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TITLE: The Geometry of Fusion
AUTHOR: Shaenie
ORIGINAL STORY: The Secret Language of Curls by Jenwyn
NOTES: (at the end)


1. Awareness of Magnetism

Orli thinks Dom must have fallen asleep (passed out?) in the kitchen. He hasn't heard anything from that direction for more than an hour, since the tinkling shiver-shatter of glass.

Elijah is humming softly against Orli's chest. Orli's fingers are curled around the back of Lij's neck, and he is kneading and thinking.

He thinks of Dom in the kitchen, and Dom earlier, in the armchair alone, while Orli and Lij lounged on the sofa together. He thinks about Dom alone. He thinks about Dom's eyes, grey like smog, as Dom drank amaretto (which Orli doesn't like, and Dom doesn't like either, but which they both drink because Lij likes it) and watched the two of them, Lij and Orli.

He thinks of Dom's fists clenched around glass and bottle (and the quick-hot flicker of Lij's tongue at the corner of Orli's mouth) in bitter twists. He thinks about Dom's back, hunched into a defensive curve as he slouched away, into the kitchen. He wonders if Dom is still hunched and clenched and twisted now, in the kitchen. In his sleep.

He wonders if Dom dropped the glass or had thrown it.

Orli wonders if Lij is aware.


Lij can hear Orli thinking. He can hear it in the way that Orli's breathing is too measured. He can feel Orli thinking, too, Orli's hand on his neck, kneading gently in time with his breathing.

Lij thinks he knows what Orli is thinking, suspects they are thinking about the same thing.

Earlier, he could see Dom's jealousy, could see the bright-hot smolder in his eyes and the bitter-bleak despair in the stoop of his spine. He could taste it, too, Dom's jealousy on his tongue, can still taste rich-sweet chocolate and the twisty slide of amaretto.

When he was eleven, his mother told him that he was magnetic.

If you're magnetic, you attract whether you like it or not, whether you choose to or not. It just happens.

Usually, Lij just sort of gently ignores this.

Right now, though, he can't bring himself to do that.

He can't, because it's Dom, and he loves Dom, and he didn't love the look on Dom's face earlier and he didn't love the taste of Dom's jealousy on his tongue, chocolate-amaretto. He thinks he will never love that taste again.

Dom and Orli are magnetic, too, he knows.

2. Circular Ecstacy

Orlando is thinking about circles and curls.

Dom wants Orli's curls (he had said) and, unspoken, Dom wants Lij's (metaphorical?) curls, but Orli is thinking that when Dom said curls, he meant circles.

Maybe Dom meant circles, in the way that more than two things could form a circle. More than two people. Or a triangle.

It was Lij, Orli thinks. It was Lij that Dom wanted, Lij's curls (Frodo's curls? How did that work?), but now Dom is curled (curled!) up around Orli on the floor, asleep, one hand circling (circling!) Orli's wrist, and Orli thinks maybe now it is Orli, too.

If Dom doesn't mean circles, Orli doesn't understand about the curls. If he doesn't mean circles, Orli is at a loss. Curls seem too much like spirals, and spirals are like being out of control, winding around and around and around until you fall right off the end. Orli doesn't even want to consider that Dom might want spirals.

Orli doesn't like spirals. Spirals have a start and a finish, a beginning and an end. Circles are unbroken.

Dom said he wanted Orli's curls. Orli isn't sure what that means.

Maybe Dom means circles.

But not triangles.


Lij didn't stay for the ecstacy. Dom had wanted him to, and was hurt. Orli had wanted him to, and was baffled.

But Lij had been thinking about magnetism.

He is not the only magnetic one, with his magnetic eyes. There is Orli, with his magnetic beauty, and there is Dom with his magnetic vitality. Lij is not alone in his magnetism.

He isn't terribly well versed in physics, but he does understand some things.

Magnets have two sides. If you put two magnets together the right way, they draw toward each other.

