But it's all fixed and stuff. So, you know... enjoy!
Title: Elijah’s Collection (3.2)—Play
Pairing: EW/OB, LotR RPS (First Time)
Length: 6,800 (of about 11,000 words--yes, it grew in the night!)
For: My darling Michael, who I still miss and always will.
Thanks: To my wonderful betas: scotsnow, rosiegamgee, Bron, and my New Zealand consultant michaelchance. And also to all those who left wonderful messages of support on my LJ.
Series: Elijah’s Collection, which currently consists of Part 1: Gaydar, Part 2: Lines, and the first bit of Part 3: Play 3.1, which leads directly onto this part.
Disclaimer: I don’t know any of these people—it’s just a lucid fever-dream.
Summary: Elijah plays. Mostly with Orlando.
Notes: I’m thinking this is part three of four, but who the hell knows.
I’ve never been to NZ, unfortunately, so I owe a big thanks to my Wellington beta and The Lonely Planet New Zealand. I’ve tried not to write anything too impossible, but I have taken a few liberties in the name of art.
As always, I’ve made stuff up. Like, Bent aren’t a real band. As far as I’m aware, there is no author named Raymond Crow. Deathtrap 3 is a figment of my imagination. And Seafarers: made it all up (although I’m thinking of giving it to Orli as a present, seeing how much he liked it :).
Elijah’s Collection (3.2)—Play
Elijah broke first. “Why did you have to make that angel crack?” he asked. “You know I hate that.”
“So I gather,” said Orlando. “But until today, the only time you’ve ever mentioned angels to me was during that pick-up line contest of Billy’s. You didn’t seem all that overwrought about the issue then.”
They stared at each other some more.
“That man,” said Elijah. “You know... Tom... that’s what he called me. His angel.”
Orlando breathed out hard, and rubbed a hand across his face. “You never told me.”
“And,” said Elijah, and then didn’t seem to know how to go on.
“Please tell me there haven’t been others,” said Orlando, his inscrutable look back with a vengeance.
Elijah shook his head. “No. Most fans are fine, and the few psychos out there don’t get near me very often.”
“That casual reference to psychos is a pretty good effort at distracting me,” said Orlando. “But no dice. Spill!”
Elijah scuffed a shoe against the loose stones. “Can’t we just do this,” he said, and waved at the tow trucks.
“No,” said Orlando, his jaw a straight line of tension. “Unlike you, I don’t have any pretensions as a mind reader. You have to actually open that usually unstoppable mouth of yours and tell me this stuff. Otherwise what’s the bloody point?” In three big strides he crossed the potholes and closed the gap between them. “If I wanted to fuck around with someone I don’t know, there are easier choices.”
“Pot and kettle, man.” Elijah stopped kicking the stones and met Orlando’s intense gaze. “It’s not like we’ve ever had a mutual confess-a-thon.”
“Fair point,” said Orlando. “I travel pretty light in the emotional baggage department, which is why it hasn’t come up so far. There’s really just the sad and sorry saga of my back injury.”
“Which I know practically zilch about,” said Elijah.
“I figured it’d probably come up some day when we were trying to do something...” Orlando grinned, “enthusiastic.”
“Don’t flirt now,” said Elijah, an avalanche of x-rated pictures falling into his head. “That isn’t playing fair.” Orlando was still looking entirely lickable. “Besides, I can’t believe you really want to hear this crap.”
“I don’t want to be your bloody shrink, Elijah,” said Orlando, “I just want to know about stuff that’s important to you.”
Elijah thought about that for a moment.
“The thing is,” said Elijah, groping his way to the words, “when people call me stuff like that, it means that I’m less...” he clenched his fists, “... less me.” He looked away from Orlando. “Because they want me to play a part for them.” And then, with sudden anger, “They don’t want Elijah; they want anyone but Elijah. They want the star. They want the actor. They want the pretty boy. They want the rich kid. They want the perfect, perfect angel. And I’m sick of it. I don’t want to play their games anymore!”
A car with a faulty muffler chugged by, momentarily polluting the air with its din.
“Ian once said something that’s stuck with me,” Orlando offered, once the car had moved on far enough for the street noise to return to a normal level. “I was feeling really out of my depth and about a million years younger than everyone around me, and as an actor I felt a total fraud—like someone would figure out that I was just pretending to know what I was doing.” Orlando smiled. “Somehow Ian knew exactly how I felt. Hell, maybe he felt like that once; it wouldn’t surprise me. That man has more layers than an onion.”
“More layers than a ballerina’s tutu,” Elijah interjected.
“More layers than a never-ending gobstopper,” said Orlando.
“Gah,” said Elijah. “Ian and suckable things in the same thought—not a place my brain wanted to go.”
