Compromise
by Calico



Jan 03

Dedication: For undone27 and mauralabingi, for pictures and intrigue and general coolness.

In honour of: Dom's new hobby.

Notes: Completely unbeta'd and not very hot, so watch out for purple and/or unreadable prose. :)





Dom's sorry, okay, but he just likes lollipops. They're gross when they're on the tight paper sticks, when the end goes mushy and stained pink, and the only candy left is a tiny round blob that's so sweet it almost hurts the raspy corroded tip of his tongue, but other than that - and it's not too difficult to get plastic sticks, man - then they're hardly the worst habit he's acquired.

"Tart," Orlando accuses, stealing up behind him with pinchy-tickly fingers and whispering into the side of his head; Dom pivots round and hugs him, enjoying the butterfly flutter of flashbulbs as he holds the lollipop clear of Orlando's $6000 suit.

"Oh, I'm the tart?" he says, with his eyebrows up, leaning back and grasping Orlando by the elbow, giving him a quick once-over and then squinting at Orlando's collar in alarm. "What's that, a squashed fly? Did someone throw raisins at you again?"

"It's the design, you little prick," Orlando complains, his teeth flashing the hugest grin Dom's seen from him since - well, last Red Carpet Day. Orlando would trade oxygen if he could reformat his lungs to drink in spotlight instead.

Dom pops the lollipop back in his mouth and calls round it, as Orlando pats his arm and heads off inside. "Looks like a raisin to me."

"It's not a raisin," Orlando yells, laughing, over his shoulder, and Viggo's waiting in the doorway and presses his hand to the base of Orlando's spine, collecting him like a lost pedigree sheep and steering his fleecy, $6000 ass safely inside.

More flashlights flare - Sean and Ian, toffs if ever Dom saw some - and Dom steps out the way to let them pass. He'll wait here for Elijah and give the cameras the footage they're really hungering after, thanks. Last year he skidded inside with an equally round-eyed Billy and they spent the night pretending they didn't recognise any of the famous stars; this year Karl's the round-eyed one, and Dom thinks he's got a little liberty. Next year he'll kiss Elijah on the mouth, he decides, giddily. None of this faffing around with cheeks and knuckles, no sir.

The lollipop's making the inside of his mouth sweet and sticky, and he smiles because Elijah will like it. He rolls the ball of it against his lower lip, then sucks hard enough to make his cheekbones flare before catching it back in his mouth with a deft flick of his tongue. He pretends the cameras notice, but he doesn't really care.

He likes lollipops. They just - they're comfortable, and he likes rubbing his tongue against the sharp sugar edges, pushing it into the little razorblade air bubbles to touch the unwarmed crevices inside. This one's cola, and tastes as tacky and July-ish as blackjacks or ginger beer.

Last time he had blackjacks was in Brighton, when he slipped away with Elijah on the train from London on an unforgivably chilly autumn day. Elijah wore black wool and a fuzzy hat and two pairs of socks, while Dom decided that he was a manly man and would survive in regular clothes. They walked on the pier and shared crunchy, frigid pieces of liquorice penny mix, and Dom caved and bought a big blue duffle coat when Elijah refused to let him slip his fingers under Elijah's jumper to get warm.

Last time he had ginger beer was in New Zealand, when Orlando insisted it was good with lots and lots of vodka and proved once and for all that he's an utter fairy who just likes to watch the pretty boys choke. After, Elijah tasted of juniper and caramel, and Dom curved his hands against the base of Elijah's scull and kissed him until he giggled, then sucked his sweet, slippery, acidic tongue until Elijah's fingers edged under his belt.

"You spacey freak," Billy calls, bringing Scotland close to Dom's ear, and Dom jumps and wraps his arms round him and wonders distractedly what the hell life he's in that he can zone out on a red carpet while waiting for his filmstar of a crush to come and walk him inside.

"Billy," he drawls thickly, bouncing on his toes, and Billy laughs and jumps around with him a little, stubble rasping his cheek until Dom wonders if he'll leave a mark. That would set some tabloids blazing, no doubt. "How are you, my man?"

"Same old same old," Billy beams, and sways promptingly in the direction of the door, then tilts his head quizzically when Dom doesn't fold and lead him inside. "You bein' a bouncer tonight or what?"

"Aw, I'm flirting with the cameras," Dom says sagely, and points the lollipop back down the direction Billy's just come from. "Plus a certain someone..."

"...is bringing a date, according to my reliable source called Orlando," Billy says, caution in his eyes even as he chuckles like they're not discussing the nocturnal tactics of resolute heterosexuals. "You should probably come inside with me, don't you think?"

Dom puts the lollipop back in his mouth. "I'm enjoying the air out here," he says deliberately, and Billy hoots.

"You are wilfully stubborn and I love it," he declares, loud enough for the mikes to pick up on, and then he does a little skip-run backwards and waves before spinning and striding inside.

