Slasha, Baby 2007
Rating: light R
Summary: The boys in the band need some help.
Post-Reveal Notes: Many, many thanks out to babybrothalova, bride_no2, elouisa, J and tigg71 for the betas and the handholding. This is a far better piece for all y'all's suggestions and ideas. This has been thoroughly betaed but I am a compulsive tinkerer and any and all mistakes are my own. Title of the story is a song by Jodi Proznick. =)
"I can't believe this," Dom cried as he slammed down the phone and ran his hands through his hair. "Charlie has to serve thirty days for attempting to bring drugs across the border! Our charity gig is in two weeks and it's the biggest event we've ever played -- we can't go in short on brass. What are we going to do?"
Karl had his own head buried in his hands, shaking it slowly from side to side muttering, "We are so fucked."
"We could place an advert," Orlando suggested, biting his thumbnail.
"There's no guarantee with that," Viggo replied. "None of our usual guys can sub?" he asked, looking over at Dom.
"No, I started checking when Charlie first told me he'd gotten busted but didn't know how long his sentence was going to be, and no one's available. Why did we have to lose the guy who also sings when we need male vocals?" Dom responded, pounding his fist on the table. "It would be one thing just to need a trumpeter but then we've also got to find a guy whose voice fits our style. I could kill Charlie right now!"
"Let's worry about one thing at a time here," Viggo replied calmly. "We can do without a male singer if we have to, but we must have the trumpet. Let's concentrate on getting that."
An unhappy murmur of assent swept through the room as the door opened and the Wood siblings entered.
"Hey guys, how's it going?" Elijah said, his wide smile showing off the gap in his teeth.
"We're fucked," Karl grumbled.
"How so?" Elijah asked.
"Charlie has to serve thirty days for the border incident," Orlando replied on a sigh.
"We've called everyone we could think of to stand in, but no one's available for the gig," Dom added.
"Oh shit," Elijah said, his smile disappearing as he turned to Viggo. "Boss--"
"We're going to see if we can find a comparable trumpeter to stand in for Charlie. If we can get that taken care of, then we'll worry about a male vocalist. We've got one week to find someone and get them up to speed, otherwise you'll have to cancel."
"We can't cancel, Viggo. This gig is going to open too many doors for us," Dom said emphatically while everyone else nodded in support.
"So, you guys are looking for somebody who plays trumpet and can sing, is that right?" Hannah broke in.
"Yeah, you know of anyone fits that bill?" Karl asked.
"Uh, maybe," Hannah hedged.
"Don't hold out on us, H," Orlando pleaded.
"Who the hell do you know that we don't who plays an instrument and sings?" Elijah asked sarcastically.
"One of my teachers at school has played in bands before. He plays trumpet and maybe some other instruments, I don't know for sure. He has sung before, though; that I do know."
"Local?" Viggo asked, hopeful.
"He's from Scotland originally, but he's been here in California for a few years. He's not on loan from another university, if that's what you meant. I don't have a personal phone number, but I could give you his office phone and e-mail address if you want."
Viggo looked around the group and received nods from everyone. "All right, Hannah. Let me have his information and we'll see if he can help us. If he can't, we're still no worse off at this point."
Billy knocked on the door of a non-descript building front, shaking his head at the strangeness of life. When he'd received a voice mail early that afternoon asking if he'd be interested in performing with a local jazz band, he'd thought it was a joke. Who wouldn't, with a name like "The Bad JuJu Lounge Players." He'd decided to ring the number left in the message anyway to satisfy his curiosity. He'd spoken with the manager, one Viggo Mortensen, who had explained the deal and asked him to come by today for a tryout. He'd quickly agreed; he hadn't played onstage in way too long -- almost a year.
The door was opened by a tall man with sandy hair, light blue eyes, and sideburns straight out of 1975. "Boyd?"
"Right, come on in," sandy-hair said, opening the door wider. Once Billy was inside, the man closed the door and faced him, holding out a large hand. "Viggo Mortensen."
