Actions

Work Header

The Convergence Series

Chapter Text

Not long after meeting him, Billy's instincts had prickled at him about Dom. Prickled fiercely, in fact, practically stung. He was gorgeous, of course, but it wasn't so much that as it was the set of his body, the cock of his head. It was the way that Dom watched things, watched people. It was the way that Dom looked at Orlando when Orlando unfolded himself from a chair to laugh into Dom's face and hug him before he even knew Dom's name. It wasn't an unfamiliar prickle or an unpleasant one, but the sting that accompanied, that was ... not new, but unexpected.

Dom wore a thick band of leather around his right wrist.

Leather that was rough on the inside and smooth and gleaming on the outside.

He genuinely liked Dom, though, had liked him immediately and all at once. And the two of them were going to be working together rather closely for the foreseeable future. It would have been a very bad time for his prickling instincts to have been wrong. A very awkward time. A potentially fucking disastrous time, in fact.

So he had set that aside, he had done nothing. Nothing but watch, and only that because he couldn't quite help it. He wanted to know how much of what he suspected about Dom was correct. He wanted to know if Dom would prickle like that for him.

It had taken some time (more time than Billy liked, in fact) for him to come the understanding that things didn't work like that with Dom. It wasn't that he hadn't noticed that Dom was intuitive. It was merely that he hadn't immediately recognized the true extent of it, hadn't recognized how much instinct governed Dom's actions. When he had finally seen, it was too late for him to watch for Dom's interests to flicker in his eyes, to show in some way that Billy could see and record and consider.

If Dom had shown anything at all, it had happened already, probably within the first hours or days that they had known each other, before Billy had known he should be looking for it. By the time he understood how Dom functioned, anything Dom might have been showing would have been concealed again. If Dom had shown any definite signs, Billy hadn't seen them, and since Dom was a creature of instinct, Dom would have reined them in, would have shut them down, shut them off, locked them up.

It had been a busy time. It had been so full of meeting new people and settling in a new country and getting used to a new schedule that it wasn't entirely surprising that Billy's normally dependable and astute perceptions had failed him. Still, Billy wanted to just fucking kick himself for not having paid attention when it might have mattered. When things might still have been simple.

By the time he'd come to this conclusion, by the time he had thought it to death (he was quite aware that thinking things through too extensively was only a different kind of fault than acting entirely without thought), he had known Dom long enough that casually fucking him was no longer an option.

Dom was a mate. He liked Dom.

Everyone liked Dom; Dom was one of those blokes that was eminently likeable.

He liked Dom, and things would become impossibly complicated if he fucked Dom. It would be unavoidable. As it stood, things could go on as they were, things could continue normally, without tension and without discomfort. He could let things stand with friendship, he could let that be enough. Billy could just sit back and let this opportunity pass him by. Let Dom pass him by.

He had done a play once, about a bloke who narrowly missed every opportunity that had come his way. It was meant to be a comedy, this play, was meant to be a riot in fact, watching this hapless bloke turn in the wrong direction two seconds before everything could have come up roses, if only he'd turned the right direction. Repeatedly.

It hadn't been very fucking funny.

But then, there were a lot of things about the inherent risks involved in this situation that weren't very fucking funny either. Having Dom regard him in the way that he currently regarded Orlando would not be funny. Not in any way.

There was only one thing to do, really.

Nothing. Nothing at all. Pretend that he didn't read Dom that way, that he hadn't felt that small, quiet burn that might indicate that Dom and he would get on well together with the lights out and the shades down, with Billy's hands leaving marks on Dom's body. Pretend, in fact, that he had no desire to leave marks of any sort on Dom's body.

That would be the wisest thing.

