Back to the remixes
TITLE: Rock Upon Which I Stand
ORIGINAL STORY: Kaydee Falls' "Crossing the Street"
DISCLAIMER: Not true, and adapted from another author.
The word "breakup" never came into the actual breakup scene, Elijah has to remind himself, because there was nothing to the so-called relationship in the first place.
Sometimes Dom would call at about eight or nine in the evening after a long day of shooting, sitting around, throwing candy at each other, and sitting around some more. Hey, what are you up to? Nothing? Well, say, why don't you come over? They'd order pizza, pretend to watch some action flick with an ingenious name like, "Your Momma," and then end up making out and fucking right there on the sofa. Or maybe Elijah would wander over to Dom's place (which was messier than Elijah's, sure, but Dom usually had real food and good beer at hand, whereas all Elijah had "fucking stale crisps and piss water, what the fuck's the matter with you?"), knock on the door at midnight or so, let Dom slam him, bang, up against the wall before sliding, sliding, until they'd end up making out and fucking right there on the sofa.
Nothing to it.
So when on that last night in Wellington, when Dom asks if they are going to keep... you know. Keep going, keep doing, Elijah freezes. It hits him that they never really talked about what that "you know" consisted of aside from sex (oh, quite a bit of sex) and weird moments of Elijah stepping away from Dom's fingers, hands, arms while they were in public. ("Stop," he'd said more than once, and Dom had smiled at first, cheeks flushed, eyes daring, for all of five seconds until he saw that Elijah was serious.)
There had to have been more to it than that, surely. A relationship is more than just sex and then awkward avoidance. Pointing fingers and saying "you're taking things too far" or "you're not ready to commit."
Elijah realizes that nothing was ever solidified, that they just did it. But it's good that way, isn't it? Like this? Two young guys going at it, going at each other, in fucking New Zealand of all places? Isn't it pretty fucking good?
Until they're leaving New Zealand, of all places. Tomorrow.
"So you think we should end it?" Elijah asks.
"Maybe. Yeah," Dom says softly.
Elijah nods. They don't look at each other. "Okay."
And when Elijah has a moment of panic, a moment of, wait, no, we can't leave it at that, and his chest seizes up and Dom's name slips from between his lips before he can stop it--
He watches as Dom turns and dashes across the street. Then he swallows it all back down.
Nothing is similar. Los Angeles isn't New Zealand. It can't be because it tries too damn hard. New Zealand is the way that it is and it doesn't make excuses for any part of it. Why should it? It's pure, untouched, lively, friendly. There aren't any guns or threat of guns.
Los Angeles is like a toothpaste commercial. A "Got Milk?" ad. A billboard that proudly proclaims: Be all that you can be! in designer clothing. With a private lawyer. And no driving skills whatsoever.
Elijah realizes all of this within ten minutes of his cab ride home from the airport.
He leans his brow against the window and with every jolt and turn and bump, he feels the vibrations inside of his head. The engine hums and he can hear/feel it like he's a part of the car. He doesn't want to look at the advertisements on the side of tour buses or pretty long legged, blonde haired girls strutting down the street, so he concentrates on watching his reflection in the glass. He tries to count his eyelashes, but he gives up after twelve because his head feels like a pin cushion. Jet lag.
He's twenty years old and at this moment he's mainly feeling the old part.
Part of him should have known that his family would be waiting for him, but he's still surprised. His mom, never changing as always, hugs him and holds on tight.
"I'm so glad you're home!"
"I've kept your room just the way you left it!"
"Oh. Sorry, dear."
His (baby) sister, Hannah, somewhat taller, or it could just be the sandals, which look freakishly huge on her small feet, squeals and launches herself at him. They sort of bounce and then ricochet off of one another. She laughs into his ear, one pigtail on the side of her head tickling his nose. Were her breasts always this big? he thinks and immediately wants to wash the inside of his head out with Lysol.
His (big) brother, Zach, home to visit for a little bit complete with a new dodgy collection of what is supposedly supposed to vaguely resemble trendy facial hair, punches him in the shoulder so hard it almost knocks him over.
