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TITLE: Double Take
AUTHOR: frisbyg - frisbyg @
ORIGINAL STORY: Second Sight by almostnever (Cesare).
SUMMARY: Their flight into Wellington sets down late in the afternoon, and Billy is missing a day of his life.
NOTES: endless thanks to Melissa for the beta. for almostnever - may it make you smile at least once.

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.


Their flight into Wellington sets down late in the afternoon, and Billy is missing a day of his life. Scotland to London to Los Angeles to Auckland and now to Wellington and Billy has experienced two birthdays and twenty-five hours in four different airplanes. He has lived Monday twice, somehow entirely lost Tuesday in the shuffle, drank far too much champagne and memorized the first half of the poems and songs in Fellowship of the Ring with a Kent bloke from whom, Billy believes, under more regular circumstances, he would be ordering crisps.

He has always been a good flyer, so the flights themselves were fine. It had all been sweetness and light and carbonation up his nose, and Orlando sang Happy Birthday so loud that the flight attendants had looked annoyed instead of amused. They had the easy conversations that are had by people who enjoy being thrown into adventures. Normally banal subjects, like the outlandish price of petrol and holding down two jobs to make rent, became interesting, more flavorful, and Billy decided that the first thing he liked about Orlando was that his laugh was slightly goofier than someone so attractive should allow.

The first thing that Billy decided he did not like about Orlando was that the lad seemed to be an utter insomniac.

Orlando did not sleep for the entirety of the journey from England to the United States to New Zealand, nor did he seem to notice that he was keeping Billy up the entire way, as well.

Orlando, Billy decides, blinking his gummy eyes at the luggage turntable, needs to learn one important thing before all others about the Scotsman of their coalescing group:

Billy Boyd needs his damned sleep.

As they stand and wait for their bags, the entire airport is a little swimmy. The people sometimes warp in the middle if Billy stops blinking, and the skin of Orlando's arm is quite warm and too close. There is a bit of a gnawing feeling in the pit of Billy's stomach, a little like hunger and a lot like nausea, and his head feels like the heaviest part of his body.

"Going to be a welcoming party, yeah?" Orlando shifts and Billy is suddenly, blessedly cooler.

"Yeah," Billy says, but does not honestly register the question. He is paying too much attention to the turntable, to blinking, to bloody staying awake.

He starts thinking awake thoughts. Alarm clocks - the brass type with the silver bells on top, thick toast and tea with the milk and sugar put in first, sunrises all orange and blue and blinding. A sunrise, something about sunrises, like their flight to America was a constant one - he kept glancing out of the window at it.

Billy is so deep in reverie that he barely hears the sudden cry, the maniacal laughter, but even after a full day without sleep, even Billy sees Orlando pitch forward onto the luggage turnstile, arms full of a squirming someone.

"I claim this elf in the name of The Shire!"

"Bloody hell!" Orlando yells, and Billy watches, bemused, as long limbs battle short and both bodies start to revolve with the unclaimed suitcases.

Here comes the sun, doodle-doo-doo, Billy plays in his mind as he watches the two men extricate themselves from airport property, and apologize to a few disgruntled travelers whose belongings they slightly squashed.

Orlando is laughing his goofy laugh as they make their way back to Billy, and Billy smiles in spite of his foggy head and gives the once-over to their stealthy new companion. All right, if he is being entirely honest, God in Heaven help him, it is a thrice-over, but Billy is more concerned with being awake than honest, and he is most concerned with a particular area that is awake at the moment.

So this is Elij--, Billy has time to think before Elijah is in his space, all hey, man, wow...hey, Billy, so glad you guys made it 'cause, you know, was worried there for a while, but then I had a smoke, and yeah, yeah. Elijah slings an arm around Billy's shoulders, and Billy does not mind so much now that someone warm is within close proximity. He is feeling a little chilly all of a sudden, and he listens to Elijah and Orlando babble and does not say much, as Orlando starts hoisting their bags off the turnstile when Billy points them out with a lazy finger.

