Course of Action by AndromedaMarine

Streetlights into Tomorrow

The frigid twilight air nipped viciously at our skin, not caring that the white flurries had already declared themselves intent on soaking our clothes. Glancing to the left, I observed that Danny's ungloved hands and unprotected nose had morphed into the same shade of pink from the cold. Although I had known that the streets of the Big Apple, especially during twilight hours, were almost like an arctic village, my partner and I briskly walked down the sidewalk which was poorly illuminated by the streetlights that seemed to beg for replacement. I didn't regret my decision to live here, let alone to work at the crime lab. I wondered why Danny didn't own gloves – or perhaps he did and simply forgot to bring them to work.

I took pity on him and slipped my wool gloves off, handing them to him. Danny stared at me like I was handing him my life on a silver platter; shocked. He shook his head, snow sadly clinging to his brown, gelled hair. He confused me with his warm smile.

"'S okay, Montana. Keep them." Maybe he'd forgotten that his coat lacked pockets. He popped the jacket's collar and huddled deeper into its folds.

"Don't be modest, Messer. You're freezing." I thrust the gloves at him.

He stopped walking and gazed sadly at the slushy ground that had grown near-black from the New York foot traffic. "I'm fine."

This wasn't normal Danny. The white flakes had laid claim to his shoulders and hair, dusting him in a thin layer of snow. I shook my head, stepping in front of him. He looked up, his glasses fogged. "Danny."

He tried smiling but failed when an unexpected tear made its way onto his flushed features. I lifted my now-ungloved palm to his face and took a deep breath when he leaned into my hand, his eyes closed. His freezing grasp shocked my wrist as he kept my palm stationary. "Montana." The nickname had become more than that for us.

"What's wrong, Messer?" I suddenly became aware of the fact that he was but three inches from me. He looked like a popsicle in his windbreaker and jeans. "Don't you have any sense to dress for the weather?"

He chuckled, but it fell into silence when he pressed his lips against my palm. The feeling was abrupt and intense – his touch gave me the overwhelming urge to kiss him. "I believe you, you know," he said quietly, his other hand finding my cheek. He must have read my confusion because he continued. "You said that no matter what happens we can't fight the future."

Surprised that he'd remembered my words from almost a year earlier, my lips parted in a slight smile. "Why are you refusing the gloves?" I returned the conversation to topic, but one part of my mind was intrigued by his words and whatever significance they held.

He grinned, the expression normal finesse for him. "Because if I play this right I won't need them."