Title: To The Bone
Author: an-alternate-world
Rating: M+
Characters/Pairings: Chris/Darren
Word count: 5,266
Summary: It's been a very long day and Chris just wants to relax, but then Darren invites himself over and things get a little...out of hand. RPF.
Warnings/Spoilers: Smut away!
Disclaimer: I am in no way associated with Glee, FOX, Ryan Murphy or anything else related to the Glee universe. Nor do I know Chris or Darren and so I hope to God they never see this...

He was so tired. So unbelievably tired. Everything hurt. This is what you get when you do a movie in your downtime and forget your other full-time job: being a Glee regular who does an absurd amount of dancing and who needs to be stupidly flexible.


He climbed into the driver's seat and rolled his neck around, trying to loosen some of the strained muscles. A hot bath, easy food, an early night.

A knock on his window and he realised those plans were shot. He pressed on the button and the window slid down.

"What, Dare?" he groaned, rubbing his shoulder.

Darren winced. "Um, just…wanted to ask if you wanted a hand tonight. Zach worked you pretty hard and I thought I could come over and…I don't know…cook or something."

"Darren, you burn water."

"Hey!" he pouted. "I totally don't. I mean, toast, sure. But water? Come on, man. The water is safe."

Chris rolled his eyes. "You haven't been to my new place, have you?"

Darren shook his head.

"Fine. You take your car and follow behind me. If we get separated in traffic, that's your problem."

Grinning, Darren bounced across the carpark and jumped into his car. Honestly, Chris wondered where he got the energy from. Six hours of stretching and jamming and learning ridiculous choreography and he was totally wrecked. And Darren looked like he'd just woken up. He needed to check Darren's coffee. And maybe any sign of some wonder-drug that kept his co-worker so hyped up. It couldn't be normal.

When Darren flashed his lights, Chris started up the car and pulled out of the lot. Chris soon forgot he was being tailed by Darren and settled into the routine of driving through the streets of L.A. towards his new house. It was a million times better than his apartment, although he still felt the exterior was rather…dingy. He wasn't happy with the blue but he just hadn't had the time to do much about it. Even his furniture was barely arranged and there were still boxes scattered around and he'd been there nearly two weeks now. If only I could get a day off, he mused, merging lanes and beginning the ascent.

It was a winding journey but he could see the bustle of L.A. falling behind him as he climbed into the hills. Something about being above all the chaos soothed him and being in a neighbourhood that wasn't filled with celebrities meant that he wasn't stalked too badly. Although the paparazzi did sometimes lurk if there was a particularly interesting story that had broken overnight about him, like Glee starting up rehearsals again last week or this weird stand-off he was having with Ryan about season four and the way the tabloids had taken their words and now it was just this big mess so Chris hovered around the new writers and Brad and Ian instead.

Home, his mind squealed and he turned into the driveway and…oh yeah, Darren. He pressed the garage opener and parked his car inside as Darren pulled up behind him and got out.

"The blue?" Darren said, wrinkling his nose.

"Yeah, yeah. You and Ashley and me. I'll get to it one of these days," he huffed, pulling his Chewbacca bag from the backseat and locking the car. Darren stood with his hands on his hips and gazed at the front of the house. "Are you coming?"

"Yes, sorry. I got distracted. You know, a cream or off-white would work well," Darren mused, following Chris into the house.

"Careful Dare, your gay is showing," Chris teased and Darren shoved him. Chris dropped the bag and took off his jacket. "Living room, kitchen, bathroom is over that way," Chris pointed in each direction, "couple of bedrooms upstairs and another bathroom."

"I like the floorboards," Darren commented.

"Seriously? Who are you right now?" Chris said, heading towards the kitchen and grabbing a Diet Coke from the fridge.

Darren shrugged and sat on a bar stool by the counter. "Darren Criss. Same oddball I've always been. Why do you sound so surprised?"

"No reason," Chris asked. "Can I get you something to drink?"

"Water's fine," Darren said, glancing around.

"Burnt or unburnt?" Chris joked.

"Oh, ha ha. Are you still going with that one?"

"Apparently," Chris replied, pulling down a glass and filling it with water. He placed it in front of Darren and returned to sipping his Diet Coke.

"Don't you ever get sick of that?" Darren remarked.

Chris shrugged. "Sometimes. I'll sneak the odd Red Bull but it tends to leave me buzzing a bit too much."