Billy smiled and shook Viggo's hand. "Good to meet you, Viggo."
"I've arranged for you to play with some of the guys in the band tonight in a trio, quartet, maybe a quintet and then just jamming. You've already told me that you can do this stuff but we want to see how you fit with the band," Viggo said as he gestured Billy to follow him down a hallway.
"Perfectly understandable," Billy said, nodding.
They walked through a large door at the end of the hall and Billy looked around the spacious room that was filled with instrument cases and sound equipment. It seemed like a well-run deal here.
"This is where the magic happens," Viggo said, smiling.
"This is brilliant, mate," Billy grinned widely. He nodded towards one of the microphone stands. "May I?"
"Please do," Viggo said.
Billy crossed the room and set his case on top of a tall speaker. He pulled out his mouthpiece, rolling it in his hand for a few seconds before blowing into it to warm it a bit. Then he carefully took out his trumpet, fitted the mouthpiece and played through a few arpeggios to warm up. Once he'd reacquainted himself with the instrument, he moved over to a shorter stand and began to play "It Had to be You." As he usually did when playing solo, he experimented with the melody, keeping the song recognizable while putting his own interpretive stamp on it. He extended the song out to six minutes playing whatever came to mind before winding down. There was a moment of silence after he'd stopped, but it was soon replaced with applause. His eyes, which had closed as they usually did when he got into his performance, flew open to see two other men had joined Mortensen, who was still standing by the door.
"Gorgeous, mate," said the tall man with dark hair and dark eyes.
"The playing was brilliant as well," said the shorter man with messy hair and twinkling blue eyes.
"Dom," Viggo said reprovingly, shaking his head as dark-eyes laughed down at his shorter friend.
"Thanks," Billy said, ducking his head. He was fairly used to getting compliments on his playing. Not so much on his looks, at least not that obviously. The door opened again and he looked up to see his student Hannah Wood walking in with another man.
"Hi, Mr. Boyd," Hannah smiled cheerfully.
"Hello, Hannah," Billy grinned back at her. "I think you should probably call me Billy here, though. Be a bit too formal otherwise, eh?"
"Sure, Billy," she replied before gesturing to the man beside her. "This is my brother, Elijah. He plays bass in the band."
Billy crossed the room and shook Elijah's outstretched hand. "Nice to meet you, Elijah."
"Orlando Bloom," dark-eyes said with an engaging smile that Billy couldn't help but return.
"And I'm Dom Monaghan," said the shorter man as he gripped Billy's hand firmly.
Billy looked everywhere but into Dom's grey-blue eyes as he felt electricity prickle his skin at the touch. He pulled his hand away a bit quicker than with the others, but no one seemed to notice.
The outer door opened again and a voice called out. "Sorry I'm late!"
"That'll be Karl Urban, our lead trombonist. He's perennially late," Viggo said with a grin as Karl, another dark-haired, dark-eyed man, entered the room.
"I heard that, Viggo, you bastard," he said, laughing as he joined the group. "I'm Karl," he said as he moved over to Billy to shake hands.
"All right," Viggo intoned, "Now that we've all been introduced, I'd like to thank you, Hannah, for the suggestion, and you, Billy, for being willing to help us out at such short notice. We really appreciate this."
The band whistled and applauded before Orlando clapped his hands together and called out, "Come on, let's play!"
Billy watched as his fellow musicians performed their own unique pre-performance rituals. Only a bare-bones group was represented -- Orlando on tenor saxophone, Karl on trombone, Elijah on bass, and Dom on piano. Of course he'd play the bloody piano with those hands -- his long slender fingers were perfect for it. Christ, Boyd, just stop thinking about it already.
"No drummer, then?" Billy asked Viggo while watching the various warm-up procedures.
"Not tonight. We've got two, Craig Parker and Dave Wenham, but they couldn't be here. I could supply a basic backbeat, but you probably won't need it. I get the feeling you'll be doing a lot of improv tonight."
