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Dec. 31st, 2008

Title: You're A Map Of A Place Maybe Someday I'll Go Ch. 1/22
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: It's finally done! Thanks to elmathelas for the beta, and to fitofpique for the beta and gorgeous title. This fic would not be the same without you two, and I thank you from the bottom of my squishy little heart.

First posted June, 2006

The phone rang for the fourth time in the utter darkness of the Hawaiian beach house. Dom fumbled for it, nearly dropped it. "Yeah. Hello."

"Hey, Dom. It's Billy."

Dom struggled to lift his head off the pillow. "Billy? Mate, 's good to hear from you. Call me back tomorrow."

"When's your hiatus?"

He let his head fall back and closed his eyes. "Two weeks. Look, it's four in the morning--"

"Want to come for a visit?"

Dom frowned. Was he even listening? "Tomorrow, man. Call tomorrow."

"I was thinking we could hire a car and go north for a few days. Maybe out to Dunvegan, or up to Tournaig. Or if you were feeling especially adventurous, we could even go up to the Orkneys. That'd make a bit of a change from Hawaii, now, wouldn't it? May is not as nice in the north of Scotland as it is in Hawaii, but we'd still have a bit of craic, yeah? And--"

"Billy." Dom opened his eyes.

"--then we could even come back down via St. Andrews, you've never been there--"


"--and I could show you the theatre where I--"

"Boyd, shut the fuck up!" he nearly shouted.

Billy's voice was pure innocence. "Something wrong, Dom?"

"Jesus, Bill, you call me at four in the morning nattering on about a holiday in the wilds of Scotland and you ask if something's wrong?" He sat up, wide awake now, and leaned against the cool wood of the headboard. "I thought you were going on holiday with Ali next month."

"Oh ... ehm. No. No, doesn't look like that's going to pan out now. But if going north doesn't appeal we could--"

"What do you mean it doesn't look like it's going to pan out? Why not?" Dom suddenly went very still; the pre-dawn darkness around him seemed to have hushed in sympathy until he could hear the sea over the sand on the beach below his window.

"Just sort of fell through. Or you know what we could do? We could take the ferry over to Ireland, spend a bit of time--"

"Billy. Come on, mate."

There was a little sigh, more of a breath, really. "Just didn't work out. Holidays with an ex usually don't, do they?"

"No, I suppose--wait."

"Dom, don't do this now--" Billy murmured, and there was a sudden edge to his voice that had Dom gripping his phone tightly.

"All right. Just tell me when."

"Two days ago."

"Why don't you come here, Bills?" Dom softened his voice. "Catch a flight as soon as you can and come here. You've been in Scotland long enough, you could probably use a bit of sun anyway. Lie out on the beach and tan your pasty white arse."

There was a little laugh, as much a small breath as his sigh had been. "Since when do you sunbathe in the altogether?"

"Oh, I didn't say I did," Dom grinned.

"Wanker. Thanks, Dom, but I can't."

"Sure you can, Bills, there are dozens of flights every day--"

"No, I mean, I can't get away. I have a benefit on Saturday and a photoshoot next Wednesday. I don't want to do either, but I have to." He sounded almost angry about that.

"Yeah, you're right. You do," Dom agreed calmly. "All right. I finish up here in two weeks. Then there's the wrap party, and I'll fly out first thing next morning."

"You won't be moving anywhere first thing next morning after a wrap party," Billy said, and Dom wasn't sure if that was wryness or desperation in his voice.

"I just won't drink. Might be a bit tired, but it's not like we've never flown tired before, right Bills? Just make sure you're there to pick me up at the airport--I might not be capable of remembering your address."

"You could put a luggage tag around your neck," Billy suggested, and the tiny smile that crept in reassured Dom. "'If I get lost, please deliver me to ... '"

"Now there's a thought. Then I don't even have to try to stay conscious."

"Of course, if the address were to get smudged, you might wind up being delivered to Billy Boyd, an ex-dockworker living down on Clydeside."

