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Smoke Chewer.

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Get Miles, was his instinct, back when he still believed that some people had more authority than others. Get him to see this shit and he’ll know what to do.

It was the most realistic thing he could think to do, crammed into a corner with his heart racing- easier at least to hope somebody else could do it, rather than face the fact that he couldn’t.

-

Heated breaths pant against Waylon’s neck, filling the cramped space with a humidity only relieved by the chill flowing in through the thin slashes of the locker’s door- not that he isn't part of the problem. He’s a little hazy on how he got here, naked and rutting, feeling the older’s body slide against his. Miles feels good, incidentally, even after having sucker-punched him when they passed in the hall, thinking each other enemies. Inter-human aggression becomes affection?

“Quelling our nervous systems,” Miles had labeled it, though Waylon’s heart rate is no more relaxed than it’s been the whole damn time he’s been working here. Their collision in the hallway, running from their various pursuers, shocked him a little more than he wanted to admit. He didn’t expect anybody to come, but hindsight is a lying bitch.

Mile’s tongue laps at his collar, the younger grateful for the darkness that hides the flush of red spreading across his face as he desperately pries at the reporter’s hips. He hears the quiet hum of the night-vision in their video cameras outside, one posted atop the locker looking out at the hallway, the other shamefully spectating on the closed metal door. Just because his camera isn’t recording them directly doesn’t make this innocuous, and for some sick reason, it’s at least one source of motivation for him to never get out of here.

“It’s nice to not be alone,” Waylon admits as sweat rolls down his forehead.

“It’ll be nice when somebody isn’t trying to eat my organs at any given time,” Miles answers.

“Same.”

Waylon forces Miles into a deep kiss, running his hands down the male’s back and around his butt. After all he’s seen, he doesn’t get why the scrape of Mile’s poorly-bandaged (lack of) fingers on his body reproaches him so much. Perhaps they are the only thing he’s witnessed that he is truly, directly responsible for. He swallows feebly. “I’m sorry. I’m still dumbfounded that you responded so fast.”

Waylon thinks that Miles is probably always harsh with clarity. “You were the one who brought me here, Park.”

“I’m sorry you came. I’m not sorry I brought you here.”

He grunts. “Well, someone had to be brought and I’m not sorry it was me.” Miles is all urgency and wetness, erection slick between Waylon’s thighs as his hand strokes Waylon just the same. Waylon is dripping in every way, moaning and slouched against the rusted wall behind him. Miles’ thumb explores the protrusion of metal on the boy's ring finger. “I’m assuming you’re married.”

Waylon gropes for a justification but surrenders. “Yeah. I don’t particularly care so much for dying noble anymore.”

“That’s the attitude,” Miles growls as he buries into the blonde’s neck, biting at him gently.

Waylon is so fucking aroused that he can barely hold himself up. Maybe he’s always been gay. Maybe the complete lack of consequence- no, the utter inevitability of the same consequence no matter what has reduced him to an animal mewling for one last foraging before hibernation. He spent a lot of his former life slouched over a computer, eyes burning at 3am and mind reeling with disturbance about what the heck it must feel like to be dead, to cease to feel anything. He’s surprisingly uninterested in the concept now. His previous attachments to youth have fleeted, and every moment feels borrowed. He already considers himself dead, and as a result, he is twice as alive as he’s ever been.

A part of him wants to ask Miles to push him into the wall and fuck him properly, but he doesn’t think he can take anything reminiscent of pain right now.

“You did the right thing,” he hears Miles mutter, “It’s not any of our faults that there was no way of having a satisfying resolution.”

Was, because even though they're in the middle of this, they both know it's over.

There’s a clanging from somewhere down the hall and the two freeze. They pause, shaking silently and clinging to one another with fingers like talons that don't belong to grown men. Miles dares turn his head and glance out through the slits, but it’s too dark to see, and the noise has been gone for a good while now anyways.

Waylon’s relieved tremors send him slumping against the wall, with only Miles’ proximity to keep him on his feet.

“Despite what it looks like, we’re both still alive,” Miles reminds him.

“Does that really count for anything?”

"Sure." Miles purrs, a predatory sound. "We all live with nihility. Whether we've seen horrors on tv, or the supernatural with our own eyes, or an office six times a week. It never really bothers anyone unless the world they live in reflects it. It's not any less viable when you can't see it. At least our eyes are open."

