CHAPTER/WORK IN PROGRESS/COMPLETE: Complete (unless I continue on changing things)
RATING: R (Language and illegal drugs (*gasp*))/ NC17 (later)
SUMMARY: Missing Billy, Highland Games, Goodbyes?
CONTENT/WARNING: Some swearing/sexual references
DISCLAIMER: This story is 100% fiction. These events never happened. Lyn is a fictional character based in fact.
AUTHOR’S NOTES: Special thanks to flumsam for inspiring me with the quote Billy transcribed for her in her recent meeting with him. danu_2u for "holding on to all that's still good in the world", and to Billy who makes himself so easy to write and imagine.
Should you have missed the beginnings of this story, check out my memories for links.
Several weeks later, she was washing dishes in her kitchen. Deciding that music was in order, she flipped on the CD player, taking her chances with whatever was in the player. The sounds of Third Eye Blind began to fill the sudsy kitchen with the song “How’s It Going To Be”. Lyn absentmindedly began to sing along with the words, swaying with her hands in the suds, unable to tear her mind away from thoughts of Billy.
“A silence I can't ignore, Like ... The hammocks and the doorways we spent time in, Swing empty, don't see lightning like last fall when it was always about to hit me, I guess that is how it's going to be…”
When the emotion distortion part came on, screaming with guitar, Lyn gave all abandon to the music, yelling out the words and shaking her head in time, “How's it going to be when you don't know me, any more. How's it going to be… Want to get myself back in again, the soft dive of oblivion. Want to taste the salt of your skin. The soft dive of oblivion…”
She realized suddenly how much she missed Billy. If she closed her eyes, she could still see the entire range of his smiles, hear the chuckle and loud laughs, smell him (aahhhh to smell him), and almost taste his lips. When she would open her eyes, however, she would feel such an ache that she was crippled. Lyn was angry, angry at how he left, angry that he hadn’t called or contacted her, and angry that he wasn’t here loving her. It was an emotion of such bitterness, that she could hardly stand herself. Perhaps that’s why she tried to forget, Lyn didn’t want to be bitter or angry, she wanted to leave those moments with Billy beautiful in her mind’s eye. The wall was the only way to get back, it worked for the trial, so (damn it) it was going to have to work for forgetting Billy.
The only thing was that Lyn couldn’t forget. His letter haunted her, “I can never forget what this week has meant to me, or what you’ve meant to me.” Her heart was leadened, her sleeping disrupted, her eating ceased. She felt a withering in her life, one that watering wouldn’t help. Her journal gaped, nothing to say to the world about that suffering, seeming to feel that this part of life would have to remain solely hers. The only thing she had written on her journal since then was, "I finally met Billy, and he's the gentliest, kindest man I've ever met."
Months passed, Lyn fell back into the swing of things. She opened the paper after work one day in late May and her eye fell on an ad that covered most of the page. It was detailing the plans for the Glasgow Highland Games that weekend. Lyn glanced over it, desperately wanting to go, but she began to see her and Billy’s first dinner together. Lost in her thoughts, she left the paper on the couch and wandered outside.
By the next morning, Lyn woke with determination. She had decided over the night to go to the Highland Games no matter the emotional baggage she would carry. She dressed in her most casual and drove on in. She had arrived early enough to see the parade, kilts, bagpipes, and all. She hadn’t thought to look up who they had picked for the Chief/Guest of Honor for this year, knowing whoever they picked wasn’t as good as her idea of Billy. She picked a spot fairly open, but with great access to the front view of the parade. She could hardly explain her excitement today, but for the first time in a while, Lyn was feeling good, upbeat, and happy. She clapped, cheered and smiled with the rest of the crowd. The pipes were infectious, and seeing it all set in the Barren River Area, surrounded by trees, the river nearby, Lyn was close to dancing around happily. The cheers picked up around her, and Lyn saw the car carrying the Chief crawling close. She peaked over the arms waving beside her and her heart leapt out to meet the car. Billy was riding on the top of the car, in full kilted regalia, smiling and waving to the crowd. Lyn just stood there, goofy smile on her face, hearing the drums and pipes recede, barely seeing anyone around her. She half stumbled forward, beginning to come out in the street, when she was roughly pushed back by the policemen corralling people back to let the parade pass. Lyn watched Billy’s eyes just slide over her in the crowd, not seeming to notice her presence.
Lyn couldn’t help herself, “B---I—L—L—Y!”
Billy half-heard, cocking his head to the side, smile faltering only a second. Lyn pushed past the officer, coming into the road, trying to move up the route within closer distance to the car.
The crowd around her smiled disturbingly and stopped cheering, startled to see this kind of behavior during a parade. She tried to yell out once more while people were quieting.
Billy turned in the seat of the car, finally hearing her. Lyn stopped in the middle of the road catching his eyes and smiled. Billy turned to the front, said something to the driver, who protested, but then agreed. The car slowed to a stop, Billy hopped off the back, more elven than hobbit, and began to walk toward her.
When he saw it was really her, he picked up his pace and trotted down the street toward her. The rest of the parade hadn’t been notified of the pause in the procession and were meanwhile, marching up along Lyn, a last musical entry of the local bagpipe division. Billy looked worried as Lyn began to disappear among the players. He ran in, wove his way through the performers, throwing back his head and laughing. Lyn threw her arms around Billy when he reached her in the thinning performers, wanting to only to kiss him right then, right there.
Billy smilingly looked down at Lyn, “Why fancy meeting you here,” and he leaned in to kiss her.
