Title: Twilighting
Rating: M.
Characters: Nicholas/Danny.
Summary: Danny has never been so happy in his life. For once, everything is just fine.

Danny wakes up, most mornings. Wakes to sunlight shining in on him, warm and too bright on his face, and making his skin prickle as his brain starts up and tells him to roll over, to shift his face out of that painful bright rectangle from his window and press it against the cooler tangle of sheets and pillow cases.

Press his body against the stretches of Nicholas' bare skin. Feel Nicholas curl against him, making small noises that could be unconscious, or could be signs of waking, or could be Danny's own brain conjuring them up, he's heard them that many times. Little sighs and half words, and sounds that are all consonants. The rare complete word a treasure that echoes a little in the small space between them. Danny.

"Morning Danny," Nicholas says, and his voice is as warm as the sunlight was, but cracked at the edges. "Do we have to be up yet?"

Danny looks over at the clock on Nicholas' side of the bed, knowing the time even though the numbers on the digital face don't quite register in his brain, a scramble of red against black. "Not yet," he says, pressing his face against Nicholas.

"Mmm," Nicholas' mouth is a gentle curve, even though Danny can't see it with his eyes closed. "Good." And then Nicholas is wrapping around him, and smelling like stale air, and only someone who has been tangled up in that smell can know how it's a good thing. There are mouths meeting, and hands moving, and sheets soft and crumpled and concealing. And then, a blissful fade from focus as the camera turns away.

Days were filled up. With what, Danny is never quite sure. Doris' voice asking How you been then? Danny? every once in a while, and the vague impression that work was being done. When he thinks about it, Danny can remember sitting and reading books about proper ways to do things, and when his eyes move over those jumbled collisions of letters it's Nicholas' voice that he hears in his head:

Causing harm offences.
These are the basic non-fatal offences against the person. They are distinguishable by the degree to which the defendant is alleged to be at fault. The fault elements are crucial in determining the appropriate offence and maximum penalty that should apply in the particular case…

And all the while there's the feel of warm air and hot sun, and the tinkle ringing of background noises and those strange sounds your ear decides to hear even when there's nothing there. Sometimes Danny's skin itches, though he can't for the life of him figure out why.

It's morning again. And Danny (Danny) wakes up again. The same yellow sunlight shining on his eyelids, making his vision red when he opens his eyes at last. A red filter making Nicholas look gold where he lays, an arm draped across Danny's chest, a hand on Danny's stomach, a twisted mess that tingled with the fading ache of a bad dream. Danny looked down at the hand, lifted it up and looked at the skin underneath. Soft, and healthy, and completely unmarked.

Danny, I…

Nicholas props himself up on a golden elbow, following Danny's gaze with bemused, half-awake curiosity. "What are we looking at?" he asks. And Danny could drown in that warm morning voice.

"Nothing," he replies, twisting his hand so his fingers tangle with Nicholas'. "There's nothing there."

Nicholas' gaze flicks up to Danny's, the bemused smile becoming more overt and his eye colour indefinite in the sunlight. "You're there," he says teasingly.

"I like waking up with you," Danny says. And it doesn't even occur to him to be embarrassed about saying this. "I used to wake up sometimes, and wonder if I was really still asleep."

Nicholas' smile is pleased, gently amused and slightly uncomprehending. "I've never had that," he says.

Danny opens his mouth to reply, but somehow they're kissing instead. Not that Danny minds. Not that Danny can think of a single better way to spend time in bed. Wrapped around Nicholas, and wrapped up in Nicholas, and strange dream-time tinglings being chased away.

Danny doesn't usually remember his dreams. He knows they're cold places. The sound of rain, and dull feelings of hurting that he doesn't quite understand.

…an assault may be committed either intentionally or recklessly, although the courts have stumbled about what recklessness means in this context…

He's usually so glad at being awake each morning, at the feel of warm sheets, and warm sunlight, and relieved to be getting away from the dim chill and rain-smell of whatever his brain does when he's asleep.

Five-point-four (one). A person is reckless with respect to a circumstance if:
a) he or she is aware of a substantial risk that the circumstance exists or will exists; and
b) having regard to the circumstanced known to him or her, it is unjustifiable to take the risk.

He spends his days trying to be happy – and it isn't hard, not with the bright grins that are only for him, and the fast-forward to the hot feel of a hand catching his in the middle of the day, the burn of the car engine in front of them, and the glee bubbling up because somehow he'd had a life without this…

(two) A person is reckless with respect to a result if:
a) he or she is aware of a substantial risk that the result will occur; and
b) having regard to the circumstances known to him or her, it is unjustifiable to take the-

Danny has never spent much time thinking about the past, there was no point in that. But for once he finally felt like he wasn't living inside his own head. Like there was a reason to be waking up and a reason to struggle to stay awake and –

to take the…

And it was like he'd been pulled apart and put back together lucky. Days were fuzzy around the edges, and bright smiles reflected and refracted and it was like that camera effect where the saturation is turned up and everything shines and –

Danny. Oh god, Danny.

And Danny wakes up with a chill on his skin, and the vague feeling of the smell of flowers. Nicholas is there, with his lazy grin and relaxed body. And the alarm clock is there, with its black face and red lines and the numbers that Danny never quite needs to absorb. And when he presses against Nicholas, raises his hand to cup the intoxicating smoothness of Nicholas' jaw, he feels a twinge at his inner elbow. Resistance caused by something that isn't there.