Billy knew that. He did.

~~~


Billy was in a booth with Orlando, both of them drinking the dark, rich beer that the pub kept on tap. The smell of it permeated the place, thick and yeasty, and that was one of the things Billy liked about it. Dom was at the bar, hips cocked aggressively (very nice) as he argued with some local bloke about the footie match on the telly. There was much violent gesturing involved, but Billy wasn't worried. Not in this pub. The locals here had long since adopted them, they were practically considered locals themselves, and that was another thing Billy liked about it.

Elijah was on the prowl (if the word could ever be said to apply to Elijah, who still blushed when Orlando smacked him on the arse) chatting up a girl even smaller than he was. Bean and Viggo had retreated to a separate table in the far corner of the room, ostensibly to play chess with Bean's travel set, but Billy suspected they were really talking about Sean's newly ex-wife. It was the look on Sean's face, which was an odd mixture of bafflement and frustrated anger, and the look on Viggo's, which was calm and supportive and sympathetic in all the best ways. Billy had already had to stop Orlando from going over and hanging on Bean twice, and the way that Orlando was looking at Bean now made Billy think he was soon going to have to stop him yet again.

Orlando meant well, but Orlando didn't always know when to leave things alone.

"Say, Orlando," Billy said, and he was half amused and half appalled to find himself genuinely curious about the question he was about to put forth as a distraction. He was pretty sure of the answer already, but he was curious as to what Orlando would actually say when presented with the question. "You a top or a bottom? Your preference, I mean."

Orlando turned to look at him, his beer tilted slightly and halfway to his lips, and Billy remembered (and for some reason it surprised him every time he saw it) why he'd spent the first week or so after meeting Orlando trying to think of a good excuse to shag him senseless. Orlando was beautiful all the time, and that was reason enough, of course, but that hadn't been what had made Billy want to fuck him then, and it wasn't what made him remember it now. It was the fact that sometimes, when he wasn't fucking around, when he wasn't strutting or smiling or flirting or playing, Billy could see something much deeper in Orlando's eyes. It had never been defined. Billy didn't know anything about it, really, except that there was something else there, something that Orlando didn't share much. It was there now, mysterious and interesting, as Orlando gave him a long, considering look.

They hadn't ever really talked about sex or sexuality, not like this. Not seriously. There was the standard flirting and laughing and taunting that happened between all of them, but that was play, and Orlando excelled at play. They had never had a real conversation about it, not two of them, and it occurred to Billy that Orlando hadn't ever actually told him (probably hadn't told anyone, excepting Dominic, of course) that he wasn't completely straight. He knew it, was certain beyond doubt that Orlando was bi, but not because he'd been told that by anyone. He'd seen enough of Orlando and Dominic together not to need to be told, though they were fairly circumspect about it. He was slightly pleased that Orlando didn't rebuff the question with his ready, grinning flirting.

"Top," he said instead, and took a drink of his beer. "With some notable exceptions."

Billy couldn't say he was exactly surprised. He'd seen Orlando's interest piqued (usually it was directed toward Dom), seen Orlando's eyes go glittering and predatory and observed his smile become something dangerous and captivating, and thought Orlando was gifted at giving off the appearance, at least, of being the aggressor. More than once, though, he had also seen Orlando's eyes go liquid-dark and open, and those were the times when Billy thought about abandoning his resolution to leave Orlando alone.

That resolution was the only one that made practical sense, seeing as he had been fairly sure very early on that Orlando wouldn't truly enjoy Billy's idea of what constituted satisfying sex, and if he couldn't enjoy it then there wasn't much point in initiating it. In this case, instinct and intellect agreed: Orlando might get off on it a few times, but in the end, it wouldn't be his cup of tea, so to speak, and Billy wasn't really interested in casual sex. Not with the cast, anyway. Too much chance of backlash.

Or maybe he was too interested in casual sex with the cast, and thus wary of backlash. At times, he wasn't quite sure which. Sometimes there didn't seem to be much of a distinction. The cast, after all, included some exceptionally beautiful people. At the bar, Dom had slung his arm around the shoulders of the bloke he'd been arguing with, and they were toasting boisterously, with much splashing of lager about them.

Backlash, he reminded himself. Backlash is bad. Complicated.

"I've never subbed, though," Orlando said abruptly, and Billy looked back toward him, and knew his eyes had widened slightly with surprise he hadn't meant to show when Orlando bared his teeth at him in a satisfied, and slightly evil grin.

The funny thing about Orlando, the thing that made him interesting, was that it was easy to forget. He wondered how much of that was intentional, how much Orlando deliberately camouflaged his intelligence, his insight. There was more to Orlando than the grinning twit he so readily displayed himself as, but it was hard to remember that, even when you'd seen it a dozen times, because Orlando the Twit was much more visible than this other thing, more vibrant and present and noticeable. Was it deviousness, or just Orlando? It was hard to say, even looking at him now, with his eyes sparkling with familiar humor. There was just a touch of smugness, too, smugness at understanding something about Billy that Billy had not known he understood.

And there it was again, feeling unfamiliar because it had been a while, the desire to wipe the grin off of Orlando's face, to see him (and he'd be so fucking pretty, Billy knew) aching and open and vulnerable, to undo him. Billy smiled back at Orlando, a small smile that was comfortable on his face, and watched Orlando measure it with his eyes, and retreat carefully.

He wasn't really disappointed. It would be a bad idea, no matter how pretty Orlando might be, and they both knew it. No backlash. No complications. No casually engaging in somewhat kinky sex with his cast mates. No.

And besides that, Billy's interest in Orlando was transitory, confined to those times when Orlando went serious and calm, and those were few and far between. Orlando might have more to him than he generally exhibited, but a whole damned lot of him was exactly what he exhibited. While Billy loved him, and loved those things about him, he wasn't especially interested in regularly shagging a guy that couldn't sit still for two minutes together, took very little with any real seriousness, and was a top, by preference, as well.

"Teasing cunt," Billy said, though it wasn't precisely true, and let his face relax into amusement.

Orlando stuck his tongue out. "Sadistic fuck," he shot back, and that wasn't quite true, either.

But they laughed.

~~


They didn't think alike, he and Dom, Billy recognized that.

If Billy operated mainly on instinct, things would not have been as complicated. Dominic was all about instinct. He made quick judgments on people, quick and remarkably accurate. He recognized, on some level, those little things, little signals that everyone gave off every minute of every day. They translated in Dom's mind, they had meaning. Dom always knew when someone was in a mood, always knew when what had been a pissing-contest was about to turn into actual physical conflict, and always knew who to go home with, who could be trusted with his body and his secrets.

He wondered what Dom's instincts told him about Billy, wondered if Dom suspected to what degree their interests might coincide, as Billy did. He thought it was a good bet that Dominic did, with those precise fucking instincts guiding him. But it was possible that Dom didn't really know how good his instincts were. It was possible that, at some point, he had been watching Billy (like Billy had watched him), and had not seen those little signs that his mind translated so quickly, or had not seen enough of them, because Billy kept those things closely guarded. Very closely guarded. And Dom wasn't the kind of bloke who would presume.

Billy had watched Dom size people up in clubs (Dom went home with tops, strong tops, like Orlando, but he had never seen Dom go home with anyone more decidedly dominant than that, had never seen him go home with someone whose dominance was overt and tangible, and it frustrated him because without that, he just couldn't be certain, not really certain, even with what his instincts told him), had watched him size Orlando up, in fact, had seen him draw all the correct conclusions and never question the fact that he was right. Dom rarely questioned his instincts. But even if he had seen something in Billy that made his instincts tweak, Dom would never assume that it meant anything without some kind of tangible sign or invitation. Orlando, being Orlando, hadn't thought twice about giving an invitation.

Billy didn't do that. Billy was too contained, too considering to just see and want and take. It wasn't in him to fuck around with the people he cared about, because things like that got complicated, got ugly, caused pain and unease. He had seen it too many times to want to be a participant in something like that.

It was better this way, without all the difficulties such a relationship (relationship? since when did shagging put you in a relationship?) would inevitably produce. Maybe very early on, that could have happened without risk to either of them.

It hardly mattered now, whether that had ever been true or not. Dominic wasn't some random girl or bloke picked up in a bar based on a combination of good looks and certain signs of a predisposition toward submission. Dom was his friend. That changed things irrevocably. There was no going back to before friendship had removed Dom's name from Billy's list of possible partners.

If Billy had instincts like Dom's they would have shagged already, and neither of them would have taken it very seriously.

Billy did not, however. He didn't have that special little translator in his head that Dom had. Or his didn't work at the same capacity as Dominic's did. Lacking that, he depended upon thought and serious contemplation. He had experience with what happened when he trusted to instinct without thought, and instinct was wrong. It was something that Billy acted to avoid any time that he could. If there was no time to think, only to do, Billy trusted instinct to get him through. If there was time, though, he considered it. Carefully.

Especially in situations like this.

He considered it, and wisdom told him to let it go.

He intended to let it go.

~~


If they had been completely alone, he and Dom, it probably wouldn't have happened. Billy probably would have avoided rolling around in the sun warmed sand with Dom to begin with, if they had been completely alone. If Elijah hadn't crawled away about two minutes before - wet-eyed from laughing, and with several itchy handfuls of sand stuffed down the back of his wetsuit by Dominic, but still chuckling and snorting mirth - to collapse onto the blankets that had been set up hours earlier fifty yards further up the beach, he most certainly wouldn't have done it. Elijah would have had a massive fucking coronary.

If Orlando and a half dozen other members of the crew hadn't been far out upon the waves, so far they were the size of the army men Billy had owned as a boy, Billy most likely would not have done it.

It didn't really matter, though. Circumstances had coincided to provide the opportunity, Dom had pushed, and wisdom had been nothing more than a strangled voice somewhere in the back of Billy's lust-addled brain.

Elijah was probably already asleep and Orlando and company couldn't see a thing from way out there, and Dom was breathing on the back of his neck while he tried to get Billy in a headlock (he definitely intended to stuff sand down Billy's wetsuit, and there was absolutely no way he was going to allow that), and wisdom just didn't really fucking enter into it. He came up off the sand, sliding easily out of Dom's wet, sweaty hands, twisted his body and flung Dom off. Dom landed on his arse and skidded a foot or so, eyes wide and surprised.

"Jeet Kune Do," Billy said. "Rank four." And he hoped that Dom would keep his distance. Anything close would reveal the fact that he'd been having something other than good clean fun about five seconds before. Anything close might reveal rather clearly that Dom had triggered his desire with his sun-kissed skin and warm, wet body, and that his desire had not necessarily been adverse to shoving Dom off, feeling Dom fall under his hands, forcing Dom to the ground to gaze up at him with wide, bright eyes.

"Nice!" Dom said, surprise eclipsed by his ready grin, but his eyes glittered in a way that Billy's body recognized (and it hit him harder than he had expected, startled him in spite of the fact that Billy wasn't at all surprised to feel the desire itself), glittered at being manhandled, and oh fuck, that looked good on him. He started toward Billy again, and Billy derailed him by turning deliberately away (Just stay back, he thought, just stay out of my reach and we might both get out of this without anything getting too tangled up. Don't let me see you looking at me like that, you tempting little prick.) and gesturing out toward Orlando.

"He's getting good at that," he said, and wanted to roll his eyes at himself for saying something so patently ridiculous as Orlando chose that moment to teeter sideways off his board and into the water. "Or not," he amended, watching Dom from the edges of his vision, and sat back, elbows on knees.

Dom sat down next to him and didn't say anything.

Billy tried not to remember the way that Dom had prickled and stung at him months ago, the way that heated beast that lay dormant inside him most of the time had rolled and roused and blinked at Dom, and wanted him. He tried not to think of that little twinge of recognition, intuition, instinct that had whispered: He could be for me. He's up for it.

He still half-wished he had let that guide him, had followed Dominic home that same night and shoved him against the wall with his body, shoved him and held him and looked into his eyes to see what was there, to see if heat and want would blossom. He wished it could be simple, and he tried not to think about it, because every time he wished for it, the more clearly he understood that it was not simple. Not at all.

Dom leaned over and touched his forehead, touched between his brows where Billy knew a deep, vertical line formed when he was thinking hard. Dom smoothed it with his fingertips. "What's got you all knotted up, Bill?" he asked, not smiling, concerned.

Billy turned to look at him. He could feel the expression on his own face. He had never seen it himself, had only seen it reflected back at him on the faces of others who were soft and open and pliant with need, but he'd seen that often enough to know what if felt like. Something shifted in Dom's face, but it was brief and quickly dismissed (and it was faintly surprising, as Billy hadn't ever actually seen Dom deliberately repress his instinctive response like that before) as Dom regarded him seriously. "You don't want to know," Billy said. His voice had gone deep and a little silky, and he recognized that, too.

That shifting interest was there for a moment longer this time (and he couldn't help but watch it, he knew better, but he couldn't help it), and Dom actually shook his head a little, shook it like he was shaking it off intentionally. It wasn't enough to be certain of anything, but he felt himself reacting anyway, felt his lips curl up and (This is not a good idea, this is too complicated, breezed across his mind faintly) into a slender smile that was not amusement.

" I do. Tell me," Dominic invited, and Dom was watching Billy intently, intensely, and the fact that things were not simple burned bright and clear in his brain for a moment.

"No," he said, and tugged his reluctant eyes away from Dominic's face. "It's nothing."

"It's not nothing," Dom said, certain. (Dominic's perfect fucking instincts strike! Billy thought, half-amused, half-exasperated.) "It's something. But you don't want to tell me what it is."

Billy focused his gaze on Orlando, back on his board, still very small with distance. If he could see Orlando's face, it would be wide open with joy, he knew. There would be no hint of that dark, serious thing he occasionally saw in Orlando's eyes; there would be nothing but wild, turbulent, exultation.

He occasionally wondered if Orlando had a deathwish.

"Let it go, Dom," he said, and he hoped his tone would be the end of it, flat and final and neutral.

For a moment, Dom said nothing, and Billy thought maybe he had. Then Dom scooted closer and slung an arm around Billy's shoulders. "I shan't," he said decisively. And Billy could tell he was grinning by his voice.

"Shan't?" Billy repeated, lips quirking in spite of himself. "Did you just say 'shan't'?"

"Don't change the subject," Dom quipped. "What's up, Billy boy? What's on your twisted excuse for a mind?"

"Get off, Dom, you wanker," Billy said, trying for lightness, and hitting pretty close to the mark. He pushed an elbow fairly gently into Dom's ribs and slid out from under his arm. Then he was up on his knees and not sure what he wanted to do, as it wouldn't do to seem like he didn't want Dom touching him. He didn't, but that was beside the point.

He stood up, only because that seemed the logical next step to having risen to his knees, and Dom caught him by the ankle and jerked hard, sending him sprawling into the sand on his arse and elbows. Dom pounced on him only a moment later, grinning maniacally, and Billy expected handfuls of sand to follow, but instead Dom kissed him lightly on the mouth.

Billy just looked at him, feeling his body stirring, feeling his mind shifting gears without quite being able to stop it, despite knowing that this was not a good idea (he tasted salt on Dom's lips, salt from the sea), and Dom took advantage of his silence to turn serious. "You can tell me, you know," he said. His eyes were charcoal gray, darker than Billy had ever seen them, and maybe it was only because they reflected the color of what he was wearing (he had noticed this, particularly when Dom wore blue) and his wetsuit was black, or maybe it was because he was showing Billy plainly what Billy had spent the last several months looking for from the corners of his eyes. "You can tell me anything."

You already know, he thought. You know and I know you know, so what do you want from me? But he said: "Don't," and pushed Dom off of him - not hard this time, not to watch him sprawl - and sat up. His skin itched at Dom's nearness, and he could clearly see the situation spiraling out of his control, and he hated that, he had always fucking hated that feeling. "I can't tell you this, and you shouldn't ask."

"Why not?" Dom asked, voice deceptively light, eyes not light at all.

Billy could feel his patience going, taking his equilibrium with it, his equilibrium and his resolution to keep Dom at arm's length. The sun was hot on his shoulders, and Dom's nearness was zinging along every inch of his exposed skin, and several inches of unexposed skin. "Too complicated," he said shortly, and wasn't happy with the way his voice sounded sharply seductive when he wanted it to sound clipped and dismissive. He'd always had excellent control over his voice and his face, had always been able to show what he wanted to show and nothing more, and he didn't like it that Dom could pull things out of him that he didn't mean to display.

"You are making it more complicated than it has to be," Dom said, and then Dom had his arms slung loosely around Billy's neck and the weight of Dom's body was descending on him, sending him back to elbows again with Dom pressed against him, half atop him, and Billy could feel every inch of what he'd been looking at without quite looking at over the last several weeks. And for a moment, Billy couldn't move away. He knew even the surfers, still far out on the water, couldn't miss this type of an embrace if they were looking, even if they couldn't make out the details. This kind of an embrace was blatantly sexual, Dom was on top of him in the sand, resting full length along Billy's body, Billy's knees cocked up and feet planted, Dominic resting neatly between his thighs. And he couldn't quite bring himself to care.

Not for long moments of looking at Dom. Dom's eyes, open and dark and sultry (and Dom was breathing slightly harder than what might be considered normal). Dom's lips, parted and inviting (and Dom's hips were snugged tightly to Billy's and there couldn't be much doubt in Dom's mind that Billy's body, at least, had no problems whatsoever with its situation ). Dom's tongue, darting out to wet his lips, pink and quick (and Dom was making a sound, a noise, a low humming kind of something that rumbled in his chest, which Billy could feel rumbling against his own chest ). Dom pressed up against him felt like thunder trapped in skin, thunder, which made him think of lightning, because thunder was just the sound lightning made when it arced through the sky, displacing air and moisture, discharging energy. And it all seemed so appropriate, Dom-thunder and Billy-lightning, because he knew he could be lightning for Dominic. He knew he could.

And he wanted that. He did. He could taste the smoky flavor of it on the back of his tongue, stingingly intense.

"Get off, Dom," Billy managed (commanded) finally, trying to concentrate on the feeling of his naked elbows digging uncomfortably into too-hot sand where they were supporting his (their) weight and not on the way Dom's body felt against his.

"Make me," Dom murmured, thick-hot delicious voiced, and Billy knew he would, knew he was going to, because he had never seen that look so plain on Dom's face, that look that added: 'I want you to,' to the end of "make me" as clearly as if Dom had said it out loud.

"Dammit, Dominic," Billy growled softly, and planted a hand in the middle of Dom's chest and shoved hard, sent him sprawling into the sand on his back with an audible thump that pushed Dom's breath from his chest with a little 'huh.' Billy twisted to his knees beside him, and glanced at Dom long enough to see that his face was open and startled, but his eyes were darker than ever, more wanting. Wanting more. He caught Dom by an arm and hip and flipped him neatly onto his belly.

"Wha ...?" Dom said, but didn't finish as Billy dropped onto his back, and the breath gusted out of him again. He and Dom were nearly the same height, and Billy liked that. He liked it a lot. Splayed on Dom's back like this, they fit together, inch for inch, toe to crown. He caught Dom's wrists in his hands (Dom twisted them, but not hard enough to break even the lightest of grips, more like he was just feeling Billy's grip, experiencing it) and dragged them upward through the sand, leaving trails like snow-angel wings. He pinned them neatly above Dom's head, held them there with both hands, and for a moment, he just breathed on the back of Dom's neck and stored up the memory of Dom's body pinned beneath him, stored up the tension and the tight play of muscle as Dom thrummed a little.

"You have to fucking push me, don't you, Dominic. You can't just let it go, trust that I am not playing when I tell you to let it go ." He could hear it in his own voice, hear it in his tone, heavy with silken threat, he could hear how much he wanted Dom, and he knew damned well Dom would hear it too. Let him go, let him up , his mind yammered, but it felt distant and unimportant.

"I don't want you to let it go," Dom snarled (wolf snarl ) beneath him, and pressed back, deliberately pushed back into Billy, the little fucker. Frustration sparked him as easily as lust, and he had both in what seemed like massive quantities at the moment.

"Dominic," he warned, but he was breathing on the back of Dom's neck, he could smell the ocean on Dom's skin, and it was already too late, too late.

"Come on," Dom breathed, and that flashed hot in his mind, flashed hot and vivid and stroked him in all the right places. Dominic needing , oh fuck fuck fuck, how was he supposed to resist Dominic needing ?

"Dominant wolves," he whispered hoarsely, "bite the necks of their mates to force them to show submission." Dom sucked in a breath, and Billy bit down hard on the back of his neck, clamped his teeth into Dom's sea-salty skin and felt Dom shift and writhe sweetly beneath him for about three seconds. Then he relaxed abruptly, all at once.

Dom's hands had clawed furrows into the sand above his pinned wrists, but they had relaxed now, turned upward, palms slightly cupped, fingers curled and relaxed, and Billy wasn't sure if that was deliberate or just an example of Dominic's excellent fucking instincts. Billy wanted to see his face, but he didn't move. Not yet. The taste of Dom's skin was in his mouth, and it took real and deliberate force of will to make him relax his jaw and let go. He listened to Dom breathe heavily beneath him, and considered all the reasons why he should not do this.

"What," Dom said hoarsely, "do the other wolves do, the ones that aren't ... dominant?" His voice was all wanting angles.

Billy closed his eyes, closed them tightly and resisted the urge to grind downward, to push against Dom. "They take it, Dominic," he murmured against the back of Dom's neck, and felt Dom's skin ripple with chills against his lips. "They fucking take it."

Dom let out a little sound, half choked off moan that made Billy ache. Jesus, what are you doing, what the fuck are you doing? his mind demanded, and he might have pulled back then, but Dom said: " Do they fight back, Bill? Do they snarl and scratch and bite back?" He sounded drugged, his voice was heavy and thick, and Billy felt ensnared, helpless, and it had been a long, long time since he had been helpless in the throes of desire.

His cock was jerking, he was so hard there was real pain there, and he ground down against Dom (oh fucking jesus god, he feels so goddamned good ), and Dom's fingers twitched and his breath hitched and he pushed back. "Sometimes," Billy hissed, and pushed harder, pushed until he heard Dom whine a little (yes, fucking yes ), a sound that made his mind somehow reel wildly and focus completely at the same time. He wanted more, more than this, and he couldn't make himself stop, not when Dom wasn't asking him to, showed no signs of wanting him to stop (this is a bad fucking idea, this is the worst idea ever, this is going to be too everfucking complicated to survive ). But he heard himself asking: "Are you hard, Dommie?" lips lightly grazing the outer edge of Dom's ear, and feeling Dom shiver under his body, under his lips.

"Find out," Dom whispered harshly, sneering, taunting, and twisted his wrists in Billy's grip, jerked against his hold, then clawed at the sand again. He shifted upward, pressing back hard enough to lift his hips up off the ground, and Billy heard himself making a sound of his own, a short, growling as he pushed his knee between Dom's thighs and shoved them apart, forcing his hips back down to meet the sand.

God, he wanted to wipe that sneer out of Dom's voice, wanted to reduce it to inarticulate cries and pleading. He wanted to see Dom's pretty mouth curling with that sneer only so that he could destroy it, use his voice and his mouth and his body to fucking decimate it, utterly obliterate it, leave that pretty fucking mouth gasping and slack and whimpering need at him.

Don't, he thought. You can't do this, you especially can't do this here, and you know you shouldn't do it at all.

Dom made a sound, quiet, urgent (fucking Dom and those fucking sounds he made, needing, desperate sounds, and he could give Dom what he needed, fuck yeah he could ), and squirmed beneath him for a moment before jerking downward instead, grinding down, grinding himself (his cock) against the shifting sand. Dom's hands were clenched around fistfuls of sand, and Billy's hands were white knuckled fists, clamped around Dom's wrists. "Come on, Bill," Dom moaned, unmistakable moan this time, unrepentant want there, unrepentant and heated and fucking beautiful. There was less sneering challenge and more almost-pleading in his voice now. "Find out."

Jesus Fucking Christ, stop now! Billy ordered himself harshly, ordered his hands, and his mouth (when had he sunk his teeth back into Dom's goddamned neck?), and his cock. This is it, either back the fuck off or fuck him right here on the beach, you stupid bastard. Get your fucking head together, this is not right, not right! Don't fucking do this to yourself, just let him go! And it was enough to bring things into sharper focus, because people who talked to themselves were not people capable of making rational decisions.

"Not today, Dom," he managed to grate out, and he let go (his hands didn't want to) and moved back on his knees, several feet back, in fact, to put some distance between them, and tried to ignore the fact that his hands were shaking with want, his whole body was practically vibrating with it.

But Dom was nothing if not determined, and he was up and kneeling in front of Billy in the sand in an instant, facing him so that they were eye to eye, with his hands clamped around Billy's hips to keep him from moving back. "What the fuck," he said with careful enunciation, "are you playing at, Bill?" He looked like he wasn't sure whether or not he was angry, eyes shifting from stormy, dark lust to bleak, grey fury and back again; Billy couldn't really blame him.

