Title: Carnivale (4/?)
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.)
Elijah’s whole body shuddered as he the wind blew through the bars on his windows. He pulled his blankets tighter around him and turned over on his thin feather mattress. Another breeze whooshed between the bars and sent a shiver down his spine, Elijah gave a resigned sigh and lifted the bedclothes as he got up and padded over to the windows. Outside his cell he could still see the people of the village still wandering around, though it just after sunset. The torches lit the carnival in an enchanting dim light that made Elijah’s feeling of imprisonment seem out of place.
On a small stage across the way Elijah watched as Karl blew fire amusing the crowd of villagers who would be wandering the carnival attending spectacles and other entertainment well into the night.
Elijah reached beside him to close the first shutter but stopped suddenly when he saw a head of curly brown hair walking just a few feet away. The man who he’d been starring at during his ‘showing’ made his way to the stage the Karl was standing on. A man stood beside the brunette, a friend Elijah assumed, and they applauded as Karl bowed and made his way off stage.
Elijah allowed himself the pleasure of starring at the brunette feeling safe that no one would notice him in his caravan. The man was tall and slim with bronzed skin that looked taut and smooth. His long wavy hair hung down to his neck and in the dim torchlight it looked feather soft and Elijah could help the impulse he had to run his fingers through the thick locks. The smaller man who stood beside him made a rude gesture and both men leaned their heads back to laugh.
Elijah stepped back from the window suddenly feeling terribly lonely. Elijah dealt with his forced solitude rather well most of the time, he could amuse himself with the few books Liv had given him over the years and could content himself with drawing and day dreaming in between shows and sleeping. However, sometimes his blood called for someone. Not just someone, he knew it was more than that, a mate, a person that could be not only his friend but his lover as well. Someone who would not be afraid of what he was. At first Elijah had thought Liv would be that person but as he grew older he realized that Liv, no matter how kind and beautiful she was, was not what he wanted. He yearned for a masculine form, strong legs and smooth abs that could hold him and rival him for power.
The man at the show had struck him like a bullet to the heart. He thought at first that the man had looked at him with the same hunger that he himself felt but he soon dismissed that thought. No one who had seen that display, seen what he was, could feel anything other than disgust or fear towards him. Even the other “freaks” were afraid of him. He wasn’t even allowed outside of his caravan, save for the times he was forced into that wretched cage.
When Elijah was younger he had been allowed to wander around the carnival freely with a worker who was there to make sure he did not stray too far. As he grew older and realized the truth; that he was enslaved, his escape attempts became more frequent. Bean hadn’t been keen on loosing the cash cow he had in the young werewolf and so had a special caravan built for him. The inside was like any other caravan the carnival workers traveled in, but the outside was covered in thin tiles of pure silver. It had cost Bean a large sum but he had insisted that it was a mere pittance compared to what Elijah brought in with his performances.
“So this is where they hide you away.” Viggo’s gruff voice came through the bars startling Elijah out of his thoughts.
“What do you want?” Elijah growled.
Viggo rolled his eyes; he was used to Elijah’s tough guy act by now. He, like the other carnival workers, had been somewhat afraid of the young werewolf when he began working for Bean but after falling in love and marrying Liv he’d come to have a better understanding of the creature.
“Do I have to want something?” Viggo asked “Maybe I just came to say hello.” Elijah looked unconvinced. “Okay” the Dane admitted “Liv told me to give this to you.” Viggo slipped a book between the bars of Elijah’s window.
“Thanks.” Elijah said snatching up the book instantly; he hadn’t had a new book in months.
He ran his fingers over the intricate designs on the hard cover, ‘La Belle et la Bette’ it read. Elijah was delighted to find it was in French. He was just beginning to learn the language and the book would no doubt help him develop his grammar. Opening the cover he could see that the pages were old and worn and he turned the first page gently so as not to tear it. Elijah just hoped that Bean wouldn’t disturb him for the rest of the day so he could sit and read.
