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Title: I'm Not Calling You a Liar
Author: Fox
Pairing: Billy/Dom
Rating: PG-13 for language
Summary: Some things--and people--aren't always what they seem.
A/N: This was written for [livejournal.com profile] msilverstar, who won me in the [livejournal.com profile] help_haiti auction. Many and repeated thanks out to [livejournal.com profile] upthegardenpath and [livejournal.com profile] pippinmctaggart for the betas/readthroughs and the incredibly important handholding. This has been betaed, but I'm a compulsive tinkerer and any mistakes are my own.
Title from the Florence & the Machine song.



Alone. Again. Dom sighed heavily, stroking his fingers over the cool space in the bed where Billy had been last night. He glanced at the clock--eight thirty--and knew Billy had likely been gone for hours. He wondered why he kept up this ridiculous sham of a relationship as he closed his eyes and turned his face into his pillow. Two years; two years of taking what he could get when Billy deigned to give it to him. The answer could be found in the lingering scent of Billy on the bedclothes, the ache in Dom’s backside when he stretched, the note he knew was waiting for him on the kitchen counter top. Billy never left without saying goodbye, even if it was only in notes he wrote whilst Dom was asleep. Dom sighed again and pulled the bedclothes back, mentally preparing to face the day; the note.

*

Billy smiled at the hostess and accepted the water she offered him. He wasn’t in the mood for anything stronger yet.

“Back to London?” she asked, polite and professional. They all knew him on this flight; he’d made this trip many, many times.

“On a layover” he replied, sipping from his glass. “I’m off to Jakarta.”

“Always somewhere exotic with you, eh?”

Billy’s smile was sharp. “Wouldn’t do to be boring, now would it.”

“Routine doesn’t have to be boring,” she said softly before turning to greet the next first class passenger.

Billy felt inexplicably tired.

*

“Dom, you need to tell him ‘no’ next time he shows up on your doorstep. This? You can do better than this. You certainly fucking deserve better!”

Dom shook his head at the chorus of “yeahs” that followed Elijah’s declaration and smiled. “Thanks for the votes of confidence, guys, but I don’t want anyone else. Really.”

“But he’s hardly ever here,” Orlando said, frowning, “and when he is--”

“He’s a busy man,” Dom interjected before his friends could start another round of annoyed-on-his-behalf grumbles. “He told me from the start that his schedule was brutal, that he wouldn’t have much time to spare for me. I chose to accept those terms.”

“We’ve not even met him,” Liv said. “It’s been two years and he can’t even make time to meet your friends? How is he supposed to be a sustainable part of your life, Dom?”

Dom looked down at the table, the words he’d read in the note floating in his mind’s eye. I’ve no right to ask you to wait for me, Dominic, none at all. I don’t know quite when I’ll be back, I’ll let you know when I do. Until then, stay safe and I shall try to do the same. Billy’s notes always ended the same way, and Dom wondered what he meant. Wondered until the next time they were together and Billy was in his arms and they were tearing each other down and building themselves back up with hands and tongues and cocks; claiming and being claimed.

*

“I can’t do it,” Billy said, voice flat.

“You mean you won’t.”

“Can’t, won’t, whichever one makes you feel more empowered, Mortensen. I’m not going to Los Angeles with you, end of story.”

Viggo’s face and eyes hardened. “You never go to L.A., Billy. Some of our most lucrative offers come from there. Easy jobs, huge payoffs...”

Billy thought of blue eyes and a crooked grin, big ears and long fingers. He thought of being able to stay for weeks at a time rather than a day or two. He thought of that grin stained with blood, those fingers broken, and he swallowed hard. “No.”

“If this is about--”

“Don’t.” Billy’s voice was soft, dangerous.

Viggo sighed. “We’ll go for San Diego, then. The best forger in the business will work in San Diego, won’t he?”

Billy rolled his eyes. “Fuck off, Vig.”

*

“You must be Dom.”

Dom looked up at a tall, sandy-haired man in a suit and designer sunglasses. “And you are?”

“Viggo Mortensen.”

“Is that name supposed to mean something to me?” he asked, squinting up.

Viggo smirked. “No. But I bet the name William Boyd does.”

Dom’s mouth fell open for a moment. “Are you a friend of Bill’s?”

“Billy and I work closely together.”

“I’ve not met a friend--colleague--of Billy’s before. Is he...is he all right? Have a seat, won’t you? Can I get you some coffee? Or tea?” Dom looked around for his waitress.

“No, thank you,” Viggo replied, sighing. “He’s...he’s been compromised, Dom. And what that means for you, right now, is that you need to come with me. We can protect you.”

