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Title: Falling for the First Time - Chapter 10/?
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: 1,685
Author's note: Mindy's name is now Holly. Just accept it. I had wanted to name her Hannah originally, but for obvious reasons, I couldn't.



Orlando’s first night back to work reminded him of how much he’d enjoyed his weekend spent with Elijah. The crew was all guys this time—Billy, Dom, and Karl. They weren’t as exuberant or as talkative as the girls. They were also all straight, and while Orlando had no problem with straight guys, he just felt like he had a harder time connecting with them.

“How was your week off, Orli?” Dom asked when they finally had some down time.

“Good,” Orlando replied, allowing a stupid smile to cross his face. “Really, really good.”

“Where’d you go?” Karl asked.

“To meet his boyfriend’s family,” Dom provided for Orlando with a grin.

Orlando blushed and ducked his head, busying himself with washing glasses.

“Meeting the in-laws already?”

“We’ve been dating for almost three months. This isn’t exactly sudden.”

“So when do we get to meet him, then?”

“Holly met him,” Dom hissed as he walked past them to the register.

“Holly did not meet him. He was just in here when Holly was working.”

A young blonde girl stepped up to the counter.

“What can I get for you, love?” Orlando asked.

“Vodka tonic, please.” A quick glance at the hand holding the money told him she was old enough to drink. The bar admitted people under 21, but the bouncer marked anyone under the legal age with an indelible marker on the back of each hand. Even if they tried to wash it off, the bartenders could still tell they’d been marked.

Orlando fixed the drink quickly and slid it across the bar. “Eight dollars, please.”

The girl handed him a tenner and disappeared into the crowd.

Orlando rang up the drink and dropped the two singles into their tip jar. Being the only English bloke in an American bar definitely had its advantages, even if he had to split the tips with the other bartenders. They got another rush of people and Orlando fell back into the familiar rhythm of pouring drinks and collecting money. He kept an eye open for Elijah, but his boyfriend never showed. He hadn’t expected him to, but held onto the hope that he might drop by.

When the bar closed, both the tip jar and the till were overflowing.

“Good night, guys,” Billy said. “We made nearly double what we took in last night.”

“You can say it. It’s because I’m back. American girls just can’t resist my accent.”

“No, it’s because they feel sorry for immigrants,” Karl answered in his deep Texas drawl.

“Then why don’t they tip you so well?” Orlando shot back good-naturedly.

“Either way,” Billy cut in, “we had a really good night.” He passed around an even share of the tips to each of his bartenders. The $300 worth of small bills was a nice haul.

Orlando said his goodbyes and headed outside. He stuffed his tips in a saddlebag and straddled his bike. It roared to life and Orlando couldn’t stop the silly grin that spread across his face.

Los Angeles traffic wasn’t bad at night, but it somehow seemed like the streets were always filled with people. Orlando concentrated on the feeling of the wind against his body and the thrum of the bike beneath him. The last thing he remembered was a flash of headlights and a blaring horn.

*

The sound of his phone ringing woke Elijah out of a deep sleep. He normally turned his phone off at night, but must have had the foresight that a dream about surfing over Iowa cornfields which suddenly became water was a dream from which he’d like to escape. He didn’t recognize the number, but flipped his phone open anyway. Even in the middle of the night, curiosity won out.

“Hello?” he said groggily into the receiver.

“Is this Elijah Wood?”

“Yes,” he said, pushing himself into an upright position. This could not be good.

“Elijah, this is Elaine Puskala. I’m a nurse at Brentview Medical. We have a patient here by the name of Orlando Bloom. He had you listed as his emergency contact.”

Elijah’s stomach dropped. “Is—is he okay?”

“Mister Bloom has been in a car accident. He’s conscious now, but he’s got a broken wrist and several lacerations. He should be released in a couple hours, but he’s going to need someone to pick him up.”

“I’ll be right there.” Elijah hung up the phone His hands shook as he dug his car keys out of the pocket of his jeans. A car accident? Elijah just thanked the powers that be that Orlando was not seriously injured. He dressed in a hurry and dashed out the door.

The nurse at the front desk directed him to Orlando’s room. Elijah stopped in the doorway and sighed in relief. Orlando was sitting up in the bed with a cast on his left arm from elbow to fingertips.

“You’re a sight for sore eyes,” Orlando said, blinking up at his boyfriend.

“What happened?” Elijah asked, crossing the room. He gave Orlando a once-over. Other than the road rash down his right arm, and the cast on his left, he appeared to be okay.

