Africa

“Now I want to visit Africa.” Yael hugged his coat tighter to himself, tugging the scarf a little higher on his nose as they moved out of the ever warm building, across the driveway, the yard and towards their own building. It was a short trek but it still was cold out and he didn’t much care to be outside for much longer than was necessary.

“Yael, you want to visit the whole world.”

“Well, of course I do but and I can’t help it, I just want to discover everything myself. You have to admit that Eoghan’s meal preparations were quite something.”

“What I admit is that I had never tasted almost everything that had been on those plates and it was all surprisingly very good.”

“This coming from the guy who does have issues trying new things he’s never even heard about.”

“I’m not that picky.”

“You’re not, I’m just teasing. Let’s head inside, I’m freezing.”

It was the one downside to being the ones one to live in a different buildings, they had go to through whatever the weather was flinging at them to get to and back from the meal and movie though it didn’t even take them a minute to cross from point A to point B.

When they stepped inside, they stamped snow off of their boots and shrugged out of their coats. They hung them up to dry and let the warmth of the inner foyer sink in. Once they’d taken off ever winter related items, they slipped into the house proper, making sure that there were no kittens in the in-between. They closed and locked the door.

“China, Africa, Japan, oh, the Netherlands!” Yael laughed as he rubbed his hands together gentle, bringing warmth to his fingers somewhat. He’d forgotten to take his gloves along though Quentin himself hadn’t and Yael was more than a little glad for that. Quentin’s fingers were important, more important than his own though he knew he couldn’t manage to do most of what he did now if he’d lost those fine, slightly bony fingers of his.

“In a couple of decades, we’ll visit the world. Just the two of us, just a backpack each and nothing else to accompany us. We’ll find places to stay, we’ll work along the way, we’ll discover the world as it was meant to be discovered: with the people.
“Short version, we’ll try not to be tourists?”

“Something like that.” They shared a soft laugh as they stepped from the living room, the fireplace empty and cold though it was only an additional source of heat they didn’t necessarily need. They stepped into their bedroom and Yael went around the bed to flick the switch on for their electric blanket.

It was just one of those things, sliding between cold sheets tended to shove him right back to alertness and he had all the issues in the world falling back asleep after that. He knew Quentin appreciated the comfort of pre-warmed sheets, too.
“What would be sad though, is that by the time we’re ready to explore, some of these places might no longer exist.”

“Yael, the world has been as it is for a long time, I can’t imagine that in two decades, some places will have disappeared altogether though I’m aware that it could happen. With the speed at which technology grows, we might even have virtual realities by then and we could probably visit the world without leaving the living room. Personally I think that’s just lame but if some places do go under, so to speak, it could be an option.”

“I guess you’re right. I just worry about the world.”

“You always worry about the world, that’s just how your mind works.”

“Sorry.”

“Nope, no apologizing, there’s no reason for that, I adore your mind and the body attached to it and the emotions that come with it and everything else.” That seemed to get a laugh out of Yael and he shook his head.

“The bed is going to need a little bit to warm up, I don’t like the blanket being too warm at once I’m always afraid it’ll catch on fire or something. We have some time.”

“A steam would be nice?”

“A steam would actually be pretty nice, my fingers still are cold, I forgot my gloves and the air out there is frigid.”

A steam did turn out to be absolutely what they were needing. Just enough time for the blanket to do its job and warm up the bed, just right to finish thawing Yael’s fingers and for the two of them to relax completely.

When they stepped out of their steam shower, they both wrapped themselves up in their thick terry bathrobe, the material warmed up just so thanks to the heater they were hanging by.

They quietly made their way back to the bedroom and as they each eased between the now warm sheets, wiggling their feet to find comfortable spots between sleeping cats—they always did take to sleeping on the bed when the blanket was warming it up—Quentin tugged a bit on their curtains, settling a semi-darkness about them in the bed.

“What do you think the world is like out there? I’ve heard Eoghan talk a bit about all of his traveling but I can’t really manage to imagine myself out there with him. I suppose I really have to experience it myself to be able to close my eyes and imagine it all again. I can imagine my wandering from Beauvais up to Dunkerque but that’s about it. It’s all the life experience I have with being out there in the world.”

Offering his arm, Quentin settles against his pillows, Yael moving to nestle against him just so. This was their way, this was how they were the most comfortable and that wouldn’t change any time soon.

“We’ll travel when we can, Yael. We’ll discover the world together and we’ll make memories. I don’t really care if you have world experience or not. I have experience myself and it wasn’t all that unpleasant but it isn’t experience I gained because I wanted to. I just wanted out of the world I was in and I did all I could to manage that much.”

“At times I wish I could go back in time and keep you from being snatched away as a child.”

“Considering that I’m older than you, I don’t know how that would even work out. Plus, I might not be here now and today if I hadn’t lived through what I have as a child. I’m not happy with my childhood but I have you here with me now, I’m not really going to change that and I wouldn’t want our lives to be any different than what they are now.”

“I’m glad.”

“Now just close your eyes and dream of places you’d love to visit. We’ve watched so many documentaries about so many places on the planet, I’m pretty sure it can’t be too complicated to manage that one. If I can, I’ll join you in the usual dream and we’ll go from there. It’s not quite world traveling but we’re managing at least that much, mm?”

Yael laughed softly against his shoulder. He closed his eyes, huddling a little closer. He was warm now, toasty really but anything he could do to make sure he was as close as possible to Quentin while they slept, he did. At times he dreamed that he was one with the other though those dreams rarely were innocent.

“Let’s dream of Africa.” The words were murmured against the top of Yael’s head, they earned a soft sigh, a note of content before the quietness of their home settled on them and the few cats settled comfortably on the heated blanket.

Life was far from perfect but to them, every day was a new adventure and a new learning experience, it was all that really mattered, in the long run.

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