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I Believe

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Rather you believe me or not. They are out there.  This is my account and I urge you to read every single word because it matters and that’s the honest truth.

 

-Miles Upshur,

Investigative Journalist. Alien abductee. Survivor.

 

The cold was searing, burning through his flesh like a hot knife but with a chill that ventured far beyond the grave. Leaving icy crystals behind on his skin, eating away at the living cells and shocking them into a wintry death like no other. His voice was absent, unable to cry out at the pain. Unable to see through the darkness that cloaked his vision, an impenetrable veil of shadows layering his view. It took him a long time to realize it wasn’t that his eyes were covered but that the creatures surrounding him were made of the darkest parts of his nightmares. An endless haze of black rolling off of their forms and ghosting over his body. Long curled talons outstretching to drag across pale unprotected flesh. Something tight constricted his form, like a vice over his limbs and even one that encircled his neck. A restrictive collar that made breathing a small bit harder, if his own rising panic didn’t already secure that fear.

 

When he thought the cold would drive him mad, a flash of heat came with a single probing pain into his restrained limbs. Something sharp, shedding sparks into his veins, igniting an all consuming fire that blazed through his bones and muscles. His body seized up. Deathly cold became an unbearable fire that was unfettered by his attempts to reject its hunger. The flooding of fluids coloring his veins a sickly black, spreading throughout his body like an inky plague. A static humming settled over his skin, the world around him, once silent now an uproar of screams. His screams. As his body seized up on the table, violently shaking and spasming. Foaming at the mouth with a tainted grey bubbling watery substance spewing out over the side, dribbling down his chin and cheeks and burning them with an acidic hiss. His green eyes rolling back as the grey substance reached his sweat soaked hair line, dampened brown locks turned black.

 

He gasped, green orbs flying open in horror as a high pitch screeching filled the air. His pillow stained with drool and his weary eyes falling on the vibrating phone buzzing across the surface beside his head, flashing screen showing his irate boss calling to remind him of his latest deadline that was coming far too soon. His head throbbed painfully from the coming headache, protesting his lack of caffeine so early...a quick look at the clock as he swiped the lock on the screen clear, it was two in the afternoon and he had seven missed calls, two from his boss and the rest from his best friend. Along with several notifications about different news and gossip sites that were his daily hit of truth chasing and government or big corporate conspiracies. His current favorite he was following was all the crazed bullshit coming out of Murkoff Corporation but that was mostly his weekly dose of “What the fuck is wrong with Murkoff this week?” like some cheap reality game show following all the activities and insanity of a crack house.

 

He swiped the accept call icon a little too late as he was answered by a click and an end call signal. He sighed, tossing his phone aside and moving to push himself up off of the lumpy uncomfortable mattress. It was four years past its prime, the springs were far beyond being broken down and it had an almost permanent imprint of his body in the center. His pillows were a few bags lacking in stuffing and looked about as comfortable as a folded sheet on concrete. He groaned as he moved to sit up, wincing at the cries of his body against the motions. Every part of him ached all over like he’d been tossed around by the business end of a bull. He had a twinge in his neck that had him at a permanent downward posture and his back ached. His fingers didn’t want to work quite right as he tried swiping through messages on his phone again and simply cursed out loud in annoyance. Tossing his phone aside once more to go search for a cup of coffee and some aspirin.  

 

He stalked through his messy home. It was a simple townhouse, with two bedrooms, a shared bathroom that was on its own between the office and bedroom, a living room and dining room/kitchen. It was all an open floor plan. One room had become his home office which didn’t contain all of the files and paperwork. It spread out towards the cup stained coffee table and the rough old sofa that was also past its prime. The black leather cushions which used to be overstuffed were now flattening out to the point one could feel the support bars underneath their ass.

 

The television and console system were about the most expensive and nicest looking things in the house aside from his work computer but that was a hand me down he got from his best friend. A ragtag mix up of spare parts and additional hard drives making it a dump of random files and necessary information that Miles has gathered over the years for his job. It was also layered on with the best encryption software his IT friend could provide, all kinds of coding to prevent it from being hacked and from being infected with viruses. In other words, it was like the fort knox of computers as far as Miles was concerned and he enjoyed every second of it as he worked without worries. Or well, with less worries. He was always worried about something though. It was sort of part of the job description. Paranoid, suspicious and conspiratorial was usually the underlying reasons people jump into investigative journalism. At least, that’s one of the reasons he did anyway.

 

He made his way into the kitchen to explore the cupboards, finding much of them pretty bare as he hadn’t thought to go shopping recently and to his utter despair, there wasn’t any coffee left. He gave the fridge a glance and through the myriad of post it notes slapped onto the rough white surface, there was a reminder to buy more coffee. He didn’t remember writing it but then again, he’s so preoccupied, he doesn’t remember more than half the things he does that isn’t part of his current cases. His mind is too busy sleuthing to think about his needs of survival. He hoped for a mercy when he opened the cupboard beside the fridge to find that at least his aspirin wasn’t empty, yet. He had two left. “Fuck. I guess I gotta go out.” A lonesome walk in his boxers, trekking across the small cluttered space of his home, he picked up a random pair of jeans discarded in the doorway, groaning as his shoulders ached, trying to remember what the hell he did the night before that would warrant it. Not finding anything to be the probable cause, he decided to blame it on his shitty mattress finally giving him the boot.

 

He pulled on his jeans, then a discarded white button up that he wore for about a minute to run out for a case of beer two days ago, so he and Waylon could do some drinking and gaming. He discarded it to the bedroom floor as soon as he got home so it still smelled fresh. Just a little wrinkled. He shrugged on his brown leather jacket and made certain his phone, keys and wallet were present. It took about five minutes before he rediscovered the whereabouts of his phone (under his pillow) then headed out to the jeep with a sigh. His small little house had a small little garage that’s only purpose was to hold his jeep and a bicycle he no longer uses. There was some other stuff stored up in the rafters from his college days. Most of the furniture in his house was from his college days. Most days he was lucky to even afford food and rent for the place so the idea of spending a wad of cash on new furniture was a blessed luxury he could only dream of.

 

Anything new usually came from Waylon’s place and even his tech friend didn’t have that sort of luxury. His job paid a lot but he was also paying out the ass in student loan debt all these years later.  So it was a wonderful little travesty of still crawling along the bottom of the pile in this twisted game of life. As soon as Miles slipped into the driver’s seat of his jeep, he pulled down the pair of sunglasses discarded atop the dash from his last ride around town, he was ready to roll. Of course, life continues to be a bitch when he spots his severely low fuel level. A string of curses followed before he quickly made his way to the nearest gas station. Dialing up his best friend so he could have someone to share his late afternoon woes with.