Elijah still has his arm around Billy's neck, and Billy thinks, This is nice, this is going to be good, even though he is not sure to what he is referring. Orlando piles bags onto carts and Billy is exhausted and Elijah is rubbing at his eyes with the hand that is not cupping Billy's shoulder, and Billy thinks it is nice how they all fit together. Then heat pools a little lower in Billy's stomach than he would like it to do in public when he is wearing tight trousers and he decides that tuning back into the conversation would probably be the best for all involved.

" champagne," Orlando is saying, and laughter comes bubbling out of Elijah's mouth like a brook. Billy can feel it through his own ribcage like a stomach rumble.

"You're thirty?" Elijah says, and his voice almost squeaks at the end of the word. "Really?"

Billy finds himself thinking of a Muppet, of which he cannot recall the name, and his cheeks feel like stretched plasticine when he smiles.

"I am, yeah," Billy says, and looks Elijah evenly in the eyes, which is lovely after long and lanky Orlando.

Elijah gets a wicked little quirk to both his brow and his lips. "I'm older than you in the movie," he says, and Billy thinks that he could love this boy a little, enjoys that he is too knackered right now for that thought to frighten the daylights out of him.

Daylight. That reminds him.

"We chased the sun," Billy says.

Elijah looks confused at the rapid change in subject.

"What?" Orlando smiles, but it is a small smile, a confused smile, a smile that says I'm not quite sure what to make of you yet, stranger.

Billy likes how Elijah's arm is damp on the back of his neck, but does not like the way his feet feel on the ground. He has a last single moment of clarity and latches onto it.

"We chased the past," he says, and promptly passes out.


The whole event makes a good story - their first of many, Billy expects - and it is told three times at the next afternoon's script meeting alone, once for each point of view. With Phillipa and Fran doing their first rewrite in the sun on the front lawn, and Peter on the phone to Weta in the kitchen, hobbits and elf have all the time in the world, so they sit and banter backwards and forwards over the coffee table.

"Thought Pete was gonna have to find a new Pippin," Orlando says, and Sean and Dominic laugh as though they had been there themselves.

Billy follows along, dropping chuckles and quips into the appropriate slots, but he has told his shorter side of the story, and would now rather peruse his script pages, survey the room and read some books by their covers, than rehash the entire thing again.

Peter's house feels really, well, good, Billy concludes. The sitting room is full of mismatched furniture with truly hideous but somehow soothing prints of gigantic lilies or turtles, there are philosophy books mixed on the shelves with coloring books, and nearly every table has a piece of wood lodged under a leg to prevent tilting. The sofas and chairs have been used and abused to the comfortable point of utter malleability and each of the men in the room are stowed into a corner of one or the other.

Well, all but one.

"Billy Boy, you swooner," Dominic teases, and plops himself down into Billy's lap, sinking them both a good three inches deeper into the easy-chair.

The merge of Orlando, Sean, and Elijah's laughter is a kind of music in which Billy believes he could grow to delight.

"Christ, what did you have for breakfast, Monaghan, a sack of potatoes?" Billy pushes ineffectually at Dom's hip and tries to work the crinkles out of his script pages with the hand not pinned between his own leg and Dom's bony arse.

"Aye," Dom says and pats his stomach. "An honest-to-God method actor, me. I'll make a hobbit of myself yet." He pulls up his tee shirt and pushes with his abdominal muscles to attempt to pooch his tummy out over his belt.

Billy smiles and feels a little flip in his middle. He has known Dom for little more than a day, but he already loves the guy like family, already knows what items to bequeath at Christmas. Meeting in the hotel bar the previous evening was like happening upon an old school chum, or a diminutive family reunion.

If they were both teenagers, Billy could envision them slapping sticky red palms together and calling each other blood brothers, compiling secrets and burying them in boxes. He knows that one day he will tell Dom what he dreamed of on the way from the airport to the hotel - of time machines and sunbeams and the winged-smile of his mother. Dom makes Billy want to stick a photograph of him over the dictionary definition of confidante.

Elijah is staring at him across the coffee table and Billy smiles but blinks his eyes away and pushes at Dom's hip again.