“Serves you right for interrupting,” said Orlando. “Anyway, to return to the point, Ian said: ‘Orlando, there’s a fundamental rule of life that we all learn once we’re too old to make full use of it. That rule is that when we grow up, we don’t stop playing—we just move on to a new stage.’”
“A new stage?” Elijah said, smiling for the first time since the angel comment. “God. Ian is such an actor! How many acting aphorisms does he have, anyway?”
“Hopefully,” said Orlando, reaching out and sliding his hand into Elijah’s, “one more than we’ll ever need.”
Orlando propped the camera on the bonnet of his car, carefully lining it up so that both tow trucks were in the frame. “I’m setting it to take three,” he called. “Just to be sure.” He pressed the button, and sprinted over to Elijah.
Side-by-side they leaned against one of the trucks, Orlando slouching a little so that their shoulders were touching.
Kiss of the Spider Woman
Elijah looked up from the map. “What about Webb Street? That could do for Shelob.”
“Weak,” said Orlando. “Weaker than tea made from a three-day-old teabag.”
“True. But I can’t think of anything better,” said Elijah. “Can you?”
Orlando put the car in gear. “Webb Street it is.”
They drove down Webb Street looking for a parking space near a street sign.
“There’s one,” said Elijah, pointing.
Orlando kept driving. “I just spotted Billy and Dom. They obviously had the same idea.” He pulled into a side street and parked.
“So, evil mastermind,” said Elijah, “what’ll we do to nobble them?”
Orlando tapped a finger against his lips. “I think we should stick with simplicity. There’s less chance of it going horribly wrong.”
“Let me guess,” said Elijah. “I act as a decoy, while you do something juvenile to their car.”
Elijah circled around his targets, trying to blend in with the other, non-scheming, pedestrians. He wanted to keep the element of surprise for as long as possible. Fortunately, Billy was busy polishing an apple on the crotch of his pants like a cricket ball, and Dom was oblivious to everything except his camera.
Down the street, Elijah could see Orlando squatting next to Dom’s car, on the side hidden from Dom and Billy’s view. The nobbles of Orlando’s spine were visible, pressed against the soft cotton of his shirt as he deflated one of the tires.
Elijah waited for a car to go by and then sauntered casually across the road, reaching the other side several metres away from Billy and Dom. A series of expletives wafted towards him.
“Work, you fucker,” said Dom to his camera. “Stupid son of a bitch.”
Elijah hesitated, waiting for the right psychological moment to begin his distraction.
“Brilliant strategy you’ve got there. It won’t dare misbehave now,” said Billy, and bit into his apple.
Elijah moved to stand behind a mailbox, out of Dom and Billy’s line of sight. The top of Orlando’s head bobbled along behind the car as he moved on to a second wheel.
“It’s not bloody brain surgery,” said Dom, fiddling with the camera’s buttons. “I just have to press...” The camera suddenly came alive in his hands; it whirred, zoomed out its lens, and took a flash photo of Dom’s shirt.
“I have a suggestion, Doctor,” Billy said, around a mouthful of fruit. “Read the instructions.”
“Fuck off,” said Dom, glaring with equal heat first at Billy and then at the camera.
Orlando moved around the car and peeked out from behind it. Elijah pointed to Billy and Dom and then drew a circle in the air next to his own temple. Orlando nodded, and moved out into plain view. He paused a moment, watching, then started in on the nearest tire.
“Why don’t we just steal the bloody street sign?” asked Dom.
“Because that would be wrong,” said Billy, crunching happily.
“That’s not a reason,” said Dom. “That’s just being a wuss.”
“How about,” said Billy, “stealing is against the rules and will get us disqualified.” He took another big bite, finishing the apple. He looked around, spotted the rubbish bin right next to Elijah’s mailbox, took a couple of running steps and bowled the apple core. It sailed into the bin, and Billy fisted the air triumphantly. He turned back to Dom. “Being disqualified would mean we’d lose the bet.”
Orlando crab-scuttled along a few feet and started in on the final tire.
“Buggeration,” said Dom. He looked down at the camera.
“The instruction book’s in the car,” said Billy, helpfully. “I could get it for you.”
Elijah tensed, ready to shout a warning to Orlando and run like hell.
“No,” said Dom, starting to press buttons again. “I’ve nearly got it.”
Elijah sighed in relief. He stepped away from the mailbox, heading back the way he’d come.
“Sure you have, Dom,” said Billy, folding his arms and leaning against the Webb Street signpost. “By the way, did I ever tell you about the time I went fishing and snagged the Loch Ness Monster?” Then, notching up the sarcasm, “What are the fucking odds, eh?”
“They’ll know it was us,” said Elijah as he did up his seatbelt.
“I should bloody well hope so,” said Orlando. “After all that effort.”
As they turned back into Webb street, Elijah caught a quick glimpse of Billy taking a photo of Dom, who was standing under the street sign wearing a scowl.
