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Dec. 31st, 2008

Title: You're A Map Of A Place Maybe Someday I'll Go Ch. 2/22
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

First posted June, 2006

When next he woke, Dom was lying on his side, his head on Billy's chest and his hand curled over Billy's far hip. Dom stayed still, was infinitely grateful his arm hadn't come to rest any lower. Billy's arm was around him, snugging Dom against his side, and he could tell from the silence and the slightly faster rhythm of breathing that Billy was wide awake.

He debated what to do. Billy was probably getting a little uncomfortable--he'd never been too keen on cuddling quite so intimately with a mate. Sharing a bed was all well and good when necessary, but not when it entailed so much skin-to-skin contact and so little clothing. On the other hand, Dom was enjoying every second of it. He finally gave a little sigh, quickly turned it into a snuffle to make it sound like he was still asleep, and shifted to roll away from the nice warm body he was curled against.

And was held tightly where he was.

Dom moved restlessly, rearranged himself over Billy, and lay quietly again, knowing he had fooled Billy into believing he was still asleep.

Well. This was a turn-up for the books, wasn't it? He hoped it didn't mean Billy was so devastated by Ali's absence he was pretending the body curled against him was Ali. Because Dom was a substitute for no woman. But it might not be so very dire. It could be as simple as Billy finding having his mate nearby to be comforting--Dom hoped that was it. So he stayed there, his arm rising and falling with Billy's breathing, hearing Billy's heartbeat slow as he relaxed again. Every once in a while Dom shifted, twitched, tightened his arm over Billy, because he knew he was a restless sleeper and he always had been big on verisimilitude in his acting. He gave Billy every opportunity to release him if he wanted to, but the arm stayed warm and close-fitting around him.

Eventually Dom decided it was time to wake up and see what was what. He gave a little stretch, a little sigh, and nuzzled his forehead into Billy's chest. "Morning," he said hoarsely.

Billy's heart rate increased slightly, but he calmly, softly said, "Getting on for teatime, actually. But close enough."

"What day is it?"


"Sunday?" Dom lifted his head to look up at Billy in mild alarm. "But I got here on Friday!"

Billy quietly chuckled, "No, you left on Friday. You arrived on Saturday night. And it's now Sunday. And I have to piss like you wouldn't believe, so if you'll excuse me--" He carefully worked his way out of bed, trying to disturb Dom as little as possible.

But Dom rolled onto his back, grumbling, "Three days shot to hell, just like that. We really need to move Scotland closer to Hawaii, you know that?"

"I'll get right on it," Billy shot back wryly, just before opening the door and disappearing.

Dom indulged in another long, taut stretch, then sat up on the edge of the bed, scrubbing a hand through his hair. He pulled his jeans on and wandered out to the kitchen to unearth the coffee maker from behind a beer case and a dead plant. He was searching for filters when he heard the bathroom door open. "Bill?"

"Just a minute."

"No, before you get dressed."

A moment later, Billy stuck his head around the doorframe. "What?"

"I can't find your bloody coffee filters," Dom complained. "So you make coffee while I have a quick shower, and then you can have your shower."

Billy looked like he was about to refuse some part of that plan, but thought better of it. "Fine. Grab a towel from the airing cupboard. And wash my name off your hand before we go anywhere." He walked in and quickly crossed to the freezer to pull out the coffee. Dom grinned but didn't say a word.

Dom was in and out of the shower in ten minutes and he dressed in clothes suitable to the chill, damp air of the day. When he returned to the kitchen the coffee was just finishing and Billy was nowhere to be seen. He took the last two mugs from the cupboard and set them on the counter, searched out the sugar, which for some reason was in the nearly empty fridge with the milk, and then walked into the living room.

Billy was sitting in the arm chair, a sweatshirt thrown across his lap as a blanket. He was staring at the beer bottles on the debris-littered coffee table.

Dom let out a tiny, inaudible sigh. "Bathroom's free, Bill."

Billy grunted. "Maybe later."

"Maybe now," he said firmly, going over to haul him to his feet.

