Pairing: OB/EW, DM/DW
Type: LOTR RPS AU
A/N: I blame the dom/dave pairing on legomyarrow's Archer fic. It's so unlike me, but it wouldn't leave my brain! Just to be very clear, the italics are sign language.
Two hours and eight drinks later, only one of which was Elijah’s, Dom nudged Elijah and held up a flashing cell phone as explanation as he slipped out of his seat, moving toward the door. It was probably Dave. It usually was.
The club was not one of his usual haunts, but Elijah’d been seeking a change of scenery, and this definitely fit the bill. It was popular. A packed dance floor filled more than half the room, lights flashing.
Elijah couldn’t hear the music he knew pumped through the gyrating bodies, but the bass traveled through the floor, up though the souls of his shoes, shimmered in the hollow of his chest. He thought, if he sat here long enough, if every song didn’t share the same beat, he could eventually find the natural resonance of his bones and feel himself shake apart.
He thought he might like that.
Orlando was headed toward the bar when he found himself standing at a table, looking down at the boy sitting there. The gorgeous boy sitting there alone with messy spiked hair, long exposed neck and delicate eyelashes that brushed the top of high cheekbones because his eyes were closed. The boy who obviously wasn’t a boy, if the number of drinks cluttering the table had a say in it.
He wasn’t sure how he’d ended up here rather than the bar. He’d been going for the bar, clearly. But he was here, and Orlando was both naturally impulsive and on the edge of drunk, and here, with the
“Um, hullo.” His voice was pitched above the music but low enough for privacy. The
Orli started bouncing lightly on the balls of his feet, a habit he’d had since he was little. He wondered if the guy was sick or dead or something. He didn’t want to touch a dead guy, but someone should check to see if he was alright. Or maybe the guy was just ignoring him, although Orli couldn’t think why. He wasn’t being too forward, was he? He didn’t hit on guys in clubs all the time, but maybe he’d given the impression that he did. Really, though, if the guy didn’t want to talk with him, he could just tell Orli that, he’d understand, not being the kind to hit on guys in clubs all the time.
Maybe he should have stuck with the bar.
Dom walked up about that time, a hint of a smile appearing as he saw Elijah oblivious to the confused young man fidgeting before him.
“Can I help you?” Dom asked politely and watched a blush creep over his face.
“I didn’t do anything,” was out before Orli had any conscious thought in it, a hint from his past at school where he had most definitely been the one who’d done, well, whatever. “I don’t know why he’s ignoring me.” Orlando looked at Dom closer, eyes widening. “But if you’re here with him, I didn’t mean… I was just… It’s that…” he managed to get out before stumbling to a halt in favor of staring at Dom in alarm and confusion.
Dom rolled his eyes. “What’s your name?”
Dom sat down and touched Elijah gently on the shoulder. Elijah’s eyes popped open immediately, looked up at Orli for a second before turning to Dom and starting to make all kinds of weird hand movements. Right, Orlando thought. Definitely not dead.
Cute, Elijah signed to Dom, but I don’t think Dave’s gonna approve. Where’d you find him?
Sorry, can’t blame this one on me. This is Orlando. He wants to buy you a drink. The last was also said aloud for Orlando’s sake, and Dom watched Elijah’s eyebrows rise, appraising. He thought you were ignoring him, Dom added for Elijah alone, causing a smile.
Do you? Elijah asked through Dom.
“What?” Orli started bouncing again slightly, unsure what to do with his not-dead, not-alone but still gorgeous boy.
Do you want to buy me a drink?
“Yes,” although he’d said no such thing.
Dom laughed. “Sit down, then.” Dom’s fingers moved again as he spoke. Orli sat down, his muzzled brain finally clicking.
“He’s translating for you, yeah?” Orli asked Elijah, mostly ignoring Dom.
Elijah blinked in surprise. Once people figured that out, they didn’t normally comment. They ignored him and started speaking directly to Dom, more comfortable talking to someone who didn’t need translation. Orlando clearly wasn’t a normal guy.
Yes, that’s right.
“What’s your name?”
“Elijah,” Orlando repeated, a smile breaking through as he started to relax. Elijah smiled back. Dom choked back a laugh and Elijah kicked him from under the table, signing something at him. “What’d he say?” Orli prompted Dom.
“Nothing that bears repeating,” Dom replied, and Elijah stuck out his tongue. “Oh, honestly, how old are we?” Dom teased and Elijah laughed. Orlando thought it was a magical sound, but was thankfully distracted from speaking that thought aloud as Elijah pulled out a small vibrating something and studied it for a minute.
He sighed. Orlando, sorry, we have to go.
“Now? You have to go now? But I haven’t bought you that drink yet,” Orli protested, unwilling to let Elijah go that easily.
Elijah pulled out the pen and pocket notebook he kept with him, scribbled for a second before tearing out the paper and handing it Orli. Another time? Elijah and Dom started to get up and Orli looked at the number on the small sheet of paper.
“Definitely.” Elijah looked faintly skeptical at the answer, but nodded as they walked away. Orlando sat for a minute, trying to file the conversation away in a place it would be remembered. Then he tried to remember what he’d been doing before he’d seen Elijah.
Oh, right, the bar…
Awful timing. Dom signed as they slipped out the door. Elijah gave him his best innocent what-do-you-mean? look. You like him. Elijah pulled out the keys to the car. Really, really like him. Dom taunted, mercilessly. Wanted to shag him right there, on the table, wipe that adorable confusion off his face.
Shut up, Elijah said before he starting driving, effectively distracting Dom. But Dom noticed that Elijah didn’t argue.
Elijah dropped Dom off at Dave’s and wondered absently how someone who drank that much could still be that sober. Not all sober, Elijah noted as Dom got into a fight with a hanging plant over the porch, but sober enough to defeat the leafy tendrils and make it in the house. Elijah headed home then.
He walked into the kitchen to find Hannah. She sat there with a cup of coffee, tearing a bit of paper into strips like she always did when she was nervous.
“Hannah?” He concentrated on the force behind the words, knowing it translated into volume for her. If he wasn’t careful, he’d yell without realizing it. She looked up, relaxing as she saw it was him. “You called?” Speaking without hearing himself was still the strangest part of being deaf, and he only spoke around people he trusted, like Hannah and Dom.
Yes, she signed. I thought you were at work, but then one of the professors called looking for you. So then I didn’t know where you were. I couldn’t get a hold of Dom because the phone was busy and I started worrying. She paused to take another sip of coffee. Obviously for nothing. Sorry.
Dom and I went to get drinks. He was on the phone with Dave. I’m sorry I didn’t call, but I forgot. Felt like being, I don’t know, spontaneous. Like getting away, only he didn’t say that. That’d start a fight for sure. I didn’t mean to worry you.
You’re not wearing your hearing aid. Not ready to accept his apology, then.
No. He wasn’t going there again. He’d tried to explain several times that the ghost sounds it picked up only reminded him again and again of what he was missing, that it didn’t allow him to hear anything useful, that it made his ears feel like they were ringing, a sensation from the days when his hearing first left. That he wasn’t getting sound back so he might as well get used to the silence. Hannah sat still, the picture of focused attention when he told her this, but it fell on deaf ears. And, oh, wasn’t that bitterly ironic. You said someone called?
Dr. Bean. Said he’d solved some equation thingie. Elijah laughed at the technical term.
Sixth time this week. Elijah shook his head. I’ll check it out tomorrow, I doubt he’s really found the solution this time, either. He gave Hannah a peck on the cheek, wondering if he’d end up with a lecture about the alcohol on his breath. She just smiled as he signed her a good night and escaped to bed.
To Part 2