Alan knew it was going to be a simply wonderful day when a crash roused him before there was more than a hint of dawn coloring the horizon. He staggered out of his tent to deal with whatever it was, trying to get his shorts untwisted and a shirt on simultaneously. A spectacular wind had arrived out of nowhere, flinging dirt and bits of rock against his legs. Alan swore. Then he swore again when he spotted the source of the crash- the trailer no longer had an awning. It had been flipped completely over the top and torn half off, and was still flapping and banging in the wind.

Alan braced himself against the wind and stared. Weird. This was just plain weird. And where the hell had all this wind come from, anyway? He shook his head and turned away. Nothing he could do about that right now. Other people were out, staggering through the wind and making sure everything was covered that needed to be. He joined them. All was secure, barring the awning and somebody's tied-shut garbage bag- it was making its escape towards the open plain, bouncing end over end at an impressive rate of speed.


A familiar voice carried over the wind. He turned away from the sight of the runaway bag and saw Billy, who looked very surreal with the faint streaks of false dawn glowing behind him. "Yeah?"

"Nothing more you can do- c'mon, let's get out of the wind!" And he set out for his little dome tent. Alan followed. When he turned to fasten the flap behind him, he was just in time to witness his own tent collapsing gracefully into a flapping heap.

"Son of a bitch..." Nothing he could do now, though. He shook his head regretfully. At least the tethers had held, and the thing wasn't chasing after the garbage bag.

He felt Billy's hands on his shoulders and allowed himself to be pulled back away from the flap, into Billy's arms. At least there was that benefit to this sudden windstorm- they could be tucked away safe in here together, without worrying about what anyone would say.

"So where the hell did this come from, anyway?" he asked Billy, then prevented him from answering by kissing him.

"No clue," said Billy, when he could think clearly again. "But I'm not complaining."

"Me either."

But then, in the middle of a very pleasant kiss, the wind ended. It was just like someone had turned some huge fan off- suddenly, there was nothing. "Now I'm complaining," Alan muttered. He moved away, back to the tent flap. Heads were emerging from tents all around, looking at the sky as though they could spot more wind before it arrived. Alan noted the impossibilty of such a thing, even while he scanned the sky as well. Nothing. No wind, visible or otherwise. He left the tent. Just in the few short minutes of the windstorm, the horizon had brightened considerably, making it easy to see the rather disarranged appearance of the site. Alan sighed, resigned to having to put things back together, and turned back towards Billy. He smiled at Billy's disgruntled expression as he emerged from the tent, then the blackness above the tent caught his eye. He swore with passionate feeling.

"All right, everybody," he called, turning to face the camp. "Let's get things locked down! Looks like there's gonna be a bad blow!"

"And what did you call that? A gentle spring breeze?" some wit called out. Alan merely gestured in the direction of the seething black mass behind him. Shocked looks abounded, then people began the mad scramble to secure everything from a real storm.

They'd barely gotten the last of the tarps fastened when the storm hit, descending on them with a roar like a freight train. This time Billy hauled Alan into the trailer, both of them getting soaked in the process.

"Yeeha," Billy commented sourly, shaking himself vigorously, like a wet dog. Water flew off him in all directions.

Alan dodged out of the way. He ran a hand through his hair, wishing he'd managed to grab his hat somehow. But there was only so much a man could do when first roused from his bed by a windstorm, then exploded upon by a cloudburst. At least he'd managed to get his shirt on. Not that that was very helpful now- it was incredible, the force with which the cloudburst had struck. He was utterly soaked already. He undid the buttons of his shirt, discovering in the process that he'd only managed to fasten three, all of which were in the wrong holes. Then he peeled the wet shirt off and smiled at Billy's appreciative whistle.

"So..." Billy said, smiling and stepping up close. "This storm seems to have its advantages!"

"Does it, now," and Alan wrapped his arms around Billy, resuming the interrupted kiss from earlier.

"It does indeed," Billy murmured, in between kisses. His hands drifted over Alan's damp skin. "I think you need to get out of those wet shorts, too- can't have you catching cold, after all..."

"Like that's even a possibility, with you around to heat me up..."

And things did indeed get rather steamy in the trailer, while outside all the fury of a watery hell raged across the plain.


"Damn. Somebody's going to have to go to town."

"I'll go," Billy volunteered immediately.

"No way, it's my job," Alan shook his head. "You stay here. I'll go get it."

"Yeah, right," Billy grinned. "Like you're going to remember which part we need."

"Paper," Alan said, brandishing a piece. "And pencil. Miraculous inventions, help even idiots like me remember what they've gone shopping for."

"But you're staying here. You have to be here, to supervise-"

"Oh, would you knock it off already?" Kelly broke in, glaring at both men. "You can both go! Just stop this arguing and go get the damn thing."

Billy made a peculiar snorting sound, biting his lip. Alan had to look away from those sparkling eyes before he lost it and started laughing.

"Are you sure?" he said seriously. Knock it off, Billy- you make me laugh, and she's never going to forgive me... "I mean, really, I can just go alone..."

"Dr. Grant, we'll be perfectly fine here without you and Billy. It's not like anyone can use the computer with the generator broken, and all of us are capable of excavation without your supervision."

"Your wish is my command," Billy said, in a mock-formal tone. Then he snagged the truck keys off the table with a grin and set off. "I'm driving!"

"You're driving?" Alan shook his head and followed. "Wait a minute, I thought it was my truck."

"Yes, Alan, it is your truck," Billy nodded, keeping the keys away from Alan's attempt to reclaim them. "But I'm driving."

"Fine then." Alan gave up. They reached the truck and climbed into it, Alan settling into the passenger seat with an affronted sigh. "Why I put up with you, I'll never know."

"Oh come on, Alan- it's because you love me." Billy grinned.

Alan looked up at him, feeling his heart skip a beat or two. "Yeah."


Whatever Billy was saying faded into insignificance when Alan spotted the sign. His head snapped around as the truck drove past the Chaparral Soda Fountain- "Handmade Old Fashioned Ice Cream."

"Alan?" Billy glanced over, saw where his attention had gone. He laughed. Alan was twisted nearly all the way around, watching the ice cream parlor disappear wistfully. "Alan... you and your ice cream!"

"Hey," Alan protested, facing forward again, "What can I say? It's hot, ice cream's good when it's hot."

"And if there were six feet of snow on the ground, you'd still be trying to go through that window, wouldn't you?"

"Maybe." Alan hunched his shoulders and looked guilty.


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