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Title: You're A Map Of A Place Maybe Someday I'll Go Ch. 6/22
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, and to buckle_berry for the fabulous Britpick. This fic would not be the same without you three, and I thank you from the bottom of my squishy little heart.

Chapter 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

First posted June, 2006



They sat watching TV, trying not to let on that the movie actually had scared them a little. At least, Dom thought that was why Billy's fingers were going a mile a minute on the arm of the sofa. He noticed his own leg jiggling rapidly up and down and tried to still it, taking a long swig from his beer. Billy was drinking Irn Bru he'd picked up while they were out, saying some swore by it as a hangover cure.

"Good choice on that one, Dom. Good ... suspense," Billy said lamely.

Dom grinned. "Aw. Did it scare poor wee Billy?"

"No." His defensive answer was immediate, then was followed by, "Well ... that one scene. The one with the knife. That was a little ... "

"Yeah," Dom agreed. "Brutal. Remind me not to rent that one for Elwood, we'd have to peel him off the ceiling. I think I might leave my light on tonight, for fuck's sake."

Billy snickered. "Aw. Did it make poor wee Dom feart of the dark?"

"Shut it, Boyd. Or I just might come into your room tonight and wake you up--rather suddenly." Dom threatened with a menacing smile. He got to his feet. "Back in a minute. Good thing this motel has an ensuite, yeah?"

"You're so bizarre," Billy chuckled, then took a long swallow of his 'Bru.




Dom finished in the bathroom and washed his hands. He was trying desperately not to think about all the things Ali had said on the phone, was trying not to imagine what Billy might have to say to him, and he most definitely was trying not to imagine what might happen afterward. When he and Billy were talking, or watching a film, it wasn't too difficult to push it all aside and pretend it was a normal visit like any other--but as soon as it was quiet the frantic, chaotic thoughts clamoured in his head telling him to push it, make Billy talk tonight, talk now--

Dom stared at himself in the mirror, then gave a soft snort and whispered, "Don't be an arse. You've waited four years, you can wait a few more days. Don't wreck this now."

Distracted, a little anxious, Dom opened the door, flipped the light off, and headed down the dark hall back to the living room. When there was a sudden shriek behind him and fingers touched his throat, Dom bellowed in alarm, more twitchy than he would have liked to admit thanks to that movie, and instinctively leapt to the side and shoved with all his might and stumbled backwards, swearing, "JesusfuckingChrist, what the--" in a sharp fast voice.

Billy looked up at him from where he sat on the hall floor, both grinning and wincing. "Landing on your arse isn't fun when you have a hangover, I'm afraid. I really can't recommend it. You know, Dom, you have surprisingly fast reactions, considering what a clumsy sod you are."

Dom leaned against the wall, bent over, trying to slow his pounding heart, stop the adrenalin-fuelled shaking in his hands, catch his breath. "Goddammit, Billy, what the hell was that for?"

Billy climbed to his feet and propped himself against the opposite wall of the hallway. "That, my dear Dominic, was a pre-emptive strike. Now maybe you'll reconsider before waking me in the middle of the night," he grinned.

Dom's heart had slowed its frightening pounding racing skipping, but he still felt breathless. "Fuck you, Bill," he said angrily, still leaning over, hands on his thighs.

Billy went perfectly motionless for several seconds, then quietly said, "Dom. Look at me."

Dom pushed himself upright, but to walk away rather than to face Billy. He succinctly repeated, "Fuck you," and left Billy standing in the hall. He went into the kitchen and with only slightly shaky hands got a glass from the cupboard, ran some cold tap water into it, took a drink. His breathing still hadn't quite returned to normal, and he prayed he wasn't starting an asthma attack. Although that would be one way to teach Billy not to scare him like that, wouldn't it? Serve him right if Dom turned blue and died right there in the sod's living room. Except, of course, then he'd be dead and couldn't enjoy Billy's little lesson, but that was beside the point.

Just as Dom was starting to get his sense of humour back, without warning there was a low voice behind him and fingers on his shoulder and he jumped, the glass sliding from his fingers to fall and shatter on the floor, splattering the bottoms of his jeans and his feet with water and sparkling shards of glass and he yelped and shouted and gasped and choked on doing all three at once.

Billy worriedly said, "Jesus, Dom, what the hell--no, don't move--there's glass everywhere. Hold on--just hold on."