A big and happy, loving family. After carrying Elijah's luggage into the main house, they fetch KFC for dinner, and watch Terminator II in the den while playing twenty questions with Elijah. The questions mainly consist of life in New Zealand ("do they fuck sheep down there?" "gross!" "ZACHARY." "sorry, mom. ...do they?"). Because that's how they are. Elijah's missed it. He has.
No, really. What's not to miss?
"Miss what?" Hannah asks. She's perched on the end of Elijah's unmade bed, watching as he attempts to unpack what he should have unpacked two weeks ago: his underwear. She runs her fingers through her hair distractedly, chewing on a piece of bubblegum.
"You know," Elijah answers, bending over. He pulls clothes and CDs and magazines out of his large suitcase and piles it all up on the hardwood floor in front of him. "Things. The food, the people. Mainly the people."
Hannah pops her gum. "Who was that guy who called today?"
Elijah answers with a slight hesitation, "Dom." He unfolds and then carefully folds a shirt that is already terribly wrinkled.
"Oh," Hannah says. She doesn't so much as say it, but breathe it. Ohh. "That guy."
"Yeah, that guy." He tosses the folded shirt over his shoulder. It skids a few feet and then stops.
"He's nice," Hannah says after a pause. Elijah doesn't reply. He doesn't explain that Dom called to say, "Hi, haven't spoken to you in a while. You never call. I thought maybe you died on the plane. Some sort of heart attack. At your age, it'd be a tragedy. Lord of the Rings would be some huge hit because the bloke from Flipper died in it."
And for a moment, just a moment, Elijah forgot that he was in Los Angeles and Dom was somewhere in England. They were back in New Zealand, sitting out on the beach on towels, talking shit and getting sunburned. After Elijah sputtered, went in for the punch in the kidneys or liver, whichever seemed the best shot at the moment, Dom would grapple for his wrist. Holding it tight in his warm, long, sandy fingers, he'd lean forward for a kiss. It would be hot and Elijah's lips would be chapped from the sea water and the sun, but Dom's mouth would be cool, his tongue wet, and they'd kiss, maybe even do it, right there on the beach, seagulls circling, cawing--
"Elijah?" Snap, goes Hannah's gum again. Elijah looks down at the pair of boxers he's gripping tightly in his hands. He blinks, and he slowly lowers them. Hannah says something about peanut butter and slips off of the bed, her neon green flip flops smacking against her feet as she heads toward the door.
Two weeks after being home, having moved his things to his mother's guest house, which is basically separate from the main house, Elijah's sick of the weird looks from his family and friends.
"What's the matter with everyone?" he asks.
"What's the matter with you?" his brother, Zach, retorts. He shakes his head and goes back to beating Elijah's ass in Mortal Kombat.
Elijah knows what his problem is. He sleeps in late. He wears his pajamas for most of the day. He's watched a fucking insane amount of the home shopping network on television.
For the first few days it was cool, it was all right. Because suddenly friends he hadn't seen or heard from in almost two years are knocking on the door and wanting to say, hey! how are you! you look good! People like Stu who is going to UCLA for communication. People like Jennifer who is a waitress and going to auditions every other day. They hug him and ask how was it, how was New Zealand, how was the movie? Because everyone wants to know about the movie. Elijah smiles. "It's great. Just amazing. Your head will be blown apart. You'll see," he says with a grin, genuinely proud and happy. After half a dozen times of being asked the same questions, he's down to, "Great, yeah. Yeah. Cool."
He goes out with Stu and Nancy and others. They point to things that are new or places where old things used to be. Life moves fast in Los Angeles, Elijah realizes. Funny, he had lived here for years, but it's when he's away for two years that it hits. Things move lightening fast. Whoosh, and they're gone.
He misses things crawling slowly along in New Zealand. He misses his friends. He misses waking up at four in the morning and crashing at nine in the evening (unless Dom calls, because then crashing would have waited; Elijah would have waited as long as it took, as long as he and Dom took, moving about on the bed, the sofa, the floor).
And, okay, he can admit it if pressed. He misses Dom.
Dom calls one morning -- or, well, morning in Elijah World, meaning two in the afternoon -- and says, "Mind if I drop in for a couple of days?"
