I had a really rough night the other night, so this sorta just happened. They're just so beautifully sad together.


He wakes from his nightmare with a scream half-choked in his throat. The sound jolts Tess awake as well, kicking her adrenaline into high gear as she registers her partner flailing in the bed next to her.

"Hey!" She latches onto him, but Joel's all brawn even in his half-conscious state, so it's hard to make him still with her skinny limbs. "Joel! Calm down, it's okay!"

Terrified brown irises shoot to hers in the darkness of the apartment. Nightmares are a constant factor in their lives, but she's never seen him look so pale. Part of her wants to ask what demons are haunting him tonight, the other part, the wiser part, just tells her to pull him closer. So she does.

"…Tess…" Joel's voice is tight.

"I've gotcha, big guy. Don't worry," her lips find his in the dark. It starts as a slow, stabilizing kiss, the kind where you feel glued together in the warmest way possible; secure and safe. However, Joel's frustrations run deep that night, and he pulls Tess closer. His mouth slants hard over hers and their teeth clash for the briefest of moments in desperation while the hand he has on the back of her head fists her hair in a way that actually hurts.

Tess lets the pain roll off her. There have been times in the past where she's dug her nails so hard into his skin that she could finger paint with the blood she drew, so this is nothing. They really don't worry about bleeding and sweating on each other anymore: It just comes with the territory.

Joel shoves her tank top up over her breasts to kiss the softness there, earning him a deep moan. His tongue rolls over one of her nipples as he grasps her other breast possessively with a callused hand. The sounds and pleads coming from her lips are better at dulling his troubled mind than any pill ever could. Hell, the woman's the best damn drug he could ever ask for.

His movement are quick, and before Tess's brain can catch up, Joel already has her spread underneath him and is buried deep in her. Tess's lips part to scream but Joel's already kissing her silent as he pulls back out to ram into her again. They've had sex so many times that she' lost count, but it doesn't matter, every time it feels like he could flat out tear her in two with his size and strength.

"So damn tight…" he grunts low in her ear, almost as if reading her mind. His teeth nip along her neck in a way that makes her toes curl just perfectly.

Tess is something else to him. During the day she'll take a gun to someone right between the eyes if they utter the wrong string of words. But when he absolutely needs to forget every damn thing, she'll let him hold her down like this and just consume her.

Tess would roll her eyes, but he finds her fucking beautiful. The way her eyes gaze at him in the dark room, only lit by the pale beams of a voyeur full moon, is something he'll ache for until the day he dies. It casts pale sheets over her body and the blankets, masking the scars marring nearly every inch of her body. It makes her skin so white and perfect, like something out of a dream. Then there's her hair…he gathers the thick locks around his fingers tightly, relishing that it's down for the evening, no bun and bandana to keep it somewhat "tame." This elicits a gasp from her, a sound to replace the screams still haunting him from his nightmare.

"Joel…" He knows that desperate tone, and it makes him thrust harder into her. The sight of blush igniting over her chest and cheeks tells him he's doing his job right. It's a good thing too. She feels so perfect around him that he's practically seeing stars, but he would prefer to release after her. Ladies first, after all.

Joel shifts her hips ever so slightly but just enough to strike that spot that has her making the prettiest damn moans he's ever heard a woman make. Seconds later she's crashing through her orgasm, nails and teeth marking him. He rides into her until her clenching stops and she's left panting and sweating, but obviously satisfied.

With energy Joel didn't know she had, Tess pushes him to his back and kisses down his chest and stomach, nipping a scar here and there. He downright hisses when her hand grips his length. It's obvious how close he is, and she feels a twinge of remorse for him not being able to finish inside her.

Birth control and condoms – just another one of those things that were so great but no one realized how great until there were none left.

Tess brushes some unruly hair behind her ear before taking him into her mouth. It doesn't take much to make him come undone, just a few strokes of her tongue and a growl deep in her throat. She can feel his frustration in the way his fingers sink brutally into her hair, the way he nearly screams out his release.

"Joel…" she murmurs, wiping her lips with the back of her hand. There's a lot she wishes she could say but in the late hours of the night it won't really matter. The way his somewhat sleepy gaze falls on her tells her that he's pacified, and that's enough.

"Mmmm?" Is the drowsy reply. He pats the space next to him and she returns there to pull the paper-thin covers over both of them.

Tess presses a kiss to a scar of a wound on his chest that she stitched up herself. "Get some sleep, Tex. We've got a drop in the morning."

"Right…" his voice is gruff, half-awake.

Tess finds herself pulled tight against his warm body a few seconds later, breasts to his chest, chin in the curve of his neck, his arms taut around her. It doesn't happen too often, but tonight's a night he needs it. He needs it because he doesn't have it in him to tell her that it's the first night he didn't dream about Sarah. Tonight he dreamt of having to put the barrel of a gun between the pretty hazel eyes that he'd kissed so many times and pull the trigger…just to save her from that damn infection.

The world's already crumbling; he doesn't want to think of losing the one last good thing he's got. It's dangerous, but he knows how he feels about her, knows he would never be the same without her. I lov—No. He shuts that thinking down immediately and sweeps it to the back of his mind.

"G'night…" He whispers instead, and kisses her forehead so faintly Tess wonders if she imagined it. She shrugs it off and whispers her own "goodnight" before losing herself to sleep.

The sound of her breathing and his own heart beating keeps him awake all night.