“Hey,” Elijah said. “We forgot to get a photo.”
“They’re welcome to it,” said Orlando. “It was a crap idea anyway.”
“Yeah. If Billy and Dom could think of it…” said Elijah. “You know, all that sneaking about has made me thirsty. I could murder a beer.”
“Now that,” said Orlando, “is a damn good idea!”
They stood inside the Matterhorn, staring at one of the beer advertisements stuck up on the wall.
“So Frodo,” said Orlando. “What do you think those industrious dwarves drank after a hard day delving in the Mines of Moria?”
“Well, Legolas,” Elijah replied, “at a guess, I’d say it was a Miners beer.”
Orlando got out his wallet. “I think we’d better test that theory.”
“Not bad,” said Elijah, examining the beer label. “I wonder why it’s called Miners?”
Orlando shrugged. “You’d have to ask a local. And speaking of arcane local knowledge, what do you remember about that America’s Cup stuff the Kiwis are always going on about?” He nudged his empty bottle very slightly towards Elijah; they were pressed together, shoulder to knee, on the same side of a booth that really wasn’t all that cramped.
“As little as possible,” said Elijah, draining the last of his beer and putting both bottles into a plastic bag they’d cadged from the barman. “Why?”
“The yacht that won was called... Black something,” said Orlando.
“All their teams are called Black something,” said Elijah. “It’s kind of freaky if you ask me.”
“Black Voodoo?” Orlando mused. “No.”
“It’s like they’re a nation of vampires,” Elijah said. “Or Goths.”
“What the fuck was it?” said Orlando. “Black... Mojo?”
“They even have the freaky face paint thing going on,” said Elijah. “It’s psychological warfare, pure and simple.”
“It’s got something to do with magic,” said Orlando, “as in wizards. But it can’t be Black Magic, can it? That’s way too obvious.”
Elijah and Orlando looked at each other.
“These are the people,” said Elijah, “who’ve made an art form of baked bean sandwiches.”
“Assuming it is Black Magic…” said Orlando.
“Pretty safe fucking assumption there,” said Elijah.
“…the real question is whether it’s a close enough link? All Tolkien’s wizards have colours,” said Orlando.
“Shit yeah!” said Elijah. “So where do we find this yacht?”
“No idea,” said Orlando. “But I bet I know where we can find a bloody big picture.”
“There’s probably a shrine,” said Elijah.
“Yep,” said Orlando. “And it’s called Te Papa.”
“Cool,” said Elijah. “I haven’t had a chance to go there yet.”
“Shhhh. Don’t let the locals hear that,” said Orlando. “They might get up a lynch mob.”
They had walked companionably for about three blocks, having decided to enjoy the sunshine while it lasted, when Elijah suddenly stopped in front of a shop called Arty Bee’s Books.
“Wait here for a sec,” Elijah said over his shoulder, plowing into the shop like an ice-breaker through Antarctic waters.
Orlando had just started to wonder if he should go in too, when Elijah emerged carrying a book.
“What was that about?” asked Orlando.
“I just remembered that there’s a bargain bin in there, with all sorts of crappy old books for a couple of dollars each,” said Elijah. He held the tatty paperback out to Orlando.
The cover, despite its faded and scratched condition, was a garish illustration of a short-sword being dramatically thrust skyward by a disembodied hand. The silver was beginning to flake off the sword, giving the whole thing a slightly diseased look.
“The Dirk of the Dreamspeller, by Raymond Crow,” Orlando read out, looking vaguely appalled. “Read much of this kind of stuff, do you?”
“Looks crap, doesn’t it,” said Elijah, cheerfully. “But it has the sword on the front and…” He flipped the book open to reveal that the flyleaf was stamped with a happily buzzing bee. “…the bookshop’s logo.”
“Oh, I get it,” Orlando said, with relief. “Sting.”
A moment after turning the corner, Orlando grabbed Elijah’s arm and pointed. Walking along the street were two dark-haired women; they were both tall and beautiful, and they were both busy licking rapidly melting ice-cream cones.
“That,” Orlando said, “is definitely Xena!”
“Yeah,” said Elijah, “and that’s definitely Liv with her!”
As Orlando and Elijah watched, Xena held out her cone and Liv took a lick.
“Is it just me,” said Orlando, “or did it just get hot?”
“Hot,” said Elijah. “Definitely hot.”
When they’d arrived at Te Papa they had walked out into the Bush City garden, looking for a shady nook in which Elijah could have a smoke. Instead, they had ended up standing at the edge of an enormous sandpit; a sandpit which just happened to contain Sean. He was in the process of being buried to the waist by his daughter and wife, and looked entirely cheerful about his predicament.
“Call me a sentimental fool,” said Elijah, stubbing out his cigarette, “but I really don’t want to do anything to spoil their day.”