"That's very... reporter-like," Waylon mumbles, rubbing his nose.

With a condescending pat to Waylon's shoulder, Miles pushes the two of them out into the open. The younger scurries towards his camera on the desk, fitting his hand through its strap before reaching towards his clothes. "You go left, I go right?" he asks meekly in Mile's direction as the dark-haired male bats the camera screen out of his face.

-

Frozen breaths leave Waylon's mouth; he sees the puff of preserved vapor in the camera screen. He's been adamant about keeping the recording off him but he flips it this once to check the bruises and cuts on his face. There's a surprising lack of damage, given everything, but the incessant piling of wounds guarantee a scarring no prettier than those on the variant's bodies.

A church goes up in flame and then a swat team swarms the main hall. Waylon still wants to get out, but he takes smaller bites out of his end game. Find Miles has been his objective for however many hours they've been split apart, as if that less-desirable, more-realistic fantasy is easier to cope with than something as big as seeing his family again.

Guns go off from around the corner. He wipes blood from his mouth and sprints back the way he came, tripping over his own spindly limbs. He needs food and a chance to lie down; a shower before any of that. Not that he thinks he's ever going to be able to do these kinds of things quietly ever again. It's all be transcribed to his inner eyelids and even blinking is painful.

Boots clunk loudly behind him, but he doesn't think he can run any faster. Waylon skids into an office room and quickly slams himself into a locker, eyes wide as his camera provides a second perspective. The morning has brought in a sickly warm light, hues of creamy rose and orange. To see something so normal only feels like a punishment.

The footsteps stop, then deliberately trace Waylon's path into the room. The boy squeezes his eyes shut when the dark silhouette moves to stand between him and the thin exit, looking right through the metal door and into Waylon.

The silence that follows kills him thrice, and he finally forces himself to face it, hoping the man is gone.

The man is here. His figure's fingers press against the slits on the outside of the locker, curling gently. Waylon is familiar with that lost pointer finger, severed at the knuckle. "Miles?" he breathes.

Miles steps back; he isn't holding his camera. Perhaps it is for the purpose of compensation that makes Waylon lift his shaking hand to catch this moment on his, but it seems more driven by fear. He can't see Miles' face- it blurs when he searches for it, out of reach. The journalist’s body is charcoal and now he can see the wisps of smoke that playfully circle around his limbs. Waylon is instantly reminded of the soapy, swirling images that frequently burnt his eyes, and then he realizes why he hasn't seen the Walrider approach in so long. Miles has it now.

Waylon’s never been this close up to it, hasn’t even thought of it as a tangible thing. He’s seen it filmy, between the air and his retina, convinced of it but never referring to it as a creature. It comes to them in the engine- he’s even experienced it from the patient’s chair now, but he always thought it was less of a conjuring and more of a psychological suggestion, maybe even personalized on an individual basis.

It wears Miles’ face as if a mask on backwards.

Miles wears it.

Thick, oily gas rolls around his body and he seems to hold hands with it, stroking the corporeal sludge between his idle fingers. “Old habits, guess I used to have them too,” the male speaks suddenly as if addressing it, gesturing to Waylon’s cowardice. “Can’t beat ‘em, hide long enough for somebody else to be sacrificed before you; hope they gorge the beast.” He smiles. “I dunno, you still feel pretty hungry to me, what do you think?”

Waylon doesn’t hear anybody respond to Miles, but maybe that’s only because he’s too busy looking at the bullet wounds that decorate the former Mile’s chest.

“Ah, thanks for noticing.” Miles’ eyes snap up to Waylon, his face suddenly crisply focused. The darkness continues to fluidly circle around him. “On one hand, Waylon, you really did kill me after all. However, I have to admit that you ended up making me better. Look at all of these aperture choices the Walrider had when he decided to enter me. Naturally, he picked them all.”

Miles grins at the floor and the vapor envelopes him again.

It overflows, then, starting to tumble down the male’s body and slither across the floor. Waylon watches it disappear from view only to return closer than ever, creeping through the holes in the locker and joining him in the confined space.

Kill Miles, Waylon thinks hastily as it grabs him by the hair and explores the contours of his face.

But what is there to kill?

Miles would have never put down the camera. Even now, the Walrider is tearing his from his hand.