Got two stories for you today... this is the first one. It's part of my "Glass" AU, which is mostly posted at the monaboyd comm and if you want to read any more of it, it's all tagged as "glass" in my journal, but you should be able to read this without having read all of that. And if you HAVE read parts of it, it's a lot less traumatic now than it was for a while.TITLE: DIFFERENT
WARNINGS: GLASS AU.
SUMMARY: Billy does not like Dominic's moustache. Dominic does not like change.
DISCLAIMER: Lies, all lies, and no profit to be made off them, either.DIFFERENT
“You’re going to have to get rid of that moustache,” Billy said.
Dominic looked over at him and laughed. “Says who?”
Billy gestured at the bright blue sky overhead and the summer displays in the store windows as they walked. “It’s not winter anymore… you can’t even pretend it’s to keep your face warm or whatever your excuse was.”
“Maybe I just like it.”
“I don’t like it,” Billy said.
Dominic grinned and twitched the debated moustache. “Why? Because it tickles and you’re embarrassed it makes you giggle when I’m…”
Billy elbowed him. “We’re in public.”
“I was going to say ‘when I’m kissing you’.”
“You were not, you liar. And seriously, it has to go. You look like a porn star.”
“You wish I was a porn star.”
Billy rolled his eyes. “Really?”
Dominic chuckled. “I’d be a porn star for you, but you won’t let me get a video camera.”
“Karl even made fun of your porn star moustache… and Karl’s a pimp.”
“So pimps are particularly qualified to give fashion advice?”
“No… I’d argue that if even a pimp is making fun of your facial hair, it really, really needs to go.”
Dominic jerked his hand out of Billy’s and crossed his arms. “I like it.”
“No, you just like pissing me off.”
“That too. How much farther is this apartment?”
“I told you, it’s just a few more blocks.”
“It would be a longer walk for you to get to work,” Dominic said.
“I don’t mind. And I can always take the bus.”
“It’s going to be more expensive than your place now.”
Billy glanced at him. “We talked about that. We added everything up, remember? It’s not that much more expensive, and you’re helping pay the bills now. And this place has a huge bedroom… room for a proper bed instead of that little one we’ve got… and the bathroom is so much nicer, and the kitchen is all brand new, appliances and cabinets and everything… you’d like working in there so much better than in that little closet of a kitchen…”
“I know, Billy,” Dominic interrupted him.
“Then why have you been avoiding going to look at it all week?”
Dominic shuffled his feet on the pavement and looked around, shoving his hands into his pockets. Billy gave him a sharp look.
“We’re not playing this game, Dom. Talk.”
“I’m afraid if we move to a different place, things will be… different.”
“You mean things with us?”
“Well, things will be different. We’ll be living in a nicer apartment. That’ll be different. It’ll have both our names on the lease. That’s different too. Other than that…”
“You know what I mean,” Dominic said.
Billy sighed. “No, love, I really don’t. Why would living in a different apartment change things between us?”
“Because it won’t just be your apartment and you won’t just be able to throw me out anymore, and maybe you’ll end up regretting…”
Billy rolled his eyes and grabbed Dominic’s arm, yanking his hand out of his pocket and jerking him to a stop. A few people walking on the other side of the street glanced over and then politely looked away. Billy got a grip on Dominic’s wrist and held his hand up in front of his own face.
“What is that, Dom?”
Dominic shifted uneasily. “That’s my hand.”
“What’s on it?”
Dominic looked at the band around his ring finger and said nothing.
“I didn’t think I could make it any clearer,” Billy said quietly, releasing his wrist.
Dominic smiled wryly. “I’m pretty dense, you know.”
“Just a bit, maybe.”
He took Dominic’s hand and pulled him forward, leading him on. Dominic allowed himself to be tugged along, looking at the windows of the stores and at the trees arching over the sidewalk as they walked. A few people looked away or rolled their eyes at Billy’s hand in Dominic’s, but most of the people they passed didn’t seem to think anything of it.
“This is a nicer neighborhood than where we live now,” Dominic said eventually.