"Ahh yes, Red Bull," Darren tilted his head. "Dangerous stuff that. Got me through A Very Potter Sequel but Joey was pretty peeved with how wired I was all the time."

"Yeah, Ashley banned me from it after the tour was over and I had one less thing to worry about."

They lulled into a silence while Chris puttered around, pulling ingredients from the fridge and pantry. Darren placed his head on the cool bench top and felt his back twinge in protest. He hadn't been worked as hard as Chris today but he was still sore.

"What happened to helping me?" Chris asked, tossing a cube of cheese at Darren's head. It bounced off his hair and fell to the floor with a soft thwack.

"Tired. Sore," he groaned from where his head was resting on his arms.

"Don't you dare whinge. I can barely move and Zach worked me over way harder," Chris said, starting to chop up the chicken.

"Fine," Darren whined. "Give me something to do."

They worked quietly as Chris put together the food for chicken alfredo. It tended to be his go-to meal after a long day rehearsing and he knew there was nothing in it Darren didn't eat. Stupid picky eater.

He served up a dish for Darren and himself and turned the heat off, placing the pan on a separate cooktop so it didn't burn the bottom, grabbed a fresh Diet Coke and sank onto the sofa in the living room with a quiet whimper. God, he hurt. Darren sat next to him and they chatted about up-coming scenes and storylines and what they wanted to see from the next season. When Chris finished, he put his plate on the floor and stretched, feeling the joints in his back pop as he groaned with relief.

Darren swallowed and gathered up Chris' plate to dump in the kitchen sink and returned to the sofa where Chris was flopped out with his eyes closed.

"Can I…um…do you…want a massage or something?" Darren asked.

"Do you know how?" Chris said, opening an eye to stare at him.

"Please," Darren scoffed, sitting on the edge of the sofa and running his hands along Chris' back and spine, kneading and rubbing. Chris moaned softly beneath him and Darren bit his lip, shifting slightly. He found the right places and…crack.

"Ow?" Chris mumbled. "Actually…damn. That feels so much better. What did you do?"

"I'm a musician," Darren shrugged. "You learn shit when you switch between holding a guitar or hunched over a piano or holding up the violin or whatever."

"Oh yeah. Forgot you were the musical genius."

"I have to be able to do something better than you," Darren reasoned. "I mean, you have singing and dancing and acting and writing a-"

"Our styles are different," Chris sniffed, sitting up and rolling his shoulders. "Neither of us are better or worse than the other. We're just different."

"Fine. We're 'different'," Darren repeated with little air-quotes which made Chris roll his eyes. "Oh and um…you have a…spot of sauce…" he reached out and wiped it from the corner of Chris' mouth and Chris flushed. "Sorry," he muttered.

"No, I…better than not knowing and looking like an idiot, right?" Chris said, smiling. I need an off-switch for this damned blushing! "Ashley tells me about how her mascara might run and how awkward it is when no one says anything and she gets home and she's got this streaky line down her face,"

"Except you're already home," Darren pointed out.

"Totally besides the point."

"Sure, sure," Darren mused. "So um…I see you haven't really unpacked."

"Haven't had the time," Chris grimaced. "Lightning wrapped and then Glee started up again and I get home and I'm so wrecked."

"I remember the insanity of Glee when I first started. I thought what the net said about long days was just a joke. My first week…ugh," Darren recalled.

"How are you feeling now anyway? I mean, I can't do that thing to your back but I could rub out a kink if you have one."

Darren's mouth was suddenly much dryer.

"That totally didn't come out right," Chris said, covering his face with his hands.

Darren snorted and tugged at Chris' hands. "It's okay. I think."

"You think?" Chris raised an eyebrow in a very good impersonation of Kurt.

"I…well…yes," Darren stuttered. Shit shit shit. Keep it together, Criss.



"What's your…" Chris darted his eyes across the room, "opinion of me?"


"You understand words."

"I…" Darren floundered. This was awkward. Had it suddenly gotten hotter in here or…? "You're a very talented guy."

"Is that all?" Chris looked…disappointed?

"I don't know what you want me to say," Darren admitted nervously.

