Elijah lay on the white leather sofa, feeling intensly miserable. He had been under the weather for a few days, but this morning he had woken up, and immediately prayed to go back to sleep until the feeling went away. If he was not curled up in a little ball clutching a hot-water-bottle to his stomach, pain seared up and down his abdomen. To make matters much worse, Dom was filming. He called at least three times a day, which was sweet, but really could not compensate. Elijah was counting the days. At twenty, it sounded like an impossibly long time. As if on cue, the phone began to bleep. "Hello?"
"Hi 'Lij. How are you feeling?" The sound of Dom's voice was always enough to melt his insides, even in his current state.
"Disgusting actually." He groaned. "You?"
"Poor baby. I'm exhusted. Schedual's completely hectic. But Johnny's a great laugh." Elijah was so proud of him, getting the lead in the latest Johnny Depp film. He grinned as he remembered the look on Dom's face. He had dropped the phone and started jumping around the room, shouting his head off, while Elijah picked it up and excused his hyper-active boyfriend, as screams of 'I got it! I got it! shit shit shit!!' echoed in the backround. Elijah was pulled out of his remeniscence as Dom continued. "You should come out here when you're better!"
"Jamaica? Hell yes! I don't know when that'll be though." He gave an audible wince. Concern clouded Dom's voice. "Go to the doctor."
"Oh no, it's not-" Dom knew what he was saying before it left his mouth. He had always been able to do that.
"Yes, it is that bad. Lij, please see a doctor. I'm really worried." That did it. Elijah sighed.
"I hate it when you do that. You know I always give in, it's really low." Dom laughed softly.
"It's the only way I can get you to do what I want."
"Well, not the only way." He giggled.
"Heh. Where are you?"
"Ah. Well, memories about that particular spot should keep you company till I get back." He smirked. "But I have to go, we start in five. Love you."
"And get that appointment."
"I promise." He hung up.
Dom put down the phone. Elijah did not sound like he was dying, but this was more then a run-of-the-mill bug. Then there was a tap on the door. "They need you back on set, Mr Monaghan." Dom ran an agitated hand through his pale blonde hair, and glanced at the photograph of Elijah that was taped to the mirror. Viggo had taken it (along with almost every other deacent picture of him and Elijah) and it was his very favourite picture, his lucky one, which had gone with him to every location for the last one and a half years. A gorgeous New Zealand sky-line in the backround, behind a limestone rock on which Elijah was sitting, looking pensieve, one arm draped over Dom's chest, who was lying with his head in his lap, in the motion of reaching up to tuck a lock of black hair behind his boyfriends ear. Grinning, he hurried from the trailer into the bright sunlight.
Elijah sat on the edge of the bed and stared into space. He had been sitting by the phone for four hours, the temporary prescription of morphine seeping into his system. Not waiting for Dom, it was three in the morning in Jamaica. For the doctor. As he rubbed the sore spot on his arm where the tiny needle had drawn a test-tube of blood, a chirp penetrated his thoughts and made him jump. His hand quivered slightly as he picked up the reciever. "Yes?"
"Hello, Mr Wood?"
"It's Dr Brint. The results came through."
"Uhh... " He coughed nervously. "Okay, shoot."
"Johnny, can I have a quick word?" Dom poked his head around the door. The legend himself was sat back with his feet up on the desk, sucking a pen, scribbling changes onto a battered script. He looked up. "Oh, hey Mon." Seeing as they were filming in Jamaica, this had started out as a good joke amongst the cast and crew members, but with Johnny it had stuck, out of habit.
"Sure, what's up?" Dom took the battered seat opposite.
"I, uh... " He had no premonition that this was going to be easy. "I, need a favour." He did consider himself rather lucky to have such an easy-going, good natured guy on the permition end of a slightly awkward request.
"Anything, hit me."
"Uhh, El's really sick, and I was wondering if I could shoot my final scene before the others, so I can get home." Concern creased Johnny's brow.
"It's not serious, is it?"
"No. Well, I don't think so. He promised to see a doctor, so I'm sure it'll be fine."
"Oh, that's good. Tell him I hope he feels better, and I'll see what I can do about the schedual."
"Thanks a lot." He stood.
"No problem." They touched fists. "Look after yourself, Mon." He gave a little salute of recognition, and left.
