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TITLE: Aperitif
AUTHOR: Jem (crazybutsound)
RATING: PG (or PG13, I can never really decide. Nothing really offending in it, that's for sure)
SUMMARY: Billy thinks it might be "aperitif" time, Dom just wants Orlando to not rush things too much and ruin his appetite for the main course.
NOTES: huuuuuuuge thanks to Sheanie for the help and the beta. Wouldn't have done it without her. Thanks to Ghani and Meg, too. And all the wacky groping girls from AIM.
DISCLAIMER: written for that remix thing. : Which means that not only do I not own the guys (pity, that), but I don't even own the original idea for the fic that inspired this. Basically, besides the keyboard this was typed on, not much is mine. Also, not true, pure unadulterated fantasy, no money made from this, just for fun. No one sue, ok?


Dom watched.

He was aware that he wasn't supposed to "stay tuned," eyes squinting in the late afternoon light, trying to catch the latest plot development in what had become their very own gay soap opera. But hey! He'd bet on when Orlando and Elijah would finally buy a clue. He had vested interests in the what and how and when Orlando would make the move, or on whether Elijah would take the lead…

On a more sordid note, they'd also taken bets on who would end up being top and bottom. But at the rate things were going, those bets wouldn't be settled for another few weeks or so. If they were lucky.

Well… if Orlando and Elijah *got* lucky, anyway.

Back to now, though. Yes, Dom had vested interests in these two, and hence felt it his duty to keep watch and monitor all suspicious activity. It was all in the interest of… well, it was all in Dom's best interest. His two friends might currently be blurry blobs painted on the grass, they still looked like almost mixing blurry blobs, and that wasn't something that would suit Dom at all. It was obviously time to go check on things.

Dom turned around, looked for the sheet he and Billy had printed earlier, while Orlando had been shopping with Liv and Elijah hadn't been looking. It hadn't been easy, compiling all of their bets, the nuances, who had said what, when,… who had put money on Elijah making the first move, who had bet on Orlando trying his seduction-by-sweet-and-sour-pork first… Which was what Dom had put his money on: Orlando cooking sweet and sour pork for Elijah, and Elijah jumping Orlando on the beach the following day. Billy and Ian had money on Orlando making the first move before he'd start cooking, Viggo and Sean B. had put their money on Elijah loosing patience first, and Liv had made the weirdest bet of them all, according to Billy. She'd bet on Elijah and Orlando getting it on for the first time at her place.

Granted, they both had keys to Liv's place-something about them often being homesick-but Dom didn't see why they'd ever do it on Liv's couch. Most likely, that bet was Liv's wishful thinking. Dom suspected the girl had hopes of either getting in on the action, or at least being able to watch.

As for Sean A., he had just lectured them all on the immorality of betting on one's best friends.

Dom didn't think it was all that immoral. Or maybe he did, but it still wasn't enough to make any of them pass up a perfectly good occasion to make a little extra money. Gamblers, the whole lot of them, and frankly, given how much money both Orlando and Elijah had thrown into that other ongoing bet about Ian and his new Beau… Dom really didn't think they'd mind the money put on them.

All in the name of good sportsmanship.

Just like spying on them in order to be able to tell whether they'd made any progress.

Dom turned back to the window and frowned.

Uh. Orlando was down on his knees, apparently. A position Dom felt could only mean trouble. Of course, he was rooting for Orlando to get to that position eventually. Dom wanted his friends to be happy. But he was also rooting for Orlando to stick to Dom's plan. First, he had to cook; next, once Elijah had properly thanked him for a good meal, Orlando could get on his knees all he wanted. Just not right away.

"What are you looking at?"

Dom jumped, gritting his teeth and trying not to squeak too loudly. He'd opened the window, and he did not want the two love birds out there to realize they were being… uh… *monitored*. It might serve Dom's immediate purpose by getting Orlando back on his feet instead of on his knees, but it might also make both Orlando and Elijah become too cautious for Dom to follow any further developments. And Dom needed to know.

To settle the bets, of course, not because he was sinfully nosy.

"Fuck, Bill. Did you have to sneak up on me like that? Warn a guy."

Billy shrugged and looked over Dom's shoulder, grinning as he spotted the garden show. Orlando was now sprawled out on the grass next to Elijah-which might or might not be better than him being on his knees next to Elijah, Dom couldn't be sure-and they appeared to both be sleeping.

"Still *monitoring*, I see."

"Well, Bill, someone has to keep track. I want to know when I win."

"Who says you're going to win?"

"I do."



"I hope you're not thinking of interfering."

And where was that halo when he needed it? Oh well, Dom was an actor. He could pull off innocent any day.