He thinks Orli is already facing the right way, already feeling Dom's pull. Dom is facing too resolutely toward Lij, however. Dom isn't feeling Orli's pull, is only feeling Lij's.

But if Lij isn't there, pulling at Dom, he thinks maybe Dom will feel Orli's pull. Lij feels Orli's pull, it's strong, and without Lij there and with the added inhibition-killing ecstacy, Lij thinks Dom will feel Orli's pull.

When he comes home and finds them asleep on the floor, arms and legs and bodies tangled and curled and twisted together, he thinks he was right.

When he wakes them, though, they turn back toward him.

3. Razor Silence

Orli had not meant to make that look happen on Dom's face in the pub. Causing that look on Dom's face (Fuck you, Orli) makes him feel wretched.

He isn't sure he understands how it happened, even though Lij had babbled during the drive home, had repeated his conversation with Dom nearly word for word.

He is thinking furiously, remembering Dom's fingers in his hair (curls) and the shivering, coiling tingles when Dom had shushed him (be quiet) and pulled, and. Oh.

And Dom (don't talk) had said... oh.

Lij had just smiled, when Orli had told him about the curls.

He watches Lij unlock the door, and he thinks maybe he understands now (Fuck you, Orli), and he remembers how he had been surprised by Lij's not-surprise.

Orli had been surprised that Lij had not been surprised, and of course, Dom wouldn't know, wouldn't see, that Orli had told Lij, yes, but Orli hadn't needed to. Lij had already known.

How did this go all triangular when Orli wasn't looking? Dom wants curls, not triangles, and Dom would never want to be on the short side. Orli doesn't want Dom to feel like he's on the short side.


Lij doesn't understand and Orli hasn't spoken since Dom lurched to his feet and walked (staggered) (ran) away from the pub (them) earlier. Orli keeps looking at Lij, looking and curling his pretty lips into an equally pretty frown.

Orli is pretty when he's sad (now) and Dom is pretty when he's mad (earlier, maybe still?). Lij thinks he's not at all pretty when he's frustrated and confused.

Lij doesn't want them to be sad or mad.

He wants them happy, smiling like Dom had smiled under the table (do you want to come home with me?), bright-beautiful-happy smile that had winked out like it had never been. He wants them like magnets turned just right, so that they overlap the right way, one thing with three bits, uninterrupted by space or air.

He's talking, following Orli, and talking, because Orli being so quiet scares him. No one is listening to what Lij is saying. Words die, anyhow, when Orli takes the razor from a bathroom drawer.

He stands there, eyes and mouth round, until Orli closes the door gently. Lij hears the lock 'snickt'.

Lij slaps at the wood until his palms sting.

Orli still doesn't speak.

4. Triangles and Amaretto Curls

Orli can almost see the triangle - instead of just sensing it, fearing it - for one moment, on the bathroom floor with Dom's hands curving gently around his skull, palms flush against his un-curled scalp, but it feels like the shape of it has changed.

Dom and Orli are looking at each other, touching each other, they are like reflections of each other, they are of equal lengths.

It is Lij, kneeling on the opposite side of a broken offering (but an offering Orli thinks has worked, maybe, might have expressed something that Orli couldn't think how to say - See, Dom, see. You can have the curls, you can have circles and curls, can be in our circles and curls, if you want to be), and it is Lij on the short side of the triangle now.

But it doesn't seem to bother Lij. Lij is not afraid of triangles.

Or maybe Lij knows how to soften rigid lines into curves (curls) because he tells them to wait for him in the other room, he'll get this (mind your step).

Orli has never explained to Lij how rigid lines and sharp angles bother him, but he thinks Lij already knows.


Lij stays apart a little while. Last time they had pulled each other in, but Lij had come and they had both turned back.

He thinks that Orlando is brilliant.

Terrifying, but brilliant.

Lij's hands are still shaking.

