IM with BillWeasley442HTMLAimCHϐ׹ϐmBINCharlie: *walks into the flat, still dressed in his work clothes, his hair wet*

Charlie: *looks around* Bill?

Bill: *is sitting on the sofa, a bottle of wine and one of single malt whiskey open in front of him* In here, Char.

Charlie: *sinks down onto the sofa with a sigh, peeling the leather jacket off his shoulders*

Bill: *concerned* Hard day?

Charlie: *shakes his head* No more than usual, really. But it's pissing down over there, so... *runs a hand through his hair and sits up a little more, his eyes half-closed*

Bill: *bites his lip, wanting to offer to rub his back* Is there... can I do anything?

Charlie: *bites his lip slightly and looks at Bill, suddenly hesitant* Would you... Well. Would you mind getting some of these kinks out of my shoulders for me?

Charlie: *starts to over-compensate for the fact that he just wants Bill to touch him* There was a short fall of shale over in the North earlier, and there weren't enough people to do the lifting, so... *shrugs his shoulders slightly* I helped.

Bill: *smiles* Of course. *moves to sit next to him, turning him slightly* You always help, don't you. Never just think of yourself.

Charlie: Mmm. *bends around so Bill can reach* Of course, the fact that Megan was shouting at me again was entirely irrelevant... *trails off, winding his fingers in the torn hem of his T-shirt*

Bill: *rubs hard, working out the kinks as much as he can* *snorts* Megan is an idiot if she can't see what a talented one she's got in you.

Bill: I've seen you out there, Char. You know those dragons better than anyone.

Charlie: *smiles* Maybe. She's good at what she does, though. The shouting is... sometimes very necessary.

Charlie: *twists around so he can see Bill's face, probably putting several kinks back in* Thanks. No more praise now, or I'll start blushing. *smiles at him*

Bill: *sighs* I'm supposed to praise you. You're my little brother, and my best friend. You have no idea how much you mean to me - how much you've always meant. I could never bear losing you completely, Charlie.

Charlie: Mmm... *leans back slightly to rest his head against Bill's chest, only for a few moments* And, well. You know how I am about you... *very quietly, almost inaudible* brother.

Charlie: We've always been there, together. *smiles slightly* No matter how much it used to drive Mum mad.

Bill: *shifts so he's next to Charlie, turned to face him* It did. And Percy as well, since you and I never left any room for him. But I didn't want anyone else there - you were enough. I never wanted to share you, even with our own brother. I suppose that makes me a jealous idiot, doesn't it?

Bill: *pours them both a rather large glass of wine*

Charlie: Not really, no. Just... I don't think there was ever a place for anyone else there, when we were growing up. Even though I know we should have been closer to Percy. But I just thought, you know, if we let him in, then... *spreads his hands* We'd have to let everyone in. And I didn't want that.

Charlie: *picks up his glass and takes a sip, moving a little closer to Bill on the sofa*

Bill: I didn't, either. I always thought it would be just the two of us forever, and then we went off to school and we each had our own separate friends, and that was the first time there was someone - anyone - else. But we managed.

Charlie: We did. *smiles at him* There were holidays.

Bill: Yes. And we knew that no matter what, we'd always have each other. *reaches out to take his hand, holding it gently* I know that seeing me with Sirius must be hard for you in that same way, Char. But... we will always have each other. Won't we?

Charlie: *squeezes Bill's hand briefly, rubbing his thumb over Bill's palm* *suddenly serious* Of course we will. You're my - *hesitates a second* brother. And my friend. I always want to be there for you.

Bill: *nods, relieved* Even if some things have to change between us.

Charlie: *chews his lip* Of course. I mean, I always knew things were going to be... different. Well... *looks away, then back at Bill* You're engaged now, after all.

Bill: *sips his wine, hesitating* I... I told Siri that you and I wouldn't go to bed together anymore. He's worried about that - worried that you could make me leave him, and jealous, I think. I have so much with you that I'll never have with him; so many memories and love and need. I need you in ways I'll never need him, Charlie, and he knows that, and it hurts him. Of course it does.

