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Dec. 31st, 2008

Title: You're A Map Of A Place Maybe Someday I'll Go Ch. 3/22
Author: Pip
Pairing: Billy/Dom
Rating: this chapter PG-13, NC-17 overall
Disclaimer: Don't know 'em, never met 'em, this is all lies.
Feedback: Would be treasured beyond pearls.
Archive: Not without permission.

A/N: Thanks to fitofpique and elmathelas for the brilliant betas. This fic would not be the same without you two, and I thank you from the bottom of my squishy little heart.

Chapter 1, 2

First posted June, 2006




Twenty minutes later Dom finally found Billy out on the tiny balcony that was barely wide enough for a chair. Last time he'd visited, Dom had teased him that Billy might have to lose weight if he wanted to spend any time out there. But he was out there now; the chair was folded up against the railing and Billy leaned against the sandstone wall to the right of the door. He was smoking.

Dom joined him, gingerly looking over the railing to see how far a drop it was should the balcony give way, and he closed the door behind him.

Billy's voice was low. "It's been here a hundred years, Dom."

"Somehow that does not fill me with confidence." He leaned against the wall on the other side of the door and looked down at the street below. "Why're you smoking?"

"Because I wanted to."

"Makes you a hypocrite, you know," Dom said with a little smile. "Always telling Elijah to give them up."

"I tell Elwood not to smoke the cloves, and I tell him to cut down. I've never told him to give them up because I know it would make me a hypocrite." He brought the cigarette to his mouth, finger curled over top of it, and took a long, slow draw, the tip flaring red in the night.

"Easy, Bill. I'm just teasing," Dom said quietly.

A lorry went past, clattering and rattling in the otherwise still Sunday night. When it was silent again, Billy said, "I keep having to apologise to you, don't I?"

"You don't need to."

"I'm sorry, Dom."

Dom couldn't help the chuckle that escaped. He looked over at Billy. "You're such a git, Bills."

Billy took another deep drag. "I mean it. You only came because I asked you to, and I'm being a right fucker. I don't know what to say, other than--"

"Don't you dare," Dom grinned. "Give me that." He reached over and plucked the cigarette from Billy's fingers, then took a long draw.

"Hypocrite," Billy murmured, the corner of his mouth twitching.

"Ah, but I never told you to give 'em up, did I?" Dom raised an eyebrow. "Merely expressed surprise at seeing a smoke in your gob. God, that's good. I haven't had one in months."

Billy pulled the pack out of his pocket, taking out another cigarette and lighting it. They smoked in silence, the only sound the distant hum of traffic from the main roads and the hiss of burning paper and tobacco.

Dom watched the smoke as it rose and curled in front of him, before being swept aside and dissipated by an air current above their heads. "Have you talked to her since she moved out?" he asked quietly, not looking over.

Billy didn't answer right away. He studied the tip of his cigarette for a long moment before taking a drag and then saying, "Yeah. Once. She called to let me know where she was staying."

"Are you going to see her again?"

"Of course." He sounded surprised. "I told you, we're friends, I still care for her and she for me. I'm not just tossing that away."

"When?"

"I--I don't know." His voice dropped again. "Not for a while. It may have been mutual, but it was still ... bloody uncomfortable."

Dom crushed out his cigarette end on the railing, then held up the filter. "Where do you want this?"

"There's a tin in the corner behind you."

Dom turned, dropped it in. "So Ali brought it up, did she? What happened to make her finally say something, if neither of you were admitting anything was wrong?"

Billy inhaled, then sighed the smoke out in a steady stream. "That holiday we were going to take next month? She wanted to go to Spain. I wanted--somewhere else. When we discussed the possibility of separate holidays and it sounded like a good idea, she--she had to say something, it just ... The idea that we could even consider that ... Ali went to a girlfriend's for the weekend, I guess to think it over. When she came home, she sat me down and said it was over. I--I didn't ... I guess I didn't react very well." Billy's voice had gone flat, and he stabbed his cigarette out on the railing.

Dom reached over and took the butt from his fingers, dropping it in the tin.

Billy turned and went back into the flat, not even looking to see if Dom followed--which he did--but heading straight to the kitchen to refill his tumbler and swallow several mouthfuls.

"Take it easy, Bill," Dom murmured.

"I'm only pished," he snapped. "I would prefer to be completely mortalled, thank you very much."

"I'm sure you would," Dom replied calmly. "But I get the feeling you've spent a lot of time in that state the past two weeks. Time to give your liver a rest, yeah?"

"Fuck off, Dom." He walked out, returning to the living room to slouch on the sofa.

Dom grabbed another beer out of the fridge and joined him. "Would you pick a spot and stay put? I'm getting tired of following you about."

"So don't," Billy retorted.

