"Here goes nothing," Sean muttered, reaching for the doorbell. From the other side of the door he could hear raucous laughter, noisemakers, and Auld Lang Syne. It was officially a bright shiny new year at Elijah Wood's small Venice house and he was about to crash the party.
He pressed the button firmly, resolutely, and held it down. Begin as you mean to go on, Astin.
Just when he was afraid he might have to try the windows and climb inside, the door opened. Elijah stood there in jeans, Ramones tee shirt and stocking feet, with a ridiculous party hat on his head and a look of utter astonishment on his face.
"What the fuck are you doing here?" he demanded.
Not exactly the welcome he'd been hoping for. Quelling a cowardly urge to turn and flee, Sean said, "I'm your first-foot."
"My what?" Elijah repeated, and added in concern, "Sean, have you been drinking?"
"No, I promise you, Elijah, I haven't had a single drink. First-foot is a Scottish tradition. Billy told me about it one day when we were killing time on set. The first-foot is the first person to cross your threshold in the New Year. If you welcome him in, it will bring you good fortune for the coming year." He huffed a laugh. "Of course, it's supposed to be more effective if he's tall, dark and handsome, but I'm afraid short, beige and round will have to do. So," he continued uncertainly, "can I come in?"
Elijah stood back and held the door open wider. Accepting the invitation, but wishing it had been accompanied by some verbal encouragement, too, Sean stepped over the threshold.
"Now what?" Elijah asked curiously.
Sean broke out in a light sweat. "Well, the first-foot is supposed to bring gifts with him," he began.
"And did you?"
"Sort of." Sean drew a deep breath. All or nothing, Astin. "I brought me. I'm the gift. If you want me, that is." He had ample reason to believe that Elijah did, or rather had, for time had passed and he hadn't asked or expected Elijah to wait, perhaps forever, for him. Somewhere among the crowd of people partying in Elijah's living room might be a current lover or even partner. His heart sank when Elijah's expression turned serious, even grave.
"Before I answer you, Sean," he said quietly, "I need you to tell me if this gift is mine to keep or if I'm going to have to share it with someone else. Because I'm selfish like that, you know. I don't want to share."
Relief flooded through Sean. "You won't have to share, Elijah, I swear. This gift is yours and yours alone for as long as we both shall live."
"Then fuck yes, I want you! Oh my god, Sean, I thought this would never happen!" Elijah threw his arms around Sean and they kissed with a passion pent up for too many years. When they finally separated, Elijah took Sean's hand and pulled him down the hall, straight past the living room, leaving the New Year's revelers to their partying so that the two of them could have a party of their own in Elijah's bedroom.
And so the first-foot did indeed bring good fortune to Elijah's house: not only for the coming year, but all the years to follow.