Dom: *I shrug my shoulders a bit as I walk away from my bike toward the porch, large, brown grocery bag crinkling in my arms. I wonder if Bill will be angry that I'm a little late from work... Stepping lightly up the stairs to the front door of our house, I decide that he probably will be a little angry...but certainly all of that anger will be turned into joy when he sees the surprise I've gotten for him while he was waiting. I glance into my bag as I slump it into one arm, retrieving a hand to open the screen door and twist the knob of the heavy door behind it, propping the screen with my foot. As the door comes open, I duck in, grinning in expectation of my Billy waiting and out of impatience to see him, and see him soon. I close the door behind me with a click and shuffle my bag into both arms again, biting back my smile a little as I glance into the living room.*
Billy: *I’m pretty sure my hearing has become highly sensitive to the sound of the screen door creaking open, especially on days when I’m expecting it to sound a half an hour before it does. I’m not yet worried about where Dom could be, but more on the level of curious and a bit miffed. No, that’s not right. Just desperate to see him. So when the door finally opens I’m off the couch in an instant, book deserted on the coffee table, and I step into the entryway, hands on my hips.* About bloody time. Forget the way home? *I’m not really angry though; can’t be at the sight of him shifting near the door, small smile in place, and I swear he looks even better than he did when we parted this morning, if that’s possible. So I grin and walk towards him, catching him by the waist and pulling him to me for a lingering welcome home kiss, only barely aware of the bag between us. At least until we pull apart.* Hmm, what’s this then? *I attempt to peak into the bag.*
Dom: *I laugh lightly out of the kiss and pull my hand closed over the bag, gladly squished against him and feeling very welcomed home.* No peeking, you. *I peck at his cheek gently and giggle inside, excitement tingling in my stomach. I love playing these games with Billy. It's been all of...a little over two weeks that we've been together, but I'm still surprised by his after-work greetings; tossing a bit of a twist in there is a welcome toy. I grin and nibble at him a little more, my bag getting a bit bent between us...but, oh, he smells good today. Had I missed it this morning?* What have you been up to while I was gone? *I ask through a teasing smile.*
Billy: A lot of nothing. *I say matter-of-factly, tugging him along after me into the kitchen. I throw a grin back over my shoulder at him.* Besides thinking about you. *It still feels strange to say things like that and actually mean them, but it’s a good sort of strange. I head over to the refrigerator and open it up, calling over to him.* Beer? *I pull out two, anticipating his answer. Turning back to him with a little smirk in place, I advance on him, setting the beers down on the counter before taking the bag from his hands and setting it next to them. I push him playfully against the counter, pressing up against him before leaning in to kiss him.* What were you doing while you were gone?
Dom: Mm... *I taste the kiss thoroughly before attempting a reply, feeling his body come warm against my front.* Thinking about giving up postal work to become a stay-at-home boyfriend. *I raise my eyes slowly to meet his and smile.* Or maybe just a stay-with-you boyfriend. *Damn, that word is something amazing - "boyfriend." Every time I say it there's a shock straight to my pulse. Someone should do some research on that; tell me it's not just mild heart-attack. I am actually a boyfriend again. And in a very good way this time. It seems like forever since I've been called that. I hum silent happiness all over his skin as I mumble kisses on his jaw, breathing in another deep scent of him.*
Billy: *That’s a pleasant thought. Not a terribly practical one, but as I wrap my arms around his waist and lean fully against him, letting my lips simply rest on his, who’s thinking of practicality?* Not a bad idea. However, unfortunately one of us has to pay the bills and therefore keep a job, and I have a feeling you’d be a terrible distraction to... the children. So I’m afraid I can’t take you to school with me, sorry. *I close my eyes with a smile, pressing a bit deeper into the kiss and swiping my tongue against his. Delicious. This is more than lovely, and it almost makes me forget about the bag on the counter. Almost. But I pull back finally, raising both eyebrows as I blink between the bag and his face.* Are you going to tell me what you’ve brought home?
Dom: *I grin mischievously, leaning back into the counter and resting my arms comfortably around him.* Maybe...if you're good... *I reach out my hand and grab the bag securely, guarding it from any of his sneak attacks, and pull it to my side on the counter. Giggling again rises to my throat as he flashes a familiar expression of his, a smile playing around that little bow in his lip.* Be good. *I warn again, meekly.*
Billy: And what qualifies as good in your book, Mr. Monaghan? *I’m already leaning back in to brush my lips against his cheek, all the while looking to see if I can grab that bag and run out of the room before he catches me.* Your definition of good and mine may be substantially different. You may have to refresh my memory.
