Slashababy 2004 Stories

  FANFICTION: This story depicts real-life public figures engaged in completely fictional, false and untrue activities. It never happened, it never will happen. This story is a work of fantasy and satire which in no way professes to express the truth about the life, thoughts, feelings, desires, opinions, beliefs, activities or sexual orientation of any person mentioned herein.


for cupidsbow
by sophrosyne31

Pairing: Elijah/Orlando
Rating: M
Disclaimer: This is for the slashababy 2004 challenge, and is completely made up
A/N: Dear cupidsbow, I barely know you, and when I started reading your fics for research I realised that I was writing for someone who knows their Orlijah very well and writes them superbly. I love the pairing, but it's been a while since I wrote them. You didn't say what kind of fic you wanted, so I hope this is at least a little to your liking.

Beta'ed by the sumptuous epicanthus.

The quality of the light in New Zealand did strange things. So did all the people who went there for that time.

Whenever Elijah looked at Orlando, he thought he saw the brim of movement around him. Like a shadow, like a doubling, or the blur that Elijah sometimes got when his contact lenses were smeary, but this was something else. It was like the blur of the future, into which Orlando was always rushing.

When Orlando looked at Elijah, what he saw -- perversely, because everyone thought of Elijah as the boy who couldn't stay still, who leaped and bounced and jittered and shimmered -- was stillness.


It starts subtly. As it often does. A sneaky, seeping, dragging, feeling of disquiet. Whenever Orlando walks up to a messy clump of hobbits, in their tee-shirts and their hoodies and their jackets, or their woodsy dark-green dressing-gowns, and there are arms flinging out to biff him on the shoulder and hands to cuff him round the head, it always seems that Elijah's clothes are a little brighter, his hand a little warmer, and Orlando finds that his gaze goes straight to the young man who is always already looking at him.

It's because he wishes he was tall, like me, thinks Orlando.

That is not why.


Elijah responds to looks. Like a photograph that reacts to light, he emanates something. Not that he's not happy on his own, unregarded, when there is no one looking. He's comfortable, like that. But when someone-and when it's one of these flushed, excited new people who have arrived, like him, in this kind country-looks at him, Elijah gives off a lustre that has nothing to do with wanting attention. It's a light cast to illuminate what he's looking at.

When Orlando meets Elijah's eye, and flicks away, Elijah wants to examine Orlando more closely. Focus; really try. Because Orlando is always getting away.


Viggo teaches Orlando to look beyond the shape.

"It's the space around it," Viggo says, pale voice and pale eyes and dark atmosphere of mentoring. "It's the way the shadows fall."

Orlando looks where Viggo is pointing. A tree, its roots bumpy and sinewed into the earth. The floodlights from the set spray onto it and behind, the rest of the forest is charcoal. Crew members walking to and fro make dark spills that lick the tree and are gone again.

"Light makes its own fugitives," says Viggo. "It makes shadows. Just so it can try and capture them." His voice is so buttermilk, his smile is musing.

"Get away with it, you wanker," says Orlando, and puts a hand on Viggo's shoulder to lever himself up. But he likes to just spring into place, because he's so young and strong, and he likes the recoil of his own potency.

Orlando walks away, and his shadow steps in front of him, of course.


This is not a story about poetry. This is not a story about art.

Sometimes a thing just happens between people. There's a shimmer in the air between them, a pull from one skin to the next. There's a moment when a person looks, intently, as he has done for a while now, and the other one flickers, because this is sudden, and then has the courage to look back. And blood flushes cheeks. Blood calls. And there's a moment.


And then there is more.


Orlando knows he's got momentum. Elijah knows he can be still. And when that moment -- when Elijah looks and Orlando looks back and their bodies suddenly feel heated all through-has come and gone, and Elijah heaves up from the bar and walks away and Orlando follows him down the passage to where Elijah's paused, leaning against the wall, there's another moment, when they both get very still, and both flicker.

Then there's touch and it's the world that stops.

