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TITLE: Connoisseur
AUTHOR: Kia (email)
ORIGINAL STORY: Thaw by Kate (LJ: oneangrykate)
PAIRING: Elijah Wood/Billy Boyd
SUMMARY: Billy isn't drunk and Elijah isn't drunk enough.
NOTES: Please don't hate me, Kate.
DISCLAIMER: This is an altered and abridged version of an original fictional story by oneangrykate. There is no truth in this story and no money is being made from it.
CREDITS: Many thanks to Monks, Aelane, Trianne, Ainm and Jem for their opinions and proofreading.


On his back, Elijah stares up at the offending tree branch while the trampoline mat shakes beneath him, settling as his laughter withers. "Hit my head on." He frowns when a fat raindrop plops on his forehead, drips, then trickles behind his right ear. ".the tree," he continues, another giggle surfacing as he rolls over, and a face rolls into view.

Billy is looking at him, arms hugging himself, body angled slightly in the direction of Elijah's backyard gate. Still cold and wet, and still about to leave--something Billy had made clear before Elijah had leapt onto the trampoline for the third time, his stomach warm and heavy with wine. After a brief struggle to sit up and stay up, Elijah smiles at cold, wet Billy, slowly crawls his way to the edge, perches himself there proudly.

"Dom would do some shit like that. Move a tree. If Dom could move a tree." Elijah is aware of his drunkenness, is aware of being sober enough to call himself drunk, and is well aware that he's just said something stupid--or daft, as Billy likes to say. Although Billy didn't say it this time.

He's buzzed, Elijah decides. Buzzed and bored. And no wonder Billy wants to leave; Elijah doesn't think he'd want to hang out with himself either. But Billy doesn't look bored. Cold, yeah, and wet. Elijah smiles again, knows that wine would help; that it would get Billy drunk, and that drunk Billy cracks him up. "You should stay. We can have more wine, and watch the channel with the weird French movies on it, and just.keep me from being so bored."

"So my sole purpose today is to entertain you?"

Billy is *so* far from being drunk, but Elijah thinks he may have caught a smirk. And if it wasn't a smirk, it was something close to it--a smile that was a bit blurred around the edges. Either way, Elijah knows how to play that game, a game he's seen Billy play before, just not with him. "That's what you're here for, isn't it?" he asks, leaning forward towards Billy, lifting a hand from the edge of the trampoline--preparing his victory sign--then watching everything, including Billy's face, spin away as he falls.

Blinking away several more raindrops, Elijah is cold, and not just wet, but soaking wet. "I'm not drunk!" he yells, to avoid forfeit of his win--if he won--since he knows that Billy has a knack for changing rules at the last minute.

Elijah presses his palms to the ground, pushes to lift himself, but is left with a handful of wet grass and more water seeping into his jeans. "Okay, maybe a little, and could you help me please?" His other option is to roll into the mud, which he isn't drunk enough to do, not even with a white bikini-clad girl who wants to wrestle. "I think I'm stuck."

A sigh from Billy prompts Elijah to just give it another shot, until he sees hands in front his face. He looks up to be sure that they're indeed reaching for him and not just.there. And they do seem to be reaching, but Elijah also isn't drunk enough to just grab those hands, because he really doesn't want to see Billy bang his head on the frame of the trampoline. Billy would definitely go home then. So Billy's waist is the target, and is successfully homed in on after the second attempt.

Elijah feels Billy stagger forward, and he holds tighter, Billy's loose shirttails helping him to get a good solid grip. Then his hands cinch around Billy's waist, and Elijah, coming to his feet, wonders if Billy is really that small or if he's really that drunk after all. He nearly says something, but he's already off the ground, and Billy is looking at him strangely. So Elijah lets go of Billy; doesn't think he's drunk enough to be groping his friend. He isn't sure if that means he should drink more wine or not.

Billy still looks cold and wet, but doesn't look like he's about to leave anymore. "Come on, you. Before we both catch our death."

Elijah takes a step in his bare feet, slips on the grass, then feels Billy's arms around him, Billy's chest against him, and yeah, Billy *is* cold and wet. "You know, mud wrestling," he laughs. "You have that in Scotland?"


If Billy says it one more time, Elijah thinks he'll flip out. If Billy keeps holding him, he thinks he'll freak. If Billy keeps touching him with freezing hands and telling him that he's cold, he'll.

"You need to get out of these wet clothes," Billy says.

Elijah thinks he might be getting cranky, getting sober. Because he's almost said something really smartass about being shivering and dying of hypothermia and thanks, Billy, for the enlightenment.

Elijah looks at the empty glass next to the wine bottle on the counter--the only alcohol left in the house after the weekend. Considers another glass to warm him up until fingers flutter over the skin between his shirt and waistband, the touch distinctly and surprisingly unlike icicles. "I can do it," Elijah says, pulling away to leave the kitchen. "Just give me a minute."

His shirt is a dripping bundle of muddy fabric in his hands when he enters the bedroom. Elijah listens to the quiet splat when he tosses it into the corner, then stands there and watches the wet stain appear on the wall. Not sober yet, he decides; wouldn't be standing there in some kind of limbo if he was. He's pretty sure that he's sent the message to his body already--to change, get out of these wet clothes, thanks to Billy's *miraculous* suggestion. But the message has gotten muddled somewhere, and at this rate, Billy will be gone by the time he gets himself together, and he might just die of boredom. Or worse.

