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Hanarobi's Padding Around (EW, PG-13)

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Apr. 22nd, 2003 | 10:45 pm

Note: I think this is a charming story and am pleased to post it here, by permission of the author.

Title: Padding Around
Author: Hanarobi
Rating: PG-13. For Language mostly.
Pairing: EW and very mild implied EW/DM
Summary: Elijah wandering around, wondering.
Point: All who wander are not lost. Then again, some are. At least for a while.
Feedback: Yes, please. It is my first story.
Thanks: To Msilverstar for the beta and for the really nice welcome.
Disclaimer: Total work of fiction. I know nothing about any of these people. I certainly don't know anything about anyone's sexual orientation. No profit.  Just for entertainment.

Elijah pads when he walks. He knows this. Is aware of it. Knows he is too old to be this way. Used to be fine. Was cute. Expected. But he is too old to be doing the padding around thing. Except that it is still him, to himself. It's just how he is. Not everywhere of course. Never do to be caught padding around when he's on. When the cameras are there. When there's an audience.  But when he is just being, just being home, just being himself, he pads. He likes his shirts to be too big for him. He likes the sleeves to hang way past his wrists. He likes to have big, scrunched up socks on his feet. He likes to pad, dammit.  He giggles to himself when he realizes the utter impossibility of defiant padding. Stubborn padding, yeah, he can do that. But not defiant padding. One cancels out the other. He'd rather pad than be defiant, anyway.  Defiant was hurtful, tiring, stressful. Unsure. Padding is comfort, familiar, something he is good at. But no one seems to want him to pad anymore. Except himself. So he is padding around. Doing something for himself. For a change, he thinks to himself in a mix of self-pity and ire. He doesn't care if he is too old, too much an adult, a man to be padding. He needs it. Needs it a lot lately.

So he pads around this morning. Pads to the coffee pot. Pads to the CD player. Pads to his cigarettes. Pads to the computer. Checks e-mail. Checks the more interesting (okay, extremely bizarre) websites about himself. Makes sure there are no reports or "stolen moment" photos anywhere out there. How can fans be so blind? So crude? So obsessed? So... fannish? fanny? He giggles a little over that. His fans are arses. No, he corrects himself. Asses. His fans are asses. Not arses. Dom's fans are. No matter how close he came to being one. No matter how much he still wants. No he doesn't. He is tired of all things British. No he isn't. He still... okay, time to do some more padding.

He pads. From room to room. Just wandering. Just being. Just soaking up the comfort of the familiar gait. The gait from the time when he knew how to be. When what he wanted to be was what everyone else wanted him to be. When he could be what everyone wanted him to be. A padder. A sweet little boy, a charmer, bright and talented. Mature for his age. (So when the fuck did his age get past his maturity level -- or something like that, he wasn't really listening when Mom threw that one at him)

His mind skips quickly over the thought of being a Brit and he slams full force into the deep ache, the hard lump of his true want. Kiwi. He wants to be a Kiwi. He wants it, oh god, he has to have it back, it has to be, it , again, want, want, want, need, need, need....can't live without. He wants to get to have New Zealand again. All of it. Wants to relive every single minute. Wants every minute for the rest of his life to be a New Zealand minute. He knew how to be, in New Zealand. They all did.  He wasn't a padder in New Zealand. Nothing was familiar in New Zealand. But everything was more right than it had ever been in his life. In his entire life. Friends. Wildness. Belonging. Being really good, better than he had ever been, at being an actor. Respected. Accepted.  Letting down his guard. Not being the kid, the baby of the set. Nothing was remotely familiar. And it was everything he had never even known how to want. 

He remembered the difficult moments after filming was over, when he first came home. His mom was a little freaked. He remembered sitting in the kitchen. Drinking coffee with her as they tried to fall back into familiar patterns from too long ago, from a lifetime ago. Script conferences. Event scheduling discussions. Financial decisions. Family stuff. Some of it worked. Some didn't. He could read his own scripts, thanks anyway, Mom. And he knew how to read a contract carefully. He knew, now, far better than she did, how much he could take and what would work for him and what wouldn't. She used to make all the decisions about stuff like that. He just went where she decided he would go, ignored everything until about ten minutes before show time when she would tell him what to talk about and what not to talk about. It was so easy. But it doesn't work anymore. She doesn't know him anymore. How could she? He never came home. Not him. Someone else is here in the kitchen. But it isn't him. He is in New Zealand. (No, he is here in the kitchen, he just really, really wishes either a) he were back in New Zealand or b) he could be the New Zealand Elijah while here in the kitchen.)