"As long as he brought me in to the missus for a cuppa, I'd be all right with that. You Scots are very friendly, after all."

Billy chuckled, then quietly said, "See you in two weeks, then, Dom. And ... thanks."

"Two weeks. I'll ring you with the flight number and time. And Billy--if you want, you can call me anytime, day or night. If I'm on set, I'll ring you back soon as I can," Dom promised.

"Yeah. Okay."

"I mean it," he insisted.

Billy sighed. "I know you do. If I need to, I will. Goodnight, Dom."

"G'night, Bills." Dom closed his phone and set it back on the nightstand. He lay on his back, arms behind his head, staring into the darkness.

The only way Dom heard from Billy over the following two weeks was through voicemail, and it troubled him a little. It wasn't like Billy to avoid talking to people, especially Dom, even when he was upset about something. In fact usually, the more upset he was, the more likely Dom was to hear from him almost daily.

Instead, he received voicemails that sounded cheerful, telling Dom the benefit had gone well, the photoshoot had been a riot, and it seemed like Billy was carefully counting the time difference and calling only when he could be nearly certain Dom was on set, his phone turned off. Dom tried to outsneak him, ringing Billy at all hours of the day and night in Glasgow, but either Billy let his phone ring until it went to voicemail, or he turned it off. Frustrated, all Dom could do was leave another message.

But the final straw was the message Dom found on his phone when he arrived home at three in the morning after the wrap party, knowing he only had a few hours to sleep before getting up to go to the airport to spend twenty sodding hours on a plane and waiting in bloody airports. There was a cheery and--Dom was sure--alcohol-slurred little message telling Dom there would be a car waiting for him at the airport in Glasgow, to just give the concierge his name because everything was all arranged for him. Dom tried calling Billy, meaning to ask why the hell Billy couldn't just come pick Dom up himself, but the too-familiar voicemail came on and Dom didn't even bother. Tearing a strip off Billy would be much more effective in person, and by then he'd have the added ferocity that transatlantic travel always gave him.

Dom slept for a few hours, got a cab to the airport, and spent the interminable wait browsing the shops for a suitable present for Billy. He finally decided on a plastic lei and a tacky Hawaiian hula doll, certain Billy had never bought either on any of his visits. In L.A., he spent part of his layover time on the phone with Elijah, just to say hello as he passed through on his way to Chicago. And in Chicago Dom, in his desperation to put off the temptation to find a chair and nap, browsed through every shop they had. He wound up buying a book to read on the plane (because in spite of all his practice, he still found it hard to sleep for any length of time), a t-shirt for Billy that said All That Jazz! in sparkles, and one for himself that read I am Wonderland. He didn't know what it meant, really, but he liked it anyway. Dom finally found himself in the duty-free, half an hour still to kill and, with snickers born purely of exhaustion, he bought a bottle of eight year old Scotch to take with him.

To Scotland.

Billy would go spare.

Dom's flight took off an hour and a half later. Once the initial sharp gain in altitude was over and he could stop popping his ears every thirty seconds, he settled back in his seat for a nap before they brought the first meal. He closed his eyes, put his earphones in, and yawned widely.

And didn't fall asleep.

Annoyed, Dom sat up when the stewardess (flight attendant, he told himself with a tiny grin) brought his dinner. After eating, he turned to one side, propped his little pillow against the headrest, and with a weary sigh closed his eyes, sure his pleasantly full stomach would help him drop off.

An hour later Dom grumpily stuffed the pillow down beside his hip, yanked his book from his carryon, and started reading.

Thirty-two minutes later, with an inward groan, he thrust the book back in his bag, in even worse shape than he had been before. Now not only was he dog-tired, sore from partying all night and then being stuck in an airplane seat what felt like all day, but thanks to that bloody book and its surprisingly erotic twist, now he also had a slightly uncomfortable hard-on filling out his jeans. He casually pulled the pillow out and put it on his lap, pulled the tray down, got a pen from his jacket pocket, and began to write on his hands, because if he thought for one more second about walking down that aisle to the toilets and indulging in a little one-handed workout, then he'd wind up either actually doing that or just moaning out loud. And Dom liked to think he had a little more self-control than that.