The crowd that had been bewildered burst into cheers, the bagpipers went into a rousing rendition of a cheery traditional tune. Billy grabbed Lyn’s hand and they ran to the
stalled car. He helped her up in it, gave the driver a pat on the shoulder, and then pulled Lyn close to him. He continued his job at waving at the crowd, but now did it holding Lyn’s hand. She beamed at him, too happy to speak. The end of the parade route was close, and Billy would soon be on stage announcing the start of the games. Lyn
hopped out with him, but hung a little back. Billy waited for the crowd to get close, and then began.
“First of all, let me apologize for my overexuberant welcoming of a dear friend. It’s not often that a parade stops for you.” The crowd laughed, Billy continued, “It is my pleasure, to announce the opening of the 2004 Glasgow Highland Games, and as they say in Scotland, “Lang may yer lumb reek!””
The crowd cheered, and finally Lyn had her chance to talk with Billy.
He shyly walked back to her, guiding her off the stage by her elbow, he led her to a large tent that was pitched in the field. Once inside, covered from the crowds, Billy came to Lyn and wrapped her up in his arms.
“God am I glad to see you! I was hoping I wouldn’t come all the way here for nothing!”
Lyn pushed back from Billy a bit, “Well, I almost wasn’t here. I didn’t know you were the chief, and well, frankly, was trying so hard to forget you, that I wasn’t going to come and see all this.”
Billy raised his eyebrows, “Forget me? Why would you want to do that?”
Lyn shrugged, “Well it’s not like I’ve heard from you, so I thought it would be less painful than remembering how much I loved being with you.”
Billy cringed, “Yeah, I know. Look about that, I just….I don’t know, I was confused, and I asked Dom about what I should do, and he told me to let it be. It would be easier on
you, he said. He obviously was wrong. It wasn’t easy for me either.”
Lyn laughed, “Sure…but I suppose it can all be okay now, right?”
“Well? Well what?”
“Well, we’ll see…I suppose. I mean,…Shit, Lyn, it’s just that, this kind of thing is unusual for me, and I guess if we carried on that there will be times when we’ll be separated. Not to mention you live here, far away from any of my work, so who’s to say that it will be okay?”
Lyn was shell-shocked, unsure what to say, not liking the way the conversation had turned all to hell. She spoke steadily and softly, “Billy, so what are you saying?”
Billy turned away from her, “I just think that we’d better think about this some more, before acting on anything. I don’t want this to be worse for us than it is now.”
“Oh….Well…I guess I’ll go think then.”
Before Billy could stop her, Lyn marched out of the tent, trying not to cry, and trying to find the quickest path to her car. Instead, she found herself wandering among the booths, finally coming out on the games. She stood for awhile watching the contests, wishing she was anyplace other than here, half wishing she’d never met Billy Boyd.
Night had come with the utmost calm. Lyn decided that it was definitely a porch evening, so she curled up outside, leaning against a post, and was guiltily lighting a joint, when she heard soft faint steps in the grass. Rising up a little, Lyn peered over the tall bush bordering the house to see Billy walking toward her.
“That’s illegal you know.”
“Yes, so? So is stalking, you know.”
Billy sat down beside her on the cold concrete porch. “I tried knocking on the front door, but you weren’t answering, so I thought I’d come around to the back.”
Lyn regarded him, feeling her exterior soften, “I didn’t hear it.”
They looked at each other warily, waiting for the stings and barbs to come. Each waited for the other one to speak, fresh wounds still scabbing over.
Billy started, “I’ve made this mess of things, I’d really like to start over. Can I try?”
Lyn looked down, took a drag off her joint, “Sure, you can try. But starting over isn’t the same as a clean slate, you know.”
Billy pointed at the joint, “May I?”
Lyn shrugged and passed it to him. She watched him take a slow easy drag.
“That’s illegal you know.” She said, smiling.
“Yeah, thank god they don’t drug test at the Oscars.” Billy chuckled.
Lyn laughed, not realizing how long it had been since she had let loose a real belly laugh.
Billy looked sideways at her, “So, I’ve been thinking….. what would you think about visiting Glasgow?”
“Uhm, aren’t I already here?”
Laughing, “No, sexy beastie, I mean the other Glasgow. Do you want to come visit Scotland with me?”
Lyn’s mouth dropped, “Are you serious? I’ll go in a heartbeat!”
“You sure? It would only be a few weeks, but I’m not sure what you would do about your job.”
“Bugger the job! If I like it, I might not come back.”
Billy leaned over, “Now that’s the first intelligent thing I’ve heard all day!” and he kissed her.
“Did you ever come back mom?” Rain asked excitedly.
Lyn laughed, “Yes, but it was a long strange journey between then and now. Maybe one day you can ask dad more about it. Time for bed.”
Billy stuck his head in the door, smiling at his two girls. He was a little balder, a little slower, but Lyn loved him as much as the night she had opened the hotel room door. My Billy, my love. She turned out the light in the room, looking over Rain tucked in her bed. The she softly closed the door, and hugged Billy.
Billy nuzzled his face in that spot on her shoulder he knew she liked, “Didn’t I tell you that we would tell our kids that story one day?”
Lyn smiled, “Yes dear, and a fine story it makes as well.”
Billy laughed and then grinned slyly, “Come, there’s a “long strange journey” between us and the bed. You never know what we might find!”
Lyn laughed, then pulled Billy into a long kiss.
The End for Now.