It was really late, closer to morning than night, and the room was as dark and still as a tomb. Didn't feel like one, though, not curled up under the blankets and wrapped around someone who was as good as an electric blanket. Listening to the steady heartbeat and gentle breaths of his lover. Feeling the warm, moist breath moving his hair. It was more a scene from a romance novel than a tomb.

Fingers spread wide but unmoving over Bruce's lightly defined chest, Johnny stared at the wall, barely even able to make that out in the darkness. He'd been awake most of the night, just relishing the strength and safety in his lover's arms. Halfway through the night they'd gone slack, of course, and Bruce's arm would probably be just as numb as Johnny's currently was, but that was all right. He'd much rather listen to the grumbling that accompanied that than not have what caused it.

So much going on in his life. Too much. He should probably be worried about insanity, but he wasn't. Not with Bruce around to keep him grounded. And given the vision he'd shared with Bruce at the other man's father's funeral, Johnny knew that Bruce was the deciding factor. Had known it for a long time, though they'd only recently moved past being 'just friends.'

Johnny remembered begging the storm for his friends' lives, remembered the panic and fear and despair that Bruce would be killed because of him. Anthropomorphizing the storm into something that could be bartered with was akin to madness, he knew, but it was a chance that he hadn't been going to risk. If somehow that damned storm had been after him for real, a vision come to life in order to get him to accept his gifts, he'd had to do everything he could.

He needed Bruce more than life, because without this man, his visions could so easily tip him into insanity. So he'd begged. Just before the storm had hit, he'd dropped to his knees and begged.

Something that he would do again without hesitation if it saved Bruce's life. He smiled in the dark and whispered, "You're my everything, Bruce. I love you so much."

Attuned to him even in a deep sleep, Bruce stirred at the soft whisper and mumbled, "Say something, John?"

Kissing the bare chest, Johnny ordered, "Go back to sleep."


Johnny smiled as Bruce returned to sleep and again kissed the warm, living skin. He sighed deeply and once more put his ear to Bruce's chest. A simply, but necessary rhythm to Johnny's life. He couldn't, and wouldn't, imagine a time without this beating heart and slightly sleep-soured breath on his face.

No matter what else happened in his life, Bruce was the one thing he would never give up.