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Title: Falling for the First Time - Chapter 9/?
Author: [livejournal.com profile] moit
Fandom: LotRiPS
Pairing: Orlando/Elijah
Summary: Elijah works at the writing center, where he meets a certain tall, dark-haired student who needs help on his Shakespeare paper. Romance ensues.
Genre: Romance
Word Count: 2,183
Author's note: While I'm not back from my hiatus yet, I do want to post this chapter since I finished it. My WIPs will remain unavailable, as I'm just trying to get myself to focus on one (maybe two) until they're finished. I'm dealing with an epic amount of fic-guilt and ADD, so I'm just trying to focus. Thank you all for your patience and support.



On their last day in Iowa, Orlando insisted on taking Elijah and his family to Dianne’s for breakfast to thank them for their hospitality. By the time they got home, everyone was so full they could hardly move.

“I need a nap,” Elijah sighed, flopping down on the couch.

“You’ve been up for two hours,” Orlando remarked, sitting down next to him.

Elijah laid his head on Orlando’s shoulder. “Dianne’s was probably the best idea you’ve had all week.”

“You ready to go home?”

“Yes and no. I’m ready to go home insofar as L.A. is currently home, but I’m not looking forward to leaving my mom and my sister behind again. And I am not looking forward to that drive.”

“Well, in a couple of days we’ll be back in my flat, and I can give you a massage. And if you behave yourself, I could probably make some homemade pizza. I might even put pepperoni on your half.”

“And if I’m bad?”

“Then you get a spanking,” Orlando snarled into Elijah’s ear. Elijah giggled and nuzzled his head up under Orlando’s chin. They were sitting like that when Hannah came in and found them.

“Awe, aren’t you two cute.”

“I’m just working up to a nap,” Elijah said through slitted eyes.

“We just had breakfast.”

“And we have a twenty-two hour drive tomorrow.”

“I just don’t want you to leave yet,” Hannah admitted, sinking down onto the love seat.

“Well, I don’t know about Elijah but I’d stay for a few more weeks if I could. Lij?”

“Mmhmm,” Elijah murmured, nodding his head against Orlando’s chest.

“You wanna go lay down?”

Elijah nodded again. Orlando slid his arm out from around Elijah’s shoulders. Elijah opened his eyes and dragged himself to his feet. “We’ll be back in a bit,” he said, taking Orlando’s hand to lead him upstairs.


Next morning, the boys woke early. The previous day had been spent mostly lounging around the property and enjoying the company of Elijah’s family. They put their bags in the car, hugged Debbie and Hannah, and they were off.

“I can’t believe we’re leaving already,” Elijah sighed, leaning his head back against the seat.

From the driver’s seat, Orlando glanced over and smiled. “But won’t you be glad to sleep in your own bed?”

“Of course. But I always hate leaving my family behind.” Elijah gave Orlando a crooked grin. “Would you ever consider moving to Iowa?”

Orlando was quiet for a moment and Elijah worried he’d said the wrong thing. “I’d say it depends on how successful my acting career is. Theoretically, I’d move to Iowa; it’s a good place. Does that answer your question?”

“Yep,” Elijah grinned.

The drive back to L.A. seemed to go faster than their trip to Iowa, partly because they gained two hours between time zones.

Elijah unlocked the door to his apartment and led Orlando inside. “Do you just want to say here tonight, or are you planning to go home?”

“I think I’ll head home for the night.”

“Oh.” Elijah’s face fell.

“I’m kidding, you git,” Orlando laughed. “I’d much rather stay here than go home. Spending nearly a fortnight sharing a bed with you does not make me anticipate sleeping alone again.”

“Me neither.” Elijah opened his fridge and frowned. “I don’t have anything to eat, since we haven’t been here. Do you want me to go pick something up?”

“Okay.”

Elijah grabbed his keys off the table. “I’ll be back in a few. Just make yourself comfortable.”

When he returned, it appeared Orlando had made himself comfortable. He was sound asleep on the couch.