Elijah shivered at the thought of Bean, the man who had at one time been at least civil to him, had turned cold and hard once he’d begun picking up the bottle more often. A late night visit from the man usually involved silver and burning flesh; that resulted in more scars. As it was Elijah was already covered in thin white lines. In the daylight they were barely visible, but at night Elijah often lifted his blanket from his torso and watched as the moonlight falling through his windows made the lines look like a spider web across his pale chest.
“Are you alright Elijah?” Elijah looked up having forgotten that Viggo was still at the window.
“Yes,” he nervously cleared his throat. “Tell Liv thank you, and…thank you for bringing it.”
Viggo smirked; it was the first time the creature had said anything remotely pleasant to him. There was no snatching or snarling or sarcasm, it was a pure sentiment. It took Viggo a second to remember that his wife had told him to give Elijah a message along with the novel.
“Liv said to make sure and pay attention to page 45.”
Elijah’s brow furrowed, “Page 45?”
“Hey, I’m just the messenger” Viggo held up his hands and with a smirk turned and walked away.
If someone asked him, Orlando still wouldn’t be able to say what convinced him to agree to Liv’s outrageous plan. He had just been sitting there tending to the horse and she had asked him.
“Tell me, do you have experience taking care of all kinds of animals?” Orlando had known immediately what she was getting at; it was not as if the young woman was being very subtle. However, he’d played dumb. He’d hoped maybe he was mistaking her meaning, maybe she just wanted him to take care of the horse. Liv’s eyes followed Elijah until he was out of sight and then turned back to him. She wasn’t talking about a horse.
Orlando’s mind began to race, how could he take in a werewolf? That was not something he was prepared to do. He was just a country veterinarian; he’d no experience with dark creatures. He wouldn’t know how to even begin to take care of a werewolf. There were contagions and moon phases to consider and to be honest he knew next to nothing about werewolves. Before the cre… Elijah’s spectacle he’d thought that the they could only transform on the full moon, but he’d done it in broad day light and even with the moon in orbit it was nowhere near its full stage.
There was something about Elijah though, something about the ways his eyes searched his the moment before he’d given in and transformed for the crowd. He wasn’t a creature at all, he was a person. A person who was being caged and forced to perform against his will for the greed of this Bean gentleman. No one deserved to be treated like that and even though he had no idea who the man was or what he was like Orlando found himself saying, “Yes…”
“Yes?” Liv’s eyes were wide as if the seriousness of what she had asked had just sunk in and she suddenly found herself faced with the consequences.
“I will take him.” Orlando whispered as he finished tending to Penny’s leg.
“Are you sure?” Liv asked “I won’t lie to you, he can be dangerous.”
“He’s your friend, right?”
“My best friend” she nodded.
Orlando reached into his pocket and took out the remainder of a bag of peanuts, “Here” he said as he emptied the bag into the stall “This is my address, it is not hard to find.” He scribbled down the location with a pencil he always stored in the pocket of his jacket.
“I’ll bring…” Liv stopped looking around to make sure no one would overhear their exchange “I’ll bring him tonight before the carnival moves on.”
Orlando nodded and gave her the bag, “Tonight then.”
Now he stood in his parent’s cozy living room waiting for a tattooed lady to deliver a werewolf to him. How did his life go from so ordinarily dull to this in one afternoon? He pondered as he paced over the antique rug that adorned the area before the lit hearth. The flames were bright enough to light the room in a somber glow and as Orlando looked out the window once more he was glad of that he lived a good distance from the other villagers.
A sudden movement in the woods that surrounded the house caught Orlando’s attention but after a few minutes of examining the area there was no more signs of life so Orlando went back to pacing. It was nearing two o’clock in the morning and Orlando sat himself down in his father’s armchair to rest. It had been a long day, first he’d accompanied Billy to the carnival and then he’d seen the sideshow and witnessed Elijah’s transformation and met Liv and for some reason, which Orlando still couldn’t quite comprehend, he’d agreed to take in the young werewolf…His life was fast becoming a tale from a children’s book.
Orlando sat back in the chair resting his tired eyes and delighted in the warmth of the fire that seemed to wrap around him. He barely noticed as when he slipped out of consciousness and into a deep sleep