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Title: "Puddles"
Original story: "Waiting Game" by Andrealyn
Author: pippinspeach (pippinspeach @
Pairing: BB/DM
Rating: PG-13
Summary: A guilty Billy comes home to his love
Author Web Page:
Archive: Of Elves & Men, Mirrormere & ESO only.
Feedback: would love it
Disclaimer: Strictly my own angsty fantasy, as I know nothing & have met no one.
Notes: Setting is Glasgow, Feb. 2006. Written for Lotrips Remix 2004.


"Don't hide away like the ocean that you can't see but you can smell
And the sound of waves crash down"

Dave Matthews Band, "Where Are You Going?"


Ridiculous, Billy thinks as he hears the taxi drive away...ridiculous to stand out here in the gusting wind and rain. Especially when a brilliant flash of lightning illuminates the sky and its menacing, churning clouds. Overtaken by a strange paralysis, he tentatively pulls up his collar. Usually it feels marvelous to be home, but not today. Scotland, Glasgow, his house. Well, their house, sort of, but actually, technically, no, after almost two years living together, it's still just Billy's name on the deed. Doesn't make sense at all, come to think of it.

The storm is ferocious, nearly blowing him sideways with a slanting sheet of rain. It's the worst Glasgow's seen in years, and it made for a rather frightening flight, but Billy's here, feet squishing to a halt in the rain-soaked grass. Of course he's forgotten his umbrella. He sets down his suitcases, heedless of the puddles around his feet. Can't bring himself to give a damn, really. Nor can he force himself to take a step forward.

Senseless. When has he ever been afraid of Dom?

He'd thought nothing could come between them or invade what they'd built with each other. Until now, standing here in front of the house, afraid to go in. Our house...our home, he thinks, and a heat suddenly blooms in his chest, aching so much that he cannot bear to look at the familiar stone walls and wrought iron door. He draws his coat more closely around his shoulders, shivering and wishing for Dom's familiar, tight arms around him instead, the shelter of his smile...oh, he'd give anything to have it. To still have the right to it.

Memories return...two years ago, a hot April Tuesday. Free at last from the premieres and publicity, somewhat free of the public eye, even. Dom, bathed in afternoon sunlight as they carry boxes up the sidewalk, sleeveless and sweating. Dom, whistling as he tacks up pennants and flags all over a guest room he'll never use, singing a Beatles song as he sautés vegetables in the tiny kitchen, cursing as he smashes his thumb with a hammer whilst replacing their bedroom window's rusted-out lock. Billy used to love just watching him do whatever.


Feels like a week ago, even though somehow it was just this morning. 3 AM Los Angeles time, and clarity was returning, bringing throat-clenching shame along for the ride. The hotel room mocked him with its inane simplicity and silence now that the girl had left. Nothing to do but call and confess. He forced the words out, squeezed his eyes tight and gripped the phone, ears ringing from Dom's angry words. And then he sat motionless, the phone in his lap, waiting for Dom to calm down and call back. Which he did, and this time Dom was silent, waiting. "I promise," Billy said finally, wanting to crawl through the phone lines and hug Dom's pain away. "I'll come home right now."

Dom, petulant, argued about how Billy's two months of filming are almost over and he shouldn't leave yet, how there'd been storms for days, how a plane from France already had trouble landing. His arguments ended with a defeated sigh, and Billy was already looking around for his suitcase. He wasn't about to let a little rain stop him, not now, so he said just that. "I'm like the post, mate. Through the snow, the sun, the rain, whatever."

Trust me, he almost said. But didn't.


Yes, watching Dom around the house has always been fun, but nothing's as good as when he's awakened by Dom finally coming to bed at night. That crooked, welcoming smile, the warmth of their bodies together, those low whispers along Billy's neck as Dom slides on top, grey eyes staring back, intent with desire...fuck. Gone now, traded for a dizzy hour of something that didn't even approach being worth it.

Standing here in the yard as lightning blazes through the sky, Billy doesn't think he can live without Dom's energy and the way it always builds and tingles along his skin, the bruises left behind, the pleased tiredness of his leg muscles in the morning. Making love and becoming one in every sappy, clichéd sense. Soulmates.

All his life, Billy's laughed at people who'd used those phrases. But now he realizes: he hasn't laughed at any of that in a long, long time.

Blinking hard as he lowers his collar and faces the rain head on, Billy stares at the window, able to envision how everything looks inside. The stained glass lamp is on, or it'd be brighter, he thinks, and the antique clock is ticking away the minutes in careless oblivion. Perhaps Dom's made curry tonight, or ordered in. He's probably got music on. Wretched stuff, but softly. Billy thinks perhaps he should just walk away and not disturb the peace, or maybe he should never have come home at all.

No, he should go in, right now...go in and let Dom reclaim what's his...but he can't figure out what to say, and he knows that he won't be able to concentrate anyway, not while he's dripping all over the expensive hardwood floor that they've both always been so careful about. Weariness makes his mind slushy, shades it with a foggy blackness as he glances back at the lighted window. What do floors matter, after all?


"Simply to be with you," Billy said, rubbing his eyes as he fished a can of crap beer out of the mini-bar. Dom's questions were bitter now, on their way from quiet resentment to bellowing demands. None of it provided any camouflage for how absolutely destroyed he was. Billy hated that the most. Worst of all, he had no answers to Dom's questions. No explanations. All he had were promises, and how could he ever ask Dom to trust those?

Years ago, Dom had confided how hard it was for him to trust anyone. Billy had always kissed his doubts away, scoffing at them. C'mon, you have nothing to worry about, he remembered saying so often back then. It's me, your Billy! We can do this. Jesus, how could you ask me that? Don't you believe in me?

Yeah, that turned out well.