The next few days were hectic. Dom tried as hard as he could to get as many scenes done in a day as humanly possible. Then, one morning, when they were assembled for a last minute chat before starting, Johnny shouted, "Guys, we've changed the schedule a little. I've moved all of Dom's scenes to today and tommorow, we were all going to stay till the wrap party on Friday anyway, but the times and shit are on the board." He indicated the huge MDF board behind him. He had spent an entire spare day painting in with a Jamaican scene. It was pretty impressive. "But, for a personal thing, Dom's going home on Wednesday instead. There's going to be a little thing after he wraps on Tuesday night." Dom was more then a bit shell-shocked. Johnny had moved the entire week around just for him. He walked over to him and pulld him into a massive bear-hug. Johnny laughed. "Your welcome!"
Bring-bring... bring-bring... bring-bring... brin-
"Yeah?" Dom managed to sound extreamely bad-tempered and groggy in a single word.
"'Lij? Hi, are you okay?" Dom looked at his watch. It was one-o'clock. That could not be right. It would be six-o'clock in the morning in LA. Elijah was always careful not to call in the early hours, he even had a list of time differences on the fridge, so he could be sure. He would only do it in an emergency. The drowsiness ceased and he sat bolt up-right. "What's happened? What's wrong?"
"Nothing." The guilt may have been trans-Atlantic, but he heard it clear as a bell.
"You wouldn't call me this late without a reason, now tell me."
"Is it late? I hadn't noticed." He sounded distant, and not just across the puddle, either. Like he was not quite all there. Dom let it go for now.
"I've got good news."
I'm-" He stopped. It would be a nice surprise if he got back earlier then expected. He had to think fast. "Uh, Johnny says he might know what you've got." Not likely, Elijah thought. "There's some funny bug going around. Doesn't last very long." He tried to sound relieved.
"Oh, well that's good. I'll, uh, see you on Saturday then."
"I love you."
"Yeah, I have to go."
"It's six am, where could you possibly need to go?"
"I need to do some stuff." A dial-tone sounded without another word. Dom looked at the phone, thouroughly put out. He could not remember the last time Lij had not said it back. Something was definately wrong and he had a sneaking suspicion that it involved this mystery illness.
The last two days snailed by. This had been one of the best times he had ever had on location, but he was now so caught up in his worries, that it was just one stress after another. Johnny got so frustrated with him, after shouting cut for the twenty third time, that he lost his temper.
"For God's sake Dom! Do you want to go home or not? Just say the damn line, the way we said, and we're done!" Rather pink around the ears, Dom cleared his head and did the scene. Did it perfectly, as it happens. "That's what I'm talking about! That's the talent we all know and envy." The last night was good fun, they all got drunk and someone pulled a karaoke machine from somewhere. He paid for it at five the following morning, when he had to get up to go to the airport. Falling back in his seat, he clutched his pounding skull in his hands and prayed for a fast flight. As they took off he pressed the button on his seat until it was almost flat and blessed the genius who had invented first-class. An American stewardess wheeled a huge trolley down the isle.
"Anything to drink, Sir?"
He glanced up and popped out the head-phones. "Sorry?"
She smiled prettily. "Any thing to drink?"
"Uhh, not unless you have a hang-over cure."
"Sorry, fresh out. Wait, I tell a lie. Feel like drinking tomato juice?" She laughed.
"I'll keep the blistering headache thanks." He grinned back.
"Has anyone ever told you you look just like-"
"And are you-"
"You're not going to like this. We're showing that programme you were in... Lost, that's the one. The whole trip on one channel."
"Oh God." The stewardess looked troubled. "Sorry, it's just last time I flew, they played Lord of the Rings, and everyone recognised us. Elijah and me. It was a nightmare."
"Alright. I'll see if it's possible to switch that channel off, or something." She said sympathetically. She reversed the trolley back to the employee station, and exchanged a few words with a man. He glanced in Dom's direction. A sneer formed on his lips, and he clearly saw the word 'faggot' come out of his mouth. She looked outraged, then disgusted. Glaring, she spat a few angry words at her collegue. She came back, looking guilty. "I'm sorry, the, um, channels are set and, I, er... "
"That's okay." He gave her a look to interperate that he knew what had been said. "It happens." Those sorts of incidents had stopped bothering him a long time ago. Celebrity bore a person a thick skin after a while. He slept for the rest of the trip. It helped the jet-lag, because when he got off the plane into what should have been, by his body-clock, bright sunlight and was faced with early evening, he did not really notice.
