I have been spamming Orphne with email cards all night. Then I saw this picture and suddenly I was writing a ficlet instead. I made Erin and Kash beta because I am a tyrant.

For [info]orphne, proud soldier of the Month of Happy Women. Millions of hearts to [info]reenka for the accompanying art.

Light years in the future, Draco shows up at the door of Harry's posh metro bachelor pad looking suave and sexy, and whisks him out the door for a night on the town. Maybe this is the first time they've seen each other in 5 years; maybe they've been seeing each other every day. Doesn't matter. What matters is the city at night and the dazzling, electric sizzle of it, and the way Draco lingers near Harry, and the way Harry feels whenever Malfoy slides his hand down around the small of Harry's back. It feels to Harry as if he is saying, "Don't even think about slipping too far away." And Harry doesn't.

They don't dance, because, well, as much as they might want to feel the other's arms around them, they are both too mortified to admit it and stand up in *public.* Harry worries someone would take their picture, and that he would look like an idiot--and Draco worries that Potter would look at him with disdain. Really, they needn't have worried at all.

After they are just that bit tipsy from good booze and one another's presence, they walk along the waterfront where the tourist docks compete with fishing boats. Right as they reach the point where the trendy piers with their upscale storefronts end, and the industrial piers with their dubious smells and all-night sounds of fishermen yanking nets off boats begin, Draco stops and tugs Harry around a corner and down to the end of a small, isolated pier.

They are standing on the edge next to a pile of rotting rope which is keeping a dinghy, also rotting, from floating out to sea. And just beyond them is the city, across the harbor, blazing with light. They have walked so far the skyline looks miles away. It almost seems as if they have come to the edge of the world, and Harry is afraid to look back out to sea, because it will be too vast and lonely.

This is when Draco turns back to him, his eyes, his hair, all shifting color as light from the setting sun roams across his face.

"Do you know what the word 'apropos' means, Potter?" he says.

"Appropriate?" says Harry, guessing.

"Opportune," responds Draco. Harry doesn't know what that means, but he has just time enough to think that Malfoy is a shameless opportunist, before Draco is reaching up, his expression serious, and running his palm against the stubble of Harry's cheek. Harry steps backwards in shock (because this, this moment, never can be anything but shocking, whether it happens once or to infinity); his back hits the railing of the pier, and he finds he has nowhere to go except over into the neon sea, or into Draco Malfoy's kiss.

There is, in this kiss on this particular pier, with Draco leaning into him and Harry's hands gripping the railing as a last resort before winding their way about Draco's waist, a kind of swift and beautiful poetry, as though someone had taken a muggle picture of the two of them together and dotted it with special effects, increased the lighting here, highlighted the contrast there, to make it seem as though somehow this kiss were a moment larger than life. It does not really matter that the effects are doctored, that the color streaking Malfoy's hair is photoshopped, or that the rotting dinghy and the unattractive rope have been smudged out of the picture.

What matters is that when Draco's lips part from Harry's, Harry says the first thing on his mind, the only thing he can say: "I want you." Whether it is the first time, the second time, the millionth time; whether the deep indigo of the night sky is real or painted on; whether the wood of the railing splinters Harry's hands or whether he barely feels it because it is barely there at all, the statement never changes.

The moment, extended, goes on forever; and this is how it goes. It is 'I want you'--the gasping press of lips that do not want to part; the moment where the background disappears and the scenery is irrelevant, and all that is left is unchanging desire. That is when Draco kisses Harry again, and murmurs against his lips, "Always."

This is how it goes.

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