Billy first arrived in New Zealand a week earlier. The first person he met was Orlando Bloom, since they arrived together and celebrated Billy’s birthday in the airplane… twice. Then he met everyone else. Billy liked everyone involved in the movie, and he was afraid that he wouldn’t get along with his co-stars. But he still had one person to meet, Dominic Monaghan, who was going to play Merry.
Billy was nervous because he would be spending a lot of time with this Dominic. What if they didn’t get along? It would be hell on wheels. Billy was more nervous because that day, they would meet. Merry and Pippin would meet and he felt incredibly anxious.
Dom glanced out the window of the limo and shut his eyes. Taking a deep breath he climbed out of the car and slung a bag over his shoulder. He was here. In New Zealand. A big burley man came up to him, shaking his hand frantically.
“I’m Peter Jackson! We’ve been waiting for you, Monaghan.” The man smiled and pulled him away from the car. “All of the hobbits are in there waiting for you.” Dom nodded quickly and tried a smile as he headed towards the small building Peter had pointed out. He pushed open the door and closed his eyes again. He wouldn’t lie… he was scared shitless.
Billy went to the bathroom at that moment. He felt butterflies in his stomach, he thought he was going to be sick, but he wasn’t in the end. He splashed his face several times in order to calm down. When he turned off the faucet, he heard people being loud outside, he frowned.
He heard the name “Dominic” over and over again. He was already there. Billy felt even more nervous. He closed his eyes, took deep breaths and got out of the bathroom. Everybody saw Billy emerging from the bathroom. He made eye contact with the young man as he smiled. “Dominic, I’m Billy, I’m your Pippin,” he smiled.
“Billy!” Dom repeated the man’s name, a wide smile breaking out across his face. He licked his lips about to speak but a small young man who had introduced himself as Elijah was already tugging him away and into a chair. Dom forced a laugh and nodded, pretending he was listening to what the over-excited hobbit was going on about as he looked over his shoulder to meet Billy’s eyes.
Billy’s amazingly green eyes. He thought nodding quickly to tell Billy to come and sit so they could all talk.
Billy smiled and sat beside Dom. He looked at Dom carefully. He was interrupted when he felt someone tapping his shoulder. Orlando. Billy stood up to hug Orlando and laugh at his expressions.
Dom looked up at the man Billy was now hugging. “You must be Dominic Monaghan! The last of the hobbits!” he said with a thick British accent much like Dom’s.
“That I am.” Dom smiled standing to shake the man’s hand.
“Orlando. Bloom. I’m the elf.” He giggled and shoved himself next to Elijah and the man Sean. Dom nodded and took his seat again.
Billy slid back into his chair and everyone was silent for a minute before Elijah’s high pitched giggles were the only thing heard from everyone’s laugher.
“Alright well, I don’t exactly know where I am going to be staying or where to put my things…” Dom said after they had calmed down. He side glanced at Billy hoping it would be Billy that would offer.
If they were going to be spending a lot of time together, they should actually have a proper hello.
Billy smiled at Dom and chuckled. “You poor thing, you just arrived and don’t have a place to stay? You can stay with me if you like. I can help you look for a house or apartment tomorrow.” Billy shifted so that he could hug Dom. “It’s great to finally meet you, Dominic.”
Dom smiled and hugged Billy back. “Thanks so much Billy! You can call me Dom too.” Dom smiled and placed a hand on Billy’s shoulder. “It’s so great to meet you too.” Dom smiled, and felt as if Billy’s emerald eyes were looking straight through him. “And all of you.” He said slowly looking away to smile at the rest of them. “This is going to be… bloody brilliant.” He smiled as Elijah started giggling again.
Billy shook his head. “You have to excuse our little American hobbit here; he’s not used to British terms, like wanker, bollocks and shite.” That made everyone laugh. “I’m being serious here! Shite is common!” Elijah was turning purple from laughing so much.
“Ahh, I see… I have the feeling he’ll be laughing quite a lot then.” Dom smiled and Orlando nodded frantically with a chuckle. Sean placed a hand on Elijah’s shoulder and shook his head. Elijah giggled again but started to calm down.
“I am going to go pick up Christine… She should be ready.” Sean said looking at his watch. “Spa day.” He added from the confused looks around the table.
“Alright… bye Sean nice meeting you.” Dom smiled and said his goodbyes along with the rest of the men. “So… are we going now or later?” he asked Billy.
Billy nodded, smiling at Dom. “Yeah, we can now, everyone is leaving so why don’t we leave?!” Billy laughed at his own joke. “You and me,” he gestured with his hand. “Have to get to know each other rather well since we’re going to be spending a lot of time together.”