He hailed a cab at the airport exit, chucked his bag in the back seat and climbed in.
"476 Larabee please mate." The driver stared for a second, then blinked.
"Uh, sorry, sure thing." Dom was feeling rather fresher, and chatted pleasently with the driver for the thrty five minture journey. It turned out the mans name was Todd, and he was suffering a wages cut. Dom nodded sympathetically, feeling slighlt awkward as there was a twenty thousand dollar cheque winging its way to his account as they spoke. It was amazing how a little word of support from a total stranger could lift a persons spirits.
"And that thing, at that premiere, totally sick. Guys like that deserve to be locked up. Stupid bastard." Dom went silent. He could remember it as if it was yesterday. The first and worst time he had been personally aprehended for his lifestyle. The LA 'Spivs' premiere had started out the same as the rest. He did not pretend he disliked the screaming fans. It was a great feeling, getting out of the car and having a wave of excitement come with you. He walked about, signing mostly Lord of the Rings and Lost stuff, the occasional Pandemoniumfromamerica cover. But the major difference was that a week before, the tabloids had been splashed with photographs of him and Elijah. A photographer had found them in the Canaries. There were at least thirty. Various hand-holds, discreet kisses and hugs. He remembered the phone call from Billy the day they had come out.
"Bill!" It had been a while since he had seen his friend. "How the hell are you?"
"Okay, but Dom... You haven't seen the papers today?" His first though was, 'oh, for a minute I thought it was serious.'
"Oh shit." Billy sounded very agitated. His holiday did not spring immiediately to mind, as it had been several months ago. "Dom, they got you guys in the Canaries." He almost dropped the receiver.
"Jesus man, they're everywhere. Every fucking tabloid. It's even been on telly!" Shell-shocked, he reached for the remote. Flicking the channels, he found the morning news. They were going through the days front pages.
"And on 'LA Today', yet another shot of actors Dominic Monaghan and Elijah Wood, and the headline, 'Hobbits Go Homo.' They're going to be in trouble for that one."
"Dom... " Said Billy gently. "Turn it off." He did not. One by one, he saw the cover of every paper in LA. Almost every one had some invasive photograph with a cheap shot plastered above it. For the rest of the week, reporters scambled all over their door, day and night. There were a couple of police-men at some point, when homophobic graffiti began to appear. Hand-delivered letters came to them and were thrown away immediately. An expert was going through both their fan mail, checking it over. Sympathetic messages were left in their thousands on message boards, and since leaving the house was on the verge of impossible, they turned to them, leaving their own replies. The word that they were roaming even the lowliest forum soon got around. A fans excitement at personal replies were the ony proof they had that the world had not turned into one huge prejudice blob. Apart from their friends of course, who were there as often as was possible. Elijah was the most sensative to the attacks, and took it harder. Dom's lawyer was making thousands an hour, and deserved it for all the work he was doing. But it was the premiere that had pushed him to go on TV. The usual hour had been spent trailing around the area, signing again and again. Well, usual for him, and he had developed a reputation for being one of the most autograph-generous celebrities in the business. Elijah had not come. It was probably wise. Then, as he neared the carpet and flashing cameras, someone had bellowed,
"Burn in Hell, you fucking faggot!" And a flaming bottle had come flying over the barriers. The excitement drained but the screaming remained. He lept backwards onto the pavement and it went close over his head and shattered beside him. A hot shard gashed his cheek. Policemen dived in, leaping the barrier and snatching hold of a fleeing man in a green anorak. One grabbed his elbow.
"Come on Mr Monaghan, we need you to get quickly inside the cinema." He walked in, hand to his bleeding face. Confused actors and reporters were standing in the foyer.
"Put the cameras AWAY please!" Bellowed the man.
"There has been an incident outside, and as a result this event will be canceled. Could all journalists clear the building and ticket-holders call their cars.
"Oh my God, Dom, what happened?!" Kate ran over to him and saw the trickle running into his stubble.
"Someone chucked a bottle at me." He said, wincing. She pressed a tissue to him.
"Thanks." Ken walked over, flipping away his mobile.
"Jesus." He said in his harsh East-end accent. "There are some messed up people in the world."
"You're telling me." 'Yellow Submarine' began to play in his front pocket. He braced himself and answered. "Hello?"
"Dom?" It was Elijah, and his voice was shaking. 'Dom, what happened?"
