Slasha, Baby 2007
Some Other Beginning's End
Pairing: Elijah Wood/Dominic Monaghan
Summary: The last day and night of principal filming; one era ends, another begins.
Author Notes: for Slashababy 2007.
The last day of principal filming, Elijah wakes in his own bed but not alone. Opening one eye to peer over Dom's shoulder and at the clock, he'd like to think it's going to be a perfect day, all lush December heat and sweeter sun, but even after so long in New Zealand, he still finds it hard to guess the weather of days he greets in darkness.
The last year's been a blur of work and play--more of one, less of the other, with equal impact--and one of the few reasons why Elijah's bothered to slow down over the course of it rolls over now and curses into his pillow while Elijah laughs.
Last day, man, Elijah says, and Dom grunts in return something that makes it clear he's been awake for hours and has hated every second of it: the first day of the rest of our lives.
Dom's working on a handful of units, rushing around sets in clumsy boots. On the way to lunch Dom presses a hand to Billy's passing shoulder, and smiles when Billy stops and envelops him in a hug before he's pulled away--a separation Dom hates.
The first day of the rest of Dom's life isn't supposed to be passing this quickly.
Elijah finds him before Dom sinks into visible irritation, dragging him to a set where he's not needed but wanted, and Dom revels in the long work of Elijah's last scene, in the slow pace that once drove him mad.
Billy joins them on Elijah's set in the last half-hour or so, encouraging in his silence next to Dom. They ground Elijah comfortably in the here and now while not pulling his mind and heart too far away from Bag End.
The scene is hard on everyone watching, harder still on the one being watched. From somewhere deep and dark inside Elijah conjures Frodo's aching exhaustion and desire to escape a world that doesn't feel like home anymore but one he stills loves.
The moment Peter releases him, though, Elijah's expression changes; Frodo's pain leaves him and Elijah leans into Pete's arms for several seconds, smiling over Pete's shoulder at Dom and Billy waiting at a distance that's too much and not enough at the same time. When he leaps into their arms a few minutes later, it's with a manic, glassy-eyed joy that Dom reflects back on him tenfold.
Dom's given up any ideas that he might have done half as well as Frodo as Elijah has. And he's loved watching Elijah slip out of Middle Earth and into the present, watching Frodo's pipe disappear in favour of the cloves and listening to Frodo's caution turning into Elijah's confidence as he shares his unwavering belief that there's endless possibilities, man.
Dom came to Wellington a natural cynic, and it's taken Elijah and Billy to knock much of it out of him. Endless possibilities, Dom repeats when he's overthinking the move to Los Angeles, and decides to believe Elijah's right.
Elijah goes home with Dom afterward, ostensibly to help Dom with the last of his packing, but more to stretch across Dom's couch and watch Dom struggle with boxes and the twelve paintings he's accumulated in as many months. Dom's tired, but buzzing; he tells Elijah for the fifth time that tonight's party is going to be fantastic, something they'll remember for years to come. Even without the benefit of further hints, Elijah's inclined to agree, if only because he's seen the look in Dom's eyes before, and it's always promised great and memorable things, if not always for the right reasons or with the expected results.
After an hour, Elijah bails out to the balcony with his cigarettes and sunglasses, and after another, Dom joins him there. Together they're strong enough to keep sentimentality at bay, they suppose; together, Elijah thinks, they're strong enough to conquer the fucking world.
The party's in swing when Dom and Elijah arrive, full of more than just the actors with whom they've spent the most time; there are people here who've given their lives to the films for far longer than the cast has, people whom Dom finds as fantastic as everyone else he's met. He feels part of an ever-growing family, and the urge to entertain them has never been stronger.
Happily enough, Dom's been granted the chance to do just that, and he feels a hundred smiles turn his way as the music changes and his raspy growl fills the room.
Onstage, Dom causes a riot of joy among the assembled cast and crew. Even the relatively quiet ones look ready to join him up there, to be part of the band pounding out classic rock behind the sound of Dom's throaty, confidently off-key voice.
Dom's stage presence doesn't surprise many here, least of all Elijah. And while Billy will sing for anyone willing to listen and get the next round, the moment the song ends, the warmth of Billy's voice fades. When Dom jumps back into the party, damp with sweat and cheer, Elijah watches him move through the crowd and is reminded that Dom will never have to carry a tune well to leave the scorch mark of memory on anyone within reach of him.
That'll serve him well in Los Angeles, Elijah thinks, and as if Dom's read his mind, they meet eyes and wide, almost filthy grins.
