Fishing For Change
Title: Fishing For Change
Summary: After graduating from grad school, Elijah gets a job at an amusement park. AU.
Notes: Merry Christmas! Thanks for allowing me the chance to write an AU monster. Enjoy!
Elijah was pretty sure he was insane. He stood outside the gates of a rundown amusement park, staring at the rusting hinges. He could see a line of game booths along both sides of a dusty lane and rides towering in the background. If the help wanted ad hadn't been in that morning's paper, he would have sworn the last time the park needed help had been 1984. Hell, from the looks of it that might have been the last time the park had been open.
A touch of fear settled in his stomach as he stepped through the open gates. If that hadn't been the only other job except for a truck driver in the newspaper, he wouldn't have dared entered (and right then, the truck driving job was looking a hell of a lot better). The entire place looked deserted, and Elijah hoped he wasn't going to be murdered.
After a few wrong turns, he found a beat up Winnebago in the front right corner of the park. He wasn't sure he was in the right place, but he saw large black letters that spelled "office" across the side. Resigning to the fact that this was his only choice, he knocked on the door.
A tall, thin guy with long brown hair and a scruffy beard opened the door. "Yeah?"
"Hi. I'm here about the job."
"Um... the one in the paper? For an amusement park attendant?"
"Oh!" The man turned and disappeared inside the Winnebago. Elijah wasn't sure whether he should follow or leave. He decided to stay where he was. "Well, are you coming or not?" the man yelled from inside. Elijah hurried up the steps.
Inside was fairly clean, cleaner than Elijah had expected. Almost every surface was covered in bright grey. In front of him was a small breakfast nook, to his left a stove, further down the hall a bathroom and a room he guessed housed the bed; to the right was a workstation with an ancient computer and stacks of paper covering the table, across from that a sofa in the most obnoxious royal purple velvet upholstery Elijah had ever seen, then two matching purple armchairs right in front of the steering wheel. He was pretty sure this thing had not been driven in years.
"Take a seat," the man said, pointing to the sofa as he sat at the work station. He looked through the unorganized papers for something. He found whatever it was and looked at Elijah. "So, you're here for the carnie job?"
"Fill this out." He handed Elijah a pad.
"Sir, this is a legal pad."
"Where's the application?"
"That is the application." Elijah stared at the man in confusion. "Just write down your name, address, work history ... all the normal bullshit." He stood up and walked towards the back of the space as Elijah started to write. "I'm Viggo, by the way," he called.
"Nice to meet you, Elijah." Viggo reappeared and tossed a t-shirt at him, hitting him in the face. Elijah grabbed it and held up a green shirt with Mirkwood Forest Amusement Park emblazoned across the back in yellow letters. "Welcome to the team."
"I got the job?" he asked incredulously. "But you didn't ask me any questions. I only filled out my name and age on this." Elijah held up the pad.
Viggo shrugged. "You don't have to take the job. You can give me the shirt back if you want."
"No!" Elijah exclaimed. "I mean, I want to the job. I just didn't expect it to be this easy."
"Listen, kid. I've worked in this business my whole life. My dad opened this place back in the 60s. I've hired every kind of worker you can think of, from out-of-work nuclear physicists to ex-cons. There isn't much to steal, newbies don't work the heavy machinery, and most people don't come back for day two. So, I figure either you won't be back tomorrow or I gain a new employ. Just try to remember and leave the shirt if you aren't coming back tomorrow." Viggo picked up a couple of sheets of paper and handed them to Elijah. "Rules, map, and all that shit. We open today at 5, so take a few hours to learn the lay of the park and meet everyone so you can work tonight." Elijah examined the rules and map as Viggo grabbed a rotary phone from its cradle and dialed a number. "Yeah, Orlando? We got a new employee. No, not like last time. Seems okay. Can you come and show him around? Awesome." He hung up the phone and turned back to Elijah. "Orlando is going to show you around. He'll be here in about half an hour. If you have any questions, ask him."
Elijah knew that was a dismissal, so he stood, thanked Viggo, and exited. Outside the Winnebago, he felt a mixture of relief and dread. He got a job; this was a good thing since he had maybe three dollars to his name. He was also nervous. The last time he had been to an amusement park he had been like ten, so he wasn't quite sure what he was doing. And if things were as bad as to make people not want to come back the next day... Elijah took a deep breath and ran a hand through his hair. He had a job; he was going to focus on that.
He slipped on his sunglasses and walked into the park. It was smaller than some of the larger theme parks like Universal, Busch Gardens, or Six Flags. There were no water rides and no roller coasters. As he walked down the dirt path, he tried to figure out what the park even had. He saw numerous game booths and some food cubicles. The kiddie rides were obviously near the front of the park because he began to pass rides with cars in shapes of animals, planes, and teacups. Near the middle of the fairway was a rather large carousel. Elijah stopped and stared at it, a bit impressed. For such a dump, the carousel was lovely. He continued and realized he had come upon the adult rides. There was a gravitron, double Ferris wheel, regular Ferris wheel, free fall, super loop, and a handful of other rides that were variations on around and back-and-forth. He stopped beside the flying bobs and studied it closely from behind the metal fence. The cars were colorful and worn, but looked solid. As he looked closer, he decided that the ride was probably older than he was.
After he had circled the entire park, he stood at the front and gazed upon it. It wasn't overly impressive, but it would do. It had to; he had no other options.
"Elijah?" Elijah turned towards the voice. A tall, tan guy with brown curls walked towards him. His face split into a wide grin as he extended a hand. "I'm Orlando."
"Nice to meet you."
"Welcome to Mirkwood Forest. What do you think?"
"Um... it's nice."
"Yeah, it's a bit of a shit, but it's home, you know? I've worked here for a couple of years now, longest of anybody except Sean, our games manager." Orlando clapped Elijah on the back. "Come on, I'll show you around."
For the next hour, Orlando showed Elijah everything from the rides to the staff parking lot to the employee bathroom. Around 4, other people started showing up.
"Who's this?" asked a shorter guy wearing the same green t-shirt.
"Elijah, this is Billy. He runs the rides with me. If you have any problems, you can go to him or me."
Elijah nodded as Billy smiled. "You picked a pretty good night to start. Tuesdays aren't too bad." Elijah felt relieved as he followed Orlando and Billy to a white picnic table underneath a pavilion. "So, what brings you here, Elijah?"
"I needed a job."
"You must have been desperate."
"A bit, yeah." They all laughed.
"Where are you from?" Orlando asked.
"Originally from Iowa, but I've been living in California for awhile. I went to the University of Berkley for grad school."
Billy whistled. "Then why in the bloody hell are you here?"
"Needed a job. And I have no clue what I want to do."
"I thought that's what grad school was for," Orlando said.
"So did I." Elijah sighed.
"Cheer up, mate," Orlando said. "Welcome to the club for people who don't have a fucking clue what they want to do with their lives. Take Billy here, for example."
"Hey!" Billy started to protest, but Orlando cut him off.
"Billy wants to be a musician. He's in a band. But he's working here."
"I play gigs."
"When? On your nights off?"
"Fuck you. Orlando here has delusions of grandeur. He thinks his good looks are going to get him his big break in Hollywood. He wants to be an actor."
"I am going to be an actor. I've just got this shit job so I can save up money and move to LA. Do you know how bloody expensive it is to live in LA?"
"Saving up for two years. Going places, are you?"
"At least I have more of an excuse that you do."
"Do you know how hard it is to get gigs around here? We're halfway between LA and San Francisco, which means we're in the middle of nowhere."
Elijah listened to them in awe. He was really hoping he didn't end up like them, stuck here in this job for years waiting to figure things out. Oh well. He had a job. That was better than he was doing twelve hours ago.
He knew being the new guy sucked, but he didn't realize that he would get stuck operating the slide. He wasn't even working anything ... he just stood on top of an extremely high landing, handing burlap sacks to people and telling them where to sit. Occasionally he got to spray cooking spray on the slide to make it slicker, and a few times he had to walk back down the stairs because some punk ass kid dropped his burlap sack and was too lazy to walk down himself and get it.
In between sliders, he stared out at the park. The slide was positioned at the extreme back right corner, so he could see everything. At night, it actually looked kinda cool. Myriad neon colored lights scattered all over the grounds, sounds of people screaming in excitement, and drifting music from the more popular, cooler rides. The breeze wasn't too bad that high up, either.
A couple of hours later, Orlando appeared beside him. "How's it going?"
"Hey!" Elijah was actually glad to see him. "It's going pretty well. It's not difficult."
"Your graduate degree has prepared you well, huh?"
"Well, no one has fallen off the top yet."
Orlando smiled. "That's a plus. Listen, I came up here to tell you that it's break time. You get twenty minutes for bathroom, food, smoking, whatever it is you need to do. I've already closed the gate below. Be back in thirty minutes."
"I thought you said twenty."
"I did, but everyone takes thirty. Who's going to know? Viggo doesn't care as long as we are here most of the night."
"Cool, thanks." Elijah started to walk down the stairs but noticed Orlando walking leaning down. "What are you doing?"
"Sliding is much faster," he said, sitting down a piece of burlap.
"Really? You're going to slide?"
"Hell yeah. Catch you on the flipside." With that, Orlando pushed off and disappeared down the cream track. Elijah glanced at the piece of burlap hanging over the banister, then back at the stairs.
