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Disclaimer: This is a non-commercial, non-profit work of fiction under the names and likenesses of real individuals. This fictional story is not intended to imply that the events herein actually occurred, or that the attitudes or behaviors described are engaged or condoned by the persons whose names are used without permission.

Steer Your Life by These Stars

Author: kiltsandlollies
Original Story: A Commanding Performance by unstealthy
Pairing: Billy/Dominic
Rating: NC-17
Summary: Sailors will find their way home from the sea.

They've only got a few days before they go their separate ways again; Billy back to the States for the run of January awards shows few others in the cast want to attend, and Dom off somewhere he's calling a secret in case he jinxes the result of the journey. Billy's never begrudged Dom his secrets before, and has no plans to start now; the light in Dom's eyes when he talks about the possibilities of the next several weeks is so bright and such a relief to see that Billy finds himself falling happily back down the rabbit hole of Dom's energy and arms, a hole he'd only just escaped a few months before.

Still, Billy wishes they had more time to share here in Scotland, and that Dom wasn't so insistent on spending some of the little time they do have inside a Clydebank cinema. This'll be four hours of my life gone, Billy had said over his morning coffee, and Dom had said all the right things about making it up to him, just before he'd stolen Billy's last breakfast pastry and marched to Billy's computer to purchase the movie tickets in advance.

Billy's glad of that advance purchase now, because it'll allow him and Dom to slip by any queue at the box office and pick up the tickets from a machine. He's doubly grateful for it when they arrive at the cinema and open the car doors to a biting wind that makes Dom shiver and stare at Billy as he visibly rethinks this bizarre way to spend an early January morning.

"It's bloody freezing," Dom gasps and gapes. "How do you people live here?"

"Under jumpers and the influence of alcohol, Dom. It's Scotland in January; what did you expect?"

"I don't have a clue. Not this." Dom throws a hand and then pushes it down low in his jacket pocket. "Sunshine. Dancing girls. My balls not crawling back up inside my guts to get warm again."

"You spend a year in California and you lose your will to live below sixty degrees fahrenheit. I'll keep that in mind." Billy looks around the carpark and takes a deep, chilling and maybe a bit resigned breath. "Welcome to beautiful Clydebank. And remember this was your idea."

"I've got a better one now."

"Unless it involves you buying me some sweets, too late." Billy begins to trudge toward the cinema, not looking to see if Dom's still behind him. It's clear Dom's not used to the weather anymore, but then he wouldn't be, really; Manchester and London might get a nip in the air for a few months each year, but not like this, and Billy supposes Dom's been in California long enough that his blood's thinned along with his accent and body. Dom would argue that, Billy knows; he'd say something like he's a citizen of the world, and he might even believe it. Billy can get behind the idea of that, but also knows he can't say that of himself. It smacks of something he doesn't understand or really like about Dom, that trying to be everything to everyone, just now on a wider scale.

Once inside the building, Billy's gaze moves naturally toward the sweets and other concessions while Dom picks up their tickets. Billy's about to order a vast quantity of everything within reach when he turns back to see Dom looking back outside with a frown and narrowed eyes, as if nature has offended him terribly.

"Oh, come on," Billy sighs from behind him, keeping his voice down so they're left as anonymous as possible. "You're not in California anymore."

"Don't I fucking know it. Do you seriously want sweets?"

"I'm as serious as it gets. I repeat, this was your idea."

"I've got Minstrels." Dom's jacket rustles, and Billy raises his eyebrows at the sight and sound.

"The next time you call me a cheap bastard I'm going to smack you in the mouth, Dom."

"Remember I can outrun you."

"Not if I break your legs first. Come on, in."


