and so the tortured soul sighs


It is odd, how certain points in his life stick out like a sore thumb, clawing at Miles' subconscious, never fading into the background like they really probably should. They rest idly, painful and pleasurable simultaneously; memories of the good old days, the days before. When he and Bass were brother's in arms, getting drunk on the weekends, and talking about women like they weren't drowning in their own denial. Bass especially, what with his twenty-two year old conquests and smartphone filled with image after image of contradictions.

It was simple back then, drunken fumbling in the dark, scruff against scruff, sloppy kisses and desperate touches neither of them had the courage to talk about in the morning. Just fleeting moments when their eyes would meet, briefly, want and need and guilt flashing quickly before vanishing, the moment over. So many words left unspoken, yet his heart had never been so full, so damn complete.

Yeah, even amongst the are-we-or-aren't-we, it was still a hell of a lot simpler.

After the blackout, while the government sat and did nothing, he simmered, anxious, worried. He'd taken off with some half-baked notion he would find his family and everything would be okay. Bass had tagged along, a comforting presence amongst all the blood and confusion and dear god, we're fucked. Sebastian Monroe, the good to his bad, the soft heart to his hard heart. The man who he cared for like family and would protect to his dying breath. Miles was the one who destroyed him, took his goodhearted nature and snuffed it out. He filled Bass' head with the idea of glory and power, notions that stole him away. It is his mightiest sin, one he will never forgive himself for.

Sometimes, when he's sitting alone, Charlie off doing god-knows-what (likely stumbling upon a new hopeless cause that she'll look at him all doe-eyed and say, "Please Miles, we have to do something."), he lets himself remember.

"Bass," Miles says placidly, shifting slightly as the other man fumbles on top of him, grunting slightly when he's kneed in the side, "you're drunk."

Bass laughs breathlessly, legs falling on either side of Miles' hips as he settles into a straddle, bottom warm against Miles' own arousal. "So are you," he returns, bluer-than-blue eyes capturing his with heat and warmth and want. Jesus, it's almost too god damn much.

Miles looks away, jaw set in a firm frown. "We can't," he says resolutely, pressing a hand against Bass' chest and giving a half-hearted shove.

"We can't or we shouldn't?" Bass snaps, a touch of anger in his voice. He grows still, arms dropping to his side. "You never had any problems before," he accuses, lips twisting into that self-blaming frown Miles hates, god he hates it.

Miles grits his teeth. "That was before."

Bass gives a snort. "Yeah, before, when society had rules, and taboos, and we couldn't even look each other in the eye the morning after a roll in the hay?" He rolls his hips forward on purpose, teasing Miles with what he knows he wants. "Or are you really that damn stubborn you refuse to see this blackout as freedom it is? A clean slate? For the world," he pauses, adding eagerly, almost hopefully, "for us?"

Miles feels Bass reach forward, the tips of his fingers tracing along his jaw line, all the way down the nape of his neck, where it settles on the back of his head, the contact unbearably hot. Bass leans forward, his lips just a breath away from his ear. "Wasn't it you?" he says, voice provocative in its low timbre. "Were you not the one that suggested we build a world together? You and I, the Monroe Republic?"

"I do believe saying Matheson Republic," Miles retorts with a grunt and an eye roll, though he does little to deny the heat pooling in the pit of his stomach, or how he feels as if he is suddenly on fire. The object of his desire so close, his personal restraint waning.

"Monroe has a nicer ring to it," Bass says, all throat as he exhales hotly against Miles' ear, nipping at it gently.

Miles can't take it anymore, damn it, not the weight of Bass's bottom pressed against his arousal, or the damn shivers of pleasure spiraling down his spine. His hand flashes forward, clutching Bass's arm with an iron grip as he yanks him backwards so their eyes can meet once more. He's smirking, the bastard, blonde curls framing his face, and Jesus, Miles just can't think straight—

Bass' lips are suddenly on his, moving in tandem with his own, the pressure bruising and exhilarating all at once. He releases Bass' arm in favor of weaving his fingers through those irritatingly soft curls, pressing him closer, god, close as he can possibly get. There is tongue now, swirling and dancing with desperation between their mouths. As they pull away briefly, panting for breath, a trail of spit between them, Bass smirking down at him, Miles finds he has lost the battle of wills.

He lurches forward, once more bringing their lips crashing together, twisting and moving with the fervor of heat and desire. Miles' hands adeptly find their way to the hem of Bass' shirt, which he rips from his chest desperately and discards without a second thought; his own shirt follows suit not long after. Bass breaks their kiss to trail soft and wet butterfly kisses down along his collarbone, hands ghosting across Miles' toned chest, leaving the skin searing from his touch. "Shit, Bass," Miles groans as Bass' fingers play with the hem of Miles' pants, teasing yet not daring to breach the fabric.

Bass laughs against Miles' skin, his breath sweltering. "Yeah, Miles?" he replies coyly with mock innocence, looking up at Miles through his long lashes. The damn bastard is playing with him.

