The sky was clear for the first time in days. As clear as it could be. There had been an ongoing snowfall for the last few days. Not much but just enough that there was an inch, maybe two in places. It hadn’t so much been a stormy few days just that the whole sky had been completely overcast. There hadn’t been a hint of blue to be seen around.

Now, oh now the sky was blue with just a few bits of white fluff floating around, as if somehow they were in the middle of the summer and nothing cold could ever dream of coming about. At least that was how it all seemed to Yael, Quentin at his side, as they relaxed in a large hammock settled in their inner garden. The hammock was settled not far from the tropical end of the garden and the heat lamps and heaters kept the area humid enough that spending any amount of time in there resulted in rather heavy sweating even if all that was done was lounging about.

They had a nearly clear view of the sky above them, two floors up and it was beautiful.

“See, we don’t need spa outings when we have this.” Yael laughed softly, the sound clear and bright as he closed his eyes and let the heat of his surroundings settle deeply into his bones. It felt so good to be up here.

“I’m glad you appreciate the idea of setting up a hammock here.”

“Well, the plants under us did need more shade and the tree I’d planted grew up so much and so quickly that it didn’t give them the shade they needed, this hammock fixes that problem and it’s so comfortable I could just spend the rest of my days here.”

“To a point, the humidity is going to leave us pretty sticky, I think a shower after this is going to be necessary.”

Quentin felt Yael grin against his shoulder and he laughed, cheeks taking on a rosy colour. He knew what was going on through that mind. It wasn’t rare that their mid-day showers (usually following up heavy work in the garden just anything that left them in dire need of washing up) turned out to be a little bit more playful than their morning shower where they were more interested in warming up and waking up.

“I’m going to have to dig your mind out of the gutter again, I think.”

“My mind is fine in the gutter, just look at this sky, it’s so blue you’d think we’re in the middle of summer.”

“Well the temperature here sure helps with that.”

After a nap and some careful moving around to get back on the pathway and down out of the garden, they had had themselves a shower, cleaning up sweat and slightly peeling skin. It had seemed as though the lamps were hot enough to act as the sun did when one spent too much time under it without any cream to keep the skin from burning.

“I can’t believe we’ve got sunburns.”

“Had for the most part in my case, though my face still hurts.” Yael stuck his tongue out playfully as he finished applying a bit more cream to his own somewhat slower healing burns. He’d be fine by the end of the day but the peeling had been a bit unexpected.

“Note to self, make sure to put on some sunscreen before settling to sleep under the hammock or get one of those hoods that hide the sun and lamps in some way. I honestly didn’t expect the lamps to be strong enough for that.”

Quentin shrugged gently, looking at his reflection in the mirror. Still a bit of peeling skin along his cheeks but that was mostly it. It was so strange, this sunburn in almost winter but it was interesting, he couldn’t complain, it was a new sort of discovery. “Now that we’ve had our sun-nap, we’ve had some cat-play time and we’ve had food enough to keep us going for a little while, what’s next on the menu?”

Yael looked at his own reflection for a second more before he moved from their bathroom to their bedroom so he could find something to wear. “I thought we could go out back and just have a walk in the snow but until my hair is completely dry that might just be an absolutely stupid idea so we won’t. I don’t know. We could settle by the fireplace and read a bit, once we’re all absolutely and completely dry, we might head off into the store? We’re a bit short on a couple of things for the cats and they’ve been going through their toys pretty quickly lately so I think we might need to try a new brand and hope it lasts longer.”

“Sounds like a plan.”

They did read for a while, just settled side by side, shoulders nearly touching. Quentin with a book on textile and Yael with a brand new book one exotic plants. Not that he had the room for more in the garden but it didn’t hurt to gain more knowledge about what he seemed to have an innate gift for, after all.

Once they’d been completely dry, no hint of moisture left in Yael’s hair since his did take longer to dry and using the dryer was a terrible idea as far as he was concerned, they’d gone back to their room, put on something warmer to wear and had stepped out.

The air was crisp, not quite so cold as it had been in past days, it was actually comfortable outside at that point. They walked, hand in hand, heading for the bus stop, Yael’s gaze still on the sky more than on where he was walking. Twice Quentin tugged him to the side so he wouldn’t trip on something.

“If it wasn’t for how cool the air is, I’d really be tempted to believe that we’re in spring, the sky is so perfectly blue, it’s weird. I can only see a few bits of fluff up there.”

“If you don’t look where you’re going, you’re going to trip and I won’t be able to actually pull you out of harm’s way quickly enough, Yael.” Quentin’s tone was quietly amused as he shook his head. Yael blinked, offering a sheepish smile as he straightened somewhat. He couldn’t help but be distracted by the beautifully blue sky above him, it inspired him to want to paint so many things he didn’t know where he would have been supposed to start.

“Sorry, I’ll pay attention. I just feel so inspired right now, it’s distracting a bit.”

“Well, we get to the store, we get all we need, we come back and I let you head into your studio to see about all those wonderful things you want to paint while I unpack everything else.”

“That’d be sweet, we’ll see if I’m still inspired by the time we get back.”

“I can go to the store by myself, I don’t mind?”

“Don’t be foolish, Quentin, there’s a lot of little bits that we need to be getting and I’m not letting you drag it all back on your own, honestly, who do you take me for?”

Quentin grinned at those words and Yael quirked a brow. He was about to question that grin when their bus stopped in front of them and they stepped into it, easing along to settle at the back where it was quiet for the time being.

“I take you for the man I absolutely adore and would do most anything for, that’s who.”

“Quentin…” Yael ducked his head, cheeks red and this time not from any left over bits of a sunburn. Words like these were rare though they were always heartfelt. “Thank you.”

It felt foolish to say thank you but those words were all he could think to utter at this point and he let it be. He could find better to say or do once they were home.


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