Back to the remixes

TITLE: Kaleidoscope
AUTHOR: kaydee falls, kaydeefalls @
ORIGINAL STORY: Msilverstar's What With All This
PAIRING: DM/various
SUMMARY: A different picture from every angle.
NOTES: Huge thanks to Bunnie and Anna for the last-minute betas!

DISCLAIMER: The author makes no claims or inferences to reality or truthfulness. Moreover, this story is based upon the work of another author and recognises their creation.

* * * * *

1. Viggo

After principal filming ended, Viggo built a little kaleidoscope out of bits and pieces of scrap metal and wood he'd collected in a corner of his trailer. He'd planned on making something big and fantastic and poignant, but in the end, he just hadn't had time. So he hammered and glued and welded the scraps together, then stuck some small shards of mirror at one end and made sure there was a nice little eyehole at the other. He added a few fragments of sea glass and tiny, brightly colored pebbles and shells to finish. It was a rough-looking piece of work, but when you held it up to your eye, the sea glass and pebbles and shells danced and shifted in dazzling patterns just as a kaleidoscope should.

He gave it to Dom, fishing it out of a desk drawer one humid night in Los Angeles and handing it over with a wink and a secret smile. Dom raised an eyebrow, but Viggo just shook his head and smiled wider. Dom shrugged and slipped it into his backpack. The streetlights outside filtered hazily through the Venetian blinds in the pseudo-night of the city, glowing against Dom's pale naked body as he moved across the room, creating patterns that shifted and changed like a kaleidoscope across his skin.

Viggo knew that Dom would dismiss the odd little gift as another one of those mysterious artisty things that Viggo did. Viggo cultivated that image carefully, which is why he never gave any explanation for the kaleidoscope. In time, Dom would probably assign some profound meaning to it and think of what a cool, mysterious, artsy person Viggo was.

Viggo liked this conception of himself because it made the occasional spontaneous rugby tackle or practical joke all the less expected.

He tackled Dom and pinned him to the bed, laughing as Dom yelped in surprise. They never learned.

But at least he could count on Dom to wreak vengeance upon him, sooner or later, which was a comforting fact. Dom was the only other member of the Fellowship who truly understood the beauty of finely crafted revenge. And he was nearly as contradictory as Viggo, with that sly grin and mischievous nature concealing a depth of feeling far beyond what his outward attitude might reveal. Dom and Viggo were a study in opposites: Dom joked on the outside and brooded on the inside, while Viggo put up a front of artistic contemplation and then snickered like a schoolboy when no one was looking. That's why they worked so well together.

Viggo and Dom made love on the bed, comforter and sheets discarded in favor of sweat and skin.


2. Elijah

When Dom asked if he could crash on Elijah's couch for a few weeks, just until he could find his own place in L.A., Elijah readily agreed. It would be kind of like New Zealand, when the hobbits didn't so much have their own homes as four different homes, and some nights the furniture and floors were littered with unconscious men (and, on one particularly memorable occasion, women, but Liv and Miranda had long since sworn Billy and Elijah to secrecy on that count).

It was kind of like New Zealand, except that it was just Elijah and Dom. Elijah didn't mind. Dom was the crazy hobbit, the one who came up with all their wildest schemes and most delicious pranks. Having Dom around was like living in a tornado. It tossed him around and turned his life upside down and once even left him naked in a tree (which probably would have been embarrassing but it's hard to be embarrassed when you're that drunk, and no one ever mentioned it again so Elijah assumed that no one else ever found out about it). It meant never knowing what your plans for tonight were and not particularly caring, because there damn well would be plans, and not knowing about them beforehand meant not noticing or caring if they were changed at the last minute. And if it occasionally meant waking up in trees without clothing, well, it was a small price to pay.

Eventually, Elijah realized that Dom never went out with anyone else, and that if he had other plans, Dom stayed home. He thought it was odd that Dom knew intimate details about the lives of every club bouncer and concierge in L.A., but never went out with anyone outside of the Fellowship. But the only time he ever broached the subject with Dom, it somehow led to a wrestling match that led to not-particularly-surreptitious groping that led to the obvious conclusion, and what with all the laughing and gasping and other sorts of heavy breathing, the matter was soundly forgotten.

