Just a very short piece between writing a Tommy/Billy/Teddy smut piece (not the long story).
Tommy and Billy moments! Think I should do more Teddy and Tommy ones too. Hmm…
Anyway, hope you like~
When No One Looked
When no one looked, Tommy fed a white stray cat.
Of course, Billy knew this because he had looked once, by accident. After a group study session and a few yards away from his apartment building, he had spotted Tommy loitering by the alleyway that housed many of the building’s dumpsters. Soon enough, and just before Billy could call out to him, the speedster ducked into the murky passage.
A quick peak from Billy and the rest was history.
Now, Billy smirked over his assignment, reminded of the memory when the stray had nudged and rubbed its jaws along the tips of Tommy’s fingers. A white-headed rogue and his fur-white comrade. Since then, he learned that Tommy crept into the alley a few times a week for a furry, cute reason. It certainly explained the empty can of cat treats Billy had once found in their recycling bin.
Not once had Billy called him out on yet either, finding it far more indulging to hear Tommy throw a jeer or tease while Billy replayed the image of him bonding with a cat of all things. It was like a piece of ammo, a secret weapon really, at Billy’s dispense for a time he deemed fit, if at all.
A screech from Mother Nature jolted Billy out of his daze: the storm went up ten notches. He scrambled off the couch and glued himself to the window as it sweated with thicker drops of rain, the glass freezing beneath his fingertips.
“Whoa,” he said as the storm pounded down onto the city.
“That was crazy loud!”
Billy glanced over his shoulder in time to see Tommy rush out of the hallway and to his side. Though it was hard to be sure, Billy suspected that his twin’s eyes had flicked over to the west where they could see the entrance to a particular alleyway. Billy bit his tongue to stifle his comment.
“Yeah,” he answered instead, and looked out again.
Few people suffered its wrath, most huddled at home or daring to outwit it by traveling in vehicle. Otherwise, the city below them was overwhelmed with all things wet and soppy.
“It’s really coming down,” Tommy said.
Billy nodded and, unable to resist, snuck another peak at Tommy. It was no good though; the speedster covered up any betraying twitches or hiccups before Billy could fathom they existed. Still, he wondered if he could pinpoint something if he kept his eyes fixated on Tommy long enough.
But Tommy caught him too soon for him to make a deduction. “Hey,” he said, frowning, “I’m gonna, ah, go out for a moment.”
Billy peeled away from the window instantly, trying not to look too eager. “Oh. How come? It’s raining like mad out there. No way my mom would let you go out in this weather.”
“I wasn’t planning to ask.”
With an eye roll, Billy hurried after him. “Tommy, just because we’re superheroes doesn’t—hey, watch it, you—Tommy, are you listening to me?”
Tommy yanked on his boots. “Not really,” he said, and flashed a defiant smile.
Billy huffed and glowered back.
Another crack and bellow from the skies made the windows tremble. Billy’s spine stiffened and he spun around to see lighting fracture behind the skyscrapers.
And before he could wonder if he’d lost his mind, he blurted back to Tommy, “Wait.”
Tommy plucked an umbrella but paused enough to arch a brow at him. “What? You going to tattle-tell on me?”
Billy chewed on his inner cheek and then dove for a heavy coat that hung by the closet. “I’m coming with you,” he said.
Billy shot him a look. “Teddy’s still at the gym. Practice. I don’t want him walking alone in this weather.” He cast a glance to his watch. “It’s over in half an hour but if you’re already going out, might as well. I can just teleport us back home.”
The way Tommy narrowed his eyes at him was just one of many signs that told Billy that he was suspicious and that the mage wasn’t invited; Tommy certainly made sure to get some of his emotions across when he wanted them to.
“And,” Billy went on, louder as though that would overpower Tommy’s look, “if, by any chance, we find any, er, helpless victims to the storm, we could help him. Or her. Or…it.”
At that, Billy thought he saw realization cresting in Tommy’s eyes, but as usual, it went missing the moment he believed it was there. He anticipated a crude remark, maybe even a growl. What he didn’t expect was Tommy shrugging on his coat and telling him to hurry up.
Billy did so without a hitch, knowing he was going to get a proper scolding when his mother found out. They employed their umbrellas and upon reaching the exit to the building, they almost lost them when the wind tried to snatch them right out of their grips.
Tommy recovered first and without the reluctant steps Billy had to take, braved through the tilted sheets of rain.