Charlie: *nods, extremely slowly* Okay.

Charlie: *quietly* I... understand. We won't.

Bill: I don't plan on ever losing you, but I have to give him something. You do understand, don't you? You're not just saying that? *implores him with his eyes*

Charlie: Bill, really, I do. I mean. He doesn't want - *said with startling vehemence*I shouldn't expect he can STAND the thought of you with someone else. And the only way he'll ever know is if I leave.

Bill: *blinks* What?

Charlie: If I could - well. *starts again, looking at Bill* It just happens when we're together. And you know we might not plan to do it, or expect to do it, but... if it just happens, then maybe the best thing is - *swallows* - to get out of temptation's way.

Bill: *shakes his head* NO. Charlie, it happens because we let it. Because we want it. I want you. That's never been a question for me. I've always wanted you. But I've never cheated on anyone else to be with you before, and I don't intend to start now. I trust you, Charlie, and I trust myself. If we say we're not going to do this, then we won't. I don't want you to leave. *pleading note in his voice* Having you here is... it's perfect, Char. You know I love being this close to you. It's not all about the sex, after all. Or is it? If we're not shagging you don't see any point in even living here anymore?

Charlie: Yes, but Bill... *voice is shaking slightly* Maybe it's not perfect for me. It's not just about the sex, it's NEVER been just about the sex, but... I don't know. Maybe it's not the ideal thing for me to be spending so much time, being so CLOSE to someone... *squeezes his hand tight* Someone who's about to get married. I don't want to leave. *looks down* But you're about to start a whole new life, and I just don't want this to be any harder than it has to be.

Bill: *softly* Why does it have to be hard, Charlie?

Charlie: It doesn't. Not for you. But for me... *exhales slowly* For me, there's someone there in a way that Percy or anyone else never was. And that's hard.

Charlie: *shakes his head, muttering* I should just get over it, I know.

Bill: Char... *uses his hand to pull him closer* No. You shouldn't just 'get over it'. This is something that you and I are going to have to work through. Not today, but ... gradually. Sirius will never get in the way of us. That's what I've been trying to say tonight. We share so much that he can't touch, love. Never. And if you leave...

Charlie: *looks down* Bill... I know we can't hope to work all this out just now. I need time to think, because I don't... *chews his lip, almost inaudible* I don't want Sirius touching what we share. And if I stay, then... It's going to happen. I can't keep expecting things to just work themselves out.

Bill: *swallows, clutching at Charlie's hand* I told Sirius that there was nothing anyone could do to hurt what he and I have, but that's not entirely true, is it? I couldn't bear to have you out of my life completely, Char, and that's what you're talking about, isn't it? You want to leave here - leave me. Again.

Bill: *whispers* Please don't.

Charlie: *interrupts* I didn't 'leave' you, Bill. I went to work abroad, like you knew I was going to. It wasn't as if you just suddenly found me gone.

Charlie: And I'm not leaving you now. I'm just saying. *swallows hard, leaving the words hanging in the air*

Bill: Saying what? That you want to leave? That you'd rather be anywhere else but with me, just because I've finally found someone who loves me back?

Bill: Someone who needs me?

Bill: *clamps his mouth shut suddenly*

Charlie: *his face is white* *whispers* If I've ever given you any reason to doubt my love for you, then I'm sorry.

Bill: *sighs, shaking his head* I know you love me. It's just not the same. I need someone who is *in* love with me; someone who can spend forever with me.

Charlie: *pauses for a very long, drawn-out moment*

Charlie: *quietly* I would happily spend the rest of our lives together, if that was what you wanted. But if I can't be everything that you want - and it's obvious I can't - then all we would do is. Hurt each other. *under his breath* Like this.

Bill: There's no reason for us to hurt each other, Charlie. I can't be happy - with Sirius or anyone else - without having you by my side. I'm not asking you to be everything to me. I just need you to be here. Always.