"No you're not fine!" He shouted. He tended to get angry when he panicked. "I saw it on TV! One minute, they were going on about you and Spivs, then you got hit by something and all the presenters were yelling and it switched of! Then they cut to somewhere and they said you'd been attacked! I thought you'd been shot... " He trailed off pathetically.
"Some nutter chucked a flaming bottle at me." Elijah gasped and made to cut in. "BUT they missed and I'm fine. I just got a little cut." Perhaps this was a bit far from the truth, he thought, as a medic pulled the soaked tissue from his face. He could feel the cut running from below his eye straight down to his jaw-line. It hit him that he had come very close to being blinded. Don't do that, he scolded himself. He was okay, it would heal.
"I'm coming down!"
"No! Its hysterical down here, stay. I'm coming home."
"I don't mean to interrupt, Mr Monaghan." Said the pretty female medic quietly. "But no you're not. You need stitches. We're going to drive you to hospital."
"Shit." He accidentally said down the phone."
"What?" Asked Elijah. "What's wrong?"
"Um, I'll pick you up. I have to go to hospital for stitches." He hear him start to cry. "Come on, don't. It's not huge, I just need a few stitches, that's all." The woman raised her eyebrows as if to say 'A few? Dream on.' "I'll see you soon." He hung up. "That is okay, picking him up?"
"Or course. Where do you live?"
"Oh yeah, that's on the way." He left, holding a bandage over the cut. There were still many policemen keeping the reporters back. He ducked into a blacked-out Ford and the woman got in in front. They pulled out and two cruisers coasted behind at a safe distance as to not look suspiscious.
"Cool." They rounded the corner and came terrifyingly close to running over a gaggle of Paparazzi. "Oh shit!" A radio buzzed at her belt. "Yeah?... Okay... right." She addressed Dom. "We're staying, here, they're going to get him."
"Fine." He watched the men fight throught the group. As soon as they spotted the car they closed in. He slid down in his seat as flashes cut through the dark. He knew from experience that they were getting some excellent shots. Cameras could take through black-out at such close range. He stuck up two fingers at them all and glared, keeping his hand firmly over his cheek. 'Fuck you all.' He mouthed obviously out at them. Then it stopped and the door slid open just enough for Elijah to slip in. There was momentary shouting before it was slammed shut and Elijah lept at him. He hugged him very hard and a couple of tears trickled out of his eyes. Elijah sobbed openly. The woman was smiling slightly and talking very intently into her radio.
"Calm down, I'm alright."
"Liar." He whispered, stroaking the material latched to his face. They were silent the rest of the way. Elijah sat with his head on Dom's shoulder, occasionally touching his hand, as if to reasurre himself he was really right ther under his finger tips.
Dom had no idea why he suddenly felt so touched by his image, maybe because they were driving in the same area, albeit in the the other direction. But whatever the reason, he was suddenly desperate to be back with Elijah, very conscious of the fact that he had not seen him in far too long and he would not be there forever. He was not usually this stupid. He was distracted (thankfully) by Todd beginning conversation again.
"God, I remember it, my daughter Sarah was watching TV in the other room and suddenly she was yelling, 'Dad, dad, Dom Monaghan's bin assasinated!'" He laughed. "She was always a drama queen. I rushed in and they'd cut to some news-room, going on about some incidents, and she was actually in tears." He chuckled again. "She's gonna spit teeth when I tell her you were in my cab!" They pulled up in his street. "Actually, buddy, I won't charge for the ride, but could I have your name for her?" He grinned hopefully. Dom smiled back.
"Sure, you got a pen?" He scribbled on an old movie ticket, 'Sarah, thanks for being a fan, look after your old man.' Then he flourished his name, turned it over, wrote something else and handed it back. Todd read it and laughed. "Flip it." It had his e-mail on the back. "If that's all over the web by morning I'm gonna kick your arse." Todd smirked, surprised by the guesture. He handed over a twenty. "But there's not way I'm not paying."
