Note: Story was written for an AU story challenge on the "prettyglass" community on Livejournal. In accordance with the challenge I put Martin and Danny into an event in history…the revolution in Cuba in the late 50's/early 60's. I did not, however, research the actual subject much & was just going on what I know from school. So any historical mistakes are mine.
The inside of the nightclub was dark, smoky, strangely detached. No one showed either of them any interest, and as they moved away from the bar to an even darker corner, Martin was sure that they wouldn't be remembered. There was no reason to after all. They'd come in, they'd ordered drinks, they'd moved away. Maybe Martin stayed too close to Danny, but he doubted that was a detail anyone else would have picked up on. He tried to remain calm, collected as if he frequented such places often. Not thinking about it at all was his best bet, he knew, because undue nervousness would be easy to spot. The fact that he didn't belong could be overlooked if he just acted as if he did.
But if someone asked…if someone came looking for the outsider, the American…Martin couldn't be sure that someone wouldn't identify him. Vague description and cloudy memory or no…it was still a possibility. However, being caught wasn't his main worry tonight. Irrational maybe, because being caught would mean several horrific things, death probably being the easiest.
No, his main worry was Danny. Danny who seemed to have weaved a spell around him. Relentless, beautiful, tempting Danny. Martin couldn't deny being attracted to him or wanting to be close to him…among other things that absolutely terrified him. He had never felt this way about anyone before; it left him unnerved, unsure of himself and at a complete loss of what he should do. He'd known Danny for almost two months now and more often than not he was still trying to figure the other man out. What he did know was that Danny made him feel alive. He made Martin feel real, that he didn't have to pretend to be someone he wasn't. Martin had never had a friend like him before. Even superficially it was different; Danny made him smile, caused him to blush, and often had him laughing. It was such a rarity for him…to feel so lighthearted and carefree, and despite the reason he was in Cuba and had befriended Danny in the first place looming over his head, he felt more relaxed than he could ever remember being. It didn't mean he wasn't still plagued by fear though. Danny was a mystery to him, someone he had no idea how to figure out. And the things he made Martin feel were even more perplexing…and downright frightening if he thought about it for too long.
Tonight was no different. He had met Danny earlier for dinner; it was simple, easy. Then Danny had asked him here, to this club whose name he couldn't even remember, saying it would be secluded and private, his eyes conveying something more that Martin had failed to understand. But he hadn't said no, had agreed simply because Danny had asked. Had agreed because it meant getting to spend more time with Danny…even if they had already spent a good portion of the day together. Martin was quickly finding himself unable to get enough time, often felt restless when he wasn't with Danny…
"It's hardly the flashiest club in Havana, but," he paused, laughing lightly, "Well, I don't see me taking you somewhere flashy, do you?"
Martin jumped, the touch of Danny's hand on his shoulder startling him out of his thoughts. He looked up into the other man's dark eyes, saw their expectant, slightly amused look and he blushed, shaking his head and taking a quick sip of his drink. "I'm sorry Danny, I wasn't paying attention…did you say something?"
Danny smiled, eyeing Martin curiously for a few moments, something which he did often enough. Something which never failed to make Martin feel uncomfortable as if Danny were seeing something in him that Martin couldn't figure out. But then he smiled, eyes twinkling as if he had just confirmed a secret and wasn't planning on sharing it. "Nothing important just small talk…about the club."
"It's…nice," Martin remarked, still unnerved and shaky. Of all the time he'd spent with Danny, tonight seemed to be different. Almost as if it were the culmination of those other moments.
Danny laughed again and looked at him a little incredulously. "Nice? I don't know if I'd say that…it's more of a dive…"
"So you only take your important guests to the nice places?" Martin teased, smiling up at him.
Danny grinned. "Exactly."
Martin held his gaze for a few moments before looking away again. They stood side by side against the wall towards one of the corners of the room. Someone had put enough money into the jukebox to play a few songs, the records scratching lightly as the music filled the club. Not loud enough that they couldn't hear one another talking, but it served to make their darkened corner even more intimate.
"Do you come here a lot?" Martin asked.
Something flashed in Danny's eyes and he shook his head. "Not recently."
Martin wasn't sure what to make of that answer, but he nodded in response and took another swig of his drink, something sweet and strong. Danny had ordered it for him and for the life of him, Martin couldn't remember what it was called. He'd been too busy observing the atmosphere and concentrating on Danny's proximity.
"Do you need another?" Danny asked, motioning towards his drink.
Martin glanced down, surprised to see his glass almost entirely empty. He shook his head and finished it off. "Nah, I'm okay." The last thing he needed was to get drunk; and he knew his limit and it wasn't very much. He also knew that the more he drank, the more he talked and there were several things he needed to keep a secret.
