Writer: Lexi (email@example.com)
Summary: Elijah needs help and Karl is the only one he can turn to.
Feedback: Yes please I need to feel the love.
Disclaimer: It. is. Fiction.
Betas legomyarrow and dalehead look I used trainers instead of sneakers *muwah*.
If I run tonight would you promise to be there
Would you say the words that comfort me all around I swear
If I run tonight and I take it overboard with a word or two I give to you
It's all I can afford.
“Over and Out'” The Superjesus
All I Can Afford
Karl spent most of his days on set trying not to think about Elijah. In the bright light of day it was easy to remember the list of reasons why he should walk away from the whole thing. But when he was alone, late at night, logic was no defence against how felt when he remembered Elijah's lips against his. For a few days after the late night visit, Karl still went out with his friends but having Elijah staring at him all the time made him nervous, so he stopped going out at all, spending his spare time in his rented house. Bernard commented on his absence from the pub but Karl just kept making excuses and staying home.
Two weeks later Karl came home after a late evening shoot and walked into his living room to find Elijah sitting on his couch, his trainer-clad feet propped on the coffee table. Karl stood in the doorway of the living room and Elijah's head turned away from the television toward him.
“Elijah how did you get in here?”
“Your house key was under the doormat.”
“And why exactly are you here?”
“Well you have been avoiding me for the past two weeks, and I thought I should meet you here so you couldn't get away.”
“I haven't been avoiding you Elijah, you've been ignoring me. You came over to my house, kissed me and then didn't talk to me again.”
“You threw me out,” accused Elijah.
“You were on drugs, what else was I supposed to do?”
“Well if I hadn't taken something I wouldn't have had the guts to come over.”
“And why did you come over Elijah? Did you plan to kiss me or was that just an accident?”
“Well it wasn't so much a plan as a vague idea,” said Elijah grinning lopsidedly.
Despite his best efforts at convincing himself otherwise, Karl really wanted to kiss Elijah. He closed his eyes and took a deep breath wondering how to get him out of the house.
“Karl you should come and sit down, we need to talk.”
Karl opened his eyes and stared at the younger man who was sprawled across his couch.
“Actually Elijah what you need to do is leave.”
Karl knew that getting involved with co-stars was a very bad thing, especially an attractive young man who was the star of the movie. He also knew that doing anything with Elijah was going to cause big problems, which is exactly what he didn't need. In fact he thought the best way to stop anything going wrong was to get a long, long way away from Elijah. For a brief moment he wondered how Peter would feel about casting a new Eomer if he ran away.
Karl looked back at Elijah who was smirking a bit at his discomfort.
“What if I don't want to leave Karl, are you going to make me again?”
“What is it you want Elijah?”
Elijah looked back at Karl through eyes that looked much older than his years.
“Why do you think I want anything?”
“'Cos you've been dancing around it for weeks ignoring me in public then turning up at my house. You’re playing some stupid, childish game and I don't like games,” said Karl coldly, trying desperately not to look at Elijah's lips as he talked to him.
But Elijah didn't leave, instead he stood up and walked toward Karl smiling a little. Karl already had his back up against the wall of the living room so he had nowhere to go and he wasn't altogether sure he wanted to get away. Elijah pushed his body hard against Karl's, reaching up and threading his hands behind Karl's neck pulling his face down close before he kissed him. As Karl started to lean into the embrace Elijah broke away.
“Do you really want to know what I want?” he whispered into Karl's ear.
Karl really didn't want to know but he nodded anyway his mouth suddenly dry.
“What I want to do is to fuck you. I wanna fuck you into the mattress till I hear you screaming my name.”
Karl's mouth dropped open and he stared at Elijah with a mixture of shock and desire. Then suddenly alarm bells started going off in his head and he pushed Elijah away from him.
“So help me Elijah if this is some fucking trick you and Orlando and those other hobbits dreamed up, I swear I will kill all of you.”
“It's no trick Karl, it’s the truth.”
Karl drew in a long breath before he spoke again.
“Well it may be the truth but I don't think it’s a good idea.”
“''Cos I have a rule about not sleeping with people I work with.”
“Check the script Karl, we never have any scenes together.”
“I'm pretty sure that’s not what I meant. It’s a long shoot and I have the feeling this would just complicate things.”
Elijah didn't answer, just pressed his lips against Karl's again his tongue swirling deep, probing and exploring. Again Elijah broke the kiss and grabbed his hand, pulling him up the hallway toward the bedroom.
“Elijah what are you doing?”
