Obligatory Disclaimer: I don't own Army of Two, or the characters therein. I am not receiving any profit for this story, other than writing experience points.

Just a little one-shot that I decided to work on to help me warm up. I've been playing a lot of Army of Two: 40th Day lately, so this just a result of that I suppose. And hey, it's gay. Really gay. So if you don't like that sort of thing, don't read it.

However, if you do like that sort of thing, go right on ahead! Don't like it? Let me know. Love it? Tell me why.

I currently lack a beta reader, so if you note any mistakes on my part, feel free correct me. Tear it apart, I'm here for improvement. Now without further notes of the authorial variety, have some introspective, super macho love-making:


Tyson Rios wasn't much of a talker; he was more of a thinker, and a doer. Right now he was doing a lot of both, but mostly trying to think.

However, the more he thought about it, the less it made sense. He just couldn't figure it out. He didn't know when it had started, or when it had escalated to its current level. Not that he'd complain about it or anything, but it worried him that it had simply erupted spontaneously out of…what? Familiarity? Adrenaline? Mutual attraction? Whichever it was, it was concerning—concerning and slightly frightening, though he'd never admit it. It was all too new, too strange, too ambivalent. He tried to focus, to think and to do. As he began to grasp at an answer, he was hindered by a warm mouth and a throaty laugh.

"Hey, Earth to Tyse," Elliot breathed hotly across his scarred face, the small puffs of air buffeting his eyelashes, "You in there?" Tyson didn't respond with words, but instead wrapped a large hand roughly around the back of his partner's neck and pulled him in for another kiss.

He didn't know when exactly this had started, this clashing of teeth and muscle that happened between the two of them sometimes; he didn't even know what it was. Whatever it was, though, he couldn't see any fault in it as of yet. No fault at all, if Salem was to be believed. The man was a firm supporter of pursuing what one desires, at whatever cost, for whatever reason. It was one of his more dangerous qualities, but also one of his finest. Rios applied this logic to all situations involving the man, and this one was no exception. Did that mean that Salem desired him? Or simply desired this intensity of human connection? What was this, to his partner? And what was it to Rios himself?

Elliot Salem—long-time partner, recently…stress relief? Beneficial friend? …Lover?—groaned into his mouth and fought for dominance of the kiss. Tyson complied, letting the man have his small victory for a while as he thought on the matter. His hands threaded in Elliot's soft hair, frustrating the man to no end with their gentleness.

What exactly did this mean? What the fuck were they doing? Neither man was "gay" by any means, both of them openly expressing their lust for female companionship on a regular basis and equally for the merit of carnal pleasure with said fairer sex. They were as straight as bros can be, keeping one another off of the receiving end of female wrath and keeping each other alive in combat. There was no gay about it. And yet here they were again, back in this tiny apartment after a particularly tiring mission, grinding against each other like the world was going to end. Not that either was complaining. However many times they ended up here, however many times it happened, neither man complained. Neither man quit.

Elliot made little sounds of excitement as Tyson pressed him impossibly closer, needing more of that skin-to-skin contact. Or, well, flak-to-flak contact. Both were still fully clothed and wearing the basic armor of the mission they'd just returned from.

Rios tried to think back on when this had started, this game they played of mutual stress relief. It may have been on a drunken whim, some random evening after having a few too many down at the bar. It may have been a sober decision, one borne of need and want and aftershock of adrenaline. Was it mutual at the time? Had he instigated it, or had his partner? It was amazing the things the mind can let go of after a lifetime of fighting, killing, and surviving—things that might be considered later, when they blur and become unreachable within the mind. Did it mean anything, the first time? When was the first time? While he couldn't recall exactly how long this had been going on, how long they'd been sating each others' needs in the dark rooms of this tiny apartment, he didn't urgently pursue the matter. It was more of a curiosity than anything.

Tyson took charge, then, rolling the smaller man off of him so that he could bite at the corded neck. Elliot might be the cockier, more self-confident of the two, but Tyson was still the oldest, still the strongest, still in charge, and he reiterated that fact as strong hands held the other man down.

He often thought that it might have happened simply because of the amount of time they spent together. When they weren't off killing for a living, saving each other from the threat of bullets and grenades, they were together in some town, or in this shared apartment, saving each other from the horrors of memory and guilt. Even before…this…they'd been too close to be mere friends. There's nothing more sobering and affixing than holding another man's life in your hands, seeing his blood splatter the pavement when a wrong decision is made, keeping him alive in combat and relying upon him to do the same... no, they were so much closer than friends. They were all each other had, really. Of course, both had talked and thought on settling down, of starting a family, and yet neither had acted on the words, instead heading back out into the world of gunfire and intrepid actions time and time again. Women and children were simply civilians and vulnerabilities, not potential wives and heirs. Women were too soft.

Tyson pushed his calloused hands inside his partner's flak jacket, freeing the man of it before resting his hands on hard, sharp hip bones. Elliot was firm in all the right places, jagged in all the right ways, and the softness of women was a distant memory.

