On an awesome day, for an awesome friend...
This story is a sidefic for the "Fault Lines" series, and is dedicated, as the original was to Draw.
Copyright © 2014 AF Henley
Warning: Story contains sexual situations and gay romance.
In the glass of the storefront, on little gold boxes and see-through jewel cases that looked more expensive than the items they displayed, sat a variety of watches. They winked and beckoned at Rory, promising immeasurable gratitude, and if those vows could be trusted, he'd already be through the door and laying down one of his credit cards. Danny wouldn't see the gift like that, though. No, Danny would give him a smile, admit that it was a nice gesture, and then in the next breath Danny would ask just how many wrists Rory figured he had. He'd tell Rory to take it back and remind Rory that he loved the watch he already wore.
Rory would have the same luck with jewellery, clothing, or shoes, and there was no way Danny would wait for something like a birthday to buy an electronic-whatever if it was something he wanted to have. That was one of the few unfortunate things about being together for as many years as they had—there'd already been six birthdays, six Christmases, six Valentine's Days, and God, what... four anniversaries?
It would almost be easier if Danny was the kind of guy that liked getting lavished with gifts, but he was far from it. Danny still had shoes from when he'd been eighteen, preferred vintage clothing over new, and had, as he so eloquently put it, zero-fucking interest in learning how to drive. Considering they lived a good thirty-minute's drive from town and an hour from the city, it was a damn good thing they both worked from home. Not that Danny would have let Rory buy him a car even if he'd needed it. Rory's ex liked to tease them about Danny being spoiled rotten, but Danny would be much happier with a garage-sale box of old albums then he'd ever be over a four-hundred dollar watch or brand new coupe. Sweet premise, but it made for one hell of a hard time when buying gifts.
Rory waved away the clerk that appeared in the window, and turned back into the traffic of the sidewalk. He kept to the right as he walked, his eyes raking every display as he passed. He'd tried the 'let's just write up a list' thing the previous Christmas, but Danny had been adamant in his refusal. "I don't need anything," Danny had said anytime Rory had brought it up. "Make a donation to charity or something."
Again, sweet premise, and as much as Rory didn't mind trying to save the world a few bucks at a time, that didn't mean he wanted to do it instead of getting something for Danny.
"Damn it," a woman hissed in front of Rory, looking back over her shoulder and giving Rory one of those can-you-believe-this looks. She shook her head and pursed her lips. "I swear to God. These fucking vagrants think they have the right to the whole damn sidewalk."
In front of her, a man in dirty clothing did nothing more but grin at the comment with uneven, discoloured teeth. He stood behind a shopping cart that was stuffed full of old odd and ends. It jutted out in front of him, no doubt the object of the woman's distaste, as it truly did take up a good half of the walkway. Still, as far as Randy was concerned, there was nothing worse than outright ignorance, especially when it was directed at folks in situations less pleasant that one's own.
His reply was out of his mouth before his head had the chance to tell him to swallow it. "They have about as much right to be here as anyone else, I'd imagine. And I don't hear him swearing in the middle of the street like a sailor on shore leave."
He was given a glare and then the women strode past, her nose held comically high.
"Well, now, I suppose we can always hope she drowns herself in a sudden and torrential rainstorm."
Rory hadn't realised he'd stopped walking until he heard the voice. When he turned his head toward it, the man behind the cart widened his grin. "I jest, of course," the man said, and nodded in the direction of the disappearing woman. "Intolerance is hardly a crime that should be fought with a death sentence."
"I guess that depends on how the intolerance is demonstrated," Rory said.
The man hitched one shoulder in a small, disinterested shrug. "All I know is intolerance of intolerance is still intolerance. Which makes the martyr no better than the sinner. You know what I'm saying?"