"Dom, no one wants to see that," Billy says, now that Dom has worked a sliver of soft belly over the top of his waistband.

Dom grabs Billy's pushing hand and smacks it flat onto his stomach. "Admit it, Boyd. You want my body," he says, grinning.

Elijah's laughter rises in a crescendo.

"No," Billy says, flattening his expression and extricating his hand from Dom's grasp.

Dom puts on a look of mock affront. "But here I am laid out on a platter for you, Bill."

"No, Dom," Billy says and slowly brings his hand up to his mouth. "You know I'm only interested in your mind."

Billy licks his index finger and quickly sticks it into Dom's ear.

"Oh, you fuck!" Dom yelps, rolling off Billy's lap onto the floor.

The following burst of guffaws is a cacophony, and there is a sharp banging on the wall next to Orlando's head from Peter in the kitchen. Dom lies on the floor rubbing a hand frantically against his ear; even mashes it a bit into the carpet when he brings his hands up to wipe away a few stray tears of laughter. The chair cushion under Billy's bottom rises slowly from the lessened weight, buoying up like his mood.

Elijah is looking at him again, this time with smile-crinkled eyes, and Billy smiles back as he wedges his toes under Dom's prone body on the floor and wiggles them under his ribcage. Dom lets out a squawk and bats at Billy's calves. Elijah sticks the end of a finger in his mouth to chew at the nail, and Billy tells himself too late not to stare at the curve and drop of Elijah's top lip.

When Sean and Orlando start to look back and forth between him and Elijah, Billy drops his gaze down to his darling, clueless, sprawled Dominic and smirks.

"Now who's the swooner, y' bugger?" Billy pokes a toe into Dom's armpit.

"Dunno if it's a technical-like swoon if he didn't fall into someone's arms," Orlando says.

"I beg to differ," says Billy.

Sean clears his throat. "You know, Bill, 's a good thing Elijah was there to catch you, or Orlando--" (Orli, Billy thinks, He asked us to call him Orli.) "--could have been right. You could have gone face to the floor and we could be looking for a new addition."

"Saints forbid," Dom says from the rug, and squeezes one of Billy's ankles.

"That's Heaven," Billy corrects.

"No." Dom squeezes Billy's ankle again and looks around the room at everyone.

"This is."


Billy was not sure that day, but by the end of the next week, he is willing to agree with Dom; somehow they have all managed to topple headfirst into a dream come true. In some manner of employment for a good eighteen months in a job that he loves, working with a somehow perfectly selected core group of people, not only a trailer but a house of his very own, and having it all in some of the most breathtaking locales on earth. Billy is nearly willing to bet that he did something both heroic and dangerous in a previous life to deserve this, like saving a baby from a swollen river or defending an innocent elderly lady in court.

If this is not as good as it gets, Billy does not know what is, but in case there is something even better, Billy has come up with a good - nay, great - deed for his present lifetime:

To surgically remove the gene from Orlando that has him thinking that he can wear paisley.

They are at a bar, yes, and they are all at least two sheets to the wind at this point, but when Billy looks around, he sees pretty boys and girls occupying nearly every square inch of space, and he cannot understand for the life of himself where Orlando gets the gall to wear those trousers. The boy is out there, though, and he is pulling more than swigs of beer, so Billy just shrugs and swirls his scotch on the rocks and hopes he will remember to nick the offending article sometime and get Dom to fly them from one of the studio flagpoles.

"What?" Dom leans in from the opposite side of the table to be heard over the pulsing music and Billy vaguely surmises that he was talking to himself.

"Trousers," Billy says loudly, and smiles when Dom nods in complete understanding.

"And we're the ones sitting over here alone," Dom bemoans, watching Orlando writhe with some blonde, sequined thing on the dance floor. "Next time--" he stabs a finger in Billy's direction "--polka dots and spats."

There is an indistinct groan from beneath the table and two hands appear to cling onto the edge before Elijah hauls himself upwards and onto the chair beside Dom. Once there, he weaves a little and his knuckles are white from his grip on the sides of his seat.

