Summary: Greg's cold, and then he's not.
A/N: Masappuq is Inuktitut for, "soft snow falls."
He toed off his sneakers as he sat down on the thin wooden bench, then leaned over to line them up, toes pressed neatly against the base of his locker. He took a moment to dial in his combination, then popped his locker open and removed the back boots that, twelve hours earlier, had dripped melted snow and mud onto the plastic bag he'd placed on the square metal floor.
He laced his boots up tight, making sure the toe seams of his socks were in the right place. Then he gathered up the wet, muddy plastic bag and walked across the room to deposit it in the trash.
When he returned to his locker, he transferred his sneakers from the floor in front of his locker to the locker floor. He removed a large parka—so new the fabric was still stiff—from a hook and pulled it on. He patted the pockets, checking for his keys. He zipped the parka, then pressed together the Velcro that secured its outer placket.
He wound a long, green scarf around his neck several times, securing the ends in the collar of his coat. He pulled on a bright orange stocking cap, complete with earflaps, then flipped the parka's hood up and tugged the drawstring tight, until his face was only visible from his eyebrows to the middle of his nose.
He put on one thick, black mitten, stuffed the other one in the same pocket as his keys, closed and locked his locker. He took a deep breath. He was ready.
Even for all his preparation, the intensity of the cold shocked him. He'd never experienced cold like that in his entire life, and as he slipped across the icy surface of the parking lot he decided to permanently shelve the arctic adventure tour he'd been contemplating. He'd much rather spend his vacation surfing the north shore of Oahu.
His little Jetta was nearly buried in the drifts of snow from the freak blizzard they'd received that night—the second one in three days after a week-long cold snap that broke all of Vegas' record lows. He was glad that the parking lot had been plowed and that maintenance had dug out his back tires, even if they hadn't touched the two feet of snow on top of his car.
His teeth were chattering by the time he pried his frozen door open, and he curled in on himself as he hunched in the driver's seat and turned the key in the ignition.
Nothing. The engine didn't even turn over. He cursed softly and tried again.
"Come on, baby, come on, baby," he chanted as he tried the key for the third time. The engine sputtered and died so quickly that he didn't even have time to pump the gas pedal.
He sighed and leaned forward, resting his forehead against the steering wheel. He tried the key again. Nothing. Again. Nothing. Again. Nothing. Again. The engine ground and he pumped the gas and it started to rumble, then died. Again. Nothing.
"I hate you," he said weakly as he imagined a hot shower, tomato soup, thick fleece sweatpants, and woolen slippers. He wished he'd sprung for those flannel sheets.
He tried the engine again. Nothing. Again. Nothing. His teeth were chattering constantly and he could feel the cold deep in his chest, all the way down to his bones. He wondered if the couch in the break room was already occupied, and if it was, if they'd let him sleep in an empty interrogation room. Or maybe the AV lab, behind the audio equipment.
He tried the engine again. Nothing. There was a knock on his window and a gloved hand brushed away a rectangle of snow. Through the frost on the inside of his window, he could see Nick, could see Nick's mouth moving but couldn’t understand the words.
He cracked the door and looked at Nick and said, "Hey," casually, as if they weren't outside freezing in weather that had already killed fourteen people.
"Seems like you got a problem," Nick said.
"Won't start," Greg told him, then cringed inwardly because obviously Nick had already figured that out.
Nick sighed, his breath a pale white stream of mist in the light of the sunrise. He looked at the Jetta's tires. "You don't have snow tires on this thing."
"They're all-weather radials."
"Not enough in weather like this. How'd you even make it in last night?"
Nick shook his head. "Come on. I'll give you a ride."
He didn't argue, just got out of his car and locked it behind him. Nick's truck had snow chains; not just the thin little cables that people from California thought of as snow chains, but honest to God steel chains around each large tire. He shivered when he thought of Nick putting them on himself.
The inside of Nick's truck was warm; it had obviously been running for a while. He unfastened his hood and flipped it back, pulled off his mittens and placed his icy fingers in front of the heat vents. He looked at the crystalline white world outside the warmth of Nick's truck, and in the golden morning light it was almost pretty. Almost. Who knew so many people could freeze to death in the middle of the desert?
"You still live in the same place?" Nick asked as he climbed into the driver's seat.
He nodded, surprised that Nick knew where he lived at all. It wasn't like he'd ever been there, ever driven him home before. If he wasn't afraid of getting thrown out and having to wait for hours for a cab, he would have asked Nick how he knew. Besides, it was probably just a stupid reason. Nick probably knew where everybody in the lab lived, just in case he ever had to do something like pick them up if their car wouldn't start. He was conscientious that way. It wasn't like he drove past Greg's house trying to work up the nerve to go in or anything.