The man rested his forearms on the handle of the cart. What looked like seven decades worth of fingerprints and palm-grime caked the length of it, and Danny had a second's thought of his buddy, Tristan, just about losing his mind over the list of parasites and bacterium that could be living there. A slideshow of squirming, squiggling one-celled critters began playing through Rory's head, and one by one he began to give them appropriate names and backgrounds. Strepto and his contagious but painful charm, Chlamydia and her burning, blinding passion—
"You still with me there, mate?"
He'd completely missed the fact the man was still talking to him, and he had to physically shake himself back into the moment. "Sorry," Rory smiled. "I wandered."
"Ah, well." The man nodded. "It's not a bad thing to step away from our heads now and again. Not all who wander are lost, and all that."
Rory snorted. "Gee, thanks, Tolkien."
"You're welcome," the man said simply. "Spare me a dollar, friend? I'd damn near dance naked in the street for a coffee."
Rory quickly held up one hand and reached into his pocket with the other. "Whoa. No need for that." He dug out his bills and flicked through them. "I'm a bit of a coffee man myself, you see. I'd hate to see anyone deprived."
He peeled off a single and held it out between them. He had few doubts that coffee was the last thing on the guy's mind, but what the hell. Life was short and times were hard and if a buck was going to make the guy happy, he could have it. After all, you had to give kudos to someone who professed to find joy in something as simple as coffee. For that matter, Danny and this guy could probably have long conversations over the concept of happiness in something so menial.
"If you got anything bigger than a single, I'll let you bend my ear on what's flicking through your head there," the man said without reaching for the bill. He waited for Rory to look at him and then caught Rory's gaze. From one eye shone a blue so bright and intelligent that it was hard to imagine that gaze could have led the man to his current place in life. The other eye was closed up tight, and Rory's creative processes immediately began to draw up potential stories on the whats and hows of circumstance.
The man's voice dropped and his lean became more focussed, as though he was trying to get closer to Rory without actually having to step forward. "And I don't mean the story you're writing in your head either. I mean the little wrestling match you got going on between what you wanna do and what you oughta do."
Rory's eyes narrowed underneath a frown. "Say what?"
The man reached, and wiggled his fingers in front of the bill. "Your donation first, mate. You know what they say—charity begins at home. So call me Uncle Destiny and I will call you my nephew, Little Story Chaser; son of my sister, Searcher, and her husband, Gift."
Creeps of suspicion began to crawl down Rory's spine. "Say what..."
The man's face lit with a laugh that was such an abrupt change in expression, it was startling. "Not that hard to figure out, mate. You're walking downtown and staring into all the shops like you're about to lose your best friend. You're jumping at anything that glitters, and then walking away with such a glum face that one could only assume you've realised it's all made of dog shit. You need a gift for the wife, right? I'll even wager on the assumption that it's your anniversary."
"Birthday," Rory said slowly. "And though he is my spouse, he's certainly no wife."
Once again the man wiggled his fingers, his smile widening on his face. "What's his stand on donating to the poor?"
"Undeniably firm," Rory said. He wrapped the single back around the rest of the bills and tugged out a twenty instead. "Do I get a donation receipt to slip in his card?"
The bill was out of Rory's fingers and tucked into the man's coat before Randy finished speaking. "No." He tweaked one finger up by his eye to draw Rory's attention. Once again their gazes locked, and the man's expression fell to sombre. "The only thing that gold can ever be to a butterfly is weight. Trimming a lily in silk will not only suffocate it, it is like shouting at the heavens that the lily was never good enough for you."
Rory stepped back, instantly flustered, and shook his head. "What? No. No, I would never think—"
The man hushed Rory by laying one black-nailed finger over his own mouth. "The most beautiful gift for a lover is the gift that reminds them of your connection. The moment, or the moments, when you started to fall; those little things they heard in the background when they first looked up at you and saw love in your eyes. The smells lingering in the air the first time they tasted your devotion on their tongue."
The man looked to the street, breaking eye-contact, and scratched viciously at his scalp. "I mean, if those things happen to be Beethoven and caviar, then by all means..." He waved at the street with his other hand. "Carry on then."