“It is unstoppably cute, isn’t it?” Orlando slid his arm around Elijah’s waist. “Besides, I have a thing for sentimental fools,” he said, dropping a kiss onto Elijah’s neck.
“A thing?” said Elijah, shivering at the touch of Orando’s lips. “What kind of thing? Like, a crazed stalkery thing? Or a wham-bam sex thing? Or a ‘geez you’re a mad Yank, aren’t you’ thing?”
“The answer is... D,” said Orlando. “All of the above.”
Elijah shivered again, but this time it was because Orlando had let him go; and even though there were no clouds in the sky, the world seemed to darken for a moment.
They stood in the foyer of Te Papa, trying to find a likely display on the map.
“None of these sound very hopeful,” said Orlando. “And why is the flora and fauna section named ‘Mountains to Sea’? Last time I looked Mountains and Seas weren’t alive.”
“Naming conventions in museums are one of the eternal mysteries of life,” said Elijah. “What about this one? Golden Days.”
“It sounds like a 70s sitcom. And it’s in the kids’ section,” said Orlando. “Why on earth do you think it would have a picture of a yacht?”
Elijah shrugged. “Golden Days sounds like out-doorsy kind of stuff to me,” he said.
Orlando snorted. “I didn’t even think of that. You’ve obviously had way too much practice at translating museum-ese.”
“Welcome to my misspent youth,” said Elijah, and then, with a sudden jab at the Special Events section of the map, “Bingo! There's one here called Seafarers.”
“Thank god,” said Orlando. “I was starting to think we’d have to go look for pictures in the postcard rack at the souvenir shop.”
“Don’t worry,” said Elijah, grinning. “We’ll keep shopping as a last resort.”
“Do I make fun of your personal foibles?” asked Orlando. “No. I think not.”
“But that’s the fun part!” said Elijah, completely unrepentant. He leaned forward to have a closer look at the map’s fineprint. “It says Seafarers is ‘an interactive display commemorating historic voyages in the south seas.’”
“Interactive?” said Orlando, with an over-the-top shudder. “Now there’s a word to chill the heart. I think I’m afraid.”
“If you can jump out of a plane without losing your lunch,” said Elijah, “I think you can face a few hokey push-button dioramas and educational videos.”
“When it comes to raw terror,” said Orlando, “I know from long and bitter experience that extreme sports have nothing on interactive ‘educational’ displays.”
“Don’t be such a baby,” said Elijah, grabbing Orlando’s arm and dragging him further into the building.
“Mark my words,” said Orlando, darkly. “We’ll live to regret this.”
Having taken a wrong turn at some point, they were now wandering along a corridor looking for a helpful sign.
“Oh my God,” said Elijah, his attention snagged by a photograph hanging on the nearest wall. “Look!”
“What?” asked Orlando, moving closer and hooking his chin over Elijah’s shoulder.
As Elijah pointed out the photo, Orlando’s breath on his skin set off another shiver. “There was an All Black player called Colin ‘Pine Tree’ Meads,” Elijah said, noticing that his hand was trembling too. He tucked it into his pocket.
“Okay, that’s just weird,” said Orlando. “Not to mention the whole Black plus Tree thing.”
“Yeah,” said Elijah. “I think we just found our Mirkwood.”
“You’d better be in this photo,” said Orlando. “So we have lots of Wood with the Mirk.”
“Oh, you slay me with that original wit,” said Elijah, the words annoying him more than they had any right to. He knew he was wearing a frown as he moved to stand next to the picture.
“That’s absolutely perfect,” said Orlando. “Don’t change a dark and broody thing!”
Dazed and Confused
Elijah walked back out of the Seafarers display and re-checked the sign.
“It doesn’t say Toy Boats For Every Occasion,” Elijah said, walking back in. “It definitely says Seafarers.”
Orlando stood looking at the flotilla of miniature vessels in something like ecstasy. “Model ships,” he said. “Lots and lots and lots of model ships.”
“Okay,” said Elijah, eyeing Orlando doubtfully, “I don’t even want to know; just try not to slobber too much on the glass.”
“I found it!” called Orlando, from behind an enormous model of Captain Cook’s wood-and-sail ship, Endeavour.
The Endeavour model was so big that Orlando was completely hidden from Elijah's view; and its push-button sound recording (in a voice that sounded suspiciously like John’s) of Cook’s journal entries (with a background ambiance of waves and seagulls), was almost loud enough to drown out Orlando’s voice.
Elijah walked around the behemoth that was Endeavour, and joined Orlando in the alcove in which he’d found the model of Black Magic. They were surrounded on three sides by miniature rigging, keels, masts and what seemed to be miles of shiny glass casing; and even though there was nothing overtly wrong with any of the displays, something about them made Elijah feel bizarrely unnerved and jittery. “Give me the camera,” he said, holding out a still-shaky hand, “and let’s get this over with.”
