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TITLE: Triangular Parallel
AUTHOR: Zarah, zarah @
ORIGINAL STORY: How Soon Is Now? by Shanalle
PAIRING: Orlando/Elijah, Billy/Dom (Dom/Elijah, Viggo/Orlando, minor references to other pairings)
SUMMARY: In which New Zealand has the best sunrise and Elijah the best plan. Amongst other things.
NOTES: I went through quite a few stories on Shanalle’s page, but when I read ‘How Soon Is Now?,’ my immediate reaction was: Okay, and what about Elijah? So I went with that question, and while the result is much longer than I thought it would be and tells quite a different story than the original version -- Elijah’s story -- I did my best to work with the original plot as well as expand on some things that were mentioned only in passing in Shanalle’s story. So, I hope it’s still recognizable, in a way.

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.


Triangular Parallel


New Zealand mornings aren’t like those Elijah is used to at home. The nights in Los Angeles are orange, so the first daylight doesn’t come as a surprise; high buildings cage the sky, tame and cheapen it. The sun loses all its impact.

In New Zealand, mornings are magical. At first, the sky brightens in the east, turns from orange to yellow to a very light blue, and then the sun peeks over the top of some mountain. Elijah bitches about getting up early just like everyone else does, but he really thinks the beauty of the soft morning light makes up for everything. It’s not something he’d ever tell Billy or Sean, though. Without coffee, they’re only physically alive in the mornings; they wouldn’t understand.

He thinks about telling Dom, sometimes, or maybe Orlando or Viggo. Not too often.


“Obvious.” Cigarette in hand, Elijah gestures at where Viggo and Miranda are bent over the most recent version of the script, their foreheads nearly touching. Miranda’s hair falls into her face, and Viggo reaches over to brush it back behind her ear. Elijah takes a drag before he passes the cigarette to Orlando.

“Mhmm.” Orlando’s lids lower as he inhales, the sun glistening on his brow and chest. Feeling inexplicably guilty, Elijah looks away. He leans back on his elbows and crosses one ankle over the other, gazing up at the perfectly blue sky while grass tickles his toes. He’d never get this in L.A.

“What?” he says, still only half-listening to Orlando.

“Even more obvious,” Orlando repeats.

Elijah turns his head, gives Orlando a partly curious, partly lazy look. “Who?”

Orlando’s lips part to release a puff of smoke. “Guess,” he says, and his smile reaches for Elijah, playfully tickles his palms before it embraces him. Elijah takes the cigarette Orlando offers and sits up.

Trees overshadow the spot where Sean, Liv, Bean, Dave and John have laid out their towels. Liv is reading on her stomach while most of her male entourage discuss what Elijah assumes to be soccer. Football. Whatever. Elijah doesn’t think he’ll ever quite understand the appeal of a game that:

- involves twenty-two men
- trying to put a small, round ball
- into a big, angular goal
- by kicking it from one end of the field to the other,
- as well as a referee who makes a lot of mistakes,
- and in the end, Manchester United (Orlando, Dom) or Sheffield United (Bean) wins.

Bean discusses football with an enthusiasm that Elijah thinks should be reserved for more important things, such as music. Nothing there that Orlando would deem obvious, though. Elijah turns his head, and there are Billy and Dom, jumping and ducking as they spar with wooden sticks right at the edge of the lake. Through the smoke of his exhalation, Elijah watches Dom twist, then grab Billy around the waist and lift him up only to lose his own footing and tumble into the water, Billy right on top of him.

“Yes,” Elijah says, grinning. “Very obvious.”

Orlando’s fingertips scrabble over the back of his hand. Just for fun, Elijah lets him dangle for a moment before he gives in and the cigarette up. “Think they know?” Orlando asks around his smoky exhalation. Water glitters and splashes as Dom and Billy resurface, Billy sputtering water with Dom grinning at him, then reaching over to thump his back. Dom’s eyes reflect the sun.