"Oh, all right then," he said sharply, finally fed up. "I'll just spend twenty sodding hours getting here, lose two full days and a fuckload of sleep, and I'll go and sit in your kitchen by myself until you're finished drinking yourself into oblivion, then, shall I?" He stalked out to the kitchen, picked up the Scotch bottle, and took it into the living room, where he set it with a loud clunk on the coffee table. "Here. You'll need this if you're going to get well and truly bollocksed."

Billy didn't look at him, and he didn't look pleased.

Dom returned to the kitchen and sat at the table to drink his beer and get his temper under control.

One of two things was going to happen. Either Billy would stay in the living room and drink and brood until he either staggered to bed or just passed out where he was, in which case they'd try again tomorrow, or he would stay in the living room and drink and brood just long enough to get trolleyed and then come in and try and talk to Dom. And Dom wasn't sure which he'd prefer, really. Billy drinking to unconsciousness was not a pretty thing, and it was rare enough that it truly worried Dom. But trying to have a serious conversation about something important with a hammered Billy was ... well, it was nauseating, to be honest. He just got so damned maudlin. Then again, like most blokes when they were shit-faced, he often revealed truths that he wouldn't if he were sober. Which might come in handy right about now, to help Dom figure out what was really going on here.

Of course, there was always the third option, which was for Dom to get legless himself. He was seriously pondering that one.

He realised he was hungry, wondered if he should try and get Billy to eat something again, then accepted that it would be futile tonight. But tomorrow he was going to eat a real meal if it killed Dom. And at this rate, it just might. Dom found a pot in the cupboard, filled it with cold water, and put it on the stove, lighting the burner on high. He got two eggs from the fridge, pierced the ends, and put them in the water.

Dom didn't think it had been a serious offer, but he thought now that maybe they really should take that roadtrip up the coast, or to St. Andrew's, or anywhere really. Get Bill out of the flat and thinking about something else and away from the booze for a bit. Just a bit of a changeup to get him over this hump. He rooted around in the drawer that he knew contained papers and maps and directions to places Billy had visited two years ago (the inveterate pack-rat), and pulled out the roadmap of Scotland.

When the water reached the boil, he absently reached over and turned it off, checking his watch. He continued pouring over the map as he drank his beer, his finger tracing up the routes to places Billy had mentioned--Dunvegan out on the Isle of Skye, or just a bit north of there Tournaig, because whether Billy liked it or not, there was no way they were going all the way up to the Orkneys. Dom liked the sound of Dunvegan, he'd always wanted to see Skye, and maybe being by the ocean again would do Billy some good, even if it was too bloody cold to surf. He checked his watch again, drained the pot in the sink, and then put two pieces of bread in the toaster. When the toast was done, he cut it into strips, smiling at his unexpected whimsy, and sat at the table to eat his soft-boiled eggs and soldiers.

Billy walked (more like reeled, if Dom was being uncharitable) in and dropped into the seat opposite Dom.

Dom steeled himself. It was going to be talkative Billy, then. He continued calmly dipping the toast soldier into the yolk of his first egg.

"Dom. Whatcha doin', Dom?"

"I'm having a bite to eat. Haven't had much since yesterday."

"I'm a shite host, aren't I Dom?" Billy said sadly, watching Dom's hand as it raised egg-coated toast to his mouth. "Don't even feed you. Make you fly all the way from t' other side of the planet, then I don't even feed you. Don't know why you came."

Dom sighed. Yep. Maudlin. "I came because you asked me to, Billy. You needed a mate, I'm here. You know I can't say no to you."

Billy stared at him blearily. "Yes, you can. An' it fuckin' sucks."

Dom frowned. "What do you mean?"

But Billy had fixed his eyes on the food again.

"Oh, for fuck's sake--" Dom muttered, finished off the first egg, and pushed the plate over to Billy. "Eat it, then."

He picked up one of the strips of toast, then just looked at the still-whole egg.

Biting his tongue, Dom peeled it and cut the top off for him, and waited while he ate, mucking about with it a bit but eventually getting it all inside him. "Better, Billy?" he asked when the plate was pushed back.

"Aye. Thanks, Dom. Thanks. Haven't been eating, really. Dunno why. Can't be arsed, I s'pose."

"I didn't think you'd had much. We'll have a real dinner tomorrow, okay, Bills?" Dom leaned back and took a swig of beer.

"Yeah. Whatever you want, we'll have your favourite, okay? We'll get your favourite." Billy nodded, his head movement exaggerated by his drunkenness. "'Cos you're my best mate, and I love you."

Against his better judgment, Dom chuckled. "Love you too, Bills. You know that."

"I s'pose." There was an odd note in Billy's voice that made Dom look at him sharply, but then Billy was staggering to his feet. "Need my drink. Not walking out. Come with me. C'mon, Dom. Let's go and have a smoke, yeah?" He wandered out, and after a moment Dom followed him.

