A person can only fight so many creatures before needing a break.

By the time Joseph swings his axe through the head of his ninth one, his arms are shaking with the effort of keeping it in his hands. He hears a gunshot and explosion from behind him, then turns to see Sebastian punching one in the face. Joseph brings the axe down on its head, silencing its screams, and motions toward a nearby house with his head. Sebastian nods and they take off toward it, Joseph clearing the path with his axe and Sebastian warding off any trying to follow.

It seems an eternity before they reach the house. Joseph slams the door shut behind them as Sebastian spins around, aiming his gun through shattered glass at the single lumbering creature still chasing them. One well-timed shot to the head and its skull shatters as it crumples to the ground, limbs still twitching. Joseph is tempted to go back out and burn it just to be sure it's dead, but that would mean risking getting seen by more. Besides, Sebastian has put away his gun and seems fairly unconcerned, so that's likely a sign that Joseph should try to relax too.

"We should be safe in here for now," Sebastian muses. "The area's more or less cleared out of things that want to kill us."

"Right. We need to rest. I don't think I'll ever get the smell of those things out of my nose. Or the sounds they make out of my head." He can tell he's talking too much. More than that, he can tell Sebastian is beginning to grow annoyed with him, but he can't seem to stop. It's a nervous habit, and after fighting his way through swarms of terrifying and inexplicable creatures, his nerves are fried.

His fingers tap distractedly against the axe in his hands as he watches Sebastian barricade the doors on the off chance that they're attacked. "Do you need help?" he asks, and Sebastian glances at him, eyes running over his small frame with an expression on his face that clearly says no. Joseph sits on the nearby couch to stop himself from pacing. Even though it's old and stained with who knows what, the sofa is still at least a little more comfortable than the floor, as long as he doesn't think too much about what the sticky red liquid on the back is. "Do you really think that will keep them out?"

Sebastian grunts as he pushes the last box against the door, then he leans against the wall, arms crossed. "Who knows? I didn't see any around here besides the ones we killed, so I don't think we have to worry," he replies.

That doesn't really help. He stands again so he can glance out a broken window, turning his axe over and over in his hands. He's aware of Sebastian's gaze following him, and when he looks back at the other man, he sees his brow is furrowed even more than usual. "I'm sorry. I know I shouldn't worry so much. Maybe if those things were human I would feel better." A frown. "Then again, I guess you could say they are human. Or used to be, at least. Honestly, I think that makes me feel worse. What if—what if I finally give in and turn into one of them?" Be quiet, Joseph.

It's not a train of thought Joseph really wants to follow, and apparently it isn't a path Sebastian wants to go down either. When he pushes himself off the wall and approaches the smaller man, face irritated, Joseph sets down the axe and takes a step back. "I'll be quiet. This isn't helping. I know that. I—" He has a brief flash of worry when Sebastian stops inches away, face too close to his for comfort. Joseph's eyes flicker between his partner's, trying to read him.

But before he can figure out what his partner is doing, Sebastian kisses him.

Joseph's head goes utterly blank, only aware of lips pressed to his, chapped and tasting of tobacco and iron yet warm and welcoming. The kiss lasts only a split second before Sebastian starts to pull away, but Joseph's fingers wrap around his wrist as he stands on his tiptoes, renewing the kiss with hungry fervor. He feels Sebastian stiffen in surprise, but he doesn't care, not when his tongue is against the small scar that slices through Sebastian's upper lip and the other man's stubble is tickling his chin. He can't care, not when he's wanted this for so long and it's finally happening. He nips at Sebastian's lower lip and lets his mouth wander along his jawline. Sebastian lifts his head, giving Joseph access to his neck, and Joseph has never been quite so thankful his partner never follows dress code protocol, shirt always slightly unbuttoned and tie only loosely around his neck.

"Oi. Joseph," Sebastian mutters, "let me breathe for a minute."

All at once, Joseph becomes aware of the position he's in—lips pressed to his partner's bare skin, fingers poised to undress him, Sebastian eyeing him with a look of confusion and amusement. He stumbles, tripping over nothing but his dropped pride, and lands heavily on the couch. He presses a gloved knuckle to his mouth as his face flushes. After a few long seconds, he realizes he's half hard already, just from making out with his partner, and damn it, he feels like he's back in high school. He doesn't trust himself to speak, so he doesn't even try, just chances a glance at his partner who's still standing a few feet away.

"Well," Sebastian says with a raised brow, "that shut you up."

Yes, Joseph thinks, but you created a whole new problem for me. He pulls his legs up to his chest, hoping said problem will go unnoticed by the other man. But when he sees Sebastian tilt his head slightly, gaze drawn to the very thing Joseph was trying to hide, he realizes how stupid it was to think that could happen when the man's job is built around finding secrets. "Sorry, I just—"

He doesn't have time to finish his apology as Sebastian crosses the distance between them and settles himself on Joseph's hips, straddling him on the couch. "You don't have to apologize," Sebastian murmurs. He undoes the buttons of Joseph's vest with dexterous fingers and slides it off his shoulders. "It's okay."

