Things As They Are

Recipient: wbearsmom
Author: elmathelas
Pairing: Billy/Dom
Rating: PG
Summary: During a break in filming Billy wants to sleep, as usual, but Dom has some questions.
Story Notes: The request was for fluff and smut--no smut here, just fluff--hope that's ok.
Author's Notes: Betaed by pippinmctaggart

Billy lifted one foot and then the other while the assistant put the thick gray slippers over his feet. He sat down as soon as she was done, watched her make her way over to where Dom was already sitting on one of the canvas chairs, holding his feet out. His hobbit feet, Billy amended in his mind. Billy had forgotten her name, which made him feel like a heel, but he remembered she was the one that Dom usually liked to look at. A little on the skinny side, he thought, but a nice enough shape, with a drape of black hair that fell straight down her back. Dom usually had a little smile for her, some flirtatious comment, but today he seemed tired.

"Four hours," Dom said as he stood up, holding his arms out for the gray robe. "What do you want to do?"

"You'll go sit quietly like good little hobbits," she said as she handed him the ends of the tie, "and not mess up your clothes, your hair, your feet, or your ears."

"Sleeping sounds good," Billy said, "and safe." He contemplated simply falling asleep in the chair.

"I could do with a nap." Dom walked over and leaned on him heavily until Billy stood up, unexpectedly dizzy with fatigue. He held on to Dom's arm, then turned to walk away.

"Come on then."

They shuffled in silence. Their feet, covered in a double layer, were unable to feel the ground and that always made walking a bit more complicated than it normally would be. Billy pressed his feet hard against the metal steps of the trailer, surprised as always that he couldn't feel the metal grate of the steps against his soles.

Dom locked the door of the trailer behind him and threw off his robe while Billy staked out a place on the couch.

"Careful," he said, "you don't want to be getting mustard on Merry's shirt again."

"I'm getting out of this fat suit," he said, tearing at the buttons almost desperately, "I'm so sweaty."

"Charming," Billy said, hauling himself to his feet to help his friend. "Calm down or you'll rip this."

"Nnnrrrg," Dom whined as Billy painstakingly took off each of Merry's layers. As Billy laid the costume carefully over a chair Dom undid his trousers, reaching down to unsnap the suit. "Damn thing is going to give me crotch rot," Dom groused.

"With all the airing you give your gear, I doubt it," Billy said, watching as Dom shuffled about with his trousers around his hips, briefs all wrinkled across his skinny arse as he struggled with the foam rubber suit.

"That's why I do it," he said, working one arm out, "for my health."

"Very wise of you," Billy said, coming to the rescue and peeling the suit off of Dom's other arm. His arms and back were covered in lines of blackened dead skin and sweat, and Billy tried not to be grossed out as Dom ran his hand over his upper arm, wiping the lines of black off on his trousers.

"Hold on," Billy said, turning the suit inside out and placing it in the furthest corner of the trailer. "Let me do this right."

He rummaged through the drawer next to the small sink and came up with two clean dish towels. He soaked one in soap and warm water and pointed at the couch.

"Sit," he said, "you reek of corruption."

"I wondered why I hung around you," Dom said as he flopped on to the couch. "It's the constant compliments. Got to be."

"Shut it." Dom leaned forward as Billy washed his back, holding out one arm and then the other as Billy ran over his skin with first the soapy cloth and then the dry one.

"Feels so good," Dom said, his head hanging down as Billy ran a clean part of the cloth up over his neck.

"Here," Billy said, handing the cloths to Dom.

"Not going to finish the job?" Dom leered at Billy.

"If you're going to attempt sexy, you might want to wait until you've cleaned the rest of that rot off yourself."

"You know you can't resist me."

"True," Billy said quietly, meeting Dom's eyes when he glanced over.

Dom wadded up the cloths when he was done and threw them towards the sink. The wet one made it, the dry one falling to the floor.

"Sleep, then?" Dom asked.

"Definitely." They both looked over at their beds, both piled high with clothing and other detritus. "This turns into a bed, right?"

"I think so." Billy stood up and tugged on the cushion. "You'll actually have to stand up, you know."

"I know." Dom stood but didn't help as Billy found the handle on the front of the couch that allowed him to pull it out into a bed, where mercifully there were already sheets on the thin mattress.

"Explain to me why I'm doing all the work?" Billy asked as he went to the beds and rooted through the clothes and pulled out two pillows, throwing them in the general direction of the couch.

"Because I'm exhausted from hauling my carcass around in a rubber suit," Dom said, his voice already muffled as he laid face down in the bed.

"As attractive as that sounds," Billy muttered as he shuffled forward. "I feel overdressed." He pulled off his dressing gown, looking down to where Dom lay, his bare back pale against the sheets, the pants that wardrobe demanded that he wear a brighter white against his white skin, Merry's trousers slipped halfway down his thighs.

"So take some of your clothes off," Dom said, one eye open as he turned his head to look at Billy.

"Wish I could take these trousers off," Billy said. He took off his waistcoat and shirt, hanging them over the back of the couch. He settled in, wearing his cotton vest, facing Dom.

"You still look like Pippin," Dom said, reaching out to push back a lock of Pippin's wig.

"You still look like Merry," Billy said.

"I don't know if hobbits wore wifebeaters," Dom said, hooking his finger under the shoulder of Billy's undershirt.

"I don't know if hobbits would say wifebeater," Billy said, already slipping into the nonsensical space that he went to just before sleep.

"Too true." Dom's eyes were closed, a miracle, Billy thought, but then he spoke. "What is this?"

