Title: Cocktails, and things.
Pairing: Karl Urban/Elijah Wood
Summary: Karl goes out to meet the cast. Elijah likes the look of him.
Disclaimer: I made it all up.
Archiving: Slasha, Baby only please.
Notes: For meari, who wanted Karl/Elijah smut, with a touch of fluff. I hope this is OK! Thanks to viva_gloria for encouragement and beta. And heartfelt apologies to trianne for Elijah.
Karl didn't usually socialise much with his workmates. He had other people to worry about; friends, family. He was always trying to impress on them that acting was just his job. He was terrified of being seen as "precious" or "lovified," as his best friend Keith so eloquently expressed it.
The atmosphere on "Rings" was rather strange to him. He was used to working with other New Zealanders, who also went home at the end of the day, albeit after a token pint or a coffee. Instead, he would be training and rehearsing with a bunch of foreign actors, who were all living in rented accommodation, and would have to form their own community.
Part of him wanted to be at the heart of that community, even though he'd have to change old habits and put up with a lot of teasing from his mates. Another part of him couldn't wait for the other New Zealand actors to get involved, so he could fit in better without making any effort.
Orlando invited him to the pub after the first day of training with the horses. He didn't seem to consider that Karl might not want to go.
"Everyone will be there. Leave your car here till tomorrow; Liv's going to drive us."
Orlando bounced off towards the shower block, and didn't look back. Karl hadn't had a chance to decline the invitation, and just for once he wasn't sure he wanted to.
He was fond of Orlando already. He was a pleasant kid, oddly shy at first but fast gaining in confidence. Orlando was still painfully aware of his own inexperience. Karl liked him because he was prepared to learn from anyone and everyone. He kept his eyes open, questioned people incessantly, and absorbed the atmosphere like a sponge. With all these great actors around to learn from, he could hardly go wrong. He was already a bit of a star at horse riding. He hadn't done much before, but he had natural balance and some kind of affinity with the animals that Karl envied.
An hour or so later, Karl found himself following Orlando and Liv into a large, dark bar. He'd never been there before, and when they paused to get drinks at the bar he realised why. It was all silly, overpriced cocktails and fancy bottled beer. Not his kind of place at all.
He just about managed to talk Orlando out of ordering him a nasty cocktail with an obscene name, and settled for a Mexican beer with lime. Thank God none of his friends could see him now. He walked up to the huge table with the bottle behind his back, flicking the lime from the neck with his thumb.
Orlando started introducing him to people indiscriminately, whether he already knew them or not. Karl couldn't help giggling as he was formally introduced to Liv Tyler. She'd spent the whole day training with Orlando and Karl, as well as driving them to the bar. She smiled tolerantly at Orlando, and graciously accepted the lurid green cocktail he handed her. She looked up at Karl.
"I have a feeling this one's going to take some getting used to. But I think he means well."
Karl grinned, and nodded his agreement. Orlando was pulling his arm, trying to get him to move further along the table.
"You'd better go," said Liv. "Come back and talk to me later. We can compare bruises."
Karl felt a little shell-shocked. He could cope with these people a few at a time, in a professional atmosphere. He was a professional too. But being in a bar with them, chatting with Liv Tyler over cocktails? Not really his thing at all.
Orlando was talking again.
"And this is Sean Bean. Sean, this is Karl Urban. He's going to play Eomer. If he ever learns to ride like a horse-lord instead of a cowboy, that is."
Karl opened his mouth to say something derogatory about Orlando's improvised riding style, but he couldn't really bring himself to be nasty about the lad. Orlando was pulling his arm again. He nodded politely at Sean, and moved on again. Thank God they'd reached the end of the table. Orlando leant over one of the four youngish-looking men seated there, and stole a sip from his bright pink cocktail.
"Ew, Billy, that's foul. Don't ever order me one of those." He looked up at Karl. "Karl, these are the hobbits. Billy Boyd, Dominic Monaghan, Sean Astin, and..."
"Elijah Wood. Nice to meet you, Karl."
Elijah scooted along the bench, almost pushing Dominic off the end as a result. He patted the seat next to him.
Karl had to climb over Dominic, Elijah and the bench to sit down. But he hated to be rude, and Elijah really did seem to want to talk to him, so he did it.
"Didn't you want to try the cocktails, Karl?" Elijah asked guilelessly.
"Erm, no. I prefer beer actually. Though they don't seem to have such a great selection of it." Karl looked ruefully at the bottle of gnat's pee he was supposed to be drinking. "Amen to that," said the hobbit with the pink cocktail. His accent was rather strange, but Karl thought he recognised it as Scottish. He smiled.
