Summary: Hayden's dreams of becoming an actor didn't stand a chance in the unforgiving city of Los Angeles. Left with nothing in his wallet, and nobody to turn to, he was forced to work the streets just to get by. His life takes a dramatic turn one night when billionaire playboy Ewan McGregor pulls up to his side of the street.
If that wasn't a big enough hint, this story is an AU loosely based on Pretty Woman- at least at the start. It also rips off Moulin Rouge, Down with Love, and makes random Star Wars references.
Warnings: There'll be gritty parts, violence, pr0n, and coma-inducing fluff. I'll give you a mini warning at the start of each new chapter.
Disclaimer: It's all up in here *thumps index finger to temple*
Previous Chapters: 1 2 3 4
The smell was sickeningly sterile, the voices too bright, and the needles terribly pointy. Hayden had a pretty good idea of where he was even before he opened his eyes.
“Morning Sunshine!” A painfully cheery voice greeted him. The round faced woman in yellow scrubs stuck a metal tray under his nose and stared at him expectantly. Hayden weakly attempted push it aside, but was overcome by a sudden queasiness. He promptly threw up.
“There you go! That’s better isn’t it?” The nurse grinned, as if thrilled at the sight of partially digested food.
“Not really,” Hayden grunted, forcing himself off the bed. His legs almost buckled but a surprisingly firm hand pushed him back down.
“Take it easy dear!” The nurse cautioned. “We administered a mild sedative when we took you down to Radiology, but it should have worn off by now.”
“I feel like crap.”
“Well, it’s to be expected, love. You were quite beside yourself when they brought you in from that dreadful explosion.”
Hayden held his head in his hands as the nurse’s words registered. A hundred awful images scattered through his mind, one particularly strong.
“Ewan, what happened to him? They wouldn’t tell me anything— where is he? Is he alright?”
“He's fine 'n dandy. You wouldn't think so by the way he was complaining though,” the nurse huffed. “The man whined his way through the entire transfusion, then screamed his balls off when we stitched him up.”
Hayden winced, “He was awake for the stitches?”
“He only had two,” the nurse rolled her eyes. “Honestly, I’ve seen toddlers with a better handle on pain. The only way of shutting him up was to dangle a cookie in front of him. Anyhow, enough talk. If you feel up to it, why don’t you go freshen up now? I’m certain you’ll feel better if you do.”
Hayden was grateful when he felt a toothbrush thrust into his hand. He headed to the adjacent bathroom, only slightly dizzy at this point.
“Can I see him yet? What room is he in?” Hayden asked, squelching a generous helping of paste onto the brush. He needed it.
“See him?” The nurse asked in surprise, “Sweetie, he stopped by your room for a moment, but was out the front door before any of us could blink. I imagine he was trying to avoid the reporters.”
“Rehporthers?” Hayden frowned, toothbrush in his mouth.
“Oh yes. This place was crawling with them up until a few hours ago when he left. Honestly, the average Joe cracks open his skull and nobody bats an eyelid, but a celebrity breaks a nail and everyone shits themselves with worry,” the nurse ranted, then immediately cringed, “Oh, me and my potty mouth. Excuse me dear.”
Hayden bit back a smile, and spat into the sink. As he reached for a towel, he noticed a small black bag at the foot of the doorway.
“A woman left that for you,” The nurse said quickly, “Tall, red hair. She stayed with you last night, but said she had a plane to catch in the afternoon. She did however leave a contact number and insisted you call her.”
Hayden picked up the bag, tossing it onto the bed and digging through the contents. A change of clothes, some runners, and a pair of Oakleys. There was just one thing missing.
“Did Ewan… um, Mr. McGregor… he didn’t leave me a message or anything, did he?” Hayden asked, not sure if Ewan expected him to find his own way back to the hotel.
“The nurse on the morning shift didn’t mention anything,” the woman said apologetically, “Oh—I did hear something about a ring. I'm not sure, but I believe he took one from you?”
