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TITLE: Loose Ends
AUTHOR: Dee (email)
ORIGINAL STORY: Chrome by Gabby Hope.
RATING: Adult (language, themes, sexual references)
SUMMARY: Why do there always have to be consequences? Why can't life be simple?
NOTES: It was amazingly hard to pick a story of Gabby's to rewrite, because they're just all so damn good and complete and a few of them I simply worship and adore. Moreover, once I'd picked this one (which is my favourite, in any case), I couldn't decide how to proceed. It took a long time, and lots of advice. Many thanks to Calico and Doom's Eyebrow for listening to me blather.
DISCLAIMER: The events described in this story did not happen, nor am I trying to imply that they or the emotions depicted are in any way real. This is a story. What's more, it's a story based on the story of another person, to whom belongs the original fictional creation.


Dom's biggest sexual fantasy was a little complicated.

It started in a pub. Any pub, anywhere, just somewhere where no one knew his face, no one knew his name. So when he did it - when he went down on his knees on a filthy concrete floor in front of another man - it would just be bodies, actions, amorphous, nameless. Completely free of consequences.

He could push him back - maybe they'd be in a stall in the gents; extra privacy - push him back against the cubicle door, denim-clad hips in his hands, nameless cock in his mouth, thrusting between his lips. Hands twisted in his hair, but there wouldn't be any name to moan, just "God" and "fuck" and he'd get off as much on the power of being anonymous as anything else.

Because when it was over, and he swallowed and zipped and maybe kissed, he'd walk out of the gents, out of the pub, out of it all. No loose ends.

But that was a little hard to explain, drunk as he was, laughing at Billy's descriptions of his fantasy al fresco sex. Even in a drunken group of his best friends, sharing and share alike, he didn't think he could get it all out right. So when it had been his turn, Dom had just said: "I want to give a blowjob."

Now, the day after, he realised that it had been a fucking stupid thing to do. Should have kept his mouth shut. Should have gone with something easier, simpler, like the sex in an elevator fantasy - give her a smirk, hit the emergency stop, cue the porn music.

But no, the beer and company had made him honest, and now he was going to suffer for it. There were going to be loose ends.

Loose ends. Dom fucking hated loose ends. They seemed to come attached to everything, wrapped around every little decision, every throwaway line, everything you did thinking it would all be fine. It all came back to bite you with all these loose ends, all these ongoing issues and people saying: "About that time when..."

Why couldn't life just be simple? Why couldn't he just be himself without worrying that the repercussions were going to make the sky fall on his head? Why did there have to be complications?

He was about to be hit upside the head with one holy mother of a complication. He could tell, just by looking at Orlando. Whose eyes were wide as he watched Dom slicking the nailpolish onto his fingers. Startled. Entranced. Enthralled.

He'd come in when Dom was painting his nails - because, just because, that's the only reason why - and he'd been all fidgety. Distracting. "Silly thing to do," he'd said.

"Want me to do yours too?" Dom had offered. Flippantly. Unthinkingly.

And now Orlando was watching their hands together with a haunted expression. Almost hungry.

Dom fumbled the brush, swiped his finger through Orlando's little fingernail. "Fuck," he muttered, and turned away. He reached for more polish, a litany of curses running through his head.

Fuck, fuck, fuck.

Fuck Elijah, with his bright eyes and full glass, sitting forward and declaring: "Sexual Fantasies 101. Let's get down and dirty."

Fuck Orlando, looking at Dom now, he can feel it, can feel eyes on him, hot and demanding, like last night, like looking up and meeting his eyes, glazed with surprise and barely-realised possibility.

And fuck Dom himself, because he'd met that gaze, he feels those eyes, and he wondered, he wonders, fleetingly...

He'd stood in the kitchen the night before, with a glass of water and the window open a crack, just enough to let in a little of the wild wind coming salt straight from the sea. "Water," he'd declared, standing up from the card game where Elijah and Billy were laughing and slapping cards, Orli watching. "I'm in trouble; I'm in a bad way. I need water." He'd stood in the kitchen, half-waiting for the doorway he could see reflected in the window to darken with a body.

