Note: Birthday mathom for elvea87, who wanted first time or The One Conversation. How about both? After all, it just was your birthday, too... 🙂

"You sounded as if you meant it," Dom's voice was an interesting mix of shock, accusation, and something undefinable that Billy refused to label as hope.

"What?" They had just come out of the studio where they had recorded their cast commentary for the Two Towers Extended Edition, and Dom could have been talking about a myriad of things. After all, Billy had had ample opportunities to state potentially controversial opinions during the almost four hours the Extended Edition had turned out to last.

"Ah, don't be daft, Bill!" Irritation won out, and Dom shot Billy a look that told him clearly that he was not going to let him off the hook. "You know exactly what I'm talking about. And it's no use putting on the innocent face, because it's not going to work!"

They had reached a small park, and Dom grabbed Billy's hand, forcing him to stop walking and turn to face him. Now Billy didn't really have any choice but to explain himself.

He was not even sure why he was so reluctant. It was not as if Dom was going to end their friendship -- on the contrary, Billy was quite sure that he reciprocated Billy's feelings. Maybe it was just that they had waited so long, and a part of Billy was content with the status quo and unsure that change would be a good thing. Because how could things get any better, after all?

But there really was no choice anymore but to take the bull by the horns, because Dom was watching him intently, eyes awake with bright emotions that Billy was still reluctant to name. So Billy gave up and motioned for them to sit down on a nearby bench. Not that this was going to be difficult to explain. In fact, it was easier than most things. But it still felt like a conversation one should sit down for. Because

"Of course I meant it. I have meant it like that for years, and you know it." Dom nodded quietly, all his nervous energy having left him. Sitting there, next to Billy, so close that they were almost touching, he looked almost serene, reminding Billy of New Zealand mornings spent watching him do his yoga exercises, suppressing a deep longing to be part of this. Now he was, and it made talking easier. "I'm not quite sure why it came out now -- maybe it was the thought that this was the last time I was working with you alone, I don't know. It just felt... right, I guess."

Impulsively, Billy reached out and laid a hand on Dom's thigh, feeling the muscles there quiver lightly under his touch.

"Was it right, Dom?"

Dom's attention shifted, Billy could almost feel it move over his skin and settle on his hand, pale and trembling slightly against the dark khaki of Dom's pants. Then Dom's much broader hand settled on top of his, not gripping but lying there warm and sure, and bone-deep relief washed over Billy, despite having more or less known what would happen. But then, Dom was nothing if not unpredictable, so maybe the relief was justified.

"Yes. I think it was." Dom looked up from their hands and met Billy's eyes. "I think it was time."

"Took us long enough, didn't it?"

Dom smiled at him, his fingers closing over Billy's and squeezing them tightly. "Yes, but some things just take their own time."

"Aren't you just the perfect Yoda, Dommie -- dispensing your wisdom so generously..." Billy felt laughter bubble up inside him, an irrepressible joy that was mirrored on Dom's face, which crinkled up, showing what would years later become laughter lines, and Billy simply had to reach up and caress them with his free hand. Dom's expression changed slightly, and suddenly Billy was being kissed. It took him by surprise, and their teeth clashed and noses bumped even after they sorted out angles and stuff, the kiss kept being interrupted by short outbursts of giddy laughter, leaving them both breathless.

It was not the most erotic kiss in history, but it felt like the most perfect thing to Billy. Looking at Dom, whose face was red from kissing and giggling at the same time and shone with happiness, he knew that it had indeed been time. Perfect time.