So instead, for the following twenty minutes, he wrote on his hands, not even really paying attention to what he wrote, just focusing on the feel of the ballpoint on his skin rather than the heat in his pants. It was with some surprise (although not really, he supposed) that when he finally looked at what he'd written, it was a collection of random (although not, really) words like flight and sand and Billy and roadtrip and home and vodka (that must have been when the drinks trolley went by) and bed and sleep and Billy. He noticed, then, that he'd written Billy twice, once on the back of his hand and once down the inside length of his forefinger, and he smiled to himself. Definitely not a surprise, that--not the way he'd been worrying over his best mate the past two weeks. Not that it was just worry that had put him on Dom's hands; no, Billy had been a constant in his mind and in his heart for a long time now, in one way or another, hadn't he? Ever since that week in New Zealand, the week they spent just the two of them, waiting for filming that never happened and skirting around something that very nearly did, Dom had had a pint-sized longing in his soul. It wasn't particularly painful--no more than, say, wanderlust was painful--but that didn't mean it wasn't there. Then again, Billy would still be first and foremost in Dom's mind and heart regardless, because he was truly the best mate Dom had ever had in his life.

Dom gave himself a shake. Good God, where had all that sentimental shite come from? He must be even more tired than he thought; he didn't usually think about what had almost been. When the drinks cart passed again, Dom gave in to one of the things apparently on his mind and ordered himself a vodka, then settled back to have his little drink and watch the in-flight movie, since sleep obviously wasn't in the cards for this trip.

Dom walked through the airport, wearily pulling his suitcase behind him. Of course the bloody thing had been the last one to show up on the carousel. And where in the name of all that was holy (his bed, any bed) was the bloody concierge? He finally asked a security guard, was pointed towards the proper set of doors, and then had to wait nearly ten minutes at the service stand, which worsened his already foul temper. Eventually his name was taken, his car pulled up, and he was quickly and efficiently bundled in by the perceptive driver, who could see Dom was about to fall on his face if he didn't sit down soon.

The warmth inside the cab and the darkness outside it were calling, tugging Dom toward sleep, but he had to resist. Thankfully, the driver began to chat, so Dom talked to him, explaining where he'd flown in from and how long it had taken, and receiving gratifying sympathy for the ordeal in return. It began to ease Dom's irritability (luckily for Billy), and he felt his urge to give Billy a piece of his mind lessening.

Until they hit a traffic snarl.

Twenty minutes later the car finally emerged on the other side of the mess, and Dom's bad humour was back in full force as the driver pulled up in front of Billy's building. He climbed out, every muscle protesting, thanked the driver with credible sincerity and hauling his suitcase, climbed the stairs. It took him a minute to find Billy's buzzer, but finally he did and leaned on it with some vigour.

No answer.

Not that Dom was surprised, really, not with the way things had been going. In fact, he'd almost expected it. He pressed the button again even as he dug his mobile out of his pocket and hit the speed-dial for Billy's phone. It rang once before kicking straight to voicemail. He had it off again, the bastard. So Dom alternated between holding his palm over the buzzer for one long stream of hopefully annoying sound and punching it over and over and over in the most maddening rhythm imaginable until finally the buzzer sounded. He quickly yanked the door open and then, holding it with his foot, grabbed his suitcase and was finally safely in Billy's building.

Dom was panting by the time he reached Billy's door. It was a damn good thing he only had to do one flight of stairs lugging his suitcase, because he didn't think he'd have survived a second flight. He rapped loudly on the door and was relieved when it opened immediately. Billy must have waited by the intercom for him.

