As It Should Be

Note: For , for . Requested was "strong emotions but nothing cheesy".

Plans had been made months in advance, more out of the necessity to make space in two busy schedules than for any other reason. But made they were, and Dom found himself strangely excited at the prospect of spending the week before Christmas with Billy.

The holiday itself would be spent separately, Dom heading back to L.A. and Evi, after a pit stop in Manchester with his family, and Billy was wanted in Glasgow by Ali and Margaret. But that seemed very far away as Dom got out of the rental car he'd picked up in Heathrow and took in the winter landscape around the house they had rented near the Lakes. It was picture-book weather, and Dom fought the urge to throw himself into the pristine snow glistening all around him. Frolicking would have to wait - first he had a car to unload and a Scotsman to hug.

Said Scotsman was already standing at the open front door, his big smile one of the few things visible under the layers and layers of clothing. The other one was a very red nose and a pair of green eyes dancing with happiness. Grabbing his bags, Dom closed the remaining distance between the car and the house in a run, caused not so much by impatience than by the wrong choice of footgear, Dom finally came to a skidding halt in front of Billy. He had missed one patch of ice right on the doorstep, though, so their first hug happened lying on the ground, Billy's protests muffled by Dom's reindeer sweater. But despite his curses Billy's arms were wrapped tightly around Dom's middle, fitting them together even in this awkward position. Dom sighed happily and nuzzled Billy's cold face, pushing aside the blue scarf Dom recognized as one of his favorites from New Zealand in order to press a wet kiss to Billy's stubbly chin.

Billy giggled, a high-pitched undignified noise that Dom sometimes suspected only dogs could appreciate fully. Still, when he felt the sound reverberating in Billy's chest, something inside of Dom relaxed and he could not suppress a relieved laugh, burying his nose against Billy's neck and breathing in deeply. Billy stopped giggling and they lay like this, wrapped around each other, unusually quiet, until Billy groaned and pushed Dom off - gently, but with enough force to dislodge him.

"Sorry, mate, but your skinny butt is surprisingly heavy," he explained with an unrepentant grin at Dom's surprised "What the.. Bill!" But when Dom started to pout, he did offer him a gloved hand to pull him back onto his feet.

"Is that the way to greet a beloved visitor?" Standing again Dom reduced the pout to half- force and smiled charmingly.

Billy smiled back widely, all pointy teeth and pink tongue, but it looked more like something that would suit a shark. "An objective observer might remark that the whole thing was your fault, my dear Dominic, and that I was the blameless victim of the cute little things that pass for winter boots in California."

With that Billy grabbed hold of one of Dom's three bags and moved into the house. Dom shrugged and followed him, feeling strangely at home already, although he saw the place for the first time. Billy had arrived only a couple of hours earlier, but Dom was greeted by a cheerily burning fire and the smell of hot chocolate. He instantly felt warmed through and through, an undoubtedly silly grin threatening to split his face in two. So lost was he in the cozy scene Billy had prepared for them that he almost jumped out of his skin when Billy reappeared from where Dom suspected the bedroom was and started waving his hands in front of Dom's face.

"Hello, earth to Dominic.. Would you like to keep standing there looking even stranger than usual, or would you like to join your very best friend in the whole wide world on this nice-looking couch?" This speech was accompanied by a series of grimaces and exaggerated eye-flutters that caused first Billy himself and then Dom to crack up, replacing the beginnings of an unbearably mushy atmosphere with belly clutching and leaning against each other.

They had been waiting for this moment for months. And as soon as he had caught his breath again, Dom wrapped both arms around Billy and pulled him into a kiss still tainted with laughter. It only ended when their knees gave and they ended in a heap on the floor again. This time they rested more comfortably on the soft sheepskin lying in front of the fireplace, trying to catch their breaths while giggling helplessly, arms and legs in a tangle of half-undressed clothes.

Dom finally got enough control back to sit up, ignoring Billy's noise of protest that sounded suspiciously like a whine. He finished stripping off his jacket and other outer garments, his fingers fumbling a bit when it came to the straps of his much-mocked shoes and he got distracted by the sight of Billy shifting on the sheepskin into a more comfortable position. His clothes were in delightful disarray, his hair sticking out in every direction, his cheeks burning red, his eyes still dancing with amusement. It was Dom's second-favorite sight in the world -- and he planned to get to see his number one in the very near future. Just as soon as he had tried some of those delicious-looking cookies sitting on the table.

When he returned from his raid, he was greeted by Billy's most expressive eye-roll: "You really are a hobbit! Here I am, ready and willing, and you go get yourself something to eat. I'm hurt, I'm really hurt!"

Dom was unmoved, sitting back down and swatting Billy on his still-exposed belly. "Ah, poor wittle Billy-boy.. But look -- I brought you some, too!" As expected this pacified Billy instantly, and they munched in companionable silence for a while, resting side by side with their backs propped against the sofa. The silence was shattered a couple of minutes later, when Billy ended up on his back yet again, tackled by a Dom suddenly hungry for something other than cookies.

When the fire died down, two very sated, very naked figures finally stirred from their sheepskin resting place to get some more food, all the while quibbling about whose turn it was to cook. So all was as it should be.

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