Here Comes the Sun

Recipient: thuri
Author: mirabile_dictu
Pairing: Dom Monaghan/Billy Boyd
Rating: NC-17
Summary:Little darling, it's been a long cold lonely winter
Little darling, it feels like years since it's been here
Here comes the sun, here comes the sun
and I say it's all right


The smog weighed heavily over the city, blurring the taller buildings and hiding the mountains to the east. Looking straight up, the sky was blue, but at the horizon so much was obscured. He was breathing that shit, too, not just looking through it. Swimming through nitrogen dioxide, tropospheric ozone, volatile organic compounds, peroxyacyl nitrates, and all kinds of aldehydes.

Living in LA, Dom thought, was like living indoors, someplace that was temperature controlled, with carefully diffused light, and scented with those things you plugged into the wall that puffed out fake pine or lavender. Some days he felt trapped, as if the pound-force per square inch of the atmosphere were growing heavier every day.

Today was especially heavy.

He went outside, if it really was outside and not some kind of virtual reality he'd fallen into, and began to walk. There was no goal. These tedious side streets all looked alike. Not that there weren't large swaths of Stockport as alike as peas in a pod, though the gardens were smaller and there weren't nearly as many cars on the streets.

The pavement was cracked and lumpy; subsidence, he knew, from the non-stop trembling of the earth beneath LA. He'd been shocked and a bit excited to learn earthquakes occurred every few seconds in LA; just that most of them were too deep in the earth or too small to shake anything. But some days, this day, he felt vertiginous, as if his inner ear sensed even the faintest temblor far below.

An alien place at the edge of the world, he thought, not for the first time. He wished he had somewhere to go, someone to visit, but everyone was so far away. He could walk for miles and never see a soul, nor a taxi, nor a bus. Everyone scuttled about like beetles inside the hard carapace of their automobiled shells, like dung beetles spewing dung balls of noxious fumes.

California, here I come, he sang to himself. Where bowers and flowers bloom in the sun, each morning at dawning birdies sing and everything.

"And everything," he repeated, shoving his hands deeper into his pockets.

He walked on, not paying attention. A busy street, and one of the lights that used to make him laugh, with a red hand held up, like Saruman's sign, and then a green man walking while a mechanical bird chirped harshly. He left the boring, shabby housing tract for boring, shabby strip malls: mom and pop jewelry stores with nothing of value, a copy place, a coffee place, a Mexican grocery store. La Tienda, he read, and remembered spending long summer days in Mexico with Billy when he'd made Master and Commander. He'd been lonely then, too, but Billy always made it better. Always had, at least.

The sun slid into the west, reddened as the deepening smog filtered out the other colors of the spectrum. Beautiful sunsets, he supposed, except he knew why they were red and gold and even green. At least there weren't any fires at the moment, to shower ash on everyone and everything and burn the sun into a dim red ember. Just another day in Paradise.

More people appeared on the streets, shopping in the little stores, speaking a polyglot of languages; he heard Spanish, Italian, Korean, Chinese, Japanese, French, Tagalog, and a dozen varieties of English as he shoulder his way through the thickening crowd. The stores were closer to the street, now, not set back in strips, but real storefronts right on the sidewalk, with little mailboxes. The air smelled different, too. He sniffed curiously.

Books, he thought. I smell books, the sea-salty smell of many books gathered together. He followed his nose, past frying tacos and steaming pork buns and cheese-gooey pizza and myriad spices: cinnamon, cilantro, galangal, lemon grass, vanilla, rosemary, and others he couldn't identify no matter how hard he sniffed. His mouth watered, and he slowed in front of a Mongolian barbecue, and then in front of a French bakery, but his puzzle drew him on until he passed a narrow alleyway and lost the scent. Backing up, he peered down the alley, shaded by the high walls on either side. One wall was covered with a faded mural, a map of downtown LA. He stepped into the cooler alley and studied it. No date, but the style looked old and, as he examined it more closely, he decided it was old. Authentic or replication, it was of an older Los Angeles, one that had been eaten by the LA in which he was trying to live.

He heard a pattering to his left, deeper in the alley, so he left the map, trailing a hand along the cool rugged plaster as he followed the sound. The alley opened onto a small patio, floored with chipped red bricks, and in the center, a little fountain, constructed out of rebar and broken cement. He drew nearer; it was almost waist high, and he could see gold and green fish darting in it.