Billy took one of Dom’s bags and headed to his car. “Sorry for this piece of shite, it’s the best thing I could find,” he giggled.
Dom smiled and grabbed his other bags. Tossing them into the back seat of Billy’s car he opened the front door and slid into the front seat. “So... Do I have to get a car along with an apartment?” Dom laughed as Billy got into the car.
“It’s the idea, mate. But if you can’t have a car, I can drive you. And you don’t want to have your own space?” Billy frowned. “That’s the first thing I did as soon as I got out of the plane, get a fucking house.”
They were heading to Billy’s house. “So, Geoffrey, tell me how you got the gig.”
Dom laughed and shook his head. “You watched the show then, yeah?” Dom looked down at his shoes. If it hadn’t been for the role of Geoffrey Shawcross, he wouldn’t be here in Billy’s car, settling in and becoming part of one of the biggest movies of all time. “Well actually… Hetty was ending and my agent told me to take a swing at this audition tape for Lord of the Rings.”
“I figured what the hell, and my brother Matt encouraged me to do it. He was the camera man.” Dom laughed and looked over at Billy. “Next thing I know, last episode airs and I am shipped off here and bam. What about you?”
Billy laughed at Dom’s story. “I was doing some theater and my agent called to tell me about the auditions, so I figured ‘I’ve got nothing to lose’, so I auditioned. Two weeks later, my agent called. I thought she was playing this nasty joke on me, it was hard to believe!” Billy kept laughing. “And now here we are!”
“Here we are!” Dom repeated and smiled as he sighed and pushed himself back into the seat. “So Billy… We’re cousins now.” Dom giggled and pushed the radio on. “Anything you prefer to listen to?” Dom looked over at Billy again and found himself feeling shocked at how quickly he was warming up to Billy. Never before had he ever.
“As long as it’s not rap or one of those boy bands crap, I’m good. Rock and roll all the way, babe!” He glanced at Dom playing with the radio. Billy forgot about being nervous and instead found himself comfortable with Dom. Billy smiled when Dom found a classic rock station. “I can see we have the same taste in music then.”
Dom smiled, “I’m glad! If we’re to be roomies until I get myself a flat, at least we won’t be competing over the music.” Dom laughed and tapped his foot to the Led Zeppelin song that was coming from the speakers. “My brother and I had bloody wars sometimes. He’s such a wank.”
“Ah, but I can tell you love your brother. To insult a sibling is to love it. It’s like the ‘I love you but I beat you’ saying, it’s rather cute.” Billy’s eyes widened as he realized what he said. Think Boyd! Fix this! “Eh, good thing I had a spare room for you!” Very good, Boyd. You now have weirdness going on.
Dom broke out into a fit of laughter. “Yeah… yeah it is!” He gripped his stomach and tried to calm himself down. Monaghan, you’re fucking loosing it! “You know… I was scared shiteless about coming here to meet everyone… I was late you know, so I thought I was gonna be like, out.” He said, giggles subsiding.
Billy giggled back. “I know what you mean.” They arrived at Billy’s house. They got everything out and went inside the house. “Well, this is it! Make yourself at home. “I’ll give you a tour.” Billy motioned for Dom to follow him. “This is your bedroom, and this room across from yours is mine. In the closet you’ll find clean sheets, blankets and the bathroom is right over there.”
“Alright.” Dom smiled and tossed his bags into the room Billy had pointed out to be his. “Thanks again for letting me stay with you, Billy.” Dom smiled and leaned against the wall. “So what do you want to do now? I don’t know our schedules or anything, but it’s only noon.”
“Actually, we have to get back at four, we’re having our costumes fitted,” Billy winked at Dom. “In the meantime, we could have lunch and you could have a nap and I can wake you up, sound good?”
“Yeah! I’ll treat you to lunch though… after you shuffling me around and giving me a place to stay… I think I’ll be getting you a lotta lunches.” He smiled and grabbed his coat from the inside of one of his bags. “Are you ready now?”
“Let’s go!” They got in Billy’s car, but Billy didn’t start it, instead he turned to look at Dom. “I think you and I will get along well…” he smiled gently, but didn’t look back, his eyes lingered on Dom’s. Then he turned away. “Lunch, care for Thai?”
Dom licked his lower lip and tried to cover his small smile. “Actually… I could kill for some Thai.” He replied peeling his eyes away from Billy’s face as Billy started up the car. They were quiet for a couple minutes, both just listening to the music and finding their voices getting caught when they wanted to talk. “So, uhhh, Billy…” Dom said clearing his throat. “Tell me about yourself… did you always want to be an actor?"