"I'll go first then," Chris swallowed, glancing at his hands which were still being held by Darren. "I think you're amazing. I'm stupidly jealous of your talent and you fit in so well and make so many easy friends and you're just so…comfortable, all the damn time and I feel like…like a flailing penguin. And I'm in awe of you. I feel like some weird fan but…I am."

Darren was touched and humbled and…now he felt even more uncomfortable. "You shouldn't be jealous of me. Sometimes I think of how they describe Blaine, that he's friendly and outgoing and everyone's friend and that's kind of how they described me at Michigan but I'm not sure who I am a lot of the time," he looked away. "I mean, I know I'm a singer and an actor but who am I really? This comfortable-in-my-own-skin thing is just a joke. I've gone from this boy that used to play in my bedroom to no one on YouTube to the boyfriend of this gay icon on TV and I don't know how to handle it."

"You're doing pretty well," Chris hushed him. "When I signed up, we never expected to get past the pilot. At least you sort of knew what you were signing in for."

"But never to become a series regular!" Darren protested. "I was signed on for a few eps and Teenage Dream fucking exploded."

"True," Chris conceded.

"And suddenly everyone knows my name and I'm having concerts and people are chasing after me and I feel like I'm just losing myself in the madness."

Chris twisted his hands and gripped Darren's. "You're still that same person, somewhere. I saw you jumping down the red carpet at the Harry Potter premiere. You still forget the lyrics and sweat so much that I think it's insane you don't pass out from dehydration. You went to LeakyCon and made me jealous because I missed out on all the Harry Potter flailing and keep in touch with your StarKids. You're still Darren Criss, oddball and goober extraordinaire."

Darren choked back a tearful chuckle and Chris pulled him in for a hug. "You haven't lost yourself in the madness, Dare. Never think that."

Chris could feel Darren shaking and he hugged him tighter, rubbing a hand across Darren's back. He could feel Darren's tears dampening his neck and he ached for the older boy who had dreamed of big things but never believed it would actually happen. He remembered when his mother used to kiss Hannah's hair after a particularly bad seizure and how it would calm her down, so without thinking much about it, he pressed his lips to a curl near Darren's ear. Darren stilled for a moment before pulling back.

"Chris?" he questioned, eyes wide and red and eyelashes wet.

"Sorry, it just…it used to calm Hannah down and I…don't know what I was thinking…" Chris stammered, letting go and putting some distance between the two.

Darren watched him carefully. "I never said what I thought about you."

"It's okay," Chris waved it away, heading towards the kitchen.

Darren jumped up and followed him, wrapping his arms around Chris from behind and pressing his face against Chris' firm shoulder blades. "I think about you kind of constantly and obsessively. I focus so hard on being right all the time in my steps or words that sometimes I forget them. When you look at me, I can't breathe. When I kiss you as Kurt, I think about how much I want to kiss you as Chris. On days that I feel like I'm drowning, your touch brings me back to the surface."


"Hush," Darren commanded. "I don't know what it means. I don't want to think about it too much. It just is. It's the way I feel. I have nightmares about you getting hurt and sometimes I can't get back to sleep because I'm so frightened it was real. And on those days, I arrive stupidly early and hang around until I see your car pull in just so I know you're alive and okay but I know I can't rush over to you because that's just weird."

"Do you love me?" Chris broke in softly.

"I-" he paused. Did he? "I don't know. But I like you. More than I should. I hate being apart from you. I get so anxious if I don't know you're okay."

Chris shimmied around in his arms and he suddenly felt incredibly exposed and thought it was best to leave. But Chris' cool hand on his wrist stopped him.

"I told you when I met you that I knew who you were, and you didn't believe me. I don't think I'd really seen you until you had your haircut to be Blaine. Then I could see your eyes and…I don't think I've ever seen eyes quite like yours. And then we had to kiss as Kurt and Blaine and Ryan made us practice so much and I thought I was going to throw up because I was so nervous and then you stayed in London while I came back here and I was thinking about you all the time and I knew it wasn't normal and Ashley just keeps listening to me rant about you but I think she probably knows and I- mmph."

He flailed for a moment, Darren's warm, slightly rough lips pressed tightly against his own. And then he realised it wasn't quite the same as Blaine but it was close and it felt right somehow and he was trying not to overthink it and he could feel Darren's warm, smooth tongue pressing at his lips and he opened his mouth and tangled his tongue together with the older boy as Darren pressed his hands to Chris' hips possessively and pulled him closer as Chris wrapped his arms around Darren's neck and buried a hand among his crazy curls.

