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Path Into Fire, 3, Viggo/Elijah, R

Title: Path into Fire 3
Pairing: Elijah/Viggo
Author: Claudia
Rating: varies, this chapter R (for disturbing dream “images”, not sexuality)
Summary: In a non-descript Midwest town, Elijah works as a therapist to special needs children and lives with his roommate Viggo. After saving the life of one of his charges, he is gifted a deadly ability to see visions of chaos and death in a country that seemingly doesn’t exist on a map.
Disclaimer: I make no claims about the real life of these actors, anything in their past, their real families, or their sexual orientation. The only resemblance to them is their faces and names.

Sipty’s</i> picked a fight with Elijah.”

“Yeah,” Elijah added. “He was abusing his girlfriend.”

“Abusing?” Priscilla said. “What do you mean? Did he hit her?”

Elijah shook his head. “Nope; he’d already done that. The bruise was as glaring as the one on Viggo’s cheek. He was yelling at her—then he accused me of looking at her. And it went on from there.”

“You should have seen Elijah, man,” Viggo said, laughing. “Right in there, going at this guy twice his size.”

“You didn’t!” Priscilla said, her mouth falling open. “And yet you appear unscathed!”

“You should see my stomach,” Elijah said. “He got me good there.”

“Yeah, what a man that Keith was,” Viggo said with a sharp laugh. “What woman wouldn’t want him?”

“My first bar fight,” Elijah said.

“A Hallmark moment for sure,” Priscilla said with a low chuckle.

Viggo turned into the parking lot to Viggo and Elijah’s apartment building. They climbed out of the car and lingered, enjoying the late afternoon sun. Priscilla smiled at Viggo.

“I’m glad I finally got to meet you. I hope we can hang out more often.”

“That would rule. Come over any time, I wouldn’t mind.”

Priscilla smiled wickedly at Elijah. “We can tie Elijah to the couch and make him watch baseball.”

“Sounds like a plan. Hey, see you later!” Viggo lifted his hand in farewell and jogged to the building entrance.

Elijah and Priscilla climbed into Elijah’s red Ford Focus so Elijah could take her home.

“Shall we get something to eat, you think?” Elijah asked.

“How can I say no to the combination of Elijah and food?”

Priscilla leaned back against the passenger seat and shut her eyes, enjoying the warm wind from the open windows over her unblemished face. As much as he liked her, he wished now that it was Viggo sitting there, the sun over his content face. His heart tugged so violently that his car drifted into the left lane. An angry horn blared, and he jerked the wheel so that he was back in his lane. Priscilla’s eyes flew open in alarm. Elijah shrugged apologetically to the other driver, an elderly woman wearing sunglasses. The elderly woman glared back at him and gave him the middle finger. Elijah and Priscilla burst into laughter.

Elijah clutched his chest and shrank against his headboard, gasping for breath. Thank God the sun had risen. Thank God he was in the safety of his room. He couldn’t wrap his mind around the horror he had just witnessed in his nightmare. He tried to block the memory of the enormous ship in the harbor exploding, the gurgle of blood, the human body parts – fingers, toes, feet, all flowing down the streets and into storm drains and the jagged screams of grief and pain and horror--thousands had died. Thousands.

Elijah stumbled out of bed, dizzy and out of breath. He heard the clink of spoon against bowl in the kitchen. Thank God. Viggo was still home, eating breakfast. He wanted to see a friendly face. He tried to stop the shaking in his hands before he reached the kitchen. Viggo looked up from his cereal.

“Oh, sorry, I woke—God, what’s wrong?”

“I have to do something.” Elijah couldn’t stop the trembling in his hands. His legs felt so weak that he had to clutch the back of a kitchen chair for support. Every muscle in his body felt heavy and resistant, as if he were trying to move underwater. He had slept for five hours, but he felt more exhausted than the night before, when he had gotten only about an hour of sleep.

Viggo continued to stare at Elijah’s pale face with concern.

“So many…so many are going to die this time.” Elijah’s throat felt strangled. “You wouldn’t believe…” He wiped his arm over his eyes as if trying to clear the vision. A man’s shriek of pain from his dream echoed in his ears. And all through it, he kept hearing Our Lady of the Harbor, Our Lady of the Harbor, Our Lady of the Harbor. His legs collapsed, and he fell to his knees. Viggo jumped from his chair and helped Elijah into the chair. Elijah couldn’t look at him. His head was so heavy that it fell into his arms. He had never felt anything like it—this heavy dizziness, the fragments of terror still clinging to him like blood clots--blood gurgling down the street, carrying fingers and teeth, other body scraps beyond recognition. He squeezed his eyes shut as his stomach rolled. If he had to throw up, he wasn’t sure he even had the strength to jump out of his seat.

“Hey, man.” Viggo’s heavy hand fell on Elijah’s shoulder. “You’re really sick. Burning up. Why don’t you go back to bed? I can call whoever you need me to.”

