fox_confessor: (Billy (skint))
[personal profile] fox_confessor
Disclaimer: A work of fiction; the recognizable people in the story belong to themselves and have never performed the actions portrayed here. I do not know the actors nor am I associated with them in any way. If you are underage, please do not read this story. I am not making any profit from these stories, nor do I mean any harm.

Title: Snapshots
Pairing: BB/OFC, BB/DM
Rating: PG-13
Summary: One's mind has a way of making itself up in the background, and it suddenly becomes clear what one means to do. --A. C. Benson
Notes: For Kia—happy birthday, love. Written for the iconography challenge. Huge thank you’s to [ profile] blackkoda, [ profile] hipolyta_d, [ profile] lafisher, [ profile] rynalwyn for their thoughtful criticism.

Billy’s empty glass slid from his wet fingers as he set it down by his foot. He was trying hard not to make any movements that would give him away, wishing for a bit of solitude. He sat cross legged, being careful to keep his kilt over his knees, having long since abandoned his jacket and loosened his tie. The premiere party in the room below was in full swing and from his hiding place on the first landing, he could watch undisturbed.

Times like tonight made him miss the familiarity of the book bindery. Every one here vacillates between being your best friend and searching over your shoulder for someone whose name comes further up the credits. Always seeking the bigger name, the brighter star. At least at the bindery, he had known where he stood, even at the cost of his soul. Not that he wanted to return to those days but sometimes he was homesick for them—their familiarity.

In Glasgow, at least in those early days, he had always watched for the break that never came. He woke in the morning, learned his trade during the day, and played his guitar at night — all with frightening constancy. He had known the silence of the world, felt it crushing down upon his spirit, until his only options were surrender or resistance. He chose neither, choosing to flee to America instead—leaving security and responsibility behind in the city of his birth—until the day his sister called him back.

He remembered that day perfectly—driving down Florida’s highway 95 in a rented Ford Festiva with Beth, his beautiful girl, who would smile at all his jokes though he was quite sure she didn’t always get them--or him. The old Ford’s air had given out somewhere in Kentucky and they flew down I 95 in 38 degree heat, the windows down, letting the rain from a late afternoon shower dampen their skin. In the heat, Beth had her skirt pulled up to expose her thighs, moist from the rain. Billy longed to trace patterns there with his fingertips but resisted—vaguely worried about the miles until their next stop and remembering to keep the car on the right side of the road.

It all passed by in a blur—the strange trees, the rivers of black water—Billy didn’t see it. The scenery hadn’t changed for him, had never changed for him, not since he was a lad forced to be a man.

His thoughts had led him to a memory of being in a car with his dad—his ten year old self bundled against the cold, so different from that trip in the Florida heat. They were singing along to a Woody Guthrie song, on the way back from his play, when his dad turned to him and said, ‘you are who you are through your history, Billy, and you should always try to adjust yourself to be a person that you’ll like better.’ And he had. Or thought he had.

A flash of lightning lifted him from the memory and he turned to look at Beth where she reclined, eyes closed, in the seat next to him. The rain had stopped and he could see her juxtaposed against the green, bright green of the world after a storm. There was a glow that seemed to be within her and for just one moment, he could see his future stretched out before him: mornings spent lying in cool sheets, sex sated, and the smell of coffee curling around the room. He imagined children, Beth’s round hips stained forever with the ink of his fingers. And he made a decision.

The line connecting him to his sister crackled and he held the hard plastic receiver tight against his ear. He had only just greeted her when she began laughing and talking over the Atlantic—too fast and frantic over the static for him to make out all the words. His own words—his promise to Beth—were lodged in his throat. The moment froze and he felt the world tip, displacing him.

Beth waved to him from the car, radiating a joy that had rarely found her, and he leaned his forehead against the dirty glass—not knowing if the tears burning the back of his eyes were from relief or regret, but he knew then that he could only go forward…and away.

The memory has always stayed with him, filtered now through memories of other storms and of stormy grey eyes.

Back at the party, Dom is suddenly standing in front of him, rocking on his heels. “Hey. Brad says if we go onto the roof, there’s a clear view of the Eiffel Tower.”

For a moment, Billy doesn’t answer—remembers another time when an early morning surf had beckoned him and Dom from their beds, and they stood on a beach in Wellington, surfboards planted in the sand, watching as a storm rolled in. Everything seemed to culminate in that moment: Dominic turning to him, the smile on his face stretching wide, “Perfect, isn’t it Billy?” And he experienced that shift again, like with Beth—except this time the world righted itself and everything fell into place. “Perfect, yeah.”

Back in the now, back in the noisy party in the middle of Paris. Back to the person he had become, the person who he liked better. Back to the man who he loved.

Dom kneeled in front of him, tugging on his fingers, his face clouded with worry. “Are you all right?”

Smiling, Billy twined their fingers together, pulling Dom into a hug. “I’m fine, Dom. Perfect.”


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