Dom curls his tongue, trying to work the head of the lollipop off its stick by applying pressure just so at the breach where it's pierced by the plastic. It'll break off in his mouth and he'll have to crunch it and he wants to wait for Elijah first, but it's like having a loose tooth.

"You have the world's most curious tongue," Elijah told him once - or rather, told the ceiling, because Dom's head was between Elijah's thighs and he was making sure Elijah had no sense of direction right now. "Not that I'm complaining."

"No one did this before?" Dom asked, somewhat muffled, and moved his tongue deliberately, and Elijah shuddered and groaned and twisted his fingers in Dom's hair.

"Child star," he gasped. "No one experiments. 'Fraid of corruption," and Dom laughed, crawling up Elijah's body, finding Elijah's legs folded conveniently over his shoulders as he moved, finding that his heart flipped like a wild thing when Elijah tilted his head in an invitation to be nuzzled and fucked.

"Any time you want corrupting," he suggested, and Elijah's thighs flexed against his chest, and Elijah muttered that he loved him, and that was new and didn't make him pause at all.

"Hey you," comes a familiar female voice, and Dom snaps out of it again. Heyyy. Liv is not to be hugged, Dom knows, because of wrinkles. She melts him with a smile, though, and he ducks his head and then makes a show of kissing her hand, and she's been trained not to cover her face so she doesn't blush behind her fingers, but she's definitely embarrassed and that makes Dom's day.

"M'lady," he adds, and she swats at him, and her date broadcasts big manly disapproval vibes and Dom beams in his direction as well.

"Would you care to accompany us inside?" Liv says, matching Dom for gallantry, and Dom shakes his head and says,

"Wouldn't want to steal your thunder, dear."

She giggles, and they parade off, and Dom goes back to his daydream, picking up when Elijah curled against him that night and whispered guiltily that he meant it and was Dom awake and could they not fly off in different directions tomorrow, please.

Dom woke up and stroked Elijah's head, staring at the faint shadow of the ceiling and listening to the crickets relentlessly flirting outside. "I won't fly out if you don't fly out," he said quietly, and Elijah spooned more firmly back against him and gave a tiny, disappointed moan.

"I have to. Got stuff."

"Yeah," Dom said. "Well, that'd be why we can't stay here."

"Stupid life," Elijah muttered, and Dom settled his arm round Elijah's waist, fingers gliding down to play against the divinely soft place where he knew ink was trapped permanently beneath the skin.

"Love you back, by the way," Dom said, after a moment, and Elijah hummed happily, and folded Dom's fingers against his stomach, and held them there.

"Hoi," Billy calls, wandering back out and pointing at Dom with a finger attached to a champagne-flute wielding hand. "You're missing the action. Karl touched Viggo's hand not once but twice, and Orlando's trying to teach people the French for 'lunch'."

"I'll be in there," Dom says, taking out his lollipop, and steals a sip of Billy's champagne. It tastes utterly vile to his sugar-frazzled tongue. "I'm just biding my time."

It's inane and Billy gives him an appropriately sceptical look. He only says, "You'll rot your teeth," though, with an authoritative eyebrow waggle, and Dom sucks the lollipop provocatively at him and Billy shakes his head with a smile. "Just mind you don't piss off his date too much," Billy says, and bobs back inside, champagne sparkling in the lights like a gift from Galadrial.

Dom does have a little tact, he thinks, but doesn't blame Billy for trying. Ian doesn't bring up his own troubles a lot, and they've got his blessing, but it doesn't take a wizard brain to know that right now is not the time to wear rainbows.

"Wait for me out front," Elijah had said, though, and Dom's damned if he's going to make Elijah search him out in a hive of moviestars. He's quite happy out here, sucking his five-pence sweet and enjoying the hubbub-bustle of the air. Billy will tell him if anything sensationally interesting happens, anyway.

Last time Billy raced up to him, it was because some photographer was outside and Dom really couldn't go outside in Elijah's shorts, okay? especially not with the bite marks, jesus christ, and Elijah had grabbed Dom's ankle and tumbled him back into bed with a sigh.

Incognito on Brighton's cold pier had been really incredibly nice, with the fairground arcade music jangling incessantly and the smells of cheap hotdogs and brine and hot vinegar crowning the air. No one had even glanced twice at two huddled boys in hats, one in a blue duffle coat, with their mouths stained liquorice-blue.

Dom had taken Elijah to Kruze for a couple of drinks, and then down to the pebbly beach when it got properly dark. Some kids were letting off fireworks over the sea a few metres to their left, so they skulked off in the other direction and made out behind the crooked hinge of the bay.

That was the only time Elijah let Dom blow him in public, and even then it was fully-clothed, and only because their corner of the universe was made to seem private and insignificant by the incessant crashing of silver surf topped by the tumble of clouds. The beach wasn't comfortable, and it was so cold Dom kept his hat on the whole time, feeling the press of Elijah's fingers against the wool and swooning as the increasing heat in his mouth bled into a volley of little Elijan cries.

