Summary: Don and Charlie borrow a fellow professor's cabin for a weekend in the snow
Notes/Warnings: Read the disclaimer on my LJ
"It looks like snow."
"That's because it is snow."
Don rolled his eyes and put his hand behind Charlie's neck, giving him a mock throttling as he growled in annoyance. "I meant it looks like it's going to snow."
"Arguing semantics with a logician? Never a good idea," Charlie playfully tossed back as he finished packing his backpack. "It is going to snow again, but not today. The meteorologists say the next storm front will hit the mountains on Sunday, thus me wanting to get our hiking in today since we only have Professor Waldie's cabin for this weekend."
"That was nice of him to let us use it."
Charlie smirked. "Yeah well, I may have agreed to assist him with reviewing a paper he's going to publish later this year, so his motivations aren't completely altruistic."
"Still, it's a nice place." Don turned around and took in the cozy one room cabin. There was a stone fireplace in the living area and a black iron potbelly stove between the surprisingly modern kitchen and the king size bed covered in layers of quilts.
"Bill considers it a test bed for his sustainability engineering studies. Solar and wind power, wood for heat... He said he's been considering putting in a TV and VCR that run off an exercise bicycle - you get to watch as long as you're pedaling."
"That explains why he's so thin," Don chortled.
Charlie closed up his backpack with a flourish. "Done! You all set?"
Don merely gestured to the pack at his feet. "Unlike some people I packed at home."
"Hey, I packed at home! I just changed my mind about the weight distribution."
"So you did a new knapsack algorithm?" Don asked with a sly smile.
Charlie zipped up his parka and shouldered his pack. "You know it! Let's go!"
"Hold up." Don took the pack off his back and put it down. "Before we go outside..." He cupped Charlie's face in his hands and leaned in to kiss him languidly, feeling Charlie relax against him as he shifted his body closer, wrapping his arms around Don's waist.
When they finally broke off the kiss they remained standing like that, both unwilling to separate so soon.
"You know you can do that outside here. We're in the middle of nowhere," Charlie said softly.
"No, we're not. It may have taken more than an hour to drive to 7,000 feet, but we're only about fifteen miles or so from home as the crow flies. That's too close to risk it."
Charlie nodded. "I'd just hoped... I mean a cabin in the middle of the forest..." He shrugged.
"I know, buddy. But it's not worth risking what we have just for a little thrill." He leaned down and kissed him again, a tender peck but full of promise. "Besides, an isolated cabin is good for other things." He leaned in to whisper in Charlie's ear. "I was thinking of trying to make you scream for me later."
A shiver ran through Charlie that had nothing to do with the cold. "Well then, forget the hike! Let's stay in!" he teased.
"No way. You planned this for weeks. I'm not letting you duck out now." Don helped Charlie put his backpack on before putting on his own. "We lost a lot of time driving up here this morning so we need to get going if we're going to get the loop done well before nightfall."
"Don't worry," Charlie said, putting on his gloves, hat and scarf as Don did the same. "By my calculations we'll be done with the loop and back at the cabin an hour and fifteen minutes before sundown."
"That's not much padding," Don mused, adjusting Charlie's hat over his unruly curls.
"Then get your ass in gear, G-man!" Charlie taunted. He opened the door, letting a rush of frigid air in. "Because we're about to do something I'm better at for a change!"
Don laughed as he followed his brother out.
"We'll see about that!"
"Okay, so my calculations might have been a bit off."
Don looked back to where Charlie was silhouetted by the orange glow of the sun setting behind the mountains.
"Well, I erred by using the time sunset was scheduled as per NOAA - technically it's the US Naval Observatory, but it's reported by NOAA - however it doesn't take into account the geography of the area one's in since barriers such as mountains, well, do exist and make a big difference in the amount of available light..."
"Less talk, more walk."
They trudged through the snow for a moment before Charlie ventured to speak again.
"We passed the final mile marker a while back at least so the cabin's not far off."
"Good, because I'm ready for the lounge around in front of the fireplace part of this weekend..." Don's voice trailed off as he looked around him. "Looks like you're not the only scientist who's off on his data analysis."
"What do you mean?" Charlie asked.
Don merely gestured around them and when Charlie looked, he saw the beginnings of a light snowfall appear.
"It's just a few flakes." As if on cue, a gust of cold wind blew over them, showering them with a dusting of snow. "Okay, snow flurries then. But it won't stick."