A little startled, Hayden glanced down at his hand. It was bare. Suddenly a hollow realization came crashing over him; as it so happened, Ewan had left him a message. Perhaps not the one he’d wanted, but it was still inexplicably clear.
If the ring was gone, then so was Ewan.
Hayden’s heart lurched unexpectedly. It’s not like he hadn’t anticipated getting left behind at some point, but he’d thought that maybe... well, he’d hoped for… something. Something else, something more. Hayden ignored the biting disappointment, but couldn't hold back the slight slump in his shoulders. There was no need to hang around waiting for him if he wasn’t coming back.
“I can go now, right? I can leave?”
“The doctor will have to sign your release dear, but it won’t take long at all. I’m sure he’ll be popping by any time now. Before I run along, is there a family member I can contact to give you a ride home?”
Hayden shook his head, thanking the nurse and assuring her he’d be fine.
Alone once more, Hayden slipped out of the hospital gown and changed into the fresh clothes. He smiled slightly at the irony. A three hundred dollar pair of Oakleys in his back pocket, and he didn’t have any cash for a cab. Apparently Ewan had forgot to pack his six grand, but he supposed it wasn't a big deal since he found the check from his modeling stint neatly folded in a side pocket. At least something good had come of it. He glanced down at the slip of paper in his hand, absently tracing Ewan’s garbled signature with a finger. If it wasn’t for this, he’d have thought he’d imagined the whole thing. For some reason it hurt to think that Ewan was finished with him, after everything that had happened last night. He could still feel Ewan’s smooth hand running through his hair, the sultry tongue plundering his mouth, the accented voice telling him things he'd liked hearing. Hayden released a troubled sigh. How could he be aching for something he’d never had in the first place?
“Fucking pathetic,” Hayden muttered to himself, slinging the bag over his shoulder and leaving the room. Other than a slight headache, he felt fine, and really didn’t see the point in waiting for some doctor to tell him that he was.
As soon as he got outside, Hayden checked the street names and found his bearings. He began the long walk home, dragging his feet throgh the dirt. It almost hurt to scuff up the pristine white shoes, but if he walked into his neighborhood wearing this outfit... well, he was likely to get mugged. As it turned out, he needn't have bothered. A couple of blocks later, and the skies cracked loudly, releasing a sullen downpour.
The billionaire reclined in his office chair at McGregor Towers, his feet propped up on the polished mahogany desk that had been a gift from his father when he’d graduated. It was an antique, first commissioned by Ernest R. McGregor back in the early 1900s when the man had founded the family company. The small-time business had gotten off to a rocky start back in Scotland, but expansion through Britain had given them monopoly of the market, much to the displeasure of their rival corporation. The McGregors, relatively speaking, were New Money and were therefore scorned for their success. They hadn’t been bred from a class of elite spanning hundreds of years. Their wealth had come from one man’s spark of ingenuity, and the competence of subsequent heirs who hadn’t dropped the ball. Ewan McGregor had taken it one step further.
“You know statistically speaking, you should have gotten one in by now,” someone grunted.
Ewan glanced up at the all-too familiar figure of Jude Law. He’d almost forgotten his friend was there, which was a little embarrassing since he was sure the other man had been talking to him for the last twenty minutes.
“Gotten what in?” Ewan asked, then glanced down at the scrunched up ball of paper in his hands. He’d been doing that for the last hour, hurling each wad into the trash can. Well, in the general vicinity of the trash can. As Jude had pointed out, he hadn’t actually scored yet. Preparing himself once more, his final attempt bounced on the rim, hovering in the air for a nail-biting moment before toppling into the can.
“Yes!” Ewan said in triumph, throwing his fist in the air before doubling over as a sharp pain ripped through his shoulder. “Fucking hell, fuck that hurt!”
“Well I told you not to check yourself out of the hospital so soon,” Jude scowled in a mixture of irritation and concern. He reached for a small white bottle, and tossed it to Ewan.
