December 18, 2001

Disclaimer: It's all Ces' fault. She can take it up with Ms. Aoike. This is one of the Canadian shacks. I honestly can't remember who edited which shack, so thanks to the hive mind. Do not archive this without permission.

Shack 15

He propped himself up on one elbow, and a chill ran, almost like water, over his shoulder and the back of his neck. Dorian felt the goosebumps rise, and closed his eyes for a moment, focusing on that feeling, the cold air, the way it bit into his skin. He listened to the wind outside. It was a constant background noise, and half the time he forgot about it, and half the time it made him want to scream. At the moment, it felt distant and inconsequential.

The floor was hard. The expensive sleeping bag was warm, but not particularly soft. His joints would be stiff come morning, and he would feel old. Dorian smiled, eyes still closed. Years of this. Years of ending up in strange and uncomfortable places, of being too hot, or too cold, or too wet. Shouted at. Punched. Shot at, from time to time, and not a civilized shop or restaurant in sight. He wondered if it was snowing outside.

Dorian wiggled his toes. The back of his neck was cold, and his shoulder was cold, but the rest of him was warm. Very warm. Slick with sweat in some places. He breathed in, and the air smelled of cold dust and oil and grease, but then he bent his head a little and found human warmth.

He opened his eyes. He wanted to look secretly and privately, wanted this moment to himself, but Klaus was awake and looking back up at him with a neutral expression. Dorian sighed. "I want you to be asleep," he said.

"I'm not. You woke me up." Klaus shifted, and Dorian held his breath, but it was only a small straightening of arms and legs, and the fingers resting over the curve of his hip flexed once.

"I wanted to look at you." It sounded silly when he said it.

"You're looking at me now." Klaus' eyebrows drew together ever so slightly. He looked away from Dorian. "Is it snowing outside?"

"I don't know." He couldn't tell the whispers of wind around the corners of the house from whispers of snow, and at the moment, he didn't care. He wanted to say several things. "You look different when you sleep."

"I'm not going to sleep just so you can look at me." Klaus' mouth tightened, too, and Dorian felt tense, and the cold air on the back of his neck bit deep.

"Klaus," he said, "are you regretting this?" There was no word for it other than 'this' — this first memory of bodies moving together, and the awareness of Klaus pressed against him, close, as close as breath, as close as touch, smelling of sweat and gun oil. Something so miraculous and strange needed its own language.

Klaus looked at him again. "No," he said. And then, "I don't know. I don't know what this is."


"No." Turning, Klaus worked his hand free and put it on Dorian's cold shoulder, and pulled him back down into the warmth and the closeness. "No regrets. Go to sleep."

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