"All the same, let's let it not stick on something other than us. Vamanos!"
Don set off at a clip, marching up the slight incline without any signs of weariness.
"Hey, that's not fair! My legs aren't as long as yours!" Charlie whined after a few minutes, trying and failing to keep up.
Don yelled back across the forest from where the trail had looped ahead. "I thought you were so much better at this than me!"
"Better and smarter," Charlie grumbled. "Smart enough to take the shortest distance between two points." He diverged from the trail and rather than walk the whole loop of the trail as Don had done he headed into the winter barren trees, setting a trajectory to intersect with where Don was headed.
"Hey, be careful," Don admonished, stopping for a moment as he watched Charlie tramp through the snow laden underbrush. "You don't know what's under that snow. Could be snakes or something."
"It's freezing out," Charlie said in his most logical voice. "Why would snakes..."
Don waved off his explanation and started walking again to intercept him on the trail. Hearing a change in Charlie's footsteps he glanced over in time to see him put out his hands to prevent himself from stumbling forward.
"You okay?" he asked worriedly as Charlie leaned against a tree.
"Yeah, I'm fine," Charlie said as they both started walking again. "The footing is just really uneven here and..."
A crack and a soft thud replaced the end of the sentence.
Don turned back and stared, eyes wide with panic; Charlie simply wasn't there anymore.
"Charlie!" He ran crashing into the woods towards where he'd last seen his brother. "Answer me!"
Don skidded to a halt at the edge of a wide crack in the earth, grabbing onto a nearby bush to stop himself from falling in.
Charlie lay in the snow about ten feet down, unmoving.
Casting his eyes about, Don ran to the nearest sturdy tree, pulling off his backpack. He quickly rummaged through his pack, producing a rope that he tied around the trunk before rapidly lowering himself down into the tiny ravine.
He rushed to Charlie's side, frantic, ripping off his gloves. He pressed a trembling hand underneath Charlie's scarf to feel for a pulse and let out a breath he didn't realize he'd been holding at the strong beat beneath his fingertips.
Charlie stirred, a choked off cough marring his first breath before he managed to inhale properly, eyes fluttering open as Don hovered worried over him.
"Ow..." Charlie muttered.
"Are you hurt? Did you break anything?" Don's gaze took in the twisted position Charlie was in, his body splayed awkwardly over the bulk of his backpack underneath him. "I can get on the car radio - call the rangers for medics..."
"Just..." Charlie took another haggard breath and then a few more, each one coming easier than the last. "Just had the wind knocked out of me. I'm okay."
"You sure?" Don did a quick triage until Charlie brushed his hands away.
"I'm sure." Don helped him out of his backpack straps so he could sit up. He leaned heavily on Don, wincing. "I'm sore, but nothing's busted. I'll live."
Any other words that Charlie might have wanted to say were cut off when Don kissed him abruptly, releasing his desperate fear into the kiss until Charlie responded, giving Don the reassurance he needed.
"You scared the hell out of me," Don murmured.
"I'm sorry," Charlie said, his contrition genuine. "I really am."
"I'm just glad you're okay. If something had happened to you..." Don shook off the thought with another kiss. "Can we just get out of here? Go back to the cabin and forget all of this?" Don pleaded.
Charlie looked up at the rope leading out of the gully. "Can you give me a few minutes? I'm not sure I'm up for a climb just yet."
"Sure, buddy. Whenever you're ready." Don wrapped his arms around him, ignoring the cold nipping at his bare hands. He pressed a kiss to Charlie's temple as they sat on the forest floor, the flurries swirling around and settling over them, silent and white.
"Just a little further."
"Good, because I'm freezing."
Don pulled Charlie closer, staggering a little under the weight of both backpacks as he led Charlie back to the cabin, barely visible in the dusk. The snow was coming down hard now and their teeth were chattering from the cold.
They managed to get the door open with only a little effort and they tumbled inside, both heading for the potbelly stove radiating warmth.
Don left the backpacks where he'd dropped them just inside the door and helped Charlie out of his damp outerwear.
"I'm going to get the fire going while the bathtub fills up," Don said once he pulled up a chair for Charlie to sit in. "A good hot soak should warm you up and get the kinks out of your back." He crouched down and took Charlie's hands in his, rubbing them to warm them up. "How does it feel?" he asked gently.