“You know, with the name Black Magic, I was half expecting it to have black sails and a flag with the jolly roger on it,” Orlando said, fascinated by the ship and oblivious to Elijah’s mood. “But no. It’s all rather disappointingly normal.”
“Can you indulge your pirate fixation some other time?” Elijah asked. “This place is creeping me out.”
“Aye, aye Capt'n,” said Orlando. He adopted a suggestive pose in front of the yacht. “Come on then. Take me.”
Elijah felt cranky and out of sync with the world as he lifted the camera up to his eye. He looked through the viewfinder, centering on Orlando, who was standing there flirting in his slow, careful way. Letting Elijah know that one day soon he’d make a move; and Elijah was sick, sick, sick of waiting.
Elijah was a fair way towards being in a towering snit, when Orlando smiled.
“Click, click,” Orlando said.
It was that smile—the special one that Orlando saved just for Elijah—and suddenly all Elijah’s emotions were clogging together in a big, confusing lump, lodged deep in his lungs. It felt like he was breathing something dense and sticky; it certainly wasn’t air.
The floor was tilting beneath him like a wave-tossed deck; and right there, right then, in the middle of Seafarers, Elijah was listing on the lip of the world—a never-ending fall beneath his feet.
His finger trembled on the button…
C… L… I…
…and Orlando looked crisp and beautiful, framed by the viewfinder…
Elijah knew how seduction worked. He’d played this game before.
…and then the world fractured like a kaleidoscope as Elijah blinked…
But it was different with Orlando; because this time, everything about the game was designed to keep Elijah safe.
…breaking into random colours and oddly shaped chucks of reality…
Rules. Limits. Boundaries.
All set by Orlando. Because, at first, Elijah had been so unsure; too confused to know what he wanted.
But why was Orlando still playing the game, when he could just take Elijah whenever he wanted?
(Come on then, said Orlando, take me)
…reforming into a whole new pattern…
Elijah was more than willing now.
…a pattern that had always been there, but that Elijah had been unable to see…
In fact, Elijah was so tired of waiting, he was starting to think about making a move of his own.
…and at the heart of this new pattern was Orlando…
And like a lightening strike, Elijah suddenly wondered whose turn it was to make the next move.
…clear and beautiful in the viewfinder, saying take me, come on, take me…
… I… C… K
Elijah’s finger lifted off the button. He let his arms drop down to his sides, a little splayed. Trying to get his balance back.
“Come on. Let’s blow this joint,” said Orlando. “I’ve just had an idea for the Horn of Gondor.”
Elijah shook his head, still reeling. “No,” he said. “No.”
“You haven’t even heard the idea yet,” said Orlando, and then gesturing enthusiastically, “if we get a…”
“Stop!” said Elijah. “I don’t give a shit about the Hunt anymore. I need a minute here.”
“What’s wrong?” Orlando asked, walking over and wrapping him in a loose hug.
“I think I just had a revelation,” said Elijah, closing his eyes. He could almost taste Orlando’s breath. “I want to know… Orlando, did you mean it?”
“Mean what?” asked Orlando, sounding confused.
“You said,” Elijah hesitated; opened his eyes and looked at Orlando. Saw his confusion, concern, affection.
“Said?” Orlando asked.
It slowly dawned on Elijah how truly tired he was; tired of playing this game with Orlando. He was ready and more than ready to… to move on to a new stage. He could feel his pulse fluttering in his tongue, and his palms were so slippery he had to stuff the camera in his pocket so that he wouldn’t drop it.
Everything felt out of control, and Elijah desperately needed to ground himself somehow; so he pressed his hand, palm flat, onto Orlando’s chest. “You said,” Elijah managed, without sounding quite as scared as he felt, “‘take me.’” Beneath his touch Orlando’s heart was racing fast, as fast as Elijah’s, as fast as the world was spinning and changing. “And I want to know... if you meant it.”
The Unbearable Lightness of Being
“Of course I bloody meant it,” Orlando said, looking exasperated. “God Elijah. If you don’t make a move soon, I’m gonna fucking…” His lips twitched into a little smile. “… well, if I said die it’d be kind of over the top.” He rubbed Elijah’s back, setting off another wave of shivers. “But I’m definitely starting to feel a bit… overwrought.”
“Oh,” said Elijah. Overwrought was a feeling he was quite familiar with himself. Elijah was so hot, he felt like he was going to melt, and Orlando looking at him as though he were edible wasn’t helping. He licked his lips.
Orlando’s gaze flicked to Elijah’s mouth. “Don’t tease the animals, Lij. It’s not—”
“I want you,” said Elijah, seesawing wildly from fear-to-want, want-to-fear, but at Orlando’s look of gobsmacked lust, he crash-landed on the side of want; no thought, all instinct, do-me-now want. “God, I want you,” he said, and he was so hard; hard and in Orlando’s arms, and it was the only place he wanted to be.