Bill: I would never ask you for something I didn't think you could give.

Charlie: Right. *bites his lip, looking away* So this is how it's going to be, then. You and Sirius, and me there for you. *it isn't a question* Because I want you to be happy.

Bill: *stares at him* No, Charlie. I don't imagine you as some sort of sacrificial lamb, giving up your life to make me happy. Somehow I thought that you liked being with me, as well, and that we made each other happy. Obviously I was wrong, and you find my company tedious and distasteful. No wonder you'll take any excuse to leave.

Charlie: *softly* Like I have any life that isn't you.

Charlie: As if I could be happy, if I left. Knowing that you wanted me here.

Bill: *softly* You were happy in Romania.

Bill: And you knew I wanted you here.

Charlie: *nods, slowly* That's where I'd go, I suppose. They always need more people - we're two short now I've left.

Charlie: *looks sideways at Bill, not wanting to meet his eye* You were in Egypt, though. And happy, from what you told me.

Bill: *makes a slight choking sound* I was happy... as happy as I could be without you. But not *happy*, Charlie. You know that. I came and visited you often enough, and wrote to you practically every day, but it wasn't the same. I spent 17 years of my life with you by my side... when you left it was as if someone had ripped out half of my heart. How could you ever think I was truly happy?

Charlie: *voice sinks to a whisper* Because you never told me. How could I tell? You had your - dream - job, and you were so busy. And I only ever saw you looking happy.

Bill: I missed you so much it hurt every fucking day. When I saw you I *was* happy! I could breathe again after months of carrying around all that pain and need...

Charlie: *nods slowly* So I never saw the bad times, or the late nights. Or anything else.

Charlie: *very quietly* Just like you didn't.

Bill: *touches his shoulder gently* What didn't I see, Charlie? What were you hiding from me?

Charlie: *shakes his head* It's nothing.

Bill: Bollocks.

Charlie: Well, maybe. *suddenly realises his fists have been clenched so hard that his fingers hurt* But if I say that often enough, maybe I'll start to believe it. *stands up*

Bill: *stands as well* Where are you going?

Charlie: *looks at him* I have no idea.

Bill: *softly* Then come to bed.

Charlie: *sighs, and looks completely baffled* I thought... the whole point of this was that we weren't going to do this any more.

Bill: *deep breath* Not... not for that. I just need to hold you, and know you're there. Is that all right?

Charlie: *closes his eyes for a moment* Okay. For... tonight, anyway. *holds his hand out to Bill*

Bill: *looks absolutely stricken at that, but turns away so that Charlie can't see his face*

Bill: *takes his hand and holds it tightly*

Bill: *so softly Charlie woud have to strain to hear it* I love you, Charlie.

Charlie: *leans forward, trying to catch Bill's eye* ...what?

Bill: *meets Charlie's gaze* I love you.

Charlie: *steps forward and runs the back of his hand down Bill's cheek, holding his gaze* And I love you. *trying to impress this on Bill with his eyes*

Bill: *sad, heartbreaking smile* But not enough.

Charlie: *puts his arms around Bill's shoulders and pulls him into a tight hug* *muffled by his hair* More than you think.

Bill: *hugs him so tightly he must be hurting him, and Charlie can feel Bill trembling in his arms*

Bill: And I love you *SO* much. So fucking much. And it never just goes away, does it.

Charlie: *wraps his arms even tighter around Bill, stroking his hair, his eyes suspiciously bright* No... no, it doesn't. Ever. Go away.

Bill: Then there's no point in pretending that it'll feel better if you're far away, is there? Haven't we tried that already?

Charlie: *lets out a deep, shuddering breath, resting his head against Bill's shoulder* I don't want it to go away... I just want it to feel better. *quietly, with an odd catch to his voice* And I don't want to have to leave you...

Bill: Then don't leave me. Tell me what I can do to make it better. I'll do anything, Charlie. Anything to help you not hurt anymore.

Bill: Anything to keep you here, where you belong.
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