And then Darren stopped to breathe.

"Sorry," he muttered.

"What on earth for?"

"I didn't…I don't know if you feel the same," Darren amended.

"If I didn't, do you really think I wouldn't have kicked you away by now?" Chris asked.

"Right. Right," Darren nodded. "So this is okay?"

Chris didn't respond, instead pulling Darren close again and thrusting his tongue inside the smaller boy's mouth. He felt Darren shudder and press him harder against the sink and it kind of hurt a bit but holy fuck he was kissing Darren. And then he felt himself hardening and quickly pulled away before it could get horribly embarrassing.

He stood on the other side of the kitchen bench, panting and getting his breath back.

"I thought you said it was okay?" Darren said, sounding horribly hurt and confused.

"I don't…I've never…" Chris stuttered, the part of him that decides to flush at inopportune moments becoming active again.

"You've never what?" Darren asked, watching Chris' tense posture.

"I've never had sex, okay?" he snapped. "I'm still a virgin because no one wanted to touch the gay kid in Clovis and I never have the time here to get out and so I'm just having a moment of mortification right now."

"Oh," Darren glanced down at his own half-hardness. "Why are you mortified?"

"I don't know!" Chris exclaimed, throwing his hands in the air and whirling around to face Darren. "Maybe it's because you have way more experience than me or maybe it's because part of me feels this is either all wrong, a dream, or going to totally fuck up Glee because show romances are always to be avoided and I don't know what the hell I'm doing!"

Darren took a step towards Chris. "I don't have that much more experience."

"You've had girlfriends, Darren."

"Yes, but I've never…never been with a guy before," he said. "I mean, kissed when we were drunk and playing spin-the-bottle or whatever but…it never got any further than that."

"You're not bothered by it?" Chris bit his lip.

"What? That you haven't?" Darren stared. "God no, Chris." He rounded the benchtop and pressed his hands against Chris' hips again. "Why should it?"

Chris shrugged half-heartedly, not really having a response, just expecting that it would be an issue.

Darren kissed beneath his earlobe softly. "Let me teach you," he breathed warmly into the shell of Chris' ears.


"Let me teach you. Let me ease your fears and then you won't have this hang-up about still being a virgin," Darren said, licking at Chris' ear.

"O-oh," he whimpered. "I…you'd do that?"

Darren nibbled his way along Chris' jaw. "It would be my pleasure to fuck you."

Chris smacked his shoulder before gripping at Darren's biceps. "You don't h-have to."

"Chris, honestly, shut up," Darren said, sealing his lips in another searing kiss. He pulled their hips together and pressed his thumbs into Chris' pelvic bone.

"Should we…bedroom?" Chris gasped as he tilted his neck for Darren to nip at it lightly with his teeth.

"Please," Darren murmured and Chris took off at a quick walk up the stairs as Darren followed close behind. Chris pushed open the door of his bedroom and groped for Darren who was already tangling them together and pushing Chris onto the bed. He looked down at the younger boy. "You're absolutely sure about this?"

Chris nodded, looking at least a little apprehensive but when he licked his lips, Darren groaned and nudged him up the bed while pulling off Chris' t-shirt. Biggest difference between Kurt and Chris: Chris had easier clothing. He stroked his hands over Chris' pale, toned chest which quivered beneath his hands.

"Why do you keep such perfection hidden?" Darren asked.

"Perfection?" Chris repeated. "Pasty is perfection now?"

"Clearly," Darren said, licking a path down Chris' throat and across his chest. He felt the breath catch in Chris' lungs as he blew warm air over one of his nipples and tugged his own shirt off in one fluid motion.

"See? Experience. I could never pull off my shirt so neatly," Chris teased softly.

Darren kissed down one of Chris' arms and sucked a finger into his mouth gently, swirling across the tip of it and tasting remnants from their earlier dinner. "The ability to pull my shirt off quickly comes with the concerts and needing to change shirts between songs, not because I've had so much sex."

Chris' whole body went pink, which Darren thought was rather cute. "Seriously? You blush at the mere mention of sex?"

"More like you getting sweaty," Chris mumbled shyly.