He looked up and saw the area was ringed with little stores: art from Chiapas, a door to the kitchen of a café, and the entrance to a used bookstore.

The window to the right of the door was crammed with books, most ratty, hardcover and soft, an old-fashioned milk carton full of dog-eared comics, and three faded sepia photos of smiling women in bathing suits like his grandaunts had worn. Flaking red paint spelled out Bookstore - Librer'a.

He stuck his head in and the scent of books washed over him, as salty as the sea. Crisping pages, fraying covers, fading colors soaked the air, and he breathed deeply. He'd been a bookish boy, notwithstanding his love of footie and fun, and even now, he read more than he liked to admit. A way to escape when he needed to, and these days, he often needed.

"Hello?" he called softly, but there was no answer. The door stood propped open, and when he entered, he brushed the cord to a bell tied to the doorknob, and a chime shivered the air.

He wandered through the stacks that seemed to be slowly collapsing under their own weight, trying to figure out how they'd been catalogued. He could find neither rhyme nor reason; The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay leaned against The Symposium which sat on top of Die Memoiren des Rodriguez Faszanatas. He saw Enki Bilal's Le Sommeil du Monster and Sussi Bech's Nofret. He touched them carefully, smiling to himself.

"Can I help you?" a voice called. Dom looked up to find Billy emerging from the back. "Hey, Nofret. One of my favourites. And have you seen the artist?" He shook his hand as if he'd touched something hot.

"Billy?" Dom asked breathlessly. "Is this a joke? How --" He lunged toward Billy, seizing him in a tight grip. "Fuck, I've missed you."

"Sorry," Billy said, backing up. "Name's William, yeah, but do I know you?" He held Dom at arm's length.

"Bills, hey, I'm the practical joker in the family, eh? Give it a rest. I'm so bloody glad to see you."

"Sorry, lad, don't know you, but hey, I'm happy to see you, too. Your name?"

Dom stared at Billy's familiar face. The same lines around his sweet mouth, the same crinkles around the same hazel-green eyes. "The same joker," he murmured.

Billy shrugged. "Come look around, mate," he said. "It's a bit of a mess, but I've got something of everything. What're you looking for?"

"My friend," Dom blurted out. "I'm not from here."

"Who is?" Billy smiled at him, and patted his shoulder. "We're both a long way from home; I can hear that in your voice. So," he continued, looking around. "Interests? Graphic novels, I think." He nudged Dom. "Have you see Misshitsu? Ruled pornographic in Japan, of all places. It's hentai or, as the Japanese would say, ju hachi kin."

Okay, maybe this wasn't Billy, Dom thought, when William winked at him. He was sure Billy had never said ju hachi kin in his life.

"Um, maybe some yaoi?"

"You like bishonen," William said, smiling. "A lad after my own heart. Well, then." He surveyed the chaos. "If I'm remembering . . ."

He led Dom through narrow passageways through the stacks, books piled higher than their heads, small footstools in their way, and the air rich with the smell of books and paper and binding. "Mmm," Dom said. "Love that smell."

"Books!" William said, grinning at him. He put on a pair of glasses with thick round lenses. Dom suddenly couldn't catch his breath. Without thinking, he grabbed William's elbow to stop him. He was panting as if he'd run all the way here. He swallowed.

William grinned even more. "I like bishonen," he murmured, and winked again. Dom kissed him, that familiar mouth sweet under his own. William tasted the way Dom had always imagined Billy would taste: hoppy like good beer, and sweet, like fresh air in this polluted city. William looped his arms around Dom's shoulders and pulled him closer, so their bodies lined up, hipbone to hipbone, stomach to stomach, chest to chest. They matched perfectly, bookends, Billy the salt to Dom's pepper, except this wasn't, Dom tried to remember, Billy; this was William, but whoever he was, he kissed the way Dom had ached to be kissed, and he let go of everything but the sensation.

"I wanted to fuck you the minute I saw you," William whispered, his breath tickling Dom's ear and making him shiver in delighted anticipation. "I want to fuck you here, amidst the books, with the door open and the fountain splashing; I want to suck your cock and taste you come in my mouth, and then I want to bend you over the counter --"

Dom shut him up with a harder kiss because he wanted that, too. "Billy," he gasped, "Fuck, yes, please, now."

