A Bear's Contentment
by Hairy 1
And so Daniel's life continues smoothly, his weeks following the same routine. The Saturday book discussions continue, but they find more and more topics to discuss. Daniel has come to look forward to these more than he ever expected possible, and realizes that he has found something he has missed in his life, a true friend.
Winter arrives in full force, and the weather gets worse just in time for another coffee shop performance by Miles. Daniel eagerly attends, enjoying the music, engaging in conversation afterwards. Again he invites Miles over for a nightcap, and they have a pleasant conversation, until Miles determines it is time to leave for the bus.
"Miles, why don't you just let me drive you home? The weather is getting bad, I'd feel better knowing you made it OK."
"Daniel, no. I can get myself home. You shouldn't have to drive in weather like this."
Not wanting to argue, and knowing how stubborn Miles is, Daniel drops the topic. As they walk to the entry, Miles wraps Daniel in another hug.
"Just to keep me warm out there, I hope you don't mind."
Daniel sighs and pulls Miles closer, not knowing how to say how much he doesn't mind this closeness.
As they open the door, the snow and wind burst in. Miles hurries out so the door can be closed.
Deep in thought over how good the hug felt, Daniel turns the television on. He is distracted until he hears the buzz of a weather alert, and sees scrolling across the screen that the roads have become icy and snow covered, and people are advised not to go out. He finds himself worrying about the bus situation, and for the first time he calls Miles' apartment to see if he has gotten home safely, feeling like he might be intruding but knowing he won't sleep unless he knows.
After hanging up on the answering machine several times, he starts to pace about. The bus ride shouldn't have taken so long. Maybe Miles just doesn't answer the phone late at night. And Miles has made it clear that he can take care of himself, he doesn't want to be offered help all the time. But Daniel can't stop worrying, something he isn't used to as he is normally so self-contained. He bundles up in his coat determined to make sure everything is alright.
Walking out into the storm, Daniel sees how bad the roads are. He decides that before he drives himself to Miles' apartment and embarrasses them both, he will just walk up the few blocks to the coffee shop and make sure that Miles hasn't taken shelter there if the bus is running late. His head bowed against the heavy wind and snow, he trudges through the wet snow, which already is high enough to cover his ankles. Finally looking ahead, he sees that there are no lights on at Joe's Jo, so indeed Miles couldn't be there. Just as he is about to turn and trudge home, he sees what appears to be a figure standing at the bus stop. "No, he couldn't really still be standing there in this weather," Daniel thinks.
As he hurries forward, he discovers it is indeed Miles, stubbornly waiting at the bus stop. By now, he has stood there for over half an hour, he appears to be soaked through and cold, but he doesn't want to hear of not waiting.
"Maybe I'll just start to walk home, if the bus passes I can flag them down," he says through chattering teeth.
"Absolutely not! I'll carry you back to my place if I have to, but you are not walking and you are not staying here."
"Oh come on, Daniel, you can't make me ..."
"Don't try me, Miles, you're coming now. I'll drive you home after you warm up," Daniel states with uncharacteristic determination. He finds that his protective feelings are over riding his need to be polite or give in, and puts his arm around Miles to draw him close, only to feel a deep shivering. Concerned, Daniel hurries him home, keeping an arm around him the whole way as he stumbles a bit, offering support, warmth and shelter.
Back at home, Daniel finds that Miles is indeed soaked through. Getting him out of his jacket, it is obvious that his jeans and shirt are dripping too. As Daniel points Miles to the shower, Miles insists that he doesn't want to drip on the carpet.
"Stop worrying about stuff like that, I can clean it up, you need to get warm!" Daniel practically growls out, and drags him along to the bathroom, starting a hot shower. As the steam starts to billow around the shower curtain, Daniel backs out, giving Miles the privacy to get undressed and get in the shower, but hearing the curtain draw closed he reaches in to grab the sodden clothing in order to dry it. He leaves Miles one of his robes, which is large but hopefully not too much so.
When Miles emerges from the shower, Daniel discovers that he is furrier than imagined; it can be seen around the loose robe. He is covered with fine black hair, not a pelt like Daniel sports on his chest and back, but a complete covering as far as can be seen. Quickly collecting himself, Daniel guides Miles over to the couch, sitting him down in front of the roaring fire that he has lit, and then ambles over to the kitchen. He has prepared hot tea laced with honey and some brandy, and brings two large mugs over, sitting on the couch next to Miles.
Miles still shivers now and then; even the hot shower hasn't quite warmed him. Without thinking, Daniel moves to put an arm around him, but Miles draws slightly away. Thinking he has done something wrong, Daniel begins to apologize, but Miles speaks first.
"There's something I have to tell you" he says, "because if you put your arm around me now, when I'm in just your robe, it will be obvious. I hope you can still be my friend and don't take this the wrong way, but I'm very attracted to you."
"Yeah, that's why I've never stayed too long; I never wanted to risk our friendship. But I can't hide like this."
Seeing Miles beside him, still needing warmth, needing him, something opens up in Daniel, and he lets his walls slip. Carefully putting an arm around Miles, drawing him close, he says "I'm attracted to you too, and have been from the first time I saw you."
Miles laughs, all joy again, relief flooding his face.
As he warms up, Miles relaxes, snuggling into Daniel's side. Daniel realizes that it feels good, comfortable. Obviously Miles feels the same as the stress of the cold and the evening causes him to fall asleep nestled against Daniel's side.
They sit this way for almost an hour, and Daniel is surprised to find himself content in the firelight, the sound of Miles' breathing soothing, his growing warmth comforting. This contentment is something that he has only felt in his quiet solitude before.
It ends all soon, as Miles awakens to the sound of the buzzer from the drier announcing that his clothes are dry.
"I think you're warmed up now, and as your clothes are dry, I can drive you home if you want."
Looking out the window, Miles says "I can't let you drive in that weather."
"Well. I can't let you walk in that weather, so you'll just have to stay the night."
"Only if it’s no problem."
"Miles, let's not spin in that circle again. It's agreed, you'll stay here."
Daniel draws Miles up in his arms, hugging him briefly, and then shows him to the bedroom.
"You can have the bed, I'll sleep on the couch."
"What? No way, if anyone is taking the couch, I am."
"No, you are my guest, you get the bed."
"Don't start that with me. I've already inconvenienced you."
"No, I am not ..."
"Sssshhhh, stop. I guess we could share the bed, it is a king."
"Daniel, I like that idea."
Surprised, Daniel reaches into a drawer and tosses Miles some shorts to sleep in, and excuses himself to the bathroom. When he returns, he finds Miles in bed with the shorts lying on the floor, and gets in on his own side, the middle empty. Laying there, he feels Miles shivering a bit again, and rolls to face him, to see a smiling face looking at him.
"See, I'm still cold, you better snuggle up to me to keep me warm."
Daniel laughs, comfortable instead of nervous and slowly moves over to the middle of the bed as Miles rolls over as well. They spoon, Miles' back nestled against Daniel's hairy front, and as Miles drifts back to sleep, Daniel lightly touches him, stroking his fur softly, amazed at how sensual it feels, understanding a bit about how those men from college were fascinated by him. He hardens, but lets Miles sleep, amazed at his reaction. He wants Miles in so many ways, not just physically. Despite his erection, he falls asleep content, warm inside and out.