Once, when Viggo was in town, Dom led the way to some hole in the wall that claimed to be Ethiopian but smelled like decaying beef. After Dom exchanged a few words with a waiter, they found themselves escorted through a dingy door and into the manager's private rooms, where they had the best authentic Ethiopian food this side of the Atlantic. Afterwards, Elijah went out clubbing and Viggo and Dom disappeared together. He didn't see Dom again for three days, and when Dom finally returned, he came bearing a strange, twisted thing that claimed to be a kaleidoscope. Elijah said it didn't look like much, and Dom said, what would you know, wanker, and one thing led to another, as it usually did.

Maybe it was like that Ethiopian restaurant, Elijah thought. You could find beauty in the strangest places. It would be just like Dom, to see through the exterior into something incredible. Dom was cool like that.

Elijah and Dom had their buddy-fuck right there on the living room floor, kaleidoscope discarded, struggling and thrusting and laughing.


3. Billy

When he was with Dom, there was no room for cognizant thought. Billy's inner monologue shifted automatically from a novel to a screenplay.

In the airport:

"Dom, the baggage claim is not a playground."

"Hey, check out what I can do on the conveyor belt!"

"It's supposed to be for suitcases, not people."

"That's what they want you to think."

"Who's they?"

"Shh. They're watching us. Here, have a paisley suitcase."

In the car to Billy's hotel:

"So how's Glasgow?"

"Still there. Still Scottish."

"That bad, huh?"

"Bugger off."

"Love you, too, sweetie."

"So how's L.A.?"

"Well, the smog levels are low today. Look, you can see the tops of the palm trees!"

In the hotel room:

"You like that, Billy?"

"Fuck yeah. Oh, god... What do you want?"

"What do you mean, what do I want? Don't be daft, I want whatever you want, you know that."

And he put on the same empty smile he'd been wearing all day, and Billy didn't ask him again.

Dom and Billy had sex exactly the way Billy wanted it, fast and slick and simple.


4. Sean Bean

He got a call from Dom, inviting him out bar-hopping "in honor of you and Billy being in town at the same time."

It was a suspiciously hobbity plan, so "Are you sure you aren't confusing your Seans?" he joked.

"Well, we asked Astin to come along, but Christine's visiting her parents and he doesn't have time to find a sitter for Ally," Dom replied. "So you'll have to do."

As soon as he got to the first pub -- bar, rather, bloody Americans and their bloody stupid lingo; who would name a fine liquor-serving establishment after a bit of metal piping? -- he knew that Dom was on the pull tonight. After you've spent fifteen months on a small island nation with a person, you notice these things. Dom's always a twitchy bloke, but tonight he was positively vibrating. His gaze wandered all over the place, never settling down, and he couldn't keep still for a second.

Dom would sleep with anything that breathed, although he generally had a tendency towards other hobbits or, if he was in a tender mood, Viggo. But not tonight.

It was L.A., Sean decided. Dom was lost here. People like Dom needed to live in places where they could know everyone. Dom had an incredible memory for names and other random tidbits of information, but L.A. was just too big, and Hollywood types just weren't real people. He needed someone to guide him, to control him, to tell him what to do, and no matter how close he and Elijah were, Elijah wasn't that sort of person.

Neither was Billy.

So Dom was on the pull, and by the fifth pub -- bar, dammit! -- Sean took pity on him. He bid Elijah and Billy warm goodbyes and gently steered Dom into a taxi.

Sean knew himself to be a complete bastard when it came to commitment -- with three ex-wives to prove it -- but he knew people and he knew sex, and he knew what kind of sex people needed when, and he was generally more than happy to give it to them. (Come to think of it, that might have been the reason for the commitment issues.)

"Tell me what to do," Dom said, swaying drunkenly in the middle of Sean's hotel suite, and Sean did.

Sean shagged Dom into the mattress, controlling him just the way Dom needed.