Rory let the word trail when the man didn't lower his hand. The draw to follow the line of the man's arm couldn't be argued, and as Rory's eyes reached the man's hand, the man's finger extended into a point.
It was just a small Italian pizzeria, with the typical caricature of a wide-faced, bulbous-bellied, mustachioed chef holding a steaming pizza. Struggling geraniums grew in pots beside the double-doors that led into the shop, and if the wear on the finish of that door could be trusted, the shop saw its fair share of sweaty-palmed patrons at both the adult and child's level. As though called, a breeze danced past them laden with the scents of fresh tomato sauce, baking dough, and rich meats. It smelled positively sinful, and Rory's stomach fluttered with interest.
He cast a quick glance at the man, and lifted an eyebrow. "Pizza. Yes. Smells delicious."
The man nodded. "Then go get your gift."
"Pizza?" Rory's voice was edged with scepticism, and once again he turned his attention to the jovial image out from of the pizzeria. "That's a joke, right? I just gave you twenty bucks for you to tell me to buy him—"
From the depths of memory a picture popped up: a twenty-one year old kid with a wide smile and stunning eyes. Only this time, the kid's eyes were softened by desire, and tinted by the previous moment's enjoyment of a certain seven-leafed plant. Then the kid was leaning, drawing closer, and his lips were parting and Rory's heart was pounding, and everything was terrifying but exhilarating, and new, but somehow comfortable. On both their breaths, the lingering scent of...
"Pizza," Rory said around a chuckle. He shook his head, and lifted it. "I don't know how you did that, but it was—"
He didn't bother finishing his sentence. The man was gone.
For the fifth time, Rory straddled the windowsill of their bedroom and wormed his way out on to the roof of the sitting room below. Though that particular part of the roof was what the contractor had called a low slope roof with a 1:12 pitch, Rory still got an uneasy feeling whenever he stood on it. Of course, that was nothing compared to the way he just about lost control over his stomach contents any time the soles of his shoes caught loose granules.
It had been the perfect day for Rory to get birthday shopping out of the way. Their friend, Jeff (more of a friend than ever since he'd gleefully taken Rory's ex out of their lives), had made plans to take Danny out to what Jeff had referred to as a farmer's market-slash-flea market-slash-music festival-slash-trade event in a town to the east of them. The two of them had dragged Rory's ex, Gabe, along with them, and Rory had no doubt that he would have been forced to go as well if he hadn't pulled Jeff aside and explained that he'd needed some time on his own to find Danny a gift. He'd used the last hour of solitude to put the finishing touches on the plan that had been percolating in his head since he'd spoken to the homeless man in the city.
The evening sky was already starting to darken and everything from the lawn to the trees, from the house to the pond, looked like it had been painted in complimentary shades of purple. A thin but well-worn serape-styled blanket rested on the roof, and a light breeze teased the flames of four wide candles that Rory had set on each corner of it. They stood in heavy canisters that Randy could only hope would be of sufficient weight to keep the candles in place. The last thing he wanted to do was try to explain to an insurance adjuster just exactly how he'd ended up burning his own house down.
In the center of the blanket was a pizza box, and Rory stepped forward to set a six-pack of beer beside it. "Just like old times," he whispered.
He heard the hum of an approaching engine before he saw the headlights, and blew out a long, deep breath. "Here we go," Rory mumbled. He didn't speak the 'this better work because the only other thing I have for him is a damned card' that he was thinking. It was better not to jinx Danny's reaction.
Rory shuffle-ran for the window, lifted one leg, and shrieked when his stable foot suddenly felt not so stable. He clasped both hands on the windowsill, scowled down at his foot and bit his lip. "Get a grip, Rory," he hissed. "You're practically on flat ground for God's sake."
From the front of the house a car door slammed, Danny shouted a farewell, and Rory jump-fell through the window. He grumbled at the floor for daring to be hard, and fumbled up when Danny called up the stairs. "Rory? You okay up there?"