Dom stood and coughed as Billy gingerly picked up the larger pieces, then grabbed a cloth and quickly wiped up everything else. Dom went to turn, but Billy stopped him.

"Wait. There might be glass on your trousers." He crouched down to inspect them, also checking Dom's socks. "Yeah, I think there is--you'd better take them off. Your socks, too. Leave them here, I can clean it all up when they're dry."

"No," Dom coughed. "I'll just brush it off--"

"And get glass slivers in your hands? I think not." He stood again, looked at Dom closely, heard for the first time the slight wheezing in his breath. "Dom?" Billy frowned, reached out to grip his shoulder. "Are you all right?"

Dom shook him off. "Fine." He looked down at his feet, frowning, and tried as evenly as he could to say, "Go on, then. Go and sit down. I'll take my jeans off and get clean ones." But no matter how shallowly he tried to breathe, he still panted a bit, and knew Billy could hear it.

"Dom, what's wrong? What is this?" Billy asked, concern filling his voice. "This isn't your allergies, is it?"

"No. Not the allergies. Go away."

"I bloody well will not go away," he said incredulously. "Not until you tell me what's going on."

Dom stopped trying to suppress it and gave a barking cough that alarmed Billy to no end.

"Jesus Christ, Dom, what's wrong?"

"Asthma."

"But you don't have asthma."

"I do, actually," Dom gasped slightly, starting to feel a little scared. "Talking right now isn't helping. Outside. Need to go outside. Please."

"Outside? Okay--stay here. I'll go get clean trousers for you. Did you unpack?"

"Dresser."

Billy hurried out and returned a moment later with a pair of khaki army surplus trousers. "Here. Change into these. Let me help."

"Fuck off, Bill," Dom said for the third time that night, but this time he smiled briefly as he said it. He wheezed, "Can change by myself, daft git. Out."

With a last worried look, Billy left.

Trying not to breathe too heavily, because he knew that would only make it worse, Dom slowly pulled off his socks and dropped them, then stripped off his damp-hemmed jeans, leaving them on the floor as he carefully stepped away from any possible glass before donning the khakis. He skirted around to turn the burner on under the kettle, and then barefoot, headed straight for the living room and the door to the balcony.

Billy quickly followed him. "Are you sure about going outside? It's city air, it's not like it's the countryside here, won't this make you worse?"

He stepped onto the balcony with relief, leaning against the stone wall in the same place he had the night before. When Billy joined him, closing the door behind them, Dom nodded. "I'm sure."

"Since when do you have asthma?" Billy suddenly demanded, standing right beside him, practically glaring at him through the orange sodium-hazed night.

"Not long ago. Allergies got worse. Developed this." Dom slowly sat down on the cold stone floor, his back pressed up against the wall.

Billy crouched beside him. "What do I do?" he asked nervously, apprehensively.

Dom gave another barking cough. "Stop making me talk, silly twat. I put the kettle on--cup of coffee? Strong."

"Okay. I'm sorry. I'm sorry--don't talk, Dom. Just take it easy. Relax, and don't talk, and I won't ask you any more stupid questions, okay?" Billy stood up. "I'll go and get your coffee. Will you be all right here for a minute?"

Dom nodded, then focused on his breathing, forcing himself to breathe slowly, smoothly, wait patiently for the tight band across his chest to ease. He leaned forward, hung his forearms over his knees, and closed his eyes, relaxing his muscles one by one, trying not to let the lurking agitation get a foothold. Heard Billy return and so wasn't startled when a warm hand started rubbing slow circles on his back.

"Better, Dom?" Billy asked softly. "Just nod or shake your head, don't talk. Here's your coffee."

Dom nodded. He sat up and took the mug, took a large sip, then bowed his head onto his arm again.

"Careful," Billy quickly warned, "It's hot."

And indeed, it did burn Dom's tongue, but he didn't care. The scorching heat down his throat felt good, the caffeine would help immensely, and Dom wanted this to stop before he began truly panicking.

"Are you going to want to be out here for a little while?"

Dom nodded.

"Okay. I'm going to go get you some socks or shoes or something, and a jumper. It's damp out here."

