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The Nature of Forgiveness

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Faraday was watching him closely, and it was beginning to annoy him. If the Irishman kept it up for much longer, chances were good he was going to throw something at him.

…not a knife, mind you. Half because he wasn’t annoyed enough to kill his companion, and half because he’d just cleaned his blades and didn’t really feel like doing it again so soon.

“What do you want?” Billy asked instead, only relaxing slightly when Faraday flashed him a grin.

“Are you and Goodnight still fighting, or are you good again?” he asked.

Billy paused, blinking at the younger man. He still recalled, vividly, the major blow-up he and his lover’d had just a month after they all survived the battle of Rose Creek… and just how much they’d annoyed their traveling companions. Faraday had started a damned betting pool on whether one of them was going to kill the other, but his money had been on them… making up. Which he had asked about—loudly—when they returned to camp.

He wasn’t proud to admit to tripping over nothing, and he would deny that it ever happened till his dying day.

This argument, however, wasn’t anything significant. There were some things that couples who had been together as long as he and Goody were argued over from time to time, and this was just one of those little fights. It had escalated a bit, true enough, and they had both gotten a bit… short with one another. Rather than subject the rest of their troupe with the argument, Billy and Goody had headed off towards the stream and argued their points to a conclusion.

Now, he was headed back to their camp, although he had decided to stop and gather up some more wood. Faraday turning up to talk to him was unexpected, but it would have been rude to ignore him.

“We’ve… worked things out,” Billy decided on, smiling a bit at the heavy sigh of relief this answer drew from the younger man.

“Great! I’m glad,” Faraday said. “Anyways, could you do me a favor?”

…what an odd change of conversation. “What?”

Faraday’s grin slipped to something a bit more serious. “When y’all decide to—ahem—‘make up,’ could you maybe leave the camp to do it?”

He could feel his ears begin heating up, even though he knew his expression did not change to reflect the embarrassment he was starting to feel. “I’m sorry?”

“I ain’t saying this to be mean or anything,” the younger man said defensively, “but y’all are loud and I really wanna get some sleep tonight.”

Yes, so, they were going to talk about this. “Would it help if I kept his mouth covered?”

“No, because you’re just as bad, Billy Rocks,” Faraday said, poking him with one finger. “I honestly don’t know how we didn’t hear the two of you the last time you had a fight and made up afterwards, because I’ll be goddamned if Goodnight don’t sound like an old tomcat my ma used to have. You, on the other hand, Billy Rocks, sound like some kind of desert monster or something. I don’t even have the words to describe it,” the Irishman continued. “All I know is I could hear you over him, and that’s just wrong.”

“If you shut up right now,” Billy said sincerely, ignoring his embarrassment, “I promise we’ll got off somewhere in the woods and try to be… less loud.”

“Deal.” The fact that Faraday actually held out a hand to shake on it told him more than he ever wanted to know about just how loud he and his lover were being. Although he didn’t think they were as bad as all that.

They headed back towards camp together, silent finally, only for Goody to slip up beside him and give him a quick kiss on the cheek before turning him back around. Billy stared at his lover as the man glanced back at the others.

“We’ll be back shortly, just gonna go take a walk,” he said. “If y’all wanna talk loudly, feel free to do so.”

Vasquez cracked up, Red looked scandalized, Sam and Jack just exchanged a look that clearly read how are we the only adults here, and Faraday scowled at his own lover. “Damn it, Gabi, I said don’t talk to him about it!”

Billy stared at Goody as he led them away from where their friends were now starting a loud argument of their own. “Please tell me Vasquez didn’t—”

“Yep,” his lover said, totally unrepentant in any way. “Him and Red. It was adorable. Vasquez was trying to be all tactful and respectful, but Red? Nope, that boy just says what’s on his mind.”

“Oh my God, Goody, shut up.”

“Apparently you sound like a bear, mon cher.”

“I swear to you, Goody, if you don’t shut up right now, we are never having sex again.”

“Scandalous lies. You can’t resist me.”

Billy rolled his eyes and refused to reply. Just because that was true didn’t mean he could make the threat; whether he followed through was something else entirely.

Besides, he mused to himself as Goody laughed at him and continued to tease him with their young friend’s observations, he liked how loud his lover could be. Everyone else would just have to live with it.