“Yeah, it is. The only reason we’re getting the rate we’re getting on this apartment is because the lady is a friend of Liv’s and Liv vouched for us that we won’t make a mess of the place or anything like that. Apparently there are a lot of younger folks renting around here and they tend to wreak havoc on places they rent and cause trouble, so she told Liv she’d rather rent to adults who weren’t going to give her any issues.”
“Did Liv tell her I’m one of those younger folks?”
“You don’t look like one with that porn star moustache.”
Dominic scowled. “Fuck off.”
“You’re not a dumb college kid who trashes apartments and throws wild parties,” Billy said. “You’re an adult and you have a legitimate job and we lead a pretty quiet life most of the time, at least as far as any of the neighbors will know.”
Dominic smirked. “As long as the bedroom walls are thick enough.”
“It’s a corner apartment and the bedroom’s on the corner, and the bathroom is between it and the next apartment. No one’s going to hear anything.”
“You’ve thought about this, then,” Dominic said, grinning.
“Of course I have. You think I want the landlady getting complaints about all the noise you make?”
“The noise I make? What about you, when…”
“Hush,” Billy said.
“We’ll have to get a bigger bed. And probably some new furniture for the living room.”
“I know. I’ve got some money saved up for that part. Especially the bigger bed.”
“I want one that has some kind of headboard that I can tie you to,” Dominic said, leaning over so only Billy could hear him.
“We’ll make sure to mention that to the salesperson,” Billy said.
“So we’re really going to do this?”
“If you like the place, we can sign the lease today. My lease has been up on my old place for quite a while, so all I have to give them is a month’s notice, and it’d take us most of that time to get packed up and moved anyway.”
“I don’t have a lot of stuff,” Dominic said, looking at the ground. “When I came to stay with you, I figured it was a good thing, because I wouldn’t be interfering too much. Now I feel like I don’t have anything to contribute.”
Billy squeezed his hand. “Well, first of all, you cook. Don’t underestimate the importance of that. And second of all… you think I’d want to move into a bigger apartment and have no one to share it with me? You’re the most important part. All you have to contribute is you. I have enough crap for both of us, and I’m sure we’ll buy more crap. Besides, I know Liv’s told everybody at work and they’ll insist on there being a party and everyone will bring us more crap. All I need you to bring is you.”
Dominic stopped again. “Billy… what if this doesn’t work?”
“You mean us?”
“Yeah. What happens then? What happens to me?”
Billy sighed and pulled him over against the brick wall of one of the buildings and pressed him back against it, then leaned back next to him.
“Is that what you’re thinking about? That we move to a nicer place and everything is better and you think that really, someday I’m going to figure out that you’re still the same Dominic I met and that nothing’s really changed and that you don’t really belong there?”
Dominic nodded slowly.
Billy shook his head. “Dom… you’re not that person anymore. Even if I disappeared tomorrow, you still make enough now with the restaurant and the café buying your baked stuff that you could afford a nice apartment by yourself. You don’t need me to be where you are right now. You could do it on your own if you had to. But you’re not going to have to, because I love you and I’m going to keep telling you that till you get it through your thick skull and I’m not going away, and you’re not going away.”
He reached down and caught Dominic’s hand between them, his fingers finding the metal band and twisting it around Dominic’s finger.
“If you’ve got anything left to throw at me, Dom, I’ll deal with it when it comes. I’m yours… don’t you get that by now? It’s not just that you’re mine. I’m yours. I can’t walk away from you any more than you can walk away from me. We’re in this together.”
“That doesn’t scare you?” Dominic asked, glancing at him.
“The only think that scares me is the idea of losing you. Anything else… we can handle it.”
Dominic nodded and squeezed his hand. “Okay. I guess we’d better quit fucking around and get to the apartment before the landlady gets pissed that we’re late.”
“Don’t worry. I lied. Our appointment with her isn’t till two.”
“Then why’d you tell me it was at one?”
“Because I had a feeling we’d end up taking a while to get there.”
“Well, it’s taken us long enough,” Dominic staid, straightening up. “And it’s getting close to two. So let’s get going. Last thing we want to do is piss off our new landlady.”
“If she’ll rent an apartment to a guy with a porn star moustache.”
“If I shave it off when we get home, will you shut up about it?”
“As long as I never see it again, yes.”