Heart swelling with affection for the other man, Elijah set his bags down on the table. “Babe,” he whispered, shaking Orlando’s shoulder. Orlando mumbled something and opened his chocolate-brown eyes. “Why don’t you go lay down in my bed? If you get up later, you can eat then.”

“Yeah,” Orlando yawned. He padded to Elijah’s room. Unsurprisingly, he didn’t get back up. Elijah ate a sandwich to calm the rumbling in his belly before joining his boyfriend. Elijah shucked his jeans and crawled in bed beside Orlando. His bed had never felt so comfortable.



Returning to work on Monday morning only served to remind Elijah of how wonderful his vacation had been.

“Hey there, Iowa,” Liv called, winking at him. “How was your break?”

“Amazing,” Elijah sighed. He folded his arms on the counter and rested his chin on them. “My family loved Orlando. He left his morning, and I was so sad to see him go. It’s going to be odd, sleeping alone tonight.”

“Have you guys talked about moving in together?”

Elijah wrinkled his eyebrows. “No. I don’t think we’re there yet, exactly.”

“Because you haven’t asked him yet, right?” Liv asked with a laugh. “I give you two six months tops before you’re shacking up together permanently.”

“I really don’t think so. I lived with someone once, and that didn’t turn out so well. I’m not sure I want to live with someone I’m not married to.”

“Well, considering California can’t make up its mind about gay marriage, you might be waiting a while. So what happened with your ex?”

“This isn’t really the time or the place to tell that story. But gay marriage is legal in Iowa.”

“So move to Iowa and marry Orlando. I mean, I’ll miss you, but you’ll get your happily ever after with prince charming.”

“Maybe that’s your fantasy, but I’m actually really comfortable with the way things are now.”

Liv made a face. “If love was a race, you’d be on the sidelines cheering everyone else on.”

“Did you just make that up?”

“Yep,” Liv smiled.

“Okay,” Elijah said, standing on his toes to look down at Liv’s appointment book. “What’s my schedule like today?”

“You’re booked except for the one o’clock.”

“I figured as much. We always get busy after spring break.”

“There’s your ten,” Liv sing-songed.

“Got it.”

Elijah walked back to his desk to start the day. His first paper was for freshman comp. While he didn’t mind these papers, he just saw a lot of them. He found himself drifting off through the day, thinking about the last week and a half spent with Orlando. He was so lost in thought he actually thought he saw Orlando. Wait—

“Orlando?”

“Hey,” his boyfriend said sitting down. He gave Elijah a wide smile.

“What are you doing here?”

“Liv said you had an opening.” Orlando slid a paper across the desk. “And I wanted to see you.”

Elijah glanced down and his cheeks colored. “I could get fired for this.”

“Only if someone finds out. Just read it.”

Dear Elijah,

I wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed spending spring break with you and your family. They made me feel like I belonged there. Because I’m so far from home, it was nice to feel like part of a family, especially the family of the man with whom I am completely enamoured. Thank you, Elijah, for being part of my life, and making it better every day.

Love,

Orlando

Elijah had tears in his eyes when he finished.

“I didn’t mean to make you cry,” Orlando frowned, his expression holding concern for Elijah.

“I’m fine.” Elijah wiped at the corners of his eyes. “Nobody’s ever written me a love letter before. That was beautiful. Thank you.”

“Liv helped me just a bit.” Orlando bit his smile and twisted a dark curl around his finger.

“She just wanted to get her sticky hands on my love letter.”

“Don’t worry, love. That’s as close as her sticky hands are going to get.”

“Damn right,” Elijah murmured, folding the note and sliding it into the front pocket of his jeans. “We’ve got twenty minutes left. How’s your Shakespeare class going?”

“Quite well, actually. We’re supposed to read Hamlet for tomorrow.”

“Have you read it yet?”

“I’m about halfway through.”

“Hamlet’s my favorite. How about you come over tonight? I’ll make some vegetarian lasagna and after dinner, you can read to me.”

“I can’t think of a better way to spend an evening.” Orlando lowered his dark eyelashes, looking up at Elijah through them.

“All right, you. You’ve got to go before I lose the ability to stand up,” Elijah forced out, shifting his body in the chair. Just looking at Orlando had a—positive—effect on him.