But his relief was short-lived as he stepped inside and took in the state of Billy's flat. And the state of Billy himself. Dom left his suitcase, dropped his bag, shucked his jacket, and wrapped his arms around his best mate, giving him a careful hug. "Hey, Bills."

He was unshaven, not that there was more than untidy scruff as it had only been days since his photo shoot, but his eyes were red-rimmed, bloodshot, and puffy. His clothes looked clean enough, but he still smelled a bit stale, like he just hadn't got around to showering in a day or two. In fact, he looked like he hadn't gotten around to anything in a few days, except maybe drinking.

And the flat, as Dom inspected what he could see of it over Billy's shoulder, was in about the same state. Glasses, mugs, newspapers, clothes, all strewn about the living room. The only thing Dom didn't see any evidence of was food.

Billy tightened his arms around Dom infinitesimally and unevenly said, "You made it, then."

"Barely. I was going to tear you a new one for not coming to the airport to get me, but looking at you, I think I'm glad you didn't drive anywhere," Dom said quietly. "What are you doing, Billy?"

He pulled away, turned away and walked into the kitchen. "Cup of tea?" he called over his shoulder, his voice flat.

"No thanks." Dom followed him, tried not to gawk at the mess in the kitchen, was impressed by the disaster-area look that still apparently didn't involve any foodstuffs whatsoever. "We'll forget everything else for now, Billy. But when was the last time you had a good sleep?"

Billy set the kettle back on the hob without turning the burner on. He didn't--wouldn't--meet Dom's eyes when he said, "Oh, it's not so bad ... "


"Really, Dom, I'm--"

"When?" Dom repeated, his voice firm and unwavering.

"I've had some sleep," Billy snapped, suddenly defensive. "I was napping when you got here, all right?"

"Yeah, and how long were you sleeping for?"

He was silent.

"That's what I thought. Come on, Bills." Dom grabbed his hand and began dragging him from the kitchen and down the hall.

"Let go, Dom--"

"No. We're both going to get some sleep. I'm fucking exhausted, Billy, I didn't sleep a wink on the plane, so I've had about three hours in--what, three days? I need to crash, and crash now, and since I won't exactly be entertaining while I sleep, you might as well join me."

"I don't want--" he began to protest as Dom hauled him into his bedroom. "I can't--"

Dom closed the bedroom door as if to keep Billy from bolting. "Yes, you can, Bills," he said firmly. "I'm going to get undressed, you know I can't sleep in my jeans. It's up to you what you want to sleep in, but you're not going anywhere." He turned and pulled off his shirt, yanked off the t-shirt underneath, then stripped off his jeans, leaving himself in just his boxers. He climbed into Billy's large bed, staying on one side. Billy was still standing there, only two buttons on his shirt undone. "Come on," Dom urged. "You know I sleep better when I can hear your freakish whistling."

Billy didn't smile, but he looked at Dom and the exact moment he gave over was evident when his posture slumped and his eyes slowly blinked.

"Come on, Bills," Dom said softly.

Billy took off his shirt and jeans and crawled into his side of the bed. After a moment, he rolled over to face Dom, still a foot of space between them, his red eyes focused somewhere around Dom's chin. "I'm ... I'm glad you're ... It's good to see you again."

"Me too," Dom smiled sleepily. He held out one hand, waiting for Billy to take it. When he did, Dom clasped their hands together tightly, but all he said was, "I'm so fucking tired, Bill."

Billy finally gave him the tiniest of smiles. "Close your eyes then, numptie. I'll see you when you wake up."

"You'll sleep, won't you?" Dom mumbled, already half under himself, not letting go of Billy's hand.

"Yeah. I think--I think I will," came the quiet response, and then nothing but blessed darkness.

Dom groggily became aware of heavy limbs over his and an oddly familiar, high-pitched but soft noise in his ear. It took nearly half a minute for him to remember who, what and where, and then he smiled, put his arm over the pale one on his chest, and went back to sleep.

Chapter 2