"You bet!" Rory ran for the bedroom door, swung it open and jumped into the hall just as Danny poked his head around the stairwell. He leaned against the wall, crossed both arms over his chest, and casually swiped at his damp forehead. "Hey there, babe. How was your day?"
Danny tilted his head and took the last four steps slowly. "Just fine, thank you. What are you up to?"
Rory smiled. "Oh, nothing. Just a super-secret secret-thing for one of my favourite days of the year."
The mock-suspicion on Danny's face brightened into delight. "I love surprises!" He stopped, paused. "Wait. A good surprise, right? I mean, you didn't just flood the bathroom because you were trying to play plumber, or attempt to paint a mural on the bedroom wall, or anything, right?"
"I don't plumb," Rory deadpanned.
"And we are all very grateful for that," Danny said with a nod. "So, then... me see!" He stepped to the right of Rory. "Where is it?"
Rory stepped right as well, blocking Danny from passing. "In the bedroom. But you have to close your eyes."
"Oh." Danny wiggled his eyebrows. "I like the sound of this already."
"Eyes..." Rory repeated.
Immediately Danny closed his eyes and reached out. "Oh, man, the impatience..." He growled low in his throat. "Très hot!"
Rory shook his head. "Yeah, yeah. Is that a dash of sarcasm I see on top of your anticipation?"
"Heavens, no," Danny teased. "I am just so overcome with the magnitude of your—"
"Save it." Rory spun Danny in the direction of the bedroom and clamped both palms over Danny's face. "Just so you're not tempted to cheat."
"On you?" From under his hands, Rory felt the smile that accompanied Danny's words. "Never."
Danny zombie-walked, both arms stretched in front of him and patting for invisible obstacles, while Rory led them across the room. As if sensing the open window, perhaps even drawn by the breeze, Danny pushed his hand through the space and then leaned back against Rory's chest. "You're not about to toss me to my death, are you?"
Rory chuckled and drew his hands back and away. "First off, we are only one story up. Second, there is nothing down there but grass. And third, why in God's name would I ever want to see you harmed?" He pressed a kiss against Danny's cheek. "Open your eyes and see what I've done because not even I am stupid enough to try and get you out there blind."
There was a second of silence before Danny breathed an, "Oh!" He turned, rested his hands on Rory's chest and sought out Rory's gaze. "We're going out there? On the roof? We haven't done that in ages!"
"Not since that shitty little apartment of yours," Rory agreed. "And maybe this is going to sound stupid, but like… well…" He took a breath and let the rest of the words he'd been reciting all afternoon out. "We have everything we want, you know? But none of it would matter without you, kid." Rory swept one arm around the bedroom. "I had this before I had you, but you made it mean something. So I wanted you to know that I'll never forget it. Meeting you. What it was like to be in your apartment, or sit on that damn roof." He put his hands up to Danny's face and cupped Danny's chin. "The things we used to do there."
Danny's eyes softened but Rory stopped Danny from leaning into a kiss. "I'm not done," Rory said with a grin, and then immediately dropped his expression back to serious. "Because it was all so perfect. Even though I was sure I was going to end up splatted on the sidewalk, it felt perfect to sit there with you. I know you think your birthday isn't that big of a deal, but to me? To me it's the most amazing day in the world." He slipped his hands around Danny's waist and tugged Danny closer. "It's the day this fucked up universe of ours did something right for a change. It made you." He finally dropped a kiss on Danny's lips. "And you're the best thing that's ever happened to me."
Danny grinned and wound his arms around Rory's neck. "Well, I don't know about any of that. But I do remember us sitting out on the roof, which I will add, if I may, was a perfectly safe place for us to sit." He laughed at Rory's eye roll, then stepped forward, nudging Rory towards the bed. "And I remember what we did just before that, too."
