Disclaimer: I still don't own AMC's The Walking Dead or any of its characters. Drat!

Warnings: See original chapter for a complete list of warnings. This particular chapter will contain significant adult language, adult situations, and slash.

Authors Note#1: Please read and review. I am open to comments, advice, and constructive criticism. The encouragement and constructive criticism your reviews provide makes the writing process that much more enjoyable!

RotationChapter 18

He woke up sometime during the night feeling halfway between smothered to death and being far too comfortable to even think about moving. Stretching minutely, he blinked into the darkness. Peering out the blurred windshield with well earned tiredness, he took in their surroundings. The wind had lessened, but the rain still showed no sign of letting up any time soon. In fact he could barely make out the lonely figure of Shane standing watch on top the RV, looking curled up and miserable under the small umbrella Dale had commandeered for lengthy watches spend under the searing Georgina sun.

Far in the distance, lighting and thunder still rolled. But even then it was obvious that it had mostly blown itself out, with the echoes barely touching his keen ears as the storm slowly thrummed out its death throws. He squinted through the darkness, ego still soaring about a mile past the stratosphere as a tell-a-tale throb rose back to prominence in his groin. In fact, his mood was so affable that he remained surprisingly unfazed when he realized that Shane had paused in mid-pace on top the Winnebago, and was now looking directly at them from clear across camp.

'Hope you enjoyed the show asshole.' He thought with a distinctly satisfied grin. Idly entertaining the idea of seeing how much it would take to make the unpredictable man's head explode. God knows it would certainly do them all a bloody favor if he did.

It was only when he'd done a careful circuit around camp that he allowed himself to relax. And as he did he found himself completely unable to contain an admiring snort as he looked down at the both of them. They hadn't even made it to a god damn tent. In fact they were still scrunched up across the length of the folded down seat, crushed together in such a mish-mash of limbs that they would have given even a jig-saw puzzle a run for its money. With the kid curled around him like some sort of particularly affectionate limpet, his back already screamin' bloody murder.

Christ...He felt fucking ridiculous..

It made him feel as though he had somehow digressed in age, going back to things like uncoordinated make out sessions spent on the living room couch. With Mamma puttering around in the kitchen only a few meters away as he stole a kiss or three when he was sure she wasn't spyin'. Or sneaking out at midnight to push the car down the drive, nervous and half terrified at the thought of getting caught as he drove down the road to pick up his high school sweetheart. All moment's indicative of his more rambunctious teenage years…

However in the end, admittedly somewhat predictably, his libido won out. Instead he contented himself with searching out the source of a scent that seemed to have enveloped the both of them. It reminded him of humidity. Of the scent the ground gives off, caught in a wind gust just after a hard summer's rain. It remained somehow reminiscent of the sudden sharpness of a clean, wholesome smelling sweat. It was unique, yet relatable. Almost comforting in it's gentle obscurity.

His bare feet poked out from the mess of rumpled shirts and shucked blue jeans. And idly he brushed his toes across the nylon cushioning of the passenger side door, reveling in the unique 'skritch-skritch' sound the movement produced. He ran a hand through his mussed up hair, catching the shadow of his reflection in the rear view mirror as a distant flash lit up the cab like it was center stage. And he'd be damned if he didn't look completely fucked out..

Careful not to wake him, he pulled the kid closer, relishing in the slow burn as the muscles in his right arm tightened, and then released in kind. Fingers softly tangling in the stark black mop the kid had the nerve to call hair. He sucked in a slow, easy breath as he let his mind cipher off into oblivion. Not even thinking twice as appreciative eyes roved down the length of the man's form, far too content to ruin the sanctity of the moment for something as simple as a twisted up back.

..He'd msised this, the silence of the moment after. God help him, but he had. He'd missed the times where he could just lay still and think of nothing else save for what was right in front of him...

Merle had always told him that his biggest problem was that he thought too damn much. And despite Merle's admittedly tarnished track record, he reckoned that the man was at least half right. Because his mind was always going, always humming, buzzin' along like some god damned bee hive. He never allowed himself to simply have that moment. To let it sink in all right and proper, and to appreciate it for what it was. But this time it was all different. Because despite the fact that he knew he should be thinking about any number of a million other things, mostly regarding the upcoming supply raid and the possibly of finding gas for his old girl before her tanks went completely dry, his mind refused to entertain the lot of them. Leaving him with nothing save for the sensation of the kid sinking deep underneath his skin.

It was a thought that stood out as remarkably appropriate, especially given their current circumstances…

And almost as if the younger man sensed his troublesome thoughts, he shifted beside him. Turning inward and completely hogging the layer of shucked clothes as the younger man inched more snugly along the length of his side. Crowding impossibly closer, until their naked skin meshed together all the way down from armpit to baby toe. He could help but grin at that, finding his nose now pressed securely across the hollow that marked the arch of the kid's neck. It was a vantage point that gave him a front row seat to the way the man's sable black hair trickled down along the base of his neck. As well as an excellent view of a rather impressive looking set of teeth marks he had unashamedly bitten into the kid's nape the night before to boot.

