Title: Protect Me From What I Want
Pairing: Brian Molko/Orlando Bloom
Rating: R (drug use, sex, language)
Summary: Wherein things move backwards, in more than one way.
Thanks to: bluejbird for inventing the pairing and being awe-some always!
Disclaimer: Don't know 'em, don't own em, don't claim that I do.
Maybe we're victims of fate
-- Placebo --
xix. When Brian checks out of the hotel room on Saturday morning, the manager gives him a refund of the money he paid last week. The bill is marked, "Paid in Full," the credit card belonging to O. Bloom. The clerk also gives Brian a new bottle of black nail-polish, left at the desk.
xviii. Brian hardly looks up as the door slams. He's assembled a stack of hotel notepads and scrawls feverishly on one. He doesn't notice the empty hangers, can't see the mirrors still fogged up in the bathroom. If he looked up, he might have been startled by look of guilt in Orlando's eyes, not the hate he was imagining.
xvii. Both Orlando and Brian know this is the last time. They both know why, but neither can remember what got him here. Orlando presses Brian into the door hard enough to leave marks. Brian can turn left and see himself in the mirror still fogged from his shower, see the wipe marks he made, cleaning off a spot to inspect his face.
Orlando likes him better like this, without his makeup, his frills, his smoke. Brian still looks slight and feminine. He likes Orlando this way, snarling and biting, his skin like ashes. The metallic tastes on Orlando's tongue are too familiar.
xvi. He finally decides to take a shower and uses up all the hot water. When he gets out, he shakes his head like a dog letting the strands snap against his cheeks. He reaches forward to the bathroom mirror and wipes a circle clean, and looks at his pale, pale face. He's only a bit startled to see another reflection in the mirror behind him. Orlando's hands are already grabbing him by the hips. He pushes Brian into the unforgiving door. His only response is to reach behind them and tug on a greasy curl as Orlando's teeth sink into his shoulder.
xv. Brian drifts in and out of sleep, finally pulling himself to the floor, so he can scribble a phrase he heard in a dream. He blindly gropes for the notebook tossed to the floor days ago. He sits against the bed, pen poised to scrape the paper. Brian looks above him; Orlando sleeps on his stomach, jeans still bunched around his ankles. His bags are packed in the corner. Brian throws his pen down in frustration.
xiv. He dreams that he's running through a maze. Tall brick barriers block out all the surroundings. He's alone, and his footsteps echo. As he gets to the end of the maze, he hits a dead end, and the walls begin to close in on all sides. He's protected from what's outside but all he wants is to break through. He angrily pounds his fist against the bricks in front of him. They begin to crumble as he wakes.
xiii. Orlando's eyes glaze over, and Brian isn't sure if it's more from the sex or the drugs. He can only collapse on the bare mattress, all the blankets long kicked aside. Brian runs his fingers through his sweaty hair, noting the chips in his black polish. Orlando's fingers curl under his face, painted in the same shade. When he wakes, Orlando will be gone. His shoes wait for him at the door.
xii. "Fuck you!" he shouts, more frustrated than angry.
Orlando is smiling, sitting on the bed with his pants unbuttoned and pulled below his knees, "Was I not supposed to?"
"I told you-"
"Why is it okay for you but not for me?" Orlando throws his glass at the wall beside Brian, laughing as he flinches. The glass almost sparkles in the dim light as it shatters.
xi. When Brian lets himself into his hotel room hours after the show, he has a strange feeling. He pushes the door open with unsteady hands and takes the two steps into the bedroom. All the lights are on and the television is flashing a commercial. But Brian can't stop looking at what's on the bed. Orlando is framed in the middle, amongst two skinny boys. He's drinking a beer as they writhe against him. The floor is littered with empty bottles. On the dresser, the nail-polish has tipped over, steadily dripping down the wood. Brian looks away to find a broken mirror on the bedside table, streaked with familiar white dust.
The boys look at Orlando, who's smirking with victory, then swivel their eyes to Brian, whose smeared makeup and glare give him the air of an amazon warrior.