William pushed Dom to his knees and together they unbuttoned William's blue jeans so Dom could tug his prick free. He pushed his face into William's groin and smelled; like books, like fresh air, like sweat, like hard work, like sex, like heaven, he thought, and slipped his mouth over his hard prick and sucked and licked and did everything he could think of while, above him, William groaned and panted and jerked excitedly. "Don't, I'm gonna," he huffed, and Dom reluctantly pulled off, leaving William's prick shiny with his spit, and a hard shiny red. "My turn," William said.

He lowered Dom to his back, and undid his jeans, unzipping carefully, and sighed when he saw Dom's prick. First he kissed Dom again, almost tenderly, his mouth, his throat, his chest, his belly, and then began to suck Dom's prick.

He sucked the way Dom wanted to be sucked, had wanted to be sucked for so long. He sucked out the loneliness, the fear, the desperation, the shame. He licked Dom's balls and fingered his arsehole. He made the loveliest noises of pleasure and delight, sounds that encouraged Dom to twist in pleasure, to moan and gasp and clutch at William's shoulders. "Please," he groaned, and came, long warm spurts that almost hurt. "Please," he whispered.

William licked his lips and wiped his mouth, and then sat on Dom's thighs, looking down at his body. "You are a lovely man," he finally said, and bent over to kiss him again.

They kissed for a long time. Dom could feel William's hard-on pressing into his thigh, and when he opened his eyes, he could see the towers of books and manga above them, could smell the scent of paper and books and the fountain. The air on his body was warm, almost hot, and the linoleum beneath him cool.

At last, William sighed and lifted his head, grinding his hips so his hard-on pushed into Dom. "I believe you promised me a good dicking," Dom said, and William laughed.

"I did, indeed. I did, indeed," William said, and he helped Dom up, steadying him as he stepped out of his jeans and pants. "Oh, you're a beautiful boy," he said, shaking his head in admiration. He ran his hand down Dom's side and around his arse, leaving it there, cupping him, lightly touching his arsehole again. "So beautiful," he murmured before Dom kissed him, leaning against William.

Dom grabbed William's prick, so hot, and gently tugged; they both laughed, and clutching each other in the most intimate ways, stumbled to the back of the store and through a beaded curtain that clattered as they passed. An ugly grey-plaid sofa had been placed against the far wall, surrounded by cardboard boxes filled, no doubt, with books. There was a small cooker and the scent of grease. "Home, sweet home," William said, pushing Dom onto the couch. He knelt in front of Dom and kissed his soft prick, sucking it into his mouth.

"I'd never get enough of you," Dom whispered, stroking William's thinning ginger hair.

Moving slowly, Dom lay on the couch and raised his legs, bending them at the knees. William shucked his jeans, getting tangled up in his trainers, and then gently lay on top of Dom, rubbing his prick between Dom's groin and thigh. "Jesus, but you feel good," he said, kissing Dom's neck.

"Do it, do it," Dom whispered, barely able to catch his breath. He'd never wanted this more. "Now, hard, just," he said, light-headed with desire.

William groaned and slid a finger into Dom. "You want this as much as I do?"

"Shit, you know it." Dom pushed onto the finger, and William climbed off Dom, putting his face between his legs and licking him, sucking and kiss him while he moved his finger.

"In a minute, in a minute," William promised, gently biting Dom's inner thigh, and then disappeared. Dom sighed. He felt empty and isolated, but then William returned and Dom felt the cool slick of some kind of lubricant being pushed into him and he trembled. His eyes were tightly closed, he clasped his ankles, and pulled his legs back, embarrassed and turned on and frustrated.

Then he felt the pressure of William's prick against him, burning and opening him, scorching him, filling him, and he cried out. "Fuck," he shouted, except his voice failed him and the word was mangled and breathy.

"I am, you fucker," William panted, and he was, pushing harder into Dom and pulling back then in. Dom wrapped his legs around Billy -- no, this was William, not Billy; Billy was thousands of miles away in Scotland while Dom was alone in this bitter bare country. He tightened his grip on William, clutching his upper arms, tilting his hips up to take more of him. William paused to slick on more lube, and then began to fuck Dom, thoroughly, rhythmically, almost desperately. "Where did you come from, my beautiful boy? I needed you so much I made you? I fucking wanted you for so long, just this," and he twisted his hips and Dom cried out again, his voice raspy and thick.

"Billy!" Dom shouted. "Jesus, Billy, please, please, Bill, Bill, I missed you so fucking much," and then he was too breathless to speak, gasping out his misery and loneliness and emptiness.

