Sekrit Slasha

Slasha, Baby is the LOTR RPS Fanfiction holiday fic exchange. This story depicts real-life public figures engaged in completely fictional, false and untrue activities. It never happened. This story is a work of fantasy and satire which in no way professes to express the truth about the life, thoughts, feelings, desires, opinions, beliefs, activities or sexual orientation of any person mentioned herein.

Over Years

Title: Over Years
Recipient:
valerienne
Pairing: Ian M. & Billy
Rating: G
Summary: When you've got this much time in, what's a few more years?

When they meet Billy is just 30 and Ian is already 60. Billy's hairline is rising by the minute. Ian's mane is thick and soft, and weaves into Gandalf's wig seamlessly. Billy's humor hides, for a while, the awe he feels in Ian's presence. Ian's voice, soft, seductive, gets under Billy's skin and, eventually, under his hesitation to let Ian in behind the jokes.

Billy never feels that he started late. If anything, he uses everything- being bullied in the estate, working late at the bindery- as grist for the mill, even though Pippin's probably never read a book through in his life, and he's always had Merry to look out for him. Pippin forms around him like a second skin, until he misses the curls when the wig's off (but not the feet- never the feet). He runs from the Balrog as he ran from the gangs, and faces up to the Black Gate the way he faced up to losing his parents. He has no idea Ian sees. He has no idea Ian knows.

Ian never feels that he's left anything undone. Of course there are things he wants- Macbeth, Lear, Godot- and things he regrets [mostly not coming out earlier: there's one person he hurt, hiding]; but on the whole he's proud of how he's live his life. Nothing lacking. Until Billy.

Gandalf adopts Pippin, much against his better judgment. Pippin saves Gandalf's life in Minas Tirith in a split second, no judgment at all, only loyalty and love. Ian makes sure not to take too much of Billy's time- let him surf with the Hobbits, fish with Viggo, go adventuring with Dave. Billy listens when Ian lords it ever so slightly and only partly purposefully over Orlando and Elijah and Dom, gleaning what's useful, hoping he's not too obvious.

Filming ends. Reshoots end. Openings and interviews and Oscar nights end. Ian goes on to Macbeth and Lear, Godot, knighthood. Billy goes on to lovely small films and Ali and Jack. They see each other occasionally, read each other's interviews, send each other congratulatory texts. There's never a hint of anything more. Nothing implied, nothing acted on.

And then- and then.

Jack's to uni, Ali's choreographer with a touring dance company, finds she loves the road. Billy turns 50. Ian's 80. No-one's getting any younger. Billy's in a musical - La Cage au Folles - in the West End. Ian comes to opening night- what you'd do, for a friend.

It's at the after party that it happens. Billy's got a flute of champagne. Ian- across the room- has one too. Ian raises his in a toast, and Billy raises his to accept it. They drink, eyes on each other, and there it is. All the unacknowledged- love, care, need. Billy blushes. Ian nods. Billy makes his goodbyes to his cast mates. Ian meets him outside the stage door.

Whether it's a good idea or not never comes up. They walk to Billy's hotel, Ian's coat swinging just a bit like Gandalf's cape, Billy's scarf wrapped round like Pippin's, their breath frosty in the chill air. Ian's gloves are leather, fine black leather, and Billy shivers (not with cold) when Ian holds the lobby door for him (glass, brass, heavy. Ian holds it open as though it were a curtain, light as cloth) then puts his hand in the middle of Billy's back, just for a second, as he follows him through.

Billy doesn't stop at the desk for messages. Ian looks at the two of them in the mirrored door of the elevator just before it opens, and smiles.

No-one's in the hall when they get out. Billy gets the keycard in right the first time. Ian lays his coat over the chair in the corner. Billy hangs his jacket and scarf up in the closet. The silence is deafening, then awkward, then amusing.

"Not ingenues," Billy says.

"No." Ian's reply is dry. If you didn't know his voice, a bit sardonic.

Billy does. He turns around with a smile.

"Do we know what we're doing?" He runs his right hand through his hair.

"No idea."

But they do. Both know. And have ideas.

Billy's slightly potbellied, when Ian unbuttons his shirt and pulls it open. The hair on his chest is going grey. Ian's hands are strong, and the skin is soft, and the very slight tremor in them stills when he puts them on on either side of Billy's waist and pulls him close.

Ian's heart beats strong and regular when Billy lays his head on his chest.

~~

There are things they can't quite work out. Positions that aren't feasible [though the attempts make them laugh, and the laughter makes them more joyous than the fucking would have]. Neither'd remembered to turn his cellie off; neither bothers to get his out of his pocket [jeans for Billy, coat for Ian]. The phones ring and go to voicemail. The messages will wait.

This won't.

Billy lets Ian be in charge. Lets Ian teach him by touch and by example, by murmur and teasing and impulse. 20 years made up in an hour, and it's a miracle, it's a gift, it's the sure sign of being with a master, it's everything he'd hoped for, everything he needs.

Ian lets Billy explore. That his body's not young, that his belly's soft and his balls loose and his cock takes longer to rise, to harden, embarrasses him not at all: this is what he brings, now; this, and a need so deep, so appreciative of being, finally, addressed, that when he comes in Billy's mouth he's crying, unashamed, and when Billy kisses the tears away, then kisses Ian with the taste of come and tears and Billy, he could shout like a young man with the thrill of being alive.

~~

The play runs for 6 weeks. Limited engagement, all preplanned.

Ian comes round every second or third day. Sometimes he spends the night. Sometimes he doesn't. Sometimes they don't leave the room for most of the next day, if the theatre's dark and Billy doesn't have to go in. Sometimes they go to dinner, or to the Tate [Britain], and one morning, waking early, they take the ferry up, then down, the Thames, and wander up to the Observatory [slowly, for Ian's hip] to catch the morning star before the sun comes up. Each event is a one-off, and each one feels like something they've done together since they first met, done for twenty years, like old friends, like lovers.

~~

In the end, it's Billy who gives Ian's eulogy. He's 67 when Ian passes, and that 6 weeks 17 years ago is all they ever had together alone in their own world, and it's everything he can do not to break down crying as he speaks, and it's everything he can do not to break out in laughter remembering how wonderful it was that they took the chance given them and enjoyed it to the fullest.

He ends with There is always hope and smiles to himself at how, when it came to it, neither of them had given up hoping. Never, over years.

slashababy was created by megolas, revised by yueni
fabulous artwork 2002 by Hope
now moderated by MSilverstar & feelforfaith