The main one being the real reason he was in Cuba of course, but more mortifying probably were the feelings he had for Danny…feelings that he could easily see himself confessing were he to have very many more drinks. And then he'd lose him, the only person he'd ever felt truly comfortable around…an inevitability no matter what he did because of why he was here, but it was something he wanted to postpone for as long as he possibly could.
Almost two hours later though they hadn't left, had moved to a table in the corner, and it had seemed silly to keep refusing another drink. He wasn't drunk, but he wasn't completely sober either. But the reasons he'd had for not drinking seemed hazy; he was so much freer this way. He could talk to Danny without hesitation, without thinking his answers through to make sure they were safe. And Danny seemed to notice because Martin couldn't remember seeing him smile as much as he was now. It gave him a warm feeling that rushed through his entire body. The only difficult part was that he still had to pretend; he couldn't be entirely honest with Danny without giving himself away.
He wasn't sure if they had made the conscious decision to leave the bar or if they'd just suddenly – and mutually – decided that they'd had enough. It was nearing one a.m., and although he'd gotten up early that morning, Martin didn't feel at all tired. Being with Danny gave him an energy he'd never had before.
Something shifted as they stood up, and Martin swallowed hard, caught by the look in Danny's eyes. Another song came over the jukebox, low, sultry. The smoke hung low in the air and it almost seemed as if they were alone.
"Martin…" Danny's voice was soft, husky. It sent shivers down Martin's spine, made his body tighten, becoming more and more aware of Danny's presence – and how close he was – with every second.
He looked up, mouth open as if he were going to say something, but there was no sound. Danny was right in front of him, eyes dark, filled with something Martin was drawn to but infinitely afraid of, and he leaned closer, hand skimming Martin's shoulder, down his arm, fingers light as they played over the skin on his wrist. "Follow me," he murmured into Martin's ear, breath warm.
He swayed unsteadily on his feet, wanted to lean forward into Danny, wished he was brave enough to reach out, run his fingertips over the skin on Danny's neck. He nodded, blue eyes glassy as they looked up at the other man.
As soon as Martin had given his consent, Danny's fingers encircled Martin's wrist, pulled him along, towards the back of the club and out the door to the rear alley. The night air was warm, the darkness broken by the moonlight and the lingering dim glow of the club. It seemed surreal somehow and Martin could only follow, his skin burning where Danny's hand touched it. His knees wobbled when the other man turned, let go of Martin's wrist, pressed his palm lightly to Martin's neck, his other arm slipping around his waist. Martin couldn't catch his breath, felt his back press up against the brick of the building, rigid where Danny was malleable in front of him. His eyes fluttered shut for a moment as Danny moved closer, pressed up against him, his fingers tipping Martin's head upward. Wide-eyed, he looked up at Danny and swallowed hard, struck by the look in his brown eyes, the one he couldn't mistake for anything other than desire.
And this couldn't be happening, couldn't be real…because this had never happened to him before. His arms were at his sides, his heart was pounding in his chest and he licked his lips nervously before he could stop himself. Danny's eyes flitted down to Martin's mouth and Martin watched as he bit his bottom lip. Martin felt his breath catch as Danny moved even closer and gently swiped his thumb across Martin's lower lip. They were pressed together now from chest to thigh, Danny's arm tight around his waist, their faces inches apart. Martin felt hot, dizzy, terrified beyond belief and absolutely clueless as to what he should do next.
But he didn't have to worry; Danny took that next step without waiting. Danny kissed him. Time seemed to stop, the nervous rushing in his ears died away and his body turned to liquid. His lips were soft against Martin's, the kiss gentler than he would've guessed. Danny's hand slipped through his hair and Martin shivered, feeling weak all over as the kiss grew. Tentatively, he raised his arms and gripped lightly to Danny's shoulders, felt Danny's soft smile against his lips. Suddenly, it was all warm breath and the soft insistence of Danny's tongue against his lips and Martin shivered, his head spinning as he opened his mouth. Danny's tongue touched his then, the kiss deepened, and he was helpless to resist. Slowly, uncertainly, he kissed Danny back, trembling as Danny explored his mouth.
And how he'd come to this point he still wasn't sure. All of those hazy fantasies, the dreams he had never quite let himself complete…this was what he had wanted. Danny's hands on him, Danny kissing him…and God, the more he thought about it, the more he wanted. So much more and it was so very wrong.
He pulled away then, breathless, shaken. "Danny this is…wrong," he whispered. He shivered as he looked into Danny's eyes, saw how they were brimming with desire – for him – and saw his swollen lips, felt his warm breath against his face, the heat of his body pressed so close. And Martin was still desperate to touch Danny's skin…to see if it was as soft as it looked. If it tasted as sweet as his mouth. Startled by the intensity of his thoughts, he tried to step backwards, to clear his head, but the building was behind him and he had nowhere to go. "Danny…" he pleaded, still trapped in the other man's arms. If he didn't get away now, he was afraid that he never would.