“No.” Slowly, Elijah shakes his head, holding out his hand for the cigarette without averting his eyes from the lake. “I don’t think so. Or rather, someone needs to buy Billy a clue.”

“Hmm,” Orlando agrees, tone vague. When Elijah glances at him, his eyes are closed, face turned into the sun. He’s lost interest already.

Elijah looks back to Dom and Billy, thinking.


The makeup trailer always smells of glue. Sure, there are other things as well, powder and worn leather and a hint of the aftershave Sean uses, but Elijah is sure that when he thinks back to mornings in Feet, years from now, the smell of glue will be the dominant part of the memory.

Other than watching the sun paint the sky in pastels, the best thing about mornings is Ian’s disgruntled voice calling over the partition to “turn that thing you consider music down, you daft buggers,” because “honestly, can’t you wankers show a minimum of respect for other people’s ears,” especially if “those ears have been listening to the Stones before you were even born?”

Dom, the only hobbit worth addressing b.c. (before coffee), grins at Elijah while he complies with Ian’s wishes, and Elijah grins back. Dom doesn’t even notice when Elijah’s hand settles on his waist, Elijah leaning into him to recite a passage of text from a liner notes (Daft Punk, Homework, 1997), or if he does, he does a good job of pretending not to notice.



When Elijah was younger, his mother had a poster of the Beatles’ Abbey Road hanging in the kitchen, right above the counter. By the time he understood what the four guys with the bad hairdos walking over some crosswalk were all about, the poster was long since gone, and so was that particular apartment.

He’d never really liked the new place, mainly because along with the apartment, his mother had changed jobs and wasn’t at home much anymore. After some time, Elijah got used to hastily scribbled notes on the door of the fridge, telling Hannah and him where the food was and how long it needed to be heated in the microwave.

The four guys weren’t anywhere to be seen. They’d been replaced with art prints by a painter called Mondrian: symmetric lines framing rectangles that always looked clinical and distant.

Although Elijah has come to accept that it’s not actually Mondrian’s fault that his mother had to work more, he still can’t stand Mondrian’s work.


“But Abbey Road,” Dom says, “is plebeian. Everyone knows Abbey Road and the crosswalk. It’s so mainstream!” His right hand cuts the air in a clean swipe, and Elijah ducks out of harm’s way.

“It’s a classic,” he corrects. “The fact that kids sing Come Together in school doesn’t make it any less brilliant. I mean, otherwise, every totally unknown band would have to be great, just because nobody knows them.”

“Stop spoiling my elitist snobbery!” Dom nudges Elijah with his shoulder, leaning sideways and nearly falling off his chair in the process. Debby of the Immaculate Costume glares at them, and Dom straightens with a sheepish smile. “Should have chosen a more secluded corner,” he says quietly once Debby seems to be satisfied with the impact of her reprimand.

“You know, your logic defeats itself.” Elijah scans the Lorien set for Billy. Sure enough, he’s leaning against the stone where Elijah places the ring during the council, listening with his arms crossed to Orlando, Viggo and Bean debating something that seems to be of utmost importance. Possibly the destination of tonight’s outing. Billy, Elijah notices, isn’t really paying attention. Grinning, Elijah turns sideways to prop his elbows on Dom’s thighs. “Revolver has Yellow Submarine. And that round goes to Mr. Wood! Thank you very much!”

“We’re not done here.” Dom flicks Elijah’s nose, and Billy’s eyes narrow a fraction. “How about: Revolver was the perfect blend of experimental, innovative music and exceptional song writing, while Abbey Road already sounds like,” a smirk, “the end of all things?”

“Which adds a melancholic note to its perfect blend of the same things.” Elijah glances over again. Billy has turned away; Bean is talking to PJ and gesturing to emphasize his words. Viggo reaches over to brush a strand of blond hair back behind Orlando’s ear, fingers lingering unnecessarily. Orlando looks up and smiles, his skin luminous in the light.

