Characters belong to Joss Whedon, Jed Whedon, Zack Whedon, and Maurissa Tancharoen. Not me. Story line does though
Moist remembers the first time he met Billy. Not the day in the park, that doesn't count. No, he means really met Billy. It was a few days after the hub-bubb in the park, after Moist had called the number he had taken from the flier. He had knocked on the address he had been given, a few suitcases behind him full of clothes. They had taken him forever to get up the stairs, what with the handles slipping from his always wet fingers. But he had gotten there with his things popping out only once after falling. With the elevator broken and the stairs being the only means of getting up and down life remained interesting with clammy hands. Clearly Billy wasn't able to afford any of the higher-up apartments in L.A. But this'll do.
He had knocked on the door, his belongings behind him, out of breath. The blond opened the door, shining smile in place. It was good to see that smile. For some reason Billy always looked better with a smile on. He was quickly ushered in, the other man bringing in his packs for him. It seemed like a natural thing for Billy to do. It wasn't an "Oh, right, you can't hold anything" kind of help, but a "Hey! Guest!" kind of help. Kind of nice. Really nice, actually.
Billy talked a mile a minute. Jabbering on and on about the crazy neighbors, how no matter what don't talk to them because they'd only pry and pry and pry until they got you to admit that you pulled the wings off of a dead fly when you were five and they'd look down on you and called you scum. It was kind of odd. Almost like they knew you were evil or something.
"And over here is the bathroom. There are no windows, so we have to turn on the fan during our showers. And you can only take one between three and four in the afternoon, or the water turns cold on you before you finish. Oh! And don't try to open the slider door on the left, it got super-glued or something there by the last person that had this place, so it won't budge. And I can't afford to have it replaced if we break it, so yeah, just leave it. And over here is your…"
The tour went on for hours, Moist seeing almost everything that Billy had to offer his new room-mate and henchman. Almost. He was shown his room, the hall, the hall closet, the little drawer with the soap in it, the un-used kitchen (really, there was no food there to speak of. Just half-finished cups of frozen yogurt in the freezer, and some thick gloppy stuff in jars with weird labels on them in the fridge. He was told not to touch them, they were experiments that were on hold.), the front room, the window, the balcony that wasn't a balcony, the make-shift lab, and Billy's computer. Which was superbly off limits, don't touch, for any reason, not even to check the weather.
For some reason, that didn't bother Moist either. It didn't strike him as the "You're wet, please, don't touch anything electronic" kind of don't touch, but the "Please, this is mine, it matters most to me, don't touch it or I'll freak" kind of don't touch. After all, he was shown how to work the cable (that was stolen) and the other electronics in the apartment. But he hadn't been shown everything, and it bothered him. Billy showed him the precious computer… but not his room. Where did Billy sleep? He had only seen one room, had only seen room for one person… for him. It was his room. So, where did Billy sleep? In the lab? There was a computer chair there, that was about it.
The phone had rung, and in the "middle" (hopefully the end, Moist was less than interested in the leaky faucet in the janitor's room that you could hear at night if you were in the corner by the fridge [what was Billy doing in the corner by the fridge in the middle of the night?]) and Billy left to answer it, leaving Moist to his own devices. After about five minutes, he went to go explore on his own.
His room was so empty. There was a bed, a window, some nice curtains that matched the faint yellow walls… but nothing else. It didn't even have the odd patches on the wall from where something was blocking the sun from fading the color. It looked like nothing had been in it for a long time. Sweeping his damp fingers across the top of the dresser, he came up with a heavy layer of dust. Like Billy forgot to do something before his new roomie came by. That only made him more confused. It was like no one had been in this room for months. Where did Billy stay?
"Hey! Sorry about that, where was I?" Billy found him, the short-haired man nervously wiping his hands on his jeans before shrugging out of his open-zippered jacket a bit. It wasn't that warm. "Right. Any questions?"
"Yeah, just one. Where do you stay?"
"This room hasn't been touched in ages. Where do you stay?"
"Oh! Um-er, you know, I uh-uh." Billy did a strange squinty double blink twitch thing. Moist lifted an eyebrow and watched as he stumbled over words and shifted on his feet. It was just a question.
"Dude. It's just a question."
"Y-yeah. Um. I uh. Isleepinthelab."
"The uh. The lab."
"You sleep in the living room?"
"NO! I sleep in the lab. There's a chair in there."
"Yeah, the rolling chai- in there?"
"Y-yeah." Bighting his lip, Billy looked out the window. The sun was high, it was almost noon. Swallowing, he jerked his head for his new friend to follow, and scurried out of the room. Moist did as he was bid. Billy came to a small blank space between two bookshelves. The shelf on the right was against the wall, in the corner. The one on the left matched the wall, making the hallway about a foot and a half deeper. And it left a man-sized blank spot. Happened, someone didn't measure right or something. Unless Billy pointed it out Moist would never have noticed. It was a little odd, Billy coming to a stop in front of it and jerking his head to it.
"I, uh. I sleep in here."
"In the gap between the bookshelves?"
"NO! Behind the gap between the bookshelves."
"You've lost me." With a sigh Billy took his hands out of his back pockets, rubbed his arms, then pulled at the spine of one of the books. Five spines came along with it, a hidden panel. He put his hand inside, there was some kind of lightshow, and the wood faded from view. There was an inset nook from the rest of the wall, and on it was a metal wheel like on a submarine door or something. Billy spun it around, and the nook slid to the side with a bit of help from the villain. Billy stepped inside, and Moist joined him. There wasn't much in it. But it explained why everything felt so crowded inside the apartment. There was more room in the lab then there was in the kitchen.
Half-finished ray-guns lay around the various tables, there was a white board or two with weird scribbled math all over them. But the thing that drew Moist's eye was the huge armchair.
"So, uh. I sleep in here. In that." Billy nodded to the chair. "I was working on an engorgement ray, you know, try and get more gold for my silencing beam. You know, to try and shut Hammer up so I didn't have to listen to him and stuff. But it didn't work on the gold. So I tried it on something that wasn't metal, and it worked. So, yeah. It's pretty comfy, so I sleep in that. There's a ton of room."
Moist will never forget his first time meeting Billy. He wasn't like anyone he'd ever met before.