"I must be insane," he muttered to himself as he grabbed the burlap and slid down. At the bottom, he realized he was actually smiling. "Well, fuck me." He laughed and entered the throng of people milling about.
Pulling out a pack of cigarettes from his back pocket, he placed one between his lips and lit it, inhaling deeply. The park looked much more inviting at night with people everywhere. He went and got himself a Coke, then slowly ambled down the lanes, kicking dirt with the toe of his Chucks as he sucked on his second cigarette.
As he walked past the fun house, he felt something hit his head. He rubbed the spot absentmindedly and continued walking. He felt it again and turned around, pissed.
"Hey, you!" Elijah searched for the source of the voice and the object. "Up here." He glanced up at the railing of the fun house and saw a guy in the same green t-shirt he was wearing. Great, Elijah thought, some douchebag is hazing me.
"You the new guy Billy was talking about?" The guy was leaning over with his elbows on the railing, hands clasped, and a slight smirk on his scruffy face.
"Nice to meet you, Elijah." Dom appraised him slightly. "How much longer do you have on break?"
"Just a few minutes."
"Too bad." Dom paused, eyes never leaving Elijah, while Elijah took a final drag off his cigarette. He tossed it to the ground and stomped it out with his foot. "Where did Viggo end up putting you?"
"Dude, that sucks. I'm sorry." Dom laughed and Elijah smiled and shrugged.
"Could be worse, I guess."
"You could be working the fun house."
"Does it suck that bad?"
"Well, just tonight, some kid threw up in the mirror maze, the horizontal revolving barrel broke, and the moving floor got stuck."
"Sorry. That does suck."
Dom shrugged. "It is what it is. Guess you better get back to the slide. See you later, Elijah." He turned to a group of girls who giggled and squealed as he smiled and started talking to them. Elijah walked back to the slide and had barely made it to the top himself before a steady stream of people started lining up.
When the park closed, Elijah realized he was more tired than he expected. He climbed down the stairs this time instead of sliding, and walked through the now deserted midway. There was quite a bit of trash, and he was extremely glad he wasn't the janitor here. He passed Orlando at the flying bobs talking to a few people and decided against interrupting. He went to find Billy to figure out what to do before he left. He went to the super loop, but Billy had already gone. He decided then to just shuffle towards the front.
As he passed the fun house, he saw Dom talking to someone. He walked on past.
Elijah turned around and saw Dom jump down from the fun house platform and jog towards him. "What are you doing?"
"I was looking for Billy, but I can't find him."
"He's... actually I don't know where he is. But that doesn't matter. Wanna go fishing for change?"
"Come on, I'll show you." Elijah followed Dom to the fun house, but instead of walking up the steps, they went to the side. Dom grabbed one of the metal siding pieces, removed it, and bent down. "There." Elijah looked inside the dark hole.
"What am I supposed to be looking at?"
"Karl!" A bearded, dark-haired man in a sleeveless plaid shirt and tool belt stuck his head over the side of the railing. "Can you toss me your flashlight?"
"Up there with you... somewhere. Just do it."
"Fine." He removed the flashlight from his tool belt and gently tossed it down. "Be careful. That is the best one I have."
"I'm just going under here, geez." Dom switched on the flashlight then crawled underneath the fun house. "Come on."
"I'm not sure about this," Elijah said as he reluctantly followed Dom.
"Man up, Elijah. It's not going to collapse on us, I promise."
"Great. I hadn't even thought of that. I was just worried about rats."
"That I can't help."
Elijah crawled beside Dom and looked at the area illuminated by the flashlight. Coins were scattered across the ground.
"This is fishing for change." Dom started gathering money and placing it in a pile. Elijah joined him. After they finished, they stuffed all the change in their pockets and crawled back out.
"Flashlight!" Karl called from above. Dom lifted it up as Karl grabbed it. "How much did you make tonight?"
"Dunno, gotta count it." Dom walked up the fun house steps and sat on the front ledge, legs dangling off. Elijah sat beside him. They pulled all the money from their pockets and counted it. "Four dollars and nineteen cents."
"Not cool. That's not a lot. Oh well. It's enough for the two of us to get like a burger or something from Del Taco."
"No, it's your money."
Dom laughed. "It was a slow night. Weekends we can really cash in. So, let's go spend our winnings. I'm starving."
"You take it. I'm not that hungry. I just want to go home and go to sleep."
"You can't go home. The night is young. It's only like eleven."
"Almost midnight," Karl offered from behind them.
"Later than I thought," Dom said.
"Cool." Dom stood up and offered a hand to Elijah. Elijah grabbed it and Dom yanked him up, causing Elijah to stumble into him. Elijah blushed and mumbled sorry as he backed up.
"Do I have to sign out or anything?"
Elijah heard Karl laugh from the revolving barrel. Dom smiled. "You'll learn real fast the way things work around here. As long as you are here when you're supposed to be and leave when you're supposed to, Viggo doesn't care. It's like the honor system. It's pretty laid back."
"Cool." Elijah stood there awkwardly, not quite wanting to leave yet. "It wasn't as bad as I anticipated. Viggo told me some people only make it through one day before quitting."
"He over exaggerates. It's not that bad. The job kinda sucks, but it has its perks." Dom pointed down to the change still lying on the ledge.
"Oh yes. Your four dollar tip."
"Our four dollars. I should probably separate it."
Elijah put his hand up in protest. "How about you owe me?"
"Well, I guess I'll see you tomorrow."
"Early day. You'll find that the days we open early ... Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday ... really fucking suck. The day never ends."
"I'm that kind of guy."
Elijah smiled and walked down the fun house steps. He waved awkwardly as he headed towards the exit.
Dom wasn't lying when he said early days sucked. Standing for hours in the sun on that slide really sucked. When Orlando waved to him from the ground that it was break time, Elijah nearly cried from relief.
When Elijah walked towards the food stands, he noticed a group of people sitting with Dom and Billy. Although he felt a touch shy, he joined them after buying a Coke. He sat beside Dom, who was in the middle of an apparently amusing story. Elijah sucked on his straw and looked around the table. There were two girls, one with long dark hair, the other with lighter curls, a guy about his age, and two old guys.
"Everyone, this is Elijah," Dom said after he finished his story. Elijah waved and blushed.
"Aren't you just the most precious thing I've ever laid eyes upon," one of the older men said. Elijah wasn't sure how to react.
"Down, Ian," Dom said, laughing. Elijah smiled.
"Now, Dominic. Allow an old, horny codger some fun."
"Your fun is more than just looking and complimenting," Dom said, turning to Elijah quickly and winking.
"I'm Liv," the dark-haired girl said. Her ponytail swung behind her as she moved. This started a chain of introductions ... Liv, Ian, Miranda, Sean, and Christopher. Elijah really hoped he could keep everyone straight.
"I have come up with a fantastic idea for the House of Horror," Christopher said. Elijah was instantly intrigued by his deep, booming voice. It was both terrifying and pleasant at the same time.
"Let me guess. Dracula?" Miranda said with a smirk. The others laughed.
"You little minx," Ian said, nudging her side.
"Really, Miranda. Must you be so disrespectful?"
Billy glanced at Elijah from across the table. "Christopher played Dracula in a few movies back in the day."
"Yeah, like in the 30s or something," Liv said.
"You children have no appreciation for the classics. I was indeed Dracula in many different cinematic interpretations. Those were the days, the glory days of Hollywood. Horror films, true horror films might I add, were so different back then. They had skill, class. None of this slasher killer stuff they put out these days," Christopher explained. Everyone watched him in mock interest.
"What is your idea?" Sean asked.
"We shall do an homage to the classics. All classic villains, with muted colors and real scares. No shock value or fake blood. Anticipation! Creeping! And a deep, resounding voice resonating from nowhere!" Christopher chuckled to himself, obviously pleased.
"That actually sounds great, Chris," Dom said, clapping him on the shoulder. Christopher looked at his hand in disdain.
"I've told you; don't call me Chris." With that, Christopher stood up and walked away.
"Don't mind him," Billy said. "He's just a cranky old git."
"Not everyone can be as fabulous as I am in their golden years," Ian said, standing up with a flourish. When he stood, Elijah noticed he was wearing a tuxedo and a black satin cape with a purple lining. "I am off, my dears. Another show in ten minutes. I must prepare to stupefy my audience!" Ian bowed and placed a top hat on his head as he straightened.
"Yeah, I guess we gotta get back, too." Liv stood up, looking unhappy. Miranda followed.
"What do you do?" Elijah asked.
"It sucks," Miranda said. "I go home smelling like grease and a heart attack every night."
"And I smell like cotton candy." Liv twirled around, smiling.
"Shut up, princess," Miranda said, pushing Liv away from the table.
"Now that Elijah has met most of the crew, he's probably ready to quit," Sean said, finishing off the last bit of fries on his plate.
Elijah shook his head. "No. They seem nice."
"They're all barking mad," Dom said, "but they keep working here pretty interesting."
"What do you do?" Elijah asked Sean.
"Oh, you're the games manager."
Sean shook his head. "Nope, that's Sean Bean. I'm just his lackey."
"That must get confusing."
"You have no idea." Sean stood up. "Nice meeting you," he said, then left. After that, Billy left, leaving Dom and Elijah alone.