“Um, you know,” Billy gathered enough oomph for his voice to overpower the chaos, “if you needed to stop by that way before we—“
Another boom resounded, gobbling up whatever else Billy said. He looked around and found only three other fools trying to traverse the soaked streets or gales. Maybe this wasn’t such a great idea.
Tommy didn’t respond, pressing forward as defiantly as he did with any figure of authority (Mother Nature included). Struggling to keep up pace, Billy scurried after him into the alleyway he knew the speedster would lower into.
If nothing else, at least here the balconies and fire escapes littered the walls and alleviated the barreling rain drops. A little. Billy felt his breath come harder already, though they had walked not even a full block, as he lingered by a dumpster while Tommy ventured deeper.
“How long have you known?” Tommy finally said, loud enough for Billy to hear him in the semi-claustrophobic passage.
Billy clung to his umbrella. “Um,” he began, mind rattling for a proper answer. Found none. “A couple of weeks ago.”
Tommy turned just enough to furrow his eyebrows at him. Guess that was too long to have been spying.
“Don’t give me that look,” Billy said. “Come on, Tommy, so you feed a stray cat? You’re not the first to do it. You don’t have to act like it’s a blow to your ego.”
Tommy didn’t look convinced as he looked away and crouched down.
Billy sighed a heavy sigh, but soon enough ceased mulling about what to say next. A low sound, unmistakably feline, prompted him to step closer and peer over Tommy’s shoulder.
It was the same cat padding over and looking as miserable as a cat failing to stay dry could look. It craned its neck down, nibbling on something Tommy had placed there.
“It’s not a big deal,” Tommy replied.
“You’re acting like it is.”
Tommy reached out and scratched behind a damp ear, using the bulk of his umbrella to protect the feline. “I don’t really like cats,” he said.
Billy smiled at the display of a stray being nourished by an ex-stray. “Could have fooled me.”
“I could never really own one,” Tommy went on, voice laced with disgust. “They’re not good for running with. They scratch. They make weird noises when they have sex. They are difficult to groom when you have to do it yourself. They get hairballs…”
Billy nodded, watching the cat inspect Tommy’s outstretched fingers. His gaze drifted from the animal to his twin. “Yeah, but,” he shrugged, “they’re also capable of handling themselves. That’s kind of admirable. They’re strong creatures I think. They might seem grumpy or maybe arrogant, but they like attention too. Good company for someone use to being alone, don’t you think?”
Tommy didn’t reply that time, though he made a kind of snorting sound.
“You know,” Billy ventured after the silence continued to stretch on, “Isaac’s always wanted a cat. He thinks they’re cool. You know Catwoman is one of his favorite villains, right? And I’m sure my parents would be okay with us having a cat so long as we…”
A feeble mewl and the cat was hoisted up into Tommy’s arms. “Billy,” he said, interrupting the ongoing ramble.
With that, Tommy adjusted the not-so-furry bundle in one arm and mimicked the eye roll Billy had given him earlier. “Subtlety isn’t your strong going,” he added.
Billy scowled behind his head. “Hey! I was trying to be delicate about this since you acted like it was so bad for you to treat something that isn’t yourself nice for once.”
“And why would you do that?”
“We do live together. We are on a team. In case you forgot,” Billy said, wringing the neck of his umbrella before he tagged on, “and, I do kind of like you, even if you’re a jerk sometimes.”
Tommy stopped midstride, fixing Billy with an enigmatic expression. It made Billy’s insides churn like a nest of snakes all the same. That was until the face dropped, replaced by a creeping smirk and mirthful eyes.
“Little brother likes me,” Tommy said at last.
Billy blanched. “What? What do you mean little brother?”
Tommy peered down at the cat and spoke to it. “Well, clearly the more mature of us must be the big brother, right?”
The cat yawned.
“Right,” Tommy agreed.
“That would be me then,” Billy said, “and big brother thinks he should leave the little brother out in the rain while he teleports himself to get Teddy.”
Tommy updated his smile to a grin. “Nah, I don’t think he’d do that.”
“And why not?”
In a dash, Tommy closed the gap between them and—
“Tommy!” Billy shouted, clamping a hand over his violated cheek, the one Tommy had just planted a sloppy peck to.
Tommy laughed, his eyes bright as he did so, and walked backward. “You’re too slow, Kaplan. I can run myself there before you could think to teleport us,” he yelled over the increasing drumming of the rain.
“You don’t even know where it is, you reckless…!”
Before Billy could chase after him and wonder just how mad they were to be goofing around during Mother Nature’s tantrum, he stopped scrubbing his cheek where he’d been kissed, letting his fingers linger over the spot.
And when no one looked, Billy smiled.