 

Several rings and then the familiar voice of the techie picked up. “Hey Miles, dude where have you been? I’ve been trying to get a hold of you all morning.” Miles breathed a sigh of relief and continued on with the familiar and comforting conversation that easily lightened up his day. It helped when the aspirin finally kicked in. He fueled up his baby, headed downtown to the supermarket and continued to talk with Waylon through the aisles as he scoured it for coffee and beer. Along with several other necessities. Aspirin included. All in all, it was a pretty good afternoon and by the time Waylon had to go and return to his work before his boss reams his ass, they planned on hooking up later. It was Waylon’s turn to buy pizza and they could continue to game later that night.

 

By the time Miles returned home with his groceries, a shower was in order before settling down in a pair of shorts with a towel draped over his shoulders and his brown locks drip drying over the fabric. He powered up his computer and in no time, the screen glowed with life. A backdrop previewed an automatic slideshow of photos of him and his best friend over the years. Most of them were from their days in high school and college. There were a handful from middle school and some really really old ones their parents kept around from elementary school that he managed to snag. He pulled up a few different web pages and his email to start the routine scrolling through gossip sites and web forums chattering about new conspiracies and problems in society.

 

The most recent being the usual government staged shootings or bombings to cover up political deals from being the center of attention. That was always the common run around. His favorite and most entertaining ones were always the ET Forums. The nut jobs that believed in Aliens coming to earth to probe them for information. Or the ever comical fetish fantasies of aliens coming just to have sex with them. Miles wasn’t exactly adverse to this sort of idea but he was pretty sure a bunch of extraterrestrial beings with such advanced technology and powers would do something better than planet hopping for one night stands and creepy fetish intergalactic colonoscopies.

 

The two main names that spent most of their time shit posting on the forums was a guy that goes by the username The_Groom   who goes on and on about extraterrestrial brides and humans being  taken and raped by these creatures for breeding purposes. Then there was the user known as CannibalCook  who’s favorite topic was humans being used like farm animals, planted here like livestock and being taken by the aliens to be consumed. He would spout that we’re all meat on a big old planet slowly sinking into madness. The only thing sinking into madness were people like these two who flooded the forums with conspiracies and madman ravings constantly. It gave Miles a good laugh in between shitty days and before plunging himself into the throes of boring work and reading one shitty dry email after another from his boss.

 

He would also get a few hot tips from his contacts around the country and from other countries, giving him a heads up on things going on like the protests in Paris, the legalization of gay marriage in countries where it used to not be. The marches against mass animal abuse and animal slaughter in china and where government funding it being pooled into in the wake of several terrible hurricanes that trashed the entire lower east coast in a matter of weeks. All of these were riveting stories but each had a couple hundred other journalists flooding the market with their insight and reporting. He wanted something juicier. Something that would actually pay him quite a bit more than what he was already getting and he needed it soon or else he’d be searching the unemployment columns instead of reading the nut job forums in his free time.

 

After a handful of emails being read and responded to, he got up to go make himself a pot of coffee, walking out of his room and tossing his towel off to the side, aiming for the dirty clothes hamper but instead he missed and received a disgruntled mewl of surprise. It stopped him right in his tracks and caused him to look over at the heap on the floor. The light blue towel had started to move on its own, soft sounds rising up from the thick wet cloth. Causing a static shiver to race up his spine. He approached, half expecting a rat to be present but when he hesitantly lifted the towel, he was pleasantly surprised to see a pair of golden yellow eyes staring up at him from a black fuzzy face. The small little creature provided another soft mewl barely reaching his ears.

 

“Well then...where did you come from?” He asked the tiny little kitten, it looked to be about a few months old. Not as tiny as one would expect but already nearing its more adult size. Definitely big enough to be off of milk and away from a mother. He reached down, half expecting it to cower and flee but it padded closer to his outstretched hand and pressed up against his palm. Rubbing its soft silky fur against it. A smile spread across Miles’ face as he scooped it up and held it to his chest. He loved animals growing up but never had the chance to keep one for himself since he moved a lot and live in an apartment most of his life that didn’t permit anything larger than a goldfish. The little fuzzy creature pressed up against the curve of his neck and started a steady purr, rumbling from it’s tiny torso. Miles couldn’t help but coo over the action and reached for his phone immediately. Taking a picture to send to Waylon of him shirtless with the tiny fuzzball cuddling him. A massive grin on his face with delight.

 

It warranted an immediate response of disbelief and a remark about Miles needing to put a shirt on if he was going to be sending Waylon pictures during work hours. He didn’t want his coworkers to walk by and get the wrong idea.

 

Miles:

Can you pick up some cat food for it? I don’t have anything to feed it with other then milk and I’m not even sure if it’s still good.

 

Waylon:

Sure but where the heck did you get it from?

 

Miles:

It was in my house. Think it snuck in through the garage. I’m keeping it.

 

Waylon:

Are you sure about this? You can hardly afford to take care of yourself most days. This is a living creature.

 

Miles:

I know that! Jerk!

I’m keeping it. I shall call it squishy and it shall be my squishy.

 

Waylon:

Stop quoting disney. I get the point. Please don’t name it squishy.

 

Miles:

Fine, I shall name it Darth Vader.

 

Waylon:

Whhhyyyy?

 

Miles:

Because why not?

 

Waylon:

Valid point.

I’ll bring the cat food. And the pizza.

 

Miles:

Great! See you in a few hours! Toodles!

 

Miles was grinning as he held the kitten to his chest and headed for the kitchen, humming happily to himself. This little surprise suddenly made the entire day better. He sat the little kitten on the countertop, petting it’s head gently as he spoke. “Stay. Don’t move. I need to refuel a bit so be a good little sith lord.” He pulled his hands away and watched the little kitten sit back and quietly watch him with those sharp golden eyes. For a little kitten they were strangely intuitive but then again, Miles didn’t have much experience with cats. Normally all the strays he came into contact with were old and angry or very skittish of humans.

 

“Good boy er- or girl? What are you anyway?” He furrowed his brows in confusion then simply shook his head, deciding it didn’t matter. Especially since he wasn’t keen on looked at a kitties private bits for an identification. A sith lord deserves that bit of privacy at least. He continued on with making his coffee and the little creature remained perfectly still, watching him, eyes following him around the kitchen curiously. It was almost unnerving to Miles since he was too accustomed to being alone but he figured he would get used to it soon enough. Still remaining excited and optimistic about his new little roommate. “You’re much cuter than Waylon and a lot more quiet.” He cooed, petting the little creature’s fuzzy black head as he sipped his cup of coffee, releasing a deep sigh of contentment.

Chapter Text


“I can’t believe you’re keeping it. Are you sure it doesn’t already belong to somebody in the neighborhood? Maybe it wandered in from someone else’s house.” Waylon offered, standing with his back against the kitchen counter and arms crossed in a display of seriousness. It added to the whole slacks and button up shirt that made him look like the insurance guy from the commercials. (Jake from State Farm) Only with his neatly combed back dirty blonde locks and striking pale blue eyes that drew Miles to crush on him, hard, all through middle school.  And saw Waylon remain the adorable little brother character in every interaction with the female populace.