"I'm not playing," Billy said, and it was true, completely true, but he felt guilty nevertheless. He hand known better than to do this. He had known it would end up like this. Complicated.

"What are you waiting for then?" Dom demanded. "A fucking gold-plated invitation? Was I in some way vague when I invited you to fucking grope me?"

Dom's flawless instincts seemed to include a natural talent for sarcasm. "No. You weren't vague," he said, and didn't smile. It wouldn't do to have Dom try and slug him.

Dom looked at him, frowning and tense, and Billy watched with interest as his potential anger dissipated. He peered into Billy's face, concern clearly writ upon his features, and it made sense, because Dom knew him better than pretty much anyone else, and Dom would know damned well that what had just happened . . . whatever it had been exactly . . . wasn't something Billy would do lightly, or for no reason. He would know that Billy wasn't some kind of sadistic prick-tease, and so it must be something else. "What is it?" Dom asked, baffled and worried now. "I don't understand. What . . .?"

And he really had to say something, didn't he? "I just . . . I don't do the casual thing," he said, and pulled Dom's hands gently away from his hips. "I just don't." It was at least half invitation. Billy knew it, even if he couldn't quite force himself to say it. He knew it, and he knew that Dom would understand that as well. Fucking instinct , and the thought was remarkably bitter, and he pushed it aside with effort. This was not Dominic's fault. Not entirely. Yes, Dom had pushed him, but Billy should have had better control over himself, better control over them both. That was what he did , for God's sake, and he had really bloody well buggered it this time.

"Oh," Dom said. He sank heavily back onto his heels, his eyes surprised and tempestuous. "You don't ..." His gaze skipped to the indentation their bodies had left in the sand, lingered on the furrows his hands had dug just above it. Billy could almost see the understanding form, quick, precise and he wanted to bite something out, something cutting and snide that would disarm that understanding, but he couldn't do that. He couldn't. "You ... oh."

Billy didn't say anything. There wasn't much point, at least until Dom had gotten over the initial shock.

It took a while.

"Not to be difficult or anything, here, Billy," he said finally, "but I have, in point of fact, seen you do 'the casual thing' before." He sounded a little tense, but not angry. Maybe a little baffled. Dominic was the only person Billy had ever met that could take something like this, and shift gears quickly enough to respond with anything remotely resembling calm. "So tell me what's different?"

"Not with a friend, Dom." And that was true, but not entirely true. It wasn't the complete truth, and Billy knew it. "I can't do what you and Orlando can do, what Liv and Viggo do. I don't do that. It's too complicated." And he could see enough massive complications looming in the future as it was. "Maybe I could have, months ago. Maybe. But not now. I can't do that with you." And that was it, that was the real truth right there. Not that he couldn't; that he couldn't with Dom . He couldn't help that it made him feel bitter, feel angry. "No matter how goddamned much I might want to." He looked out at the others, surfing, and the sunlight playing across the water in splintering fragments of light. "Are you getting me, Dom?"

"Yeah," Dom said. "Yeah, I am." And then several minutes later: "You're a fucking wanker, Billy."

Billy looked at him, and Dom was looking back seriously. He could see the want still drifting in Dom's eyes. His body could still feel it, tugging at him. He still wanted it like he had rarely wanted anything else in his life. "Maybe," he said. "Maybe I am." He wasn't sure what he was going to do. He wasn't sure how much he wanted to say. But it had all been said already, it had all been understood, at least, if not said. He knew. Dom knew. So what difference did it make, really, if he just put it out there, just made things very fucking clear?

He snaked an arm out and caught the back of Dom's neck, pulled him close, and Dom let him. Dom met his eyes, and Billy hadn't really thought he would. Who the hell knew what that meant. If it meant anything. "Maybe I am, but you want me. And I'm telling you, Dom - are you listening?" Dom gave a bare nod, the slightest movement of his head. There was something a little like fear in his eyes now, and it made Billy's gut ache fiercely. He gentled his tone deliberately, made it as calm and matter of fact as he could. "You can have me. I know what you want, and I can give it to you. I want to give it to you. But I won't fuck around with you, Dominic." He paused. He knew it was a pause, and apparently so did Dom. He didn't try to move, he didn't look away. There was honest confusion on his face now, but still mixed with fear. "I can't do that with you," he said finally. "I'm sorry."

Dom drew back, and Billy let him. He propped his elbows back up on his knees and tried to will his erection out of existence.

Dom scrubbed at his face with both hands. "What if I don't?" he said, and there was a flickering of pain in his voice. "What if I . . . " He seemed to be having trouble phrasing whatever it was he wanted to say, and Billy could guess why. "What if I don't decide I want . . . that, Bill?" What if I don't decide I want you, Bill?

Another thing that was understood but not said. And he had known that this was a possibility, had clearly understood that this could and probably would happen, which was exactly why he had been doing nothing to begin with. He had known this about Dom already. Dom was perfectly comfortable with casual. He had never seen Dom anything but casual. He had expected it. Expected this.

He looked at Dom and met his eyes when he spoke. "Then be my friend."

Dom's brows rose in disbelief. "That easy, is it?"

"This doesn't change anything between us," Billy said, and believed it to be completely true. "Things have been this way between you and I for some time, Dom. You just didn't know it until now."

"I would have seen," Dom said, and he sounded utterly sure of it. It was the first indication Billy had ever gotten that Dominic was aware of his instincts in the slightest.

"Sure about that, are you," Billy said, letting his voice drop into low tones. "Sure that you can see through me any time you like?" Dom just looked at him, studying him for long moments with his eyes squinted nearly shut. He looked away, eventually, jaw tight.

"You should have told me." His voice was low, but the tone was shifting, like he didn't know exactly what he wanted to put in it.

"Uh huh," Billy said, smiling a little. "Sure, I should have. When exactly would you have liked that? Before I knew? Before you did?"

Dom's lips twitched slightly, but he didn't smile. "Oh, you bloody fucking wanker," Dom said instead, and flopped back into the sand.

Billy didn't look directly at him, didn't move his eyes to the groin of Dom's wetsuit where he knew Dom's arousal would be painfully obvious if he were to look And he wanted to look, wanted to see, but he would not. Should not. They had already pushed too hard at the limits of friendship today. Just knowing what he would see was enough to make him want to growl curses and spit venom and say fuck complications . Just roll on top of Dominic and show him exactly what Billy could do for him, what he could give him.

And doing that might have worked. They already loved each other, their friendship was already deep and good and solid. The things that they both wanted - the things they needed - were complimentary, and that was rare enough that it almost made it worth risking it, worth doing it, using his body and his skill to convince Dom.

If he did that, though, he would always feel like he had tricked Dominic. And maybe, some day, Dominic would feel the same way. And that would damage them both, that was the kind of thing that could rip their friendship to tatters, and Billy would not allow that.

And if he fucked Dom, if he took him and opened himself like that, and tomorrow or next week or next month, Dom chose to go home with Orlando ... well, that would be the worst of all possible complications. And Billy would not allow that, either.

Billy wasn't afraid of taking risks, but this wasn't about his risks. He already understood all the risks involved in this situation. He had been thinking about them for a long time now.

This was about Dominic's risks.

He dropped back onto the sand next to Dom. After a few minutes, Dom slid a leg companionably under Billy's and sighed. "Wanker," he muttered, and Billy grinned.

~~

Dom could say 'wanker' in seventeen languages.

Billy knew this because Dom had left them all on his answering machine, one message at a time.

He was pretty sure Dom had learned some of those translations specifically for this occasion.

Billy didn't really give a damn, however. By 'wanker' number thirteen (Cantonese), Dom was giggling clearly on the recording. By 'wanker' number seventeen (Swedish), Dom could barely speak for laughing.

~~
"Think he'll take her home?" Elijah asked Orlando, and Orlando snorted and choked on a swallow of his beer. Billy tried not to smile, and mostly succeeded. "What?" Elijah demanded, and the genuine lack of understanding on his face only made Orlando laugh harder.

"Doubtful," Billy opined sagely, since Orlando couldn't seem to speak for laughing. On the dance floor, Dom was grinding with the 'her' in question, and the flashing, pulsing lights threw his collarbones, slick with sweat, into sharp relief while Billy watched. He was very much enjoying the show, but he pulled his attention away from it and toward Elijah, who was giving Orlando an annoyed looked that caused his dark, elegant brows to pull together expressively.

"What?" Elijah demanded again, a little more forcefully, with just a hint of steel and Billy found it mildly interesting to speculate on what, exactly, that little steeliness would grow into as Elijah shed the boyhood that was still clinging to him.

"Elijah," Orlando said, slightly mocking. "Use your eyes. Dom is a cat." He paused to drink from his beer and to give Billy a wink, eyes amused. "He plays with women, but he stalks men ."

Billy resisted the urge to roll his eyes at Orlando's metaphors. Elijah turned to Billy with his already enormous eyes even wider, questioning, and Billy was a little surprised to feel a whisper of heat directed toward Elijah. He didn't respond to that look, however. He wasn't really interested in confirming or denying Elijah's suspicions. After a minute, Elijah showed steel again and asked it plainly. "Dom's gay?"

Orlando let out a choked little laugh and Billy threw a glare in his direction. Orlando held out both palms, as if to ward off any further glares, and slid out of his chair. "Gonna just ... check," he laughed, and made off in the direction of the dance floor.

Well fuck. He absolutely refused to follow Orlando's progress with his eyes, or to give into the temptation to watch and see how successful Orlando would be at checking. There was no reason to practice self-torture.

"Bill," Elijah prompted, and there was even more audible steel, and it was visible now, too, in Elijah's eyes and in his spine and in his still hands. Billy welcomed the distraction.

"This isn't any of your business, you know," Billy said, but he already knew that wouldn't work. Elijah just looked at him, and he sighed. "I've never discussed it with Dom, Elijah," Billy said, which was more or less true. "I can't answer that question with any degree of certainty." That was not so much true.

But that was beside the point.

Elijah just continued to look at him, and Billy made a defeated gesture. "Fine. I'll tell you what I think, if you'll keep in mind that's all it is. What I think."

Elijah smiled, charming little bugger. "That's fair."

"Glad you approve," Billy remarked dryly. He took a swallow of his beer and sat back. He didn't look over at the dance floor. "I don't think there is any such thing as gay," he said truthfully.

Elijah's eyebrows shot toward the ceiling in patent disbelief. "Sir Ian ..." he began, but Billy held up a finger, and he shut his mouth obediently, though he gave Billy a narrow-eyed look. Steel. And another unexpected whisper of heat, and Billy knew better than to blame it on sexual frustration. He had that, of course, had it in spades since the incident at the beach, but this was something separate from that. This was different. Elijah's potential hadn't been something he had ever really thought about one way or the other, in spite of his phenomenal beauty. He found himself wondering if Elijah went explosive and volatile in bed, and as soon as it occurred to him, he was sure that Elijah did. Something in his eyes, something telling, and Billy thought Elijah would likely develop into someone Billy would like to know intimately in a few more years, when Elijah had grown into his sexuality and his steel.

He was different than Dom, more steel and less jagged, open wanting, but that could most certainly be equally rewarding. It was almost a shame Elijah was so young. Billy would bet heavily that Elijah had never been with a bloke, and the idea of teaching him what that could be, while definitely appealing, was enough to curb that heat, if not extinguish it entirely. One of the first rules was that you didn't seduce virgins. You didn't subject the inexperienced to that kind of intensity. It was the kind of thing that could ruin it for Elijah permanently, or seduce him so completely that he would be unable to do without it. Always better to let a person come to their own conclusions about things like this. Better to let time and experience reveal this kind of desire, because it could be hard to control, overwhelming, addictive.

"If you want to hear it, at least show me the courtesy of listening to the whole thing." Elijah's jaw firmed - he thought Billy was talking to him like he was a child, Billy saw; he wasn't, but Elijah felt like a child, and that self-doubt skewed his perceptions somewhat - but he gave a nod of agreement. Billy continued. "I don't think there's any such thing as gay or straight."

He had Elijah's full attention now, and the slightly sulky cock of his jaw had vanished. Billy was a little sad to see it go. It looked good on him. Elijah cocked his head and studied Billy intently. "You think everyone is bisexual?" he asked, and something about the way he said it made Billy think that Elijah might have considered the concept before.

"Something like that," Billy said. "I think there is a lot of space on the spectrum between gay and straight, and that most people fall somewhere in between them. Most people lean one way or the other, they prefer one gender or the other, but I don't think that precludes any attraction toward the opposite gender." He signaled to a passing waitress, and waited for his fresh beer before continuing. In the interim, he watched Elijah looking out onto the dance floor, but he didn't look himself. After staring for a few moments, Elijah turned his attention toward his beer, which he regarded thoughtfully for some time.

"So you think that somewhere out there is a woman Sir Ian would like enough - be physically attracted enough to, I mean - to ... what? Go straight?"

Billy accepted the fresh beer from the waitress and paid for it, including a generous tip. He twisted it open with one hand and wiped condensation from the bottle with the other. "You're thinking about it like it would change Ian in some way, 'Lijah. I'm telling you that I don't think it would. I don't think that at all." He took a drink, and found himself gazing toward the dance floor without intent. Orlando had joined Dom and his partner, and the three of them were a loose tangle of rhythmically moving limbs. Pretty. He turned back toward Elijah. "I think that there is a woman out there, several women probably, that Sir Ian would or does feel physically attracted to. Whether or not he chooses to act on that is another matter entirely. Any attraction that he might feel wouldn't change the fact that he prefers blokes, you understand." Billy was thinking of Cate. Cate was the kind of creature that any man or woman, regardless of alleged preference, had to feel something for, no matter how transitory. "You like girls, right?" he asked, and didn't crack a smile when Elijah nodded hurriedly. "You going to sit there and tell me you've never looked at Orlando and thought about . . . anything?"

Elijah's gaze flicked briefly to the dance floor, and he flushed pink. "It's not the same. I'm nineteen. I'm supposed to want to fuck anything that moves. Besides that, Orlando doesn't count."

Billy laughed, and Elijah's flush deepened. "Why wouldn't Orlando count?" he asked, and Elijah tried to stammer something out and couldn't manage it. "Ok, all right," Billy soothed. "Let's just say, for the sake of argument, that Orlando doesn't count. What about Dom? Does he count?"

Elijah looked baffled for a moment, and then nodded. "Yeah. Yeah, Dom counts."

"Ok, then," Billy said, turning to look back out on the dance floor. "Come over here. Sit next to me." He was peripherally aware of Elijah settling in the chair next to him and looking out on the dance floor. Billy scooted his chair closer to Elijah so that he could talk softly and still be heard. He didn't touch him. This was more in the nature of a demonstration, and he didn't want to make Elijah nervous.

The song had slowed to some kind of industrial grind with a heavy base backbeat that Billy could feel in his bones. Orlando, Dom, and the pretty little blonde with them had their arms slung around each other's waists and were grinding and writhing gorgeously. Billy approved (aesthetically speaking, anyhow) of the way one of Orlando's thighs was snugged comfortably between both of Dom's, but ignored the heat that it sparked in his belly, and said "She's a pretty thing, isn't she. In the sunlight, her hair would shine like gold." Elijah made a sound of low agreement, and turned to give Billy a puzzled little frown. Billy waved a hand back toward the dance floor. "Just look, and listen," he said, and Elijah turned back obediently. "She isn't wearing much, is she?" Billy said. "Little bitty skirt, tight legs. Wouldn't object to having those around my waist." He could see Elijah giving a little nod of appreciation from the corner of his eye. "She seems pretty impressed with Orlando, doesn't she? Not that that's surprising. He fucking knows how to move." As if on cue, Orlando's hands went up and he began to move in earnest. He was so beautiful it left Billy's mouth momentarily dry, and he drew on his beer deeply, and saw Elijah sipping at his own.

Orlando's lifted arms had exposed a smooth three inches of skin between his waistband and shirttail, and the tattoo on Orlando's belly shifted and rippled as he moved his hips. "Nice," Billy murmured.

"Orlando doesn't count," Elijah said again, sounding slightly uncomfortable, and Billy didn't smile, though it was a close thing. "He's too pretty to be a man."

"I remember," Billy said, and drank again. He had a nice little buzz on, and was enjoying this more than he probably should have been. Elijah was too funny. "Dom thinks so, too," Billy said, and Elijah turned his attention back to the dance floor again. Dom's button up was half open, and Billy could see welcome glimpses of his chest as he moved. "You'd think he'd have tan lines," Billy said, and he could almost sense Elijah's face wrinkling into a frown. "With the wetsuits, and all. You'd think his arms would be darker than his chest, but they aren't."

"Sun block," Elijah said, but he was looking, Billy could see him looking.

"Dom knows how to move, too," Billy said, and let himself look, let himself watch and burn a little, as Dom moved with Orlando and with the blonde, dividing his attention expertly between them while his hips jerked and his hands roamed, one on her hip and one on Orlando's exposed belly. "Not shy, is he," Billy said, and Elijah audibly swallowed beside him as Dom's hand crept up beneath Orlando's shirt, crept high enough that it pulled Orlando's shirt further up, exposing the bottoms of his ribs and leaving Dom's hand well within reach of Orlando's nipple. "Dom's not a bit shy," Billy said, and on the dance floor, Orlando's hand crept up Dom's thigh and beneath Dom's shirt to linger at the small of his back. Orlando pulled Dom a bit closer, casually (but deliberately, Billy was sure), and the two of them moved in unison for a few seconds, moved in a way that was clear and obvious and practiced, and they looked amazing together, they looked hot, and Elijah's breath stuttered beside him. Then Dom's arm hooked out (light gleamed on the leather around his wrist, and want clenched and twisted low in Billy's belly) and caught the girl around the waist and pulled her neatly in between them. It was the same, then, the same kind of movement, and Dom bent his head and kissed the girl seriously while Orlando's fingers slid along the small of Dom's back, fingertips just barely slipping beneath the waistband of Dom's low-slung jeans.

Simultaneously, he and Elijah turned back toward the table. Elijah's face was folded into a look of almost desperate concentration, and Billy felt guilty, suddenly. Elijah was too young for this. Or maybe not actually too young, maybe just not quite equipped to deal with it. It was a little amazing, a little weird, considering that he'd grown up in Hollywood, which was supposedly the world capital for the strange and perverse, but Elijah was sometimes distressingly innocent. Billy doubted very much that would still be true a few years from now. Elijah was strong enough, brave enough, to figure out what he wanted and pursue it seriously, and in a few years he would learn that he could stalk like Dom did and ooze sex like Orlando did, and it would be gorgeous on him, Billy was sure. But at the moment he was regarding his beer like it was something solid he could use to anchor himself against confusion, and Billy clearly remembered just exactly how that felt, though it had been long years ago for him. "It doesn't mean anything, you know," Billy said, and Elijah looked at him seriously, his eyes dark blue and solemn. "It really doesn't. It just means you're normal."

"It doesn't feel much like normal," Elijah said, and his lips quirked into a wry little smile. He took a drink of his beer and observed Billy over the bottle. "Orlando could probably go home with anyone here," he said when he set the bottle back on the table.

Billy smiled a little before he could stop himself, because Elijah was just too funny. "Elijah," he said, and met Elijah's eyes so that he would know that Billy was dead serious. "You could probably go home with anyone here. Including Orlando." The kid really didn't know how beautiful he was.

Elijah blushed, and opened his mouth like he wanted to reply or deny, but then he didn't. He drank beer instead.

The silence was companionable, though, and Billy didn't feel the need to break it. Some time later, Elijah said: "Orlando swings toward girls, I think," and it was almost a question, like he was looking for confirmation from Billy.

It was more or less true, at least in the fact that Billy was fairly sure he took home more girls than boys (although he privately suspected that Orlando was as close to true bisexuality as you could really get, much like Billy himself), so Billy nodded.

"What about you?" Elijah asked, and then blushed deeply, and Billy was flattered.

"I," he said, "am an equal opportunity kind of bloke, 'Lijah." He did not look at Dom. He winked. "I want to shag everyone."

Elijah laughed, real and clear. "Greedy bastard," he agreed, and downed the rest of his beer in a series of long swallows that did interesting things to the smooth column of his pale throat. "So it just depends, then?" he asked when he was done, and Billy had looked carefully away from his neck. "Like, what kind of mood you're in? Chicken or beef for dinner?"

Billy snorted laughter, he couldn't help it, and after a wide-eyed moment during which Elijah visibly reviewed what he had just said, Elijah joined him.

"What's funny?" Orlando demanded from behind Billy, and they both turned to look at him. Dom was with him, and Orlando had his hand snugged into Dom's back pocket so that his low-riding jeans rode even lower, revealing a good bit of skin below the navel, since Dom's shirt was now hanging completely open. That skin made Billy's mouth water, and he choked down an urge to grab him, just jerk him over by his belt loops and bite down anywhere on that skin, and he could feel his jaw clenching. Dom's jeans were far too tight to conceal the fact that he was having a very good time. Billy looked away, looked deliberately into Orlando's face (and of course, Orlando was eyeing him speculatively, and wasn't it just a truly lovely fucking moment for Orlando to go all perceptive and thoughtful), and he could see Elijah beside him, eyes trained on Dom (and far too low for it to be Dom's face he was studying so intently), wide and unblinking. Billy sent a toe into Elijah's shin under the table, and saw Elijah gather himself and look away.

"Nothing," Elijah said, grinning agreeably, displaying so much flair and natural acting ability that Billy wanted to applaud. "Nothing that would make any sense without lengthy explanations, anyway. And possibly a flowchart." He laughed, and Billy laughed with him, the snarky little fuck.

"Right," Orlando said, and glanced over his shoulder toward the bar. The little blonde was standing there, shifting a little and watching Dom and Orlando with clear impatience. "We're just gonna ... ah ...."

"Split a chicken dinner," Elijah suggested, deadpan, and he probably could have pulled it off except Billy choked on a mouthful of beer and sent him into a fit of giggles.

Orlando just grinned at them in congenial bafflement, but Dom's grin suggested that he was on the same page with them, or close. He winked deliberately at Elijah, and drawled: "If that's the way it works out, yeah."

Dominic's perfect fucking instincts.

And Billy was just drunk enough to hear himself say: "Maybe she'll be splitting a steak dinner with one of them."

For a moment, Elijah's eyes went huge and round and shocked, and Billy thought that maybe, maybe that was too graphic a mental picture for Elijah. He was only nineteen after all, and he might not really know quite what to do with the mental image of Dom and Orlando shagging, in any of the various permutations (though Billy was sure he knew how that usually worked out) of the act. But he wasn't homophobic, thank God, and the absurdity of the joke, probably in combination with the beer, hit him hard a moment later, and he nearly tumbled out of his chair in convulsions of mirth, choking on peals of laughter. Billy caught him one armed before he could hit the floor, and for a moment Elijah was pressed into his side, shaking with silent laughter, and Billy could smell his shampoo mixed with beer and the cigarette smoke that clung to him, and was less surprised at the heat that it evoked this time.

Dom laughed right along with him, and Orlando gave Billy a wink behind Dom's back. Billy grinned back, and tried not to give in to the impulse to visualize Orlando fucking Dominic fucking the blonde. Such a thing would surely cause intense discomfort below the belt that likely wouldn't relent for hours. He managed to succeed in preventing that visual, but another came, unbidden, himself over Dom, his wrists trapped in Billy's hands, Dom's body trapped between Billy's body and sun warmed sand. And fuck, that was going to screw him up for the rest of the night, and he damned well knew it. He pushed Elijah back into his seat before it became equally apparent to Elijah.

Dom picked that very moment to look over at him, and Billy couldn't quite conceal his want, couldn't quite keep his expression from going dark and feral. Dom's smile slid off his lips, and he sparked, sparked hard, face open and eyes smoky dark, Dom's body actually swayed a little, swayed toward Billy, and Billy clenched his hands around the edge of the table to keep them still, keep them obedient. "Bill," he murmured, and then looked surprised, surprised and baffled, that he had spoken at all.

Billy put the expression away, forced it away (and it didn't want to go), and gave Dom a smile that was real, if perhaps not quite as urgent as what it had replaced. "Go on, then," he said. "Have a good time with the ... chicken."

Beside him, Elijah dissolved into laughter again. Dom's eyes flickered to Elijah and softened a bit, and he smiled too. When he looked at Billy again, the smile stayed. "Get Elijah home, safe and sound," he said, very slightly insinuating.

Billy's smile broadened, became more true, more present. "No worries, mate. He's not my type."

"Hey!" Elijah objected, and sounded genuinely affronted. Then he snickered. So much for affronted.

Billy thought of the steel he'd seen flickering in and out of Elijah's eyes earlier, and reconsidered. "Not for a few years, anyhow," he amended, and Dom laughed, genuine and open and good.

Elijah squeaked some sort of protest (whether at being considered Billy's type or at being considered too young it was hard to tell), and Orlando leaned over and ruffled his hair affectionately. "Billy only likes boys after their voices break, 'Lijah," he teased. "Tough luck."

"Fucker!" Elijah exclaimed, and swung at him, but Orlando danced back, pulling Dom along with him, hand still firmly buried in Dom's back pocket.

They went, and Elijah looked after them with curiosity so open and guileless that it made him, for a moment, even more beautiful than Orlando. "Which do you think . . . " he began, and then decided not to verbalize the rest.

Billy, who knew both the question and the answer, decided to keep the information to himself.