It's groundbreaking. It's phenomenal. It doesn't make any fucking sense, which is precisely why Elijah says "Yeah, sure." Dominic Monaghan, you're the next contestant on the Price is Right.
It's strange to be physically next to Dom again. Strange to turn his head and see him there, hair somewhat flat, sure, ears sticking out, yes, but that's how it was in New Zealand, as well. At first Dom is more subdued. They hug and say, hey, you. But Dom is quick to pull away, and Elijah pretends to scratch at the back of his neck so that he'll have something to do. But in the car, when Dom is talking about Scotland and Billy and scripts and things, he loosens up. His right knee jiggles up and down, his hands fly around in the air.
"You're going to smack me," Elijah says, chuckling, one hand on the wheel and the other aiming his cigarette toward the cracked open window.
Dom's left hand, completely expected, slaps playfully against Elijah's cheek as Dom makes exaggerated Batman fight sequence, ka-pow! and bam! noises. So it's not so different from how it was in New Zealand. Not really, anyway.
It's stranger to be sitting so very close to Dom on the sofa and not wondering when Dom is going to go for a kiss or a grope. Actually, that's a lie, because Elijah is wondering these things, but it's changed. Because he knows now that Dom wouldn't, whereas he knew back then that Dom would. If they were alone, they touched. If they were alone, there was kissing and sex. Plenty of sex. So much sex.
Dom is in Los Angeles for two days. The first day is spent going shopping, seeing the sights, driving around, doing mindless, brainless things. Dom meets his family, his mother and sister. He hits it off with Hannah immediately, saying something about whatever hair-color she's decided to use this week. He compliments Elijah's mom on her home decorating and immediately wins a pleased, mom-like "Oh, why, thank you, Dom."
He hasn't changed. Dom smiles and laughs, his face scrunching up, his fingers pulling at his hair or at his ears. He speaks out of the corner of his mouth. He fiddles with his fingers. He sleeps on the couch sprawled out on his stomach, and that first night, when the couch is suddenly just a room or so away, Elijah stays awake longer than he would care to admit. He lies alone in his bed, scarcely blinking so that he would be able to hear if Dom just so happened to wander into his room, mistaking it for the bathroom, and then decide to stay for the sex instead.
The second day is spent much like the first. Shopping. Eating. They can't exactly go out and drink because Elijah isn't legal, and so they decide to stay in and get drunk in the safety of Elijah's own place. They get smashed watching Viggo movies, of all things, which was Elijah's idea, sure, but that was only because he felt they needed something to concentrate on. Anything to take his mind off of his cold fingers and sweaty palms and Dom sitting so close but so fucking far away.
So they snigger as Viggo kicks Demi Moore's ass into the mud and pretend to swoon when Viggo fucks Diane Lane in the great outdoors. "Talk about grass stains in interesting places," Dom says, and Elijah laughs, falls to the side, clutching at his stomach. They begin to put down shots every time he does something Aragorn would have done, and when the Bacardi has stopped burning his esophagus, Elijah again begins to wonder if Dom would mind if he made some sort of a move. Maybe just a little one. Maybe he could lean over and lick Dom's neck. Or maybe undo his fly.
He has to squeeze his hands between his knees and let his head drop forward, whoa, dizzy, to make his mind stop spinning. Dom is the one to fumble for the remote and turn the TV off, mumbling that he's fucking drunk as hell, eh, time for bed, like.
They stand, wobble (like weebles, ha, fucking ha), and when Elijah takes a step forward and almost trips over the coffee table where the empty bottle of booze and two shot glasses clink and clatter, Dom reaches out to grab for him.
They stand close like that. Dom holding his arm. Dom looking down at his hand around Elijah's arm as if he's trying to figure out just how that happened, if there was some sort of , you know, scientific explanation for it all. Elijah watches emotions play over Dom's face, his cloudy eyes, his troubled brow, and for a split second (which is more like three or four, really, in drunken time), he thinks Dom is going to kiss him. He is. He's going to--
Let go, say, "Fuck it," abruptly turn without looking and almost trip, almost slam face first into the wall. Elijah says good night. He walks slowly, purposely toward bed inside of bedroom. He falls onto his unmade sheets without so much as taking off his shirt, and tries to stay awake. Just in case. Because what if. He could just. Wait. A little longer.
