It comes out during one of their drinking games, about two months into filming: Orlando likes boys.
He likes girls, too. He likes girls, and he mostly dates girls, because it’s easier. Because girls have boobs and they’re soft and they smell good. But he also likes boys. Because boys know how to kiss and touch and boys feel real and Orlando waxes poetic for as long as it takes for Viggo to go outside and have a smoke before he realizes that no one is really listening except Elijah. Elijah is only pretending not to listen, but he’s doing it badly.
There is probably a correlation between that response and how drunk he is. It just feels like such big news. It feels like a door swinging open, and he wants to think that Orlando catches his eye, but maybe he’s making that up.
(When he asks the next day, Dom says he’s definitely making that up. At least he thinks that’s what Dom says. Dom is still sort of half-drunk and passed out when Elijah asks, but Elijah really wants an answer so he shoves at Dom some until he rolls off the bed, still clutching the pillow. But instead of giving Elijah an answer, when Dom does finally get up he just throws a pillow at Elijah, announces he’s going to be sick, and then waddles off to the bathroom with his pants around his ankles for some undoubtedly Billy-related reason. God, his friends are fucking weirdos and Elijah loves it.)
Elijah doesn’t have much experience with flirting. He lost his virginity when he was sixteen with a girl that liked his movies and had pretty hair and decent weed. It was wholly unimpressive and he’d been old enough to know why it wasn’t a good idea but young enough to think it might not matter. It’s not like he hadn’t been able to get it up, and on a very technical level it all felt pretty okay, but it was sort of a hollow pleasure.
He lost his virginity again a year later. He knows some people might not consider handjobs in the back of a nightclub, he shouldn’t have even legally been in, as being sex, but he does. He does because he doesn’t want to be a virgin, and because it felt like sex, just as much as what he did with that girl had.
Half a dozen encounters over a couple of years doesn’t make for a whole lot of practical experience to Elijah, not when he knows that Orlando has years on him, years to have relationships and sex and years to learn what to do.
Since he doesn’t think playing it cool will really work, he goes the opposite route; he hopes his inexperience and youth will have charming appeal when he shows up on Orlando’s doorsteps with a bag full of groceries.
A way to a man’s heart is surely through helping cure his hangover. It seems fool-proof. (Do elves even get hangovers? Well, it doesn’t matter, since Orlando only plays one in the movies. There’s no way an elf would binge drink like their Orli can.)
“I thought omelets?” He asks, pushing past a bleary-eyed Orlando, who clearly hasn’t showered. “Because you like those.”
“Uh.” Orlando digs the heel of his palm into his eye, rubbing. “I would fucking love an omelet, actually.”
“And I would fucking love to cook in a kitchen that doesn’t smell like ass, so how about you go find a fucking waterfall on a mountainside to cleanse that elven stank?” Elijah starts laying out ingredients, glad that Orlando actually has one of the fairly clean kitchens. It’s sure as hell a lot more sanitary than Elijah’s probably is, considering the last time it got cleaned was when Sean came over to make him dinner. Well, after Elijah asked him to come make dinner, because being Frodo is fucking exhausting, okay? And Sean makes great burgers.
But they’re not as good as the omelet Elijah is about to make. This will be one for the record books. This omelet is gonna get him laid. (He hopes. Probably not. But he hopes.)
Orlando scratches his fingers through his mohawk and then shrugs. Elijah’s words are obviously a little beyond his ability to process. He gets halfway out of the room, spins and stumbles, then says in a hopeful voice, “Coffee?”
“Duh,” Elijah says. “Go. Bathe. It’ll be done when you get back.”
Orlando steeples his hands together and looks heavenward, muttering a thanks.
Elijah waits until he turns back around to let the full smug shine through.
The omelets are good. Actually, they’re great.
“Fucking fantastic,” Orlando agrees, trying to lick cheese off of his chin. He’s wearing board shorts with no shirt and he hasn’t shaved. His skin is gorgeous golden and his eyes are bright, his laugh loud and uninhibited.
Will having a crush ever stop feeling like this? Does Elijah even want it to?
“So,” Orlando says, looking amused again. “Was there an occasion here, or am I merely a willing victim to your insane urge to cook?”
Elijah shrugs. “Why can’t it be both?”
Orlando laughs again. “Hey, no worries. Both it is.”
They eat for a couple more minutes in silence.
“Do I get to know what the occasion is?”
Ah, here. This - this is the moment. Elijah doesn’t try to hide that he’s nervous. “Uh, celebration of our first date?”
Orlando’s brow furrows. “This is a date?”
“No, shit, not this - I mean. No. This isn’t a date,” Elijah clarifies.
Orlando looks relieved. “Okay, good, because I at least try to start the evening mostly dressed if I know I’m going to be wining and dining.”
“Even with guys?” Elijah just wants a chance to work into the conversation what Orlando had admitted the night before, just in case Orlando has forgotten.
Orlando hasn’t forgotten. “Even with guys. So you want to go out? With me?”
Elijah nods. “That cool?”
“Well...” Orlando looks down at his place. “I know you’ll do me well for breakfast the next morning.”
All Elijah really catches about that is you’ll do me well and his face is turning red. “Uh. I mean.”
“Lighe.” Orlando puts a hand on Elijah’s arm and leans over. God, he’s so tall. And so... so... pretty. “I would love to go on a date with you. I’ve fancied you since we got here. I mean, you’re a bit young for me, but... you’re not, you know? Like your whole, your life experience, and all? I think it’ll be good. Fun. I think we’ll have... fun.”
He nods like he’s just decided it. Elijah barely restrains his urge to actually jump from joy by shoving a fork full of egg into his mouth. He chews, swallows, and then grins. “Awesome.”