The glowing lights slowly flickered in and out of the window. They'd gently fall against Carlos's cheek like leaves brushing against the ground, then swirl their up to his temple and dye the gray streaks of hair there in their colors for the briefest of seconds before sweeping down the bridge of his nose and trickling over his eyelashes. They moved like water over Carlos's delicate skin. And whenever a light would flick over one of his eyelids, he'd let out a soft sigh and tilt his head ever so slightly, and a lock of his perfect hair would fall down over his face and the lights would fly away and let the blue-purple darkness wash over Carlos. It was like the ocean they never had, never would have. Their own personal ocean of colors and light and night.
Cecil never got tired of watching Carlos. He'd lay there in the bed, pretending to be asleep as always, and watch Carlos. Sometimes he'd watch Carlos's back and gently press his hand against one of the scientist's shoulder blades and he'd wonder if this is what a mountain would feel like, if they existed: strong, sure, stable, warm. Carlos would shift whenever Cecil would press his hand against his back, and Cecil would trace the movements of his muscles with his hand.
But of course, Cecil's favorite was when he and Carlos were facing each other and he could watch Carlos's chest rise and fall with breath and the glowing lights played over his skin. He could feel Carlos's soft breath tickle his nose. It always smelled like lavender chewing gum. Which was odd, because Carlos would swear up and down that he brushed his teeth with the traditional apple pie toothpaste all the citizens received under their doors once a month, and he never even chewed gum. Maybe lavender chewing gum was the smell of science.
Cecil reached out and gently tucked one of Carlos's stray, perfect hairs back behind his ear. He let the tips of his fingers graze against his gray streaks. Carlos was a bit shy about them, but Cecil adored them. He loved to kiss Carlos's gray hairline and listen to Carlos complain, but he was always smiling and never tried to stop Cecil.
The glowing lights started to fade and were replaced by soft, rich beams of orange and purple. Cecil sucked in a little breath as the bleeding oranges cloaked Carlos's cheek forehead and the luscious purples dipped into his neck. The sun started to scream and Cecil cringed. Carlos didn't stir, as usual. He did let out a little snort as Cecil's hand accidentally bumped against his nose as he was trying to plug his ears and Cecil's heart melted at that adorable little sound. He watched the fledgling sunlight poured over Carlos's dark skin and he forgot about the sun screaming in his ears.
Cecil used to hate the mornings because the light was too bright for his eyes and the sun would not shut up, but now…
He smiled and reached his hand down to grab Carlos's where it lay on the bed.
At the touch, Carlos let out another small snort and his eyelashes started to flicker. He moaned quietly, and opened his eyes, wincing at the sunlight, but keeping them open to see Cecil's smiling face only inches from his own.
Cecil had this habit of getting very close while they slept; it had startled Carlos at first and he used to wake up and contribute to the sun's screaming with his own. But now, whenever he'd open his eyes and see Cecil so close, it made his chest feel warm and he'd even stopped screaming… most of the time.
Carlos returned the smile. "Good morning," he murmured, squeezing Cecil's hand.
Cecil was too busy drowning in Carlos waking up in only the way Carlos can to fully register the greeting. He merely rubbed his thumb over Carlos's knuckles in a dazed response. Carlos grinned and snuggled closer to give Cecil a soft 'good morning' kiss. Cecil wove his fingers into Carlos's perfectly asymmetrical bed-hair and leaned into the kiss After a few seconds, Carlos pulled away to kiss Cecil's forehead before he propped himself up on his elbows.
"How'd you sleep?" He asked, trailing his fingers down Cecil's jaw.
Cecil grinned. "It was the best sleep I ever had."
"You always say that," chuckled Carlos.
"It just gets better and better each night."
Cecil sat up with a yawn. "And you? Sleep well?"
"Thanks to you."
With a laugh, Cecil pushed Carlos's shoulder playfully. "I didn't do anything."