"It still aches," Charlie said regretfully. "I guess falling onto my backpack was harder on it than I thought."
"You fell ten feet, buddy! You're just lucky your fall was padded by all that snow. If you'd landed on rock..."
"I know, I know..." Charlie said, hanging his head in shame. "I promise I won't leave the trail again, okay?"
Don brushed some of the snowflakes from his curls affectionately. "And I promise I won't leave you behind anymore, no matter how much of a hurry we're in." He lifted Charlie's face with a hand under his chin and kissed him. "I'll be back."
Don disappeared into the bathroom and the sound of running water could be heard as he emerged. He breathed on his hands to warm them as he headed for the fireplace, using the logs and tinder to get a solid blaze going in a matter of minutes.
He ducked back into the bathroom and shut off the water, testing it with his hand before pulling two thick towels out of the tiny linen closet and putting them on the rack beside the large old-fashioned tub.
"Where's your robe?" he asked as he headed back out in the main room, finally removing his own outerwear.
Charlie pointed to one of his bags and Don unzipped it, pulling out the soft black bathrobe he'd bought Charlie for Hanukkah a couple of years earlier. Tossing it over his shoulder, he pulled out his own robe from his bag - a more private gift from Charlie: deep chocolate brown, thick and plush.
"You're going to make me get undressed for that bath," Charlie complained, standing with his back to the stove, still trying to get warm.
"Yeah, it's kind of a prerequisite," Don said with a chuckle. "It's probably best if you change into your robe here. Undressing in that bathroom might be unpleasantly cool and you'll want to get in as quickly as possible."
"You sure the water's good and hot?" Charlie asked grumbling, turning to face the stove again, rubbing his hands as he held them close to the radiating heat.
"It is. Now let me see what I can do to help warm you up." Don came to stand behind Charlie, wrapping his arms around him and nuzzling his nose in his curls. He dipped his head down to plant kisses along the side of Charlie's neck. "This helping?"
"Definitely." Charlie relaxed in his arms, letting Don slowly undress him. Once he got all the layers off his upper half he quickly enfolded Charlie in the black robe, warm from sitting on the bed near the stove. His hands made quick work of Charlie's boots and socks next.
"Don't get any ideas," Don teased as his hands went to Charlie's fly to remove his jeans.
"Wouldn't dream of it," Charlie snarked in return, stepping out of his jeans and underwear as Don pulled them off him.
"Okay, let's get you into the water - fast!"
They headed for the bathroom, but Charlie let out a squeal of protest and ran the last few steps.
Don laughed. "We remembered to pack our robes, but forgot our slippers." He accepted Charlie's robe as he dropped it, slipping into the steamy water as quickly as he could.
"Ahh..." Charlie let out a contented sigh. "So nice and warm..."
Don went back and grabbed his robe, hanging both of them on the back of the bathroom door. He stripped efficiently and lowered himself into the tub behind Charlie.
"Lean back, I mean, if that's okay for your back."
"As long as I move slowly, I think it's okay." Charlie leaned back against Don's chest and Don wrapped him up in his arms, gently holding him close as they sank into the soothing heat together.
"We don't do this enough," Don said, pensive.
"No, just be together. Seems like the only thing we have time for outside of the bedroom is work and eating."
"We watch TV sometimes," Charlie offered.
"Usually over take-out because we don't have time for a real meal."
"How about this," Charlie suggested. "Next time we're watching TV and there's nothing good on - which is a lot of the time - we'll watch TV with the TV off."
Don laughed. "Yeah, watching TV with the TV off. I like it."
Charlie nestled back into the circle of Don's arms.
"I know how much you hate to do nothing, so that way we can at least say we were watching TV!"
Don tipped Charlie's head back to capture his lips in an affectionate kiss.
"Whatever you say. I try not to argue with genius."
Once the bathwater began to cool, they got out and dried off in front of the fire - the temperature inside finally warmed up.
Wrapped in their robes they stood by the fireplace, languidly kissing, until they were fully dry and toasty warm.
"I was going to give you a back rub for other - more pleasant - reasons, but if you think it will help your back..." Don ran a hand down Charlie's back. "I just want you to feel good."
"A back rub would be nice, as long as you're gentle." Charlie gave Don a brief yet tender kiss. "I trust you."
Don nodded. "On the rug then? It's warmest here in front of the fire."
