It was spring, when they took the city from the strangers, at least according to the calendars. Early March, to be more exact. But the weather was the same as it had always been, or so Daniel reported. The Strangers didn't particularly care to observe the seasons, not when the frequent memory changes left the city's inhabitants unaware of the fact that there wasn't even daylight, let alone summer or winter.
It seemed appropriate, to John. Time for things to grow, in the light of the long absent sun. Trees, flowers, Shell Beach, and his new-found love for Daniel, which brought a delicious heat long before the hot days of summer.
It was October, after weeks of Indian Summer, when Daniel had to gently remind him about the necessity of winter. He'd been putting it off, trying not to think about the cold, not to think about the beach bleakly deserted, the plants touched by frost.
"How do you know it's supposed to get cold?" He asked as they ate breakfast. "The city could be somewhere tropical."
"That is quite possible," Daniel admitted, "but if that is true, then we should be in monsoon season. And we would need to have quite drastically different vegetation."
John considered it, but decided that he likely couldn't pull off creating random palm trees without notice. "I guess you're right."
The leaves on the trees turned golden, the days colder. It made John a little grumpy, having to kill things. "Everything looks dead," he complained as they walked together through the town on their way home.
Daniel patted his arm lightly. "It is only temporary, love. Wait until winter, and everything will be clean and covered with snow."
"I wasn't planning on making it snow. Too cold," he said, thinking of frozen fingers and slippery paths, snow drifts blocking the driveway. He didn't expect the look of intense disappointment that crossed his lover's face, then was quickly schooled away.
Daniel smiled, patient and kind. "Then we will have spring to look forward to."
Daniel didn't mention it again, but as the days grew colder, there were times when john would catch him looking a little wistful when they prepared to go out into chilly weather, in thick wool coats John had Tuned to protect them against the cold.
It was an unremarkable morning in late November when he left the small, soft package wrapped in white tissue paper on Daniel's pillow as his lover dressed. The doctor gave him a little curious smile when he spotted it, picking it up. "What's this?"
He shrugged with a smile. "Not sure, but it kind of looks like a present."
Daniel gave him a bemused smile, chuckling softly. "It would seem so," he replied, nimble fingers undoing the bow and peeling off the tape and paper, to reveal a pair of soft, chocolate coloured leather gloves, lined with fleece. "Thant you, John. These are very nice. But... I still have the others that you made me...?"
"These are warmer," he explained, smiling despite himself. "You'll need them today." At Daniel's questioning look, he inclined his head toward the bedroom door. "Go downstairs and look outside."
With a slow smile, Daniel left to do as he asked. John followed more sedately, pulling on his coat and grabbing Daniel's, which still hung, forgotten, from the hat stand before following outside.
Daniel turned from the middle of the path to look at him, gloves still in hand, large, fluffy white flakes sticking to his clothes and golden hair. "John - it's snowing!"
"And you're going to catch a cold," he replied with a smile, helping Daniel into his coat with a touch of amusement that his normally disciplined lover would be so excited as to forget it. "Do you like it?"
Daniel nodded, giving him a curious smile. "Oh yes. But I thought you said...
"I changed my mind," he replied, brushing flakes of snow out of Daniel's hair before leaning in to kiss him warmly. "Happy early Christmas, love."
Daniel returned the kiss, slipping his arms up around his neck, eyes shining. "It's beautiful, John. Thank you."
Daniel's smile was contagious, and he stroked his fingers over his lover's hair gently. "Not too sure about the beautiful part, though you do look very cute with snowflakes in your hair. I just don't understand why you're so excited for snow...."
Daniel's already pink cheeks flushed a little darker, and he looked down to the path. "It's a little silly, I'm afraid. I just... I've never seen it. Everyone else has memories of winter, even if they aren't real. All I know is what is in books and pictures... I've never seen the snow."
He leaned in to press his lips gently to one cheek that was slightly chilled already. "Then we'll have a beautiful white Christmas. As much snow as you like. And I suppose it will be nice to help you warm up afterwards...."
The doctor chuckled softly, leaning a little closer to him, smile turning just a little cheeky. "Now you're starting to get the idea. But for the full effect, I think we will need a hot pool in the back yard."
John didn't even have to think about that to realize that it was a very good idea. Perhaps winter wouldn't be so bad after all.