Billy considered for a moment before answering him.

"A nap."

"No." When Dom reached for him his fingers were curled, soft, not straining, sure of what he'd find. "I mean, what is this." He let the base of his palm rest against the underside of Billy's jaw, and Billy found himself leaning in to Dom's hand, feeling the pads of each of his four fingers and his thumb pressing into the side of his face, soft but distinct.

"Pippin's face," Billy said sleepily, because it was -- under the layer of makeup that hid his true age and the wig and the strange but undeniable veneer that he assumed when he'd been Pippin for more than half a day or so, that face was no longer Billy's but Pippin's.

"Why am I always reaching for you," Dom asked, and Billy tried to find any note of plaintiveness there, but there was none, just a simple question.

"Merry is always trying to make sure that Pippin is safe, isn't he?"

"I mean you, you," Dom said, his hand sliding down to Billy's neck.

"Does it make you sad?" Billy asked carefully. "Do you want to stop?" The question, though fair, left a cold place in the back of his throat.

"Now who's being the protective one?" Dom teased.

"Me," Billy said, "Billy. Not Pippin."

"I don't know," Dom said, burrowing into the pillow, "it's only a few more hours until we have to be hobbits again. May as well stay hobbits."

"Can't," Billy said, chasing after him, the blanket now a small cave over their heads. "You asked a question."

"And you answered me with two more questions," Dom said, "very childish, Pippin." He reached up to tweak Billy's nose, and Billy grabbed his hand.

"Because I don't have an answer for you." Under the blanket it was as dark as twilight, and Billy wondered if Dom could see his face at all. He reached forward carefully and wrapped his hand around the back of Dom's neck, holding him firmly. He could feel the long muscles there tense under his fingers, the back of Dom's neck sinewy like the rest of him. It occurred to Billy that Dom must have been an exceedingly awkward and lanky teenager, and then that he wasn't so far from that now, really, still climbing out of childhood towards being a true adult. It cast the question that Billy hadn't been able to answer in an almost sinister light; maybe Dom didn't know what he wanted, maybe Billy had been seduced by the appearance of Dom as an entirely grown up man and hadn't stopped to consider that perhaps he was still finding his feet in the world.

"What are you thinking about?" Dom nearly whispered, but in the small space the words were clear enough.

"I was thinking you must have been one awkward looking teenager," Billy said, telling half the truth.

"See for yourself," Dom said, "it's all preserved on celluloid. Or VHS at least."

"You brought that with you?" Billy let his hand slip down between Dom's shoulder blades, where he knew there was usually a knot of muscle that could be worked out with some patience.

"No, but my mum has them all. She'd send them." Dom rolled over so Billy would have better access to that place.

Billy bit the inside of his cheek, scolding himself that he was far too old to be maudlin about the idea of someone's mum keeping a cache of their work on labeled tapes. Dom surprised him out of that train of thought.

"I don't want to be your fuck buddy."

We haven't actually was on the tip of Billy's tongue, but he held that thought.

"I didn't think you were."

"Ok." Dom moved closer as Billy took his hand away from his back, hobbled by his trousers around his knees, but still managed to turn over fully to face him, hand reaching up to keep the blanket steady. "What are we?"

"I think we're still figuring that out." In the dim light Billy could still clearly see the sheen on Dom's lips from where he'd been licking them. He knew that Dom would taste of makeup but that didn't stop him from leaning forward. They had shared hurried, impulsive kisses before, and sleepy kisses, and drunken kisses, but to Billy's mind this was the first time that lazy could be applied, and in the best sense. It was an unhurried exploration, slow and warm, and hidden from the rest of the world by the blanket cave.

"Watch the trousers," Dom mumbled against Billy's mouth when Billy rolled towards him.

"Argh," Billy muttered, trying to arrange their legs so they'd not be pulling or pressing on the seams. He gave up and pulled Pippin's trousers back up where they belonged, and watched while Dom did the same to Merry's, the waistband bagging out where the fat suit should have been holding it up. "Maybe I'll save getting into your pants for after work." He let his head hit the pillow again.

"I'm surprised you've stayed awake this long."

Billy smiled at him but didn't refute it. "Sleep while you can get it," he said, settling his head on Dom's shoulder.

"Why, you going to be keeping me awake tonight?"

Billy shrugged, already halfway to sleeping, and Dom gave in, closing his eyes as well.

The time seemed to pass in a heartbeat, and the knock at the door seemed a very distant sound, as did the jingle of keys in the lock. When Billy finally opened his eyes it was to see a bemused looking woman standing before them, a different woman than before, holding out Merry's fat suit.

"Hobbits," she said, and Billy woke up fully, realizing what they must look like, both still in their wigs if not their full costumes, and his head resting on Dom's chest now, Dom's hand resting on his head. Pippin curled up against his Merry after all, then, he thought as he stretched out his legs with their unnaturally big feet under the blanket, pulling it off of Dom altogether.

"Billy, get dressed," she said as she coaxed Dom back into the hated fat suit. When they were done she looked them over, then led them out of the trailer, back to set.

They lagged behind as much as they dared.

"Do you think things would be easier if we were hobbits?" Dom asked.

"Ruled by our desires, you mean?" Billy asked, and Dom nodded. "I suppose, in a way. Then again, there's that whole nearly certain death at the hands of complete evil to contend with."

Dom quickly grasped his hand, held it tightly, and then let go as their minder glanced pointedly over her shoulder at them.

"I'll take things as they are, then," he said, and they both picked up their pace, covered feet shuffling against the ground.


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