Dom: *I smile broadly and coax his attention to my gaze with a nudge.* Today, I've thought of a new definition. *Grinning soundly, I press one more kiss on his nose and squeeze his waist a little when he wrinkles it afterward. I lean back a little more to take him in, resolved that what I'm about to say may dismay the both of us for a while.* Today... "good" means being my sweetheart, being lovely, and behaving yourself for a little while... *I rub my thumbs on his waist, still resolved.*
Billy: *I shake my head and roll my eyes, tiny smile still twitching at the corner of my lips, thought I make an effort to disguise it.* That’s what being good is? Sounds more like bloody impossible. *But I back off from my position of pressing him into the counter, still within the confines of his hands.* I suppose I could rise to the challenge. *I look to the other side of the kitchen before looking back to him inquisitively.* Does behaving myself require that I move away? Because, you know, that side of the kitchen is looking very appealing today, and maybe I’ll just go stand over there for a bit. *I make to move from his arms.*
Dom: *My chest twinges and I jump to catch hold of his hands in mine. I laugh as I grasp him back to me, near enough just to feel him.* No! No. That side of the kitchen is off limits at the moment. *My grin spreads across my face and I blush, realising just how blunt my reaction was; knowing full well that it would drive me absolutely mad to be able to see him without simultaneously being able to touch him.* You can't go to that side of the kitchen unless I go there with you. *I pause and send him an eager glance.* I've planned a game for us. We're on one team... And we're going to try to make at least one lovely batch of... *I reach back and lift a small sack from within my grocery bag; a recognisable yellow bag of chocolate chips.* ...cookies, before our patience runs out and we end up shagging each other all over the kitchen. *I grin, trying not to blush any more than I already have.* All right?
Billy: *I gasp in mock horror, bringing a hand up to cover my gaping mouth.* Do you really think we’re up to it? I’m not really sure we can handle that. Sounds a bit advanced for us. *Cookies, huh? Haven’t done that in awhile. I think the last time I baked was the brownies for Dom’s birthday. But I’m not adverse to the idea of filling up the kitchen with warmth and good cookie smells, as long as...* What do we get if we win?
Dom: *My smile pinches my lips closed and I turn to dig a few more ingredients out of my bag, setting them on the countertop.* A warm batch of cookies. *I bite my tongue again and resolve not to turn back to him, teasing.*
Billy: *I really should have seen that coming, because he seems to be in a mood to tease me to death today. I pinch his side hard, a fond smile in place.* Cheeky. *I move over to the other side of the kitchen, where I begin to pull ingredients out of the cupboard.* What else do we need then?
Dom: Hey! *I spin, nabbing at him, pulling down his hands from the cupboard and laughing. My voice comes as a soft scold, and as I speak I nuzzle my nose into his hair.* I told you not to come over here unless I went with you... You're already breaking the rules, Billy. *I shake my head. His hair smells sweet and it's soft as I rest my cheek upon it.* Now. *I look over the top of his head and hold him to me soundly as I speak.* We need sugar. Brown and white.
Billy: I told you. This game is too complex for me. Remember, I’m used to hanging out with first graders. *I think I like this rule, though. I think I’d actually prefer to stick to it. But then again, it’s always fun to break it, just to get to Dom. I place a hand over his with a smile and reach for the brown sugar, then white.* Got it. Who made up these rules, anyway? Just where did you learn this game, hmm?
Dom: I learned it at...work. *I huff a little laugh into his hair and reach past him for the baking soda.* And I made up the rules by myself, when I was thinking of you and cookies. It seemed like a good idea. *I turn my head for a moment to press a little kiss to his head.*
Billy: *Setting the sugars on the counter, I reach for the flour and snag the little bottle of vanilla as well.* Me and cookies, huh? I rank as high up on your list of things to think about as cookies? I’m flattered. *I tease, leaning my head back against his shoulder.* It is a good idea.
Dom: Thanks! *I beam, setting down the baking soda and reaching out for the salt. I'm so close to just giving this up, actually. Being in a nice warm bed with Billy sounds just a bit better than even making cookies. Or eating them. Or dipping them in milk and eating them... And...* You'd be cute with a milk moustache. I'd like to see that. *I put the salt down on the counter and lean my cheek on his hair fondly.* Let's have cookies and big glasses of milk.
Billy: And how old are you today, little boy? Or should I say little mouse? *I’m not sure if he’ll get the reference, but I’ve just about got that book memorized, so I thought I’d throw it in. It’s a first grader’s staple.* I don’t really think a milk mustache is my look, Dommie. *I tilt my head to kiss his cheek quickly, taking his hand and leading him towards the fridge.* Aren’t you getting a bit ahead of yourself, anyway? We have to make the cookies first.
Dom: Ah. *I'm contentedly tugged to the fridge, stopping just behind Billy as he opens the door to the cool air and bends in to get the eggs and butter.* I was just, you know, planning ahead. *I muse, wondering at the marvelous way Billy's shirt stretches over his back as he reaches for the egg carton. I squeeze his hand and my smile tugs at the corner of my mouth a bit farther. He stands slowly and turns, closing the fridge door behind him, and I tilt my head at him while I stand here in his way, hoping he'll just look for a moment and take little instances to forget about the cookies. The edges of my eyes crease a little in a grin as we stand still, and I can feel a bit more love settle down around us to the floor.* I think I have another plan.
Billy: My, aren’t you full of ideas today? *I smirk and set the eggs and butter on the kitchen table, hands settling on my hips as I bite my lip, contemplating him. I’m starting to think this was just his way of telling me he wanted me to make him cookies.* What’s this new plan?
Dom: *I shake my head softly and smile.* Can't tell you. It's a secret. *I put my hands on his waist in turn and rub my thumbs there.* You'll see. *I look aside to the counter at our collection of ingredients, proud for a moment, then slightly confused. I hesitate and make a face.* How do we put this all together then?
