PG-13 for one word
A/N: Strangely enough, this is the total opposite of how I usually like to write/read Billy. Oh, well.
Another nameless event and Dom is tired. Just once, he wants to walk down the street and have no one look at him. No one recognize him. He doesn't want to carry a pen with him everywhere he goes anymore, just incase, only it’s not just incase, because that implies that he might not need to use it after all. His hand aches from signing autographs. Flashes explode behind his eyelids when he tries to sleep; his ears are always ringing with high-pitched screams, real or imagined. It makes him feel a little guilty. Normally he isn’t like this, normally he enjoys being able to make someone's day with only a simple smile. It’s just been too long. Too long and he feels suffocated inside the crowd that converges as soon as he steps onto the curb, papers and pictures and pamphlets thrust at him from every direction, the smell of sharpies making him lightheaded.
He briefly entertains the idea of training himself to sign with both hands, and maybe his toes as well, when he catches sight of Billy, trying to detach himself from grasping hands and pleading looks for long enough to get into the waiting car. Dom screams for his attention along with the rest of them; then they are battling there way toward each other, the way opening before them as the ocean of fans senses their intent.
They converge in a tight hug and the air around them lights and lights and lights as the crowd goes wild. Dom closes his eyes against Billy’s shoulder and is blessed with a moment of darkness. Breath tickles against his ear in the form of three whispered words.
By the time he registers them, Billy is gone.
Back in New Zealand, back before, back when, they'd had a game that wasn't exactly a game. In public they would exchange whispers, notes, glances under any cover they could find, trying to make the other as uncomfortable as possible until they could find a spare moment to disappear together. All right, concedes Dom with a bitter half-smile, you win.
Dom enters the hotel. A woman in a green and black uniform behind the desk begins to straighten, but he waves her attentions away. She smiles a little, dropping her chin back into her hand. There is a faint light marking the staircase. He makes for it as if it were heaven.
He paces up and down the second floor hallway. Everything is dim and silent. Artificial light glows under the door of room 206. Window to window, elevator to stairs. His feet make muted noise on the bland mauve carpet, like some giant beast prowling its lair.
He turns into a nook, winces at the harsh glow of the vending machine. Considers. Digs spare change out of his pocket and buys a bag of potato chips. The machine's clanks and rattles are loudly offending in the sleeping hallway. He winces and ducks away, half expecting a flower pot or a bucket of water thrown at his head.
He climbs the stairs to Billy's hallway. It is identical, minus the one lighted doorway. Patterned normalcy. Faceless.
He locates Billy's room, sits outside the door. Draws his knees up to his chest. Realizes he is breathing hard. Makes a concerted effort to calm himself.
He gets up, paces to the end of the hallway, throws away the unopened bag of chips. Sits back down again.
The ring he has been unconsciously fiddling with escapes his grasp and rolls away in a series of wobbly ovals. He takes longer than necessary finding it again.
He gives up. Stands outside Billy's door for thirteen seconds that are eternity. Knocks. A quiet voice from within:
"It's not locked."
Slowly he opens the heavy door and steps inside. The bathroom and requisite ironing board are to his right, a dim light the registers as pain just above his temples. Ahead he can see the feet of a bed, a wardrobe, a TV. The neon life of the city outside the window seeps around the edges of the thick blinds, casting refracted shadow over the room, dreamlike. There is no sign of movement.
"Billy?" he queries softly.
"You're early, Dominic."
There is enough of a pause to dry his mouth and speed his heart. Then Billy glides around the corner. He is wearing nothing but a pair of dark boxers, navy or black, it’s impossible to tell. His skin and hair glow palely golden. The light from the bathroom glances off his eyes, reflecting almost unnaturally green in the monochrome surroundings. Billy stands completely still, tension in every line of his body. Dom unconsciously tries to step back and finds himself pressed against the door. Only then Billy speaks again, and he is very nearly purring.
"And I don’t fucking care."