They've managed to avoid most of the adverts, but the trailers are still rolling as they enter the auditorium. Only a scattering of people have been brave or bored enough to come out and enjoy this first screening of the day, and most are gathered down in front. Billy watches Dom make a quick reconnaissance mission as soon as their eyes adjust to the faint light, and he's not surprised when Dom nods and says quickly, "Back row," and bounds up the steps with Billy at his heels. Dom starts pulling off his hat and coat and Billy follows in that, too, happy to find as he sits beside Dom that underneath the earlier irritability Dom wore like his ugly coat there's still tremendous warmth to be found. By the time the credits begin, Dom's as settled as he tends to get for any few minutes at one time, his knee resting against Billy's as his hand curves at Billy's thigh.

"I can't believe you haven't seen this yet," Billy says, slumping down lower in his seat. "I might feel wounded or something if I had the energy to care."

"You know I've been filming in New York, Billy. Then this thing came up in December, Return of the King I think it was. Then it was Christmas. And New Year. I'm here now, aren't I?"

"And loudly so."

"Not as loud as last year." Dom's shoulder nudges against Billy's and Billy laughs, remembering the New Year's holiday they'd spent together with Elijah and just how incredibly loud things had gotten over those few days and nights. He loses himself for several seconds to that memory until Dom nudges against him and leans closer.

"Which one are you again, master or commander."

"Neither. I'm more like ..." Billy throws a hand this time, and a quantity of the candy rattles almost out of its container before Billy steadies himself again. "The 'and.'"

Dom snorts with repressed laughter. "A short, hairy ampersand."

"Actually a conjunction."

"That, too. I want one of those on my CV, I do."

"There you go, dream the big dreams, Dom. Alright, look, we're off."

The start of the film's almost unnervingly quiet, and Billy's surprised by how calmly Dom's just watching and waiting, not yet muttering in boredom or reaching for the Minstrels again. Billy tries to focus on the film instead of Dom for a bit, remembering what it was like to have spent at least some of the filming on that quiet water, in that isolated, humming world of a ship in motion, steered by the stars, always travelling somewhere and nowhere at once, in permanent escape. Dom eventually begins to squirm a bit impatiently, but finally, just under five minutes into the action Billy appears, looking all of twelve behind the enormous wheel of the Surprise and concentrating his tired gaze on the fog ahead.

"That is terrible hair," Dom says around a mouthful of candy. "Terrible, terrible hair."

"You'll notice it's almost all one colour, which is more than we can say for--"

"Not all yours, though, I'm guessing."

Dom's smile vanishes Billy's glare, and after a moment Billy just sighs and returns his attention to the Minstrels and the film in turn. On the screen, the ship continues to wake, and Billy thinks again what a brilliant job Peter Weir had done making the film look and feel so real--an experience for any audience member willing to sit still and let themselves fall into its world, any audience member with an attention span longer and wider than Dom's. Billy remembers feeling more than once as if he'd actually had a hand in directing the Surprise to her destination, that vast wheel leaving its mark deep in the skin of his palms.

"You weren't really steering," Dom says suddenly as if he's read Billy's mind, and Billy shakes his head, only a little ruefully.

"There was this machine down below. Someone manning a computer or something. They wouldn't let me within ten feet of it."

"Good thing, too," Dom laughs. "You'd have sailed it into a wall, wouldn't you."

"This from a man whose steering wheel comes off in his hands."

Dom makes an affronted noise and snatches back the chocolates. "That was ages ago. And not my fault."

"So you say. It's evidence Sean always did want you dead, though, and I'm telling you, sometimes I don't blame him."

Dom barks out a little laugh and then ducks down into his own seat, cringing. Billy waits for a disapproving noise or nasty look from the front rows, but there's nothing, and so he downs another small handful of chocolate just before he hears his own voice for the first time in the film. Midships it is, sir, Bonden says to his captain, and Dom snorts again, this time in horror and delight.

"Terrible, terrible accent."

"Shut it," Billy hisses, and Dom twists in his seat to peer at Billy, that maddening grin wide and creasing his face.

"Where t'fuck's he's supposed to be from?"


"By way of what gutter?"

