Collector's Item

Note: I wanted to write a smut fic, but I was just listening to "Closer to You" by The Wallflowers and this set the tone of this story. It's got nothing to do with the lyrics, it's all the rhythm - and it's turned just a bit strange...

There's this moment just before a kiss, when everything seems to slow down and every breath seems to take a lifetime. It's when Billy can hear his own heartbeat and the rhythm of his breath, feel the blood pulsing through his extremities, the pressure of his clothes against his skin, the small hairs on his body rising in anticipation.

It's also when his focus shifts from himself to the other person, the one he is about to kiss. In that moment just before a kiss Billy takes in their smell, the sound of their breathing, the way their pupils widen and their lips open.

That's when the moment passes, a passing Billy always notes with something close to regret, although soon he is too caught up in the movements of lips and tongues, hands and bodies, the textures, tastes, smells and sounds of kissing. But he always remembers that pang of regret afterwards, when he's by himself and reliving the moment, storing it away with all the other moments of all the other kisses.

Each one of them is precious to Billy. He feels much like a collector opening his treasure cabinet when he remembers, taking out and savoring his moments like a good wine, filling his senses with recollection and memory.

It doesn't matter if the kiss was good or bad, if it was a woman he loved or a nameless bloke he met at a club, if it was the first or the last kiss they shared, or one in between. In their own way, each moment is precious to Billy, filling him, washing over him like waves on a New Zealand beach, sometimes making him choke and spit saltwater, sometimes taking him up and carrying him on the surf of a lifetime.

Billy can't remember when he consciously started collecting those moments. To him it seems as if he started with the moment before his very first kiss, frozen with fear and excitement, a memory of his sweaty hands and the girl's braces glittering in the sun. That's when it starts, his collection, and it's grown considerably in the years since then, like the heavy photo albums his Nana used to have.

Billy is quite proud that he can still recall every single moment, take out every memory and relive it. Over the years the memories seem to change in texture, almost like photos taking on the nostalgic sepia tones of age, or like a well-aged wine, its taste ripening to perfection. Billy savors them all, old and new alike, freeing them from the other memories, initially so entangled with every kiss, the ones of love and lust, pain and indifference.

It has always worked very well for Billy, his way of separating his moments from failed relationships and drunken one-night stands. He has gotten to the point where he can add a moment to his collection the very night after it happened, free from any emotional entanglement.

Billy likes that the most recent moment has the same feel of nostalgic remoteness as the very first. Remembering, Billy can see the other person the way they were when he was about to kiss them, separate from anything happening before or after. His moments gives him a place where he is safe from the complications and hurt that always seem to be part of any relationship. The moments are beautiful in themselves, tiny diamonds sparkling with light, completely apart from the dirty earth that they came from. Billy polishes his diamonds with great care, treasuring them in the recesses of his mind and making sure they stay that way - clean and shining, not a part of normal life at all.

But then there is Dom, and Dom's kisses.

Billy has never encountered anyone like Dom before, and it complicates everything. Dom's moments never seem to want to stay independent and free, no matter how hard Billy tries to fit them into his collection. They're always in a clutter and tangle with all the other memories of Dom. Of Dom squinting in the bright light of a New Zealand winter's day, shivering in his wetsuit. Of Dom as Merry, grinning at Billy from the other end of the set, making rude gestures behind Peter's back. Of Dom wrapping his arms around Billy and falling asleep in the middle of a noisy pub, his breath warm and wet against Billy's neck. Of Dom falling over Billy's livingroom table and cursing loudly, dancing around holding his stubbed toe, until Billy shut him up by sucking him on said livingroom table. Of Dom kissing a wide-eyed Elijah as part of a dare, and the sour taste in Billy's mouth as he watched them. Of Dom making ridiculous accusations against Billy and one of the make-up girls, his face all scrunched up with fear and jealousy. Of Dom walking out of their hotel room, leaving Billy behind still shaking with anger and yet already feeling the first pangs of loneliness. Of Dom looming above Billy on their hotel bed, his face still wet with tears as he moved inside him, their hands clenched around each other.

And of course memories of many many kisses and many many moments.

Moments that somehow Billy simply can't separate from the rest of Dom. Moments that are impossible to take out and relive nostalgically, because Dom takes up much too big a part in Billy's mind, his life, his heart. How can Billy cut up his memories of Dom in little pieces and put them on a shelf, their sparkle dull in comparison to the light that is Dom in Billy's life?

There's this moment just before a kiss, and Billy will always savor it. But these days, there is no room for regret in Billy when the moment passes, because he is too filled up with all of Dom.