"So tell me the story. How did you get them together?" Craig was perched on a crate, with his costume arranged carefully to avoid creases.
Orli & Elijah were sitting by his feet, leaning on each other and a tree. Their costume assistants had long given up reminding them to be careful. Instead, they hovered nervously about with brushes and needles & thread.
They were all looking at Billy & Dom, who were happily cuddled up against a tree trunk some distance away.
"Oh, it wasn't that difficult. It's just a shame that some people don't share Orli's lack of inhibition."
"Hmmm," said Craig, thoughtfully. "It's not just the Brits who have that problem."
Orli looked up sharply, but couldn't catch Craig looking at anyone in particular. He wriggled forward to get a better view, leaving Elijah leaning against the tree. Lij was oblivious.
"Billy was getting really grumpy, but he just wouldn't say anything to Dom, or anyone. He refused to ever go out anywhere, and he was hopeless on set. So we decided to provoke him a bit by pretending I was with Dom."
"How did that work, though? I mean, I thought everyone knew you two were together." Craig seemed mystified as to how anyone could have missed it, but of course he hadn't been there at the beginning.
"Billy was so far off into his own little world, he wouldn't have noticed if an elephant trampled him. I don't know how he thought he was going to survive eighteen months of filming with Dom without doing anything about it, but he seemed to think he could. Of course we had to do something."
"How did you feel about it all?" Craig poked Orli with a suede-clad toe.
"Ow! How did I feel about what?" Orlando had been scanning the assembled company, trying to figure out who had captured Craig's attention.
Craig gave up and looked back at Elijah.
"How did he feel about you pretending to be with Dom?
"Oh, he didn't mind. He was in from the beginning. We all just thought it would be funny. And we wanted our Billy back."
"Actually," said Orlando abruptly. "Actually, I didn't like it much. I didn't want Lij to spend all that time with Dom. And the touching freaked me out a bit. But I wanted Billy back too, so I kept out of the way."
Elijah looked a little shocked at that revelation. He put his hand on Orli's arm, and moved closer to him.
"But how exactly did you go about making Billy jealous?" Craig was leaning forward, and looking really interested. "Tell me everything."
Orli leant back against Elijah, who relaxed again.
"Well, it wasn't that difficult. We are actors, after all. I told Dominic to forget all about personal space. And we practised being touchy-feely, and making puppy eyes, till we almost died laughing. We kept doing all that, right in Billy's face. But he never seemed to realise. Until this one time, Billy's in the makeup trailer trying to read a book..."
Orli thought Craig was going to fall off his crate, he was concentrating so hard. Maybe he wanted to learn something!
"And we're doing the puppy-eyes thing, and Billy's pretending to read, and it's SO difficult not to crack up. We ask Billy if he wants to come out with us, and we can just SEE him not wanting to watch us all evening. So I pretend to be all hurt, because he gave us the brush-off. Beautiful acting, that was."
Orli poked Elijah in the ribs. "Don't go getting vain, Doodle. You haven't earned any Oscars yet."
Elijah was undaunted:
"Then Dom goes all protective. He tries to get Billy to change his mind, but when he won't agree, Dom sends me away so he can have a go at Billy."
Elijah was forced to pause for breath. He so loved telling this story, and he was sure it wouldn't go any further. Well, fairly sure.
"And I don't know exactly what happened next, because there were people around and I couldn't listen at the door. But there was yelling, and Billy finally admitted to being jealous."
Craig smiled, clearly amused at the unbidden image of a frustrated eavesdropper.
"So then Dom told him?"
"Oh no, that would have been much too easy. Though he did say "You're fucking sexy when you're jealous." You'd think even Billy would have got it then, but no. Dom had to kiss him before he'd believe."
"He kissed him? When Billy wasn't expecting it? That was brave."
Craig sat back on his crate, a thoughtful look on his face. "Dom must have been very sure."
"Oh, we were all sure. I mean, it was obvious. Every time Billy saw Dom with someone else, he went all grumpy and refused to talk to anyone."
"But it worked? They're still together?"
"Oh yes. Just look at them! Everyone knows now. And everyone knows about Orli and me too. Billy was the last to believe, but he realised eventually."
"Everyone," said Craig, pondering. "Everyone except the newcomers."
He looked over at Orlando, who'd been studying him carefully.
"Fancy helping me give it a try?"
Elijah wasn't paying attention.
"No, Elijah. I think we might keep this between elves."
His eyes lit on one of the potential drag queens being prettied for the camera. One of them had rather burning eyes. Burning in their direction, right at that moment.
Realisation dawned on Orlando. Of course. Celeborn. He didn't even know the name of the actor, but he'd certainly look pretty next to Craig. Once they'd both been de-blonded, of course.
He swivelled away from Elijah to lean against Craig's leg.
"Between the elves. Good idea. Now, when do I get a kiss?"
"Orlando, you have something to learn about subtlety. But now might be a good time to do.... something. Because, you know. Seeing is believing."
Craig stood up, pulling Orlando up by the hand. They disappeared behind a nearby tent, with much giggling and flicking of fine blond hair.
Elijah sighed, and wondered what he looked like with green eyes.
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