How Pretty You Are
by alejandra

"Poor Dom. It must be horrible to have everyone find your pain so beautiful."

Billy quirked an eyebrow. "Elijah, you are drunk."

"I am not." Elijah drained his drink and looked hopefully at Billy's almost-untouched one. Billy sighed and pushed it across the table.

"You are," said Billy, watching Elijah take a puff on his clove -- only Elijah could ever get away with smoking in a non-smoking bar -- and then a large gulp of Guinness. He winced. "If you were sober, you'd never be going on about shite."

"Dom isn't shite," said Elijah, the same time Sean said, "I'm with Elijah. Haven't you ever said or done something just to watch Dom squirm?"

"Dom doesn't squirm," replied Billy, choosing to ignore Elijah, who flipped him off.

"Dom squirms," said Sean. He was watching Elijah, too -- or maybe he was watching the beer. Billy couldn't tell; that look of longing could be for either.

"Dom definitely squirms." Another gulp, another puff, another gulp. Billy wasn't quite sure how Elijah managed to fit all that alcohol into his wee tummy; they'd been drinking since four in the afternoon, and hadn't stopped, even through the red carpet, even through the ceremony, even through everything. "And his squirming is fun."

"I think I just learned more about your personal life than I wanted to, Elwood." Sean stood up, not even wavering, the wanker. "Say bye to Dom for me." The only sober one among them, and he was leaving with a cheery wave. Billy wasn't very drunk, only a little, and wished he was more. That was the only way to deal with Elijah and Dom, who was coming back to the table, balancing three beers.

He sloshed one of them onto the table, and Billy took that mug.

"Wasting beer!" Elijah punched Dominic on the arm, hard, and Billy cringed. There was no way that didn't hurt; Elijah had been bulking up lately, and his fingers and arms were much stronger than Frodo's had been. The Elijah in Billy's mind was wee, skinny and fragile. Every time Billy saw Elijah it was a jolt to his system, disconcerting.

"Oi, bastards," Dom said, sitting down. "Where did Sean go?"

"Home, I guess," said Billy. He took one of the beers -- why oh why did Americans insist on serving them cold? "Cheers."

"Ah, shut it," replied Dom, emptying half of his in one go. "What was the subject of conversation that chased him right out?"

"How pretty you are, o'course," said Elijah, and one of his hands disappeared under the table. Billy stared into his beer, because he couldn't stand to see Dom's eyes glaze over. You think you ken somebody, you spend days and months in a tree with him, and then he goes and lets another Hobbit grope him under a table. There's no accounting for some people.

Billy scowled through another sip of beer, sucked in more than he'd meant to, and coughed. Elijah and Dom, looking into each others' eyes like cows or sheep or some other sort of dull barnyard animal, didn't even notice.

"I'm leaving," said Billy loudly. Maybe too loudly, as several other people turned to look at him, but Dom was slumped back in his chair with his eyes closed, and Elijah was grinning. "You fellows can wank each other off without me."

Elijah turned bright eyes onto Bill. "Maybe not," he said, and Bill frowned even harder.

"Forget it, boyo. I'm too old and too tired for the likes of you." Billy slapped his hands onto the table and stood up. The room spun dangerously; funny that. His knees felt like liquid, and his stomach hurt a bit. Too much alcohol, too many different kinds, too much cigarette smoke, too many late nights. He needed to be home, alone, not with his friends who hurt each other for kicks, but his hotel room would do the trick.

He nearly made it to the front of the room, and was waiting at the elevator when Dom caught up with him. "And what's that now?" Dom shoved his shoulders and sent him forward into the opening elevator, which was luckily not filled with people or paparazzi. Dom came in after him, and banged the door-close button with his fist before anyone else could step in. He pushed Billy's floor, then turned to him. "What's your problem, Bill?"

Billy's stomach lurched. "I'm just -- I'm knackered, and I'm going --"

"My arse." Dom snorted. "Missing Ali, then?"

"Yeah, yeah, that's it," said Billy, except he hadn't given Ali a thought since she left them, hours ago.

"Right, okay." Dominic straightened Billy up by the shoulders, brushed off his jacket.

"Leave off." Billy pushed his hands away, buttoned himself up, clenched his jaw. Dom took a step back, his smile fading, and blinked his eyes. Billy stared. Oh.

"All right then. Go off, have a lovely night alone in your hotel room, we'll see you when we see you and all."

"Dommie." Billy took his face between his hands and kissed him on the mouth. "When you go back downstairs, tell Elijah he was right."

"Elwood is never right," scoffed Dom, but his hands came up to cover Billy's.

"He was right about this." Billy nodded, and wished he hadn't when the entire city of Glasgow had itself a boogie in his head. He took a deep breath, and let Dom's hands steady him. When he opened his eyes, he didn't look at the bruises he knew Elijah had put on Dom's skinny wrists. "Have fun, Sblomie. I'll ring you."

"Not too early." Dominic stepped away and let Billy off the elevator, blew him a kiss as the doors closed to take him back down to the bar.

Billy leaned against the wall and sighed, his fingers tingling. That was either from Dom's wet mouth, sour with beer and smoke, or from the drink. He wasn't sure which, and didn't think it mattered anyway. The look on Dom's face when Billy pushed him away... that was what mattered, and if Billy didn't have the brains god gave a goose, maybe he'd have gone back down to the bar and taken Elijah up on his offer. But no -- Dominic was pretty when he was in pain, but Billy knew it wasn't quite the right look for himself. Tempting, but not quite right.


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