Elijah bit into the sleeve of his coat that evening, hard enough to leave dimples, and complained of fuzzy lips for the rest of the night. Dom wasn't sure whether to resent that Elijah kept enough wit about him to muffle the noise when he came, or if it was just that legendary common sense that he should be grateful one of them possessed from time to time.

A flake of the lollipop works free on his tongue, and Dom crunches the whole thing in sudden vague pique. It splits like a baby iceberg, messy and chaotic in his mouth. A sharpness of splinters melts too fast into a translucent cola-y taste, and he bites down on the end of the stick to feel the plastic crack and notices with a jolt that Elijah's getting out of a big black car.

Elijah's hair's less of a shock now, but he still looks like a slightly different person. "More butch, that's what we wants," Elijah had said, ages ago, when Dom had ribbed him about being the most elfin of the hobbits one too many times. Dom had protested that he liked sharing his bed with a little fae thing, and Elijah had enthusiastically abandoned the idea until a few weeks ago when the publicity juggernaut started cranking in earnest again.

Tonight, Elijah looks like a sleek cheery hitman, and Dom unwraps another lollipop and pops it in his sticky mouth - cool dry sweetness and raspberry this time - and decides that his mission for the evening is definitely to secure an invitation home.

Elijah's date is predictably gorgeous, only taller because she's well-heeled, and wearing a one-shouldered something that catches the light in a thousand shiny ways. Dom tries not to feel jealous of their interlaced arms, scrunching up the lollipop wrapper and broken stick and pushing them into his pocket, then tries to tamp down the joy when Elijah's arm slips free as he turns to give one particular camera a smile.

"Heyup," Dom says, when Elijah's nearly close enough to notice him, and moves into the spotlight and holds out a hand. Waited for ya, promised I would.

"Hey you," Elijah exclaims, like he's surprised, and bounds up to him like a hollywood puppy, and Dom folds his arms around him and squeezes, closing his eyes as Elijah's body presses closer than any professional hug would allow. Elijah's hips are askew to his, and Dom shifts just slightly to get them aligned, and for a moment the world is just the sinfully solid bliss of Elijah trembling against him and the Armani scent of a good suit stuffed against his nose, before Elijah wriggles free and flicks the lollipop stick with one fingernail, and Dom crashes back to reality and smiles on the outside too.

"Hey you back," he manages, pushing the lollipop into the cave of his cheek. "You crazy girl-dater you." There, he remembered. Orlando will be proud.

Elijah's eyes flash over his mouth, and Dom knows he's remembering last week on the terrace, when Elijah sucked him off while Dom ate crossants with blueberry jam and complained that the advert breaks were much more clearly designated in England. "I mean," he'd said, brushing his thumb across Elijah's lower lip alongside his cock and slouching as low in his seat as the chair allowed, "you'd never think the, um, the. You'd never think Xena was promoting Organics in England."

Elijah had hummed in amusement, which felt pretty weird and generally fantastic under the circumstances, and now every time Dom smells melted butter he wants to press Elijah down on the nearest flat service and return the favour tenfold.

"You," Elijah says in an undertone, poking him in the chest, "have dated so many more girls than me, so don't have a cow."

"Okay," Dom says, and shivers theatrically. "Well, are we going inside or what?"

Elijah smiles sunnily at his date and leans in for a photo, then breaks apart from her and nods at Dom to proceed.

Dom shifts the circle of candy into his other cheek and swallows happily and steers Elijah to file inside. Elijah's knuckles brush the back of his hand just once as they turn the corner, and Dom shivers under his suit. They pose by a big poster, and are handed champagne as they stride in through the second door.

It's bustling in here, as promised. Orlando pounces on them as soon as they reach the party side of the room, and recites three lines of dreadful French over Elijah's shoulder while they hug. Viggo comes and claps Dom on the back, then takes a look at the pink lollipop in one hand and the champagne in the other and says,

"that's so philistine I almost approve."

"I don't care," Dom smiles.

Karl and Miranda wave as they hunt out more champagne, and Elijah drifts away, and Dom watches him go until Viggo leans in and says, "it might be a little subtler if you put him in a collar and cuffs," and Dom's smile goes rueful and he glances at Viggo instead.

"That'd be bad for publicity," he says, and Viggo nods pleasantly.

"Yes," he agrees. "It really would."

The party absorbs them, and Elijah dances with his shiny date, and Dom's sorry, okay, but he really likes lollipops. He doesn't care what people say, within reason, and has to work to care what unreasonable people think at all. It may spur rumours about oral fixation, but Dom actually finds that a not unpleasant idea, and until next year - when Elijah will be begging him to hold his hand in public, when Elijah won't need a fucking visual reminder that he licked Dom's fingertips last night and sucked lime juice off his tongue a mere six hours ago - this habit will suit him just fine.



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