Billy: *I don’t suppose Dom did too much baking in his shack, so he’s probably not too well-versed in the art of cookie baking, but the question still catches me off guard and I laugh, pulling away from him to reach under the counter for the mixer.* I’ll show you, but I’m afraid you’re going to have to let me go for this part. *I heft out the mixture, setting it on the counter before reaching back under for another mixing bowl. I flip over the bag of chocolate chips and point to the ingredients.* You mix up the dry ones, I’ll mix up the wet ones, all right?
Dom: *I turn to the counter, leaning against it with my hips and pressing my palms to the edge, eyes roaming over the many boxes and containers. My lips twist in puzzlement.* There are a lot of dry ones. *I turn my head, peering into Billy's empty mixing bowl, inspecting while he opens a package of butter and aims it over the side. The cube plops to the metal base and I lean back, wondering whether I should just admit that I can't bake now and kiss him senseless before he registers the news.* Should I...eh...probably get a bowl, hey? *I shrug and bend down to the cupboard, opening it and pulling out a medium-sized bowl, swiveling it on the counter as I rise and close the cupboard door. I sigh and square my jaw determinedly.* And...the...dry ones... *I reach out and take up the bag of brown sugar on the counter, twisting it open and looking widely for a measuring cup.*
Billy: *It’s endearing, really, how he’s trying to be proper about this, how he’s trying to not let on that he has no idea what he’s doing. I slip the last cube of butter into the bowl and pull open a drawer for the measuring cups, sliding them across the counter to Dom before I pull the brown sugar out of his reach. I gather the flour, salt, and baking soda and pass those to him instead, flashing him a smile before I proceed to measure the brown sugar in my own bowl.*
Dom: *I smile shyly, picking up a cup and rustling open the bag of flour with idle concentration. The bag comes open with a puff of white and I dig down into its contents with my cup, feeling a bit of the soft powder on my knuckles. Pulling my cup from the bag, I inspect the load of ingredient that I have retrieved, piling up over the top of the cup.* Uh.. *I knock the cup lightly over the flour bag, sending most of the excess flour back, then lifting the full cup before Billy.* How many of these do you need? *I ask softly, curiously, standing in wait for his order.*
Billy: *I’ve moved onto the eggs now, intent on not getting any of the shell into the dough, so I finish the egg I’m cracking before turning to him with one amused eyebrow raised.* How many does it say on the package? *I ask, pushing the bag of chips nearer to him. I wonder how long it’s going to take before he has more flour on him than in the bowl.*
Dom: It says... *I peek at the package, quickly looking for the flour and reading.* ...two and a half cups. *I look up to him and grin before dumping the cup of flour into my bowl and sending a plume of it into the air.* Poof! *I watch the white dust settle as I dig my hand back into the flour bag for another cup, digging around until I have enough. I lift the cup and shake it again, leveling the flour on top. Though...it's still a bit...puffy. I stick my tongue in the corner of my mouth and reach out my other hand, pressing my palm firmly down atop the cup to compact the flour. I smile gladly when I see the packed contents from below my hand and tip the cup into my bowl with a tap and another cloud. I rub the back of my hand at my forehead and then dive in for the last half cup, lifting it and spilling bits of flour until I've decided I have about half. Another white puff swirls into the air with the last of it, a pile of soft white in my bowl.* There. *I grin and pull the bowl closer, tapping it on the table and then reaching for the baking soda.* Now how much of this? *I look to the bag and read the measurements, smiling to Billy for a moment as he tosses me a glance.* I'm doing pretty well for myself, hey? I'll bet the dry parts of the cookies will be best.
Billy: I really truly am impressed. You’re a natural. *I’m a bit concerned about how level those two cups were, and just exactly how accurately he measured that half cup, but I push those thoughts aside, hoping that if they were off they countered each other. Besides, it’s just a batch of cookies, and even if they turn out terrible I’ll love them, just because I had the chance to watch him do this. I level out my own cup of white sugar, dumping it in the bowl and reach for the vanilla. Careful not to over-pour, I tip the vanilla into the bowl and set the mixer on low before coming up behind Dom, resting my chin on his shoulder and my hands on his stomach.* Looks delicious already.
Dom: Mmhm. *I laugh softly, loving that familiar warmth pressed against my back. I take the baking soda that I've measured and tip it into the bowl, shaking the edge a bit more simply because I like the look of it all leveled out. I reach for the salt and open the tab, tilting it carefully to my measuring spoon and filling it just enough, then let the grains sprinkle into the bowl. I take the spoon in my hand and whisk it through the bowl's contents once or twice to make sure everything is well and mingled. Leaning my head back a bit to Billy, feeling his cheek touch mine, I speak through a soft smile.* Would you like a taste before it's baked? *I bite my lip, wanting to tease him more, just to discover his reactions. These waters I'm testing are still a bit new to me.*
Billy: Hmmm, tempting. But I don’t want to spoil the affect of the final product. Would you like to taste it? *I reach forward and dip a finger into the floury mixture, bringing it up to Dom’s face and swiping it on the end of his nose.* Oops, missed. *I smile against his ear, kissing his earlobe quickly.* Sorry about that.
