A Spectrum, Of Sorts
by Collie

I wish I was traveling on a freeway
Beneath this graveyard western sky
I'm gonna set fire to this city
And out in the desert we're gonna ride
- Counting Crows

Elijah smoked too much. He knew this. Dom always said the same thing.

He leaned back in the passenger's-side seat, dropping his hand lazily out the rolled-down window. Tilting his head, he watched as ash floated from his cigarette, caught on the breeze, blowing away like toxic snowflakes. Grey and white and black.

He tilted his head up to the southern California sky, watching the desert sunset. They were the most beautiful sunsets in the world, he would always tell everyone, Viggo silently nodding in agreement. Nothing could touch the amazing colors in the desert sky at night. Daisy yellow, mango orange, salmon pink, blues and purples and black... Finally black, all speckled with stars.

He glanced back down at his burning cigarette, wondering if stars were actually just people floating, smoking their cigarettes, wondering if their lovers would be angry with them.

He didn't suppose so, really.

The I-15 freeway was always quiet on this stretch, where the dirty brush met the hills met the cliffs met the sky. He was taking Dom to Las Vegas for the first time. He knew that Dom would love it, as Dom loved all things bright and joyous. Elijah loved Las Vegas, even though it was glitter smeared over so much grime. It was like Los Angeles that way, only much more sparkly. The neon lit the sky, and it was never black-velvet night there.

He could never see the floating people, smoking in the sky, but he surmised that there were enough lights in Las Vegas to forgive them that.

But he didn't think they were going to make it out to Las Vegas this time around. For one thing, Dom had fallen asleep at the wheel and now he just wouldn't wake up. Elijah had shaken him several times, even yelled and screamed in his ear. But Dom had taken a very nasty bump to the head when that truck had plowed right into them only a handful of minutes ago.

The truck, however, had gone. That's the good thing about trucks, he thought. They can crash and smash through life and never be the more worn for wear. He wished he could be like that. He pondered buying one himself, perhaps, one day.

Elijah's fingertips began to tingle as the cherry from his forgotten cigarette began to burn its way through the filter. He rolled his head over on the headrest to look at Dom, whose face was a mess of colors that just didn't seem to go together in Elijah's mind. He sighed shallowly, frowning at Dom, whose head was resting on the steering wheel, bent at an unnatural angle.

No, they would certainly never get to Las Vegas at this rate.

The black and purple bruising, he noted, did actually blend well, but the yellow liquid leaking from Dom's unfocused and staring eyes made Elijah frown. Quite a tacky contrast, he noted. The scabby smear of blood that had dried along his shattered jaw was nearly purple, but not quite. The bright red blood that dripped from his mouth and down along the steering wheel did not blend well at all.

Elijah rolled his head back to stare out the window once more. He noticed that a grey fog had outlined his vision, and so he blinked. Blinked. Blinked. But it lingered. He tried to lift the cigarette once again, be he was suddenly so very tired that even that small effort seemed like an abominable task.

So he dropped the cigarette.

He immediately reasoned that that was probably a stupid thing to do, as the gas tank was quite possibly leaking, but it did not matter much, he figured. The flames from the explosion would look quite shockingly beautiful against the violently purple sky.

But right now, all he wanted to do was sleep. He couldn't, however, because there was really no way to get comfortable with a long shard of windshield piercing your mid-section. He also couldn't shake the feeling that he was being watched. It was difficult to sleep under such scrutiny.

He was growing increasingly annoyed with Dom, as he was supposed to be sleeping, but was quite obviously staring. It made Elijah angry and he wanted to scream at Dom again, but he was just too damn tired.

And so he closed his eyes and awaited sleep, and when it finally washed over him he realized that it was okay to drift off because Dom wasn't staring - He had been dead for quite some time, now.


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