“We’re going to your bedroom”
“I'm not really sure that’s a good idea,” Karl said quietly, trying without success to pull his hand out of Elijah's vice like grip.
“Do you only do things that seem like a good idea Karl?” said Elijah pulling him into the dimly lit bedroom.
Karl really had no good answer to this question and he felt himself pushed backward step by step, until the bed hit the back of his knees and he toppled onto the mattress with Elijah ending up on top of him.
“Man I have wanted to do this for so long Karl,” said Elijah quietly before leaning forward and licking a trail up Karl's neck.
Elijah looked down at Karl and smiled in a particularly wicked fashion.
“Do you have...you know stuff”
Karl closed his eyes knowing that this was probably his last opportunity to stop this going any further. There was a tiny voice in his mind that told him to stop, but it was slapped into silenced by the overwhelming need Karl felt for the young man currently perched on top of him.
“Top drawer,” he said quietly.
Karl felt the weight shift off his hips as Elijah slid over and grabbed the condoms and the lube. Karl took the opportunity to move onto the bed, letting his head fall back onto the pillow, his head spinning with his desire for Elijah. The next thing he knew Elijah was back on top of him unbuttoning Karl's shirt before pulling him into a sitting position to drag it off him. Then he was tugging at Karl's jeans sliding them down over his hips and then throwing them onto the floor to join the shirt.
Karl reached up to pull Elijah's t-shirt over his head but his hands were slapped away hard and he let them fall back to the bedspread. There was a pause as Elijah sat back, his weight shifting off Karl and onto the bed. He nudged Karl's legs apart and Karl opened for him like a sign of surrender to the inevitable.
“Elijah, have you done this before?”
“What do you think Karl?” he said into the darkness as he slowly pushed in two lubed fingers hard and deep, curling his fingers to brush over Karl's prostate.
“Fucking hell Elijah,” Karl groaned as he felt his cock harden immediately.
Elijah moved the lube slick fingers, in and out scissoring them wide to prepare him as he fisted Karl's hard shaft with his other hand.
“Still don't think this a good idea Karl?” murmured Elijah.
Karl opened his eyes and stared into the unearthly coloured eyes that gazed down at him. He knew it wasn't a good idea, but Elijah's fingers in him and his hand on him had chased away all possibility of intelligent thought.
Suddenly Elijah pulled away from Karl and he hissed in surprise at the sudden loss of contact. There was a brief moment as he heard a foil package being torn open and then Elijah was back between his legs. He felt Elijah's cold hands push his knees up and then he bit hard into his lip as Elijah entered him in one long stroke. He felt Elijah stop when he had his length completely buried and he reached out to touch the younger man, but he found his fingers laced with Elijah's and pushed down onto the bed.
“Tell me what you want me to do.”
“Elijah for fucks sake move,” moaned Karl bucking under him desperately.
Elijah just waited, buried deep inside Karl, looking at him in the small amount of light that filtered into the room. Karl shivered as he realized how much control Elijah had of the situation.
“Tell me what you want,” Elijah said again, his voice flat and strangely emotionless.
“I want you to fuck me Elijah,” Karl ground out through his teeth.
He moved under Elijah in frustration, struggling to pull his hands out of the firm grip in a desperate bid to get more control over the situation. He found Elijah was strong, much stronger than he had realized and his struggles were hopeless.
“Stay still and I'll give you what you want,” said Elijah softly.
As he stopped struggling and relaxed back onto the bed, he felt Elijah tighten his grip on his hands making sure he was pinned to the mattress. Then Elijah lent forward changing his angle as he started to thrust in and out pushing them both toward a fast climax. It wasn't long before Karl felt the familiar tingling in his belly as his climax built. The driving pace of Elijah's hardness deep inside him pushed him over the edge and he cried out as his come splashed over his stomach. Elijah didn't slow his pace and in a few moments he came silently, his body arching, his fingers tightening painfully around Karl's. Almost as soon he had come Elijah rolled off Karl and onto to his back.
“Elijah what's wrong?” said Karl gently reaching out to touch Elijah's arm gently.
Karl felt the younger man cringe away from the touch so he moved his hand away
“It's nothing, don't worry.”
“You can tell me what's been bothering you. I'm not going to tell anyone.”
He heard he younger man drag in a long breath before he started to speak, his voice very quiet and difficult to hear even in the silence of the bedroom. He spoke quickly, his words and sentences tangling together as he poured out his insecurities and fears about being so young and carrying so much of the movie on his shoulders. He was homesick and tired and everyone relied on him to perform everyday, and he thought he couldn't tell anyone what he felt in case they found out he couldn't cope. Finally he seemed to run out of words and abruptly fell silent, relaxing into the bed as he displayed his talent for being able to fall asleep instantly no matter where he was.