“I loathe hospitals, you know that,” Ewan growled, swallowing the pills dry. So far he’d done a fabulous job of pretending that last night had never happened. He'd almost managed to block it all out, everything except for those mindblowing few hours he'd spent in that cabin of course. Other than that, it had been one huge nightmare. The ship was obviously unsalvageable, but thanks to Jude, he had an incredible insurance policy that could replace it with an even bigger, shinier one. Ewan opted instead to use the money to clean up the mess that had been left in the bay. The last thing he needed was a bunch of tree huggers telling him he'd single-handedly destroyed the ecosystem and needlessly traumatized the local fish.
“Yes, we know know how much you hate hospitals, Ewan. In fact, the entire east wing knew exactly how much when they heard you scream at the doctor."
"Rubbish. I was a perfect gentleman."
"You told the man to go give himself a prostate exam, then you insulted his mother."
“Well I was in pain, Jude,” Ewan said in a tone annoyingly close to a whine, “I mean, I could have died. You do realize Corporate America would have crumbled without me? Our stocks would have crashed, thousands would have lost their jobs, and life as we know it would have ceased to exist!”
“And so modest, too.”
“Don’t take that tone with me, Law. This is your fault you know."
“Oh, it’s MY fault you went gallivanting around on some sexcapade without informing anyone?”
“Well in that case, this is all Hayden's fault. If he hadn't been so fucking sexy I'd have been able to restrain myself long enough to get back to the hotel before jumping him."
“I'm just relieved neither of you are dead. Though, I can't imagine what sorts of toxins the both of you were exposed to from that leakage. Do you have any idea what things like that could do to a man’s sperm count?”
“I don't lay awake at night thinking about it, no," Ewan smirked, "So where were we? You said something about the press?”
“Ah yes, I released a statement to them earlier today. It’s been on the news all morning; at the moment we’re calling it a freak gas explosion.”
“Wonderful. I’m sure Miller would love that,” Ewan muttered.
“You really think she had something to do with it?"
“No, I know she had something to do with it. I think she didn't intend to kill me."
“I suppose murder isn't her modus operandi. There’s only one person who’d ever try something like that with you, and he’s never attempted it. Besides, Sienna had no way of knowing you'd still be on that ship."
"Unless Hayden’s some sort of a corporate spy she hired to seduce me.”
Ewan and Jude looked at each other for a moment before bursting into laughter.
“Think he’s awake yet?” Jude asked once they’d regained their composure.
“Nobody’s called me yet,” Ewan shrugged a shoulder.
“Well he was exhausted when they brought him in, not to mention in mild shock. I suppose it’s understandable if he’s still recovering.”
“Rubbish. The boy’s such a drama queen,” Ewan said in mild irritation.
“Sensitivity is a concept lost on you, isn’t it?”
“I’m just saying, he’s being a bit of a princess about the whole thing. I’m the one who was injured.”
“Right, but you had the luxury of being unconscious last night. I heard he was practically in hysterics when they pulled you out of the water.”
“See? Drama queen.”
Jude bit back a laugh, “You’re just in a foul mood because you miss him.”
“Well if he’d been awake then I could have smuggled him out of there right away,” Ewan mumbled moodily. “Is Nicole still with him?”
“Her plane left an hour ago, but she's already called me twice about Hayden. If she asks, we're both still at the hospital with him.”
“It's not like there was much point in sitting at his bedside holding his hand,” Ewan rolled his eyes.
“Well he's your teenage lover.”
“He’s not my lover,” Ewan replied, though a small, almost shy smile played on his lips as he fidgeted with the pen on his desk.
Jude jaw dropped slightly at the sight. Shy was not a word that had ever been used to describe a McGregor.
“What exactly happened between the two of you last night?” Jude asked carefully. "You didn't really talk about it."
