Dom decided that if one more person asked him how he was doing, or if they could do anything to help him, he would start killing them off one by one. Friends or no, words spoken out of concern or not -- he'd had enough coddling for a lifetime.

Hobbits were peaceful, loving creatures for certain. Dominic Monaghan was not a hobbit, however, as some people seemed to forget. He was human, and humans had the tendency to become angry and occasionally react violently. Of course, this was all in his head.

"Orlando," Dom said as if he was spitting venom. The questioning look of innocence in his friend's eyes was enough to make him back down. Dom shook his head, then looked away. "I'm fine."

Orli climbed over the back of the couch, plopping down next to his friend, and in a lightning move, had Dom held in a hug. "You're not 'okay,' Sblomie. You've not been 'okay' since he left."

"Yeah, I have," Dom replied curtly as he pulled away from the death-lock Orlando held him in, stood and began walking the floor.

Watching his friend pace around the small room, Orlando sighed at Dom's attempt to cover up his pain. "Yeah, sure. Whatever you say. So, are you ever going to open that thing, or just keep wringing blood out of it until the end of time?" Orli nodded to the envelope Dom held tightly in hand.

Dom looked down at the wrinkled, dirty envelope and stopped pacing.

"I can't."

"He left it for you, mate. He wanted you to have it, to read whatever it says."

"I know that, Orlando," Dom said while taking a deep breath, closing his eyes at the memory of finding the letter. "I just . I can't."

"It's been six months, Dom. Don't you think it's time?"

Dom looked at Orlando, his blue-gray eyes shimmering with tears. He choked back a sob as he looked back down at the crinkled paper. "I can't."


We rode to the airport in silence. Wasn't much left to be said after all of the angry and bitter words that were spoken just yesterday. I hate fighting, hate the horrible feeling of my heart being crushed when I look in his eyes and see his disappointment reflecting back at me. I see it enough when I look in the mirror, but to see it in his eyes, hear it in his voice . I cannot cope.

I deserve it all -- every hurt look, every tear that falls in disbelief, the unbearable silence that has filled our house for days. I hurt him. I cheated on him. I deserve nothing less than losing him forever.

And I am. He said he had to go anyway as filming for his new movie would begin in a week -- he needed to go look for accommodations, familiarize himself with the area. We both knew it was just an excuse, but one that worked nonetheless.

I remember all too clearly the details of what happened to cause his leaving. I fucked up, literally -- fucked someone at a party Lij threw. Billy didn't have to be told, he walked in on it. Only I was too drunk to even realize and kept right at it, him watching all the while, even up to the point where I called out his name when I came. Why the fuck did I ever take someone else when I can have him every goddamn night? Could have him. Could . . I was drunk, plastered, fucking monged -- you name it, I'd drank it. Lij can throw a pretty fucking awesome party when he wants, and when Orlando is the bartender, the drinks run wild and free.

I don't even remember who it was I fucked. No name, not even the face. Do know it wasn't a bloke, though. Heh. Throw salt into that wound, why don't ya, Sblomie? There's a reason we joked about that word --bosom. Yeah . we both like the bosom. But we love the penis. Especially each others'.

I knew from the moment I met him my life would never be the same. Soul mates -- I'd found mine, for damn sure. Merry and Pippin, Dom and Billy - two hobbits, two men meant to be no matter what the cost. Only I'd ruined it all in one selfish move.

Two days later and we were on the way to the airport. No need for goodbye, no need for words of forgiveness or apologies to be said. It'd all been said and done the second I saw his face at the moment I betrayed him.

No need to walk him to the gate; can't really do that anymore with security the way it is these days. I wanted to, though. God, I wanted to pull him to me, beg his forgiveness for my stupidity, my selfishness. I wanted to beg him not to leave me, beg him to stay with me forever. I wanted him, wanted to see the love in his eyes, not the disappointment or pain. I wanted not to needlessly watch him walk away from the car, watching as I prayed he would turn back . just turn back, God, please Billy, turn back and let me see your eyes, see that it's okay. He never turned back, just kept walking until he entered the terminal. I ignored all of the honking cars behind me, urging me to leave. I even ignored the security guard tapping at the window telling me to move on.

I spared a glance at his seat, opening my eyes slowly hoping to find him sitting there when I looked again. Instead, I found a white envelope, my first impression was that he'd left his ticket behind. Grabbing the paper, I jumped out of the car, yelling after him. Instinctively, I turned the envelope over, and saw one word scripted on the face of the envelope. My name . my name.

Numbly I climbed back into the car, blatantly ignoring the horns blowing around me, and set the envelope back in the seat where I found it. I drove home blindly, unsure how I ever really made it, subconsciously hoping I'd not run anyone over on my way.

I must have sat in the driveway for hours holding the envelope, staring at it, wondering what he'd written to me. Dare I open it and relive the horror of what I'd put him through in his own words? Dare I open it and see words of forgiveness that I didn't deserve?

Dare I?



Orlando's voice and a light touch at his shoulder, pulled Dom out of his trance. Dom cleared his throat, sniffled, then folded the envelope in half, and stuck it in his back pocket -- its place of residence for months.

"They'll be here soon, Dom."

A slow nod was the only sign that Dom had heard him.

"He'll be here soon."

"Yeah," Dom answered softly.

