Edited on 6.16.11:
The entire story has been posted.My First or My Lasteff_reality
Please disregard any filming inaccuracies.
The times that they slept in the same bed, they were like children, two adolescent boys under the covers, only without the flashlights and porn mags. It happened often, too, even early on when they’d barely gotten used to each other’s faces. A night out would end with the pack of them—Dom, Bill, Lij, Orli—hurtling through the streets and into cabs and home, only one home for convenience, and Dom would catapult himself next to wherever Billy ended up. They’d snuggle in, full of sighs and on the verge of snores, when one of them would inevitably sneak a hand over and pinch. And that pinch would turn into several pinches (escalating in brutality), until they were holding each other’s hands in self-defense, their bodies taut, or as taut as they could be given the circumstances.
They’d collapse into giggles and then back to the mattress, settling only until one of them made some ridiculous observation, the kind you only make when you’re totally pissed. High, tight, hysterical laughter would fill the dark silence, and on and on, until they were both yawning and Dom was saying, “I’m really glad you’re here. ‘Night, Bill.”
The night before they were to separate for filming went a bit differently, though. The pinches and titters gave way to a cold silence that didn’t become either of them.
Billy silently reminded himself to breathe. “We’re not going to do this again for a while, starting tomorrow.”
Dom shook his head vehemently, making the mattress shake. “Let’s not talk about such things.” He rolled on top of Billy, braced his face between his hands, and planted a smacking kiss on his forehead. “Enjoy me while you have me!”
Billy pushed his palm into Dom’s ridiculous face, miraculously discovering more room for a hearty laugh. “Fucking crazy bastard.” He turned onto his side to curtail the onslaught of affection.
Dom gladly relented, opting instead to spoon up behind Billy and rest his chin on the bulge of his arm. That silence came again, stretching in what little space there was between them, this time slightly less ominous. Just when Billy thought Dom would nod off right there, curved awkwardly around him like a worm, his arm vibrated with Dom’s murmur: “Wish I could tuck you under my arm and take you wherever I go.”
Billy closed his eyes and inhaled. “You can.”
That’s the last thing Billy remembers before waking up to bright sunlight overexposing everything (aside from a vague feeling that he’d heard the word leaving
spoken right next to his ear in Dom’s thick, rumbly drawl, followed by a soft kiss on his cheek, the room still bathed in twilight). He blinks hard, finding his bedroom too sterile without Dom in it. It feels like only seconds have passed between when they fell asleep and now, the juxtaposition of Dom right there next to him and then not a trace of him to be found, except maybe a faint scent on the bedsheets, almost unbearable.
Billy tears the sheets off and throws them across the empty space next to him, hiding it, and gets on with his day, gets on with the next day of shooting. But that feeling lingers, peeking its head into every silence on set and every night, whether spent with or without company.
Two days in, Dom rings him, past midnight of course but he doesn’t mind. “‘Lo?”
“Sorry, I didn’t even think you’d pick up.” Dom sounds excited, secretive, and close, like he’s suddenly there again.
With a fierce pang in his gut, Billy remembers a conversation they’d had very early on. One of the first girls he’d met in New Zealand—one he’d actually taken out a few times—had sent him a text between setups. It was raining, and he and Dom were huddled in a crew minivan, wedged among about thirty cases of sound equipment. Dom peered over Billy’s shoulder as his phone lit up in the palm of his hand. “Ah
,” he smiled knowingly, then glanced up at Billy’s face, his smile widening at what he saw there. “Nothing like seeing the name of the person you’ve got a crush on pop up on your phone.” Billy nudged him, but Dom went on sincerely. “I love that feeling. I’d bottle that if I could. Drink it every morning.”
Billy recounts this memory to Dom now, and Dom is utterly silent on the other end. And because Dom isn’t
right next to him, Billy decides that maybe he can be impulsive and potentially inappropriate and maybe the world won’t implode. “I got that feeling just now. A similar one,” he amends.
Dom smiles breathlessly on the other end. Billy’s positive that if he pressed his fingertips to the receiver, he’d be able to touch it.
