Characters belong to Joss Whedon, Jed Whedon, Zack Whedon, and Maurissa Tancharoen. Not me. Story line is my own. Billy's middle and last name belong to me. I use them as a character's name. For confusion of time-line, see "Moist Remembers" and "Table B." I hate mother's day.
Billy opened the door, nursing a rather nasty looking black eye that Captain Hammer had given him. Dropping his gym bag in the chair, he shrugged out of his Stanford sweatshirt and tossed it into the mix. He hadn't been there in years. He had his full-ride four years, had his second Ph.D. Sure he was working on his third one, but he was doing that with online classes.
He was almost twenty three. He had two Ph.D.'s. It was awesome. But he still wanted that third one. So he was trying one of those online schools, meaning he had homework. He had decided to do it at the Coffee Bean down the street. But it quickly got boring. So out came Dr. Horrible, there was a bank right across the street. Captain Hammer squashed him in ten seconds flat, new record. Which the Captain noted and gloated about. So Billy changed and slunk back home. He hadn't gotten any of his homework done.
Sighing slightly Billy glared at his sweatshirt. Honestly, couldn't he have had a normal college experience? Couldn't he have just gone there and gotten one degree, become a real doctor, on his way with a steady girlfriend and one day a family? No, no he had to be a stupid genius with high hopes for humanity. Yeah, look where it got him.
"Hey! Doc!" Moist called from the kitchen, sticking his head out, phone in his soggy shoulder. Jumping lightly Billy found himself giving a slight grin to his henchman. It was kind of funny, as Moist could call him that in public and he'd be right. Twenty two and he was Doctor Billy. Had a diploma on the wall to prove it. "It's your mom!" Not that the diploma mattered.
Racing over, Billy took the phone; dropping it promptly from the dampness left over from his henchman's fingers. Wiping it off he crammed it to his ear.
"William Freund Schrecklich. You didn't call me today." Middle name, uh-oh.
"Um, no, no I didn't. I just got home from a class, we were having a-"
"You know what today is."
"It's Mother's Day."
"And you didn't call me."
"Sorry, I was busy. I was planning on calling you when I got home."
"But you are home."
"Yes, I just got home. I got in the door and Moi-…Mohamed, told me you were on the phone. I hadn't even taken off my shoes yet."
"But that means you didn't call me when you got home."
"The DOOR wasn't even closed yet!"
Billy sighed. Resting the phone between his shoulder and his ear, he slid down the wall to sit with his back against the hard plaster, knees to his chest, elbows on his knees, and hands covering his eyes. She really didn't need to do this. Not now, not ever.
"Mom I'm sorry. I hadn't forgotten; I just didn't have the chance."
"So ungrateful, after everything I did for you."
"A call now and then. A letter, even. No, not a word from you, not even a card on Mother's Day! How dare you!"
"And after the hours in labor to bring you into this world. After all I did to raise you. I didn't have to have you you know, I didn't want to have you."
"I could have aborted you you know. Could have flushed you right down the drain. But I didn't. You should be thankful to me!"
"Not a cent to your mother. You haven't sent me a drop of that famous doctor money you're supposed to be making. I bet you haven't seen a single patient!"
"You don't call on my birthday, or Christmas, or New Years, or Easter."
It went like that for hours. Moist stood, watching, for hours. He couldn't hear what was on the lady's side, all he could hear were the constant mono-tone "I'm sorry" from Billy. His friend, the just-in-his-twenties, the man, the child that had seen far too much, kept his eyes hidden. His eyes were so expressive, they were what gave him away to Moist every time. But whether he knew his friend was watching him or not Moist didn't know. Billy always dropped and hid his eyes when he was talking to his mother. Many times Moist had come home to find Billy sitting just like he was now. Meaning that even alone he hid the silverblues. His mother had really fucked him up.
"Now I want you to get your life in shape mister."
"I'm sorry." The line went dead. Finally, after three hours, his mother had hung up. Billy sat on the cold floor, listening to the tone, fighting back the tears as hard as he could. Ignoring the cramped legs he stood, chin on chest, and hung up the phone. He exited the kitchen, flipped down the faux-book spines, scanned his hand, flipped it closed, opened the lab, and slammed the door closed behind him. Moist put down the milk carton.
