|Current music:||Trouble - Coldplay|
Author: Quai-Dian (Isilme)
Fandom: Lord of the Rings RPS
Pairing: Sean Astin/Elijah Wood UST
Rating: R (for language)
Summary: Sean doesn't like cigarettes.
Archive Permissions: Archive anywhere as long as my email address is on it (email@example.com)
Disclaimer: I don't know them. I don't own them. This is all my imagination. No harm intended.
Notes: Story written in 43 minutes for the contrelamontre Taste challenge. This is my first try at improv, so I hope I've done it properly. I have no clue why I always end up writing this pairing.
Sean had always been a bit of an ass kisser. A goodie-two-shoes. The good kid. He didn't really care that people thought that of him. He wasn't that way for anyone's benefit but his own.
Long ago, as he grew up being tutored on movie sets and raised by older and far more seasoned actors, he developed a bitter disgust with cigarettes. He saw so many people smoking them, so many addicts, had been wrapped in so many embraces that were permeated by the stench that he vowed he'd never do it himself. And then, later, when he started getting old enough to appreciate the female of the species in new and special ways, he told himself he'd never date someone who did it, either. He'd never be with a smoker.
Fast forward to New Zealand in the summer of 1999. Or summer in Wellington, if not in LA. January. It was Elijah's eighteenth birthday which, because of the age of legality in New Zealand, allowed him to drink. So, naturally, there was a party in a club to which everyone was invited. Sean considered not going. Bars were always thick with ash flavoured smoke and he always came home smelling like an ashtray. But it was early in the movie schedule and he'd been trying to bond with Elijah, if nothing else but to make their roles more accurate. So he told Christine not to wait up for him and out he went.
He'd been right, the club was dim and hazy and entirely too hot for his tastes. Most of the rest of the guys were dancing, Orlando especially, who seemed to have no problem attracting anything female from a ten mile radius. Billy and Dominic were engaged in an overly competitive game of pool that seemed to have an interesting slant to it as they kept slamming whiskeys whenever they missed a shot. Sean entertained himself as a spectator, sipping a light beer and counting the seconds on his watch so he could excuse himself but not prematurely.
Dominic won the game of pool when Billy missed the cue ball completely and jammed his cue into the corner pocket instead. The laughing that ensued carried them to a nearby table, leaving Sean sitting on his stool alone, the same pint glass warming in his hands. He closed his eyes and swallowed, rubbing his palm over his face and tasting the flatness of beer on his tongue, sleepiness boring into his brain from behind his eyes. He checked his watch. 10:45. Flat gray numbers on the LCD. He felt so old at that moment, thinking about how he'd rather be at home in bed, sleeping with Christine beside him. He clinked his wedding ring against the side of the glass and contemplated just leaving without saying goodbye to Elijah.
"Sean!" As if on cue the birthday boy appeared, smiling jubilantly and climbing onto the stool beside Sean. His face was flushed, his neck, his eyes sparkling in a shiny drunken way.
Sean smiled. "Having fun?" There was no easy escape now. Might as well make the best of it.
"Fuck yes," Elijah slurred. "I love this fucking country." Then he ducked his head and jammed his hand into his pocket, pulling out a pack of cigarettes.
Sean blinked. Since when did Elijah smoke? He didn't realize for a few seconds that he was actually scowling, his nose scrunched up in disgust.
Apparently Elijah didn't notice because he was still grinning when he put a cigarette in his mouth and sort of waved his hand in Sean's direction. "Get one of those books of matches," he was saying. "Light me, would ya?"
Sean glanced over his shoulder and saw an empty beer pitcher on the bar behind him, filled with complimentary packets of matches. He reached back and got one, biting his tongue to keep from lecturing. If Elijah wanted to smoke, that was his prerogative. If he wanted to fill his lungs with tar, that was his decision. If he wanted to give himself cancer and emphysema and die when he was forty, that was his problem. And then he noticed he was biting his tongue so hard it was bleeding, the tangy, metallic sting of it almost pleasant compared to the bitterness he'd been tasting a moment before.
Elijah was blinking big eyes at him and Sean was ripping a match out of the pack while he was running an inner monolog, chiding himself for trying to be everyone's dad. He struck the match and held the flame up for Elijah, the hard lines of dialog in his brain melting into something gold coloured as he watched the way the fire lit off Elijah's face, softly rounded cheek bones and chin, the little creases under his eyes, the pout of his lower lip, the dip beneath his nose. Orange against pale skin and crystal coloured irises that sunk as Elijah closed his eyes and inhaled.
Then pain as the match burned down to Sean's fingertips and he half swore, dropping the stifled flame to the sticky floor. Elijah almost sighed as he blew the first steam of smoke between his lips and Sean didn't even flinch as it skimmed past his face. Because it was mixed with Elijah's breath. And because Elijah looked sinful, sucking smoke into his lungs and drawing the cigarette away, in slow motion Sean thought, eyes low and heavy lidded. Barely legal. He exhaled. Like a child. Sexualized. Eighteen years old and finally he can do it. And Sean wanted him to.
"You want a drag?" Elijah was asking and Sean's head was cloudy, though not enough to stop him from shaking it in a no. "I know, bad habit," he smiled and shrugged. "Don't know why I do it. Rebelling I guess."
Rebelling, yes. Sean liked that explanation. He wanted to say something but there was a lump in his throat and he could only return a fraction of the smile.
"You don't want to be here, do you?"
That caught Sean off guard. "No, I uh..." he managed before Elijah waved him off, white smoke spiraling off the cigarette clutched in sweet, young fingers.
"It's okay," Elijah said. "You can take off. I'm just glad you came." And then he smiled again, the fetching way he did when it was just Frodo and Sam. He hopped off his stool and reached up with his hand, the hand that held the cigarette, and touched Sean's face softly, pressing a kiss into Sean's lips. Then, with a curl of smoke, he was gone.
Sean left his half pint of warm beer on the bar with a handful of gold New Zealand coins and wandered out into the parking lot, head still warm and heavy from the loud music, the cigarette smoke and the kiss. Because his lips were burning under the taste of Elijah, the almost stale spice of Marlboro Lights that smoldered just over the hint of Elijah's mouth. And the next time someone lit up a cigarette around him, Sean felt his face get hot with the memory. Somehow, he didn't mind smokers so much anymore.