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A Lovestruck Romeo

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GINI SIKES: Keanu, you’ve said you accepted a part in Idaho first, hoping River would do the film too.
KEANU REEVES: No. We were always together.
RIVER PHOENIX: He was lying.

-- Interview Magazine, November 1991.


Gus’ suggestion to hand-deliver the script to River was innocent. It was the makings of a passionate director to a guy that was still riding the high of recently playing an adrenaline junkie.

Keanu had barely spoken to River while filming Point Break. He’d been too busy getting caught up in the character, too lost in someone else.

“Ride your motorcycle, you’ll get some of that energy out of your system.”

And Gus was right, as Keanu embarked on his 1,600 mile journey from Canada to Florida. Except Gus had no idea that he and River had hooked up on the set of I Love You To Death, or that Keanu hasn’t stopped thinking about it since. The both of them being so busy with has helped some, but now the event is at the forefront of Keanu’s mind again, much like the wind that hits his face as he accelerates Interstate 75.

Keanu knows what this is going to look like. It’s as cliche as some of the movies they’ve both been in; this journey to a guy who has been so deeply entwined in Keanu’s orbit since they met a few years ago. River is someone he feels he’s known his entire damn life, a fucking soulmate of sorts. River is so fucking young, yet he’s the oldest soul Keanu knows. When they’re together, it’s like rain, lightning and thunder combine, a feast for the scenes.

Keanu shouldn’t have been surprised that their kinetic energy translated really fucking well in bed. They’d spent a weekend together, screwing on every imaginable surface and kissing until their lips were swollen and their jaws ached.

And then River had said, “Okay, man, time to get back to the real world,” and Keanu had been too much of a chickenshit to push the issue further.

Maybe Johnny Utah got under his system just enough to allow him to take Gus up on his radical suggestion. The script is tucked into the pocket of his leather jacket, burning a hole as he rides toward his destination.

Keanu isn’t worried about River taking the role or not. Honestly, he’s more worried about the other offer he’s about to put on the table; something he should’ve done months ago.

He drives a little faster, in spite of the fear.

River answers the door at one in the morning, bleary-eyed and sleep rumpled. In hindsight, Keanu probably should’ve gotten a hotel room tonight.

“Dude, what the fuck? Are you tryin’ to wake the whole household?”

Keanu can only blink. River is gorgeous. Stunning in his wire-rimmed glasses, dumb flannel sleep pants, and tight white shirt that clings to his nipples and molds to his biceps.

“Here,” is all Keanu can say, shoving the wrinkled script into River’s hand and feeling like the younger one of the two of them. “Do this with me.”

River eyes the script, then looks behind Keanu at his motorcycle. “Did you -- did you ride that thing from Toronto just to give this to me?”

There it is. The moment he saw coming the second Gus had finished talking. The moment of truth.

“No, actually. I road this thing from Toronto because we slept together and it was the best 48 hours of my life and yes, I want to do this with you, but more importantly, man, I want to do this with you.”

River’s eyes widen and he looks over his shoulder, like he’s expecting to see his parents and four siblings are going to be standing here.

“Jesus christ, Keeny,” he breathes as he turns back, shellshocked.

Keanu loves that damn nickname. He’d loved it even more when River had whined it as he got his dick sucked.

“And, hey, it’s a really good fucking script,” Keanu deadpans.

River’s laughter is loud and bright. Everything about River is loud and bright. He’s energy personified and Keanu wants to breathe him in, let all that spirit fill his lungs.

“You’re a goddamn lunatic. Get in here.”

Keanu lets himself be pulled, allows himself be stealthy carded into the room of a 20-year-old Hollywood heartthrob. At 26, he never thought this is where he’d be. Now he doesn’t want to be anywhere else.

River reads the script while the two of them sit side by side on his bed, touching from shoulder to thigh. Keanu tries not to angst over the lack of River’s answer to his dramatic confession out front.

When he’s finally come to the last page, he turns to Keanu and kisses him, hard and hot and desperate.

“Yes,” River pants against his lips. “I mean, I already knew I was saying yes to both offers the second I opened the damn door, but yes, you crazy bastard.”

“Are you going to keep insulting me or are we going to makeout?”

River bites at Keanu’s lower lip, drawing out a low moan. “Baby, we can totally do both.”

Keanu’s heart soars and he feels freer than he did on the open road.

Later, River will tell Interview that they were driving down Santa Monica Blvd when they made a pact to do the film together. That they said, "I’ll do it if you do it,” and sealed it with a handshake.

“Gotta stop trying to tell people of your romantic pilgrimage from Canada to Florida,” he’ll say, kissing Keanu soundly on the lips as they lie together on the futon in River’s L.A. apartment. He'll drag his fingers through Keanu's hair, smiling goofily down at him. “That story is just for us.”

Keanu will grin back before solidifying the truth of River's words with a long, slow kiss of his own.

The End.

REEVES: I really would like to do Shakespeare with River. I think we’d have a hoot. We could do A Midsummer Night’s Dream or Romeo and Juliet.
PHOENIX: I’ll be Juliet.