Rios briefly tried to think back on all the women he'd ever been intimate with, and could count them all on two hands. His appearance was a bit off-putting, admittedly, and that significantly lowered his prospects, but some had been wonderful. Some had been brilliant, beautiful women, women that didn't care about his scars or past, and yet he'd passed them all up. He'd left them in the dust of a past that would never be clear, but rather a blur of emotions and need and hardship. No, he could never settle down. He was too deep in this game of war; he would never be able to leave it. Salem, though, Salem was different. He was still young, still fit and adaptable, and had quite a way with the ladies. When it came down to it though, he was an old soul just like Rios, and settling down was a far-off concept. No, the thought of a family was all talk. They had everything they'd ever need with their work, and each other, and…whatever this was.

Tyson growled and bit down hard on a toned, newly exposed chest, running his hands down the length of Elliot's body as the other man pushed against his weight.

For what it was worth, he enjoyed these moments more than anything. Before they had begun this…thing, this repetition of self-indulgence, life in the apartment had been droll and off-putting. Compared to the heat and fire and intensity of battle, coming home to such an empty, impersonal place had been a nightmare that no amount of video gaming together or simply hanging out could fill. Salem had frequently gone out gambling, drinking, fighting, whoring…all of it in an attempt to fill the gap left by the emotional and physical strain of battle. He still did those things, of course, minus the whoring and in moderation, but the joyless carrying out of the activities had gone. He genuinely enjoyed himself again, to the huge relief of his partner. Rios had had his own ways of coping, of course. He'd go away sometimes, not bothering to tell anyone where, just to get away from it all. To get away from Salem, from Murray, from the constant strain of a job that was not simply black and white, but a large, smeared mass of grey. Salem would be furious upon his return, yelling and cursing at his lack of communication, and they would fight, oh how they would fight, sometimes coming to blows. But not now; not often. This thing, this silent agreement they had going helped to fill a void within each of them, and Rios was alright with that.

His lips left Elliot's body for a moment as he divested his partner of his pants, and let out a small chuckle at the distinct lack of underwear. It was good to know that some things never changed. His hands smoothed over the hard thighs, and Elliot growled low in his throat, impatient.

Rios liked that about the man. He knew what he wanted, when he wanted it, and made no qualms about telling him so. Moments like these, when he thought extensively on their relationship while they did things like this, he could always count on Salem to keep him focused, to keep him coming back for more. Impatience, brashness, harsh words and taunting humor—these were the things that defined his partner. He speculated silently on this, the direct contrast of his own personal attributes, and wondered how this thing that they shared even sustained itself. Since the beginning of their partnership, they'd worked well together, strived in perfect unison, both working like impervious cogs in a perfect death machine. When one faltered, the other was there to pick them back up. When one was too crash, too violent, too much, the other was there to remind them of their humanity. It was a system that worked well on the battlefield, and must have translated well into the bedroom. They fit together like puzzle pieces, completely different in shape and yet perfectly compatible. They just fit.

By now Elliot was making demands with his body, fingernails digging into Tyson's back painfully to urge him onward. Tyson complied, divesting himself of his own pants and jacket before diving back into his ministrations.

Whatever this was, wherever it might have come from, Rios was alright with it. Morality, upbringing, both said that this was wrong, this lifestyle, what they were doing, what their job entailed… but life is short enough without denying oneself of things one wants, and he wanted Salem with every fibre of his being. Enough of the man was never enough. It wasn't simply a classification; he wasn't even gay, he wasn't attracted to men. He was attracted to the being that was Elliot Salem. He couldn't be sure of the other man's feelings, of course. This might be simply a way of coping, a strong attachment formed from loss, or war guilt. As he thought on it, though, the less likely it seemed that this was the case. Salem was all wild fire and haste, but he'd never dive into something like this without meaning it. So where did that leave them? What did that make them?

With his partner's legs wrapped around his waist, his hands clutching strongly at his back as they moved in perfect sync, he really couldn't bring himself to care. For once, Tyson Rios stopped thinking and simply moved. He ground and bit and tugged and kissed and wanted, and caved under the other man's presence.

Afterwards, with the initial urgency quelled and Salem propped beside him smoking a cheap cigarette, the thoughts that had been plaguing his mind seemed irrelevant to whatever this was. This was humanity at its finest. This was a mutual connection, a bond stronger than steel and blood, a bond of need and the filling of need. He didn't really care that it was unclassified, or undefined, because it didn't really matter. It worked, and that did matter. Rios sighed and flopped a heavy arm across Salem's stomach, settling in for a night of much-needed rest.

Salem, for his part, simply laughed and patted his friend's bald head, before putting out his cigarette and settling in as well. Rios stretched his arm and brought the other man close, relishing the sound of the strong heart thumping against his ear, like a hammer to cloth. He closed his eyes.

"Damn man, you're awfully huggy tonight. Not gonna cry or some shit are ya?" Elliot quipped, his crash humor coming back into play now that the exigency had gone.

Ignoring the sardonic question, Rios drifted closer towards slumber. He worked to expel those complicated thoughts from his mind, at least until the next time they did this. He knew they'd come back, of course, as they always did, next time they drove each other mad while helping each other remain sane. But they had a job tomorrow, and he needed to be focused now. They'd need all the sleep they could get before boarding that flight to Shanghai. Whatever this was, he could figure it out later.

Whatever this thing was, it was fine for now.


Oh hey yeah, I appreciate reviews. Constructive criticism is requested, but not mandatory. :)