Elijah pushed himself into Orlando, and Orlando made a little breathy noise as their bodies came together. Elijah caught the sound in his own mouth as he kissed Orlando hard. Hard, hard, hard. Wanting to be inside Orlando; just to crawl right inside and inhabit his skin.
Orlando staggered back under Elijah’s onslaught, until his shoulders were up against glass. Then, with a full-body jolt that Elijah could feel as though it were his own, Orlando got with the program and started kissing back. Kissing like a starving man faced with a feast after an eternity on short rations.
The feel of Orlando’s lips sliding against his own redirected the kiss away from so hard it almost hurt, into a frantic, slippery wrangle of tongues and lips and teeth.
Elijah felt like he was going to shiver out of his skin. “God,” he panted between kisses. “I want you now, Orli.” He jumped up and wrapped his legs around Orlando’s hips, the press of Orlando’s hard-on against his own making his heart stutter so fast he felt light-headed with lust.
“Fuck, Lijah,” said Orlando, rocking his hips. “The car’s fucking miles away!”
“Fuck the car,” said Elijah, with a clarity born of desperation, “cab,” kissing Orlando’s throat, “hotel,” biting down hard.
“Hhhn… there’s a hotel,” said Orlando, hands moving to grip Elijah’s arse, pulling him in tighter, “across the street,” scraping Elijah’s earlobe through his teeth.
“Do that again,” Elijah demanded, rubbing his thumb across one of Orlando’s nipples. He tilted his head to give Orlando better access
Orlando, breathing hard, looked at Elijah’s exposed neck and said, sounding strangled, “If we’re going to make it to a hotel…” and at Elijah’s impatient wriggle he gave in and licked along the faint edge of Elijah’s beard line. When he’d finished, he looked up, his eyes dilated black, “We’re going to have to stop. Now.”
Even hearing the frantic edge in Orlando’s voice, Elijah was tempted to go for it right there, between Black Magic and the Endeavour. But then, even over the roaring of his want, his sixth sense pricked, and when he looked up he saw the security camera, clinging to the corner of the ceiling like a big, black cocoon.
“Fuck!” he said, trying to get back some control.
Okay. Stopping now. But don’t give me any shit. I’m right on the edge, man.
“Yeah,” said Orlando, his eyes still stoned with lust. “Do whatever you have to do, Lij.” He slowly unclenched his hold on Elijah.
Reluctantly, Elijah slid back on to his own feet.
I think I’m gonna need a minute here.
“Me too,” said Orlando. His eyes skated over Elijah, “God, you look like you’ve just been…” he trailed off with an audible swallow. “I’m going to go find some water,” he said. “Cold water.”
They crossed the road to the hotel like two strangers; enough space between them that there was no chance of any accidental touching.
Bedrooms and Hallways
Orlando slid the key into the slot and turned the handle with the careful deliberation of someone who wasn’t too sure of his control.
Elijah followed him into the room, and then stood, staring at the bed, as Orlando locked the door.
Orlando turned around, took one look at Elijah and said, “You can just quit that right now!”
Elijah looked back at Orlando, eyes so wide open it hurt.
“We don’t have any condoms or lube, Lij,” Orlando said, reassuringly. “The most we can do is some creative groping.”
Elijah let out a breath he hadn’t realised he’d been holding. “Okay,” he said, the heat starting to hum under his skin again, “groping sounds good.”
Love and Other Catastrophes
Somehow, Orlando seemed to have kissed his clothes off. Because when they’d started kissing near the door, Elijah had been fully dressed, and now both he and Orlando were naked.
With a final kiss, Orlando pulled away and walked over to the head of the bed. He grabbed the edge of the covers, and with a single smooth move, shucked them all onto the floor, leaving just the bottom sheet and an empty expanse of bed.
Elijah could barely spare enough attention to be impressed by Orlando’s efficiency, because Orlando was standing there... naked.
“You’re,” said Elijah, his dick so hard he could barely breathe, “so hot.”
“Not as hot as you,” said Orlando, kneeling on the bed. “Come on.” He patted the mattress.
Elijah walked over and slid onto the bed, mouth dry.
Orlando shuffled closer, until they were knee to knee. Then he reached out and wrapped his hand around Elijah’s dick.
If Elijah hadn’t already been shaken to his foundations, looking down to see Orlando’s tanned hand striped against the flush of his own skin would have been enough to do the job. Orlando’s touch was rough and sure, and Elijah’s stomach coiled with pleasure; notching up and up with each stroke. Elijah couldn’t stop shivering; waves racing up and down his spine in endless relays.