Dom: *Goosebumps rise at my arms, though I want to retort, still wiggling my nose from the impact...but his voice is rough at my ear and I'm fallen too far for him to do more than lean back and laugh a little.* You're going to have to work on your aim, Bill; that was a horrible shot. *I reach a finger forward into the bowl and coat it with white, pulling it out again to look at it...then, grinning, I pop my hand over my shoulder to tap Billy's nose in turn. Looks like I'm up for the challenge after all. I chuckle to myself as Billy jumps back a bit, and I reach for the flour bowl again, ducking down in case of retaliation. I arm my finger with another scoop of flour quickly, hoping I won't have to use it, and turn and face Billy, laughing as I see the spot of white dusted sloppily on the tip of his nose.* Aw, sweetheart... *I try not to laugh at him much anymore, though it is rather funny.*
Billy: *I gape in indignation but that doesn’t last long, not with the sight of white on Dom’s nose. I smirk and move out of his range, backing towards the still churning mixer.* I think you’ve forgotten just who it is here who’s got the heavy artillery... I’d be careful if I were you. This stuff is hard to get out of hair. *I nod towards the bowl, eyes wide in a knowing glance.*
Dom: *I bite my lip, still grinning despite his blatant threat, and step a bit closer to him.* I've got tough shampoo. *I say, dismissing his threat as I step even closer. My finger tempts the distance between us, white with flour and ready to hit him at any vulnerable or especially ticklish place.*
Billy: *I flip off the mixer and stick my finger in the goop, holding it before me like a talisman to ward off Doms.* I have salmonella. Consider me armed and dangerous. *I back slowly away from him, focused on keeping him away, and I don’t expect to run into the wall behind me.*
Dom: Don't make me laugh, Bill, I might drop my weapon. *I'm impressed he's actually taken up that mess on his finger, but I still don't believe he'd actually use it. Not my Billy, I know him too well. Well, I hope. Still, I step forward and grin even more, excited and perseverant. Where should I get him this time...?*
Billy: *I feel vulnerable, backed up against this wall with an enemy baker advancing on me, so I do the only thing I can do in a situation like this: I lash out. I catch Dom on the cheek with my finger, smearing the partial dough on his skin with relish. I can’t contain my laughter then, and I break out into giggles, knowing that I’ll probably have retaliation to face but bloody hell, it’s worth it.*
Dom: Hoh! *I look away in shock as he slashes my cheek and the sound of laughter rings through the kitchen. The coolness of the pre-dough settles into my skin and I come to the harsh realisation that he's gotten me, and well. But... I turn slowly back to look at him with a predatory eye. Oh he'll get it for this one. Ah, yes, he will... I take a step closer and reach out my hand. Closer and closer it comes until my floured finger is only a centimeter from the side of his face. I wait, and decide to show him a moment of mercy.* Beg. *I drop the word, leveling my eyes with his until a fierceness is written into my face that I can see in his reflecting gaze.*
Billy: *I blink back at him, the amusement written all over my face slowly settling into pleading as I fall deeper into the game. I clutch at the sides of his shirt, fully aware that I am smearing the rest of the gunk onto his shirt as I ring my fingers into the fabric, looking up at him with earnest, desperate eyes.* Oh please Dom, please don’t flour me. You’ve already got me good, and I barely survived that and I... I’m too young to be floured to death. *My voice drops to a whisper as I blink at him sadly.*
Dom: *My brow softens uncontrollably. This...isn't supposed to happen... He deserves a good flouring and now he's got to go on being adorable and making me feel sorry for him. Sorry for him? Of all the bloody things. I lower my hand slowly and rest my expression to a submissive pout. Softly, I cup his face in my hands to prove my affection and whisper.* I wouldn't flour you to death, Bil-... *Shite. I raise my brow and still my hands on him. Carefully, slowly, I pull my floured hand from behind his ear and stop. Looking down at my fingers, I wince when I see that most of the flour is rubbed off.* Oops...
Billy: You utter twit! *Oooh, he got me, can’t deny that. Clever bastard. I give him a playful shove away but I’m laughing again, uncontrollably.* Is that how you execute all your prisoners, Dominic? With a sneak attack to the back of the head? *I giggle and lean back against the wall.* You could have at least given me the chance to say my last words.
Dom: *I smile as he begins to laugh and lean back in though he's pushed me away. Slipping my hands into his, I scoot closer and try to reason with him about the situation, so I won't have it hanging over my head later, you know.* Well...why don't you say them now? I'm sure they're just as good. *I entwine our fingers and hold back my laughter, feeling his giggles ricochet around the room.*
Billy: Don’t know if I want to now. *I turn my head defiantly to the side, still smiling and shaking with silent laughter.* They were going to be my last pleas for mercy. A bit futile now. *I squeeze his fingers back anyway, still refusing to look at him.*
Dom: *I rub my fingers on his hands subconsciously, smiling at him to beckon his eyes back to mine. When he still refuses to look, I drop my gaze to our hands, linked up sweetly, and wonder.* I bet I know what your last words would be. *I raise my eyes back to his face with a cheeky grin. He doesn't turn. So I finally lift my voice a note to mimic his and speak.* "If only I could have one of your delicious cookies before I go, Dom! Please, just one!" That's what. And I might have given you one too, if you were good to me. But seeing as how you just...doughed me all over the face, I might have to put some thought into the decision. *I raise my brow and nod.* Serious thought.