And that phone call. Thank god, Pete laughed about it when they next saw each other, months later for pickups. Back in New Zealand. Back to feeling whole. Back to being whole in New Zealand. But that first time of leaving NZ and exchanging it for LA had been hard, really hard. And they had been having, yet again, a "serious talk" at the kitchen table. Coffee. His cigarettes. Yes, he smoked in his mother's house.  His house. Their house. The house where his family lived. He didn't live there. His house, anyway. Okay, that was too hard to think about, too many turns in trying to get through to the end. Why she had made the phone call while he was sitting there in the kitchen, expected to listen to it apparently, he never understood. But he did understand that she didn't understand it either.

She blamed Peter. How weird. Said he had betrayed her trust in him. She expected him to watch over her young, innocent son. Had expected him to keep her son safe and whole, to return him to her in much the same condition as when he left. Instead, sitting in her kitchen, listless, was this tattooed, chain-smoking, nail biting, hard drinking, foul mouthed, gay man. Peter calmly pointed out that when Elijah first stepped off the plane in New Zealand, before he had ever spent one minute on the Ring set, Elijah had been a chain-smoking, nail biting, hard drinking, foul mouth gay boy. All that had happened in New Zealand that was new, said Peter, was the tattoo. And, of course, the transformation from boy to man. But when talking to Debbie during that unpleasant (but still somewhat funny, when Peter thought about it in the months that followed) phone call, all he had mentioned was the tattoo. And when his mother realized all the things that Peter did not say, and all that she already knew but wanted to pretend she didn't, she had started to cry. And, crying, apologized to Peter and had hung up. Elijah found himself patting her shoulder, while she cried at the kitchen table. He also found himself humming in his head the words to "Breaking Up Is Hard to Do" which wasn't remotely helpful at that moment.

So now his mother treated him as an adult. Expected him to take care of things by himself that she had always managed. After some awkward months, they had figured out how to keep the money flowing smoothly between them, the extent to which she would handle his affairs (financial stuff bored him -- he just wanted his cash card, thank you very much).  Career decisions became exclusively his. All she asks is that he let her know where he would be. At least most of time. Especially if he would be traveling. That felt like a really stupid request to him. Of course he would let her know if he would be out of town. Certainly if he were going to be out of the country. Needed someone to water the plants, right? And collect his mail. But then, his mail either went to his office or to the main house, anyway. And he didn't have any plants. So, hmm, guess he didn't need to have her know when he was gone. But of course he would tell her. Fuck, she was his mother. He lived in the backyard. How could he not tell her? Just plain old common sense. Family interaction. But here she was, making it a part of their new, formal, awkward, spelled out in detail, plan of mother-son/manager-client interaction. Fucking weird. She was being pretty rigid about treating him alike an adult. Like a mature adult. Fuck that. He didn't really think a mature adult would use the word 'fuck' quite so often. Fuck.

So here he is. Stuck with his own decisions. Some of them really bad decisions. Decisions about what roles to accept. What demands to make -- which led, unfortunately, to not getting some of the roles he wanted to get and accepting some he didn't. Decisions about how to act in public. How to act in private. What to say. What to do. Where to go. What to wear. What to buy. Where to live. Who to fuck. Who to love. Some of them really, really bad decisions. Some of them the most glorious of his entire life. And some of them just hadn't worked out like he thought they would. Like he had hoped they would. Like they damn well ought to have worked out. Fuck. He needed some more padding around. Needed comfort.

He knew how to be a padder. He knew how to be New Zealand. He just had to figure out how to be all the things he is now, where he is now. Fuck.


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Comments {2}

(no subject)

from: jubilancy
date: Apr. 22nd, 2003 10:55 pm (UTC)

This is good. I am convinced that Elijah pads.



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the night is a very dark time for me

(no subject)

from: olivia_ramirez
date: May. 3rd, 2003 08:49 am (UTC)

Ah, the pains of growing up and maturing, they are so recognisable. You think you have a foothold and then something changes and you lose your feet again.
I really enjoyed this fic, hope to see more of your friend Hanarobi's work, does she have an LJ too perhaps?

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