"I—" Joseph inhales sharply as a hand slips down below his belt and undoes his pants. Without thinking, he reaches up to clutch Sebastian's shirt collar, curling in on himself and hiding his head. Sebastian doesn't allow that; he cups Joseph's chin with his free hand and kisses him again hard. Joseph closes his eyes, but his fingers find the buttons of his partner's vest.

Sebastian straightens up for a moment, and all Joseph can do is stare while he removes his shirt and tosses his tie to the floor. His muscles ripple as he lifts his arm and runs fingers through his hair. Joseph has seen him shirtless before but never like this. The smaller man sets his fingertips on Sebastian's bare chest in something akin to wonder. They trace along the numerous scars that mark his body and the newer cuts and bruises from Ruvik's torment.

Sebastian leans forward to kiss him once again, gentler now, but his prying hands make up for it. Joseph's shirt is gone in a flash, and Sebastian pushes his wrists up against the back of the sofa. He presses a knee against his partner just hard enough to elicit a soft moan. Even as Joseph's lips open slightly and he turns his head, he can still feel Sebastian's breath hot on his skin. When he manages to meet his eyes, they're alight with lust, and that's something Joseph never thought he'd get to see directed at him, not from Sebastian.

His back arches as Sebastian kisses his the crook of his neck, careless teeth sinking into his skin and leaving it with bruises, but Joseph doesn't mind in the least. He fumbles with the buttons of Sebastian's pants, massaging the swell of his cock through the fabric, and it only makes his partner bite him all the harder, little pretext of kissing in the action now.

Joseph removes his hand for just a moment to push up his glasses. Sebastian takes the opportunity to lift his hips a bit and press himself against the other man's cock, and the movement makes Joseph's hand latch onto his upper arm. When Joseph kisses him once more, desperate and needy, he can feel Sebastian smirk against his lips. He lets out a long sigh when Sebastian's fingers creep over the waistband of his underwear and finally free him.

Sebastian's hand seems big when it's on his chest, but it feels even when it's wrapped around his cock. A quiet moan escapes him as Sebastian palms him, thumb running over the tip and lips running over his jaw. He'd be content to just stay here and let his partner get him off, but Sebastian's cock is pressed hard against him, and he realizes this isn't what he wants after all, can't let this opportunity go to waste.

"Seb— Seb, wait," Joseph pants, a hand on the other man's chest to push him away. He takes a few seconds to catch his breath while Sebastian looks on, brows knit together and mouth turned down ever so slightly in confusion. It takes all of his strength for Joseph to lift his eyes to his partner's and to keep his determination from wavering. "If we're really doing this, then I want you. All of you."

That gives Sebastian pause. His dark eyes narrow, and for a moment, Joseph fears that was the wrong thing to say.

And Sebastian does rise, but he returns within seconds with a small bottle in his hands. Joseph recognizes it—it contains a substance used to soothe certain injuries and make things slick if they get stuck and—

Oh.

Even though he was the one to suggest it, Joseph's face turns red when Sebastian holds the bottle up. "Are you sure?" Sebastian asks slowly, and Joseph only manages to nod.

He lets his partner tug off his pants and push him onto his back, not too rough but certainly not gentle either. Joseph closes his eyes, swallowing hard as Sebastian slips a finger into him. He tries to stay still, but by the third finger his body shudders involuntarily, fingers curling against the worn fabric of the sofa. It makes his cock ache with how badly he wants Sebastian, the slick press of the other man's cock against his thigh making him wish Sebastian would just hurry.

And finally, finally he does. Joseph's breath hitches in his throat as his partner slides in, caught on a whine at that first, painful push. Sebastian doesn't take him hard, and Joseph is almost grateful for it because everything about the man is big. When he moves, Joseph can feel every inch of him inside, that solid slide and how damn thick he is. He knows it can't be easy for the bigger man to go slow; nothing about him is gentle and soft, nothing ever has been. And god, Joseph wouldn't mind being treated like an object with him. He may need to be able to move the next day for now, but one day…

His thoughts are forced from his head on a strangled, breathless moan, because even slow, even gentle, Sebastian is still Sebastian. He grips Joseph's hip tightly as he thrusts, fingers leaving marks as they dig into his skin. Joseph can't even stand to look at him; it's too much, to see that twist of pleasure on the other man's face when it's identical to what he's fantasized about so many times. Even better is the knowledge that he's the reason for it. Between that thought and the fingers that are now wrapped around his cock, he almost goes over the edge right then.

Joseph may be reserved, but he's not quiet, not like this, and Sebastian doesn't seem to mind a bit. But the possibility of enemies around them makes Joseph throw a hand to his mouth, still gloved even when the rest of his clothes are forgotten. He bites down hard, taste of leather on his tongue, as Sebastian thrusts into him with ever more force.

He'd leave it there, let it hide his face and muffle his cries, but Sebastian takes his hand in his and forces it away from Joseph's mouth. "Don't hold back," he orders in a tone that's gruff and commanding. "Let me hear your voice."