"Billy, I don't know if the balcony is a good idea--"

"Ach, sure it is," he brushed the suggestion off as he picked up his glass that still had two fingers of whisky in the bottom. "Need a smoke, an' the stairs'd probably be a worse idea," he laughed at himself.

"All right, but stand right by the door, okay?" Dom pleaded. "I don't need a heart attack tonight."

"Dom, ye wee twat, the whole goddamn balcony is right by the door," he snickered, and stepped outside.

Dom followed him and closed the door to keep the smoke outside. "Pass me the fags and a lighter."

Billy fumbled them out of his pocket, nearly dropping the lighter over the edge of the balcony, but managing to get them into Dom's hand. As Dom shook two cigarettes out and put them both between his lips, Billy indignantly said, "You can't have both!"

Dom shook his head, lit them at the same time, then passed one to Billy and spoke around his own. "You're so trolleyed, Boyd."

"Yeah. Haven't been this fucked up in a long time," he agreed cheerfully.

Dom wondered how he meant that. "Hey Bills," he suddenly said. "You mentioned earlier that for your holiday Ali wanted to go to Spain, and you wanted to go somewhere else. Where did you want to go?"

"Hawaii."

Dom was taken aback. "Why?"

Billy rolled his eyes. "To see you, you gormless twonk. Why the hell else would I go to Hawaii?"

Dom took a deep breath and carefully said, "You wanted to come see me on your holiday with Ali?"

"Well, I didn't know you'd be here now. So yeah, I was going to go see you there then." Billy explained, as if it should be the most obvious thing in the world.

"But--I'm on hiatus, Bill. That's why I am here. There's no guarantee I was even going to be in Hawaii next month."

"You woulda been, if I said I was coming," Billy said comfortably.

Dom thought about that and realised it was true. He would have been. "Yeah. Guess so." He took a deep drag off his smoke, the tip flaring brightly. "So what did Ali say when you told her?"

"Told her what?" Billy was trying to blow smoke rings. He was failing spectacularly.

"That you wanted to come to Hawaii to visit me on your holiday with her?"

"Oh. That. Not much, really, that was the night she left to go and stay at her girlfriend's for the weekend."

Dom stared at him, a sinking feeling in his stomach. "It was?"

"Yep. Wouldn't it be fuckin' amazing to be able to blow a smoke ship like Gandalf?" he said, almost meditatively.

"Yeah. Listen, Bills--you said something else tonight. I'm going to ask you, but if you don't want to talk about it, just say so, all right?"

"Sure, Dom." He took a drink, and immediately afterwards a long draw on his cigarette.

"You said Ali was the one who had to bring it all up, who had to end it, and then you said she was the one who had to point out--what, Billy?"

"You. But I don't want to talk about it," he said matter-of-factly.

Dom stared at him again. "Me? What do you mean she had to point out me?"

Billy remained silent.

"You can't do that, Bill! You can't say something like that and then say you don't want to talk about it!"

"Yes I can. You said so. You said if I didn't want to talk about it, I didn't have to. Watch this, Dom." He took a step forward and flicked his lit cigarette end up in the air, watched it arc and trail sparks like a miniature comet plummeting towards earth. "Looks like ... like. I don't know what. But it looks pretty."

"You shouldn't do that," Dom said automatically, distractedly. "You have a tin right here."

"Fireworks."

"What?"

"Looks like a wee bitty firework," Billy said, pleased he'd thought of it. He leaned far over the railing to see if he could see it still glowing below.

"Jesus, Bill, get the fuck back!" Dom yelped. He reached with one hand and pulled on Billy's arm.

But Billy yanked it away, and in doing so, nearly lost his balance, one foot coming right off the stone floor. Dom dropped his cigarette with a gasp and hauled him back with both hands, until he leaned back against the sandstone wall, his fingers clutching Billy's arms, Billy leaning back against Dom's chest.

"You stupid sodding fucking drunken idiot," Dom breathed, shaking. "Don't you ever fucking do that again, do you hear me?"

"It's okay, Dom," Billy said, sincerely believing it. "I wasn't going to fall."

"Don't ever fucking do that again," Dom repeated, more severely.

"Okay, Dom. I won't. I won't do it again." He tried to move, so Dom let go of his arms, but Billy simply turned around and laid his head on Dom's shoulder. "'M sorry. Don't worry. I won't do it again."

Dom let out a soft puff of breath, then put his arms around Billy and hugged him. "Make sure you don't," he said gruffly. When Billy pressed his forehead into the crook of Dom's neck and whispered, "Okay," against his skin, Dom realized they were still outside, in plain view of anyone who cared to look. "Come on, Bills. Let's go in, yeah?"

"Sure, Dom. Whatever you want." Billy stepped away, opened the door, and went inside. Against all the odds, his glass had stayed in his hand the entire time.

Dom closed his eyes briefly, tried to get a grip on himself, and followed Billy back in.


Chapter 4