Billy: *I roll my eyes at his tone, fairly sure I don’t sound like that and turn to eye him fiercely.* Oh, but you didn’t! You just floured me in one fell swoop, without even thinking about it! *I shake my head, attempting to look disgusted.* You are a ruthless man, Dominic Monaghan. Nothing I could have said would have persuaded you from you going forth with your dastardly plot. *I sigh regretfully, looking down at our hands and shaking my head again.* That wasn’t even what I was going to say, anyway. You were way off.
Dom: *Aw, love.* Oh... *I turn his hands in mine and look to them, admiring the difference in color of our skin.* Well, maybe you can get me back on... *I muse, toying with a small grin on my lips, hoping to hear some sweet word in reply and beckoning for it with a small nudge aside his cheek.*
Billy: *Even though I’m supposed to be staying angry, I sigh happily and slide my cheek against his, sliding my free hand around his back.* I was going to say, it’s a shame you want to flour me before we even finish the cookies. I don’t think you’d be able to manage them without me. We are a team, you know. *I kiss him lightly below his ear, smiling.* Now we may never know how wonderful they could have been.
Dom: *Nuzzling, I pull away softly and look him in the eyes, adoring the fact that he’s playing along with my little team sport and already celebrating our outcome.* And they will be wonderful. Because I certainly won’t flour you to death. I think I’d rather use the flour for cookies and save you both for later. *I tease, tracing a finger lightly along his ear before stepping back to take up my bowl of dry ingredients. I glance to the mixer, and then look expectantly to Bill, still close enough to his side to feel him.* Do I add in the best parts now?
Billy: I think you had better. Neither of them are really anything without the other, you know. *I wink at him, tugging him back up to the counter as I tap the counter with my fingertips of my free hand.* Just a bit at a time, now.
Dom: *I watch curiously into the mixing bowl at the gooey content, then tip my bowl at the edge and shake a bit of white powder inside. I give Billy a questioning eye.* Is that good? *I don’t know why I’m so worried; it’s just bloody flour. But I know Bill knows how to do this sort of thing; he’s so good at it. I have to try my best, anyway. I wait with my hands on the bowl, expecting Billy’s verdict.*
Billy: *I eye the amount he’s tipped in before flicking the mixer on low experimentally. The flour incorporates with the rest of it easily enough, and I nod as I fumble about in a drawer for a spatula.* Add a little more now, but not too much or too quickly. *I try to sound authoritative on the subject.*
Dom: *I nod, a bit vacantly, but give the bowl another nudge.* Right... *I bite my tongue a little, shaking the bowl against the mixer just a bit. A little more flour falls into the bowl and quickly mixes into a messy paste. I consider the mix a while and decide finally that I’ve added far too little of my mixture. I tilt my bowl a little higher, but the flour seems to have stuck to the bottom. I turn and peer inside, tipping the bowl a little more hesitantly. I set my jaw in light frustration. Still stuck. Tipping the bowl a bit more, I tap it’s side on the edge of the mixer, jumping back as the whole pile comes toppling into the mixing bowl with a plume. I jerk my bowl back in my hands and wince. A stark and unfriendly cloud begins to emanate from the swirling beater.* Shite... *I speak softly... Maybe...Bill hasn’t noticed.*
Billy: *I produce a spatula triumphantly and burst out laughing as I see the flour settle on the mixer and the counter, with a good deal of it spread across Dom’s front.* Good show, Dom, I do think you’ve managed to get more in the bowl than out of it. *I stop the mixer and scrape the excess off the sides and more properly into the bowl before flipping it on again. Setting down the spatula, I begin to brush off Dom’s shirt, smirking at him. I take a look into the bowl, eye lighting up when I see it actually looks like cookie dough. I stop the mixer and bend down into the cupboard for a couple cookie sheets.* Read for the next bit? *I reach into the drawer and pull out a couple spoons, brandishing them with a flourish.* Hands clean? *I turn and pull the beater off the mixture, scraping off the dough with the spatula.*
Dom: *I shake my head with a shy grin, glad that he isn’t angry with me for exploding flour all over the place.* I’ll get to the sink, then. *I say, stepping aside him and pressing my front against the edge of the counter at the sink. I spot a pool of soap into my palm and shove on the water with the heal of my hand, scrubbing fingers together rapidly to create suds. Without glancing, I toss a word over my shoulder to Billy as he readies the cookie tins.* Don’t forget the chocolate chips, love. *Plunging my hands into the warming water, I clean them and then shake them free of the spray, twisting the water off with dripping fingers.* That’s the only reason I eat them anyway. *I pick up the dish towel, realising just in time that it isn’t the right cloth and grabbing another to dry up with.* Chocolate is good for you.