"So, has today sucked as bad as I said it would," Dom asked. He pushed his bag of potato chips towards Elijah. Elijah grabbed one and nodded in thanks.
"It has definitely sucked. I really hope I don't get sunburned."
"You are pretty freakishly pale." Dom smiled. "At least you don't have to work for Christopher."
"You like comparing how much your job sucks to everyone else's, don't you?" Elijah asked, then stuffed another potato chip in his mouth.
"It makes me feel just a tad bit better about myself. Otherwise, I feel pretty lousy. There is no dignity in being a fucking carnie, especially after having other jobs. It's not a career you imagine yourself having."
"What did you do before?"
Dom looked away, his eyes roaming over the people milling about on the midway. He was quiet for a few moments. "Something very different." Elijah suddenly felt extremely awkward. He ate another potato chip, then changed the subject.
"So, you work for Christopher?"
"Yeah," Dom said, turning his attention back to Elijah. "He's over the haunted and fun houses. I think he's completely off his rocker. He's batshit." They laughed.
"Was he really in a movie?"
"Oh yeah. It's insane. That was like forever ago, and he was no Bela Legosi, but still."
Elijah glanced at his watch. "I guess I better get back to work," he said reluctantly.
"What are you doing after work? And you better not say going home to go to sleep," Dom said.
"I haven't really thought about it."
"Come by the fun house when you're done."
"Okay." Elijah walked slowly back to the slide. He liked the people he had met so far, especially Dom. He was hoping this job would turn out being better than he originally thought.
After closing, Elijah walked to the fun house. He didn't see Dom anywhere, so he walked around to the side. Sure enough, he saw the same piece of siding missing. He bent down and saw a streak of light and the outline of a pair of shoes.
There was a loud thud. "Shit!" Dom shouted. "Don't scare me like that." He turned around, rubbing his head, and flashed the light in Elijah's face. "And yes, to answer your question. There's a bit more than last night."
"All yours. I didn't help tonight."
"I still owe you," Dom said, crawling backwards out of the hole.
"That is true." Dom dusted off the knees of his jeans when he stood up. He rubbed the sore spot on his head again. Elijah reached forward and brushed dust off his shoulder and arm.
"How much tonight?" he asked as Dom emptied his pockets on a step.
"Eleven thirty seven," Dom reported. "We're totally going to iHop. Let's go get everyone else." Dom grabbed Elijah's hand; Elijah was surprised and unprepared for how his stomach knotted. Dom pulled him across the grounds towards the front gate, and after a few feet, he dropped Elijah's hand. Elijah trailed a few steps behind Dom, rubbing his hand absent-mindedly. He was pretty sure things just got unintentionally complicated.
"iHop!" Dom shouted as he passed people. A few minutes later, a group consisting of Orlando, Billy, Sean, Liv, Miranda, Karl, and Ian were assembled.
"Liv, you can drive five in your Explorer, and I'll get four in my car," Orlando said as they walked towards the parking lot. Elijah stayed close to Dom, not wanting to ride in a separate car.
He ended up in the backseat of Orlando's beat up red Camero. It was a two-door, so he had to squeeze into the back through an impossibly small opening. The floorboard was littered with empty soda cans and old magazines. Dom was sitting beside him, Billy in the front seat.
"This song is fucking awesome!" Orlando screamed over the loud music. Elijah was a bit surprised at Orlando's enthusiasm for the song; it was "Down on the Corner" by CCR. Not exactly a song usually described as "fucking awesome."
Orlando was beating the rhythm on the steering wheel, Billy slapping the dashboard and Dom keeping tempo on his knees.
"If you got a nickel, better lay your money down," Orlando sang loudly, then Billy and Dom both joined in with, "Down on the corner, out in the street... "
Elijah started laughing. Dom raised his eyebrow in question as he continued singing along. When the song was over, Orlando turned the volume down.
"What's so funny?" he asked.
"I just never thought I'd hear a bunch of Brits singing Creedance, that's all."
"Okay, music snob," Dom said, "we can like classic southern rock, too. You like British music. The Beatles?"
"Point taken," Elijah said, laughing. "It's still fucking hilarious."
At iHop, they all squeezed into a large table in the back. For being after midnight, the restaurant was pretty packed. Elijah thought the line of people in matching Mirkwood Forest t-shirts, Karl in his plaid sleeveless shirt and toolbelt, and Ian in a tux was an amusing sight. They got a few strange stares as they walked through the dining room.
"What are you getting?" Dom asked as they perused the menus.
Elijah laughed. "Um, haven't decided." Dom was looking at him expectantly; he smiled and closed the menu. "You obviously have an idea. What should I get?"
"Wanna share an all-you-can eat pancake stack?"
"Okay. But isn't that supposed to be for just one person?"
Dom shook his head dismissively. "They don't care."
When they got the pancakes, Elijah watched as Dom spread gobs of butter onto each one, waited for it to melt into the bread, then soaked the stack with gallons of syrup.
"Want some pancakes with that syrup?" Elijah joked, and Dom responded by giving him the finger.
A few minutes later, Miranda tapped Elijah on the shoulder and pointed to Ian, who was waiting for everyone's attention.
"I heard some news today," he said dramatically. He paused, and everyone stared at him, waiting. "I heard that the Mordor has decided to relaunch a newer, better theme park with the express purpose of putting a certain other theme park out of business." He sat back with his fingers crossed over his chest, watching everyone's reaction.
"Huh?" Liv finally said.
"You mean to say the Mordor wants to put us out of business?" Karl asked. Ian nodded.
"That's absurd!" Sean exclaimed. Dom added an emphatic, "Bullshit!"
"I don't understand," Orlando said. "Why would anyone feel we're a threat? We're like the worst amusement park in California."
"Apparently, the Mordor doesn't share your view," Ian said.
"Who's your source?"
"A trusted confidant. If he says it is true, then it is true."
"Is that even possible? I mean, to put someone out of business?" Elijah asked, feeling kind of stupid.
"Not suddenly, but after awhile, crowds will drop and we will be almost like a ghost town. It's happened to many good amusement parks. Why do you think places like Six Flags and Universal are so popular? Do you think they got lucky?" Ian looked at Elijah pointedly, making sure he'd connect the dots.
"Has anyone told Viggo?" Orlando asked.
"Viggo has got to know," Karl said.
"I'm sure he does," Ian said. "The reason Mirkwood Forest has stayed in business as long as it has is because of Viggo and his father's talent for running it."
Elijah had to cough to cover up his laugh; Viggo didn't seem like any kind of talented businessman. Elijah sat back while the others discussed all aspects of the park and its threat and worked on the massive stack of pancakes he was sharing with Dom. He had just gotten this job; he liked the people he worked with. He didn't want to find somewhere else, even if the job wasn't glamorous.
As they were leaving the restaurant, Dom stepped close to Elijah and leaned towards him. "You got pretty quiet," he said quietly in Elijah's ear. A shiver ran down Elijah's spine as Dom's hot, sweetly scented breath ghosted across his skin. "What's up?"
Elijah shrugged. "Just felt pretty out of place, you know, being the new guy and all. I've only been working there two days. It isn't like I have any say or any kind of opinion."
Dom threw his arm loosely around Elijah's shoulders. "Don't worry, mate. You won't lose your job. And even if you do, it's really not that big of a deal." He shot Elijah a crooked grin and dropped his arm. Elijah was shocked that it only took two days for him to start developing feelings for Dom.
A week later, Viggo called a meeting after closing. They all gathered around tables under the pavilion where bingo was held nightly. Elijah saw a bunch of faces he had never seen before in addition to the people he'd already met. He sat down with Orlando, Billy, and Liv, and Dom came late and took the seat beside him, smiling brightly when he saw him. He hadn't really seen Dom much since that night at iHop; he had worked a few early shifts, which meant he got off before most people, and Dom had done the same thing other nights. Other nights, he just went home because he was tired. The job was more physically draining than he originally thought. Elijah had spent a lot of time thinking about Dom ... mostly up on the slide while trying to pass the time. His thoughts ranged from dirty things they could be doing in the ride cars to reasons why he needed to put a cap on his feelings right then and there. He had pretty much gotten over his feelings until Dom sat down beside him and his stomach fluttered and his cheeks burned. Feelings were definitely still going strong.
"I just want to clear the air," Viggo started, "There's been some talk that the park is in trouble. We are not closing. We are not threatened, not in trouble. Everything is fine. The Mordor might want to revamp and steal our business, but this place has been here for decades; a little bit of shiny equipment and new rides won't change that."
"Though getting us some computerized equipment wouldn't hurt," someone shouted. People laughed, but Viggo ignored the outburst.
"If you have any issues or questions, please see me. But don't worry." He ran a hand through his hair, long strands falling right back in his face. "Next item of business. Paychecks will be delayed until Monday instead of tomorrow." This announcement was met with an outpouring of grunts. Viggo had to raise his voice to continue. "I'm sorry for the inconvenience. That's all. Good night."
Now in sour spirits, everyone started to leave. Before Elijah could stand, Dom turned to him. "Get used to the paychecks being late."
"Viggo pays us sometimes on Friday, sometimes Saturday, sometimes the next Wednesday. He hasn't gone past a week before, but there is a first time for everything."
"Is that legal?" Elijah asked.
"Who's gonna sue him?"
