It had to have been the worst storm of the season, and they would just have the luck of observing it, not from the cozy confines of a nice, warm hotel room, or even a drafty cabin somewheres, but from a miserable hellhole on a God-forsaken mountain.
They'd come this way to elude the latest in a long line of posses, this one larger and more tenacious than most. The men had finally given up following them, but the storm hadn't; and with darkness coming hard on their heels, and the snow and ice making the ground mighty treacherous, they decided to hunker down in the nearest thing to shelter they could find.
Kid tied off the horses on the lee side before entering the cave. For a moment, he just stood there, watching Heyes with worried eyes.
Heyes was trying to coax a fire out of damp sticks, but his fingers were numb and he wasn't having much luck. He was shaking, and his lips had a bluish tinge. He tried again, but he couldn't hold on to the match. He swore softly under his breath.
Kid came over and grasped Heyes' hands between his own, chafing them a little. He was startled at how frigid they were.
"Damn Heyes, are you sick?" Kid touched his forehead, but didn't find a fever.
"N-no, just cold. Snow g-got under my coat," he managed to stammer out.
"Shit, why didn't you say? Here, let's get those wet things off." Kid swiftly stripped him of his coat and shirt, and peeled away the top half of his long johns. Heyes submitted, meek as a child, as Kid wrapped him firmly in a blanket and proceeded to start the fire.
Task accomplished, he turned back to Heyes. His color was a little better, and Kid felt the tight knot of worry in his gut ease up a bit. He reached for Heyes' hands again.
"Still like ice," he muttered.
Kid unbuttoned his own shirt and pressed the cold hands against his bare chest. The warmth flowed into Heyes, tingling and creeping through his palms and up his arms. He gasped at the pleasure-pain as the numbness receded.
"You're gonna give away all your heat, you keep this up," he mumbled. He couldn't pull away though; it felt too good after being damn near frostbit for so long. In fact, he felt himself leaning in. He tried to put some starch in his backbone, but he was getting drowsy and his body wouldn't cooperate.
The last thing he remembered was being pulled bodily into the solid embrace of his partner, the blanket being settled snugly around them both, and the words, "Shut up and go to sleep, Heyes."
Heyes shut up and went to sleep.