“I don’t understand. Who’s we?”

“There’s no time for me to explain right now. You can come with me and see Bill for yourself or you can stay here and most likely turn up in the papers as John Doe found in a dumpster. The choice is yours, but you’ve got to make it right now.”

“But I need a bag, a change of clothes--”

“Anything you need we can get on the other side.” There was a buzz and Viggo pulled out his mobile, checking the message. A car pulled up to the curb. “I’m leaving. Choose.”

*

“So, Viggo, care to tell me where we’re going?” Dom was glad his voice came out mostly calm and even, since underneath that facade he was scared and worried, about both Billy and himself.

“Billy’s in San Diego with our other associate, Cate. She’s watching over him. We’re going to LAX to catch a chopper headed that way. Listen, Dom, Billy never wanted this to happen, you have to know that. He was captured and...well, they gave him a sound beating. He tried not to give you up, but the extractor was good, and they found out about you.”

“Billy’s little secret, eh?” Dom said ruefully.


*

Dom followed Viggo down a seemingly endless hallway, a set of automated doors at the end. Viggo pressed a code into the pad and the doors slowly swooshed open. They continued to a corner room at the back, a slender woman with blonde hair sitting in a chair outside the door. She watched the two of them approach, and stood gracefully when they reached her. Dom could see the outline of a gun tucked into her suit pocket.

“So this is Dom.” Her eyes swept over him, considering, taking him in.

“This is Cate.”

Dom nodded at her. “How’s Billy?”

“He’s a tough bastard. Take more than Lee and a few of his goons to get the best of him.” Her lips quirked as she faced Viggo. “I have no idea whether he’ll be thrilled to see him or want to kill all of us.”

Viggo chuckled. “I suppose we could have stuck him in a warehouse somewhere with a burlap sack over his head, but I don’t think Bill would have smiled on that, either.”

“Standing right here,” Dom intoned.

Cate smiled. “Indeed you are. You can go in, if you like. The sedative I gave him will wear off soon.”

*
Billy was pale except for where he was bruised, which seemed to be the majority of what Dom could see. He traced the beloved lines of Billy’s face gently with a fingertip, touch feather-light until he reached his mouth. Dom had always loved Billy’s mouth, the way it framed words, the way it curled up into warm smiles when he saw Dom, the way it looked stretched around his cock. Those perfect lips were split and cracked and Dom brushed his finger against them harder than he should have. Billy groaned and turned his head to the side, his eyelids fighting to open.

“Goddamnit, Cate, be careful,” he croaked.

Dom couldn’t hold back the chuckle. It was so like Billy to be grumpy on waking. Billy gasped and jerked back to look at him, eyes as wide as they could get in his current state.

“Dom?”

“I’m here,” he said, soft and soothing as he reached for Billy’s hand.

“You’re...you’re real? Oh, God, please be real...”

Dom frowned at the uncertainty in his voice, and at Billy’s unoccupied hand scrabbling frantically in the blankets.

“Why wouldn’t I be real? And what are you looking for? What do you need, Billy?”

“I need...Christ, where is it? Cate!”

Cate and Viggo quickly entered the room and saw what was happening.

“It’s fine, Dom,” Viggo assured him as Cate went to Billy’s other side, stilling his frantic search. “Remember we put it in the pocket?” she was saying calmly as she put his hand into the folds of the gown. He clutched something, releasing a sobbing breath.

“It isn’t a dream.”

“No, it isn’t,” Viggo answered, low and calm. “You’re safe now and so is Dom. He’d like a bit more of explanation as to why he was spirited away so quickly, I imagine, but he’s here.”

Billy squeezed Dom’s hand, but kept his eyes on Viggo. “Douriff?”

“Mr. Douriff won’t be changing sides again,” Cate replied, flatly. “Karl caught up with him in Aruba.”

Billy nodded, satisfied.

“We’ll need a new Architect,” Cate said, tucking her hair behind her ear.

“Yes,” Viggo sighed. “I’ll make a list, see who’s available.”

“Why do you need an architect?” Dom asked, looking between the three of them before settling on Billy. “Why so secretive if you’re just designing buildings?”

“We don't design buildings; at least, not the way you're thinking. We need an architect for some...unusual work.” Billy smiled at Dom as much as he could. “As it happens, I know a bloke who’s a brilliant landscape architect.”

“Do tell,” Cate said, grinning.

“He’s also an excellent graphic artist. And a quick study,” Billy added.

“Really,” Viggo drawled. “So, Dom. What do you know about shared dreaming?”


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