"Hey, thanks for letting me come here. I err..." Billy gave a small cough and blushed. "I know I'm not in yours or Lukes best books at the moment." He looked down at the floor and my heart ached for him.
"Dont be stupid Billy, your my best friend and you always will be." Billy gave me small smile and I pulled him into a tight embrace, one to make him know he could feel safe here, safe in my arms. He held me back and I heard him crying softly into my shoulder. We stood there for a moment before Luke appeared behind me, I could feel him staring at us but I didnt loosen my hold, right now Billy needed me. But then Luke did something a little shocking.
"Hey you two, come inside, dont stand out there in the cold. Come on, we can all sit down and have a nice coffee yeah?" He said softly, gently nudging us into the hallway so he could shut the door. I gave him a confused look and he gave me a sweet smile before brushed a hand through Billys hair, making him look at him through watering eyes.
"How are you Billy? Oh, stupid question. Ignore that." He gave Billy a warm, sympathetic smile and Billys lips parted slightly in shock. "Come on into the kitchen and I'll make us all a coffee." Billy looked at me as if he expected me to tell him why Luke was being so nice but I too was clueless. We followed him into the kitchen where he began busying himself by making the coffee and I sat down with Billy at the table, taking his hands in a friendly gesture to let him know I was there.
"If you want to talk then I'll listen, if you dont want to then I want press it." I said simply, gently. Billy smiled and nodded, his eyes watering.
"Thanks." Was all he could manage to croak out. I smiled sadly and wished there was something to do to make him feel better but I knew the only thing I could do was to just be there for him and be patient as he works out all the grief. Luke sat down and handed us all a coffee, sipping his own. Billy took his out of politeness and took a small sip before putting it down and tapping his fingertips against the side of the mug. He looked down at the table and I felt a small awkwardness filling the room, Luke seemed to sense it to and began to talk just in hope to break the silence.
"So... I was thinking. Maybe we could rent a movie tonight, get some popcorn and stuff..." I smiled warmly at him, surprised but extremely grateful that he was being so kind. Billy seemed to have given up on trying to fathom why Luke wasnt pummeling him and just nodded, giving a weak smile.
"That'd be cool." He said. Luke smiled and drank some more coffee.
"Awesome. I'll go to the DVD store in a minute. Any preferences?" He asked.
"Something funny.. A comedy. I dont think I can handle anything to depressing right now." Billy said with a strangled chuckle. I gave him a sympathetic smile and Luke nodded in understanding.
"Comedy it is." He said. I drank some of my own coffee and wondered what we could say next. I had never felt so awkward around Billy before, it was weird and upsetting. We drank our coffees in silence for a while before Billy looked up and sighed.
"Look. I just want to make it clear that I'm not here for sympathy. What would be great is if you just treat me like normal. It'll take my mind off it a lot more than if I got the impression you were both treading on egg shells round me. Metaphorically speaking." I nodded with a sigh of relief and Luke seemed happy with that arrangement too.
"Understood." He said with a nod. I nodded too and Billy seemed to relax a little more. Luke finished his coffee first and got to his feet, dropping his now empty mug into the sink.
"Well, I'll go and rent the movie and buy the popcorn and stuff, will you two be okay here on your own?" He asked. I nodded warmly and he smiled, walking over to me and cupping my face in his hands, gently kissing me before walking away, swaying his hips as he went. I looked at Billy who was watching Luke leave, a blank expression on his face and I felt guilty for kissing Luke infront of him.
"I see you two are getting along well." He said quietly.
"Y - yeah, why wouldnt we be?" I asked, I knew the answer only too well but feigning ignorance felt like the only thing I could do right now. Billy didnt look at me as he gave a hollow laugh.
"No reason. Just nice to know he isnt killing us both." I scowled and folded my arms.
"That isnt funny Billy."
"It wasnt meant to be." He turned to look at me and our eyes locked. His face was blank but his cat ears were low, I noticed that the usual spark in his eyes had gone. Because of his brothers death, me and Luke, or both I couldnt tell. I sighed and got to my feet, the chair legs scraping on the floor.
"Billy, Luke and I are getting on great. He's improved a lot okay, dont worry about it." I said cooly as I began washing up. I could feel Billy watching me and I wished he wouldnt.
"Whatever, I still think you should've left him the first time he hurt you." He said. I didnt reply but my entire body tensed as I clenched my teeth and slammed a plate into the drainer.
"Its just my opinion." Billy whispered, an apologetic edge to his voice.
"I accept that Billy. But I dont need it." I snapped, and then there was silence. I heard Billy sigh after a while and I felt bad for snapping at him, we didnt talk until I had finised washing up and I turned to see him playing with a strand of his hair.
"You know... my brothers death should hurt me a lot more than it does. I've always been understanding of death. So I guess thats why I get over it so quickly, my mom isnt so lucky. She wanted me to go and spend some time with her so we could greiv together but she'll be greiving for months and months - understandably. I'll only greiv for a week at most." He said quietly. I was confused and a little surprised at this and I folded my arms.
"Why are you telling me this?" I asked. He looked at me with sad eyes as he forced a smile.
"Just because really, I wanted an excuse to see you again. It sounds bad saying the death of my brother was an excuse, but its true I didnt want to be alone. Its just... I could have gone anywhere, all my family were willing to let me stay with them but I chose here - despite knowing Luke hates my guts and that your not too happy with me either." I pressed my lips into a hard line and shook my head as Billy looked at me with hard eyes, I didnt want him to be hurting like I knew he was, he was still my best friend but things just werent carefree anymore. Not like the old times.
"I'm not sure I want to hear this Billy. I know how you feel, and you know how I feel. Lets not dig into feelings we dont want to." I said quietly. Billy cocked his head to the side and looked at me through his eyelashes.
"I'm sure I have no idea what feelings you might be on about." He said innocently. I glared at him and poked his cheek as I walked past, going into the living room while saying - "Great. Then lets just forget about it and watch T.V"