"Viggo pays us when he remembers. And it's not always in money." Elijah widened his eyes in surprise and Dom continued. "One time, I got paid by traveler's check, once by money order."
He shook his head. "Nope. We get pissed, but we can still pay our bills. Whatever, you know." They followed the group of people towards the employee parking lot. "We're going to Orlando's tonight. It's low-key, just all of us hanging out and such, but there will be beer and food and music. Are you in?"
"Cool. You can follow me."
"I need to go home first. Shower, change my shirt. I feel like I wear this damn t-shirt all the time." They neared their cars, and Elijah stopped before walking towards the far right of the parking lot.
"I have a t-shirt in my car. You can put it on at Orlando's," Dom said.
"Is it clean?"
Dom looked slightly offended. "Of course it's clean. What kind of question is that?"
Elijah defensively put up his hands. "Just checking. I never know with you people."
Dom stepped forward, closing the gap between them. Elijah could feel the warmth from his body. He crouched down just a bit, looked Elijah in the eyes. "I hate to break it to you, but Elijah, now you are one of us people." Dom smiled then walked to his car on the other side of the parking lot.
Running a hand through his hair, Elijah walked to his car. He tried to shake off the buzz of energy coursing through his veins. When he pulled out of the parking lot, he followed Dom through unfamiliar streets. He turned his music up to an almost earsplitting volume. Singing out his frustrations seemed like the most appealing thing at the moment. As he listened, he smiled and realized how different his jam music was from Orlando, Billy, and Dom's. Almost thoughtlessly, he grabbed his iPod and changed to CCR.
He followed Dom onto a residential street and then parked in front of a small brick house. Although the house was in a decent neighborhood, it was kind of rundown and the yard was messy and unkempt. When he got out of the car, he saw Dom waiting for him in the front yard holding a t-shirt.
"One clean t-shirt."
"Thanks," Elijah said, taking the shirt. They walked towards the door, and Elijah noticed something out of the corner of his eye. "What is that?"
"A PBR sculpture."
Elijah walked over to the object, a waist-high pyramid made completely out of Pabst Blue Ribbon cans. "This is... the most amazing thing I've ever seen."
"Yeah. It took us a few weeks to drink enough beer to finish it."
"I hope there's something better to drink tonight than PBR," Elijah said, walking onto the carport. There was a broken grill, a skateboard, a weightlifting bench, and stacks of empty, beat up boxes.
"Beggars can't be choosy," Dom said as he opened the door. Loud music hit Elijah as soon as he entered, along with the sound of voices and laughter. Orlando's house was sparsely furnished, with another weight bench, a table covered with cases of beer, and a few stools in what Elijah figured was the dining room. The living room had an old couch, two tvs, a stereo, a piano, an armchair, and a futon right in the middle of the floor.
"Elijah! I'm so glad you made it!" Orlando said as he came up with a beer in his hand. He gave Elijah the beer then grabbed him in a one-armed hug. "Make yourself at home. Anything you need, it's yours. And there's plenty of room for you if you need to stay the night."
"Where's your bathroom? I just want to wash some of work off of me."
Orlando swallowed a huge gulp of beer. "Of course! Down the hall on your right."
Elijah nodded and made his way towards the back of the house, nodding and speaking to people as he passed. He knew almost everyone there, and recognized a few others from the park. When he got to the bathroom, he closed the door behind him, muffling some of the sound. He took a deep breath and pulled off his shirt. He turned on the faucet and splashed cold water on his face. Looking around, he found some soap on the counter and a washcloth in the linen closet. He lathered up the rag and washed himself down, removing some of the dirt and grime that accumulated after hours at work. He wished he could take a shower, but figured at a party wasn't the right time. When he finally felt clean enough, he dried himself, grabbed Dom's t-shirt, and pulled it over his head. He looked at his reflection in the mirror and noticed the t-shirt for the first time. It was grey and said "I Poke Badgers With Spoons." Elijah groaned. Not only was it a ridiculously weird shirt (but seemed to fit Dom's personality somehow... ), it was wrinkled and way too big for Elijah. Dom wasn't that much bigger than him, but the shirt just hung loosely on his small frame. Great, he looked like he just rolled out of bed. So sexy, he thought wryly.
He emerged from the bathroom, to an emphatic "thank god" from one of the guests. He walked back to the kitchen counter where he left his beer, grabbed it, and downed half of it in one go. He grimaced as he swallowed and remembered why he hated shitty beer so much.
"I saw that grimace, beer snob," Orlando said from across the kitchen. Elijah smiled apologetically.
"Don't listen to him," Billy said. "That shit tastes like goat pee." He lifted a glass of amber liquid. "Jameson is the only thing I drink. Orlando would drink anything if it would get him drunk."
"Not all of us are mature and cultured like you, Billy," Orlando said. "I spend less on two cases of beer than you do on half a bottle."
"But I don't have to hold my breath to swallow," Billy said.
"That's what she said!" someone yelled in the background.
Elijah took a few more gulps of his beer, trying to finish it as quickly as possible. He hated to admit it, but Billy was right. That shit was nasty. But that didn't stop him from grabbing another.
Quite a few beers later, he was sitting outside on the brick wall of the carport, arguing literature with Sean and Karl.
"I tell you," Sean continued, waving his hands around emphatically, "Hundred Years of Solitude is, in fact, the best book ever published. There's a reason it's on every important book list."
"Bullshit," Elijah replied. "You can't pin down the best book ever. That's like trying to decide on the best song or album ever recorded. It's impossible. And even if I was creating a list of the best books, Hundred Years of Solitude wouldn't even make the top one hundred. That book is for professors and pretentious pricks."
"Hey!" Sean exclaimed, offended.
"It's not a bad book," Karl offered, "but there are many far superior books. Everything Cormac McCarthy ever wrote is leagues ahead of Marquez."
"Oh please," Sean said. "Cormac McCarthy is one of the most overrated authors of this century. I tried to read The Road, and the crimes committed against the English language in the first eight pages are deplorable. And don't even get me started on All The Pretty Horses."
"Fuck both them," Elijah said, pointing his finger so forcefully that all the ashes fell off his cigarette. "Kurt Vonnegut is a fucking genius."
"Slaughterhouse Five is overrated," Sean said.
"No, that's a great book," Karl said.
"Fuck Slaughterhouse Five," Elijah shouted, waving his hands around. "Breakfast of Champions is fucking leagues above anything else he wrote."
Sean disagreed so vehemently that Elijah thought his head was going to twist off his head he was shaking it so hard. Karl was leaning back casually, arms crossed against his chest; he didn't seem affected by anything anyone said and offered his opinions easily. Elijah brought his cigarette to his mouth and inhaled deeply.
"What's going on out here?" Dom asked, coming up behind them. "I heard Elijah cursing over the music. Orlando's neighbors are going to call the cops."
"Sorry," Elijah said sheepishly, feeling his cheeks burning.
"They're fucking eighty years old anyway," Dom said. He sat beside Elijah on the wall, so close that he was pressed completely against Elijah's side. Elijah definitely didn't mind. "What are you yelling about?"
"Books," Karl said.
"You're getting this worked up over literature?" Dom asked.
"If you think this is worked up, don't even get me started on music," Elijah said, laughing.
"Maybe I will, just to see how much it'll take for the neighbors to call the cops."
"Fuck you." Elijah smiled and Dom winked. He felt his stomach clench, and he took a long drag from his cigarette to distract himself. Even in his beer-hazed mind, he figured staring at Dom would be a bad idea.
"I need another beer," Sean said, standing up. "Anyone else?"
"Me," Elijah said. Sean nodded and walked a little unevenly back into the house.
"Excuse me, guys," Karl said, going over to join Sean Bean and Liv by the door.
"Having fun?" Dom asked. Elijah turned towards him, Dom's face just inches from his own.
"Yeah," Elijah said.
"I would think arguing books with Sean would be the fucking boringest thing in the world to do."
"I don't mind. I like Sean and I like books."
"I like both those things, too, but not together."
Elijah smiled, took a final drag from his cigarette, then tossed it to the ground and stomped it out. "What time is it?"
"Why? Are you ready to call it a night already?"
"I don't know. I am pretty tired."
"You can't leave yet," Dom said.
"Because I said so." Dom smiled, then stood up. "Come on. I'll find something more interesting for you than arguing books with Sean."
Elijah followed him into the house, where someone had Rancid playing at top volume. "I really fucking hate Rancid," Elijah screamed over the music. They passed the living room where Orlando, Billy, and Miranda were dancing around like idiots. Dom led them to a bedroom at the back of the house. He closed the door behind them and flipped on the tv.
"I thought we could play some video games or something," Dom said. Without really thinking it through, Elijah stepped towards Dom, bumped into him clumsily, and lifted up on his tiptoes to kiss him. Dom's surprise was only momentary, and then his arms were around Elijah, pressing their bodies together. Elijah slipped his tongue inside Dom's mouth, Dom's tongue sliding soft and warm against his own. Dom's mouth tasted like beer and the remnant of his own cigarette.
"I didn't bring you in here to take advantage of you," Dom breathed against his mouth, just far enough so their lips didn't meet. Dom's cheek was rough against Elijah's skin, his nose rubbing against his own.
"I know," Elijah answered.
"Are you going to regret kissing me in the morning?"