Don helped Charlie lay down and excused himself with a gesture long enough to grab their box of supplies from his duffle bag. He pulled out a small bottle of massage oil and set the box aside. The oil he placed close to the fire.
"It should warm up pretty quickly. Until then..." Don lay down next to Charlie on the thick rug and looked down at him, caressing his face and smiling before he lowered himself down for a kiss. Charlie opened to him, welcoming, and Don lost himself in his brother's familiar taste. Each kiss flowed into the next and it was only when Charlie winced, trying to shift position, that Don forced himself to pull away. "Did I hurt you?"
"No, just wanted to get closer, but I forget that moving is..." He let out a frustrated sigh. "I'm just stiff and sore, that's all."
"Well, let me see what I can do about that," Don said kindly, fetching the now heated oil. "On your stomach."
Charlie rolled over carefully, pulling a nearby throw pillow closer to put under his head.
"We'll do this carefully, okay?" Don said, starting to pull Charlie's robe off his shoulders to reveal his back.
"Careful is good."
Don pulled the robe off of each arm then folded the top half of the robe down over the bottom half, running his hand over Charlie's newly exposed back.
"There's a little redness, but no real marks."
"I'll probably be fine tomorrow, don't worry," Charlie reassured him.
Don tested the oil temperature before pouring some into his hands and smearing it across Charlie's back. Setting the oil aside, he straddled Charlie's thighs and started working the injured portion of Charlie's back.
"Is this too hard?" he asked, concerned.
"It's okay, in fact you don't have to be quite so delicate. I can handle more."
Don's forehead creased. "You sure?"
"If you're going to do any good I have to feel it, right?"
Don chuckled. "Throwing my baseball days back at me?"
"I could never massage you hard enough back then," Charlie reminisced. "I swear I wanted to go to the gym and work out my arms just so you'd stop complaining about how I was never as good as the team trainers."
"You did a great job. I just liked razzing you."
"And I just liked having my hands on you," Charlie tossed back over his shoulder, a hint of suggestion in his tone.
"Why do you think I packed massage oil?" Don said with a wink.
His strong hands worked the aching muscles as he watched Charlie slowly melt onto the floor, the tension leaving his body until he looked almost ready to fall asleep.
"Mmm... I feel loads better, thank you."
"Good, now we get to the part I really like." Don pulled Charlie's robe the rest of the way off and tossed his own away as well. Moving to the side, he shifted his focus down to massage Charlie's legs, his hands making periodic forays up to his ass - enough to please but not titillate.
When he was done, he grabbed one of their bath towels and used it to wipe his hands and mop up the extra oil on Charlie's skin.
Charlie rolled over, much more easily this time, and gave Don a kiss in gratitude. "Thank you."
Charlie shifted again to lie on his side, facing the fire, tucking the pillow under his head.
Don took up his place behind him, wrapping himself around his brother - legs casually entwined as his arm slung protectively across Charlie's chest.
"You know," Charlie said slowly. "Maybe you won't get to make me scream this trip, but that doesn't mean we can't make love."
"I don't want to hurt you," Don said, his forehead creased with worry.
"Then just be gentle. I trust you."
Charlie turned his head back to look at him and his open gaze was more proof to Don than mere words.
"Promise you'll stop me..."
"I won't have to," Charlie interrupted. "But if it makes you worry less, then I promise."
"Hard not to worry about you," Don murmured, pressing a kiss into Charlie's curls.
"Same here," Charlie said quietly. "I guess today you saw a little of what I go through - that thought that you could just blink and the person you love could be gone."
Don reflexively clutched Charlie closer. "Don't talk like that. Not here, not now."
"Okay, okay," Charlie soothed. "You're right. This is our getaway. No angst allowed."
"Tell that to the forest," Don grumbled. "It tried to swallow you up on me."
"But I'm here," Charlie stressed. "And I want to be with you - completely. Body and mind. Please."
Don let out a breath, trying to release all the strain and worry that had been roiling inside of him.
"Body and mind," Don repeated. "All yours." He lowered his mouth to Charlie's for a tender kiss that both were loathe to break until breathlessness drove them apart.
Charlie laid his head back down on the throw pillow watching the fire dance before him as Don's free hand roamed his fire warmed skin. He arched and purred like a cat, settling into the slow seduction with a Cheshire smile.
"It's nice to take time," he said contentedly. "To have time. Things seem so rushed at home."