"You know what I miss?" Greg asked, trailing his fingers over the cold glass of the window. "Snow days."
Nick grinned. "How many snow days did you have growing up?"
"Only two, but, they both totally rocked. I had a few more in college, and I remember being inside and looking out the window at the people who had to be out in it and thinking, 'Poor bastards,' because how much would it suck if you had to go out in the cold no matter what?"
"And now we're the poor bastards," Nick said with a chuckle.
"Exactly. What I wouldn't give for just one day at home, wrapped up on the couch playing video games and eating nothing but grilled cheese and tomato soup."
"That's what your day off's for, man."
Greg wrinkled his nose. "Not the same. It's just not as sweet if it's not a stolen moment, you know?"
Nick shrugged but didn't say anything.
Greg looked out the window, torn between wanting to appear cool and giving in to his natural inclination to babble on unceasingly when nervous. And Nick did make him nervous, more than anyone else. With most people he could tell if they were interested or not; he flirted and they either flirted back or shot him down. Nick sent him such mixed signals, though. Some days Greg was sure Nick was attracted to him, and other days Nick treated him like he was nothing more than just another lab rat.
"So, did you get to watch the game last weekend?" Greg actually had no idea what games had been on, but Nick was so into sports that he figured there was a good chance there'd been at least one Nick wanted to watch.
"Not yet. I was working a double, so I Tivo'd it. I was planning on watching it tomorrow. You can come over if you want, watch it together."
"Cool," Greg said. "I'll bring the chicken wings."
"Right on," said Nick, then they once again lapsed into silence.
Greg looked out the window trying to think of something else to say, but Nick pulled into his driveway before he could come up with another topic of conversation.
He felt a strange sort of nervousness settle over him, like the kind he felt at the end of a first date and didn't know whether or not he should go for a goodnight kiss. He turned to say something funny to Nick, he wasn't sure what, but whatever he was going to say died on his lips because Nick looked as nervous as he was.
"Um…" he finally managed to say. "Uh, do you want to come in?" He swallowed hard and hoped he sounded casual, like a friend inviting another friend in to warm up. "I can load you up with hot coffee for the drive across town."
Nick wet his lips with his tongue and nodded. "Yeah," he said. He looked down at his hands, then back at Greg. "Yeah, that would be…good."
Neither one of them moved. Greg told himself that it was time to turn, to open the door, to get out of the truck, but instead he leaned forward just an inch, then Nick was leaning forward, too, and Greg leaned even further and felt Nick's mouth beneath his.
Nick's lips were cold but the inside of his mouth was hot. He tasted like coffee and oranges.
"Come inside," Greg whispered.
"I shouldn't. It's too fast."
"I should…we shouldn't rush this."
Greg ran his thumb over Nick's lower lip. "Come inside."
They ran for the house, and Greg's fingers were icy again by the time he unlocked the front door and got it open. He didn't know what the hell was happening, he just knew he didn't want it to stop so as soon as the door was closed behind them he turned and pressed Nick up against the wall.
Nick didn't seem to want to stop, either, since he kissed Greg back hungrily and fumbled with the Velcro and zipper of Greg's parka, yanking it open then shoving it back off Greg's shoulders.
Greg wanted to say a hundred different things, but he didn't trust himself not to say the wrong thing. He helped Nick out of his jacket and then they were kissing again, bodies pressed tight together.
"What are we doing?" Nick gasped as he rocked his hips against Greg's.
"Making out," was Greg's breathless reply.
"Shh. Don't stop."
Nick grinned before leaning to kiss him again. "Wasn't planning to." His hands slid all over Greg's body, stroking his back, his face, his arms, cupping his ass and pulling him even closer.
Greg raised his arms and let Nick remove his sweater. It dropped to the floor as Nick tugged off his orange stocking cap and ran his fingers through Greg's spiked hair. Nick gripped Greg's head in his hands and gazed at him for a long moment, causing Greg's stomach to flip and drop into the pit of his belly.
Then Nick pulled him close and started kissing him again and that was good because without so many layers he could feel more of Nick's body against him. Nick backed him up against the wall and ground his crotch against Greg's as he fumbled with Greg's button-down shirt. He yanked that off and slipped his fingers beneath the hem of Greg's long-sleeved t-shirt, and once that was off and he saw Greg's short-sleeved t-shirt he laughed softly.
"How many more layers you got on under there?" Nick asked, his voice husky.
"This is the last one."
Nick kissed him again. "It's kind of fun. I feel like I'm unwrapping a present."