"Hmm." Rory traced the curve of Danny's back down to the swell of his ass. "Was it before? Or after?"
"Does it matter?" Danny murmured. He brought their lips together and silenced Rory's reply.
In Rory's opinion, one of the coolest things about kissing Danny was the way the rest of the world seemed to fall away from them – not the little pecks exchanged on their way out the door or before they fell asleep, and not the one-sided ones either one of the two of them would offer the top of the other's head or the nape of a neck as they passed by the couch or the kitchen table. But the real ones: the ones where their tongues twisted around each other like exotic dancers, and it felt like Danny was infusing his blood, from the mouth down, with something both salacious and revitalizing. In those moments the Earth itself could split in two and Rory would neither notice, nor care.
He felt Danny pull back, but it took him a second to make his body respond enough to open his eyes. "Where are you going?" he said, angling his chin to claim Danny's lips again.
"You know me." Danny's fingers found the back of Rory's head and he threaded them through Rory's hair. "I never get my fill of watching you."
"Creepy stalker," Rory said, his voice all tease, his hands already busy with Danny's clothing. Desire had kindled in Rory's chest, and it seemed to infiltrate every part of him, switching on the attractions as it passed: the thudding bass in his heart, the tilt-and-whirl in his stomach, the electricity in his fingers, and the slow crawl of heat into his groin.
"And you just hate it, don't you?" Danny asked with a grin.
In one swift scoop and lift, Rory picked Danny up. There wasn't a second's worth of hesitation before Danny looped his legs around Rory's waist. "Well, it definitely drives me insane," Rory agreed. "But I wouldn't use the word hate by any means."
Danny's shoulders bounced with amusement. He rested his cheek against Rory's and sighed into Rory's ear. "All well and good. But if we could set aside the banter from some good old-fashioned fuck-me-until-I-can't-speak action, that would be better."
"Un unh," Rory said. He turned, and dropped Danny on to the mattress. "It's your birthday. So this is all for you, love." He reached for the fastenings of Danny's jeans. "Scoot back. Make yourself cozy."
Danny breathed a long, dramatic sigh. "You do understand that I actually love getting fucked, right?" He watched Rory drop his zipper and then worm fingers into the depths beneath the tight denim. His breath caught and his hips bucked when Rory squeezed his growing cock. His voice dropped and in an instant, as they always did, Danny's eyes darkened into the colour of stormy water. "But, okay. I mean, I'd hate to ruin your plans and all."
While Danny crawled backwards on the bed, Rory hooked his fingers into the waistband of both jeans and briefs, and peeled them of Danny's body. "Good, then..." Rory reached for Danny's center, and began to stroke Danny's cock. "And I'd say this guy agrees with you."
Danny lowered his eyes to watch Rory's hand and even though it was just a simple response to a person feeling something pleasurable, Rory was hit with another wave of emotion. Danny made him feel so complete, so damn important even. How was it that someone so attractive, so high on life and love and enjoyment, could ever care for someone like him? And who in the hell did he have to thank for it?
"Yeah, I'd say," Danny said finally. "But you can't really trust a hard cock to tell the truth, can you?"
Rory knee-walked on to the mattress, and then stretched alongside Danny's body. "Lay back," he whispered. "I want to taste you."
Danny flumped onto the mattress and curled both arms around his head. "Okay. You win."
Rory tightened his grip as he lowered his lips towards Danny's lap. The low groan he was given in praise of that pressure was almost as beautiful as the twitch in Danny's cock when Rory stroked his lips over the head of it. His mouth had long since grown accustomed to the feel of Danny's skin, his nose to the scent of Danny's sex, but the sensations, as they had from the very first time, stirred his own body with a force akin to magic. He hooked one leg over Danny's thigh and appeased himself with friction while he swallowed Danny's cock.
"Mm, that's nice." Danny's hands lit on the back of Rory's head. His hips rocked in time to both the slow slide of Rory's mouth and the grind of Rory's cock into his leg. "I don't suppose you're going to let me have a taste as well?"