How can it be possible that time refuses to move backward and let him change his mind? How can this be real? As wind roars through the bare branches of the neighbor's trees, the rain becomes even heavier. Perversely, Billy feels heartened by this. Only proper that it should be this way, with the wind chilling his soaking body and raindrops stinging his face. He's intelligent enough to laugh at himself for wishing it could wash him clean.

A crash of thunder snaps him out of his imaginings, and he glances back at the window. Is that Dom, looking out? Why so sudden, then, moving back and letting the curtain fall in such an obvious manner? Maybe he's got Elijah here to boost his courage. Maybe they're inside right now and they know he's out here? Surely Dom heard the cab.

Probably scared to come out, Billy thinks. His heart aches with the knowledge of how much Dom's hurting. Even back in New Zealand, he's always been Dom's listening ear and bright smile, hugging and comforting him when he's been unable to confide in anyone else. And now, somewhere inside the house, Dom's alone. Unable to turn to the one person who knows how to comfort him the best. It's suddenly too much, and before he can stop himself, Billy's on the porch, suitcases forgotten.

For a terrible moment, as he tries the locked door and knocks, he feels as if this isn't even his house anymore. Why doesn't his house key work? He supposes Dom had the locks changed in a fit of anger, and he can't really blame him. No spare key under the Gimli-lookalike ceramic dwarf, either, where they've always kept one. Fuck. Maybe Dom's not even here. Maybe he's decided Billy's word isn't worth a damn and he shouldn't wait around for a homecoming that will never happen.

Except it has, and the wind is growing bitter.


"Me and only me? Not some second cousin and his neighbour's sheep?"

Billy sat quietly on the edge of the bed, staring at his uneaten room service breakfast. Daylight now, and he couldn't miss his flight. Even leaving this early, it'd be dark when he arrived in Glasgow. So much time would slip by anyhow...too much time. Time enough for Dom to change his mind.

And now, Dom's comment, delivered through a sneer. Well-deserved, Billy through, absorbing it in silence. About that bad, picking up some random fan at the party the night before. He tugged a loose thread off the bottom of his jeans, disgusted at his knowledge that she would have made sheep noises if he'd asked her to.

Silence was heavy on the phone, beckoning him. "You and only you," he finally answered as he slowly let out his breath. "Always, Dommie."


Billy sloshes through puddles on his way back to the sidewalk, trying to figure out what to do. Perhaps Dom's considering his options. Perhaps he only pretended to accept the apology and forgive him. Some sort of revenge plot, perhaps? Even their mutual friends have said this is Billy's fault. As if he didn't know. He can imagine the advice they've given to Dom about his philandering boyfriend. "Me," he whispers, closing his eyes. "How can that be me?"

Trust, such a fragile thing. So hard to rebuild.

And this isn't just some random relationship he can walk away from to wallow in the guilt for awhile. No, Dom's been his best friend for almost seven years now. Forgiveness...Billy's not sure it really exists, but he also knows that if any two people could work through something like this, it will be himself and Dom. After everything they've been through, he can't give up hope yet.

Right, well, that's it. Best to get it over with. Scooping his hand through the water at the sidewalk's edge, Billy never takes his eyes off the window. He stands up, ignoring the rain's pelting madness all around him, taking careful aim and estimating just how hard to throw the tiny stones. Not too hard, or he'll break the window, but loud enough to draw attention. He hasn't done this sort of thing in twenty years, not since he was a kid underneath some forgotten girl's window. That didn't end well, and he suspects this won't either.

At least Dom doesn't have a huge father to emerge from the house in his boxer shorts and chase him down.


The last phone call broke Billy's heart, and he wished he'd made it out the door to the airport first. He answered tiredly, rubbing his head as he listened to Dom sob like a little boy and offer to get out of Billy's way. He started saying he'd been holding him back for years, and that he'd never been good enough, his career was in the toilet, he'd never make anything of himself like Billy and all the others had, that of course Billy was bored, and on and on and on. "Don't be crazy, Dom," Billy interrupted firmly.

"You shouldn't come here," Dom said, for about the tenth time. "Your career's too important, and you can't leave a shoot for no reason at all."

Billy exhaled, but nothing came out. How could anything be more important than Dom? His own tears, finally, escaped. "I'll be there if you're willing to have me." As soon as he hung up, he called a taxi to LAX before he could lose his nerve.


Billy's just about to turn away and start walking when the door opens. He waits, his breath escaping him in one long shudder that'd be a laugh if he weren't about to cry, and Dom splashes through the grass. No shoes, but an umbrella, the crazy kid... "You wanker!" Billy shouts, hoping that umbrella hasn't been brought out to be used as some sort of weapon. "I knocked and you don't answer. I throw stones..."

His words are silenced by the force of Dom's tackling hug. They stagger together in the wet grass until Billy's able to regain his strength and hold Dom up. Thunder booms again, and the rain grows thicker in the pale light of the streetlamp. All Billy can feel is Dom's heat around him, the same warm, gentle, firm touch around his back that he's always loved so much. They're both trembling in the downpour, but Dom's smiling with the same exuberance that the two of them have felt around each other from the very first day, back in New Zealand so long ago. "Billy!"

"I told you I'd come," Billy manages, glad the rain's heavy enough to hide his tears. "Through snow, and sun, and rain..."

Dom's smile slackens a bit, grows calm. "I love you," he says, in that familiar, peppery voice, and then he holds out his hand. On the way to the door, they share the umbrella just like always, even though they're soaked to the skin. The heavy thunk of the door shutting behind them makes Billy jump in the sudden quiet of the paneled foyer. When he starts to speak, Dom holds one finger up to his mouth, determination hot in his eyes, and they melt into a slow kiss.

Not one thought is given to the hardwood floor.

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