Early mornings always baffled Danny. Why did the sun always bother to rise on the wrong side of the sky anyway?
The duvet was soft and warm against his bare feet.
Legs shifted and a toe or two found the two-years-old softness of the fabric of Nicholas's blue plaid pajama-pants.
Danny had never before liked the singlet "tank-top" undershirts until Nicholas had come along. On himself they felt too revealing of his less-than-perfect figure, his big, hairy arms and that gaudy sun-tattoo from his youth. On Nicholas, though, the ribbed undershirts left little to the imagination; revealing leanness and curves of muscles that defined a fitness close to the roman ideal.
Nicholas in his pajamas was the equivalent of comfort and beauty. Asleep with his mouth open, showing the ridge of those straight, white teeth. Snoring a little bit.
The thought crossed Danny's mind that he might get up – sneak away and make tea and breakfast.
No way in fucking hell I'm leaving this.
The larger man scooted close and pressed his body to Nicholas's, the warmth between them causing them both to subconsciously snuggle in and wriggle further into the warm folds of sheets, and one big arm wrapped around his sleeping companion.
"Mmmnn." Nicholas murmured, not quite awake yet.
Danny knew that as soon as Nicholas did fully wake up he'd bound out of bed, ready to take on a new day, and hurry off to do his jogging and the usual routine that came after. If Nicholas had his way, every day would be just like the last; a routine. Easy to do. Easy to get everything done. Everything a tick-mark on some list.
Danny smiled mischievously as he imagined his purpose: disrupt Nicholas's list. Keep him from doing the same same same thing every bloody day and show him what wonder and brilliance could be found in being different. Being spontaneous. Being a little wild. Being here together, tangled in the covers, warm and pressed against each other and enjoying every second of it.
Showing him what he'd been missing until he came to Sandford.
He felt so good, just being there.
One finger snuck around and lazily traced a nipple through the gauzy undershirt. Nicholas grunted and pawed the tickling hand away, still not technically awake. Danny responded by closing his eyes and nuzzling the fuzzy yellow hair at the nape of Nicholas's neck.
A whispered, "G'morning, beautiful man."
Without opening his eyes, Nicholas flopped over and snuggled to Danny's larger, warmer frame. "M'rning…Mmmm…"
Nicholas's night's-worth of beard growth was so light it was almost invisible. Soft. Flaming golden. Viewable only when backlit by the yellow rays of rising sun. Danny relished the feel of it on his check where the little hairs fell between his own thicker black stubble.
He couldn't resist a simple kiss on the cheek and a slightly more complex nibble at Nicholas's ear.
His hero. His partner.