Billy: Damn it. *I shake my head at my own forgetfulness and eye the now semi-clean beater with reproach. I thrust the beater in Dom’s direction before taking up the chip bag and ripping it open, nearly spilling the contents all over the counter.* Clean that off, will you? *I pour the chips into the bowl, reaching for a wooden spoon and stirring in the chips with virulence.*
Dom: *I try not to laugh, taking the beater and watching him mix the chips into the dough. I’m surprised; he’s very strong. At least, by the ways his muscles seem to move in his arms as he stirs, I tend to believe he is. It’s quite attractive really. I lift the beater to my lips subconsciously and drag my tongue through a crook, watching him move intently. Rubbing a bit of dough on the roof of my mouth, I lick my lips and take another taste of the beater.* Do you bake much, Bill? *I speak, bringing a bit more dough into my mouth.*
Billy: Hmm? *I stroke the spoon through the dough a few more times, checking to see that the chips are completely interspersed in the dough. I extract the spoon from the dough and look up at Dom, doing a double-take as I see him sliding his tongue across the beater. Not what I had intended by handing it to him, but I’m pleased with the results all the same.* Missed some. *I murmur, leaning in to catch the dough lingering at the corner of his mouth on my lips. I back off with a slight smirk, bringing the spoon up to my lips and taking a languid lick.* Not much. Though I might be persuaded to do more.
Dom: *I grin, realising what I’ve started suddenly, not really concerned with what we’re doing so much as how good it looks on him. A little laughter bubbles in my throat, and I consider the beater in my hand, swiping a bit of dough onto my finger.* You seem like an expert at it already. *I smile and hold the dough out to him on the tip of my finger.* Here.
Billy: *I eye his finger a bit dubiously, looking between that and his eyes.* You think your dough is superior to mine? *I wave my spoon in the air haphazardly before giving him an appraising glance.* Let’s see then, shall we? *I set my spoon down on the counter and take his wrist in one hand. Looking him in the eyes, I slip my lips around his finger, swiping the dough of his finger in an instant but taking time to thoroughly caress the pad of his fingertip with my tongue, sliding my eyes shut. I pull back and lick my lips before opening my eyes, finding his again.* Delicious.
Dom: *I stagger suddenly into a kiss, unable to fight the pull of gravity or whatever the hell is pulling me so quickly toward him. I really don’t care. So long as I’m kissing him now. My eyes shut instantly and I let my lips meander on the traces of cookie dough left on his lips, pushing them softly apart and tasting more before slowly letting my lips close on his, still. I open my eyes to him, pausing, before letting a space fill in between our mouths.* Sorry... *I speak lowly. I really hadn’t meant for that to happen. But it has, thank heaven... (quietly). Glancing away hesitantly, I find the beater still in my hand, the wooden spoon in his, both nearly clean of cookie dough.* We’re baking...not...*My eyes flicker from him and away again.* ...not kissing...
Billy: *Oh... are we still baking? Is that what we’re working on at the moment? I had forgotten. Temporary distraction.* S’ok. *I murmur, small smile playing across my lips as I consider stealing another kiss from him, but if we’re not careful we’ll forget about the dough altogether.* It’s an integral part of cooking. *I drop my wooden spoon in the sink and seize his beater to plop it down as well, knowing that they are dangerous weapons in the wrong hands... meaning ours. Instead I pick up the clean spoons from where I’ve dropped them on the counter and extend one to Dom. I pull the mixing bowl alongside the cookie sheets and dig my spoon in, dropping a dollop of dough onto the sheet.*
Dom: *Standing next to Billy, I look into the bowl. Mmm...cookie dough. The taste is still in my mouth. Unfortunately, I don't think I got my fair share of chocolate chips. Hm... Looking at Bill, I follow his actions and dig my spoon into the mixture and spoon my lump onto the cookie sheet, trying not to bump Billy with my elbow as I reach across his front. My drop of dough is a bit more misshapen than his. Kind of...splattered, actually. I make a face.* Mine is buggered.
Billy: I don’t think it’s really going to matter once their baking. They all sort of flatten out. *I continue to fill in rows, trying to make the clumps as even as possible. Dom brushes against me and I drop one spoonful half on, half off the cookie sheet.* Oi, watch it you. *I swat at him good naturedly and scoop the dough back onto the sheet before moving to start on the other one. Might be best if we worked at different stations.*
Dom: *I smile and chuckle a bit, reaching in for another spoonful of dough, leaning a little closer to Billy's side. Retrieving my scoop, I carry it to the cookie sheet, just as Billy is reaching back for his next spoonful. Our arms cross awkwardly, and we hesitate. Laughter hops out of my mouth and I reach under Billy's outstretched arm with my own, trying to get the dough from my spoon onto the sheet. I can feel my cheeks turn hot when Billy twists to get around me to the bowl, rubbing his arm as he turns up along my chest.* Mmph... Too many cooks in the kitchen. *I say through a grin, glancing at his determined expression.*
Billy: *This is more difficult than it should be. I giggle and consider just dropping a spoonful on his hand, but I know that would just start another war, which would lead to other things... which would lead to these cookies turning into coagulating masses rather than baked chocolaty goodness. I hurry to complete my pan before I let my urges get the best of me, and I pop it in the oven, setting the timer. I grin at Dom, shaking my head as I watch his slow progression, and I dip my spoon back into the bowl, sitting down at the kitchen table and taking short nibbles from the dough.* Hurry up and finish so you can come sit down and share this with me, slowpoke. *I tease, waving my spoon at him.*
Dom: *I stick my tongue out, slopping another doughy spot onto the cookie sheet.* I'm sorry...I'm not a spooning...expert. *I finally mold my scoop just right and reach for another. There. I push the scoop onto the sheet and step back, spoon in hand. Satisfactory, if I do say so... Well. My brow furrows a little. They'll smooth out anyway. I look up to Billy suddenly, smiling as he looks up from his seat at the table. My heart is warm with new excitement as I sing-song my way to the mixing bowl and pull out a hefty helping of dough. I take a little taste with my finger as I make my way to the table, swiveling my finger out of my mouth as I plop down beside Billy in a kitchen chair.* Mmm...raw cookies.