"Get out," is all he has to growl.
x. Orlando choses not to go to the show, and Brian doesn't attempt to convince him. He mumbles under his breath, something about packing, and Brian pretends his eyeliner has become the most fascinating thing in the world. He looks up, catching Orlando's face beside his in the mirror. Right now, Orlando's hollow expression is an echo of his own.
ix. Brian dresses in black from head to toe, including a floppy hat he finds in the bottom of his suitcase. Without his dramatic liner and lashes, his eyes become small and indecipherable beneath the brim. He carefully paints his nails, noticing Orlando watching him intently. Before recapping the polish, he spreads it on Orlando's nails as well, casually, while Orlando seems fascinated with the contact. Their eyes meet while they wait for the polish to dry.
He blurts out, "I'm going home tomorrow. I bought the tickets."
Brian replaces the brush into the bottle of polish but doesn't tighten it. He places it on top of the chest of drawers, where neither of them has bothered to put clothes.
viii. He has spent five days with Orlando this week. Five nights to be exact. The show tonight is in a tiny nightclub, the type he used to frequent. Their manager owes a favor to the owner, and Brian's hardly making enough money for the cab ride over. But he never misses a gig, and so he begins looking through the garment bag tossed in the closet. Orlando's stuff is mixed with his, and he can't help but try on a sleek black turtleneck. He's still looking for clothes when he hears Orlando enter the room, carrying a small shopping bag and looking unbelievably lost.
vii. Orlando jerks out of the bed, not giving Brian time to reach out and stop him.
"Is that all you care about?" He shakes the bed so violently, the mirror falls off the bedside table and breaks in two.
Brian watches him leave, waiting until the door has clicked behind him. He scoops up the pieces, wipes off the traces of powder and slips it into the drawer, near the drugs already nestled against the King James version.
He curls into a ball on the bed's rumpled sheets. Orlando will be back tomorrow. His shoes still lie forlornly by the door, kicked aside in the hurry to storm off.
vi. Time passes, and his breathing slows. His earlier twitch returns, not even Orlando's sex is enough to stop it. The night-stand is calling to him, and he waits until Orlando has become heavy with sleep, his face buried in Brian's neck. His need is too great, and he finds his coat on the back of a chair and he quickly cuts himself a line, Orlando's arm wrapped loosely around his waist. He breathes a sigh of relief, the euphoria spreading through his form, but the arm tightens as Orlando wakes. He blinks several times, coming out of the doze. He pulls sharply away when he sees Brian setting the mirror down on the table.
v. As soon as they kick open the door, Orlando grabs at him, acting starved, "Jesus, why do you have to wear so many clothes!"
Brian shrugs off his heavy black coat and unlaces his leather pants. Orlando can't wait, and drops to his knees, tugging and pulling at fastenings, breathing a sigh of relief when Brian's form is exposed. They tangle in and out of bed, the itch under Brian's skin slowly becoming soothed.
iv. Orlando goes to the show on Wednesday, and they will have another on Thursday in the same area. He sits back stage, transfixed with the music, talking eagerly with other fans. He says nothing of Brian personally, only sneers with disdain at the groupie boys and girls hoping to catch his attention. They skip the activities after, Brian slipping a "party favor" into his coat pocket before taking the back exit. Orlando's already in the cab, his hands eager to explore sweaty leather. Brian slides into the back with him, sharing the seat, while the driver looks straight ahead. He smells Orlando's neck, calls him a groupie, and licks a strand of hair sticking to his jaw.
iii. He invites Orlando up to the room on Saturday night, and on Monday afternoon Orlando brings his suitcase, sheepishly admitting he'd planned to leave that night. Brian feigns indifference and accepts Orlando's offer to split the cost. He's secretly thrilled when Orlando casually pulls his shoes off before walking in. Orlando seems comfortable there, only grimaces when he sees the dusty pocket mirror on the night-stand.
ii. He wasn't sure if Orlando would call, but he does, asking if they could meet up at the hotel bar for drinks. Orlando is dressed in black, adorned with rings and necklaces, his dark hair untidy and falling into his eyes. Brian's never been one for subtlety, but he appreciates Orlando's use of the pronoun game and even more so, the tanned skin revealed at his collar.
i. He meets Orlando at a show, backstage, with no third party to carry on an introduction. Orlando seems shy, almost star-struck, and chatters nervously about how much he loves the new album. Brian suggests an autograph, playfully. Orlando laughs and is still laughing when Brian presses a scrap of paper with his signature and a phone number into his handshake as they part.