The hobbits were babbling on about the speech training they'd been having that day, and soon they decided to practice. Elijah slipped into a kind of parody of Orlando's best upper-class English, causing everyone to giggle helplessly as he tried every possible permutation of the word "Gandalf."
Karl soon learned that Dominic had been told to modify his accented English, which he was finding quite difficult. By contrast, Billy wasn't having too much trouble toning down his Scottish accent. Elijah kept turning to him to ask his opinion on the different sounds of words, and before he knew it Karl had drunk three more bottles of that nasty beer.
Liv stood up to leave, and Karl remembered (too late) that he'd meant to go back and talk to her. But she was waving at him and mouthing "Next time," so at least he hadn't missed the opportunity altogether. He was quite comfortable where he was, actually. He had no idea how old any of the hobbits were, but he found them interesting, if a little boisterous. Elijah was clearly the youngest. And the most attractive.
Where the hell had that thought come from? Karl shook his head. Perhaps the bottled beer was a bit stronger than he'd thought. Still tasted like piss, though. He glared at the bottle. Perhaps he'd better try something else.
He stood up and announced he was buying. He was immediately surrounded by a cacophony of voices. More people he didn't recognise had come to join their table, and they were all asking for something different. Eventually he had to beg a pen and paper from behind the bar to write down the orders. Orlando and the hobbits were competing to order cocktails with the most obscene names, but Karl planned to get round that by handing the piece of paper back to the barman. So he just grinned and let them get on with it.
He pulled a face at the total cost of the round, but he couldn't really complain. He would be paid well for his work on Rings, and besides, he was having fun.
He had to concentrate hard on getting back to the table with the tray of multi-coloured drinks without spilling any. He'd long since given up trying to work out what was what, so he just put it down in the middle of the table and let everyone grab their own. Unfortunately, Sean Bean had already left. Karl would have been interested to see what *he* was drinking in this poncy bar, and he'd forgotten to look earlier.
Karl picked up his whisky and coke, just in time to stop Orlando from grabbing it. He returned to his seat next to Elijah. Sean Astin was trying to explain the rules of baseball to Billy and Dominic, who were trying their best to look interested but were mostly just looking sleepy instead. Elijah didn't seem tired, though. He was chipping in enthusiastically whenever he thought Sean got something wrong, or failing to explain properly.
Karl sat back in his seat, letting their arguments wash over him gently. His head was spinning a little, and his whisky and coke was gone. He didn't remember finishing it. Perhaps Orlando had stolen it after all. Elijah shifted a little closer to him, leaning gently against his arm. Maybe he was getting tired now.
Karl watched disinterestedly as the majority of the party got up to leave. Orlando asked if he was ready to go yet. Karl knew he should agree, but a little stubborn streak in him didn't want to.
"No, I think I'll stay a little longer, thanks. I just want one more drink. I'll get a cab home in a little while."
"Suit yourself. I'm off to butter my fingernails. Old English custom that, you wouldn't understand. Make sure Lij gets home OK, will you? We don't want Frodo wandering round by himself late at night. There's a reason he has to have Sam with him all the time, you know!"
Karl spied Elijah returning from the bar with two drinks. One was a whisky and coke.
"How did you know what to get for me?" He couldn't help being a little suspicious.
"Oh, Orlando told me that was what you were drinking. It is all right, isn't it?"
God, Elijah had eyelashes like a girl. He was peering at Karl from underneath them, looking concerned. Quite a display, really.
"Course it is." Karl felt inexplicably anxious to reassure him.
"Let's go and sit over there in the corner. I feel silly at this big table, just the two of us."
They moved to a dark table at the back of the bar. It was late, and the bar was almost empty. Karl really couldn't work out what he was doing there. He should be at home with his family. Actually, he should be asleep. There was another long day of riding training ahead. His head was spinning, and he couldn't remember when he'd last eaten. He'd have a stonking hangover, which would be torture on a bouncy horse. Congratulations, Mr Urban. You've only just started this, and you've fucked up already.
Elijah was still peering at him from across the table.
"Is everything OK? Are you feeling all right, Karl?"
Karl frowned at him. He wasn't going to admit anything to this pipsqueak.
"Course I'm OK. Just a bit shaken up from all that riding today is all. I thought I could ride already, but this training is something else. I almost wish I was starting from scratch, it might be easier. I've got bruises where I didn't know there were places."
"Want to show me?"
Karl was shocked. He didn't know what to do. It must have been a joke. Mustn't it? He decided to treat it as one, anyway.