Billy: *I wrinkle my nose and draw a bit from my spoon, shaking my head at Dom.* Eww, not from your fingers. Here. *I poke at his lips with my spoon, commanding him to open up.*
Dom: *Smacking my lips open, I willingly take in Billy's spoon and close my mouth around it in a smile, looking at him and wanting him very much. I rub my tongue along the spoon, sucking off some of the dough, and then taking the rest as he glides the metal from between my lips.* Mm... *I chew a bit on some chocolate chips. Very, very delicious. Bill must have put something in my flour to make it better. These certainly aren't my cookies. They clearly have nothing to do with me. I swallow the dough and lift my spoon in return. But I don't offer it to Billy. Not yet. My expression is curious; I know I'm tempting my boundaries. But when you have a boyfriend like mine, it's awfully hard not to give into temptation.* How many minutes until the oven beeps?
Billy: Hmmm... about ten, I think. *He’s not sharing, and that’s not fair. Especially after he just cleaned my spoon of dough, and in a very appetizing way at that.* Why? You want to know how long you have to eat the rest of the dough? *I slip off my chair and move over to his, sliding an arm around his shoulders as I seat myself in his lap.*
Dom: Mmhm. *I laugh inwardly, looking up at him as he settles down. Laughing a bit again, I reach to my spoon and swipe a bit of cookie dough, admiring it before turning my eyes back to Billy.* I want to know how long I have... *I lift my doughed finger to his lower lip, dotting it softly.*...to eat the rest... *My finger rises from his lower lip to his upper lip, smudging across his smile just barely.* ...of you. *I pivot my finger in the notch above his lip, leaving the rest of the dough on his skin, then I lean in to finish it. I can taste dough first, closing my eyes... Yes...cookies...and now... I taste a bit of Billy as I lick into a slow kiss. There he is... My lovely... I smile subtly and continue to rub my tongue on his lips. But as my head tilts gently, my tongue follows into the notch at his lip, lapping up a bit of the dough that I'd hidden there. Mm...this is fun... My kisses on his upper lip aren't perfected; they're rather giggly. I'm being rather sloppy. But then again, it does feel very good.*
Billy: *Hmmm, he’s still getting most of it! This is some devious plan of his; distracting me with kisses while he gobbles up the dough. But my, is it working. I smile and try to direct his kisses to a more central location of my mouth, slipping my tongue past his lips. Mmm, gimme some. But I don’t care if I’m tasting the cookie dough anymore, as long as I can just keep tasting him. My favourite dessert. After thoroughly scouring his mouth I pull back and place a lingering kiss just against his lips, just to let him know that it’s not just the dough I’m after.* I think that might take a little longer than ten minutes. Unless you plan to gobble me up. Which would be a silly thing to do. *I smile and wink at him, fingertips twisting in the hairs at the nape of his neck.*
Dom: That's the only way I eat. *I grin and pull in for another quick kiss, catching a taste of lingering sugar still on his mouth. I lick my lips as I pull away. He is very tasty. I don't suppose I'd mind having a sugar-coated one of him for my dessert. And I do mean coated. Everywhere. To be uncoated later.* You could only be gobbled anyway. You think people would be patient with you? *I shake my head, leaning in and gliding our cheeks warmly together.* No... People want you too much... *My head drifts downward and I nuzzle his neck wantonly, sighing.* ...everyone does...
Billy: *I giggle as he speaks near my neck. It tickles.* You’re full of shite, Dom. I think I’m an acquired taste, and I only know one person in this town that has that taste. And that happens to be you. *I rest my cheek against his hair, rubbing my skin slowly against the softness.*
Dom: Well...I may have the taste... *I speak lowly, smiling against his skin and pressing a few kisses.* But I'm not the only one with the want. I've seen people look at you. *My nose grazes aside his throat and I hum as my lips make contact with the warm spot below his ear.*
Billy: Uh, Dom? That look of want you see? It’s actually a look of nervousness. They don’t want to be anywhere near the crazy cat man of the outskirts of Lauderville. *I shiver and tip my head forward, resting my own lips against his shoulder.*
Dom: *My brow twitches, and I slowly open my eyes, resting my head protectively in his hair. Nervous... Some people aren't nervous.* Not that bastard photographer... *My voice is low, but I know he can hear me. I know he won't want to talk about it. I just can't stop thinking about it. I wrap my arms around Billy's body tightly.*
Billy: *I blink my eyes shut and sigh. Not this bloody subject again. I never bring it up, hardly ever even think of it, and yet it somehow manages to come up at the most irritating moments.* Dom, those photos weren’t even about me. Whoever took them didn’t give a damn who it was he was looking at, as long as that person was with Elijah.