Dom felt Billy rise, heard the door open and close. He sat up again, pressing his back and his head against the cool stone, his eyes still closed. Now that his breathing was starting to get slightly better, the constricting band easing, he felt a little on the foolish side. He was a grown man, for God's sake, and he'd let Billy frighten him so much he couldn't breathe? Bloody embarrassing, that's what it was. Billy would never let him hear the end of this, and after all the teasing he'd taken thanks to that one little shriek in the fireworks scene in Fellowship, he had every right. Dom wouldn't blame him if he called Elijah and Sean and Viggo and told them as well, to even things up. He drank more of his coffee.

He heard the door open and then Billy was crouching beside him again. "Here. Put this on."

Dom opened his eyes and took the thick jumper Billy held out. "This isn't mine."

"Don't talk. It's mine--none of yours looked warm enough," he said. "Here's some socks, too. I promise they're not wool."

Dom panted a bit, but less than before. "Not like it's below freezing, Bill."

"I said don't talk!" Billy insisted. "Put them on, dammit."

He chuckled, but stopped when it made him cough again, and pulled the jumper on over his t-shirt. He took the socks from Billy and pulled them on. He had to admit, it felt good--his feet had been getting cold. He leaned his head on his arm briefly and breathed a little more deeply, immensely relieved to find he could, and smiled when he realised the sweater he wore smelled like Billy, which was comforting.

Billy resumed rubbing the slow circles on Dom's back, sitting quiet and still beside him.




Fifteen minutes later, Dom's breathing was almost completely back to normal and both he and Billy were shivering. "Come on, let's go in," he urged.

"Are you sure?" Billy frowned. "Are you feeling better?"

"Yeah, I'm fine. Still a little short of breath, but it's going to be fine. And we're both cold." He got to his feet, made shooing motions with his hands. "In."

Inside, the sudden dry warmth hit Dom, and he was afraid it would spark the asthma all over again. "Is it okay if I leave the door open for a few minutes?" he asked, pulling a chair over near it.

"Of course. Do you want a blanket or anything?" Billy hovered, obviously wanting to do something to help.

"No. Another cup of coffee would be grand, though, if you don't mind?"

"Coming up." Billy was back a few minutes later with a refill on the coffee, handed it to him, watched him drink it scalding hot again as he continued to linger by Dom's chair.

Dom didn't look up, but he smiled a little. "Sit down, Bills. I'm not in imminent danger of death."

Billy gave a tiny snort, then sat on the end of the sofa closest to Dom. "Are you sure you're all right?"

"I'm sure. Just need a little cool air still."

"Are you okay to talk, or do you need to be quiet for a bit longer?"

Dom shook his head. "I'm fine to talk. Don't think I'll go for a jog right now, but talking isn't a problem."

"Then tell me when the asthma started and why the hell you didn't tell me about it before."

He shrugged. "To be honest, I didn't think of it. My allergies had got worse over the past couple of years, but I think you knew that."

"Yeah, I knew that. You thought it might have been Rings that did it," Billy sat back, but watched him carefully.

"Yeah. I asked my doctor if he thought that was possible, and he agreed it could be. I spent so much time wearing wool and being outside that the antihistamines just stopped working, and I just grew hypersensitive to everything I was allergic to, and the hypersensitivity led to the asthma developing." Dom paused to take another gulp of his coffee, to breathe in the damp cool air from outside. "It just started ... I don't know for sure, really. The past eight months or so, I guess. But this is only my third real attack, so I'm still figuring out how to deal with it."

"I'm sorry I caused this one, Dom," Billy said quietly. "And don't try and tell me I didn't, I know full well that I did. I'm sorry. I didn't know a fright would--or I never would have--"

"I know." Dom finally looked up at Billy, met his eyes and held them. "I know, Bills. I didn't realise it would do this to me, either."

Billy frowned. "Don't you have, you know, an inhaler or something?"

Dom looked sheepish. "Yeah. It's in Hawaii."

"Dom!"

"I know, I know. But I've only had it for two months, and I haven't had an attack since then, so I didn't even think about it when I was packing."

"We'll have to get you one, just in case," Billy said decisively. "What caused your other attacks?"

"A really hot, humid, smoggy day. And the second one was at a party, I think I just danced too much and got too hot. And I got a bit--upset."

"Why?"

Dom sighed, gave one little cough. "Oh, a couple of fuckwits got into a fight, beat the shite out of each other. You know me."

Billy finally smiled. "Aye. I know you. A softer-hearted jessy I've yet to meet."

