DISCLAIMER - No matter how many times I close my eyes and make a wish I still don't own these beautiful boys... more's the pity. This is purely a work of fiction, not intended to imply anything about these guys or their lives.

Author's notes - Many thanks to Astrea for betaing - and for making me see how these boys glow together! Written for Isilya's SnuggleFic challenge. Completed December 2002.

It's a cold evening, really cold. Even in the short space of time it takes to walk from my car to the front door it's enough to cut right through my gloves, my coat, even the ridiculous scarf I'm wearing. If I had any sense, I'd probably have a hat on as well - I'm finding the shaved head has a real downside in winter.

In fact, Annette knitted a hat for me that matches this long, stripy scarf she made, but choosing style over comfort I decided not to wear it. Now I can't make up my mind which is worse, looking like a high school nerd or my head getting frozen.

At the door I kick snow off my shoes as I fumble in my pocket with chilled fingers that don't want to work properly. Eventually I get a grip on my keys, though, and quickly let myself in. It's late and I've had enough of the cold and the dark. I just want to get inside and kick back for the rest of the evening, relax in front of the fire and get warm.

I'm so relieved to finally get into the warmth of the house that it takes me a minute to register the fact that the lights are already on and that there's music spilling out of the room closest to me. It's one of my Chicago CDs. On the assumption that nobody who broke in would be making themselves quite that much at home, I know who must be here. There's only one person I've given a key to this place to.

Pulling off my gloves and flexing my cold stiffened fingers I head towards the source of the music. Before I reach the doorway a familiar face appears, peering out at me.

"Tom!" I grin at him, absurdly pleased to see him smiling back at me.

When we left the set earlier Tom hadn't told me that he would be free this evening. Not that I don't like the surprise, I do. But if I'd known he was going to be here, waiting for me, I'd have come straight home. For obvious reasons, we manage to make little enough time just for ourselves to spend like this. I don't want to waste any of it.

"There you are," Tom says, his answering smile fading just a little. "I was starting to wonder if you were coming back here tonight. Though you didn't mention you had other plans..."

I can hear the uncertainty in his voice. It seems a little weird to be hearing it from Tom. After all, I have no real claim on him... and I'm not the one who's married. But I really don't want to go there right now, not when Tom is standing in front of me, reaching out to carefully unwind the scarf from around my neck.

"Hi, honey, I'm home," I say lightly, not wanting to lose that smile of Tom's. It's back almost at once in response to my teasing and I'm glad to see it.

Tom uses the ends of the scarf to pull me closer to him and I go willingly. Then he pulls it from around my neck and tosses it onto the hall shelf. Next he goes to work on the buttons of my coat, bending down to reach the lower ones. Straightening up again, he helps me remove the heavy overcoat. As I turn and slip out of it, Tom's fingers brush the bare skin at the back of my head. I shiver, and not from the cold this time.

As I swing round to face him once more, I notice Tom frowning.

"What's wrong?" I ask.

"Mike, you're freezing," he says, tugging me towards the lounge.

"It's cold out, in case you hadn't noticed," I reply with amusement. I feel my lips twist into a smirk that Tom immediately responds to.

"Want me to warm you up?" he suggests with a sly grin as he pulls me down on the couch beside him.

Tom's already lit the fire and I can soon feel the heat from it start to warm me. But there are some parts of me that were colder than the rest to start with, and they're taking much longer to thaw out.

"Sounds like a good idea to me," I agree. Then, without warning, I tuck my head under Tom's chin and wait for the reaction.

"Fuck, Mike!" Tom protests as he hurriedly pulls back, looking totally disgruntled.

He looks even more affronted when he catches me laughing at him. Hell, I know just how cold the top of my head must be, but the expression on his face is priceless.

"And that sounds like an even better idea," I tell him, my voice dropping as I settle close into his side once more. I can feel the warmth of him clear through his sweater and it's exactly what I need.

Reaching across I rest one hand on Tom's thigh and he jumps again, not in a good way. Tom sucks in air through his teeth as he picks my hand up by the wrist, looking at it like it's something dangerous.

"Now what?" I ask, exasperated.

"Michael, if you freeze my dick off I'll never be able to fuck you again," Tom informs me tightly, a faintly pained expression on his face.

"That cold, huh?" I know I'm smirking again and Tom doesn't look impressed.

"Yeah," he says drily. When Tom suddenly drops my hand back into my lap I'm inclined to agree with him.

With a sigh I slide forward to the edge of the couch, stretching both hands out towards the fire. I take a couple of minutes, rubbing them together to warm them up properly. I'm not going to give Tom any more excuses for not letting me touch him.

In the meantime, Tom takes the opportunity to scoot behind me, so that I end up sitting between his thighs. He slips an arm around my waist and then pulls, tugging me until I'm leaning right back against his chest. By happy coincidence my ass winds up tucked tight against Tom's crotch, which pleases both of us. His free hand reaches up and rubs over my bare scalp soothingly. The warmth of his palm feels good against the cold skin and I'm this close to purring like a cat.

"This is nice," Tom says sleepily a while later. His hand is still moving slowly over my head and I'm really not feeling at all cold any more.

"Yeah," I agree, "really nice." I pause, biting my lip for a moment then ask, "Can you stay?"


Tom doesn't say anything else, and I don't need to know the hows and whys. I've learned it's better for both of us if I don't ask questions. This whole situation is complicated enough and I prefer it if we can check our guilt at the door and just enjoy what we have.

"That's good; I'm glad." And I am, as I turn in the circle of Tom's arms, wanting more than just this simple touch.

When I've slid around far enough to be able to see his face, I find Tom smiling at me. I can't resist leaning in to kiss that smile, so I do. Tom's mouth opens under mine and then it's hot and wet and just a little desperate, on both sides. My eyes close when Tom's hand slips down to cup my cheek, holding me so I can't pull away, even if I actually wanted to.

Tom's tongue fucks my mouth with slow, lazy strokes and I'd happily give up on breathing for this, but eventually he releases me and we both sit there, panting harshly. Sprawled across his lap this way, I can feel that Tom's as hard as I am.

"Want to take this upstairs?" I ask, my voice coming out rough and needy. I'm more than a little surprised when Tom shakes his head. "Why not?"

"Don't want to move," Tom tells me, his eyes soft in the warm light from the fire. His arms wrap around me tighter, keeping me from getting up. "I like it right here."

I can't argue with that.

"So do I," I reply.