Sometimes, Dom and Billy got recognized. They were each fine male specimens and as founding members of the (fairly) commercially successful and critically adored band Peter and Fran, it was only natural that they were occasionally identified by the public.
"Hey," said a girl who came up to their booth at the Natural Light Spirit Fair in Atlanta, "Weren't you guys in that band with Orlando Bloom?"
And then, occasionally, people recognized them for having stood in pictures next to Orlando Bloom.
Dom snickered into his elbow and Billy kicked him under the table. "Oh, hello," said Billy, and then, more to Dom than the girl, asked, "You mean Paul and Nan, right?"
"Yeah!" she said, and then frowned. "No, that's not it." Dom's eyes got very wide and he felt another sharp pain where Billy's heel dug into his shin.
"Paris and France?" asked Billy helpfully.
"Peanuts and francs?"
The girl looked at him oddly. "No," she said again. "It's totally on the tip of my -- oh! Peter and Fran?"
"Peter and Fran!" Dom and Billy chorused in unison, both shaking each other by the shoulders in an exaggerated fashion. "Right," said Dom. He leaned over and rearranged a few red cuff and ring sets. "Think I remember now. With that bloke Orlando Bloom."
"So you do know him?" she said, clapping her hands together with renewed excitement. At this point Dom felt pretty sure she wasn't interested in purchasing the merchandise.
"Nope," said Dom, shaking his head. "Never laid eyes on him in my life. Sorry."
"Uh, okay," the girl said, and after a cursory study of a few more wrist bands, she moved over to the other side of the room. Dom barely managed to hold in his laughter until her back was turned. "Have a nice day now," he said under his breath.
Billy clucked his tongue. "Can't take you anywhere," he said. "You take the piss out of all the customers."
Dom rolled his eyes, but Orlando's number one fan had, indeed, been the closest thing they'd had to a customer all morning. It wasn't like they counted on the wrist bands to pay the rent or anything, but slow days were bloody boring, and the Natural Light Spirit Fair seemed to be low on both the light and the spirit.
Dom sighed and looked over towards the booth next to them. "Sorry, Emilie," he grinned at the woman at the booth next to them. "We're dragging down the property values again."
Emilie showed up on the circuit when they were slumming around at the Louisiana flea markets in August. She was from Australia and made baby accessories out of hemp fiber. Her most popular item was a kind of papoose that looked a bit like a kangaroo's pouch. She'd been on the circuit for about six months and they'd taken to setting up their tables together, because she was cheerful and fun, and she'd always give change for a fiver if she had it.
"Speaking of," she said, "I saw your friend on the telly last night. He was in this movie about pirates, they were, you know, sea pirates, and. He was," she paused, "well, he's quite nice-looking," she finished tactfully.
Dom grinned. He and Billy had seen the pirate movie at a theater in Tulsa the weekend it came out, sneaking in a bottle of rum for, as Dom had claimed, authenticity. They had both gotten pissed off their arses and decided that time was, they didn't have to pay eight dollars to watch Orlando flirt with a brick wall in a blouse.
"How did you guys meet him, anyway?" Emilie asked.
"Well," Dom said, "you could say we've known him since he was born."
"Since you were babies, then?"
"Don't listen to him," said Billy, standing up to start fussing with the display. "He's about to be insulting the magic of the re-birthing process."
"Now why do you have to ruin my story like that?" Dom jumped up on the edge of their table. Billy frowned at him, but he wasn't sitting on his display or wrinkling the mailing list, so he ignored him. "Me and Bills, we were hanging out in Wellington--"
"Wellington, New Zealand," Billy added over Dom's shoulder.
"Right, Wellington, New Zealand, thank you. This is before we started any band, mind, we were just hanging out in Wellington with our new mate Viggo."
"We were thinking about maybe starting a band." Billy interrupts.
"Yes, but mostly we were just teaching him how to play 'Hit Me Baby, One More Time' on the ukulele--"
"No, Dommie, it was the didgeridoo."
"Right, didgeridoo, thank you. So we're in Wellington and Viggo makes us go see this play, and it is, let me tell you, it was--"
"There were marigolds, those are still me favorite part," Billy said, leaning helplessly against Dom's back, Dom nearly tipping off the table. Emilie was laughing, too, probably at the two of them more than anything, since she didn't have a clue what they were on about.
"Curtain comes up, see," Dom said, "and there was this giant crocheted blanket thing, and this awful harp music, and then the blanket, it started moving. And there's Orli, crawling out of the blanket--"
"Which we later learned was supposed to be a womb," Billy added.
"Right," Dom continued. "He crawls out of the womb, naked as the day he was born, marigolds in his hair, and proceeds to spend the next two hours in a toga."
"It was just beautiful," Billy nods, "greatest performance I've ever seen in my life--"
"So he was good?" Emilie asked, eyebrows raised.
"Oh, no," said Dom. "Oh, he was awful. Beautiful to look at, though, he had that going for him."
"Sort of radiant," mused Billy, grinning.
"The thing is," Dom said, "Viggo loved it, couldn't get enough. He made us go back five times in a week. Which meant eventually we got to know Orli, and, well."
There was more to the story, of course, like how Orlando had been in the process of dropping out of drama school, which was due to the fact that he'd been in the midst of breaking up with his much older and very wealthy boyfriend. Ian, the boyfriend, had been, up until the dissolution of their relationship, the primary source of Orlando's tuition.
Of course, Dom and Billy had been forced by Viggo to sit through four or five performances before they were on such chummy terms with Orlando that they'd heard about his academic and romantic woes, and at that point it had become relatively clear to them that Viggo had only kept dragging them back because he wanted to get Orlando in the sack. Orlando, for his part, being a newly single drama school drop-out who was also Viggo's shag of the moment, he had been eager to join the band that they hadn't quite yet decided that they were forming.
It had all worked out for the best, though. Much later when they'd gotten so they thought they needed a publicist, Orlando had suggested Ian, who was -- conveniently -- a terribly successful one. Ian had agreed to take them on even though he claimed their music gave him a terrible headache, on account of the fact that they were cute and that would, he had said, sell even if the music was rubbish.
Dom didn't tell her any of that, though. He figured that he ought to save something for the tell-all book.
"Do you keep in touch?" Emilie asked.
"Oh, no," Billy said, shaking his head sadly. "He never calls, he never writes."
Dom nodded in agreement. "It's part of the conditions of the restraining order, you know," he said, shrugging.
Emilie just raised an eyebrow at that. After six months of setting up tables together, Dom figured she was allowed not to buy his bullshit all the time.
The rest of the afternoon was equally dull, and Dom decided he'd write Orlando a postcard. You've loads of fans in Georgia, cute but not too bright. Gave a couple your phone number, and this one bloke wanted your shoe size. Hope you don't mind. XOXO, DM & BB
He mailed it with one of the recyclable postcards Billy bought him at the Savannah fair. Then he headed back to find his boyfriend, food, and hopefully to get shagged. Preferably in that order.
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