Dom looked up just in time to catch a t-shirt in the face. It fell into his lap, and he took up a handful of the bright yellow cotton. "What the fuck's this?"
"It's what you're wearing tonight," Elijah told him from the doorway. "PR just had it delivered. Apparently it's time to drop another hint." He pulled an expressive face.
"Fucking hell," Dom swore, checking his page number before he let his book fall closed. He held up the t-shirt with both hands and eyed it balefully. It wasn't like he'd decided what he was going to wear or anything, nor that the t-shirt was unacceptably hideous. It was very yellow, but that had never bothered Dom. Nothing wrong with it, in theory. It was just the principle of the whole stupid thing.
The Newline rep had said: "We have something special in mind for you two." If Dom had realised what 'something special' had entailed, he never would have agreed so readily.
"Stop leering at it," Elijah ordered primly from the doorway. "Could be worse. Look what I have to wear." He held up a fall of orange-brown fabric. "I mean, what sort of fucking colour do you call this? This is not my colour."
Dom rolled his eyes and tossed his own assigned clothing over his shoulder. "Have a primadonna hissy-fit, why don't you?"
"Fuck off," Elijah told him succinctly. "I'm not any happier about this whole thing than you are, OK? But there's nothing we can do about it. So put on your shirt and let's go play happy hobbits."
"Happy fucking hobbits," Dom grumbled, standing up.
Elijah returned his grimace. "That's the idea."
Dom would be really happy when the PR was fucking over.
The calls were all blending into one another, and Dom was so bored of hamming it up with Elijah. Plus, there was a fucking gorgeous blonde over in the corner he'd swear was making eyes at him.
Elijah poked him in the kidney, sharp and hard. "Pay attention." It was amazing how the little twerp could talk without moving his lips like that.
Dom dragged his gaze back to the happy-snapping cameras. They were loving it. Tomorrow - hell, probably in an hour's time - these pictures would be all over the internet, a new frenzied round of gossip would be circulating, and Dom and Elijah would be getting a job-well-done phone call.
Getting dressed, Dom had actually considered not wearing the t-shirt. But the PR people would have a fit at him, not following instructions. He could already hear them - time spent preparing the groundwork, setback in the timeline, didn't he care about what they were trying to do here? It wasn't easy, you know, trying to keep up year-long interest in a franchise. Dom had to play his part.
And his part was one half of the intriguing-ambiguous-sexuality pairing.
He leaned closer to Elijah, taking the opportunity to elbow him subtly in the ribs.
"Fucker," Lij growled at him. He got in another jab to the kidney.
Dom grunted, and turned his tired eyes in a different direction to another call of: "This way, just one more..." There was a flash and a click, and their message was sent. "Thanks, guys."
"Guys, you are it online, you have no idea." Billy came over two days later, with a computer printout and a gleeful smirk. "It's everywhere. People think this shit is real."
It wasn't that early - Dom had been awake for hours - but Elijah had only just got up. "Why is every fucking mug in this house dirty?" he whined from the kitchen.
"Because someone can't be arsed doing the bloody washing up," Dom shot back, drinking his tea out of his (last clean) mug. He turned back to Billy, and grimaced. "I'm getting fucking sick and tired of this shit, mate."
Billy was unsympathetic. "Price of being young and gorgeous."
Dom looked at the printed pictures sourly. "Hey, you were right, Lij, that shirt makes you look like shit."
"Fuck you." Elijah smacked the back of his head as he stalked past, glass of juice in hand. "Billy, get this bastard out of my house before I kill him."
It was childish, but Dom got a perverse pleasure out of sticking his tongue out at Elijah's back. "PR would love that, wouldn't they?"
They went window-shopping, aimlessly. Billy got an icecream. Dom kicking at a rock down the pavement.
"Do you really care about all this crap?" Billy asked around a mouthful of raspberry swirl.
Dom shrugged. "Not really, it's just getting me down. I mean, press junkets, signings, conferences, that's all fine, y'know. But this ongoing vague pretense campaign... it's fucked up."
"Just think of it as another acting role."
Dom pulled a face. That was the advice Billy always offered. "I am, I am. How did this movie become the ongoing-role-that-ate-my-life? I'm going to go nuts if this goes on much longer."
Billy squinted at him. "I thought you liked Lij."
"Not that much." Dom laughed. "Bah. Fuck PR, y'know. Gimme a bite of your ice cream."
Billy handed it over, wiped his hands on his paper napkin. "Well, at least you haven't had to snog him in public yet."
Dom almost choked on the ice cream, spraying crumbs of cone. "Don't put the idea in their heads!"
Gabby: That's so fucking twisted.
Me: Why thank you, I try. *g*
Gabby: And you succeed!