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Catechism
Billy/Dom, AU. Ages have been adjusted. For [livejournal.com profile] dashery.
Rating: R
Warning: Underage sexual situations. Catholicism kink.
Feedback: is my anti-drug. Help keep me off the pipe.
Previously: Confession I|First Holy Communion|Confession II|Conversation|Confirmation|Confession III



Ash Wednesday.

Father Boyd is sure he has never been so utterly distracted, so not present in a house of God, not even when he was too young to kneel. One of his earliest memories is of him standing on his seat in a pew in St. Aloysius, propped up there by his mother, who'd prevented him from fidgeting by keeping a tight hold around his middle. Even then, he remembers being enchanted by the procession, the presentation of the Eucharist, the words his mother spoke quietly next to him seeping into his ear and right down into his heart.

Today, he's the one leading the procession (one of two, anyway), at the front of the church in full regalia, but the words he speaks come by rote rather than deeply felt ritual. There's been talk for weeks of Dominic Monaghan's homecoming, and Billy's overheard the best and the worst of it, from fellow priests and complete strangers alike. To be fair, he's not the only one in the congregation this evening with something else entirely on his mind.

Aureen had confirmed rumors the week before, insisting that Dom "was really looking forward to seeing him" before Billy could decide where to run. If her demeanor was any indication, the boy was doing very well. Her decision to send him away for school was obviously the right one, but now, after years of painfully sporadic visits, it was time for him to come home for good. She'd mentioned that there were discussions of uni, which Billy decided was a good sign.

The Monaghans smartly arrive just a few minutes past five, and there is an almost audible collective inhalation as the doors at the back are plucked open. Father Boyd catches a glimpse of Aureen and Austin, and a messy not-quite-blonde head trailing behind them before he respectfully averts his eyes.

Once the congregation has settled and the first hymn is in full-swing, Billy searches for the Monaghans in their usual spot, and they do not disappoint. Aureen and Austin look bright and calm, but it is the light emanating from Dominic that captures and maintains Billy's attention. While Dominic's eyes are fixated in his lap, Billy seizes the opportunity to note all the physical changes that have taken place. Puberty has made Dominic noticeably rougher in the face—nose larger, jaw more angular (and more noticeably askew), ears more prominent—but there's still so much about him that's terribly boyish. Considering his stature, Billy isn't sure that'll ever change, though he's certainly not one to talk. There are parts of Dominic's body, though, that have turned sharper, tempting, sinful. The way the now thick column of his neck cascades into the curve of his shoulders reminds Billy of any number of works of art he's seen in his travels, either human, animal, or architectural. Though his shirt is buttoned nearly all the way, Billy can still picture the way his skin would look if it were peeled back. That he has pictured it makes him impossibly sick with guilt.

Dominic is different but the same, strangely beautiful, and Billy could not have imagined the maelstrom of feelings it creates in him. It takes a world of effort for him to keep his eyes cast down and his concentration on the rituals.

When the time comes to do the ashes, Father Boyd gives a great sigh of relief, watching Dominic file into place at the back of the line adjacent to his, Monsignor Brady's. The serene, repetitive gesture of drawing a cross in ash on forehead after forehead puts him in a needed trance. After ten or so members of the congregation have passed, a particularly tall fellow (not a regular churchgoer, as he doesn't recognize him) shuffles into place before him, forcing him to reach up. He and the man share a little laugh as he recites, "Remember you are dust, and to dust you shall return." But after he swipes his thumb across the man's forehead, left to right, and the man ducks out of the way, Billy notices that Dominic has shifted, as if by his own hand, a painter's brushstroke that's redrawn him there. Billy knows the change didn't happen of his own volition; it was a daring move from Dominic, and one that he doesn't take lightly.

Father Boyd keeps his voice cold and methodical and his eyes distant for the next several parishioners, so that by the time Dominic materializes before him, he's ready. The facade quickly shatters, however, as soon as he takes the ashes to Dominic's brow and feels the electric charge of his own skin being so carnally recognized. Dominic keeps his eyes lowered and his head slightly bowed, a gesture that reminds Billy of his first communion nearly a decade before. The difference here is that when Dominic stands tall—and, finally, raises his eyes to Father Boyd's—they are nearly the same height now, and they both seem to inhale at that realization.

Billy feels as if his own voice is in another plane. He's not sure he's even said the right words.

Dominic smiles sweetly, but his eyes are feral and dark with knowing. "Thank you, Father."



Confession IV

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