Dom's still giggling when he and Elijah take a break from the festivities and step out into the warm evening air. They're both giddy and feel safe enough to nudge against each other and compare notes on Orlando's intake of alcohol and the resulting unsolicited confessions, on the otherworldly whinny of Viggo's beer-soaked laugh, and into which of their own beds they'll end this night.
When they stumble back inside the party, Dom and Elijah are surrounded by Stunties, sculptors, sound men and others who pull them this way and that, and Dom doesn't feel this separation nearly so hard.
Though passing crew members ask after Billy, no one seems concerned that he'd never arrived at the party; the last anyone had heard, Billy had planned to go home and lie down for an hour, and in Billy's case an hour can stretch to an evening before he or anyone else knows it. On his behalf, Dom and Elijah accept drinks and kisses from half the wardrobe department, and take a few more on their own, too.
When pressed about his plans, Dom shies away from specifics and talks about taking it easy for a few weeks, seeing what happens. It doesn't seem right to talk about the States yet when there's little waiting there for him, barring the endless possibilities in Elijah's eyes and smile.
See you when you get back then, Sala says, bumping his forehead against Dom's, and Dom suddenly doesn't want to go anywhere at all.
There's a visible difference between the cast and the crew at the party now; most of the actors have faded into caricatures of relief and release, while the crew continues to raise glasses and voices. Dom can't imagine drinking another drop, but Elijah reaches for a last bottle and is immediately swept up into the arms of five Stunties.
Peter begins his walk across the room to a roar of approval and respect, and as he beckons his hobbits, elves, and men to join him onstage, Dom feels the end rushing at him again but walks toward it eagerly nonetheless.
Dom feels himself tearing up while Pete offers his thanks and temporary goodbyes. The adrenaline's wearing off, cooling the sweat on Dom's body and making him lean harder against Orlando to his left and Elijah on his right. When he speaks, Dom's voice is hoarse from the singing and other things, too, and after a while he barely speaks at all, communicating instead by touch as all of the hobbits learned to do when the hour was too late and there was little left to say between them or anyone else.
Elijah takes his time making his goodbyes to everyone, but Dom makes a beeline for Fran and leaves her with his own last thanks and love. She holds him against her tighter and for longer than she does the rest, as he knew she would; she's always thought Dom needed her attention most, and for once he cannot disagree.
Elijah's grateful for the cars Pete hired; no way would he make the trek home on his own power. He's not really going home, though, and when Dom leans against him in the car, he mirrors Dom's grin until Dom's face crumples in a yawn.
Dom feels boneless against Elijah, warm but awake enough to respond to Elijah's curious touches. When Dom reminds Elijah through half-lidded eyes that they're leaving in the morning, Elijah reminds Dom that he's been packed for days and can sleep anywhere, including on the plane home; he can think of better things to do overnight.
There's a not-quite-drunken tiredness to the way Dom turns onto his back and throws one arm behind his head while the other searches for Elijah. Elijah follows him down to the bed and laughs in the darkness and tastes wine and his own cigarettes on Dom's lips. It's a comforting, familiar taste now, and Elijah's savored it since the first time Dom followed him outside a pub on the North Island and kissed him, to Elijah's utter surprise and immediate desire for more.
Dom's delivered and then some, giving as much as taking in this thing neither of them wants to call a relationship. Beyond the fucking, Dom's become Elijah's greatest friend here, and it's in friendship that Elijah's convinced Dom to come to LA, and in friendship Dom's accepted the invitation.
It's a different kind of invitation Elijah extends now, and Dom takes it with gratitude and happy greed.
They don't have the energy for a proper fuck, and it wouldn't feel right anyway. Dom picks up on Elijah's cues and turns both of them to their sides, catching Elijah's face in his hands for a deep, certain kiss before he begins to work open Elijah's shirt and jeans.
For too long, they're a mess of warm, slick, eager hands and mouths. Dom's clothes follow Elijah's to the floor before Dom's breathing hard, moving his hips and cock against Elijah's and listening for the sounds that never seem to leave Elijah's throat without a fight Dom's determined to win.
Later, after they've cleaned up and Dom's stretched beside Elijah again, they talk until their words begin to slur together like their dreams for the next several months. Those dreams are necessarily vague; neither of them has an urgent job, and what Dom has in the pipeline is not the sort of thing that will take him where he wants to go. Where Elijah seems to slip into roles effortlessly; Dom's roles seem to slip into him, and even he admits that's not always for the better.
But that's a concern for weeks, maybe months, from now, and Elijah pushes it away. Instead he opens one eye and peers over Dom's shoulder at the clock before he rolls to his back. It's the next day of the rest of your life, he tells himself, the darkness and Dom. There's endless possibilities, man.
Dom smiles into his pillow, and believes it.