“God,” he said, clutching at Orlando’s shoulders, “God.” And then Orlando’s mouth was on his, and the last thread of rational thought went right out the window.
He was racing towards orgasm when Orlando pulled his hand away. Elijah opened his eyes, wondering briefly when he’d closed them. “What?” he asked.
Orlando was looking at him, mouth slightly open, the stoned look back in his eyes.
“Lie back,” said Orlando. “I want to suck you off.”
Elijah’s dick jumped. Blow jobs were still enough of a novelty, without the promise of Orlando’s tongue into the bargain. Elijah lay back.
Orlando’s mouth was wicked and slippery, and what he was doing bore no resemblance to the fumbling attempts of the girls Elijah had been with before.
Elijah’s throat ached with the sounds being ripped from him; breathy, sobby noises that would have been embarrassing if his last shred of modesty hadn’t been sucked out of him by Orlando. He scrabbled at Orlando’s too-short hair, but couldn’t get a decent grip. Orlando’s tongue was clever and relentless, and, Elijah suddenly realised, practiced. Elijah arched up in ecstasy, totally aware, for a brief flashing moment, of the four years difference in their ages. Because, God, if this was what four years of experience brought, then Elijah wanted it.
Orlando’s tongue was pushing him towards orgasm again, and he was rushing, rushing ever closer to the edge. And then his eyes rolled back in his head, every muscle seized, and with a hoarse shout, he came. It went on and on. And on. Until the final wave of it crested, leaving him lying there, limp and exhausted, too tired to even protest as Orlando moved away.
When Elijah opened his eyes, Orlando was lying next to him, head propped on a hand, watching him.
“Fuck,” Elijah said, his voice rough. “That was...”
“Believe it or not,” said Orlando, grinning, his eyes shiny with want, “it actually gets better than that.”
“Oh God,” said Elijah, as his body flinched in aftershock; and Orlando’s hand was stroking his stomach, soothing him through it.
Once he could breathe again, Elijah rolled over, draping himself across Orlando, and giving him a big sloppy kiss.
“I think,” Elijah said, his face pressed against Orlando’s collar bone, “I might be kinda gay.”
“Yeah? What a coincidence,” said Orlando, his voice a husky murmur. “Me too.”
Orlando was tense under Elijah’s hands, his cock rubbing against Elijah’s hip, hot and hard, and impossible to ignore.
Elijah was at something of a loss; there was so much Orlando to explore, and Elijah only had two hands, one mouth, and a dick that was currently out of commission, to do it with.
He tentatively cupped Orlando’s cock; Orlando’s hair was springier than his own, but otherwise, everything felt surprisingly familiar.
“Mmmm,” Orlando hummed in approval.
With growing confidence, Elijah gripped hard and started to stroke, picking up the rhythm that he liked best himself.
It was a strategy that reaped immediate rewards. Orlando groaned and started writhing under Elijah; his hips pressing up into Elijah’s hand.
“Yes,” said Orlando. “Like that. Just like that.”
Elijah’s mouth watered at the sight of Orlando, who was flushed and gorgeous and who smelled like every erotic dream Elijah had ever had. Elijah wasn’t quite confident enough to try out a blow job, so, careful not to lose his rhythm, he wriggled down until his mouth was level with Orlando’s chest.
Elijah tentatively licked a nipple. He got a happy moan in response. So he did what his teeth were really aching for, and bit down.
Orlando nearly levitated off the bed.
“God,” Orlando said, panting. “Biting is a real thing for you isn’t it?”
Elijah backed off. “Sorry, I won’t—”
“Don’t you dare fucking stop!” said Orlando, lifting his hands above his head and gripping the headboard. “Who knew that oral fixation of yours would finally have a use?”
Elijah stared at Orlando, lying there, stretched out like an offering. Waiting impatiently for his touch. And, God, this was a game that he could really… get on top of!
Elijah licked his palm, wrapped it back around Orlando’s dick, and started his patented must-come-now stroke. At the first kick of Orlando’s hips, Elijah pounced. Licked his way up Orlando’s stomach, pausing briefly to tongue his bellybutton, then on, on, biting along the line of his ribs, then up along his sternum until he reached nipple height. Elijah slowly spiralled in towards a nipple.
“God, you’re a fucking tease,” said Orlando, watching him though slitted lids.
“Lie there and take it like a man,” said Elijah, licking the nipple until it was tight and red. He blew on it gently.
The bedhead creaked under Orlando’s grip.
“Hurry up,” Orlando begged. “God, Lij, just do it.”
Beneath Elijah’s hand, Orlando was slick and frantic, thrusting desperately into his grip.
Elijah sucked the nipple into his mouth, playing it between his tongue and teeth without any real force. And Elijah was loving everything about this. Everything about Orlando: the way he smelled of musk and sex, the salty taste of him, the way he was trembling beneath Elijah’s touch.