Billy smiled and nodded. “Ever since I saw Star Wars. I was nine years old when it came out. What about you?”
Dom nodded. “It was a couple things… There were a lot of movies, Star Wars included and I thought it was an awesome thing to do. At school they did a lot of things so I got into it. My parents didn’t think it was a good career choice but they stuck with me and are glad it all worked out. What about your parents, were they supportive?” Dom asked turning in his seat a little so he was facing Billy.
Billy winced at Dom’s question and remained quiet for the rest of the car ride. When they parked at the restaurant, Billy turned off the car and looked at Dom. “My parents died when I was younger. Me and my older sister grew up with out grandmother,” Billy replied quietly, the ends of his mouth raising and looking at Dom.
“Oh Billy…” Dom said quietly, his eyes downcast. He had regretted the question ever since he had asked it, ever since Billy had fallen silent. “I didn’t mean to bring it up… I shouldn’t have asked…” He trailed off. The damage was done. He sighed and looked down at his hands.
Billy closed his eyes and shook his head. “There was no way for you to know, so don’t be sorry.” Billy reached out and grabbed Dom’s arm gently. “To answer your question, my grandmother supported me a lot, bless her heart. Let’s go eat,” he whispered.
Dom nodded and climbed out of the car. Subject change… common… think… “Yes, just the two of us.” Dom nodded and smiled at the waitress as she led them to their table. She smiled at them and took their drink orders. “She was looking at you.” Dom winked at Billy once she left before giggling. Yeah, Monaghan… nice subject change… make an idiot of yourself…
Billy snorted. “Me? But I’m an old sodding fart!” He laughed out loud. “I guess she was being nice, besides, too young for me.” Billy looked up at Dom. “Got a girlfriend back home?”
“Naw… with the show and everything I couldn’t keep up…” Dom smiled and took a sip of his water. He decided it was best to not mention the fact that he didn’t have a girlfriend because it was a boyfriend and that they had broken up before he had come. “And if you are a sodding old fart, you sure keep up well. What about you? Any lucky lady back home?”
Billy snorted. “I had a girlfriend, we kinda had problems about me moving here, she wasn’t happy and this was a great opportunity, so I broke up with her. This was two weeks ago,” Billy shrugged. “It wasn’t meant to be.”
“Oh, I am sorry though… It can be hard even if it wasn’t meant to be.” Dom forced a smile and played with the edge of the table cloth. Something spiked up in him but was diminished as quickly as it had appeared. What was it? Jealousy? Anger? Probably just remembering things with John… He told himself as he opened up the menu.
Billy looked at the menu. “This all sounds really good.” The waitress came back and Billy ordered. “I’ll have the Thai beef salad, please.”
“And I would like the… Pad Thai Noodles with shrimp.” Dom smiled and took Billy’s menu, placing it on top of his own, before he handed them both to the waitress. The waitress nodded and Dom focused his attention back to Billy. “So... How long have you actually been in New Zealand now?”
“A week,” Billy replied. “I came with Orlando, the elf. We met at Heathrow Airport, New Line arranged for us to fly together. We celebrated my birthday, which was fun.”
“That’s cool, so your birthday is the 28 then?" Dom asked sitting back and surveying Billy.
Billy smiled and nodded. “That’s right. You’re good with your numbers. I’m now a year older, I sometimes hate my birthday,” he laughed.
"Why? I don't like mine... too near Christmas time... People say they will get me a big gift and that’s it." Dom laughed wrinkling his nose. He looked up as the waitress walked over with a tray for their drinks. "Thanks." Dom smiled at her and then looked back towards Billy.
Billy snorted. “Oi, that’s no good! Birthday near Christmas! You can’t get presents for either occasion, that’s not fair. I’ll give you a present for your birthday and for Christmas, how’s that?” Billy nodded once. “When is your birthday?”
"December 8th." Dom laughed. "And you will get me two presents? I think that sounds like a plan. I will get you a birthday present as well. I know it's late... but I'll make it good." Dom giggled and took a sip of his drink.
Billy waved at Dom sipping his drink. “Mm, you don’t have to do that. Unless you want to, I won’t complain.” Billy grinned lifting his eyebrows. “So, Mr. Monaghan, how old will you be on December 8th?”
"I will be 23." Dom replied smiling. "And how about you? How old did you become last week?" Dom asked. not more over 27... Dom thought leaning forward slightly.
Billy closed his eyes and grinned. He opened one of his eyes. “I’m 31… old, over 30, I’m still not used to it.”
"Really?!" Dom exclaimed and then bit his lip. He hadn't meant to sound so shocked. "Sorry... I just thought you were 27 at the most!"