"Bugger off--"

"You're starting to pong. Go and have a sodding shower, and don't come out until the water runs cold," Dom ordered, and frog-marched him to the bathroom.

"Fuck off!" Billy said indignantly, trying to resist, but only half-heartedly. They both knew full well he could take Dom down any day of the week.

"Go." Dom gently shoved him in and closed the door. Then with an impish grin, yelled, "And have a good wank while you're in there--it'll do wonders for your mood!"

"Cheeky bloody smart-mouthed fucker!" Billy shouted back.

Dom heard the water start to run as he walked away.

Dom decided Billy must have taken him at his word about running the water heater dry because it was nearly half an hour before the shower shut off. Ten minutes later he presented himself in the kitchen, dried and clothed in a clean, warm jumper and jeans. He stared at the newly tidied kitchen.

"What the fuck are you doing?"

Dom looked up from the stack of toast. "Butter, jam, or Marmite?"

"What? None. What are you doing, Dom?"

"Well, I couldn't find the toaster until I cleared out all the empties. And now I'm making toast," Dom said reasonably. "Butter, jam, or Marmite?"

"I don't want any," Billy muttered, turning around and walking out.

"Pick one, or you're getting all three!" Dom threatened.

"Bugger off!" His voice came from the living room.

"I mean it, Boyd."

There was silence for a full five beats. Then, "Fine. Elderberry."

"Elderberry jam it is," Dom said cheerfully. When he was finished making the toast, he carried it into the living room, two pieces for Billy and four for himself. He stood in front of the sofa until, glaring, Billy took the proffered plate. Dom sat in the arm chair and, eating his own breakfast/lunch/tea, watched as Billy ate one half steadily, the next a little more slowly, and only nibbled at the third, and he knew he was right about Billy not eating much lately.

Dom polished his toast off with alacrity, rose, silently took Billy's plate from him when it was held out, and returned to the kitchen to pour two mugs of coffee. He easily remembered how to fix Billy's--a little sugar and plenty of milk--and when Billy tasted it and looked up at Dom with turmoil on his face, Dom sat beside him on the sofa. They both faced forward and Dom barely, lightly rubbed his knee against Billy's as they stared at the opposite wall and drank their coffee.

The moment he finished washing up what hadn't already been fit into the dishwasher, Dom tossed Billy's jacket onto his lap. "Come on."

Billy frowned down at it then up at Dom. "Come where?"

"We're going out for a bit."

"Out where?"

"Out. Shift your arse, Boyd."

"I don't want to," he muttered.

"I know you don't." Dom walked away, adding over his shoulder, "But you're going to have to, to keep me from getting lost."

"Where the fuck are you going?" Billy demanded angrily, getting up and following, just as Dom had hoped he would.

Dom made a face at the tinned instrumental Beatles blaring from the speakers overhead. "Orange or white?" he asked. He turned when there was no reply, but Billy was nowhere in sight. "Dammit ... " A moment later he found him two aisles down, picking up two bottles of Scotch.

"What kind of beer do you want?" Billy asked distractedly, stepping back to scan the entire display.

"Billy," Dom said clearly, with forced patience, "Can we finish with the food first, please, and then come back for the beer?"

He turned and walked away. "We are coming back."

"Oh, believe me, I'm coming back for the beer," Dom muttered, following him. "I'm coming back for lots of beer--I'm going to bloody well need it." He raised his voice again. "Orange or white cheese, Bill?"

Exhausted after dragging Billy's arse around Sainsbury's, Dom leaned against the corner of Billy's building.

Billy turned. "Would you please fucking hold this while I get my key out?"

"You're the one who insisted on buying so much bloody booze," Dom panted, taking the three six-packs of beer with hands already holding too many shopping bags.

"You're the one who insisted on buying so much bloody food," Billy retorted, getting his key into the lock and opening the door into the stairwell, holding it for Dom to go through first.

"I have no objection to getting--ah, bloody buggering fuck!" he swore, thrusting the beer at Billy. "Take it, take it, fuck."