Billy shoots Dom another glare, weighing the balance of their friendship against the temptation of the first violent rejoinder that comes to him. He's never had the same ease with accents as Dom, and Dom knows the relief Billy had felt when Peter and Fran had given up on forcing Billy to sound anything other than himself, so it's a bit below the belt for Dom to take the piss now, and as if he's read Billy's mind, Dom looks up from under his lashes and shrugs before he looks back at the screen again. Billy relaxes, but it's not long before Dom's stifling another laugh, this time at the sight of Bonden's grimace.

"Oh, for fuck's sake, Dom--"

"The teeth, look at the teeth--"

"He is English."

Dom makes a noise acknowledging the hit but not arguing it. Billy can feel him shifting around, propping one foot up on his chair and his free hand hand around his knee while the other hand remains still on Billy's leg, with Billy's fingers laced into his. Dom quiets as he gets involved in the plot, only moving when Billy appears on the screen again, and only then to nod or smile at Billy himself. When Jack Aubrey and his officers sit half-drunk and singing, urging each other to not forget your old shipmates. Billy hums along absently under his breath, and Dom hears him, flashing that grin Billy's way again.

"You didn't do any singing this time."

"Not on camera." Between them moves the memory of one time Dom was in Mexico to visit Billy and in particular one evening they spent in the company of Russell and others, making noise cleverly disguised as music. Billy and Dom had left the party after some time to make a different sort of noise of their own, and Billy thinks now that one of the last times they'd ... done that sort of thing properly, one of the last times it hadn't felt rushed or guilt-ridden or wrong. That memory prompts others, and before long Billy's shifting a bit himself, and Dom lifts his hand from Billy's leg, his fingers drifting gently against Billy's crotch.

Billy flinches and hears Dom swallow a surprised inhale. They share a moment of silence and shock before Dom pulls them out of it, leaning to press his mouth close to Billy's ear, his voice a raspy purr.

"Fancy a bit of hard a'larboard with your captain, is that it?"

Billy tches and smiles and shakes his head, remembering how Dom had once admitted fancying a hour or two alone with Russell, just to see if he could avoid ending up broken in half. Billy had nearly pissed himself laughing just thinking about it at the time, but now he can use that admission like Dom's used his tease.

"You'd never get over your envy, and I wouldn't let you watch, anyway. I'd rather fuck you, if I'm honest," he says, and then blinks at that honesty fallen from his lips so quickly and easily, so unasked for and inappropriate now. "I am. I think."

"You think." Dom laughs, so unshakeable, so unashamed that Billy has to fight a rush of jealousy of his own. Billy turns back to the film, setting his features calmly again, and Dom's kind enough to not take the piss any harder, to not say anything else for a long time. Instead he slides his hand slowly up Billy's thigh and lets his fingers brush against Billy's crotch again. Billy closes his eyes and allows his body to make the decision for him, opening his legs enough to accept Dom's touch, to invite more of it, and letting his own hand settle on Dom's arm.


Dom's hand feels lovely on him, there's no other word for it. Well, no, that's not true; it also feels familiar, comfortable, right. Billy releases a rough, scattered noise of gratitude and pleasure as Dom's thumb begins to stroke him through the denim of Billy's jeans, and from the sound of Dom's breath Billy can tell Dom's enjoying this just as much even though his eyes are fixed now back on the screen. When Billy looks up at the film, he's floored to find that so much of it has passed now, and they're almost two hours in. Before him he can see the Surprise transformed into the whaling ship Syren, a phasmid to lure and fool the phantom Acheron into Aubrey's trap. A moment later Billy sees himself kitted out in whaler's slops, a pipe between his teeth and a new ferocity in his eyes, and he shakes himself in and out of the story, in and out of past and present with every flutter and flex of Dom's hand.

Dom's still focused, but on something else now, Billy can tell; he's deciding whether he can risk more of what they're doing, knowing well enough how dangerous it is on a few different levels. He's chanced these kinds of surreptitious games before with Billy, and Billy has not always been in the mood, to put it mildly; Billy remembers with some chagrin the one time he'd actually hauled off on Dom, his reaction shocking them both. Dom's always been a bit of an exhibitionist, and while Billy's in no way a prude, he's also in no way certain that he could talk them both out of trouble if there were caught at this.

