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Title: Start and End

Author: nienor_niniel

Original story: Oh What Can It Mean? by trianne

Pairing: Dom/Elijah, Elijah/Sean Astin

Rating: R

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.


Sean's gone. Really FAR gone. Really far gone and sporting one hell of a bobby. He's more than half asleep, if Billy's any judge. And Billy is; he's been watching Sean. He's been watching Sean watch Elijah, to be specific. He's been watching that for a while, ever since he noticed how Sean's eyes lingered on Elijah when Elijah wasn't looking.

Being Billy, he has a reason.

The call comes; the First AD peers over the edge of the gully, too far away to hear, and makes a broad gesture, beckoning. Everybody gets up except Sean, and Billy waits, hanging back just a wee bit.

"Look at the git," Dom says loudly. "Skivin' off while the rest of us work!"

The insult doesn't stir Sean even a little. Even Elijah can't get Sean to wake up at first, so he starts shouting. Billy smirks, lingering; this could repay inspection, if Sean wakes up slowly enough to give away any of what Billy thinks he's dreaming.

But Sean finally blinks away the dream, and he doesn't say anything incriminating; he just looks confused for a second, a big goofy grin breaking out as he looks up at Elijah, unguarded for once. That lasts for about two seconds, until he wakes up enough to take inventory of the rest of himself. Then he grabs for a script, trying to look subtle. On a scale from one to ten, where one would be a whisper and ten would be a chainsaw, Billy rates his attempt at about a 12: a full chainsaw chorus in three-part harmony.

"The hell was that all about?" Dom grouses as they trot down into the gulley.

"We're all tired," Billy says, keeping a spritely tone even though the remark is safely inane. If things are going down the way he wants them to, then it's best for him to keep neutral and simply wait.


When a drizzle interrupts them half an hour later and sends them off to lunch, Dom is already on the alert, and he makes his move to capture the conversation with Elijah by snatching the earbuds for his iPod and having a listen.

"These indy bands of yours are mostly shite," Dom says, half in earnest and half trying to get a rise out of Elijah. He can't be himself, can't be his best, when Sean's hazel eyes hold him in the balance. Even when Sean doesn't mean to, Dom feels like he's being weighed and found wanting.

"It's pop music that's shite," Elijah rejoins, spirited, and Sean smirks even though pop music from fifteen or twenty years ago is all he brings in to listen to in the makeup trailer. Dom watches Elijah zero in on the smirk, and knows he's won the argument but lost the battle to keep Elijah's attention as his expression abstracts and his protests turn into tokens and platitudes.

Sean can distract Elijah just that easily-- more and more, lately-- and it keeps Dom's tongue sharp and his wits sharper. But Dom's no fool; he wasn't born yesterday. He knows that nice boner Sean was sporting this morning while he slept isn't lost on Elijah, even though Elijah's in *his* bed-- for now, anyway, and for as long as Dom can contrive to keep him there.

Sure enough, Elijah's starting in with the whole routine. There's his tongue, swiping across his lower lip. There's a cat-stretch, showing to advantage how very flexible he is. And Sean, for all he's pretending to tune out, isn't. His eyes are hooded under his sinking eyelids, but they follow Elijah as he goes through the steps as though they were a dance: there's the studied way he moves, when his mind is bent on seduction. Dom knows it all very well; it's all been used on him to excellent effect. But Sean's got a defense Dom didn't; Sean's got Christine, and maybe it's bloody well time to remind him of that.

Sean's so tired he's losing it again, and as he drifts towards sleep, his hands also drift, perhaps without his knowledge, sliding from their prim positions on the arms of the chair to rest on his thighs, and then smoothing along his hobbit pants, and it's time for that little reminder a lot sooner than Dom meant to give it.

"Boy, I think we'd better have a word with Christine!" he makes a show of his amusement, letting it curl back his lips and twinkle in his eyes. That is, after all, what an actor does. "She must be wearing you out, man; you were out like a light again!"

They both draw back a bit, Elijah putting it away in favor of a more ordinary pose and Sean having the grace to look prim and half-ashamed, however daft that makes him seem given the oar-sized lump he's sporting inside his shorts. Dom stifles a snort. They're both so skittish and gun-shy it half-appeals to him to make a play for Sean himself. He thinks he might be able to make a faster go of it than Elijah is doing; Sean's already halfway there for anybody pretty enough who wanders along and knows to say the right things. He has a roving eye, and he hates to say no so badly Dom judged him ripe for the plucking practically the first time he laid eyes on the man. If it weren't Elijah in the opposing corner he might have a go just for the hell of it; he likes to show people they aren't half so proper as they think.