“And what, pray tell, is your defence for Sun King?”

Sun king?

“What?” Elijah says.

“Sun King,” Dom repeats. “Your defence?”

Elijah turns away and looks at Dom instead. “It doesn’t need one. Also, any LP with a song like I Want You could get away with a bad Britney Spears cover on the B-side.”

“Hopeless.” Dom shakes his head. After a moment, he adds, “I bet you just like the cover.”

“I do, actually,” Elijah says, smiling brightly. “It’s so very British, in a sort of symmetric, aesthetic sense. Not like the mess on the revolver cover. I like it.”

Dom smirks as if he knows something Elijah doesn’t. “Sure you do.”


Elijah’s birthday starts out with rain. Which is very much not nice, considering December and January are supposed to be the least rainy months in the New Zealand calendar. Elijah blames PJ’s law – everywhere PJ is, it rains; everywhere PJ tells his crew to go, it rains; if it doesn’t rain where you are, chances are your contract’s up for negotiations.

The rain is warm on Elijah’s skin when he gets out of his car at five to five, and the earth still smells of summer. The eastern edge of the sky already shows a hint of brightness, but the clouds hide the play of colors. In the semi-darkness, it takes him a moment to fumble his car key out of the ignition. He grabs the script for protection from the rain. It’s the copy from yesterday, so it’s probably outdated anyway.

As always, the windows of the makeup trailer are lit, rain blurring the bright squares around the edges. Elijah takes the stairs two at a time, shaking water off his sleeve before he throws the door open with a loud,

“Mornin’, everyone!” Mainly because he knows how much morning exuberance annoys Sean and Billy, he adds, “Rise and shine!”

“Birthday boy!” Dom moves as if to jump into his arms, then stops at the last second with a quick once-over of Elijah’s humble stature. Grinning, he settles for a hug.

“Wanker,” Elijah tells him, but returns the hug all the same. Over Dom’s shoulder, Sean gives him something that would be a wide smile if it were about three hours from now, while Billy raises his gaze from his coffee for a marginally less sleepy smile.

“G’birthday,” Billy manages, echoed by something similar from Sean.

“So,” Dom says.

“So?” Elijah says.

So,” Dom says, with more emphasis.

Elijah grins and shrugs. “All right. So, then.”


Their bodies mark the corners of an uneven triangle: Billy, in his chair, is watching the room with his eyes partly closed; Dom’s making faces at the mirror; Elijah’s standing at the stereo, examining the liner notes of Dom’s present that came along with an enormous, 4 x 4 foot poster of Abbey Road. ‘British, in a sort of aesthetic, asymmetric sense,’ has been scribbled in one corner. Sean, who could make the triangle a square, doesn’t seem inclined to join the land of the living at the present time.

Dom breaks the geometrical impressions by joining Elijah, making the alignment more of a straight line with Dom as the off-center focus. “So?”

“Cool,” Elijah says. “Very.” He gives Dom a one-armed hug, keeping the liner notes safe in his other hand. Rain is thrumming a soft melody on the tin roof. “How did you know, though?”

“That Orli broke your copy? Your illegally burned copy?” Dom’s smirk is conspiratorial, and he leans forward as if to tell a secret. “He told me.”

“Oh.” Elijah nods. The grey twilight outside is insufficient; most of the brightness comes from the generously spread artificial sources inside the trailer. They gleam off the coated paper of the booklet, and Elijah has to tilt it to be able to read the words. “‘I want you so bad, it’s driving me mad.’ I’ve never seen the liner notes. Looks somewhat stupid when you see the lyrics written like that, no?”

Dom hooks his chin over Elijah’s shoulder and peers at the text. His hair tickles Elijah’s cheek. “Guess it does,” he decides. “Just don’t forget that the original was a record, youngster.”

“As if you’d know how to work a record player.”