Dom flashed him two fingers. "Wanker."

Billy chuckled, but soon sobered again. "So you used the inhaler?"

"No. That's actually when I got it, after that attack. It was ... it was bad."

He frowned again. "How bad?"

"Scared the hell out of me," Dom admitted. "It's--God, Bill, not being able to breathe is the worst thing I've ever felt in my life. It's like--like a steel strap around my chest, getting tighter and tighter, and the fact that it terrified me just made it worse. I kept wondering was it going to stop, was the strap going to tighten more, was I going to stop breathing altogether?"

"Jesus, Dom," Billy murmured. "And you didn't have any medication?"

"No. I didn't even really know it was asthma until I went to the doctor after that. Luckily there was a girl at the party who had asthma, and she talked me out of it, told me what to do."

"Talked you out of it? Maybe you'd better tell me, in case this happens again," Billy said, looking worried once more.

Dom got up and closed the door to the balcony. "I doubt it will, it's not like this is a regular occurrence." He crossed to the sofa and sat beside Billy, dragging the blanket he'd lain over Billy that morning across his own shoulders.

Billy shifted to face him. "Even so. What do you do?"

The corner of Dom's mouth quirked. "My doctor thinks I'm cracked, but cool air helps me. It's not supposed to, really, but ... I can feel it going into my lungs better, you know? I can convince myself that yes, I am actually getting some air."

"What else?"

"Anything to dilate the air passages, really. Caffeine, hot drinks, breathing in steam, or the inhaler." Dom pulled his feet up onto the sofa.

Billy lifted his leg slightly, put his thigh over Dom's toes to warm them. "And what did you mean by 'talk you out of it'?"

"Billy, this really isn't necessary--"

"Oh yes it is," he said firmly.

Dom sighed again, and this time he didn't cough. "It's--I mean, it's a bit unnerving, to not be able to breathe. It makes me a bit ... It freaks me out."

"I can imagine. Like having the breath knocked out of you, only it keeps going?"

Dom looked at him gratefully. "Yeah. Yeah, like that. And the more worried or anxious I get about it, the worse it gets. So I have to basically talk myself through it. Tell myself to stay calm, force myself to relax, breathe as slowly as I can. That sort of thing."

Billy nodded. "Okay. You let me know if you feel it starting again, no matter what, all right?"

"It's not--"

"All right?" Billy repeated sternly.

Dom smiled fondly. "All right, Bills, but--"

"And tomorrow I'm finding a clinic or something to take you to, and we're getting you an inhaler."

"No need--"

"There most certainly is--"

"Would you stop interrupting me?" Dom exclaimed. "If you'd let me finish, you'd learn that I was about to say there is no need for a clinic. I will call my old family doctor in Manchester, ask him to request my records from the doctor in Hawaii, and then I can have a chemist here fax Manchester a request for the prescription. Happy now?"

Billy stared at him for a moment, and then laughed, all the tension of the past little while easing. "Yes. Yes, Dom, as complicated as that is, it makes me happy."

Dom grinned at him. "Good."

"You're feeling yourself again, then?" Billy relaxed against the sofa, leaning the side of his head on the back cushion while still looking at Dom.

"I am. A little on the jittery side, though."

Billy frowned. "Why?"

"When I said 'strong coffee', I didn't mean just grind the beans up and add a bit of water for texture. Bloody hell, you could've stood a spoon up in that shite," he snorted good-naturedly.

Billy chuckled. "Sorry. You said strong, though. Perhaps we ought to come up with some sort of sliding scale, for future reference."

"Like, from hot piss-coloured water up through to Glasgow gutter mud?"

He laughed, amused. "Exactly. Just come up with a few in between, and I shall be all set to make a cup of coffee to your heart's desire."

Dom was tempted to remark on the heart's desire part, but restrained himself just in time. "So how's your hangover, anyway?"

Billy shrugged, still smiling. "Headache. Other than that, I'm fine."

He wriggled his toes underneath Billy's thigh. "What a pair we are, eh? Old and Decrepit."

"I take it I'm Old?" Billy asked wryly.

"No, you can be Decrepit if you like. With my wheezing, I could be Old no problem," Dom grinned.

He chuckled. "Ah, Dom, you're--" But he stopped abruptly.

