Unseen Things

Notes: For the #28, 'half-open doors'. A sudden inspiration when I saw a documentary on the Huldufolk, the Hidden Folk of Iceland, and a woman who has the eyes to see them. Hope it fits the challenge, as it's my first contribution…


It was almost a year into filming when Dom realized that Billy had a secret.

He and Elijah were hanging out behind Viggo's house, sharing some real 'pipeweed' and enjoying each other's company, when he suddenly saw a shadow that he instantly recognized as Billy disappear into the nearby forest.

"Hey, Lij, what's Billy doing here?" he asked, idly wondering why Billy had made them drop him off earlier if he had planned to come here anyway.

Elijah lifted his head and peered into the dark. "What, where's Billy? I thought he wanted to have an early night?"

Dom hit him over the head with his flat hand. "My god, Lij, you're really blind as a bat – he's right there, by those trees!"

He couldn't understand how Elijah couldn't see him – he was looking straight at where Dom could still make out Billy's shape. But then Billy disappeared, and didn't show up at Viggo's at all that night. In the morning, when they were sitting in Treebeard and Dom asked him what he'd been doing in the forest, Billy only looked at him blankly for a moment before laughing and asking Dom how much he'd smoked.

So Dom dismissed what he had seen. Then, some weeks later, they spent the night in some remote location on the South island. Dom hadn't been able to sleep and sat on the steps of his trailer, looking up at the clear sky, bright with stars and the full moon. Gus, a guy from the film crew walked by and they exchanged some friendly banter, until Dom saw Billy pass by behind them and called out to him. But Billy didn't react, just walked on, and Gus looked at Dom and asked if he didn't know that Billy's trailer was on the other side of the clearing, well out of hearing range.

"Or do those hobbit ears have some special powers you two haven't shared with us?"

The look on his face was genuinely puzzled, and Dom, who could still see Billy walk away from them, made some kind of joke about spending too much time in a tree and excused himself. Slowly he walked in the direction that Billy had disappeared to, trying to find some kind of explanation. The first time could have been a hallucination, caused by weed and beer – but this, just now? Not a chance that Dom's eyes had been playing tricks on him twice!

While he was thinking, he had kept walking through the forest, which suddenly opened onto a small clearing on top of a hill. He stopped short when his eyes fell on Billy, who was sitting cross-legged in the center, eyes closed, bodies at rest. He seemed completely at peace, much more relaxed than Dom had ever seen him before, although he had never noticed that Billy had always held something back before.

Dom just stood there, looking at him, all questions having fled him the moment he set eyes on Billy. He had never noticed his friend like this before, never allowed it – but the openness in Billy's whole body seemed to open up Dom as well, and he didn't even attempt to censor the direction his thoughts were taking as he watched him.

Billy looked simply beautiful -- but there was a better word on the tip of Dom's tongue, cool and silver, like Dom imagined the moonlight on Billy's skin tasting. Then, without haste, Billy opened his eyes and looked to where Dom was standing, unable to move. He did not seem surprised, did not tense up for even a moment, just looked at Dom with that same expression – of complete… serenity. The word came to Dom as their eyes met.

"Dom…" Billy smiled calmly as his voice caressed Dom's name. "I should have known you had the eyes to see through the curtain between here and the unseen world. I've been careless. Yet maybe it's all as it should be."

Dom knew there would be questions, questions about all the stories his grandmother had told him and that he had never believed. But that would be later. For now he just smiled and started to walk up to the faerie in front of him. Soon he would know what serenity tasted like.

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