"Are you?" Elijah asked, suddenly worried. He had a moment of sobriety, his head clearing just long enough for the true implications of his actions to settle on him. What if Dom didn't want this? What if Dom had just kissed back because he was drunk and caught up in the moment?
"Absolutely not," Dom said. "I've wanted you since the moment I saw you." As a response, Elijah jerked forward and kissed him, a little rougher than he intended, causing their teeth to hit. "Shit, Elijah. Calm down," Dom laughed as he rubbed his lips.
"Sorry. I guess I'm just a bit enthusiastic," he said, his head cloudy and light again. He was riding on a mixture of alcohol and elation. Dom kissed him again, this time softer, lips barely touching Elijah's, and every time Elijah tried to move closer, Dom moved back. Elijah sighed and let himself get lost in the kiss, the light brushing of skin setting every nerve in his lips and cheeks on fire. The room was spinning around him, Dom the only thing keeping him from falling. He pressed closer to Dom, trying to eliminate any space between them. He could feel the effects of Dom's kiss travelling to his cock, and when Dom dropped a hand to his ass, he groaned against his mouth. Dom's lips moved along his chin, and Elijah stretched his head back, exposing his neck as he saw lights behind his eyelids.
"Oh shit," he said, wrenching himself away from Dom just in time to drop and puke on the floor. "Shitshitshit," he whispered to himself. He felt ridiculous. Dom bent down beside him and put a reassuring hand on his back as he dry heaved a few times. When the nausea passed, he turned and buried his face in Dom's chest. "I'm so sorry."
"It happens, don't worry about it," Dom said reassuringly. He placed a kiss on Elijah's hair, and Elijah curled his fists into Dom's t-shirt.
"I'm such a fucktard."
"Dude, you just puked. We've all done it."
"Yeah, but not at your first time here." He started shaking his head back and forth, but decided that was a bad idea. He rested all his weight against Dom, taking deep breaths to try and calm his stomach. "This would be better if the room would stop spinning."
"I have a tendency to do that to people," Dom joked softly. Elijah managed a small giggle. "Let's get you into the bed. Lean on me," Dom instructed as he gripped Elijah's arms and slowly pulled them up. Supported by Dom, Elijah managed the few steps it took to get to the bed. He plopped down face first. He felt Dom remove his shoes, and he turned his face to the side so he could breathe.
"I need to clean up the puke," he mumbled. "I will get it in a minute."
"Sure," Dom said. Elijah felt his legs move, then his torso. "Lift up," Dom whispered, and Elijah obeyed. He felt Dom grab the waist of his jeans, and he raised his head long enough to see Dom pulling them down before dropping his head heavily back to the bed.
"This is not how I imagined you taking off my pants for the first time," Elijah said.
"You've thought about me taking off your pants?"
"Oh yeah," Elijah said ardently. "Many times."
"Interesting," Dom said. "I'll tell you a secret," he said as he pulled the covers over Elijah. He leaned down to whisper in his ear, "This isn't the way I imagined it either."
"Wait," Elijah said, trying to process. "That means... "
"Ssh... go to sleep." He brushed Elijah's hair back from his forehead and placed a kiss there.
"But where are you going? Are you going?"
"I'm not going anywhere."
Elijah smiled and relaxed. He realized he had still had to clean up the mess he'd made, but he was asleep before he could move.
Later, he was woken up by Dom. Dom said something about getting up and following him, and Elijah protested, but followed Dom anyway. The world was still spinning violently, and he had to pause because he thought he was going to puke again. He wasn't quite sure what was going on; he heard some people whispering, thought he was outside, then in a car. He fell back asleep and then the same thing happened again. Dom just told him to go to sleep when he asked what was going on. He felt himself hit the bed again, but instead of going straight to sleep, Dom gave him two aspirin and made him drink a glass of water. He obeyed, then dropped down and immediately drifted off.
When Elijah woke up, he realized a few things. First, Dom was beside him, arm thrown across Elijah's waist and breathing softly in his ear. Second, he kissed Dom last night (which probably explained him being in bed with him). Third, he was in his own bed. He opened his eyes and looked around the dark room. He turned and looked at the clock, and through blurred vision realized it was later than he thought; it was after noon. He rubbed his eyes, sore from sleeping in his contacts, and gently slid away from Dom and walked to the bathroom. He was happy that he wasn't as hung over as he had anticipated. He just had a bit of a headache. After relieving himself, taking out his contacts, taking a pain pill, and brushing his teeth, he returned to the bed, trying very hard not to run into anything since he could barely see. He made it back to the bed and slid back under the warm covers.
"Morning," Dom murmured from beside him.
"Morning." Elijah grabbed his glasses before he burrowed himself back where he was.
"How are you feeling?" Dom asked, eyes open into a slit. He had his face buried in the crook of his elbow, so Elijah couldn't see his mouth. His blonde hair was messy and sticking out in all directions.
"I feel okay," Elijah said. "How did I get here?"
"I drove you around five."
"I figured it would be more comfortable to sleep in your own bed. I was pretty sober by that time, so I just thought it was a good idea. Are you upset?"
"God, no. I'm glad I'm home."
"I hope you didn't mind me sleeping here, too." Dom actually looked a bit sheepish. Elijah had never seen this side of him before. Dom always acted so confident and self-assured; it was odd to see him look nervous.
"I would have been upset if I had woken up alone." Elijah could see the smile Dom was hiding reach his eyes. "Work is going to suck today," Elijah said.
"We don't have to go in today," Dom said, pulling his chin from behind his arm. He rested his cheek on his hand.
"Weather. It started raining after we got here. It's supposed to rain all day."
"That explains why it's so dark at almost one." Elijah narrowed his eyes as a question popped into his head. "How did you know where I lived?"
"License?" Dom said like it was the most obvious thing in the world.
"My brain is still beer-clogged, I think."
Dom smiled. "You look sexy with your glasses on."
Elijah felt himself blush. "Thanks." They sat in silence for a few minutes, looking at each other. "What are you going to do today?"
"I was going to ask you the same thing."
"Well, I have no plans since I was planning on going to work." Elijah hesitated, then added, "you can stay as long as you like."
"I was hoping you'd say that." Dom scooted towards Elijah and kissed him. Elijah was glad he had brushed his teeth, because although Dom's morning breath didn't bother him, he was pretty sure stale beer, cigarettes, and vomit would be a turn off.
"Are you hungry?" Elijah asked.
"How about I fix some breakfast?"
"Mmm... that's the best offer I've had all day. I can shower while you do that."
"Just don't use all the hot water. I've got to get work and last night off me. Speaking of last night," Elijah said as he got out of bed, "who cleaned up the mess I made?" Dom raised his hand. "Shit, I am so sorry."
"No big deal. You just owe me."
Elijah walked around the bed towards the bathroom, but Dom caught him before he could get far. He pulled him close, wrapped his arms around his waist, and kissed him again.
"Good morning," Dom said against Elijah's mouth.
"You've already said that."
"I just wanted to say it proper."
"No complaints here."
"That shirt is cute on you," Dom said as he followed Elijah into the bathroom. "You should keep it."
Elijah felt himself flush. He grabbed Dom a towel from under the counter. "There are clothes in my room. Help yourself to anything you need when you're done." He left Dom in the bathroom and made his way to the kitchen.
He turned on the radio and pulled eggs out of the fridge. Humming along to the song, he tried to clear the remnants of fuzziness left in his head. As the egg dropped into the pan, he wondered how exactly he got to this point. He never intended to actually act on his feelings for Dom; that'll teach him to get drunk. But as an unexpected twist, Dom obviously felt similar to him. He finished scrambling the eggs, wondering if this was a good idea. What if things got awkward? What if Dom left today and decided he didn't want this? That would take away the only thing he looked forward to at work every day.
He spooned the eggs onto a plate and popped two pieces of bread into the toaster. Outside the kitchen window, rain was coming down in sheets and hitting noisily against the window. He saw a faint flash of lightning off in the distance. What a crappy day, but the fact that Dom didn't seem so eager to leave made it a bit more appealing. Plus, he didn't have to go to work. Always a plus.
As he watched the rain, he decided that he was okay with all that had happened with Dom. If something happened, great. If not, Elijah figured he'd live and move on.
"Shower's all yours," Dom said. Elijah turned around and felt his mouth drop. He tried to cover it up, but the mischievous glint in Dom's eye showed he hadn't missed Elijah's reaction. Dom was towel drying his hair, wearing nothing but a pair of Elijah's red plaid boxers. His chest was completely bare, and his skin was flushed slightly pink from the shower. Elijah tried to think of something to say, but he was at a loss for words.
He swallowed. "Thanks." Dom sat down at the kitchen table, and Elijah brought the two plates over. While they ate, Elijah tried to concentrate on his eggs and not Dom's exposed skin. All he wanted to do was climb over the table and put his hands over every inch. As soon as he finished eating, he hurried to the bathroom.
When Elijah got out, he walked into his bedroom and didn't expect to find Dom in his bed. He stopped in the doorway, holding the towel securely around his waist, glad he had put in his contacts because otherwise he might have dropped his towel without realizing there was another person in the room. Dom was buried beneath the covers, watching tv. He stuck his head out from the pile of blankets when he heard Elijah.
"Um... I need to get dressed."
"I won't look, I promise."
