Written for a music prompts game. The prompt was "At My Most Beautiful" by REM.

Mornings are Duffy's favorite time, at least those rare mornings when they don't have to tumble out of bed and out the door before they even know they're awake are. No, he likes the mornings that are slow and peaceful, when you can watch the sunshine crawl across the coverlet and not move until it reaches your hand or a certain fold in the bedding; or when you can listen to the rain tapping on the glass and be glad you can stay indoors, warm and snug, instead of having to go out into it.

Jasper is not a morning person, and so Duffy, on those mornings when he lies awake, lets Jasper sleep. It gives him a rare opportunity to watch his lover -- normally so busy, a whirlwind of color and excitement -- just lie there, peaceful, unaware of Duffy's scrutiny.

These are Duffy's most favorite mornings. He's counted freckles, eyelashes, scars. He's inhaled the warm sleepy scent of Jasper's neck and the small of his back. He's told Jasper stories, whispered poetry in his ear, sung him lullabies. Oh, he'll do all of this when Jasper is awake, but there's always a sense of absurdity when he does. When Jasper is asleep, Duffy can be as romantic as he wants, as indulgent as he wants. He can kiss every freckle on Jasper's shoulders and whisper "I love you" and no one will be the wiser.

And sometimes Duffy catches a glimpse of a tiny smile on Jasper's sleeping lips. Those are the best mornings of all.

End