"That's a turn on?" Darren asked, fumbling with the zipper of his pants because his erection was getting far too uncomfortable. Chris only nodded. "Well, um, sex gets me pretty sweaty so…I hope you're satisfied at the end of it." Chris giggled a little hysterically until Darren kicked off his pants and pressed his chest against Chris' and kissed him deeply again. He felt Chris' hands slide across his back and over the bumps in his spine and across the curves in his lower back and he shivered.

"Can you…" Chris motioned at his pants, which are looking rather restricting. Darren carefully unbuttoned the jeans and slides them over Chris' legs, revelling in the expanse of more perfect, pale, toned flesh.

"Fuck you're gorgeous," he whispered, his breath ghosting over Chris' lips who has slightly dazed eyes. He can feel Chris beneath him, heat and a little sweaty and so smooth and he can't believe he's going to be the first. Chris trailed his fingers over Darren's tan skin and hairy chest, dipping into his navel and across the elastic of his briefs. It's making Darren dizzy with need and he's not sure how much longer he can stand it. "Do you have…?" He's a bit embarrassed by that question, he'll admit.

"Drawer," Chris motioned and Darren's reaching out blindly, finding the plastic bottle and small foil packages and biting at Chris' jaw.

"I thought you hadn't?" he muttered in between nibbles.

"Never hurts to be prepared," the younger boy replied, darting his fingers beneath the elastic of Darren's briefs and over the curve of his ass and oh, that's kind of nice, Darren decides. "You're totally sure?"

"Shouldn't I be asking you that?" Darren said, pausing to look Chris directly in the eyes.

"I'm not some sappy romantic girl. I trust you," Chris said. And Darren finds himself growling at how open and honest Chris is being as he pulls off their underwear and the first time their erections bump there's a soft groan from Chris as he shudders. Darren opens the bottle and spreads the lube across one of his fingers.

"I've heard this will hurt," he says apologetically.

"Only for a little while," Chris replies and with rather a building sense of nerves, Darren finds himself running the slicked finger over Chris' hole. "Please," Chris gasps and Darren finally pushes in, slowly, slowly, slowly, as Chris' face screws up and Darren wonders if maybe they shouldn't be doing this. But then he feels the relax as Chris moves around a little and when Chris nods, he moves the finger, slowly getting used to the difference between Chris' body and his previous girlfriends. It's warmer, and tighter, and he's a little terrified he might not make it very far with just the very thought of how tight it's going to be. "Dare…" Chris mumbles and Darren takes that as his cue to add another finger. He tips a bit more lube out and then pushes inside again.

He feels Chris tense with the intrusion and he stills, waiting until Chris adjusts and nods for him to continue. And when it happens, he starts to scissor his fingers to open Chris up further and Chris moans shakily and motions that he's ready for another finger, so Darren pushes in a third and fuck it's tight and he's wondering if he's even going to fit in there but he remembered having that fear with his first girlfriend and it all worked out so he just needs to stop worrying. It takes Chris longer to relax this time, so Darren gently wraps his hand around the swollen cock in front of him and Chris actually mewls.

"Don't…" he pants. "Won't last…"

"Sorry," Darren apologises unnecessarily, grabbing the condom packet and sliding it onto his own cock which is so grateful for a little bit of attention as he smothers it in lube. He crawls back up Chris' body. "Last chance?" he offers.

Chris shakes his head, grabbing onto Darren's arms and staring him in the eyes as he nods. It's all the affirmation Darren needs as he ever-so-gently pushes inside. He stills frequently, as soon as Chris' breath catches and he feels him tense. He's used to this, he remembers this. A first-timer's pain and fears and nerves making it more painful than it needed to be. But he doesn't mind, because Chris feels fucking amazing and he still doesn't know what this all means but he doesn't care anymore and then he realises he's pressed all the way in and kisses one of Chris' pink cheeks. Chris breathes slowly and deeply and Darren can feel the muscles around his cock contracting and relaxing and he waits. He can also feel Chris' short nails digging into his skin and it's a little painful but he knows he shouldn't complain about pain right now.

And then Chris gives a nervous nod and Darren can breathe again as he slides out before pushing back in again. He feels Chris shake and the grip on his arms alternates between loosening and tightening. He goes slowly, gently, opening Chris up as carefully as he can because he knows it's got to hurt but Chris is watching him and fuck if that's not the hottest thing he's seen with Chris' pale eyes looking so dark with desire. He buries himself in Chris and pauses for a moment, because he needs to collect his thoughts.