And maybe, maybe, the unknown bathroom could be a very known kitchen. Up against the fridge, not a stall door. A voice cracking that knows his name, can gasp it when he drags a response out with his lips and tongue.

But the doorway remained empty, and clarity, sanity, came with a gust of cold, sand-sharpened wind.

Because there were always fucking loose ends. There were always incidents like this, discomfit like sitting there with one of your best friends painting his nails while he held his breath. There were so many consequences, the ripples spreading out and swamping everything. Ruining everything. Taking it from laughing and relaxing and meaningless bullshit to nail polish and tension.

He flickered his gaze up to Orlando's face - brown eyes distant and soft - and down again. Dom was almost finished. He wanted to be finished. He wanted to move on from this breathless perch on the couch with their hands and heads together.

He wondered what Orli was thinking.

No. No, he didn't want to know.

"Finished," Dom said, in a hurry to get the brush back in the bottle, to get away. God, he was tense; when he stood up and stretched, ligaments and things popped all up his back. He needed to not be here, under Orlando's lost, imporing eyes. He needed to think for a moment.

He headed for his room, closed the door quietly to look at himself in the mirror on the back of it. Maybe he was making too much of this. Maybe he was imagining things - "You're imagining things," he tried, whispering the words to his reflection - and maybe Orli was just tired, hungover, subdued. This time, yeah, he'd escaped the loose ends.

When he opened the door a little, just enough to peek out, he could see Orlando still sitting on the couch, looking at his hands. Like he couldn't believe it. Like he'd just realised something.

And Dom knew he hadn't imagined it. It was all there, the discomfit, the uncertainty, the difficulties, the fucking loose ends.

All this just from a few little words. And he'd even considered... Jesus. Idiot.

He never should have said it. Should have said something else, anything else - "I want to have sex with an alien" - rather than that. Should have fucking known. You never escape the loose ends. You never escape the part where you're dreading being in the same room as someone, with their wide eyes and breathless lips and "Did you mean...?"

Fucking hell. He couldn't take this. Just couldn't take it. He had to get out of here. Where was his coat?

He took a deep breath before he went back into the living room. Casual as he pulled on the jacket. Casual as he said: "I best be going, now."

Orlando shot to his feet, of course, uneasy and anxious. "Where are you going?"

He had no idea. Away from here. “Ah, I don’t know. Maybe I’ll drive around. Maybe go to a club. Y’know.” The door beckoned from the other side of the room.

Had to get past Orlando first. “Why not stay in? We can bond or some shit like that, since we haven’t the time while we’re shooting and all.”

He couldn't make it easy, could he? He couldn't just let Dom get out of here. He turned to face him, because this was still one of his best friends. Maybe still would be, once the loose ends subsided. Dom hoped so. “What, like bang a drum and eat a sausage?" He managed a chuckle. "No thanks, mate. Think I’d rather go out. No offense, though." Needed something else. "We’ll go out tomorrow, all right?” Caught up in the act, he reached out to squeeze Orlando's shoulder. His attention followed the gesture, and Dom mentally berated himself; there he went again, action first, loose ends later.

Dom forced himself to wait until Orlando muttered agreement before pulling his hand back off his shoulder. Out, out, he had to get out. He fled across the room, and out the door, barely glancing back before he pulled it shut behind him.

Then he leaned back against the doorframe, hands in fists by his side so the only silver nail he could see was the thumb, glinting up at him. God, he was such an idiot. Bollocksing everything up. Running around in a cloud of unconsidered actions and fucking loose ends.

Why couldn't life be simple? Dammit, why?

He grimaced, and became aware of a sound from inside. Not words, but definitely voice, breath, caused by a person. But there was only Orlando inside still, so it couldn't possibly be what it sounded like. Which was crying.

Dom pushed off the doorframe, marched down the path, in a hurry to get somewhere. Anywhere.

Away from here and the fucking loose ends.

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