 

               Miles was standing on the other side of the counter going to town on a slice of ham and bacon pizza still piping hot with the melty cheese slapping over his chin as he attempted to take a bite and nearly scalded his tongue on the tomato sauce. But it was worth it. The little black kitten remained on the counter top sitting between the pair but more inclined to stay closer to Miles then it was Waylon. Staring the blonde down with its unnerving pair of golden eyes.

 

“If it’ll make you feel better, I’ll put up a posting about it on the community board and put flyers on people’s doors. In the meantime, Darth Vader is staying with me.” There was an audible sound of skin hitting skin as Waylon facepalmed himself at the name Miles had chosen, realizing just how serious the journalist was about it.

 

The blonde sighed and shook his head, digging into the plastic grocery bag he set beside the pizza boxes to retrieve a small month size bag of kitten chow and a few cans of wet food to hold out the week. If Miles rations it or not. “Then since you’re keeping it, here’s the food you wanted. You can pay me back next time. I wasn’t really sure what kinds to get so this is it. If it doesn’t eat these, you’re shit out of luck.” Waylon rubbed the back of his neck wearily and reached for the open box of pizza, hoping to snag some before Miles inhales it all.

 

The night was mostly uneventful. Miles tried feeding the cat, pouring out a bowl of food for it, a little of both wet and dry in two different bowls but the fuzzy creature didn’t seem fazed by it. It followed Miles over to the couch and curled up in his lap the moment he sat down. Whenever Waylon got near Miles, taking a seat beside him on the couch, the little kitten would give him a look that weirded Waylon out. It was like someone was silently judging him from across the room. Like they knew all his dirty little secrets and they were letting him know that fact. He was immensely creeped out that a feline could even make that sort of face but he shook it off. He was more for dogs when he was a kid and the only cats he’s seen were usually strays or his neighbor’s own personal ones that hid the moment strangers came around. He wasn’t used to having a cat sit in his presence willingly.

 

They whiled away half a case of beer, mostly Miles worked on it. Waylon had one and it was hours prior so by time the night ended, he was no longer a threat on the roads. With it way past midnight, Miles was on the verge of passing out and they were all out of pizza. He turned off the games and shooed the kitten away from Miles’ lap so he could help his friend to the bedroom so he wouldn’t end up falling asleep on the couch. This gained him a cheeky smile and a kiss on the cheek from his lovey dovey drunk companion. The little kitten chased after them and used Miles’ pant leg as a ladder to climb up to the bed before Waylon got all of Miles onto the mattress and tossed a blanket over him. Wishing the inebriated brunette a good night, he left him in the care of the fuzz ball before slipping out the front door and locking up with the journalist’s spare emergency key kept hidden outside in the eyesore of an overgrown rock garden.

 

 

---

 

The burning heat returned like a tidal wave washing over a cold body. It spread across his skin, a red hot poker jabbing at all the vulnerable parts of him, prying underneath his flesh and driving it deeper and deeper until it was a bonfire in his rib cage. He curled up, fingers clawing at his chest, throat raw and swollen from screaming. Nails dragging across skin, ripping at it until nothing but broken lines remained. Red turned to black, sickly pale and spewing the greasy oily residue. He choked on it, vomiting up globs of the substance. The acrid burning sensation cauterizing his throat with every painful gasping swell.

 

 

Miles lunged up from his bed with his hand clasping over his mouth. Scrambling across the mattress and barely making it, stumbling from his room and into the bathroom, tripping to hit the floor on all fours and reaching the toilet just in time to expel all of the contents of his stomach. He felt the overwhelming waves of nausea hitting relentlessly, one strike after another like a switch to his back, sending shock waves through him and forcing the ghastly bile out. Miles’ hair was plastered to his forehead, a rising heat settled on his skin, a bright flush that was unsettling. His stomach twisted up into unforgiving knots and the telltale signs of sickness ran rampant across his body. He sat with his back against the tub, letting the colder surface reach through the thin layers of his damp shirt to help soothe the burning of his skin. He released a slow shaky breath and closed his eyes, wiping at his mouth with a wad of toilet paper clutched tightly between trembling fingers.

 

He felt a soft nudge to his side, causing him to look down and see the little black creature lying down beside him, head resting against his thigh in a loving gesture. He gave the fluffball a reassuring smile and patted it’s head gently. “It’s alright Darth Vader. I’m just a little hungover.” He sniffled, tossing the tissue into the toilet and using his foot to pull the lever and flush the mess down. He remained in place for a long time until he felt well enough to get back up on his feet and head to the kitchen. Foregoing the coffee for a bottle of water and an aspirin, ignoring everything else in the kitchen before returning to the bedroom. The little kitten trotting back and forth behind him. He gathered up his blanket and his phone with the charger and made his way back out to the living room, wrapping up in the massive plush comforter, the only thing that kept it’s puffiness and plopped down on the couch like a depressed burrito.

 

He stretched out, using his phone to surf through his emails and read the latest forum conspiracies. Shooting Waylon a text explaining his rough morning and it wasn’t even 10 o’clock yet. He sipped at the water, plugged his phone into charge and watched the fluffball of darkness clamber up using the blanket as a ladder. Making its place of comfort on his chest, kneading at the fabric before settling in. The pair of golden eyes staring into Miles’ weary bloodshot green orbs. He offered it a small smile, reaching out of the confines of his blanket warmth to pat its head before attempting to regain some tendrils of sleep before all hope was lost for the day. Even trying his ever faithful tactic of turning the television on with low volume. A comfortable and familiar hum as shitty weekday t.v played old reruns from years ago. It was enough to help him get some uninterrupted shuteye.

 

Uninterrupted could only last so long as the loud pounding at his front door caught his attention. He groaned, figuring it wasn't his friend attempting to get his attention since Waylon would just walk right in without a second thought. He grumbled out. “Go the fuck away!” Rolling over into his side with the blanket tugged up to his head. The pounding continued, resonating as a throbbing pain working through his skull with every thud. He cursed again, pushing himself up to his feet and dragging the blanket with him as he waded through the fog in his head and his miserable situation. He rubbed at his weary green orbs  as he opened the front door only to find nobody was present. He leaned outside and looked around, expecting to find someone walking away at least or a car parked in the driveway or on the side of the road but there wasn't a single soul in sight or any out of place vehicles. The sun was high in the sky, just shifting past mid afternoon and heading into a later hour. It was closing in to the time Waylon normally gets out of work.

