Author: Canadino PM
He admits he's never really had a Christmas like this before; he couldn't remember one when his father wasn't upset about something, Tony wasn't bothering him about another, Michael paying him a visit with that smile of his. Billy/MichaelRated: Fiction K+ - English - Romance/Friendship - Words: 1,731 - Reviews: 7 - Favs: 24 - Follows: 5 - Published: 06-16-10 - Status: Complete - id: 6057775
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Disclaimer: The only thing I own is the story idea and only some of the witty remarks. I own so little; so please don't steal.
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The house usually wasn't somewhere where he could have relaxed before. There were always people to look out for: his father, for coming home frustrated and moody after an unsuccessful strike; Tony, for coming home frustrated, moody, and violent after an unsuccessful strike; and Nana, who would wander off if he didn't keep an eye on her. But it seemed his absence did some good to the household; he'd heard shortly after he left for the School, the strike was over and his father and brother finally put their energy to productive use. His Nana, without his protective presence, took to wandering around the house and whispering her would-be dreams to inanimate objects.
All in all, a healthy change from the previous Elliot abode.
It wasn't that he hadn't wanted to come home for the holidays the past two years, but he'd just been too busy and too tired to do so. But this year, at the initiation of his teenage years (fourteen was a landmark!), he had finally found himself caught up in all his studies, had his pieces worked down right, and managed to read a map right and end up at the right bus stop. Tony came to pick him up.
"T'bad ya came back now; just gettin' fun without ya, ya bloody sod." Tony, Billy was glad to realize, was still the horrid older brother he was used to. Hopefully, though, this Christmas would pass without another piano being smashed to bits.
His father greeted him and his Nana held him close gushing on about how she was so relieved he was back, but he was still following his dreams, wasn't he, and you know, she could have been a professional ballet dancer when she was younger. The house was still irreparably messy, the trademark of a house run by mostly men; Nana hadn't cleaned the house since he couldn't remember when.
His room, his bed hadn't been rented out yet, and Billy collapsed onto it with a satisfied sigh. He was surprised things were going so well that he didn't want to think about it, lest he jinx himself. The mood was not sullen and downtrodden like the last Christmas he remembered at this house, and as he stared vaguely out the window, it started to snow.
His father was just starting on an awkward journey into asking how ballet was going ("So…I got yer letters…but…how's…the…the…ba…ugh…") when Tony looked out the kitchen window while getting a beer and said, "Billy, some lass's come to call for yeh."
He hadn't gotten home for even four hours and his old friends were calling. He wasn't even aware they knew he was back. He honestly hoped it wasn't Debbie; they'd left on a rather awkward note and if she was going to make those advances (he had a feeling three years wasn't going to make pickup lines any better), he might have to pretend he'd also gotten deaf. As he poked his head out the kitchen window, he thought it was at first; certainly the olive pea coat and rather effeminate-looking wool scarf almost made him duck back down, but he recognized the frame, despite the growth of rather gangly limbs. Grabbing his coat and ignoring Tony's jeers that he was holding several girlfriends in different cities at once, he went out, careful not to slip on black ice.
"I heard you were back." Michael still had the little awkward smile Billy remembered, the one he thought was rather odd when he wasn't aware the boy was interested in that way in him. Billy shrugged, nodding further down the street as he was feeling Tony's eyes staring straight into his neck.
"Hello and Happy Christmas to you too, Michael."
Michael laughed, softly and timidly and Billy hoped that was not rouge on the former's lips. The community center, only footsteps away, was closed and locked for the holidays and with a lack of anywhere else to go, the two sat on the steps. It had been a while since either of them had come there, Billy for boxing and Michael for Billy.
"Don't tell me you're going to whip another sherry outta those pockets."
Michael laughed again. "No, I left a little too quickly for that." There was a silence for interpretation. "Have you been back long?"
"You're lagging behind the welcome wagon." Billy watched as Michael blew out a steady stream of steam. They hadn't really been able to talk to each other the same since that Christmas, but when he thought about it, Michael was always a bit tense when they talked. He wondered if they had ever actually talked to each other and wondered aloud, "So you've been gettin' more comfortable…expressing yourself, ain'cha?"
