Danse is fairly certain most civillians wouldn't dive headfirst into a firefight with ghouls. He's also certain most wouldn't then agree to following him into a derelict factory that may or may not be filled with synths. But then again, most of them weren't Bùi Sang Nhân, dark-haired and possibly insane.
“You're not just any old civillian, are you?” Danse asks, after another room is cleared of androids.
Nhân laughs, and tugs on one of his power armour handles. “Come on,” he says. “Lets hunt down that transmitter.”
“I'm not a dog.” Danse says crossly, but Nhân only smiles infuriatingly.
This is ridiculous. Only Danse would form a crush after said crush has just doused them in rocket fire.
“Oh my God, are you alright?” Nhân asks, hands on his power armour and attempting to use the handles to sit him up.
“I'm fine.” Danse coughs. “That was some… quick thinking.”
“I'm glad your armour was there. I'd would've hated to tell Haylen that…”
“You wouldn't have survived had you had to tell Haylen you barbequed me.”
Nhân laughes, and his hands remain on his chest as Danse gets to his feet. Danse can't qute bring himself to remove them.
They're… friends, of a sort, Danse thinks now. Nhân takes him out into the Commonwealth ostentatiously for backup, but Danse thinks he just likes the company.
“Hold still, Paladin,” Nhân murmurs on one outing. “I need to climb you.”
“I- what-” But Nhân is already climbing his armour handles, and he sighs. “I'm not your climbing frame.”
“I know.” he says, rootling through an upper cupboard. Danse would complain more, but Nhân being so close is doing funny things to his heart. Nhân leans close, and shows Danse a pristine circuit board.
“Good work, initiate.” he says, and Nhân beams.
When the Prydwen arrives, Danse is glad Maxson accepts Nhân into the fold. He's even more glad when Nhân takes the vows with a slightly proud smile.
“Congratulations, Knight Nhân.” he says, after Maxson has dismissed him. Nhân beams, and places a hand on the handle of Danse's armour. His new uniform compliments his brown skin perfectly.
“Thank you,” he says. “You staying on the Prydwen now?”
The prospect hold no attraction. “Only if you don't need me,” he replies with a hopeful smile. Nhân grins.
“Well,” he says. “I did need a hand with the behemoth in Boston Common…”
“Why does Brotherhood Power Armour have handles?” a squire asks Danse as they head off on a recon mission. “Are they important or something?”
“The reason all Brotherhood armour has handles on the front,” Nhân says, inspecting his laser rifle with a smile. “is so that I can climb Paladin Danse like a tree.”
“That is not the reason they're there, Knight.” Danse replies, two high spots of colour on his cheekbones. But the young squire is now begging to be allowed on his shoulders, and Danse doesn't quite have the heart to explain that wasn't quite what Nhân meant.
Danse finds that the young scribes are much more focused on his lessons if he allows them to climb on him as he tells them. It's now not completely surprising to see him walking through the complex, a squire on each shoulder, talking about duty and honour and brotherhood.
“New mission, Paladin,” Nhân approaches him one afternoon. “Sorry kiddos, off you get.”
The squires groan, but slide off obediently. “Can’t we come?”
“Not today.” Nhân hooks his fingers around the handles on Danse's chest. “Paladin, fancy taking down a courser?”
Danse thinks it's possibly love that makes him say yes.
The mission is a success. Knight Nhân will enter the Institute. Danse feels sick with worry.
“Knight,” he tells Nhân, as Ingram fires up the machine. “Be careful.”
Nhân's responding smile is fond, affectionate. “I will, Paladin.”
Just as the portal charges up, Nhân grabs hold of the handles on Danse's power armour, and heaves himself up to press a kiss to Danse's mouth. Danse's mind immediately short circuits, his senses narrowing on the sudden kiss, before Nhân breaks away. With a cheeky grin, Nhân runs full pelt into the waiting portal, and is gone in a flash of light.
They're all looking for him, Danse knows it. The intel came in just minutes ago, and Haylen was busy running interference so that he could run .
He didn't want to run. This is his home .
In the shadows of the Prydwen, he watches the team raise the alarm. Nhân is only a few metres away, face grim, and Danse almost wants to reach out. He doesn't. Nhân walks away, but pauses in front of Danse's power armour. He lifts a hand, caresses the handles, and for a split second he looks heartbroken.
Danse leaves then, so no-one finds him crying.
Danse should’ve expected it would be Nhân who'd come after him. In his misery, his heart aches when Nhân appears, looking just as lost and confused as him.
“I know why you’re here.” he says, harshly.
“Maxson wants you dead.” Nhân responds, but his laser rifle stays pointed at the ground.
“I know.” A pause.” So should you.”
Danse does not expect the gentle touch. Nhân presses his hands to his chest, where the power armour handles used to sit. Without it, the touch is intimate, fragile.
“I don't care,” Nhân murmurs. “I don't.”
And, despite everything, Danse believes him.
Danse finds a new home in Sanctuary, in Nhân's house, with his dog and his brahmin. Nhân comes by as often as he can, often bundling himself into their bed at the stroke of midnight after a day's travel.
“How's the mission?” Danse asks one evening, as they sit together on their doorstep.
“Fine.” Nhân pauses, and a hand idly comes up to finger the handle on his power armour. “Are you ready for this?”
“I'm terrified, honestly.”
“I know.” Danse murmurs. “But I'll be there. Until the end.”
Nhân kisses him, and the world is okay again.