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"All the Ones I Used to Know" by frisbyg for itstonedme - Lotrips Slasha Baby fic

Author: frisbyg
Title: All the Ones I Used to Know
Recipient: itstonedme
Pairing: General cast, Elijah Wood/Marton Csokas
Rating: R
Summary: A holiday snapshot, an evening in the life.
Notes: Happy Holidays to itstonedme - a dollop of cheer for you. Title from the song White Christmas.
Post-reveal Notes: Title from the song White Christmas.Endless thanks to msilverstar for the holiday beta.


Disclaimer: This is a non-profit, non-commercial work of fiction using the names and likenesses of real individuals. This fictional story is not intended to imply that the events actually occurred, or that the attitudes or behaviors described are engaged in or condoned by the real persons whose names are used without permission.

~*~


It was sort of a thriving sort of social life. We were all together, very much as a group, living very close to each other for a year and a half. I'll always remember it, because I made some great friends over there, and it's a great country. That's a great way to spend your life, isn't it? I mean, it was for me, and every day you'd be thinking, this is brilliant!

- Sean Bean

Bring the partridge!

- Dominic Monaghan, paraphrasing John Rhys-Davies

*

At Christmas time, Weta Workshop is transformed in to a holiday wonderland. In rebellion against the tropical warmth outside, there is false snow blown everywhere, dusting every surface. Each office has its own Christmas tree - some in spare corners, others on desktops; some trees droop with chilli peppers, others with tinsel and homemade ornaments from children at home. Every puppet and statue in sight sports a fluffy white Santa beard or reindeer antlers, and even the giant weta on the sign outside sports a little red Santa hat.

The workshop employees are even more cheerful than usual. Sculptors whistle carols as they carve clay and set moulds. Bigature builders' laughter echoes through the halls of their creations. Susan at the front desk has a dancing poinsettia, and Richard Taylor claps each time he walks by to set it swaying. Everyone is merry, everyone is bright, and everyone is starving themselves in preparation for the annual banquet.

For a few days now, a special team of workshop elves have been hard at work - shrouded in secret and locked away in one of the company's largest workshops - ever since a hush-hush, low-lit boardroom meeting with Peter and Fran. There is a buzz about the place in wonderment of what they could be doing behind those locked doors, inside that huge space, and what on earth was that noise? Every once in a while, some smart-arse from the weaponry department who hates surprises will knock on the door and make out as if he left an important article in the workshop, and could he not just come in a get it, as he knows exactly where he left it... A shut door in his face is a just reward. Not many are keen to be spoiled.

A week later, everyone receives their invitations.

*

Since the middle of November, the cast and crew have mainly been filming the visit of the fellowship to Lothlorien. Up the road a piece from Wellington, the Fernside gardens have played host to Hobbits and elves and all manner of human folk, been patient with their poking and prodding around in the foliage. Well, as the saying goes: While the cats are away, the mice will play, and those talented mice have been very busy.

Elijah has to hand it to Peter and Fran. They have organized a gathering of truly epic proportions. Not for the first time, the couple has gone behind everyone's backs to put a team to the task of creating magic and wonder. Over the past couple of weeks, any time they were in town, each of the Hobbits had a go at charming their way past the barricaded doors. Dom managed the longest peek, long enough to keep him repeating "white lights, white lights" over and over, but not much else.

The first look was worth the wait. The workshop ceiling towers overhead, bedecked with strings of white twinkle lights that are twisted and draped like crepe paper from the high corners to the chandelier in the centre.

The chandelier resembles one of Lothlorien's gleaming treetop towers, like dreams held captured a wrought-iron cage, shining with dozens of tiny candles; and it suffuses the room with a soft glow that contributes to warm smiles.

The room is quite gigantic. There are at least eleven long tables staggered through the middle of the room, fifteen or so to a table, as well as several smaller tables stuck into the corners and near a roaring fireplace at its far end. Elijah has no idea how the team managed a chimney in the time that they had, but then he does not know how they would manage to decorate so high a ceiling either. Perhaps a crane or a cherry picker, he thinks, and decides to ask Astin's opinion later on. Sean will have everything figured out by the time dessert is served.

Elijah made sure to be prompt and early for the evening's festivities, but he is hardly one of the first to arrive. Many of the crew at Weta must have been so excited that they simply changed at work and made their way downstairs to the shop. There are already dozens of people seated and enjoying drinks. The tables are bedecked with fir-bough centrepieces and little lamps with wee shades that have been stamped with the script from the One Ring. The light shines through and imprints the script on surrounding tablecloths and laughing faces.

