Disclaimer: A work of fiction; the recognizable people in the story belong to themselves and have never performed the actions portrayed here. I do not know the actors nor am I associated with them in any way. If you are underage, please do not read this story. I am not making any profit from these stories, nor do I mean any harm.
Note: For Ghani. Merry Christmas!
Paris stands at the edge of the river trying to calm his nerves. He’s dressed as a Rohan warrior, covered in mud and blood, waiting for the shot. Waiting to show how he can die nobly.
He has Karl to thank for this, of course, but at the moment he can’t decide whether he wants to kiss him or bludgeon him. Well, at this precise moment, bludgeoning seems like the best option as the wind has picked up again, and he can hear Mr. Jackson yelling behind him that he thinks the shot might have more of an affect if they are actually on the banks of the river—partially in the water.
Paris looks around for Karl, trying to single him out from the cast and crew standing around—trying to see around both machines and horses. In his mind, he carefully constructs insults, ones that will be sure to impress the older man who now treats him more like a brother than friend, a situation Paris is decidedly unhappy about.
He remembers the first time he met Karl, who was dressed as cupid complete with blonde hair and wings. It was Paris’s first role—if you interpret role broadly. Still, Karl had mentored him, given him tips on his acting, on emoting, on going organic for a healthier mind and body. Later, after the shoot had ended, Karl bought him a round of drinks and then even later, gave him his first blowjob by a man—well, by anyone, because he was only seventeen at the time and just beginning to figure things out.
And now he has things figured out. At least he’s pretty sure he does. Though, then again, maybe since he’s standing on a riverbed about to be killed by orcs (again, or rather, for the fifth time this morning) perhaps he shouldn’t analyze the deep underpinnings of his sexuality. Nevertheless, as he scans the set once more for Karl, stamping his feet for warmth, he thinks that perhaps he could benefit from some experimentation in that department.
Thinking he’s spotted Karl’s helmet—though it’s hard to tell one horse lord from another here—he takes a few steps forward, intent on discovering if it’s his horse lord but then is stopped and redirected. Yes. In the mud. With two other actors on top of him. And look more—wounded, pained but not animated.
Karl—Eomer—calls out to search for the king’s son, and Paris struggles to look gravely wounded rather than excited by the fact that not only is he actually working, acting in one of the biggest projects ever, but that in a moment he will finally know exactly where Karl is—will be able to joke and tease him once Peter calls cut again. But that cut comes too soon; the king’s son—now decidedly more cold, wet and muddy—is still left unfound, dying upon the shore.
Sitting up, Paris looks around for Karl, spots him standing near the catering table, easily recognizable from the back. He also recognizes the man standing in front of Karl. Man. Elf. Whatever. Standing up and shaking mud from his hands, he takes a step forward before being stopped yet again. This time by a makeup artist. Peter believes more blood is needed. Well, of course he does, but Paris knows better than to say this. Instead he stands still, patient under the application of the thick grease paint, focused on watching Karl.
This is good too, he decides. He can see how comfortable Karl is, is watching him interact with another male—confirming what he already believes is true: that Karl only flirts with him, only gives him that smile where one side of his mouth goes up before the other side joins before he’s grinning and laughing, behaving as if he, Paris, is the only other person in the room.
He closes his eyes as asked, his own lips turning up at the thought of tasting, touching, Karl tonight—of using his body to warm up his own. The brush underneath his eye tickles, and he laughs, the makeup artist laughing with him. He opens his eyes, his mouth, to give a teasing warning but his eyes are naturally drawn to where Karl has been standing—
Except he’s not standing there anymore. He’s moving away, with his arm around the elf. Around the other person here with a city for a name—though Orlando is brighter than Paris, warmer, filled with light, and Paris, the man not the city, winces at the lame comparison. But he can’t help but feel that it’s true. Suspects that perhaps Orlando—again, the man, not the city—is all those things to Karl and then is instantly ashamed of himself for doubting.
He watches them move further away--Karl’s arm loosely around Orlando’s shoulders, Orlando’s fingers curling tightly around Karl’s waist—and struggles to redirect his attention back to the makeup artist and her tickly brushes. It’s lost its humor though—this scene, the mud and blood, the jokes that suddenly just seem stale and a bit forced. He’s grateful when Peter calls the actors back to their places. Glad to see Orlando move off to the other side of the cameras; he’s not even in this shot, Paris realizes with growing anger—and Karl moving back towards him, his helmet underneath his arm.
Lying down in the mud, Paris doesn’t find it hard at all to pretend he’s dying. Finds it quite easy to feel, or rather, not feel, anything. To be blank. When Karl picks him up, says his lines, Paris barely needs to act pained. Peter calls cut, praising Rohirrim and Orc alike for their dedication, and declares this last cut to be the best. The day is called.
Surrounded once again by makeup and costume people, Paris doesn’t bother looking for Karl, though this time it hardly matters. Can’t escape him. Or the elf that comes bounding up to him. Paris struggles to remember Karl’s advice on acting when he’s finally—finally—introduced.