And the trailer for Chicago is so silly. I laughed.
Then I wrote this Viggo/Elijah... thing. *sighs* Don't worry. It isn't SI. I haven't gotten to that one yet.
By the way, I did find a self-mutilation RPS fic. Whee. It's here. It's... hmmph. I could do better. *spurned by competition*
1 Kings 18
He sat in the empty pew, slouched, lit a cigarette, and watched the smoke rise to mingle with the sepulchral stench of Catholicism’s cherubim and seraphim wielding Poe’s unseen censers.
Elijah then came near to all the people, and said, "How long will you go limping with two different opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him; but if Baal, then follow him."
He exhaled violently, listening to the faint echoes in the open space and the slow dampening of even the smallest noises by the heavy crimson curtains draped over every available surface.
The people did not answer him a word.
He paused. Tipped his head back and stared up at the murals painted on the high ceiling of creation, of expulsion, of crucifixion, and of resurrection. Nonchalantly, he flicked his thumb and sent ashes falling to the floor. Moved his foot an inch to cover them. He swiveled his neck and locked eyes with the Virgin Mary. He hummed the first seven notes of the tenor part of Tomàs Luis de Victoria’s “Ave Maria”.
Then Elijah said to the people, "I, even I only, am left a prophet of the Lord; but Baal's prophets number four hundred fifty.
“Ave Maria,” He sang, but it was barely more than a whisper, swallowed by the hollows of fabric and empty ears.
“Gratia plena dominus tecum, dominus tecum. Benedicta tu in mulieribus et benedictus fructus ventris tui Jesu.” He let his voice get louder, swell in volume to complement the rolling notes of worship. His tongue rolled conscientiously over the Latin ‘R’s as he tightened his diaphragm, closed his eyes, and gently breathed the name of the Lord.
“Sancta Maria Mater Dei, Sancta Maria Mater Dei, ora pro nobis, ora pro nobis peccatoribus nunc et in hora mortis nostrae. Amen.” And sudden volume again, from pianissimo to forte to mezzo piano. It hurt slightly; he hadn’t used his voice this way in what felt like ages. The words slipped through his lips like the misty smoke from the cigarettes that were slowly destroying his lungs, his vocal cords, his only voice for adoration. Still he sang, hissing the final word and taking another drag on one of the many nails in his empty coffin. The finality of a period on the Latin phrasing was achieved when he raised his shoulders, leaned back to expose his neck, and exhaled elegant trails of grey haze through his nostrils into the already thick air.
“You call on the name of your god and I will call on the name of the Lord; the god who answers by fire is indeed God." All the people answered, "Well spoken!"
A single pair of hands clapped for him and they sounded small and far away, dwarfed by the sheer size of religion, of god, of one strong voice soaring in the cathedral and making love to Mother Mary’s outstretched hands. “Beautiful.” The voice was low, restrained, and no tenor. “I didn’t know you could sing like that.”
“Private lessons,” he responded without opening his eyes, lifting his cigarette back to his lips and clenching it in his teeth, inhaling and exhaling without removing it. “Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee.”
“Why here?” The voice moved, came closer. Footsteps sounded methodically on the tiled floor until the voice was directly in his ear. “Why here, Elijah?”
So they called on the name of Baal from morning until noon, crying, "O Baal, answer us!" But there was no voice, and no answer. They limped about the altar that they had made.
Elijah opened his eyes and stared at Viggo’s face which hovered, upside-down, above him. He smiled wanly and blew smoke into Viggo’s eyes. “It gives me comfort.”
“You’re such a little shit sometimes.” Irritation without menace. Viggo rubbed at his tearing eyes as he stepped around the edge of the long pew and sat uncomfortably at the very end, the fabric of his trousers sliding slightly on the polished wood.
Elijah nodded solemnly, tossing the final embers of his cigarette to the floor and crushing them with his heel. “Blessed art thou amongst women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb Jesus.” Viggo propped one foot up on the back of the pew in front of them and fiddled absently with the buttons on his shirt.
“I don’t think you should smoke in church.”
At noon Elijah mocked them, saying, "Cry aloud! Surely he is a god; either he is meditating, or he has wandered away, or he is on a journey, or perhaps he is asleep and must be awakened."
He snorted, giggled a little, and lit another cigarette. “Yeah? And I don’t think they really like having your footprints on their furniture either.” Viggo abruptly moved his foot back to the floor and tapped his heels guiltily. Elijah smiled and murmured, “Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.”
“Something’s wrong.” A statement, an assumption.
Then they cried aloud and, as was their custom, they cut themselves with swords and lances until the blood gushed out over them.
“Something’s always wrong.” He stood and moved briskly out of the confining aisle of the pew. Smoke trailed after him, stayed behind and marked the place where he’d been sitting. “So why ask about it now?”
“Because I can.” Viggo rose and stared at Elijah, who very deliberately dropped his barely smoked cigarette and stepped on it the way one might a cockroach.
“Why’d you follow me?”
“I wanted to know why you were sitting in a church all by yourself.” Elijah laughed.
“They told me to find religion, all right? They never told me what to do with it.”
Viggo took a step forward and Elijah took a step back. “I’m trying to be your friend.”
“Yeah? And you know, I’m starting to find it a little annoying.” They stared at each other a moment in a stand-off, both too stubborn to take another step forward or back.
“I didn’t ask you to come here.” Elijah finally whispered. “I didn’t ask for you to treat me like some little kid that you have to take care of.” Viggo blinked.
“Is that what you think I’m doing?”
“Yes.” Elijah shoved his hands into his pockets. “I’m not your son, Mortensen.”
“I know you aren’t.”
“I know you know.” Elijah shrugged. “But sometimes I think you get a little confused.”
Viggo smiled and shook his head. “What do you expect from other people, anyway?” His voice was soft as he stepped forward, and Elijah flinched back reflexively. But it didn’t matter, he was moving past him to the exit. “You’re scared to let someone like me get a little too close, aren’t you?”
“What do you mean by that?” And Elijah’s face was twisted like he wanted to scream or cry but didn’t know which was more appropriate. When Viggo reached one hand out to touch his face, he tried to take another step to stay out of reach but felt his back hit the wall, panel molding digging uncomfortably into the dip between his shoulder blades. Fingertips ghosted over his cheek.
“I’m not your father.”
“I know you aren’t.”
“I know you know.” And Viggo was leaving, his voice obscured by the space he was quickly putting between them. “But sometimes I think you get a little confused.”
As midday passed, they raved on until the time of the offering of the oblation, but there was no voice, no answer, and no response.
Then the footsteps were gone, the voice was gone, Viggo was gone and the change was palpable. Elijah looked up and saw Mary’s eyes leering at him. Her outstretched hands no longer looked inviting—ready and willing to accept his voice when it sang to her—they looked lecherous and perverted. He felt slightly violated, knowing that she’d taken the hymn he’d given her and distorted it.
He looked up and saw Jesus’ decomposition staring down at him while Mary wept over the death of her only son.
He slid down the wall until the coolness of the tile floor seeped through the seat of his jeans. “Vig?” He called. “Viggo, come back. Please.” Eve offered him an apple and cast him out of Paradise. His voice sounded small and boyish. “I’m sorry, I do want you to be my friend. Please?”
He hugged his knees to his chin and called plaintively.
But there was no one there to listen.