Despite the relaxed atmosphere, no simple, quiet sit-down dinner will this be. Leave it to Peter and Fran to work a game of sorts into the mix. Upon arriving at the door to the hall, each guest is being handed a small piece of folded paper, not unlike a dance card, bound with gold ribbon and embossed with shiny black ink. Elijah's card reads as follows:

A Very Happy Christmas To You!

Please take a seat wherever you wish and enjoy your first tipple of the evening. We have gathered you here tonight to celebrate our first holiday season together as an extended family. In the spirit of new friendships and memories made, we invite you to join our little diversion.

After everyone is settled, before the first course of many is served and every course thereafter, upon the cry of your director, please hop up and cruise about to find a new seat at a different table -- next to new and friendly faces. At the end of the night, if you would be so good as to drop this card into the draw box by the exit, we will be having a pull for an exhilarating New Year's prize.

Thank you for being a part of bringing our dream to life.

Happy Holidays ñ have some nosh. You deserve it!


Elijah chuckles at the notion and snags himself the nearest empty seat, sliding in between Sean Bean and a besotted-looking brunette who Elijah thinks he recognizes from the makeup trailer. Shirley, his mind supplies. He says hello to each of them, Sean looking pleased to see him, Shirley less so.

"How are you this evening, sir?" Elijah inquires of Sean, reaching for his empty wine glass.

Sean is way ahead of him, honing in with the closest bottle of complimentary red. "Grateful," Sean mutters, but with a cheeky twinkle in his eye.

Elijah just smiles in a knowing sort of way and takes his first mouthful of wine.

*

"Action!"

They are up and moving. Two glasses of red are rolling around in Elijah's middle, and his head is swimming, so he is eager to get stuck into some appetizers. He is already on hugging terms with Shirley (he reckons she is approximately two and a half glasses ahead of him), so he does so and gives a wave to Sean before he takes a moment to decide where to go next.

The decision is made for him from behind.

"Frodo!"

A solid weight smacks Elijah in the back, and he needs only to take a whiff of cherry cigarillos and lager to know who has accosted him.

"Dom, you wank. Off!"

"Yes, I do," Dom says, wheeling Elijah around by the shoulders to bring him into a tight squeeze. "You've got me dead to rights, mate. Been in the loo for a rough rub before filling me guts with shrimp cocktail, but I only think of you, you know that."

Elijah pushes him off, laughing, but Dom is just as quickly poking fingers into Elijah's cheeks.

"I saw you knocking them back with Beano," Dom says. "Did you miss me?"

"Get those hard-rubbing fingers out of my face," Elijah says, by way of an answer, smacking his hands onto Dom's. "Did you wash?"

"Always." Dom is grinning. "I'm a good boy. Where are we sitting?"

Having been preoccupied with jabbering, there not many places left besides a small table with two spare seats smack beside the fireplace; the only resident of which is a largish sloucher with a shock of dark hair. Elijah points.

"Gee," Dom says, "I wonder why no one's sitting there," and he starts to make his way over to the table, stripping off his jacket and vest as he goes.

*

"Cho-cash. It's pronounced Cho-cash."

Marton smiles into his mouthful of wine.

"I like Kazockas!" Elijah punctuates his opinion with a wave of a pickle spear.

"That's because you are an utter cretin," Dom says, "a shameful excuse for a human being."

Elijah screws up his face. "Oh...shut up." He has yet to master the rapid-fire retorts of his British cohorts, and alcohol does not assist him in his venture.

"What repartee," Dom crows. "You, sir, have as plain a name as a clammy slice of American cheese."

Elijah only manages a muffled "Wha?" from a mouth full of brioche and butter. To his left, Marton chuckles from deep in his belly.

Dom points at him with a pinkie finger, the rest of the digits busy holding his glass of lager. "You, Mister Wood," he says, the emphasis on Elijah's surname as subtle as a hammer. "You have no idea what it is like trying to make a name (so to speak) for yourself in this business when people are constantly mispronouncing and misspelling it."

Out of the corner of his eye, Elijah sees Marton dip his head incrementally in quiet agreement and take another swallow of his Merlot. There are a couple of beads of sweat on the man's forehead. Elijah, for his part, feels both affronted and amused. Also goddamned hot.

