transcript1TEXTBOBO0Z]7]7mBIN transcript1

Bill: Bill would be home around 10.  Smelling of drink, of course, and just more than tipsy.  He'd come in and kick off his boots, then head upstairs...

Charlie: Okay. So it's not TOO late, but Charlie knows damn well that Bill finishes work well before six, and this has been going on for a week now.

Charlie:  *is lying on the bed, stripped to the waist, flicking through a copy of Dragon Keeper's Monthly. Hearing Bill come in downstairs, he doesn't move*

Bill:  *kicks off his boots, making satisfying thumps against the wall, then tiredly heard upstairs, swaying a little*   

Charlie:  *swallows, mouth setting into a tight hard line as he tries to keep his eyes focused on the page*

Bill:  *stalks into the bedroom, carefully not looking at Charlie, and begins to undress, his fingers fumbling with buttons and zips until he gives up in disgust and reaches for his wand*

Charlie:  *looks up, putting down the magazine. His movements are carefully controlled, but it's obvious he's angry* Back late again?

Bill:  *doesn't turn*  Looks that way.

Charlie:  *swings his legs off the bed and sits up, reaching for Bill's shoulders* Here.

Bill:  *jerks away, nearly falling over in the process*  I don't need your help.

Charlie:  *automatically puts out a hand to steady him, then lets it fall* Really? You've almost - that button, there -

Bill:  *concentrates, trying to remember the clothes-removing charm through the fog of alcohol*

Charlie:  *stands up, but doesn't go any closer, swallowing hard* Bill. Just let me -

Bill:  *turns to look at him, letting the anger and pain show on his face*  I said I don't need your help.

Charlie:  *takes a step back, eyes widening* Fine. Fine. I won't even come NEAR you.

Bill:   *tries to turn away quickly, losing his balance*  

Charlie:  *reaches out and catches him, putting one hand on the small of his back* *looks up into Bill's face* Bill, look at yourself. Let me -

Charlie:  *hands go to his shirt buttons, shaking a little*

Bill:  *tries to pull away, but with Charlie holding him there's nowhere to go*

Charlie:  *carefully eases open the first few buttons, trying not to give Bill a reason to push him away* *winces a little at the smell of alcohol, then pauses, letting his hands fall to his sides, a terrible expression on his face*

Bill:  *glances down at the half-undone shirt*  *sarcastic* Not going to help, then?

Charlie:  *eyes wide, leans in closer towards Bill, resting his head on Bill's chest for a moment*

Bill:  *tenses immediately, staring down at him*

Charlie:  *steps back, eyes searching Bill's face* Who is it? *said without anger, worryingly calm*

Bill:  *blinks, confusion overwhelming the anger*  What?

Charlie:  *moves slowly, putting a hand out to touch Bill's bare chest, almost gentle* ... there. You smell of someone else. It's not... *trails off, his face growing hard*

Bill:  *stares*  You can't honestly believe... Charlie.... *trails off, looking completely gobsmacked*

Charlie:  *quietly* What the fuck am I meant to believe, Bill. I've been seeing you like this for a week.

Bill:  *begins to grow angry in response*  'Like this'?  Pissed , you mean?  So I must be out with someone else then.  Because it couldn't just be that I didn't want to come home to be with you.

Charlie:  *stares at him* No, I thought it couldn't. Obviously I was wrong. Obviously you'll do anything you bloody well can, just to get away from me.

Bill:  *mutters to himself* Yeah, well, that makes two of us, then.

Charlie:  That makes TWO of us? When I've been here WAITING for you every fucking night, and seen you come in too drunk to take your own fucking clothes off? *starts to raise his voice*

Bill:  *whirls around, nearly losing his balance again, and snaps*  Waiting for me so you can ignore me?  Or maybe so you can pretend to want to fuck just so you don't have to talk to me?

Charlie:  *exhales, long and shaky* Fine. So we're FUCKING now?  

Bill:  *glares, eyes hard*  Apparently.  

Charlie:  Well. If all we're doing is fucking - *spits the word out, looking absolutely incensed* - I'd still prefer it if you didn't come home smelling of booze and cheap perfume. Or is that how it works now?

Bill:  *turns back around, fingers resuming their attempt to get off the rest of the shirt, voice suddenly even more tired, the anger seeping out of it*  How what works now?   

Charlie:  How you can't BEAR to have me touch you, unless you're pissed and tired. *stands there with his fists clenched, desperately trying to control himself* How you won't even look at me. When did I get so fucking BORING to you, Bill?

Bill:  *sighs, leaning against the dresser for support as he pulls open his shirt*  Probably about the same time you stopped trusting me, Charlie.   I never saw that coming, I have to say.  But I guess now that you have what you thought you always wanted, it turns out the fantasy was better than the reality.   Or maybe you decided that on second thought, I wasn't good enough, not *close* enough, for you to talk to.   

Charlie:  *stares* Not close enough? Do you seriously think there's anyone closer?  I NEVER stopped trusting you, Bill. Never.