5. Ian

He was pleasantly surprised to get the phone call, because calls from Dominic generally indicated another Rings to-do, a chance to see the rest of the Fellowship in these months of downtime between the first film's release and pick-ups for the second. Dominic tended to be the driving force behind the infrequent reunions, and he'd racked up quite an inventory of restaurants and hotels in both England and the States to match his ever-increasing knowledge of the same in New Zealand. In fact, he threw himself into the role of organizer-slash-cheerleader with such relentless vigor that Ian sometimes worried about him. Dominic needed a life outside of Rings. A new film, perhaps, or a real relationship of one gender or the other, none of this continuous fooling around with castmates. Not that Ian disapproved of fooling around with castmates, of course, but there were many other people in this world, and it was no good to get too attached to such a small circle, especially in the entertainment industry. Better to branch out a bit.

It was another reunion, as Ian had suspected; this one in Vancouver, where Elijah was filming some teen flick.

He hadn't the faintest notion how Dominic had managed to book a table at the classiest restaurant in Vancouver (and possibly the whole of Canada, with the exception of the French-speaking areas -- French food, even French Canadian food, will always be a step above any other cuisine). The group assembled was small -- just Dominic, Ian, Elijah, Sean Astin, and Liv -- but the conversation was lively and the food was exquisite.

But in spite of the merry atmosphere, Dominic seemed tired and distracted. He joked and grinned as usual, but he fidgeted in his chair and gave short, indifferent responses to any personal questions. After dinner, Ian politely cornered him, in a figurative sense, and inquired about his moodiness.

"You shouldn't wear yourself down organizing these things, you know," Ian told him. "Worry about yourself first, not the Fellowship; we'll shuffle along just fine until shooting picks up again."

Dominic brushed him off. "I'm all right, just tired. Shit happens."

"If you need a friendly ear--"

"I'm fine, okay?" Dominic said irritably, and Ian backed down.

It wasn't like New Zealand, where Dominic had frequently come to Ian for advice and counsel, or just to pour out his thoughts when they got too jumbled for him to handle. These days, Dominic thought he could go it alone.

Once, back in New Zealand, Dominic was given the opportunity to worship Ian, to kneel and thank him, and Ian was more than willing to be gracious back. There had been no repeat performance. Pity.


6. Dom

He was there for everyone, and they needed him there. He liked that. It made him feel useful, wanted; he knew where he stood with them, and it was a good place to be.

But somewhere, something went wrong, and he couldn't figure it out. Maybe it was watching the rest of the Fellowship move on, get other jobs, meet new castmates and directors and friends, while he was stuck on Elijah's couch in L.A., waiting for his agents to call. Maybe it was just L.A. -- he hated the place, but where else was he supposed to go? Manchester didn't exactly have a thriving film industry, and New York was nice but impersonal. He didn't know anyone there. He knew people here.

And here, people knew him.

Once, he opened up his suitcase, determined to move out of Elijah's place once and for all. Inside the suitcase, he found a strange, twisty object, all wood and metal and nonsense. It took him a few long, confused moments to remember what it was.

Viggo's kaleidoscope.

Dom held it up to his eye and turned it. Bright shards of color danced and twisted, shifting together and apart and together again, forming new shapes with every turn of the kaleidoscope. A different picture from every angle.

It was pretty, but oddly frustrating. The kaleidoscope warped the images, blurred them together. He couldn't really see what the pictures were made out of. He wanted to see what made the colors, not these constantly shifting distortions.

Dom found himself slamming the kaleidoscope against the wall, bashing it again and again in a rage he didn't really feel. It was like he was watching someone else destroy the kaleidoscope. It scared him.

The kaleidoscope finally shattered, and tiny pieces of something scattered across the floor. Fragments of colored glass, pebbles, and miniature shells. They looked like nothing, littering the floor like that. Just scraps. That was all. In the kaleidoscope, they'd formed these beautiful images, but take them out and Dom was left with just remnants.

Kind of like him.

What do you want? Billy had asked him, and Dom hadn't known what to say.

Back to the remixes