Moist found him later that night in the corner by the fridge. This had become a common occurrence. Moist didn't know how common. He had learned about it after the fight with Hammer that landed Billy in Penny's lap. But it had clearly happened many times before that fateful day six months ago. But this was a bad one. Because Billy hadn't changed into his pajamas. Billy had a kind of routine when it came to a fridge-sitting night. He'd strip down and change into his pajama pants, smooth his hair down as short as he could manage it, and curl up small as possible in the corner.
Tonight, he looked just like he had four hours ago. True, the hair at the back of his head was flattened; evidence that he had lain down for a bit. But all in all, he looked the same. Same bruises, none had been tended too. Same green shirt, same blue jeans, same everything. Only thing really in accordance with fridge-night was the blank stare. Always the look into nothing. Moist could see the wheels turning overdrive in Billy's brain.
Moist sat by his friend a moment later, pulling his arm tight around the young man and holding him comfortably. This, too, had become part of normal fridge-night. Moist hated nights like this, and something told him this night was going to find a special place in his heart of nights-to-hate. Mother's Day. Moist knew what Billy's mom was like. He'd been on the phone with her enough times, had seen what her phoning in did to Billy, had been told the back story.
"I mailed the card on Friday." Billy broke the silence this time, making Moist jump. The blond had his face buried in Moist's shirt, long fingers gripping the damp fabric. Moist could feel the shakes start in the thin shoulders. Billy really needed to eat more.
"It was mailed Friday afternoon, so it was en route Saturday. There's no mail on Sunday, so she'll get the stupid thing tomorrow. But will she call and apologize? No. Will she call and thank me? No. I just don't GET IT!" Moist was really surprised now. Billy never raised his voice like that. Sure, he yelled at a heist. To be heard, that's pretty much it. Once there was quiet he spoke normally. And once Hammer came he had to yell to be heard again. But never in anger. Never like this. Billy was yelling in anger.
Moist marveled at him. Billy never yelled. He never swore. The closest he ever came to swearing was his spat out "Balls" when he failed something. There were a lot of things Billy never did. He didn't drink, he didn't smoke, he didn't do drugs, he didn't do parties, he didn't do clubbing, he didn't yell, and he most certainly never broke down and wept.
But here he was, sobbing into Moist's chest, shouting in anger. Two things Billy never did. Billy didn't have a "normal" college life. He was out of college before he could even drink. He was in college while he was in high school. No, the kid never had a normal life at all. Even Moist had a semblance of normal when he was in college. He didn't stay there long, but to this day people still thought him a stoner. He hadn't touched the stuff in years… but it didn't matter.
"Doc, let's go do something."
"Huh?" Billy's eyes met his, confusion to their core.
"You're back in college. You're out of the house, you have a roommate, you're of legal drinking age this time, and you've never been to a frat party. Let's get you drunk off your ass and high as hell."
"Moist, I was an alcoholic at sixteen."
"That's beside the point."
"I've never smoked."
"High time you started."
"You're in your PJ's."
"I can change clothes."
"Early, actually, perfect time to find a party."
"You have work in the morning."
"I'll call in sick. If I find a good enough weed stash somewhere, it'll be true."
"You can't be serious."
But he was. An hour and a half later Billy was clutching the back of Moist's jacket, trying to become as small as possible. At six foot, one and a half inches, that seemed kind of funny. Then again, everything was funny right now. Moist already had two hits of the pass-around bong. Billy, however, had stayed pretty damn clean. Moist wanted to change that.
"Doc, come on!" The henchman dragged the younger man around to face him, thrusting a newly rolled joint from the passed-out dude next to them into the pale hands. "Just one, that's all I ask."
"But, Moist, I-I…"
"Doc." Billy's nervous silverblues met stern dark hazel. "Take this, smoke it, and tell your mom to shove it up her ass." The look of shock on Billy's face was priceless. Moist laughed hard and offered a lighter, tossing soaked hair out of his eyes. It was hot in here. Scared out of his mind, the young doctor hung the roll between his lips, handling the lighter like it was going to explode on him.
Ten minutes later Billy was having the time of his life. Moist knew he was going to have the worst hang over in the record of the world. Moist also realized just why Billy had given up drinking. The henchman was regretting ever suggesting having a night out, as he was now dragging Billy away from people that were clearly trying to get drinks, drugs, (and probably sex), out of his friend. Men and women alike were having a blast confusing Billy and playing mind games. Were this any other time and day, he was sure Billy would beat them all into the mental ground. But Moist knew that wasn't going to happen right now.
"Ehy, ehy, youwanna schee my FeeHaichDee?" Billy asked him, Moist rolling his eyes. "It's in HORRIBLENESS!"
