Word Count: 1233
Summary: Tradition is sometimes the best memory.
Disclaimer: Don't own them or they'd be far happier and in closer proximity
Author's Notes: This is a thought I've had for a while, but it took a discussion with dylan_dufresne to make me put it to paper. Many thanks to the magnificent dylan_dufresne and the astounding rawiyaparand for fixing the things that ailed it.
Tea. It was a simple enough thing for the normal person. Billy was sure that it was uncomplicated really. A teabag, hot water and maybe a little milk and sugar, if you prefer. However, when Dom was making tea, simplicity was not a word anyone would consider. No, Billy Boyd had been on the receiving end of one too many of Dom's tea preparation lectures to think it was simple.
It's not that Dom is obsessive about it. When he has no other choice, he'll drink whatever is on hand. After a long night of blissful love making, when Billy surprises his lover with breakfast and a cup of tea, he is always aware that Dom knows the tea isn't quite right. He never says anything, but Billy can see it in his face when he takes that first sip. The slightly iodine taste of tea bags, too long jiggled, but he drinks it, if only because Billy has taken the time to make it for him.
Time. That's the problem, Billy has decided. Dom has too much of it. Though in all honesty, that's probably not even entirely correct. It's got a lot to do with tradition, too. And Dom, for all his funky little up to the minute ways, is nothing if not a completely traditional type of guy.
Billy leans one shoulder against the door frame, watching Dom's almost religious tea preparation ceremony unfold from the kitchen doorway. It's amazing how much he actually remembers from his prior lectures. He already has his ceramic teapot sitting on the counter top. It's Dom's favourite pot. He has a few of them, because his tea is important to him, but he always comes back to this one.
It's a four cup pot, squat and round, pale ivory colour with pink roses painted around it. Dom's mum had sent it out to him when he had first arrived in New Zealand and Dom had lovingly enveloped it in excessive amounts of bubble wrap and carted it all over the world with him since then. Billy can see the old tea stains on the inside of the pot. Heaven forbid should anyone ever use soap on the inside of it. Billy smiles fondly, remembering the time he had almost put it in a sink full of sudsy water.
He had laughed at Dom's desperate grab at the pot, watching as he had placed it on the counter. He had opened his mouth to say something unerringly piss-taking, when he had seen the almost reverent expression on Dom's face. His long, elegant fingers stroking the aged ceramic surface with the same delicate attention he would lavish on a lovers flesh.
Billy hadn't been able to resist. He'd taken the three steps across their small kitchen to press his hand over Dom's, his own small fingers trailing across the backs of Dom's. The gentle pressure of his fingers at Dom's wrist turning him until he could see Dom's downturned face. He'd bet money on the fact that Dom was homesick, and somehow his mum's teapot was his link to home.. The look of longing in Dom's eyes almost broke his heart.
He didn't think about consequences, didn't worry about anything, just leaned forward and pressed his lips to Dom's. A soft, tentative kiss, his closed lips pressed warmly against Dom's, it was meant to be a comfort, but it didn't stay that way. Dom turned fully in his arms and leaned back against the counter. Their hips now flush, Billy leaned more fully into Dom and let his hands roam along his slender sides as Dom's mouth opened under the gentle insistence of Billy's tongue. That had been their first kiss, so really he couldn't say anything about Dom's love of tea, as it had indirectly brought them together.
Dom reaches into the back of his pantry for the square, airtight tin he keeps his loose tea in. Billy smiles as he watches the canister being pulled from the back of the crowded shelf. Dom keeps it there, because it's cool and dark in the back of the pantry. It gives his precious, hand blended tea leaves a longer life, or so he says.
As Dom empties the tepid water he's had warming the pot into the sink, the kettle on the stove top begins to whistle. Dom spoons four level scoops of loose leaves into the pot and then adds a pinch more. Billy recognizes the scoop from his own kitchen; Dom had declared it the perfect tea scoop on his very first visit to Billy's Scottish haven. Knowing Dom's love of tea, Billy hadn't been able to resist exchanging the scoop for a night of slow, passionate lovemaking. Billy was certain he got the better end of the bargain.
Watching Dom pour the steaming water into the pot, Billy could close his eyes and visualize the rest of the ritual. But he doesn't. If he were to look away, he'd miss the way Dom's tongue appears between his lips, his face a mask of concentration as he flips a small egg timer over and places the kettle back on the stove. Putting the lid on the top of the teapot, Dom carefully presses his hand against the handle of the pot and spins the it slowly, thrice to the left and twice to the right.
Billy smiles, realizing that the ritual is almost complete. Standing up straighter, he moves across the room to the Breakfast bar, leaning on folded arms against its end. He watches as Dom pulls a tea strainer from the cutlery drawer, and sets it in the top of one of the mugs he has already set out.
Dom pauses in his ritual long enough to lean over and press a slow, wet kiss to Billy's lips, his eyes dancing with the promise of more. This hadn't been part of the ritual at first, but as their months together turned into years, and the years to decades, Billy still came to watch as Dom made their morning tea. His presence was now as much a part of the ritual as the tea itself. As the last grains of sand trickle through the egg timer, Dom lifts the teapot and carefully pours an equal amount of the warm fragrant liquid into the two mugs, straining the leaves carefully. A small jug of milk has been set out on the counter from the start of Dom's preparations, slowly attaining room temperature. Adding milk to both mugs, more to one than the other, he lifts a pot of honey and winds some onto the end of the wand, then drizzles it into the milky cup.
Lifting both mugs, he walks to Billy and presses one into his outstretched hand. Both of them take a long sip of the liquid before putting the mugs on the counter, and melting into each others arms. Billy's mouth met Dom's in a long, slow kiss, tasting the honey-sweet milky flavour that clung to his lips. Sharing their first sip with gentle kisses and slow licks had quickly become a part of the ceremony.
As Billy folds Dom into his arms, his fingers slipping into the low slung waistband of Dom's jeans, a thought suddenly occurs to him. A morning wouldn't be quite the same without a cup of tea.