hannah_chapter1: (Calm)
[personal profile] hannah_chapter1
Title: Friends (3/?)
Author: hannah_chapter
Summary: Sequel to Enemies. When worlds collide...
Pairing: Belldom
Rating: 18/NC-17
Feedback: Hit me, baby, one more time.
Disclaimer: Don't own Muse, this is fiction, never happened.


"Are you insane?!?"

Matt's angry shout is a spike driving deep into his brain. Dom closes his eyes and wishes he'd never started this as Matt continues to rage.

"Why, Dom? Why would you, of all people, do something as dumb as this?"

"Baby - "

"Don't you 'baby' me, Dominic Howard. You can't sweet-talk your way out of this. It ends, right here, right now. You won't see him again."

"But - "

But nothing. You're not seeing him again. I won't allow it."

The blond's temper slips a notch.

"So that's how it is now? You make all the rules? I thought this was a marriage, now it's a dictatorship?"

"It's always been a dictatorship, Dom, you just didn't notice when you were the one running it," Matt's voice changes to a rough imitation of his husband's, "we need to change the way we play this game. Quiet and careful is the only way to be, now."

"I never forced you into anything. You went along with it because you know keeping a low profile makes sense. It keeps us safe."

"If that's true, again I ask, why are you doing this? How does drinking with cops keep us safe?"

The irony of Matt, of all people, preaching on the subject of improper relationship with cops is not lost on Dom, but now really isn't the time to bring it up.

"He's not just any cop. He's my friend."

"Was your friend. Now, who can say?"

"He already had a chance to bust me. He didn't."

"Doesn't prove a thing. He could be holding back, trying to get both of us in the trap."

"I trust him."

"I don't."

"You can trust me."

"Can I? Alright, you know what, fine. Do what the fuck you want to, Dom. Just don't expect me to come running when you fuck up. And you will, I know you will."

"Like you've never fucked up. You'd be in jail right now if it wasn't for me."

"And you'd be in jail right now if it wasn't for me!"

They glare at each other.

"I don't need you, Matt," Dom spits, "I can take care of myself."

"Then take care of yourself!"

Matt screams this last sentence as he turns his back on his husband and storms out. Dom snarls and hurls the nearest available object at the door Matt just slammed.

******************************

Cold!

Dom pulls the blanket up, tries to get warm, fails. He laughs, a small, bitter sound.

Exiled to the couch. What a fucking cliché.

Two days since the fight and they're still not speaking. Their heist preps are on hold, they stalk around each other like angry cats and Matt has claimed the bedroom, leaving Dom out here on the couch on what is, without a doubt, the coldest week of the year. He turns onto his side, wishes for Matt's arms around him, can't quite bring himself to go and offer the apology that might make that happen.

Matt and Dom don't actually fight much. The problems that dog most couples - infidelity, money worries, the basic tedium of everyday life - just do not apply to them. High-profile fugitives, professional criminals in a world that would happily see them dead or in jail for life, their love is the only sure thing and there just isn't time for all that petty bullshit. They disagree from time to time, what couple doesn't, but they've never had a real fight.

Until now.

How do they make this right?

The blond's still chewing it over as he drifts into a light sleep. Light in his eyes and fingers stroking his cheek wake him. Dom sits up and squints at his husband.

"Matt?"

"Dom. Come to bed."

"Wha - " Dom begins.

"No," Matt shushes him, "no talk. We can talk in the morning. Just come to bed with me now."

This Dom is more than happy to do. They climb into bed and, for the first time in days, Dom is warm. Matt grants his wish, pressing his chest against Dom's back and wrapping strong arms around him. Dom falls into a deep, blissful sleep, safe and warm in his lover's embrace.

Morning brings a familiar sensation: Matt spooning Dom, chewing sleepily on his shoulder. The blond smiles - his little bun is teething. He rolls over to face Matt and their lips meet in a soft kiss. That soft kiss is followed by a harder kiss, then another, and another as their arousal grows. Dom collapses onto his back and Matt hovers above him.

"Top or bottom?" he enquires.

"Bottom" Dom immediately replies, "make love to me, Matt."

The blond whimpers and clutches the sheets as Matt enters him. He used to worry about them losing their spark, that time would eventually wither away desire. He's happy to report this hasn't happened. They still want each other as much as they ever did and the sex is just as hot as it was when they were on opposite sides of the law. Maybe - God! - maybe even hotter....

