Title: Still Rumpled Skin
Original story: Rumplestiltskin, by Azhriaz
RATING: PG-13 (for language only)
Summary: Dom is honest with himself. Eventually.
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.
It's funny, really, that they're such good friends. Given a list of their likes and dislikes, lifestyle preferences, ages and backgrounds, you'd have thought these two couldn't possibly have much in common.
Dom liked to go to bed late and sleep in. It was a constant source of frustration to him that Billy was always the one at the party, saying, "I'm away home, Dom," when for Dom, the evening had barely got going. And on mornings like this - they were on holiday, for fuck's sake - he wanted to have a nice, long lie-in, not be kicked out of bed for no discernible reason by an enthusiastic Scot telling him what a beautiful day it is.
"We're in California, it's always a beautiful day," he muttered, pulling the covers over his head.
"Come on you lazy bastard, get up!"
Yep, there it was, as expected. Dom had braced himself, but being landed on was still a less than pleasant experience.
"Fuck off!" he said, followed by some muffled anti-Scottish sentiments.
"You're awake now, you might as well get up."
Billy bounced a little.
Dom realised this wasn't ever, ever going to end unless he did what Billy wanted. He groaned. "All right, all right, I'm getting up, now will you fuck off and leave me alone?"
The covers were pulled back off his head, and Billy's face beamed happily down at him.
Now really, who could resist that?
By the time Dom had hauled himself out of bed and showered, Billy was outside, leaning against the car, waiting patiently. He opened the passenger door with a flourish; Dom grunted and said nothing, just got in and sat there, determined not to enjoy himself.
Billy pulled the car on to the highway - Highway One, although Dom didn't notice at the time - and Dom stared out of the window, watching the scenery go by without actually seeing any of it.
"Where are we going?" he asked, watching his breath mist on the glass as he spoke, not listening to Billy's reply.
Billy turned on the radio and sang along to it. Dom couldn't find a reason to object; the music was inoffensive and he could listen to Billy sing all day, if he was honest with himself. Which he wasn't, very often. Especially not where Billy was concerned.
So if he was honest with himself?
Nope. No way. It was far to early for introspection. He sat up and turned to Billy.
"Tell me again where we're going?"
After Krispy Kreme doughnuts (he couldn't believe Billy had bought his favourites; he assumed it was to make up for kicking him out of bed at some ungodly hour of the morning) and an argument or two, Dom was raring to go, and so it was a little frustrating when they had to stop for petrol.
There was something in the way Billy looked at him when Dom pointed out that he'd bought the doughnuts. Something that made Dom go all introspective again as he sat staring at the dead flies on the windscreen. Really, if he was honest with himself (and now he was awake enough for that), he'd let Billy drag him out of bed long before he'd normally be up, and drive him out here without any actual destination in mind. If he really wanted to, he could have stayed in bed this morning. If he really wanted to, he...
The driver's side door opened and, taken by surprise, Dom almost didn't catch the bag of supplies Billy threw at him before leaping into the car. Then his friend was being all mysterious again as they got back on the road, and Dom didn't know whether to be annoyed or excited. They pulled into a car park outside a building proclaiming itself a "Girls' Center", and Dom found himself staring at a flyer for a performance of Rumpelstiltskin by the Seaside Theatre Company.
Trust Billy to be so... spontaneous. Spontaneous and mad and brilliant. Dom looked up at him and realised Billy was anxiously searching his face to make sure this was okay. Dom gave him what he hoped was a reassuring grin, and seeing the relief flood Billy's expression was reward enough.
They went into the auditorium and took their seats, surrounded by children and their parents. Dom found he was quite excited to see this small town amateur production; maybe it was a by-product of too many Krispy Kremes, or just the fact that he was there, with Billy, doing something completely bonkers on the spur of the moment.
Yep, that was definitely it, he decided, as the curtain rose and the play began. He made Billy laugh with his comment about Rumplestiltskin's resemblance to a hobbit of their acquaintance, and then it was Dom's turn to be spontaneous.
Something made him take Billy's hand.
And Billy squeezed it back.