He doesn't make it.
It isn't difficult, really. To spend one's day doing absolutely nothing when it comes to productivity.
Sometimes he leaves the house to do nothing but drive around the city. He'll stop at shady music and comic stores, browse and not buy anything, and stop at coffee places and say, no, I don't want a creamacino, I want coffee, before sitting on a bench in a park in the sun. He'll watch kids play with their parents, little boys in overalls and girls with ribbons in their hair, and think that in a few years, that could be him. He could be the young mom or dad, beaming from ear to ear (that is, if their kids are happy and not screaming, needing a diaper change or a bottle or whatever kids need). He could be happy like that. Fulfilled like that.
He drinks his coffee and has to remind himself that, no, he's not lonely. No, he doesn't regret anything. He's living his life just the way he wants to, with a career and an agent and steady jobs. He doesn't need to marry or have kids in order to feel like a man. He's twenty years old. He has a loving family. He has friends.
Viggo calls, and his voice is softer on the phone than it is in person. Billy calls, and he sounds farther and farther away (though he is, you know, in Scotland) every time Elijah picks up the phone.
Dom doesn't call that often. When he does, it's usually to say, "Hey, I'm in Glasgow with Billy. Want to talk to him?" Or maybe, "Hey, I'm in Florida. Orlando's a bitch." ("I am not, you wanker!") "Yes, he is." (pow.) "Fucking fucker!"
In fact, he doesn't call that often at all.
"All right," he says when Hannah sits on him, pinning him to the floor and bouncing up and down on his chest like she did when they were young and stupid and bored. "All right!"
"You'll do it?" she asks and bounces a little more for good measure.
"Yeah. Yeah, o-- ow! Yeah, I'll do it!"
So suddenly he's on a date with a girl he vaguely remembers from when he was younger and she used to come over to the house to "play" with Hannah. She's taller than Hannah, almost exactly as tall as Elijah, and she's not bad looking at all, really. Her cheeks are rosy. Or so they appear when she looks at Elijah, which is quite often, Elijah notices after ten minutes or so of them walking toward the movie theatre which suddenly seems to be eight million blocks away.
Hannah is with some older guy named Max or Mark or something. "He's nineteen," Hannah said quickly, overlooking Elijah's disapproving-older-brother-expression, "but cool, you'll like him, are you done? you're not going to wear THAT are you? you look like a geek! christ, when did my brother become such a geek?"
"So," Elijah says, hands stuffed in his pockets.
"So," the assigned date parrots back. Natalie, Elijah remembers. Her name is Natalie.
He clears his throat. "I remember you, you know."
Her cheeks and ears burn, red flames licking up and down, back and forth. "Yeah? Because, um. I mean. I remember you. Too."
Elijah's eyebrows raises. "Oh?" He thinks he sounds British. Stop trying to sound British because you really fucking aren't, man, Natalie should say.
"Y-yeah," she replies, instead, looking down at her feet as she walks, and the word comes out just like that. The word jumpstarts like a lawnmower needing to be pulled twice to get going properly. "I kind of, um. Always thought you were, uh. Cute."
Elijah stares a hole into the back of his sister's head. Metaphorically, of course. Natalie gives him little smiles and blushes throughout the night. In the movie theatre she leans her little slim shoulder against his. Someone on screen screams, high pitched, and she gives a little cry, turning her face toward him, burrowing it into his shoulder.
He doesn't think this is who he is. If he were with friends and not with his sister who was making out with some older guy a few rows in front of him, or with a (sweet, yes, but otherwise empty) girl who was trying to charm her way into his pants, he'd be snickering at the film. Feet on the back of the seat in front of him. Popcorn tub in his lap, grease covered fingers being wiped on his jeans. He'd laugh with his mouth wide open, make dirty jokes, and instead of inwardly sighing whenever the butterfly-like girl fluttered next to him, he'd feel his gut twist itself up ever so slightly whenever the person to the right of him (Dom; Dom with his legs open wide and his hand placed discretely on Elijah's thigh, index finger tracing the inseam of Elijah's jeans. Popcorn kernels would attempt to lodge in his throat as Dom's finger would move up and then down. Up. Down.
