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Due North

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Mike turned up the collar of his coat as another biting gust of wind sent snow flurries swirling every which way. He glanced at the skyline but couldn't even see halfway up the Sears Tower anymore, a grey-white blanket of cloud obscuring the view. All around freshly falling snow was quickly covering the shovelled sidewalks and he could feel the temperature dropping as twilight crept closer.

"Tell me again. Why are we here?" Gus asked plaintively, shoulder pressed close to Mike's side as they made their way through the crowds of office employees and late shoppers, all hurrying to get home. "Why did we leave our beautiful island paradise with sand and sea and, oh god, sun, to come to Chicago? In February? In a blizzard?"

Gus was buried in a huge woollen muffler and sounded so little-boy-pitiful that Mike couldn't help but grin, and… yep, there were the big blue eyes, right on schedule. Thank god he hadn't brought out the big guns yet, Mike wasn't sure he could stand the eyes and the pout. If Gus ever found out just how whipped Mike really was, he'd never live it down. Then again, Gus probably already knew, there wasn't much that Mike wouldn't do for him - including coming all the way to Chicago in the middle of one of the worst winters in living memory.

"We're here," Mike said, trying for serious but knowing that he was failing miserably in the face of those eyes, "because your best friend in the world just made partner at a fancy-schmancy law firm and wants to celebrate."

Mike felt Gus pause and stop, turning to him with a soft smile. "Tommy's not my best friend," Gus said, leaning closer. There were snowflakes in his hair and dusting his lashes, tiny lattices of white melting away as they touched soft, warm skin.

"No?" Mike asked, returning the smile.

"No," Gus shook his head, his meaning plain.

Mike wrapped an arm around Gus's shoulders. "Yeah, me too, buddy." As Gus's smile widened, Mike pulled him forward, close enough to whisper in one cold, red-tipped ear. "You know another good thing about being here?"

Gus frowned and then grinned. "It's not the weather…."

"I dunno," Mike winked, matching the grin. "Means I get to do something I can never do at home."

Gus gave him a look of fond confusion. "What? Freeze to death on the way to the restaurant?"

"Nah," Mike laughed. "This…." And softly kissed the snow away from those temptingly long lashes.