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Quaid has wanted Stephen from the moment he set eyes on him.

It makes sense, he thinks. From the very first second, he had known that they shared something - they already did, or they would, or they could. It all wraps up into the same thing.

They might say it was lust; an outsider might think that he saw Stephen and wanted him, a desire all too physical and desperate in nature. That isn’t it at all.

Quaid looks at Stephen and sees a kindred spirit. Stephen is someone who could understand him; he’s someone who could help him fight the dreams.

If only if only if only.

He closes into Stephen’s space, so close that he can feel the warmth of Stephen’s breath against his lips. God, it feels like life itself.

“It’s not about fear,” Quaid says. Stephen’s expression might be guarded, but his eyes are open wide. “It’s about dread.”

He wants to close the space between them. Maybe it’s the physical gap that is holding them apart; maybe that is why Stephen can’t understand what it is that he’s trying to do here. He needs to make him feel it. He needs to make him see.

“Which one are you feeling right now?” he asks, while he traces his fingertips along the clean line of Stephen’s jaw. Stephen only looks up at him, confusion painted on his features. “Fear or dread?”

Stephen blinks as if he doesn’t have a thing to say, but he answers by closing the gap between them. Their mouths skim against one another, barely a kiss at all. Quaid’s nightmares seem a world away. The dread of the night curls in the back of his mind. With Stephen warming his bed, Quaid can spend one more night without fear.