All Lincoln All the Time

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Dear Josh Jackson:

It’s the smell that finally does him in.

The weather in Boston isn’t that different from what Lincoln’s used to in Hartford; the difference of a hundred miles still means brutal northeast winters. But somehow the wind here cuts right through him in a way he’s having a hard time adjusting to.

He dashes through the Kresge Building with his head down, narrowly dodging students and faculty on the way to the basement lab. It won’t be any warmer down there, unless Astrid’s already gotten in and turned on the space heaters that Walter always forgets. But at least the basement is far from any outside doors and the wind that feels like it’s following him, laying its icy fingers down his neck and laughing as he shudders.

When Lincoln swipes his keycard with shaky fingers and steps inside the lab, the blast of warm air that hits him makes it clear that Astrid, or someone else, has gotten here ahead of him. But he’s still shivering and no one is in sight, not even Walter, so he decides that propriety is overrated and reaches for the first warm thing he sees, a piece of heavy fabric on the coat rack, and envelops himself in it.

It’s at least a few minutes before he starts to feel his core temperature coming up to resemble something nearly human, and it’s only after his fingers have stopped tingling that Lincoln realizes he’s wrapped himself up in Peter’s peacoat.

And it—the coat *smells.* Not in a bad way, not at all. It’s full of the scent of slightly damp wool, and Peter’s aftershave, and the wood of the old house he’s been living in. There’s still no one in the lab, so Lincoln turns his head slightly into the coat’s collar and breathes it in, catching the hint of some kind of spice, probably from Peter’s last cooking experiment, and faintly the scent of Peter himself where the collar had rubbed against his neck—

The door opens and he’s caught, his head jerking up with a start as Peter comes in, balancing a cardboard tray with a couple of capped paper cups from the cafeteria upstairs. “Hey, you’re in. I got coffee. —no, don’t get up,” he adds, his face creasing in a grin. “It’s brutal out there today.”

Lincoln just nods and sinks back down into the coat, given sanction for his impromptu exploitation of Peter’s clothing. He watches as Peter sets the tray down and then wanders back his way. 

“Astrid took Walter out for breakfast. You look good in my coat,” Peter offers, casually, a faint smirk on his lips.

Maybe that it’s that he’s warmed up in more ways than one, maybe it’s that smirk, or maybe it’s the scent of the coat all around him that finally pushes Lincoln to the place he’s wanted to go for weeks. “I’d look better out of it,” he says, standing, and is both relieved and delighted by Peter’s answering laugh.

“I’m still a little chilly, though,” Peter says, and steps forward to push his hands into the coat, his arms curling around Lincoln’s back, the closeness of his body with the both of them under the coat turning warmth into real heat. “Yeah, that’s better,” he says, and laughs again as Lincoln pulls him down for a kiss.

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