Prompt (from The Pocket Muse): Imagine a coat. Imagine the pocket of the coat. Imagine what's in the pocket.
A/N: I've never written anything so fluffy in my life!
He was halfway out the door before he remembered. The weather channel had said to expect temperatures below freezing today. The past few weeks had been unseasonably warm, but it appeared that winter was tired of the respite and was back with a vengeance.
Of course, Martin didn't really trust the weather channel. He'd carried an umbrella to work one too many times under a sunny sky to place any real trust in meteorology. Of course, it always managed to pour on those days that he didn't have an umbrella and no taxis or subway stations were nearby. So, this morning, as he stepped out of the apartment building, he fully expected warmth because the local forecasters had all said cold.
Instead, he was greeted by a blast of bitterly cold air that made him gasp and step quickly back inside, instinctively tugging his thin jacket closer to his chest. Frustrated by the fact that the weather prediction was – for once – correct, he grumbled incoherently to himself and trudged back up the two flights of stairs to his apartment for his winter coat.
After a quick search, Martin hadn't been able to locate it, realized with a fleeting smile that he had last left it at Danny's sometime right after Christmas when it had still been somewhat cold outside. Luckily, he still had another coat from the previous winter; a gray and blue wooly thing that Danny had professed had to have been purchased in 1984. Smirking to himself, he slipped it on, grabbed a pair of gloves off of the shelf in his closet and left for the second time that morning.
He was halfway across town, huddled into the backseat of a cab that was using enough heat to warm an entire building, when he found an unexpected item in his pocket. Moving to shove his gloves into the pocket of the coat, he had reached in only to find something small, hard and jagged. Surprised, he pulled it out and eyed it curiously.
It was a key. A single key attached to a cheap plastic key chain with his first name typed on it. Martin had never seen it before.
He jumped when the car came to an abrupt stop, looked out the window and realized he was at work. Quickly, he paid the driver, was careful not to lose the mysterious key and stepped back out into the cold – a welcome feeling after the stifling temperature of the taxi.
Martin smiled happily when he found Danny waiting for him at his desk with a cup of coffee. Even after all this time, his heart still fluttered when the other man smiled and wished him good morning. They had been together for such a long time now, that Martin didn't really remember a time that they weren't. He couldn't recall in months, years or days how long they'd been a couple – he was sure that Danny could – but he knew that it had been and continued to be the most important part of his life. For Martin time had been simply divided into two periods. Before Danny. And with Danny.
"Did I miss the memo that today was retro day?" Danny smirked, a curious, teasing glint in his dark eyes.
Martin scowled at him as he unbuttoned and unzipped his coat and slung it over the back of his chair. He had already placed the puzzling key into his suit pocket and he touched it through the fabric quickly, just wanting to make sure it was still there.
"I left my new coat at your place, and in case you haven't noticed it's freezing outside today, so I had to wear something more than a light jacket," he rebuked.
"You didn't have to wear anything on my account Martin," Danny said mischievously, eyebrow raised, mouth turned up ever so slightly at the corners. When Martin blushed, Danny smiled triumphantly, having won his prize. He reached out in response and quickly, discreetly squeezed Martin's fingers.
Luckily for him, it was a slow day at work, and he didn't have to venture back out into the freezing air until after work. New York's residents must have decided that it was too cold to disappear. But that wasn't to say that each of them wasn't busy with random amounts of paperwork for different cases. Martin, however, spent most of his day contemplating the key he'd found in his coat pocket.
When he wasn't going through files, he was turning it over in his fingers, trying to think of where it could've come from, why it had his name on the key chain, and most of all what it opened. But by the end of the day, he was no closer to figuring it out.
He was supposed to go home with Danny for dinner at his place, but his inability to let this particular memory go unsolved forced him to go home first. He wanted to compare the key to all the others he had…see if maybe it was a spare he'd had made for some reason and just couldn't recall why. Telling Danny he'd come over in about an hour or two, he left work in a hurry, anxious to get home and find out if his only assumption was correct.