Dom's thoughts lose coherence as the head of Matt's cock hits his sweet spot, again and again and again. Nothing else matters now, only the pleasure they are giving themselves and each other ...

The winter sunshine streams through the window and shines on a blob of sticky, panting flesh.

"You know," Matt gasps, "most couples have make-up sex after they've actually, you know, made up."

Dom laughs.

"We're not most couples," he says.

"Thank Christ for that," Matt ruffles the blond's hair, "I shouldn't have blown up at you like that, Dom. I'm sorry."

"That's okay, I get it."

"I didn't mean all those things I said."

"i know and you're right, meeting a cop is crazy. But he was my friend once, and I didn't have too many of those, you know?"

"Yeah, I know."

"But if you really don't want me seeing him, then I won't."

"See him if you want to. Just be careful, Dom. I can't lose you again."

"You won't."

Dom rubs his husband's back and Matt yawns.

"So," he says, "does your cop friend think we're still doing banks?"

"I guess so. I didn't tell him any different."

Banks were fine, in the beginning. But times change and bank security has, in the last couple of years, tightened to an insane degree. Launching nuclear warheads is easier than opening bank vaults these days and the cash in tellers' drawers doesn't even cover the cost of setting up a score.

Armored cars are a different story. A lot less risk and a lot more money. They can, on a good day, clear over half a mill. Matt and Dom had still been making good money from banks, but they could see the writing on the wall and they had, in the months leading up to their betrayal, been talking about switching to cars. Then Matt caught a couple of bullets and Dom carved himself a brand-new, blood-soaked reputation. The blond took the reins and, while Matt lay in a surgeon's back bedroom, breathing through a tube, Dom planned and executed their last round of bank scores.

Matt wasn't a hundred percent by then, far from it, but he could be moved and they had to get out of there, so Dom loaded him into the back of a custom-made truck and took him to the cabin. They spent eight months there, under the protection of Chris, Kelly and all their family and, when they did go back to work, it was with a whole new gameplan.

"The cops don't know anything," Dom tells Matt, "we're five steps ahead of them."

"Good - but we need to make sure we stay ahead."

"We will. We always do."

*******************

"I still can't believe it," Tom says.

"Believe what?" Dom asks.

Tom spreads his hands in a helpless gesture.

"All of it. Any of it. You're not a cold-blooded killer, Dom, that's just not you."

"I wasn't, back when we were friends. But people change. I've changed."

"I still don't buy it."

"Fine, let me tell you exactly how it happened, then we'll see what you believe."

Dom can't keep still. Matt's blood drying on his pants, the remains of Matt's kevlar vest in his hands and Matt himself in the hands of the surgeon - it's all too much and if Dom stops to think about it, he really will go crazy. He paces up and down and, when another man walks in, he doesn't even see him.

"Dom," the man says.

Dom doesn't answer.

"Boss."

That gets Dom's attention. Because he is the boss now.

"Luke. Everyone else get away?"

"Yeah, they were too busy chasing you," Luke shuffles his feet, "Matt?"

"Alive. In surgery. That's all I got."

The blond looks at the vest still in his hands, curses and tosses the pieces on the floor.

"We were sold out, Luke. The cops knew we'd be there," Dom tugs off his own kevlar vest, "they knew they'd need armor-piercing rounds, they knew everything, or almost everything. We got a rat in the house."

"It was Jay."

"How do you know that?"

"I did everything you told me to. I got them all in the van, took them to the second place while you drew the heat off us."

Dom nods. That was another one of his additions: a second meeting place, the location only known to Matt and Dom, a safety measure designed for just this type of situation. When the cops showed up Dom slipped the address into Luke's hand ... then Matt was crying out, falling and Dom was dragging him to the backup car and blazing a way out of there.

"Alright, you got to the warehouse. Then what?"

"Everyone was in a panic, shouting, pointing fingers. Everyone but Jay. He was standing all by himself, saying nothing. It made me curious, so I kept a close eye on him. When he slipped out the side door, I followed, and I caught him trying to make a call. I smashed his phone to pieces and dragged him back in."

Luke flashes bruised and bloody knuckles.