Orlando decided he'd had enough of moping Dominic. He wanted his friend back, and he wanted him back now. 'Time for tough love to take over', Orli thought.

"All right, mate. I want you to listen to me and listen good."

Dom gave Orlando a confused look and started to protest, but the look on Orli's face stopped him cold.

"Enough is enough, Monaghan. For months now you've been moping about, and I'm bloody sick of it. Yeah, you fucked up, messed up a good thing with Billy. But you know what? You're not the only bastard to make a mess of things in a relationship. And I for one know for a fact that the Scottish bastard loves you."

Orli paused a moment, letting his words sink in to Dom's thick brain. At least he hoped they were making their way into the dense matter. Dom blinked, a little shocked at the turn Orlando was making in his approach to help.

"He doesn't love me, Orli. He's not spoken to me since he left. He hates me."

"How would you know? Have you called him? Written to him? Shown up when he's around? No, you haven't. You don't bother trying to find out what's going on with any of your friends these days, let alone what's going on with your boyfriend."

"Ex-boyfriend," Dom quickly corrected him.

Orli raised an eyebrow skeptically. "Did you ever break up with him?"

Dom shook his head no.

"Did Billy ever break-up with you?"

"He left."

"He had a film to make. He had to go."

"He could have stayed."

"Maybe he wanted to, but he had to leave eventually, Dom. It's the name of this game we call our careers. The call comes in, and we have to leave. Maybe he wanted you to go with him. Did you ever think of that?"

"After the shit I pulled? Are you mad, Orli?" Dom crossed the room and flopped down in the chair again, hanging his head in his hands. "He left early to get away from me, even told me so."

"He gave you excuses for why he left early, Dom."

Dom slowly looked up at Orlando, who apparently knew more about what went on than Dom ever considered. "Why do I get the feeling you know something I don't."

"Maybe it's because, unlike you, I choose to talk to my friends, be there for them when they need a shoulder. Buy them a pint when they need a good cry."

"Fuck you."

"Truth hurts, huh?"

Orlando didn't have time to prepare for the attack as Dom sprung at him, knocking him to the floor. The wind knocked out of him, Orli lay gasping as Dom glared down at him.

"You bastard. What would you know? How the fuck would you know anything?"

"Because I know what he's been going through, too, Dom. I've been there to take his calls during the middle of the night, been there to hold him when he cried his eyes out wondering why you won't call him, or even see him for that matter. Because I know what's in that goddamn letter! That's what I know."

Orli steeled himself, ready for whatever Dom might throw at him this time. But instead of throwing a punch as he expected, Dom leaned back on his heels and looked at Orlando incredulously.

When he spoke, his voice was soft, and cracked with emotion. "You . You know?"

Orli nodded, speaking just as quietly. "Yeah, I do. It's time, Dom. Open the letter, read it before he gets here with the others. We've a long haul ahead of us with the premieres the next few weeks. You have to resolve this now, mate."

Dom nodded, then scrambled off of Orlando, extending a hand to pull his friend to his feet. Orli enveloped him in his arms again, hugged him briefly, then left Dom alone in the room.

As Orlando's words echoed in Dom's head, he sat down once more and pulled the envelope from his pocket, turning it over until he saw the familiar writing that bore his name. Swallowing hard, he turned it over and pulled at the tab until the back was opened. Pulling the piece of paper out, he slowly opened it with shaking hands, and began to read.


If I said you'd hurt me more than anything I ever thought possible, it could never express the pain I'm feeling right now. If I said I was disappointed in you, it could never say just how disappointed I am that you felt necessary to turn to someone other than me for sex. If I said I didn't love you anymore, I would be a lying fool.

I love you so bloody much that I can forgive you, no matter the pain. I love you so much that I can no longer be disappointed in you, no matter the disappointment. I love you so much I can't imagine living without you.

Something is wrong with us or you would never have turned to another. I want to fix the problem, whatever it is -- if it is me, I'll do anything, anything at all . whatever you need. Whatever *we* need, I'm willing to do.

I'm leaving early for many reasons -- yeah, I need to find a place to stay, and it would be nice to familiarize myself with the locale. But it would all be so much easier if you were with me. I could have given you this letter last night when I wrote it, could have handed it to you before I boarded my plane. But I needed to give you time -- time to decide if we are worth anything, Dom.

I love you, Merry. Always have, always will. Please tell me you'll find me . please tell me you'll do anything, love.

Yours always,


The sob Dom had been holding in broke its way through, and months of loneliness and pain came crashing down on him as he finished the letter. So completely lost in remorse Dom never heard the door open, never saw the shadow kneel before him. He only felt the hand take the battered letter from his hands, felt the warm hands cover his own, felt the arms slip around him and envelop him once more.

"Ah, God . I'm so sorry," he cried as hot tears skimmed his cheeks and fell onto a strong shoulder.

"Hush, love. Just tell me, Dommie. Tell me and it's all I need." Billy pulled away from Dom slightly, pressing his brow against Dom's.

Raising his eyes, Dom held Billy's gaze for what felt like an eternity. When he looked this time, he saw no hate, no disappointment, no sorrow. He simply saw love and hope.

"I'll do it, love. Whatever it takes, I'll do it. I'll do anything."

The smile on Billy's face, the love in the kiss he shared with his lover was everything Dom needed to feel to know that anything was indeed possible.