Disclaimer: Please don't sue. I don't own *insert fandom name from above*... All I own is an overactive imagination.
Summary: One-sided DB/MM slash fic. Bill's oblvious-ness is detrimental to starting a relationship.
Pairing(s): Dollar Bill/Mothman
Word Count: 1,476
A/N: First Watchmen fic.
By: Lucifer Rosemaunt
Byron liked Bill's office, more than he liked his own. It was almost like Dollar Bill himself, warm and welcoming, and that was probably why Byron was beginning to feel uncomfortable.
He didn't know when post-patrols changed from sitting in his office trying to forget about the crime that never seemed to lessen despite their efforts, the victims he'd failed to save, and his own inadequacies in a glass (bottle) of scotch to this, him curled on the entirely too comfortable sofa in Bill's office while the other man sat directly in front of him on the wood coffee table, both of them having showered and changed into their civilian clothing. Bill regaled him with stories of his childhood, and for some unknown reason to Byron, it somehow helped soothe his nerves more than the bottle of amber liquid ever did.
However, there was a reason he preferred to let Bill go after their patrols. It was better to just leave the man alone.
Byron let his mind wander, let himself wonder why he kept ending up here. This was the last place he wanted to be and yet, every night, every night for the past few weeks they ended up like this.
He wished he could just curse Nelly for always partnering him up with Bill, but in the end, that had been entirely his fault. Bill's desire to join the Minutemen had been met with a whole spectrum of responses ranging from disdain to eagerness. Byron was almost ashamed to admit that he'd been in the latter portion of the spectrum. They'd all known about Dollar Bill before the man showed up to one of their meetings asking to join their fraternity. It was difficult not to know when he was being advertised throughout the entire city.
He'd wanted to be taken seriously, and while some of the others scoffed (the Comedian), Byron had been caught by his earnest blue eyes; though admittedly, the broad shoulders, firm muscles, and striking profile didn't hurt either.
So, he cornered Nelly one evening after a week of internal arguments, making certain that he was not wearing his wings lest they give away his nervousness, he mentioned as nonchalantly as he could that he would be happy to volunteer to partner with Bill whenever there was no one else in rotation who'd do so. Nelly had given him an appraising look, which had made Byron even more grateful he'd had the foresight to leave the wings in the locker room, before nodding. Byron wasn't sure where he'd found the courage to approach Nelly like that, but it might have been something to do with the way he couldn't seem to look at Hollis without bitterness after seeing how close he and Dollar Bill had been getting.
Now, more often than not, he was with Bill. He'd almost become sick with nervousness that first time they'd patrolled. Byron had forgotten just how much downtime there was between finding criminals, and he'd stuttered pitifully through several conversations just praying for a mugging of some sort while his wings fluttered agitatedly. Bill hadn't commented or made fun of him, and Byron couldn't help but become more attracted to him.
It wasn't fair. The more he got to know Bill and the closer they got the more Byron realized it wasn't just a physical attraction. He'd had to go and fall for good ol' heterosexual Bill. And Byron desperately wanted a drink at the mere memory of his failed attempts of flirting with the man.
It had taken him a while before he could even begin to think about making his attraction known, and even though Bill showed nothing but an interest in friendship, Byron was determined to at least try. He'd started with touches, lingering touches whenever they were talking, but Bill would only return the motion with a hearty slap on the shoulder. Byron always had to brace himself for those 'appropriate' male-to-male contacts, as he'd labeled it in his head. Bill had one for everything Byron tried. The shoulder-to-shoulder bump, the punch to the shoulder (Byron was just glad he was used to taking punches), mussing up his hair when he was out of costume, and swatting at the antennae when in costume. Bill was all friendly jibes and his usual genial self even when Byron had resulted to asking about his romantic life.
At the end of his chain, Byron decided to be a little more direct. After a rather successful patrol and Byron was still on his adrenaline high, he'd stopped Bill from entering his office but just as suddenly, the words just died in his throat when Bill turned to face him. He could feel his wings fluttering, and grinning, Bill reached past him to gently still them. Byron almost shuddered.
"Are you alright?"
Byron swallowed nervously, nodding his head. Bill waited patiently for him to continue, knowing that pushing him would only make things more difficult.
"Tomorrow's Friday," Byron started. He'd practiced this countless times in his head and aloud in his apartment. Bill didn't have to wake up early on Saturdays and they were patrolling together tomorrow again. It would be the perfect time to have dinner, maybe just something small, maybe just a drink. Byron wasn't going to be picky. He just wanted to spend time with Bill when they weren't both in costume, something normal.
"Yes, tomorrow is Friday," Bill commented. He smiled fondly at Byron.
Feeling his face heat up, Bryon forced out, "Maybe we could have a drink after patrolling. Do something together?"
For a tense moment, Bill's expression turned thoughtful. Byron feared that Bill had known he'd been trying to flirt all along and was trying to now think of a way to tell him he wasn't interested. Instead, Bill nodded, "That's a great idea. How about something here at headquarters since, you know." He let the sentence drop off with a shrug. Byron could only agree, a little too eagerly in his opinion; headquarters would be fine since patrols always ended at around three in the morning.
Byron scowled at the memory, at his idiocy – no, at Bill's idiocy. Bill had invited Hollis who'd in turn invited Nelly and HJ, who had of course had to invite Silhouette and Sally, which then necessitated the Comedian's presence. It might as well have been another Minutemen meeting in his office that evening. He barely remembered what had happened after he'd walked into the already filled room, table set up, snacks on the table, and everyone greeting them hello. What he did remember was the spectacular hangover he had the next day; he'd been unable to move from his bed the whole day. They'd started a ritual that evening. Poker night, the first Friday of every month was now poker night.
After that Byron had given up trying to get Bill to see him as anything other than a friend; it was obvious that he would never see him as anything else or worse yet, see him as something of a younger brother to look after.
Drinking always made it alright. Byron didn't have a right to be so broken up about a relationship that never was, but he was because Bill had, in a short time, become his ideal everything and everyone else he saw paled in comparison. Blue eyes, wide smile, an open expression. What wasn't there to like?
Expressive eyes. Not just open expression.
Warm hands. Warm hands? Byron snapped out of his thoughts, jerking his hand away from Bill's.
"Are you alright?"
"I'm sorry." Byron shifted in the seat, moving his legs from under him so that he could sit properly. He hated the fact that all Bill ever did was worry about him as though he couldn't take care of himself. He was well able to. Hell, he'd been crime fighting longer than Bill himself.
"No," Bill quickly replied. "It's me who's sorry. It's been a long night and here I am talking your ears off. You probably want to head home already, right?"
Byron sighed and hauled himself onto his feet with a groan. "Yeah. Home." Home did sound like a good idea. Maybe he could sleep it off, as though he could sleep off his attraction. Without a second glance, he headed towards the door. "Good night, Bill."
He was at the door when Bill's voice stopped him.
He turned slightly, his hand on the doorknob and immediately hated himself for being almost hopeful. "Yeah?"
"Are you sure you're alright?"
Byron forced a smile. "I think I can make it home without help. I'm not some damsel to rescue," he joked. He made sure not to slam the door shut as he left Bill's office; instead of leaving headquarters, Byron bee-lined for his office. Forget sleep, the bottle was calling him.
A/N: Don't forget to R/R (Read and Review)!
Story Note: I always felt bad for Byron.