“I’ll be okay,” Elijah said, forcing his eyes to open long enough to focus on Viggo. “I can call in, thanks. You go on. You’re probably late.”

Viggo didn’t look too sure. “Sure? You don’t look so hot.”

Elijah sat up. His head felt a little lighter. He felt the darkness easing. “I’m okay, really. Go on. I’ll stay home and try to get some rest.”

Much as he wanted to, he did not have the luxury to go back to sleep. He had to stop what was going to happen. There had to be an embassy of Maros (because he knew that this horrific thing had happened in Maros, just like in all his other dreams) or something similar that he could call. Elijah dragged the phone book out. He wasn’t even sure where to look. He looked under government listings, but he couldn’t find it. Maybe the embassies were only listed on the Internet. His computer had been broken for several months, and while Viggo was very generous about letting him use his, he did not know Viggo’s password and code to log on.

He remembered the long ago conversation with Malinda in the park. Even if he couldn’t find it on a map, Malinda was a real person and Maros a real country. If there was tourism in Maros, than it stood to reason that books on tourism would be available at the bookstore.

He called the parents of the children that he worked with on Mondays and canceled his appointments.

He rushed out of the apartment. He had made it all the way out to the asphalt parking lot, when he realized that he had not even put his shoes on.

“Shit,” he muttered before rushing back. He slipped on his tennis shoes and ran back down to his car. He made it to Harold’s Books in under four minutes. Once in the travel book section, he looked under M, his heart thudding in his chest, praying that there would be a book on Maros. Elijah could only guess when this attack was to take place. Would it be today? Tomorrow? A week from now? He had noticed every vivid detail of the dream, and in it, streaks of red clouds, matching the blood in the street, had brightened the darkening sky. He doubted it was dawn with so many people out and about. It had to be early evening. Maros, if it was somewhere in Eastern Europe, was likely about six or seven hours ahead. Now it was about four in the afternoon. A few hours until sundown.

A book, thin and worn, and seemingly out of place in a bookstore of new, shiny books, slid into his hands. Travel in Maros. With shaking hands, he tried to look up Our Lady of the Harbor. Oh, God. He was terrified that he would not find it. More terrified if he did find it, thus proving its existence and the validity of the dream. He dropped the book, earning a strange look from the store clerk. He fumbled to pick up the book. If he couldn’t find it, plan B was to call any other number listed in the book.

There it was. Our Lady of the Harbor. His finger paused over the long number under it--011-1233-7568-786950. He knew the first three numbers was what you dialed just to dial out of the United States. The second set was the country code, the third set was the country section code, and the fourth was the actual number.

He had started to write the numbers when he decided to go ahead and buy the book. With a sick rolling of his stomach, he thought it was very possible that he would need it again.

Elijah sped back home, thankful that there were no speed traps set between the bookstore and home. He dialed the number. A roaring filled his ears. His heart slowed and sped in erratic patterns, echoing through his ears like tribal drumming. He listened to the clear double rings, unable to believe that he was calling halfway around the world to this country that had only been in his dreams so far. What if somehow the attack had already happened? No, he didn’t believe that.

“’allo?” There was no panic in this lady’s voice. The ship was intact as of now.

“Hello,” Elijah said slowly. “English?”

The woman paused. “I speak not good English. May I help you?”

Elijah spoke in a slow voice, enunciating every word. “Danger. I want to warn you. The ship is in trouble. Our Lady of the Harbor. Danger. There will be a big explosion. Understand?”

“Danger?” the woman’s voice filled with fear. “What trouble?”

“Don’t let anyone on the ship. Close it down! No visitors! There will be a bomb—”

“Bomb?” The woman’s voice rose several notches. That was a word she clearly understood.

“Yes! Big bomb!” Elijah said, relieved at least that he was being understood. “Close the ship and go far away!”

The woman rattled in what must be Maron to people in the background. Elijah hung up. His message had been delivered. He sank into a chair, weak with relief. Now all he had to do was wait. Please let it not be too late. Please…Please.

He slept then, on the couch, and he had no dreams. It was the best sleep he had had since his accident.

He woke to the sound of the front door opening. He jumped up, startled, but it was only Viggo.

“Ooops, sorry,” Viggo said. “I should have come in a little quieter. How you feeling? I took the afternoon off. Just had some things to do here at home.” His eyes shifted.

Things to do, my ass, Elijah thought, his heart soaring. Viggo was worried about him! He had taken time off from work because Elijah had looked so bad off before he left. He nearly laughed, but he controlled it.

“I’m feeling about twenty times better. Want to catch a movie? We can get an early dinner – not at Sipty’s but anywhere else.”

“Are you asking me out on a date?” Viggo asked with a teasing laugh.

