Arc: Chance Encounters

Story: Warmth

Rating: PG

Dedicated: To Caitlin. I hope you find what you need, and that you shed your sadness like a silk cloak.

Teeth chattering, he started the car. Finally done with work and eager to get home, he didn't give it much of a chance to warm up before shifting into drive and pulling away from the unbeloved slate gray building that housed the hell he called work.

His name is Trevelyn, and he is a sweet, shy boy. His body is lanky, his teeth straight, and his hair short and black and spiky. His eyes are the sharpest blue, like ice daggers, but if you say the right things maybe that ice would melt.

In all his twenty years, no one has said those things.

Like an automaton, he drives home. Exit parking lot, turn right, stop, turn left, curve, stop, turn right, stop, forward, turn right, yield, merge left, brake, turn left, stop...

It was that last stop, a stones throw, a frogs leap from his home, that he saw him. A figure dressed in a thick black coat, hood pulled up, face hidden. Black jeans and heavy boots. Trevelyn sat there, frozen, frozen like his eyes, staring and waiting, though he wasn't sure for what.

A blast of noise jerked him from the reverie. Jumping slightly, he pressed on the gas. And just as he was pulling into the parking space, braking, parking his car, he saw him turn and caught sight of a dark face, the color of pale cocoa, milk chocolate. Hair white, so white, like snow. Like ice, but soft.

The boy with the pale cocoa skin, soft icicle hair turned away, continued walking.

The car was still running, still purring like a beast, fumes rising in the frigid air, and Trevelyn sat there. Waiting, though he wasn't sure what for.

For the next three days, he'd drive home, and the closer he'd get, the more his eyes would strain for a glimpse of cocoa skin a soft icicle hair. For the next three nights, he dreamed of a man in black that he couldn't see. He'd come near, hold out hands the color of powdered cocoa, stroke Trevelyn's skin and then disappear.

The weather was getting colder, and no matter how Trevelyn bundled up the cold always sank into his clothes, into his bones, making him shake.

The fourth day was colder then any before. His windshield was covered in frost so thick it took him fifteen minutes to scrape it away. The car just wouldn't warm, so it was like sitting inside a fridge. It was even colder in the car then outside.

After all that scraping his hands were frozen through, fingers trembling as they tightened around the steering wheel. He clenched his teeth shut to keep his teeth from chat-chattering, determined not to let the cold win.

It was so cold that he forgot to look for the boy with cocoa skin and soft icicles for hair. He drove home like an automaton and parked, then slid out of the car. Body shaking, small spasms racing through chilled limbs, he headed into the house.

But he stopped short, because there on his steps was a man in black, a man with cocoa skin and soft icicles for hair. He could see now that his eyes were a lightening-bright blue, blinding and intense. Still shaking, Trevelyn stood there, simply staring at the man.

After a moment, the man in black, the man of cocoa skin and soft icicle hair stands, stepping close to Trevelyn. He's tall, half a head taller then Trevelyn.

Reaching out, he takes the lanky boys hands in his own. Despite being ungloved, they're warm, and so very gentle. His nails are short, digging into the material of the gloves slightly. Eyes focused down, he raises those trembling hands, shaking with cold. As he continues to touch him, Trevelyn feels the clack-clacking of his teeth subsiding, the shivers sliding away.

He watches with large eyes as this boy, this cocoa skinned beauty with soft icicles for hair raises his hands up and presses his lips to them, blowing against the material of the gloves. Warm, moist breath passes through the fabric, heating chilled flesh, stirring cold blood.

Trevelyn continues to stare at him, surprised and confused but mostly just basking in the warm glow of this man. As he watches, those ice daggers in his eyes, the frosted glow seems to melt away. And what's left is a pool of clear blue water, fresh and wonderful.

"I wanted to warm you up," he murmurs, lips still pressed against gloves, eyes still downcast.