Fandom: Lotrips AU
Pairing: Elijah Wood/Orlando Bloom
Request: For knoifey_spoony, as part of the lotrips_fqf. The request is given at the end of the story.
Beta: Thanks to my wonderful betas, scotsnow, vegetariansushi and talesinbloom.
Disclaimer: Complete and utter fiction!
Notes: As Hannah Wood isn't a celebrity, please cast anyone you like to play her. My choice is Anna Paquin.
Dreams of a Distant Sun
Orlando lazed on the narrow sleep pallet, his golden skin hollowed by curved shadows in the semi-darkness. His lips were kiss-bruised and inviting, sweat-damp curls clung to his neck, and he smelled expensive, especially now that the heady scent of sex had been added to the mix. His gaze lingered on Elijah's face, as though Elijah was the most precious thing he'd ever seen.
Elijah had never picked up a john who'd looked at him like that before. It was disturbing in a way he couldn't quantify, and his hand crept to up to stroke the warm, reassuringly familiar metal of his pendant. "I should go."
Orlando watched Elijah's fingers, a sad little smile flickering at the corners of his mouth. "There's time yet. I don't have to report for duty until 0800." He reached over to the Fleet uniform scrunched up at the foot of the pallet, and dug something out of the jacket.
He slowly placed his hand between them and uncurled his fingers. Two red capsules sat on his palm--an offering of chemical bliss.
"Come fly with me," Orlando said, dark eyes full of invitation, shining with a seductive want that made Elijah burn.
It was just another ration-day:
Billy, Dom and Elijah loitered at the fringe of the milling crowd, waiting for the siren. As soon as it went, Dom moved in behind Billy, locking his arms around Billy's torso and clenching his hands tightly together. Elijah did the same to Dom so that all three of them were linked together in an unbreakable chain, and then, on Billy's command, they all pushed off, snaking their way through the now-frenzied mob.
Once they reached the Distribution Point, Billy palmed the scanner, and grabbed his allotted food packet when it slid out of the slot. With the smooth speed of much practice, he stuck the packet in the sling strapped around his waist and turned in Dom's arms, so that the food was pressed between their bodies. Then, chain still intact, they all edged back through the crowd.
"Oi!" came the cry from the spotter for one of the scavenger teams.
That was Elijah's cue to play rabbit. He immediately disengaged from the chain, pulled the decoy packet of used wrappers from the waistband of his pants and held it high above his head, clearly visible. Then he ducked and dodged, wending his way through the heaving, seething mass of people, leading the pack away from Billy and Dom.
It was a good system, Elijah thought, as he got to the edge of the crowd and began to run flat-out. They didn't always get the food packet back to the sleeping boxes safely, but most ration-days it worked. Most days, they ate. Which was more than could be said for the poor schmucks that had been left behind on Earth after the M.A.D. War and its tic-tac-toe of nuclear devastation.
Elijah ducked around a corner and barrelled straight into a kid--a ragamuffin girl clutching desperately at a half-eaten ratbar. They both went down hard, Elijah jarring his left knee as he landed. For a timeless moment they lay tangled together, staring at each other, and then Elijah yelled, "Run!" and pushed the kid in the direction he'd originally been heading.
With a wince, Elijah got up, gingerly putting his weight on his knee, relieved when it didn't buckle. Just as the scavenger-pack's runner turned the corner, Elijah lurched into a staggering run, heading away from the girl, and away from the safety of the maze of corridors near the Locks'n'Docks.
The pack caught up with him near the Recycling Centre. One of the goons grabbed the fake food packet without really looking at it and then casually punched Elijah in the head. They left him were he fell, kicking him in the ribs a few times on their way past--throwing air-punches and crowing in victory.
With his vision an ever-shrinking circle in a growing pool of black, Elijah managed to crawl under the dubious cover of a rubbish pile, just missing what smelled like a rancid pool of diarrhoea, before he passed out.
Elijah woke with a raging headache, a cubist lightshow in shades of red swirling across the insides of his eyelids. His first thought was--hangover--but when he cracked his eyes open and tapped his watch, the pale blue light of its LED didn't reflect off the familiar corrugations of his sleeping box. Instead, he was encased in a coffin-like tube, the inner surface of it slick, cold plastic beneath his searching fingers. Adrenaline surged through him, bringing with it his second thought--he'd been signed off as dead somehow, just like those coma-kids who'd come down with ratflu--and he opened his mouth to scream, clenched his fists to batter the inside of the coffin, anything to attract attention before his body was jettisoned into space with the rest of the rubbish.