He looks down at his open-faced sarnie, melted plastic cheddar and swiss on soggy buttered toast-- cheddar and SWISS, for fucksake!-- and makes himself tear off the crust and have a nibble. He's keenly conscious that Billy isn't here anymore; it seems like every time Dom has a go at Sean these days, Billy takes himself off, quiet and polite-like. It feels like disapproval, and that makes Dom sting with righteous indignation. There was a time when Billy was right alongside him, working to needle Sean and deflate his bubble of self-importance just that critical amount that makes him bearable. Dom doesn't even want to guess what kind of a bug he has up his arse.

Elijah isn't finished yet, though; he surprises Dom by going to sit next to Sean and trying on the mother-hen routine. "You all right, Sean?" he asked, quietly. "You've hardly eaten."

Dom rolls his eyes. As if he needs to! His own appetite is gone too, though, and it would be the same even if he had a nice filet mignon or Dover sole on his plate instead of some piss-poor Kiwi equivalent to Welsh rarebit; he isn't much in the mood to listen to the naked concern in Elijah's voice, which he knows is honest even as Elijah dances around his growing attraction to Sean. Dom stabs the cooling cheese with his fork and pulls up a limp orange strand of it, twining it around the tines theatrically, knowing nobody much is watching him.

Sean isn't rising very well to the mother hen tactic, but Elijah knows a better, and sure enough his next move is all about the psychology of the individual. "Shit," Elijah says, straightening up, smacking at his empty pockets just as theatrically as Dom playing with his rubbery cheese. "I shut the door and forgot to pick up the key. It must be on the kitchen table. Shit."

Dom moves fast, trying to defuse Sean's protective instincts-- another reminder of just who is in whose bed, thank you very much. He snickers and winks, broad and salacious. "S'Okay, Lij. No worries. It'll do another time!" After all, Elijah has somewhere to go, doesn't he? A bed where he's welcome. Fuck the key, mate, and come home with me. Dom realizes he is tense, hanging on Elijah's response, and he understands belatedly that he's just made the moment a challenge: critical, a cusp.

"But I can't get in the house!" Elijah says, "and I need to get in the house at some stage. I mean, my bed's there. And my beer."

He fucking well knows Dom has beer, too-- and that some of it's even the horse-piss lager Elijah likes. The battle is lost, but Elijah looks so genuinely sad that Dom puts down his fork and lays a hand gently on his sleeve. Transcending the manipulative, he goes straight for the desperate, knowing it and hating it. "You can always kip at mine and share my beer. No greater love hath a man for his fellow man than to giveth of his ale to his mate. Even when said mate is a right fucking plonker!" He tries to rescue a little pride there, a little dignity, a little pose that Elijah's answer doesn't matter so much.

And it's a good thing, too.

"I'll see to it, Elijah, don't worry." Sean jumps all over himself to save Elijah from a fate ever so obviously much worse than death, and Elijah looks at him with such gratitude that it starts the great lout beaming. "You go to your appointment and I'll have a locksmith round to change the lock. By the time you get back, it'll be done. I'll leave the spare key with your neighbor, the one with the dog, okay?"

Elijah turns to Dom and raised his eyebrows. "See, this is a friend, Dom. This is what a friend does. Sean is my friend. You are just my mate," and he turns his back theatrically on Dom and winks at Sean.

"Whatever," Dom replies carelessly, wrapping his hurt in a thick blanket of nonchalance. At least Sean's a good guy. He wouldn't want to see Elijah hurt, after all, even though he knows the little bastard's more than halfway gone towards leaving him flat. "We can't all be Sam to your Mr. Frodo, Elijah. There's only room in this world for one Sam." He finds a tired smile for Sean and makes the most graceful exit he can, leaving most of his dinner at the bottom of the trash. He supposes it's all his own fault, really, for taking the fuckbuddy tack. No reason for Elijah to think there was anything more serious to it.

No reason at all.

All good things come to an end, he supposes.


Dom's not right, though perhaps Billy's the only one who senses it, the only one who cares enough to look past the jokes and the poise and find the anger and the hurt lurking inside driving them.

The biggest cue is Dom's change of targets. Sean is suddenly immune, for one thing, and Dom isn't teaming up with Elijah for any of his sallies the way he usually would-- not that Elijah is looking to be teamed with; he's busy looking at Sean.

Billy startles the flicker of a scowl in Dom's eyes as Dom watches them put their heads together, and is glad he wasn't there for whatever went down.

But he has a plan, and he bides his time.