"I don't know what the fuck you're talking about, Monagan," Elijah says; Dom snorts and chokes on his beer. "Fetch me a side order of fries, won't you, Mohanahan?"

Dom is shaking his head, coughing and spluttering, but he is also smiling with bright teeth and trying to cover it up with his glass. "You bitch."

"Pass me the antipasto platter, Moan-again!" Elijah cries, and tosses an uneaten bit of pimento across the table and square into Dom's glass. Bloop!

A great guffaw escapes Marton as Dom launches himself at Elijah, halfway across their table, laughing and hollering, "I'll give you antipasto, you shite!"

Elijah only has to lean back in his chair a little to escape Dom's greasy fingers. Dom lacks the element of surprise, so he gives up easily and slumps back in his own seat, giggling.

"Pissed," Marton quips, the corners of his mouth curling up, "and we're not even through the appies."

Dom points the pinkie again, this time in Marton's direction. "You," he begins. "You...shut up."

"Oh, brilliant stuff that." Marton is smirking, finally getting into the swing of things.

Elijah laughs as Dom sticks his tongue out and crosses his eyes. Elijah, for his part, has stopped leaning back in his chair and has pulled up close to the table again. His back is against the flames, and he does not know about Marton, but Elijah himself feels like the proverbial suckling pig.

Peter has gotten things right once again. If there is anything Elijah laments about former films, it is the fact that there were many fellow actors involved in the same shoots who he would have liked to get to know better, only to come up short on time. It is rare to come out the other end of a film with a friend one would call close. As it is, there is barely a handful he could be bothered with calling every six months for a beer. Such is the nature of the beast, he knows. Still, this experience has felt different from the start. It is not only a longer shoot, massively larger in scope than any other project of which he can think, past or present; but since the beginning, even before he arrived in New Zealand, it has felt like an adventure in filming an adventure.

They have been shooting Lothlorien scenes for a few weeks now, and Elijah has never gotten a chance to say more than a few of words to Marton, other than their initial introduction and in between slurps of "take five while we reset!" coffee. There seems to be a case of Hobbits and elves. At any break in filming, there always seems to be a furry foot to reapply, a snappy conversation between Dom and Billy at which to marvel, a roughhouse with Astin. Thus far it seems that the "big people" take possession of their quiet corner while the Hobbits sprawl with play, and rarely the twain shall meet.

"You're from Invercargill," Elijah says to Marton. It is not much of a conversation starter, he thinks, but it will do.

Marton nods his head. "You've been Googling me," he says, pushing an ice cube around in his water glass with an index finger.

Dom scoffs and inquires, "Did you just use Google as a verb?"

"It'll catch on," Marton replies, but his eyes are on Elijah, intense and unblinking.

Elijah is somewhat taken aback but attempts to not let on. "Yes," he admits, "and you're not alone. I do background checks on all of my coworkers. Can never be too careful, you know?"

"Hey!" Dom has on his incensed face.

Elijah smirks. "I will let you know what I know when what I know will trump what you know."

"You know?" Marton finishes.

Elijah and Dom laugh.

"Yeah," Marton continues, "I spent quite a bit of time growing up down south. I've had quite a nomadic life though really. However, when I'm from New Zealand, I'm from Invercargill."

"Fair ënough," Dom replies. "We haven't gotten down that far yet, us. I think maybe McKellen has travelled down that way a few times. For my part I'm going all the way to the very top and all the way to the bottom."

"Are you talking about New Zealand or your career?" Elijah quips.

Dom drops his head to the table, but his shoulders are shaking.

"You are such an arsehole," Dom says into the tablecloth.

"But you love me," Elijah says.

"I do," mutters Dom, still into the tablecloth.

They have been around each other long enough to know just how far they can push. It took Elijah a while to find the line between taking the piss and genuinely hurt feelings, but he has it down pat with all of his mates now. He likes that he can push Dom the furthest and vice versa.

Elijah feels more than sees Marton's eyes still on him, and a heavy heat stokes deep in his belly that has nothing to do with the flames at his back. For now, Elijah is going to explain it away with too much wine and not enough carbohydrates, but it is intriguing. When he turns his head to look at Marton, Marton has turned to look at Dom, who - now that he is sitting up again - is brushing cracker crumbs from his forehead.

A slightly awkward silence, the making of no one in particular, is broken for them.

"On your marks," comes the call from Peter.

"Bugger," Dom says, downing his lager in two heaving gulps, wincing at the end.