Nicholas smiles, chasing the strange hitch away. "Danny," he says, warm and sleepy and thick and promising.

Danny. Cracked and echoing.

"I think I'm going mad," Danny admits. "Sometimes."

Nicholas smiles that perfect smile at him, an arm draped behind his head and an unscarred palm inviting in its mundaneness. "Let me take your mind off it."

Danny closes his eyes against the brightness of the room, and kisses Nicholas. Waiting for the chill to be chased away.

Sex with Nicholas is sweet and indistinct. Blurred lines of tangling legs and a fuzzy confusion about the press of skin against skin. It feels sweet though, and smooth, impossibly perfect. Mouths press, hot and damp and open and sweet. Nicholas' tongue doesn't have a flavour of its own, just tastes the way Danny's mouth tastes. Nicholas' skin tasting like Danny's lips and saliva, and it just makes sense that way.

Thighs pressed between thighs, hips pressing against groins, and Danny is never quite sure how the barest impressions of clothing manage to remove themselves. Memories of underpants and reaching hands fading away before the motions are complete. Clothes gone and sheets present, but never tripping or tangling.

Danny has never been as sure and certain and smooth as he is when he's with Nicholas. Never been so wrapped up and swallowed in that comforting warmth and the bright morning sunlight that never seems to dim, no matter how hard he presses his eyes closed, no matter how tightly he presses his face to the curve of Nicholas' neck. Skin smelling like stale air and lilies, somehow.

Hips moving, and hands caressing – and Danny has never caressed before, never been so sure of his body holding itself and so seduced in calm confusion to be able to do anything other than grab, or clutch, or press. Nicholas has his hands gripping at Danny's back, and his head tilted back. Danny can feel it, even with his eyes tightly closed and his head tilted down, he can feel the tilt and the humming press of Nicholas' neck and jaw against his temple if he pauses to think about it. Nicholas' mouth is open, and words are tumbling out, and Danny feels them curling through his ears and down his spine.

a risk is unjustifiable is one of fact. Four) if recklessness…reckless-… Fuck. Danny.

"Fuckkk, Danny." And it's a groan turning into a whine. Nicholas pressing against him and Danny bites down on that shoulder that tastes of nothing and smells like somewhere that clearly isn't Danny's bedroom. Clinging to the close, tender and hard sex sounds.

Danny, please.

"Please, Danny," and Nicholas' mouth is open and these words are swimming and tangling and Danny isn't really sure of anything. Isn't sure of anything but how much he wants this. Wants Nicholas arching and moaning, want's his hands full of golden skin that is too good to be true. Except it isn't too good, because Danny's hands are on it now and it's rocking him how real this must be. The static feel of skin, and the taste that's indefinable in its familiarity. Nicholas is saying please and Danny, over and over again, and Danny can't understand any idea that isn't burying himself in Nicholas, isn't giving in, and drowning, and suffocating, and being somewhere prefect.

He has to plant his hand at the mattress beside Nicholas' shoulder just to steady himself. He can feel Nicholas moving under him – can feel nothing but Nicholas moving under him – feeling Nicholas reach up and grab Danny's hand –

Fingers moving gently over cold skin and stiff joints, and tape on the back of his hand holding the needle-

Fingers moving gently over warm summer skin and twisting Danny's hand so his sweaty palm is flush against Nicholas' smooth one. Twisting their fingers together with such fluidity that Danny wonders if they'll ever be able to untangle them. Twisting their bodies together, and Danny's coming and Nicholas is arching, and it's a prefect sweet moment, all blurred and artistic, and fading gently to white.

Afterwards, lying on the crisp-but-crumpled sheets, Danny spends a moment trying to line his brain up. Trying to chase away these phantom dreams that keep invading these beautiful mornings, these half-days of sunlight and content with hardly a night time amongst them. The conversation of days (weeks? Hours, perhaps) ago stirs in unsystematic memory.

"What would you do," he asks, stroking absently at the frictionless skin of Nicholas' back, the morning sun still shining in on them. "What if you woke up, and the past year, or month or whatever, what if it was a dream?"

Nicholas smiles, his eyes closed and lazy, and Danny isn't even surprised at how natural it looks on him. "I'd blame you," he says. "You and your movies."

Danny smiles, and tries to remember the last time they'd watched a movie. The last time he'd sat down and…

"I've have to" keep living "I suppose."


Nicholas opens a lazy eye, pupil dark and wide even in the sunlight. "Danny?" Danny, please? "Your turn."

Danny blinks again, focusing on Nicholas' hand on his chest, and Nicholas' other hand propping his stubble-free chin up. Focusing on shaking away the phantom tingles in places that had no reason to be tingling, the sick pain in his stomach. "What?"

"What would you do?" Danny, help. I can't… I need… "If you woke up like that?"

Danny pulls his mind away, and focuses on Nicholas in front of him. Nicholas, pressed against him, so warm and inviting. So unlike the person he'd first met. Danny wraps an arm around Nicholas' waist so he can feel him. Can feel the hotness melting the cold snow of twilight dreams away. Nicholas always felt a few degrees warmer than anything else. More stable than any of the bright colours and vague sensations. Nicholas' eyelids lower, and his head tilts.

"Why would I even bother waking up?" Danny returns. And when he kisses Nicholas, he can feel a world of uncertainty falling away.