“Sex happened. Obviously. When is it anything else with me?” Ewan shrugged, “Only I can't seem to get him out of my head. I mean, usually when it's over, it's over you know? If it were anyone else I probably would have ditched them at the hospital. But this... it's weird. It's like being overwhelmingly sated, but still wanting more. It's driving me nuts, Jude. I can still feel every curve of him under my hands... plus, he's got an arse that an won't quit. It's fucking perfect to look at, and it felt just as good on the inside when... Jude? Jude! Take your fingers out of your ears!"
“Sorry," Jude cringed. "It’s just that I’m not used to hearing you talk this way.”
“I talk about my sexual exploits all the time,” Ewan said dismissively.
“Not like this,” Jude shook his head. “I hope you don’t actually say these kinds of things to him? It's bad enough that you gave him your ring."
“I didn’t give him my ring Jude. I've just lent it to him for a bit."
"Well it’s rather strange seeing you without it. I don't think you've taken it off the entire time I’ve known you."
"If it gives him a little assurance, then it's worth it. This way he knows I haven’t ditched him or anything. I don't think I could, not yet anyway.”
“Still, you’ve got to be more careful Ewan or the boy’s going to get the wrong idea and fall in love with you or something. That is, if he hasn’t already.”
“He’s not in love with me. Love is when people stalk you, and send you their underwear in the mail, and write ‘marry me Ewan’ on their tits or arse. It's kinda disgusting.”
“I'm talking about actual love. Feelings Ewan, they're these things that normal people have that you don't know anything about because you have the emotional range of a guppy. I’m trying to tell you that Hayden’s got enough to deal with, and you have a chronic history of treating your lovers like shit. He doesn’t need you fucking with his heart.”
“That’s not exactly the part of his anatomy I’m interested in fucking.”
“God, you’re such a jerk. Do you have any idea what the boy's been through?”
“Why are you getting so worked up? You don’t even know anything about his life. Neither do I, so don’t speculate.”
“It’s not speculation! I wasn't going to mention this, but I had a look at his medical history when I was at the hospital.”
“He’s had more hospitalizations in the last few years than most professional boxers have had their entire lives.”
“Fuck, is he sick?” Ewan’s eyes widened.
“No, nothing like that. I’m talking physical injuries.”
“Well he does seem like the klutzy sort. He probably had one too many close encounters with a stairwell.”
“Ewan! I know you have your ignorant moments, but you’re not naive. You know what the boy does for a living. Statistically speaking, Hayden’s probably been raped more times than I’d care to say.”
“Hey! Don’t say shit like that,” Ewan flinched, staring down at his desk and digging the tip of his pen into the polished wood.
“I’m not trying to be callous here. I like the kid too, that’s why I want you to be careful. I mean you toss around the word prostitute and hooker, but do you have any idea what it means?”
“Do you? Watching a documentary on the Discovery Channel hardly makes you an expert.”
“It was case study on Sixty Minutes!”
“Look, it can’t be that bad. So he gets screwed for money. It’s not like he can’t turn someone down if he thinks it’s not safe. I mean who would even want to hurt him anyway? He’s a fucking angel.”
“Are you kidding me? You can’t actually believe that.”
“Whatever Jude, You’ve got this dramatized version of what you think his life is like, stemming from your underlying need to save the world.”
“Any you’re euphemizing the realities of his life because the thought of him hurting is too unbearable for you.”
“Three things. Firstly, shut up. Secondly, I hate you. Thirdly, why are we friends again?”
“Because I’m neurotic, and you’re a megalomaniac, and nobody else likes us,” Jude laughed, popping open his briefcase and putting away his documents. “Now go pick up your boy Ewan. It's obvious that neither of us is getting any work done today. You could use a rest anyway.”
Ewan didn't complain, stifling a yawn as he hit a button on the phone in front of him, “Someone get me the hospital on the line again!”
A frantic ‘yessir’ came over the speaker before a cheery hospital receptionist answered the call.
“The patient in 502, is he up yet? The name’s Hayden… Hayden… uh…” Ewan trailed off, clicking his fingers in Jude’s direction.
“Christensen,” Jude finished off for him, giving Ewan a pointed look.
“One moment please, your call is being redirected!” The voice requested.