His left fist made a dull, solid thud that he could feel all the way into his shoulder, and then, as the sound reverberated, making the throb of his head even worse, in quick succession he had his third, fourth and fifth thoughts--
--a refugee like him wouldn't rate a solid coffin, he'd just get a plastic bag, if that.
There was a cannula in his nose pumping out oxygen, a heat sheet keeping him warm, and a tube in his wrist pumping him full of a translucent liquid, all of which meant someone actually wanted to keep him alive.
He'd obviously been snatched. But why would anyone want him? He wasn't worth anything to anyone. None of the refugees on the temporary stations were. Except maybe to organ pirates--
--and that idea made him go cold all over, despite the heat sheet.
Elijah still didn't know what the hell was going on, but maybe attracting attention wasn't such a good plan after all. So he lay motionless and quiet in the coffin, trying to think, trying to remember how he'd ended up there... but the past was a hazy blur that throbbed in time with his headache, refusing to coalesce into meaningful patterns.
Hannah lay in her sleeping box, curled up in a nest of all the blankets they had. Her skin was very pale, her eyes glassy and over-large in her too-thin face.
Billy, Dom and Elijah sat in a little cluster a few feet away, periodically looking over at Hannah, worry written on their faces.
"I don't know what else to do for her," Billy murmured to Elijah. "We need medicine. Something stronger than the crap the so-called Emergency Room is dispensing."
Elijah's hand was white-knuckled around his pendant. "Maybe someone on the outside could help, if we could just get in touch somehow..."
"Who?" Dom asked, and then with a snort, "One of our johns?"
"No," said Elijah, impatient. "Someone like... like..." He shook his head, as though trying to make the words fall into place. "I know there's someone! There has to be!"
"There's fucking not, okay!" said Dom, and when Elijah looked like he was going to object, added, "Or we'd all be out of this shithole by now! We'd be in one of the decent spacestations, with decent quarters and decent food, and Hannah would be getting proper treatment instead of dying of the fucking ratflu!"
Elijah lunged at Dom, fist raised. "She doesn't have ratflu, you fucker! Take it back!"
Before the punch landed, Billy snagged Elijah around the waist and pulled him away.
"Stop," said Billy, holding Elijah tightly against his chest until he stopped struggling to get at Dom. "This isn't helping."
With a sigh, Elijah turned in Billy's arms, hiding his face against Billy's shirt. "I know," he said, sounding young and miserable, "but I can't lose her, Billy. I can't."
Dom moved closer to Elijah. "You have us, too," he offered.
But even though Elijah nodded, accepting the unspoken apology, all three of them knew it wasn't the same.
Orlando's skin was feverish and sweat-slicked beneath Elijah's tongue, but he wasn't pushing, not trying to hurry Elijah along, despite the pitch of his arousal. His hard-on jerked as Elijah's breath came a little too close, and he gasped, clenching his fists against his own thighs, body taut as a bow-string; and then, with a deliberate sigh, he forced his hands to relax again, encouraging Elijah with a soft, wordless sound to do whatever he wanted.
Elijah ran his tongue around the curved hollow of Orlando's navel, and the moan wrung from Orlando was all slow languor, his hips rolling beneath Elijah's touch with a deceptive ease, as though his cock wasn't aching with need. Elijah was in no hurry either, making each lick its own moment, unrushed and fully relished, until its memory compounded with the next swirl of suction, the next hint of teeth--the connection of throat and fingers, belly and lips creating an endless erotic collage of touch.
Finally, Orlando hooked a bony ankle over Elijah's ass, pulling him closer, as though unable to bear the thought of any space separating them; and when Orlando's eyes rested on Elijah's face they were full of light, as though, in his mind, the two of them were laid out under an open sky on a living planet, with the feel of wind against their skin and sunlight warming them through.
