|Lotrips: Newspaper Clippings Ch 9 (Orlijah eventually) PG-13
||[Apr. 17th, 2010|11:20 pm]
Orlando Slash Universe
Title: Newspaper Clippings|
Pairing: Orlijah eventually, Viggo/Bean
Complete: Only in my head.
Genre: Angst, hurt/comfort, romance.
Chapter Summary: Elijah goes back to school and then everything goes wrong.
Author's Note: Thank you to those of you who waited so patiently for this chapter, and didn't seem to mind when it took way longer than expected. I've had a bit of a bad month and a half, but things finally seem to be calming down. I won't go into it because you don't need to listen to my sad little life lol ;)
To sparkly_shiny my awesome beta, I'm sorry I pulled you away from your homework and sleep to beta this, love you always and you're the best.
Elijah fumbled with the buttons on his shirt, his hands aching even though they had been healed for a good time now. He glanced at the mirror, running his fingers through his hair. He squinted at his reflection before pulling on his glasses and studying himself.
No one would ever think he had major psychological problems, dressed like this. He smiled to himself, that thought making him happy, because, if nothing else, the first day of his classes should be the one day that he would be able to present himself as normal.
There was a knock on his bedroom door and he jumped slightly, feeling awkward as he approached it and opened it, feeling even more shy as he saw Orlando standing there.
“Hey ‘Lij,” Orlando said warmly, holding out a cup of tea. “I made it just like you like it, “he told him with a soft smile on his face.
Elijah took the cup and sipped it, “That is really good of you Orli; you didn’t have to do that.” He was grateful though, beyond grateful and couldn’t believe that in the middle of getting ready for his own morning meeting Orlando was thinking of him.
Not many people would drop what they were doing just to do something nice for someone else, or at least not in Elijah’s experiences.
“Sure I did,” Orlando responded, “it’s your first day of class, are you excited?”
Elijah nodded his head slowly, then shrugged sheepishly when he realized he didn’t know if he felt excited at all. It was more like blind fucking terror.
“I’m scared,” he admitted finally, curling his hands around the cup of tea and allowing it to warm him. “Really scared,” he swallowed, knowing suddenly he wouldn’t be able to eat anything for sure with the way his stomach was twisting.
Orlando reached out and touched his shoulder gently, squeezing. “You shouldn’t be scared, look at how you’ve been doing.”
Elijah nodded his head, knowing for the moment that Orlando was right but there was something in the back of his mind which was telling him this probably wasn’t the best idea, or that he wasn’t ready.
It made him want to cry, or at the very least caused a lump to form in his throat, because he was determined to do this and just for once wanted to be around people who didn’t know who he was and didn’t think of him as some freak or someone who needed to be coddled.
“If you don’t want to do it though, I’m sure everyone would understand,” Orlando told him, his voice comforting to Elijah, who managed a tremulous smile in his direction and nodded his head.
Elijah nodded his head then shrugged, sipping the tea once again because he knew that while he didn’t actually have to do this, it was something he felt he had to, no matter how scared, or how shaky he felt.
“I’ve got to,” he finally said, glancing up and meeting Orlando’s eyes. He was surprised at how much compassion lay there and how much he wanted to seek out the older man’s arms once again because they had been such a comfort, even in an excited moment.
Orlando nodded his head and smiled very kindly at Elijah, who suddenly felt very small because his room mate was trying to be kind, and here he was with a growing resentment for that kindness.
He didn’t know exactly how to explain it, but for the past few days he had found himself agitated at the changes his life was taking, resenting those people who cared about him most, and while it made sense in some cases, like his mother, Dom and Orlando certainly didn’t deserve the type of treatment he was giving them in his head.
“I’ve gotta go,” he said abruptly, guilt weighing down every step as he headed toward the door after putting his cup in the dishwasher, only vaguely remembering to put on his shoes before he left the apartment, thankful he’d managed to grab his bag and coat as well.
Elijah knew he was sinking slightly, and suddenly too, but he wasn’t sure what to do and had a feeling that his fascination with Orlando had a good deal to do with it. He wanted to be like the other young man, which he knew was ridiculous, because as uncomfortable as he often felt in his own skin, he knew he would feel less comfortable trying to be someone else.
His skin crawled lightly and he found himself scratching it as he stepped on the bus and gripped the pole in an effort to not topple over, his depression only increasing as he realized all he wanted to do now was wash his hands and he wouldn’t be able to until he go to the school.
A lump choked him suddenly, his throat tightening to an almost painful degree and he hurriedly pulled up his hood and bowed his head so no one would see.
He didn’t need this. His hands were still healing, his life was good, he had freedom, he had choices.
And yet he had never felt more trapped in his life and he hated himself for it.
These thoughts, the self pity, taunted him all the way to the school and he stepped off the bus, hurrying into the building. He didn’t care, didn’t apologize when he bumped into people, and practically ran into the bathroom, glad to see it was empty. He locked the door and slumped against it.
Not good, not good He thought over and over again as he walked to the taps and turned them on, pulling some napkins out of his bag. He set them on the counter and began washing his hands frantically, drying them off. He used the napkin to turn off the taps and disposed of it.
Looking in the mirror, he was taken aback by how different he looked compared to that morning when he’d been getting ready for school.
He looked tired, exhausted really.
