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They never sleep together when they're travelling. It's too dangerous in this new world without power, says Miles, when there's people around that would kill each other over a few cans of food or a pack of cigarettes. Bass agrees, though something in his blue eyes still looks a little shell-shocked at the whole situation. And if sometimes Miles takes watch for a little longer than his fair half... well. The smiles Bass favors him with when he wakes him - languid, eyes half lidded in the bliss of a night well-slept - make it worth it.

The only problem with not sleeping together, is, of course... not sleeping together.

They've camped under a bridge somewhere outside of Asheville, next to a narrow, nearly dried up stream. The colourful graffiti-scarred walls help to hide the light from their small fire - a risk, but necessary to boil the river water to refill their drinking canteens. Bass, claiming sleeplessness, takes first watch, and when he wakes Miles the only light is from the fire's embers and the sliver of moon that hangs low in the sky.

Miles, well practiced in standing watch even before the blackout, perches on a boulder near Bass and sits quietly, listening to the sounds of the night and Bass's deepening breath as he falls asleep. He watches the sliver of moon disappear down behind the trees and the first hint of gray that brightens the sky, heralding the hot summer sun that will follow soon enough.

As soon as it's light enough to be certain of his footing, he paces. Silently, near the edge of the stream, from one end of the bridge tunnel to the other. Looking for signs of life, looking at anything other than Bass stretched out on their folded blankets, blue eyes closed and angel curls golden against his cheek, even in the dim light of pre-dawn. Bass, who, if Miles asked, would open his arms to him in a moment, lips sweet and body lax and warm from sleep. Who would let Miles strip his pants and take him with nothing more between them than a few precious drops of hoarded KY, his body hot and tight and welcoming around Miles's cock.

Miles doesn't look, because looking will make him want that even more desperately than he already does. He's already so damn hard despite his mental admonitions to keep control, his jeans uncomfortably tight. It's been over a week since they've been somewhere safe enough to fuck, since he's had the pleasure of Bass's dick against his tongue, since he's watched Bass ride his cock and jerk himself all over Miles's chest.

Fuck it.

Might as well rub one out. At this point, he's sure it won't take long.

He leans back against the faded street art on the bridge walls, standing just close enough to Bass to see the slow rise and fall of his chest as he sleeps. This is a bad idea, a dangerous idea, but still he can't help but pop open the button on his jeans. He slides a hand inside, watching Bass as he palms his engorged cock, and only years of discipline keep him from gasping aloud.

Miles wraps his fingers around his cock and starts to stroke, an even, familiar pace. Being like this makes him remember Bass on his knees in front of him, looking up at him through thick blond eyelashes as his lips slide down the length of Miles's cock. It makes him remember Bass's fingers splayed on the tiles of his shower as he braced himself, rocking and grinding his soap-slick ass back against Miles's cock. Miles picks up the pace, forcing himself to glance in both directions down the river to check for danger. Then he lets his head fall back against the painted concrete, fingers slicking precum down the length of his shaft. The pleasure is dizzying after so much restraint, amazingly good, but it still can't compare with his memories of fucking Bass.

As soon as they get to Chicago he's going to drag Bass into Ben's spare room and fuck him until he can't walk straight, Miles decides. The promise makes conscious thought fade to pleasure-blankness, sensation rushing through him as he comes in hot spurts in his fingers.

Miles forces his ragged breath to slow, enjoying the pleasant buzz of afterglow for a few moments before stepping away from the wall, moving to clean up in the water. It's not nearly as good as being with Bass. But it will do. For now.

~~~