~~~

"Billy," Dom murmured, shaking him gently, and Billy came awake quickly, immediately alert.

"What is it?" Billy asked, and took stock of his surroundings. He was sleeping in his own bed in his own flat, which was as it should be. It was still dark outside, but that didn't reveal much about the time, seeing as he always had to get up when it was still dark out anyhow. Dom wasn't supposed to be here, as far as Billy could recall, at least, he hadn't been here when Billy had gone to bed. Dom and Elijah both had keys to his flat, however, and this was not the first time he'd woken to find one of them here.

It was just the first time that one of them (Dom) had woken him up here.

Dom was in boxers and a t-shirt, and had clearly woken up in the recent past. His eyes were still all cloudy grey, like fog, and would brighten into something more like brushed steel as awareness crept up on him. His hair was snarled and spiked from sleep, restless sleep from the look of it, and there was a very clear purple-red bite mark on his left shoulder, just peeking out of the neck of his t-shirt. Billy could see the teeth marks set into the bruise.

"I came and slept on your couch," Dom said, gazing sleepily at Billy.

Billy glanced at the clock. It read 4: 20 a.m. His alarm would have awakened him in twenty minutes anyhow. He looked back at Dom, who seemed to be eyeing the bed with genuine longing. He thought about asking Dom why exactly he'd come and slept on his couch, and then decided not to. He sat up and was forced to adjust himself (a combination of morning wood and Dominic gazing at him with sleep heavy eyes) lest he fall out the fly of his boxers. He caught Dom looking, his eyes slightly brighter with interest. Billy let him look, stood up and stretched deliberately, in fact, to give him plenty of opportunity.

When he looked back, Dom was still looking. He met Billy's eyes without embarrassment. "Something you want?" Billy asked, cocking a brow at him.

Dominic flared up, eyes narrowing slightly, jaw clenching, lips curving into a smile that was not exactly a smile. Billy's body reacted predictably to it (Come on, Dominic, give , he thought), but he didn't move. Dom's eyes crawled down Billy's chest, slow and deliberate, and settled with tangible weight onto his erection, which was quite wide awake now, and had nothing at all to do with morning wood. They stayed there for long moments, slightly narrowed, and Dominic's tongue slid out, pinkquick, and wet his lips. Oh holy God , Billy thought, and tightened further, tightened and felt sweat spring up on the back of his neck and at his temples. He utterly refused to let his gaze waver from Dom's face. He didn't want to see Dom's body reacting to him. He wasn't sure he could withstand the force of their combined want. Dom's eyes spider-crawled their way back to his face, and Dom regarded him seriously, thoughtfully for another handful of seconds that felt nearly eternal. "Maybe," he said eventually.

Billy wasn't surprised. Nevertheless, he felt a little like he'd been gut-punched. "You're thinking too much, Dominic," he said, and Dom just looked at him. "You have good instincts. You should trust them."

"Maybe," Dom said again.

Billy glanced at the clock. "If you fall asleep now, you can get seventeen minutes in an actual bed," he invited.

Dom grinned at him. "Thanks, mate," he said and flopped down onto Billy's bed and burrowed under the covers. Billy watched him pull leftover body heat around him and push his face into Billy's pillow.

While he showered, he thought about Dominic's instinct versus his intellect with something that approached amusement, but was actually a little too personal for that.

He kept his hands off his cock only with difficulty.

The knowledge that Dom was sleeping one room away in his bed did not help.

He knew when the phone rang that he wouldn't be able to get to it in time. Not unless whomever was on the other line was really persistent. He shut off the water and grabbed a towel, hurriedly bunching it around his waist. He was still in the hall when he heard Dom talking.

"Yeah?" Dom said, and Billy paused to listen. "Yeah, he's in the shower." He could almost see Dom rubbing at his face, trying to get the sleep out of his eyes. "Bollocks!" he exclaimed, but he didn't sound upset, more like inordinately pleased. "PJ shitting bricks, then?" He laughed quietly, and Billy understood there was some kind of problem on set, something that would upset the schedule, but that pleased Dom. Late start, then, probably. Or a free day due to weather. "Yeah, I'll tell him. What? No, Orli, you daft cunt. I slept on the couch. Oh, bugger off, will you?" He heard the phone clunk down.

When Billy nudged open the door, Dom was splayed on his back in Billy's bed with his hands thrown up over his head. His knuckles were brushing against the headboard. He thought about going to the bedside table and opening the drawer; taking out the leather cuffs and showing them to Dom. Seeing Dom's face shift and darken. Oh, so fucking tempting.

Instead, he said: "That was Orlando?" Dom cracked an eyelid and peered at him, and then both eyes opened as he took in Billy standing there, dripping, wearing nothing but a towel. He didn't say anything, and for long moments, they observed each other in silence. Billy recognized this as another one of those situations where wisdom was going to be lost by the wayside if he didn't do something. He turned and nabbed his robe off of the back of the door and shrugged it on. He belted it tightly before drawing the towel out from around his waist, and then used it to rub at his hair.

"Yeah," Dom said finally, then cleared his throat. "Yeah, Weta's fucked something up. No blue screens today, and PJ's just letting the lot of us off."

"Answer to your prayers," Billy said wryly.

"Yeah," Dom said. "I'll just ... let you have your bed." But he didn't move.

Billy sighed. "You're difficult. You're a difficult prick." Dom didn't say anything. "Move the fuck over, Dom."

Dom scooted to one side and still didn't say anything.

Billy shed his robe quickly, and closed his ears to Dom's murmured: "Oh, fuck."

He slid into bed next to Dominic, and didn't try to stop himself from pulling Dom to him, snugging him into the curve of Billy's body. "Go to sleep," he muttered into Dom's hair.

Dom let out a tiny, mirthless laugh. "Put some fucking clothes on," he muttered back. "Preferably about twelve layers."

"Fuck you, this is my bed. Go to sleep, Dommie."

"Wanker," Dom said, and Billy grinned.

~~~~~

Billy answered the phone this time, groped at the table until he found the damned thing, thumbed the button. "Oi," he said groggily. He peeled his eyelids open. It was faintly grey with predawn light in the bedroom.

"Bill?" Orlando said.

"No, the fucking Queen Mother. What do you bloody want, Orlando?"

Orlando laughed, unrepentant. "Just to warn you. We're working tomorrow to make up for this."

"Bugger," Billy said, with feeling, and glanced at the bedside clock. 5:45 a.m. "You couldn't bloody well wait until later in the day to deliver this sterling bit of news?" he snapped.

"Well, I could have," Orlando admitted, laughter lurking in his mock-serious tone. "But I wanted to see if Dom would answer your phone again."

"Fuck you, Orlando," Billy said, and hung up on him. He fumbled the phone back onto the bedside table, missed, heard it thunk to the floor, and decided it didn't matter. Dominic's hand was resting on his naked thigh and Dominic's breath was ghosting across his chest. Very little mattered aside from that.

"Orli," Dom muttered against his chest, "should be drawn and quartered." He shifted, snugged himself more comfortably under Billy's arm, and threw a thigh up over both of Billy's thighs. He made soft, contented mmphing sounds against Billy's chest for a little while, and Billy heard him drop back into sleep, breathing deeply, open-mouthed.

Not much ever truly surprised him. There were a lot of reasons for this, not least of which was that Billy was one of those people who expected anything to happen at nearly any time. It was just the nature of the universe. If you went through life expecting pretty much anything, it didn't usually let you down. It was always something , after all. So, while things happened every day that Billy found faintly surprising, in an - oh, look at that, ha! - kind of way, not much in life ever caught him flat footed.

Not since his parents had died.

But he wasn't prepared to feel the sudden, crushing need that blossomed like poisonous flowers in his chest, wasn't prepared for it to ache, suddenly, as if he had some kind of mortal, bleeding wound that he'd only just become aware of.

It had nothing to do with Dominic tucked up against him in only his boxers and t-shirt, breathing open mouthed against his chest. Nothing to do with it, and everything to do with it.

He had seen this, he had known it, but he hadn't understood it. And he had been wrong, dead wrong, thinking that he was safe from hurting because of it, that by avoiding the intimacy of sex, casual or otherwise, he could avoid the pain of just not having what he so badly wanted. Vastly incorrect judgement call, that, another thing that Billy wasn't used to.

Because maybe this was worse, the feeling of almost having it, of holding Dom while he slept (though Billy had slept sprawled out with Dom in many places, on more occasions than he could easily count). Now, though, Dominic was snugged comfortably against him in his own bed, trusting him because they were friends, and this was worse, this was much much worse than he had suspected it could be. And Dom had believed him when Billy had told him that nothing was different, that it was somehow possible for that to be true.

Billy couldn't breath for a moment, couldn't get a breath past the blockage in his throat and the tightness in his chest, and beside him Dom groaned softly and shifted and pressed his face tighter to Billy's ribs. After a few long minutes - during which Billy did nothing but concentrate fiercely on breathing, slow and even, so as to ease Dominic back into restful sleep - Dom settled.

Something bleak and aching had taken up residence in Billy's chest, in the meantime, and Billy rather expected it to hang around for a while. It would become, he suspected, rather like an old friend. Or more like a beloved enemy, a thing that you hate and despise but cannot let go. And he didn't really want to let go, anyway. Not yet. Not while there was time.

And Dominic could never know this. He could never know that Billy had lied to him, no matter that he hadn't known it to be a lie at the time. He could never know that right here, during this tiny slice of time, Billy understood what it meant, that there was no difference in his mind between mates and lovers. Not with Dominic.

He knew Dom, and Dom wouldn't be able to stand against that. Dom would come to him because he couldn't stand the thought of Billy hurting, come to him because he was Billy's closest friend, and he wouldn't understand that Billy couldn't accept that.

He refused to be Dominic's obligation.

He wished he had never touched Dominic on the beach with the sun on them and Dom's skin tasting like the ocean.

Dominic could never know this.