Elijah lay on the bed, tears clouding his eyes. It was going to kill Dom. He knew it. Conceated though it sounded, he knew it would destroy him. Piece by tiny piece. Just the same as him. It had been two years, to the month. It was not long enough, it was not fair. He remembered the very first time. At the wrap-party. Three years of filming, it was obviously going to be a huge affair. But no-one could have guessed at the garguntuan proportion Peter was planning. The biggest hotel in New Zealand, exclusive to them. It was almost ridiculous. Music was blaring in the 'events hall', as was plastered on the door. There was a massive dancefloor, more then enough seating around the edge and a long table with food the staff had spent all day preparing. There were a few speeches, Peter embarassing his young stars systematically one after another. He danced with Liv for a while, and Cate. Every so often he caught sight of Dom, sitting alone and staring at him. It did not take a genius to work out something was wrong. Billy mentioned it a little later in the evening, when they were getting something to eat.
"So, what's got Dom's goat?"
"I have no idea."
"Did you do anything to piss him off? That'd be a first!" He was not sure what was ment by the remark, whether Billy percieved Dom as a difficult person to annoy, which was true, but he had a feeling that his friend noticed the connection between Dom and him specifically.
"No. I don't think so. Maybe." Dom had been acting strangly for while, making sad excuses to get away from him, going faintly red in the process. "I'll ask him."
"You ain't subtle, Lij, I'll give you that." Billy grinned. "Later." Elijah walked purposefully across the room and plonked himself down next to Dom, who promptly stood up.
"What did I do?"
"Nothing, I gotta go to the loo." He walked quickly away. Eljah followed.
"Sure you do. You've been avoiding me for ages. Whatever I did, I'm sorry"
"You didn't do anything, and I'm not avoiding you." They entered the quieter corridoor, leaving the laughter and music behind them.
"Well, there's definitely something bothering you."
"Well, yeah." He felt he was finally getting somewhere.
"I knew it. What's up?"
"I can't say."
"You know you can tell me anything."
"Give it a shot."
"I'm not going to."
"You ever wanted something and knew you weren't supposed to have it?"
"Take my advice, don't get another car." He laughed, but Dom looked grim. "Okay, maybe not."
"Yeah, I really noticed." They were in a silent, deserted corridor. Alcoves were slotted in along the walls, lit up by individual lights and filled with antique paintings and sculptures. They came to one that was empty and shadowed, the bulb hanging out of its holder. Dom went in and slumped against it until he was sitting on the floor. Elijah sat opposite and watched him.
"I'm in love."
"That's great!" He was very relieved and not very surprised. Dom had always been a little shy and nervous about relationships. "She know?"
"Sure she'd like you, you're great."
"Thanks." Dom looked slightly reassured.
"Do I know her?" Dom made a few non-commital noises in his throat. Elijah was perplexed.
"Well, what's the problem?" There was a pattern emerging; He asked a question and Dom gave him an answer that did not really tell him anything.
"Well they, uh, don't, you know, go that way... "
"Aww, man, that stinks." He clapped a hand sympathetically on his shoulder. "She's bent?"
"Uh, no. They're not. That's the problem." He looked up. People say you can tell most about a person from their eyes. That was certainly true on this occasion. Even so, it took Elijah a few seconds took work out just what his friend was saying. He removed his hand.
"Oh. Uh, didn't really see that one... coming. So, do I know... him?" Dom shuffled and looked at his shoes. "Billy? Viggo?"
"No... This is so much harder then I thought it would be."
"Don't worry about it. No-one worth listening to is gonna think any less of you. I know I don't."
"Of course. Think I'm some homophobic creep?"
"Course I don't." He lifted his head to find Dom was suddenly very close to him, but his mind seemed to be running several steps behind. Dom's hand went to the wall by his head and he kissd him. All he could hear in his head was 'Why aren't I shocked and a bit grossed out?' Then he realised. Because he did not mind. It was that simple. Well, maybe simple was not the word...
... "How long?"
"Huh?" Elijah jumped. Ian was standing right behind him. "I don't know..What do you mean?" Ian eyed him knowingly. "How'd you know?"
"We're not allowed to smoke in here, so I went off to find somewhere quiet." He smiled. "How long?"
"Why?" Naturally, he felt very defensive, though in ordinary cicumstances he would have trusted Ian with any kind of secret. This was not ordinary. But he did know this father-figure could be trusted. "About ten minutes." Ian chuckled.
Site InfoWe are the home of 1292 authors from among our 2540 members. There have been 2904 reviews written about our 3820 stories consisting of 10734 chapters and 29400445 words. A special welcome to our newest member, CaptainNen.
Help us keep one of the oldest running LotR archives available to all. Even the smallest donation helps!
Many thanks to our previous donors!
Many thanks to our previous donors!