Elijah shifted uncomfortably. He felt horribly exposed. "It'll only take a minute."
"After last night, I wouldn't have thought of you as shy." Dom folded the covers back and stood up. He crossed the space between them and stopped right in front of Elijah, barely a breath between their bodies. Elijah was extremely aware that neither one of them had on very many clothes.
"I'm not shy. You can stand here while I go slip on some boxers... "
"I kind of like what you're wearing." Dom ran a finger along the top of the towel, touching Elijah's damp skin in the process. He shivered. Dom circled his finger around Elijah's bellybutton, eyes boring down into his. Elijah saw the same heat he felt gathering in his groin reflected in Dom's eyes. Dom dropped his hand a bit lower, brushed the outline of Elijah's cock with the back of his fingers, eyes widening with interest when he discovered he was half-hard. With the heel of his palm, he massaged Elijah through the towel and lowered his mouth to cover his collarbone. Elijah couldn't think of a good reason to resist and let his head fall back as Dom worked his mouth across his shoulder and up the side of his neck. He worried a spot on Elijah's neck, each touch of Dom's tongue connecting straight to his cock. Dom finally pushed the towel aside, exposing Elijah's hard cock. Dom pulled away long enough to steal a glance as he wrapped his fingers around it, watching as it twitched in his palm. With a strong grip, he moved his hand back and forth slowly, teasingly. Elijah's eyes drifted shut and he exhaled a content sigh.
Dom threaded his other hand in Elijah's wet hair, pulling his face close in a deep kiss. Nudging Elijah, he led Elijah backwards until his legs hit the bed, then he gently pushed him. Elijah fell against the bed, legs spread and towel open around him.
"Fuck," Dom breathed, his own erection pressing against his boxers. He dropped to his knees between Elijah's legs, running his palms up Elijah's thighs. A trail of sensation sizzled behind Dom's touch, causing Elijah's breath to come in even shorter gasps. He looked down at the man between his legs, could not believe what was actually happening. Dom licked his lips and Elijah saw his cock twitch in response. He watched as Dom slid his lips over the head of his cock, stopping to suck before covering the entire shaft. Elijah let a small moan escape his lips and dropped back against the bed, his hands lost in Dom's hair. Dom's mouth worked around his cock, tongue swirling and lips strong. His hips unconsciously lifted off the bed in rhythm with Dom's mouth, while Dom's fingers dug roughly into his hips. He knew he wasn't going to last long, not with Dom's tongue going roundandroundupanddown. Dom raised up a bit on his knees, angling his head to take Elijah deeper into his mouth, his hand moving to cup Elijah's balls.
"Shit, Dom." Elijah was about to come and tried to push Dom away, but Dom squeezed Elijah's balls tighter and wrapped his other hand around the base of his shaft. Circling his fingers tightly around Elijah's cock, he quickened his mouth, his tongue doing things Elijah couldn't keep up with and Elijah arched into Dom's mouth as he gave into his pleasure and came. Dom's hand kept massaging his balls as he swallowed.
Elijah finally relaxed into the bed, sleepy and completely content. He knew he should move or something, tell Dom how amazing his mouth was, kiss him and return the favor, but he was pretty sure he was going to stay a useless lump right where he was for a few minutes.
He felt the bed shift as Dom stretched out beside him, then leaned down and covered Elijah's mouth in a kiss. Elijah lazily opened his mouth, Dom's tongue slipping across his lips and pressing against his own. He could taste remnants of himself in Dom's mouth.
After a few moments of lazy kissing, Dom's mouth became more urgent, his passion growing. Elijah lifted himself up with some difficulty and circled an erect nipple with the tip of his finger without breaking the kiss. His hand slid downward as he explored every part of Dom's mouth, teased the roof of his mouth, nipped at his lip, and traced a path across his teeth. When he slipped his hand inside Dom's boxers and wrapped his hand around his waiting cock, Dom grunted in his mouth, his face pressing so hard against his own that his lips started stinging. It didn't take much ... a thumb across the leaking head, a few pumps of his fist ... before Dom was coming over his hand. Elijah kept stroking Dom's cock until it was soft and twitching in his hand. Dom broke the kiss, breathing heavily against Elijah's hair.
When Elijah removed his hand, he wiped it on the towel still on the bed. Reluctantly, he rolled off the bed, grabbed two clean pair of boxers, and threw one to Dom. He watched as Dom pushed his soiled ones off, catching a glimpse of his cock for the first time, pink and lying limp against his leg. Elijah was pretty sure if he looked at Dom naked long enough, he could get hard again.
After slipping on his boxers, Elijah crawled into bed, Dom crawling in beside him. Dom opened his arms and Elijah snuggled close to him.
"Wanna watch a movie?" Dom asked, flipping through the channels. Elijah hummed against his chest, and within moments was asleep.
Hours later, they were still lying in bed, tv on but muted, the rain pounding against the window. They were facing each other, just inches apart, covers pulled up to their necks, legs intertwined.
"How did you end up here? Why didn't you go to a city and find an actual job?" Dom asked.
"If I had done that, I wouldn't have met you," Elijah pointed out.
"I know that, but you are so young and so smart. You shouldn't be working at this damn place. You have a fucking master's from Berkley. That deserves something better than some shit job that barely pays minimum wage. You deserve better than that."
"I could ask you the same question."
"I asked first."
Elijah sighed. "I started trying to get jobs before I graduated. Thing is, so was everyone else. I applied for hundreds of jobs, only got a few interviews. My resume was picture perfect, even my interviews went well. But apparently, I wasn't what the companies wanted. I hung around for a few months after graduation, used up every bit of savings, loans, and credit cards I had. I got depressed and discouraged, said fuck it, and decided to take whatever fucking job I could get. Then I found the cheapest house I could in a hundred mile radius, and here I am."
"You should expand your radius. You can be so much more than that guy who mans the slide."
"Right now it isn't so bad."
"You're just saying that because you've only been there a little over a week. And you just hooked up with one of the employees." Dom grinned.
"Not everyone hates the job as much as you do."
"You're wrong there."
"Orlando seems to like it okay."
"Orlando is a fucking idiot. He says he wants to be an actor, and he probably could. No one should be that good looking; it's unnatural. But do you see him doing anything about it? No. Billy wants to be a musician, Sean an author, hell, Karl wants to go back to New Zealand. Instead, they're all stuck here. That place is like a fucking vortex. It's the Hotel California of amusement parks. You can check out, but you can never leave."
"What about you? Why do you hate it so much? What do you want to be doing?"
Dom sighed. "I don't want to talk about it."
"Don't pull that shit. I just told you my story, now it's your turn." Elijah stared at him expectantly.
"Fine. Has anyone ever told you those fucking baby blue puppy eyes are obnoxious?" Elijah just grinned triumphantly. "Two years ago, I was the head of a pretty successful PR firm in LA. We represented a lot of B-listers, people who were followed but were no Brad Pitts or George Clooneys. Well, I had built a pretty impressive client list ... and I will not name drop right now," he added in response to Elijah's curious expression, "but let's just say I had a few people in blockbusters and one academy award nominee ... supporting, not lead. I made one wrong decision, firm had to cut back because of the economy, and it was goodbye glitzy LA parties and my studio apartment and hello shithole flat that wasn't even in the Valley and a job manning a fun house for a guy who thinks he's fucking Dracula."
"I'm sorry. That sucks."
"Why didn't you try and get another job? I mean, that was two years ago."
"I'll never live down that one fuck up. No one's gonna want to hire me."
"How do you know?"
"I just know. Can we drop it, please?"
"Sure." Elijah studied him, then leaned forward and kissed him softly. "I think you're amazing. You shouldn't sell yourself short."
"You should take your own advice."
Elijah looked at him dubiously and kissed him again.
Elijah was on break and walking towards the flying bobs. He had gotten a text message from Orlando saying to meet him there when he could. When he approached the ride, there was a huge line that wrapped around the corner of the walkway. He saw Orlando in the small control booth, singing along to Kansas's Carry On My Wayward Son that was blasting over the ride's sound system. The song was so loud you could barely hear the screaming of the people going around in the ride.
"Are you ready to go faster?" Orlando asked over the music. Everyone screamed. "Don't really sound like you are. Do you want to go faster?" People screamed even louder, he hit a control and the ride sped up, a strobe light flashing and making the passengers look like quick snapshots. After a few moments, the ride slowed to a stop, then reversed as Orlando changed the music to an upbeat techno song.
Elijah slid through the waiting crowd and opened the gate, taking care to steer clear of the ride. He walked up the metal walkway to Orlando's booth and knocked on the window. Orlando waved him in.
"What's up?" Elijah asked, squeezing in to the tiny space. A row of controls were spread out before Orlando. He turned a lever and the ride gradually slowed.
"What are you doing tonight?"
"I don't know. Why?"
"We're breaking into the Mordor."
"Rumor has it that they got all their new equipment. We're going to break in and check it out."
"Are you fucking crazy?" Elijah exclaimed. The ride stopped, and another worker walked around unlocking all the cars as people started exiting.
"Dude, it's gonna be awesome."
"I think I'll pass." Elijah shook his head in disbelief.
"You're no fun," Orlando said. "Are you going to hang out with Dom?" Elijah shot him a questioning look, and Orlando smiled. "Everyone knows. We're not blind; you two don't try and hide anything. I think it's great. Dom seems happier than he has in a long time." A new group of passengers were loaded into the cars and Orlando hit a button. The cars started moving.