He cuts himself up a little to save Orli's (Dom's) curls. He isn't sure if they're important anymore (maybe just the offer was important) so he saves every one he can find, and there are splinters and slivers of glass in the curls and in his fingers, but that's all right.

A gift like this is supposed to be slightly painful to handle. Coveted and dangerous. He thinks it will be all right with Dom, too.

He thinks of Dom's hands on Orli's shorn head. Lij can feel their pull from here, with his fingers bleeding as he pinches sharp curls between them. Lij is bleeding on the curls, into the curls, already sticky with amaretto from the now-broken bottle they'd inhabited briefly.

He wonders if LijandOrli are more magnetic to Dom. He thinks he already knows that LijandDom are more magnetic to Orli.

Evidence (bloody curls) of that whispers warmly in Lij's mind and cock, stings and cuts Lij's fingertips.

5. Sleeping in Straight Lines

Orli should be sleeping, but he's thinking about Dom's hand curled around the back of Orli's neck, Dom's fingertips curled into a curl missed by the razor. Orli is glad he missed that curl. Orli is glad one of Dom's curls is still attached to Orli, too.

Dom had fallen asleep touching it, because that curl was Dom's curl, too, and when Dom touched Orli's one curl, they were a circle.

Connected, with Dom's hand curled around the back of Orli's neck and Lij snug between them.

Dom's hand had slid away in sleep though, and they aren't like a circle now, more like a straight line.

Orli misses Dom's hand on his curl, misses the circle, and if Dom wakes up, Orli thinks Dom will miss it, too.

Like Dom would miss the light, if Lij and Orli were hidden from Dom by the dark. He doesn't want Dom to feel alone in the dark. He doesn't want Dom to feel apart from the circle.

He can't make Dom's fingers curl around Orli's curl without waking Dom, but it's easy to slide his hand into Dom's open hand (and Dom's fingers curl around Orli's by reflex) against Elijah's shoulder.


Lij wakes a little when Orli threads his fingers through Dom's, and their hands curl together against Lij's shoulder.

It makes him smile, makes him want to wake them, and maybe Dom and Orli will kiss with their heads on Lij's belly, like Lij and Orli had kissed on Dom's, and Lij could touch Orli's back and Dom's hair, and he was right before.

DomandOrli are more magnetic together.

He wonders again if it's like that for Dom, if maybe it was always like that and Dom just didn't understand, had thought it was one of them when all the time it was Them.

Orli had always understood.

He thinks this might be brittle, vulnerable, he thinks that, in this situation, Orli might be vulnerable, and he wants to think about how to keep things whole, but he yawns instead.

He gazes at the curve of Orli's scalp. The hair is uneven, ragged. He yawns again, comfortable and warm between Dom and Orli, and he thinks he can fix Orli's hair in the morning.

Sleep pulls at him like Dom and Orli pull at him, and he's never been particularly interested in resisting either pull, so lets himself be drawn.

6. Energy in Waves

They surf and then play in the water.

Orli notices that wetsuits don't seem to be much of a barrier against the way Dom and Lij twist at his skin and his insides, whenever they touch Orli or each other.

They wrestle beneath the waves, tangling together like some mythical six-limbed creature, and Orli thinks he can hear their laughter, even though he can't really hear anything but the waves.

The wrestling gravitates to the beach, and it's almost an accident when Lij's laughing lips bump up against Dom's laughing lips. Almost.

It is like relief, when it happens. It feels like relief.

Orli isn't thinking of triangles, because Lij's legs are curled around Orli's and Dom's hand has assumed its customary (rightful) place at the back of Orli's neck with Orli's (Dom's) single curl twisted around Dom's finger. Orli is hot and sticky and covered in sand and sweat and ocean salt, but the world is bright and round, and Dom and Lij are so bright he can hardly look at them, and he is bright with them, they are all bright together, and it's so beautiful.

Orli is desperate for it to be bright and round forever.