As Karl lay awake watching Elijah sleep, it became clear to him why he had picked him out of everyone on the set. He was not part of the Fellowship and the younger man could tell him things that the others could never know. Elijah could control this situation and he felt he had very little control over anything else that was going on around him. Karl didn't remember finally falling asleep himself, but when he woke in a bedroom bright with sunlight, he wasn't surprised that Elijah was gone, only the smell of cigarettes lingering in the house.
That was the pattern from then on. Whenever Elijah needed him he appeared in Karl's house like a ghost. There were times when Karl almost took the spare key from under the front door mat but he never quite worked up the courage to lock him out. Elijah always had control of everything and he never let Karl touch him when they were together. If Karl tried to grab a hold of any part of the young man he was gone, sliding away like quicksilver under his fingers. He stayed when he needed to talk, but even if he spent the night he was gone before the sun rose, leaving nothing of himself behind.
Their relationship was a secret, hidden thing and they were never together in public. When the cast and crew went out together Karl would sit drinking, watching Elijah as he played his role of happy young actor. Elijah was a very good actor and Karl knew that his co-stars never saw the real sadness and fear in the young man. Sometimes he got angry and he would find himself clenching his fists so tight his nails cut half moon shapes into his palms. He couldn't believe that these people who claimed to be Elijah's best friends didn't see the turmoil that ran through the young man. After a number of weeks of what would have been very loosely termed a relationship Karl realized he was falling in love with this complicated young man. He was aware that Elijah didn't return those feelings. He needed Karl but love and dependence were two altogether different things.
Even when they were filming in different parts of New Zealand Elijah couldn't leave him alone. Karl's mobile phone would ring at all hours and the young man's voice would spill into his ear repeating over and over his fears and insecurities. As Frodo took the ring closer to Mordor, Elijah got more and more caught up in the role and it seemed to tangle and mix in his brain. When he spoke the character and Elijah mixed together and sometimes Karl had trouble working out who he was talking to. Supporting Elijah was exhausting but Karl knew that if the young American fell apart completely it would be catastrophic for the movie, so he struggled to keep him going. He spent hours with him talking him through these periods of insecurity. He started to sleep badly, his mind continually half-awake always expecting Elijah to call in the middle of the night. He worried so much he didn't eat properly and Ngila hounded him about the fact that wardrobe had to keep altering his costume.
Finally Karl thought he could get a break away from the black Elijah-shaped cloud that constantly hung over his head. He didn't have any scenes for two weeks and he decided to go home to Auckland. He thought being around familiar things and reconnecting with his friends might help break him out of the horrible rut that he had fallen into. However Elijah couldn't leave him alone and kept phoning and begging Karl to come back. The more times he said no the more desperate Elijah became. Finally during one emotion charged call he threatened to walk off the set and go home unless Karl came back. Cursing his weakness Karl had taken the first available flight back to Wellington. He had only been back a few hours and was asleep when he was awoken by body landing on his bed.
“You came back,” said Elijah happily.
“What other choice did I have Elijah? You threatened to walk off the set and fuck the whole movie.”
“But I needed you Karl.”
“Well I needed time at home but that didn't seem to worry you,” Karl's tone was harsh but he was tired and he didn't care.
Then he was silenced as Elijah started to kiss him and there was desperation in the kiss that Karl had never felt before. Their lips bruised as they devoured each other, Elijah sucked Karl's bottom lip into his mouth and bit down hard. Then he licked and sucked down to Karl's throat biting into the angle of his neck and Karl knew it would leave marks and at this point he didn't care. Karl could feel Elijah's erection hard against his belly he rolled over so that he was on top of Elijah. The younger man panicked, struggling under Karl, sliding out of his embrace and rolling off the bed onto the floor.
Karl climbed off the bed and looked down at Elijah who was sprawled on the floor wide eyed and shocked.
“What the fuck Elijah. What the fuck are you trying to do to me?”
“Nothing, Karl I just don't like it when...”
“You don't like it when I touch you is that what you are going to say? Makes this whole thing a little one sided don't you think?”
“I thought you were happy with this…how we were?” Elijah sounded confused.
“Elijah you are running this game and I don't know the rules and I'm sick of it.”
“Karl,” said Elijah helplessly
Karl took a deep breath and finally spoke
“I think you should go 'Lij, this really isn't working for either of us.”
“It's working for me,” said Elijah on the verge of tears.