Michael looked down at himself with a bit of surprise. "I don't think so. I didn't think it would be appropriate to see you in a skirt and anyways it's cold." There was a pause as he continued looking himself over. "You really think so?"
"More in public. Where's that jean jacket?"
"Outgrown. In some alleyway, prob'ly."
"In any case, you've let your hair grow out longer." Billy reached over and touched the nape of Michael's neck, which previously had been bare. Now the dark hair extended toward the shoulders, not girly enough to be noticeable but not inconspicuous enough for Billy to leave alone. He had only run his fingers through it for a second when he suddenly pulled back. Michael flinched too and the two sat in silence again.
"So…um, how has school been?"
"Lonely," Michael admitted, pulling up and hugging his knees to his chest. "It was…hard not to see you sitting in front of me and then the next year started…but…there's this kid." He smiled the little smile. "He's nice and we've talked…he's different from everyone else…darker…" Michael waved his hand to try and convey the sense of race without actually saying it. Billy nodded.
"He a poof too?"
Michael gave him a pointed look. "How has the school for poofs been for you, eh?"
"Same as always." Billy sat back, the cold of the stone steps biting into his hands; he didn't bother to bring gloves. "There are kids who think I'm a sod for not comin' from London, but it's nothing."
"Did you…meet anyone? Anyone you like?"
"That makes it sound like you haven't given up on me." Billy laughed, punching Michael's shoulder lightly.
"I didn't mean it like that. I just wanted to know if you had friends." Michael's face colored slightly; he bit his lip in a way that convinced Billy the shade of red was actually natural. "But…did you?"
"Lemme put it this way…you're the only poof I talk to." It was supposed to be lighthearted but the way Michael laughed nervously made Billy feel like he had said the wrong thing. If he mentioned it again, it would be blatantly obvious he had said the wrong thing. Letting a long pause settle between this and the next thing either of them said would do the same thing. It was bad enough Michael seemed to still harbor some sort of feeling for his sorry arse. Well, anyway, it was Christmas, and they shouldn't be staying out too late anyway.
"…Good night, I guess," Billy mumbled, feeling the need to escape back into the Elliot household overriding the feeling to explain himself. Michael nodded quickly, and Billy had decided to be spontaneous again and it didn't hurt to kiss your best mate (kids did it all the time in London, sometimes), but apparently, Michael was thinking the same thing because the two turned to each other and in the process of finding the other's cheek, ended up with a mouthful of the other's lips.
There was no amount of awkward laughter or silence that could patch this one up.
"So, ah, I bet blokes in London…you see things like that?" Michael asked, his cheeks flaring up to match the brightness of his scarf. Billy never noticed how the boy's gray eyes accented his features; he figured that whatever just happened somehow heightened his senses. Both of them had gotten up and were making their way back up the street. Billy jerked his head noncommittally. It was too weird to explain; it was okay when they were eleven, but it was different at fourteen.
Michael interpreted this contemplative silence as rejection. "If…if I don't see you again…I hope you do alright at the School." They had stopped in front of the Elliot house, where Billy was thankful not find Tony watching them from the kitchen window. It had started snowing again. The quirky little smile was back and Michael was about to walk away when Billy spoke up.
"Your folks going to be home tomorrow?" Michael blinked. "I…brought home one of those gauzy skirts the girls wear. I thought you'd like it."
The boy stared at him for a moment. "Now who's the poof?" Michael said, a teasing smile replacing the surprise. "Stuffing a dress in your bag."
"It was for you, I promise."
"Dirty tosser, thinking about me in a dress." Kicking snow at him, Michael turned (twirled, almost) on his heel and started for home. He'd walked along, feeling his shoes crunch in the snow underfoot and heard the creak of the Elliot gate as Billy made for the door. He waited until he was far enough (or at least when Billy had gotten to the door), before turning around and shouting, "Happy Christmas, stupid ballet wanker!"
Note: Must stop writing fanfictions for things I just watch. Must stop trying an Irish accent. Must see Billy Elliot when it comes to town. Must stop creeping on small boys.