“I do, actually. You’d be amazed.” Dom nuzzles Elijah’s cheek with his nose, and for a full two seconds, Elijah considers being in love. He’s not into the whole unrequited love business anymore, though; Josh cured him of that, and it certainly didn’t make being friends with him any easier.


“Sure,” Elijah says. “Whatever you say.” It’s coincidence that he chooses that moment to glance at Billy’s face in the mirror. Frozen, eyes narrow. Then wide and afraid.

“Fuck, Billy!” Dom jumps aside, but the coffee Billy just dropped splashes his leg anyway, splashes Billy’s Hobbit foot, too. Billy doesn’t reply, but when he looks up and at Dom, Elijah’s sure that something has shifted. Billy just may have caught on to his position in the triangle Elijah’s crafted so carefully.

Outside, the rain lets up. Elijah smiles. It’s going to be a beautiful day after all.


Elijah’s got the benefit of youth, which he thinks is ironic; Orlando is more immature than Elijah ever remembers being. Still, being the kid allows him to get away with things, and whenever he’s underestimated, he makes sure to use it to his advantage. People see his eyes and believe he’s innocent. He corrects them only when he sees it necessary.


“No, c’mon, c’mon!” Elijah tugs at Orlando’s wrist, looking around to make sure Dom and Billy aren’t watching. Plans are only as good as the secrecy with which they’re carried out.

Orlando desperately clings to his beer – his second, Elijah thinks, which means he should act quickly, or Orlando will forget his own name, the location of his bed and, most importantly, his part in Elijah’s plan. “This is a great song!”

“What’s it called?” Elijah asks, leaning close. His mouth brushes Orlando’s cheek, but only because Orlando turns his head to look at him, eyes dark. Maybe not his second beer, after all? Elijah swallows and leans back slightly.

Orlando’s brows draw together. “I don’t know.”

“Then it can’t be that great,” Elijah says. He renews his grip, and when he tugs again, Orlando follows mostly willingly. The song, which actually isn’t great at all, fades the moment the doors close behind them, and Elijah drags Orlando around the corner, away from the couples out for a bit of fresh air, a snog, or both.

“All right,” Elijah says, while Orlando gets comfortable with his beer and a brick wall. It’s probably a relief after the heat inside. “So, I need you.”

Orlando chokes on his beer. His skin is glistening with sweat, a relief of orange and dark brown, so Elijah turns away to look up at the street lamp. It flickers, on and off, on and off.

“I think I got Billy right where we wanted.”

“Huh.” Orlando’s voice is strangely empty, but Elijah doesn’t want to look at him.

“So, I’m drunk, right?” Elijah flashes a big, toothy grin and glances at Orlando. Orlando is watching him without a trace of amusement. “No one thinks much of the actions of a drunk man. And no one will make a fuss about me kissing Dom. Except,” he steals Orlando’s beer and swishes the glass triumphantly, “for Billy.”

Orlando’s eyes follow the motions of his beer. “Billy,” he repeats slowly. There’s something akin to a question in his voice, so Elijah nods.

“Yes. And also,” he hands the glass back to do a pirouette, “this is so going to work. I’m brilliant, admit it!”

“I guess,” Orlando says. His enthusiasm leaves something to be desired, which Elijah attributes to the two beers. Of course, Orlando’s generally a happy drunk, but there are exceptions to every rule.


Shouldn’t have left his bed. The doorway’s sort of, what’s it, like, spinning? Sort of unsteady, or maybe that’s... His own feet, yeah? Or head. Head, feet, floor? Something, yeah. At least Elijah isn’t alone, because there’s Sean, and Sean’s spinning, or possibly grinning. Or both. Both.


“And here,” Sean says, “comes my chance to say: I told you so.”

“You did?” Elijah asks, although the pounding in his head, like, drowns out most of the words. In a kind of painful way. Unlike the doorway, the wall is steady and wonderful. Cool, too. Elijah thinks he might write a love poem to the wall. Later, though. His eyes are dry and burning. Didn’t take his contacts out last night.