The first kiss is weird. Lips are hotter than they should be, hands are colder, the angle is wrong. They bump at each other messily, back off, shy, hands reaching and smiles skewing. Their eyes are only sort of open, sort of closed, and that's the way they are when they kiss again, blinking slow. This time there's wetness and warmth and the slickness of tongues, voluptuous and desperate. Elijah thinks, So that's the noise Orlando makes and Orlando thinks. Nothing.

Two young bodies in a corridor, not much space between them, one face looking up, the other down.

Then bodies take over and there's no more thinking or stilling, because all either Elijah or Orlando knows is push.


Of course they get a taxi together. The whole way, Elijah sits with his hands on his thighs, tapping a rhythm, and Orlando spends the drive watching his own reflection, glossed, in the orange streetlight, riding beside him.

"You look nervous," he says, to the window.

"Are you?" asks Elijah's silhouette in the glass.

Orlando looks at the taxi driver's head.


Elijah's hands slap at his thighs. They make no sound over the thrum of the car. Then they pause. Streetlights stream over the car.

"Oh," says Elijah.


Walking up to his house in the charcoal dark and hazy yellow lamplight. Orlando feels so full of expectation he's brimming. His skin simmers.

Elijah, next to him, walking in slow, tired steps, has his hands in his pockets. Orlando reaches over, takes a slim wrist, extracts Elijah's hand, squeezes it. Elijah's palm is soft beneath Orlando's strong fingers. Elijah's face looks straight ahead.

They get to the door. Orlando's turned away, slotting the key in, when Elijah says,

"Actually -- actually, Orli -- "

And Orlando turns; already his fullness is drenched. When he looks at Elijah's face, obliterated in the shadows, just a silhouette, he waits, just a second. Nothing.

"Oh yeah, okay, you're probably tired," he says, too quickly, fitting himself back into firmer lines.

Elijah just stands there, tense, his hands jammed back in his pockets. "It's late. I'm sorry."

Orlando watches him walk back down the path, to the empty street. Every movement of Elijah's jerks, as if Orlando is looking at a series of stills. Then he walks through the gate, and around the corner of the tall picket fence, and flickers past each paling and is gone.

Orlando goes inside, and just lies on his bed for a long time in the dark, full of energy he can't dispel. He lies there, just feeling it all jangling in him, not moving a muscle in case movement will scrape something.


Elijah gets to his own house but he doesn't go in. He sits on the front steps, in the soft blare of light from the porch lamp. The air is cold and he's shivering. He huddles in his coat, fishes out a cigarette, smokes it in short, agitated puffs. Then another.

His feet tap softly on the step. He talks to himself silently, tiny little twitches of his mouth. Every now and then he makes an actual sound. Orlando -- I'd had the nerve -- kiss you slow, kiss you -- I -- Orlando --

Then he jerks up, stamps out the cigarette, unlocks his door with a wrench, and disappears inside.


Sometimes things don't work out in straight lines. Sometimes a moment is just a moment. But there is always more, of something else.


The next day, Elijah and Orlando wear careful smiles when they meet on set. Elijah is quiet. Orlando is loud. They don't say much to each other.

In between, and more frequently as the day goes on, and the next, their smiles curve more easily.

"Hey," says Elijah in the end. They're all heading back to the trailers to get out of costume. The blessed end of the long day. The rest of the Fellowship has already hastened ahead and the path is empty in the dense grainy air.

"It's okay," says Orlando.

Elijah stops and looks at him. "I wanted -- to say -- "

"It's okay," Orlando says again, and this time he stops too, and he just stands and looks right at Elijah. This is not a moment for smiling. It's a moment to concentrate.

And then Elijah reaches out a hand, and when it drops on Orlando's arm Orlando feels the tremble.

"It's when it's daytime that I want you," Elijah says. "Isn't that strange?"

Orlando smiles then. A slow, supple grin. "I think of you at night."

They both look up at the sky.

"Look," says Elijah. "It's twilight."


Slashababy 2004 Stories