 

With a confused huff, Miles ducked back inside kicking the door shut behind himself and locking it. His eyes scanning the room to land on the small black creature sitting in the center of his coffee table, staring at him with intuitive golden eyes. They seemed to glow like small flames within the shadowy mass of silky fur. “Hey little Sith Lord. You hungry?” The kitten just blinked back at him, a delayed silence before a soft mew followed. “Yeah? Me too. Let's see what's on the menu tonight.”

 

He trudged back towards the kitchen, looking through the cupboards and then the fridge. He picked up the jug of milk in the door and gave it an experimental sniff before scrunching his face up in a grimace at the sour stench. “Fuck. So much for cereal.” He dumped it down the drain then tossed the empty jug into the steadily filling trashcan. Already complete with empty beer boxes and pizza boxes. He rifled through a few more shelves before he came up with pop tarts, popping them into the toaster and making a pot of coffee. Deciding the growing pain in his head was through his lack of caffeine. Some days Waylon swore if he cut Miles open, he'd bleed dark roast brew or beer. It differed depending on the day of the week.

 

It wasn't long before he plopped back down on the couch, sitting up with his legs crossed. His mug of coffee resting in his lap, his toasted pop tart sitting on a paper towel and balancing on his knee and his phone in his other hand. The little fuzzball clambered up to the top of the couch and perched on his shoulder while Miles fumbled through the missed notifications and texts on his phone. One of which was from Waylon informing him that he wouldn't be able to stop by. His slave driver of a boss was pushing him into unpaid overtime to get some big project done by the deadline. Complete with a laundry list of new ideas that Waylon has to gut their current program to make room for now. “Guess it'll just be you and me little Vader.” Miles sighed before taking a bite of his pop tart.

 

He surfed the forums and considered his latest assignments before his eyes trailed over a block print headline. ‘STRANGE LIGHTS HOVERING OVER DENVER!!’ Complete with subtext below. ‘Do they walk among us? The unknown beings from the skies visiting the mile high city.’ It was enough to make Miles scoff and break into laughter, nearly spilling his coffee and startling the kitten with the abruptly broken silence. He clicked on the link that led to blurry images of lights dotting the starry night's sky. They could possibly be airplanes mistaken for UFO’s or military aircraft on training from the nearby Air Force Bases in Colorado Springs. It's not that farfetched of an explanation given the appearance of the lights. The images were shitty anyway as are all instances of supposed photographic evidence of the supernatural or inhuman. Blurry, unreadable, out of focus or too far away to make out. As he read further into the article, he actually recognized some of the locations the pictures were taken at. One of them was at a park only a fifteen minute walk from his house. He checked the times described in the article as when the sightings took place. It was around 1:30 am.

 

He hummed, wondering if Waylon saw anything since he headed home that route and last Miles could recall, he thought that was around the time his friend went home. Of course, most of this was out of curiosity and spite, just to be able to say he had a witness for those lights and they were completely explainable. He was in a shitty enough mood to justify teasing some forum sci-fi fanatics just to see them riled up. He was a shameless troll when it can to these things. If they can come up with solid proof, then maybe he'd give the idea a chance. Maybe.

 

 

 

---

 

The high pitch whine was like shrapnel to his ears. A bloody electronic screeching that grated on his nerves. He gasped, body writhing within the cold metallic restraints as a dark mask was placed over his face. Every panicked breath was a dizzy topsy turvy trip. A fuzzy buzzing settling over his mind and numbing the rest of his body. But at the same time, it heightened everything around him. Making him acutely aware of the sounds being made, the cacophony of shrill outbursts just out of view and banging metallic instruments being rifled through on a hard metal tray. The unnatural chill that rolled over his body like a coming fog over the depths of the valley and every single touch to his bare vulnerable flesh. His hair stood on end as each touch and pressure against his body, every scraping of talons trailing soft red lines and hard bruising grasps has him shivering and squirming. Craving more but at the same time screaming for them to stay away. His voice was absent yet present all at once. He couldn't speak, a constricting force at his throat seemed to or prevent him from forming sounds but at the same time, his voice was far too loud in the room. No, in his head. Echoing off the confines and loud enough even for them to overhear his fears.

 

The hiss of air rose up from the mask, filling his lungs full of the buzzing contents. It had an odd scent to it that was hard to place. Almost metallic yet damp. It reminded him almost like the scent of moss on a forest floor after a recent rainfall. But even that wasn't quite right. With every lungful, he felt the cold chill thaw into a steadily creeping heat. The cold hands trailing along his abdomen and feeling along his legs were the only relief when it reached unbearable proportions. He felt them linger in a place they shoulder, feeling around an area that was far too private. A scream was cut short by the constricting force around his neck as something was pushed inside, intruding upon his sensitive slit and making him fuss and fight.

 

A sharp pin prick on his sensitive sac had tears rising to his eyes but no chance to be shed. A shadow fell over him, a hand over his eyes. Fingers sliding through messy brown locks as of a half hearted attempt to soothe any fears or upsets. Then the return of the burning heat rising in his body only to congregate to his stomach and abdomen in a sickening bubbling mass like lava pooling in low lying areas. He felt the sharp talons dance across his belly, holding his breath, he could sense two digits running up along his skin and sweeping back as if trying to coax something along. He didn't realize what it was but it seemed to only further enrage the fire within until tears rolled from his green orbs, pooling down on either side of his face and dampening brown locks. Sweat joined with time until his body was caught between shivering from the cooling sweat on his skin and sweating profusely from the fire burning him alive from the inside out. Then, as quickly as it began, it all ceased. Further descending him into the madness.

 

 

 

Miles wasn't entirely sure what it was that as happening, but when he woke up the next morning to his alarm going off on his phone, he feel like he was losing it. He's had crazy dreams in the past before but nothing of this caliber. It was so realistic, so vivid. He could almost feel it. The temperatures, the residual hum of static resting on his skin. A short glance around confirmed the profuse sweating due to his damp clothing and sheets. And more drool on his pillow. What caught him off guard were the tear tracks on his face still wet as I it had happened only moments ago. This wasn't the first time dreams have affected him like this but that was back when he was a snot nosed brat who was a little too big for his britches. He was pretty cocky and used to watch horror movies all the time, giving himself nightmares while trying to look cool in front of Waylon.

 

One such movie succeeded in making him cry in his sleep due to being so terrified. But this time it wasn't cheesy horror movies giving him a spook or two. He didn't know what it was to be honest, except maybe some Freudian mumbo jumbo about stress and worries in his life manifesting as fears in his dreams. At least that's what he decided to write it off as. After all, he was a grown man. He couldn't let himself get so easily stirred up over some faceless fever dream phantoms. Though he found that after the previous day's miserable events, he was feeling much better. No longer feeling sick to his stomach and run down. At least not as rundown as before. He was still tired, he was always tired these days. He hadn't realized how hard adulting was and kind of wished he could go back to his good old college days.  Where the worst thing that he had to worry about was getting his homework done on time and persuading Waylon to be his wingman for so and so’s party that next Saturday.