Even as Dom watched, Billy's smile faded, his face clouded over, and he looked down at his lap. Dom gave an inward sigh, then in a normal voice said, "How about we watch another film? Something a little lighter than that last one, yeah? I think I've had enough suspense for one night. You have any good comedies in your collection? Or are you ready to turn in for the night?"

It was a moment before Billy took in the words. "Oh. Ehm--no, not quite. I--I'm sure I have something that would do." He rose and crossed to the entertainment centre that housed his TV and DVD player. Opening a drawer underneath, he scanned his discs, finally pulling one out. After loading it, he returned to the sofa and sat down again, and Dom noted that he sat closer than he had before.

A few minutes into the movie, Dom noticed Billy fold his hands under his arms, and assumed he was a bit cold. Dom spent several minutes weighing the pros and cons of getting closer, much as he wanted to, but finally decided to throw caution to the winds. Billy had choices to make, but maybe it would be a little easier if he had some sort of indication as to where Dom was at. So Dom pulled the blanket off his shoulders, shifted right next to Billy so their hips rubbed and their legs touched and their arms were pressed together, and threw the blanket across both of them, tugging it halfway up their chests. He slouched down a bit, relaxing back into the sofa, and waited.

Billy had stiffened just slightly when Dom shifted over, hadn't moved a muscle when Dom pulled the blanket up, and sat still for several minutes after. Finally Dom felt him loosen up a little, even felt the pressure on his arm increase as Billy leaned in a bit. Dom wasn't finished, though. When Billy moved his hands to absently adjust the blanket a bit, then put them on his thighs under the blanket, Dom--without looking away from the TV--reached over and took Billy's nearest hand in both of his and said, "Your hands are cold, Bill. Give me the other one."

"Dom--" Billy's voice sounded pinched.

"Hand over the hand, Boyd," Dom grinned, and it was the grin that brought everything back within the realm of commonplace, of being just Dom and Billy--a little hand-warming was nothing out of the ordinary for so affectionate and profound a friendship, and the corner of Billy's mouth lifted slightly as he brought his other hand over and slid it between Dom's warm palms. They returned their attention to the film and for the next half hour Dom held both Billy's hands, idly rubbing them, softly chafing them, until they were as warm as Dom's own. Billy leaned further into him and even slowly slid down to lean his head against Dom's shoulder. Dom smiled, contented.

But in a little while it did leave the realm of commonplace when Billy sat up straight, pulling Dom with him, and angled in the other direction to slouch into the corner of the sofa on bunched-up cushions, tugging an unresisting Dom down beside him, against him, his head on Billy's chest and Billy's arm around him. Dom snaked his own arm around Billy's waist and closed his eyes, forcing himself to breathe slowly and normally and not climb on top of the man and kiss him senseless.




An hour later, Dom woke slowly, awareness seeping back in, and he realised Billy was hugging him tightly with both arms, his cheek on the top of Dom's head, and he was whispering, his sibilant voice nearly inaudible. Dom strained to hear.

"God, Dom. What the fuck do I do? I don't know what to do, Dom, I don't know what to do, I don't know how to do this. Bloody hell, what do I do?"

The second Dom shifted the whispering stopped and Billy froze, but Dom stayed exactly where he was, only the arm about Billy's waist moving, lethargically rising until his hand cupped the back of Billy's neck, his thumb rubbing the short spiky hairs there. "It's okay, Bills," he murmured. "You don't have to decide tonight. It's okay, I swear."

"I don't know how, Dom," he breathed.

"Shh. It's okay. Just enjoy this for tonight. It's warm, and it's comfortable, and I for one don't particularly want to move because this is quite nice. Are you comfortable, Bills?"

"Yeah."

Dom felt his answer more than heard it. "Good. So don't make me get up. I'm sorry I fell asleep--is the film over? Did I miss the end?"

"No, it's--it's still on."

"See? Perfect. I missed the boring angsty part, got in a little nap, and now I get the big payoff where everything turns out right."

Billy was silent for a moment, then murmured, "Think you're subtle, don't you?"

"Why, yes, I do as a matter of fact," Dom smiled. "Come on, you've got to admit that was good."

Billy buried his nose in Dom's hair and made an odd sound, and Dom was alarmed until he realised it was stifled shaky laughter. He brought his hand down from Billy's neck and curled it around his waist, happily hugging the stuffing out of him.


Chapter 7