“Sure did.” From Elijah’s position, Sean’s grin doesn’t look very sympathetic. Probably because it isn’t.

Elijah closes his eyes and leans his forehead against the best wall in the world. Good thing someone thought to place it in his bedroom. “Could have stopped me.”

“And rob myself of the opportunity to hold your head while you make the most beautiful retching noises?” Definitely not sympathetic. “I don’t think so.”

Well, yeah. Now that Sean mentions it, Elijah does have a pretty bad taste in his mouth. Also, why does the sun have to be quite this bright? Someone should close the curtains. Not Elijah, though. He likes his wall. “I went home alone, then?” That’d be something, at least.

“Only if I don’t count.” Sean’s voice sounds carefully neutral, and Elijah isn’t entirely sure whether the edge to it comes from a suppressed smile or the beginnings of anger.

“We didn’t, like...” Elijah opens an eye to check Sean’s expression. “Right?”

The smile breaks through, and oh yes, the sun emphasizes its nasty twist. Sean wouldn’t know sympathetic if it kicked him in the ass, Elijah decides. “We most certainly didn’t,” Sean says, and this time, he doesn’t bother to keep his amusement down. “Hard as it may be for you lot to believe, I’m straight even when I’m drunk.”

“Hopeless,” Elijah mumbles and closes the eye again, relieved. “Tell me that at least I kissed some cute guy.”

“That depends.” Sean’s voice sounds closer, and unless Elijah’s eye tricked him earlier, he’s also carrying water and aspirin. Wonderful, wonderful Sean. Still not very sympathetic, but that’s all right. He brought aspirin.

“On what?” Elijah asks, or thinks he asks.

“On whether Dom fits that description,” Sean says.

Elijah opens the eye again. “I kissed Dom?”

“Sure did.”

“Oh, right. Okay.“ Plan? Probably. Elijah vaguely remembers asking Orlando for help. Also, Billy staring? “What else?“

“Billy left fairly quickly after that.” Sean, wonderful Sean passes both the water glass and the aspirin. Elijah reaches for both with barely disguised greed, his stomach giving a lurch at the sudden movement. “Maybe sick,” Sean continues, “although he didn’t even drink half of what you did, and he’s got a much better stomach for it.”

“Sod off,” Elijah says past the water in his mouth.

“Wannabe-Brit.” Sean smirks. “And just for your information, if you managed to keep Dom and Billy apart, I’ll be the first to poison your coffee. Or destroy your favourite Smashing Pumpkins album. And your new copy of Abbey Road.”

“Apart?” Elijah gurgles, then swallows. The water swishes in his stomach. Beneath his feet, the floor rolls, then settles again, and he leans back against the wall, closes his eyes and tries to concentrate on the effects of aspirin swirling through his body. “I’m doing my best to get them together!”

“They were about an inch from kissing,” Sean takes the empty glass from Elijah, “when Orlando dragged them apart and off to have you kiss Dom. On your request, I’m sure.”

One eye opens. “What makes you think that?”

“Because it’s you, and Orlando,” Sean says. He makes it sound like something logical, natural. “Your plan, Orlando doing what you ask him to do.” Beat. “Billy didn’t look happy.”

“So what? They’ll talk, they’ll confess, they’ll kiss.” After all, that’s how Elijah planned it. Remembers planning it before alcohol ate his brain cells.

“I certainly hope they will.” By the sound of his steps, Sean’s walking over to the bedside table. Clink of glass on wood, Sean’s voice further away. “For your sake as much as for my own.”

“Promises, promises,” Elijah mutters. His body seems to object to the aspirin.

“Other than that...” Sean sits down on Elijah’s bed, the mattress giving under his weight. His voice takes on a curious note. “The Elf and our King left together. That’s when you really got started on the drinks.”

Elijah’s stomach fails in its attempt at a salto mortale and instead tries to turn itself inside out.