"We have so few nights together," Don agreed. "I feel like we have to pack so much into them."
Charlie nodded, pensive. "So no rushing this weekend. I mean unless we want to."
Don's lips brushed Charlie's temple in a ghost of a kiss.
"I want to take my time with you," he breathed into Charlie's ear.
A shiver was his response and Charlie tipped his head up for a brief but proper kiss. "You're doing great so far. I feel wonderful."
"Good." Don skated his hand across Charlie's chest, brushing each nipple with the lightest of touches before threading his fingers through the wiry chest hair there. "You feel pretty wonderful to me too."
He nestled in closer behind Charlie who shifted positions, bending his upper leg so Don's nascent erection lay against his inner thigh.
As his hand roamed Charlie's body Don couldn't help but subtly move against him, his cock brushing against Charlie's ass cheeks as the head lightly prodded behind Charlie's balls.
He let his hand come to rest on the rise of Charlie's hip and Charlie turned his head to look back up at him. Don captured his mouth in a kiss he tried to keep soft, but hints of the desire welling within him slipped out and Charlie urged them on, chasing Don's tongue back into his mouth, relishing their flavors combining into one.
Charlie squeezed his thighs shut briefly, trapping Don's cock between his legs and encouraging the subtle thrusts that grew more apparent as their kiss became more passionate.
"Please," Charlie said breathlessly.
Don searched his eyes and Charlie nodded, meeting his gaze with silent confidence.
Nodding back, Don reached for the box of supplies and pulled out a tube of lubricant. He slicked his cock liberally and prepared Charlie as well before putting the tube and box aside, wiping his hand on the discarded towel.
Sliding back into place behind Charlie, Don lined up his cock with Charlie's entrance.
"Slow and steady," he promised. Pressing in, he let just the head of his cock breach Charlie's asshole before pulling it out again. He repeated the cycle - just enough pressure to force his way inside before withdrawing again.
Charlie was quickly squirming, wanting more. Reaching back, he landed his hand on Don's fire warmed thigh, encouraging him to thrust deeper.
The first few thrusts were shallow, controlled, then Charlie's quiet keening rose enough that Don finally caved and buried himself completely in his brother's tight heat.
He paused for a moment to adjust, the quiet pops and cracks of the fire competing only with their breathy pants in the snow silent room.
Wrapping himself around Charlie again, Don entwined their legs and started moving his hips in slow circles. The extra jolt of a tiny thrust from time to time kept Charlie aroused, but Don waited a while before his hand wandered to Charlie's groin, dipping into the dark curls there, tantalizing, before he finally wrapped his hand around Charlie's cock.
Even his strokes were slow. Everything he did was intended to draw out their pleasure, gentle enough not to hurt Charlie yet passionate enough to express his desire.
"God, Don, please..."
Having trouble holding back, Don switched to measured thrusts, watching carefully to ensure Charlie didn't flinch. His hand sped up on Charlie's cock, adding more of a squeeze and a bit of a twist on each stroke.
Looking down, he watched Charlie - eyes closed, flushed, mouth open as his breath hitched in pleasure as each stroke brushed his prostate. His curls fell wild around his face and when he opened his eyes to look at Don, his gaze was so full of love and passion it stole Don's breath from his chest.
Eyes locked, Don shifted his angle just enough to overwhelm Charlie with sensation.
"Let go for me," he murmured and watched in wonder as Charlie came undone at his command - his body shuddering visibly as he tensed, cock spasming in Don's hands, a strangled wordless cry escaping from his core.
Don held on as long as he could, but the intensity, the sensation of Charlie clenching around his cock was too much for him. He faltered, managing one, two final uneven thrusts before stars exploded behind his eyes and ecstasy flooded his body.
They lay tangled in each other panting for long minutes after, loathe to separate.
"Don't ever want to lose you," Don whispered in his ear.
"Never," Charlie promised.
Don filled the wood pellet hopper on the stove and stoked the fire one last time before they crawled beneath the thick quilts of the bed.
Charlie rested his head on Don's chest and Don played aimlessly with a curl in the darkness as they waited for sleep to claim them.
"If the snow is worse than predicted we might get snowed in," Don mused.
Charlie pressed a kiss to Don's chest.
"Am I a bad person for wishing for that to happen?"
Don chuckled, wrapping his arms around Charlie and pulling him closer, sighing contentedly.
"No, buddy. Wish away..."