"Oï! I know you. That angelic face is a dirty face."

Maybe Dom needed to work on that innocent look a bit. Or maybe there was just no fooling Billy. Which was fine, because really, Dom had no intention of interfering.


He wouldn't need to, anyway. Elijah was busy getting sunburnt, and Orlando was keeping him company. Just being friendly, perfectly innocent… not like anything was going to happen…

"What? I'm not going to do anything! Have ye so little faith?"

Billy raised an eyebrow.

Dom knew what that eyebrow meant.

Dom squirmed. The eyebrow was looking very very accusing. Accusing and sarcastic. And if there was someone who could pull a sarcastic accusing eyebrow like nobody's business, it was Billy. He'd mastered it after that one time when they'd both ended up with no trousers and twelve pounds of still wiggling escargot. Which was entirely NOT Dom's fault in any way.



Dom was going to ignore the eyebrow and turn back to Orlando and Elijah. And since nothing was going to happen there, Dom would be able to prove to Billy just how trustworthy he was. He wasn't going to interfere, and he was going to win that bet, and…

Was Orlando *licking* Elijah?

"Dom, tell me, do you think Orli usually goes around licking people randomly, or is that his way of making the first move?"

Orlando *was* licking Elijah, then. And Billy now had a nice little self-satisfied smirk to go with his accusing/sarcastic eyebrow. Dom was fucked.

It just wasn't fair. Dom hadn't spent an entire night listening to Orlando rave on about seduction-by-cooking and how to win a woman's-or man's, he didn't think it was exclusively reserved for the fairer sex-heart by going through her stomach, only to loose his carefully thought out bet because Orlando was a greedy fuck who couldn't even wait until dinner time to get a bite of something sweet. That wanker was ruining his appetite!

"It sure looks like Elijah's enjoying it, too. Maybe that's what the French call *aperitif*… I hear they drink beer and nibble on peanuts and pistachios right before they make it to the dinner table. This must be it."

"Ha ha. Very funny, Billy."

"Sore loser."

Ah, no. Not a loser, yet. Dom wasn't about to let a little thing like… *licking* thwart his plans. Orlando needed to wait until after he'd cooked his damn masterpiece before he could get a proper taste of Elijah. Because Dom said so. And because there was no way Dom could take Billy's gloating. The eyebrow and the smirk were all well and good, but a gloating Billy was… not something Dom intended to ever be faced with.

On the other hand… if Dom did anything now, he'd get a pissy Billy instead of a gloating one. And maybe even worse: a pissy gloating Billy. Pissy because Dom knew Billy wouldn't appreciate his interactive monitoring of the situation, and still gloating because it would prove Billy right about the fact that Dom wasn't to be trusted.

Mmm. Quite the dilemma.

Meanwhile, Orlando was still enjoying his little snack. Dom needed to act fast.

To interfere or not to interfere, that was the question…

On the one hand, there was the Billy factor. On the other hand… Dom had checked and Orlando had bought everything he needed for that sweet and sour pork dish of his. There was pineapple, red sauce… and Dom had even remembered to bring ginger to spice things up a bit. Nothing like a touch of aphrodisiac to the sauce. Which all in all meant that if Orlando would just stop licking Elijah's arm, Dom might be winner by the end of the following day.

Dom liked to win.

Which left the problem of dealing with Billy.

That wasn't a problem. Dom had ways.

So, to interfere, then. But how?

What was that that Billy had said? About French and beer and peanuts? Aperitif? Well, that could only mean that Orlando was currently missing his alcohol. Dom could remedy that.

Before Billy could react, Dom had an open beer in one hand, the other poised at his mouth like a megaphone. Better not to risk Orlando not hearing.

"Oi! You wanna beer?"

Yes, Orlando did.

"Dom! You complete babe!"

Dom felt only the tiniest of twinges as Orlando jumped up and left a clearly bereft Elijah to lick his own arm. Ewwww. But still, mission accomplished. Orlando would now surely start cooking, and Dom would be this much closer to being right about the what and when and where and who. Yes, Dom liked to win.

"You bloody arse! You said you weren't going to interfere!"

Ah. Pissy Billy, apparently. Which meant raving Billy, as well. Raving, ranting… noisy. Best to shut him up as fast as possible.

"You cunt! I can't believe you! That was somph…"

In Dom's experience, the best way to shut Billy up was to make sure he had his mouth full. Billy was very polite, he never spoke when he had his mouth full. Never. His mum had taught him well. And since now was apparently *aperitif* time, Dom figured he might as well make sure Billy didn't go without a little something to nibble on. If that meant he had to give his own lips to the cause…

Well, Dom was self-sacrificing like that.

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