“Oh shut up,” Ewan glared at Jude who hadn’t said a word. “So I didn’t know his last name— I figured he didn’t want me to know for a reason.”
“Anonymity is a prerequisite in his business I suppose.”
Ewan rolled his eyes, just as a voice came over the speaker phone.
“Hey there gorgeous,” Ewan leaned over the desk, wearing a slightly dorky grin as he spoke into the speaker. “Glad you’re finally up. You feeling any better? Probably sick of those doctors, huh? So how about getting that pretty arse of yours out of bed and meeting me out front? I’ll be there in ten to pick you up, then I’m taking you to my new place where we can celebrate the fact that we're both still alive. For what it's worth, I'm sorry for getting you into this mess in the first place, but trust me, I'll make it up to you. How do you feel about fucking in an actual bed this time? I haven't thought of anything else all day...”
There was a pause.
“Sounds lovely, but I don’t think my wife would approve. I was told you were inquiring after one of my patients?"
Ewan looked slightly mortified.
“Christensen, Hayden,” mumbled Ewan as Jude tried in vain to stifle his laughter.
“I believe he left about an hour ago,” the doctor informed.
“What?” Ewan's jaw dropped. “I specifically asked to be informed when he was released for fuck’s sake!”
“I never signed his release. I actually recommended he spend another night for observation, usual procedure for patients who’ve undergone any sort of shock or trauma. No harm done though, as long as he doesn’t do anything strenuous for the next couple days, he’ll be fine.”
“Well did he say where he was going? Leave a note?”
“Nothing in his file. He didn’t list an address either… I’m sorry.”
Ewan swore loudly, hanging up the phone.
“How could he just… but… I don’t even know… Where the fuck did he go?! How am I supposed to find him?” Ewan asked, his tone almost frantic. He ran a frustrated hand through his hair, shoving himself to his feet.
“I wonder why he just took off like that,” Jude frowned slightly, opening his briefcase and rustling among the files.
“I don’t know why! I can’t believe this! I'm the guy who has to beat off people with a stick, and he just up and LEAVES me? Leaves ME? What if he's run off somewhere? What if can't track him down? Shit!”
“Oh yes, he still has your ring doesn’t he? God, you must be beside yourself with worry…” Jude said, neatly copying something down on a notepad.
“Jude, who gives a flying shit about the ring! I just want to find Hayden!” Ewan yelled angrily.
“Good, just checking. Here you go,” Jude grinned, slipping over the piece of paper. Ewan stared at it for a moment, breathing a sigh of relief before fixing Jude with an accusing stare.
“Okay, why did you let me throw a hissy fit when you had his address all along?”
“It amused me. Should I call down for a driver?”
“Too slow,” Ewan said distractedly, pulling on his suit jacket and grabbing his keys from the top drawer. “I’ll see you later… and thank you.”
Jude nodded watching his best friend desperately stalk out the door. For the first time, it occurred to him that Hayden may not be the only one to end up with a broken heart.
“Would you get out of my sunlight?” Sienna grated, peering over her sunglasses as an intrusive shadow was cast over her too-bronzed form.
“I would, but if you die of skin cancer who’s going to buy me pretty things?” Rhys struck a disgruntled catalogue pose, arms folded, hip popped to the side. “You realize you almost got Ewan killed?”
“Oh, don’t get your panties in a twist— it’s not like I did it on purpose,” Sienna shrugged, looking past Rhys and smiling provocatively at the pool boy on the other end of the patio.
“Sienna, I’m serious,” Rhys stomped his foot, “and unless you grew a penis overnight, you shouldn’t bother with him.”
“God, are there no straight men left in the world?” Sienna huffed in frustration, giving up on what would have been a lovely afternoon conquest.
“Only the ones who haven’t met Ewan yet,” Rhys said longingly.
“Don’t pout Rhys; it’s not an attractive look on you. Besides, I have some news that might just cheer you up…”
“You’re growing a penis?”