Billy quickly grabbed the cases. "What? What's wrong?"

Dom set the bags in his left hand down, stayed leaning over, pressing his clenched hand tightly against the top of his thigh. "Sodding hell."

Billy put the beer down on the second step. "Dom? What is it?"

"Fucking bags," he said shortly, his voice hard. "Did you know plastic can indeed cut skin open?"

"Let me see," Billy said immediately, reaching for Dom's hand.

"No. Leave it, Bill," he snapped, jerking his arm away.

"Let me see it, there's a brave lad," Billy said warmly, kindly, sounding amused. Sounding like Dom's Billy for the first time since he'd arrived.

It caught Dom off guard, and he found his hand captured, held carefully for inspection. "Cut it out," he protested weakly.

"It's not so bad. We'll get you upstairs, you can run it under the tap, and then we'll put a plaster on it. You'll be right as rain."

"I know I will be." Dom tried to sound annoyed as he snatched his hand back, but knew he had failed miserably when Billy chuckled.

"Wait here. I'll take the beer up and unlock the door, then come back for those," he gestured to the bags on the floor.

"Well hurry it up," Dom grumbled, turning away to keep his smile from showing. "This trip has been a sodding disaster so far, and hanging out in your stairwell is not how I planned spending an evening."

In Billy's flat, Dom did indeed run his hand under the tap, washing the blood off while Billy put the groceries away. He peered at the small cut, scrutinising it closely, and with a sigh realised he'd had about all the sympathy for it he could reasonably expect. It was only a glorified paper-cut, really. He covered it with the plaster Billy had fetched for him.

"Going to live?"

"Gobshite," Dom muttered, walking out to the living room to throw himself on the sofa. "This wouldn't have happened if you'd anything in your flat for those not on a liquid diet!"

"I had bread," Billy protested mildly, following him out, two beer bottles in hand. "A little something to ease the pain?"

"Don't mind if I do, thanks," Dom took the bottle held out to him and sat up to make room for Billy beside him. They cracked their beers almost simultaneously and drank. Dom swiped his lip with his thumb, turned to watch Billy drain half his beer in one go, then breathe deeply and belch. "Very nice. Very classy."

Billy shrugged. "Has to come out, doesn't it? Thought you might prefer that method to the alternative."

Dom snorted. "Git." He settled back into the corner of the sofa, one foot up on the cushion. "When I first got here, I asked you a question. You still haven't answered it."

Billy's brows drew together. "You did? What?"

Dom regarded him evenly for a moment. "What are you doing, Bill?"

He drained the rest of his beer. "At the moment, drinking. Want another?" He got to his feet and went back out to the kitchen without waiting for an answer.

"No thanks," Dom said quietly.

When Billy returned, he had a tumbler half full of Scotch and one lone piece of ice. "Help yourself when you do. Mi casa and all that. Want to watch a film?" he asked as he sat.

"No, not really. I want to know what happened, if you'll tell me," Dom said honestly. "I want to know why you're drinking an arseload, not eating, not sleeping, and letting your flat get buried under a pile of shite."

"Because Ali is gone and I am wallowing in self-pity, as people often do after a breakup," he said with false cheer, and took a large swallow of his Scotch. "I rather thought you'd have figured that out by now. You're slowing down, Dominic. Time was, you would have been onto that like a shot."

"Stop taking the piss, Bills. Why is Ali gone?"

"Taking the piss? On the contrary, I am quite sincere. Ali is gone, I am wallowing, and you are slowing down. Nothing there to take the piss about. Take the piss over? Take the piss--"

"Billy. Cut it out," Dom insisted with mounting frustration. "If you don't want to talk, then just say so. Don't treat me like an idiot."

He looked away, took another deep swallow of his drink. Finally mumbled, "Sorry, Dom. I didn't mean it to sound like that."

Dom sighed. "It's all right. Look--you and Ali have broken up before, and you've never been like this. What's different this time? What did she say to you?"

"She didn't say anything--not like that. It's different because this time it's really over," he muttered. "She won't be back." He drank again.

