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ORIGINAL STORY: Metamorphisis by Jo
SUMMARY: Orlando falls into a place that is safe, warm, and with Billy.
NOTES: Thanks to Brook for the stellar beta.
DISCLAIMER: A rewritten fic for the Remix 2004 challenge. I do not own this people. If I did, life would be quite different.
Billy and Orlando are friends.
That's exactly what Billy says to him. He says to Orlando, "You're my friend," except with less coherency, and roaming hands groping Orlando's body. It happens when they're three sheets to the wind with cheap glasses of second-rate whiskey to help them there. Billy clutches hard to the shotglass, and presses his lips hard to Orlando's ear.
Orlando shivers to himself, and his eyes close tightly as he hears strains of Billy's voice drifting in his ear, accent rolling and curving around vowels and consonants. "Do you ever wish..." Billy starts to speak, and Orlando clutches the bar. His knees just might buckle from the alcohol, from the exhaustion, from Billy's voice. "...you and me could be more than friends?"
Orlando gives a slow, small smile and turns to direct it at Billy, watching as Billy holds onto the bar as though it a matter of life-or-death, knees doing something that could resemble buckling in some foreign place. Orlando makes a mental note that he's not the only nervous one as he wraps one arm around Billy's waist, comfortably hanging all over him.
He opens his mouth to speak, and something jumbled comes out. Billy frowns at him in confusion, and Orlando forces his mind to slow down long enough to put speech together that will be understood by all ears in proximity.
Come on, Lando. Speak your mind.
"Wan' dance wi' me?" he manages, and somehow, it's not what he wanted to say.
Billy nods, his eyes burning as he turns his full attention to Orlando. It makes something inside Orlando scream and bubble over, filling him with a burning feeling in the pit of his stomach. When Billy pulls Orlando to the dance floor by the wrist, the contact scorches him.
They can do this because, after all, they're friends.
Orlando is allowed to move his body in these places. He's allowed to push closer and closer to Billy's body with every gyration. He can sway his hips like this. He is allowed to push his hips up against Billy's.
Except that maybe...
Maybe friends don't get the kind of reaction that Orlando is getting. After all, when last he checked, that pressure against Orlando's thigh definitely wasn't there a moment ago when they were stumbling over each other at the bar. And Orlando is more than confident that he's undergoing a similar reaction.
Maybe it's time to ask the question he's been trying so desperately to phrase.
"Billy," Orlando whispers, hissing the last part of his name like he's afraid to let it go. "Billy," he says lower, right into his ear as he rests his hands on Billy's hips, pushing closer to him. "Billy, Billy," he licks behind Billy's ear, nibbling on the earlobe without any protest. He manages to get his thumbs inside Billy's pants before Billy's hands cuff his wrists and stop him.
"Wan' to be more than m'friend, Billy?"
He pulls away and watches Billy's reaction, feeling anxiety bunch and knot in his stomach. Billy looks up with something that resembles hope, desire, and intrigue on his face. He bows his head lower, murmuring something that Orlando doesn't quite catch.
"M'old, Orlando. D'you want someone like me as more 'en a friend?"
Orlando shakes his head quickly, lowers himself and attacks Billy with his mouth as though he were prey. Orlando bites swiftly at the juncture of shoulder and neck, eliciting a sharp and broken cry from Billy's lips. It's a cry that drifts into the air, and is immediately swallowed by the music.
Billy whispers hoarsely into Orlando's ear, "Well, then."
"Come home wi' me," Orlando mumbles into Billy's neck. "Be more 'en my friend."
Billy's hands loosen in their grip on Orlando's wrists and move the hands lower into his pants. They never break eye contact, even as Orlando's thumb brushes against Billy's cock. Neither of them blink, and Orlando feels like he's stopped breathing. It takes words to bring him out of the spell.
When they sober up the next morning, Orlando starts his morning ritual of tea, stretching, and personal maintenance. Billy watches with what seems to be curiosity and something that's strangely akin to veiled horror. Orlando chuckles to himself as he pulls one leg over his head, and watches Billy's eyes widen.
"So, how's this work then?" Billy asks after he clears his throat. Orlando turns to look at him and catches the way Billy's eyes are utterly fixated on Orlando's body. Billy licks his lower lip a little as Orlando arches his back forward, pelvis on the ground. In the back of his mind, Orlando continues to add to all the images he has of Billy doing similar stretches in different situations.
"Me." Orlando sits cross-legged and points to himself. "You." He points to Billy and when he catches Billy's gaze, something flickers and flashes through his body that causes his stomach to flip once. "We take the world by storm, and we don't take any prisoners."
"No answer but yes?" Billy adds in an amused tone.
"Watch out," Orlando grins and growls, getting up and pinning Billy to the bed, moving his knees to either side of Billy's hips. He tilts his head and leans in close to Billy's ear, placing his lower lip snugly under the lobe and growling into the ear. "Here we come." Orlando starts to spiderwalk his fingers down Billy's chest.
"Come," Orlando trails his thumb down Billy's neck, "live with," he walks his fingers lower and lower, "me." He pries Billy's shirt from his pants, untucking it and smoothing out a few wrinkles before he moves his hand underneath the cloth.
Billy laughs as Orlando starts to tickle Billy. "Where?"