~~~

"Bill," Orlando called, jogging to catch up with him, bow still in hand, the silky gold of his Legolas hair positively glowing in the sun. Billy stopped and waited for him, digging his hands deeply into his jacket pockets and mentally summoning all his reserves of patience. It was possible that it was nothing more than Orlando wanting to invite him out with them, pubbing or dancing or driving down the coast over the upcoming three day weekend in search of one of Orlando's death-defying diversions. It could be that, but Billy was betting it wasn't.

If it were any of those things, Orlando or one of the others would have called. Billy never went anywhere before he went home and showered away as much of Pippin as possible, and they all knew that. So there wouldn't be any hurry, if it were any of those things. So it probably wasn't, which meant it was probably something Orlando thought of as 'serious'. Orlando was sometimes very trying when he was 'serious'.

"Orlando," Billy said by way of greeting, and rubbed at the back of his neck. There was no glue there, he could feel nothing but clean skin and downy hair, but it still felt like there was glue, itched like there was glue. Dammit. He hated glue. He hated the fact that he had been Pippinized for nearly ten hours today, and hadn't seen film at all. Waste of bloody time, and he was sincerely hoping that Orlando wasn't going to choose this moment to go all deep and unusual on him. He wasn't in the mood.

"Yeah, uh ... ," Orlando said, and shifted a little from foot to foot. "Yeah, there was something I wanted to ... ah ... ask about."

Shite, Billy thought, and repressed the urge to sigh deeply. Go away, Orlando. I don't want to deal with one of your undeniably attractive, but simultaneously annoying, perceptive moments.

Sadly, Billy's mind-control powers seemed to be somewhat lacking today.

"It's about Dom," Orlando said, and Billy just looked at him.

Of course it was about Dom. Anything else would be too easy.

Orlando shifted again, and made an odd, expansive gesture with his bow that Billy nearly had to duck away from. "I was just wondering ... uh ..."

"Oh for God's sake, Orlando. What?" Billy didn't bother to hide his irritation. Orlando was immune to it anyway.

"Why aren't you fucking Dom?" Orlando said, and then looked slightly triumphant, like he'd accomplished something grand with the utterance of those syllables.

Because it's easier for him to fuck you , Billy thought, and then was disgusted at himself for that bit of snide temper, even only in his mind. And whether it was true or not (Billy suspected it was very true, indeed), it wasn't fair. He had no right to expect anything else from either of them. He had no claims. "How do you know I'm not fucking Dom?" he managed in what sounded like a decent flippant tone to him.

Orlando just looked at him. With his blue contact lenses in, Billy couldn't really read Orlando's emotional forecast, and that was just more annoying. Not only was it Orlando in the throes of one of his unpredictable fits of solemn assessment, but it was Orlando as Legolas , and thus disguised and practically unreadable during said fit. Just exactly what he didn't need to deal with right now.

Some time in the past, it might have made Billy consider fucking him against the side of the nearby makeup trailer. Right at that moment, in point of fact, Billy really just wanted him to bugger off. Why did Orlando have to pick the worst possible times to lay aside his super-twit facade?

"Why don't you run along and commune with nature or something like a good little elf," he said, because it was ever so slightly nicer than: Bugger off, Orlando.

Orlando, who clearly didn't know how to quit while he was ahead, said: "He would, you know. If you asked."

Billy sighed, and rubbed at his face with one hand while the other clamped around his keys in his jacket pocket, like that hand was preparing for a quick getaway, if the possibility presented itself. Billy could almost see himself bolting, off like a shot to the parking lot with Orlando racing after him, bow in hand, Legolas hair streaming behind him like a banner. He could do that thing you always saw in movies, jump and slide across the hood of his car to the driver's side, where his ever-prepared key-clenching hand could make short work of the locks, and away he'd go. He could watch Orlando shaking a frustrated fist at him in the rearview. "Why the hell even bring it up?" he demanded instead.

For a moment, Orlando looked a little puzzled, more Orlando and less Legolas, even with the too-blue eyes and pale makeup and the golden fall of hair. "Because," he said simply. "I love you, and I love Dom. And you look at him like you want to eat him alive, Bill. And he looks at you like he wants you to. But you're not fucking anyone , and Dom's still walking out of clubs with people whose names he won't remember in the morning."

"Don't," Billy said, and could feel it wanting to be a snarl instead of just the flat, careful tone he was struggling to maintain. "Don't talk about him like he's ... like he's fucking half of New Zealand. You know that isn't true. Not any more than you are."

Orlando's face softened even further, and Billy was beginning to feel like a real arse for biting at him, but he didn't seem to be able to wall off the roiling irritation in his belly, irritation that was quickly approaching the level of anger. "I didn't mean it like that, Bill. I know he isn't." He looked at Billy for long moments, concern clear and present in his eyes, even behind the contacts. For some reason, the concern only irritated Billy further, and he jammed his clenched fists into his jacket pockets and heard the leather of the coat creak and complain at the tension he was putting on it. "I want to help," Orlando said, just a trace of a smile on his lips, and gestured at Billy's coat, like that meant something. "You're getting awfully touchy, Billy."

Billy made a concentrated effort to unfist his hands. "I'm having a bad day," he muttered defensively, and that was true enough. The fact that Orlando was right about him being touchy did nothing to diffuse his tension, however. It did lessen his irritation with Orlando, though. Very slightly.

"I think you're underestimating him," Orlando said gently, and Billy's eyes snapped to Orlando's face, trying to gauge what was there, while marveling inwardly at the amazing gift Orlando had just displayed, of being able to soothe Billy's irritation one moment, and then increase it exponentially the next.

"I am not," he stated emphatically, "underestimating Dominic."

"I just think you maybe should know," Orlando said (and it was clear to Billy that Orlando wasn't really listening to him, or Orlando would understand that there was nothing he needed to know about Dom that he didn't know already). "He's . . . well I don't know if he's a sub, exactly, but it's certainly the kind of thing he ..."

"That's enough," Billy interrupted, and the snarl potential was fully realized this time. "There is nothing I need to know about Dom that you can tell me, Orlando."

"You aren't listening ... " Orlando began, but Billy interrupted him again.

"No. You aren't listening. Shut the fuck up for a minute and try it." Orlando took a startled step back, and looked for a moment like he might flee. Billy didn't give him the chance. "I know what Dominic is, I know exactly what he is, and he is very much aware of that fact. As far as fucking him is concerned, that has not happened, it might never fucking happen, and I'm not any fucking happier about that than you are, you interfering little twat. As hard as it might be for you to grasp the concept, Orlando, fucking is not the biggest matter on my mind, as concerns Dominic. That is not all I want from Dominic."

And shite. He had just said that right out loud.

For a few silent seconds, Orlando either didn't understand or didn't want to understand. Then his face opened wide in surprise, his lips forming a silent "oh" but not actually uttering anything resembling sound.

"Quite," Billy agreed, and was suddenly aware that they were not the only people in the immediate vicinity. He doubted anyone had been close enough to actually hear what they had been saying, but they would have definitely seen the exchange, and could not have missed the fact that it had been heated.

"Does Dom know?" Orlando finally asked, and Billy wondered idly how important the elf really was for the rest of filming. The guys at Weta were bloody geniuses. Maybe they could just ... pencil him in.

For months , Billy thought, he's known for months, but he is still fucking you, Orlando, so just bugger off like a good lad, because I don't want to feel this way about you, and it's better, it's easier not to, if you're not standing right in front of me with your goddamned cockney accent and your pretty fucking face .

He sighed.

"This is none of your business," Billy said, which was what he should have said in the first place, should have just said, 'Bugger off, Orlando, none of your business,' and walked away. Too late for that now. Orlando looked like he was going to ask another question - one Billy was utterly sure he would not want to answer - and Billy wondered if his telekinetic abilities would work any better than his mind-control powers had worked earlier. Maybe he could use them to make Orlando smack himself in the face with his own bow. Instead, he said: "Bugger off, Orlando, will you?"

For a wonder, Orlando did.

~~

The phone rang the first time while he was still in the shower. Billy ignored it and finished showering without even the slightest urge to hurry.

He couldn't say exactly whom it was, but he could guess what it was about. That he'd argued with Orlando outside the makeup trailer would be all over the bloody set by now, and that would have been one of his well-meaning cast mates wanting to know what they could do to help. And wanting to know what it was all about, of course.

"Buggers," he muttered aloud as he dried off and pulled on fresh jeans. He didn't bother with a shirt. The flat had two temperatures, which Billy tended to think about in terms of whether or not his bollocks were trying to crawl up inside his body seeking warmth. Right now they weren't, and he wasn't planning on going anywhere tonight - not in the mood he was in - so fuck the shirt.

He was making tea when the phone rang again. He seriously considered not answering it. He didn't feel like either explaining himself or soothing anyone's worries.

But then he did, because he really didn't want them to worry.

It was Viggo.

"You fought with the elf," Viggo drawled, without bothering to utter any kind of greeting.

Billy sighed mentally. "And?"

"Wondered if you wanted to tell me about it."

At least Viggo was honest.

"Not even a wee bit," he said truthfully.

"Okay," Viggo said, completely unfazed. "See you later, then."

He hung up, thus proving unequivocally that Men were smarter than Elves.

~~

Billy was on the couch with a book when Elijah called. He also didn't bother with a greeting.

"Let me in," he said.

"In where?" Billy asked, genuinely perplexed.

"In your house, asshole. I'm outside, and it's fucking cold."

Billy went to the door and flicked aside the curtain. Yes, there was Elijah, smoking and shivering in the corridor with his mobile glued to his ear. "Why didn't you knock?" Billy asked, unlocking the door. He opened it, and Elijah thumbed the mobile off.

"I wanted you to know it was me," he said. His cheeks were flushed pink with the cold, and he pushed past Billy into the entryway. "Fuck, it's hot as hell in here." He began stripping off his jacket and the jumper underneath it in a complicated tangle of clothing. Billy dragged the jacket off him when it became clear that Elijah had knotted himself up irreparably by trying to remove both items at once.

"It works better if you unbutton your coat first, 'Lijah," he remarked, slightly exasperated, but mostly amused.

Elijah gave him a wide and unrepentant grin. "Whatever," he agreed. "I wanted you to know it was me. I thought if you thought it was Orlando, you might not answer the door."

Billy didn't bother trying to play dumb. Elijah was young, but he had his moments of uncanny perception and shockingly successful manipulation just as much as Orlando did. "I'm not telling you about it," he said flatly, and hung Elijah's coat on the rack.

Elijah tossed his jumper onto the couch and then plopped himself down on top of it. "Okay," he agreed, in what Billy was sure was merely an attempt to distract him from not wanting to talk about it by seeming to not want to hear about it. Elijah smoothed his t-shirt down and folded his legs up underneath him, and then commenced to just look at Billy and grin.

"What are you doing here, Elijah?" Billy asked warily. He realized the situation was ridiculous, standing across the coffee table from Elijah and regarding him like he was some kind of a danger, but he wasn't sure what to do about it.

"Came to cheer you up," Elijah announced, still grinning like he meant it. "Don't want to know, not going to ask, promise."

Billy thought about that for a moment. If Elijah said he wouldn't ask, he meant it. He was honest like that. Elijah just didn't like people to be upset. It was like it disturbed his karma or something, if the people around him were uptight. "All right. Tea?"

"Yeah, that'd be nice," Elijah agreed, still grinning. Like he was hoping it was a contagious expression. Billy went to fix the tea.

Billy was rarely thrown into a state of full-on irritation like he had been that afternoon, and was not really used to Elijah turning his cheering powers on him. He didn't usually need it. He tended to stay fairly content most of the time. He'd seen Elijah do it to Bean, however, seen him do it to Viggo and Liv. He'd even seen him do it to Dom, when Dom had been badly homesick. Elijah and Orlando had practically tag-teamed that little production, and it had been both funny and warming to watch. Between the two of them, they hadn't given Dom time to miss England. Dom and Orlando had fallen into bed together right around then, the first time, and Billy guessed it had probably been a matter of comfort for Dom. Dom missed England. Orlando was English (and bloody gorgeous, of course).

He'd never wished to be English before, and he found it disquieting, what with all his dead Scottish ancestors England was responsible for.

When he brought Elijah's tea out, complete with a plate of biscuits (let it never be said that he deliberately thwarted his guest's attempts at cheering), he found Elijah asleep on his couch.

He snorted and set the tea and biscuits on the table. Some cheering attempt that had been.

He fetched his book and settled on the other end of the couch to continue reading.

Some minutes later, Elijah nudged the book out of his hands and burrowed persistently until he was tucked up under Billy's arm, his legs splayed over Billy's lap. He blinked sleepily into Billy's face for a moment, and then sighed and went back to sleep.

Billy wanted to laugh, but that might wake Elijah. He wanted his book, but it was now laying on the floor, and if he tried for it, it would definitely wake Elijah.

So Billy just sat there with Elijah's breath dampening his chest with exhaled condensation, and considered the fact that Elijah sleeping curled up around and over him felt a bit like having a lapful of exceptionally adorable, exceptionally lovable kittens.

Kittens, he suspected, were soothing.

At least while sleeping.

Billy had half dozed off as well when Elijah began squirming sometime later. "Your chest hair," Elijah said right up against the hair in question, "is tickling me."

Billy moved his arm and Elijah half sat up, rubbing at his cheek, which was reddened with warmth from resting against Billy's chest. His eyes were heavy and cloudy with sleep. "It's soft," he said vaguely.

"Your cheek?" Billy asked.

"No, your chest hair," Elijah said, like it was the stupidest question Billy had ever asked. Then he yawned hugely. He leaned back into Billy and wound his arms around him, hugging him tightly for a moment. "I'm sorry you're having a shitty day, Bill," he said softly.

Billy, who had nearly forgotten he was having a shitty day - which was easy to do, he supposed, since he had a lapful of warm, affectionate Elijah - hugged him back and dropped a kiss onto his forehead. "Actually, 'Lijah," he said, smiling when Elijah tilted his head back to look at him. "It's looking up."

Elijah smiled, too.

He left a little while later, and he had kept his promise not to ask.

Billy thought that Elijah's instincts might be nearly as good as Dom's.

He also thought that Hobbit's were smarter than Elves, too. But he'd already known that. This just confirmed it.

~~

He was in the kitchen washing up when he heard his front door open and bang shut.