And PJ said, “Let there be no Feet today,” and there was no Feet. And the hobbit part of the world saw that it was good: They were allowed to sleep in.


Despite the additional hour of sleep, Elijah’s mood is somewhere below zero. First, he spilled coffee all over the remote control of his stereo, then he found another dead gift from the neighbor’s cat on his doorstep, and now, on his way to the makeup trailer, he comes upon Viggo and Orlando, sitting on the stairs that lead up into their beauty salon.

Blonde hair cascades over Orlando’s shoulders and the soft leather tunic is clinging to his body, but his eyes are brown and awake, following Viggo’s hands as they paint the sunrise. Two cups of coffee stand on the step between the two of them. Elijah likes that particular detail.

Viggo pauses, as if something just occurred to him. He glances briefly in Elijah’s direction.

Then moves, and the rest is too-fast slow motion. Viggo’s lips on Orlando’s: gently coaxing, wrong. Orlando turns his head, turns his body, and the hot coffee beneath them creates a cloud around their heads that makes it hard to see. Elijah still sees, and doesn’t want to.

Smirking, Viggo withdraws, and the world falls back into place. For about two seconds, Orlando stares at him with eyes almost comically wide. Then, shrugging, he turns back to watch the sun rise.

Elijah unfreezes, somehow, and walks a curve around them. He doesn’t think Orlando even noticed him, which might make it worse, or better, or both. Elijah misses the rain.

The makeup trailer welcomes him with glue-scented warmth. Sean’s late, but Dom and Billy are already there, Billy’s smile quiet and sleepy, Dom’s bright and happy. Elijah tries to return the happiness and thinks it’s mostly working.

He doesn’t do unrequited anymore.


Moria is made of ignitable synthetics, and smoking is forbidden. Hence, Elijah uses a break to sneak outside, keeping close to the wall to prevent his costume from getting soaked by the rain. He hopes no one will notice his absence for the next ten hours or so. That would be nice.

Of course, as is the case with wishful thinking, it rarely works out. Many people have bemoaned that particular aspect of life, and many of them in more elaborate words than Elijah could ever hope to find, so he doesn’t even try. Hopefully, Orlando won’t take the “Ah, fuck,” too personally. Then again, maybe he should.

“You’re a stupid wanker.” Frowning, Orlando plucks the cigarette from his hands. “Just so you know.”

“That was,” Elijah says with what he would like to be a threatening tone, only it falls flat and he turns his face away so Orlando won’t see. “Mine,” he adds as an afterthought, of sorts.

“Past tense?” Orlando’s lips form a perfect circle around the smoke he exhales. “Yes. Present tense? Nope. You should have been faster.”

Elijah isn’t entirely sure what they’re talking about anymore. The smell of wetdark pavement and smoke expands in his throat and makes it difficult to breathe. “What do you want, Orlando? Because if it’s my cigarette, congratulations, you got it.” He leans his head against the wall and observes the silver strings of rain that fall down from the roof, then explode on the ground. “Now fuck off.”

Orlando seems to consider this for about two seconds. “No.” He’s balancing on the frontier between wetdark and dirtydry. His wet soles have left half-imprints on the floor that resemble Chinese yin-yang symbols, only they lack some yang inside the yin, or maybe the other way round. 

“All right, then stay.” Elijah glances at the curls of wet, blonde hair that stick to Orlando’s cheek. “I guess Costume will kill you later, so I won’t have to.”

“My, aren’t we feeling charming today.” Orlando grins, and Elijah fights very hard not to give him a black eye. He’d certainly earned it.

“In fact, we aren’t.” Because smacking Orlando isn’t an actual option, Elijah flattens his fist against the wall, skin catching on the rough stone. The chafed places turn white, then red. Elijah studies them before he glances up at Orlando for less than a second. “What did you expect?” he asks quietly, nearly lost in the falling rain.

“Hmm.” Orlando drops the cigarette. It hisses sadly on the pavement. Grows dark. “Fair enough, I guess.”