"Mate," Marton says, "I reckon you could take your drink with you."

"Oh. Right." Dom tilts his glass back and forth, sliding foam around on the bottom.

"Get set!"

"Find us later, yeah?" Elijah directs this at Marton. He is suddenly struck by the feeling that he has been rude, remiss in learning more about him, from him. How much longer are they shooting Lothlorien? He cannot fucking remember.

"Perhaps" is Marton's reply, a fucking infuriating response.

Elijah needs some food, needs to clear his head. His inner voice is a touch drunker than he is and a great deal more foul-mouthed. Some soporific turkey would really hit the spot right about now.

"Go!"

*

Dinner is sublime. There is a dish for every taste, and Elijah cannot help but think of the slurry developing in his poor stomach. He is sure that his plate has seen a little of everything. There was some of the traditional turkey, stuffing and mashed potatoes with gravy, along with approximately nine different types of vegetables. He also dipped into some butter chicken, a spring roll or two, and tuna tartar crusted with toasted sesame seeds. There was no room for salad, though there had to be seven different kinds, but he managed two lovely, soft bread rolls with slabs of creamy butter. The costume department may have to adjust the waist of his trousers.

There has not been much talk at dinner; everyone has been enjoying filling their faces. Most have simply been commenting on how delicious everything is, how beautiful the decorations, how magical the night. There are happy faces, chewing faces, rosy faces, and drunk faces. Elijah reckons that his face is a little of all of the above.

Currently the peels of Christmas oranges are littered in front of him, the bowl within easy reach. The beds of his poor, decimated fingernails ache from the citrus oil, but he keeps peeling, keeps separating the segments, keeps stuffing his mouth. From across the dinner table, Viggo has been watching Elijah intently, silent smirk on his face.

"Would you like any nutrients with your fruit?" he asks.

Elijah squints at him. "Plenty of vitamin C."

Viggo's chuckle is low and rolling. "You're picking off all the pith. That's the best part."

Indeed, Elijah has not only been discarding the peels of the oranges; he has also been systematically cleaning each segment before he eats it, plucking and peeling off all of the white, venous bits and making a growing pile of them in the middle of his plate.

"It's tough," Elijah says by way of explanation. "Gets stuck in my teeth."

To Elijah's horror and fascination, Viggo leans across the table, takes a large pinch of the orange pith between thumb and forefinger, and deposits it into his mouth. He retakes his seat, chewing and humming happily to himself.

"That's disgusting." Elijah screws up his face as though he has the bitter taste on his own tongue.

Viggo simply shrugs and washes his mouthful down with a swig from his glass of water.

Elijah goes back to peeling. He has settled his mind and body down considerably; the turkey definitely assisted in that, not to mention more wine with his four plates of food. He lost track of Marton (and Dom) in the swell of people changing tables for dinner, but he has almost convinced himself that he does not care.

Marton will become part of the long list of coworkers with whom Elijah never made a connection (perhaps). Marton will simply have to remain dark and mysterious and silent (perhaps). The earlier low and slow craving in his body was hunger ñ indigestion, not desire (perhaps).

Deep in thought and frustrated, Elijah presses a bit too hard into the skin of an orange and is rewarded with a squirt of stinging oil to his eye. His obscenities are drowned out by Peter's call for the shift to dessert.

*

Elijah cuddles up next to Astin for dessert. He knows he is supposed to be meeting new people, but by this time of the night he simply does not care. He feels through with playing games. He is not drunk anymore, just a bit queasy, and he is fairly certain that he has never had his mood waver so much in a single night. He may as well have eaten all of that orange pith for how bitter he feels, and if anyone can rouse his spirits, it is Sean.

"So tell me," Elijah says, "have you figured it out yet?"

"The chandelier or the fireplace?"

Elijah smiles. They have not been friends all that long and already he can read Sean like how-to manual. He leans his head on Sean's shoulder.

"Chandelier first. Pass me my coffee?"

Sean passes Elijah his mug without comment, even though it is directly in front of Elijah on the table. "Well, I was sitting next to the head of the bigatures and miniatures department at dinner," Sean begins.

"Of course you were," says Elijah, taking a loud slurp of his coffee.

"Yes, well, would you believe," Sean continues, excitement touching every word. "They have been making the thing under everyone's nose, first of all. Peter and Fran have been planning this shindig for months..."

"Shindig?" Elijah says.

