In quiet moments like this, he doesn’t understand how a human being can forget how to be with someone.
Heavy legs are tangled with his own, too weary face for once peaceful, at rest against his chest. It had taken sleep for the other man to relax against him and settle into the warmth.
It had taken soft prompts and nudging to make him do the natural thing and snuggle into Apollo’s body though. His fingers curled against Apollo’s ribs; he sighs slightly when Apollo’s finger brushed his hair back out of his face and behind one ear.
Apollo knew all about living your name, but it seemed to wrong that this man become so cold that his code name seemed warm in comparison.
In the darkness that came before anything else, there was something. Maybe. A touch of something that was soft and cool and damp, perhaps skin pressed close. Noise that can’t be processed into meaning anything, but it might have been a voice speaking into the darkness that was before anything else.
Late at night, in the nothingness of sleep, the phantom sensations of before anything else can be there. Puffs like breath against skin, discomfort like too tight fingers against newly constructed muscle and bone.
Cold, cold metal and a madman’s eyes when, for a moment, there is something in the darkness before anything else.
But once there’s something again, Apollo never remembers what came before it.
The escape was jagged and raw in his memory, fragmented by shock. He remembers tearing walls apart with his bare hands, light flashing over soldiers, the blur of shadow next to him and cold hands encased in leather.
Then, a gravely voice snapping at him to get them somewhere else. He had grabbed his team mate by his wrists and taken off, getting them away from this place.
From that broken moment, he’d come to understand something. The finer world was not through Stormwatch. Stormwatch promised comfortable beds and regular meals and doing the bidding of a man who would keep them on a leash as his trained pets.
Sleeping on his team mate in a cold, abandoned warehouse, he decided this was the first step to a finer world.