"I don't know if I'm hanging out with Dom. I just don't feel like breaking and entering."
"Come on! Please?" Orlando pulled a large frown and batted his eyes.
"Fine!" Elijah yelled. "Just stop making that face. You look ridiculous."
"Awesome! Meet us after work."
"I'm going to regret this, aren't I?" Elijah asked as he exited the booth.
"You'd regret it if you didn't go." Elijah doubted that.
After work, he walked up to their usual table and saw Orlando sitting with Billy, Liv, Miranda, Dom, and Sean. So, Orlando conned Dom into this, too, huh? Elijah sighed in resignation and dropped onto the bench beside him. Dom reached out and squeezed his thigh in hello.
"I told Viggo I wanted to work on a ride," Miranda explained, "but he said I couldn't because I was a girl. That's just fucking sexist, making the women cook like it's 1950 or some shit. I told him that, but he still said no. I just don't know why I can't work a ride!"
"It's really not that great," Billy said.
"Better than serving corndogs to sweaty fat guys who hit on you."
"All right, now that Elijah's here we're ready to go," Orlando said. They all walked to the employee parking lot and squeezed into Liv's SUV. Elijah ended up sitting in Dom's lap, and Miranda was sitting on Orlando's lap beside them. Sean was cramped beside Orlando, and Billy was comfortable in the front seat.
"When we get there, all we're doing is taking inventory of what they have."
"Why can't we do this while they are open?" Elijah asked.
"What? And pay those bastards money? Fuck that," Liv said.
"Besides, we want to look at the equipment. We can't do that if they're open," Orlando explained.
Elijah leaned down and whispered to Dom, "I have a bad feeling about this."
"I heard that, Elijah," Orlando said.
"It's still true."
Thirty minutes later, they parked about a mile away from the Mordor. It was dark, but Elijah could tell how much bigger and impressive it was compared to Mirkwood Forest. Even from this distance, he could see roller coasters looming above them.
"How are we supposed to get in?" Elijah asked.
"Climb the fence."
"Why am I the only one who seems to have a problem with this ridiculous fucking plan?"
"I'm not too keen on it, either," Billy said, "but I figured what the hell."
"It'd be nice to see what we're up against," Sean said.
"So we can do what exactly?"
"I just can't wait to see Viggo's face when we tell him tomorrow," Dom said.
"Oh shit. You're really going to tell him?"
"Why not? He'll get a kick out of it," Orlando said as they reached the side fence. It was a chain link fence that was about ten foot high.
"I'm going to kill myself," Liv said.
"Where's your sense of adventure?" Orlando started scaling the fence, Billy following a little ways down the fence. Orlando jumped down from the top of the fence, landing with unnatural grace like a cat. Billy, on the other hand, climbed down instead. Liv and Miranda went next, Sean, Elijah, and Dom hovering below in case they fell. They got over with no problem. Sean went next, and Dom hung back with Elijah.
"Not of climbing this fence. Of going to jail."
"It'll be fine." Dom started climbing the fence, and Elijah reluctantly followed. The fence swayed unsteadily with the weight of his body, and he had to readjust himself so he didn't fall backwards. He got to the top easily enough, but had a little trouble getting over. Dom was on the ground by the time he figured out how to climb over without losing his footing.
"Now," Orlando said when they reconvened on the ground, "we'll split up. Sean, Billy, and Liv will take the right side, Dom, Elijah, Miranda, and I will take the right. Meet back here in thirty minutes, okay?"
With that, they separated and started walking through the park. It was extremely dark, with no moonlight or streetlamps to illuminate the ground. Eventually, their eyes adjusted and they could see enough to walk. When they reached the first new ride, Elijah stood back as they all walked up to the control booth.
"How exactly are we supposed to see what kinds of controls they have or whatever?" Elijah asked. Orlando pulled something out of his pocket, then the light from a small flashlight cut through the darkness. "Great."
Elijah hung back as they looked at the controls. He was starting to feel uneasy about this whole operation. He'd be really glad when he was crammed back inside Liv's SUV.
When they walked to the next machine, Dom stayed behind with him on the ground. "Lighten up. You'd have more fun if you relaxed," he said.
"I don't want to relax. This is so fucking stupid. Besides, I don't even know what I'm looking at!"
"You didn't have to come."
"Everybody else was going."
Dom laughed. "What a great excuse," he said sardonically. Dom stopped laughing and Elijah felt him tense beside him. Orlando and Miranda could be heard only a few feet away. Suddenly, Dom grabbed Elijah's hand and pulled him underneath the control station. Elijah was about to say something when Dom touched a finger to his lips.
"Freeze right there!" a voice said, and Elijah felt his heart lodge itself in his throat. They were motionless under the ride, hopefully hidden from view. Elijah wanted to see what was going on, but was terrified of being discovered.
"Shit," he heard Orlando murmur. There were some muffled exchanges, but they couldn't hear a damn thing. Then they saw four sets of feet walking away and heard Orlando saying, "Officer, I promise, this is a huge misunderstanding."
He glanced over at Dom and saw he looked just as worried as he did. They waited for quite awhile under the dirty ledge for the coast to clear. Elijah almost screamed when he saw a rat walking not ten feet away from him. Dom kicked him to keep him quiet.
"I think the coast is clear," Dom said, crawling slowly. Elijah followed, looking around nervously. They stood up and Elijah started dusting the cobwebs from his clothes.
"This is fucking great," Elijah whispered. "Orlando and Miranda got arrested. What now?"
"We get the hell out of here. Then we come up with a plan." Checking their surroundings as they walked, they crept through the park. They couldn't see anything, couldn't hear any of the others. Elijah was shaking so badly he was afraid he'd fall off the fence when he tried to climb it.
They managed to get up the fence and over with little difficulty, and then both broke into a sprint on the way to the car. No one was at the car, which bothered Elijah.
"Shouldn't everyone be back by now?"
"Maybe they got arrested, too," Dom said.
"Fuck!" Elijah yelled. He kicked the tire of the car, and then leaned against it, dropping his head into his hands. "They're all going to jail."
"You don't know that."
"I need a cigarette." Elijah pulled the pack out of his back pocket and lit one, inhaling deeply. "What do we do now?"
They sat on the front of Liv's car, sharing Elijah's cigarette. Fifteen minutes later, Billy came walking up the street.
"I am so fucking glad to see you two," he said. He was dirty and in disarray. "I thought I was the only one who didn't get arrested."
"Shit, Sean and Liv, too? Orlando and Miranda were led away by some cops," Elijah explained.
"I know that Sean is going to have a fucking cow," Dom laughed. Elijah turned to him, glaring.
"I'm glad you think this is funny. What is your fucking problem?"
"Don't get your knickers in a twist," Dom said.
"Fuck you," Elijah spat.
Dom jumped down and turned on Elijah, eyes blazing. "Look, no one made you come along. You chose to. Why don't you stop your fucking whining and do something."
Elijah narrowed his eyes and opened his mouth to say something, but Billy grabbed both their shoulders. "You two need to chill the fuck out. This is not the time for a lover's spat."
"Fuck you," Dom said, shrugging Billy off him.
"Look, let's call Viggo. We need a ride unless you two fancy walking across town in the middle of the night. I, personally, do not." Billy pulled his phone out of his pocket and dialed Viggo's number. Elijah listened to Billy's side of the conversation, heard Viggo screaming on the other end. Great, he thought, this night just keeps getting better.
They waited in silence for Viggo, Billy between Dom and Elijah. Elijah was pissed at Dom about the whole thing. Somehow, he felt the entire ordeal was his fault, though he pretty much hated Orlando, too. He sulked until Viggo showed up half an hour later. He was driving a yellow El Camino.
"Get in the fucking car," Viggo growled.
They stared at him, trying to figure out how three people could fit into one seat. "How are we supposed to... " Dom started, but stopped at Viggo's icy glare. "We'll just get in the back." Elijah and Dom climbed into the bed of the car while Billy got into the front seat. Minutes later, they pulled up in front of a police station.
Viggo got out, slammed the door, and stalked inside the station. They waited, and twenty minutes later Orlando, Liv, Miranda, and Sean came out, trailing behind Viggo with their heads down. Viggo got into the car, not even bothering to see if they climbed in also. Viggo started the car and pulled away before Orlando had gotten into the car, and he had to run to catch up. He jumped and hooked one leg over the tailgate, lifted himself across and fell face first against the floor.
"What happened?" Dom asked over the sound of wind whipping around them.
"Well, security guards saw us, then they called the cops."
"I have a police record!" Sean said, head in his hands. "I can't believe I got arrested."
"It was kind of fun," Liv said.
"You're insane," Miranda said. "All that damn cotton candy has actually penetrated your brain."
"Oh shut up," Orlando said. "They dropped the charges. You don't have a bloody police record," he told Sean who was still muttering into his hands.
"Where are we going?" Miranda asked. They weren't going back to Liv's car; Elijah realized they were going to the park.
"Shit," Dom said when he too realized where they were going. Viggo parked the car beside a gate that led to the Winnebago. After parking the car, he got out and stormed through the gate and into the RV, leaving the door swinging open. Everyone slowly followed, exchanging looks but remaining silent.
