she didn't answer, he went over, put his arms around her and held her tightly. "It's OK", he said, "as long as it doesn't hurt you".

"I don't read the ones about you and Elijah," she said, "but the others are really... erotic".

"I know," he answered and she twisted around to look at him. He felt himself blushing and had to explain, "it's impossible to ignore them".

She murmured, "I wish there were more with women," and kissed him, pouring all her desire into the act.

"Let's just say goodnight," he suggested, and they walked together to their friends.

As they entered the room, all eyes were on them and their faces were not the only red ones. Chris took a deep breath, surveyed them, and said, "You really are the sexiest cast in the world." And holding Sean tight, she drew him away.

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