Dom: But that's just the point... *I'm shaking. I don't usually do this. I'm just so fucking mad at whoever took those pictures; if I found them, they'd be so sorry.* You're going to end up getting hurt for something you didn't do; that you weren't a part of... *I bite my tongue, my throat clenching. I try to hold my anger, my worry, inside. I don't want to hurt Billy. I don't want to drive him away. But my thoughts have been driving me crazy. Every day at work when I can't be with Billy. Every time he goes out. I can't leave him without going mad with these awful visions and it's all that fucker's fault. My tense structure breaks and I raise my voice, staring angrily at nothing in particular.* This is bullshit, Bill! You're going to get fucking hurt!
Billy: Hey, hey. Look at me. *I pull away from his shoulder and take his face between my hands, staring him in the eyes.* I’m not going to get hurt. This isn’t a stalker sort of situation. It’s some sorry bastard who has nothing better to do than try to make money by making other people’s lives miserable. I’d hate to see him succeeding, wouldn’t you? *I stroke my thumbs across Dom’s temples, hoping to calm him down a bit.* Whoever it is would gain nothing by hurting me. Or hurting Elijah.
Dom: But... *I try, looking at him and slowly breaking apart. I can't be brave about this. I'm so scared.* ...something could happen, Billy...and... *His fingers move across my skin, his brow bending softly to listen. I stiffen with a shaky breath and try to look bolder than I am, more certain of what I should do, but my voice betrays me and struggles its way weakly from my lips.* I'm supposed to protect you... *Suddenly my eyes hurt. My chest hurts. I don't know what to do.*
Billy: Oh sweetheart... *I let out a long sigh, closing my eyes softly. But I opened them again, knowing that words wouldn’t suffice to get my message across.* I know you want to protect me. And I love that you do. But I’m a grown man. And I’m not in danger. There’s no reason for you to worry about me.
Dom: But I do... *I choke. My hands hold his sides firmly and my arms brace him, not letting a bit of him slip.* I just... I just... want to make things better... and I... can't... And I love you. And I can't let anything happen... *I shake my head softly. I shouldn't cry. I never cry. Pulling him in, I cradle him close, head on his shoulder, refusing to cry; allowing myself to tremble next to him. I try to sigh away my worry and breathe only him; I'm so worried, when will this stop?* I love you. I don't want to go to work tomorrow.
Billy: *I kiss his head gently, fingertips playing through his hair.* I know, love. But you have to. And I have to go to work as well. As much as we hate to do it. *His concern touches me so much, but I wish he could let it go. It tears me apart to see such worry written across his features when I’d rather see him happy. I don’t want him to have to worry about me. Especially when I don’t think there’s anything to worry about.*
Dom: I hate it a lot... *I say, finally sniffing back most of my temptation to cry, some of the moisture in my eyes sinking away. I rub my cheek on his neck and nudge my arms around him more securely, giving myself the impression that I'm keeping him safe.* I want to come to work with you. *Maybe I'm being irrational, but I'm telling the truth. I'd rather be with him anywhere than be by myself. I hate leaving for the post office on some mornings when he's still cuddled up in bed. It was hard enough dragging myself away from his side before, and now I have to worry about all of this. I'd definitely rather go to work with him.* I'd sit in the back and be very quiet. *I kiss his collar timidly.*
Billy: I think you’d be a bad influence on the children... or on me. *I smile softly against his hair. Poor love. I don’t want him worrying himself sick for such a needless reason. But I know there’s not much either of us can do about that.* Besides, who would deliver my People magazine? Or my letters? I’d be very sorry without my post.
Dom: Mm... *I mumble disagreeably on his skin.* Make Marty do it. The new person coming to the post office can do it. I want to be with you. *I feel his smooth skin with the tip of my nose. He always smells sweet. And looks sweet. And is sweet.* Besides... I'd like to see you at work sometime... Even if... *I hold him tight.* it's only for a little while. *I must be obsessed. This feeling has to go away sometime, right? I can't worry forever. I don't think I can... What do I do on school breaks...when he's home alone and I'm at the office? I know I can't fix it, and I know I can't watch over him every second... But this really hurts. I just want to know he's okay. I should start calling him... no, that's obsessive. Damn it, I just love him so much. Is there such a thing as too much? I squeeze my arms around him and press my face into his collar.* Don't get hurt, okay?
Billy: I promise. *He’s clinging to me rather tightly, as if something’s going to come and try to take me away from my very kitchen, and he’s trying to prevent that from happening. As sweet as it is, his worry is beginning to rub off on me, and I don’t want to have to worry about this. I don’t want to have to worry constantly that somewhere Dom is worrying about me and making his day miserable.* But you’ve got to promise me that you’re going to try and stop fretting about this, all right? You’re going to make yourself ill.
Dom: *I nod reluctantly into his collar and put a tiny kiss on his skin, letting my head rest there still. I don't know how well I'll hold my promise. After all, I'm still worrying, and I'll be worrying tomorrow when I leave for work... I can't just push it all out of my head. Maybe he's right about me making myself ill. I already have a headache; being so angry and afraid and in love all at the same time. Could I really be getting sick? I try to stop thinking for a moment. I loosen my hold on Billy a little and sigh to his neck, waiting for my heartbeat to slow. I rest with Billy for slow, silent moments.* Mm.. *I nudge his shoulder sadly, and hope that he can fix me.*