Rory slid off Danny's shaft and grinned as Danny's fingers tensed in his hair. "Nope."
He ignored Danny's exaggerated sigh and licked a line from tip to base, and then retraced his path with open-mouthed kisses and suckles. He used the spit he'd left behind to ease the movement of his fist, working the bottom half of Danny's length with the tight slide that Danny loved, while teasing the upper half with the wet, quick sucks that drove Danny crazy.
"Ooh, wow." Danny's leg muscles tightened and his breath hitched. "Damn, but you are good at that."
Rory followed his hand on a downward slip, relaxing his fingers against Danny's barely-there curls as his throat took over.
"Shit!" Danny's legs slid open, and he crooked his knees. The once gentle accompaniment to Rory's rhythm became a much more insistent thrust into Rory's mouth. "That's beautiful," Danny gasped. "Fucking yes!"
Every praise dove straight through Rory's blood and he shifted his body in order to pin his aching cock between his hips and the mattress. As much as he missed the pressure of Danny's leg against him, spread and open was just as sweet. He lifted his head free of Danny's shaft and sucked his middle finger until it was as wet as Danny's glistening cock.
Danny's belly rose and fell with increased breath. His nipples were trimmed with goose bumps and as hard as pebbles. Rory pressed a kiss on the firm design of Danny's stomach. "You are so damn fine, beautiful."
He lowered his hand, traced his fingertips down Danny's length, over Danny's balls, and into the warm crack beyond them. Danny's ass was smooth, hairless, and Rory circled the pad of his finger until it seemed that Danny's twitching hole was trying to pull him in. The need in Danny's body was so intense, that when Rory finally gave in to the unspoken request, and eased the full length of his finger into Danny's ass, his own body pulsed with greed.
"Oh, fuck..." Danny sighed, grinding into the breach. "More... Don't stop."
Whether it was drive or mouth Danny demanded, Rory didn't bother to differentiate. He leaned forward, spit on his hand and worked another finger into Danny's body. And as Danny's hole gave way for it, Rory went back to work on Danny's cock. He sucked Danny with the same intensity that he finger-fucked him—all the way and with a furious rhythm. His own dick strained against the bed, fluid leaked from his body and made a slick, erotic mess inside his pants, but the only things Rory could focus on were the taste of Danny's precum on his tongue, and the clench of Danny's channel over his fingers.
Danny's thighs trembled, he arched into Rory's mouth and made a sound that Rory had long ago decided could never be heard enough. Rory didn't have to be told that Danny was about to come—he could see it in every muscle of Danny's body, and feel it in the familiar swell between his lips. He sank all the way down Danny's cock, drew on it until his cheekbones hollowed, and with a strangled shout, Danny showered the back of his throat with a rich, sweet load.
That was where Rory lost control over his own need. He pulled up, scrambled to a kneeling position, and tugged the front of his pants open. With shaking fingers he pulled out his cock and began to jerk himself off.
"Hell, yes!" Danny's voice was gleeful and sultry. It was a beautiful look for him – devilish smirk and interested spark; a look that Rory knew without having to see it. Had known it, in fact, for years. Had fallen in love with it, in fact, from day one. A good thing, really, because Rory was too far gone to focus. He screwed both eyes shut and put every ounce of concentration on his aching cock.
He threw his head back, gritted his teeth together, and came so hard it felt like the orgasm was ripped out of him by force. He had to blink twice before his eyes cleared enough to see, and then he couldn't stop himself from laughing at the grin Danny was giving him.
Danny lifted both arms and tweaked his fingers. "Happy birthday to me!" he chuckled.
Rory dropped to one elbow and planted a kiss on Danny's lips. "You betcha, baby." There was a kiss, then another, and one final quick one before Rory was allowed to pull back. "So, what do you say to some cold pizza and a beer out on the roof? Before it gets too dark or we end up burning the house down with the unattended candles?"