William held him, shuddering, and Dom knew he was coming inside him, filling him, if only for a few seconds, and he held him back, biting his lip, squeezing his eyes closed against the world.

He exhaled shakily, and slowly released William, who rested his sweaty forehead on Dom's chest. "Damn," he said finally. "You are a fine, fine fuck, m'boy."

Dom opened his eyes and laughed, and William's head bounced on his chest, so he lifted it and looked blearily at Dom. Dom had seen that squint so many times before, usually the morning after a night out, or at the end of long day that had bled into the next before Peter called Cut! and they were allowed to stop being hobbits. "You're pretty fine yourself," he said.

William kissed him again, and Dom felt William's prick slip from his body. A sad feeling, he thought, closing his eyes again. Safer in the dark, he thought; safer here in William's arms, on the ratty couch of his ratty used bookstore. "Who are you?" he asked quietly. William only kissed him.

He slept.

When Dom woke, he was alone in the back of the bookstore. William was nowhere to be seen. He found a tiny washroom and cleaned up as best he could, then dressed. Hesitating, he picked up a copy of The Hobbit and left money on the counter for it, but no note.

LA was warm and muggy in the early evening. No stars could be seen, of course, but the streetlamps glowed their eerie orange turning everything black and grey. He didn't know where he was, and he hadn't brought his mobile. He walked back the way he came, past the little restaurants and shops until he came to a diner. He pushed open the smudged glass doors and looked around. By the toilets he saw a pay phone, so he wound his way through the tables to it. Picking up the handset, he hesitated. Who to call? There was one voice in the world he wanted to hear. He punched in the numbers and, far, far away, heard the buzz.

He'd almost given up when someone picked up the phone. "Hey," he said.

"Mph," Billy said, sounding more Scots than William had. "Just dreamin' of you, m'boy. When you comin' home?"

Dom laughed. "Where's home?" he asked bitterly.

Billy sighed down the line, sad and frustrated and distant. "Where are you, Dom?"

"Dunno. Been out walking all day. I'm so tired, Bill. So bloody tired."

"Call a taxi and go home. Pack a bag. You know what to do."

"Then I failed."

"That's a brilliant word. So shall I call you a failure then? Because you tried and did your best? Is that what a failure is?"

"Bill --"

"No, hear me out. Why'd you call me?"

"Missed you," Dom mumbled.

"Then come. How much longer do I wait? What the fuck do I need to do?"

"What have you done?"

"Shit. It's your life, it's your decision. Come or don't. Pretty soon, it won't matter to me. Make up your mind, Dom, before time does it for you." He hung up.

Dom slowly rang off, then sat at the diner and ordered coffee. He drank it black, as thick and hot as bubbling tar. It woke him a bit, made him wonder about what had just happened. Though it was dark out when he finished, he turned right and retraced his route to the bookstore.

There was no alley. He paced back and forth repeatedly, but there was no alley. Finally, he went into the French bakery and asked the cashier. "No, no bookstore," she said, shrugging. "Not around here. You have to go up to the mall."

Despondent, he walked back onto the pavement. The exhaust fumes smelled stronger in the wet night air, almost sickeningly blended with the scent of night-blooming jasmine. He walked slowly, head down, trying to remember what had happened that afternoon.

"Hey," someone said, taking his arm.

"William," he said without looking.

"Why so glum? Was it that bad?"

"Who are you?"

William grinned at him. "LA is a magic town," he said, beginning to blur in the smoggy night air. "You know that. Anything can happen here, and has. Starlets discovered in drugstores, stars overdosing in luxury hotels, the world changing in the flickering light through filmstock so the images appear to move. What is magic but the persistence of vision?" He disappeared.

Dom stared at where William had stood. He could still feel William's hand on his arm, the small strong fingers gripping him. He felt William kiss him, a brush of warm sweet air across Dom's lips, and then his mobile began to ring. He pulled it from his pocket and stared at it. He was sure he hadn't brought it with him. He flipped it open and put it to his ear.

"I shouldn't've hung up," Bill said straight away. "I was angry. I am angry. Come home, Dominic. I won't let you get away. You're right; I haven't done enough. Come home and let me take care of you."

Dom smiled into the warm smoggy night. He smelled William's bookstore for a moment, the paper crackling with age, the mildewed binding, the dusty grey-plaid couch. He felt another brush across his lips; a kiss, perhaps, or someone's fingers. From the mobile, Bill's distant voice said his name.

"Okay," Dom finally said. "Okay."


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