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Author's Chapter Notes:
Slightly more melancholy than usual. Thanks to Margaret Price for looking over it for me.
Klaus came to bed in nothing but his pajama bottoms, which Dorian found amusing since he was certain they would not stay on for long. He sat on the bedside opposite of Dorian, back broad and pale in the half-light shed by a little lamp, then slid beneath the blankets, turned to Dorian and leaned over to kiss him. His skin was warm from the shower, his hair damp. Dorian brushed his fingers through it, trying to get used to short style so recently cropped.

"You look tired," Dorian said after they had parted a little, after Klaus had lingered, hovering over him but not kissing.

Klaus made a low sound of agreement but Dorian didn't recognize the expression he wore. He thought he knew every Klaus there was to know.

"You're worried?" Dorian asked, but Klaus only kissed him again, ran his hand along Dorian's jaw, his throat, his chest, then lay his head on Dorian's shoulder. Moments later he was asleep.

At 4:00 am Dorian was still awake. Klaus had moved a bit farther away, sleeping on his stomach, one long leg tangled with one of Dorian's. Dorian watched him, watched his eyes dancing in dreams behind pale lids. It was strange, that face, not framed in black. The short hair looked good on him, of course. It was Klaus, afterall. But it still seemed like a disguise, as if Dorian could reach over and pull the wig off if he wanted... which he did, but could not.

Klaus had arrived at Castle Gloria a little later than Dorian had anticipated. Dinner was cold, the wine warm. His flight from Lisbon had been delayed, and there had been other things to tend to, like a new assignment.

"Already?" Dorian had asked Klaus after being told that the mission would begin in a few days. They stood in the kitchen, dinner forgotten.

"I have a flight out tomorrow."

"But you've been gone for six weeks."

Klaus snuffed a cigarette out in the sink. "You knew it would be like this. It has always been like this."

Dorian didn't trust the tone in Klaus's voice. "No... no it has never been quite like this. And you know it is not selfishness speaking when I say they are relying on you too much. There are other agents, Klaus."

Arms crossed, Klaus leaned against the counter, quiet. Dorian touched his arm, pulled him into an embrace. They stood that way for some time, Klaus getting heavier in his arms until Dorian thought he might have drifted asleep.

"Is Bonham still awake?" Klaus finally asked, his voice strange, slurred with fatigue or muffled against Dorian's hair.

"I'm sure he is, but I can fetch whatever you need, I think. What is it?"

"I need a haircut."

Dorian had thought it an odd request, a trim in the middle of the night, but after fetching Bonham and a cape and setting them up in the kitchen, he wandered off to shower before bed. When he returned he found the Major asleep in the chair and Bonham looking guilty, sweeping up a mound of dark hair.

Dorian couldn't speak.

"'e told me to, M'Lord", Bonham explained, his voice thick with apology, and left the two alone. Klaus woke when he heard the kitchen door close behind him.


Klaus stood and blinked, then tentatively ran a hand through his hair, then two hands, until he seemed to approve. When he noticed the look on Dorian's face he asked, "Does it look that bad?", but with no real concern.

"Where are you going, Klaus? Where is your next mission that this was necessary?"

"Nowhere special," Klaus replied, gathering his jacket, pushing past Dorian, through a dark hall and up the flight of stairs lit only by moonlight falling through high windows.

"Please, Klaus," Dorian said as he followed close behind, his voice breaking in a way he wasn't accustom to hearing in himself, "... you're scaring me."

Klaus stopped on the stairs and turned, "If I tell you, you may follow me. If I don't tell you, you may follow me anyway, but at least you cannot tell anyone else."

Dorian took a step back. "Klaus, I would never--"

"I know," Klaus said quietly, closing the distance between them. "But there are things I knew I would never do, and yet I have done them." He touched Dorian's hair. "I will be back. And you will stay here like a good thief."

"You believe that, do you?" Dorian asked, a touch of mischief breaking through the sadness in his voice.

Klaus took him by the arm, squeezed it tighter than Dorian would have expected. "If you love me, you will stay."

Dorian could only just make out the determined set of the Major's jaw, he couldn't see the other man's eyes but he could imagine fiery emeralds. And yet his voice had been gentle, as deep and tender as the grip on his arm was fierce. He nodded and Klaus released him, kissed him, then led them to Dorian's bedroom.

Now those eyes were closed in sleep, had been for some time, but Dorian couldn't find sleep for himself, and frankly did not want to. Hair grew back, bruises healed, but memories either were or were not. He couldn't remember when he had ever stayed awake all night just to watch the Major sleep. In the morning he would kiss him awake. He couldn't remember doing that either.
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