"Looking forward to it," Billy replied, grinning as he headed back to stand behind another of the shorter microphone stands.
"I think we'll start with "Stardust," Karl said, handing Billy some sheet music.
Billy read through it twice before looking back up at the others. "We're missing about ten players to make this work as it's written here. I'm assuming that you've played a smaller version before, so I'll follow your lead. Just, ehm, give me my marks as they're written on the page, eh? I probably won't be able to gauge my entrances off of your cues until our second session," he said, chuckling.
Laughter spread throughout the room before they all settled back down to business.
"And one, two, one two three four," Dom counted, setting them off into a unique version of the big band mainstay.
They didn't stretch it, keeping the solos out for now, and Billy rather appreciated that. He'd flubbed a couple of his entrances, but that was to be expected first time out with an improvisational unit of which he was not an original member. He'd held his own though, and he was happy with that -- especially considering the talent level represented.
"Great job, mate," Orlando enthused as Karl leaned over to clap Billy on the shoulder.
"I cocked it up a few times but it turned out all right," Billy replied, smiling.
"Only reason you "cocked it up" is because those fools got lost in playing and forgot to give you your marks," Dom said, gesturing at the other guys.
"Yeah, we blew that bit, but you covered well. A casual audience wouldn't have even picked up on it," Karl added.
"What next then, lads?" Billy asked, looking around at the group.
"Why don't you play another solo piece," Elijah said. "For those of us who weren't here before," he added with a wink.
Billy stood, head cocked for a few seconds before nodding, having come to a decision as to what he wanted to play. He lifted his instrument and the melodic strains of "Grazin' in the Grass" flowed over the room.
"Nice," Dom said once the final note had faded.
The others agreed, and Billy ducked his way through another round of compliments. He was glad that they liked his playing style, but they were going to send him out of the room blushing pretty soon.
"Listen, I don't think there's any way we're not going to have you join us this weekend, Billy," Viggo said, grinning, "So why don't you guys just play whatever you want to, and we'll see how it gels?"
An hour later, Billy glanced at his watch and winced. "This has been fantastic, lads, but I've got an appointment that I can't miss tonight."
"Oh that's right," Hannah said, looking at her own watch and grimacing. "Can you still make it over there?"
"Just, if I leave right now. Sorry to play and run but I really do have to go. Viggo, I'll ring you about next practice, yeah?"
"Sounds good. Thanks for coming out, Billy," Viggo said as Billy finished packing away his trumpet.
The rest of the band called out hurried goodbyes as Billy literally ran out the door.
"What appointment does he have, H?" Dom asked as soon as the door had shut behind the sexy Scot. God what he wouldn't give to feel that tight embouchure around his prick. Just thinking about it made him harden again as he had several times during their jam session.
"He has a hot date," Hannah said, laughing.
"No, really," Dom persisted.
"No. Really," Hannah replied. "He was telling us that an "old flame" was in town and that he was excited to catch up. I guess he hasn't seen her since he left the U.K."
"Her," Dom sighed.
"Sorry, mate," Orlando said, putting his arm around Dom's shoulders and squeezing gently.
"Why are all the good ones straight?" Dom laid his head on Orlando's shoulder, sobbing dramatically.
"You'll get over it," Karl said, rolling his eyes.
"Not likely. It's going to be torture being in the vicinity of that mouth and not doing what I want with it," Dom said sadly.
"Okay, too much fucking information, Dominic," Hannah said with an exaggerated shudder.
"Yeah right," Dom said, reaching out and smacking her on the arm. "One, you'd be first in line to watch, and two, I haven't even started on the 'fucking' part yet."
"I am going to pretend that you aren't talking to my little sister about gay sex and how she'd like to watch it. LALALALA," Elijah interjected.
"You're such a prude, Elwood," Hannah said, rolling her eyes at her brother.