Orlando leans in, pressing his hips against Billy, kissing him with everything he has, pushing his tongue into Billy's mouth, feels that same feeling flicker through him and utterly warm him from head to toe. He loses his bearings even as he opens his eyes and pulls away from Billy, breathing hard and focusing on Billy's eyes.
"Where?" Billy repeats, sounding dazed and compliant.
"Follow me to the ends of the earth," Orlando replies, his face lighting up with a giddy grin.
Orlando isn't sure when or how it happened, but it did. It's probably written in every great book there is out there. They're those books about couples where authors break each and every aspect apart and analyze the details to death. Orlando just hasn't read them (which he is quite sorry about, genuinely, he just hasn't had time to read) and can't vouch for knowledge on the subject.
They made plans.
Orlando made plans for dinner, made plans for their weekend in the mountains, made plans for what he was going to do to Billy when those leather cuffs finally came in the mail. He made plans for life.
Billy made plans too. He planned what plays they were going to see, what they needed to buy when they went to the grocer, and he planned when and where their surfing trips would be. Billy planned for the next day.
Short-sighted, Orlando thought.
They had a short conversation about where home was going to be, and a few realistic facts immediately told them that Orlando needed to be in L.A., which meant Billy needed to be in L.A. Apparently, Hollywood could be labeled the ends of the earth. Orlando had caught the look of wistful sorrow on Billy's face when they both realized that Billy was going to be leaving his home.
In a strange twist, Orlando felt as though he could feel every bitter thought passing through Billy's mind, every single sharp pain about leaving the Highlands behind him. Orlando had grasped at Billy's shirt, clinging to fabric as he took it off, pressing promising kisses down Billy's torso.
"You'll wear your kilt," Orlando had promised, his cheek drifting over Billy's chest before sucking lightly on his nipple. It had made Billy's hips arch upward, and Orlando had grazed his teeth ever so lightly before sitting up to look Billy in the eyes. "I'll play tapes with bagpipes, I'll..."
"I love you," Billy had interjected, and Orlando felt his whole body fall victim to that same warm sensations. His breath had shaken as he exhaled and he had blinked quickly. He had given a pleased grin to mask the tiny bursts of shock he was feeling. "And I belong with you."
"But Scotland." Orlando had begun to protest.
"Will always be in my blood," Billy had interrupted, placing his index finger against Orlando's lips to silence him. "And I made a promise to you. With my words. With my body."
With your heart
"I'll follow you," Billy had said quietly, but the words had pounded in Orlando's ears. To this day, he hasn't forgotten the sound of those words. "Anywhere you go, I'll be your shadow."
"We need to talk," Billy presses his lips to Orlando's ear. Orlando rouses himself from his half-sleep just enough so that he'll be aware and awake. He feels the comforting warm press of Billy's hands splaying across his stomach and he burrows a little deeper into the embrace, closing his eyes and nodding slowly.
"Talk," Orlando commands.
They've been living in L.A. for the past few months, and it's strange how much Orlando has come to adore the city in all its sprawling urbanism. He doesn't even mind the pollution because only an hour away is Mother Nature in all her glory. Orlando exhales contentedly, feeling almost like a big cat as Billy's thumb absently strokes the skin under his bellybutton.
"You want me here?" Billy asks gently.
"Of course," Orlando vehemently agrees as he opens his eyes, craning his head back to look Billy in the eyes.
"And you like it here?" Billy asks again.
"I love it with you," Orlando pointedly replies.
Billy hesitates, opening his mouth, and licking his lips. Orlando furrows his brow and watches, tries to mentally urge the words to come out. It's like Orlando needs to pull them out of the trap they've become entangled in.
"Billy, what?" Orlando asks, lost in a haze of confusion and drowsiness. He takes a deep breath, and feels Billy do the same. "What's going on?" he manages to muster some degree of wakefulness.
At least I sound alert.
"I'm waiting on three words from you," Billy explains patiently, evenly, with warmth behind every word. When Billy talks, it feels as though the sun's beaming down on him with all its' warmth. "And I want to know if you're intending on saying them to me."
Orlando searches through his brain, and gives a laugh under his breath when he realizes what Billy's talking about. Billy joins in the (apparently, infectious) laughter and they both lie there, trembling with laughter. Orlando drowsily stretches out his legs, placing his hands atop Billy's and wonders how it's gone that he hasn't said it yet.
"Well, the only things coming to mind right now are...horses reign eternal, or I love you," Orlando speaks, his voice humming quietly in the air.
"I hate horses," Billy comments.
"Then I must love you," Orlando muses aloud.
"And damn those blasted horses," Billy adds, sounding all too amused for his own good. He tightens his grip on Orlando, and it makes Orlando feel safe. It makes him feel warm (almost too warm for his own good).
And it's funny, he thinks as he drifts off to sleep. Because how's that old saying go? Something about that you're supposed to let what you love run free, and if it truly loves you, it'll come back to you instead of running away. Orlando yawns, and his eyes close completely, his body relaxing and his last thought before he enters sleep is one that should be more alarming than it is.
So why is Billy holding on so tightly?
And then, slowly it happens.
Slowly it changes.
It shifts so much that when Orlando wakes up days and months later, the world has changed, Billy doesn't hold so tight anymore, and he and Billy are just friends again. And even if a part of him still loves Billy, friends is fine by him. Because when he hugs Billy, it's just as warm as it ever was.
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