Elijah has to cross his legs. Natalie rests her head on his shoulder and he doesn't object. At the end of the movie, way after Elijah had given up on keeping track of the plot and the fate of the characters, Hannah and that older guy come to fetch them, and they walk to a diner. Elijah downs a double cheeseburger while Natalie eats a weakling of a salad, and when it's time to say goodnight, he kisses her bright red cheek and says, "I had a good time," because that's what he's supposed to do and say. He's willing to do that much.
After Hannah says goodbye to Mark or Mitch or something, and Elijah and her are standing in the driveway, looking at each other, Hannah raises her hands in the cartoon version of a shrug. "What are you looking at?" she asks. She's smiling. "Come on, it wasn't that bad."
Elijah's shoulders slump forward. He toes at the ground, looking up at the sky. He can't see the stars. In New Zealand there were leagues of stars. He could stand out on Dom's front porch at three am, just when the dew began to grow heavy on the grass, look up, and pretend he knew the constellations. In Los Angeles, the skies are empty and black.
"I just wanted to help," Hannah says softly. He looks up at her, and there is his sister circa two years ago, standing directly in front of him. Her eyes are wide and innocent. Her skin is smooth and flawless, not streaked with makeup or sun, in the pale porch light. Hey, he thinks. I remember you.
He steps toward her and wraps an arm loosely around her middle. "I know," he says, and kisses her hair, steering her toward the house. "Thank you."
"You awake?" A faint, metallic sounding voice says in Elijah's ear. It takes a yawn and a few blinks to realize that he's holding the telephone receiver up to his ear.
"Yes," he answers into the pillow. It comes out as "mrph."
"Good," the voice says, too fucking cheerful for ass o'clock in the morning, Elijah thinks. "Then you can come to lunch with me."
Elijah shifts the lower half of his body until it jostles the upper and, hey, what do you know, his eyes can open after all. He squints at the bright red numbers on his alarm clock on the bedside table. Nine thirty-seven. In the morning.
"Sean," Elijah drawls out. Seaaa-aaahn.
"Elijah?" Sean asks. He skips the sing-song voice in lieu of a chuckle.
"You're an asshole."
Sean makes kissy noises into the phone. It sounds like he's trying to suck on Elijah's ear from far away and Elijah pretends to protest, digging his nose into the pillow and closing his tired eyes.
"Get ready," Sean commands. Elijah groans, turns over, his free hand scrubbing at his face. "I'll come pick you up in an hour, buck naked or no."
Which he does, of course, though Elijah is dressed, thank god, by that time. Sean doesn't appear to have lost any of his Samwise gut, but Elijah doesn't mention this. He knows to keep his mouth shut.
Sean's called off and on over the past few weeks. Hi, how are you, we should get together, such and such. But Elijah didn't press the matter because Sean has a family and lost time to make up for. He has to play the dutiful husband just like those young, ridiculously happy men in the park that Elijah has grown to both hate and admire.
Once they're sitting down in the little cafe of Sean's choosing, Sean immediately reaches for Elijah's hand that was going for the menu that the hostess (pretty, but a little too pretty) had set down. His larger fingers squeeze Elijah's. Warm. Friendly. "I've missed you, man," he says, and Elijah can tell by the tone and the matching squeeze that he means it. He smiles.
They eat and talk about New Zealand, about projects that they hope will come through, agents who don't return phone calls, who the fuck do they think they are, anyway, gods gift?
"I spoke to Dom," Sean says out of the blue.
Elijah blinks, fork poised. "Yeah?" he asks, and he doesn't sound overly interested. No, not at all.
"Yeah. He sounds kind of off. You know." Sean shrugs, turning his attention back down to his sandwich.
No, Elijah wants to say. No, I don't know. Dom doesn't answer his cell phone half of the time, and when he does, five minutes later he's saying, whoops, gotta go, talk to you later, all right? He might as well just finish things up by going, have your people call my people! We'll do lunch!