"Don't interrupt," Sean chastises. He continues on about the chandelier being created at the same time as the set pieces, and then there is indeed something about a cherry picker, as Elijah thought there would be.

The coffee is not doing its job. Sean starts to sound far away from time to time, and Elijah's eyelids are quite heavy. He could use some fresh air; despite the size of the room and the height of the ceiling, it is terribly stuffy with all of the people, all of the food smells.

Sean's voice filters through. "Elijah, are you listening to me?"

"Fireplace," Elijah mutters, "go'n."

There comes a cool touch, like someone has poured water on his hand. Elijah opens his eyes and finds Marton looking down at him.

"You wouldn't happen to have a clove on you," Marton asks. "Only I've seen you smoking them and I could kill for a..."

"Yeah." Elijah is suddenly quite awake. "Absolutely. I'll join you."

He leaves Sean to explain the mysteries of the fireplace to the rest of their table and follows Marton out the exit door in the far corner.

A part of Elijah expects to feel cold when he steps outside into the parking lot, forgetting that the Christmas wonderland inside does not reflect the temperate conditions outside, and for a moment he misses his home and his mother so much that it takes his breath away. He recovers when he sees that Marton is staring at him again, however, and he leans back against the building while rummaging around in his inside jacket pocket for his cigarettes and lighter. Elijah pulls a clove out of the pack with his teeth and then offers the pack to Marton.

"Ta," Marton says, pulling a cigarette. He leans back against the building next to Elijah, sticks the cigarette between his lips, and leans forward into the flame Elijah is using to light his own.

Marton's face is very close. Close enough and in position long enough for Elijah to smell not only cloves and butane, but musky cologne, sweat, and breath tinged with red wine. When Marton stands back straight, he seems so much taller than Elijah, so much broader, so much more everything. If he met Marton in a dark alley, Elijah reckons he would feel threatened. Currently he is simply aroused.

The building behind them rumbles softly against their backs with the murmurs of many voices, soft bass notes of Christmas music. The smoke from their cloves wreaths both their heads as they stand in relative silence and simply breathe.

Elijah is the first to break. He is simply that twitchy; he cannot abide stillness. "Was gagging for some fresh air," he says.

Marton shows a hint of a smile. "Not sure you're getting it," he says, taking another pull on his cigarette.

Elijah chuckles, looking down at the clove in his hand. "Yeah," he says, "s'pose you're right."

They lapse into silence, and Marton is staring again, but this time Elijah simply stares back.

"What's your story?" Elijah asks. He is feeling brave behind his smokescreen.

Marton takes another drag on his clove and blows smoke into the dark. "Thought you'd know already," he says, "internet being what it is today."

Elijah mentally kicks himself for having such a big mouth.

Marton is smiling, however, and he butts his shoulder against Elijah's. "You know," he says, looking out at the dark lot. "I've been feeling somewhat melancholy about the fact that I'm involved with the filming such a limited amount of time."

Elijah does not know what to say and so simply taps ashes on to the pavement.

"I feel somehow," Marton continues, "that I'll be missing out on a lot of the magic."

Elijah nods and gets some ash on his shoe. He looks up to say, "I suppose you could always ask Peter if they could write some more scenes, though..." He trails off, knowing it is a silly thing he suggests.

Marton is already chuckling and shaking his head. "Celeborn does not exactly fancy himself a big player in the current Middle Earth drama. Besides," he says, looking serious, "I'm not wearing that wig any more than I have to."

Elijah laughs. "Understandable."

Marton runs the hand holding his cigarette through his dark hair, leaving bits of ash dusted along the way like snow. There is a pregnant pause punctuated with blowing smoke and too much thinking.

"The South Island is a masterpiece," Marton says, staring forward into the darkness. "If you ever thought you might need a guide."

Elijah blinks. "Fantastic."

Marton nods and stubs his clove out on the side of the building. "Another?" he asks, and Elijah nods his assent.

Before Elijah can move to pull the package from his pocket, Marton has already stepped in front of him and slid his hands inside Elijah's jacket. Marton's hands do not go for Elijah's pockets, however, instead sliding over Elijah's dress shirt and along his ribcage to firmly clasp the sides of Elijah's waist. Then he stops, as if not completely confident in his approach.

Elijah is panting a bit, in shock, but not unwilling. He is more than willing, willing Marton to do something, anything, more. Elijah does not know where his cigarette butt is and he does not fucking care. If only Marton would do something other than simply stand there looking down at him, holding him by the waist as though they were at some ridiculous high school dance.

