|Benton Fraser closed the door softly, wincing as the click reverberated through the dark room. He listened intently for a moment but heard nothing but the faint tick of the clock in Inspector Thatcher's office. While he had been given permission to use her private bathroom during her leave, he didn't want to explain to Turnbull what he was doing in here at 2:30 in the morning. Relieved, he rested for a moment against the door, his sigh echoing in the blackness. He was so tired. Lonely.
Pushing himself further into the dark room, muted light from the high covered windows washed over him. He could almost make out the faint gleam of gold fixtures on the sink, the low squat shape of the tub, and the dark cavern of the shower. The opulent room with its marble walls and floor, unheated in the Inspector's absence, radiated a chill that reminded him of home. Which is why he came here, late at night, when the city was almost quiet and he could remember.
Remember the crisp, cold midnights when he had gazed up at the silver stars, so far away and beautiful. Where the falling snow caressed his face, wetted his lips, kissed his face like a frigid lover. The crisp scent of virgin snow making his chest ache pleasantly; the complete absence of noise, filling his head and soothing him. He closed his eyes and imagined the quiet blanket covering the landscape he yearned for. His hands moved over his body slowly, pulling away each piece of his clothing, until he stood nude, savoring the soft glide of the chilly air against his pale flesh.
He stepped into the shower stall pulling the glass door shut with a click. In the quietness, the tiny sound reverberated dully, gratingly. He thought it sounded like the slam of a steel morgue drawer, and Fraser knew what it was like to be dead. To be lifeless and pale, waiting for someone to identify you, to claim you, to know you. To take you home.
And how you froze a little more inside when no one came.
A quick twist of his hand and water mingled briefly with the tears on his cheeks before his groping hands found the shower head. Directing the stream against the back of his neck, he fumbled again with the controls until the flow was icy, making him shudder. He leaned back into the marble walls, letting the unfeeling stone leech out his remaining body heat. He smiled even as he trembled, losing himself in his mind once again.
His hands stroked through his wet hair and down his face; trailing fingertips snowflake-light against his eyelids. Over the quivering lips to dip shyly into the damp mouth to be suckled like a clear icicle; down his neck, drifting across the smooth chest heaving in the icy downpour. Across the flat belly, skittering like the flurries that dusted the air when the wind blew; sliding to grasp the hottest part of himself, erect and waiting, familiar with the freezing grasp.
His breath hung in the air, gasps frozen in his throat as he flung himself into the endless, white crystals behind his eyelids. Drowning in a floating sea of ice he came, flooding his body with a melting heat that drove back the cold; that burnt at the chill until it was one of the stars so far above him on those long ago nights. Until the all that remained were his helpless sobs as he lay curled upon the shower floor, shivering in the freezing downpour.
But for one brief instant, he swore he could almost smell the snow.
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