Title: Starting Over

Author: veiledndarkness

Pairing: Implied Sean/Billy

Rating: PG-13

Summary: In the end, it's no surprise to him. Maybe he knew it all along.

Disclaimer: Not mine, no profit made, no harm intended.

Warning: AU from the movie's ending.

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It all ends with a bang, and somehow the victory feels hollow. Sean thinks he should feel some kind of triumph and yet, all he feels is empty. The case is far from over, and Costigan lies in his hospital bed, learning to breathe without tubes and machines. Sean files the paperwork, arranges the payment and covers his tracks with Sullivan. His lip curls, he fucking hates dirty cops.

It's with only the mildest jolt that Sean opens his door a month later and finds Costigan leaning on the railing, half perched on the cement stairs. There's a pause, a scuffle of feet and a mumble. Sean's not sure after, but he knows there was a moment when even he wasn't sure if he was thinking straight when he held the door open for him.

Billy's thin, far too thin. Sean doesn't like that; he'd hated how tense and agitated Billy had been. His own guilt keeps him awake on bad nights. He tosses and turns and finally stands in the doorway of the guest bedroom, watching Billy's chest rise and fall in the darkness.

He settles in surprisingly well. Sean finds he likes having someone there. Even if that said someone has an annoying habit of putting the milk carton back nearly empty. Billy isn't the noisiest, he doesn't bitch about the hours that Sean keeps and he's fairly neat. Sean brings home takeout most nights, gradually learning that Billy prefers spicy meats to pizza, and that it feels better to have someone eating with him than the dull echo of the television as his company.

They drift into this quasi-relationship, and neither of them talks about it. They don't discuss it; don't puzzle over what it means, and neither admits that it feels so damn right. Sean finds Billy in his bed one night, thunder and lighting crashing outside his window. He thinks hazily of how warm Billy is in his arms, of how he fits perfectly against him.

He looks to Billy's sleeping body the next morning and smiles faintly, tucking the blanket more around him. And maybe he thinks, maybe it's not that weird, this thing that they have, even if it's odd. He thinks it fits him fine, and really, he's never cared much for what anyone thought. He lies back and watches the sun creep into the room. Yeah, it suits him just right.

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