Elijah bit without any warning; bit hard. Let go, then bit again and held on as Orlando bucked beneath him.
Elijah eased off, licking with a quick swipe, before leaning over and biting the other nipple as hard as he could without drawing blood.
“You utter, utter,” Orlando gasped, “bastard!”
Elijah twisted the nipple between his teeth. And with a ragged cry, Orlando was coming; letting go of the headboard and grabbing onto Elijah, his body bowing into curl as he came, spunk lathering his stomach and Elijah’s hand.
Then Orlando was pulling hard at Elijah’s hair, hard enough to bring tears, and Elijah reluctantly unclenched his teeth. As soon as Elijah’s mouth was free, Orlando pulled him into a greedy kiss.
They collapsed backwards onto the bed, still kissing.
“God,” said Orlando, finally pulling away for a breath. “That was bloody fantastic.”
“Yeah,” Elijah agreed, flopped over Orlando in complete exhaustion. “You smell amazing.”
“We both reek of sex,” said Orlando, his fingers stroking through Elijah’s hair.
Elijah happily snuffled at Orlando’s armpit. “Yeah.”
“You’re a bit of a pervy hobbit at heart,” said Orlando, “aren’t you?”
“You don’t know the half of it,” said Elijah, fighting back a yawn.
Orlando smiled seductively. “But I fully intend to find out!”
Elijah playfully bit Orlando’s arm in response.
“You may be a bloody energizer bunny,” said Orlando. “But I need a minute to recharge.”
“Poor old man,” said Elijah, quite happy to lie still; his muscles feeling like overcooked noodles.
They lay there, silent and content, until Orlando’s breath started to deepen and slow. Elijah poked him.
“Don’t go to sleep,” he said. “I have to go show my face at this fucking barbeque… lose the Hunt gracefully. Let the crew make a fuss of me. All that garbage.”
Orlando groaned. “Do we have to?”
“Yep,” said Elijah. “Life will be unbearable on set if we don’t.”
“Well, in that case,” Orlando said, “unless it’s your plan to scare the natives, we’d better go have a shower pretty soon.” Then, with a leer, “‘Cause it might take us a while to… get clean.”
“I don’t think all the showers in the world could get us clean,” said Elijah, leering back.
FAST FORWARD ...
Every Which Way But Loose
As dusk was closing in, they pulled up at Elijah’s place.
“Home, sweet home,” said Orlando, looking over at Elijah.
“I think,” said Elijah, making no move to get out of the car, “that was the best date ever!”
“You’re cracked,” said Orlando. “It was a bloody fiasco from start to finish.”
“No, man,” said Elijah. “It had everything. Think about it!”
“I am,” said Orlando. “Believe me. Who could forget… the never-ending speeches, the whole angel thing, the cheesy fantasy novel, the bad puns…”
“Sabotage, cars and trucks and things that go, famous sports trivia, ice-cream-licking godesses,” said Elijah. “Not to mention alcohol and pirates...”
“I don’t remember any pirates,” said Orlando. “I remember temper tantrums, Billy and Dom swearing dire revenge at some unspecified point in the future, never finding the Horn of Gondor…”
“With you, there’s always pirates,” Elijah pointed out, before carrying on with his list. “Seafarers, seduction, Sean being buried alive, great photos,” then he gestured enthusiastically at the cake sitting in his lap. “Birthday cake!”
“Okay, granted,” said Orlando. “The cake is a plus.”
“Admit it, sour puss,” said Elijah, “You loved every minute of it!”
Orlando reached out, resting his hand on the headrest of Elijah’s seat, his fingers gently stroking Elijah’s neck. “I’ll admit there were a few highlights,” he said, smiling.
End of Days
“Like Liv and Xena winning the Hunt!” said Orlando. “The look on Billy and Dom’s faces was priceless!”
“I still can’t believe Liv is friends with Lucy Lawless,” said Elijah. “She is one hell of a lot of woman.”
“You’re telling me,” said Orlando.
“So much for the whole gay thing,” said Elijah. “She can break me in two anytime she likes!”
Orlando laughed. “I wouldn’t say that around Liv, if I were you.”
“Yeah, I was getting that vibe too,” said Elijah. “Veeerrrry protective of her new friend.”
They sat in companionable silence for a moment, watching the last of the light fade from the sky.
“So,” said Elijah, as stars began to glimmer, “wanna come inside?”
“What for?” asked Orlando. “Coffee, or to see your etchings?”
“No, I was thinking we could play a game,” Elijah said.
“Deathtrap 3, I suppose,” Orlando said, amused.
“If that’s what takes your fancy,” said Elijah, leaning over for a kiss. “But I’m happy to play any game you like,” and just before their lips made contact, “you know, I have a whole Collection of them we can choose from.”