"Off?" Elijah asks. He reaches for his coke and takes a large swallow.
"Yeah. Unhappy." Sean's eyes flash upward. A blur and then, wham, hazel, serious, directed right on him.
Speaking slowly, Elijah asks, "Why are you looking at me like that?"
"Elijah." The word is too patient to be friendly. It's the sort of tone his mother would use. He almost cringes. He watches as Sean's finger taps against the rim of his plate. "Don't think I don't know."
Elijah simultaneously thinks two things at once:
A). Oh fuck, oh fucking fuck, he KNOWS. Everyone knows! We're trapped, caught, deer in headlights!
B). This is all Dom's fault.
Because if it weren't for Dom getting much too close for comfort, Dom always wanting to take a chance, move quicker, no, I can't wait until tonight, Elijah, I want you now, here, let me blow you while no one's looking, come on, we have time, five whole minutes before Peter wants us on set! then Elijah wouldn't have to be fidgeting, fingers retreating to his lap to pick at his cloth napkin. Sean knows. Everyone knows. Billy must know. Of course Billy knows, how could he not? Viggo? Yeah, Viggo's creepy like that, sometimes he can fucking read minds. Ian McKellen? Oh, no way, not Ian. Peter? Kill me.
"Oh." Elijah wonders if people will stare if he were to fall face first into his lunch.
"It's okay, you know," Sean says, speaking quietly, secretly. "I mean. It was obvious. You guys could never keep your hands off--"
"Okay," Elijah interrupts. "Okay. I get the picture."
"What I mean to say is, 'Lij. You should. You know. Call him."
"No." Stubborn. Stubborn, stubborn.
Sean's brow furrows. "I know you're unhappy, too," he all but acuses.
It's not fair, Elijah thinks. Anyone would look unhappy against Sean and his picture-perfect family. Anyone who doesn't wake up with a big fucking smile on their face because they're so fucking glad to be alive would seem damn near suicidal. But even as he thinks this, even as his mouth pops open so he can say maybe even a chunk of it, he hears himself saying, "Christ."
"Call him," Sean reiterates.
Elijah nods. "Fine." Given up. Defeated. Giving in. "I can do that."
That last night in New Zealand haunts him. In Los Angeles, where the rain is warm and humid, where the sun beats down against the concrete, he thinks back to that night, Dom and him walking back from where they had eaten a quick, quiet dinner.
He twists and turns in bed, wrapping his 98% cotton sheets, light blue to match his comforter that he always kicks off, around his legs. Instead of "okay," he says "no." He reaches out, takes Dom's shoulders in both of his hands, turns Dom's body, and suddenly they're eye to eye.
"No," he tells Dom, and he kisses him. And it's good. Kissing like that without Dom asking for too much or Elijah, himself, thinking, wait, we shouldn't, we can't, we're leaving.
He thinks of all of the times at parties or in public, random little snapshots that he didn't think much of then, but come back to him at random points in his day. Times like when Dom looped an arm around Elijah's shoulders, swaying heavily into him, and breathed, hot and almost moist, into his ear: "Happy News Ear."
Elijah could have turned his head and his entire body into Dom. Looped an arm around his waist, and kissed him, saying, yeah, Happy New Year to you, too, Dom. He could have done that instead of laughing, a little uneasy, a little too afraid of what Dom would have done being drunk and in front of everyone, and patting Dom on the back, then stepping away. He missed that golden opportunity for a true moment. Every relationship has moments. In movies they're captured on film. Dom and Elijah had moments that consisted of them groping in the back of the makeup trailer.
Dom never bought Elijah flowers or chocolates. Elijah never kissed Dom good night. But there were times, Elijah thinks now, looking back while awake in the middle of the night, hot, sweaty, throbbing from the waist down, that he knows he should have.
"Have you talked to Dom?" Elijah asks Billy. "I've called his house and his cell, but I can't get a hold of him" The phone line crack, crackles.
"Oh," Billy says, and he sounds startled, pleasantly so, his accent more pronounced. "He didn't tell you?"
