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TITLE: A New State of Grace
AUTHOR: jacito, email - email@example.com, archive - http://marginalia.oscillating.net
ORIGINAL STORY: Something of a Weakness, kiltsandlollies
SUMMARY: All Billy wants is some time alone
NOTES: Remix fic, based on Something of a Weakness by kiltsandlollies. thanks to dorrie6 & starfishchick for the beta
DISCLAIMER: This is a work of fiction, and not even original, since I stole the story from kiltie.
Billy watched Dominic's face fall when he told him he wasn't joining the other hobbits at the rented beach house, and for a moment, he nearly changed his mind.
It was all true, though, the stuff about wanting to play his guitar and watch movies and listen to himself think. It would be refreshing, Billy had thought, to spend some time in messes only of his own making. He overrode his own sense of guilt and booked a cabin alone without telling anyone. It was the first major decision he had made in four months without outside input, and when he told Sean about it he tried to not sound defensive. Sean just smiled, though, and said the noise and the mess did get to be too much sometimes, didn't it, and would he like another beer? Of course Sean knew there was more to it than that, but as vocal as he could be about some things, there were other times where he knew to stay silent.
There also were times, in regards to a certain Ringbearer, where Billy thought Sean should just speak up and have done with it, but there were pots and kettles and Billy didn't want late night confessions thrown back in his face.
Sean probably wouldn't do that, though. Sean wasn't Dominic.
Dominic fought dirty. Dominic was a scavenger, and he collected scraps of ammunition which he launched at opponents loudly and often in public. Billy never fought him there, though, only in private, where Dominic could tear him apart and then piece him back together. It was mercurial, but it worked, passion and anger clearing the air, burning away the tension and leaving them loose and lithe.
The fights started to come more frequently, though, and Billy tried not to think about the source of the heat that shot through him, a heat that angered him, and a heat for which he was determined to blame Dominic. His pulse raced and his cheeks flushed from things other than anger.
Sean said that he had seen it coming. Sean was infuriating that way.
So Dominic's face fell, and then his walls snapped up, guarding him on his way to war. For war it was. Billy attempted a compromise - three days for himself and four for the hobbits - but the guns had been drawn. It was loud and ugly, voices rising, fists clenched, old grievances aired, but it was also a dance. They knew their steps, their lines, their cues to undo the other. With the audience of Sean and Elijah, though, Billy stumbled and landed a deciding blow. I don't think three days just for my own fucking self is asking too much, Dom. Dominic blanched, and Billy spun out of the room and away before he could weaken.
At the start, it was beautiful. Billy took a day to organize his flat and life, and the next he drove up to the cabin in a continued haze of righteousness. He deserved the time alone, it was his fucking vacation, he was a man, not a hobbit, and there was nothing in the contract that said he had to spend all of his bloody waking hours with his coworkers.
It was a twisty road up the mountain, and he thought for a moment of how Dominic would appreciate the drive, how he would find inappropriate comments for everything, and how he would curl, boneless, in the passenger seat. Angry, he pushed Dominic from his mind and turned on the radio, relying on weather reports and the news to keep the voices from his head.
The cabin was cozy and free of memory, as he wandered through it, putting away his things and exploring the kitchen. He sang a little, tested the ring of the rooms, and did all of the little things people do when they are alone in a new place for the first time. It was small enough that he could fill it properly. Anyone else and they would have been crowded. He reasoned the guilt away, and listened to the ring of his own voice.
Billy spent the afternoon in endless rounds of nothing, reading, cooking, noodling on the guitar. The night began to fall, and with it snow, dusting a blanket around him. He considered leaving the dishes by the sink, just because he could, but then went ahead and ran the hot water. It was a household task he enjoyed doing so long as he was only cleaning for himself. The process lent itself to meditation with its warmth and rhythm. He hummed over the dishes, his voice sounding less strange in the silence, then dried his hands and padded over to the kitchen window. He drew on the steamed-up window with fingers that smelled of washing up liquid - stick figures, the waves of the sea, a tree - then erased it all with a quick swipe of his palm.
The wind whistled around the corners of the cabin as he prepared for bed. The space heater had taken the chill off of the room, and he buried himself in blankets and dreamless sleep as the blizzard began to spin around him.
In the morning, Billy could see his breath on the air. He sat on the edge of the bed until his head cleared, then stumbled through the routine of washroom and kitchen. Everything outside his windows was white, and he thought it a welcome change from the red that had become so commonplace, flashing behind his eyes. He curled in a chair and read, falling into other worlds, denying the distractions and desires of this one.
Midway through the morning, the lights flickered and died. There was a wood-burning stove in the living-room, but no wood, and after a study of the white-out surrounding him, Billy decided to wait and see. As it grew colder he took a blanket from the bed and pulled it around him, but it only worked for a while. The cabin was poorly insulated and he had little tolerance for the cold.
It wore on to afternoon, and he decided he had better brave the outdoors before it got dark. He could cook then, too. He put on his coat and stepped out into the bright chill, berating himself for not checking the cabin's supply of wood the day before. The weather reports had surely warned of this possibility, but he had spent too much energy pushing away heat and had none left to prepare for the cold.
And it was freezing cold now, outside and alone.
Billy plodded through the drifts around the cabin to where he guessed the wood stack should be. The exertion did little to warm him, and he was heavy with hunger and cold. He was strong, though, and he thought he would be fine, really, if he could just lay down for a bit. He'd have a little rest, and he'd get warm, and everything would be fine.
The cabin was too far away, and the wind was picking up, swirling snow around him.
Without thinking about it very much at all he slid down next to the stack of wood. Just for a moment.
When Billy opened his eyes again, it was in a dream. Ridiculous, embarrassing, damsel-in-distress. He was grateful to be alone; this was just the sort of dream that would lead to murmured confessions that Dominic would tape and replay over breakfast. The way he always let him, let Dominic pull and tear just so he could watch Dominic's eyes sparkling, the curve of his mouth wicked.
He blinked and the dream changed, Dominic looking down on him, concerned, not impish. Billy's eyes closed and Dominic was touching him, soft and warm, whispering in his ear, needing. Summoned, maybe, into the dream. 'M no' that lucky, Billy muttered to himself, then reached up and pulled Dominic down to him, curled around his strong heat, his dream-world quiet.
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