That would be Dom, then. Process of elimination. Only Dom and Elijah had keys, and Elijah had already been here. Also, Elijah would never have considered using his key. Elijah had very strict ideas about propriety, oddly enough, and using his key to force himself on Billy while Billy was in a bad mood would have violated them.

Dom, of course, probably hadn't even taken propriety into consideration.

When Dom didn't come into the kitchen, Billy finished rinsing the saucer he was washing and set it in the dish drainer before going out to find out why.

Dom was sitting on his couch turning Elijah's jumper over and over in his hands. His face was a stormcloud.

"You could have knocked," Billy said. The contentment supplied by Elijah was already fading back into the roiling bad temper which had been present before Elijah had come.

"You had a fight with Orli," Dom said flatly. His eyes were trained on the jumper in his hands. Billy didn't bother to confirm or deny that. It wasn't necessary. He could see Dom working himself up into a rant, and he had no real plans to interrupt it with silly things like facts or reasoning. "About me?" he demanded.

"I believe your name was mentioned," Billy admitted calmly. Dom's face darkened, and his hands tugged at Elijah's jumper like they meant to unravel it. He was studiously not looking at Billy, and it was starting to get on his nerves.

"You ... you don't have any right to do that, Bill," Dom grated out, tugging even more furiously at the jumper. If he kept that up, Elijah wasn't going to be able to wear it anymore. It would be all stretched out. "What I do or don't do with Orlando isn't any of your bloody business."

"Orlando approached me, Dom. What you do or do not do with Orlando was never brought up." His voice was harsher than he wanted it to be, flatter and more dismissive, but he went on anyway. "We argued, you were mentioned, but we did not argue because you're fucking him, Dom. I would never do that. I'm fully aware that I don't have that right."

For a moment, Dom said nothing. He looked oddly ... disarmed. His hands twisted at the jumper viciously. "Then what?" he asked eventually, and finally looked up at Billy. His eyes stuttered from Billy's face to his chest, and then dipped back down to the jumper in his hands. He was no longer twisting it, just looking at it.

"That's none of your business," Billy said. "We argued, but it wasn't over you, Dom. It wasn't even really about you, per se. You just happened to be a part of it." The whole part of it, but that didn't matter. It really was none of his business, and Billy had no intention of telling Dominic that Orlando had managed to irritate Billy into admitting how he felt about Dom to Orlando. If Orlando wasn't going to tell him (and thank God, it didn't seem like he had - maybe Elves weren't quite as stupid as Billy had previously considered them to be), then Billy certainly wasn't going to tell him.

Then Dom said: "Where is Elijah?"

Eh? Billy thought, but answered: "He left an hour or so ago. Home, I suppose."

Dom stood up, dropping the jumper on the floor as he did. Billy would have objected to that, but then Dom did something that truly shocked him into utter speechlessness. He stepped over the coffee table, standing practically right on top of Billy, grabbed his shoulders and pushed his face into Billy's neck. And inhaled deeply.

Eh? Billy thought again.

And Dom hissed: "I can smell him all over you."

And once again, for the space of several long seconds, the only response Billy could come up with was: Eh?

By the time he'd thought of anything to say, Dom had stalked out of the flat, slamming the door with wall-rattling force behind him.

Billy was quick, it was something he knew about himself and had never had reason to doubt, but it still took him several long seconds to figure out what the hell had just happened.

Elijah's jumper. His chest. Dom's eyes on first one, and then the other.

"I can smell him all over you."

And it really wasn't funny. It wasn't. And it was completely mistaken, taken wildly out of context. And not funny. He was having a hard time imagining how it had even happened, really, considering Dominic's sharp and nearly infallible instincts. Really not funny.

Even so, Billy found himself first smiling (possibly a little dazedly), and then actually laughing out loud.

Dom was jealous.

Dominic was jealous of Elijah.

It felt more like relief than amusement.

~~

It wasn't Billy's favorite pub, but it was among them. The place had real atmosphere, large tables, and very good beer on tap.

Even with the large tables, they wouldn't all fit around one. The bartender had made no objections when Viggo and Billy had dragged two of them together and scooted enough chairs and benches close to accommodate all of them. Billy had Elijah on one side of him and Viggo on the other (Orlando had regarded this arrangement with narrowed, questioning eyes, which Billy had ignored), and Viggo occasionally looked over at Billy and grinned a disconcertingly large and drunken grin. Viggo didn't usually go for getting completely pissed, and to be honest, Billy was rather enjoying the effect it had on the man.

It wasn't unusual for Viggo to occasionally utter weirdly inappropriate and insightful comments at the unlikeliest of times, but tonight he was going for a new record. So far, the most surprising of them had been: "I think Orlando would suck your cock if he had to, to make sure you weren't mad at him any more."

Billy had replied with: "No, that won't be necessary, I assure you. There isn't any point to being mad at Orlando for being Orlando." And Viggo had laughed as if that were the wittiest thing he'd ever heard.

At the other end of the table, Dom had been observing him intently all night.

Billy was not drunk, for a variety of reasons. The foremost was the half-formed intention he had of taking someone home tonight. It didn't really matter who. It was something he was considering more in the nature of a necessary release of tension than as an actual desired sexual encounter, which was annoying in and of itself. What made it worse, though was that he couldn't quite be sure of his own motivations behind the intention. He wasn't the type of bloke that had to question himself, mostly, and he didn't like it.

It didn't change the fact that he wasn't sure if the desire to pick up some random stranger and take out his sexual frustrations on him or her was rooted in the simple desire to be able to relax for a change, or the desire to see if Dominic would react to it.

He didn't want it to be that, but he couldn't be sure it wasn't.

"Hey, Bill," Elijah said, and poked him in the ribs to get his attention. Billy turned toward him, and Elijah was frowning, chewing at his bottom lip. "What's up with Dommie? He looks like he's pissed at the world."

His glance skipped to Dom before he could stop it, and Dom definitely looked tense and tight and unnaturally solemn. He looked away before Dom could catch his gaze.

"We had a bit of a row last night," Billy said, and his hands clenched around his glass at the laughable understatement of that. "Nothing to worry over, he'll settle himself."

"If he 'had a bit of a row' with you, why is he mad at me?" Elijah asked. Elijah was drunk enough that it sounded cutting rather than hurt, but Billy wasn't fooled. Elijah hated people to be mad at him.

He thought about the complications of trying to explain the situation to inebriated Elijah, and decided it wasn't something he wanted to attempt. "He's not mad at you, 'Lijah," he assured him. He was fairly sure that was true.

"Well he's fucking glaring at me," Elijah sulked, and downed about half of his glass of beer in several long swallows. He stood up, swaying slightly on his feet, but not enough to be in any true danger of falling over. "I've gotta piss," he announced loudly, and several people cheered. He staggered off in the direction of the loo.

Billy concentrated part of his attention on his pint and part of it on a brunette at the bar that he suspected he could show all manner of things to, if he should decide at some point that it was allowable for him to take her home with him. And damn Dominic for flashing hot jealousy at him like that. Maybe it was slightly funny, maybe it was slightly encouraging, but it was still irritating as fuck, as while Dom had no more claims on him than he had on Dom (and knowing the situation certainly hadn't kept Dom from fucking around as he chose), Billy didn't think he could actually do anything if he thought it would hurt Dom. The fucker. If he did decide to pull the brunette, he doubted he would do it before Dom left for the night. Although maybe that wouldn't matter either, considering how information traveled on the set, part gossip like wildfire and part simple osmosis. You couldn't spend so much time around such a select group of people without learning practically everything there was to know about what they did and who they did it with.

He was distracted by Viggo, who leaned into him and muttered: "I think they're either going to suck face or start swinging," and when Billy followed his gaze, he saw that Dom and Elijah were engaged in a heated discussion just outside the door that lead to the loo. Elijah had his back to the wall, but he was clearly neither cowed nor cornered there. He was talking to Dominic, whatever he was saying was quick and tense, and his eyes were narrowed into furious slits. He had one hand pressed against Dom's shoulder, and occasionally punctuated what he was saying with a very small shove, like an exclamation point.

Billy could only see Dom's face in profile, but he could tell that Dom was listening intently, either unaware or unbothered by Elijah's punctuating shoves, and that his eyes were also narrowed, his brows drawn down into a frown. When Dom said something in reply, it was slower, more considered, and Elijah's eyes popped open, big and vibrantly blue, even from this distance, and then narrowed again on Dom's face.

He leaned into Dom so that less than a hands width separated their faces, and said something short and fast, something that made Dom withdraw slightly, and Elijah's hand on his shoulder twisted into a fist holding his shirt and pulled him back.

And Billy was irritated, and didn't doubt that he was in some way the object of the discussion. What the fuck are you doing, Dominic? he thought, and felt some mild satisfaction at seeing Elijah shake Dom a little with the hand that was still fisted into Dom's shirt.

Then Elijah said something else, something short again, and pulled Dom into a brief, fierce hug, and Dom acquiesced to it and returned it just as fiercely. Elijah slid out from between Dom and the wall and stalked over to the bar, bristling with energy, and Billy watched, both amused and appalled to see Elijah zeroing in on the brunette who had drawn Billy's attention, and to see her returning Elijah's regard with equal interest.

Ha! he thought, unsure whether to laugh or just throw up his hands at the utter fucking ridiculousness of the whole situation.

Dom was standing where Elijah had left him, hadn't moved except to angle forward slightly to lean his forehead against the wall, as though the confrontation had left him in need of rest or thought or both.

Billy turned back to his pint, intending to try to work out what just happened, and saw that at some point Viggo had vacated his seat and Orlando had taken up residence in it.

And Orlando was giving him that look, the one Billy was coming to truly despise, that indicated clearly that he had something to say.

"Bugger off, Orlando," Billy said, no nonsense, and Orlando just gave him a tight, unamused little smile. "No, really. Just get lost. Not now. Whatever it is, I don't want to hear about it."

Orlando didn't, of course.

Billy might have really let him have it then, but he became aware of Dom's presence behind him, a low grade hum of energy that he had become so used to being aware of and associating with Dom that he just now realized how odd it was to have that sort of sensory awareness of someone. He turned toward Dom just as Dom sank into the empty seat that Elijah had earlier vacated, and the look on Dom's face banished Orlando from his mind entirely.

This was Dominic at his most turbulent and open, with everything raw and exposed on his face and in his eyes, and Billy's body responded to it by leaning in closer, closing in, and Dom didn't back away from him.

"Elijah says I'm 'a demented fucking dumbass'," Dom said, mimicking Elijah's clipped American accent perfectly. He smiled a little, and added: "He also said that if you had asked him, he might have. I don't think he has the vaguest idea of what it would entail, with you, of course. Still, it's the thought that counts, innit?"

It should have surprised him, but he just absorbed it and filed it away for later consideration. His focus was too intensely on Dominic for the information to have much of an impression on him at that moment. Dom picked up Billy's pint and took a long drink, head tilted back, eyes closed, throat working, and Billy recognized the fortifying of courage that was happening in front of his eyes, recognized it and wondered exactly how this was going to work out for him.

Because it was about to work out, he could see that. One way or the other. Dom was gearing up, Dom was getting ready to make decisions and avowals, and tension sung in Billy's veins, stronger than alcohol or sex or probably even heroin. The rest of the pub faded into vague background scenery, like an impressionist stage setting, and he turned his whole body toward Dom, his whole attention, and just waited for whatever was coming.

Dom set the glass aside and regarded him solemnly. "Is this going to change things between us, Bill? Will we laugh together, will we be friends? Will this take over everything else and ... subvert it somehow? Is everything going to become a reflection of what we do in bed, Bill, because I have to tell you, I don't want that. I want you, but I don't want that." And there was that fear again, the fear Billy had glimpsed on the beach, glimpsed and misunderstood.

And he felt like a total fucking idiot for not realizing that this was what all the waiting had been about. Not about sexual adventurousness, not about the inability to commit himself, but this, the fear of losing one thing to gain another, the fear of having to give up his best mate if he wanted more than that from Billy. He was a goddamned idiot, he hated that he hadn't seen it, hadn't recognized it for what it really was, but he was smiling too, and he could feel that it was huge and dazzling and relieved.

Because this he could deal with. This he could address with total confidence, total honesty, he could do it with this big, ridiculous smile on his face and there wasn't the slightest chance that he might be wrong about this.

"Dom, you fucking wanker," he murmured, leaning into Dom and sliding a hand around the back of his neck. There was a tiny smile on Dom's face, like he was reflecting Billy's wide grin helplessly, and Dom let Billy pull him in, pull him close until Dom's eyes were near enough to fucking drown in. "You impossible wanker. That will never change. Why would I even want this if that would change? If it were just lust, just sex ... Dom, I could do that with anyone." He was aware that things had gone very quiet and still around them, that there were others not only present, but close enough to listen if they wanted to, but that didn't matter. Let them hear. "You daft prick. I want the rest because we laugh together, because you're my best mate. I want it because of who you are and because of who we are together. The rest of it ... it's just ... icing."

"Icing?" Dom repeated, and licked at his lips, which were curled into a smile that was alternating between wide and silly and small and secretive. There was relief in his eyes, more importantly there was belief in his eyes, and eddies of smoky lust were beginning to curl in them as well.

Billy could feel the deep ache in his chest subsiding, shrinking, he could feel anxiety and despair and tension dissipating, and he could feel the energy that was replacing it, energy fomented by the small, secretive smile hovering at the corners of Dominic's lips and swirling in his eyes. "Really good icing," he allowed softly, silky voiced and weirdly gentle. "Satisfying icing."

"Yeah?" Dominic said, smile flickering into a smirk, and Billy used his free hand to grab the edge of Dom's chair, bringing the whole thing closer, scooting Dom forward until Billy's knee was pressed snugly against the warmth of Dom's groin. Billy exerted pressure, careful pressure, until Dom was squirming a little, enough pressure to both hurt and heat him, and observed the effects from up close and personal, watched Dom's eyes melt into stormy desire, watched as his chest pulled in short and oddly incomplete breaths.

"Yeah," Billy assured him, and when Dom tilted his head back slightly, lips parted, Billy kissed him without a thought to where they were and who was watching, kissed him with all of the heat and force he had been repressing, using the hand on the back of Dom's neck to steady him and pushing his knee even harder between Dom's thighs, drinking in his hitching sighs of pained wanting, licking them from Dom's lips and biting them from Dom's tongue while Dom's hands clenched around one forearm and the biceps of Billy's other arm.

Dom's mouth was as heated and responsive as Billy had always known it would be, Dom's tongue was slick and skilled and did not flinch away from Billy's teeth when he used them. He could feel himself heating and hardening in response to this, response to kisses and admissions and success and triumph, and the knowledge that he was in a public place surrounded by the people he worked with was very, very distant until someone tapped him firmly on the shoulder.

For a brief, irrational moment, he thought about ignoring it. Then Dom groaned a little into his mouth, softly, briefly, but enough to remind Billy that unless he wanted them both to experience amused teasing on set far more painfully embarrassing than anything previously experienced or suspected, they really needed to stop before Dom started begging. He gave in to the temptation to deliver a stinging bite to Dom's lower lip (and Dom murmured appreciatively deep in his throat, causing Billy to harden past what could conceivably be hidden) before pulling slowly back, steadying Dom carefully until something resembling awareness surfaced in his eyes again.

With awareness came a slight tensing, although Dom didn't look away from Billy to take in the expressions of his other cast mates. He also did not blush, and Billy wondered with urgent, heated interest what it would take to make Dominic feel shame.

