This is a companion piece to "Snow".
Malcolm wiped his fist gently against the cold glass, trying to clear the frost from the pane. He chuckled softly, realising that the ice was between the double-glazing, and his efforts were having no effect on his ability to see the night-dark sky beyond.
He turned to the sound of a sleepy voice behind him.
"Can you see 'em?"
Malcolm smiled at Jon, who was peering at him blearily from the bed, the duvet pulled up almost to his ears.
"Sorry, I didn't mean to wake you."
"'S okay," Jon murmured, blinking sleepily. "Can you see 'em?"
"No, the glass is too obscured from the frost. I'll have to step outside."
Jon nodded and closed his eyes, wrapping the blankets more tightly around him. "Let me know if you see them."
"All right," Malcolm said softly, walking to the nearby chair and pulling one of Jon's bulky jumpers on over his pyjama bottoms. Slipping his feet into boots, he turned the knob on the door and stepped out onto the porch, closing the door swiftly behind him, hoping to keep out the cold. He smiled as he exhaled, watching his breath fog in front of him as he tucked his hands up into the sleeves of his jumper, then crossed his arms and pressed them against his body for warmth. Walking to the edge of the porch, he tilted his head back, taking in the expanse of the heavens above him, the stars twinkling brightly in the cold, clear sky. He waited.
Malcolm heard the door shut, and then footsteps crunch across the fine layer of icy snow on the porch. He turned away from the skies, smiling as Jon, wrapped in a blanket, stepped up beside him.
"Anything?" Jon said, his breath a puff of white as he stepped behind Malcolm, opening the blanket and wrapping it around them both.
Malcolm leaned back against the taller man's body. "No, nothing yet."
Both men turned their faces to the sky.
"There," Jon said quietly.
"There," Jon repeated, bringing his hand out from under the blanket to point toward one segment of the sky. "Through that tree."
Malcolm looked through the bare branches of the tree in front of them, at first seeing nothing but bright pinpricks of stars against the inky black of the sky. Then he saw a faint glow, green light low on the horizon, arcing slowly, languidly across the sky, drifting overhead. As it brightened, it evolved into a wavy curtain swirling, red and green flames, blue and purple, brightening, passing overhead, blanketing the night sky, the entire sky erupting into a sea of colour and motion. "Ooh," Malcolm said quietly, and Jon hugged the blanket around them as the show continued.
"I used to see the northern lights, sometimes, when I was a kid," Jon said, his voice a low murmur in the night. "I remember one show that was especially bright, a lot like this…"
Malcolm could feel the vibrations Jon's voice made through his back as he leaned into the taller man's chest. He listened to Jon's tale, warmed by the other man's body as the lights in the sky faded to a soft green glow, and the sky darkened again.