Bill:  *finally succeeds in yanking the shirt off, tossing it on the floor as he begins work on his trousers*  Is that so.  Well, you have a funny way of showing it.

Charlie:  *bitterly* And I suppose going out and getting drunk every night is a way of showing your trust and love for me. *holds out his hand* Here. Let me help.

Bill:  Maybe I wouldn't need to get drunk every night if I was coming home to something worthwhile.

Charlie:  *swallows, his eyes growing wide* And this isn't worthwhile any more? God, Bill, I wish you'd TOLD me.

Bill:  It was, Char.  Right up to the time you decided I wasn't what you wanted.   
Charlie:  Fine. So I'm meant to have done something. Well, at least tell me why the fuck you think I don't - *pauses, mouth shaping the words 'love' 'want' 'need' and 'trust'* - LOVE you. Before we just call this whole bloody thing off.

Bill:  *sits down heavily on the edge of the bed, trousers half undone, tears in his eyes, but still refusing to look at Charlie*  Fine.  We both know that things have been... different lately.  You've been stronger.  You don't *need* me anymore.  But that night in Romania, you needed me.  You needed *something*, anyway.  And instead of letting me help you, letting me hold you, you turned away. Apparently I'm not good enough to need anymore. So fuck you very much, Charlie.   

Charlie:  *blinks once or twice, before the full weight of what Bill has said comes crashing down* *drops to his knees on the floor, as if he's been struck*

Bill:  *is still not looking at him, studying the wallpaper instead, tears now streaming down his cheeks*

Charlie:  And because I'm stronger, it's... what, Bill? You don't want me because you don't have to take care of me any more? You don't want me because I'm trying to be strong for you, for US? Shit.

Charlie:  *looks across at Bill and his _expression softens a little* *under his breath* god, Bill... please don't cry.

Bill:  *shakes his head*  You can be strong without shutting me out.  You chose to do it, Char.  One has nothing to do with the other.

Charlie:  *whispers* And if I said I never meant to shut you out at all? Would you even believe me, any more?

Bill:  *looks at him*  I don't know.  Have you ever lied to me?

Charlie:  *shakes his head, looking at the floor* No. Never.

Bill:  *shrugs*  Then maybe.

Charlie:  Maybe. *crosses the distance between them on his hands and knees, and kneels in front of Bill* *quietly* And if I ask you to believe me?

Bill:  *just as quietly*  Then I would have no choice.  But *why* Charlie?  Why would you hide from me like that?

Charlie:  *takes a deep breath, and lets it out* Because I love you. Because I want you to see me - strong.

Bill:  *blinks at him*  But I always have.  You've always been the strong one.   

Charlie:  *steeling himself, reaches out and takes Bill's hand, waiting for him to pull away* Even when I'm afraid of thunderstorms, and losing you, and - god, there are so many things I'm afraid of. *laughs, humourlessly*

Bill:  *takes Charlie's hand, tugging him up and guiding him into his lap*  *hoarsely*  And you think I'm not?  But we have to at least be honest with each other about that, Char.  We can't start hiding.  I have to know that you love me and need me and want me, and if you don't let me in...  

Charlie:  *shivers at Bill's touch, suddenly all-too aware of what they've been saying that evening* It's like - god, I thought - you were going to -

Bill:  *puts his arms around him for the first time in days, leaning his head against Charlie's, relaxing completely against him*  I could never be with anyone else.  Not now.  You know that.  You *must* know that.

Charlie:  *shudders, not trusting himself to say anything* *slides his arms around Bill's bare back, stifling something that sounds suspiciously like a sob*

Bill:  Just.. please don't shut me out anymore.  I can't be with you unless you're with me, too.

Charlie:  *nods, his face buried in Bill's neck, his hands stroking Bill's back fitfully and hard, as if he's reassuring himself that Bill is there*

Bill:  *hugs him tight, closing his eyes*   

Charlie:  *turns his head, very slowly, and plants a kiss on the side of Bill's neck* *whispers* I wish I'd never brought it to this.

Bill:  No.  We needed this.  We'll work on it.  Ever since you came back home you've been someone else, and I always felt like you were waiting for the other shoe to drop, waiting for me to tell you I didn't love you afterall.  And lately I've felt like you've stopped worrying about that.  You finally decided I really do love you, and that's the best feeling in the world.   I don't want you to feel like you can't be strong, Charlie.  I like taking care of you, but that's not everything between us.   

Charlie:  And I don't want you to feel like I don't need you - like I don't need you DESPERATELY. Fuck, Bill. I'd die without you. *meets his eyes* You know that.

Bill:  *smiles, still a little sadly*  Me, too.  I thought it was over, though.  And the first thing I did was go out and get pissed, so I wouldn't have to come home and face you.   

Charlie:  *shudders at the memory* I know. And we - god, you're right. That was fucking. *clenches his fists*

Bill:  *shrugs, pulling Charlie closer*  But things wil be all right now.

Charlie:  *rests his head on Bill's shoulder* Starting now.

Bill:  *smiles, echoes*  Starting now.