Disclaimer: Based on Generation Kill, the mini-series. Generation Kill and all the characters depicted in it do not belong to me. I'm just borrowing toys from someone else's sandbox and playing with them.
The morning mist alters the once moonlight-silver tint of Brad's skin to a light-golden sheen, akin to burnt rays of light – inexplicable though it may sound – darker in some places, but mainly the same shade all over. Hours, days spent surfing take their toll on smooth, lean muscles and sun-bleached hair. Brad's skin doesn't freckle nearly as much as Nate's, which is surprising, considering how much time he spends in the sun, disregarding the fact that he's mainly covered while surfing. Rare, barely-visible freckles dot his shoulders, hands and nose, softening his usually icy rough, rugged appearance. Nate wants to rub his lips repeatedly over each and every one of them. Almost clumsily, he kisses Brad once on the shoulder closest to him, and then on the tip of his nose. Brad's breathing becomes shallower. Nate knows it won't be long now until he awakens.
Ever since that first time he saw Brad in the sun, emerging from the water, Nate has wondered whether the other Marines would continue to call him 'the Iceman', if they could see him, surrounded, god-like, by rays of light.
Nate picks up Brad's hands, plays with his fingers almost absent-mindedly. They are long, slender, capable of killing and caressing, though Brad wouldn't admit the latter even under pain of death – only when Nate holds him on the brink of extreme pleasure, branching almost into excruciating pain. Just how Brad likes it. Brad is still trapped in the land of dreams and things that are not quite real, and Nate kisses the pads of Brad's fingers, nibbling at his ring finger almost thoughtfully, caught in his ruminations of the various ways Brad is contradictory.
Nate knows that, when Brad awakens and sees Nate staring at him, he'll stare back for a second or two – always an eternity, never nearly enough – and then make some half-hearted comment about Nate turning into a female overnight. Perhaps he'll mention the effect civilian life has undoubtedly had on Nate. It'll be half-hearted, because Brad's blue eyes will still be soft, scrutinizing only in the gentlest of ways. Nate wonders what the other Marines would say, if they saw Brad's eyes like this – not icy, but thawed. Ray and Poke probably have the best idea of him like this, but definitely not under such intimate circumstances. No, Nate thinks, this is just for me. Just for us, as Brad takes in one deep breath, his eyelids flutter – those obscenely long, blond lashes dancing like spiders' legs, casting a shadow – his fingers rubbing against Nate's lips, as his blue, blue eyes open, dark with sleep.
A beat or two, maybe three or four, possibly a hundred thousand years, centuries pass by the dozen, civilizations are born, thrive and self-destruct, several million minutes go by as Brad and Nate stare at each other. Nate doesn't let go of Brad's fingers. One, two, three seconds pass, before tiny lines appear at the corners of Brad's eyes, the right corner of his mouth lifts, and Nate catches a glimpse of the beginnings of a crooked grin:
"Take a picture, sir. It'll last longer. Maybe you can even borrow Lilley's camera; it would make for a fascinating documentary: cold-blooded killer sleeps. Then again, I doubt Lilley would let his most prized possession fall into the hands of a civilian, especially one who was formerly an officer in the illustrious Marine Corps."
Nate grins. "Someone needs to be taken down a peg or two," he says, bringing Brad's hand over and around his waist, shifting closer. Brad would delight in calling it snuggling.
"Would that be me or Lilley, sir?"
Nate's answer – something along the lines of keep calling me 'sir', and the possibility of it being you will increase exponentially –is lost in the collision of lips, the rustle of sleeping body-temperature sheets, and Brad's muffled chuckle. Nate pulls his hair extra hard in retaliation. Just how Brad likes it.
They both keep their eyes open for as long as they can; stark, clear green merges over the barely-there distance with laughing, sparkling blue. Just how Nate likes it.