Chapter Text

“I know. Yes, I know.” The journalist sighed in annoyance as his boss continued to berate him on his lack of work turned in. The male had explained his recent bout of illness he had been struggling through but his employer saw that as no reason to shirk checking his emails and replying in a timely fashion. Claiming his actions as unprofessional. Miles didn't really see it that way since most of the emails were about uninteresting pieces involving local groups making mundane accomplishments while the rest involved the recent natural disasters that had every other journalist and reporter humming about. Miles wanted something different but his options were limited by his boss’ guidelines.

 

He shook his head at the phone as he gave another groan of affirmation. “Yeah, I'll get right on it. But I don’t thi-” The male’s phone beeped off causing him to look and see he was hung up on. He pinched the bridge of his nose and grumbled lowly before tossing his phone to his bed, the rest of him soon followed as he flopped down on it, spreading his arms out in a weary stretch. “Help me Darth Vader. You're my only hope!” He called out, gaining a small mewl as tiny claws scaled the leg of his jeans to get up on the bed before kitten paws stalked across his back. Miles tilted his head to the side as he was greeted with ticklish whiskers in his ear and a wet nose pressing to his cheek, drawing a shiver out of him.

 

“Alright.” He huffed, smiling softly at the kitten’s attempts to motivate him. “A cup of coffee and then we’re back to work. Okay?” He offered, gaining a soft mewl from the tiny black creature. He pat it on the head before shifting it to his arms, holding it carefully as he got up off the bed. His trip to the kitchen offered the opportunity to scale the journalist’s arm to perch atop his shoulder, hunkering down against his neck. It used its claws to hook in and prevent from falling off. There it remained as the brunette set up the pot to brew and waited for the delicious hot black liquid, eager for his caffeine induced high. He moved on from there with a full mug and headed for his work space. The computer powered up but Miles avoided the conspiracy forums today. Aiming to accomplish some form of work in the next few hours.

 

He took up one article that his boss had already emailed him. He had all the components he needed for a domestic feel good piece about a dog winning some pet competition. The piece was meant to go to the Denver post and was very little interest to him. He had to watch several pieces of footage from the pet show and do some reading on the fact the pooch was a local Denver resident which was why it was such a darling piece. He wanted to bang his head against the table top by the time he was finished and sent it in. He down the last of his coffee, knowing the pot was already emptied out as well, he gave the clock a brief glance and decided he would take a short break. Or a nap since he was already tired and it wasn’t even dinner time yet. He grabbed the blankets from his bed and shuffled into the living room to crash down onto the couch. Turning the television on low level and stretched all out comfortably. The little fluff ball finding a perfect spot atop his chest to curl up to and nuzzle against his sternum. It’s little head dropping down against the blanket as those intuitive golden orbs slipped closed. It didn’t take very long for Miles’ own green orbs to follow and slip off into a gentle doze. His fingers poised against the kitten’s soft black fur amidst a stroking motion.

 

 

 

 

The soft beeping of monitors echoed throughout the cold sterile room, fluttering lightly to his sensitive ears. His head turned, eyes staring up with a bleary fog over them, blinking slowly to clear the hindrance from his vision. The lights weren’t very bright this time around. As if half of them had been turned off, his form resting in the shadowy side of the room. A faint blue glow resonating from the nearby machines and their screens, adding an isolated feeling to the already unnerving environment. His muscles flexed slowly as he attempted to move his hands but met only resistance. The familiar tightness around his wrists reminded him of his immobility. A slow shifting of his legs furthered that feeling as thick straps formed over each ankle and his abdomen. Another slipped over the upper portion of his chest, warmed against his skin from prolonged use.

 

His head shifted, tilting to the side as his emerald orbs glanced around. His body jolting in surprise when a dark figure loomed just outside of his earlier vision now staring at him dead on. Bright golden eyes glowing in his direction from the deep ebony pits caressing them. Like fire around the cinders of what remains. He closed his eyes and whimpered softly, turning his gaze back to face the equipment above, the lights that remained off for the time being. A cold hand touched his bare chest, gliding over the contours of muscle and flesh, feeling out every dip and curve of an averagely tone body. The form of an active male individual. That is, until recently. The specimen wasn’t as active as he used to be but that was expected. They all react similarly when this happens. They sense the stress of their habitat. The changes they do not anticipate.

 

These were all things that entered the male’s mind. Thoughts shared by the creature above him. Intentions. Explanations. As if they were combined into the same consciousness. He was a specimen here. A test subject. To be examined and taken apart bit by bit only to be put back together again. Each time a little differently. The result remained the same though. Confusing conflicting sensations. Mind shattered by whatever drugs they pushed into his system, burning away at him from the inside out.

 

This time was different. The creature’s hand retracted to a tray resting next to the table. It had a myriad of tools and equipment on it, many Miles couldn’t recognize or say what they did. They weren’t made by humans. Some he could only guess at the sight of needles or tubes attached. Some he had been wrong about before and he didn’t feel like betting anything on his assumptions.

 

The black fingers hovered over each piece until it fell upon an object with several small needles attached in a circular pattern. It had a cylindrical tube attached to the end as it raised the object to hover over Miles’ chest. Fingers trailing over towards the space near his heart before pressing the needles into the skin. Miles hissed, his body jerking as a small button was flicked at the end, causing the short needles to extend and a soft hum running from the device as it filled with his blood. He gasped and squirmed on the table, trying to get away from the burning sensation in his chest before it finally retracted the device. A circular marking of small pinpricks was left behind. A bruise swelling up in the place from where the blood had been drawn up.

 

Th cylinder was sealed with another switch and placed on a small square platform with a port in the base. A soft hum running as it attached and the platform beeped, running a series of numbers and data across the screen. It moved on from there to a new device that hung on the end of the cart, a mask of sorts that had a long tube connecting it to a round tank like object, A twist of a lever and the mask hisses, releasing a gas like substance before it was pressed against the journalist’s face. He turned his head away to avoid the mask but his jaw was grabbed harshly before his posture was corrected and the mask was placed over his mouth and nose, a tight seal as the gas entered his body. A strap was fixed around his head to keep it in place. He felt his nose tingle with the strangely sweet aroma, making his head feel fuzzy and hazy. His emerald orbs slightly dazed as he struggled against the effects, feeling them race throughout the rest of his form.