“Some woman on her mobile ran a stop sign and hit me. I’ve got a concussion, but if I hadn’t been wearing my helmet, there would have been Orlibrains all over the road.” He gave Elijah a loopy grin.

Elijah shook his head. “Let me go find the nurse so I can take you home.”

“What about my bike?” Orlando asked as Elijah turned to leave the room.

Elijah twisted around and gave Orlando a pained look. “Baby, it’s probably totaled.”

Once Orlando’s paperwork was complete and he had a prescription for pain medication, Elijah buckled him in the car.

“I cannot believe I totaled my bike,” Orlando groaned.

“I’m just glad you were wearing a helmet.” Said helmet was in the back seat, although Orlando would have to get a new one.

“But I’m almost wondering if this was just a ploy to stay over again.” Elijah gave a sideways glance. The nurse told them Orlando shouldn’t be left alone for the first twenty-four hours after his concussion in case something happened.

“I don’t need a ploy,” Orlando sighed. He gave Elijah a tired smile. “I made 300 bucks in tips tonight. Karl said it was because they feel sorry for foreigners, but I explained that it’s because I’m English. Girls can’t resist the accent. Daft cunt. He’s from Texas, though, so you have to give him that.”

“So you had a good night until the accident?”

“Mmm,” Orlando hummed in reply.

Elijah got them home safely and into bed. Morning sunlight was just beginning to creep though the bedroom windows as Elijah spooned up behind Orlando’s body and closed his eyes.

“We really should stuff this separate flat rubbish.”

Elijah’s eyes flew open.

“You know. Eventually.”

Elijah closed his eyes again, but he couldn’t see the smirk on Orlando’s face, anyway.

*

Elijah called off work later that morning, but he had to leave for his afternoon class. “If you need anything, just call my phone.”

“I’ll be fine. I’m probably just going to sleep the whole time you’re gone,” Orlando replied from his position on the couch. He was curled up under a blanket looking like a kid who was home sick from school. To Elijah, he looked positively adorable.

When Elijah returned, he was still on the couch, only now the television was on cartoons.

“Seriously?” Elijah asked as he walked into the living room.

Orlando twisted his body around to see Elijah. “Looney Tunes is a classic. And are you really judging the bloke with a concussion?”

“You watch cartoons at night after work.”

“Adult Swim does not show ‘cartoons,’” Orlando scoffed. “They’re animated satires.”

Elijah snorted and sat down on the end of the couch. “How’s your head?”

“Small headache, but nothing major. I took a pill earlier.”

“You gonna stay again tonight?”

Orlando threw the blanket off his body and swung his legs off the couch. “No, I think I’ll be okay to go home. I need a shower desperately. But I will need a ride.” He gave Elijah his best pleading look.

“As if I’d deny you anything,” Elijah said, rolling his eyes.

*

Orlando drove down to the bar after stopping at home.

“What are you doing here?” Billy asked, looking up.

Orlando help up his cast in reply.

“You’re kidding me, mate! What happened?”

“I wrecked my bike last night,” Orlando said, settling onto one of the stool in front of the bar. “Some bird on her mobile ran into me. My bike is totaled.”

“Are you okay, otherwise? I mean, you look okay.”

“I’ve a mild concussion. Nothing serious. Elijah let me stay at his after he picked me up at the hospital last night.”

“Elijah, huh?” Billy smirked.

“Who else was supposed to pick me up?”

“You could have called me.”

“Yeah, but you wouldn’t have wanted to cuddle.”

“True,” Billy replied, pretending to consider this. “So how long are you going to be out?”

“I’m not,” Orlando replied, looking confused.

“How are you going to mix drinks with a cast?”

“It’s my left hand,” Orlando said, wiggling his fingers, “and I can still use it.” He lifted the napkin dispenser in front of him for emphasis.

“As long as you’re sure . . .” Billy said, still looking dubious.

“I’ve broken my wrist before. Trust me, I can still use it. If anything, you should be worried about the concussion.”

“Seriously?”

“Well, I could pass out.” Orlando grinned. “Don’t worry about it. I won’t take a pain pill on the clock; that will keep me from passing out.”

“You can call out, too, you know. The others can bitch, but we both know they’ll cover you.”

“I’ll be fine. I don’t work tomorrow night, anyway.”

“Well, thanks for giving me a heads-up. I’ll understand if you don’t feel like coming in tomorrow.”

“Oh, I’m sure I’ll be here,” Orlando said, standing up. “Have a good night.”

“You too,” Billy replied, giving him a wave.
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