It was all there, burning in Orlando's eyes, easy to read, and when Elijah finally swallowed his flushed cock, Orlando moaned and moved beneath him as though his body had been trained to do this, trained to arch for Elijah--just so--trained to shiver and flex and thrust into Elijah's ready mouth. And when he came, fingers tangled tightly in Elijah's hair and a dove-soft cry on his lips, his come was easy to swallow down, tasting familiar, so familiar, just like Elijah's distant, time-worn memories of the sea.
It was just another ration-day:
Billy, Dom, Hannah and Elijah stood at the fringe of the milling crowd, waiting for the siren.
"Do you think it's true they drug the ratbars?" Dom asked. "To make us more sheep-like?" And he made a cross-eyed, dopey expression that actually looked surprisingly sheep-like.
"If they do," said Billy, "it doesn't seem to be working." He looked pointedly at the fist-fight going on a few feet away, between two rival scavenger teams.
Hannah winced as one of the tank-size goons broke another's nose in a spray of bright red blood. "Maybe the drugs do something else. Maybe they want us to fight. Maybe they're trying to get us to kill each other faster so they don't have to waste air on us anymore."
Elijah shook his head: "There aren't so many people left that they can waste us like that."
"Look around, Elijah," said Hannah, impatiently, waving a hand at the milling, disorganised crowd. "We're the dregs. As far as the Fleet's concerned, we don't have anything of value to offer the rest of humanity. They don't give a shit about us. This place might as well be our coffin."
Elijah couldn't really think of a reply to that, except for the obvious, Good point, but he was saved from having to concede the argument by the loud blare of the siren.
They silently formed into their chain and began snaking their way into the frenzy: Billy in the lead, Dom and Hannah in the middle, and Elijah on the end, ready with his rabbit-decoy of empty food packets tucked safely into his waistband.
He woke with a raging headache, red swirls of pain mapping the insides of his eyelids. When he reluctantly cracked an eye just enough to look around, the pale blue light from his watch showed a coffin-like tube, the inner surface of it slick, cold plastic beneath his trembling fingers.
Panic swamped through him as he realised he couldn't remember how he'd gotten there, couldn't remember where there was, couldn't remember anything at all, not even his own name.
Elijah had been trying to pull a john, having scored one of the rare temporary passes into the Locks'n'Docks, when a dark-haired man approached him as though they were best friends.
"Thank God!" the man said, sliding a warm hand along Elijah's shoulder and pressing a brief, soft kiss to his mouth. "I've been looking for you every time the Fleet's made port since I got my wings. I was beginning to think something had happened to you!"
Elijah lifted an eyebrow. The man looked like he had money, anyway, even if he was a ratbar short of a meal. So he was polite when he said, "I think you have me mixed up with someone else, John."
The john smirked. "Oh, ha ha, very fucking funny." He tightened his grip and pulled Elijah towards the restricted section of the Docks. "Come on, we don't have much time. They don't pay me enough to get you reassigned through official channels, but of course there's a black market," and he rolled his eyes, "so I can get you through customs and out to Tranquillity Station, but there's a pretty tight window." Then, with an apologetic look, "We'll have to get the others another time."
Elijah pretended to go easily, waiting until the john--who really didn't look like an organ pirate, but Elijah figured that would kind of defeat the purpose--had turned away. Then Elijah struck, kicking the guy in the back of the knee and making a dash for it as the john's grip reflexively loosened.
Elijah's head was thumping in a relentless drumbeat of pain when he finally stumbled back to Green Hangar.
Billy, sitting on sentry duty in the centre of their clustered sleeping boxes, spotted him straight away and got up to meet him half-way. He slung an arm around Elijah's waist and helped him walk in a straight line, not letting Elijah go until he was lying in his sleeping box, stiff wool blanket tucked around him.
Dom, lying down in the other box, pulled a face when Billy stepped away and he finally got a good look at Elijah's head. "Ouch. That's gotta hurt."
"How did it happen?" Billy asked, all business, dabbing gently at the wound with one of their few remaining antiseptic sachets.
Elijah shrugged, then winced as Billy pressed a little too hard. "I can't really remember. It's just one big foggy blur. I think there was a kid... maybe a decoy?"
Over his head, Dom and Billy exchanged a worried glance.
"Well, it doesn't look too bad," said Billy, tilting Elijah's head to check his pupils. "You probably just have a concussion."