“Until tonight, then,” Orlando replied demurely.

Elijah wished he could have kissed him, but not only would it have been completely unprofessional, it would have caused the semi in his jeans to turn into a full-blown hard on.


After work Elijah stopped by the store to get the ingredients for his lasagna. He bought organic vegetables because he knew it would please Orlando. Once the lasagna was in the oven, Elijah set the table for two and opened a bottle of wine to let it breathe. Orlando knocked on the door just as Elijah sat down to have a cigarette.

“Hey,” Elijah said, greeting Orlando with a kiss.

“I brought wine,” Orlando said, holding up a bottle of red.

“Thank you. I already opened one, but we can save this for after dinner.” Elijah walked back into the kitchen and poured Orlando a glass from the opened bottle.

“Are you having some, or am I drinking alone?”

“I’ll have a glass after I finish this cigarette, otherwise it will make my cigarette taste funny.”

“Clever.”

“How was your day?”

“I mostly just ran errands. Did some laundry, went to the bank, that sort of thing. I have to work tomorrow night, though.”

“What time?”

“Seven.”

“So you can stay the night?” Elijah asked, grinning.

“You just can’t get enough of me, can you?”

“Nope.”

Orlando leaned down and pecked a kiss on Elijah’s lips. “That lasagna smells delicious.”

“I even used organic vegetables.”

“Really? Are you planning to sweet-talk me into something?”

“No, I just thought you’d prefer them. It doesn’t make a difference to me.”

“Well, I appreciate it.”

When the lasagna was done, they sat down to dinner. Elijah lit some candles and dimmed the lights. They dined slowly, enjoying the company of one another. Although they’d been together nearly every day for the last few weeks, they had had precious little alone time. Sharing a quiet meal together was a nice respite from all the time that had been spent with other people.

After dinner Orlando helped Elijah clean up. They retreated to the couch with two glasses of wine and Elijah's well-worn copy of Hamlet. Orlando sat down on one end of the couch, and Elijah chose the other so he could rest his legs across Orlando's lap. The position allowed Orlando to read, and they could both relax and enjoy their wine.

Orlando's voice flowed over Elijah, warm and smooth, like the expectation he'd held the first time Orlando read to him. The Englishman's grasp on Elizabethan English had much improved during his time both in the Shakespeare course, and under Elijah's tutelage. He still stumbled on some of the words, but Elijah knew the play so well he provided the correct pronunciations without missing a beat.

Before the knew it, Orlando was reading the final, "Go, bid the soldiers shoot./Exeunt marching; after the which a peal of ordnance are shot off." He closed the book and licked his lips, reaching for his wine. He glanced at Elijah as he took a sip.

"Hmm?" Elijah asked from over the rim of his own wine glass.

"I'm just making sure you're still awake," Orlando said, wiggling one of Elijah's sock-clad feet for good measure.

"Oh, I'm awake." Elijah pulled his feet out of Orlando's lap and tucked them up under his body. "I'm one of the few people who cannot fall asleep to Shakespeare. It holds my attention far too well, especially when read in an English accent." He added a wiggle of his eyebrows to the last, giving Orlando an exaggerated leer that made Orlando laugh.

"I knew it. You're only dating me for my accent."

"Well, that and your massive cock." Elijah said, as Orlando took another sip from his wine glass. Orlando choked and almost spilled wine over the front of his t-shirt, but he managed to recover in time. He set the wine glass safely on the coffee table and wiped his mouth with the back of his hand.

"Massive cock?" he repeated, sounding amused. "I've never heard it described as 'massive,' before, but if that's your thing . . . "

"Oh, it's massive," Elijah said seriously, his eyebrows knitting over his wide blue eyes.

Orlando laughed again, this time at the expression on Elijah's face. "You're daft."

"I might be drunk," Elijah replied, setting his wine glass down next to Orlando's. He stood up and stretched his arms over his head, yawning widely.

"Time for bed?"

"Yes," Elijah said holding his hand out. Orlando allowed himself to be pulled to his feet. He finished off the last of his wine and followed Elijah to the bedroom.

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