"You know what," he grounds out, grunting ungracefully as Bass' fingers deftly unbutton his jeans, freeing his cock from its denim prison.

"Do I?" Bass remarks impishly, stroking the tip of Miles' cock with his fingers, gently sliding them up and down, up and down. The motion is slow, torturous, and heaven sent.

Miles struggles to speak in between heated panting. "Bass, Bass," he rasps lowly, tightening his hold on Bass' curls involuntarily. "Why don't you..."

"Why don't I?" Bass echoes, sliding his hand up and down Miles' length with added vigor.

"Put, shit," Miles' voice hitches at the friction of Bass' hand against him. He uses his free hand to grab Bass roughly by the chin, thumb stroking his lower lip, "Put, ah, those pretty lips to some good use, damn it."

Bass laughs, amusement plain in his eyes. "So my lips are pretty now, are they?" he says cheekily. "Such flattery, Miles. You're going to make me blush."

"Shut up," Miles growls huskily, his eyes fluttering slightly as Bass rolls his thumb over the head of his member.

"Touchy, aren't we?" Bass replies, shifting his weight and moving to allow himself better access. He leans down, mouth hovering just over Miles' cock, his breath ghosting over the tip, leading Miles to groan in anticipation. Bass starts in with the confidence he does with everything, tongue swirling, rough and hot against Miles' flesh. As he bobs up and down, up and down, his hand slides with him, adding to the friction. Miles once again threads both hands into Bass's hair, his hands riding with him, up and down, up and down. Bass' mouth is sweetly warm, the closest Miles will ever get to to any sort of heaven.

"Bass," he breathes, "damn it, God, shit, yes," he moans nonsensically as his eyes roll into the back of his head.

Bass pulls off with an audible pop and Miles grumbles in displeasure. "Why'd you—"

But Bass' lips are on his once more, and he can taste himself; it should disgust him, it should, but he finds it is ridiculously arousing instead. The worn mattress creaks as they both grapple at one another, Miles growing more and more desperate. He grabs Bass roughly and pushes him back, so that his back is pressed firmly to the mattress. He crawls on top, reuniting their lips as he works furiously to unbutton Bass's jeans. He succeeds without much resistance, sliding them down and off in quick session.

"Want you," Miles manage, breath haggard as he nips roughly at Bass's lower lip.

Bass groans into his mouth. "Need you," he answers, tone just as wanton.

Miles pauses, his fingers wavering at Bass' entrance. "Lube," he growls suddenly, the realization that they likely have none hitting him like a ton of bricks.

"Shit," Bass replies. "Shit, shit, shit!"

Miles withdraws, his cock throbbing painfully. "We can't," he bites out, "not without… you'll—"

Bass meets his tortured stare, gaze unflinching. "I don't care," he replies, tone unwavering. "It's okay, we can… I … I'll be fine."

Miles' lips draw a hard line. "No."


"Bass, no. It's over. This? It's over."

Anger takes Bass' features by storm. "It is not over, you stubborn bastard." He moves forward, intent on finishing what he started.

Miles catches his hand, grip deathly tight. "I'm going for a walk," he growls as he gets to his feet; he'll take care of his arousal on his own. He fetches his shirt from the ground and stalks off.

"Miles, Miles you ungrateful, stubborn son of a—"

"Miles. Miles! Hey, Miles!"

Miles blinks rapidly as he's jarred abruptly from reminiscing. He spares Charlie an annoyed sidelong glance. "What is it now, Charlie?"

"Oh, I'm sorry," she huffs, "did I interrupt your daily 'stare off into the distance, sad and lonely expression in place, while I think on my tortured past' routine?" She crosses her arms and glares down at him, tapping her foot impatiently.

Miles gives a grunt. "You needed something?"

Charlie rolls her eyes. "Yeah, we need to get going. Nora says she knows some guys that may be able to help us."

"Nora knows some guys," he repeats. "Well, doesn't that just inspire confidence?"

Charlie's lips part as if she's going to retort but Nora appears to their right, cutting off whatever she might have said. "Miles," she beings, glaring the sarcasm right out of him, "let's go."

He nods, gets to his feet and turns his gaze on Charlie. "Don't do anything stupid this time, Charlie."

She glares and turns away from him, storming off with an angry gait.

Miles sighs.

Nora hits him on the back of his head.

"Christ, Nora, what was that for?"

She shakes her head. "You know what," she snaps before quickening her pace to catch up with Charlie's retreating figure.

"Women," Miles mutters to himself.

Aaron laughs to his left. "You're telling me."

Miles ignores him and continues on, the ghost of his former friend, lover, whatever the hell he was, slipping back to the cold recesses of his mind. He doesn't have time now to think on how things got so messed up.

That man, the man he would have died for...

He no longer exists.

Miles trudges on, the empty shell of his heart cracking more each step closer he takes towards Philly; towards Bass' ultimate demise.

Hope you enjoyed. Thoughts are appreciated, constructive criticism welcomed.