..The kid was gonna' give him hell for that come morning But for the moment he decided he was going to enjoy it Hell, he even reckoned that it it looked good on him...

Instead, he decided to breathe it in, lids shuddering like he was still riding the endorphin high. He sighed contentedly at the low ceiling, feeling his breath come fluttering back as he pitched his face towards the stars. 'Shame he'd never gotten around to puttin' in a sun roof or somemat'.' He thought leisurely, tone unanimous as he tapped his thumb against his chin, pausing to nibble on a hangnail he found there as his body seemed to melt even further into the seat.

The feeling of contentment seemed to be universal, because his bones and muscles were still luxuriating that the same mellow, exhausted burn that seemed to have seeped down to his very core. A sensation indicative of a night well spent.

Christ that had been good. Too good. The kid was like a wet dream. A god damned felony. And far more then he deserved all wrapped up in one hell of a pretty package…

He shifted in his seat. Mood doing an impressive about face as his eyes flickered back towards the distant horizon just in time to see a bolt of lightening cleave across the unsuspecting sky. A frown settled back across his features as the thought bore down on him, the truth of the matter almost crushing in its brutal honesty. The kid was too good for him.

He wanted to do right by him. But he had no idea how. In fact, in this case he would be the first one to admit that he'd never really been good at this kind of shit, at all the stupid little things that seemed to make up the less carnal side of intimacy. Shit like feelingsand emotions, and all that other crap that always seemed to come along with them.

He'd never been one for relationships. Never been one to remember anniversaries or care much about things like birthdays or special dates either. Perhaps it was because in the grand scheme of things, he'd never really seen how they could matter that much. Especially not when put beside the purity of the feeling. The affection, the desire..hell, even the love. After all, what was the significance of something as silly as a three month anniversary when set against the way that he could barely get through something like his first real date without blushing and stuttering because the beaut' sitting in the booth across from him was just that damn pretty? The level of gentle mischief reflecting back in her flawless, almond shaped eyes being enough in itself to make a kid fall head over heels into his first love.

But in the end, at least in his experience, he'd learned that ignoring the little things always seemed to matter. He'd known lovers that stockpiled them. Holding them over his head like weapons of mass destruction, as little white lies hitched their rides to hell on the tail coats of phrases like: "don't worry about it" or "you can make it up to me," that were all carefully tallied to be used against you at a later date.

He sunk his teeth into his fist as he fought to keep himself still. Because he didn't have the first clue how to deal with things like the reality that sometime not very long ago, he probably wouldn't have even given the kid a second glance. Hell, if the world hadn't gone and ended on them, they probably wouldn't have even met at all.

And wasn't that just a mind fuck and a half?

He blew a frustrated breath at the ceiling, teeth gnawing on his lower lip as his thoughts blew past like micro-film stuck on fast forward. …God knows he could be an asshole, especially when he wasnt meaning too. For fucks sakes, he swore it was like the Dixon family legacy sometimes.

It seemed that even he wasn't immune to having his share of insecurities. At least when he could find it in himself to admit them that is... Because for now, despite it all, he knew he wouldn't be able to tell the kid what he wanted to hear. He wouldn't be able to give the kid the same parts of himself that his other lovers had likely gifted over so easily. Because he wasn't like that.. He'd never been able give himself so freely..

Perhaps five years from now, things might be different. He might be different. Perhaps in five years from now they would both be able to look back on this moment and laugh, their tones teasing and all too knowing as they remembered the problems of those early days. Perhaps five years from now the world will have gone back to the way it was before. Perhaps five years from now all the little things wouldn't matter so much. Perhaps five years from now, life might have pulled them apart. Or maybe, five years from now, they'd both be long dead.

He didn't expect forever. He wasn't even sure if he wanted it neither. Besides, he had always reckoned that the word 'forever' was just some overly romantic, teenage girl notion anyway. Because nothing lasts forever, not back then, and certainly not now. Not even the ground they walked on or the air they breathed would last that long.

…But for now, given the nature of these changing days, perhaps what he did have to give would be enough. After all, it seemed as though he had just been given the whole rest of his life to at least try.

He ran a hand across the span of his face, tracing the lifting corners of his lips as a small smile stole across the length of him. Warmth flooding back into his chest as the man beside him shifted in his sleep. Mumbling softly as a single hand fell across his chest, fingers curling into the muscled skin just about his heart, as if somehow seeking to make his decision for him…

..And he couldn't help but wonder, even as he drifted off to sleep. If that action in itself somehow provided the solution for everything he had just sought to answer...Because really, wouldn't that just be something?..

A/N#1: Please let me know what you think? Reviews and constructive critiquing are love!

A/N#2: Well, this is it folks! This story is officially completed! I wanted to thank you for all your support and encouragement throughout the process of this story, they were absolutely invaluable! It has definitely been a long, crazy ride in completing this story, but it feels right that it ends right before the season two premier! I will be writing more in this fandom, probably right away, I have another full story basically completed!

"Civilized people cannot fully satisfy their sexual instinct without love." - Bertrand Russell