Dom handed Elijah a ratbar. "We saved this for you," he said, and then, as though unable to keep the words back, "It's the last one."
"Fuck!" said Elijah, tiredly, and pushed Billy's hand away. "After all that, they got the fucking packet?"
"Don't fash," Billy said. "Dom's scored a pass for the Locks'n'Docks, and you know how good he is at picking up the rich johns. We won't have to wait for ration-day before we eat again." He took the ratbar from Elijah's unresisting hand and ripped it open. "Eat!"
Elijah took a reluctant bite. The ratbar was sweet and chemical tasting and had the texture of plastic. "Where's Hannah?" he asked, looking around the camp.
Dom looked at him blankly. "Who?"
"Hannah..." Elijah frowned. "My..." But even as he groped for the memory, it flitted away from him like a shadow into a moonless night.
"Found yourself a girlfriend, did you?" Billy said, with a wink. "Well, I guess that could work. We could do with another body on the chain-gang during ration-days."
Elijah carefully rolled the top down over the half-eaten ratbar and tucked it away. "No, I think it's someone I knew, you know," and with a wave of the hand to indicate long ago and far away, "before. Guess I hit my head harder than I thought."
Another worried look over his head, and Elijah abruptly turned away, curling up in the blanket. "I think I just need some sleep," he said, and after a moment of heavy silence, Billy backed out of Elijah's box.
"Sleep well then, Lij," Billy said, pulling Dom further into their own box, giving Elijah the pretence of privacy.
Elijah curled up even tighter, one hand clutching the warm metal of his pendant, until eventually, exhaustedly, he fell headlong into bright, half-remembered dreams of a distant sun.
It was just another ration-day:
They stood at the fringe of the milling crowd, waiting for the siren.
"Do you think it's true they drug the ratbars?" Dom asked. "To turn us into quiet little mice?" And he sucked his top lip back from his teeth and pretended to comb his whiskers.
"Mice?" said Billy, "Mice are not quiet. They're fucking noisy little bastards!" He had to shout to be heard over an exchange of increasingly lewd taunts going on between two nearby rival scavenger teams.
Noticing that one of the muscle-bound goons had started waving his fists around, Billy pointed at a spot a little further way, and they all shuffled over.
"Maybe the drugs do something else," Hannah suggested without much passion; she was turned towards the gangs, trying to hear all the colourful expletives still flying thick and fast. "Maybe it's illicit drug trials or whatnot. The Fleet doesn't give a shit what happens to refugees like us, anyway, not when our only assets are our asses."
"You know," said Orlando, scratching thoughtfully at his nose. "The Fleet john I pulled last night said the drugs fucked with our memories. So that we can't, and I quote, 'spend the empty days planning a well-deserved revolt.'"
Elijah turned and gave Orlando a hard look. "You didn't tell me that."
"Well, it creeped me out!" Orlando said. "The worst part was, the john said he'd picked me up before... lots of times." Orlando shuddered. "It almost made me hope the memory-fuck thing was true, just so I wouldn't have to think about the possibility of having a weird stalker-john that I can't even remember!"
"You do realise," Elijah said, "that what you just said is a paradox that makes absolutely no fucking sense whatsoever, right?" As he spoke, he slid a hand under Orlando's shirt and rubbed a soothing circle on the small of his back. "But, okay. True or not? That's just fucking creepy."
Orlando nodded and stepped a little closer, leaning against Elijah. "Tell me about it."
A moment later the siren went, sending the crowd into a frenzy. Orlando and Elijah reluctantly peeled apart and the group formed into their chain. Once they were all locked into place, they started to worm through the seething mass: Orlando in the lead, Elijah bringing up the rear.
It wasn't a normal ration-day:
The melee was particularly vicious and they hadn't eaten in two days--nearly three--making Elijah's job as rabbit a hell of a lot harder than usual. Early on, a pack of scavengers tagged him and he just couldn't shake them. They followed him for hours, until he finally eluded them in the twisting maze of corridors near the Locks'n'Docks--very thankful his spatial memory of the station's criss-cross design was so damn good.
He was dizzy with hunger by the time he stumbled back to their sleeping boxes, but he paused at Green Hangar's entrance for a moment, gaze caught by what looked like one of Hannah's shoes lying beside the uncollected rubbish pile. Through the light-headed swirl of hunger, he couldn't think why Hannah's shoe would be there. Hannah was always so careful with her things, even when she was sick.