"Not right here, thank you. I don't go in for public nudity."
Oh God, please say that wasn't Elijah looking disappointed. Oh well, if it was, he'd get over it. Karl changed the subject rapidly back to Lord of the Rings. Couldn't fail, that one. Elijah was soon talking excitedly about Frodo's relationship with Sam, and how they planned to exaggerate the class differences between them.
After a few minutes of discussion, Elijah got up and went back to the bar. Karl tried to call after him that he'd had enough for one night, but he didn't seem to hear. Oh well, one more wouldn't hurt.
When Elijah returned with the drinks, he'd removed his shirt. Karl was alarmed by how he felt about the sight of Elijah's smooth white chest and rosy nipples. It was like looking at little girls; forbidden and wrong, but somehow exciting. And anyway, it was warm in the bar, but was it really necessary for Elijah to go around half naked? Karl didn't trust himself to say anything. Not while he was drunk. Not ever, in fact. Karl knew he was more than capable of saying the wrong thing, and he also knew the Americans had somewhat different habits. He'd just try to ignore it.
Fixing his eyes resolutely on his drink, Karl desperately tried to think of something to say to break the silence. What happened to the riotous hobbit babble when it was needed? He just couldn't get his brain around the thought of Elijah shirtless. Reluctantly, he looked up to apologise for being so boring.
He was startled to see that Elijah wasn't there. Where the hell had he gone so suddenly? Karl felt sure he'd have heard him leave the table. Oh well, he could hardly blame the kid. He wasn't exactly scintillating company. No doubt he'd be back in a minute to say he'd called a cab or something. Karl decided to stay put and nurse his drink in the meantime.
Karl almost dropped his glass when he felt a hand on his inner thigh. He managed not to make any noise, but pushed his seat back quickly in surprise. Elijah was sitting back on his heels under the table. It was so dark that his smile was just about all that was visible.
"What the hell are you doing, Elijah? You scared the hell out of me!" Karl hissed loudly.
"Nothing. Nothing you don't want me to, anyway."
Elijah shuffled forward somehow, and rested a hand on each of Karl's legs.
"That's right, isn't it Karl? I'm not doing anything you don't want me to, am I?"
Karl's poor intoxicated brain couldn't quite work out the answer to that one.
"Ye-es..." He came out with eventually.
But did that mean yes he was doing something Karl didn't want, or yes he wasn't? Elijah clearly didn't care, or thought he knew the answer. His hands moved gently upwards, and Karl could feel his fingers on his fly. Without thinking, he breathed in to let Elijah undo his jeans. With a jolt, he realised he hadn't bothered with underwear when he'd got dressed. It wasn't that he normally wandered around like that, but just that he hadn't had much time. Orlando had been calling him, and he'd been dying for a beer. So he'd just dragged his jeans on over wet legs, and run for the car.
Elijah was still staring at him with that infuriating little smile. Karl found it uncomfortable to hold his gaze, so he just sat back in his chair and looked at the ceiling instead. It wasn't right, he knew it. But somehow he couldn't bring himself to stop this. It was ... nice. Just nice. Not comfortable, or right, or life-changing. But nice.
Elijah might be young, but he sure knew what he was doing. He was stroking, and tickling, and just touching in all the right places. Karl could feel his body almost humming with pleasure. He looked quickly round the bar, just to make sure nobody had noticed them. Luckily there were few people there, and the barman was talking to another customer at the far end of the bar.
God, what was Elijah doing now? Oh right, it must be his mouth. His mouth! Oh God, what was going on? He was in a bar being given a blowjob by a hobbit, and he wasn't doing *anything* to stop it! Nice, though. So very nice.
Karl gasped, as Elijah did something particularly effective with his tongue. He grabbed the edge of the table, trying not to push back against Elijah's mouth. That would be rude. Probably. Elijah's fingers were moving gently, pulling against skin and moving him closer and closer...
Karl thought he couldn't last long, and also that he'd have to stay quiet or there would be a terrible scene. He put one hand to his mouth and bit his fingers painfully. Just one last... yes, that.
Elijah didn't fuss at all, just swallowed and sat back on his heels again.
When he could breathe once more, Karl was almost pleased to note that Elijah looked a little anxious, rather than displaying that irritating smile. This time he felt no obligation at all to provide reassurance. He stood up.
"Come on, Elijah. I promised Orlando I'd get you home. And for God's sake put your shirt on! I want to go home in a cab, not a police car."
Elijah obediently put on his shirt and followed Karl outside.
As he got out of the cab at his house, he turned and looked back inside.
"You'll come out with us again, won't you? For cocktails,