All afternoon long Dom seethes at Sean, knowing he isn't precisely being fair, but not much caring. The fucking wanker. He'll have a key, and he won't leave it with the neighbor-- who would, really, who could? Not that he'll use it, no; he won't have the balls. He'll just keep it handy, to fire his guilty little sex fantasies. Fantasies of milk-white skin and huge blue eyes, fantasies of the wife's night out, the friendly visit, the few-too-many beers. Fantasies of walking in and finding Elijah in bed wanking, or maybe in the shower, with water gleaming all over him, just tracing a path straight down to where Dom likes to lick him--



Billy watches them steam-- all three of them, in their various ways. Sean is steaming gently with lust, and Elijah exudes seduction so thick you'd need a gas mask to get out of it with your hormones intact. And Dom? Dom steams with wrath and disappointment, and Billy wishes he could pull him aside. He could, he knows; he could do it right now, while the second unit director is working on Elijah's close-ups.

He closes his eyes, wrapping his hand around a bottled water, and pretends fatigue as he pictures it.

"Don't be so sad, Dommie, can't you see they work together? Like a key and a lock, like butter and bread. Lij's too young for you, and he knows it, but Sean's half a child himself for all he's half again older, for all he's got a kid of his own."

Dom's look wisens behind the sadness, and he nods; the anger flows out of him, leaving him to look tired and just a little vulnerable, his eyes stormy even in a moment of peace. And then Billy puts his arm around Dom's shoulders, and Dom sinks closer to him, letting down all those damned defenses, sighing with comfort, just like a mate only not, and Billy just feels the tight broad shoulders under his arm and knows the rightness of having Dom's hard lean body up against his.

And then, maybe, Dom will get used to being there, and turn those dark grey eyes up, and behind the storm there will be surprise, and beneath that, a sudden welling heat--

"He's like a china doll," Dom says from approximately the vicinity of Billy's ankle, and Billy opens his eyes, looking up at Dom with a little smile that isn't Pippin's in spite of the wig and ears. "Look at him."

He is, mugging for the camera with eyes wide with feigned fright; the satin fabric of Frodo's vest looks coarse against Elijah's porcelain skin, which is so fragile you can see the veins clustered beneath it, so perfect that the onset of the patchy dark, stubble he gets over the weekend looks like a blasphemy even as it shocks Dom with lust-- Billy can see it shivering through him every time he looks at Elijah. He can picture Dom licking that stubble, liking the contrast between petal-smooth skin and the sharp edge of the man Elijah will become.

No, he isn't ready yet.

Billy bides his time and lets Dom stew, knowing there's nothing he can do yet if he wants to make things better. Dom has to come to him; Dom has to be ready.

He'll snap out of it, eventually, and when he does, Billy will be there.

Billy carefully doesn't smile.


Maybe he'll go out and have a bird tonight, instead of sitting at home fuming and thinking of that key in Sean's pocket-- the sodding new key he ran off to have made for Elijah, its sharp edges and bright metal, the very symbol of potential in more ways than one.

"You're a fool if you don't use it," Dom announces to no one in particular, and takes a pull at his stout, which has grown lukewarm in its bottle, the condensation running down to form a ring on his kitchen counter. He doesn't want to pull a bird, doesn't want the effort, doesn't want the harassment of getting rid of her afterwards.

Fuck that shite.

Dom swallows his beer and aims the empty bottle at the trash, where it thunks neatly home a second later. If he was any kind of a man at all, he'd go over and train all his wiles on Elijah, make him fall in lust all over again, woo him into bed, put him on his back, and just plain fuck him till he can't think of anybody but Dom--

And fuck that shite, too. It's got to stop.

He knows that if he went over to Elijah's, they'd maybe play some music, or get on the Playstation, wind up drinking too much, and he'd wake up on the couch under that ridiculous knitted afghan Elijah's mother sent with him when he came overseas, picturing her baby boy all alone in the cold cruel world. And then, just when Dom started to relax, the phone would ring and it would be Sean-- Elijah would turn, his little bird-shoulders rounding on Dom and closing him out... or the door would open, and it would be Sean holding a six-pack, taking Dom in politely, accommodating him for the evening, but Dom would know he was a third wheel....

It's no good sitting here daydreaming; Dom's not a dreamer. He's a man of action, or he likes to think it. Time to quit brooding.

Dom reaches for his phone; his thumb plays over the buttons on its sleek case, indecisive, and then he opens it and hits the quick-dial. "Bills?" He relaxes on his couch, tension flowing out of him. "Yeah, you wanker." It feels good talking to his best mate. "Wanna go get shitfaced and turn up late for Feet? Right. I'll pick you up in five."

He goes out and gets in his car, adjusting the rear-view mirror, deliberately failing to put on his safety belt because it's such a Sean thing to do. Billy isn't Elijah, and he isn't a bird; this evening won't be the same, but it's right; he can feel it in the warmth of Billy's laughter, and the comfort of knowing the night will be a good one no matter what.

Time for a new start.

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