So Elijah goes back to the kitchen, stands in the doorway, watches Billy watch the sink of dirty dishes, wonders what's so fascinating about them anyway. And when Billy finally looks up, Elijah doesn't see anything grossed out in Billy's expression. "Come in," he says, and returns to his bedroom, the message getting through clear at day this time because he hadn't really planned on doing a strip show.

When Elijah looks up, his wet jeans pooled at his ankles, fingers curled over the waistband of his damp boxers, he sees Billy in the doorway, and thinks he should have had that glass of wine.


He wouldn't call it entertainment, but it's nice. Elijah thinks he'd enjoy it more if he weren't sober. And he's absolutely sure that he's sober now, because he wouldn't have a problem with closing his eyes and relaxing on his bed if he was drunk and had a human foot warmer. He wouldn't be thinking more about the human than the warmth, and wondering why Billy is still there--not just to hear him ramble, of course, and definitely not to keep his feet toasty while he does that rambling.

Elijah decides to veer off the topic of the kinds of Doom add-ons he's downloaded, since Billy's gone quiet again. "You should feel at home with this weather, right? Gloomy like Glasgow."

"Glasgow's not always gloomy," Billy answers before Elijah's mouth can unpucker. "The city isn't in a cave."

And Elijah thinks it might be time to stop for the day.or night. He's out of conversation and Billy seems to be out of humour. But Billy isn't only holding his foot now, his thumbs are pressing and kneading, and Elijah wonders if it's some failed attempt to tickle him. "You read feet?"

"Yes, I do." And Billy still looks dead serious as his fingers lighten their touch.

"That's dumb." Elijah tries to pull his foot away before he starts giggling like a girl again.

Billy yanks the foot back. "Probably, yes."

Puzzled, Elijah watches Billy continue to massage his foot, still expressionless, almost somber. He's on the verge of worrying about the missing smiles that he can usually set his watch by, but Elijah decides to make it his mission--to get reaction out of Billy. "What are you going to do then, suck on my toes?" Billy may not be smiling yet, but Elijah thinks he's at least made him sick.

"Of course not. Your toes are nasty."

The hands loosen on his foot, and Elijah raises it to Billy's face, wiggling his toes. "Oh, come on. They're clean." He gives Billy another second to crack, to burst into that familiar laughter and call him a 'fucking tosser'. "You know you want to."

Then he thinks there's a good chance he's gone against some long-held rule about putting one's foot in the face of a Scotsman, because his instincts are telling him to flee from whatever evil horrible thing Billy plans to do in revenge--which is suddenly revealed by the sting of teeth sinking into his ankle. Startled by the shriek that comes from his own mouth, Elijah declares war, because there's no way in hell that he's letting Billy out of that room alive.or at least unscathed.

With a strong tug, Elijah pulls his foot away, and easily wraps both his legs around Billy's waist--the size of which he had accurately judged earlier. And with Billy locked there, held down to the bed, Elijah is ready to claim victory. Yet the look on Billy's face, the way Billy feels between his bare legs, is wrecking his glee. Something's changed and Billy isn't the only one who's cracked. Elijah doesn't look down at himself, where Billy's eyes just happen to be focused, because he can already feel it, and knows what's there.

"Look, I can-"

"No," Elijah thinks, and says. He does want Billy to stop looking, before his face grows any warmer, but still doesn't want him to leave. If Billy would just say something and *then* look. "Come here." Closer, Elijah thinks, but doesn't say. And he isn't sure whether he's smiling simply because Billy *didn't* leave, or more specifically, because Billy has knelt between his legs, which have loosened their grip.

Billy's hands are splayed on Elijah's stomach, and Elijah turns his head, looks away from the question on Billy's face; doesn't know how to answer it or even how to word his own question. He wants to see what happens, take it as it comes, because he knows that Billy has a way of changing the rules, and Elijah thinks he might like it this way. Billy's hands smooth upwards over his stomach, then stop cold on Elijah's ribs.

"What?" Elijah asks, then tries a better question. "Are you alright?"

Billy shakes his head, his hands moving again, barely. "I'm alright. Just...cold."

Elijah remembers Billy saying that over and over, and now thinks it was rather silly of him to be pissed off about it. He finds the cuff of Billy's trouser leg with his foot, awkwardly touches his ankle with a chilly toe, and waits to hear Billy say it again. Billy doesn't say anything. He shudders, falls forward--and that's good enough for Elijah, because it feels good to have Billy there, like that, fully against him, looking down at him.

Elijah can feel Billy's erection, can feel himself growing harder, but doesn't think about raising his hips to feel more; he thinks about Billy's teeth, the glimpse of white as he raises his head instead, touches the smooth enamel with the tip of his tongue. Elijah feels drunk when Billy's teeth slide away, his lips closing around Elijah's tongue, sucking him in, letting him dip. And Elijah knows that Billy isn't drunk, but does think he tastes like wine.

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