Nearly three hours later, he was back out in the cold, once again making his way across town in a cab – this time it had hardly any heat at all. None of the keys in his apartment matched the unexplained one in his coat pocket. His frustration at being unable to solve this particular mystery had left him cranky and with the beginnings of a headache. The only real relief, he knew, would be Danny. Danny who had probably already eaten whatever dinner he'd cooked but would have a plate ready for Martin. Danny, who wouldn't ask why he was late. Danny, who would take away his headache and frustration with the touch of his hands and lips until Martin surrendered enough to forget about a silly key.
A woman on her way out held the door open for him, so he took the elevator to the fifth floor and walked slowly down the hall to Danny's apartment, fingers still running over the key in his pocket. As he raised his hand to knock, a sudden and very unexpected thought came over him. He stood still for a few moments, frowning as he stared at Danny's door.
Martin shook his head, but made no attempt to move. "But why would he…" he murmured to himself, heart beating very quickly all of the sudden. Somewhere, floating in his mind, was a half-forgotten conversation, pushed abruptly to the forefront in its relevance.
"Move in with me."
"You heard me Martin. Move in with me. It makes sense. I'm closer to work. I have a bigger place. We spend most of our time here anyway," he said, smiling as he listed the sensible reasons.
Wide-eyed, he looked up to see a warm, hopeful look in Danny's eyes, revealing more than just practicality for their sharing an apartment. He swallowed nervously and shook his head. "Danny…"
A quick shadow of disappointment flashed through Danny's eyes, and Martin felt his heart ache sharply. But it was gone just as quickly, and before Martin even had a real chance to think about it, Danny had kissed him and then changed the subject.
But it wasn't like Danny to give up on something so easily, and Martin could remember being surprised for a while when he hadn't brought it up again. Now though…he looked down at the key that was warm in his palm and held his breath as he pushed it carefully into the lock on Danny's door.
The mystery seemed so simple now as the door unlocked. He finally released the breath he'd been holding as he pushed the door open and stepped inside, almost immediately greeted by Danny's curious and slightly shocked appearance.
Neither of them said a word for a few minutes, Martin too busy trying to swallow his heart back into his chest and catch his breath. His fingers curled tightly around the key in his hand and he took a few steps forward until he stood directly in front of the other man.
"I want to move in with you."
The words left his mouth before Martin had a chance to stop or analyze them, but he wouldn't take them back for all the world. Danny's eyes widened in surprise but quickly softened as he reached out to cup Martin's face in his palms. "Good," he answered simply, leaning closer to seal their sudden decision with a kiss.
It was only after Martin had eaten dinner and they'd settled down together on the couch, carefully wrapped up in each other's arms that they began to talk about it.
"So what made you change your mind?" Danny asked softly, his fingers running idly through Martin's short hair.
"So you do remember that conversation," Martin stated simply, watching as amusement flitted over Danny's face.
"Of course I do. Didn't you?"
Martin shook his head. "I did, I just didn't…"
Danny laughed shortly and pressed a kiss to Martin's temple. "I have no idea what that means Fitz."
Martin turned his head to scowl at him, but was met with a kiss that left him smiling instead. He reached into the pocket of his jeans and held the key up to dangle in front of Danny's face. "You didn't give up; you just gave me this. Didn't you?"
Danny nodded, cocking his head to the side curiously. "I put that in the pocket of your coat last winter, about a week after you said no to my proposal. I wanted you to find it and figure out what it was…what it meant," he said softly, eyes filled with love.
Martin swallowed hard, struck by the way Danny could still make him feel so warm all over. So…happy. Clearing his throat, he looked down for a moment before moving on. "It was pretty warm last winter…I'll bet I didn't put that coat back on. And then I got a new one this year…"
"And only you would save that old, hideous coat and wear it again," Danny finished, grinning. "When did you figure it out?"
Martin went on to explain how he had found the key in the morning and had spent most of the day trying to figure out where it had come from and what it was for. "It was only once I was in your hallway, that the idea came to me, that it might be for…here," he murmured. "Why didn't you ever ask me to move in again, after that one time?"
Danny shrugged, running his knuckles gently over Martin's cheek. "I knew you'd want the same thing eventually. I knew I wouldn't have to push, just…be patient. I didn't mind." He paused and then kissed Martin again and pulled him closer. "I love you too much to mind," he whispered, lips brushing Martin's as he spoke.
Heart flooded with warmth, Martin wrapped his arms tightly around Danny's back and looked into his eyes, their foreheads pressed gently together. "I'll start packing tomorrow."