"He didn't want to give it up, but I can be very persuasive when the mood takes me."

Dom looks at the door leading to the surgery and sighs. He doesn't want to leave Matt, but he can't do anything for him and this mess needs to be cleaned up. Now.

"Let's go."

Jay's hanging upside down when they get to the warehouse. Stu is slapping his face and Gil is running a thumb along the edge of a large hunting knife. They turn at Dom's approach, ask about Matt.

"Doc's working on him now," Dom folds his arms, takes a good, long look at Jay, "so this is the piece of shit that sold us out."

"That's him," Luke says, "I caught him trying to call his cop buddies."

"Dom, please - " Jay begins.

Is it an apology, an explanation or an outright denial? They'll never know because Dom doesn't let him finish. The blond snatches Gil's knife and Jay shrieks as Dom carves him from balls to breastbone, opening him right up. Blood and entrails hit the floor, splash up and splatter Dom with gore. He doesn't mind. The blond turns to face his crew. He sees shock in their expressions, which is to be expected, but he sees something else, too: admiration. That's good.

"Luke," he says, "Stu. Come with me."

"Where, boss?" Stu asks.

"We need to take care of his family."

"What do I do?" Gil asks.

"Divide the money," Dom jerks a thumb at the carcass on the hook, "burn that," he looks at the blade still in his hand, "I like your knife, I'm keeping it."

"It's yours."

They leave Gil in the warehouse and take two cars. Jay's family all live and work in one house, which is convenient. Looking through a window, Dom can see Jay's father and two of his brothers in the kitchen, drinking coffee. Perfect.

There's an axe on a chopping block by the back door. Dom picks it up and kicks the door open. Stu and Luke follow him in. They think they're here to back him up but Dom doesn't need backup. He needs witnesses. He wants them to see and hear and spread the word, He wants all the right people to know what happens when they fuck with Matt Bellamy and Dom Howard.

Jay's father is standing by the stove, pouring himself more coffee. The blond swings with all his strength, the blade shears through flesh and bone and brain and embeds itself in the wall, nailing the old man in place as he dies. Dom leaves the axe where it is, pulls Gil's kife out of his belt and sticks it brother number one's eye, shoves it right up to the hilt. Brother number two stumbles to his feet as Dom snatches a cup from the table and flings black, boiling coffee in his face. He falls to the ground, screaming. Dom kicks the chair aside, stamps down, twists his foot and the scream becomes a death rattle as brother number two's windpipe is crushed.

Dom is pulling the knife free when the third brother bursts into the kitchen.

"What the fuck?" he gasps.

He's so busy staring at the mess he doesn't hear Dom coming up from behind, not until the blond grabs a fistful of greasy hair and yanks his head back. Dom slits his throat before he can even think about fighting back. Dom leaves the kitchen and here's the fourth brother, running down the hall, charging at Dom and not with a gun or even a practical weapon, like a baseball bat. No, this idiot's got a samurai sword. He's a rail-thin pimp used to beating girls too strung out on junk to fight back. Dom's in the best shape he's ever been in and jacked up on adrenaline and bloodlust. It's no contest. Dom kicks him in the knee, takes his ridiculous sword and performs his second gutting of the day.

It takes them almost an hour to find the last brother. He's on a toilet seat with a needle in his arm, so out of it he offers no resistance when Dom removes the belt from his arm and strangles him with it.

Then it's done.

They search the house, make sure there are no girls tied up in the basement or attic, then make a trail of gasoline out the door, light it up and watch the whole thing burn.

The surgeon is yawning, pulling off blood-stained gloves when Dom returns, Luke and Stu flanking him once more.

"What a mess," he says, "the first bullet hit the chest. He's got a collapsed lung, some secondary infections and he lost a lot of blood. The second bullet just broke his collarbone."

Dom blinks. In all the excitement, he hadn't even noticed the second bullet.

"But he'll live?" he asks.

"Yes, and he'll make a full recovery."

Dom smiles for what seems like the first time in days.

"He's got a long, hard road ahead of him," the surgeon says, "I used up most of my blood supply on him today and he'll need another couple of transfusions in the next week or so."

"Blood is expensive," Dom says. It's a statement, not a question.

"Very."

