Explicit, slash, alternate universe Dom/Billy story written for Shanalle as part of the lotrips fic exchange Slashababy in December 2003.
It's past hot and well into sweltering in the warehouse, midday sun beating on the cheap corrugated iron roof as Dominic presses on the clammy red plastic button to activate the bell and ring the signal for lunch.
When the hundred machines stop at once, a wave of relief passes through him, blessed relative silence for two seconds, replaced too fast with the multiplied scrape of chairs on the concrete floor, the unbearable babble of the women chatting as they file out and ping the timeclock one by one.
He hates them, one and all, no matter that he knows none of this is their fault, no matter that they're also suffering from the heat, from the long hours that make you stupid and the same tight-fisted bastard boss. He hates their high-pitched giggles and their skirts, their stubborn solidarity against him even though he's one of their own. Truth be told, he hates them for surviving when he's dying a little everyday, for going home to their men, daughters and sons, their friends (people to touch and love and talk with).
It's unfair, maybe, but Dominic doesn't care. Somehow it gives him another reason to get up in the morning, beyond the meagre pay cheque, the need to eat; he gets there before them and relishes the few minutes of silence before they come inside and start the racket, precious time to polish his resentment and sneer.
He needs the sneer to keep them all in check, which he does all day, walking up and down the too narrow aisles between the stuttering sewing machines. Dominic walks and throws dark looks at those who lift their eyes away from their work to glance back, dispensing the same glower to the flirty and the sheepish.
Today, while Dominic tries to cool it off just a little in the small filthy den right off the control station, slugging from a tepid beer and wiping a streak of mustard off his chin from a cardboard-tasting sandwich, the boss appears, blocking the door frame, bulky in his ill-fitted suit. You'd think he could do better, after all, he runs a fucking sweatshop, the place is positively full of clothes, but the idiot's got no taste. Dominic has some, he just doesn't have the dosh it'd take to pull off the style he fancies for himself.
He's brought a new one, the boss says, to replace that sickly cunt they booted Thursday last - Lydia, Dominic provides; he hates them but he knows their name, every silly last one of them, Paki, Turkish and Eastenders alike - and Dominic nods. Not a day early: he was getting worried about being scorned for reduced performance, even though hiring's not in his capacity. Blame, when it falls, always falls on him and the girls.
The boss steps to the side and pushes the new girl into the den, right in front of the greasy desktop, then throws off an injunction at her to behave and leaves without a backwards glance to parts unknown (off to count his money or get yelled at by his fat wife, as usual). Dominic puts his beer down and asks her for a name, lifting his eyes to gauge her, to make his mean first impression with the sneer sliding in place, and.
Not a girl.
Dominic feels suddenly squiffy, dizzy at the sight of deep green eyes and a tidy pink mouth, the defined face of the boy-- man?-- standing in front of him almost demurely. He knows not to blame the beer for the feeling.
Billy, the new one says with a lilting voice, I'm Billy, and he extends his forearms, lithe and muscled, uncovered, showing his hands; I've got small hands, 's why I'm in sewing, he adds, like he's used to having to offer up excuses. Dominic blinks, unbidden images of those hands on him already flashing in his brain, the dirty but neatly trimmed nails digging in his thigh, his shoulder; he sighs and shakes his head to dispel the pictures.
I'm Dominic, you're on 37, third row, near the window. Lucky lad, Dominic says, the mockery in his tone dampened by the unconsciously gentle curve of his mouth, his sneer melted off without him noticing, you'll get a bit of sun.
Billy frowns, and the fine lines around his eyes settle the question: man, not boy. The thought drills deep in Dominic's belly.
It's uncomfortable the way new images keep coming to Dominic, falling one on top of the other in his stomach like stones, piling up hot and heavy. He waves Billy off, tries to plaster a scowl on his face, then on second thought rises from his creaky chair to lead the way to 37.
In the warehouse proper it's far too hot to think, like slugging through fetid vapour with the mixed stenches of human sweat, flowery perfume and the dusty taste of fabric rolls, and Dominic can hear the new one almost choking on an intake of breath as he catches up. He almost pities him, briefly, and it turns into a flare of uncontrolled anger. Nobody gets special treatment, same hell for everyone.
Billy glances at what Dominic called the window, three square inches of thick glass smudged with grease, and his face stays blank. Turns out he knows the machine already, gets settled in fast and finishes his trial run without a hitch.
The afternoon passes slower than a snail and Dominic grows restless, unhappy with the way he can't stop walking row 3, sweating too much. Billy looks back when Dominic does, each time the same little darting up of his eyes away from the work. They're assembling women's underwear, lacy, tiny tricky seams, but his deft fingers never trip. Dominic's always hated lingerie weeks (they seem to reinforce his troops' feeling of superiority somehow, their antagonism); he didn't expect to be so turned on at the view of this unknown bloke handling the lewd, ugly garments with bored features and careful hands. Billy's looks aren't bored, though. Sizzling, Dominic thinks, mouth practically opening to speak the word out loud, and he tries hard to believe he was only thinking of the temperature in there.
Dominic's kept his fantasies well away from work; it's never been difficult considering he's surrounded by women, spending his days in a place too uncomfortable and crass to feel any good. He can't even have a wank in the den, regardless of the fact it'd be bad form getting caught off his post, it's just too... sad. Tasteless, too, and he couldn't get it up. His magazines are at home, not under the mattress but on the coffee table, one of the (rare) advantages of living alone.
That evening he takes them to bed with shaky hands, a deep trembling in his guts since green eyes turned around after punching his time card, mouth delicately curled in a small smile around a murmured goodbye. The guy almost looked as if he wanted to say something else, but he shrugged and took off, swept away in the pressing rush of the women's bodies, leaving Dominic unsettled.
Dominic has eaten quickly and showered long, forbidding his soapy hands to wander more than necessary in the sensitive - the tensed, heavy-feeling - region of his groin, determined to make the most of his new material. He stretches on the uncomfortable mattress, legs parted and bent with his feet resting flat, knees poking up. Time to himself, alone with anticipation, with the smallest circle of light off the nightstand's lamp shining right on some twink's purple cock and the puzzling buffed nails of his handler.
Soon he closes his eyes on swirls of green, visions of healthy pink lips and their neat little arc parting to take him in, so much better than the manufactured charms of nameless, sordid corporate porn. His wrinkled thumb (from the long shower) makes repetitive slow passes over the head of his cock as he feels himself swell impossibly hard, grow impossibly hot; it's over sooner than it should, shooting sparks of electricity traveling to the last corner of Dominic's body, the fine hair at the nape of his neck and on his forearms raised in shock.
Dominic swallows his disappointment as he comes down from the rush, too fast, all of it, too bloody fast, and he pushes the magazines off the bed with a scowl and an angry foot, happy when they fall and make a loud smack in the dark. Shortly after he passes out more than falls asleep, one hand close to his sternum and gnarled tight around half a fistful of come, knees drawn together and tucked in over it. He dreams of a weird world in which he feeds off the marrow of posh folks, who hang uselessly around in the lobby of a decrepit opera house. Most of them are pale replicas of the boss and his wife in one way or another. It all plays out like ancient television, blurry grainy pictures in dirty shades of grey.