Dom blinks and looks at Elijah like he has not seen him all night.

"Ah, bless," Dom says and reaches out to ruffle Elijah's hair with the hand that is not holding a Beefeater and tonic.

Elijah tilts his head away and groans again. Billy only smiles.

"No more," Elijah says. "No more rum. Oh God, I swear to God, God Almighty, that if anyone ever gives me rum again, I will throw it at their fucking head."

"Don't you mean throw up at their fucking head, Lij?" Dom snickers.

"Shut up, Monaghan," Billy says. "You're drunk."

Billy is surprised that Dom has enough wits about him to look insulted.

"'m not," Dom says. "'m completely shober."

"Sure you are, love. Most shertainly." Billy smirks, and Elijah cannot be entirely sick because he starts to laugh like a mad primate. "Would you like your martini shaken or shtirred?"

"To hell with you arseholes," Dom declares, but he is smiling the smile that brightens his eyes, even when his head is swimming in gin.

"'Nother round?" Billy asks, and tips his now-drained glass at the waitress.

"'S your tab," Dom says, already motioning for another hit of Beefeater.

"Lij, anything?" Billy asks.

Elijah's eyes are at half-mast but still bright and he is picking at the edges of Dom's paper coaster. There is a tiny furrow between his eyebrows that makes Billy want very much to lean over the table and trace it with his tongue.

Elijah looks up and for a brief but panicky moment Billy thinks he has been voicing his thoughts again, but all Elijah does is open his mouth and slur, "Is this even legal?"

Billy can feel a chuckle welling up in his throat like a captive balloon. "It's sixteen, isn't it?" he asks. "Like home."

It takes a moment to make its way through the fog of rum, but Elijah smiles, slow and lazy. "Hey, hey, hey."

"Is for horses!" Dom crows, as if it is the greatest epiphany of his life.

Were it not for the pounding music, the table would be silent.

"Dom," Billy begins, but Dom is already out of his seat, all "'m fine, 's good, 's cool, 'm gonna dance some of it off," and off he goes, tottering or jiving - who can say which - into the melee of bodies on the dance floor.

Billy's scotch arrives, neat this time, and he watches Elijah watch him as he tips the lip of the glass against his mouth. Billy swallows once, twice, Elijah's gaze drifting lower as he does so, and Billy is not so sure what is causing the burn from the back of his throat to his belly anymore, the alcohol or Elijah.

He is hard against the zipper of his jeans now, and when he shifts in his seat it seems to break whatever drunken concentration Elijah managed to muster, because now Elijah is looking Billy in the eyes again, but the look is different, cloying.

"I'm not 's young as you think I am," Elijah says, and his voice is so quiet that Billy is sure it is only through sheer willpower that he is able to hear it.

"I know," says Billy.

"I mean, I am," Elijah continues, "as young as you think I am, I mean." His eyes grow a little wider as he backpedals. "Because I told you how young, how old I am, but that's not what I mean, what I mean is that, um."

"I know," Billy says again, and Elijah loses his deer-in-headlights look, shifts to more of a deer-in-brakelights expression.

Elijah frowns and flicks blunt fingertips at the pieces of the coaster he decimated. "I'm not as drunk as you think I am, either. I know what I'm doing."

He looks up and Billy believes in the clear of his eyes.

"I only wish I did," Billy says, and reaches blindly under the table for Elijah's knee.


Billy's new house still smells a little like the fresh white paint in the bathroom, the linoleum floor is cold under his feet - he does not know where his shoes got flung to, only that they made quite loud thumps when they landed - and Elijah has him pressed up against the door so that the doorknob is grinding into the small of his back, but Billy does not fucking care. Elijah has one hand up Billy's shirt rubbing at a nipple and one hand down Billy's jeans wrapped around Billy's cock, and Billy is having trouble breathing, but he shoves his face into Elijah's neck and pants out breaths between swipes of his tongue.

"Maybe this," Billy breaks off as Elijah makes a wicked little motion with his wrist. "Uh, you're."