Laughter swept the room as the boys went about packing up their instruments.
"Anyone up for drinks?" Viggo asked once everything was done. At the general agreement, the group headed out, locking the outside door behind them.
They'd worked around Billy's schedule and practiced every night of the two weeks up to the gig. Each night had more band members showing up at rehearsal until Billy had finally met and played with all fifteen of them.
To Dom's intense annoyance, Billy had begun an outrageous flirtation with their female singer, Miranda, and, worse yet, was developing an uncanny musical interplay with Orlando fucking Bloom. The two of them were beginning to weave themselves effortlessly together music-wise. It made Dom grit his teeth because he wanted to be the one Billy's eyes stared into over the top of his horn; he wanted to be the reason for the huge smile on Billy's face after a solo-turned-duo spot. Who was he kidding, anyway? He wanted Billy.
He hadn't made a secret of how he felt and he could tell Billy had some interest in him, but he wasn't sure how much. Billy teased everyone in the band equally, never singling anyone out with the exception of Miranda. Three nights ago, they'd all gone out drinking after rehearsal and Billy had even asked her to marry him! Of course, Billy had also made a point that night of telling everyone that he was far from completely straight, news which had made Dom's face nearly split from the resulting grin. So what if Miranda had said she was great beard material; it was him Billy had smiled at after making the announcement.
It only got worse when Billy showed up for the gig decked out in a old-fashioned suit. Dom would swear his heart skipped a beat before running double-time. Billy was sexy enough on his own, but in a well-fitted suit from the 40s? Dom was glad he'd be mostly hidden behind his keyboard stand and that was a fact.
The gig went off brilliantly, even if Dom hadn't been able to keep his eyes off of Billy all night. A few times, those heated glances had been acknowledged as well. Acknowledged and returned.
Billy had noticed Dom's attentions -- how could he not? -- but he was wary of proceeding at this point. He wanted Dom -- God did he want Dom; he would love nothing more than to fuck Dom through the first convenient surface they came across -- but he and Dom were friends at this point and he didn't want to lose that. He could deal with the tension underneath their laughter and teasing, he'd just have to be careful enough for both of them not to go over the line.
Billy could tell that his outrageous flirtation with Miranda was a bit of a sore spot for Dom and he'd taken care one night at the pub with his bandmates to let them all know that he was not nearly as straight as he might have seemed. That news had been accepted with heaping amounts of piss-taking but it had been all right with Billy once he'd seen Dom's huge grin.
There was also the development of his and Orlando's onstage interplay. He'd never had that kind of connection with another musician; it was as if they were telepathic during their improvisations, which allowed them to play counterpoint to each other. It always garnered high praise and enthusiasm, but, more than that, it was personally gratifying. He and Orlando had an amazing musical chemistry and Billy knew how rare that was. He wasn't sure if Dom realized that that chemistry was completely platonic, but he hoped so.
During tonight's set, Dom had kept turning his heated blue gaze Billy's way. Billy was only human for fuck sake, and when someone as sexy as Dom Monaghan kept staring at him as if they were already alone and naked and sliding sweat-slicked skin together, well, it would take a better man than Billy not to be affected. As soon as they'd taken their curtain call, he'd made a break for the roof to have a smoke and calm the hell down.
"Hey, Orlando, you seen Billy?"
Orlando looked down at Dom, taking in his predator pose and his "fuck-me" eyes and knew that his friend was done with playing nice. "Hey, Dom, listen, about Billy..."
"I don't need a warning, Bloom, just a location, if you know. If you don't, thanks anyway and I'll ask the next person."
"Dom, you need to be careful right now. We haven't officially asked him to join us yet and if you go up there and screw things up, you're going to hate life."
"You said 'up.' He'll be on the roof then."
"Dom -- "
"Yeah, yeah, don't fuck things up. I got it," Dom said distractedly as he headed for the stairs.