After that, the days drag infinitely more, lumbering into weeks, Billy somehow coming to terms with what he feels for Dom, even if he still hasn’t put words to it, not even in the relative safety of his own head. He has ample time to reflect on the year that they’ve known each other, how when he saw Dom wear a suit for the first time, something constricted in his chest, sharp, like a warning; the level of distraction he needs when Dom flirts with, dances with, and snogs everyone but him; how he can’t seem to get enough time with Dom, as fucking infuriating as he can be and often is.
Which is why Billy couldn’t be happier when on his first night back, Dom decides it’s his mission to permanently attach himself to him—he openly declares it, even, wrapping himself full-body around Billy on the couch, making it impossible to sit properly. “Sorry, gents, if you’re hoping to get anywhere near Billy tonight, it’s not going to happen. He’s in my care for the duration of this evening.”
Billy tilts sideways, taking Dom with him, until they’re both horizontal and thoroughly entwined, a physical flashback to that last time they were together. The rest of the night sort of happens around them, though they do eventually get up and drink and made sad attempts to interact with the others.
After the evening’s wound down, the drink has run out, and everyone else has gone, Dom shuffles into Billy’s bedroom, toting the blanket from the sofa with him. “Sleeping with you.” He falls sideways onto the purposefully disheveled bed. He pushes at the bunched up duvet at the foot of it with his feet, stretching his legs out and getting comfortable. “Can’t let you out of my sight.” Ironically, he says this just as he eyes are falling shut.
Billy looks up from the fly of his denims and smiles faintly. “Just be a minute.”
Dom keeps his eyes closed as he weasels his way under the covers and scoots over to the opposite side of the bed, turning to give Billy what little privacy there is to salvage between them. One sweet, wiry shoulder pokes out from under the sheets after Dom’s completely settled, and Billy sighs quietly, letting his trousers drop to the floor. He takes his time folding them up and draping them over the back of his desk chair, his mind and his heart racing in tandem.
He pulls his chair out from his desk and sits facing Dom, propping his feet up not far from where Dom’s protrude like little rodents underneath the wrinkly duvet. He stares and bites his thumbnail for a long moment before he pulls his journal from the top drawer—yes, a journal, something he’s never really had, not a real one, anyway, not until Dom disappeared from his side all those weeks ago and the need to purge everything he was feeling overtook the need to sleep.
Billy tries his best to scribble quietly, but his hand isn’t fast enough to keep up with his brain, even as dexterous as he is. He writes about how he’s picturing crawling into bed behind Dom and getting all close, close enough to feel Dom’s shoulder blades poking into his chest, tipping his face into Dom’s neck so Dom throws his head back, arches into him, and pushes Billy’s hand down into his boxer shorts. He writes about how he pictures doing none of that, just crawling in beside Dom and stroking his fingers through his hair and down the back of his neck, making his shoulders rise a little until he falls asleep.
It’s the first time that he’s had thoughts like these with Dom here, right here in front of him, in his bed, no less, and it’s almost more unbearable than not having him here at all. Weeks ago, he’d have gotten right into bed next to him without a thought, but now it feels wrong somehow, unearned. There’s too much attached to it.
When Dom finally turns over, his brows are pinched. “‘S on your mind? Tell me.”
“Nothing,” Billy says quickly, his pen hovering over a half-filled page.
“D’you miss home?” Dom yawns.
“No,” Billy says without hesitation. “Not just now.”
Dom is physically incapable of hiding his smile. He closes his eyes again. “You know,” he admits softly, “when I’m with you, when we’re talking like this... sometimes I don’t think I need anything else in the world.”
Billy realizes that Dom’s always saying inappropriate things like that, never knowing how inappropriate they are. “I know what you mean,” he replies before his eyes drop back down to the last words on the page: I’m falling in love with you. I can't stop it, and I don't think I want to.
He shuts the book so loudly that Dom’s eyes open again, following him as he shoves it back in the drawer, turns off the bedside lamp, and finally crawls into bed.