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Fire and flames

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There was enough moonlight seeping through the cracks in the blinds to illuminate where Ace was sleeping, blanket pooling around his waist and his chest exposed to the cold autumn air. He always ran so hot, he barely needed a blanket until well into winter. Marco could almost feel the warmth of him from where he was standing, awkwardly propped up against the door frame. 

Diva lifted her head from where she’d been sleeping just under Ace’s feet and looked at him in the dark, her white fur shining in the dark save for that one tiny spot where Bastet was sleeping on top of her. The bed looked like the best place to be, but he wasn’t ready to go back to sleep just yet, unsure what exactly had woken him, but absolutely certain of what was keeping him awake. Birthdays were becoming more and more tiring as the years went by, the weight of them constantly growing heavier. 

He was beginning to feel old and tired, and wasn’t that something. Without Ace’s warmth by his side, the night was much colder than it had any right being. And yet Ace was right there, just out of reach, sleeping in their bed, in their apartment. In their home. 

It was stupid, he knew, feeling like this when he had everything right there, but he was becoming used to each birthday coming with a sense of melancholy.

“Wha’ are you doing?” Ace asked from the bed, words slurring adorably with sleep.

Marco was sure he wouldn’t remember this conversation come morning, like he never tended to when he’d “wake” in the middle of the night to Marco and his insomnia.

“Come back to bed, love,” he added, lifting his head just enough to look around until he spotted Marco by the door.

He couldn’t say no to an invitation like that, not when Ace was almost awake and not likely to let him think himself to death. So he moved from the door, suddenly aware of how cold his skin was, how long he must have stayed there just watching and worrying over nothing when he could have been in bed. 

The covers were warm, but not nearly as warm as Ace, who curled up around him as soon as humanly possible. Even Diva shifted on the foot of the bed to allow it.

Ace’s warmth was pouring over him instantly, amazing and perfect and so calming that he couldn’t even think about not being in bed like this. 

“What time ‘s it?” Ace asked, his breath hot against Marco’s neck.

“Four,” Marco said, turning just a little so he could press his lips against Ace’s hair, overwhelmed by the urge to be as close as possible.

“Happy birthday,” Ace said against his skin and the press of his lips followed right after. “Love you.”

Marco sighed into his hair, unable to stop the smile because of course Ace would remember even when mostly asleep. Of course he’d know. 

“Love you too,” he said softly, despite the fact Ace’s breathing had already evened out and he was snoring, Diva joining in almost immediately, and Marco couldn’t stay awake any longer even if he wanted to.