Admiring Dom is not new, but kissing Dom is new. The feel of Dom sighing against Lij's mouth is new. The (shocking) frizzles and shiverjags on Lij's skin are new.

It's over quickly, but it lingers on Lij's nerves like static electricity, like potential, like future fission or fusion.

Fission? Fusion?

He can't remember the difference.

Lij wants to lead them inside. They won't move until he does, and he wants to, but he isn't sure Dom wants that.

Lij thinks Dom does. Orli thinks Dom does, too. But Lij doesn't know if Dom knows Dom wants it.

He remembers thinking that Orli is vulnerable, this situation makes Orli vulnerable. He knows it makes Dom vulnerable, too. Vulnerable. Open. Assailable.

Lij doesn't want to assail Dom , doesn't want it like that.

Lij wonders if he is vulnerable, too.

Fission or fusion?

They produce different kinds of energy. One produces good energy, the other bad.

Lij wants to produce energy, but only the right kind.

Lij hadn't thought he was vulnerable, but that was before he had felt fission or fusion with Orli's legs snarled with his and Dom's mouth shivering against Lij's lips.

He wonders why that makes a difference.

7. Fusion in the Light

Orli knows Lij doesn't really understand.

It's easy for Lij, because Lij isn't afraid of triangles, has never been afraid of triangles, and he isn't afraid of the dark. Lij probably hadn't thought about how the three of them together might leave one of them in the dark.

Orli knows Dom thinks about that, and Orli thinks about it, too.

Lij is looking a little thoughtful, and Orli thinks maybe Lij is thinking about it now.

Lij still doesn't look afraid.

But Orli is content for now, because even though there had been darkness in the bedroom, right now there is only light.

In the light, the three of them are tangled and curled and snug on a sofa that should not be capable of fitting them on it, but somehow does.

In the light, Dom's face shines with soft wonderment, and he's beautiful.

In the light, Elijah's face is calm and wise, and he's beautiful, too.

Orli doesn't know what his face shows, but that's all right. He can tell from their faces that he is beautiful, too, and that is all that matters.

Orli lets himself forget about the darkness in the bedroom, and revels in the light.


The difference between fission and fusion hadn't come back to Lij until he'd already asked the fission question (do you want him?) three times.

The first time, Lij had not understood the darkness shifting in Dom's eyes.

The second time, Orli had pulled his mouth off of Lij's cock to answer (not me, the curl) and Lij had seen Dom's relief - Dom had never let go of Orli's lone curl, had clung to it - but still hadn't understood.

The third time, with Orli apart from Lij and Dom, Lij finally (don't do this for him, don't do this so I'll give myself to him) remembered the difference between fission (splitting apart) and fusion (melding together).

Lij hadn't meant to initiate fission (I wasn't giving him to you). Lij wanted fusion (I want you to be happy with us). The only reason that Dom hadn't fled entirely was because Dom wanted fusion, too.

Lij had waited when Orli appeared. Lij reaching would cause fission for Dom. So Lij let Dom do the reaching, instead.

On the sofa, now, they're a LijDomOrli fusion.

And yes, Lij is vulnerable, too. He understood that when Dom had fled from them.

But he isn't afraid.

8. Things Discarded

Orli had fallen asleep on the carpet where he and Dom had lain and eased the itch of Lij's sunburned skin. They had touched Lij together, Orli and Dom, exchanging sweet-quick smiles with their mouths and brushing their fingers together while easing Lij's itch with sweet-long strokes.

Lij is still asleep beside Orli, but Dom is not asleep beside Lij.

He looks around a little, feeling some kind of panicky little flip in his belly, and he sees that Dom's shoes are gone, too.

Dom and Dom's shoes are not here.

Orli sees that the bottle is not here, the bottle of curls, a new bottle Lij had emptied for the curls. Maybe it's okay that Dom and Dom's shoes are gone if Dom took the curls with him.

Then he sees that the door to the deck is partly open. When he looks out the panicky flipping resumes in Orli's belly.