"Yeah," Greg said, lifting his hands and sliding his fingers beneath the layers of Nick's clothing until he found bare skin. He pulled all of Nick's layers off at once and tossed the tangle of shirt and sweater to the side. "I always just ripped the paper off my presents," he admitted.
He ran his hands over Nick's chest, felt the hard nipples beneath his palms. Nick shuddered. "Cold?" Greg asked, rocking his hips against Nick's rhythmically.
Nick shook his head. "No."
"Should we—" Greg started.
At the same time, Nick said, "Bedroom?"
"This way," Greg said, hooking his thumbs into Nick's belt loops. He led Nick down the hall into his room, thankful he'd washed and changed his sheets that week. They sat on the edge of the bed, still kissing, still running their hands over each other's bodies.
Nick hummed softly as he kissed Greg's chest. "I never imagined you'd have freckles." His breath was hot against Greg's nipple, his tongue even more so.
"You imagined this?" Greg asked as his head fell back.
Nick licked up Greg's neck. "All the time," he whispered before his mouth closed over Greg's once more.
The kiss was slow and deep. Greg brushed his tongue against Nick's teeth, felt the texture of the roof of his mouth, sucked on his lower lip. He tipped his head down to taste the skin over Nick's collarbone and shuddered when Nick bit down on his ear.
He dipped his head lower, felt the hard nub of Nick's nipple beneath his tongue, heard Nick gasp and felt Nick's fingers tighten in his hair. He rubbed his cheek against Nick's hard chest and watched his own hand slide up Nick's thigh, then cup his erection through his jeans.
He popped open the first button and the others came undone easily. Nick's hand slid over Greg's and he hooked a thumb in the waistband of his briefs and pulled them forward, and suddenly his cock was in Greg's hand.
Greg was torn. He couldn't decide between kissing Nick some more or watching Nick's cock. He slid his thumb over the tip and smiled when Nick groaned and arched his hips up for more.
He licked his lips and started to lean down, but Nick's firm grim stopped him. He couldn't stop his frustrated sigh.
"Clothes," Nick whispered as he tugged at Greg's fly. "Off. All of 'em."
He wasn't going to argue with that. He hated letting go of Nick's cock, but he made himself do it so he could unlace his boots and kick them off, followed quickly by his boxers and jeans.
Then they were naked, and Nick's body was over his, pressing him down into the mattress. With one hand Greg gripped both their cocks and squeezed them together.
"Good?" he asked, and he took the hard thrust of Nick's hips as a yes.
Nick rocked against him, kissed him over and over again.
"Feel that?" Greg's voice was shaky. "Feel me?"
"I got you. I fucking got…oh, fuck, Nick, so good."
"Wanted you. Wanted this. So bad."
Greg nodded and tightened his grip on their cocks. He knew if he didn't close his eyes and start mentally reciting the periodic table that he'd come soon. He didn't want to come yet, but he couldn't close his eyes. He had to look at Nick, watch Nick's beautiful face flushed a dark pink that spread in a flush down his neck and chest.
"Close," Greg whispered. "Nick, I'm really—"
"Do it. Come for me."
Nick licked the edge of Greg's jaw, then bit down gently on his earlobe and Greg came, slamming his head back against the mattress. His entire body tingled and he couldn't have kept from crying out if he wanted to.
He was still shaking a bit when he realized that Nick was still thrusting against him, using Greg's come as lube as he slid his cock through the valley of his hip.
"Do you…you want me to suck you?" Greg asked, trying to fight off the sleepy calm that always tugged at him after orgasm.
"Yes," Nick said. He kissed Greg hard. "But not now. Now I just…" He shuddered and dropped his head down, pressed his face into the crook of Greg's neck. "Fuck."
Greg slid his hands down Nick's muscular back and gripped his ass in his hands, feeling it tense with every thrust. "Good," he murmured. "So good." He closed his eyes, tilted his head so that his cheek was against Nick's hair. He slid his fingers into the cleft of Nick's ass and stroked him gently and Nick tensed, gripping Greg's shoulders hard, then came.
Greg held him close, kept stroking his back and pressing small kisses to his temple. After a few minutes Nick pushed up on his elbows. "Am I crushing you?"
Greg shook his head, reached up to stroke Nick's cheek. "Hi."
Nick smiled back at him, his eyes happy and sleepy. "Hi." He rolled to the side, and the air felt cold on Greg's skin. "We're sticky."
Greg nodded and tipped his head so he could see his floor. The boxers he'd slept in the night before were within reach and he snatched them up, then used them to clean both Nick and himself up.
"Do you have your alarm set?" Nick asked as he slid beneath the covers.
Greg nodded as he snuggled in next to Nick. He pulled his thick down comforter over the both of them, and the heat of Nick's body kept him warm until they woke.