 

It spread throughout his body like static across his skin. The soft touches of the creature’s fingers brushing over the flushed flesh, quivering eagerly for attention. The shadowy figure occupied it’s attention between the hand resting over his abdomen and the tray beside him. After some idle rustling, it drew back over, a finger following a trail along his abdomen, across his belly button and up towards his rib cage, stopping at the dip of his diaphragm as the digit rested in place as if holding a point. He saw the motion of its hands before the sharp pain entered his chest. The press of a blade over skin, an incision that spread the flesh apart, no bigger than an inch.  Blood pooled from the line but it was quickly wipes away with a cloth. He felt something cold against his heated flesh, a groan drawing from his chest as he struggled once more. A dark shadowy tendril rose up from behind the creature and curled around his throat like fingers gripping him tightly, preventing him from moving too much lest the tendril start to squeeze. It was a warning and the creature wasn’t pleased with the interruptions.

 

He felt something hot searing at his flesh, like it was being burned. A quiet sizzle rising with steam in the air before the pain faded. The fingers brushing over it causing him to jerk once more before relaxing with another firm squeeze to his throat. He panted within the mask, feeling flushed and feverish. His surroundings were chilling but his skin felt far too hot, like his core was on fire. He provided another light groan before the creature shifted, releasing his throat as it occupied itself once more with the table. Picking up something Miles could barely make out. It had a longish tube like object that was slender with a black tip. The grip of the object was strange and bulbous in appearance but also easily molded to the creature’s palm as it moved around to the space between his legs. The table was repositioned. The base dropping down as his legs were spread on two separate portions that turned into stirrups.

 

Miles opened his mouth to protest but found words failed to leave his lips. Only gasps of air and groans as the figure pressed a slick finger against his exposed rear. It moved with practiced ease and far too much comfort as far as his body was concerned. As if it knew every inch of him already. A finger pressing past the tight ring, it gave with ease and stretched comfortably. A familiar fullness as the digit pushed in all the way then practiced shallow thrusts in and out. Miles whimpered, his legs drawing back, pulling on the stirrups but being met with resistance. His back arched as the tubular object slid inside him with ease. Pushing in to a point before it stopped. He struggled once more but the action was pitiful and weak. Another sound rising in his chest as the base of the tube began to enlarge like a balloon. He felt the slight shifting as it was pumped up to a point, making certain it wouldn’t slip out. As the tube shifted inside him, he recognized the feeling of coils but the material was slick like plastic. Despite the bulb at the base keeping it from moving in or out, the tube began to move on it’s own. Wiggling around and stretching inside him, coiling up and shifting. Miles gasped, crying out from behind the mask, a sharp muffled sound as it pressed against the bundle of nerves inside. It continued to wiggle around and move on it’s own, leaving him gasping in large gulps of the strange air.

 

Movement in his peripheral caught his attention as the being repositioned to the other side of him. A dark hand gliding through his silky chocolate locks as it inspected the human’s emerald orbs. Those golden rings digging deep into him, as if it could see right through him. Like it already knew all the secrets his body and mind held. Fear sparked in his chest, a frantic desperation that made it harder to breath. The creature seemed to sense this and continued stroking it’s claws through the disheveled mess. A deep rumble came from it, like a croon to calm his fears. Miles squirmed, giving another cry as the object inside him moved again, pushing in deeper to a part of him he didn’t think anything could really go. It felt alive and it only furthered his fears.

 

When it reached a certain point, he felt it stop. Something over his diaphragm pulsed, throbbing just below the skin before a jolt of electricity shot through his entire body. His eyes widened with a sharp cry, his back arching and head tipping back. Lips parting in a scream as the shock faded out. There was a few heartbeats before another followed, short like the last with a brief pause. Each time he felt it hit every last fiber of his being but his mind was confused. He couldn’t tell if it was pain or pleasure. His body equally as conflicted as another shock hit, this time it lasted longer and came over him in waves, rushing back and forth across his form.

 

Just when he thought he would go mad, it stopped. Allowing his body to relax before another pulse hit, vibrating throughout not with a physical motion but a humming sound, stretching out across him before drawing back to pool a heat in his abdomen. It made his skin tingle and start to go numb. His thoughts were having trouble connecting and maintaining form. He couldn’t focus for long, his attention drifting off as if sleep was looming over him. The hum faded out slowly before a final sharp jolt washed over him, hitting just the right frequency that forced his body into a state of orgasm. His member releasing across his chest, pooling a whole new heat over the dip of his belly. He cried out, body jerking in the restraints before it relaxed once more. The humming and vibrations ceased. As did the electricity. He heard a fleeting beep from a nearby monitor, causing him to turn his head towards it, gazing past the creature to see a series of numbers and data collecting on the screen and what appeared to be a diagram of his body.

 

His attention rose back up to the shadowy golden eyed figure as it moved back between his legs. The bulbous object deflated and he could feel the tubular tendril retreating back to its original length. His body jerked when the coiled tube was pulled out, forcing his member to give a few final spurts of seed as they slide across the sensitive bundle of nerves. A deep moan rushing from his chest before he was left panting, much more heavily this time. His green orbs closing as a shiver ran through him, feeling his own heat quickly cooling against his skin. He felt the creature place it’s fingers against his chest, moving just above the mess on his skin, up along his sternum to where the mask was, fingers curling around it as it pulled it down, allowing fresh air to rush in and fill the space in Miles lungs. Oxygen replacing whatever the gas was, giving him an insane head rush at the same time. He felt the room flip flop around him, spinning madly. His eyes closed as he struggled to stay grounded but it didn’t last for very long, tipping him over the edge into unconsciousness.

 

 

 

“Miles? Miles!” A familiar voice rang out in the quiet of the room, jarring the journalist awake. His green orbs opened slowly, peering up at the friendly head of blonde and the always welcome pale blue orbs. An adorable couple that was far too unfair to belong to a straight boy like the tech nerd. It made Miles want to pout that he will be forced to enjoy such idle pleasures from a distance. Or, like right now, up close and personal. A part of him wanted to close the distance between them and see how flustered his could make his childhood friend but before he could make up his mind, the male started to walk away. He shucked off the coat from his shoulders, giving light to the uptight appearance of office wear. The button up shirt and tie, tucked in neatly into his slacks. Not saying Miles didn’t share the same apparel when he went to work but he hated ties. Something about Waylon in one made him want to get a nice good grip on it and yank him closer.

 

“Quit eye fucking me ya bastard.” Waylon narrowed his eyes at his friend, knowing that gaze far too well and all the times Miles has used it on whatever piece of eye candy he’s placed in his sights. At the moment he was sure the man was still half asleep to be sending him such a lecherous look. He shook his head and fixed his sleeves, rolling them up to his elbows before gesturing towards the bags he placed on the journalists kitchen counter. It was take out from a fried chicken place. The kind that does family style meals with all the fixings to go. “Come on. I brought dinner.” He stated as he starting pulling out the styrofoam containers with potatoes and pastas. Coleslaw and gravy, there’s larger buttery biscuits and of course, the fried chicken. There was even a large chocolate lava cake for dessert. Waylon went to the cupboards and started getting the silverware to make up a plate for Miles before his own. He glanced at the counter and sighed, cleaning the mess up and collecting all the papers to set aside on the coffee table. Aiming to have a decent meal at the table.

