Original story: What Was That, Indy? by sassywitch
Rating: PG at best
Summary: Ordinarily, it wouldn't have been a problem because ordinarily, actors were replaced before principal filming began. Unfortunately for Billy, this wasn't an ordinary circumstance.
Post-reveal Notes: Many and repeated thanks to pippinmctaggart for the beta and hand-holding and to tigg71 for the read-through. Although this has been betaed, I am a compulsive tinkerer and any mistakes are mine.
Disclaimer: This is a non-profit, non-commercial work of fiction using the names and likenesses of real individuals. This fictional story is not intended to imply that the events herein actually occurred, or that the attitudes or behaviors described are engaged in or condoned by the real persons whose names are used without permission.
How is it possible for a man to be so exhausted and still stand upright, Billy thought as he watched himself run, jump and fight on the dailies. He'd no idea how he was even keeping himself on his feet, let alone finding the energy to play a very active role in an adventure movie. When the dailies were finished, he spent the requisite amount of time mingling with his co-stars and production crew before he shambled back to his hotel room.
Safely ensconced in his room for the rest of the night, Billy thought about taking a shower. He knew the heat of the water beating down on his shoulders and back would help work out some the knots he had developed, not to mention wash off the grit one gathered whilst filming in the desert.
He decided he'd write to Dom first, since he'd been keeping Dom apprised of the shoot, his co-stars, and of his surroundings in general. His emails had been getting shorter as the long shoot wore on, but he wanted Dom to know he'd been thought of, even if he couldn't manage much at a time anymore.
He slowly typed the email, trying to keep his tone light as he wrote about the long days since his last note. He desperately wanted Dom to come to Malta, but knew he had a trip to Los Angeles upcoming, so didn't say anything about a potential visit in the note. It took him nearly three quarters of an hour to finish, and by the time he did, he was too tired to do anything other than fire it off and shut down his laptop.
He sat on the edge of the bed to remove his belt, shoes and socks. Once that was done, he laid on his side for a moment, sighing. Only a moment, he told himself, he'd shower in just...
It had been two days since he'd sent his email to Dom; two gruelling eighteen hour days under the scorching Maltese sun. Billy had pushed on, though; somehow found previously untapped reserves of resolve to use. He wiped his hand across his brow.
This role hadn't even been meant for him, but when the actor who'd originally been signed on had had to leave the project for personal and medical reasons, Billy had agreed to replace him. Ordinarily, it wouldn't have been a problem because ordinarily, actors were replaced before principal filming began. Unfortunately for Billy, this wasn't an ordinary circumstance. Filming had been more than halfway completed before the bottom had dropped out, and once they'd gotten Billy on board, they'd had to begin again. He'd known that before he'd signed on, of course, but the director was a mate of his from drama school days, and Billy had wanted to help him out. Also, he'd not had a starring role in some time and so he'd grabbed the opportunity with both hands. So, yes, he had no one but himself to blame for the position he was in right now, but he kept reminding himself that it wouldn't last.
It helped to remember Dom's soothing response to his note. Dom had told him that he had the utmost belief in Billy and Billy's ability to get through this difficult and exhausting shoot, and he'd said he would see Billy as soon as he could. Those were the most important words, Billy admitted to himself. If Dom were there with him...well. It did no good to think like that since Dom was flying to L.A. and not Malta in the next few days. But at least he'd indicated that he would be willing to come at some point, and that was what Billy had most needed to hear.
Billy was irritated, although he hid it well. He'd nailed that fucking scene first take, so why were they all now setting it up to run through again? He knew the director was picky, but for fuck's sake, Billy only had so much energy left and here they were going to use it up when no matter how many subsequent takes were filmed, it was going to be the first one that was used. He sighed and prepared to be almost captured for the second time.
Even less thrilled at having to do a third take, Billy closed his eyes and tried to centre himself. It was incredibly hot, and whilst the scene called for him to be dusty yet dripping with sweat, it also called for his various painted on cuts and bruises to not be melting off at the same time. He'd take the quick break, though, whilst his makeup was being touched up; take it and try to find one more previously untapped bit of energy from somewhere. He felt like he was going to fall over and melt away into the sand at any second.
After a third, absolutely useless take, the director called 'cut' and decided to break for lunch. Billy stood, wiping his hands over his face and trying to decide whether to try to eat something or have a kip. He desperately needed both. No, what he desperately needed was one of Dom's massages. He could practically feel the long, slender fingers pressing into his skin. He bit back a groan and opened his eyes, deciding food was more important than sleep today.
When he looked up, it was to meet familiar blue eyes across the little square where they'd been filming. He didn't believe it at first, thought it was surely his eyes playing tricks on him - Dom should be on his way to Los Angeles, not stood only a short distance away smiling at him. Yet there was Dom, striding toward him and wrapping him in a tight hug. And it was certainly not a figment of his imagination or over-tired brain that was whispering, "I love you. God, but I've missed you" in his ear. Dom. Here. Exactly what he needed when he needed it. He held on for all he was worth.