He walked over to check, a feeling of dread slowly uncurling inside his stomach, pushing away the gnaw of hunger.
Lying on top of a mass of broken plastic, he found Hannah, eyes open, staring fixedly up at the darkness, her hair knotted with vomit and blood.
Orlando's skin was feverish and sweat-slicked beneath Elijah's tongue, and he was pushing hard, trying to hurry Elijah along. His hard-on jerked as Elijah's breath came close, and he gasped, clenching his fists tightly in Elijah's hair, body taut as a bow-string; and then, on a desperate sigh, words flowed from him: "Please, Lij, oh please. It's been so long."
Elijah ran his tongue around the flushed head of Orlando's cock, and the moan wrung from Orlando was all hurry up and faster, his hips bucking beneath Elijah's touch with a frenzy borne of desperation, as though he'd hurt something vital if Elijah didn't suck him right the fuck now. Elijah was happy enough to oblige; too worried about Hannah to want to linger, even with a john offering as much food as Orlando was; so fucking worried about Hannah and the sickness he didn't want to admit was ratflu, that nothing else seemed to matter; so worried that it almost closed his throat, making it hard to do what had to be done.
Elijah forced himself to relax and swallowed Orlando down as deeply as he could, hard and fast and slick, just the way Billy had taught him. Orlando moaned and moved beneath him as though his body was a livewire and Elijah the current; thrust up into Elijah's mouth once, twice and came, fingers bruise-hard against Elijah's neck. And as he pulsed against Elijah's tongue, he choked out half-formed words, as though he was trying not to say them, "Love, Lij... you... God!" and his come was bitter at the back of Elijah's throat, tasting like tears and worry and sadness, and almost impossible to swallow down.
"I should go," Elijah said, as soon as Orlando had unclenched his fingers. He eased away, shuffling over to his pile of clothes.
"Wait!" Orlando said, and scrabbled at the Fleet uniform scrunched up at the foot of the pallet, digging out two red capsules which sat on his sweaty palm in a silent offer of expensive chemical bliss.
"Sorry," Elijah said, slipping into his clothes with practiced speed and checking that the food voucher was still safely folded in his pocket. "Maybe another time." And then he left before the john could say anything else.
They stood outside the Locks'n'Docks, watching the Fleet Recruiter make her way up and down the lines of refugees, her energy-shield distorting the light around her body, making her look blocky and pixelated.
When the Recruiter reached them, she paused for a long moment, looking Orlando over. With a nod, she slapped him on the neck with her PalmPod, taking a gene sample. "Report to the Conscription Centre," she said, with a vague wave back towards the Lock, and moved on to the next group of hopefuls.
They all stared at Orlando, who stared back at them, touching the side of his neck.
Orlando swallowed, then swallowed again, before finally saying, "I don't want to..." his eyes never leaving Elijah's face.
Hannah smacked him in the chest. "Don't be an idiot! This is your chance to get out! You have to take it!"
"She's right," Elijah said, not looking away, not letting his voice break. "Orli. You have to go."
The first siren went, calling in all the Conscripts.
"Go," Elijah repeated, in the silence that followed.
Orlando took a few steps backwards, as though pushed by Elijah's will, before stuttering to a halt. Then slowly, as though waiting for a signal that never came, he turned and trudged towards the Lock.
At the half-way point he came to a stop... and like a compass needle pointing north, he circled around to face back the way he'd come.
Elijah looked at him, looked and looked, unable to make himself turn away.
Orlando's stride ate up the distance between them until he was close enough to touch. He reached out and cupped Elijah's face in his hands, everything he felt right there in his gaze. He leaned forward and kissed Elijah without closing his eyes.
Elijah shut his eyes the moment their lips met, but he could still feel the press of that hot, sweet mouth against his, smell Orlando's familiar scent, like a sun-warmed breeze. Taste their mingled tears against the back of his tongue. A tiny broken noise edged its way out of Elijah's throat.
Desperately, Elijah grasped the back of Orlando's neck in a bruise-hard grip and pulled him into a deep, frantic kiss, that went on and on.