Dom smirks and snaps his fingers. They made a quick stop on the way here and now Luke steps up and dumps a big bag of money at the doctor's feet.

"Take care of him, doc, and do whatever it takes. When I say money is no object, I mean exactly that. Now, I want to see him."

"Of course, but ..." the surgeon says as tactfully as he can, "might I suggest a shower and a change of clothes, first?"

Dom's little adventure has left him covered in blood, more than covered, plated in it, from head to toe. Doc's got a point and so, when Dom finally makes it to his husband's bedside, it's with wet hair and in borrowed clothes. Matt looks so small and delicate in the big hospital bed, one half of him tightly bandaged, a tube down his throat and a drip in his arm. Dom pulls up a chair and takes Matt's hand in both of his. Matt's eyes flutter open and fix on Dom. He tries to speak, but the tube turns everything into soft, choking sounds.

"Shhh," Dom tells him, "don't try to talk."

He leans over and kisses Matt's forehead.

"Just rest," he tells his husband, "and don't worry. I've got it all under control."

And he does.


"Jesus Christ."

Tom has gone the fabled whiter shade of pale

Dom sips his drink.

"You believe me now?"

"I believe you. But why - " Tom swallows thickly, takes a drink of his own, "why did you do it like that?"

"Like what?"

"Like that. You could have just shot them. Why did you have to be so fucking brutal?"

"It was necessary."

"Necessary," Tom repeats, sarcastic.

"Yes, Tom, necessary. You need to understand something. In this world, my world, respect is everything. You live and die on your reputation."

"I get that."

"No, no you don't," Dom rubs his eyes, tries to put it in a way that makes sense, "look, Matt's not just my husband, he's Matt fucking Bellamy. He was a legend before he was old enough to drink. There are men in this business who'd crawl over broken glass to be on one of our crews and it isn't about the money, well, not just about the money. They just want to be near him. You see?"

"I guess so."

"Matt's a fantastic thief but, more than that, he's loyal. He's been arrested, shot, he's broken into a police station, all for his crew. And loyalty is a two-way street. People hear Matt's been hurt, betrayed, they look to me, want to know what I'm going to do about it. They want blood and, if I don't give it to them, someone else will. Jay and his family, they're still dead, but now everything I've done, the name I've made for myself over the years is gone. I'm just an ex-cop playing at being a gangster."

The blond finishes his drink.

"That's why I did what I did, and why I did it the way I did it. I sent a clear message. Now they all know I'm not afraid to get my hands dirty, they know what I'll do to anyone who fucks with us. Some guys can whisper about me behind my back, call me a fucked-up psycho butcher, I don't care. Better a butcher than a weakling coasting on his husband's reputation."

"That's why you did it?"

"Mostly," Dom looks at Tom with eyes gone flat and cold, "they hurt Matt, they had to bleed. I made them bleed and I'd do it again."

Tom stands up.

"This is a lot to process. I need time to think."

"About if you ever want to see me again."

"Yes."

"Alright," Dom is nonchalant, "I'll be here next week. You don't show, I'll know the reason why. It might even be for the best."

Tom stumbles out of the bar, mind whirling. He's so wrapped up in what he's been told, he doesn't even notice the small man with the red hair and beard at first. The man keeps pace with Tom, moving closer and closer, getting right up in his personal space.

"Can I help you with something?" Tom asks the stranger.

"Cut the shit, you know who I am," the stranger replies.

Just like that, Tom does. He's been a face in a mugshot, a voice on tv, the light in Dom's eyes. Now here he is, in the flesh at last.

"Matt Bellamy."

"The one and only."

"Spying on your man now, are you? I thought you guys trusted each other."

"It's not Dom I don't trust."

"Okay, so what, you're here to threaten me? Anything happens to Dom and you'll kill me?"

"Not quite. If anything happens to Dom because of you, anything at all, I'll kill everyone you've ever loved, and I promise you, it won't be quick. I'll take your life apart, piece by piece and, when I'm sure you've finally lost everything, that's when I'll kill you."

Tom is suddenly cold all over. That criminologist might have been full of shit on so many points, but he wasn't kidding about their psychotic devotion to one another.

"You don't scare me," he mumbles.

"Then you're an even bigger fool than I thought. Be seeing you."

Matt walks away and is soon lost in the crowd, leaving Tom alone.
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