Billy doesn't have time to bring up any of his concerns before Dom makes a decisive little noise and gesture and turns his hand to runs one fingernail up Billy's length and to the button of his jeans. Billy inhales sharply but doesn't move, and Dom takes that as an answer to a question he's not going to ask. A flick of his thumb, and Billy's jeans are open; a tug and the zipper's down. Dom's hand slides inside the by now unforgiving fabric, and Billy covers it with his own, breathing hard.

"Dom--" he starts, but then chokes back another breath when Dom finds his erection through his boxers and gently squeezes, testing Billy's powers of speech and a lot more besides before the touch becomes slow and careful, a downward stroke of caress. "Fuck, Dom," Billy whispers, and lifts his eyes back to the screen, to the battle raging there blessedly loudly. Dom's hand moves again, this time inside Billy's boxers to scratch lightly at the coarse hair between Billy's legs. Billy swallows and spreads his knees wider and then gasps, almost lifting his hips when Dom's fingers close around his cock.

"You're going to get us fuckin' arrested," Billy manages to get out, and Dom shakes his head before he looks around the auditorium. On the screen Aubrey and his crew slice and shoot their way across and into the Acheron, and the audience in here with Billy and Dom are entranced; they couldn't look away if they wanted to. Dom turns back to Billy with a wider, almost filthy grin and shakes his head again.

"Find me someone who cares what we're doing, and I'll stop," Dom says. Billy opens his mouth to protest, but Dom leans in to cover it with his own while his hand begins to squeeze Billy again, moving up and down Billy's shaft faster. Billy tips his head back the moment Dom pulls away for breath, and Dom nods, confident and cocksure beyond reckoning now.

It's only a few seconds before Billy's breaths begin to come faster, louder, too, and Dom slows the motion of his hand, making Billy turn his head and stare at him wide-eyed, watching the idea as it forms in Dom's eyes.

"Oh, fuck no, Dom, no," Billy says, but his voice sounds desperate and raw and his eyes have settled on Dom's lips, on that mouth that Billy once loudly proclaimed should be insured for thousands of pounds. Billy closes his eyes to keep from watching Dom work the rest out of it out; he doesn't want to know how Dom's going to manage this, if he's going to manage this. He can't lean over Billy and suck him off; there's an immovable armrest between them, and they're not teenagers in the back of some shite car. If Dom's going to do this, Billy thinks with some bitter humour, then he's going to have to do it properly, which means he's not likely to actually do it at all. But then there's another shift and Dom's hand leaves him, making Billy open his eyes and stare again as Dom falls to his knees in the wide aisle in front of them and tugs at Billy's jeans.

"Off," he mutters, and Billy thinks fuck, he really is going to-- "Off," Dom says again, more heatedly. Billy lifts his hips again before he can think otherwise about it, and Dom yanks the jeans down almost to Billy's ankles, laughing quietly when Billy's teeth click together in surprise at the feel of the cool air on his legs. The battles continue on screen and in Billy's head until Dom frees Billy's cock from his boxers and grins up at him.

"What--" Billy starts and has to swallow again, looking for air and the words and sanity. "The film, Dom--"

"Seen it," Dom laughs, and takes Billy in his mouth before Billy can register anything more than that touch. Billy's breath shatters and mends itself as his hands reach for Dom's hair, his fingers digging through the thick strands and into Dom's scalp, teasing and tugging. Dom grunts in a warning he has to know Billy's going to ignore, but then he leans in to keep Billy from thrusting too hard and fast. His fingers wrap around Billy's shaft, fingernails catching again in the red-brown curls of hair and making Billy hiss and rise a little more.