They didn't stop until the second siren sounded, and then they stood for a moment, foreheads pressed together, gasping for breath.
Reluctantly, Elijah slid his hands off Orlando's neck and stepped away. "I won't forget. No matter how long it takes for us to get out of here, I won't forget."
"I know," Orlando said. With a jerky motion he pulled off his pendant, the metal glinting in the artificial light, and put it into Elijah's hand. "Me either."
Elijah stood there, long after the final siren had sounded and the Lock had closed, clutching at the pendant, feeling the phantom warmth of Orlando's skin still radiating from the metal.
Elijah woke with the feel of plastic slick and cold beneath his fingers. He had just a moment to notice that most of his headache was gone and he actually felt pretty good--clear and lucid in way he'd almost forgotten was normal--when there was a thud outside the coffin and panic surged through him fast and hard.
Someone was unsealing the coffin's lid.
Light flooded in, making Elijah blink.
"Elijah," whispered a man's voice. "Are you awake yet?"
A head peered over the edge of what Elijah now, with the light, realised was a medicare chamber. The man looking down at him was backlit, his head haloed with dark curls and cocked at an unmistakable angle--an angle that was suddenly so heart-wrenchingly familiar that it stole Elijah's breath--the thousand lost patterns of the past jarring through him, clicking into place, solid and real, as though they'd never been forgotten.
"Orli?" Elijah said.
The startled expression on Orlando's face was wiped away by relief. "Lij? Oh, God, I was beginning to think you'd never detox that fucking poison out. I can't believe the Fleet actually made us eat that stuff! And I've been waiting and waiting for you to wake up, and I'm just about out of credit to pay for this, and I'm due back on duty in another half-day, and I've been climbing the walls trying to figure out what to--"
Orlando's nervous babble cut off as Elijah gave in to instinct: Orlando's cheek warm and smooth and unbelievably familiar beneath his questing fingers. "Jesus, Orli!" he said, suddenly so happy, so damned happy he couldn't hold it in, the excess of it spilling down his cheeks and into his hair, "What the hell was in that fucking pill?"
Elijah had scored a pass to the Locks'n'Docks in a poker game the night before, risking three whole ratbars and most of Billy's sangfroid to do it. But he was so tired, tired right down to his fingernails and the ends of his hair, as though a vital... something... had been drained from his life without him noticing, leaving him ready to risk pretty much anything for the chance at a this... mindless pleasure with someone clean and well-fed.
Elijah made his way to The Joint--one of the nicer bars--hoping to get a meal out of his john before they expended a lot of horizontal energy.
Less than five minutes after he walked in and took up a position leaning against an empty stretch of wall across from the bar, a tall, pretty, vaguely familiar-looking Fleeter wearing pilot's pins made eye-contact. Elijah found himself freefalling headlong into a dark, heated gaze, as though the station's gravity engines had suddenly and irreparably burnt out. The stranger's eyes were full of invitation and shining with a seductive want that almost looked like... something Elijah couldn't quite put a name to, but that lit a burning need in his belly.
Without conscious thought Elijah's fingers slid against the warm metal of his pendant, and it was the easiest choice he'd ever made to angle his hips a little more provocatively and smile back with his own invitation.
Actually, I pretty much failed at fulfilling the Fuh-Q-Fest request. I'm really sorry, knoifey_spoony! I *tried*, but this was as close as I could get.
+ Elijah/Orlando - AU, outer-space, a long time after something catastrophic (I'm talking World War Three bad) happens to Earth and forces the remaining population to pack up and leave. Orli works at a company manufacturing "dream machines" or some kind of hallucinogenic drug (what their effect is is up to the writer) and has Lij take it against his will (slipped in a drink or something), then takes advantage of him (or maybe that was Orli's plan, but he backs out at the last minute and something else happens? Maybe Lij thinks something bad happened and suffers the trauma as if it did, and Orli has to convince Lij that he didn't go through with it;. During this time Orli's started to really feel something for Lij?). [Note: Again, happy ending is a must and NC-17 IS TOO! ... Well, sort of. It's preferred by this reader, anyway. ;) Extra points for an under-duress revelation of Orli's feeling for Lij. Extra, extra points for working in some special details about the advances in society and technology during the time since the WW3 thing and the moving planet bit.]