"Nathan, Stop!" Duke called from the door of the grey gull, a few long strides and he was by the other man's side.

"Duke.." Nathan didn't meet his eyes.

"No Nathan, I need..."

"You don't need me." He turned and reached for the truck's door handle.

"I have a daughter." Duke's voice was strained and Nathan hesitated.

"I know."

"Nate, please." Duke reached out his hand to grab his arm. Nathan half wondered if the pressure building in his chest was a heart attack, as usual there was no pain, just an increase of the dull ache he always got whenever Duke was around.

Nathan's last defense was silence so he rested his head against the truck and said nothing.

Duke, who normally never shut up, slipped inside his silence. Stepping forward he pressed his body softly up against Nathan's, resting his chin in the crook of the other man's neck. His arms slid around Nathan and he drew a shuddering breath.


"Don't, Nate, just give me this moment."

But Nathan twisted in his arms, and Duke's shoulders sagged as he lost the other man's warmth but then Nathan pulled him close in a fierce embrace. The strength of this was a contrast to Duke's gentle touches; Duke held Nathan like he was scared he would shatter into a million pieces, Nathan held Duke like if he let him go he would disappear.

"I'm sorry you lost her, I am," his voice was the same intense murmur that always made Dukes heart skip and Nathan continued "I just couldn't lose you."