“Ha, ha,” Elijah said. “But just remember. I don’t put out on the first date.”

“I’ll try to remember that,” Viggo said.

They sat in the theater, and Viggo held a gigantic container of popcorn in his lap. Elijah was not a big popcorn fan. He grinned, leaning back against his seat and enjoying the cool darkness of the theater. He had just saved thousands of lives and he was out having fun with Viggo.

The movie, some sort of non-descript action flick, had just begun when an elderly couple entered, pushing an even older woman in a wheelchair.

“Great,” Viggo said under his breath. “The hearing aids better be turned on!”

Elijah laughed, as always, a little thrown off by Viggo’s lack of sensitivity.

The couple parked the wheelchair in a front corner and then helped the ancient woman to her feet. They painstakingly made their way up the steps of the aisle.

“Okay, Mother,” the old woman said, not bothering to whisper. “Where do you want to sit?”


“Sit! We’re finding a place to sit!”

The ancient woman shook her head in anger.

“I don’t need to shit!” she squawked. “I just used the bathroom!”

Viggo punched Elijah’s arm and they both laughed, along with much of the rest of the theater.

“Mother!” the old woman said in a loud whisper. She looked around, embarrassed. “Let me take your arm. Let’s just sit here in the front.”

She and her husband tried to lead the ancient and now very put out woman into the first row.

“No, I don’t want to sit here!”

“Shhhh!” Several members of the audience warned.

“Let’s just get her a few rows back,” the old man said. “The movie’s started, for Christ’s sake!”

“She’ll trip and fall on the steps,” the old woman hissed back.

“God--shut-up!” someone yelled from the back of the theater.

The trio of elderly people scooted back into the aisle and started to navigate the steps again. The old man released his mother-in-law’s arm.

“Hang on, Doris--I forgot my jacket,” he said. The old woman turned to watch him and didn’t notice that her mother was sinking to the ground, helpless to control her muscles. Now she lay prone on the steps, unhurt, but unable to get up. She lifted her hands, squawking incoherently with displeasure. Her daughter tried to pull her up, but she really needed help.

“Dear Lord,” Viggo groaned, standing up and moving to help poor Doris left her mother.

Elijah followed him, grinning like a fool that Viggo had actually stepped up to help instead of bitching about the noise.

“Now, Mother, we’re sitting in this row and that’s it.” Viggo helped Doris with the angry older woman, and then returned to his seat.

“You did your good deed for today,” Elijah said, still grinning.

“Fuck you,” Viggo said, laughing.

When they got home, Viggo collapsed on the couch, ready to turn on some sports game or other. Elijah had distracted himself during the movie, but now he needed to find out. He was afraid of turning on the news and finding out about a terrible explosion. What if his warning had done nothing? What if in fact it had actually caused it to happen? He wiped his sweaty palms on his jeans.

“Do you mind if I turn on the news?” Elijah asked.

“No,” Viggo said. “Just as long as you know the Cardinals game starts at seven.” Elijah flipped on the news and settled on the arm of the couch.

His heart lurched when he saw a picture of the still intact Our Lady of the Harbor ship, the exact one in his dream.

“Our top story. An attack on Our Lady of the Harbor ship was averted by a single telephone call from an undisclosed location. The anonymous caller claimed that a bomb was set to go off and begged that the ship be evacuated. The ship was closed down and searched by the bomb squad. Explosives were found all over the ship—timed to go off during peak evening visiting hours.”

Elijah felt his face go hot and then cold. He had saved thousands of lives with that one call. His limbs numbed and waves of dizziness overwhelmed him. His simple phone call had saved all those lives. He was responsible…

“Man, Elijah,” Viggo said. “You look like you’ve seen a ghost.”

He gave Elijah a searching look. Elijah walked into the kitchen and sat at the table. He had crossed a line today. In doing so, he had an obligation to continue. He had this awesome power, the power over life and death. It was now his responsibility to tune into these dreams and prevent each attack as it happened.

Viggo followed Elijah into the kitchen. “Was it you?”

“What are you talking about?”

“You know damn well.”

“I’m the one who made the call, if that’s what you’re wondering.”

“Holy shit.” Viggo sat at the table, holding his head in his hands. “Shit, shit, shit.” Elijah had never seen him so shaken.

Elijah watched him in silence for several moments.

“I actually feel much better,” Elijah said. “I’m not helpless anymore. I can actually do something about this. I’m not just a victim of those nightmares.”

Viggo looked at him, his hazel eyes dark with horror. “You’re messing in some heavy shit. Those people that put the bombs on the ship—they’re not amateurs.”

“No,” Elijah said with a grim smile. “And yet I managed to stop their biggest attack yet.”

Viggo didn’t smile back. “If they have the power to put that many explosives on that ship without getting caught, I don’t imagine it would be too difficult for them to find you.”

Elijah stared at him. The thought had never occurred to him.