Lust slowly faded from those dark eyes, replaced instead by something softer…worry almost. He frowned and removed his hand from the small of Martin's back, bringing both hands up to cup his face. "You've never done this before have you?" he asked softly, no trace of scorn in his voice, only concern.
Martin shook his head, found himself unable to look away from the other man. Found himself unwilling to leave the warmth of Danny's body, the gentleness he glimpsed in his eyes. But this was…wrong. So many times in the past, he'd fought these sorts of feelings, had tried so hard to make them stop, but they'd never been this strong before. Danny drew something out of him that no one else had ever been able to touch. In his genuine friendship and care, Martin had found trust, which had made it harder to resist.
"You've never been with another man, have you Martin?" he murmured absently, almost to himself.
"No," Martin answered hoarsely. "I…this is…wrong Danny," he said desperately, looking for validation.
Danny frowned at that and shook his head slightly. He brushed his thumb over Martin's bottom lip again and slipped his other hand to the back of his neck, fingers playing softly over the sensitive skin. He kissed Martin again; deep, searing kisses that made Martin's heart pound in his chest, had him reaching to wrap his arms around Danny's back before he could think to do otherwise. When they finally pulled apart, Martin was surprised he hadn't collapsed, knew he had the wall behind him as well as Danny's arms to thank for that.
"Does it feel wrong?" Danny asked, his lips brushing Martin's swollen mouth.
"No," he breathed in response, surprised at the conviction of truth he felt shiver through him. It didn't feel wrong; nothing about being with Danny felt wrong. But he knew that it was…or at least he thought it was. Confused by the feelings rushing through him – both physical and emotional – he shook his head, reaching out with trembling fingers to touch Danny's neck, sighing softly as he finally got to feel that warm, smooth skin. He was instantly greedy for more. "Danny, I don't…I don't know what I'm doing," he whispered, eyes looking everywhere but at Danny's own.
Danny paused for a minute, not responding or pushing any further. Finally, he tipped Martin's chin up, forced him to meet his gaze and he kissed him gently, fingers brushing over his jaw line. "I want to take you somewhere Martin," he murmured. "I…I didn't know that…" he trailed off, sighing. He seemed frustrated, but somehow Martin sensed that it wasn't him that he was frustrated with. "I should've realized," he added, almost to himself. "Do you trust me?" he asked, eyes focusing on Martin again.
It was easy to nod right away, because he did trust Danny. Implicitly. Even now – especially now – wrapped up in his arms under the moonlight in a back alley of Havana. "Yes."
Danny bit his lower lip and searched Martin's eyes for a few moments, almost as if he were expecting him to change his mind. But eventually his gaze softened and he pressed another soft kiss to his lips, and then across his jaw and cheek, his ear. "I'm going to take you back to your hotel. I need to get a few things and then I'll be back to pick you up in about forty five minutes, okay?"
"And then what?" Martin whispered, eyes fluttering shut as Danny's lips moved gently against his ear. He tightened his hold on the other man, quite addicted to the feel of being in Danny's arms by now.
Danny pulled back slightly so he could look into Martin's eyes. He smiled softly and ran his fingers over Martin's cheek, leaning in to press a small kiss to his lips. "I have a small house, north of the city, isolated from, well everything. It's along the water. My father left it to me when he died…" he trailed off for a minute, frowning, but it was gone quickly and he shook his head. "I want to take you there."
Martin looked at him carefully, excitement and nerves battling for dominance. More than anything he wanted to go with Danny, but he was wary, nervous. "Do you take a lot of people there?" he asked softly. He trusted Danny, yes, and he genuinely believed in his friendship, but he was in unknown territory now and he didn't quite know how to tread.
Danny cocked his head to the side curiously, a small smile flitting across his lips. He cupped Martin's face in his palms and kissed him again, deeply, pulling back only when they were both breathless and trembling. "I've brought a lot of people here," he said, eyes darkened and intense. "I've never taken anyone to that house; I want to take you there."
Martin could only nod, still speechless from the last kiss, from the look in Danny's eyes and the solemn tone of his voice. A few moments later, Danny's expression softened and he kissed Martin lightly, finally breaking their embrace when the kiss ended. He grasped Martin's hand in his own and pulled him along, back through the alley to the front street and to where Danny's car was parked.
"I'll be back," Danny said softly as he stopped the car in front of Martin's hotel. He reached over and gently squeezed Martin's hand. "Forty five minutes."
Martin looked over at him and nodded, wishing he could say something but he was unable to find his voice. Instead he gripped tightly to Danny's hand for a moment before getting out of the car.