December wind howled through the steel and concrete canyons of Manhattan, making decent folk and everyone else run for cover. Above it all, a radiator pinged, a comforting noise that let him know he wouldn't be frozen dead by daybreak. 'That's it, John,' he chided himself sleepily. 'Keep thinking those happy thoughts and you'll be flying in no time.'
He almost snickered out loud, but held back, careful not to make any serious noise that might rouse the younger man spooned up against him. Squinting hard at the clock radio's LED, he could see that the alarm wasn't too far off. They'd wasted another evening together, wonderfully frittered it away on silken words and earnest touches. It wasn't always easy to steal time like this, especially with Brian doing the job over in Narcotics instead of by John's side in Special Victim's, but even now, as the younger man slept, he could see it was better this way. His parting words to Brian inside the squad had been the truth - he was far too young and untainted to wind up that jaded. 'Like me,' he grumbled inside. But, to be fair, he'd been a cynical bastard long before New York. And what the job did to him was incidental. What it did to Brian was slightly more important.
Brian shifted in John's arms, turning until his nose came to rest in the hollow of the older man's slender throat. There was peace in that face, smooth and calm in sleep. 'Guess kicking a bad-guy drug dealers' ass does that for ya,' he smiled as Brian's arms snaked around him, pulling them together tightly. John wanted to groan - it felt like his ribs would crack under the sudden and intense, if brief, pressure - but he knew it would rouse the angelic form in his arms and he'd be roasting ten years in hell before he woke the kid up at the butt-crack of dawn on his first real day off in about two weeks.
Plus Brian had worn his ass *out* last night. 'Or is it the other way around,' a wry smile cropped up as he thought of it. Either way, they hadn't so much fallen asleep together as they'd passed out at the same time. And though he'd be hard put to turn down one very insistent and persistent Brian Cassidy, he'd have a damn hard time explaining to Cragen if he turned up abysmally late. Never mind the look he'd get from 'Fin.
Another scream of wind darted past the bedroom window, making Brian shiver and burrow in deeper, tighter, his face pressed against John as if his life depended on the physical contact. 'Maybe it does,' John's groggy brain pitched as he vainly wondered what he'd be doing this morning. Eyeing the clock again, he contemplated getting up and getting a jump on the day. It was no doubt going to be long and miserably cold and without a doubt, depressing. He wasn't scheduled for court today, so there'd be no taunting of defense attorneys, which he'd been considering turning into an Olympic event of late. The cases pending weren't going to get fixed today, as he could almost guarantee a rash of holiday season non-cooperation from the rabble.
So what? Paperwork? Was he *really* considering hauling his ass out of bed into the cold of New York City in December, traveling not only through rush hour but also Christmas traffic - and worse, abandoning the heated beauty and comfort of Brian - to shuffle around papers for The Man?
A whimper form the boy in his arms, almost as if Brian had been privy to the half-woken musings of John's brain - unlikely though that may be - gave him all the answer he needed. John slid his arm from around Brian's lean, muscled form - partly ignoring the chorus of sleepy protest the action drew and partly enjoying it -and tugged the blanket up higher, just about to Brian's elfin chin. He wriggled his way back down deeper himself, reveling in the soft warmth of both comforter and bedmate.
"It's just a damn shame that car won't start," he yawned and grinned, enveloping Brian once more, their feet tangling together as the Big Apple froze beyond the music of the radiator and the steady rhythm of their sleep breathing.