Oh, no. Elijah imagines wedding plans. He imagines some sort of Vegas wedding, last minute, some show girl or hooker Dom met three nights ago and immediately fell for. "Tell me what?"
"He's on his way over there. To LA."
Elijah looks around himself. He's standing in the middle of his living room. There are used tissues on the floor. There are CDs spilling out of the shelves. There is a strange, foreign stain on the carpet. "What?" he asks.
"I can't believe he didn't tell you," Billy says, but he's laughing when he says it.
"What? I don't understand. Why? What's going on?"
"Look, 'Lij. Just keep trying his cell." He laughs a little more. "Call me when he gets in. It'll be okay." He hangs up, and Elijah stares dumbly at the phone in his hand.
Two hours later, he gets a hold of Dom. Dom is coming to LA. Dom is going to stay with him in LA and it'll be okay.
He's there when Dom's plane lands, when Dom walks out, one bag only in hand. It's bright and humid out. Welcome to summer in Los Angeles. Dom says "Hey" and Elijah says it back at him. They begin to walk towards Elijah's car, and that's when Dom says,
"Look, Elijah, I'm sorry."
Reaching a hand around behind him to pat at the seat of his jeans, making sure his cigs were still there, Elijah asks, "Sorry for what?"
Dom pauses, thinking for a moment. "For ending things when I did." It comes out of nowhere, outer space, Tanzania. Something flutters in Elijah's chest, and he thinks, just for a moment, that he could break into a run, jump into his car, and drive as fast as possible in the opposite direction. Which is ridiculous, really, because Elijah wanted it brought up. He wanted them to quit pretending. But here is Dom sounding so fucking genuine about them Ending It, when there wasn't exactly anything for them to End in the first place, and now rather than running away, Elijah stops. Dom's still trying to chew out his words, he's inside of his head, saying "I didn't--"
"Look," Elijah says, raising a hand. "That was, what, two months ago? We've spoken since then. We've even gotten along since then. As far as I can tell, we've stayed friends since then. So why bring it up now?" He's on a roll. He's invincible. No one can stop him now because the dam has broken and if Dom were to ask him if Elijah thought about him late at night and in the morning and the height of the afternoon, Elijah would answer that. He would.
The look on Dom's face was serious. Not uneasy like it was, back then, back when he asked if they should stop whatever-it-was. He looks Elijah dead in the eyes and says softly, "Because now I think maybe I was wrong."
It's like a movie. They're in a movie together. Elijah has to remember his lines, his cues, where he needs to stand so that the lighting is perfect. "I thought I wasn't ready to be serious about it," whatever "it" was, whatever "it" can be, Elijah says, a little more severe than it was intended. But that's okay. That fits his character in this installment. Stay tuned for next week when Elijah basically crawls to Natalie for pity sex.
"You weren't," Dom says. He's floundering a little, now. Good, Elijah thinks, fidgeting from one foot to the other. We can't all be perfect. "Maybe you still aren't. But I think. Oh, I don't know. Maybe it's still worth a try. That's why I came back out here, anyway."
Speaking soft. So soft.
"That and your couch is the only place I've felt comfortable in two months."
Elijah has to look away, lift his chin up and take a deep breath. He doesn't say anything because everything is moving very fast, and he keeps thinking of back then, back when Dom and him had stopped, ended, and he had meant to say something, to say no, wait, I don't think we should do it. Or maybe he would have said something like, no, Dom, I need this. I need you.
Dom turns away. Elijah sees this out of the corner of his eye. He walks toward where the sidewalk ends and the street begins, and just when he's about ready to step off and run across the street to the other side, just when Elijah thinks it's all over (again), that he's lost (again), he hears himself calling out:
And because that's not enough, he says, louder, his voice gaining power, "Dom, wait!"
And slowly, so very slowly, Dom turns around. His bag falls to the sidewalk. Elijah takes a step forward just as Dom does, and suddenly they're holding each other very close, and Elijah is leaning like his knees don't exist anymore.
"Okay," Dom breathes into the crook of Elijah's neck.
"Okay," Elijah repeats.
And they kiss.
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