 

He set the plate at Miles’ usual spot and dug out a couple bottles of cold root beer he picked up at the place. They had a drink cooler and he knew Miles wouldn’t hardly have anything other than alcohol or coffee in his fridge. The journalist watched Waylon for a moment before pushing up off the couch. Marveling in how familiar his friend was with all of this. Waylon has been taking care of him for years, which was sad to say but Miles knew if it weren’t for that fact, he probably wouldn’t be so close with the techie still. He knew Waylon worried about him, especially since Miles wasn’t the best at taking care of himself as far as complete and healthy meals go. Waylon brings by dinner or lunch every couple days and checks up on him regularly to ensure he’s eating and not wasting away between cases. It was no secret that Miles had hit a rut lately. He wasn’t performing as well as he used to and he lost a lot of his motivation for the usual pieces he’d take on. He wanted something more but unlike his coworkers who would chastise him and tell him to suck it up and get over it, Waylon remained the support system for him. The blonde always urged him to do his best and when he hit a rut like this, he didn’t leave his friend to struggle by. The blonde really was too good for this world and far too good for Miles.

 

He sighed, giving his chest a couple rubs as an itchy sensation formed in the center. It felt prickly but he brushed it off as being from Darth Vader. The kitten enjoyed climbing all over him and using his claws to do it. Speaking of, as the journalist moved to take his seat, just as Waylon sat beside him, he glanced around for the little fuzzball. His gaze was met by confusion from Waylon as he fixed his silverware in an obsessive fashion, lining up perfectly with his plate. “What are you doing?” He asked, a look of concern on the other male.

 

“I can’t find Darth Vader. He went to sleep with me.” The look on Waylon’s face increased in confusion at the name before it finally clicked and he made an “oh” face and started looking around as well. A soft mewl entered the room as the little fuzz ball jumped up onto the edge of the table from the other side. Causing Miles to smile at it and pull it over into his lap carefully, letting the feline rest on his thighs while he ate. One hand wrapped around it lovingly. Waylon stared at the cat with his mouth partly open, tilting his head in contemplation as if he wanted to say something but wasn’t quite sure. “What? Haven’t you seen a cat before?”

 

“I have. It’s just...doesn’t he look a little big to you?” Waylon asked slowly, eyes darting from the kitten up to the journalist.

 

“Not really. All cats are small Way.” Miles said flatly, reaching to take a chicken leg in his grasp and pulling a piece of meat from the bone. His eyes watching the blonde curiously.

 

Waylon rolled his eyes at the comment then shook his head. “No, I mean like when you first got him, he was itty bitty. He looks nearly full grown now.”  Which was true. The tiny fluff ball wasn’t as small as he used to be. At the time when Miles found him he was about halfway to being an adult size but now he just barely filled out the journalists’ lap. The male didn’t seem to notice and just shrugged.

 

“It’s probably cause he’s eating better.” Miles stated.

 

“A week doesn’t make a cat grow that quickly Miles.” The techie remarked which gained another shrug from the journalist.

 

“Maybe he’s just got an odd metabolism or you’re mistaking that size from his fluffy fur. He’s not that heavy at all and I’ve been carrying him around a lot.” Miles explained, gesturing around with the bone of his chicken leg. “It’s probably just your imagination Way. You haven’t seen him much is all.”

 

Waylon paused, fiddling with his fork before he sighed and nodded. He was still a little skeptical but he decided it wasn't much to worry about. It was just a cat after all. He just shook the thought away as he started digging into his own meal. “I guess you’re right.”

Chapter Text

Miles spent the next few days grazing on the left overs from the meal his friend had brought him. Nibbling on cold chicken as he attacked the ever growing pile of emails from his work, most of them from his boss. It had gotten to the point he couldn’t bear to stare at the screen any longer. He was pumped full of caffeine, his eyes burned and his head throbbed from so long on the computer. He was forced to shut everything off if only to gain a brief reprieve, taking a glance at the clock on his phone, he decided it was early enough to go for a walk. It was a weekend, it was nice out and Waylon was spending his day cleaning since it was one of his few off days. That left Miles to his own devices and free to do as he pleased and right now he desired to be anywhere but at his house.

 

He was never one for being idle for long periods of time and preferred working out in the field but lately field work was lacking. Unless he wanted to fly to the natural disaster zones where hundreds of reporters and journalists already were at. Writing about a flood wasn’t as exciting or interesting when hundreds of other articles about the exact same place already exist and are passed around the internet like nudes on the phones of high school boys.

 

He changed into more acceptable apparel consisting of a white button up shirt over a white tee, a pair of dark jeans and his signature dark brown leather jacket, making his way out the door as he double checked to see he had his phone and wallet with him. He locked up his house and headed for his jeep but instead decided he’d much rather walk that afternoon. It was nice out. The sun was shining for the time being and he only intended to take a trip down into town, maybe stop at the store on the way. His intent was to cut through the park and enjoy his time out and about, with fresh air and the breeze against his skin, ghosting through his messy brown locks.

 

There wasn’t very many people on the streets, even fewer cars around then normal but he could live with that. It just meant less annoyances to ruin the quiet afternoon. The trip to the park wasn’t long and Miles was starting to feel a little warm in his jacket by time he got there. With the sun beating down on his back. There was only a couple groups of kids playing around on the different jungle gyms and colorful equipment. A couple young mothers were sitting off to the side chatting between each other. He found a nice big tree with thick branches shading a large area around it. It was popular in the Summer as a picnicking spot but now that the weather was turning colder, there was less competition for it which was how Miles liked it.

 

He plopped down amidst the large roots rising out of the earth, resting his back against the rough bark exterior and settling in. Legs stretched out as he watched the breeze play through the branches. Relishing the coolness of the shade. Running his fingers through the soft grass and admiring the changing leaves. The colors conflicting between greens, bright yellows and golds. He hummed softly, staring up at the branches for what felt like several minutes, feeling the breeze rush past him, the chill in its caress nipping at his exposed skin. The shade shifted, turning dark and colder then he would have liked. A shiver running through him, jarring him from his daze. His eyes glancing around to find the sun had vanished behind thick black clouds and the park had emptied out quickly, leaving him all on his own.

 

He shifted himself up onto his feet, looking around once more, trying to gauge which direction he had come from. Looking around, Miles felt an odd sense of confusion as if he had never been this way before despite being a frequent visitor to the park. He dusted his jeans off and turned around, deciding it was best to follow the bike trails until he found his way back to the main road leading into town. It wasn’t long before the dark clouds opened up and started pouring rain on him, the droplets repelling off of hs jacket and rushing down over his shoulders. He was glad his phone was waterproof as he withdrew it, pressing the center button to activate the device’s AI. “Find home.” Miles commanded loudly through the heavy rain. Thunder rumbled and rolled through the sky as the GPS started directing him. He tucked his phone into his pocket and started walking. Feeling the splash of ice cold water up his legs and soaking through his jeans. It was becoming incredibly uncomfortable but he kept trudging on. Finding he was growing even more confused by the minute as to where he was. The sky was growing dark as day shifted towards dusk. What felt like only an hour walk seemed to have turned into several as he glanced at the clock on his phone.