School didn’t seem like a good idea anymore. It was a suffocating idea, one that he found himself no longer sure of.
Elijah stepped back from the mirror, wrapping his arms around himself as he did so not wanting to see what he looked like any longer. He glanced at his watch and swore to himself when he realized that he was late for his first class.
He didn’t even want to go, but he couldn’t go back home again because Orlando wouldn’t be leaving for another hour and he would be too concerned, and Elijah didn’t want to have to deal with that.
Class seemed out of the question as he looked down at his hands where the skin, just having healed was beginning to crack again, too dry.
Elijah drew in a deep breath and paced the bathroom, ignoring when someone knocked on the door, his breath hitching in his throat because he didn’t want to see another person and hoped that whoever they were, they would assume it was out of order and move on.
He tried to calm himself, tried to remember any techniques which would help him remain calm, but came up with none and found himself leaving the bathroom and fleeing the building.
He ran, his lungs burning as he did so and the tears which fell seemed to carve trails into his skin, and he was sure the whole world would see them.
Stopping after a short while, out of breath and hunched over, Elijah looked around him and realized he wasn’t even entirely sure where he was, laughter bursting out of him as he did so.
He was lost.
It was exhilarating and he didn’t even know why, even as the anxiety of not being able to find his way home crept in on him, the thought of having to do so excited him.
He was excited at being lost, yet he had been feeling nothing but lost since he’d been diagnosed with this horrible disorder.
Chaos and disorder, it was all his life was made up of and Elijah didn’t know whether to laugh or cry as realization slammed into him.
He was lost.
It was amazing.
Elijah returned home hours later, opening the door quietly. He had to admit that he hoped he could make it to his room somehow without Orlando noticing. He couldn’t believe how long he had been gone, how long he had been lost.
“Where the hell have you been?” His best friend asked him, sounding completely incensed as he did so.
Shrinking in on himself, Elijah didn’t know to say or do as he looked into Dom’s eyes and saw nothing but worried anger there, his walls shaking slightly as he did so, because he didn’t want to have to deal with this, as horrible as he knew that was.
“I went out after class,” Elijah mumbled, the lie feeling heavy on his tongue and making him want to run and hide.
Dom shook his head, frowning. “And you didn’t think to call? To maybe call Orlando, or one of the Seans, me or even Viggo.”
Elijah found anger rising in him because if he didn’t have this ridiculous disorder, he would be treated like a grown man instead of a child, and he was getting really sick of it.
“Why? Am I supposed to check in every damn moment of every day?” he found himself practically shouting back, his anger bursting out of him before he could even comprehend what he was saying. “Just stop fussing over me Dominic, I don’t need you in my life if that’s what you’re going to do.”
Dom stepped back, his face twisting in anger and pain as he jerked his head in a nod before turning and leaving the apartment, not even bothering to slam the door as he left.
“That was very unkind Elijah,” Orlando’s voice came from above him and Elijah glanced up to see him leaning over the half-wall which obscured his room from view.
Elijah shrugged his shoulders, turning to retreat into his room. He was surprised when the sound of Orlando’s footsteps, fast as though he was running, followed him down the stairs.
“Leave me alone Orli, I just want to go to my room and forget today ever happened,” he murmured, his tone of voice suddenly filled with no emotion as he felt like he was just physically drained.
“What happened? Were classes that bad? Did you not understand the material or something?” Orlando asked him, nothing but concern in his voice.
Elijah shook his head, wondering why people wouldn’t just leave him alone, leave him be to deal with his own problems the way he wanted to.
“I didn’t go,” he said softly, tension making his shoulders ache as he was finally able to make it to his room. “I’d appreciate if you would just leave me alone for now.”
Orlando made a noise behind him, like he wanted to protest but couldn’t stomach doing so and Elijah didn’t turn to look at him, walking into his room and closing the door behind him.
His hands ached, his lungs felt bruised and he wanted to weep, Elijah decided, as he stumbled to the bed and crawled under the sheets, not caring about removing his clothing because all he wanted was some sort of peace.
Sleep dragged him under, and he didn’t even try to fight it as it did, finding a strange sense of solace there.
When Elijah awoke he wasn’t surprised to find Orlando sitting on the edge of the bed, looking at him with worry written all over his face.
“What?” he asked, his voice coming out hoarse with sleep.
Orlando sighed softly, “I care about you way more than I should or have the right to,” he admitted.
Elijah sat up, shoving the covers off himself. He touched Orlando’s shoulder, not liking the sorrow in his friend’s voice.
“It’s okay, it’s okay to care,” he murmured softly, feeling the tension in his room mate’s form.
Orlando turned and before Elijah could even respond kissed him softly on the lips, leaving the blue eyed man stunned.
Elijah hesitated, then responded slowly, having never kissed anyone but Dom in his entire life. It was the best thing he’d ever felt, and he found himself amazed that he didn’t care that Orlando tasted of chocolate and didn’t wonder if he had brushed his teeth or not.
Orlando’s lips were soft, and so warm, that Elijah immediately felt a deeper warmth flood him, leaving him breathless and panting when the older man pulled away.
“You...care,” he nodded his head, realizing belatedly how stupid that sounded.
“I’m sorry,” Orlando whispered and got up, leaving the room before Elijah’d barely had a chance to catch his breath.
When he heard the tell tale sound of the apartment door closing, his heart broke.
Orlando didn’t care?