"Doc! Keep your voice down. This isn't our crowd, remember that."
"Uh-huh! W'asyour name again?"
"Come on, time to go home."
"Sure, sure, whatever. Hey now, that's her weed, put it back."
"You'll thank me for that later."
And Billy did indeed. Tuesday morning came a heck of a lot sooner than Billy had hoped. It was just breaking dawn on Monday when Moist dragged them both home. And both had slept the whole day away.
The first thing Billy noticed was the immense amount of warmth. His chair was never this warm, no matter how many blankets he wrapped himself in. The second thing was that he was laying down. Not propped up against the back of his chair, ruining his back and cramping his knees. He was on a mattress somewhere. It was kind of nice really. Fourth was the headache. He hadn't had this massive of a hang-over since he was seventeen. Since he gave up 80proof whisky. Fifth and last thing he noticed, much to his confusion, was the incredibly damp, warm, soft, something he was currently being spooned by. Something warm and wet was pressed against his back, curled around him, snuggled into the back of his neck. He laid very still, smogged brain trying to work out what IT was. IT groaned, shifted, and let ITs hot breath free against his shoulder. IT tightened ITs arms around the thin torso of the young doctor. Afore mentioned doctor freaked out and yelped, shooting himself out of the bed and crashing into the soft-yellow wall, which wasn't as soft as its color. He flipped over, pressing his back into the corner, craning his head back and trying to figure out where he was.
That's when he noticed he was buck naked.
"WHERE ARE MY CLOTHES?!" Jolted out of his sleep by the shout, Moist cracked his eyes open, grunting and shutting them again when the sunlight hit him. God, someone, please, shut that bright thing off! His arms were empty, where was Billy?
"Doc?" Lifting his torso off the bed, Moist creaked his eyes again, taking in the very stressed-out doctor he had come to know. "What's up?"
"WHERE ARE MY CLOTHES?!" Billy screamed again. Wincing at the sound Moist plopped himself onto the pillow again, hiding his head under it. It was too damned early for this.
"In the front room."
"WHY ARE THEY THERE?!"
"Doc, keep your voice down, please?"
"Why are they there?!" At least he listened to directions well enough.
"Because you didn't want to wear them anymore."
"When you're high, apparently, you like to be naked."
And that was the end of the swearing. Moist had a feeling that he'd never hear anything worse than a "Shoot" out of Bill again.
"Why was I in your bed?!" Moist sat up, yanking the covers off and tossing them to Horrible.
"You said you wanted to cuddle. Wear this, take a shower, and shut up."
"YOU AREN'T WEARING ANYTHING EITHER!"
"Doc, take a shower, and we'll talk okay?"
"Did we… we did, didn't we?! Oh man oh man oh man."
"DOC!" The younger man shut his mouth quickly. Moist glared at him. "Shower, now. Talk, later."
Two showers, five cups of strong coffee, and Billy putting on five layers of clothing later, they were sitting at the kitchen table nursing their hangovers.
"So, we didn't… you know."
"We didn't. Okay?" Moist bonked his forehead against the table. Never. Doing. That. AGAIN. Taking Billy to a party was the worst idea he had ever had.
"So, um… what?"
"Look. Doc. I got you home, you complained that the clothes were annoying, stripped of them, stripped me out of them, and then told me you wanted to cuddle. And cuddle we did. Nothing more, okay?"
"So, I didn't sleep with you."
"And you didn't sleep with me."
"Can I go back to bed now?"
"I'm sorry Moist."
Billy's face was the text-book definition of sorrow. Great, pitty card. Moist didn't have the patience for this.
"You wanted to have a good time last night-"
"Night before, it's Tuesday now."
"Last night, and I ruined it. I'll make it up to you somehow, okay?"
"Doc." Moist stood up, wrapping his arms around his friend after he rounded the table. "You don't have to make anything up to me. I had a good time. I just have a major headache right now. Once you and I feel better, we'll laugh our eyes out at it. Okay? Right now, we both need a good long nap, that's all."
Billy nodded. He didn't believe Moist. Moist sighed and went to bed. Forget it, Billy was beyond saving anymore. "Fun" was never going to be in his vocabulary. At least he was going to drop the college thing. College meant parties, and with how much Billy now hated them and how much it cost to go… yeah, Moist was sure the idea of a third Ph.D. was out the door. But that meant no passes to college parties for Moist…
"Fucking Mother's Day."