Title: Happiness By the Way Of
ORIGINAL STORY: SadnessHappiness, by apple_p1
SUMMARY: What was Billy up to whilst Dom was waiting by the phone?
DISCLAIMER: The author makes no claims or inferences to reality or truthfulness. Moreover, this story is based upon the work of another author and recognises their creation.
"What are you doing?"
"Moping," Dom is stretched out on his back on the floor. His head is resting against the sofa, pushing his chin sideways onto his collarbone.
"That's no good."
Billy sounds very clear through the phone despite the thousands of miles between them.
"It could be loads of good," Dom counters, "I might get a little sympathy,"
"Poor Dommie," Billy croons. They seem to have this conversation more often lately; Dom whining about being lonely, Billy making reassuring noises from very far away.
Dom can hear muted conversations and frequent beeping.
"Where are you?"
"Tesco," Billy sounds muffled and there's some flurried scraping. "Hang on!"
"What's going on?"
Dom fumbles into his pack of cigarettes and secures one between his lips. There's more scraping and then Billy's voice.
"I dropped the phone."
Dom lights the cigarette and sucks in a deep lung-full. It's a stale pack that's been sitting on the coffee table for God knows how long, and the smoke is acrid. Dom makes a face for no-one to see.
"So," Billy says, though he sounds distracted.
"I haven't had a wank in two weeks," Dom states, matter-of-factly.
"Well, Jesus, no wonder yeh're cranky. Just don't start right this second, I'm in th' bloody market," Billy laughs and Dom can hear the crinkling of a package.
Dom can't help but sound a little sullen.
"Cheer up, pumpkin," Billy's almost drowned out by more crinkling, "the play will be ready for a break here soon."
Dom takes another drag and examines the cigarette's burning end closely. He blows out his lung-full onto the smoldering cone of tobacco and watches embers leap from the tip, dying in the air or against his shirt. There's a spraying of ash on his breast-bone, above his heart.
Billy almost doesn't get on the plane. Not because he doesn't want to, but because the first taxi he gets into breaks down six blocks from his house. His mobile doesn't have any service here, never mind that he's in the middle of the bloody city. He manages to flag another taxi down after trudging a few blocks with his guitar case banging his knees.
The there's a traffic jam on the motor-way, and Billy feels like chewing off his own hands in frustration.
When he eventually gets to the airport, there are six people in the queue for first-class, and one of them has misplaced their passport. Billy feels a bit hysterical.
Take-off is delayed when someone fails to board with their luggage. Billy sits back and closes his eyes and tries not to tap his fingers on the arm rests. When the flight attendants come down the aisle with the beverage cart, Billy decides to drink his way out of trouble and orders Scotch. His mind slinks to Dom and what he's surely not going to be wearing under his trousers.
Billy decides to make it a double.
Minutes stretch on, and the flight attendants assure him they'll be leaving shortly. Billy is certain he's going to miss his connecting flight. He imagines Dom in his flat, staring forlornly at the phone. Billy looks at his watch. It's late morning in Los Angeles. Billy supposes Dom is still asleep.
The plane begins to rumble, finally, and the captain orders the flight crew to their seats. Billy stows his tray table and lets out a slow breath.
Heathrow is a madhouse, of course. His connecting gate is across the airport, and there's an embarrassing moment where the zipper of his duffle splits open, spilling his under-shorts all over the floor. Billy is very grateful he did laundry before leaving Scotland.
He arrives at a security check twenty minutes before his flight is due to board. The young girl in front of him keeps stealing glances over her shoulder, an excited spark in her eyes. If he was in a better mood, Billy would make a joke about hobbits having to wait in line like everyone else, but dammit he's tired and cranky and the thought of Dom waiting by the phone is agonizing. So Billy slides his sunglasses onto his face and sets his jaw.
The plane takes off on time from London, and Billy orders himself another Scotch and puts on his headphones. He tries to sleep at one point, but there's turbulence and he never feels settled in his seat.
He resigns himself to staring at his television screen, watching the mini plane inch its way across the Atlantic.
"What took you so long?" Dom sounds petulant.
"Turbulence over the Rocky Mountains."
Billy kicks his duffel bag along the ground.
He hears a flurry of movement and Dom's asking which gate and telling him to wait and then the line is dead without a goodbye. Billy grins to himself and perks up.
The security people mercifully don't search his bags, and one of them even clicks him a knowing wink. He beams his gratitude blearily and heads off down the ramp.
Billy's guitar is one of the first pieces of luggage onto the carousel. He hefts it up and slides out of the way. He sees his reflection for the first time since leaving London in the airport window. His eyes are bright and his face flushed. His hair is ruffled every which way.
His Dom is jogging towards him, a wild, ecstatic grin on his face.
"I thought sex came after food."
Dom's voice is muffled against Billy's neck and the pillow.
"Meh. We called for take-away, at least," Billy yawns.
They scandalize the delivery girl when Dom answers the door wearing a sheet around his waist.
They fall asleep with full bellies and full arms and full hearts.