"Billy, I'm sorry she broke it off with you--"

"She didn't," Billy interrupted, still not looking at Dom. "It was a mutual decision."

Dom was confused. "Mutual? But I thought--you seem so ... "

He just snorted, and took another swallow of Scotch.

Dom tried again. "Then what's got you in such a state, Bills?" he asked softly. "This isn't like you."

"Not like me?" Billy repeated, his voice suddenly hard. "That's where you're wrong, Dom. This is exactly like me when I find out I've wasted three years of my life and of someone else's." He surged to his feet and disappeared into the kitchen again.

Dom took a long swallow of his beer. This was going to be even harder than he'd thought. Something was off here, more than just the normal pain of a breakup. Something extra was really eating at Billy. When he didn't return after a few minutes, Dom went in search of him.

Billy sat at the kitchen table, the open bottle of Scotch in front of him; he'd refilled his tumbler, but this time hadn't troubled with ice. He didn't look up as Dom crossed to the counter behind him, rinsing his beer bottle out at the sink and leaving it to dry.

"Beer in the fridge?" Dom asked quietly.


He got one, twisted the cap off, and took a sip, before leaning against the counter behind and to the side of Billy. "You want to tell me what happened, or should I invite Elijah over for a visit?"

Billy groaned, but with a tiny reluctant smile in his voice said, "God, no. Don't sic Earnest Boy on me."

"Then talk, Bill," Dom smiled in answer. "Or he'll be coming to do his number on you. It's pathetic how quickly you turn into putty in his hands."

"It is, isn't it?" He took another drink, and then bent his head, exposing the vulnerable nape of his neck. "Don't know where to start."

"Start with what sparked this," Dom suggested. "Did you just wake up one day and say 'I want out', or what?"

Billy shook his head. "I guess what set it off was ... was when we realised ... " He trailed off.

Dom waited, drinking his beer, but finally had to urge him to continue. "Realized what?"

"Realised that--that we hadn't had sex in over three months. And that ... well, that neither of us cared."

"You were away from her for part of that time, weren't you?"

"Some. But that should have meant that when I came home, we ... but we didn't. We'd sit up talking all night," Billy said quietly, sadly, "And then we'd go to bed, and curl up together, and--and sleep."

"What did you do?" Dom asked gently. "Did you try spicing things up a bit or anything? You two had been together for a while, maybe you just needed a bit of a shake-up?"

"No. No, that wasn't it. We used to be lovers, I mean, we used to be in love, you know?" he said, suddenly intent. He rose and started to pace, glass in hand. "But somewhere along the way, we--we fell out of love, Ali and I. I still care for her, don't get me wrong. She's a dear friend and I love her almost as much as I do--" Billy stopped abruptly, and Dom wondered what he'd been about to say. Why would he stop if it was a simple 'as much as I do you'? "We've been nothing more than friends for so long, now, Dom. Friends that had a good shag once in a while--and then not even that. Truly just friends. But I couldn't let it go, I couldn't let her go and be alone and have to start all over again, so I just ignored it and kept on the way it had been, because it was nice and it was comfortable and it was home, you know?" He drank deeply of his Scotch. "You know Billy Boyd, can't make a big decision to save his fucking life, so I just shut my eyes and I let it go on and I was happy, happy to keep her here, and yeah, maybe she fell out of love with me too, maybe at the end she felt the same, just affection for a close friend, but I should have done something about it, I should have said something, but instead I left the dirty work for her, she had to bring it up, she had to force me to talk about it, she had to say it was over, she had to say she was moving out, she had to point out that I--" Once again Billy cut himself off sharply, and Dom couldn't let that one go.

"She had to point out what, Bill?"

"Nothing," he muttered.

"Come on. She had to point out what?"

"No. I can't, Dom--I can't, not now. I can't go there right now. I don't want to go there right now. Just fucking don't," he ended in an undertone, practically dropped his glass on the table and fled.

Dom let out a slow breath. What the hell was that about?

Chapter 3