Karl looked closely at the distraught young man and realized that he was wearing a gold chain around his neck. He reached down and pulled the chain out from under Elijah's t-shirt and he felt the ring tumble out into his hand.
“Are you wearing this all the time now?” said Karl softly the ring feeling warm and heavy in his hand.
Elijah blushed and refused to answer.
“This movie is fucking with your mind Elijah. Frodo is just a character, the ring isn't real.”
Karl dropped the ring and Elijah immediately thrust it back under his t-shirt.
“I can't do this any more Elijah. I can’t keep you afloat any longer if this is how you want things to be.”
“Please Karl don't do this, I can't cope without you.”
“Fine then Elijah, either we make this a real relationship or it’s over.”
“I won't be able to finish the movie without you.”
“Don't threaten me with that Elijah. Walk the fuck off the movie, ruin your career, I don't care any more.”
Karl knew it wasn't true that he didn't care, he cared desperately but he wasn't willing to be blackmailed by Elijah any longer, it wasn't doing either of them any good.
“I don't have anyone else to talk to Karl, please don't do this.”
“Go lean on the Fellowship, go tell Sean how you feel. Everyone is always talking about what a good job Sam is doing looking after Frodo, let him fix it.” Karl was surprised at the bitterness he felt as he spoke those words.
“They don't know what going on with us,” said Elijah quietly, tears spilling down his cheeks.
“Elijah they aren't stupid, Viggo looks at me like I'm holding you hostage or something and I'm always a little worried Orlando is going to stab me with those knives of his. You have to go and work out what you want, I can't keep going on like this. Come back when you’ve made a decision.”
In an instant Elijah went from desperation to anger and his eyes blazed.
“Fuck you, I have got other friends that I can go to you know. They’re going to be pissed off when they know what you’ve done.”
Karl just sat on the bed watching as Elijah turned and stormed from the house, the front door slamming so hard the walls shook. He was in no doubt Elijah was finally going to run to his friends.
Karl had been right and the Fellowship came to the rescue when he was sitting at lunch the next afternoon.
“We need to talk.”
Karl looked up from his lunch and gazed evenly at the man standing over him.
“So talk Viggo.”
Viggo shook his head.
“Not here, outside.”
Karl looked past Viggo and saw Elijah watching the pair, his teeth biting his already tattered nails. Karl shook his head realizing Frodo had sent Aragorn over to fight his battle for him.
“Fine lets go talk Viggo, I know I have a few things to say,” said Karl, slamming his knife and fork down hard on the table.
The sudden clatter of cutlery silenced the noisy catering tent and everyone pretended they were not watching as Viggo and Karl stalked outside.
They faced off outside the tent, it was sight that would make anyone nervous; two heavily armed, angry men wearing armour. No one was stupid enough to get in the middle of the argument, so they stood well back.
“So talk Viggo.”
“I know Elijah hasn't been happy but I'm looking after him.”
As Karl laughed harshly at Viggo's gross understatement of Elijah's state of mind, he realised couldn't be bothered fighting and pushed past Viggo, walking away from him.
“Well you are you're doing a bang up job of it Sparky,” he muttered to Viggo as he passed him.
Viggo grabbed Karl's shoulder and spun him round so they were face to face again.
“What did you say to me?”
Karl reached out and grabbed the front of the Aragorn costume, ignoring the tearing sounds as he twisted it in his fist. He dragged Viggo closer so no one could hear what he was saying.
“You heard me Viggo. You think you’re taking good care of your precious Fellowship don't you? You think you’re looking after Elijah? Well I'll fucking have you know I am the only one who has been keeping your precious ringbearer together.”
Viggo stared at Karl obviously surprised at the anger in his voice.
“I bet you didn't even know he is wearing the ring all the time, round his neck, like it’s real?”
“I didn't know that, he’s never said anything to me,” said Viggo.
“Well you don't know shit about Elijah, he's been falling now for months and I've had to catch him every time.”
“I doubt you were catching him Karl, looks to me like you were just in it to get laid.”
He knew Viggo was baiting him but the comment was so unfair and so wrong it was just the end for Karl. Finally all the weeks of anger and confusion coalesced into one hot spike of rage and he pulled his arm back and punched Viggo in the mouth so hard his head snapped back before he fell to his knees blood pouring from a cut on his lip.
“Fuck you Viggo and fuck your precious Fellowship,” Karl hissed at the kneeling man.
He watched as Elijah crouched down in front of Viggo.
“And fuck you too Elijah,” said Karl quietly under his breath.
Karl looked down at the green scrap of cloth from the costume that had remained clamped in his fist and dropped it to the ground as he turned and walked away.