“No fuckwit,” Sienna rolled her eyes, flinging a slender arm into the air with a wave. A man quickly rushed forwards with a silver tray bearing a small velvet box.
“Ewww… you’re not proposing are you?” Rhys grimaced, but picked it up anyway. “I’m flattered, but already told you I’m saving myself for Ewan.”
“In that case, this ring belongs to you.”
Rhys’s eyes widened to gargantuan proportions as he realized what he was looking at.
“Christ! Is it really…? Holy fuck! Ewan’s never let me touch it before—oohhhh…. Lookit how shiny it is!” Rhys was positively vibrating with delight as he slipped it on his finger. Well, forced it on his finger. He had his grandmother's unaturally large knuckles.
“You’re welcome,” Sienna smiled, “Now I need something in return.”
“Anything you want Sienna,” Rhys promised, still dazzled by the glittering gem.
“Find out everything you can about Hayden Christensen.”
“Ugh. Why don’t you just get one of your minions to investigate him?”
“I did, and nothing turned up.”
“Well tell them to try harder.”
“No Rhys, I mean nothing turned up. I don’t know how thoroughly Jude Law bothered to check into the boy, but I’m willing to bet he didn’t break a few arms to get at the necessary information.”
“What information? I thought you said nothing turned up?”
“For fuck’s sake Rhys, years of hairspray inhalation has caused this much damage? Try to focus alright? There’s no record of Christensen’s birth, other than a vague reference to an orphanage where he grew up. Coincidentally, the place burned to the ground a few days after he was adopted, leaving absolutely no paper trail. From what I’ve gathered, the boy lived in the not-so-loving care of three different families before the age of fifteen, all of whom mysteriously disappeared four years ago when he moved to LA. See where I’m going with this?”
“If I say yes, can we stop talking about him? Why is everyone so obsessed with him all of a sudden!”
“Rhys, someone’s gone through a lot of trouble to systematically erase this boy’s past. Someone with money, and a lot of it.”
“Huh? OMG! Who did it? Ewan?”
“No you idiot, they just met,” Sienna sighed, “I don't know what's going on, but I want you to find out. Follow him, alright? No doubt he’ll be decorating McGregor’s arm, and you can get access to all the hot spots without it looking suspicious.”
“Nooo problem. I’m going shopping first though. I like need an entire new wardrobe to go with my ring!” Rhys bounced.
“Fine, run along and have your fun. Oh, and if you get caught with that ring, you're on your own."
Two hours after leaving the hospital, Hayden stood in the rain outside the familiar gray apartment building. Weeds were growing rampantly from the cracks in the wall, the paint was peeling off like a burned skin, and graffiti slurred unintelligibly wherever possible. Hayden might have wholeheartedly loathed the place, but it was still home. Turning down the side alley, he walked quickly, hands stuffed into his pockets and fighting off the chill in his bones. With one glance over his shoulder to make sure he was alone, he hauled himself up onto the dumpster, pulling down on the rusty fire escape. The number of times he’d fallen off these rickety stairs was probably the reason why he hated heights so much. Still, it was better than going through the front door.
Stopping outside his apartment window, he wedged his wet fingers under the frame and tugged upwards.
Hayden grunted when it didn’t easily lift. A few more attempts, and he’d established that the window wasn’t simply stuck. It was locked.
“Shit,” Hayden muttered, wondering if his asshole landlord had paid him an unwanted visit. It wouldn’t have been the first time. Straining through the dusty glass, he was stunned to see a figure moving inside his apartment.
“HEY! Who’s in there!” Hayden rapped at the glass until his knuckles hurt.
The window suddenly wrenched open with a crack. Hayden jumped back in surprise, losing his balance in the process. A hand shot out to his sopping shirt, fisting in the material and keeping him from slipping. Hayden suddenly found himself faced with the stormy eyes of the man he'd been thinking about all day.
A/N: Keep going, no need to review this one. Chapters 5 and 6 were supposed to be a single chapter, but LJ told me the post was too large *shakes fist*