Billy giggled. “I’ll pretend that I’m 27 then! And thank you for saying that, it’s one of the nicest things I’ve ever heard someone say.”
Dom laughed and shook his head. "Well then you haven't heard very many nice things then!" He laughed. "So, what kind of things are you into?"
Billy felt shy at Dom’s kind compliment. “I, uh, I love music, in fact, I play several instruments. I used to have a band back in Glasgow, but you know things end up. Everyone trying to do the same thing the Beatles did. I also like books, movies and… that’s it! Billy announced. “What about you?”
"I like music... no, love music, and the Beatles are my all time favorite. You can't go wrong with them." Dom smiled at Billy and then thought for a second. "I like guitar though I can't play much, and movies, and of course acting."
“I can help you out with the guitar if you like,” Billy offered. He sipped his drink one last time and saw that the waitress came with their food. “God! I don’t know which is bigger! We’ll have to take some of these homes with us.” Us? We just met today and we’re living together? Easy, Boyd, it’s temporary.
Dom giggled and nodded. "Our fridge is going to be full." Dom's smile slowly melted away and he became serious. "Thanks again. I am going to keep saying thank you for a while you know." Dom giggled again and looked down at his plate of food. "I would like help with the guitar too if you want to help me with it. Dig in?" He asked picking up his fork and waiting for Billy to pick up his.
“Not a problem,” Billy replied. He tried his food and moaned, closing his eyes. “This is really good, Dom. Here, try this.” Billy got a good amount of food in his fork and held it closed to Dom’s mouth so that he could take a bite.
Dom smiled and leaned forward to take a bite. "Very... VERY good." Dom said twirling his fork in his Pad Thai and holding it towards Billy. Billy took the fork in his mouth and Dom found himself smiling. Calm down Monaghan. He thought to himself. "Good, yeah?"
“Oh yeah,” Billy nodded and continued eating. “Yours is good too?”
"Yeah." Dom said smiling and going to roll noodles onto his fork. He let out a small laugh as he took a bite, his first bite.
The ate in silence for a while, each glancing at the other from time to time and smiling at each other. Billy felt really comfortable with Dom. They clicked, and everything was alright. After a while, Billy sat back, placing his hands on his belly and crossed his eyes. “I’m done.”
"Mmm." Dom replied stretching his arms over his head. "That was probably the best Thai food I've had in a long time." He smiled and pushed his plate away from him.
“It was,” Billy raised his hand to get the waitress’ attention. “Yeah, hi, we’d like to get all of this packed, please. Oh, and bring us the check, thanks” He smiled at her and she took their food away. “I’m buying.”
"No!" Dom said shaking his head and going to pull out his wallet to beat Billy. "I am invading your house. I am paying!"
Billy shrugged amused. “Your call, Mr. Monaghan.”
He placed his credit card on the table and signed his name on the slip she printed out. "Thank you." Dom said to the woman and grabbed his coat. "Ready?" He smiled at Billy.
“Aye,” Billy smiled, taking the doggy bags with him. “Thanks for dinner,” he said. Once they were in Billy’s car, he started the engine. “I suppose we should go home, you just arrived and you must be jet lagged.”
"A little." Dom admitted. "Do you have sheets for the couch or do we need to get some?" He asked
“I’ve got sheets, they’re in the closet where I told you, Dom,” Billy laughed. “You’re more tired than I thought and you’re sleeping on your bed, that couch is uncomfortable.” Billy looked at his watch. 1:15 p.m. “Right, you’ve got like three hours to nap, that’s good, isn’t that good?” Billy looked at Dom questionably.
Dom laughed and shook his head. "Yeah... I did forget." He laughed again. "And yeah, three hours sounds perfect." He smiled at Billy and caught Billy's stare. "What?" he asked, a small smile coming to his lips.
Billy shook his head. “Nothing,” he said gently. Again with the stare… oops.
When they were inside Billy’s house again, Billy helped Dom fix the bed and once Dom was comfortable, Billy left the room and closed the door. He went to the kitchen to put their leftovers in the fridge. It felt weird to have a house guest in New Zealand.
Dom rolled over onto his side and pulled the covers closer to his chin. He wouldn't lie... he was exhausted! But something was keeping him from sleeping... and he knew exactly what it was. He hadn't gotten along with anyone so quickly since John... Dom sighed and turned again. It had been at least two months now since they had been together. But Billy is nicer then John... cuter too. Dom giggled silently and looked over at the wall. He could faintly hear Billy moving around in the kitchen trying not to make any noise.