Elijah wasn't sure how they all were going to fit inside. Elijah sat on the sofa with Sean and Billy, Miranda and Liv sat at the dinette, and Orlando and Dom sat in the arm chairs near the steering wheel. The space seemed so small with everyone inside. Elijah still hadn't spoken to Dom, and he was still angry, no matter how stupid it was. As Viggo turned to glare towards all of them in turn, he realized that perhaps being mad at Dom wasn't as important as being terrified of Viggo.
Finally, Viggo stopped beside his computer desk. He looked like his eyes were going to pop out of his head. Elijah realized when he was silent for so long that it was a definite bad sign.
"WHAT IN THE FUCK WERE YOU THINKING?" he screamed. Everyone jumped. "HOW IDIOTIC, MORONIC, AND STUPID COULD YOU BE?"
"Viggo, we're ... " Orlando started.
"DON'T SAY A FUCKING WORD." Orlando turned a deep red and shut up. "I... don't even know what to say. Breaking in? Breaking in to the fucking MORDOR??? Do you people even know what could have happened? And now... now we look like complete pricks in front of the other amusement park."
"We were just trying to help," Dom muttered.
"Well guess what? YOU DIDN'T. YOU MADE IT WORSE." Viggo plopped down into the chair and ran a hand through his hair. "I just fucking don't know what to do with the lot of you. Do I fire you? Do I suspend you? Do I beat the shit out of you?"
"I vote we skip number three," Dom said.
"Why are you making jokes?" Orlando whispered. Dom smirked and Orlando rolled his eyes and groaned.
"Look," Viggo said seriously after a few moments, "I know your hearts were in the right place. I love this place; it's my life ... of course I understand why you are concerned. But please trust me when I tell you that we are NOT GOING TO BE PUT OUT OF BUSINESS!! We're not even close. You all will continue to have jobs ... if you stop being fucking idiots." He looked around the room at each of them. "Do you understand?" They all mumbled yes. "Good. And do not, under any circumstances, get arrested again. You got off by the skin of your ass this time. Next time, you might not be as lucky. And I am not bailing your asses out of jail. Now go home before I have a change of heart."
A few people muttered thank yous while everyone scrambled for the door. Elijah walked quickly to his car, not wanting to talk to anyone. It was late, he was tired, and he was still fucking pissed at everyone for what happened tonight. He made a solemn vow as he pulled out of the parking lot never to do something so stupid ever again.
When he got home, he took a shower and had just settled into bed to watch some tv when he heard a knock on the door. He was going to ignore it, but it persisted. Cursing, he jumped out of bed and rushed to the door, flinging it open. Dom was standing on the other side.
"I thought you were never going to answer your door."
"What do you want?" Elijah asked, annoyed. For the first time since he'd met Dom, he really didn't feel like seeing him.
"We need to talk."
"Let me in, goddammit." Elijah huffed in annoyance and stepped aside as Dom walked into the house. He followed Dom to the living room and leaned against the wall while Dom sat on the couch. "Are you really that pissed at me?"
Elijah rolled his eyes. "I'm just pissed at the whole situation, okay? We were almost fucking arrested, for something stupid that I didn't want to do. Yes," he continued when he saw Dom start to protest, "I chose to go, but still. It doesn't make it any less stupid, dangerous, or me any less pissed."
"I'm sorry, okay?"
Elijah waited for him to say something, but he didn't. "That's it? That's all you have to say?"
"What do you want me to say, Elijah?"
"I don't know!" Elijah ran a hand through his hair and started pacing. Dom stood up and crossed the room, grabbed Elijah's face and kissed him roughly. Elijah tried to pull away at first, but quickly acquiesced. He jabbed his tongue inside Dom's mouth and bit his lip until Dom moaned in his mouth.
"You're a fucking douche," Elijah said against Dom's mouth.
"You're a bloody prick." Dom smiled against Elijah's lips, his hands traveling down and underneath the hem of his shirt. His fingers danced across Elijah's flesh, causing Elijah's stomach to tremble. Elijah grabbed Dom's hand and broke the kiss to pull him quickly towards his room. As soon as they got in the room, Dom wrapped his arms around Elijah's waist, placing kisses along the back of his neck. His fingers tugged Elijah's shirt over his head, and his fingers deftly unbuttoned the fly of his jeans. Elijah sagged all his weight into Dom as Dom pushed down Elijah's pants and freed his cock. He trailed his fingers along the shaft, teasing and taunting. Dom circled one finger slowly around the tip, spreading precum around. Elijah ground himself back against Dom's growing erection, Dom moving his hips forward with Elijah.
Dom kissed his way up Elijah's neck, licked behind his ear, nipped at his earlobe, then turned Elijah's face to kiss him. Elijah opened his mouth wide, taking in as much of Dom as he could. Dom pulled away and slid down Elijah's back, mapping the way with his tongue, and finished pushing Elijah's jeans all the way down. Then he pulled off his own t-shirt and unbuttoned his jeans while Elijah stepped out of his jeans and pulled off his socks. Elijah sat on the edge of the bed and watched as Dom finished undressing. When he was finished, Dom covered Elijah's body completely, reclaiming his lips and rocking their bare cocks together.
"Lube in the nightstand," Elijah whispered and Dom propped himself up and reached towards the drawer.
"Turn over," Dom whispered, and Elijah obeyed. He got on all fours and waited excitedly. Dom pressed close to Elijah's body, placing kisses all the way up his spine. "Have you done this before?" Dom whispered in his ear, finger slipping along his cleft.
"Yes," Elijah bit out. Dom chuckled and inserted a finger, Elijah tensing and inhaling deeply. He rested his head on his forearm and relaxed, giving completely into the feeling of Dom's fingers working inside him. Warmth spread through his body, making him hyperaware of every touch of Dom's skin against his own from the lips on his neck to his foot rubbing softly against his own. When Dom removed his fingers, Elijah was both disappointed and longing for more. Dom pulled away for a moment, too long ... Elijah had to bite his lip to keep from whimpering. He needed Dom now, touchingfeelingkissingcoveringfilling.
When Elijah felt the head of Dom's cock brush his entrance, his entire body jumped. He pushed back eagerly and heard Dom laugh softly. The next moment, Dom was inside, painfully stretching tight muscle, but Elijah inhaled deeply, trying to relax. Dom rubbed circles across his back, massaging the back of his ear with his lips and tongue. He slid all the way inside, pausing just a moment before pulling out and thrusting back in. Elijah moaned and pushed against Dom, urging him deeper. Dom held Elijah's hips tightly, digging his fingers into pale flesh. He set up a quick rhythm, thrusting with urgency, and Elijah rocked back to meet each thrust.
Dom reached around and grabbed Elijah's cock, pumping his fist quickly. Elijah's entire body was aflame with want, every nerve screaming Dom's name. He wanted Dom even deeper inside him, inside each and every pore of his body. He turned his head and Dom's lips connected with his, kissing him more and more fervently. Elijah felt his body start to tense, his breath coming in short gasps. With a moan, he came, pressing himself as far back against Dom's cock as he could. When his orgasm subsided, his entire body still thrummed with energy. Dom gripped him more roughly, his thrusts coming harder and more erratic. Then with one final hard thrust, he came, then collapsed on top of Elijah.
They lay like that for awhile, their breath coming in similar staccato gasps. Elijah could feel both their hearts beating inside his ears. He inhaled contently, even with the heavy weight of Dom on top of him. Eventually, Dom started drawing lazy circles along Elijah's arm. He scooted over just a bit, but remained pressed against Elijah.
Elijah turned his face to look at Dom. "We just had our first, stupid fight."
"And our first make-up sex. Makes me want to fight more."
"I'd just rather have sex."
"We can swing that, too." Elijah smiled and shifted around to a more comfortable position. Dom hooked a leg around Elijah's waist and laid his head on Elijah's shoulder. He placed a light kiss on his shoulder. "I'm sorry," Dom said again.
"I may have overreacted. But next time, don't follow Orlando into ridiculously stupid shit. Promise?"
"I promise." Elijah ran a hand through Dom's sweaty hair. "I have something to tell you."
"Um... I sent my resume to a few firms in LA. I've been thinking about what you said, and you were right." He reached up and placed a kiss on the underside of Elijah's chin.
"That's fucking awesome!" Elijah exclaimed. "I'm so proud of you!"
"Calm down," Dom said, laughing. "I haven't gotten the job yet."
"But you will, and you'll leave me and move to LA and forget all about all of us at the theme park."
"Not likely. You can move to LA with me and get a good job and leave that damn park behind, too."
"Maybe we can bring Orlando, too. He can become and actor and all that," Elijah said, giggling.
"And Billy can move his band down there and they'll hit it big."
"And we can all still hang out and stuff."
Dom studied him for a moment. "You really have grown fond of all of us, haven't you?"
Elijah blushed. "Kinda."
Dom leaned up and kissed Elijah. "We're kind of fond of you, too." They settled back onto the bed and watched the repeat of Cheers playing on tv. "But it sucks we have to go back to work tomorrow."
"I can't wait for you to get a new job so you can stop bitching about the one you have now."
"Shut up, it sucks."
"Not that bad," Elijah muttered. He smiled as Dom snuggled deeper into his arms, deciding that although Dom might hate the amusement park, he kinda loved it.