Elijah takes his hands away, hooks his fingers into Billy's belt loops, and Billy groans because that's what he meant, but that's not what he meant. Then Elijah laughs with this low chuckle that seems to roll up from somewhere near his knees, and a primal shudder goes down Billy's back that makes him want to spread his legs.

They blink at each other for a moment that feels to Billy like a goddamned month and he would worry, but Elijah's teeth glint when he smiles and he's sliding a finger back and forth over Billy's abdomen in a tease that nearly screams I'm gonna make you beg for it.

"Hey, man," Elijah says, and Billy would swear on a stack of bibles that Elijah has aged ten years in the last fifteen minutes; his voice is so fucking low.

"Peter said you should do your best to help me out," Elijah says, and Billy thinks, oh right, film, acting, work, that's why we're here.

Elijah snickers and thumbs the button on Billy's jeans.

"Well then," Billy says, and brings his hands up to start popping the buttons on his shirt. "I'm good at taking direction."

Elijah's fingers fumble at Billy's zipper and Billy grunts and tilts his hips into them.

"Fuck," Elijah murmurs.

His eyes keep flicking from Billy's waist to the chest hair revealed by each released button, and he is starting to rub himself against his own wrists while he pulls Billy's zip down, which in turn pushes hard against Billy's cock and Billy nearly bites off the tip of his own tongue.

"Need to," Elijah gasps, "fuck, let me."

Elijah's hands abandon Billy's zipper to pull Billy's hands away from his shirt.

"Fuck, just, c'mere," Elijah says, and his breath smells like spiced rum when he trails his tongue over the curve of Billy's bottom lip.

Billy moans and opens his mouth. Their tongues slide together just before their lips, and Elijah is pressed flush against him now, hard against Billy's hip, through his jeans, through Billy's jeans, and Billy reaches down to wedge a hand between them. The smell of rum and scotch and paint fumes is making Billy feel light-headed, and when he cups and presses Elijah through his jeans, the resulting moan into his mouth makes Billy think he might faint, and wouldn't that be some fucking irony.

They fumble at each other's zippers and clasps, hands and fingers tangling like their tongues, and Billy only has enough wherewithal to think that if Elijah does not stop making those fucking pornographic sounds in the back of his throat, they will be finding a new Pippin, because Billy will die right here, and he will die happy because he is already in Heaven, like Dom said, and oh fuck, he should not be thinking about Dom right now.

Elijah pulls Billy's cock out of his pants about the same time that Billy realizes Elijah is not wearing any, and they both hiss like adders at the first good squeeze, brace against each other's shoulders with their own free hand.

What a pair, Billy thinks, and it is his last coherent thought of the evening.

"God, fuck, yes," Elijah spits, thrusting himself into Billy's grip.

Neither of them is going to last long, Billy knows. It's been too long, they've both had too many drinks, Elijah gives handjobs like a pro, and Billy is a far cry from amateur himself.

They sweat and thrust and gasp into each other's ears. Elijah's cock is so hard in Billy's hand that it's like wanking a gearshift, and when he comes, he cries out like he's dying and that launches Billy right over the edge with starbursts behind his eyelids.

They lean against each other, all moist and sticky, and take great whistling breaths of air. Billy can feel the doorknob digging into his back again.

"Fuck," Elijah pants into Billy's ear, and Billy chuckles.

"Later, 'm tired." He somehow finds the energy to pat down the damp material of Elijah's tee shirt, tuck his hand into Elijah's jeans to rest on the rise of his ass.

"Mmm," Elijah mumbles, and brings his head up enough to give Billy a lazy smile. "You can swoon now if you like."

Billy kisses Elijah's bottom lip, tugs it once with his teeth. "Fuck off."

They are quiet for a moment, only breathing and lightly stroking and recovering a few lost brain cells.

"You know, I never thanked you for catching me," Billy says, and receives a snort of laughter.

"Anytime," Elijah replies. He gives the word an emphatic lilt and rubs a gentle finger against Billy's softened cock.

Billy twitches a bit and smiles. "Hold you to that."

"Fantastic," Elijah says, and Billy thinks, yes.

Yes, it is.

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