Title: Baby, It's Cold

Rating: T

Pairing: April E./Roger D.

Summary: April comes home on Christmas Eve after a long day at work and Roger cheers her up with some holiday romance.

A/N: This one is for Vikki (Velvetfur) who, in the past... what, two or three years? Has been a very, very good friend to me. And I hope we continue to grow closer. :) I thought she would appreciate a story involving her own character- she plays April Ericsson in our RENT roleplay- and I really hope she enjoys the story, since she's always complaining about how there isn't enough fluff to go around. Merry Christmas, my sweet. xD

She'd never lead a particularly happy life, but April was certainly having a shitty day and she was going to make sure that everybody knew about it.

The redheaded girl stormed up the hundreds of metal stairs leading to the loft she shared with her boyfriend and three other people on the eighth floor swearing loudly, stomping the snow off of her boots along the way. Her feet seemed to have frozen into iceblocks in her time standing outside. Six hours. Six fucking hours she'd stood there on that street corner and nothing. Granted, it was Christmas Eve and below freezing outside, but shouldn't at least one man have had the sense to stop and take a coupon from the shivering girl standing outside the coffee shop?

Well, maybe they would have if she hadn't been shuddering so hard that her teeth chattered and clutching her coat around her, covering up her best assets. Back at the club, where it was heated and she was in her element, April would have turned anyone's head. But as soon as it got cold she became just a nineteen year old girl again who needed to pay off her debt to her heroin dealer and think up a good present for her boyfriend besides.

The key in her pocket stung her slowly thawing hands, ice cold, and she grimaced as she shoved it in the lock and twisted, bursting inside. The loft was no warmer than the staircase had been, just a few degrees warmer than the outside world where flurries of snow had stuck in her hair and cold air had filled her lungs, clinging to her and making her shiver. The first thing she did was drop her bag on the floor, the second struggle out of her coat before thinking better of it halfway through and pulling it back on- and then there was Roger.

The man of her dreams was lounging on the living room couch, guitar cradled loosely in his lap as he strummed a tuneless tune. His green eyes snapped up as she entered, sharp and dark, and he immediately set aside the instrument and held out his arms in complete understanding.

She ran into them gratefully, tackling him back onto the couch and pressing her cold face to his chest both for warmth and closeness. Breathing in the scent of him, relishing the human contact after a day out in the cold, April mumbles to him, "Roger I missed you..."

"You've only been gone since this morning!" he chuckled teasingly, one hand cupping her ass and then sliding up the back of her jacket, warm and large and calloused. Everything she'd been yearning for all day. "I know it's Christmas Eve but really? Don't whine."

"Maybe I like to whine." She pouts as she looks up, lips glossy and bright red- underneath the makeup they were probably blue but she didn't want to think about that. It's hard to think with Roger's warmth seeping into her, his low, hoarse stage voice in her ear and lips brushing over it.

"Alright- what can I do to make you stop whining?"

Shivering lightly at his tone, she snuggled further into him and smiled widely into his chest so he couldn't see her. After all, she was supposed to be pouting. "I don't know…" Playfully, she looked up through her lashes to see the adoring way that Roger was looking at her when he thought she couldn't see. The guitarist liked to pretend that he didn't love her; she knew the truth. "What about… Watching the snow with me?"

"Is it snowing? Fuck," he scowled, glancing out the window to see the fat flakes drifting past. It wasn't a storm now, but if it was they might end up snowed in the way they had last year. He could hear the wind howling and see the darkening sky, and he knew that it was likely.

"Yeah… But you know, it is kind of pretty," she remarked, staring out somewhat mesmerized. Nature was fascinating. April identified with it, whether it was because it was unpredictable as she was or it's 'I-don't-give-a-rat's-ass-what-you-want-I'll-do-as-I-please attitude she didn't know. Outside, she knew, it was definitely not pleasant- but from the inside, even if it was no warmer, she could appreciate the beauty of the icicles forming at the tops of the windows.

"I guess, if you have heat," he said dryly, but he glanced back at her at the word pretty and she felt herself flush at the implication. She KNEW she was pretty, but it wasn't something Roger ever said out loud. He was great at written words- he'd written ten songs for her to date, going on eleven soon enough by the looks of it- but out loud, he was no more romantic than Mark, and Mark was too awkward to even get himself a girlfriend, with his stuttering, blushing advances.

"Who needs heat?" She felt a small smile unfurl on her thawing lips. "Come on. Let's watch the snow. It's Christmas."

Though he groaned in annoyance, Roger complied- he could never resist her for long. Scooping her up into his arms, he swung his legs off the side of the couch and carried her to the window sill, sitting them both down and wrapping his arms around her midsection. Behind the frigid glass, clouded with their breath, the brewing storm looked beautiful.

"I'm glad you're not still out there," the guitarist admitted without looking at her. "I was worried." Hastily, he added, "You know. Because we can't fuck if you have frostbite. I would feel bad."

Giggling, the redhead shook her head, not bothering with a verbal response. Roger cared about her and she knew it. Maybe sometimes dark thoughts crept up on her and maybe sometimes she gave into them, sitting in the middle of her bed in the dark with Roger asleep beside her curled into a ball and staring hopelessly at the wall. Maybe sometimes it got to be a little overwhelming, this life she had, the memories that wouldn't leave her alone, the voice in her head whispering terrible suggestions. But here, with Roger… He could always make it go away, at least for a short time.

Lying in Roger's arms staring out at the snow, April found herself at peace.