Dom is holding the bottle tipped, one hand is holding the tipped bottled, and the other is filled with Orli's curls, but open, not holding them, and the curls are flipping and falling like Orli's belly, flipping and falling and being carried away by the breeze.


Lij wakes up alone. Orli isn't there. Dom isn't there.

Slivers and strips of sunburned skin are there, peeled away, bits of Lij, dead and no longer part of him.

He feels a bit like those slivers and strips without Dom, without Orli, without DomandOrli.

He thinks about Dom wanting curls and Orli wanting circles, and he thinks they all want the same thing, that it's all about fusion, only different in their minds.

Fission is that way, too, he knows. They are each afraid of it in their own ways. He sees it in Dom's eyes and in Orli's eyes, and while he's never seen it in his own eyes, he understands that it is there. Elijah is afraid of fission.

He thinks it's not quite the same kind of fear. Lij is afraid for Dom and for Orli, but not so much for Lij.

It's based in vanity, he thinks. Based in having always known his own magnetism.

They are afraid of eclipsing one another and afraid of being eclipsed, and Elijah is not afraid of that.

They should not be, either. They are beautiful, they are uneclipsable, and he wants to find them and tell them that.

9. Pausing the Rhythm

Orli isn't afraid of triangles while the three of them staggerstumble from deck to bedroom, doesn't even think of them while Dom's hands jab buttons through buttonholes, parting Orli's shirt so Lij's hands can slide warmhot shivers along Orli's chest; until Dom's mouth takes over where Lij's hands leave off to fumble at Dom's belt, and Dom's mouth whimpergroans his appreciation against Orli's skin.

Orli's hands are on Lij's trousers and Lij's mouth is on Dom's mouth and Orli's chest, kissing with curling, flicking tongues against Orli's chest while Orli's mouth is letting out some sort of cry, a mutant, an amalgam of their names, and triangles don't even cross Orli's mind.

It isn't until he is nudged up against Dom, his cock almostohgodplease inside Dom, that he wonders if this is a triangle or a line or something not circular and he pauses, pauses because he can't stand to think of Dom thinking that it isn't curls, isn't beautifulyblinginglyglorious and bright.

Dom is kissing Lij is kissing Dom, and Orli isn't afraid of triangles for him, only for Dom, afraid of Dom being afraid of triangles, because Dom wants curls, and Orli wants Dom to have what Dom wants.


When Lij finds them on the deck with Dom's arms slung loose around Orli's neck and Orli smiling down into Dom's face with softheat, Lij watches them smiling, lips curling up to match theirs.

Lij sees Orli's sleekdark curls, pushed against a post by the wind, and he sees the bottle, discarded nearby.

Lij isn't sure what happened, but whatever it was is good, is perfect, and when they look at him... oh!

Lij is drawn forward, pulled toward them, and into them and Lij doesn't have to lead them anywhere, doesn't even have to lead himself.

None of them leads, they all just go, with hands and mouths and bodies almost in synch, a rhythm that hasn't quite developed yet, but which will.

When they fall into bed, it is in the order in which it must be, for now. It's as natural as breathing, with Dom between them, and Dom's eyes are wide open and aware. Dom is not afraid, and there is brilliant exhultation in Lij's chest, interfering with his breathing, and Dom is so bright Lij has to close his eyes to kiss him.

All of them together is irresistible. Lij does not want to resist.

10. Motion in Moments

Orli's not thinking of triangles.

Orli hasn't worried about triangles since he asked Dom the question (do you want it to be Elijah?) while almost inside of him, and Dom smiled at him, gentle-sweet and unafraid (you) and touched Orli's face.

He knows he might be afraid again, some time later, but he thinks of things now, thinks of them smooth and round (Dom's hand on Lij's hip, Lij's knee snug between Orli's thighs, Orli's fingers stroking idly through Dom's hair) and curling, and he also thinks that it's possible that he won't. He thinks of Dom, savoring silent words (I love you) like they are exotic and precious.

