Title: Carnivale (3/?)
Rating for chapter: PG-13
Summary: A fic for Halloween; Elijah is the star of a carnival side-show that passes through Orlando's town, but unlike most performers Elijah is kept against his will. (Werewolf!Lij) (unbetad, mistakes are my own.)
“So, what is that your fifth bag now?” Orlando grabbed a peanut from Billy’s bag and proceeded to crack the shell with his teeth.
“No” Billy said defensively “third”
“Oh I see that’s much better.” Orlando elbowed Billy in the side playfully as they stood to make their way away from the stage now that the show was over.
Billy cracked another peanut as they waited for everyone to exit so they could make their way out at their own pace. They had just begun moving when a woman’s voice came from the stage. They looked back and saw the tattooed lady standing in the middle of the stage talking to the ringmaster who had just concluded the show.
“She’s broken her ankle doing some trick or another” the woman proclaimed.
“What is it you want me to do about it?” The man asked.
“I don’t know Bean but she’s our best horse we can’t just put her down. She’s been with us forever she deserves better than that.”
“Umm excuse me!” Orlando called form the audience.
“Can I help you?” Liv asked with her hands on her hips, she was obviously not happy with him interrupting their conversation.
“Aye, I was just going to say that I’m a veterinarian, if you want I can take a look at the horse.”
Bean eyed his suspiciously “How much do you want?”
“No charge, sir.” Orlando answered casting a glance over a Billy he added “My mate could use another bag of peanuts though.
Ten minutes later Bean had escorted Billy to get a fresh bag of nuts and Liv was leading Orlando back into the makeshift stables.
“She’s back here” Liv guided Orlando through the large tent back into a sectioned off stall.
Orlando followed Liv into the small booth and caught sight of the midnight black horse lying on the ground. She was beautiful, her main was dark and shinny and her body was the almost the entire length of the stall. She wined as they entered and Orlando ran his hands down the side of her neck whispering reassurances that he was there to help. The horse seemed to calm considerably as the man spoke into its ear and once again lay still on the hay covered ground.
“It looks like you have a gift for soothing animals.”
“No gift,” Orlando stated as he took a look at the bag of supplies Liv had brought with them “Just a lot of practice.”
Liv watched as the doctor slowly reached for the horse’s swollen ankle and again spoke to the animal in soothing tones. Penny who was usually wary of strangers only flinched as her injured leg was touched and examined. Liv immediately liked the young man, she couldn’t put a finger on what it was exactly that made her trust him, but there was a patience and kindness to him that she hadn’t seen in many men his age. Most were out to impress every woman they could with acts of daring stupidity, this boy had a quietness that seemed to reflect an inner strength.
“What is your name?” Liv asked as the boy retrieved a bandage from the bag of things she’d brought with them.
“Orlando Bloom, I live on the bluff” he motioned in the direction of one of the rolling hills though they couldn’t seen it through the fabric of the tent. “What about you?” he asked. “You’re an American aren’t you?”
“Yes, one of only two in our entire outfit.” The horse whined as pressure was applied to its leg and Liv reached out steadying her. “Shh Penny it is okay…Orlando is going to make you all better. I’m Liv.” She introduced herself.
Orlando smiled and took a moment to shake her hand. “Who is the other?” Orlando asked as he went back to work.
“The other American, you said you were one of only two.”
“Oh yes, the other is him” Liv looked over her shoulder as three men came to the cage were Elijah the werewolf had been sleeping unnoticed.
“Get up!” one of the men bellowed in the side of the cage. Elijah snapped upright looking as if he’d just awaken from a terrifying dream. Beads of sweat slid down his now healed chest and his eyes were black as they had been the moment before he transformed. “There’s a good dog.” The man continued. Elijah snarled at him but his eyes slowly went back to their natural blue color.
“Why do they treat him like that?” Orlando whispered.
“Bean.” She said solemnly, “He owns Elijah.” Liv turned away not wanting to watch what she knew was coming “He knows that if Elijah ever gets the chance to run away, he’ll never see him again.”
Orlando watched from the stall as two men opened the gate to Elijah’s cage and the other brandished a silver club. Elijah slowly stood up obviously sore, Orlando guessed from his earlier transformation. He began to walk towards the men as he stepped out of the cage he motioned as if to charge one of the guards. The man flinched but held his ground and Elijah just smirked and let himself be led out of the tent with a minimum amount of fuss.
“How can this person own a werewolf? Isn’t he supposed to turn him over to the crown?”
Liv smiled, Orlando had referred to Elijah as him, not it. So many of the people both inside and outside of the carnival treated Elijah like an animal, not the young man that he truly was.
“Well technically since Elijah was born in America the crown has no right to confiscate him. Though, if they knew he was being used for the profit of an Englishman they would probably take him anyway, but so far he hasn’t been caught. Bean doesn’t put posters up to advertise that he has a werewolf in his side show, it’s all word of mouth.”
“It’s cruel” Orlando mumbled as he finished wrapping Penny’s leg and fitted it with a sturdy splint.
“You think so?”
Orlando looked up at her not sure how to answer her question. While he didn’t want to insult her home or how she lived, he couldn’t help but feel that what he’d witnessed on stage was nothing short of heartless. He nodded solemnly.
“Tell me” Liv began “Do you have experience taking care of all kinds of animals?”