That he was allowed to try to find out, now, that he had been given the right to seek out the things that would make Dom blush and sweat and whimper and come, sent another jolt of lust through him, lust with teeth and claws and smoke grey eyes. He rose to his feet, jerking Dom up with him, and Dom murmured: "Fuck yeah," but still looked a little too dazed to actually start moving. He had both hands wrapped around Billy's forearms and was swaying just slightly, and staring hungrily into Billy's face. Billy managed to thrust away the momentarily intense urge to shove Dom onto his back on the table, spilling drinks into laps and sending glasses to the floor to shatter with tinkling, destructive beauty, and pin him there with his hands and his hips and his mouth. But he didn't move either, because his mind was pushing him in only one direction, the direction that would push Dom's arse back against the edge of the table so Billy could snug his hips up against Dom's hips, the direction that would make Dom use the hands still circling Billy's forearms to brace himself against the table while Billy pushed at him, pushed forward with hips, and sank teeth into the visible pulse in Dom's neck (he wanted to feel that, touch it with lips and fingertips, press against it and know how it felt to be Dom's blood, pounding away through Dom's body), the direction that pushed hard and clenching fingertips into the muscles in Dom's thighs, drawing them up, pushing them apart . . .

He didn't move, because he couldn't quite conceive of any other manner in which he could move, and he still had enough sense to know he couldn't yet move in the direction in which his mind was pushing him. Not here. He just needed a few seconds, a few seconds to extract his attention from Dominic, and then they would go, they would get home (somehow, Billy wasn't entirely sure how he'd manage it, but he would, by God, manage it, even if he had to make Dom walk behind him where Billy couldn't see him and be so ridiculously distracted), and then . . . fuck yeah.

"I'll take them home," Orlando said from behind them, to which Billy mentally snapped: The fuck you will! but didn't actually verbally reply to because Elijah beat him to it.

"I'm leaving anyhow," he said smoothly, and eased a hand around Dom's hip to guide him out of Billy's grasp and into a stumbling walk toward the end of the table. The brunette, Billy saw, was with him, smiling a little at Dom (a smile of complete understanding) and Billy felt slightly sorry for her, as he seriously doubted that Elijah would be able to give her what she was wanting.

That was enough of a distraction to get him moving, and he smiled slightly at Elijah's careful manipulation of Dominic, Elijah's hand on Dom's hip, grounding him and guiding him. It was bizarre to think of Elijah as a potential dominant, bizarre when Billy could also clearly see in him signs of what Elijah would be like on the bottom, with wide open eyes and pink, gasping lips. He would ask Dominic later, he would remember to ask him what he thought Elijah was going to grow into. If anyone could predict it, Dom could.

Then he forgot about it entirely as he rounded the end of the table and Dominic brushed deliberately up against him, pushing his crotch against Billy's hand for just an instant, but long enough for Billy to get a clear idea of the steely-hardness and the baking heat of him. Still distant, like background music in a movie, he heard someone utter a shocked little gasp (Liv, he thought, but didn't care enough to worry overly about it) at Dom's hips blatantly arching forward to grind the bulge in his jeans against Billy's palm.

"Fucker," he growled, and Dominic smirked unrepentantly as he followed Elijah and the brunette toward the doors.

No goddamned shame, Dominic had no goddamned shame, and Billy could think of several excellent ways to test the boundaries of that, but that was for later, that was for when they became comfortable and familiar and he could see past his own lust more clearly, clearly enough to know what Dominic wanted and needed, and the things Dominic did not yet know he wanted and needed. Oh, fuck yeah.

~~

No matter how smooth he had come across in the pub, Elijah was far too drunk to drive.

Billy drove, with the brunette - Elise - in the front seat with him, and he kept his eyes deliberately away from the rearview. He could feel Dom's eyes on him like they were hooked and dragging bloody, stinging furrows into his flesh, and he couldn't afford the distraction of Dominic teasing him (which he would be, shameless prick) from the back seat.

Elijah smacked Dom's hand, once, when he bent his body to reach into the front of the car, and Billy couldn't help but laugh at Dom's indignant yelp and Elijah's grumble about distracting the driver and getting them all killed.

"He can't drive," Billy murmured to Elise when they pulled up in front of Billy's building.

"I can," she assured him, and she had a velvety voice and a fetching New Zealand accent. "I haven't had much to drink."

Billy nodded while Elijah and Dom abandoned the backseat. He got out of the car.

"Hey," Dom was saying to Elijah. "Thanks, you know? For the ... " he gestured vaguely, a little grin curling his lips, "... the arse-chewing."

Elijah grinned back, broad and bright, and momentarily dissipating that crackling of dark energy he'd been surrounded by in the pub. "Course," he said simply, eyes amused and openly pleased.

Then Elijah was turning his bright and beautiful grin on Billy. "Enjoy your steak dinner, Bill," he said, and winked outrageously.

Billy choked on startled laughter, hearing Dom laughing in nearly the same way, and Elijah laughed, too, throwing his head back to release it into the sky.

Snarky little fucker, Billy thought admiringly, as Elijah circled round to climb into the passenger side. He gave them a little wave as he ducked into the car, and was gone a moment later.

~~

They had managed to actually reach the door to Billy's flat before Dom's reckless need derailed them.

It was hardly standard behavior for him, that a single, fleeting and exploratory graze of fingertips across the denim restraining Billy's erection should result in such a burst of immediate need that Billy utterly disregarded the fact that they were in a public corridor. He caught Dom by the waistband of his jeans to jam him hard back against the wall. It was just as unusual that the slight widening of grey eyes and shaky intake of indrawn breath should be enough to make Billy lunge forward and bite down hard (Dominic mewled surprise, and Billy thought: yes, fucking yes, make those sounds for me now that I can have them!), just at that tender place where neck and shoulder joined, right where the shifting muscle under his mouth, between his teeth, tasted the sweetest. It was unprecedented that Billy's hands were already be jerking at the buttons on Dom's low-riders while he growled into Dom's neck and inhaled the heady scent of Dom's skin.

But this was already so far outside the realm of normal behavior for Billy that he hardly noticed. This didn't even have a nodding acquaintance with normal, because this was Dom, Dominic under his hands, under his mouth, under his control, and he had waited and wanted too long for anything as trivial as polite propriety to stop him. His fucking neighbors could form a queue and sell tickets, if they liked. Billy didn't give a damn.

Dom's hips arched forward and out, and Dom was groaning (and he had known Dom would be a talker, that whatever entered his head would fall out of his mouth in sexy, need-ridden gasps, because Dom was - praise God - completely without shame in the best fucking way), "Yes, fuck yes, Bill, hurry . . . fuck!"

The buttons separated easily under Billy's fingers, and he jerked the denim down past Dom's hips, spilling Dom out into his waiting hand (no pants, and Billy was completely unsurprised by this). Billy wrapped his hand around Dom and squeezed, biting down (and tasting sweat, Dominic's fucking sweat) harder at the juncture of Dom's neck and shoulder at the same time. Dom barked out a little cry that held equal parts lust and pain, and thrust into Billy's hand, hips twisting. Billy could hear Dom's hands scrabbling at the wall behind him, scrabbling for purchase, and his mind and body clenched and coiled with the desire to hear Dom come, hear him come undone for Billy, force him to come right here, where anyone could see, anyone could witness.

"I'm going to find out, Dominic," he growled into Dom's neck, biting and licking, tasting Dom's skin and the salt of sweat while his hand worked demandingly on Dom's cock and Dom's hips worked in perfect, instinctive counterpoint to Billy's rhythm. He drew back, licking the taste of Dominic from his lips and braced a forearm across Dom's chest - feeling the bite of Dom's sharp and sexy collarbones against his skin - to hold him, so he could see Dom's face, watch him and make Dom see him. "Going to find out what makes you blush and cringe."

Dom's eyes were glittering silver-grey, lips parted and forming silent words - Billy could read 'fuck' and 'yes' and his own name - and his chest was heaving against the pressure of Billy's forearm. His cock felt like straining silk, blood-hot and alive in Billy's hand, and he tightened his grip further to watch Dom's eyes widen in lustpainwant. Oh, and he was gorgeous, the most fucking beautiful thing Billy had ever seen, but this wasn't all there was, it wasn't enough, Billy could see this, could sense it the way he could sense Dominic himself whenever he was close, and he murmured with silky malice: "Not this, though, Dominic, you don't care who sees you here, like this, with your jeans around your thighs and your cock in my hand. Don't care who comes along to see you gasping and jerking your fucking hips and helpless and unveiled, you really don't give a fuck, do you," - and Dom was shaking his head, eyes burning and pleading and Billy could feel the smile on his face, and knew it for what it was, cruel, playful, and Dom was regarding the expression with a combination of hunger and dread, and his voice dropped into a gentle, taunting whisper - "don't give a damn as long as I don't stop."

And he did stop, and Dom uttered a low, pained moan, his hips jerking forward to push his cock through Billy's tight fist. Billy thrust a knee between Dom's thighs, using the material of the jeans still bunched there to force Dom's hips back, pin them to the wall and still his movement. "No no no no," Dom whispered (beautiful, needy, breathless), "please no. . . Bill, Billy . . . " Billy leaned in to lick at Dom's throat, lick at that shivering pulsepoint, and Dominic was trembling and quivering, his hips still attempting vain movement against Billy's restraining knee. Billy pushed that knee up slightly, nudging at Dom's balls, and Dom's breath caught in his throat, strangled gasp, and his head fell back against the wall with a little thump.

Billy bit down on that fluttering, vulnerable pulsepoint once, just hard enough to make Dom gasp, make his lips part sweetly, and then he took Dominic's mouth with all the skill and experience he had at his disposal, took it and opened it with his teeth and his tongue, bit down on Dominic's lips to hear him whine - yes, open, give it to me - and licked at Dom's tongue, which seemed to want to fight in one moment, and then lap reverently in the next. He was waiting now, just anticipating that moment when Dom understood that he wasn't going to continue, wasn't going to tighten his hand around Dom's cock and continue pumping until Dom shuddered and came apart, he was awaiting it with intense and devoted attention, because he thought Dom would show then, show everything, that need and that furious rebellion that Billy had already glimpsed and been so fucking taken with. He was looking forward to that, looking forward to taking that and breaking it apart, destroying it, ripping it to shreds until all that was left was the real Dominic, that deeply compelling, pliant Dominic that would say anything, do anything, that would beg him with everything he had, eyes, mouth, body, hands, arse, and cock. "Come on," he hissed against Dominic's lips, into his mouth. "Come on, Dominic. Give." Dom twisted and uttered a little half-whine, half-growl, and his hands left off scrabbling at the wall to grasp at Billy instead, grasp at Billy's hips to try and pull him forward, pull him into greater contact.

He was gasping obscenities into Billy's mouth, cursing him with one breath and begging him with the next. Billy was just drinking it, drinking it in and loving it and reveling in the feel of it, drinking Dominic like hundred year old Scotch, savoring him even as Dominic burned him. "Fucker, you fucker," Dominic groaned, "do it, fucking do it, teasing goddamned bastard . . . just do it . . . let me come, damn you . . . please . . . bastard bastard . . . please, Billy, please, Jesus, please . . . "

"No," Billy refused, sleek and calculating, and watched Dominic's eyes widen and then narrow, watched his lips tighten and curl into a sneer. Billy tightened his grip on Dominic's cock, tightened it deliberately and pushed his knee up roughly against his balls, and Dominic tensed and twisted and snarled deep in his chest. "Yeah, good," Billy murmured, coaxing. "Give it."

He was ready when Dom surged forward, ready to parry, stepping smoothly to one side and letting Dom's momentum in combination with Billy's hand on his cock force him to stagger forward. He jerked Dom around - using Dominic's cock like a fucking handle - and used his whole body to push Dominic against the door and hold him there, pin him while Dom thrummed with want and spit with fury. Billy pressed forward, arched and, ground his still-trapped cock against Dom's arse, crushing Dom's cock between Dom's own body and the smooth, cool wood of the door. Dom grunted softly and stilled, palms pressed against the door at shoulder height. "Sonofawhore" he sneered, and Billy rewarded that tone with a forceful jerk of his hips, grinding Dom's cock harder against the door, and Dom groaned a little.

"Getting us inside," Billy said, and dug in Dom's pockets, which were caught somewhere around his thighs, for keys.

"Bastard, you bastard," Dom breathed. "Manipulative, teasing fuck."

Billy laughed, and bit gently at Dom's shoulder while his hand located the correct key on Dominic's key ring and snugged it into the lock. "Poor Dommie, all bent out of shape because he didn't get a handjob in the hall," he teased, and Dominic growled a strangled curse and pushed back demandingly. Billy ground forward again obligingly, this time not letting up until Dominic gave him a soft, desperate mewl. "Does it hurt, Dommie?" he whispered directly into Dom's ear, and he knew it did, knew Dom's cock would be aching, crushed and grating against the door.

"Yes," Dom gasped, "yes, don't stop," and then choked out a cry when Billy shoved his hips forward again, as hard as he could fucking manage, to the point where it hurt him, too, but that was nothing to the feeling of Dom shuddering tense against him and squirming helplessly, nothing to the way his mind reeled and glittered with sharp and deadly need at Dominic's voice, Dominic fucking asking for it.

He growled as he struggled with the doorknob, and had to stop and steady himself, had to work to ignore Dom's bare arse pressed against his groin and Dom's emphatic, snarling sounds of need. Once he managed that, the key turned easily and the knob clicked as the lock disengaged. He turned the knob and opened the door, thrusting Dom ahead of him inside, shoving hard enough to send him stumbling to his knees, as his jeans were still around his thighs, restricting his movement. He shut the door and locked it behind him before turning to look at Dom again, fully aware that if he didn't get that out of the way, he would soon forget all about it.

Dom had turned back toward Billy, but hadn't risen, was still on his knees on the cold, hard tile of the entryway, jeans still tangled around his thighs and his cock jutting out from his body at a serious, this-fucking-means-business sort of angle. Billy couldn't really decide what he wanted to look at more: Dominic's face - in which hungry lust and violent frustration and desperate appeal were waging an interesting battle - or Dominic's cock - which displayed only one thing (want, need), but displayed it beautifully, with gentle jerking motion (in time with Dominic's heartbeat) and with blood-flushed, tight skin, and with the glistening shine of moisture gathering just at the tip.

Either option drove him close to the edge of whatever tenuous control he was still maintaining, so he looked instead at the angles of Dom's hipbones, half concealed still by the hem of his t-shirt, and then at the decadent, evocative clenching of the big muscles in Dominic's thighs. The shirt had to go, he wanted to see Dom's chest (ribs, collarbones, nipples). "Lose the shirt," he said, and watched Dom's face as his urge to bite back warred briefly with his need to get fucked. Billy wasn't surprised at which one triumphed, and Dom jerked the t-shirt up over his head and flung it away. "It's possible," Billy said quietly and sincerely, "that you're even more bloody gorgeous than I had imagined."

"Bill," Dom said, soft and genuine, deep and hoarse. "Billy, now? Please?"

He wanted, God knew, he fucking wanted, and he could feel Dom staring at him, but Dom wasn't making a single fucking move (and Dominic on his knees with his jeans around his thighs and his cock blood-red and seeping, what could be prettier, what could be more painfully, enticingly sinful?), and in Billy's mind he could already feel Dom, tense and tight and writhing, could already hear Dom's cries, hear his gasps tearing free from that mouth like sharp things, things that were all edges, impossible to keep back and painful to release. He could see himself shoving Dom against the door from the inside this time, shoving him there and taking him like that with his jeans still binding his thighs together and his cock jammed up against the punishing wood. And Dom would like that, he would fucking love it, and so would Billy. Oh, fuck yeah, he would.