Billy stood at the edge of the roof, arms braced on the edge of the wall, looking out over the city. His eyes closed and he raised his fag to take a last, long drag when he heard the door to the stairwell clang shut. He'd expected Dom to hunt him down, but he'd hoped he'd have a bit more time to get himself under control first.
"Turn around and look at me, Billy, I have something I want to say to you."
Billy sighed and dropped the remnants of the fag, extinguishing it under his shoe. "I don't feel like talking right now, Dom. I'll come find you later."
"Fuck that," Dom snarled as he stalked across the roof and grabbed Billy's arm, swinging him around.
"What are you--"
Dom silenced the outraged squawk by fitting his mouth securely against Billy's. At Billy's sharp inhalation, Dom's free hand came up and cupped Billy's head, his tongue darting out to trace Billy's lips. Helpless against his body's urges, Billy stepped close and pressed his full length against Dom, whimpermoaning as his hardness rubbed Dom's. His hands grabbed at Dom's shirt and arms and anything he could reach, eventually settling on one bicep and a handful of bunched up tie. Dom moaned in answer and moved the hand that had grabbed Billy's arm down to his arse, pushing their cocks together harder.
Billy broke from the savage kiss, panting hard into Dom's shoulder as he tried to regain a bit of control. Dom had other ideas, squeezing Billy's arsecheek and thrusting up against the heavy column of Billy's erection.
"Dom, Dom, God, stop, we can't..."
"Yes we can, Billy. We both want to, so why not?"
Billy laid his forehead on Dom's shoulder and shuddered at another thrust. "It's a bad idea right now, Dom."
"Orlando told me that already," Dom said harshly.
"And yet here you are," Billy answered in kind as he pushed himself away from Dom's grasp. "Why?"
"Because I want you, Bill, and now I know you want me. I don't see why we can't just try it on for size, yeah? Let's just play together for a bit and see what comes of it."
Billy's eyes closed. What Dom was offering was so bloody tempting.
Dom sighed heavily. "We're going to ask you to join us permanently, Billy. Charlie has always been unreliable but we've never been able to find someone comparable who could fit with us to take his place. You're it. We all want you, so, you know, full disclosure, all right? You're perfect for us, you get along well with everyone, you and Orlando are fucking amazing together and Miranda will never marry you if you don't agree to stay."
Billy chuckled. "You do realize, Dom, that Miranda, while incredibly sexy, is not my type? Nor is Orlando, though he is quite lovely."
"No. My type is apparently stupidly aggressive and somewhat socially retarded Mancunians."
"That's so sweet, Billy. Are you attempting to woo me with words and charm? Because if you keep that up, I'm not responsible for what happens next. I'm just saying."
"You can't 'just say,' Dom. I need examples. Rock hard examples," Billy replied, moving back to Dom and pressing their hips together again.
Dom chuckled huskily. "I've got all the examples you'll ever need."
Billy snorted before leaning in for another demanding kiss. Neither of them heard the clang of the door.
"Oh my God!"
Elijah's loud exclamation pulled them rudely back to reality and they separated a bit to look over at him. Far from shocked, he was grinning from ear to ear.
"It's about fucking time, assholes," he laughed.
"It's been two weeks, Elwood," Dom said, rolling his eyes.
"Whatever," Elijah said, waving a hand dismissively. "Hannah's going to be pissed that she missed a chance to watch you guys make out."
"Oh fuck," Billy said, putting his hands over his face.
"No worries, Bill, we can start making videos," Elijah said, winking as Billy turned an interesting shade of red. "Hey, listen, you two, why don't you come on down after you're...uhm...finished...here and we'll celebrate a job well done, okay?"
"Away with you," Dom said, shooing Elijah back into the stairwell before turning back to Billy.
"What do you want to do, Billy?" Dom asked after a moment, his blue eyes dark and stormy.
Billy looked at Dom, searching his eyes and face thoroughly before finally offering a crooked smile. "Nothing ventured nothing gained, eh?"