Danny sat up and bounced the mattress hard enough to tumble Rory on to his back. "I say, hell yes! This is the best birthday party ever!"
"Birthday party?" Rory watched Danny crawl out of bed and begin to worm himself back into his jeans. "This is your birthday gift, kid."
"Pizza for a birthday gift is..." Danny paused, turned to face Rory with his shirt in one hand. He took a deep breath and hollered, "The best birthday gift ever!"
Rory rolled off the mattress, shaking his head. "You're such an odd little creature."
"Thank you!" Danny gushed. He yanked his shirt over his head, and then tugged out a dresser drawer and began to dig. "Do you want a hoodie?"
Rory nodded and grabbed the handful of flying fluff when it was tossed his way. "You should know I also made a twenty dollar donation to a local charity on your behalf."
Danny looked over, a small smile on his face. "Oh? That's cool!"
"Well, kind of." Rory shrugged. He worked his arms into the hoodie and stood waiting as Danny zipped up. He rocked back on his heels and shoved both hands into the front pocket of his pants. "Kind of a homeless thing—"
The words died on his tongue and he pushed his right hand deeper into his pocket.
Danny stepped closer, concern knotting his forehead. "What's up?"
Rory's fingers closed over a cold, rigid oval and he drew his hand out. "What in the ever..."
"Oh, wow..." Danny's eyes lit up. "It's gorgeous."
It was, too. A perfect blue stone, not quite the colour of Danny's eyes but close enough, with a smooth face down the middle and several beautifully cut facets along the edge. It wasn't set into anything, or hanging from anything, it was just a beautifully designed… stone-jewel-ish-like thingy. And where the hell it had come from, Rory had no clue on. He hadn't seen anything like it in the stores and would have, in all likelihood, just walked past it even if he had. The only possibility that had any reasoning, short of sleep-shoplifting, would be that someone had slipped it into his pocket.
"Is it..." Danny caught his lips and looked up, "for me?"
Danny looked brilliantly pleased, and that concept left Rory ridiculously happy, but completely confused. He could tell by the weight and feel of the stone that it was just that – a stone. Maybe, maybe there was the possibility it was some kind of crystal. He was no gem expert, but if it was something valuable, Rory would be shocked to all hell.
He nodded without thinking. "Yes. Yes, it is." He handed Danny the stone. "It's nothing. Just a cheap trinket. But I can get it set for you if you want. However you want. Or, if you just want to carry it as it is, that's cool too. I just thought—"
"It's a blue topaz," Danny smiled at the stone and then held it up to the light. "My great grandmother had a smaller one in the ring she used to wear. I used to play with it for hours when I was little, spinning it on her finger just to watch it catch the light." Danny's eyes shone when he looked back at Rory, and he chuckled self-consciously. "She used to tell me the topaz was the eye of her guardian angel. Which is all kinds of creepy because, I mean, ew. What did she do? Gouge it out and have it mounted?"
Rory shuddered and Danny laughed. "But I don't know. It seemed kind of... magic, you know?"
Suddenly the brilliant eye of the homeless man popped through Rory's head with such vivid recollection that Rory caught a breath. Had the man put the stone in his pocket? Was that the gift he thought Rory had been searching for? Had the pizza place been nothing more than a distraction?
Rory caught Danny's arm and pulled him into a hug. "Yeah. I know."
"So..." Danny breathed the vowel against Rory's neck and woke goose bumps up all over it. "Pizza!" He nudged Rory back with a light shove and pushed the topaz into the front pocket of his jeans. "Are you going to need me to hold your hand this time too, scaredy cat?"
"Hey!" Rory put one hand on his hip and watched Danny scramble through the window. "Who the hell do you think set all this up? Your fairy freaking godmother?"
Danny poked his head back through the window, smiling wide. "Is that a yes?"
Rory grinned and reached for Danny's extended hand. "Of course it is."