In that moment, Joseph doesn't care about the ever-present threat of the hoard outside or Ruvik's traps. All that matters is Sebastian's rhythmic movements, the slap of his hips against Joseph's, the feeling of his fingers on his cock while the others clutch Joseph's hand. All that matters is Sebastian.

Joseph doesn't even recognize the sound that comes out of him when he comes, not a whimper, not a groan, just a sound of pure, unfiltered pleasure. He'd blush at the noise, but he isn't entirely sure that was even him, and even if it was, he's too busy riding the waves of his orgasm to care. And still, there's that full feeling of Sebastian inside of him as he finishes, lurching into him with a groan of his own as he spills hot into him.

Sebastian is gone too soon after that, pulling out of him with a satisfied, barely audible "fuck," and Joseph is honestly surprised the other man didn't swear more during sex, given his track record. He stares at the wooden ceiling after Sebastian climbs off of him, trying to get it through his head that that really just happened. There's a rush of embarrassment now that the moment is over, his body satisfied but his mind panicking because shit, he just slept with his partner, the same man he's been secretly in love with for years, the same man whose wife he used to work with before she went missing.

After a minute or so of running in circles in his head, the smell of smoke hits Joseph's nose, and he flips onto his side to see his clothes lying discarded on the ground and Sebastian pulling back on his own. Right. Clothes. Those are important.

When Joseph stands, his vision blurs a bit. He hadn't realized how tired he was even before sex. He forces himself to lean down and pick up his clothes while Sebastian reclines back on the couch again. He barely manages to pull on his pants before his head throbs so much he has to crouch and wait for it to stop. His shirt is filthy now, he realizes, and his body is covered with bruises that he doubts he can blame on monsters.

"Not quite so pristine now," Sebastian comments, a cigarette between his upturned lips. Joseph casts the other man a silencing glare as he tries in vain to fix his shirt, fingers trembling too much from exhaustion to do the buttons. Sebastian can only stand to watch for a few seconds before taking pity on him. "Come here. Let me do it."

Joseph obeys and sits on Sebastian's lap, an ironic—and far more innocent—twist to their positions from earlier. His eyes lid as Sebastian fixes the misaligned buttons of his shirt. The top two stay undone while Sebastian kisses the marks he left as if that could make them disappear.

"You don't heal bites by kissing them," Joseph protests, but he doesn't fight it. Sebastian's warm lips, far gentler now, feel good on his freshly bruised skin. His vest and tie still lie discarded on the ground, and he doesn't feel much need to get them right now.

Too soon, Sebastian's kisses stop, and Joseph clambers down from his lap to sit at his side like a normal human being instead. He covers his yawn with a gloved hand, but his partner doesn't miss it.

"You can sleep if you want," Sebastian says through an exhalation of smoke. "I'll take first watch."

"I'm fine," Joseph replies, but even as the words leave his mouth, his eyelids droop.

"You're no good to me if you're too tired to pull a trigger."

"And whose fault is that?" Joseph casts him an irritated glare. He wants to stay awake, knows Sebastian must be exhausted too, but he just can't.

In a way, he's almost grateful for it. Even this tired, he knows there was no meaning in what just happened. Sebastian isn't gay; he had a wife and a child, for God's sake. Pent up sexual frustration—that's all this was. Joseph is certain that when he wakes, his partner will return to treating him as a colleague, nothing more, nothing less. The painful awareness makes his eyes sting, so he closes them and removes his glasses, setting them down carefully nearby. He leans against the back of the couch, so old that there's no foam beneath the fabric, and tries to find a comfortable enough position for him to fall asleep.

After he shifts the third time, arms wrap around his waist and pull him down. When he opens his eyes, he's staring up at Sebastian, head on his lap while the bigger man rests his chin in his hand and breathes out smoke. "Just go to sleep," Sebastian tells him without looking down. "You'll get yourself killed if you don't rest."

"What about you?"

"Never mind about me." And that ends the topic.

Joseph's eyes close once more to stay shut this time. Lying with his head in Sebastian's lap makes him wish this could last forever. It brings back the thoughts he thought he'd killed, the dreams that he could one day wake up as light creeps through the window and roll over to see Sebastian sleeping at his side, an arm thrown lazily over him in the night…

But that won't happen and he knows it. This is the closest he can get, on a worn down sofa in a ramshackle house surrounded by zombie-like creatures and an insane man bent on torturing and killing them. It would be funny if it weren't so sad. He wishes he meant something more to his partner, that they could be partners in more ways than one. But the chances of that happening are slim to none. Even just getting out of this damned place will be a challenge.

Still, the way soothing way Sebastian's fingers are playing with his hair puts those thoughts out of his mind. For now, pretending they could have a future is okay.

The last thing he hears before he drifts into slumber is a long sigh from Sebastian and his quiet, low voice. "You can't die, Joseph. I need you."

That's enough to make him think maybe there was some meaning in what happened after all.