The two said good-night to their hosts and walked across the yard, the house light losing its grip, surrendering them to the dark.
In the barn, they spread their sleeping tarp and blankets, and sprawled out. Deep sighs, then silence sang in their ears. They felt their breaths returning home, owned again, warm in their chests.
It felt strange to have a ceiling—boards and beams and bales of straw above—and not a sea of stars.
It was damp tonight, and when they rolled over, lower backs and backsides paired up. By now, they thought nothing of proximity, the notion of men touching. Warmth was but an element of survival.