Maybe nothing is circular all the time. Maybe things are always in motion, and it doesn't have to mean things are wrong.

Orli thinks that maybe he and Dom can learn not to be afraid when things occasionally go a little triangular. Just because triangles do not always have equal sides, it doesn't mean the sides are not of equal value.

Maybe it's not even about shape. Maybe it's about things being whole. Unbroken. Connected.

Elijah won't have to learn, Orli thinks, because Lij has never been afraid of triangles.


Lij thinks that it is moments like this that make fusion real.

This moment, here, with Orli sleepy-eyed but smiling soft, and Dom bright-eyed and curling his tongue around words that he doesn't have to say for them, words Dom only has to say for himself. This is the kind of moment that will keep them whole.

Moments like last night, moments when they are tangled together in heat and sweat and need, those are important too. Moments in which Lij can not tell whom he is touching, and doesn't care. Moments in which it doesn't matter which of them is inside him. Good moments.

Maybe not as important as shared smiles and sleepy mornings in the sun when talking isn't necessary, and silence is comfortable curled around them like they are comfortable curled around each other. Maybe these moments are the most important.

Or maybe there are no most important moments. Maybe all moments are created equal.

None of them are thinking about fission, Lij knows. None of them are fearing it.

He thinks about the words Dom is not saying, rolls them around in his own mouth, and thinks that Dom is right.

They taste sweet.

NOTES: I chose to Remix Jenwyn's The Secret Language of Curls. It has the distinction of being one of the first LOTRiPs stories I ever read. I loved it. I still love it, although I'm seriously considering choking Jenwyn, should the opportunity ever arise.

There are 10 parts to The Secret Language of Curls, for those of you who haven't read it. It's told from Dom's perspective, and is stylistically very complex and interesting. It's told in a very stream-of-consciousness style, which I admired greatly while reading it the first time, having never read something so in the moment, tense- and style-wise.

I chose it, basically, because I loved it. Then I stared at it in horror for a while as I tried to wrap my mind around how I was going to manage it. I didn't want to do parts of it. That felt like it would be cheating, leaving it incomplete like that. Also, I was having issues with whether I wanted to switch styles, use my own style, to tell Dom's perspective, or if I wanted to try my hand at Orli or Lij's voice.

I eventually decided it would be far to long if I went with my own style in Dom's POV, and that was true no matter whose perspective I wanted to write it in. I am wordy, and the fic is long already. So.

I thought it might be interesting to try my hand at my own version of a stream-of-consciousness style, not something I write often, but came back to length again, and the deadline. Also, I still couldn't decide between Orli's and Lij's POV. I considered drabbles, as an effective means of limiting the length, and that seemed like a good answer. And, with drabbles, since they would be brief enough, I could do something more challenging (read: insane) and write both Orli and Lij.

I discovered that my talent for 100 word stream-of-consciousness drabbles is severely lacking. I found it nearly impossible to do. All attempts ended up at least twice the appointed length. So I decided, why does it have to be 100 words? Why not 200?

So that is what I ended up with. 10 sets of 2 200 word drabbles, each of them designed to fit between each of Jenwyn's original 10 parts, the last one falling after the last part of her fic.

Because I'm some sort of lunatic, I wanted the story to be complete in and of itself, without any knowledge of the original fic, but I also wanted it to fit with the original. I wanted it to be possible to insert each of my little sets of drabbles in between each of Jenwyn's original parts, and for them to fit there, for them to make sense.

As much as I could in 200 word drabbles (what are those called? drabblets? dribbles? dribs? drabs? mutants?), I tried to stay true to the style and flavor of the original story.

I hope it has worked, although I'm really not willing to guarantee it has.

This has been one of the most difficult writing projects I have ever undertaken, and I feel like I'm still too close to the experience to be able to view the results with any kind of objectivity. You guys tell me.

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