Not Near Close Enough (The Time is a River Remix)

Remix of Near You Always by Shanalle.


[ten o’clock in the morning]

“It’s been a long time since I’ve been in love.” He says the words with careful consideration, as if he has held onto them for a long time before putting them into the air. As if the air makes the meaning behind them real. It is as much the person he is saying the words to as the person he is saying the words about that makes the act of utterance a moment of worth.

This morning he woke up with a person next to him who fit in that odd little crook in his arm, as if the bend of his bones had been made for only that head and was now truly purposeful. Before this, all previous encounters had been brief and soon-parted, and some part of Billy had worried over the thought that this thing might not last beyond the space of a few heated minutes. Now he couldn’t remember why he had been so worried–if this was what he thought it was, what he hoped it was, what he knew deep down in the quiet recesses of his heart this was, there was nothing he needed to worry about. It would come into its own. It already had.

[four pm on set]

Billy watched Dominic field questions from Elijah about whatever it is he and Dominic are doing. They were speaking too low for him to hear, and it was impolite to eavesdrop anyhow; but every once in awhile Elijah would punctuate the conversation with exclamations and waving arms.

He thought it was probably better to keep whatever it was they were doing to themselves–at least, until Billy had a quiet work with PJ–but he didn’t begrudge Dominic the need for a confidence. While Billy had his suspicions about where this first tentative exploration of the thing between them might go, he understood that nothing in Dominic’s world was certain.

Still, Elijah was asking a lot of questions. Billy smiled. Elijah was so damnably young at times.

[two-thirty in the morning with far too much alcohol]

Try as he might, Billy can’t recall who kissed first.

It bothered him, because in the first instance, he really didn’t mean to drink quite as much as he did, in fact, drink tonight. In the second, he had hoped to better remember this moment, whenever it did finally happen. That it would have happened at some point, Billy was certain.

Ah, well. No bother, as long as Dominic kept making those breathy little moans into Billy’s ear. Billy ran his hands along Dominic’s back to feel him shudder and a slow smile crept along the length of Billy’s face. He is probably too inebriated for this, but such is life; life is taking place right now, on Elijah’s back porch with the wind just slightly too cool and the lights just a little too bright. But all in all, this was a good moment to start the thing Billy has been turning over in his mind for months now.

Billy asks if this is okay, knowing it is, and isn’t surprised at all when Dominic leans in for another kiss.

[noontime on the day off with nothing else to do]

Billy is taking a shower. Part of him hates to wash the scent and sense of Dominic off of him. He cherishes the thing they are doing here too much, he thinks. There’s a very real chance they could both end up with broken hearts. But pragmatic Billy soaps up his hair and puts that thought carefully away for a time when it might be more needed. For now, there is a nervous and eager Dominic out there in the wreck of his bedroom more deserving of Billy’s attentions.

When Billy gets out of the shower he doesn’t bother with a towel, in part because there doesn’t seem to be a clean one within a 30-meter radius of the bathroom and in part because he doubts it would get much use.

Dominic is standing there looking almost guilty, as if he was afraid Billy could hear his thoughts from the far and great distance of the shower. Billy pulls him close and kisses him, languor and passion all coiled up into one, and there is a pleasant thrill from the fact that he is naked where Dominic is clothed.

This is going well, Billy thinks, noting that the mess of Dominic’s room is as much his own doing as Dominic’s.

[eight o’clock at night with the telly on in the other room]>

Billy revels in the feel of warm, familiar skin plastered against his own. There is nothing that compares to this, this bone-deep connection with another person, even if it is fleeting. Especially when it is not. Billy has been trying to give Dominic space to himself, if he wants it. Billy has waited this long, and he can wait longer if he needs to. But every time he tries to carve out a Dominic-shaped hole in the time they spend together, Dominic refuses it, crawling closer to Billy each and every time.

It encourages something sharp and fierce in Billy’s chest. He rubs against Dominic’s face with his own, relishing the quiet burn of their stubble against skin. He will take this in whatever way he can get it, until Dominic comes to whatever conclusions he needs to work through and understands that Billy was waiting for him all along.

[some time in the morning on a day that will be remembered always]

Billy almost misses the words that fall from Dominic’s lips like a childhood hope, but he pulls back and plays them again in his mind, savoring the way they sounded, fearful and wishful and so very real. Billy almost doesn’t ask if Dominic means them, because he knows Dominic does; but he asks anyway because the act of saying it is the important part.

On Dominic’s nod, Billy kisses him again, answering him in words that are more powerful unsaid.