No one's ever done this so well to Billy, never shown such complete abandon and delight in every second of it, from the first dart of his tongue across the head of Billy's cock to the last shudder of Billy's thighs beneath him. Billy wishes he could keep his eyes open to watch, but from experience he knows that Dom's cheeks have gone hollow, his face has flushed beautifully and his mind has gone off in a thousand different directions all leading him back here and to Billy. Dom does something fiendish and amazing with his tongue, and Billy gasps and thrusts more brutally than he means too, knowing Dom can take it and finding it hard to regret anything at this point in any case. Dom's accustomed to Billy coming hard, accustomed to swallowing the evidence of Billy's need and to steadying both of them through the end of this.

Dom's very still while Billy returns a bit to himself, just resting his cheek against Billy's thigh and waiting for Billy's breath to slow. Billy's hand loosens in Dom's hair, just stroking now, gently and in a thanks Billy can't speak but Dom always manages to hear and understand. After some time, Billy opens his eyes in time to see Dom shifting higher on his knees, grunting a little at the movement. Dom pulls Billy's jeans up halfway and Billy handles the rest, both of them careful to not meet each other's eyes just yet. Dom settles back into his seat beside Billy, and Billy reaches for his hand immediately, drawing circles inside Dominic's palm with his thumb, round and round and deeper and deeper down into the rabbit hole.

"I suppose you're going to be wanting me to return the favour, aren't you," he says quietly, and Dom tilts his head sharply, peering at Billy but letting his shoulders drop in relief when he sees Billy's smiling.

"If I'm honest, yeah. I'm--I think I'm counting on it, actually."

Billy hums in response and together they watch the rest of the film in silence, respectful at least of the end, of the sadness of loss at sea. Dom's strangely attentive for one who's allegedly seen the movie already, or maybe he's just avoiding Billy's eyes and attention now, regretting what they've just done, what they've been doing on and off for the last few years. Or worse, maybe this was or is going to be some kind of last gasp, a real one this time, before Dom takes whatever leap he's planning and won't talk about. They won't see each other again until the end of the month in Los Angeles, as they board the last flight to the last premiere of the last film, and as he thinks of it Billy's hand tightens around Dom's, making Dom finally turn back to face him.

"I can't believe you did this," Billy laughs, and Dom tilts his head again before Billy shakes his own. "Not that. This. I can't believe you'd seen this and wanted to sit through it again."

"I hadn't seen it with you, had I."

"So when did you? I mean, you're a crap liar, Dom; I'm stunned I didn't suss you out before. You must've--" Billy frowns. "When?"

"In New York," Dom sighs. "Weeks ago, after the rest of you left. I was. I guess I was just holding on, like. We had the screening, and then everyone went back to work, or home. And we didn't see each other at Christmas this time, and I knew--" Dom stops and takes a deep breath. "This is it, you know. Tokyo and then the rest of the awards."

"And then you're back to California," Billy teases, but gently. "Thaw out a bit, and then maybe I'll come join you." Something in Dom's eyes flickers hard, and Billy swallows. "I will."

"I might not be there."

Billy blinks at this and waits Dom out, but nothing comes. "So I'll find you."

"I know." Dom looks down at his feet and then back at Billy, the smile returned to his eyes and face. "I'm pretty sure I'd let you. I'm--pretty sure you'll like where you are when you do."

They fall back into silence as the credits roll, and Billy takes some comfort in the music and darkness, in the run of names. It's Dom's fingers moving in his own now, and there's a peace between them considerably less shaky than others they've made before. Billy thinks over what they've both said now, and affirms for himself that no matter where Dom travels and for how long, Billy will indeed be able to find him; Dom's yet to fall off any map Billy can read, and were he to try, Billy would find a way to follow.

The rest of the audience has left the auditorium by the time Billy remembers they were ever there, and it's only when the last logos and disclaimers have begun their crawl up the screen that Dom starts to move, tugging Billy with him.

"Four hours of your life gone," Dom laughs as he leans in for a last kiss before the lights come up. Billy's laughing too when they pull away, and as they rise from their seats he tells Dom he doesn't expect them back. Dom's happy to hear it, from the way he leans into Billy on the way back to the car and lets Billy steer them home.


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