“You guess, huh?” Elijah tries his best to sound indignant and mocking at once, but in all honesty, his best has seen better days.

“Yeah,” Orlando says. He either missed the mocking, or chose to ignore it. Elijah isn’t sure which and probably shouldn’t care. Of course, that’s exactly the problem, isn’t it?


“Though, you know, maybe you should look again.” Sadness tugs at the edges of Orlando’s smile, and Elijah thinks he really, really hates him; hates his smiles and his laughs and his sadness and the fact that he can’t hold his liquor. All of that. All of him.

Orlando bows down, but really he’s just scooping up the cigarette stub. Elijah hates that, too.

Still leaning against the wall, he watches Orlando squint at the entrance, then at Elijah, and turn to leave. Just what Elijah wants. Exactly what he wants. “Wait,” he calls.

Orlando waits, his back to Elijah.

Elijah takes two steps, and now Orlando turns and looks at him, still waiting. Elijah inhales. “What did you mean?” Exhales. “Just now?”

“What I meant?” Orlando’s smile is back, like switching on a light bulb. “Billy and Dom, you and me. Viggo and you.” He seems closer although Elijah knows he hasn’t moved. The smile seems closer, too. Orlando tilts his head. “Notice a recurring theme there?”


“What?” Elijah says.

“Okay, it’s...” Rain is running down the side of Orlando’s face, a cheeky drop adorning his left earlobe like a piece of jewellery. He shakes his head. “Why did you kiss Dom?”

“What?” Elijah says again. This is stupid. Why are they still talking? He should stop. He should leave before Orlando does. “So Billy’d get jealous, of course. He’d never have noticed otherwise.”

“Right.” Orlando nods, apparently happy with the answer. “Why did Viggo kiss me?”

Viggo kissed Orlando. It’s... It’s unfair, and Elijah’s going to leave, he really is. Right now, right... One, two, thr--

No, hold on. What...


Orlando’s watching, waiting. He’s been doing that a lot, Elijah thinks. The thought makes him smile and take another step, towards Orlando. “I can’t believe Viggo’s turning my own plan against me,” he says. “Wanker.”

“You’re complaining?” Orlando asks.

“No.” Legolas’ hair is heavy and wet in Elijah’s hands. He’d prefer to stroke Orlando’s shaven head, which he already knows is fuzzy and soft to the touch, but, “No, definitely not.”

“Good,” Orlando says.


Orlando’s eyes are blue, and Elijah thinks it would be wrong to kiss him now. He’s glad, though, that Orlando doesn’t smell like Legolas; where Legolas would smell green, Orlando smells of soap, sweat and rain.

Elijah nudges his nose against Orlando’s collarbone, grinning for no particular reason. “What did Viggo tell you yesterday?”

“Huh?” Orlando asks. Under his lips, Elijah feels Orlando’s throat move with the word.

Elijah lifts his mouth and grins up at Orlando. “Yesterday. What did Viggo tell you about the sunrise?”

“Um.” Orlando ceases his scientific exploration of Elijah’s left hand. “Just that city people don’t know what they’re missing, I think. That most of them probably couldn’t tell a sunrise from a sunset.”

“He’s right, for once.” Doesn’t mean Elijah has quite forgiven him for kissing Orlando. At least Elijah pretended to be drunk when he kissed Dom, which makes all the difference. Absolutely. “It’s just different in cities like L.A. or New York.”

“Tell me about it.” It’s a request, Orlando’s voice tilting up toward the end, and again Elijah feels the words. He presses his smile against Orlando’s throat.

“Okay,” he says, because everything is. “I will.”

The rain has soaked Orlando, and Orlando soaks Elijah. They should probably care more about the additional work this means for Costume, but Elijah can’t bring himself to worry about it. Debby will get an enormous fruit basket with some chocolate hidden in its depths tomorrow, but for now, Elijah loves everything about this moment.

He thinks he has made his peace with the rain.

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