 

He had gotten turned around several times, not even hearing the GPS’ directions as thunder crackled and lightning arched across the sky, giving light to the empty suburban streets. Every house he passed by seemed dark and quiet. The whole world appeared to have gone dead in the span of a few hours. His feet stumbled across the broken and cracked sidewalk as his legs were weighed down with all the soaked clothing clinging to him. His chocolate locks hanging down in his face, forcing him to comb them back several times in order to see but it did little help as the GPS cried out to him to turn around once again. He was about to give up and plop down in the middle of the street for a break when it alerted him to his destination. His eyes raised to find a familiar sight but it wasn’t his home he was standing in front of.

 

His eyes glanced over the small house of his best friend. The windows all lit up and movement on the other side of the blinds. He glanced at his phone, expecting to find the GPS app still open but there was nothing there. Not even a record of his request. He made a confused sound, looking back up at Waylon’s house before he forced his feet to carry him towards it. He wasn’t sure how he got on this side of town, it was nearly an hour’s walk between their houses and that was going the quickest route on a good day. He raised his hand, hesitating briefly before rapping his knuckles on the front door. His hands were shaking and numb from the cold and rain.

 

The blonde male opened the door, giving a wary greeting before his words stopped in their tracks, seeing the journalist’s pitiful appearance. Miles’ green eyes gazed up at Waylon, looking dazed and out of it. “Miles? What the hell are you doing out in the rain?” He glanced around, not seeing the jeep anywhere in sight. “Christ, did you walk here?” He asked as he pulled his friend inside with him, shutting the door behind himself. Miles’ looked to be barely standing, his feet were dragging as he slowly shuffled towards the entry wall, wrapping his arms around himself shivering. Looking a little more aware now that he was inside. “Miles?”

 

“S-sorry Way.” He murmured, his teeth chattering from the cold. “I didn’t mean ta- to drop by unannounced.” Before he could even finish his words, Waylon hand begun to pry the sopping wet clothes off of his friend, jerking the jacket right off of his shoulders.

 

“Come on. Let’s get you warmed up. Jesus Miles.” He cursed, digging the journalist’s phone and wallet out of his coat pockets and dumping everything onto the table. There was a puddle forming on the floor beneath Miles from all the water as he tried to peel out of his jeans. He was drenched right down to his boxers. Waylon helped him work out of the rest of his clothing after running to grab a couple towels from the bathroom, one to wrap Miles in and another to clean up the mess of water. “Fuck, you’re ice cold. You need a shower, warm yourself up before you get sick.”

 

There was no opportunity for protest as Waylon tugged on the journalist’s bicep, drawing him towards the bathroom. He plopped down on the closed toilet, taking a moment to rest while the blonde set the shower up, running hot for his friend. The steam rolling out of the shower room and fogging up the mirror. “Come on. I’ll get you some of my clothes to wear for now.” He urged Miles to his feet and into the shower, reclaiming the towel to set aside for the time being.

 

He left the brunette to thaw in the shower for a little while, compiling all the soaked clothes into the washer and double checking the pockets. He set a dark  pair of boxers, basketball shorts and an old band shirt from a concert they went to back in college, setting it on the counter in the bathroom, giving Miles a brief glance and noticing he was standing idle beneath the spray, looking daze. His eyes closed as he teetered in place.

 

When Miles finally came out of the shower, he wasn’t wearing the shirt just yet, still rubbing all the water out of his hair with a towel as he sat down on the couch beside Waylon. The blonde greeting him with a smile at first, glad to see he appeared much more alert and functional but that smile faltered when he was able to take in the sight of Miles’ form now that he wasn’t all over the place and frantic. There was a series of bruises and wound on the male’s body that seemed out of place for the journalist. Not so much if he had just returned from a long case or investigation but Miles has done nothing but lounge around his house for the past few weeks. “What’s wrong with your back?” Waylon inquired.

 

“Hm? My back?” The journalist raised a questioning brow before twist in place to try and look over his shoulder but he couldn’t see what the male was talking about. “What about it?”

 

“It’s all bruised up.” He shifted closer to Miles, one hand resting on his shoulder while his other moved to feel out the large bruises and wounds on his back. There were red marks like old scratches or cuts still resting on the unusually pale flesh. It’s like Miles had lost all his color, normally being much darker in complexion from all the hours under the sun over the years. “Does that hurt?” Waylon asked as his fingers brushed over a mark along the journalist’s side but Miles only gave a slight shake of his head. Waylon let go and watched Miles turn back around, finding even more markings much the same once the red heated flushed faded out from the hot shower. “What about those?” He pointed out. There were several puncture marks on his chest, some of them were next to his heart.

 

“Oh, that?” Miles rubbed at it, giving it a momentary scratch before he shrugged. “Darth Vader likes to use his claws when he climbs on me. He probably did most of that. It’s no big deal.”

 

“Miles, the cat is small. Some of the marks are huge. I highly doubt the cat did it.” He pointed out flatly. The journalist just shrugged and started to pull his shirt on but Waylon stopped him. “Here, let me see the towel. Your hair’s not dry yet.” He held out his hand, moving his fingers to demand it be handed over. Miles obliged and turned around in his seat so Waylon could help him out. He paused before hand, withdrawing his phone from his pocket and snapping a couple pictures of the damage for future reference. They seemed to be in really odd places for it to be just a bump against furniture or a fall. He stood up and moved in front of Miles and continued to rub out his unruly hair, snapping a quick picture of his chest and torso while the journalist’s eyes were covered and slipping his phone back away before withdrawing the towel. Plucking at a few messy locks with his fingers before he gave a hum of approval. “There, all done. You can crash on my couch and relax for a little while until your clothes are dried.” Waylon announced as he headed to the bathroom to hang the towel up to dry.

 

“Thanks Way Way!” The journalist called back, relaxing against the plush leather sofa. The house was pretty close as far as layout compared to Miles. The only difference was the living room and kitchen were in the same place instead of having a separate space. And there was a laundry room instead of the spare office. Other then that, it was much the same. Right down to the wood floors. It was also much cleaner than Miles’ place and more lit up. By the time Waylon returned to the living room, he found Miles softly dozing off with a throw pillow tucked firmly underneath his chest and his head against the arm of the couch. It wasn’t the most comfortable way to sleep but Waylon had a hunch that Miles could probably find the branches of a tree to be a divine resting place.