"Dominic," he said, growled, sneered, grated out from between teeth that were clenched tight together while the muscles in his jaw jumped and spasmed with the effort of forcing out words, coherent words, and even still the only thing that actually emerged was: "Dominic. I want . . . " while his mind reeled off the list of wants that he couldn't verbalize, couldn't actually say in spite of how badly he wanted to do it. (Want to fuck you, I want to break you, I want to hear you scream, Dominic, I want you to buck and scream and struggle because you can't fucking help it even though you don't want to get away, I want you so tight and straining underneath me that I can't fucking see, I want your mouth open and your eyes slammed shut and your face blood red and your cock jammed up against my belly, I want your words mangled and helpless, want you helpless, want you begging, want you begging me with strangled words and broken cries and trembling body, want you to want that, want you to want me, want you to want me to give you that, make you scream when you come, Dommie, promise you, make you scream and come and want to die with my cock inside you...) Dominic looking up at him - Dominic on his knees with his hips cocked forward and his face still in transition somewhere between defiance and entreaty - Dominic divested him of words, Dominic was too beautiful, too fucking effortlessly sensual, and Billy could only look, watch, see him while his mind conjured up every one of the thousand ways he had imagined fucking Dominic, taking him, breaking him, driving him into raw and excruciating need.

He had never been so close to being out of control, and it might have been an interesting experience, except that he so desperately wanted that control here, so desperately needed it. He was losing it with Dominic when what he needed from Dominic more than he needed skin and blood and bone and sinew and sweat was for Dom it respond to his control, to bend to it, submit to it, need it like Billy needed to have it.

Dom smoldered up at him for long moments, still and silent, and Billy could feel himself sliding inexorably toward the edge of control, the monster-fucking cliff of his own need, which was high and sheer and strengthened by Dominic kneeling on his fucking floor. Then: "I know what you want," Dom breathed, his eyes dropping half closed, spitting sparks at Billy from behind his lashes. "I'm not blind, and I'm not a novice. You don't have to fucking 'handle with care,' Billy." That was almost a sneer.

"No?" Billy said, and he could feel his face relaxing into a familiar expression as his command over himself re-exerted itself, leaving a kind of certainty within the storm of his need and lust and want, and thought: Fuck yeah, praise God and Dominic's perfect fucking instincts.

"No," Dom echoed, eyes going narrow and challenging instead of half-lidded and sultry. His lips curled into an edged smile. His chin went up a little, cocky and impetuous - Billy guessed he could thank instinct for Dominic's strength as well, that wicked combination of defiance and compliance that made Billy ignite, made him twist and spiral down into the black places of his own soul, made him want nothing more than to take Dominic there with him - and his hips slid forward slightly as well, deliberately offering up that cock, shameless fucker, and shadows hugged the fine slope of his hipbone like caresses. "Come on," he whispered. Insolent little smirk. "Try me." And: I dare you, screamed from every line of his body.

"We'll fucking see, won't we," Billy whispered, and let himself fall right off the edge, let restraint dissolve into the steady, crackling thrum of desire that his own instincts knew how to shape and govern.

He felt himself coil, felt his need coil, and he lunged for Dom, pushing and growling, until Dom was pressed to the cool, hard tile of the entryway, flat on his back, his hands on Dom's chest, fingers curled up and digging into the tops of Dom's shoulders, and Dom was just looking up at him, eyes like smoke, his hands wrapped lightly around Billy's tense forearms. Billy paused, looking, memorizing the sight of Dom beneath him, spread out and open under his hands, under his body. He shifted, dragged one hand up to Dom's throat while the other held him pinned, held him down, pressed his fingers to that spot, and felt Dom's pulse thundering. "Give," he demanded, but softly.

And Dominic grinned fiercely up at him, eyes snapping heat and challenge. "Take," he bit back, and Billy's fingers clenched on his shoulders, bit into muscle, and Dom snarled and jerked, but refused to back down, glared up at Billy with that reckless, temararious defiance that Billy wanted to destroy and Dom wanted him to destroy.

"Fine," he snarled, and dipped down to kiss him, to take, and Dominic fought him with his lips and tongue and teeth even as he allowed Billy to gather up his wrists and pin them together across his belly. Billy bit at Dom's lower lip, bit once hard to hear Dom groan, then lapped at it, and murmured: "Fine," again. He moved down Dom's body with his mouth, tasted Dom's neck again with gentle lips and tongue, and then Dom's collarbones - a particular favorite of his - and he bit at them viciously enough that Dom actually jerked away from his mouth, and Billy had to bear down on Dom's wrists to still him. "Give, then," he invited, and smiled at Dominic, letting dark amusement color his voice.

"Fuck you, Bill," Dom sneered, oh so fucking pretty, and: "Suck my cock."

"Yeah?" Billy asked, and cocked a brow at Dom, smiling a little wider. Dom's eyes narrowed further, suspicious, and Billy moved down until he was straddling Dom's thighs. "Since you asked so fucking nicely, Dominic," Billy murmured, and kept his eyes on Dom's face just long enough to watch his eyes go wide with surprise as Billy dipped down and tongued Dom's cock (oh and how fucking long had he wanted to taste him, how fucking long, because it felt like forever, it felt like he had been fucking born wanting it) from base to head.

Dom hissed, and Billy twisted Dom's wrists so that they were crossed and Billy could handle them with one hand (he wished for, but had no intention of actually stopping to retrieve, the leather cuffs in the bedside table), freeing his other hand to lift Dom's cock to a better angle. Dom was making choked and disbelieving sounds in his throat, but those cut off abruptly as Billy went down on him all at once, taking in the heated length of him without any difficulty. It was good, beyond good and sliding toward perfect, salt and skin and musky precome, and when Dominic arched helplessly up into Billy's mouth, Billy let him, for the moment, opened and let him push in as far as he could, let him jerk his hips and push roughly, urgently into Billy's throat.

"Fuck fuck oh fuck," Dom grated out, and Billy growled around his cock, prompting another trembling string of profanity. Dom arched up further, pushing, pushing, arse up off the ground, and Billy forced him down roughly, twisting and firming his grip on Dom's wrists, forcing him back to the ground and releasing his cock in a heated, teeth-scraping slide that wrenched contentious moans from Dom's throat. "Don't," he barked, "don't fucking stop, don't!"

"Fucking demanding for a sub, aren't you, Dommie?" Billy jeered softly, and Dom tried to bite out some kind of response, but Billy disarmed him neatly with his tongue on Dominic's balls, and Dom twisted under his hands and his mouth, twisted and shuddered like he was fucking dying, and Billy's cock was just not going to be able to take much more of this neglect. He kept his mouth on Dominic's balls while he worked one handed to get Dom's jeans off (bit down lightly, once, to hear Dom's strangled, fervent cry), and thank God he had some experience at peeling clothing off of sweatslick writhing bodies, because Dominic was not making it any easier. "Hold the fuck still, Dominic," he commanded, and for a wonder, Dom gave it a go, stilling and even lifting his legs so that Billy could free them from his jeans.

As soon as the jeans were gone Dom's thighs slid apart, and Billy rumbled approval against Dom's balls and listened to Dom whine something unintelligible and needy. Billy licked sweat off Dominic's thighs, the salty tang filling his mouth, and Dominic's skin tasted better than anything ever had, he could see the taste of it becoming a serious and debilitating addiction, and Dom was tense and trembling, his wrists were jerking in Billy's hand, and Billy could feel him opening, unfolding as he whispered: "Please, oh Jesus' sake, please, Bill, can't you just... just fuck me, Christ, just fuck me, touch me... you're killing me, Billy, please... "

The thought of lube skittered through his mind and he dismissed it. It was too fucking far, and he was confident that Dominic could do without. He was still fully dressed, and fuck that, too, fuck everything except Dominic's face, which he rose up to study, flushed and frantic with need, Dominic's eyes squeezed shut and his mouth open and sweet and vulnerable and enticing. Dom's hips stuttered up, trying for contact, and Billy let them this time - adjusted his grip on Dom's wrists, used both hands to draw them up over his head and press them to the floor - let Dom arch up and grind ("please yes please yes please yes God," fell from Dominic's parted lips and into Billy's mind with the force of nuclear fucking detonation) against Billy, press his naked cock against the crotch of Billy jeans (and God, the heat of him, it seeped through the thick denim and mingled with Billy's own heat, mingled and it was like it was incendiary or something, it didn't just double heat or triple it, it increased it to an unimaginable degree) and this this this was what he wanted from Dominic, this was Dominic helplessly enthralled, luxuriously, gorgeously willing.

"Please, fuck, please," Dominic hissed, and Billy slid two fingers into his mouth to just shut him up for a second (and that nearly backfired, because Dom's mouth was hot and sly and skilled, his tongue was quick and seeking and curled like wet silk around his fingers until Billy was nearly unable to think about anything but getting that mouth around his cock), shut him up so he could get his goddamned jeans open with his other hand, the backs of his knuckles brushing against the sleek heat of Dominic's cock, which was still jerking up and into him (and Dom was fucking doing that on purpose, little bastard, sliding his cock along the back of Billy's hand and smearing him with a hot mix of sweat and precome, and Dom was goddamned well going to lick that off later). Finally Billy had to slide a knee up and pin that fucking cock to Dom's stomach to eliminate the distraction of it while he jerked his jeans open. Dom keened around Billy's fingers, keened while he forced himself hard enough against Billy's knee to guarantee friction-burn, and Billy took five seconds to just try to calm the hell down, because if he didn't, couldn't, this was going to be a new speed record, beating out even his own fifteen-year old virginal escapades. But there was just no way to do it, it wasn't possible, not with Dominic moaning and lapping at his fingers and disregarding all pain in favor of any tactile sensation Billy's knee could provide his needy cock.

And Billy's own cock wasn't in much better shape, he fucking hurt with want, he ached with it, and to hell with calm. If it was fast, then so be it, because they had all goddamned night didn't they? All fucking weekend, if it came to that, and looking at Dominic, he thought it very well could.

He drew his fingers out of Dominic's mouth (with some reluctance), and bent to kiss him instead, which was almost as fucking good, with Dom's tongue in his mouth and his lips under Billy's teeth, and Dominic whining prettily when Billy removed his knee from Dom's cock to use it to push Dom's thighs wider apart, open Dom up, give Billy some room to work as he slid wet fingers down Dom's body to stroke just behind Dominic's balls. He listened to Dom choke curses into his mouth ("fuck me fuck me, damn you, Bill, you cocksucker, you fucking prick") while he twisted up invitingly, pushing as well as he could against Billy's teasing fingers, and when Billy pushed them in, pushed them forward both at once, all the fucking way, Dom fucking screamed into his mouth, screamed and clamped down hard. Billy groaned (his cock jerked sympathetically and his balls tightened at the twisting knot of hard, hot desire in his belly) and pushed his tongue into Dominic's open mouth and his fingers into Dominic's tight body.

He pulled back and pushed again, twisting this time, twisting and finding what he was looking for, and Dom came up off the floor, screaming again into Billy's mouth and biting down hard on Billy's tongue, slamming his cock up against Billy's belly (and making a hell of a mess on Billy's shirt, he was certain) and straining fiercely. When he asked for it this time, it wasn't a whisper or a whimper or a gasp, it was a full-voiced, unashamed plea: "Your cock, your fucking cock, Bill, fucking give it to me, please, Jesus Goddamned Christ, please just fuck me!"

And he wasn't about to say no to that. He paused long enough to get rid of his shirt, it was just too fucking hot to keep it, and it was only about to get hotter, but the jeans could fucking wait, they weren't in his way much, and he didn't have time to fuck with them.

"Dominic," he murmured, trying hard not to think about what he was about to do, how it was going to feel, how fucking necessary it was to do it as soon as humanly possible (and Dominic had his hands on his chest, thumbs pressed roughly against Billy's nipples while his knees dug into Billy's sides), "Dominic, Jesus Christ . . . " and Dominic shuddered as Billy lined up and brushed the head of his cock against his arse, shuddered and gave a deep, desperate groan, " Spit and precome, Dommie, can you fucking take it?" he breathed.

"Wrap it in fucking sandpaper if you want to, you smirking, Scottish fuck!" Dominic choked out, and Billy grinned and snarled and pushed hard and Dominic arched up to meet him with a single, shouted: "Fuck!"

Tightsweethot friction, and he was not going to last long, not even going to fucking attempt it. He wanted to see Dominic's face, wanted to drink that expression in, but he couldn't fucking open his eyes, it was too much, intense to the point of pain, it was blinding, it was everything he had wanted, he could die from this, he fucking wanted to, and when Dominic moved beneath him, low groaning whimpers spilling from his lips like wine, Billy reacted the only way he could, with force, driving into Dominic, hearing Dom's cries and his own low, painful groans blending, and he pushed Dom's hands up up over his head and pinned them hard, got his knees under him to thrust with everything he had, to be in, to feel Dominic writhing and wordless now, unformed sounds and half-voiced cries pushed from his mouth into Billy's, and he was - Oh God - so goddamned tight and perfect and hot as fresh blood, he was sleek and squirming, he was spitting broken need and splintered syllables into Billy's mouth like offerings, and Billy was taking them, tasting them, taking him, Dominic, yes, and he was fucking giving, Dominic was giving everything, finally, giving everything to him with his cries and his sweat-slick body and his sweet, open mouth.

He was waiting for it to plateau, to level, for that burning, twisting, overwhelming edge to slack, somehow, to leave him room for thought or for something, but it wasn't, it couldn't, and Dominic was pressing his cock into Billy's belly and moaning need into Billy's mouth. He wanted to hear Dominic come, he wanted to feel it around his cock as Dominic came undone, came apart, fragmented like Billy could feel himself fragmenting. He wanted words now, but there was no air for them and no time for them, and they were already understood anyway, so he let them lie and curled a hand around Dominic's need and drove urgently deeper with Dominic's hips lifting and countering (instinct, instinctive) in time with his - no need for restraint, welcome ferocity - and when Dominic screamed his orgasm into Billy's mouth it felt like completion, like what he'd been waiting for forever and not just a few months, and Dominic twisted and tightened around him like nothing he had ever felt, and he couldn't hold back from that, Dominic's perfect giving, and he was coming and giving, too, giving more than he had understood was possible, giving it with his hand on Dominic's cock, slick with Dominic's come, and his tongue in Dominic's mouth wrapped around Dom's tongue, and his cock inside Dominic's body, jerking and spilling warmth, and Dominic's fingers were twined into his hair and around his fingers as he snarled and gasped and colors splintered into sparks into searing grey light behind his eyelids.

It was some time before he had the energy to open his eyes.

Dominic was looking slightly smug beneath him (but his eyes were still open, gentled, lucid) , lips quirked into some kind of cross between amusement and mockery. "Still got your jeans on, Billy," he pointed out, insufferably polite.

Billy groaned and rolled off of him to splay on his back on the tile. It felt like ice under the heated skin of his back, but moving onto the carpet would take too much effort. "Shut up, Dom," he said, also politely, and heard Dom chuckling, which coaxed his lips into a smile as well.

"I managed to get all of my clothes off, is all I'm saying," Dom pointed out.

"You managed to get all your clothes off?" Billy demanded. "I seem to recall risking a kneecap to the face to get your jeans off."

"A sure sign that you had your face somewhere it shouldn't ought to have been," Dom announced solemnly.

"I'll keep that in mind," Billy smirked, and rolled onto his side to face Dom. He had his arms folded back behind his head and was smiling broadly at the ceiling.

"See that you do," he said, tone prim but face still soft and beaming. When Billy leaned in to kiss him, he could feel Dom's smile under his lips. "Wanker," Dom murmured, and Billy laughed into Dom's mouth, and could both hear and feel Dom laughing into his, too.