"You can…faster…" Chris whispers brokenly. Darren captures his lips and forgets about collecting his thoughts, setting a faster pace as Chris sucks at his tongue which makes Darren slam into him hard and Chris jerks. "Ohh," he cries.

"Did I hurt you?" Darren panics, stopping.

"No, no, fuck no," Chris assures. "No, again. Right there. Hard. Please."

So Darren resumes his thrusting, slightly harder and hitting Chris just right and he watches as sweat disappears into Chris' hair and he knows he's drenched because he's a bit slippery against Chris' chest and then Chris is wrapping his legs around Darren and scraping his blunt nails down his back and he stops thinking and moves harder and faster and he can hear the obscene noises escaping Chris' throat and he knows he can't control his own vocal cords right now and they stop kissing so they can pant as Darren feels the coiling in his stomach that feels like a burning hot spring and it's getting tighter and tighter and tighter.

"C-close," he grunts, grabbing for Chris' cock and stroking it hurriedly. And then Chris starts to cry out and claw at Darren and he clamps down hard on Darren's cock before spilling over Darren's hand and his belly and the look on his face and the tightness around Darren sends him over the edge and he sees stars for a few moments as he slows his thrusting to let his orgasm wash through him. When he has his breath back sufficiently, he pulls out of Chris and removes the sticky condom and ties the end because really, condoms are just gross sometimes and Chris has whimpered softly at the loss but can't really move because he's just been fucked dry and now he can see, now he can see, why people have sex. And he wonders if everyone can make his blood pound like that or if it's only Darren and his heart is racing and he's still trembling all over. He feels Darren move off the bed and must make a noise of protest because Darren hushes him with a soft "I'll be right back" and then he's back and there's something warm and damp on his tummy and oh, Darren's cleaning him. And then Darren is pressed against his side, an arm across his chest and a leg thrown casually over him and he's burying his nose in Darren's hair and smelling his cologne that's mingled with sweat and something which he assumes is that 'sex' smell he always reads about and whatever else that's just so Darren.

And they lay there, listening to the far-off sounds of L.A. and animals of the night moving around and getting their breath back and their heartbeats slowed.

"Is it…is it always like that?" Chris asks, returning to the shy boy of before.

"No," Darren says honestly. "That was fucking…I…never like that. Never that good."

He feels Chris' hand stroking the back of his neck and a part of him wants to purr because it feels so comforting and he loves post-sex cuddling more than anything else sometimes and Chris is just such a wonderful cuddler.

And then he feels Chris' tongue, warm and wet, licking a spot on his forehead. And he squeaks. Like the manly man that he is.

"Sorry," Chris mumbles. "Just wanted to taste you."

"You tasted sweat!"

Chris shrugs. "Wasn't so bad."

"You're weird, Colfer."

"Says the oddball, Criss."

"You love me anyway."

They both freeze.

"I didn't m-"

"Do you?" Chris interrupts.

"Do I what? Love you?" Darren's nervous, his throat is dry, he needs water. It's not because he's just sweated all over Chris while having sex. This is nerves. Him and his fucking mouth. Chris nods, not looking at him. "I don't know. I've certainly never had sex with a man before," he concedes. "Maybe I do. I just haven't quite figured it out yet. Like Blaine."

Chris makes trails with his fingertips through the sweat on the side of Darren's neck. "What does this mean?"

"It can…" Darren swallows. "It can mean whatever you want it to mean. Nothing or…or everything."

"I think…for now…let's just…see what happens?" Chris says quietly. "I'm scared. I don't want to lose our friendship."

"You sound like Kurt," Darren jokes.

"Maybe I understand now how he felt with Blaine," Chris replies.

Darren kisses him gently. "We'll always have each other. One way or another. I can't ditch you now like I can't ditch my StarKids. I…I need you, Chris. Somehow. Someway. So we'll see what happens and…go from there, okay?"

Chris nods and snuggles close to Darren again, his nerves being replaced by exhaustion. He knows he should clean up more but he had such a long day with Zach and then he just had sex, Chris Colfer had sex!, and now he just wants to sleep. And he's soothed by Darren's breathing and the soft thump of his head and is asleep quickly. Darren checks to make sure an alarm is set and for the first time in a while, falls into a peaceful sleep pretty quickly.