If you want something done...

Elijah reaches up and runs his fingers into Marton's thick hair. He twists (gently) and pulls (not so gently) and Marton finally gets the hint.

They do not so much kiss as they inhale each other. Marton's mouth tastes like cloves and wine and candied ginger, and Elijah cannot seem to coax enough of Marton's tongue into his mouth as he would like. They both groan into each other's mouths, panting for breath, and yank at each other's jackets as though clothes will disappear if one simply pulls hard enough.

Elijah does not know what possessed Marton to begin with, as Elijah seems to be the leader now. Marton seems unsure of what to do unless Elijah has done it first; so it is with this notion in mind that Elijah slides a hand down Marton's chest and palms his erection through his dress pants. Marton moans into Elijah's mouth and cants his hips forward into Elijah's hand. Elijah presses down and Marton presses back harder.

There is a loud bang on the door beside them, and they instinctively break apart from each other, staring at the exit. The door does not open. Elijah turns to look at Marton and nearly bursts out laughing at the state of him. Marton looks as if he has survived a windstorm. Thick strands of his dark hair are pointed every which way; his shirt is half-untucked; he is flushed, rumpled, and generally unkempt, though Elijah can only imagine how he himself looks.

"We should get back," he says. It is foolish to do this sort of thing here, but he does not say so aloud. It's unnecessary; Marton is already nodding his head in agreement.

They spend a couple of quiet minutes straightening themselves up, calming their panting breaths, and not looking at each other too much. Elijah focuses on the dark skies and black pavement to calm what libido was not dampened by the banging on the door. Marton is humming something almost tuneless but not quite, Auld Lang Syne perhaps.

Elijah cannot help himself. "You around for the new year?"

Marton looks up and smiles. "Yeah. Yeah, I'll be around."

Elijah returns the smile. "I hear Peter's got an even bigger shindig planned for our post-holiday reunion."

"Shindig?"

"Yeah," Elijah says. "Word of the day."

The door bangs once more, and this time it does open, Billy and Dom's heads peeking out around it.

"Frodo," Billy quips. "Merry, it's Frodo Baggins!"

"Hello, Frodo," Dom says.

Their cheekbones are stained rouge with drunkenness. Neither seems unsettled or even curious to find Elijah and Marton tousled and rumpled in a darkened parking lot.

"Man," exclaims Dom, pointing at Marton.

"Elf," Billy mutters.

"Elf!"

Marton chuckles.

"Come in and know me better," Dom says. His formerly pointing finger is now beckoning.

"Know us better," Billy says, poking Dom in the ribs.

Elijah and Martin share a look of amusement.

"You wanted magic," Elijah says, "here they are. And all they want for Christmas is you."

Dom is making spirit fingers. Billy is swaying off time to the bouncy beat of Six White Boomers filtering out of the room behind them.

Marton smiles. "How many eggnogs do you reckon will catch us up to them?"

"My best guess is eleven," Elijah answers.

"Well," Marton says, "I think we had better get started, don't you?"

~*~


Back inside, fourth eggnog in hand, Elijah completes a circle of friends, telling stories and laughing in all the right places. Marton stands across from him, reeking of unfinished business. Elijah can feel that his shirt is not properly tucked in; Marton's jacket looks like it needs ironing. Both of them could use a comb.

Perhaps the soft glow of twinkle lights reveals their debauchery more so than a dark parking lot. Judging from the looks and winks Dom keeps aiming his way, Dom figures he knows something that Elijah has yet to tell him. Because he will tell Dom; one night over drinks in a dark pub or in hushed tones on a mountain top when a camera is not looking, Elijah will tell Dom everything. And because Dom is his friend, Dom will help him. Dom will ferret out Marton's address and hobbies and how he takes his tea; Dom will tell Elijah what to do and what to say; and Elijah will bungle it all up, as is his wont, but it will be a glorious mess.

Was he ever really homesick? He has not even left New Zealand for the holidays at home, and already he wishes he was back. There and back again, a Hobbit's tale by Elijah fucking Wood, and won't it make a great story to tell his sister?

Marton, for his part, appears casually aloof. He makes witty remarks to the rest of the circle, rocks back on the heels of his shoes, and for the first time all night, avoids making steady eye contact with Elijah.

Elijah looks at Marton and thinks, "I'll get you, my pretty."

Time to lay off the eggnog.

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