Billy made himself a cup of tea and sat down in the living room to read the paper. On his right, he had an alarm clock, set to sound at 3:30 p.m. He didn’t realize how tired he was until he closed his eyes and fell asleep.
Dom slept off and on for two hours before he rolled out of bed and quickly made it as best as he could. Sleep was only coming to him in short bursts… he could sleep later. Straightening his shirt he walked quietly out of the room and looked down the hall. Billy’s room door was open. Probably not in there then... He turned and walked towards the kitchen. Passing through the living room he heard soft snores.
“Billy?” Dom whispered standing over the chair. He smiled at Billy leaning back in the chair, the newspaper half falling off of his lap. Dom picked it up and folded it onto the coffee table. They had another hour before Billy said they had to go out and he could let Billy sleep. Carefully, he tip toed back into his room and pulled out a worn copy of Lord of the Rings.
The alarm went off and Billy woke up immediately, he put a hand on his neck and groaned. “Fuck.” He stood up and went to Dom’s bedroom. He found Dom sleeping on his back and Billy laid a hand on Dom’s chest. “Wake up, mate. Time to get ready for us to be there,” he said hoarsely.
“Huh?” Dom shouted and sprang up, dropping the book to the ground. He blinked a couple times and focused on Billy’s amused face. “Sorry.” He laughed and ran a hand through his hair. “I didn’t think I would sleep again…” He said and stood up to stretch.
“You think I would? I fell asleep on that bloody couch and now my neck hurts,” Billy said rubbing his neck. “I’m gonna get ready, we have to be there in half hour.” He smiled at Dom and left the room.
Dom laughed lightly and pulled one of his bags to the foot of his bed. He was going to meet more people working in the production. It’s a costume fitting so we’ll be taking our clothes off… He froze in mid sentence and looked up quickly. “Shut up, Monaghan.” He said and leaned back down to shuffle through his clothes. He pulled out track pants and a tank top he could wear under his sweatshirt.
“Dom? Ready?” Billy asked when he got out of his room. “We have to go now.” Billy saw Dom come out of his room and smiled. “Let’s go then.”
Soon, they were back where they met earlier. The four hobbit actors were seated to decide which wig would be perfect for each. In Billy’s case, things were getting difficult. The hair stylist tried on several wigs on Billy, all getting a negative respond from Peter. Then they tried long brown curls and Peter did like this wig. “You look younger, Billy,” Peter said, the hair stylist agreed.
Dom giggled slightly as the woman placed the third wig over his head and Peter declared that was the one. “I guess third times a charm then yeah?” He asked Billy and hopped down out of his chair to lean against the wall. Elijah had gotten his wig and all that was left was Billy’s and Sean’s.
“I’ll meet you in there.” Elijah said happily to Dom and clapped him on the shoulder. Dom nodded and leaned against the wall. For some reason he didn’t want to go into the other room without Billy. Peter gave him a strange look, as if asking why he was still here.
“I’ve got to wait for my Pip!” Dom smiled at Peter as Sean hopped down from his chair.
“There you are, ready,” the girl said to Billy. He smiled at her and she blushed. Billy turned to Dom and mouthed “what?” to him, giggling all the same. He stood up and told Dom. “After you, cousin Merry,” he laughed.
Dom shook his head and walked through the door, Billy close at his heels. “Alright, hobbits!” Peter said cheerfully coming in behind Billy. He moved his hands to have them all form a line. He looked at each of them standing next to each other and smiled. “Yes.” He whispered and turned to a woman standing by a small table and a couple racks of clothes. She nodded and moved from behind the desk to face the four ‘hobbits’.
“Here you are at last.” She smiled at them and pulled a tape measure from an apron she wore. “We have to get your sizes to finish up the costumes…” She said moving and placing a hand on Elijah’s shoulder. “Follow me,” She said and pulled him away into another room.
Billy, Dom and Sean remained there. They were talking and giggling, Sean was funny, telling the story when him and Elijah met.
Dom laughed as Sean finished his story and the woman came back out again, Elijah following her. “Alright, Mr. Astin’s next. Frodo needs his Samwise.” Sean smiled and told Billy and Dom they would catch up later.
Billy sat with Dom and waited for their turn. “We should all go out together, celebrating the reunion of the four hobbits. We should go to a pub or something. Do you think Elijah is legal?” Billy asked giggling.
“I think so…” Dom whispered back. “You’ve known him longer!”
“YES I am legal.” Elijah said, pushing his way into the seat between Billy and Dom. “I am 18 years old thank you very much.” Elijah said crossing his arms.
“Alright then.” Dom said giggling slightly. “I guess were going out tonight.”