Carlos swung his legs over the side of the bed and stood up, running a hand through his hair in an effort to sort it out. "You were there. That's more than enough."
Cecil's smile widened and he grabbed his pillow and tossed it at Carlos. "You're embarrassing, you know that?"
Carlos picked up the pillow and leaned back over the bed to put it back in its original spot, but lingered, hovering over Cecil with one hand on either side of him. "You're just as embarrassing as I am and you know it."
"Maybe I am." Cecil rested his hand atop of Carlos's and reached up to press his lips against Carlos's once more.
There wasn't heat or fire or butterflies in either of their stomachs stomach or lightning roaring through their veins; it wasn't a burning kiss that threatened to melt their very flesh. It was soft and calm and sweet and tasted of the lavender chewing gum that nobody had and of the fresh sunlight that blanketed their world. It was a kiss that wasn't about two people coming together in a fit of passion, but about two people being together in a quiet, morning lull of sleepy eyes and tousled hair.
It was perfect.
Cecil sat at his desk, munching on the sandwich Carlos had made for him and sipping some of the leftover coffee he'd brewed that morning before they parted ways to leave for work. He had to eat a late lunch because of some… events that had happened earlier that morning-really, the cleaners were having a hell of a time cleaning that up-and the afternoon sun was shining brightly through the window.
"Kareem, did you get that final report on the tree growing out of City Hall?" Cecil said over his shoulder as he shuffled through the papers on his desk. "It just says here that it's dropping pink blueberries on all the cats that walk under it… and it only appeared this morning, huh… this morning…"
Kareem started to walk over to Cecil, folder in hand, when Cecil shrieked and slammed his face down on the table. He screamed into the desk for a second, and then his head snapped up.
"This morning!" Cecil spun around, eyes wide with horror. "I didn't say good morning back to Carlos this morning!"
Kareem opened his mouth to respond-perhaps with his opinion, perhaps with something completely unrelated to any of the topics at hand-but Cecil shut him up by standing up so suddenly that he pushed his chair back into Kareem, knocking the poor intern off of his feet.
"I'm sorry!" Cecil apologized mindlessly as he fervently patted his pockets and moved aside the documents on his desk. "Where is it, where is it… Where'd I put my phone? I can't find it! Ahhhg!" He glanced at the clock, a dangerous glint in his eyes. "What time… I still have twenty minutes… can I… yes, yes I can! Kareem, I'm heading out! I'll be back soon!"
Cecil threw on his coat and rushed out the door, letting it swing shut behind him as he abandoned a groaning Kareem, still lying on the ground.
Cecil ran through the streets, trying his best not to run into people but not stopping long enough to give a proper apology when he did. He was suddenly glad for the annual marathon for practice. Though he was most certainly running faster now than he ever did in any race.
After nearly knocking over another dozen innocent citizens and stepping on a couple dogs' tails, he finally reached his destination. He stopped in front of the door and leaned over, hands on knees, panting and trying to catch his breath. Wiping the sweat off his forehead with the back of his hand, he knocked on the door. He waited, bouncing from foot to foot like an anxious child when the door opened at last.
"Cecil?" Carlos asked, bewildered. "What… what are you doing here aren't you supposed to be at-"
"Good morning!" Cecil belted, then started to wheeze for lack of air. "I… I didn't… say good morning back to you… So I… I'm so so so sorry I'm horrible… I had… to say it… so…" Still bent over, he looked up at Carlos and offered his widest grin. "Good morning!"
Carlos stood there for a moment in stunned silence. The hot, afternoon sun shone above them, making Cecil's skin, slick with sweat, shimmer, and lit up the determined shine in his eyes. Carlos started to laugh, the beautiful melody resounding through the air like caramel slowly filling a glittering jar. Cecil blinked in confusion, but couldn't help but laugh as well. Carlos hooked his arm under Cecil's to help him up, and he wrapped his arms around Cecil's waist. He leaned his forehead against Cecil's and smiled.
"Good morning, Cecil."